Photo of IGS Staff
Proposed Well Head Protection Area (WHPA) showing ground surface topography (reds are higher elevation, greens are lower) encompassing the groundwater capture areas and surface water runoff area. The WHPA is linked to streets to aid community recognition.

Source Water Delineation for Communities

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 of iowa with boundaries of drought regions shown

Drought Regions of Iowa

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.

core aisle in OIGS warehouse

Questions answered

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

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

Water Farming for Conservation

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.

Geo cross-section of Iowa

What is Carbon Sequestration

If Iowa wants to get serious about doing its part to combat climate change then investments will need to be made to better understand the potential for geologic storage of CO2 in Iowa. . . . The IGS stands ready to lead this charge while collaborating with industry partners and lawmakers to make sure that Iowans do not miss the opportunity to play an integral role in securing a better climate future for our state.

Mike Gannon measuring a water level

Reflections from a Retiring Hydrogeologist

Water is a critical for life and prosperity, and the investment in protecting and managing Iowa’s water resources is essential.

IGS Staff Group Photo 2021

The Inside Story

The Iowa Geological Survey (IGS) has a long and illustrious history in the state, beginning in 1855, when legislation proposed by Governor James W. Grimes provided for a geological survey of the state, which was led by State Geologist James Hall. It was the start of great things for the state of Iowa, with its many geological resources. Iowa established a permanent geological survey as a separate agency of state government in 1892

a ventifacted rock with labels

The Boarderlands

Iowa’s landscape has been reshaped throughout geologic history, most recently due to the advancement of continental ice sheets. Since the ice retreated, the landscape has undergone fluvial incision and the glacial deposits have experienced weathering and soil development.

The IGS’ Jason Vogelgesang conducting an electromagnetic terrain conductivity geophysical survey.

Iowa’s Vast Underground Wilderness

Who hasn’t taken a trip to a national, international, or state park, wilderness area, beach, or local fishing hole looking to come back refreshed and rejuvenated? Natural areas are vital for our health, providing cognitive and physical benefits.