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Geologic maps

Last Updated: 12-Sep-2015

How to find geological maps -- maps that represent the physical forces which act upon the Earth including chemistry, shape, and fossilized biology.

Subject Librarians

Julie Sweetkind-Singer
Assistant Director of Geospatial, Cartographic and Scientific Data & Services, Head of the Branner Earth Sciences Library & Map Collections
(650) 725-1102
Earth Sciences Librarian
(650) 724-6242
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Finding geologic maps in Searchworks is easy. Type “geology” and place name, e.g. “California” as subject terms in the basic search box.

Tips and Tricks

  • Start small. Begin by searching for the smallest geographical description for your subject. If “California” yields too many results, try a more specific place name, e.g. Santa Clara County, or topographic quadrangle name, e.g. Palo Alto.  To find quadrangle names for a given town, creek, mountain, etc., search GNIS, the government database of geographic names, at 
  • Limit your search. Try searching SearchWorks. Limit the results to “Maps and Globes” by clicking that phrase under formats, in the left column of the page. Try searching also by keywords -- like "atlas" or "geologic atlas".
  • Look outside Branner Library.  If you can’t find what you’re seeking in Searchworks, try the National Geologic Map Database, or NGMDB. If you cannot find a map in NGMDB, but they may be available through Interlibrary Loan. If you need assistance locating maps, consult your map librarian.

USGS California Quads

Consult the CSU Chico web page for a detailed list of the geologic maps of Calfornia corresponding to each quadrangle.