Mission Areas

Energy and Minerals

Mission Areas L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 1,200
Year Published: 2017

Control of landslide volume and hazard by glacial stratigraphic architecture, Northwest Washington state, USA

Landslide volumes span many orders of magnitude, but large-volume slides tend to travel farther and consequently can pose a greater hazard. In northwest Washington State, USA, a landscape abounding with landslides big and small, the recent occurrence of the large-volume and tragically deadly State Route 530 (Oso) landslide is a stark reminder of...

Perkins, Jonathan; Reid, Mark E.; Schmidt, Kevin M.
Perkins, J.P., Reid, M.E., and Schmidt, K.M. 2017, Control of landslide volume and hazard by glacial stratigraphic architecture, northwest Washington State, USA: Geology, v. 45, https://doi.org/10.1130/G39691.1

Year Published: 2017

Analysis of the age and paleomagnetic orientation of the Broadwell Mesa Basalt, Bristol Mountains, CA

To add to the regional paleomagnetic data documenting block rotation in eastern California, we determined the age and paleomagnetic rotation of the Broadwell Mesa basalt, a basalt in the Bristol Mountains, CA as part of an effort to constrain the timing and rotation of blocks adjacent to the fault. The east-striking sinistral Broadwell Mesa fault...

Phelps, Geoffrey; Hillhouse, John; Fleck, Robert J.; Miller, David M.; Buesch, David C.; Cyr, Andrew J.; Schmidt, Kevin M.
Phelps, G.A., Hillhouse, J.W., Fleck, R.J., Miller, D.M., Buesch, D.C., Cyr, A., and Schmidt, K.M., 2017, Analysis of the Age and Paleomagnetic Orientation of the Broadwell Mesa Basalt, Bristol Mountains, CA: in R. E. Reynolds, ed. Eastern California Shear Zone (ECSZ) Changes in Latitude, Changes in Altitude, 2017 Desert Symposium Field Guide and Proceedings April 2017

Year Published: 2017

Evaluation of hypotheses for right-lateral displacement of Neogene strata along the San Andreas Fault between Parkfield and Maricopa, California

We used geological field studies and diatom biostratigraphy to test a published hypothesis that Neogene marine siliceous strata in the Maricopa and Parkfield areas, located on opposite sides of the San Andreas Fault, were formerly contiguous and then were displaced by about 80–130 kilometers (km) of right-lateral slip along the fault. In the...

Stanley, Richard G.; Barron, John A.; Powell, Charles L.
Stanley, R.G., Barron, J.A., and Powell, C.L., II, 2017, Evaluation of hypotheses for right-lateral displacement of Neogene strata along the San Andreas Fault between Parkfield and Maricopa, California: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2017–5125, 26 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20175125.

Year Published: 2017

Fluorine

Fluorine compounds are essential in numerous chemical and manufacturing processes. Fluorspar is the commercial name for fluorite (isometric CaF2), which is the only fluorine mineral that is mined on a large scale. Fluorspar is used directly as a fluxing material and as an additive in different manufacturing processes. It is the source of fluorine...

Schulz, Klaus J.; DeYoung,, John H.; Seal, Robert R.; Bradley, Dwight C.; Hayes, Timothy S.; Miller, M. Michael; Orris, Greta J.; Piatak, Nadine M.
Hayes, T.S., Miller, M.M., Orris, G.J., and Piatak, N.M., 2017, Fluorine, chap. G of Schulz, K.J., DeYoung, J.H., Jr., Seal, R.R., II, and Bradley, D.C., eds., Critical mineral resources of the United States—Economic and environmental geology and prospects for future supply: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1802, p. G1–G80, http://doi.org/10.3133/pp1802G.

Year Published: 2017

Platinum-group elements

The platinum-group elements (PGEs)—platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium, and osmium—are metals that have similar physical and chemical properties and tend to occur together in nature. PGEs are indispensable to many industrial applications but are mined in only a few places. The availability and accessibility of PGEs could be disrupted...

Schulz, Klaus J.; DeYoung,, John H.; Seal, Robert R.; Bradley, Dwight C.; Zientek, Michael L.; Loferski, Patricia J.; Parks, Heather L.; Schulte, Ruth F.; Seal, Robert R.
Zientek, M.L., Loferski, P.J., Parks, H.L., Schulte, R.F., and Seal, R.R., II, 2017, Platinum-group elements, chap. N of Schulz, K.J., DeYoung, J.H., Jr., Seal, R.R., II, and Bradley, D.C., eds., Critical mineral resources of the United States—Economic and environmental geology and prospects for future supply: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1802, p. N1–N91, https://doi.org/10.3133/pp1802N.

Year Published: 2017

Rhenium

Rhenium is one of the rarest elements in Earth’s continental crust; its estimated average crustal abundance is less than 1 part per billion. Rhenium is a metal that has an extremely high melting point and a heat-stable crystalline structure. More than 80 percent of the rhenium consumed in the world is used in high-temperature superalloys,...

Schulz, Klaus J.; DeYoung,, John H.; Seal, Robert R.; Bradley, Dwight C.; John, David A.; Seal, Robert R. ; Polyak, Désirée E.
John, D.A., Seal, R.R., II, and Polyak, D.E., 2017, Rhenium, chap. P of Schulz, K.J., DeYoung, J.H., Jr., Seal, R.R., II, and Bradley, D.C., eds., Critical mineral resources of the United States—Economic and environmental geology and prospects for future supply: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1802, p. P1–P49, https:/doi.org/10.3133/pp1802P.

Year Published: 2017

Tin

Tin (Sn) is one of the first metals to be used by humans. Almost without exception, tin is used as an alloy. Because of its hardening effect on copper, tin was used in bronze implements as early as 3500 B.C. The major uses of tin today are for cans and containers, construction materials, transportation materials, and solder. The predominant ore...

Schulz, Klaus J.; DeYoung,, John H.; Seal, Robert R.; Bradley, Dwight C.; Kamilli, Robert J.; Kimball, Bryn E.; Carlin, James F.
Kamilli, R.J., Kimball, B.E., and Carlin, J.F., Jr., 2017, Tin, chap. S of Schulz, K.J., DeYoung, J.H., Jr., Seal, R.R., II, and Bradley, D.C., eds., Critical mineral resources of the United States—Economic and environmental geology and prospects for future supply: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1802, p. S1–S53, https://doi.org/10.3133/ pp1802S.

Year Published: 2017

Connecting the Soda–Avawatz and Bristol–Granite Mountains faults with gravity andaeromagnetic data, Mojave Desert, California

The Soda–Avawatz and Bristol–Granite Mountains faults are considered by some to form the northeastern margin of the eastern California shear zone yet their connectivity and extents are obscured by surficial deposits and the estimates of total right-lateral offset from geologic data range from 0 to as much as 24 km. We use gravity and recently...

Langenheim, Victoria; Miller, David M.
Langenheim, V.E, and Miller, D.M., 2017, Connecting the Soda–Avawatz and Bristol–Granite Mountains faults with gravity and aeromagnetic data, Mojave Desert, California in Reynold, Robert E., ed., ECSZ Does it: Annual proceedings of the Desert Science Symposium, p. 83-92.

Year Published: 2017

Detrital zircon geochronology of quartzose metasedimentary rocks from parautochthonous North America, east-central Alaska

We report eight new U-Pb detrital zircon ages for quartzose metasedimentary rocks from four lithotectonic units of parautochthonous North America in east-central Alaska: the Healy schist, Keevy Peak Formation, and Sheep Creek Member of the Totatlanika Schist in the northern Alaska Range, and the Butte assemblage in the northwestern Yukon-Tanana...

Dusel-Bacon, Cynthia; Holm-Denoma, Christopher S.; Jones, James V.; Aleinikoff, John N.; Mortensen, James K.
Dusel-Bacon, C., Holm-Denoma, C.S., Jones, J.V. III, Aleinikoff, J.N., and Mortensen, J.K., 2017, Detrital zircon geochronology of quartzose metasedimentary rocks from parautochthonous North America, east-central Alaska: Lithosphere, v. 9, no. 6, p. 927–952; GSA Data Repository Item 2017332; https://doi.org/10.1130/L672.1

Year Published: 2017

Earth science atlas

No abstract available.

Bundtzen, Thomas K.; Nokleberg, Warren J.; Price, Raymond A.; Scholl, David W.; Stone, David B.; Nokleberg, Warren J.; Bundtzen, Thomas K.; Scholl, David W.; Stone, David B.
Nokleberg, W.J., Bundtzen, T.K., Scholl, D.W., and Stone, D.B., 2017, Earth Science Atlas, in Nokleberg, W.J., ed., Dynamic Geology of the Northern Cordillera (Alaska and Western Canada) and Adjacent Marine Areas: Tectonics, Hazards, and Resources: University of Alaska ScholarWorks@UA, 8 p., 5 maps, scale 1:5,000,000.

Year Published: 2017

Geochemical variations during development of the 5.46 Ma Broadwell Mesa basaltic volcanic field, California

The 5.46±0.04 Ma Broadwell Mesa basalt and associated basaltic volcanic field in the western Bristol Mountains, California, formed a ~6 km2 volcanic flow field with architecture including numerous lava flows, a ~1.1 km2 lava lake, and a ~0.17 km2 cinder cone. The local number of lava flows varies from one along the margins of the field to as many...

Buesch, David C.
Buesch, D.C., 2017, Geochemical variations during development of the 5.4 Ma Broadwell Mesa basalt volcanic field, California: in Reynolds, R.E., ed, “ECSZ DOES IT: Revisiting the Eastern California Shear Zone”, California State University Desert Studies Consortium, p. 103-117.

Year Published: 2017

Geologic sources of energy

This chapter describes the exploration, development, and geologic setting of petroleum resources (including tar sands), coal resources (including coalbed methane), and geothermal energy resources of the Northern Cordillera.For petroleum resources, the chapter describes: (1) the history of petroleum development and production, first for Alaska and...

Bundtzen, Thomas K.; Nokleberg, Warren J.; Price, Raymond A.; Scholl, David W.; Stone, David B.; Bundtzen, Thomas K.; Nokleberg, Warren J.

Filter Total Items: 144
March 31, 2017

Drilling a Research Well in the Eagle Ford

USGS scientists drill a research well near Waco, Texas, as part of the assessment of oil and gas resources in the Eagle Ford Group.  Cores like these provide information on the various rock layers, such as their make-up, their age, etc. 

Close up of Conglomerate (Gold Ore)
March 23, 2017

Conglomerate (Gold Ore)

Rock: Conglomerate (Gold Ore) Contains sediments of Precambrian age; contains about 8 grams of gold per ton of rock.
Mineral Origin: Witwatersrand formation, South Africa. The gold in the Witwatersrand Basin area was deposited in Archean river deltas having been washed down from surrounding gold-rich greenstone belts to the north and

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Close up of Silver
March 23, 2017

Tetrahedrite

Mineral: Tetrahedrite (a copper antimony sulfosalt)
Mineral Origin: Bingham Canyon, UT
Main Commodity: Silver
Uses: electric wiring and silver-based inks create electrical pathways in electronics; jewelry, mirrors, coins, in photovoltaic cells to transform sunlight into electricity.

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Close up of Feldspar
March 23, 2017

Feldspar

Mineral: Feldspar
Primary Commodity: Feldspar
Primary Commodity Uses: Feldspar is one of the most common minerals on the planet and is mostly used for glassmaking and ceramics.

Close up of Garnet Schist
March 23, 2017

Garnet Schist

Mineral: Garnet Schist
Primary Commodity: Garnet
Primary Commodity Uses: Garnet is mostly used for abrasives, water filtration, and some electronics

Close up of Silicon Carbide
March 23, 2017

Silicon Carbide

Mineral: Silicon Carbide
Mineral Origin: Sample donated by Norton Company
Primary Commodity: Silica (abrasive)
Primary Commodity Uses: Just as their name implies, abrasives are used to abrade, clean, etch, grind, polish, scour, or otherwise remove material

Close up of Silicon Carbide
March 23, 2017

Silicon Carbide

Mineral: Silicon Carbide
Mineral Origin: Sample donated by Norton Company
Primary Commodity: Silica (abrasive)
Primary Commodity Uses: Just as their name implies, abrasives are used to abrade, clean, etch, grind, polish, scour, or otherwise remove material

Close up of Silicon Carbide
March 23, 2017

Silicon Carbide

Mineral: Silicon Carbide
Mineral Origin: Sample donated by Norton Company
Primary Commodity: Silica (abrasive)
Primary Commodity Uses: Just as their name implies, abrasives are used to abrade, clean, etch, grind, polish, scour, or otherwise remove material

Close up of Tungsten Ore - Wolframite
March 23, 2017

Wolframite

Mineral: Wolframite
Primary Commodity: Tungsten
Primary Commodity Uses: Tungsten is one of the densest metals on the planet, and therefore gets used in metalworking and construction, as well as in heat sinks, weights, and even vibrating batteries.

Close up of Vanadinite
March 23, 2017

Vanadinite

Mineral: Vanadinite
Mineral Origin: J.C. Holmes Claim, Patagonia, AZ (Sample donated by G. van Oss)
Primary Commodity: Vanadium
Primary Commodity Uses: Vanadium is used mostly in metal alloys, primarily in car parts and jet engines. The United States is currently 100% reliant on foreign

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Close up of Fluorite
March 23, 2017

Fluorite

Mineral: Fluorite
Mineral Origin: Cave-in-Rock District, IL (Sample donated by H.B. Wood)
Primary Commodity: Fluorspar 
Primary Commodity Uses: Fluorspar is used directly or indirectly to manufacture products such as aluminum, gasoline, insulating foams, refrigerants, steel, and uranium fuel

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Close up of Rutile
March 23, 2017

Rutile

Mineral: Rutile
Primary Commodity: Titanium
Primary Commodity Uses: The vast majority of titanium is used in whiteners in the form of titanium oxide. Titanium metal makes up a comparatively small amount of the use for titanium, but as a metal it is used in metal coatings and medical implants.

Filter Total Items: 143
Date published: December 22, 2017

Re-Assessing Alaska's Energy Frontier

Less than 80 miles from Prudhoe Bay, home to the giant oil fields that feed the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, lies the site of USGS’ latest oil and gas assessment: the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and adjacent areas. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the NPR-A covers 22.8 million acres, more than the entire state of South Carolina.

Date published: October 26, 2017

Geologic Groundwork-How USGS Coal Assessments Assist EIA's Coal Forecasts

It is difficult to overstate the importance of energy to the American economy.  Managing this vital sector depends on knowing how many energy resources we have, how many we use and need, and how these resources are transported

Date published: October 25, 2017

USGS Releases Selenium Modeling Framework for Montana and British Columbia’s Lake Koocanusa

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.

Date published: October 23, 2017

Assessments Evolved: USGS Coal Research in the 21st Century

Although often associated with helping fuel the Nation’s growth during the Industrial Revolution, coal is very much part of our space-age present. In 2016, coal-fired power plants provided 30.4 percent of the country’s electricity, and it is an important source of employment in many states.

Date published: October 20, 2017

Exploring Gas Hydrates as a Future Energy Source

In the past decade, the development of the Barnett, Eagle Ford, Marcellus, and other shales has dominated the national consciousness regarding natural gas. But in Alaska, another form of natural gas has been the focus of research for decades—methane hydrate.

Date published: October 18, 2017

EarthWord–Gas Hydrate

No, this EarthWord isn’t how natural gas quenches its thirst-it just sounds like it...

Date published: October 16, 2017

When Ice Yields Fire

When can ice yield fire? That’s the burning question at the heart of one of USGS’s longest-running research programs to date: the exploration of gas hydrates.

Date published: October 11, 2017

EarthWord–Discovery

Eureka often accompanies this EarthWord.

Date published: October 6, 2017

EarthWord–Thermal Maturity

No, this EarthWord isn’t a trait of adult petroleum basins, but it is related to how old they are...

Date published: October 5, 2017

Forecasting the World’s Energy Resources

It is difficult to overstate the importance of energy to the American economy.  Managing this vital sector depends on knowing how many energy resources we have, how many we use and need, and how these resources are transported.