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June 15, 2021


New to our newsletter: "Field Shots," turning the spotlight on past and present photographs of USGS fieldwork.

This article is featured in the Spring 2021 Edition of the Energy Quarterly Newsletter. 

Portage from Niukluk to Kruzgamepa River, Seward Peninsula, Alaska 1900
USGS has been taking photographs out in the field since the boom and redesign of the wooden field view cameras from 1870-1930. Alfred Hulse (A.H.)  Brooks was an early USGS pioneer in geology and photography. This 1900 photo is of a portage (the carrying of a boat or its cargo between two navigable waterways) by the Brook's party from Niukluk to Kruzgamepa River, Seward Peninsula in Alaska. Brooks is in the forefront (right), holding a paddle. A.H. Brooks was a geologist who wrote many USGS publications on minerals. However, periodically, he noted observations on energy, "Alaska is still dependent on imported petroleum, though she contains valuable oil fields now under development under the leasing law of 1920. It is to be expected that Alaska will soon supply her own mineral fuels." (USGS Bulletin 773-A, 1925).
Photograph of the Brooks Range (Gwazhał, in Athabaskan) that was named in 1925 by the United States Board on Geographic Names after Alfred Hulse (A.H.) Brooks, chief USGS geologist for Alaska from 1903 to 1924. This photo is a view southward from Fortress Mountain Formation on Atigun syncline towards the Brooks Range. In the distance are the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, haul road, and Galbraith Lake in the valley. Location in Brooks Range foothills, about 90 miles southeast of Umiat.    Visit our website: Alaska Petroleum Systems
Image shows a group of people standing on the bow of a ship
In June 2019, USGS scientists led a 22-day deep-sea research expedition aboard the R/V Falkor to examine methane seep dynamics and processes along the Cascadia Margin offshore of Washington and Oregon.  The shiptime and ROV support was awarded to Carolyn Ruppel, Ph.D., USGS WHCMSC, by Schmidt Ocean Institute during a national proposal competition in 2017. Dr. Ruppel invited several partner institutions (Federal and academic) to execute the expedition, and each of these partners provided science support in the form of labor, supplies, and research gear. In addition, the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Methane Hydrates R&D Program provided support for some aspects of the science through its interagency agreement with the USGS Gas Hydrates Project. Read More:Bringing the Bubbles Home: Wrapping up the Cruise and Charting the Way ForwardSeafloor Methane Seeps at the Edge of Hydrate Stability
Image: Sampling fumarole
USGS scientist Deborah Bergfeld collects a gas sample from a fumarole on the flank of Akutan Volcano, Akutan Island, Alaska. During July 2012 the geochemistry of the hot springs on Akutan Island was studied in detail for the first time since the early 1980s. The results from this study document higher concentrations of hydrothermal components in the hot spring waters and an increase in water discharge from the hot spring system. (Potential Geothermal Resources for Akutan, Alaska, 2014)Visit our website: Geothermal Energy