Science and Decisions Center
Programs L2 Landing Page
The USGS Science and Decisions Center (SDC) is an interdisciplinary organization advancing the use of science in natural resource decision making. The Center focuses on research and applications in three science areas: decision science (adaptive management and structured decision making), ecosystem services, and resilience/sustainability.Science and Decisions Center Website
Adaptive management is "learning by doing" and adapting based on what is learned, in an objective, science-based management strategy that explicitly recognizes and delineates uncertainty.
Ecosystem services are attributes and outputs of ecosystems that are valued by human users. Ecosystem services are produced by ecosystem processes such as nutrient cycling, climate regulation, and maintenance of biodiversity. Ecosystems also provide marketable goods like seafood and timber.
Resilience is the ability of a system or a community to absorb shocks and still maintain the same basic structure and functions. Management for ecological resilience seeks flexible system behaviors that can deliver ecosystem goods and services on a sustained basis.
Distinguishing brackish lacustrine from brackish marine deposits in the stratigraphic record: A case study from the late Miocene and early Pliocene Bouse Formation, Arizona and California, USA
Brackish marine and brackish continental environments are fundamentally different from a compositional perspective. Brackish water is often defined as having salinity lower than that of standard seawater but higher than that of freshwater, but less regard is given to the origin of the salts involved. The simple dilution of...Bright, Jordon; Cohen, Andrew S.; Starratt, Scott W.
Paleoseismic results from the Alpine site, Wasatch fault zone: Timing and displacement data for six holocene earthquakes at the Salt Lake City–Provo segment boundary
To improve the characterization of Holocene earthquakes on the Wasatch fault zone (WFZ), we conducted light detection and ranging (lidar)‐based neotectonic mapping and excavated a paleoseismic trench across an 8‐m‐high fault scarp near Alpine, Utah, located <1  km"><1 km<1 km south of the boundary...Bennett, Scott E. K.; Duross, Christopher; Gold, Ryan D.; Briggs, Richard; Personius, Stephen; Reitman, Nadine G.; Devore, Joshua; Hiscock, Adam; Mahan, Shannon A.; Gray, Harrison; Gunnarson, Sydney; Stephenson, William J.; Pettinger, Elizabeth; Odum, Jackson K.
Aeromagnetic map of Mountain Pass and vicinity, California and Nevada
Magnetic investigations of Mountain Pass and vicinity were begun as part of an effort to study regional crustal structures as an aid to understanding the geologic framework and mineral resources of the eastern Mojave Desert. The study area, which straddles the state boundary between southeastern California and southern Nevada, encompasses Mountain...Ponce, David A.; Ponce, David A.; Denton, Kevin M.
Isostatic gravity map of Mountain Pass and vicinity, California and Nevada
Gravity investigations of Mountain Pass and vicinity were begun as part of an effort to study regional crustal structures as an aid to understanding the geologic framework and mineral resources of the eastern Mojave Desert. The study area, which straddles the state boundary between southeastern California and southern Nevada, encompasses Mountain...Ponce, David A.; Ponce, David A.; Denton, Kevin M.
Geophysical and geologic maps of Mountain Pass and vicinity, California and Nevada
U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3412 is a series of products that consists of geophysical and geologic maps of Mountain Pass and vicinity, California. Maps A and B (red outline in above map image) are gravity and aeromagnetic maps, respectively. The map series was begun as part of an effort to study regional crustal structures...Ponce, David A.
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.
Multi-Resource Analysis—Methodology and synthesis
This document introduces the Multi-Resource Analysis (MRA), a set of products that are being designed to integrate information on multiple natural resources in a region, combine that information with models of resource interrelationships and scenarios of change, and provide meaningful insights on the implications of those...Jenni, Karen E.; Pindilli, Emily; Bernknopf, Richard; Nieman, Timothy L.; Shapiro, Carl
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.
A USGS scientist walks along a lava flow from the April 2, 1984 Mauna Loa eruption. The scientist stops to observe a standing wave of lava at the end. The lava flow is moving at 64 km/hr (40 mph) towards Hilo, Hawai'i.
Land managers, regulators and other participants in market-based conservation wanting to assess the ecological benefits provided by restored, enhanced and preserved land now have a one-stop shop for the quantification tools used to measure these benefits, courtesy of the USGS and the USDA.
An ecosystem services approach combined with adaptive decision-making can aid land and resource managers in administering their regions for the benefit of communities and stakeholders, according to a recent report by the U.S. Geological Survey and Resources for the Future
Resource managers, regulators, and stakeholders of Montana and British Columbia’s Lake Koocanusa now have a new approach for understanding the implications of different levels of selenium, and to explore alternative selenium criteria for waters in the Lake.
In a finding authors are coining an "unintentional rewilding," scientists identified a cave dung deposit as belonging to bighorn sheep that became extinct on a desert island sometime between the 6th and the 20th century.