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Maps - California

The content of this guide was created by Bob Sathrum, retired 6/2013

Geologic Maps

Simplified Geologic Map of California

For a history of statewide geologic maps of California see History of Geologic Maps of California which is updated and condensed from An Explantory Text to Accompany the 1:750,000 Scale Fault and Geologic Maps of California (Jennings), pp. 51-54 (California Geological Survey Bulletin # 201) 1985 (Cal Doc C810 B9 #201)

Guides and Indexes

For more detailed or site-specific studies check the 1) HSU Library Catalog for books; 2) GeoRef for journal articles, government documents, conference papers, and theses; and 3) references in the following sources. See also the indexes listed underCalifornia Environment Information Sources - Geology - Guides and Bibliographies.

  • California Geological Survey Publications Database (California Geological Survey) Lists publications available for purchase from CGS. Search by publication series, date or county. Links to publications available online.
  • Geologic Map Index for California (Fuller) 1987 (Docs I 19.86:C12/986) Lists 1366 California geological maps, excluding those published in theses, dissertations and state open file reports. Accompanying index maps are arranged by scale range and show the area of geologic mapping covered by each map. This print index has been incorporated into the continuously updated National Geologic Map Database.

  • Geologic Map Index to United States Geological Survey 7.5' and 15' Quadrangles of California (Crotts) Indexes geologic maps of California included in 14 major map and monograph series published by the US Geological Survey. Arranged by topographic quadrangle name.Guide to USGS Geologic and Hydrologic Maps (Andriot) 1992 (Abstract Docs QE 77 G85) Includes subject, area and geographic coordinate indexes.

  • Geologic Mapping Index (California Geological Survey) Selective bibliography to geologic mapping of California that is arranged into 27 1:250,000 scale quadrangles corresponding to the Regional Geologic Map Series and the older Geologic Map of California series. This ongoing bibliography is maintained to support the newer series. Each completed quadrangle in the series includes a more detailed Index to Geologic Maps Used in Compilation of the ... Quadrangle.

  • Index to Geologic Maps of California (California Division of Mines and Geology) Subdivided into the same 27-sheet sequence as the 1:250,000 Geologic Map of California it was originally compiled for the production of this statewide geologic map sereis. Plotted on each index sheet are published and open-file maps issued by the US Geological Survey and the California Division of Mines and Geology, and maps published in geology guidebooks, geology journals, and conference proceedings. The original compilation and updates through 1978 have appeared in the following publications: 

    DATES               SOURCE                              CALL NUMBER
    maps to 1956  CDMG Special Report 52        Abstr Cal Docs C 810 S6 #52
    1957-1960       CMDG Special Report 52A     Abstr Cal Docs C 810 S6 #52A
    1961-1964       CDMG Special Report 52B     Abstr Cal Docs C 810 S6 #52B
    1965-1968       CDMG Special Report 102      Abstr Cal Docs C 810 S6 #102
    1969-1975       CDMG Special Report 130      Abstr Cal Docs C 810 S6 #130
    1976               California Geology 34(4): 80-84, Apr. 1981   Cal Docs C 810 M5
    1977-1978       California Geology 34(1): 6-13, Jan 1983      Cal Docs C 810 M5      
  • Index to Published Landslide Maps, California Coast Ranges, Monterey County and North for Use in Timber Harvest Plan Preparation on Non-Federal Land. (California Divison of Mines and Geology) 1999 (Special Publication #120) (print copy available in Cal Docs C 810 S59 1999 #120) For each of 269 USGS topographic quadrangles lists geologic and landslide map coverage from two major CDMG mapping projects.

  • List of U.S. Geological Survey Geologic and Water-Supply Reports and Maps for California (US Geological Survey) 1987 (print copy available in Abstract Docs I 19.41/7: C12) Lists reports published by the US Geological Survey relating to the geology, mineral resources and water resources of California from 1880 to 1987. Reports are listed by series with subject and county indexes.

  •  National Geologic Map Database (US Geological Survey) Catalog of over 8500 paper and digital geologic maps on California. Searchable by geologic theme, geographic area (clickable map, county, 1:100,000 quad, geographic coordinate), author, title, map scale, publisher, and map number. The database contains information about geologic maps produced by the USGS, other federal agencies, tribal governments, state geological surveys, local governments, academic institutions, and the private sector.

  • Publications Warehouse (US Geological Survey) Indexes over 1500 US Geological Survey geologic and hydrologic maps covering California. Includes links to map online if available.

  • "Source Data Index" IN An Explanatory Text to Accompany the 1:750,000 Scale Fault and Geologic Maps of California (Jennings) 1985, pp. 125-197 (CDMG Bulletin #201) (Cal Doc C 810 B9 #201) Set of 1:250,000 scale indexes corresponding to the 27 quadranges of the Geologic Map of California. The index for each quadrangle shows geologic mapping published between the date of the issuance of the original geologic quadrangle and 1985. For earlier mapping one should refer to the Index to Geologic Mapping issued with the original quadrangle and for later mapping the Index to Geologic Mapping in California.

Maps and Indexes

  • Assessment and Atlas of Shoreline Erosion Along the California Coast (California Department of Navigation and Ocean Development) 1977 (Cal Docs N 540 S36) Includes an atlas section of 129 maps at a scale of 1:40,000 which classifies California's shoreline into six shoreline conditions.

  • California Continental Margin Geologic Map Series (California Division of Mines and Geology) 1986-1989 (Cal Docs C 810 C66) Series of seven folios at a scale of 1:250,000 covering the California continental margin. Each folio includes four sheets: "Geologic Map," "Bouguer Gravety and Magnetic Anomaly," "Earthquake Epicenters and Selected Fault Plane Solutions," and "Well Location, Geophysical Trackline and Data Source Map." Geology of the California Continental Margin (CDMG Bulletin 207) (Cal Doc C 810 B9 #207) contains an explanation of the map series along with a 37-page bibliography.

  • California Geomorphic Provinces (California Geological Survey) (CGS Note 36) Contains maps and descriptions of California's 11 geomorphic provinces.

  • California Landform Regions: a Collection of Panoramic Maps created for the California Geographic Alliance(Bowen) Collection of computer generated panoramic maps arranged by California landform region.

  • Dibblee Geology Maps (Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History) Collection of over 400 California geological maps, mostly at a scale of 1:24,000, that were produced by Thomas Dibblee. During his 60 year active mapping career he mapped the geology of over one quarter of California. For additional information on these for sale maps see Dibblee Geological Foundation.

  • Generalized Geologic Map of California (California Geological Survey) (CGS Note 17) Includes map, one page explanation and geologic time scale.

  • Geologic-Landslide Maps (California Department of Forestry) 1979 (map G 4361 C5 s62 C2) Series of maps published on a USGS 15' quadrangle base at a scale of 1:62,500 that map the geology and land form stability of coastal northern California. Originally prepared for use in timber harvest plan preparation they have been superceded in part by the more recent Geology and Geomorphic Features Related to Landsliding series. The Index to Published Landslide Maps, California Coast Ranges, Monterey County and North for Use in Timber Harvest Plan Preparation on Non-Federal Land (Print copy available in Cal Docs C 810 S59 #120) can be used as a guide to the series.

  • Geologic Map of California (Jennings) 2010 (California Geologic Data Map #2) (Cal Doc C 810 G4d #2) The authoritative statewide geologic map at a scale of 1:750,000. Also available as an interactive map using a Google Maps interface. In addition to the briefer Explanatory Text for the 2010 edition a more thorough discussion is found in An Explanatory Text to Accompany the 1:750,000 Fault and Geologic Maps of California(Cal Doc C 810 B9 #201) which gives background information, geologic formations, and literature sources used in compilation of the original 1977 map. The cd-rom GIS Data for the Geologic Map of California (Saucedo) 2000 contains a database of geologic units and faults digitized from the original 1977 map. Files are in both ArcInfo export files (.e00) and MapInfo format

  • Geologic Map of California (U.S. Geological Survey) 1974 (USGS Miscellaneous Geologic Investigations Map I-512) (Print copy available in Docs I 19.91: I512) Online image available in four resolutions of geologic map originally published at a scale of 1:2.5 million.

  • Geologic Map of California (U.S. Geological Survey) Modified after the 1997 Geologic Map of California by Jennings.

  • Geologic Map of California (California Division of Mines and Geology) 1959-1968. Series of 27 sectional maps at a scale of 1:250,000 covering the entire state that show the regional distribution and interrelationships of rock units and major geologic structures in California. Accompanying each sheet is an Index to Geologic Mappingused in compilation of the sheet, a Stratigraphic Nomenclature chart, and a list of Topographic Quadranglesused as a base for the sheet. The series is being updated by the Regional Geologic Map Series that began in 1981. Maps in the series are available in following print and online formats:

    • Individual maps -- available in print format in Cal Docs C 810 G4.
  • Geology and Geomorphic Features Related to Landsliding (California Division of Mines and Geology and California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection) 1982-1985 (print copies available in Cal Docs C 810 O63 various numbers and Humboldt County Collection map files) Using USGS 1:24,000 quadrangles as a base this series provides detailed mapping of the geology and geomorphic features affecting landslide potential, soil erosion, and streambank erosion in sensitive watersheds mainly in Mendocino, Humboldt, and Del Norte Counties of California. An index map is available. These maps are also available in digital format.Geology of California at 1:500,000 Scale (San Diego State University. Department of Geological Sciences) Google Earth KML layer.

    • North Coast Watersheds Mapping (Cal Docs C 810 W39/CD) ) Set of all 60 quadrangles on cd-rom.
    • CGS/CDF Watersheds Mapping PDF versions available for downloading. Includes a description and index to these maps. Contain two map layers--"Geologic Features Map" and "Geomorphic Features Map".

    Additional geological, landslide and landslide potential mapping organized by watershed has also been completed and is available on cd-rom or by download at CGS/CDF Watersheds Mapping. Includes both pdf and gis files.
    • Noyo River (cd-rom available in CalDocs C810 N69cd)
    • Freshwater Creek (cd-rom available in G 4363 H8 F35 2002 Hum Co Coll)
    • Elk River (cd-rom available in GB 991 C2 M37 2005 Hum Co Coll)
    • Gualala River
    • Redwood Creek (cd-rom available in CalDocs C810 R44cd)
    • Mattole River (cd-rom available in CalDocs C810 M28cd)
    • Albion River
    • Big River
    • Jackson Demostration State Forest
  • Gravity Map of California and Its Continental Margin (Oliver) 1980 (California Geologic Data Map #3) (map G 4361 C95 1980 C34; also Cal Doc C 810 G4d #3) 1:750,000 scale Bouguer gravity map of California. Explanatory text is Interpretation of the Gravity Map of California and Its Continental Margin (CDMG Bulletin 205) (Cal Doc C 810 B7 #205). More detailed mapping at 1:250,000 is found in the Bouguer Gravity Map of California Series (Cal Doc C 810 B6).

  • Isostatic Residual Gravity Map of California and Offshore Southern California (Roberts, Jachens and Oliver) 1990 (Cal Doc C 810 G4d #7) (California Geologic Data Map #7) Overlaid on the 1:750,000 scale geologic map of California are lines of equal isostatic residual gravity in millgals.

  • Late Pleistocene Map of California (US Geological Survey) Reconstruction of landscape features about 18,000 years ago at the peak of the last Ice Age, including mountains covered by glaciers, intermontain basin lakes and exposed shoreline.

  • Offshore Surficial Geology of California (California Division of Mines and Geology) 1975 (Map Sheet 26) (Cal Docs C810 M32 #26) 1:500,000 scale map shows the distribution of rock and botton sediments.

  • Physiographic Provinces of California (US Geological Survey) Two maps at various sizes--one with just province outlines and the other that also includes geology.

  • Quaternary Faults and Fold Database of the United States: California (US Geological Survey) Contains information on faults and associated folds in California that are believed to be sources of M>6 earthquakes during the Quaternary (the past 1,600,000 years). Maps of these geologic structures are linked to individual descriptions and references for each structure. Search using a map-based interface that divides the state into 1 x 2 degree quadrangles.

  • Preliminary Tectonostratigraphic Terrane Map of California (Blake, Howell and Jones) 1982 (USGS Open File Report 82-593)

  • Preliminary Geologic Maps (California Geological Survey) Preliminary 1:24,000 and 1:100,000 scale geologic maps available being prepared by the Regional Geologic Mapping Program. Maps are available as pdf files and will not be released in other digital formats until formal review and editing is completed.

  • Regional Geologic Map (California Geological Survey) 1981-. Ongoing series of geologic maps showing in detail the geology of the entire state. Initially begun at a 1:250,000 scale the series is now published at a 1:100,000 scale that allows maps to show nearly all of the original geologic mapping detail. Maps show geologic formations rather than the simplified geologic time-based units used in the original 27 sheet Geologic Map of California series. Each map folio includes 4 sheets: Geologic MapGeologic Map ExplanationIndex to Geologic Maps Used in Compilation, and Location Map of Rock Samples Dated by Radiometric Methods. Maps in the series are available in the following print and online formats:Simplified Geologic Map of California (California Geological Survey) 2006 (print copy available in Cal Docs C810 M32) (CGS Map Sheet 57)

  • Stanford Geological Survey Collection (Stanford University) Produced during the 100-year life of the Survey from 1895 to 1995 this collection contains thousands of student producted maps and notebooks that cover parts of California, Nevada, and Utah.

  • Tapestry of Time and Terrain: California (US Geological Survey) Combines geology and relief on one map. Ages of rocks are linked to distribution maps for each geologic time period.