Mission Areas

Energy and Minerals

The Energy and Minerals Mission Area conducts research and assessments that focus on the location, quantity, and quality of mineral and energy resources, including the economic and environmental effects of resource extraction and use.

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Energy Resources Program

Energy Resources Program

Conducts basic and applied research on geologic energy resources and on the environmental, economic, and human health impacts of their production and use.The program is also involved in studying the impacts of wind and solar energy development.

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Mineral Resources Program

Mineral Resources Program

Provides scientific information for objective resource assessments and unbiased research results on mineral potential, production, consumption, and environmental effects. The MRP is the sole Federal source for this information.

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News

Date published: October 16, 2020

Critical Cooperation: How Australia, Canada and the United States are Working Together to Support Critical Mineral Discovery

Just as alloys make steel stronger, research allies make mineral science better. Geoscience Australia, the Geological Survey of Canada, and the USGS are coordinating their critical mineral mapping and research efforts to create a shared foundation of mineral information to help ensure a safe and secure supply of the materials needed for each country’s economy and security.

Date published: October 16, 2020

New Patent Helps Coalbed Methane Research

Far underground, in a Wyoming well-bore drilled through rock and coal, exciting research is bubbling up. USGS researchers are studying how bacteria and other microbes may play a role in the formation of natural gas from coal, and they’re using one of USGS’ newest patents to do it. This patent is the subsurface environmental sampler, or SES.

Date published: October 14, 2020

Mixing Oil and Water

In south Texas, a wide band of rocks stretches from the Mexican border all the way to western Louisiana, forming the highly productive Eagle Ford Group. These formations, made up primarily of shale and mudstone, are some of the most prolific oil and gas-producing rocks in the United States.

Publications

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Year Published: 2020

Focus areas for data acquisition for potential domestic resources of 11 critical minerals in the conterminous United States, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico—Aluminum, cobalt, graphite, lithium, niobium, platinum-group elements, rare earth elements, tantalum, tin, titanium, and tungsten

In response to a need for information on potential domestic sources of critical minerals, the Earth Mapping Resources Initiative (Earth MRI) was established to identify and prioritize areas for acquisition of new geologic mapping, geophysical data, and elevation data to improve our knowledge of the geologic framework of the United States. Phase 1...

Hammarstrom, Jane M.; Dicken, Connie L.; Day, Warren C.; Hofstra, Albert H.; Drenth, Benjamin J.; Shah, Anjana K.; McCafferty, Anne E.; Woodruff, Laurel G.; Foley, Nora K.; Ponce, David A.; Frost, Thomas P.; Stillings, Lisa L.
Hammarstrom, J.M., Dicken, C.L., Day, W.C., Hofstra, A.H., Drenth, B.J., Shah, A.K., McCafferty, A.E., Woodruff, L.G., Foley, N.K., Ponce, D.A., Frost, T.P., and Stillings, L.L., 2020, Focus areas for data acquisition for potential domestic resources of 11 critical minerals in the conterminous United States, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico—Aluminum, cobalt, graphite, lithium, niobium, platinum-group elements, rare earth elements, tantalum, tin, titanium, and tungsten, chap. B of U.S. Geological Survey, Focus areas for data acquisition for potential domestic sources of critical minerals: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1023, 67 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191023B.

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Year Published: 2020

Focus areas for data acquisition for potential domestic resources of 11 critical minerals in Alaska—Aluminum, cobalt, graphite, lithium, niobium, platinum group elements, rare earth elements, tantalum, tin, titanium, and tungsten, chap. C of U.S. Geological Survey, Focus areas for data acquisition for potential domestic sources of critical minerals

Phase 2 of the Earth Mapping Resources Initiative (Earth MRI) focuses on geologic belts that are favorable for hosting mineral systems that may contain select critical minerals. Phase 1 of the Earth MRI program focused on rare earth elements (REE), and phase 2 adds aluminum, cobalt, graphite, lithium, niobium, platinum-group metals, tantalum, tin...

Kreiner, Douglas C.; Jones, James V.
Kreiner, D.C., and Jones, J.V., 2020, Focus areas for data acquisition for potential domestic resources of 11 critical minerals in Alaska—Aluminum, cobalt, graphite, lithium, niobium, platinum group elements, rare earth elements, tantalum, tin, titanium, and tungsten, chap. C of U.S. Geological Survey, Focus areas for data acquisition for potential domestic sources of critical minerals: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1023, 20 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191023C.

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Year Published: 2020

International geoscience collaboration to support critical mineral discovery

The importance of critical minerals and the need to expand and diversify critical mineral supply chains has been endorsed by the Federal governments of Australia, Canada, and the United States. The geoscience organizations of Geoscience Australia, the Geological Survey of Canada and the U.S. Geological Survey have created the Critical Minerals...

Kelley, K.D., 2020, International geoscience collaboration to support critical mineral discovery: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2020–3035, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20203035.