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Publications from the staff of the Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center

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Fluviomorphic trajectories for dryland ephemeral stream channels following extreme flash floods

Ephemeral alluvial streams pose globally significant flood hazards to human habitation in drylands, but sparse data for these regions limit understanding of the character and impacts of extreme flooding. In this study, we document decadal changes in dryland ephemeral channel patterns at two sites in the lower Colorado River Basin (southwestern United States) that were ravaged by extraordinary flas
Eliisa Lotsari, Kyle House, Petteri Alho, Victor R. Baker

Atmospheric river activity during the late Holocene exceeds modern range of variability in California

Atmospheric rivers are associated with some of the largest flood-producing precipitation events in western North America, particularly California. Insight into past extreme precipitation can be reconstructed from sedimentary archives on millennial timescales. Here we document atmospheric river activity near Leonard Lake, California, over 3,200 years, using a key metric of atmospheric river intensi
Clarke Alexandra Knight, Lysanna Anderson, Liubov S. Presnetsova, Marie Rhondelle Champagne, David Wahl

Vegetation loss following vertical drowning of Mississippi River deltaic wetlands leads to faster microbial decomposition and decreases in soil carbon

Wetland ecosystems hold nearly a third of the global soil carbon pool, but as wetlands rapidly disappear the fate of this stored soil carbon is unclear. The aim of this study was to quantify and then link potential rates of microbial decomposition after vertical drowning of vegetated tidal marshes in coastal Louisiana to known drivers of anaerobic decomposition altered by vegetation loss. Profiles
Courtney Creamer, Mark Waldrop, Camille Stagg, Kristen L. Manies, Melissa Millman Baustian, Claudia Laurenzano, Tiong Gim Aw, Monica Haw, Sergio Merino, Donald R. Schoolmaster, Sabrina N. Sevilgen, Rachel Katherine Villani, Eric Ward

Late Triassic paleogeography of southern Laurentia and its fringing arcs: Insights from detrital zircon U-Pb geochronology and Hf isotope geochemistry, Auld Lang Syne basin (Nevada, USA)

Fluvial strata of the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation and Dockum Group, exposed across the Western Interior of North America, have long been interpreted to record a transcontinental river system that connected the ancestral Ouachita orogen of Texas and Oklahoma, USA, to the Auld Lang Syne basin of northwestern Nevada, USA, its inferred marine terminus. Fluvial strata are well-characterized by exis
Theresa Maude Schwartz, Sandra J. Wyld, Joseph Colgan, Douglas W. Prihar

Sulphide petrology and ore genesis of the stratabound Sheep Creek sediment-hosted Zn–Pb–Ag–Sn prospect, and U–Pb zircon constraints on the timing of magmatism in the northern Alaska Range

The Sheep Creek prospect is a stratabound Zn–Pb–Ag–Sn massive sulfide occurrence in the Bonnifield mining district, northern Alaska Range. The prospect is within a quartz–sericite–graphite–chlorite schist unit associated with Devonian carbonaceous and siliceous metasedimentary rocks. Volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS) deposits in the district are hosted in felsic metavolcanic rocks (362 ± 2 Ma) as
Cynthia Dusel-Bacon, John N. Aleinikoff, Suzanne Paradise, John F. Slack

Updated three-dimensional temperature maps for the Great Basin, USA

As part of the periodic update of the geothermal energy assessments for the USA (e.g., last update by Williams and others, 2008), a new three-dimensional temperature map has been constructed for the Great Basin, USA. Williams and DeAngelo (2011) identified uncertainty in estimates of conductive heat flow near land surface as the largest contributor to uncertainty in previously published temperatur
Erick Burns, Jacob DeAngelo, Colin F. Williams

Polyphase stratabound scheelite-ferberite mineralization at Mallnock, Eastern Alps, Austria

A peculiar type of stratabound tungsten mineralization in metacarbonate rocks was discovered and explored at Mallnock (Austria) during the late 1980s. It is the only tungsten occurrence in the Eastern Alps in which scheelite is associated with wolframite (96 mol% ferberite). The tungsten prospect is located in the Austroalpine Drauzug-Gurktal Nappe System recording polyphase low-grade regional met
Florian Altenberger, Joachim Krause, Niki E. Wintzer, Christoph Iglseder, Jasper Berndt, Kai Bachmann, Johann Raith

Sensitivity testing of marine turbidite age estimates along the Cascadia subduction zone

 9 earthquakes ruptured the full Cascadia subduction zone (CSZ) in the past 10 kyr, a hypothesis that relies on concurrent turbidite deposition generated from seismogenic strong ground motion along the ∼1100 km margin. Correlation of marine turbidite deposits is based on petrophysical characteristics and radiocarbon geochronology, the latter of which relies on a series of age corrections and calib
Lydia M. Staisch

Defining the hafnium isotopic signature of the Appalachian orogen through analysis of detrital zircons from modern fluvial sediments

Fluvial sediments are the product of erosion, weathering, and transport of bedrock within a well-defined catchment area, and their constituent grains may therefore record valuable information about the lithological and geochemical properties of geologic units within the upstream drainage. Analysis of U-Pb ages and Lu/Hf isotopic values in detrital zircon grains from major rivers in the eastern USA
John W. Counts, William H. Craddock, Jared T. Gooley

Deep structure of Siletzia in the Puget Lowland: Imaging an obducted plateau and accretionary thrust belt with potential fields

Detailed understanding of crustal components and tectonic history of forearcs is important due to their geological complexity and high seismic hazard. The principal component of the Cascadia forearc is Siletzia, a composite basaltic terrane of oceanic origin. Much is known about the lithology and age of the province. However, glacial sediments blanketing the Puget Lowland obscure its lateral exten
Megan L. Anderson, Richard J. Blakely, Ray Wells, Joseph D. Dragovich

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

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

Complex landslide patterns explained by local intra-unit variability of stratigraphy and structure: Case study in the Tyee Formation, Oregon, USA

Lithology and geologic structure are important controls on landslide susceptibility and are incorporated into many regional landslide hazard models. Typically, metrics for mapped geologic units are used as model input variables and a single set of values for material strength are assumed, regardless of spatial heterogeneities that may exist within a map unit. Here we describe how differences in be
Sean Richard LaHusen, Alex R. R. Grant