Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center


Scientists with the GMEG Science Center work on issues related to geologic processes, mineral and energy resource potential, and past climate, primarily in the Western United States. The science staff includes Geologists, Geophysicists, Geochemists, Biologists, and Geographic Information Systems specialists located in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

Primary Research Direction - What we do.

GMEGSC focuses on Geologic Mapping, Mineral Resources and Mineral Environmental Health, Landslide Hazards, Energy Resources, Earthquake Hazards, and Land Change Science.

Innovation - How we help.

GMEGSC hosts the USGS Innovation Center, which sponsors work with public and private technology partners to design, test, and bring into operation a new generation of technical and engineering tools to address urgent national natural science issues.

Disciplinary Expertise - How we do it.

GMEGSC utilizes Geologic Mapping and Tectonics, Geophysics, Economic Geology, Geochronology, Sedimentary Basin Studies and Energy Assessments, Landslide Hazards, Geomorphology, Paleoclimatology, and many more processes to complete our work!


Date published: May 22, 2018

Digital Gold Rush Depends on Traditional Gold

In 1849, the discovery of gold in California sparked one of the most famous gold rushes in history. Thousands trekked across mountainous terrain to seek the precious metal, with entire industries springing up around the rush. In fact, the desire to understand our mineral resource wealth that led to the creation of the U.S. Geological Survey was in part fueled by gold rushes like this one.


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Year Published: 2019

Airborne radiometric maps of Mountain Pass, California

Geophysical investigations of Mountain Pass and vicinity were begun as part of an effort to study regional crustal structures as an aid to understanding the geologic framework and mineral resources of the eastern Mojave Desert. The study area encompasses Mountain Pass, host to one of the world’s largest rare earth element carbonatite deposits. The...

Ponce, David A.; Ponce, David A.; Denton, Kevin M.
Ponce, D.A., and Denton, K.M. (D.A. Ponce, ed.), 2019, Airborne radiometric maps of Mountain Pass, California: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3412–C, scale 1:62,500,

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Year Published: 2019

Radiocarbon and geologic evidence reveal Ilopango volcano as source of the colossal 'mystery' eruption of 539/40 CE

Ilopango volcano (El Salvador) erupted violently during the Maya Classic Period (250–900 CE) in a densely-populated and intensively-cultivated region of the southern Maya realm, causing regional abandonment of an area covering more than 20,000 km2. However, neither the regional nor global impacts of the Tierra Blanca Joven (TBJ) eruption in...

Dull, Robert A.; Southon, John R.; Kutterolf, Steffen; Anchukaitis, Kevin J.; Freundt, Armin; Wahl, David; Sheets, Payson; Amaroli, Paul; Hernandez, Walter; Weimann, Micheal C.; Oppenheimer, Clive

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Year Published: 2019

Occurrence and sources of radium in groundwater associated with oil fields in the southern San Joaquin Valley, California

Geochemical data from 40 water wells were used to examine the occurrence and sources of radium (Ra) in groundwater associated with three oil fields in California (Fruitvale, Lost Hills, South Belridge). 226Ra+228Ra activities (range=0.010-0.51 Bq/L) exceeded the 0.185 Bq/L drinking-water standard in 18% of the wells (not drinking-water wells)....

McMahon, Peter B.; Avner Vengosh; Davis, Tracy; Landon, Matthew K.; Rebecca L. Tyne; Wright, Michael; Kulongoski, Justin T.; Hunt, Andrew G.; Peter H. Barry; A.J. Kondash; Z. Wang; Christopher J. Ballentine
McMahon, P.B., A. Vengosh, T.A. Davis, M.K. Landon, R.L. Tyne, M.T. Wright, J.T. Kulongoski, A.G. Hunt, P.H. Barry, A.J. Kondash, Z. Wang, C.J. Ballentine, 2019. Occurrence and sources of radium in groundwater associated with oil fields in the southern San Joaquin Valley, California. Environmental Science & Technology, 53, 9398-9406.