Geology, Geophysics, and Geochemistry Science Center

Geophysics and Remote Sensing

The Branch of Geophysics and Spectroscopy employs both field and airborne data acquisition to conduct their science. The Branch acquires and analyzes potential field data (magnetic and gravity) to permit construction of a 3D geologic framework of the crust of the earth.  They likewise acquire and interpret electrical and electromagnetic data that permit the development of 3D models of material property variation used in geological and hydrostratigraphic models.  Petrophysical measurement of hand or outcrop samples provide a link between available materials and remote measurements. Hyperspectral data is acquired and interpreted to understand surface materials, including mineralogy, oil, and vegetation, for applications to mineral resource potential, wildfires, and environmental and human health studies. Spectra of minerals and other materials are added to the USGS Spectral Library.

Active Projects (in addition to below)

Interdisciplinary Methods and Applications in GEophysics (IMAGE)

Filter Total Items: 28
Date published: May 17, 2019
Status: Completed

Using In Situ IR Spectroscopy Measurements of Vermiculite Insulation to Determine Its Origin

The goal of this study was to determine if in situ near-infrared reflectance measurements, using portable spectrometers, could be used to reliably identify the source of vermiculite ore and therefore its potential to contain asbestos. The method developed can be used to determine vermiculite insulation's source and estimate its potential amphibole content, providing low-cost analysis...

Date published: December 21, 2018
Status: Completed

Geophysical Infrastructure Study: Success Dam

A study site of the Geophysical Infrastructure Studies: Earthen Dams and Abandoned Mine Lands project.

Contacts: Bethany Burton
Date published: September 20, 2018
Status: Active

Northeast Bedrock Mapping Project

The Northeast Bedrock Mapping Project consists of scientists conducting geologic mapping and scientific research of complexly deformed crystalline igneous and metamorphic rocks in the Northeastern United States. Current mapping activities are focused in New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, and New York. The Project produces high-quality, multi-purpose digital geologic maps and accompanying...

Contacts: Gregory Walsh
Date published: August 14, 2018
Status: Completed

Iron Oxide-Copper-Cobalt-Gold-Rare Earth Element Deposits of Southeast Missouri—From the Ore Deposit Scale to a Global Deposit Model

The project main objectives are to: 1) geologically, characterize the setting and origin of the iron-copper-cobalt-gold-rare earth element deposits, and advance the knowledge of rare earth element and Co potential within iron oxide-copper-gold (IOCG) deposits of southeast Missouri, and 2) geophysically delineate and characterize the subsurface Precambrian geology using existing ground and new...

Date published: August 1, 2018
Status: Completed

Mineville, Eastern Adirondacks – Geophysical and Geologic Studies

The USGS is using a set of advanced imaging and analysis tools to study the rocks within the eastern Adirondacks of upstate New York. The goal of these studies is to gain a better understanding of the geology and mineral resources in the area.

Contacts: Anjana K Shah
Date published: May 8, 2018
Status: Completed

Continental Scale Geophysics — Integrated Approaches to Delineate Prospective Environments for Critical Metals

Regional geophysical data that are available over continental scales such as magnetic, gravity, and magnetotelluric data can provide a foundation towards identifying and understanding the footprints and deep plumbing systems underlying these important ore systems. Our project will use continental-scale geophysical data to map the locations of deep crustal and mantle structures that may act as...

Date published: April 11, 2018
Status: Completed

Development and Validation of Hyperspectral Imager for Field and Lab Scanning

The Mineral Resources Program has advanced methods of imaging spectroscopy (hyperspectral remote sensing) that are now used routinely by the earth science and remote sensing communities for mineral mapping, soil quality mapping, hazard mitigation, and other terrestrial and planetary applications. The USGS is highly qualified to advance this technology based on its world class expertise in...

Contacts: Raymond Kokaly
Date published: April 6, 2018
Status: Completed

USGS High Resolution Spectral Library

The USGS Spectral Library contains reflectance spectra, including samples of minerals, rocks, soils, physically constructed as well as mathematically computed mixtures, plants, vegetation communities, microorganisms, and man-made materials. The samples and spectra collected were assembled for the purpose of using spectral features for the remote detection of these and similar materials. The...

Date published: March 30, 2018
Status: Completed

Geophysical Infrastructure Study: Jim Woodruff Lock and Dam

 A study site of the Geophysical Infrastructure Studies: Earthen Dams and Abandoned Mine Lands project.

Contacts: Bethany Burton
Date published: September 30, 2015
Status: Completed

Multidisciplinary Studies to Image and Characterize the Mineral Resource Potential of the Midcontinent Rift, USA

This multidisciplinary study seeks to image and characterize the mineral resource potential of the Midcontinent Rift System. Combining various geophysical methods with detailed mapping and geochemical analyses will help to define the geographic extent of the Rift and clarify its geologic makeup and configuration.

Date published: September 30, 2015
Status: Completed

Geophysical and Geochemical Approaches to Evaluating Rare Earth Element (REE) Potential in the Southeastern U.S.

Rare-earth elements (REE) are an essential component of numerous advanced technology applications including high efficiency batteries, emerging energy technologies, and key defense systems. The goal of this study was to assist in the evaluation of the distribution of rare earth element deposits in the southeastern U.S., with a focus on sediment-hosted resources. 

Contacts: Anjana K Shah
Date published: September 30, 2015
Status: Completed

National Geophysical Data Retrieval and Integration Project

This project helped to streamline the workflow from geophysical data acquisition to data distribution, and additionally provided user support for integration and interpretation of these complex data sets. There were four main objectives: 1) contracting geophysical surveys, 2) converting data from analog to digital format, 3) archiving, retrieving, and integrating geophysical data, and 4) ...

Contacts: Eric D Anderson