Special Libraries Association-Arizona Chapter Bulletin, volume 24, number 2, April 2001, pages 9-10



Jack D. Mount

Arizona has some of the most impressive and striking geologic landscapes. From the Basin and Range Province in southern Arizona, up the Mogollon Rim in the Central Mountain Region, and across the Colorado Plateau Province in the north, even the most intrepid explorer will discover a wonderland of geologic scenery. This article is a brief guide to publications currently available in print which will help in discovering and interpreting Arizona's geology. It may also serve as a "core list" for information managers developing their collections.


Geology of Arizona. By J. Dale Nations and Edmund Stump. Kendall/Hunt; 2nd edition, 1996. In textbook format, this well illustrated reference is designed for the reader with no formal geologic training. It gives an introduction to geology and then a nice overview of the State's geologic history and features.

Roadside Geology of Arizona. By Halka Chronic. Mountain Press; 1983. A useful description of the more easily seen geologic features -- it continues to be the favorite introductory guide.

Geologic Evolution of Arizona. By J. P. Jenney and S. J. Reynolds, editors. Arizona Geological Society; 1989. This large volume is intended to be a technical summary of current knowledge of Arizona's geology.

Landscapes of Arizona: The Geological Story. By Terah L. Smiley, J. Dale Nations, Troy L. Pew, and John P. Schafer, editors. University Press of America; 1984. A semitechnical interpretation of the geologic landscape development in Arizona. The book comprises 17 chapters each written by different geologists experienced in Arizona geology

Mineralogy of Arizona. By John W. Anthony, Sidney A. Williams, Richard A. Bideaux, and Raymond W. Grant. University of Arizona Press; 3rd edition, 1995. With its beautiful color illustrations, this book is a comprehensive study of Arizona's minerals and their occurrences.

Minerals of Arizona: A Field Guide for Collectors. By Neil R. Bearce. Geoscience Press; 1999. Designed more for the hobbyist, this reference gives detailed descriptions to collecting localities throughout the State.

Arizona Soils. By David M. Hendricks. University of Arizona, College of Agriculture; 1985. This comprehensive and nicely illustrated summary includes an 18-page chapter on the geologic framework and a 1:1,0000,000 scale soil map.

Serial Publications

Arizona Geology [previously Fieldnotes]. Arizona Geological Survey [AZGS]; since 1971; published quarterly. Each issue has a feature article on a timely Arizona geology subject or specific geographic area. It also reviews new publications and geologic "happenings" around the State. It is free; but better yet, it comes prepunched for three-ring binders!

AZGS Bulletin. AZGS Circular. AZGS Special Paper. AZGS Contributed Report. AZGS Open-File Report. Arizona Geological Survey; irregularly published serials. These publications are scientific/technical papers for professional geologists. The AZGS also publishes the Down-to-Earth Series, -- booklets on popular geologic topics throughout Arizona written for the reader with little formal geologic training.

Arizona Geological Society Digest. Arizona Geological Society. Published irregularly since 1958, each volume is a large book devoted to a specific geologic theme. Its latest issue, Volume 20 published in 1995, is titled: Porphyry Copper Deposits of the American Cordillera.


Bibliography of the Geology and Mineral Resources of Arizona, 1848-1964. By R. T. Moore and E. D. Wilson; 1965. Bibliography of the Geology and Mineral Resources of Arizona, 1965-1970. By J. S. Vuich and J. C. Wilt; 1974. AZGEOBIB: A List of References on the Geology of Arizona. By R. A. Trapp, Nancy Schmidt, S. J. Reynolds, and K. C. Horstman; 1995. Arizona Geological Survey. These 3 publications offer a fairly comprehensive list of citations up to about 1994.

Thesis and Dissertations on Arizona Geology, 1891-1978. By P. L. Wright, R. A. Trapp, S. J. Reynolds, S. M. Richard, and H. W. Peirce. Arizona Geological Survey; 1985.

Index of Published Geologic Maps of Arizona, 1903-1982. By R. B. Scarborough and M. L. Coney; 1982. Index of Published Geologic Maps of Arizona: 1982 to Mid-1993. By R. C. Harris, R. A. Trapp, T. G. McGarvin, and J. E. Spencer; 1994. Arizona Geological Survey.

Fossils of Arizona; A Selected Bibliography. By J. V. Rumery. Arizona Geological Survey; 1980.

Bibliography of Selected Reports on Groundwater in Arizona. By W. H. Remick. Arizona Department of Water Resources; 1987.


Field trip guidebooks are a particularly important form of literature for geologists. They are a useful introduction to the region covered and often contain the only articles on the geology of a particular geographic area. Their reading and content levels range from designed-for-the-novice to professional.

The Arizona Geological Society published a series of three important guides to the geology of southern Arizona. One of them is still available from the Arizona Geological Survey: Southern Arizona Guidebook III; edited by S. R. Titley; 1968.

The Arizona Geological Survey has published many guidebooks over the years. Some of the titles still available include: Guidebook to the Geology of Central Arizona, edited by D. M. Burt and T. L. Pewe, 1978; Geologic Diversity of Arizona and Its Margins; Excursions to Choice Areas, edited by G. H. Davis and E. M. VandenDolder, 1987; Geologic Excursions Through the Sonoran Desert Region, Arizona and Sonora, edited by G. E. Gehrels and J. E. Spencer, 1990; Geologic Guidebook 3 - Highways of Arizona; Arizona Highways 85, 86, and 386, edited by Stanton B. Keith, 1971 [numbers 1 and 2 are also still available]; and Field Guide to the Geology of Chiricahua National Monument, by J. V. Bezy, 1997.

The New Mexico Geological Society publishes exceptional quality guidebooks -- some titles available from them include: Land of Cochise (Southwestern Arizona), edited by J. F. Callender, J. Wilt, R. E. Clemons and H. L. James, 1978; Monument Valley (Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico), edited by H. L. James, 1973; Mogollon Rim Region (East-Central Arizona), edited by R. H. Weber and H. W. Peirce, 1962; and Black Mesa Basin (Northeastern Arizona), edited by R. Y. Anderson and J. W. Harshbarger, 1958.

The American Geological Institute published: Carboniferous Stratigraphy in the Grand Canyon, Northern Arizona and Southern Nevada; edited by S. S. Beus and R. R. Rawson; 1979. It is also available from the Arizona Geological Survey.


The Arizona Geological Survey has recently published two geologic maps that make a nice complement to the textual information presented here: Geologic Map of Arizona, 2000, scale 1:1,000,000; and Arizona Geologic Highway Map, 1998, scale 1:1,000,000.

Web Sites

During this "Age of the Web", I can not end this report without at least offering a few choice Web sites.

Stephen J. Reynolds, a professor of geology at Arizona State University, has a nice Web site -- http://geology.asu.edu/~reynolds/home.htm -- full of useful information including a geologic map of Arizona.

The Web sites for the geosciences departments at Arizona's three universities, Arizona State University -- http://www-glg.la.asu.edu/ --, Northern Arizona University -- http://vishnu.glg.nau.edu/index.html --, and University of Arizona -- http://www.geo.arizona.edu/ --, are gateways for additional information.

The site for the Arizona Geological Survey -- http://www.azgs.state.az.us/index.htm -- includes a catalog of its available publications.

I have a Web page "Arizona Geology: A Guide to the Literature" -- http://dizzy.library.arizona.edu/users/mount/jack26.html -- which is a selected bibliography to significant literature on the geology of Arizona. I have another Web site, "Geosciences Resources" -- http://dizzy.library.arizona.edu/users/mount/geosci.html -- which includes links to additional Web sites for Arizona information.

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