Mission Areas

Energy and Minerals

Mission Areas L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 79
Date published: November 19, 2018
Status: Active

Eastern Great Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

The U.S. Geological Survey completed the following assessments of undiscovered oil and gas potential of the Eastern Great Basin Province of eastern Nevada, western Utah, southeastern Idaho, and northwestern Arizona 5019:

  • 2005 Conventional Assessment (DDS 69-L).
  • 1995 Assessment (
  • ...
Date published: November 19, 2018
Status: Active

San Joaquin Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

The U.S. Geological Survey completed the following assessments of undiscovered continuous oil and gas resources of the Monterey Formation, San Joaquin Basin Province 5010:

Date published: November 19, 2018
Status: Active

Sacramento Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

The U.S. Geological Survey completed the following assessments of undiscovered natural gas resources of the Sacramento Basin Province of California 5008:

Date published: November 16, 2018
Status: Active

Eastern Oregon-Washington Oil and Gas Assessments

In 2006, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) completed the following assessments of undiscovered gas resources of the Eastern Oregon and Washington Province 5005. 

2006  . This province was previously assessed in 1995 ( see DD

 

Date published: November 16, 2018
Status: Active

Western Oregon-Washington Oil and Gas Assessments

The U.S. Geological Survey completed the following assessments of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the Western Oregon and Washington Province 5004:

Date published: November 8, 2018
Status: Active

Williston Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

The U.S. Geological Survey completed the following assessments of conventional and continuous oil and gas resources of the Devonian Three Forks Formation and Devonian and Mississippian Bakken Formation in the Williston Basin Province 5031 of North Dakota, Montana, and South Dakota:

  • 2013 Conventional and Continuous Assessment (
  • ...
Date published: November 1, 2018
Status: Active

Permian Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

The USGS has conducted several assessments of undiscovered oil and gas in formations in the Permian Basin of western Texas.  This inlcudes the following:

Date published: August 9, 2018
Status: Active

Gulf Coast Petroleum Systems Project - Assessments

This site highlights the assessments of the Gulf Coast Petroleum Systems Project.   Scientifically robust assessments of undiscovered, technically recoverable hydrocarbon resources are published in a variety of USGS publications.  This project also conducts research on the processes that impact the formation, accumulation, occurrence and alteration of hydrocarbon energy resources (...

Date published: July 19, 2018
Status: Active

Appalachian Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

The USGS has conducted numerous assessments of undiscovered oil and gas in the Appalachian Basin, including studies of the Marcellus Shale. The region extends from Alabama to Maine. The following is an overview of the assessments:

  • 2016 Sunbury and Chattanooga Shale (Factsheet)
  • 2012 Utica Shale
  • ...
Date published: April 11, 2017
Status: Active

Hydrogeologic and Geothermal Conditions of the Northwest Volcanic Aquifers

Although sparsely populated, this area in southeastern Oregon, northeastern California, northwestern Nevada, and southeastern Idaho has high geothermal heat flow that may be used to generate large amounts of electricity.

Date published: January 31, 2017

Geologic and Mineral Resource Studies in Alaska

Geologic, geophysical, and geochemical studies evaluate Alaska’s mineral endowment of strategic and critical minerals not found elsewhere in the United States.

Date published: January 31, 2017

Hyperspectral Imaging and Geophysical Surveys

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.

Filter Total Items: 65
Date published: November 29, 2018

Downloadable Data for San Juan Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Downloadable Data for San Juan Basin Oil and Gas Assessments 

Date published: November 29, 2018

Downloadable Data for Eastern Great Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Downloadable Data for Eastern Great Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Date published: November 29, 2018

Downloadable Data for San Joaquin Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Downloadable Data for San Joaquin Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Date published: November 29, 2018

Downloadable Data for Sacramento Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Downloadable Data for Sacramento Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Date published: November 29, 2018

Downloadable Data for Eastern Oregon-Washington Oil and Gas Assessments

Downloadable Data for Eastern Oregon-Washington Oil and Gas Assessments

Date published: November 29, 2018

Downloadable Data for Williston Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Downloadable Data for Williston Basin Oil and Gas Assessments 

Date published: November 29, 2018

Downloadable Data for Wind River Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

 Downloadable Data for Wind River Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Date published: November 29, 2018

Downloadable Data for Western Oregon-Washington Oil and Gas Assessments

Downloadable Data for Western Oregon-Washington Oil and Gas Assessments 

Date published: November 29, 2018

Downloadable Data for Bighorn Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Downloadable Data for Bighorn Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Date published: November 28, 2018

Downloadable Data for Gulf Coast Oil and Gas Assessments

Follow this link to access downloadable GIS and tabular data for this province.

Date published: August 28, 2018

USGS Domestic Continuous (Unconventional) Oil & Gas Assessments, 2000-Present

Interactively explore assessment summary information for continuous (unconventional) assessments conducted at the USGS from 2000-2018. The assessment results data used to generate this visualization can be downloaded here in Excel Format.  These data represent all assessment results...

Date published: April 19, 2018

U.S. Wind Turbine Database

The USWTDB Viewer, created by the USGS Energy Resources Program, lets you visualize, inspect, interact, and download the most current USWTDB through a dynamic web application.  The USWTDB provides onshore & offshore wind turbine locations in the United States, corresponding facility...

Filter Total Items: 1,218
Year Published: 2017

Regional geology and tectonics

This chapter describes the regional geology and tectonic origins of the major geologic units for the Northern Cordillera. The goals of the chapter are to: (1) provide a summary and regional overview of this vast region that contains a complicated geologic history; and (2) describe the major geologic units and tectonic events that cover a broad...

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

Year Published: 2017

The story of a Yakima fold and how it informs Late Neogene and Quaternary backarc deformation in the Cascadia subduction zone, Manastash anticline, Washington, USA

The Yakima folds of central Washington, USA, are prominent anticlines that are the primary tectonic features of the backarc of the northern Cascadia subduction zone. What accounts for their topographic expression and how much strain do they accommodate and over what time period? We investigate Manastash anticline, a north vergent fault propagation...

Kelsey, Harvey M.; Ladinsky, Tyler C.; Staisch, Lydia M.; Sherrod, Brian; Blakely, Richard J.; Pratt, Thomas; Stephenson, William; Odum, Jackson K.; Wan, Elmira
Kelsey, H. M., Ladinsky, T. C., Staisch L., Sherrod, B. L., Blakely, R. J., Pratt, T. L.,… Wan, E. (2017). The story of a Yakima fold and how it informs late Neogene and Quaternary backarc deformation in the Cascadia Subduction Zone, Manastash anticline, Washington, USA. Tectonics, 36, 2085–2107. https://doi.org/10.1002/ 2017TC004558

Year Published: 2017

A record of change - Science and elder observations on the Navajo Nation

A Record of Change - Science and Elder Observations on the Navajo Nation is a 25-minute documentary about combining observations from Navajo elders with conventional science to determine how tribal lands and culture are affected by climate change. On the Navajo Nation, there is a shortage of historical climate data, making it difficult to assess...

Hiza-Redsteer, Margaret M.; Wessells, Stephen M.
Redsteer, M.H., and Wessells, S.M., 2017, A record of change—Science and elder observations on the Navajo Nation: U.S. Geological Survey General Information Product 181, video, 25 minutes, https://doi.org/10.3133/gip181. [Video also available in Navajo language, 28 minutes.]

Year Published: 2017

Play-fairway analysis for geothermal resources and exploration risk in the Modoc Plateau region

The region surrounding the Modoc Plateau, encompassing parts of northeastern California, southern Oregon, and northwestern Nevada, lies at an intersection between two tectonic provinces; the Basin and Range province and the Cascade volcanic arc. Both of these provinces have substantial geothermal resource base and resource potential. Geothermal...

Siler, Drew; Zhang, Yingqi; Spycher, Nicolas F.; Dobson, Patrick; McClain, James S.; Gasperikova, Erika; Zierenberg, Robert A.; Schiffman, Peter; Ferguson, Colin; Fowler, Andrew; Cantwell, Carolyn
Siler, D.L., Zhang, Y., Spycher, N.F., Dobson, P.F., Mcclain, J.S., Gasperikova, E., Zierenberg, R.A., Schi, P., Ferguson, C., Fowler, A., Cantwell, C., 2017. Geothermics Play-fairway analysis for geothermal resources and exploration risk in the Modoc Plateau region. Geothermics 69, 15–33. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geothermics.2017.04.003

Year Published: 2017

Geology and undiscovered resource assessment of the potash-bearing Pripyat and Dnieper-Donets Basins, Belarus and Ukraine

Undiscovered potash resources in the Pripyat Basin, Belarus, and Dnieper-Donets Basin, Ukraine, were assessed as part of a global mineral resource assessment led by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The Pripyat Basin (in Belarus) and the Dnieper-Donets Basin (in Ukraine and southern Belarus) host stratabound and halokinetic Upper Devonian (...

Cocker, Mark D.; Orris, Greta J.; Dunlap, Pamela; Lipin, Bruce R.; Ludington, Steve; Ryan, Robert J.; Słowakiewicz, Mirosław; Spanski, Gregory T.; Wynn, Jeff; Yang, Chao
Cocker, M.D., Orris, G.J., and Dunlap, Pamela, with contributions from Lipin, B.R., Ludington, Steve, Ryan, R.J., Słowakiewicz, Mirosław, Spanski, G.T., Wynn, Jeff, and Yang, Chao, 2017, Geology and undiscovered resource assessment of the potash-bearing Pripyat and Dnieper-Donets Basins, Belarus and Ukraine: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2010–5090–BB, 116 p., and spatial data, https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20105090BB.

Year Published: 2017

Geologic map of the northern White Hills, Mohave County, Arizona

IntroductionThe northern White Hills map area lies within the Kingman Uplift, a regional structural high in which Tertiary rocks lie directly on Proterozoic rocks as a result of Cretaceous orogenic uplift and erosional stripping of Paleozoic and Mesozoic strata. The Miocene Salt Spring Fault forms the major structural boundary in the map area....

Howard, Keith A.; Priest, Susan S.; Lundstrom, Scott C.; Block, Debra L.
Howard, K.A., Priest, S.S., Lundstrom, S.C., and Block, D.L., 2017, Geologic map of the northern White Hills, Mohave County, Arizona: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3372, pamphlet 31 p., scale 1:50,000, https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3372.

Year Published: 2017

Quantifying the heterogeneity of the tectonic stress field using borehole data

The heterogeneity of the tectonic stress field is a fundamental property which influences earthquake dynamics and subsurface engineering. Self-similar scaling of stress heterogeneities is frequently assumed to explain characteristics of earthquakes such as the magnitude-frequency relation. However, observational evidence for such scaling of the...

Schoenball, Martin; Davatzes, Nicholas C.
[complete this] Schoenball, Martin, and Davatzes, Nicholas C., 2016, Quantifying the heterogeneity of the tectonic stress field using local and global borehole data: Journal of Geophysical Research, doi:10.1002/2017JB014370.

Year Published: 2017

10Be dating of late Pleistocene megafloods and Cordilleran Ice Sheet retreat in the northwestern United States

During the late Pleistocene, multiple floods from drainage of glacial Lake Missoula further eroded a vast anastomosing network of bedrock channels, coulees, and cataracts, forming the Channeled Scabland of eastern Washington State (United States). However, the timing and exact pathways of these Missoula floods remain poorly constrained, thereby...

Balbas, Andrea M.; Barth, Aaron M.; Clark, Peter U.; Clark, Jorie; Caffee, Marc A.; O'Connor, Jim E.; Baker, Victor R.; Konrad, Kevin; Bjornstad, Bruce
Balbas, A., Barth, A.M., Clark, P.U., Clark, J., Caffee, M, O’Connor, J.E., Baker, V.R., Konrad, K., Bjornstad, B.,2 017, 10Be dating of late-Pleistocene megafloods and Cordilleran ice-sheet retreat in the northwestern U.S. Geology. First published on May 8, 2017, doi:10.1130/G38956.1

Year Published: 2017

Microbial survival strategies in ancient permafrost: insights from metagenomics

In permafrost (perennially frozen ground) microbes survive oligotrophic conditions, sub-zero temperatures, low water availability and high salinity over millennia. Viable life exists in permafrost tens of thousands of years old but we know little about the metabolic and physiological adaptations to the challenges presented by life in frozen ground...

Mackelprang, Rachel; Burkert, Alexander; Haw, Monica; Mahendrarajah, Tara; Conaway, Christopher H.; Douglas, Thomas A.; Waldrop, Mark P.
The ISME Journal 11, 2305–2318 (2017)

Year Published: 2017

Spatiotemporal analysis of changes in lode mining claims around the McDermitt Caldera, northern Nevada and southern Oregon

Resource managers and agencies involved with planning for future federal land needs are required to complete an assessment of and forecast for future land use every ten years. Predicting mining activities on federal lands is difficult as current regulations do not require disclosure of exploration results. In these cases, historic mining claims...

Coyan, Joshua; Zientek, Michael L.; Mihalasky, Mark J.
Coyan, J.A., Zientek, M.L. & Mihalasky, M.J. Nat Resour Res (2017) 26: 319. doi:10.1007/s11053-017-9324-9

Year Published: 2017

The interacting roles of climate, soils, and plant production on soil microbial communities at a continental scale

Soil microbial communities control critical ecosystem processes such as decomposition, nutrient cycling, and soil organic matter formation. Continental scale patterns in the composition and functioning of microbial communities are related to climatic, biotic, and edaphic factors such as temperature and precipitation, plant community composition,...

Waldrop, Mark P.; Holloway, JoAnn M.; Smith, David B.; Goldhaber, Martin B.; Drenovsky, R.E.; Scow, K.M.; Dick, R.; Howard, Daniel M.; Wylie, Bruce K.; Grace, James B.
Waldrop, M.P., Holloway, J.M., Smith, D.B., Goldhaber, M.B., Drenovsky, R.E., Scow, K.M., Dick, R., Howard, D., Wylie, B., and Grace, J.B., 2017, The interacting roles of climate, soils, and plant production on soil microbial communities at a continental scale: Ecology, v. 98, no. 7, p. 1957-1967, https://doi.org/10.1002/ecy.1883.

Year Published: 2017

Active tectonics of the northern Mojave Desert: The 2017 Desert Symposium field trip road log

The 2017 Desert Symposium field trip will highlight recent work by the U.S. Geological Survey geologists and geophysicists, who have been mapping young sediment and geomorphology associated with active tectonic features in the least well-known part of the eastern California Shear Zone (ECSZ). This area, stretching from Barstow eastward in a giant...

Miller, David M.; Reynolds, R.E.; Phelps, Geoffrey; Honke, Jeffrey S.; Cyr, Andrew J.; Buesch, David C.; Schmidt, Kevin M.; Losson, G.

Filter Total Items: 142
Full view of Bauxite sample
March 23, 2017

Bauxite

Mineral: Bauxite
Mineral Origin: Les Baux, France (Sample donated by Gary Kingston)
Primary Commodity: Aluminum and Gallium
Primary Commodity Uses: Aluminum is one of the most used metals on the planet, finding roles in transportation, construction, packaging, electronics, and other consumer

...
Close up of Graphite
March 23, 2017

Graphite in Pegmatite Rock

Mineral: Graphite (C) in pegmatite rock
Mineral Origin: Ticonderoga, NY
Primary Mineral Commodity: Graphite
Mineral Commodity Uses: brake linings, foundry operations, heat-resistant lubricants, refractory applications, and steelmaking

Close up of Bauxite
March 23, 2017

Bauxite

Mineral: Bauxite
Mineral Origin: Les Baux, France (Sample donated by Gary Kingston)
Primary Commodity: Aluminum and Gallium
Primary Commodity Uses: Aluminum is one of the most used metals on the planet, finding roles in transportation, construction, packaging, electronics, and other consumer

...
Close up of Specularite
March 23, 2017

Specularite

Mineral: Specularite (a variety of Hematite)
Mineral Origin: Republic Mine, MI
Primary Mineral Commodity: Iron
Commodity Uses: Steelmaking

Close up of Bastnaesite
March 23, 2017

Bastnaesite (the reddish parts) in Carbonatite

Mineral: Bastnaesite (the reddish parts) in Carbonatite
Mineral Origin: Mountain Pass, CA
Primary Commodity: Rare earth elements
Primary Commodity Uses: Rare earth elements are used to make strong magnets for smartphone speakers, microphones, vibration motors, smartphone screens, as well as

...
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

...
February 23, 2017

PubTalk 2/2017 — Geology up-close

  • How does a scanning electron microscope (SEM) work?
  • What does USGS study with the SEM?
    • Earthquakes
    • Volcanoes
    • Mineral and energy resources
    • Soil and aquifer processes

By Leslie Hayden, USGS Geologist, Diane Moore, USGS Geologist, Kathryn Watts, USGS Research Geologist, Marjorie Schulz, USGS Research

...
Scintillometer sitting on top of a rock outcropping surrounded by trees
February 17, 2017

Torrs of the Ruby Batholith

Scintillometer and torrs of the Melozitna granite in the Ruby batholith.  This granite contains abundant monazite and high levels of thorium and rare earth elements. This area is part of the Bureau of Land Management's Central Yukon Planning Area, which USGS did a mineral assessment of in 2015.

January 27, 2017

NMIC - 2017 Mineral Commodity Summaries Release

The National Minerals Information Center, the primary agency for collecting and analyzing nonfuel minerals information, releases the 2017 Mineral Commodity Summaries, a collection of reports on over 85 commodities essential to the U.S. economy and national security.

Image shows a sample of gold against a black background
December 31, 2016

Native Gold

A sample of native gold. Gold has been treasured since ancient times for its beauty and permanence.   Most of the gold that is fabricated today goes into the manufacture of jewelry, but it also performs critical functions in computers, communications equipment, spacecraft, jet aircraft engines, and a host of other products. Read more about gold

...
Image shows a sample of rutile against a black background
December 31, 2016

Rutile

This is a sample of rutile, one of the primary mineral sources of titanium. While as a metal, titanium is well known for corrosion resistance and for its high strength-to-weight ratio, approximately 95% of titanium is consumed in the form of titanium dioxide (TiO2), a white pigment used in paints, paper, and plastics. Read more about titanium

...
Image shows a sample of augelite and quartz on a black background.
December 31, 2016

Augelite and Quartz

A sample of augelite and quartz. Augelite is an aluminum phosphate mineral, primarily prized for collecting rather than as a source for its industrial mineral components.

Sample provided by Carlin Green, USGS. Sample originated from Mundo Nuevo Mine, Peru, and is 3.7cm in size.

Filter Total Items: 148
Date published: July 17, 2017

USGS Releases Three Approaches for Estimating Recovery Factors in Carbon Dioxide Enhanced Oil Recovery

The U.S. Geological Survey has evaluated three methods for estimating how much oil and gas could be produced by injecting carbon dioxide (CO2) into petroleum reservoirs.

Date published: July 17, 2017

Rich, Attractive, and Extremely Shallow

No, it’s not a title for a new reality-dating TV show, but it is real science! It also describes the ideal mineral deposit.

Date published: June 29, 2017

Slag-What is it Good for?

Slag. Depending on where you’re from, it may be an insult, a term meaning trash, or, in our case, the waste left over from metal smelting or refining. Outside of the construction industry, it might seem that uses for slag are considered limited.

Date published: June 9, 2017

Bringing Science to Bear at the Cinnabar Mine

At USGS, although the rocks we study are millions of years old, our scientific methods are cutting edge! Here's just one example of how we use creative problem-solving to help crystalize a solution to a complex issue.

Date published: May 24, 2017

Igniting a New Trend in Public Safety

U.S. Geological Survey scientists and partners are taking technology to the next level, using unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), commonly called drones, to acquire both fire intensity and emissions data during prescribed burns.

Date published: May 11, 2017

Magmas to Metals

No one wants to have an active volcano in their backyard (just ask Dionisio Pulido), but ancient eroded volcanoes can sometimes be literal goldmines for mineral ores.

Date published: May 3, 2017

Plumbing the Depths of the Great Basin

Vast mineral wealth has been discovered in the Great Basin since the 1800s. As each new generation of prospectors and geologists brings their cutting-edge tools with them, the arid ridgelines of the desert Southwest have shown more and more potential.

Date published: April 30, 2017

Bon Anniversaire, Louisiane!

On its 205th anniversary, Louisiana still rocks.

Date published: April 28, 2017

Happy 229th Birthday, Maryland!

On its 229th birthday, Maryland still rocks.

Date published: April 25, 2017

EarthWord–Placer

Whether you pan for gold or rare earths, you’ll get a lot of sand...and this EarthWord!

Date published: April 20, 2017

USGS Spectral Library gets Ultra- and Hyper- Revamp

We've got a library full of spectral signatures, like a police fingerprint library for minerals and other substances!