Mineral Resources Program

Research Geochemistry

Filter Total Items: 20
Date published: August 21, 2020
Status: Active

Isotope and Chemical Methods for Mineral and Geoenvironmental Assessments and Support of USGS Science Strategy

This Project integrates several geochemical tools—stable isotope geochemistry, noble gas geochemistry, active gas geochemistry, single fluid inclusion chemistry, and fluid inclusion solute chemistry—in studies of the processes that form mineral deposits and the processes that disrupt them during mining or natural weathering. Research is directed toward fundamental scientific questions or, in...

Date published: August 3, 2020
Status: Completed

Non-Traditional Stable Isotopes

Understanding the genesis of ore deposits and their behavior in the environment is a subject of great importance to the Nation. A relatively new tool to aid in these efforts to investigate the origin and environmental effects of ore deposits is the use of "heavy" metal stable isotopes. Our research objectives are to utilize various isotopic systems to advance our understanding of ore genesis...

Date published: July 31, 2020
Status: Active

Metal Transport in Mineralized Mountain Watersheds

The central objective of this project is to develop a greater understanding of deep bedrock groundwater circulation and its contribution to surface water metal loads in mineralized mountain blocks composed of sedimentary rocks. This work is being performed in cooperation with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory as part of a broader research program aimed at understanding processes...

Date published: July 31, 2020
Status: Active

Integrated Hyperspectral, Geophysical and Geochemical Studies of Yellowstone National Park Hydrothermal Systems

We are researching the subsurface groundwater flow systems in Yellowstone and the relation of these systems to understanding the regional movement of water in a volcanic center. New geophysical data will be integrated with existing data sets from hyperspectral data from Yellowstone's thermal areas and thermal water geochemistry to help define regionally extensive mineral assemblages, the...

Contacts: JoAnn Holloway
Date published: July 31, 2020
Status: Active

Development of USGS Geochemical Reference Materials

The project focus was the development of traditional and microanalytical reference materials that support USGS geochemical investigations. Development of new microanalytical reference materials allows USGS scientists and outside customers to examine a greater range of sample types while maintaining a high degree of data reliability.

Date published: June 19, 2020
Status: Completed

Critical Elements in Carbonatites: From Exploration Targets to Element Distribution

Critical elements are essential to the modern economy and have potential supply chain disruptions, but compared to most base and precious metals, little work has been done in understanding ore-grade enrichments. Carbonatites are the primary source of the worlds light rare earth elements and niobium, and a potential source for heavy rare earths, scandium, tantalum, and thorium. Project...

Date published: May 29, 2020
Status: Active

Argon Geochronology

This project supports the USGS argon geochronology laboratory in Denver. The USGS 40Ar/39Ar geochronology laboratory is a state-of-the-art research facility for determining absolute ages of minerals and rocks. The 40Ar/39Ar laboratory contributes critical geochronology to individual USGS research projects and to partners in academia and other Federal...

Date published: September 23, 2019
Status: Active

Research Mineralogy - X-ray Diffraction Lab

The primary goal of this project is to ensure the availability of state-of-the-art mineralogical analyses and, when needed, development of new analytical methods that can be applied to topical studies in Energy and Minerals Mission Area, as well as the other mission areas.

The project includes mineralogy by X-ray diffraction (XRD), qualitative and semi-quantitative x-ray fluorescence...

Date published: September 9, 2019
Status: Active

Multi-scale Screening Techniques for Legacy Mine Land (LML) Sites Using Data Mining and Site-specific Studies in the Western U.S.

The main goal of this project is to provide a science-based approach for screening legacy mine land (LML) sites for remediation and identifying watersheds where relatively low-cost restoration efforts may yield substantial improvements to stream water quality. We are combing analysis of multiple existing regional data coverages with focused field studies to develop a protocol that land...

Date published: June 24, 2019
Status: Active

Systems Approach to Critical Minerals Inventory, Research, and Assessment

This project supports the Earth Mapping Resources Initiative (EarthMRI) by developing a mineral systems approach for defining focus areas. This project is investigating domestic sources of critical minerals in three sequential stages: inventory, research, and assessment.

1) Inventory the abundance of critical minerals in ore, minerals, and processed materials from major deposits in each...

Date published: September 28, 2018
Status: Completed

Trace Metal Mobility in the Yellow Pine Mining District, Idaho

The study objective is to conduct an integrated, interdisciplinary study on source areas, biogeochemical transformations, and physical and biological pathways for trace metal transport in a tributary of the Snake River watershed, focusing on the Sugar Creek watershed. The historical Cinnabar mercury mine site is at the headwaters of Cinnabar Creek, a tributary to Sugar Creek. This integrated...

Date published: August 9, 2018
Status: Completed

USGS Response to Possible Metals Contamination from Legacy Mines in the Patagonia Mountains Region and Adjacent Areas, Southeast Arizona and a Template for Future Mineral Environmental Emergency Response

USGS is conducting sampling, monitoring, and modeling in the Patagonia Mountains and nearby regions in Arizona to identify contaminant risk potential of legacy and proposed mine sites and to develop classification criteria for predicting vulnerabilities and targeted sources and sinks of metal contaminants.

Contacts: Floyd Gray