Missouri Geological Survey

2013 – Celebrating 160 Years of Service to Missourians

Celebrating 160 years of service to Missourians One hundred sixty years is not a very long time when speaking in geologic terms. However, the department’s Geological Survey Program marks this noteworthy milestone of service to Missourian’s this year.  Since 1853, staff members have provided reliable scientific information to describe and understand Missouri's wealth of natural resources.

Plan to visit our Edward L. Clark Museum of Missouri Geology this year to learn about the geology of Missouri and about contributions staff members have made to both the environmental and economic vitality of Missouri.  Admission to the museum and presentations is free of charge. 

Thanks for visiting us at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia!

There was much to see at the Missouri Department of Natural Resources' Historic Womans Building during the Missouri State Fair.  In addition to our special geology exhibits, lucky individuals won a Missouri Rock and Mineral Set, our popular book, Geologic Wonders and Curiosities of Missouri and a prize package including a night at a state park! Department staff and exhibits will return next year for another awesome Fair.

History of the Womans Building Missouri State Fair  |  Map of the Fairgrounds 

Thanks to all who visited us in Rolla during our Open House April 22-26, 2013

Visitors were treated to special exhibits, visits with staff, tours of the Edward L. Clark Museum of Missouri Geology and the McCracken Core Library and Research Center, along with daily presentations by staff geologists. 

Lunch and Learn Presentation Topics

Many Toured the McCracken Rock Core Library and Research Center

McCracken Core Library and Research Center The division manages the McCracken Core Library and Research Center, which is a repository for more than 2 million linear feet of exploration rock cores that have been donated to the state. Core research and examination preserves geological history, leads to a better understanding of Missouri geology and hydrology, and yields data useful in solving environmental, industrial and engineering problems.  The McCracken Core Library and Research Center is one of the largest such collections in the nation.  McCracken is open to the public by appointment.  Learn More.

Eight Visitors Won Prizes – We are in the process of notifying winners!

Thanks to Missouri State Parks, three lucky visitors won passes to two of Missouri's award winning state parks.  Five lucky visitors won Missouri Rock and Mineral Sets donated by the Geological Survey program.

Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park

Missouri State Parks Johnson's Shut-Ins State ParkOne visitor to our Open House will win a stay at Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park.  Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park is a geologic jewel of the Missouri State Park system, a place with something for everyone. Play in the shallows of the East Fork of the Black River. Shoot through Mother Nature’s hydraulics in the shut-ins. Hike a trail that will show you 1.4 billion years of geologic history. Take your horse on a pretty mountain trail, enjoy attractive picnic areas, Ozark landscapes, natural places to swim, great campsites and more.

Onondaga Cave State Park

Onondaga Cave Two visitors will win four passes each to tour Onondaga Cave State Park.  Onondaga Cave, in Onondaga Cave State Park, is one of America’s most spectacular, with 1.5 miles of passages decorated with towering stalagmites, active flowstones, grotto salamanders and more.  help make the cave a National Natural Landmark and illustrate why Missouri is often called “The Cave State.” Note: Amateur photographers are invited to join park staff on a photo tour of Onondaga Cave Sunday, April 21, 2013, beginning at 10:30 a.m.  Those wishing to attend must make reservations in advance as the tour is limited to 30 people.  Learn more.

Missouri Rock and Mineral Sets

Missouri Rock and Mineral Set Five visitors won a Missouri Rock and Mineral Set.  Accompanying each set is a 16-page, full-color booklet that describes each rock and mineral and its uses. To learn more about this set and other educational items, visit the publications desk in Rolla at 111 Fairgrounds Road or order online from the Missouri Geology Store.

History of Missouri Geological Survey

Don’t miss the article written by Joe Gillman, State Geologist and Missouri Geological Survey Director that appeared in the recent Missouri Resources magazine article about the important work of survey staff.

Missouri Geological Survey Staff 1912 In the mid-1800s, geologists were just beginning to explore and map the state’s natural resources. The Missouri Geological Survey, created in 1853, was directed to make a thorough geological and mineralogical survey of the state. The survey was tasked with the discovery and evaluation of all beds or deposits of ore, coal, marls and such other mineral substances and mineral waters as may be useful or valuable. The Missouri Survey is well-known for having lead the nation in a number of areas including:  initiation of one of the first efforts in the nation to establish a methodology to collect and archive drilling records about the subsurface geology of Missouri; completion of the first State Water Plan which included recommendations for improving public water supply and began providing technical recommendations for proper well construction of public water supply wells; establishment of the statewide groundwater monitoring network and creation of a drilling program to determine groundwater availability in northwest Missouri; the development of one of the nation’s first environmental geology programs for water protection, solid waste disposal sites, and wastewater treatment facilities. 

The survey provides data-intensive, science information to Missouri citizens, in geology, hydrology, water resources, surveying and dam construction. The survey’s history and work became a strong foundation for land use and water protection when the then-Missouri Geological Survey and Water Resources agency joined the Department of Natural Resources upon its creation in 1974.

The Missouri Geological Survey Today

Today, the Geological Survey Program continues to provide unbiased scientific analysis, education and guidance in the use and protection of Missouri’s natural resources.  The survey is comprised of three sections in which staff expertise includes: Environmental Geology, Geologic Resources and Wellhead Protection.

Staff interpret the state’s geological setting, helps determine the availability of its energy, mineral and water resources, evaluates and interprets geological hazards, regulates well construction for the protection of drinking water, and defines hazardous areas such as those subject to earthquake or catastrophic collapse.

Missouri Geological Survey, Beuhler Building -- 111 Fairgrounds Road, RollaThe program distributes geologic maps and information to the general public as well as consultants, planners and researchers who use geologic and hydrologic information. The survey also cooperates with the U.S. Geological Survey on numerous projects, including the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program and performs work under contract with other state and federal agencies through grants and agreements.

Staff assist the citizens of Missouri by using geologic data to manage land and water resources in an environmentally responsible manner and ultimately protect public health, safety and welfare. Staff apply geologic and hydrologic information to the protection of Missouri citizens and the environment from wastes and hazardous materials.  Program staff conduct investigations to determine hydrologic and geologic site characteristics, as well as the potential for water resources, mineral resources and environmental risk, to identify potential impacts to underlying groundwater aquifers and to aid in the design of appropriate monitoring systems.

The program ensures the public has access to safe drinking water by ensuring that new wells are constructed to minimum standards as set by state regulations and regulates the proper plugging of private water wells, irrigation wells, monitoring wells and heat pump Edward L. Clark Museum of Missouri Geologywells.  It also oversees the permitting of qualified well installation contractors.

Staff collect, interpret and provide geologic data used by the public and government agencies and provide technical assistance to both the private and public sectors. The program determines the availability, quantity and quality of metallic and industrial minerals and various energy resources. Staff protect groundwater resources through permitting, inspection and testing of oil and gas production wells and oil waste disposal wells and have primacy over the federal Underground Injection Control Program. Rock Core from the McCracken Core Library and Research CenterThe program develops information regarding the potential for geologic hazards including earthquakes, landslides and sinkhole collapse. The program maps karst features such as springs and sinkholes, conducts hydrologic evaluation of streams and performs dye traces.

The survey also operates and maintains the Edward L. Clark Museum of Missouri Geology and the McCracken Core Library and Research Center that includes a repository of nearly 3,000 drill core samples containing 2 million feet of rock core.  That is almost 378 miles.

Educational Outreach

Educational Videos Survey staff communicate environmental stewardship and wise use of our precious natural resources through a broad understanding and appreciation for Missouri’s natural, cultural and energy resources.  Visit our Educational Outreach page.

Check out some of our educational videos

Careers in the Field of Geology
Ever consider becoming a geologist?

Protecting our Drinking Water
Safe drinking water is important to everyone.

The Great New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-12
A Survivor's Story – Eliza Bryan
December 9 and 10, 2011 at the Dixie Theater in New Madrid, Missouri, Eliza told her story of surviving this terrible ordeal and life at that time in southeast Missouri. Eliza related her experiences to Dr. Seismo, played by David Stewart, Ph.D., through the help of Marian McDonald, who was reared in southeast Missouri more than 150 years after the great earthquakes. Eliza is one of the most important eyewitnesses to the events. Recorded and produced by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources' Missouri Geological Survey.


Earthquake Awareness
Central U.S. ShakeOut!  This video was produced in advance of the 2012 Great Central U.S. ShakeOut earthquake drill and contains valuable information about earthquake potential in Missouri and steps you can take to protect your family and yourself.

Show-Me Earthquake Safety
Don't miss these videos – Missouri students were encouraged to share their knowledge by creating videos that educate others about preparing for an earthquake.