Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center


GECSC researchers conduct multi-purpose geologic mapping and topical scientific studies to address issues concerning geologic, climatic, ecosystem, and land surface changes; human interactions with the environment; and physical, chemical, and biological characterization of the Earth's surface and upper crust. 


Date published: February 4, 2021

Low-Flying Airplane Mapping Parts of Northeastern California

Residents should not be alarmed if they see a low-flying airplane over parts of northeastern California starting February 6, 2021.

Date published: March 13, 2020

Learning From Real-World Experience to Understand Renewable Energy Impacts to Wildlife

A comprehensive analysis of how renewable energy facilities affect wildlife could inform efforts to predict and reduce these impacts. A team of researchers was asked to gain a better understanding of the actual environmental impacts of renewable energy generation on sensitive species and habitats in California. 

Date published: October 21, 2019

Low-Level Flights to Image 3D Geology in Northern Arkansas

Editor: In the public interest and in accordance with the Federal Aviation Administration regulations, the USGS is announcing this low-level airborne project. Your assistance in informing the local communities is appreciated.


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Year Published: 2021

A bayesian nonparametric approach to unmixing detrital geochronologic data

Sedimentary deposits constitute the primary record of changing environmental conditions that have acted on Earth’s surface over geologic time. Clastic material is eroded from source locations (parents) in sediment routing systems and deposited at sink locations (children). Both parents and children have characteristics that vary across many...

Tipton, John R.; Sharman, Glenn R.; Johnstone, Samuel A.

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Year Published: 2021

Detrital zircon record of magmatism and sediment dispersal across the North American Cordilleran arc system (28-48°N)

As zircon U-Pb geochronology has become a leading method in sediment provenance studies and basin analysis over the past 20 years, the volume of detrital zircon data made available in published literature has enabled researchers to go beyond source-to-sink provenance studies to explore increasingly complex...

Schwartz, Theresa Maude; Surpless, Kathleen D.; Colgan, Joseph P.; Johnstone, Samuel A.; Holm-Denoma, Christopher S.

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Year Published: 2021

Insights on geochemical, isotopic, and volumetric compositions of produced water from hydraulically fractured Williston Basin oil wells

Tracing produced water origins from wells hydraulically fractured with freshwater-based fluids is sometimes predicated on assumptions that (1) each geological formation contains compositionally unique brine and (2) produced water from recently hydraulically fractured wells resembles fresher meteoric water more so than produced water from older...

Gallegos, Tanya J.; Doolan, Colin A.; Caldwell, Rodney R.; Engle, Mark A; Varonka, Matthew S.; Birdwell, Justin E.; Jolly, Glenn D.; Coplen, Tyler B.; Oliver, Thomas A.