SMYTH COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) – Geologists with the Virginia Department of Energy will be in Southwest Virginia conducting research.

A release from Virginia Energy states teams of geologists will be gathering data in the greater Richmond area as well as in Southwest Virginia. Teams will be in the field between mid-February and Sept. 30.

The areas of Southwest Virginia that will be studied include Smyth and Wythe counties. While there, geologists will notify landowners if they need access to their property. Virginia Energy states that some researchers may need access to private property, and the geologists are “fully insured and covered under the Code of Virginia to perform these duties.”

The release states geologists typically study areas along streams or look for outcrops of exposed rock. Some small samples may be collected for testing.

Virginia Energy reports the data obtained by the geologists will be used in mapping that details where “underlying bedrock and other natural deposits” can be found.

“Geologic maps are used to identify water and mineral resources and natural conditions that pose hazards,” the release states. To look at the maps and other geologic resources in Virginia, click here.

The field research is part of an ongoing effort to create maps of specific areas of the Commonwealth as part of the United States Geologic Survey STATEMAP program.  Anyone with questions or concerns about the research should call (434) 951-6240.