Open File Report 1989-03

Author(s) Date 1988-12-31

As part of a Geoscience Information System (GSIS) pilot project a demo for coal-related information was developed at the Alberta Geological Survey. It should be stressed that the pilot project demo is the primary product of this project, not this compilation. This report is intended to provide an introduction to the pilot demo and provide support documentation for the project and the demo.

Management of information related to coal resources involves complex operations on tabular data bases and mapping systems. Traditionally, Data Base Management Systems (DBMS) and Mapping Systems were two distinct software packages. Tasks often involved complex transfers of files between systems. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) allow for functional graphics and analysis integration within one package and using one data base platform.

The system created during this study operates under the shell of pcARC/INF0. A menu system was created within the shell to allow for standard queries by geologists having no special training in computing systems. In addition to the above capabilities, the Coal Section's GSIS will provide a graphic query window for the Alberta Geological Survey's (AGS) Coal Data Base created in the INGRES relational database system residing on a VAX 780.

The GSIS system is designed on four levels of detail:

Level One - 1:1000 000 maps include general coal information for the province of Alberta.

Level Two - 1:250 000 scale maps include the above noted information plus selected information on coal disposition, mine permits and on oil and gas well locations.

Level Three - in addition to information available on Level Two, selected subareas identify names of oil wells and mine permits; as well the 400 m development buffer zones have been identified for the oil wells.

Level Four - 1:5000 mine or township scale maps include detailed information concerning coal seam thickness (detailed contour maps), coal quality, overburden and stratigraphy for the areas.

On all levels, selected information may be linked (related) to the AGS's Coal Data Base by an index key item. The system has the capability of producing hard copy output in the form of high-quality color or black and white maps and/or reports from any combination of available data. The system will also produce new maps from existing information, and allows for the interactive composition of custom thematic maps to display geological information.

The demo illustrates how the GIS technology can serve as an exploration, research and information platform for the 1990's.

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Richardson, R.J.H., Chao, D.K. and Krzanowski, R.M. (1989): Coal geology geoscience information system pilot study; Alberta Research Council, ARC/AGS Open File Report 1989-03, 357 p.