News from USGS—mountain bike trails on topo maps

Get Your Wheels Spinning
Posted: 04 Dec 2014 06:00 AM PST

Summary: As part of the continued US Topo maps revision and improvement cycle, the USGS will be including mountain bike trails to upcoming quadrangles on a state-aligned basis.

The USGS will show mountain bike trails on newly revised US Topo maps.

Contact Information:
Mark Newell, APR ( Phone: 573-308-3850 ); Brian Fox ( Phone: 303-202-4141 );

As part of the continued US Topo maps revision and improvement cycle, the USGS will be including mountain bike trails to upcoming quadrangles on a state-aligned basis. The 2014 edition of US Topo maps covering Arizona will be the first maps to feature the trail data, followed by Nebraska, Missouri, Nevada, California, Louisiana, New Hampshire, Mississippi, Vermont, Wyoming, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Illinois, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Florida, Alaska (partial), and the Pacific Territories in 2015.

The mountain bike trail data is provided through a partnership with the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) and the MTB Project. During the past two years, the IMBA has been building a detailed national database of mountain bike trails with the aid and support of the MTB Project participants. This activity allows local IMBA chapters, IMBA members, and the public to provide trail data and descriptions through their website.  MTB Project and IMBA then verify the quality of the trail data provided, ensure accuracy and confirm that the trail is legal.  This unique “crowdsourcing” project has allowed availability of mountain bike trail data though mobile and web apps, and soon, revised US Topo maps.

“IMBA is stoked to have MTB Project data included on US Topo maps as well as other USGS mapping products,” added Leslie Kehmeier, IMBA’s Mapping Specialist.  “It’s a really big deal for us and reflects the success of the partnership we’ve developed with the MTB Project team to develop a valuable and credible resource for mountain bike trails across the country.”

The partnership between the USGS and the MTB Project is considered a big move towards getting high quality trail data on The National Map and US Topo quadrangles. The collaboration also highlights private and public sectors working together to provide trails data and maps to the public.

“This is a significant step for USGS,” said Brian Fox of the USGS NGTOC. “National datasets of trails do not yet exist, and in many areas even local datasets do not exist. Finding, verifying, and consolidating data is expensive.  Partnering with non-government organizations that collect trails data through crowdsourcing is a great solution.  The USGS-IMBA agreement is the first example of such a partnership for US Topo map feature content and we’re looking forward to expanding the number of trails available as the MTB Project contributions grow.

US Topo maps can be downloaded using the Map Locator and Downloader.

To be a part of IMBA’s crowd sourcing effort and help get mountain bike trails onto US Topo maps, be sure to share trail data, descriptions, and ratings on

The USGS structure and feature crowdsourcing effort, The National Map Corps, also features a link to the MTB Project

The MTB Project mobile app is available to help mountain bikers discover trails on the go:

Geodesy, GPS, and Dark Matter—research by Geoff Blewitt

The research of Geoff Blewitt has been featured in two recent online articles by Mike Wolterbeek in Nevada Today.

Hiding in plain sight: elusive dark matter may be detected with GPS (November 17, 2014):

Geoff Blewitt receives top European science award in geodesy (December 2, 2014):

Paper in Geology – NBMG coauthor Chris Henry

A paper coauthored by Chris Henry was recently published in the November issue of Geology.

Profile of a paleo-orogen: High topography across the present-day Basin and Range from 40 to 23 Ma
by Elizabeth J. Cassel, Daniel O. Breecker, Christopher D. Henry, Toti E. Larson and Daniel F. Stockli

Geology, November 2014, v. 42, no. 11, p. 1007-1010

Read the abstract here:

January is National Radon Action Month: Learn how to reduce the radon health risk. Free radon test kits available through Feb. 28


January is National Radon Action Month
Please click on links below to find out how you can protect your family from the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Free short-term testing kits are available during the months of January and February 2015 from your Cooperative Extension Office.

Learn how to reduce the radon health risk
This message is from the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Office.

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension offers free test kits at public meetings statewide

RENO, Nev. – January is National Radon Action Month, and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Radon Education Program is offering educational presentations at various locations across the state. Free test kits for homes will also be available at the presentations.

Radon is a radioactive, colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that comes from the ground. It accumulates in homes and can cause lung cancer. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates 21,000 Americans die each year from radon-caused lung cancer, killing more people than secondhand smoke, drunk driving, falls in the home, drowning or house fires.

Radon-caused lung cancer is preventable. A simple three-day test can determine if a house has a radon problem, and winter is an ideal time to test a home for radon. If radon problems are found, they can be fixed. Find out more and get a free test kit at a presentation in your community:

Scheduled presentations for Reno, Sparks, Carson, Tahoe and Douglas are:

  • Jan. 4 – Downtown Reno Library, 301 S. Center St., Reno, at 2:30 p.m.
  • Jan. 6 – Sparks Library, 1125 12th St., Sparks, at 2 p.m.  TODAY!
  • Jan. 8 – Sierra View Library, 4001 S. Virginia St., Reno, at 3:30 p.m.
  • Jan. 13 – Washoe County Cooperative Extension, 4955 Energy Way, Reno, at 6 p.m.
  • Jan. 14 – South Valleys Library, 15650A Wedge Parkway, Reno, at 6 p.m.
  • Jan. 15 – Kahle Community Center, 236 Kingsbury Grade, Stateline, at 6 p.m.
  • Jan. 17 – Northwest Reno Library, 2325 Robb Drive, Reno, at 10 a.m.
  • Jan. 20 – Spanish Springs Library, 7100A Pyramid Lake Highway, Sparks, at 5:30 p.m.
  • Jan. 21 – North Valleys Library, 1075 N. Hills Blvd. #340, Reno, at 6 p.m.
  • Jan. 27 – Carson City Senior Center, 901 Beverly Drive, Carson City, at 6 p.m.
  • Jan. 29 – CVIC Hall, 1604 Esmeralda Ave., Minden, at 6 p.m. (Radon Poster Contest Awards follow the program)
  • Feb. 4 – Incline Village GID Public Works, 1220 Sweetwater Road, Incline Village, at 6 p.m.

Scheduled presentations for Las Vegas are:

  • Feb. 7 – West Charleston Library, 6301 W. Charleston Blvd., at 10:30 a.m.
  • Feb. 7 – Spring Valley Library, 4280 S. Jones Blvd., at 3 p.m.,
  • Feb. 8 – Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road, at 1 p.m.
  • Feb. 9 – Windmill Library, 7060 W. Windmill Lane, at 1 p.m.
  • Feb. 9 – Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road., at 6 p.m. (Radon Poster Contest Awards     follow the program)

Scheduled presentations in other communities are:

  • Jan. 6 – Great Basin College, 1500 College Parkway, Elko, at 12 p.m. TODAY!
  • Jan. 7 – Churchill County Multi-purpose building, 225 Sheckler Road, Fallon, at 1 p.m.
  • Jan. 12 – Pershing County Community Center, 820 Sixth St., Lovelock, at 6 p.m.  (Radon Poster Contest Awards follow the program)
  • Jan. 26 – Grass Valley Community Center 13295 Grass Valley Road, Winnemucca, at 7 p.m.
  • Feb. 10 – S. Nye County Cooperative Extension, 1651 E. Calvada Blvd., Pahrump, at 5:30 p.m.

For those who cannot attend a presentation, free radon test kits will also be available through Feb. 28 at University of Nevada Cooperative Extension offices and partner offices statewide.

In Nevada, one in four homes already tested have shown radon concentrations at or above the EPA action level. According to experts, living in a home with radon concentrations at the action level poses as much risk of developing lung cancer as smoking half a pack of cigarettes a day.

The Nevada Radon Education Program is a program of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and is funded by the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health. Since the program began in 2007, more than 36,000 radon test kits have been distributed and more than 18,000 homes have been tested.

Cooperative Extension, the EPA and the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health urge all Nevadans to get their homes tested for radon. For more information, visit the Nevada Radon Education Program website at, call the Radon Hotline at 888-RADON10 (888-723-6610).

Free radon test kits available through Feb. 28

Nevadans encouraged to test their homes for radon – a dangerous gas

“RENO, Nev. – Free radon test kits are available from Dec. 1 through Feb. 28 at University of Nevada Cooperative Extension offices and partner offices statewide. Nevadans are encouraged to take advantage of this free offer to test their homes for this radioactive, colorless gas that comes from the ground, accumulates in homes and can cause lung cancer.”

NBMG resources on radon
Click here for NBMG resources on radon:


New Geologic Map: Lookout Mountain, Ratto Ridge, and Rocky Canyon, Eureka County

Open-File Report 14-8
Preliminary geologic and alteration maps of Lookout Mountain, Ratto Ridge and Rocky Canyon, southern Eureka mining district, Eureka County, Nevada

by Russell V. Di Fiori, Sean P. Long, John L. Muntean, and Gary P. Edmondo, 2014



Identification of favorable structural settings for Carlin-type gold deposits is fundamental for future exploration.  In this study, mapping and structural analysis were performed in the southern part of the Eureka mining district in east-central Nevada, in order to understand geometric and temporal relationships between structural systems and Carlin-type mineralization.  Geologic and alteration maps at a scale of 1:10,000 of a ~3.5 km (east-west) by ~8 km (north-south) region were generated, along with cross sections that illustrate pre- and post-extensional deformation geometry.  This project bridges a gap between recent 1:24,000-scale mapping and <1:500-scale mapping performed in an active exploration campaign.

The stratigraphy of the map area consists of ~4 km of Cambrian-Devonian carbonate and siliciclastic rocks, which are unconformably overlain and intruded by late Eocene silicic volcanic rocks.  Four structural systems are identified, consisting of Early Cretaceous contractional structures and three separate sets of normal faults: 1) 1st-order, kilometer-scale offset, down-to-the-west normal faults, including the Lookout Mountain and Dugout Tunnel faults, 2) 2nd-order, 10’s to 100’s meter-scale offset, north-striking normal faults, including the Rocky Canyon, Oswego, and East Ratto Ridge fault systems, and 3) a set of 3rd-order, meter-scale offset, east-striking normal faults that cut jasperoid bodies of presumed late Eocene age.  The 1st- and 2nd-order faults are interpreted to be contemporary, cut Late Cretaceous intrusions and an associated contact metamorphic aureole, and are overlapped by a late Eocene, subvolcanic unconformity.

In addition to lithology and structure, specific types of hydrothermal alteration and mineralization were mapped, including silicification, decarbonatization, dolomitization, quartz/calcite-veining, argillization, and the introduction of sulfides and their limonite weathering products.  Carlin-type replacement mineralization, primarily hosted within Cambrian carbonate rocks, occurs in a series of deposits in the southern part of the map area.  The deposits are associated with decarbonatization, silicification and jasperoid formation, and argillization, and are constrained to late Eocene or older by the overlap and intrusion of dated volcanic rocks.

The map area contains a km-scale, faulted relay-ramp of 2nd-order faults that transfer slip between synthetic 1st-order faults. Within accommodation zones, wall-damage zones are predicted to provide hydrothermal fluid pathways and therefore localize mineralization.  The footwall of the Lookout Mountain fault, which contains the majority of Carlin-type deposits identified in the map area, contains a set of antithetic, 2nd-order normal faults, which is interpreted as a wall-damage zone that was responsible for controlling fluid flow that led to mineralization.

The southern Eureka mining district contains several favorable structural conditions for Carlin-type gold mineralization, including: 1) normal fault systems that predate or are contemporary with late Eocene gold mineralization, and 2) complex normal fault interactions in an accommodation zone, including zones of dense fault intersections, antithetic normal faults, and fault-damage zones.  These structural conditions were fundamental for generating a network of open-system fluid pathways, which created an ideal structural architecture for Carlin-type mineralization, and can be used as predictive tools for exploration elsewhere.

This project was supported by Timberline Resources Corporation and the Geological Society of America.

Open-File Report 14-8, two plates, scale 1:10,000; plate one: 56 x 41 inches, plate two: 29 x 41 inches; folded or rolled, $35.00

Available free on the Web or purchase here:

New Geologic Map: Mount Rose Quadrangle with shaded relief

Open-File Report 14-7
Preliminary geologic map of the Mount Rose quadrangle, Washoe County, Nevada

by Nicholas H. Hinz, Alan R. Ramelli, and James E. Faulds, 2014


A 1:24,000-scale, preliminary geologic map of the Mount Rose 7.5-minute quadrangle in Washoe County, Nevada.  This quadrangle straddles the northern Carson Range directly north of Lake Tahoe and includes much of Incline Village, the Mount Rose Highway, three north Lake Tahoe ski areas, part of the Tahoe Rim Trail, Mount Rose proper, and numerous major tributary drainages to the Truckee River and Lake Tahoe. Mapping of this quadrangle has important implications for understanding earthquake and landslide hazards in the Reno–Carson City–Lake Tahoe region.

The bedrock exposures in the quadrangle consist of Mesozoic crystalline basement and Tertiary volcanic and sedimentary rocks.  The Mesozoic rocks are dominantly granitic with local metamorphic roof pendants.  The Tertiary section includes a complex section of lavas, intrusions, and volcanic sedimentary rocks.  Much of these volcanic and sedimentary rocks were derived from a Miocene ancestral Cascades volcanic center in the northwest quarter of this quadrangle.  Principle surficial deposits include late Pliocene to modern alluvial fan and fluvial deposits, Quaternary glacial deposits, and late Quaternary mass wasting deposits.  Notable deep-seated landslide complexes reside in the Whites Creek, Gray Creek, and First Creek drainages.  The Tertiary section is cut by a system of north-northwest to north-northeast-striking normal and dextral-normal faults with both down-to-west and down-to-east sense of displacement, kinematically linked with a system of northeast to east-northeast-striking sinistral-normal faults.  Detailed mapping of Quaternary fault scarps associated with the Incline Village fault zone benefited greatly from publicly available, high-resolution LiDAR data for the Tahoe basin.

This publication was prepared as part of the STATEMAP component of the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey.

Open-File Report 14-7, scale 1:24,000, 39 x 28 inches, color; 4-page text, b/w; folded or rolled, $18.00       

Be sure and check out the new shaded relief format on this map of Mount Rose.

Available free on the Web or purchase here: