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Environmental Health

Geology, Energy & Minerals Science Center 'Environmental Health' science projects: 

Filter Total Items: 28

Geochemistry of Energy Fuels Project

Since its establishment in 1879, USGS geoscientists have investigated the geochemistry of energy resources. Research conducted in the Geochemistry of Energy Fuels project continues this tradition. Goals include 1) understanding the geologic, geochemical, microbiological, and other factors that control production, quality, and composition of coal, petroleum, and nuclear fuels, and 2) predicting the...
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Geochemistry of Energy Fuels Project

Since its establishment in 1879, USGS geoscientists have investigated the geochemistry of energy resources. Research conducted in the Geochemistry of Energy Fuels project continues this tradition. Goals include 1) understanding the geologic, geochemical, microbiological, and other factors that control production, quality, and composition of coal, petroleum, and nuclear fuels, and 2) predicting the...
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Geochemical Signatures of Oil and Gas Wastewater from an Accidental Release Detected in Stream Sediment and Pore Waters Two Years Post Spill

Scientists identified geochemical signatures of wastewater in Blacktail Creek, North Dakota, as a result of a 2015 pipeline leak. They demonstrated that environmental signatures from wastewater spills are persistent within a short (1-3 year) time frame, can enter the creek through subsurface pathways, and can create the potential for extended environmental exposures.
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Geochemical Signatures of Oil and Gas Wastewater from an Accidental Release Detected in Stream Sediment and Pore Waters Two Years Post Spill

Scientists identified geochemical signatures of wastewater in Blacktail Creek, North Dakota, as a result of a 2015 pipeline leak. They demonstrated that environmental signatures from wastewater spills are persistent within a short (1-3 year) time frame, can enter the creek through subsurface pathways, and can create the potential for extended environmental exposures.
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Utilization of Carbon and other Energy Gases - Geologic Research and Assessments

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is utilized by industry to enhance oil recovery. Subsurface CO2 storage could significantly impact reduction of CO2 emissions to the atmosphere, but the economics and potential risks associated with the practice must be understood before implementing extensive programs or regulations. Utilization of other energy-related gases such as helium (He), if separated and concentrated...
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Utilization of Carbon and other Energy Gases - Geologic Research and Assessments

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is utilized by industry to enhance oil recovery. Subsurface CO2 storage could significantly impact reduction of CO2 emissions to the atmosphere, but the economics and potential risks associated with the practice must be understood before implementing extensive programs or regulations. Utilization of other energy-related gases such as helium (He), if separated and concentrated...
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Economics of Energy Transitions

This task conducts research to characterize or evaluate the economics of developing technologies or markets in geologic resources. Such research can analyze the relative risks, costs, and benefits from the utilization and not just the extraction of underground resource. Economic analysis builds upon the geologic resource assessment work by other tasks in the Utilization of Carbon and other Energy...
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Economics of Energy Transitions

This task conducts research to characterize or evaluate the economics of developing technologies or markets in geologic resources. Such research can analyze the relative risks, costs, and benefits from the utilization and not just the extraction of underground resource. Economic analysis builds upon the geologic resource assessment work by other tasks in the Utilization of Carbon and other Energy...
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Geologic Energy Storage

The United States (U.S.) domestic energy supply increasingly relies on natural gas and renewable sources; however, their efficient use is limited by supply and demand constraints. For example, a) in summer, natural gas production may outpace home heating fuel demand and b) in daytime, wind and solar electricity production may outpace industrial power requirements. Storing rather than dumping...
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Geologic Energy Storage

The United States (U.S.) domestic energy supply increasingly relies on natural gas and renewable sources; however, their efficient use is limited by supply and demand constraints. For example, a) in summer, natural gas production may outpace home heating fuel demand and b) in daytime, wind and solar electricity production may outpace industrial power requirements. Storing rather than dumping...
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Critical Mineral Recovery Potential from Tailings and Other Mine Waste Streams

The primary objectives of this one-year scoping project are to determine the feasibility of extracting byproduct mineral commodities, such as critical minerals, from mine tailings. We plan to analyze the existing data and reports from an active mine site on the composition of their mill tailings pile, and collect preliminary reconnaissance samples to identify appropriate analytical techniques that...
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Critical Mineral Recovery Potential from Tailings and Other Mine Waste Streams

The primary objectives of this one-year scoping project are to determine the feasibility of extracting byproduct mineral commodities, such as critical minerals, from mine tailings. We plan to analyze the existing data and reports from an active mine site on the composition of their mill tailings pile, and collect preliminary reconnaissance samples to identify appropriate analytical techniques that...
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Geophysical mapping of produced water in near-surface environments

This task within the Oil and Gas Waters Project focuses on the development of oil and gas resources results in substantial volumes of produced water. Particularly when produced from deep geologic formations, these waters can exhibit elevated salinity in comparison to shallow groundwater at the same location. Knowing the spatial and temporal occurrence of high salinity produced water in groundwater...
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Geophysical mapping of produced water in near-surface environments

This task within the Oil and Gas Waters Project focuses on the development of oil and gas resources results in substantial volumes of produced water. Particularly when produced from deep geologic formations, these waters can exhibit elevated salinity in comparison to shallow groundwater at the same location. Knowing the spatial and temporal occurrence of high salinity produced water in groundwater...
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Quantifying broader impacts of oil and gas development

Work in this task of the Oil and Gas Waters project focuses on quantifying the effects of developing oil and gas resources. The approach is probabilistic, and it builds directly from USGS oil and gas assessment methods and geological studies. Efforts to date have revolved around quantifying habitat loss and land-use change and estimating soil loss. We are working on quantifying other types of...
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Quantifying broader impacts of oil and gas development

Work in this task of the Oil and Gas Waters project focuses on quantifying the effects of developing oil and gas resources. The approach is probabilistic, and it builds directly from USGS oil and gas assessment methods and geological studies. Efforts to date have revolved around quantifying habitat loss and land-use change and estimating soil loss. We are working on quantifying other types of...
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Oil and Gas Waters Project

The primary objective of this project is to provide information on the volume, quality, impacts, and possible uses of water produced during generation and development of energy resources (particularly hydrocarbons) as well as related fluids injected into reservoirs for energy development and associated waste disposal. The purpose of this work is to address scientific and societal questions...
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Oil and Gas Waters Project

The primary objective of this project is to provide information on the volume, quality, impacts, and possible uses of water produced during generation and development of energy resources (particularly hydrocarbons) as well as related fluids injected into reservoirs for energy development and associated waste disposal. The purpose of this work is to address scientific and societal questions...
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Geochemistry of Energy Fuels Task

Geologic and geochemical processes that impact fuel quality, quantity, and availability can be best understood by utilizing a range of approaches, including, but not limited to isotopic signatures, inorganic and organic analyses, and neutron scattering techniques. Current work focuses on using neutron scattering to understand how fluids are stored and flow through tight continuous reservoirs and...
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Geochemistry of Energy Fuels Task

Geologic and geochemical processes that impact fuel quality, quantity, and availability can be best understood by utilizing a range of approaches, including, but not limited to isotopic signatures, inorganic and organic analyses, and neutron scattering techniques. Current work focuses on using neutron scattering to understand how fluids are stored and flow through tight continuous reservoirs and...
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Remote Sensing Techniques for Characterizing Energy Resources in Waste

Funded by the USGS Energy Resource Program “Shark Tank” grant. The goal of this project is to develop a method to use remotely collected satellite and airborne data to ascertain the quantity and quality of waste at abandoned uranium mines to better estimate the resource potential, identify abandoned mines and explore potential applications to other energy resources. This is a collaborative effort...
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Remote Sensing Techniques for Characterizing Energy Resources in Waste

Funded by the USGS Energy Resource Program “Shark Tank” grant. The goal of this project is to develop a method to use remotely collected satellite and airborne data to ascertain the quantity and quality of waste at abandoned uranium mines to better estimate the resource potential, identify abandoned mines and explore potential applications to other energy resources. This is a collaborative effort...
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Assessing Emissions from Active and Abandoned Coal Mines

The gas emission zone liberates and accumulates significant amounts of coal mine methane as a by-product of active mining. In most active mines, coal mine methane is controlled by wellbores, called gob gas ventholes. Despite the presence of these wellbores, it is not possible to capture all of the methane generated within the gas emission zone. As a consequence, a large amount of gas migrates into...
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Assessing Emissions from Active and Abandoned Coal Mines

The gas emission zone liberates and accumulates significant amounts of coal mine methane as a by-product of active mining. In most active mines, coal mine methane is controlled by wellbores, called gob gas ventholes. Despite the presence of these wellbores, it is not possible to capture all of the methane generated within the gas emission zone. As a consequence, a large amount of gas migrates into...
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