Mission Areas

Energy and Minerals

Mission Areas L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 79
Date published: March 3, 2016


U.S. coal resource and reserve assessments, U.S. and world coal quality, and coalbed gas.

Date published: March 3, 2016

National Ice Core Laboratory

The U.S. National Ice Core Laboratory is a facility for storing, curating, and studying ice cores recovered from the polar regions of the world. It provides scientists with the capability to conduct examinations and measurements on ice cores, and it preserves the integrity of these ice cores in a repository for current and future investigations.

Date published: March 3, 2016

Other Energy

Research and evaluations of gas hydrates, geothermal, uranium, oil shale, and wind energy impacts on animals.

Date published: March 3, 2016
Status: Active

Denver Microbeam Laboratory

The laboratory capabilities include imaging, x-ray analysis, x-ray mapping, image processing, and optical microscopy.

Date published: March 3, 2016

Health and Environment

Studies of environmental aspects of energy such as water from oil and gas production, geologic carbon sequestration, and mercury and selenium in the environment.

Date published: March 3, 2016

Geochemistry and Geophysics

Seismic data acquisition, processing, interpretation, and archiving; energy geochemistry laboratory; and geochemistry research.

Date published: March 3, 2016


SHRIMP-RG stands for Sensitive High-Resolution Ion Microprobe with Reverse Geometry. We are committed to making SHRIMP-RG available to the scientific community and seek projects that require spatially resolved measurements and benefit from SHRIMP-RG's unique combination of high secondary transmission and high mass resolving power.

Filter Total Items: 1,218
Year Published: 2017

Mobilization of mercury and arsenic from a carbonate-hosted ore deposit, central Idaho, U.S.A.

The Cinnabar and Fern mine sites in central Idaho are primary source areas for elevated mercury and arsenic entering the South Fork of the Salmon River, which provides critical spawning habitat for bull trout and Chinook salmon. Mercury mineralization is hosted by carbonate rocks, which generate waters dominated by Ca2+ and HCO3 - at pH 7 to 9. A...

Holloway, JoAnn M.; Pribil, Michael; McCleskey, R. Blaine; Etheridge, Alexandra B.; Krabbenhoft, David P.; Aiken, George R.
Holloway, J.M, Pribil, M.J., McCleskey, R.B., Etheridge, A.B., Krabbenhoft, D.P., Aiken, G.R., 2017, Mobilization of mercury and arsenic from a carbonate-hosted ore deposit, central Idaho, U.S.A.: Procedia Earth and Planetary Science 17, 610-613. http://dx.doi.org/doi: 10.1016/j.proeps.2016.12.163

Year Published: 2017

Geochemical characteristics of igneous rocks associated with epithermal mineral deposits—A review

Newly synthesized data indicate that the geochemistry of igneous rocks associated with epithermal mineral deposits varies extensively and continuously from subalkaline basaltic to rhyolitic compositions. Trace element and isotopic data for these rocks are consistent with subduction-related magmatism and suggest that the primary source magmas were...

du Bray, Edward A.
du Bray, E.A., 2017, Geochemical characteristics of igneous rocks associated with epithermal mineral deposits—A review: Ore Geology Reviews, v. 80, p. 767-783

Year Published: 2017

Geologic map of the Bateman Spring Quadrangle, Lander County, Nevada

This 1:24,000-scale geologic map of the Bateman Spring 7.5-minute quadrangle in Lander County, Nevada contains descriptions of 24 geologic units and one cross section. Accompanying text includes full unit descriptions and references. This quadrangle includes lower Paleozoic siliciclastic sedimentary rocks of the Roberts Mountain allochthon,...

Ramelli, Alan R.; Wrucke, Chester T.; House, P. Kyle
Ramelli, A.R., Wrucke, C.T., and House, P.K., 2017, Geologic map of the Bateman Spring quadrangle, Lander County, Nevada [digital files, 238 MB]: Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology Map 185, scale 1:24,000, 6 p.

Year Published: 2017

Influence of the Eastern California Shear Zone on deposition of the Mio-Pliocene Bouse Formation: Insights from the Cibola area, Arizona

The Eastern California Shear Zone (ECSZ) is a wide zone of late Cenozoic strike-slip faults and related diffuse deformation that currently accommodates ~20–25% of relative Pacific–North America plate motion in the lower Colorado River region (Fig. 1A; Dokka and Travis, 1990; Miller et al., 2001; Guest et al., 2007; Mahan et al., 2009). The ECSZ is...

Dorsey, Rebecca J.; O'Connell, Brennan; Homan, Mindy B.; Bennett, Scott E. K.
Dorsey, R.J., O’Connell, B., Homan, M.B., Bennett, S.E.K., 2017, Influence of the Eastern California Shear Zone on Deposition of the Mio-Pliocene Bouse Formation: Insights From the Cibola Area, Arizona, in Reynolds, R.E. eds., Proceedings for the 2017 Desert Symposium, p. 150-157.

Year Published: 2017

Tectonic evolution

The middle Paleozoic through Present tectonic evolution of the Northern Cordillera is portrayed in a series of 15 Tectonic Model figures. These figures depict the successive stages of formation and accretion of orogenic collages along the western margin of the North American Plate (craton and craton margin) and adjacent marine areas. The orogenic...

Nokleberg, Warren J.; Monger, James W.H.; Stone, David B.; Bundtzen, Thomas K.; Scholl, David W.

Year Published: 2017

Excursions in fluvial (dis)continuity

Lurking below the twin concepts of connectivity and disconnectivity are their first, and in some ways, richer cousins: continuity and discontinuity. In this paper we explore how continuity and discontinuity represent fundamental and complementary perspectives in fluvial geomorphology, and how these perspectives inform and underlie our conceptions...

Grant, Gordon E.; O'Connor, James E.; Safran, Elizabeth

Year Published: 2017

Larval aquatic insect responses to cadmium and zinc in experimental streams

To evaluate the risks of metal mixture effects to natural stream communities under ecologically relevant conditions, the authors conducted 30-d tests with benthic macroinvertebrates exposed to cadmium (Cd) and zinc (Zn) in experimental streams. The simultaneous exposures were with Cd and Zn singly and with Cd+Zn mixtures at environmentally...

Mebane, Christopher A.; Schmidt, Travis S.; Balistrieri, Laurie S.
Mebane, C.A., T.S. Schmidt, and L.S. Balistrieri. 2016. Larval aquatic insect responses to cadmium and zinc in experimental streams. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/etc.3599

Year Published: 2017

Dating of Pliocene Colorado River sediments: Implications for cosmogenic burial dating and the evolution of the lower Colorado River

We applied cosmogenic 26Al/10Be burial dating to sedimentary deposits of the ancestral Colorado River. We compared cosmogenic burial ages of sediments to the age of an independently well-dated overlying basalt flow at one site, and also applied cosmogenic burial dating to sediments with less precise independent age constraints. All dated...

Howard, Keith A.; Matmon, Ari; Stock, Greg M.; Granger, Darryl E.
Matmon, A., Stock, G. M., Granger, D. E., & Howard, K. A. (2011). Dating of Pliocene Colorado River sediments: Implications for cosmogenic burial dating and the evolution of the lower Colorado River. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 124(3–4), 626–640

Year Published: 2017

Lidar-Based Rock-Fall Hazard Characterization of Cliffs

Rock falls from cliffs and other steep slopes present numerous challenges for detailed geological characterization. In steep terrain, rock-fall source areas are both dangerous and difficult to access, severely limiting the ability to make detailed structural and volumetric measurements necessary for hazard assessment. Airborne and terrestrial...

Collins, Brian D.; Greg M.Stock

Year Published: 2016

Regional geophysics of western Utah and eastern Nevada, with emphasis on the Confusion Range

As part of a long term geologic and hydrologic study of several regional groundwater flow systems in western Utah and eastern Nevada, the U.S. Geological Survey was contracted by the Southern Nevada Water Authority to provide geophysical data. The primary object of these data was to enable construction of the geological framework of the flow...

Mankinen, Edward A.; Rowley, Peter D.; Dixon, Gary L.; McKee, Edwin H.
Mankinen, E.A., Rowley, P.D., Dixon, G.L., and McKee, E.H., 2016, Regional geophysics of western Utah and eastern Nevada, with emphasis on the Confusion Range, in Comer, J.B., Inkenbrandt, P.C., Krahulec, K.A., and Pinnell, M.L., editors, Resources and Geology of Utah's West Desert: Utah Geologic Association Publication 45, p. 147-166.

Year Published: 2016

Paleogeographic implications of Late Miocene lacustrine and nonmarine evaporite deposits in the Lake Mead region: Immediate precursors to the Colorado River

Thick late Miocene nonmarine evaporite (mainly halite and gypsum) and related lacustrine limestone deposits compose the upper basin fill in half grabens within the Lake Mead region of the Basin and Range Province directly west of the Colorado Plateau in southern Nevada and northwestern Arizona. Regional relations and geochronologic data indicate...

Faulds, James E.; Schreiber, Charlotte; Langenheim, Victoria; Hinz, Nicholas H.; Shaw, Tom; Heizler, Matthew T.; Perkins, Michael E; El Tabakh, Mohammed; Kunk, Michael J.

Filter Total Items: 142
Image shows a large black stone with a silver sign in front
July 20, 2016

Cannel Coal

Cannel coal is a type of bituminous coal, which is the second-highest rank of coal (just behind anthracite). This particular sample has a high carbon content with high pollen and spore content as well. Unlike most bituminous coal, Cannel coal can be carved into ornaments. This sample came from the Eastern Interior Coalfield in Kentucky.

Image shows four men in visibility gear and hard hats at a coal mine
June 30, 2016

The USGS Coal Assessment Project

Coal project personnel visiting Trapper Mine in northwest Colorado in June, 2016.

Mostly beige rock with lots of round orbs contained within its matrix.
June 14, 2016

Phosphorite rock

Phosphorite rock formed on the seafloor in Southern California.

Image shows a woman in a green coat working with a drill core
June 3, 2016

Sarah Hawkins Receives the Core

USGS scientist Sarah Hawkins, lead scientist for the Mancos Shale assessment, examining a core drilled by the USGS Core Research Center. This core provided valuable data for the assessment. Image credit: Joshua Hicks, USGS.

Image shows a drill rig against blue mountains
June 3, 2016

Research Drilling Rig and Landscape

The USGS Core Research Center collaborated with the USGS Energy Resources Program to drill a core from the Mancos Shale to aid in the oil and gas assessment. Image Credit: Joshua Hicks, USGS.

Image shows sunrise through a drill rig
June 3, 2016

USGS Research Drilling

USGS scientists drill a test core into the Mancos Shale to aid in the assessment for oil and gas resources. Credit: Joshua Hicks.

May 25, 2016

What's the Big Idea?—Multiple Perspectives to Answer Complex Questions

JoAnn Holloway, biogeochemist with the USGS Mineral Resources Program, explains how interdisciplinary science can help better inform the conditions of a complex ecosystem.

heavy mineral sands
April 19, 2016

Heavy mineral sands, Folly Beach, South Carolina

Layered deposit of unconsolidated heavy mineral sands along the shores of Folly Beach, South Carolina.

Red Mountain, Colorado
April 19, 2016

Red Mountain near Silverton, Colorado

Intensely altered propylitic rocks (red and yellow) in the Red Mountain mining district, overprinting the regional, propylitically altered igneous rocks (grayish-green), peaks at top of image. View to west.

eudialyte and bastnäsite samples
April 14, 2016

Eudialyte and Bastnäsite Samples

Sample of eudialyte (pink) within layered vein consisting of quartz, albite, and sodic amphibole, Dora Bay, Alaska. Size of sample is 11 by 9 cm. Sample of coarse-grained, tabular bastnäsite within matrix of ferruginous dolomite, Birthday Claim, Mountain Pass, California. Photographs by Philip Verplanck, U.S. Geological Survey. SIR 2010-5070-J

Geologist doing field work in Alaska
April 14, 2016

Geologist and Helicopter

Geologist doing field work in Alaska

Filter Total Items: 148
Date published: April 3, 2017

Tracking Critical Minerals to Ensure National Preparedness

On an ordinary Tuesday in 2014, David Pineault, an economist at the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), reviewed his specialized reports and came to a startling conclusion: the United States needed to increase its stockpile of a basic manufacturing material with military applications—yttrium oxide, a material used in laser rangefinders.

Date published: April 1, 2017

The Golden Rule on April Fools

Think you know which mineral Fool’s Gold is? You might be fooled...

Date published: March 15, 2017

Study Evaluates Critical Mineral-Resource Potential in Alaska

Alaska has considerable potential for undiscovered mineral resources, including critical minerals.

Date published: February 1, 2017

Christian Zimmerman to Lead Studies as New Director of the Alaska Science Center

The U.S. Geological Survey is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Christian Zimmerman as the new director of their Alaska Science Center in Anchorage, Alaska. Zimmerman succeeds Dr. Mark Shasby who held the position for the past six years.

Date published: January 31, 2017

US Mines Produced an Estimated $74.6 Billion in Minerals during 2016  

United States mines in 2016 produced an estimated $74.6 billion of raw mineral materials, a slight increase from 2015, the U.S. Geological Survey announced today. 

Date published: December 8, 2016

USGS Releases New Standards for Natural Gas

USGS now has the new standard for natural gas.

Date published: November 15, 2016

Potash Cache: USGS Study Summarizes U.S. Sources of an Essential Nutrient for Agriculture

A new USGS report summarizes the primary sources of potash in the United States. Potash is an essential nutrient that, along with phosphorus and nitrogen, is used as fertilizer for growing crops. 

Date published: November 15, 2016

USGS Estimates 20 Billion Barrels of Oil in Texas’ Wolfcamp Shale Formation

This is the largest estimate of continuous oil that USGS has ever assessed in the United States.

Date published: October 4, 2016

USGS Assesses Mineral Potential for Sagebrush Habitats in Six Western States

At the request of the Bureau of Land Management, USGS has released an assessment of mineral resources in six Western states.