This is one of the most visually impressive maps ever created by the United States Geological Survey (warning: 23 MB picture). A reduced version is linked below, and other versions can be found here. This map took over a decade to complete. It was constructed as the end result of a joint project of members of the American and Canadian Geological Surveys. Though slightly out of date, it is in my opinion still the best geological map in the world.
Given the dozens of news articles that have been coming out in recent weeks regarding the resource potential of the Arctic (a matter that I’ll soon be addressing), I think that it’s only a matter of time before this map is expanded to account for the North American seabed. As Defense Secretary Leon Panetta recently stated, in regards to American interests in the far north, “…not since we acquired the lands of the American West and Alaska have we had such a great opportunity to expand U.S. sovereignty.”
GOP opposition to the ratification of the Treaty of the Law of the Sea, despite the broad range of military, environmentalist, and business interests that support it is hindering the growth of the American presence in the far north. This, again, is a topic that I’ll soon be addressing. Suffice to say, it looks like control of the Arctic Ocean and its many physical resources and trade routes will be one of the next great theatres of global resource conflict. The ongoing situation demands close attention. The article I’m currently writing on the topic will be rather comprehensive – covering the eight arctic industries that I think will benefit the most from global warming.
In the meanwhile, enjoy the map. Trust me, it is even more stunning in person.