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Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center

Scientists with the GMEG Science Center work on issues related to geologic processes, mineral and energy resource potential, and past climate, primarily in the Western United States. The science staff includes Geologists, Geophysicists, Geochemists, Biologists, and Geographic Information Systems specialists located in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

News

Art Illuminates the Grand Canyon: Exploring the Environmental Puzzle

Art Illuminates the Grand Canyon: Exploring the Environmental Puzzle

Illegal Oil and Gas Wastewater Dumps Disrupt Foundations of Fragile Desert Ecosystems

Illegal Oil and Gas Wastewater Dumps Disrupt Foundations of Fragile Desert Ecosystems

The USGS Updates Major Climate Change Visualization Tool

The USGS Updates Major Climate Change Visualization Tool

Publications

Explosive 2018 eruptions at Kīlauea driven by a collapse-induced stomp-rocket mechanism

Explosive volcanic eruptions produce hazardous atmospheric plumes composed of tephra particles, hot gas and entrained air. Such eruptions are generally driven by magmatic fragmentation or steam expansion. However, an eruption mechanism outside this phreatic–magmatic spectrum was suggested by a sequence of 12 explosive eruptions in May 2018 at Kīlauea, Hawaii, that occurred during the early stages
Authors
Joshua Allen Crozier, Josef Dufek, Leif Karlstrom, Kyle R. Anderson, Ryan Cain Cahalan, Weston Thelen, Mary Catherine Benage, Chao Liang

The dominance and growth of shallow groundwater resources in continuous permafrost environments

Water is a limited resource in Arctic watersheds with continuous permafrost because freezing conditions in winter and the impermeability of permafrost limit storage and connectivity between surface water and deep groundwater. However, groundwater can still be an important source of surface water in such settings, feeding springs and large aufeis fields that are abundant in cold regions and generat
Authors
Joshua C. Koch, Craig T. Connolly, Carson Baughman, Marisa Repasch, Heather Best, Andrew Hunt

Fluviomorphic trajectories for dryland ephemeral stream channels following extreme flash floods

Ephemeral alluvial streams pose globally significant flood hazards to human habitation in drylands, but sparse data for these regions limit understanding of the character and impacts of extreme flooding. In this study, we document decadal changes in dryland ephemeral channel patterns at two sites in the lower Colorado River Basin (southwestern United States) that were ravaged by extraordinary flas
Authors
Eliisa Lotsari, Kyle House, Petteri Alho, Victor R. Baker

Science

Ultramafic lands: Sustainability Challenges and Resource Opportunities

Ultramafic lands are geologically and ecologically diverse areas that host naturally elevated concentrations of chromium (Cr), cobalt (Co), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), and scandium (Sc). While Cr is a potential carcinogen, Co, Mn, Ni, and Sc are considered critical minerals in the United States owing to their importance in current electric battery formulations. The research conducted...
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Ultramafic lands: Sustainability Challenges and Resource Opportunities

Ultramafic lands are geologically and ecologically diverse areas that host naturally elevated concentrations of chromium (Cr), cobalt (Co), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), and scandium (Sc). While Cr is a potential carcinogen, Co, Mn, Ni, and Sc are considered critical minerals in the United States owing to their importance in current electric battery formulations. The research conducted...
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Geophysical Imaging for Critical Mineral Resources in the Southern Basin and Range

Reliance on imports for many critical mineral commodities (including rare earth elements) puts the U.S. at high risk for supply disruption. Undiscovered deposits of some of these critical and strategic minerals undoubtedly exist in the United States, but a lack of modern geological, geophysical, and topographic data makes exploration challenging. This project plans to improve our knowledge of the...
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Geophysical Imaging for Critical Mineral Resources in the Southern Basin and Range

Reliance on imports for many critical mineral commodities (including rare earth elements) puts the U.S. at high risk for supply disruption. Undiscovered deposits of some of these critical and strategic minerals undoubtedly exist in the United States, but a lack of modern geological, geophysical, and topographic data makes exploration challenging. This project plans to improve our knowledge of the...
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National assessment of Ni, Co, V, Cr, and PGE associated with mafic/ultramafic magmatic mineral systems

Many minerals critical for modern society are found only in a few places in the world. U.S. reliance on minerals imported from other countries can cause supply chain vulnerabilities. This project aims to evaluate critical commodities associated with mafic and ultramafic igneous rocks and highlight areas with mineral potential.
link

National assessment of Ni, Co, V, Cr, and PGE associated with mafic/ultramafic magmatic mineral systems

Many minerals critical for modern society are found only in a few places in the world. U.S. reliance on minerals imported from other countries can cause supply chain vulnerabilities. This project aims to evaluate critical commodities associated with mafic and ultramafic igneous rocks and highlight areas with mineral potential.
Learn More