Application of GIS in Geological Mapping – Fast, Accurate, and Cost-Effective
Geological features are dependent on space and time. The Geographical Information Systems (GIS) are capable of defining all three factors of space (represented by the X, Y, and Z planes) and time. The signals from the satellites allow the GIS to read information in term of longitude, latitude, and elevation (compared to the sea level). This information helps in determining all three planes that guide GIS tools in creating a 3-D image of the area under survey.
The satellite signals also send in information about the time when the satellite released the signals, clock redundancy of the transmitters in the satellites, and coefficient of error through the speed of signal in the space as well as in the different layers of atmosphere. Based on these four factors, surveyors can create accurate geological maps of the area under survey.
Though the old methods of geological methods (based on multivariate statistics) are still in use in some countries, the GIS is the most preferred as it is cost-effective and offers more accurate data, thereby easing the scaling process when studying geological maps.
GIS helps in scanning, referencing, and reproducing older maps at any desired scale. Using GIS, several archeological geological maps (having different scales) have been combined into a single map (with single scaling) with even more accuracy, thus saving the time of scientists, engineers, and researchers who need to study the area.
Using the accurate scaling obtained from GIS, different projects can be planned without the need of additional equipments for surveying the area. The different projects that can be planned and implemented using applications of GIS in geological mapping can be anything from creating a dam or reservoir to roads, highways and railroads to an entire town. The benefits of application of GIS in geological mapping are visible when different projects can be entirely planned without even leaving the conference room!