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Timing of the Des Moines Lobe

Wednesday, June 7, 2023
Central Iowa was glaciated by the Des Moines Lobe, which advanced quickly and lacked features like drumlins, eskers, and kames. Scientists determine the timing of ice advance by radiocarbon dating organic materials in glacial sediment. The calibrated ages show that the Des Moines Lobe reached Des Moines around 15,700 to 16,000 years ago and advanced rapidly at a rate of 1-2 km per year.

Imaging Iowa’s Levees

Thursday, May 4, 2023
Iowa has approximately 700 miles of levees protecting towns, agricultural land, and other infrastructure. Assessing the condition of levees is a critical component to ensure they remain strong during flood events. The IGS recently established methods to use geophysics to image levees via a pilot investigation with the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
Surficial map of Lee County, Iowa

Geologic mapping at the Iowa Geological Survey

Wednesday, March 1, 2023
Geologic maps have tremendous societal, economic, and educational value. Bedrock and surficial geologic maps may be used to assist in aggregate resource evaluations, flood protection, hazard identification (sinkholes and karst), and water resource assessments.
Cover of IGS geode magazine

Our latest issue of The IGS Geode

Friday, January 27, 2023
Please enjoy an online copy of our magazine, The IGS Geode, showcasing some of the Iowa Geological Survey’s activities during the past year.
Map of proposed Well Head Protection Area (WHPA)

Source Water Delineation for Communities

Friday, January 20, 2023
For better and more accurate source water delineations, IGS is available to assist communities with their well head protection planning, especially in the crucial delineation of the well head protection area.
Map showing USDM drought classifications for Iowa, as of Dec 8, 2022.

Drought Regions of Iowa

Wednesday, December 14, 2022
The Iowa Geological Survey (IGS) has significantly assisted in creating the drought plan by providing scientific expertise on the state’s regional characteristics and available hydrologic data.
Bedrock elevation and quaternary thickness maps of Lee County, Iowa

New maps published as part of USGS STATEMAP program

Wednesday, September 14, 2022
Iowa Geological Survey staff recently completed 10 map products as part of the US Geological Survey STATEMAP program.
Boxes of core samples stored at the OIGS warehouse

Questions Answered

Friday, August 26, 2022
Check out IGS GeoCore if you have questions about what a certain type of rock looks like. You may be able to find your answer.
Sunset over an oxbow in late summer.

A Day in the Field

Friday, April 29, 2022
Waking up early or working into the early evening allows us to see some great sunrises and sunsets, and some field sites are located off the beaten track, enabling us to see wildflowers and native aquatic or bird species up close.
Typical streamflow hydrograph showing hydrograph nomenclature, dominant pollutant pathways, and where on the hydrograph various conservation practices might be most effective

Water Farming for Conservation

Monday, March 28, 2022
The key component needed for water farming is thinking about how water moves across your field and then designing a water management system that meets your goals.