Geologic Exploration: Tools and Techniques
In the late 1800s, Cretaceous fossils uncovered in western Kansas led to a paleontological boom in the state. Still using rock hammers but further fortified with GPS and other modern technology, today's scientists continue to head to the field to gather rocks and fossils.
Scientists track seismic waves—produced by earthquakes or artificially generated—to map faults and voids, locate potential sources of oil, evaluate risks for construction projects, and monitor earthquakes without ever cracking Earth's surface.
Scientists drill holes deep into the ground to bring pieces of the past up to the surface.
Geologic and other types of maps and mapping information—topographic maps, interactive online map programs, geographic information systems (GIS) databases—serve scientists’ and the public’s need for natural resources information.