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

Reconstructing paleohydrology in the northwest Great Basin since the last deglaciation using Paisley Caves fish remains (Oregon, U.S.A.)

The arid northwest Great Basin underwent substantial hydroclimate changes in the past 15,000 years, greatly affecting its desert ecosystems and prehistoric people. There are conflicting interpretations of the timing of hydrologic changes in this region, requiring more records to resolve the dominant climatic drivers. The Paisley Caves...

Hudson, Adam M.; Emery-Wetherell, Meaghan M; Lubinski, Patrick M; Butler, Virginia L.; Grimstead, Deanna N; Jenkins, Dennis L

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Year Published: 2021

Aeolian sediments in paleowetland deposits of the Las Vegas Formation

The Las Vegas Formation (LVF) is a well-characterized sequence of groundwater discharge (GWD) deposits exposed in and around the Las Vegas Valley in southern Nevada. Nearly monolithologic bedrock surrounds the valley, which provides an excellent opportunity to test the hypothesis that GWD deposits include an aeolian component. Mineralogical data...

Goldstein, Harland L.; Springer, Kathleen B.; Pigati, Jeffrey S.; Reheis, Marith C.; Skipp, Gary L.

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Year Published: 2021

Oxygen isotopes in terrestrial gastropod shells track Quaternary climate change in the American Southwest

Recent studies have shown the oxygen isotopic composition (δ18O) of modern terrestrial gastropod shells is determined largely by the δ18O of precipitation. This implies that fossil shells could be used to reconstruct the δ18O of paleo-precipitation as long as the isotopic system, including the hydrologic pathways of the local watershed and the...

Rech, Jason A.; Pigati, Jeffrey S.; Springer, Kathleen B.; Bosch, Stephanie; Nekola, Jeffrey C.; Yanes, Yurena