The Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey is engaged in a
variety of investigations of the geologic framework of the state and
related geologic processes. The WGNHS maintains active programs of mapping,
resource characterizations, stratigraphic studies, and surface and subsurface
geologic data management.
those related to the geology and history of
- Precambrian and Paleozoic
- metallic and nonmetallic mineral resources, and
- the subsurface
distribution of geologic units.
Bedrock geology projects include geologic
mapping at statewide (scale 1:1,000,000), regional (scale 1:250,000),
and county (scale 1:100,000) levels. These framework studies are commonly
the source of investigations into geologic processes.
We maintain and study extensive collections of subsurface geologic records, including records for public and private
water-supply wells, mineral exploration core samples, and many physical
samples from an extensive collection of rock core, tens of thousands
of hand specimens collected in the course of fieldwork, and many other
sets of information compiled, organized, and maintained throughout the
more than 100 years of Survey activity throughout the state.
WGNHS staff members regularly engage in educational outreach by publishing
and giving talks about the results of their research activities and
providing general information about the geology of the state. Some
researchers in the Bedrock Geology Program are faculty in the University
of Wisconsin–Extension’s Department of Environmental Sciences.
Research of the Bedrock Geology Program is designed to support decision
making by Wisconsin’s citizens, public and private interest groups,
and government officials. The results of this research are available
in Survey publications, journal and other technical articles, educational
materials, specialized consultation on specific issues, and public presentations
offered to members of the public as well as members of the geologic
Other research programs at the Survey