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The research program of the U. S. Geological Survey comprises a multitude of investigations within two broad categories: research related to the appraisal, development, and utilization of our mineral resources--minerals, mineral fuels, and water--and research whose primary aim is to advance geologic and hydrologic knowledge. Within these two extremely broad fields, the concept of "target areas," including topical "targets" as well as geographic ones, enables us to develop our research program through concerted attacks on broad problems of regional or topical importance.
The principal targets in our research on natural resources,
accounting for about 60 per cent of our current research effort, are generally in terms of specific commodities. The lines of attack on these targets include district and regional geologic mapping projects and hydrologic studies, as well as related laboratory investigations.
In research aimed primarily at increasing our scientific knowledge, the geographic targets range from entire states or drainage basins to groups of a few quadrangles; topical targets are the understanding of a variety of fundamental geologic, oceanographic, and hydrologic principles and processes. These basic research projects, which account for about 40 per cent of the Survey's current research effort, include field studies as well as experimental investigations.
Our new long-range program, embarked upon this year, calls for expansion of our mapping and research activities approximately 70 per cent over the next 10 years. Some phases of this long-range program are not measurable in specific units because they are largely concerned with basic research, in which the achievement of one goal may beget several others; in these phases the level of effort is being increased to anticipate and meet the increased requirements that must come with the Nation's continued economic growth. Some finite goals of the more specific phases of the program are: (1) complete once-over topographic map coverage of the entire U. S. with standard 7½- or 15-minute quadrangles by 1976; (2) complete geologic map coverage at 1:250,000 by 1980, and at 1:62,500 by the ye r 2000; and (3) complete aeromagnetic coverage, at 1-mile spacing, by 1973.
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