170. First Standard Surficial Geology Legend (2012)


For over 150 years, the Geological Survey of Canada has mapped the surficial geology across the country to gain knowledge of the nature and distribution of its unconsolidated sediments (loose materials ranging from clay to sand to gravel).

In 2012, the Survey developed the Surficial Data Model, representing the first national common legend for the mapping of surficial geology, and it was published as part of the Survey’s Open File series. The Surficial Data Model incorporates both the traditional appearance of a geological map and the digital geoscience data used to create the map, integrating field observations and interpretations of remote imagery.

The use of consistent surficial geological map units and standard line and point symbols enables the timely compilation and publication of geological maps.The Surficial Data Model is revised annually and currently consists of 110 geological map units, 159 point and line symbols, and 20 overlay patterns that represent geomorphological or geological features superimposed on map units.

Category: Maps

Decade: 2010s


Deblonde, C., Plouffe, A., Boisvert, E., Buller, G., Davenport, P., Everett, D., Huntley, D., Inglis, E., Kerr, D., Moore, A., Paradis, J.S., Parent, M., Smith, R., St-Onge, D., and Weatherston, A., 2012. Science Language for an Integrated Geological Survey of Canada Data Model for Surficial Geology Maps, Version 1.2; Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 7003, 224 p. doi:10.4095/290144

Cocking, R.B., Deblonde, C., Kerr, D.E., Campbell, J.E., Eagles, S., Everett, D., Huntley, D.H., Inglis, E., Laviolette, A., Parent, M., Plouffe, A., Robertson, L., St-Onge, D.A., and Weatherston, A., 2015. Surficial Data Model, version 2.1.0: Revisions to the science language of the integrated Geological Survey of Canada data model for surficial geology maps; Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 7741, 276 p. doi:10.4095/296568

GSC 175 - CGC 175