Mineral Resources Program

Regional Studies and Mineral Resources

Geologic, geophysical, and geochemical studies are used to evaluate the mineral endowment of strategic and critical minerals in selected regions of the United States.  Understanding the formation of major mineral deposits, which provide for society’s needed resources, can have broad impact on the economy and the environment.

Filter Total Items: 36
Date published: August 20, 2020
Status: Active

Geophysics of the Midcontinent Rift Region

The Midcontinent Rift system and surrounding Precambrian rocks are known to host highly significant mineral resources. Our project objectives are to increase understanding of this system through the integration of new and legacy geophysical data with geochemical and borehole data, map the lithology and structure of PreCambrian rocks, and develop an integrated 3D geologic model of the region....

Date published: August 20, 2020
Status: Active

National Geochemical Database

The National Geochemical Database project assembles, reformats, corrects, and archives historical data obtained from the geochemical analysis of millions of geologic samples collected for USGS studies. These data, representing hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of USGS research, are provided to USGS researchers; other Federal agencies; State Geological Surveys and Environmental Protection...

Contacts: Steven M Smith
Date published: August 20, 2020
Status: Active

Spectroscopy and Hyperspectral Imaging of Critical Mineral Resources

Our project will characterize the primary critical minerals (minerals that contain critical elements in their base structure) that are not yet in the USGS Spectral Library. We propose to increase understanding of the spectral indicators of critical minerals using lab-based studies of hand specimens and drill core, hyperspectral field...

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 17, 2020
Status: Active

Geophysical Studies on the Architecture of Large Igneous Systems Hosting Magmatic Ore Deposits

Platinum group elements, also known as PGEs, are a group of elements that have specific properties which make them useful for various applications in industry. One geologic setting that contains large concentrations of platinum group elements is layered mafic intrusions. This project will use new and preexisting geophysical datasets to characterize the internal structure of layered intrusions...

Date published: June 4, 2020
Status: Active

Geophysical Mapping of Geologic Systems Host to Critical Mineral Deposits, Southern Midcontinent, US

The objective of this project is to use high-resolution state-of-the-art airborne and regional ground geophysical methods to map an underexplored region of the southern Midcontinent that is important to economic and critical mineral deposits.

Date published: April 30, 2020
Status: Active

A Shallow to Deep View Inside the Hydrothermally Altered and Mineralized Silverton Caldera Complex: New Geologic Insights Gained From Modern Geophysical Interpretations

The Silverton caldera complex in southwest Colorado hosts base and precious metals that have been mined since the late 1800s. Extensive mine workings, excellent bedrock exposures, and deeply incised drainages make this area a natural laboratory ideally suited for furthering our understanding of the mineral systems in a volcanic environment. In addition, state-of-the-art geophysical...

Date published: September 25, 2019
Status: Active

Alaska Earth Mapping Resources Initiative (Earth MRI)

Our objective is to provide a strategic framework for planning, coordination, and execution of the USGS Earth Mapping Resources Initiative (Earth MRI) in Alaska. Earth MRI aims to improve knowledge of the U.S. geologic framework through new geological and geophysical mapping and to identify areas that have the potential to contain undiscovered critical mineral resources.

Date published: July 9, 2019
Status: Active

Spectral Characteristics and Mapping of Lithium-rich Playas for Use in Western U.S. Basin and Range Mineral Assessment of Lithium

Project objectives are to compile and examine mineral maps of the known lithium-bearing playas in the U.S., Chile, and Argentina using field and remote sensing data to better understand the mineralogy of these deposits. After mineral assemblages are identified, mineral maps for lithium-rich plays will be compiled using ASTER data.

Contacts: John Mars
Date published: August 9, 2018
Status: Active

Antimony In and Around the Yellow Pine Deposit, Central Idaho

Project objectives are to document the origin of the Yellow Pine gold-antimony deposit and, by extension, the origin of this deposit type. Our goal is to understand the structural, tectonic, and magmatic setting of the deposit, the character of the ore-transporting fluids, the conditions of ore deposition, and the regional stratigraphic framework and geochemical ore controls of metasedimentary...

Date published: August 3, 2018
Status: Active

Synthesis of the Tectonic, Magmatic, and Metallogenic Evolution of the Midcontinent Rift System

The overall project objective is to develop a comprehensive synthesis of the tectonic, magmatic, and metallogenic evolution of the Midcontinent Rift System (MRS) through time by integrating geophysical, magmatic, and geochemical data and to create 3-D models of the rift over its evolution.

Contacts: Laurel Woodruff