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Publications

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Identifying building locations in the wildland–urban interface before and after fires with convolutional neural networks

Background: Wildland–urban interface (WUI) maps identify areas with wildfire risk, but they are often outdated owing to the lack of building data. Convolutional neural networks (CNNs) can extract building locations from remote sensing data, but their accuracy in WUI areas is unknown. Additionally, CNNs are computationally intensive and technically complex, making them challenging for end-users, su

Recent history of glacial lake outburst floods, analysis of channel changes, and development of a two-dimensional flow and sediment transport model of the Snow River near Seward, Alaska

Snow Lake, a glacially dammed lake on the Snow Glacier near Seward, Alaska, drains rapidly every 14 months–3 years, causing flooding along the Snow River. Highway, railroad, and utility infrastructure on the lower Snow River floodplain is vulnerable to flood damage. Historical hydrology, geomorphology, and two-dimensional hydraulic and sediment transport modeling were used to assess the flood risk

An aridity threshold model of fire sizes and annual area burned in extensively forested ecoregions of the western USA

Wildfire occurrence varies among regions and through time due to the long-term impacts of climate on fuel structure and short-term impacts on fuel flammability. Identifying the climatic conditions that trigger extensive fire years at regional scales can enable development of area burned models that are both spatially and temporally robust, which is crucial for understanding the impacts of past and

The future of ecosystem assessments is automation, collaboration, and artificial intelligence

Robust and routine ecosystem assessments will be fundamental to track progress towards achieving this decade’s global environmental and sustainability goals. Here we examine four needs that address common failure points of ecosystem assessments. These are (1) developing rapid, reproducible, and repeatable ecological data workflows, (2) harmonizing in situ and remotely sensed data, (3) integrating

Revised age and regional correlations of Cenozoic strata on Bat Mountain, Death Valley region, California, USA, from zircon U-Pb geochronology of sandstones and ash-fall tuffs

Basin analysis and tectonic reconstructions of the Cenozoic history of the Death Valley region, California, USA, are hindered by a lack of volcanic (tuff) age control in many stratigraphic successions exposed in the Grapevine and Funeral Mountains of California, USA. Although maximum depositional ages (MDAs) interpreted from detrital zircon U-Pb data may be a promising alternative to volcanic ages

Insights from the Alabama Hills into Mesozoic magmatism and tectonics in eastern California

New zircon U-Pb ages for the Alabama Hills Granite in Owens Valley, eastern California, range from 103 to 102 Ma, nearly 20 Ma older than previously published zircon ages. The data preclude previously implied links between the pluton and the adjacent Late Cretaceous Mount Whitney Intrusive Suite. Geochronologic and isotopic data indicate a connection between the Alabama Hills Granite and leucogran

The National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program’s U.S. GeoFramework Initiative — Delivering a digital database of geologic map information by 2030

The U.S. Geological Survey's National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program's U.S. GeoFramework Initiative responds to Congressional direction to implement the National Geologic Map Database Phase Three. The U.S. GeoFramework Initiative aims to create and deliver a new digital geologic framework of the United States by 2030. This Fact Sheet outlines the collaborations needed and plans taken to achi

A complex record of last interglacial sea-level history and paleozoogeography, Santa Rosa Island, Channel Islands National Park, California, USA

Studies of marine terraces and their fossils can yield important information about sea level history, tectonic uplift rates, and paleozoogeography, but some aspects of terrace history, particularly with regard to their fossil record, are not clearly understood. Marine terraces are well preserved on Santa Rosa Island, California, and the island is situated near a major marine faunal boundary. Two p

The Seamless Integrated Geologic Mapping (SIGMa) extension to the Geologic Map Schema (GeMS)

Geologic maps are the fundamental building blocks of surface and subsurface three-dimensional geologic framework models of the Earth’s crust. However, as the production and availability of geologic map databases continues to increase, inconsistent data models and the lack of synthesized, national geologic map data at scales appropriate for informed decision making negatively affect the functional

Can we avert an Amazon tipping point? The economic and environmental costs

The Amazon biome is being pushed by unsustainable economic drivers towards an ecological tipping point where restoration to its previous state may no longer be possible. This degradation is the result of self-reinforcing interactions between deforestation, climate change and fire. We assess the economic, natural capital and ecosystem services impacts and trade-offs of scenarios representing moveme

GCPs free photogrammetry for estimating tree height and crown diameter in Arizona cypress plantation using UAV-Mounted GNSS RTK

One of the main challenges of using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in forest data acquisition is the implementation of Ground Control Points (GCPs) as a mandatory step, which is sometimes impossible for inaccessible areas or within canopy closures. This study aimed to test the accuracy of a UAV-mounted GNSS RTK (real-time kinematic) system for calculating tree height and crown height without any

Geochemical evidence for diachronous uplift and synchronous collapse of the high elevation Variscan hinterland

Competing end-member models for the late Paleozoic Variscan orogeny (ca. 360-290 Ma) alternatively suggest moderate 2-3 km elevations underlain by relatively thin crust (55 km) that supported high 4-5 km elevations. We tested these models and quantified the crustal thickness and elevation evolution of the Variscan orogeny using igneous trace element geochemical proxies. The data suggest that thick