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S40. Geologic mapping investigation of southeasternmost coastal plain basement rocks in and near Florida


Closing Date: September 6, 2019

This Research Opportunity will be filled depending on the availability of funds. All application materials must be submitted through USAJobs by 11:59 pm, US Eastern Standard Time, on the closing date.


Analyses of basement drill-hole data, cores, and cuttings in the context of regional geophysical data can be used to decipher and map the geology of some of the least known rocks in eastern North America buried under hundreds of meters of Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain sediments. Accurately characterizing these buried rocks poses one of the most daunting challenges in understanding their distributions, formative processes, and significance for mineral, energy, and groundwater resources, and seismicity.

Basement structure mapping is a USGS National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program (NCGMP) requirement for creation of a 3D geologic model of the United States. There is need to expand the geographic coverage and scientific capabilities of this USGS effort to map and interpret geology and structure of poorly known buried terranes and their influence on coastal-plain structure, hydrogeologic framework, resource potential, and natural hazards.

We seek a Mendenhall Fellow to build on current USGS coastal-plain basement geologic mapping research in South Carolina and Georgia (Coastal Basement Geology of the Southeastern U.S. Project). Specifically, this mapping research will be extended into Florida as a regional transect from peri-Gondwanan terranes near the Fall Zone across the enigmatic Charleston terrane, Carolina-Mississippi fault and Suwannee suture zone, Altamaha (Brunswick) magnetic anomaly, Gondwanan Suwannee terrane and Paleozoic Suwannee basin, and overlapping rift structures of the early Mesozoic South Georgia basin and subbasins. Constraining a growing variety of geologic interpretations will be vital to this research.

Proposals should (1) enhance geologic mapping and regional syntheses of coastal-plain basement rocks, and (2) test hypotheses that address the possible occurrence of mineral and energy resources, basement influence on coastal-plain structures and aquifers, or seismic hazards, as well as the geologic framework of buried terranes and their boundaries, fault systems, stratigraphic and structural relations, and tectonothermal evolution. Proposals are also encouraged to address practical issues such as those involving resource potential for groundwater, minerals (including critical minerals), and energy (e.g., low-temperature geothermal, hydrocarbons); deep CO2 storage; top-of-basement as a boundary for groundwater flow in coastal-plain aquifers; causes of intraplate seismicity; or depth-to-bedrock information to support seismic hazard mapping.

The Fellow will have access to scientific facilities and multidisciplinary expertise at the USGS National Center in Reston, Virginia; temporary access to other USGS facilities can be considered. A collaborating GIS specialist will be available to produce digital geologic maps in the GeMS format.

Applicants are invited to submit proposals in any of a range of geoscience disciplines such as petrology, mineralogy, geochemistry, geochronology or tectonics. Geophysics is not the focus of this Research Opportunity but can be a subsidiary component of proposals. Special scientific capabilities, access to facilities and new technologies, or relevant experience in this or other regions (e.g., EarthScope and GeoPRISMS, mineral or energy resources, analysis of borehole data, 3D geologic-map visualization) may enhance the proposal. Collaboration with other USGS, State, or university geoscientists is encouraged.

Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the Research Advisor(s) early in the application process to discuss project ideas.

Proposed Duty Station: Reston, VA

Areas of PhD: Geology, geochemistry, geochronology, or related fields (candidates holding a Ph.D. in other disciplines, but with extensive knowledge and skills relevant to the Research Opportunity may be considered).

Qualifications: Applicants must meet the qualifications for: Research Geologist

(This type of research is performed by those who have backgrounds for the occupations stated above.  However, other titles may be applicable depending on the applicant's background, education, and research proposal. The final classification of the position will be made by the Human Resources specialist.)

Human Resources Office Contact: Audrey Tsujita, 916-278-9395,