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Ministry of Energy Mines and Responsible for Core Review
Information Circular 1997-3


Specifications & Guidelines for Bedrock Mapping in British Columbia


View Information Circular 1997-3 (PDF, 16.2 MB)
View HTML Document at RISC


This document, part of the provincial Resource Inventory Committee initiative, provides guidelines and is a step toward development of common standards and methodologies for bedrock mapping in British Columbia. It recommends methodology for the presentation of geological information and describes the types of data that must be collected for the production of geological maps. Implementing these guidelines will make significant progress toward the goal of making comparison and exchange of geological data in the province easier. These standards will be of interest to both specialists and non-specialists, and will help users understand the underlying bedrock data that is used to produce geologic maps and reports. It is important to note that geologic maps are NOT raw data, they are interpretations of the raw data.


Although the standards contain specific recommendations, they should be treated as guidelines. The guidelines are intended to be detailed enough to provide consistency, but not so restrictive that they cannot be easily implemented. They will not be usable in every circumstance, but will cover most applications. It is hoped that this flexible approach will ensure faster and wider acceptance for the recommended standards.


The conceptual design and content of this manual is based on recommendations made by the RIC Bedrock Geology Task Group of the Earth Sciences Task Force, which involved a multi-agency workshop and a client survey. The manual was compiled by W.J. McMillan, F. Ferri and C. Rees with major input and desktop publishing by B. Grant. Comments on earlier drafts were received from many sources, in particular those by M. Mihalynuk and J. Newell are gratefully acknowledged.


This document is broken into five parts:


Part 1 provides a general overview of bedrock mapping methodology.


Part 2 describes methodology involved in project planning and information about bedrock field surveys. It also describes both essential and desirable data that should be collected to produce geological maps using symbols outlined in Part 3. We strongly recommend that field data be collected on formatted field forms to facilitate digital data capture.


Part 3 covers data representation and provides guidelines for the graphical presentation of geological information.


Part 4 describes typical map symbols and refers to Appendix IX, which is a “library” containing comprehensive cartographic descriptions of specific geological symbols. Appendix IX contains geologic and digital definitions for geologic symbols. Note: the British Columbia Geological Survey Branch plans to make the descriptions and AutoCad definitions of the symbols available in digital form.


Part 5 contains the main references used to help compile this manual and to establish standards in conformance with accepted practice within the geosciences.


Nine appendices provide background information on aspects of bedrock mapping discussed in parts 1 to 3, and provide definitions for selected geological terms.


All publications of the BC Geological Survey are available digitally, free of charge, from this website.


For questions or more information on geology and minerals in British Columbia contact BCGS Mailbox or call toll free (BC Residents only).