Energy and Minerals
A joint study between the USGS Water and Energy Mission Areas has the main goals of quantifying groundwater resources and geothermal energy potential in much of eastern Oregon, northeastern California, southwestern Idaho, and northernmost Nevada. This study area lies within a broadly-defined Northwest Volcanic Province (NVP) that has been dominated by volcanic eruptions that have shaped the landscape over the past approximately 17 million years. Although the sparsely populated study area has been the subject of relatively little systematic hydrogeologic study, previous geothermal research has identified high geothermal heat flow that may be used to generate large amounts of electricity. In this area, groundwater is the major source of year-round dependable water supply, and water is a necessary component of geothermal energy development. Further, because flowing groundwater moves heat beneath the earth’s surface, interpretation of geothermal heat flow patterns are greatly improved when groundwater flow patterns are taken into account.
Geologic, geophysical, and geochemical studies evaluate Alaska’s mineral endowment of strategic and critical minerals not found elsewhere in the United States.
Geophysical tools and techniques allow us to see geologic units and structures on and beneath the Earth’s surface to understand how mineral resources are distributed.
Mineral resource assessments are a tool used for determining the potential for undiscovered domestic and global deposits of minerals such as copper. Land management agencies, industry and the public use this unbiased mineral resource information to help determine future resource development.
Understanding potential and existing environmental impacts promotes sustainable development of needed mineral materials and responsible stewardship of our natural resources.
Laboratories provide data to help characterize and improve understanding of mineral resources and materials. Diverse technique and method development support our Program's research and provide data to other land management agencies and the public.
Information on domestic and international supplies and uses of mineral commodities is essential to the U.S. economy and to national security. Statistics and information on domestic and international minerals production, consumption, and materials flow is collected based on surveys of the domestic mineral industry and foreign governments.
Understanding the formation of major mineral deposits, which provide for society’s needed resources, can have broad impact on the economy and the environment.
Comprehensive data storage and delivery systems serve mineral resource and related data to USGS scientists and the general public.
Demand for critical mineral commodities is on the rise with increasing applications in consumer products such as phones and tablets. Research and assessment activities address the need for more up-to-date information on the nation's and the world's critical mineral resources.
Geological, geochemical and geophysical studies in the midcontinent region of the U.S. help to better understand the region’s potential for critical mineral resources in rocks that are deeply buried.
Although there are ways of developing causal relationships between stressors and aquatic community responses without experimentation; some argue that experimental manipulation under controlled conditions is both critical and necessary to establish causation. Single species toxicity tests are the gold standard for developing toxicant biological response relationships however these tests are criticized for their lack of environmental realism and relevance to ecosystems.