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Dirt Maps



Dirt Maps
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 6 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.25

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    cartographers, lowercase, agency, classify, knowing, text, purpose, geologic, unit, various, layout, volume, design, government, conserve, management
     content words:    National Resources Conservation Service, United States Department


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Dirt Maps
By Trista L. Pollard
  

1     Do you think every place on Earth has the same type of soil or dirt? If you said no, then you are right. In fact, our planet has various types of features depending on the climate and location of the area. To keep track of these earth materials, scientists use geologic maps and soil maps.
 
2     Geologic maps show the location and types of geologic features in an area. With these maps, scientists can locate different types of rocks, faults, folds, and other geologic structures. These maps are different from topographic maps because they are made on top of base maps. Base maps include the actual land features of an area. Cartographers usually design base maps so they are printed in light colors or with gray lines. The purpose is to make sure the information on the geologic map can be read easily.
 
3     With every type of map, there are specific ways of measuring and labeling its features. On geologic maps, you have geologic units. Geologic units describe the rock type and the volume or amount of that rock within that area. To show differences in geologic units, cartographers use different colors. If the rocks are within the same age range, then they are given different shades of the same color. Each geologic or rock unit is assigned a letter code. The letter code has one capital letter and one or more lowercase letters. The capital letter stands for the age of the rock. The lowercase letters stand for the type of rock.

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