IS-60 Colorado Late Cenozoic Fault and Fold Database and Internet Map Server


This web-based map has been superseded by the fully updated ON-006-15M Colorado Earthquake and Fault Map. IS-60D

This CGS effort was the first fully web-based publication produced at the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. It contained detailed information about nearly 300 faults and folds that were known or suspected to have moved during the Late Cenozoic (approximately the last 23.7 million years). It was part of the ongoing CGS effort to promote public awareness of Colorado’s seismic hazards by identifying and characterizing potentially active structures. The state’s current tectonic stress regime was initiated during the beginning of the Miocene Epoch (25 to 28 million years ago), and although the extensional stress regime has probably evolved and changed locally, the overall tectonic environment remains essentially the same today. Structures that have been active under this stress regime in the past may be active in the future as long as this stress regime continues.

At the time of its publication, this innovative web-based GIS product allowed for the integration of a graphic display (map) and a comprehensive database into a user-friendly interface using Autodesk MapGuide in conjunction with Macromedia ColdFusion. The map server allowed users to view the faults and folds in Colorado on a topographic base map. Selecting a particular structure opened a link to the database with a multi-page, detailed report for that structure. The report contained a range of information including geographic location, geologic setting, sense of movement, age of faulted deposits, summaries of trenching investigations, references, and much more. Those familiar with the formal name of any fault or fold could also search by selecting that structure name from a pop-up menu. This search allowed the user to view the requested data as well as the location of the structure on the map. The dual method allowed both spatial and non-spatial search, so that even if the user did not know where the structure was located, full information as well as the structure might be found. Additionally, users of the site could download the Access database free of charge, which contained all but the spatial (map) information, allowing for further possibilities for querying the data. The web-based format allowed for routine updating and quick delivery of newly acquired information without the added time and cost of generating a new publication. This publication was a valuable and efficient resource to government planners, private developers, and anyone interested in earthquake hazards and the activity of faults and folds in Colorado.

IS-60 received the 2003 Awards in Excellence in the category “Use of New Technology” from the Western States Seismic Policy Council for introducing innovative GIS solutions to the area of seismicity and earthquake preparedness across the state.