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Geologic photos of Alaska available through searchable online tool


(Fairbanks, AK) – The Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys has published more than 6,500 free public-use photographs taken during geologic field projects in its new database application, the Geologic Photos of Alaska, available at maps.dggs.alaska.gov/photodb. The photos document scenery, landforms, rock outcrops, geologic observations, vegetation, wildlife, and fieldwork activities conducted throughout Alaska, usually in remote locations that are difficult or expensive to revisit.

Many of the photos now currently available through this application were taken by former DGGS geologists Gil Mull and Rocky Reifenstuhl from 1970 through 2010 in the Brooks Range and northern Alaska during energy-related geologic mapping projects. Additional photos from legacy collections and other geologic projects will be added to the database as time and funding allow.

Each photo is accompanied by a map showing its location and any known context, in a searchable format. This allows information about ephemeral features such as stream locations, unstable outcrops, landslides to be preserved with a high degree of future usability. It is unknown which photos will be the most valuable over time. For example, landscape photos taken since the late 1800s are now successfully being used to estimate glacier retreat. Beyond their scientific use, many of the photos highlight the natural beauty and history of Alaska, which carries an enormous value for tourists, journalists, artists, teachers, and historians.

Information about the Geologic Photos of Alaska application is available at dggs.alaska.gov/pubs/id/29735. Other geoscientific maps and documents are available from the Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys, 3354 College Road, Fairbanks, Alaska 99709-3707 (907-451-5010; dggspubs@alaska.gov). For more information, visit the DGGS website (dggs.alaska.gov), where you can sign up for RSS feed or email notification, or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

CONTACT: Kenneth Papp, 907-451-5001, kenneth.papp@alaska.gov

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