We ran a story last year about an Alaskan mountain that not only had a bunch of precious rare earth ores within, but they might even be profitably extracted. I wanted to do a graphic but chickened out since there wasn't time to get all geophysical in two days. Anyway the research and chats with the geologist were fun and I stowed away one of my favorite graphics:
Taken from Aurora Geoscience's technical assessment of said mountain. I like it because it's a) utilitarian as heck and b) encodes a lot of info in neat ways. You're looking at a profile cross section of a patch of land annotated with drill hole locations. Elevation ticks on the left (RL for "reduced level," whatever that means), latitude and longitude running along the bottom, each plumb line is a drill hole of certain depth, and the red bars show the relative concentration of rare earth oxides in the core samples they yanked out of the holes. So, counting 'em up, this graphic encodes:
- Drill hole depth
- Drill hole orientation
- Rare earth element concentrations along each drill hole
One highlight color put to good use, pretty simple, lots of information in there, this one does it for me.