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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.

News

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The USGS Updates Major Climate Change Visualization Tool

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Friday's Findings - May 19 2023

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How sea ice, ocean currents, and climate change may have affected early human migration to North America

Publications

Mafic alkaline magmatism and rare earth element mineralization in the Mojave Desert, California: The Bobcat Hills connection to Mountain Pass

Occurrences of alkaline and carbonatite rocks with high concentrations of rare earth elements (REE) are a defining feature of Precambrian geology in the Mojave Desert of southeastern California. The most economically important occurrence is the carbonatite stock at Mountain Pass, which constitutes the largest REE deposit in the United States. A central scientific goal is to understand the genesis

Authors
Kathryn E. Watts, David M. Miller, David A. Ponce

Predicting large hydrothermal systems

We train five models using two machine learning (ML) regression algorithms (i.e., linear regression and XGBoost) to predict hydrothermal upflow in the Great Basin. Feature data are extracted from datasets supporting the INnovative Geothermal Exploration through Novel Investigations Of Undiscovered Systems project (INGENIOUS). The label data (the reported convective signals) are extracted from meas

Authors
Stanley Paul Mordensky, Erick Burns, Jacob DeAngelo, John Lipor

Cursed? Why one does not simply add new data sets to supervised geothermal machine learning models

Recent advances in machine learning (ML) identifying areas favorable to hydrothermal systems indicate that the resolution of feature data remains a subject of necessary improvement before ML can reliably produce better models. Herein, we consider the value of adding new features or replacing other, low-value features with new input features in existing ML pipelines. Our previous work identified st

Authors
Stanley Paul Mordensky, Erick Burns, John Lipor, Jacob DeAngelo

Science

National assessment of Ni, Co, V, Cr, and PGE associated with mafic/ultramafic magmatic mineral systems

Many minerals critical for modern society are found only in a few places in the world. U.S. reliance on minerals imported from other countries can cause supply chain vulnerabilities. This project aims to evaluate critical commodities associated with mafic and ultramafic igneous rocks and highlight areas with mineral potential.
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National assessment of Ni, Co, V, Cr, and PGE associated with mafic/ultramafic magmatic mineral systems

Many minerals critical for modern society are found only in a few places in the world. U.S. reliance on minerals imported from other countries can cause supply chain vulnerabilities. This project aims to evaluate critical commodities associated with mafic and ultramafic igneous rocks and highlight areas with mineral potential.
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Multidisciplinary Investigations of REE Mineralization at Mountain Pass and in the Southeast Mojave Desert, California

In this time of increased focus on renewable energy technologies, rare earth elements (REEs) are of critical importance. For example, neodymium (Nd) is a REE used in the generator and motor magnets of wind turbines and electric vehicles. Reliance on REE imports puts the U.S. at high risk for supply disruption. The project will integrate geology, geophysics, petrology, geochronology, and economic...
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Multidisciplinary Investigations of REE Mineralization at Mountain Pass and in the Southeast Mojave Desert, California

In this time of increased focus on renewable energy technologies, rare earth elements (REEs) are of critical importance. For example, neodymium (Nd) is a REE used in the generator and motor magnets of wind turbines and electric vehicles. Reliance on REE imports puts the U.S. at high risk for supply disruption. The project will integrate geology, geophysics, petrology, geochronology, and economic...
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Large Magmatic Systems for Minerals

This project continues work on large magmatic systems in the U.S., where critical mineral commodities important to clean energy technologies can be concentrated. Modeling of large mafic intrusion extents will continue, and new geophysical methods will be applied to improve understanding of magmatic systems.
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Large Magmatic Systems for Minerals

This project continues work on large magmatic systems in the U.S., where critical mineral commodities important to clean energy technologies can be concentrated. Modeling of large mafic intrusion extents will continue, and new geophysical methods will be applied to improve understanding of magmatic systems.
Learn More