Report Series Descriptions

Basic Data Reports

Description: Reports in this series contain basic data generally pertaining to wells, groundwater, boreholes, sediments, and/or surface water. Examples include well records, groundwater chemistry, and groundwater withdrawals.

  • Target audience: core professionals and non-core professionals
  • Series publication dates: 1966–continuing

  • Bulletins

    Description: Bulletins are comprehensive studies that compile information on a particular region or geologic topic. Many bulletins address water resources and geology of one or more counties. Other Bulletin topics include stratigraphy or fossils of a particular geologic age or unit, mineral resources, and geologic and geographic features of the State. Most bulletins include numerous plates, figures and tables.

  • Target audience: core professionals and non-core professionals
  • Series publication dates: 1944–continuing

  • County Reports

    Description: County Reports exist for 18 of Maryland’s 23 counties (two reports include two counties each). Each County Report contains aspects of a county’s physical features and mineral resources, as well as other topics such as soils, climate, hydrography, magnetic declination, and forests. (Currently there are no County Reports for the Eastern Shore counties of Caroline, Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester.)

  • Target audience: general public
  • Series publication dates (and number): 1900-1969 (16 reports)

  • Geologic Guidebooks

    Description: Geologic Guidebooks are field trip guides to representative exposures of particular rock units or other geologic features. Geologic Guidebooks include discussions of the features as well as mileage to sites, detailed stop descriptions, maps and photographs. These guidebooks were often prepared for field trips associated with professional geologic meetings.

  • Target audience: core professionals and to a lesser extent non-core professionals and the general public
  • Series publication dates (and number): 1968-1996 (6 guidebooks)

  • Information Circulars

    Description: Information Circulars are small booklets that focused narrowly on one technical or economic geologic topic. Most commonly this series was used to summarize the mineral extraction in Maryland on an annual basis or to identify mineral producers or potential mineral reserves. Additional topics include details of simulation models, analytical techniques, or specific geologic issues.

  • Target audience: government agencies, core professionals, non-core professionals, to a lesser extent the general public
  • Series publication dates: 1963-1996 (53 circulars):

  • Open-File Reports (three subseries)

    Description: Open-File Reports provide data and interpretative information that need to be released in a timely manner or that are not suited to another series format. This series may be used to release preliminary, interim and/or follow-up findings that may be referenced in other reports.

  • Target audience: core professionals and non-core professionals

  • Open-File Reports - Coastal and Estuarine Geology

    Subseries topics: Focus on subaqueous sediments, dredged materials, interstitial water chemistry, animal-sediment relationships, off-shore sand resources. Series publication dates: 1977–continuing

    Open-File Reports – Environmental Geology and Mineral Resources

    Subseries topics: Earthquake hazard maps, Maryland physiography, MGS publications survey Series publication dates: 1997–continuing

    Open-File Reports – Hydrogeology and Hydrology

    Subseries topics: Focus on ground-water withdrawals, hydrostratigraphy, ground-water quality Series publication dates: 1963–continuing


    Report of Investigations

    Description: The Report of Investigations series is used to present significant data and interpretations on a specific geologic or hydrogeologic topic. Reports in this series tend to be more in-depth than Open-File Reports and are subject to a more extensive (internal and external) review process than Open-File Reports. See also Supplemental Reports (specifically supplemental to particular Reports of Investigations)

  • Target audience: core professionals and non-core professionals
  • Series publication dates: 1965-continuing

  • Special Publications

    Description: Special Publications is a loose grouping of documents that cover a wide array of topics. These documents do not fall neatly into other series and, in some instances, were prepared by another government agency. Topics include reports on boundary line surveys, proceedings of meetings on highway geology and industrial minerals, and non-tidal wetland identification. A special volume released for the MGS centennial (containing both MGS history and new papers) is included in this publication group.

  • Target audience: highly varied – including non-core professionals, core professionals, general public
  • Series publication dates (and number): 1905-1996 (7 publications)

  • Supplemental Reports

    Description: Supplemental Reports is a series used to add information to a specific Report of Investigations after its publication.

  • Target Audience: core professionals and non-core professionals
  • Series publication dates: 2001-continuing

  • Systematic Reports

    Description: Systematic reports were organized by geologic time intervals and include descriptions of rocks, their distribution, and their systematic paleontology and paleobotany as recognized at the time of publication. Some time intervals have separate volumes for text and plates. Note: Given the age of the reports, some aspects of the paleontology and paleobotany may be superceded by more recent studies.

  • Target audience: core professionals and to a lesser extent, non-core professionals and general public
  • Series publication dates (and number): 1901-1923 (13 reports)

  • Volumes

    Description: Volumes were intended as general, multi-part reports on aspects of Maryland's geology and mineral resources, but also included topics such as the State’s physical features, state boundary delineations, and road construction.

  • Target audience: Maryland government, non-core professionals, core professionals, and less commonly, the general public
  • Series publication dates (and number): 1897-1941 (14 volumes)

  • Other series (limited distribution):


    Administrative Reports and File Reports

    Description: Administrative Reports and File Reports are prepared by the MGS for other government agencies/entities for which it performs work. Typically these reports document the findings of scientific and/or technical studies undertaken to better understand geologic or hydrogeologic aspects of a particular issue. Generally these are released to the public only with approval of the sponsoring agency or by the sponsoring agency directly.

  • Target audience: Government agency requesting/sponsoring the study
  • Series publication dates: continuing

  • Interim Report

    Description: Interim Reports are prepared by the MGS for other government agencies or entities for which it performs work. Similar to an Administrative Report, an Interim Report documents the findings of scientific and/or technical studies undertaken to better understand geologic or hydrogeologic aspects of a particular issue; however, an Interim Report is typically prepared mid-way through a project on an as-needed basis, and is intended to be followed by a final report on the project. Generally, Interim Reports are released to the public only with approval of the sponsoring agency or by the sponsoring agency directly.

  • Target audience: Government agency requesting/sponsoring the study
  • Series publication dates: as needed

  • Educational Materials Series

    Educational Series

    Description: Basic educational books and materials on geologic topics related to Maryland.

  • Target audience: general public
  • Series publication dates: 1964-continuing

  • Factsheets

    Description: Factsheets provide concise information on a wide range of subjects that include geologic, hydrogeologic, geographic, fossil and geohazard topics and summaries of site-specific work. Factsheets are typically limited to one or two pages.

  • Target audience: general public, non-core professionals, core professionals
  • Series publication dates: 2004-continuing (select factsheets are updated as needed)

  • Pamphlets

    Description: Pamphlets provide summary information on focused geologic topics pertinent to Maryland. Pamphlets may be slightly more expansive than factsheets.

  • Target audience: general public
  • Series publication dates: 1971-continuing