Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Geology

Studies on the occurrence and formation of earth materials that can be used for economic, technological, or industrial purposes. Several tools, including geochemistry, geologic mapping, geochronology, electron microscopy, tectonics, structural geology, and crustal fluid flow, are used to advance understanding of orebody formation in the Earth’s crust.

Filter Total Items: 32

From Outcrop to Ions: development and application of in-situ isotope ratio measurements to solve geologic problems

Project objectives are to (1) develop innovative analytical techniques for isotope geochemistry and U-Pb geochronology using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS), and (2) apply these techniques to collaborative research projects of high priority to the Mineral Resources Program, including studies related to the formation of "critical mineral" deposits, and...
link

From Outcrop to Ions: development and application of in-situ isotope ratio measurements to solve geologic problems

Project objectives are to (1) develop innovative analytical techniques for isotope geochemistry and U-Pb geochronology using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS), and (2) apply these techniques to collaborative research projects of high priority to the Mineral Resources Program, including studies related to the formation of "critical mineral" deposits, and...
Learn More

Northern Rocky Mountains Transect

The goal of the Northern Rocky Mountains Transect (NRMT) project is to produce updated geologic maps of an important and understudied region of Idaho and western Montana that covers a wide array of distinct geologic terrains.
link

Northern Rocky Mountains Transect

The goal of the Northern Rocky Mountains Transect (NRMT) project is to produce updated geologic maps of an important and understudied region of Idaho and western Montana that covers a wide array of distinct geologic terrains.
Learn More

Source, transport and deposition of critical minerals using trace metal and isotope systematics: Denver High Resolution Laboratory

The project objective is to develop and apply solution and in situ isotopic and trace element methods to emerging research opportunities to gain a better understanding of the processes controlling critical mineral deposits, metal mobility, and other geological inquiries.
link

Source, transport and deposition of critical minerals using trace metal and isotope systematics: Denver High Resolution Laboratory

The project objective is to develop and apply solution and in situ isotopic and trace element methods to emerging research opportunities to gain a better understanding of the processes controlling critical mineral deposits, metal mobility, and other geological inquiries.
Learn More

21st Century Prospecting: AI-assisted Surveying of Critical Mineral Potential

The USGS Mineral Resources Program entered a partnership with the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA). The partnership objective is to accelerate advances in science for understanding critical minerals, assessing unknown resources, and increase mineral security for the Nation so USGS can more efficiently assess critical mineral deposits within the United States.
link

21st Century Prospecting: AI-assisted Surveying of Critical Mineral Potential

The USGS Mineral Resources Program entered a partnership with the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA). The partnership objective is to accelerate advances in science for understanding critical minerals, assessing unknown resources, and increase mineral security for the Nation so USGS can more efficiently assess critical mineral deposits within the United States.
Learn More

Evaluation of Critical Elements in Carbonatites

The project objective is to determine the processes responsible for critical element enrichment in carbonatites and to enhance our ability to identify and assess economic deposits. This project will work at various scales to meet this objective and will primarily focus on deposits within the US or our Critical Minerals Mapping Initiative collaborative Nations Canada and Australia.
link

Evaluation of Critical Elements in Carbonatites

The project objective is to determine the processes responsible for critical element enrichment in carbonatites and to enhance our ability to identify and assess economic deposits. This project will work at various scales to meet this objective and will primarily focus on deposits within the US or our Critical Minerals Mapping Initiative collaborative Nations Canada and Australia.
Learn More

USMIN Mineral Deposit Database

Our objective is to develop a national-scale, geospatial database that is the authoritative source of the most important mines, mineral deposits, and mineral districts of the United States.
link

USMIN Mineral Deposit Database

Our objective is to develop a national-scale, geospatial database that is the authoritative source of the most important mines, mineral deposits, and mineral districts of the United States.
Learn More

Critical Minerals Mapping Initiative (CMMI)

The USGS, in combination with Geoscience Australia and the Geological Survey of Canada, formed the Critical Minerals Mapping Initiative (CMMI) in 2019 to combine expertise and collaboratively conduct research on critical mineral resources.
link

Critical Minerals Mapping Initiative (CMMI)

The USGS, in combination with Geoscience Australia and the Geological Survey of Canada, formed the Critical Minerals Mapping Initiative (CMMI) in 2019 to combine expertise and collaboratively conduct research on critical mineral resources.
Learn More

Non-Traditional Stable Isotopes

Understanding the genesis of ore deposits and their behavior in the environment is a subject of great importance to the Nation. A relatively new tool to aid in these efforts to investigate the origin and environmental effects of ore deposits is the use of "heavy" metal stable isotopes. Our research objectives are to utilize various isotopic systems to advance our understanding of ore genesis and...
link

Non-Traditional Stable Isotopes

Understanding the genesis of ore deposits and their behavior in the environment is a subject of great importance to the Nation. A relatively new tool to aid in these efforts to investigate the origin and environmental effects of ore deposits is the use of "heavy" metal stable isotopes. Our research objectives are to utilize various isotopic systems to advance our understanding of ore genesis and...
Learn More

Critical Elements in Carbonatites: From Exploration Targets to Element Distribution

Critical elements are essential to the modern economy and have potential supply chain disruptions, but compared to most base and precious metals, little work has been done in understanding ore-grade enrichments. Carbonatites are the primary source of the worlds light rare earth elements and niobium, and a potential source for heavy rare earths, scandium, tantalum, and thorium. Project objectives...
link

Critical Elements in Carbonatites: From Exploration Targets to Element Distribution

Critical elements are essential to the modern economy and have potential supply chain disruptions, but compared to most base and precious metals, little work has been done in understanding ore-grade enrichments. Carbonatites are the primary source of the worlds light rare earth elements and niobium, and a potential source for heavy rare earths, scandium, tantalum, and thorium. Project objectives...
Learn More

Argon Geochronology

This project supports the USGS argon geochronology laboratory in Denver. The USGS 40Ar/39Ar geochronology laboratory is a state-of-the-art research facility for determining absolute ages of minerals and rocks. The 40Ar/39Ar laboratory contributes critical geochronology to individual USGS research projects and to partners in academia and other Federal agencies. This laboratory develops methodology...
link

Argon Geochronology

This project supports the USGS argon geochronology laboratory in Denver. The USGS 40Ar/39Ar geochronology laboratory is a state-of-the-art research facility for determining absolute ages of minerals and rocks. The 40Ar/39Ar laboratory contributes critical geochronology to individual USGS research projects and to partners in academia and other Federal agencies. This laboratory develops methodology...
Learn More

A Shallow to Deep View Inside the Hydrothermally Altered and Mineralized Silverton Caldera Complex: New Geologic Insights Gained From Modern Geophysical Interpretations

The Silverton caldera complex in southwest Colorado hosts base and precious metals that have been mined since the late 1800s. Extensive mine workings, excellent bedrock exposures, and deeply incised drainages make this area a natural laboratory ideally suited for furthering our understanding of the mineral systems in a volcanic environment. In addition, state-of-the-art geophysical data processing...
link

A Shallow to Deep View Inside the Hydrothermally Altered and Mineralized Silverton Caldera Complex: New Geologic Insights Gained From Modern Geophysical Interpretations

The Silverton caldera complex in southwest Colorado hosts base and precious metals that have been mined since the late 1800s. Extensive mine workings, excellent bedrock exposures, and deeply incised drainages make this area a natural laboratory ideally suited for furthering our understanding of the mineral systems in a volcanic environment. In addition, state-of-the-art geophysical data processing...
Learn More

Sediment-Hosted Copper Deposits in the Lake Superior Portion of the Midcontinent Rift System

This project is focused on the sediment-hosted copper deposits of the Midcontinent Rift, with three main objectives: 1) describe the ore mineralogy and geochemistry of the White Pine and Copperwood deposits, 2) evaluate whether hydrothermal alteration in footwall rocks can be used as a vector towards ore, and 3) provide a careful scoping study to evaluate whether unconventional platinum-group...
link

Sediment-Hosted Copper Deposits in the Lake Superior Portion of the Midcontinent Rift System

This project is focused on the sediment-hosted copper deposits of the Midcontinent Rift, with three main objectives: 1) describe the ore mineralogy and geochemistry of the White Pine and Copperwood deposits, 2) evaluate whether hydrothermal alteration in footwall rocks can be used as a vector towards ore, and 3) provide a careful scoping study to evaluate whether unconventional platinum-group...
Learn More