Geology, Geophysics, and Geochemistry Science Center

Applied Geochemistry

The Applied Geochemistry Branch supplies expertise in hydrogeochemistry and biogeochemistry to characterize the natural water chemistry, processes controlling groundwater flow paths, water-rock interactions, and fate/transport of metals and other contaminants in ground and surface waters. Another focus is on constraining processes that form critical resource deposits and the development of geologic reference materials essential for validating analyses of earth materials. Branch scientists develop and adapt analytical geochemistry protocols and instrumentation for special applications to fulfill USGS science needs.

  • Research Chemistry
  • Processes Controlling Fate and Transport of Metals Associated with Legacy Mining
  • Multi-scale screening techniques for Legacy Mine Land (LML) sites using data mining and site-specific studies in the western U.S.
  • Macro and Micro Analytical Methods Development
Filter Total Items: 20
Date published: June 29, 2018
Status: Completed

Sources, Forms, Extractability of Metals in Non-Ore Deposit Sources

This project explored potential recovery and environmental consequences of metals in mining and mineral processing wastes as a function of ore deposit geology, and in debris from demolished or burned buildings. 

Date published: November 1, 2017
Status: Active

Department of Defense Lung Study

Between 2003 and the present, 2.2 million U.S. military personnel have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. These deployers have been variably exposed to desert dusts, smoke from burn pits, and urban particulate matter, and some have developed constrictive bronchiolitis. A study was undertaken to determine what, if any, markers were statistically different among biopsied lung tissue sections...

Date published: September 29, 2017
Status: Completed

Geoenvironmental Health Models of Mineral Deposits

Our objectives are to: 1) complete bioaccessibility testing on monominerallic samples of important ore and gangue minerals for selected elements of toxicological concern, and 2) create a compendium of mineral deposit geoenvironmental health models.

Date published: September 30, 2016
Status: Completed

ASTRA: ASTeroid Resource Assessment

The study was conducted to determine if the USGS process for conducting mineral resource assessments on Earth can be applied to asteroids

Contacts: William Ridley
Date published: September 30, 2016
Status: Completed

Fluids in Rare Earth Element (REE) Ore Genesis

The project objective is to better understand the role fluids play in the formation of ore-grade rare earth element enrichment. In many rare earth element deposits, enrichment of rare earth elements is largely controlled by their transport in fluids (orthomagmatic, hydrothermal, groundwater). The project focuses on carbonatite-related deposits because these deposits are the world's primary...

Date published: September 30, 2016
Status: Completed

Application of the National-Scale Soil Geochemical and Mineralogical Data for the Conterminous U.S.

Project goals were to produce interpretive products based on the exising national-scale geochoemical and mineralogical data and maps for soils of the conterminous U.S.

Contacts: Laurel Woodruff
Date published: March 4, 2013
Status: Completed

Backgrounds and Baselines

This project developed a geochemical information base through studies ranging in scale from site-specific to regional and national.

Date published: September 30, 2007
Status: Completed

USGS Abandoned Mine Lands Initiative

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) conducted an Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) Initiative during the fiscal years 1997 through 2001 to provide technical assistance in support of Federal Land Management Agency (FLMA) actions to remediate contamination associated with abandoned hard rock mining activities. This initiative was part of a larger strategy by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U....