National Laboratories Program
Programs L2 Landing Page
The USGS maintains a variety of high quality, state-of-the-art scientific facilities that provide analytical capabilities, scientific support functions, experimental and modeling expertise, and field capabilities. Two of these facilities are housed in Denver, Colorado at the Federal Center and at Stanford University near the Menlo Park USGS campus.
SHRIMP-RG stands for Sensitive High-Resolution Ion Microprobe with Reverse Geometry. We are committed to making SHRIMP-RG available to the scientific community and seek projects that require spatially resolved measurements and benefit from SHRIMP-RG's unique combination of high secondary transmission and high mass resolving power.
We operate a low–enriched uranium–fueled, pool–type reactor, the Geological Survey TRIGA® Reactor, to support science by providing information on geologic, plant, and animal specimens to advance methods and techniques unique to nuclear reactors. Samples from around the world are submitted to the USGS for analysis using the reactor facility.
The U.S. National Ice Core Laboratory is a facility for storing, curating, and studying ice cores recovered from the polar regions of the world. It provides scientists with the capability to conduct examinations and measurements on ice cores, and it preserves the integrity of these ice cores in a repository for current and future investigations.
The laboratory capabilities include imaging, x-ray analysis, x-ray mapping, image processing, and optical microscopy.
Thermally induced fracture of macroscale surficial granite sheets
Geologically diverse landforms around the world show indications of energetic macroscale fracture. These fractures are sometimes displayed dramatically as so-called “A-tents”, whereby relatively thin rock sheets push upwards and fracture, forming tent-like voids beneath the ruptured sheets. The origin and formation of such features has been a...Collins, Brian D.; Stock, Greg M.; Eppes, Martha C.
Geologic map of the Castle Rock 7.5' quadrangle, Arizona and California
The Castle Rock quadrangle is in the northeast corner of Chemehuevi Valley, California and Arizona. It includes the Colorado River’s entrance to the valley at the mouth of Topock Gorge and the northern outskirts of Lake Havasu City, Arizona, and the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe community of Havasu Lake, California. The map includes large parts of the...House, P. Kyle; John, Barbara E.; Malmon, Daniel V.; Block, Debra; Beard, L. Sue; Felger, Tracey J.; Crow, Ryan S.; Schwing, Jonathan E.; Cassidy, Colleen E.
Framework geologic map and structure sections along the Bartlett Springs Fault Zone and adjacent area from Round Valley to Wilbur Springs, northern Coast Ranges, California
The geologic map and accompanying report describes the extent, complexity, architecture, and evolution of the Bartlett Springs Fault Zone between Clear Lake and Round Valley, California. This fault zone is the eastern-most known active member of the San Andreas transform margin in northern California. It is of particular interest for its apparent...McLaughlin, Robert J.; Moring, Barry C.; Hitchcock, Christopher S.; Valin, Zenon C.
Bedrock mapping and seismic hazard assessment at Gold Basin landslide, Washington
The Gold Basin landslide is located along the South Fork Stillaguamish River, within the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in western Washington State. Recent concerns related to slope stability after the 2014 State Route 530 Landslide near Oso, Washington, forced the closure of the U.S. Forest Service Gold Basin Campground in May of 2014. In...Staisch, Lydia M.
Geology and geologic history: Overview of the geology of the San Francisco Bay region
The geology of San Francisco and the surrounding northern and central California area has played a pivotal role in the development of our understanding of Earth processes, especially the process of tectonic accretion at a continental margin and the development of transform plate margins. The Franciscan Complex, which underlies most (or perhaps...Johnson, A. Kenneth; Bartow, Greg W.; Graymer, Russell
Flushing of the deep Pacific Ocean and the deglacial rise of atmospheric CO2 concentrations
During the last deglaciation (19,000–9,000 years ago), atmospheric CO2increased by about 80 ppm. Understanding the mechanisms responsible for this change is a central theme of palaeoclimatology, relevant for predicting future CO2 transfers in a warming world. Deglacial CO2 rise hypothetically tapped an accumulated deep Pacific carbon...Du, Jianghui; Haley, Brian; Mix, Alan; Walczak, Maureen; Praetorius, Summer K.
Global and Arctic climate sensitivity enhanced by changes in North Pacific heat flux
Arctic amplification is a consequence of surface albedo, cloud, and temperature feedbacks, as well as poleward oceanic and atmospheric heat transport. However, the relative impact of changes in sea surface temperature (SST) patterns and ocean heat flux sourced from different regions on Arctic temperatures are not well constrained. We modify ocean-...Praetorius, Summer K.; Rugenstein, Maria A.; Persad, Geeta; Caldeira, Ken
Carving Grand Canyon’s inner gorge: A test of steady incision versus rapid knickzone migration
A recent study posits that much of the 240-m-deep inner gorge of Grand Canyon was carved between 500 and 400 ka via passage of a migrating knickzone with incision rates of ~1600 m/Ma during that time period; this was based on dating of a ca. 500 ka travertine deposit perched on the rim of the inner gorge, near Hermit Rapid, and a ca. 400 ka...Crow, Ryan S.; Karlstrom, Karl E.; Crossey, Laura J.; Polyak, Victor; Asmerom, Yemane; McIntosh, William C.
Outburst floods provide erodability estimates consistent with long-term landscape evolution
Most current models for the landscape evolution over geological timescales are based on semi-empirical laws that consider riverbed incision proportional to rock erodability (dependent on lithology) and to the work performed by water flow (stream power). However, the erodability values obtained from these models are entangled with poorly known...Garcia-Castellanos, Daniel; O'Connor, Jim E.
Breaching of strike-slip faults and successive flooding of pull-apart basins to form the Gulf of California seaway from ca. 8–6 Ma
The geologic record of the formation of marine basins during continental rifting is uncommonly preserved. Using GIS-based paleotectonic maps, we show that marine basin formation in the Gulf of California–Salton trough oblique rift (Mexico and the United States) occurred in a stepwise manner as crustal thinning lowered elevations within the Gulf of...Umhoefer, Paul J.; Darin, Michael H.; Bennett, Scott E. K.; Skinner, Lisa A.; Dorsey, Rebecca J.; Oskin, Michael E.
Geochemical characterization and modeling of regional groundwater contributing to the Verde River, Arizona between Mormon Pocket and the USGS Clarkdale gage
We use synoptic surveys of stream discharge, stable isotopes, and dissolved noble gases to identify the source of groundwater discharge to the Verde River in central Arizona. The Verde River more than doubles in discharge in Mormon Pocket over a 1.4 km distance that includes three discrete locations of visible spring input to the river and other...Beisner, Kimberly R.; Gardner, W. Payton; Hunt, Andrew G.
Rapid 3-D analysis of rockfalls
Recent fatal and damaging rockfalls in Yosemite National Park indicate the need for rapid response data collection methods to inform public safety and assist with management response. Here we show the use of multiple-platform remote sensing methods to rapidly capture pertinent data needed to inform management and the public following a several...Stock, Greg M.; Guerin, A.; Avdievitch, Nikita N.; Collins, Brian D.; Jaboyedoff, Michel