Lidar Shines in Northern Nevada

by Jay Johnson (ArcUser, Spring 2019, pages 54–57)

A message from Rich Koehler, NBMG: The lidar data set NBMG was instrumental in acquiring through the USGS 3DEP program is featured in an article in ArcUser magazine.  It highlights how our local municipality is using the data and encourages other cities to get involved with the 3DEP program.

Read the entire article here:

Excerpts from article: “Turning a terabyte (TB) of lidar data into ready-to-use GIS products can be quite challenging.  In this article, I share the strategies I used to transform lidar data into GIS products to benefit Washoe County, Nevada.”

“In 2017, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) 3D Elevation Program (3DEP), in cooperation with the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology (NBMG) and local cooperators, flew a lidar mission to collect quality level 1 (QL1) and quality level 2 (QL2) LAS data across more than 1,500 square miles covering Reno, Sparks, Carson City, and surrounding areas in northern Nevada. Local cooperators included the Washoe County Regional Basemap Committee (Washoe County, City of Reno, City of Sparks, and NV Energy), US Forest Service, Lyon County, and Storey County.

Here are a few articles sent in previous NBMG emails that explain the background of the lidar acquisition project and data that is now publicly available.

Researchers made 3D laser maps of northern Nevada and the data is available to anyone online

Reno Gazette Journal, 12/21/18, by Benjamin Spillman
This story includes a video interview: “Researcher Seth Dee of University of Nevada explains how recently made LiDAR maps of Reno and Carson City will help Nevadans for years to come.

Revealing our dynamic landscape through new high-resolution topographic data: Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology’s regional-scale lidar mapping provides novel insights into earthquake, flood and glacial history
Nevada Today, 12/18/2018, by: Jane Tors

Below the Neon: Reno’s Bare Earth
Recent RenoSparksCarson City Lidar Acquisition Project
Story maps provide an excellent means for NBMG staff to share information about programs and activities throughout Nevada with the public. NBMG Cartography and GIS group members Irene Seelye and Rachel Micander have created a story map documenting the recent lidar acquisition in the greater Reno–Sparks–Carson City area. This story map, titled “Reno’s Bare Earth: Below the Neon,” documents the differences between various quality levels of lidar data, air photos, and the bare earth data that are obtained with lidar. This recent lidar acquisition was made possible with matching funds from the Office of the Vice President of Research and Innovation at the University of Nevada, Reno and through partnerships with the Washoe Regional Basemap Committee, the US Forest Service, Lyon County, and Storey County.

Read more about the plan, collaborators, and the final products here:

NDOM/NBMG Open Data Workshop—Free!—May 14

The Nevada Division of Minerals and Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology invite YOU to attend a FREE ½ day workshop at the GBSSRL (Gold Building):
2175 Raggio Parkway Reno, NV
Tuesday May 14, 8am – 12pm

Lucia Patterson (Nevada Division of Minerals) and Rachel Micander and Jennifer Vlcan (Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology) will lead the workshop on May 14.

“The purpose of this workshop is to demonstrate what data is available on our websites and how to leverage built in functionality. Users will learn how to navigate the data, utilize the interactive maps, customize displays, employ widgets, view and export data. Please bring a laptop, and if you don’t have one then some will be provided.

Presentations highlighting each open data site will be followed with attendee guided demonstrations.”

NDOM Open Data website:

NBMG Open Data website:

RSVP to Lucia Patterson

Questions: (775) 684-7053
20 attendees MAX

NBMG Welcomes Emily O’Dean—Geoscience Data Manager

A message from Dr. Jim Faulds, NBMG Director and State Geologist: We are very pleased to welcome a new staff member to NBMG—Emily O’Dean.

Emily O’Dean recently joined the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology in the College of Science at the University of Nevada, Reno as the Geoscience Data Manager. She received her bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington. After completing her degree, she worked as a software developer and quality engineer at SaaS (Software as a Service) startup companies in Santa Barbara, California. As a full-stack engineer, she designed and implemented systems from database schemas to front-end user experiences.

After five years in software, Emily went on to pursue her MSc in Forest Ecology at California Polytechnic State University where she applied her knowledge of complex systems to the study of forest ecosystems. Her research focused on quantifying the establishment and success of conifers in the Sierra Nevada and using computer modeling and simulation techniques to predict future range shifts. Upon completion of the program, she accepted a Data Science Fellowship at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), where she worked as the technical point of contact for researchers and working groups and assisted in managing data, instructing in data lifecycle best practices, performing statistical analyses, and presenting data through both static figures and interactive web applications. She was also a key player in the design and implementation of a new open science software portal for managing projects and disseminating data and results at NCEAS.

Emily is excited to join NBMG and apply her knowledge of database design and data workflow best-practices to managing and growing NBMG’s rich data stores. She will also utilize her software background in the design and implementation of new data dissemination portals to make NBMG’s data more available and discoverable.

NBMG New Open Data Site

As Nevada’s state geological survey, the creation of map services and datasets have been an important part of our modernization and organization. Many of these datasets are freely available, and in an effort to better disseminate these data, we have created an Open Data site for the public to search and download GIS data. This platform will eventually replace the existing Maps & Data page on the NBMG website. The NBMG Open Data site also contains links to web applications, publications, additional resources, and other GIS data freely available throughout the state (e.g., NDOM, NSL, NDEP, BLM, NDOW, County etc.—where available). NBMG GIS datasets can be searched for and downloaded within this new platform. Datasets can be downloaded as CSV files, KML, or ESRI shapefiles. We invite you to explore the NBMG Open Data site here:

We are working to make our datasets more easily accessible to the public, contractors, and companies alike in the attempt to further collaboration and scientific research. This Open Data site will help us distribute and share these freely available datasets. Please note that we are also working to catalog and expand our network of freely available datasets including geothermal data, DEMs, air photos and imagery, and geologic data (including fault and earthquake data). Please be patient as we work to grow and distribute these data. As we move forward, this Open Data site will always reflect the most current data we have at NBMG.

If you have questions regarding this new platform, please contact NBMG at We will also be presenting the Open Data site at the NBMG Advisory Board meeting on August 17, 2017.

1997 New Year’s Floods—20th Anniversary


The start of the new year marked the 20th anniversary of the devastating 1997 New Year’s floods of western Nevada, which caused over 450 million dollars in damage and closed downtown businesses in Reno for weeks. This event was caused by a phenomena known as the “Pineapple Express” (more generally known as an “atmospheric river”) in which several warm storms tapped into moisture plumes sourced near the Hawaiian Islands. These storms produced heavy rainfall in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, saturating the soil and melting existing snow pack resulting in flows around 18,000 cfs in the Truckee River. Footage from that event is shared below from the KTVN Channel 2 News Facebook page:

You can also see the 1997 flood extents for the Carson River, Reno area, and Walker River in NBMG’s MyHazards-Nevada interactive web map:

Click the “Floods and Drought” group (wave icon) then checkmark on the “Historical Floods – NBMG” layer to turn on the 1997 flood layers. Several sublayers available for each flood area, which can be viewed by clicking the gray triangle next to the layer names to expand the layers.

Given that western Nevada has a flood watch in effect for this weekend, it’s worth noting that there are other useful layers available in MyHazards-Nevada, such as live feeds for weather watches and advisories, radar, and current flooding, in addition to layers for other geologic hazards including a live feed for recent earthquakes.

For those interested in learning more about the 1997 New Year’s floods, NBMG Special Publication 23 is a detailed report on that event:
Links to other flood- and weather-related publications are available on this landing page.

New shopping cart—now online!


Our new shopping cart is now open for business:

The navigation tabs on the left side of the page provide helpful search hints for using the new cart.

Keyword Searches:

Spatial Searches:

Online Documents:
The “Online Documents” page has been merged into the new shopping cart. You can access the familiar “Online Documents” list by typing “dox” in the search box in the upper right corner of the cart. You may further limit your search results by adding another keyword to your original search phrase such as “dox Elko.” Look for the “Free Downloads” tab to the right of the “Description” tab. We are still adding some of the links.

Here are some notes about the new cart:
We welcome your comments and suggestions for improvement! The cart is still under construction. The data was parsed by computer and has not yet been checked for accuracy. If you find any missing links or information, please contact us and we will try to fix any problems as soon as we can.

This publications website is best viewed using Mozilla Firefox. It is helpful to have the most recent version of your browser.

For now, the default selection in the “Sort by” dropdown menu is “Most Popular” which sorts by numerical order (for example, Bulletin 1 at the beginning of the list and B114 at the end). You can also use “Price” and “Title.” The last four options are not functional: Manufacturer, Newest, Oldest, and Availability.

If you are ordering digital files for immediate download, you will need to log in first. You cannot order these files with a guest login.

Your credit card purchase is a secure transaction:

Our payment gateway is

New cart discounts—this week

Get ready for that spring road trip! The first order (over $20) that we receive on our new cart will win their choice of one of these four NBMG guidebooks:

Also be sure to check out our Deal of the Day. We will be announcing these “Deal of the Day” offers in our new publication emails.

Thank you!

A big thank you goes to the following NBMG staff (listed alphabetically) who helped bring this shopping cart online: Jordan Hastings, Martha Henson, Ron Hess, Gary Johnson, Paul Malone, Jeremy Miera, Rachel Micander, Brian Minkin, Katie Ryan, Michael Tripp, Jennifer Vlcan, and Janell Woodward.

A special thanks goes to Jack Hursh for maintaining Dick Meeuwig’s original shopping cart for the past six years.

A final thanks goes to Jim Faulds and Craig dePolo for their support throughout the project.

Thank you to our customers, and we hope that you enjoy using the new cart.
Charlotte Stock
Publication Sales
Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology
Great Basin Science Sample and Records Library
2175 Raggio Parkway
Reno, NV 89512
phone (775) 682-8766
fax (775) 784-6690
Directions to office

Data for Eocene Igneous Geology—Railroad District, Southern Carlin Trend

Open-File Report 15-3
Analytical data to accompany “Eocene Igneous Geology and Relation to Mineralization: Railroad District, Southern Carlin Trend, Nevada” in Geological Society of Nevada Symposium Proceedings, May 18-21, 2015

by Christopher D. Henry, Mac R. Jackson, David C. Mathewson, Steven R. Koehler, and Steve C. Moore

Open-File Report 15-3, CD-ROM, contains 8 pages of text (PDF) plus additional analytical data (Excel spreadsheets), $20.00

Available free on the Web:
text (443Kb) – zipfile (6.58 Mb)

Purchase here: