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Glacial & Surficial Geologic Maps

Drift thickness map portion

Since collaborating with the U.S. Geological Survey to release the first statewide Glacial Map of Ohio in 1961, the ODNR Division of Geological Survey has mapped the unconsolidated geologic materials found at Ohio’s surface with increasing detail. In 1999, the Quaternary Geology of Ohio map was produced at the same scale (1:500,000) but provided greater detail than the 1961 map.

Today, new mapping techniques improve the resolution and precision of delineating glacial geology through digital map products at larger scales. Several map products are being refined to depict Ohio’s glacial and surficial, unconsolidated sediments. Learn more about our mapping programs and maps below.

Glacial Mapping Programs

Quaternary Geology Mapping

Portion of the Quaternary Geology of Ohio map, 1999
At a scale of 1:500,000, Map SG-1: Quaternary Geology of Ohio provides a statewide, reconnaissance-level look at the glacial deposits from surface to bedrock. The ODNR Division of Geological Survey continues to map the unconsolidated geologic materials found at Ohio’s surface with increasing detail. Digital, GIS-based mapping technology improves the resolution and precision of delineating Quaternary-aged units.

Surficial Geology Mapping

Surficial geology map (portion)
Modern surficial geology maps provide a more detailed view of Ohio’s glacial geology. Currently, surficial geology maps are available at two scales: 1:24,000 and 1:100,000. These maps identify and describe the nature and thicknesses of Ohio’s glacial deposits. Derivative products of this dataset, such as sand-and-gravel resource maps and mineable bedrock maps, also are available.

The ODNR Division of Geological Survey is currently working to complete a statewide, three-dimensional, 1:24,000-scale map of Ohio’s unconsolidated materials. This digital mapping product is available through our Geologic Records Center and eventually will be accessible online via an interactive map.

Drift Thickness Mapping

Drift thickness map (portion)
The statewide drift thickness map was completed in 2004 at a scale of 1:500,000. This map is a derivative product of a bedrock-topography contour data set mapped at 1:24,000 scale.

Drift thickness calculations are made by subtracting the elevation of the bedrock from the elevation of the ground surface. Geophysical methods such as passive seismic exploration allow geologists to collected new data on the bedrock topography quickly and precisely, which greatly improves our understanding of drift thickness across the state. The new data collection program has led to the creation of improved, higher-resolution bedrock topography and drift thickness products produced at scales at or less than 1:24,000.

Interactive Geologic Maps

The ODNR Division of Geological Survey has created an interactive, GIS-based mapping application that allows the user to navigate anywhere in the state and see Ohio’s glacial and surficial geology. The Ohio Geology Interactive Map also includes other datasets, including bedrock geology, geohazards, coal and industrial minerals, and more. Click here to access the Ohio Geology Interactive Map.

For other interactive maps, please visit our Interactive Maps web page. 


Downloads & Ordering Information

Search our Publications Catalog for glacial and surficial maps. Or contact the Geologic Records Center for assistance in finding the map or data set of interest.


GLGMC logoThe ODNR Division of Geological Survey's research and mapping of Ohio's glacial materials, karst terrain, and bedrock topography is funded in part through the U.S. Geological Survey via the Great Lakes Geologic Mapping Coalition. The Division has received Coalition funding continuously since 2000. Learn more about the Coalition here.

USGS logoMapping of Ohio's glacial materials, bedrock, and bedrock topography is funded through the STATEMAP component of the U.S. Geological Survey National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program. The ODNR Division of Geological Survey has received STATEMAP funding continuously since 1993. Learn more about the STATEMAP program here.