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Browse more than 160,000 publications authored by our scientists over the past 100+ year history of the USGS.  Publications available are: USGS-authored journal articles, series reports, book chapters, other government publications, and more.

Filter Total Items: 171097

Scavengers reduce potential brucellosis transmission risk in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

Scavengers likely play an important role in ecosystem energy flow as well as disease transmission, but whether they facilitate or reduce disease transmission is often unknown. In the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, scavengers are likely to reduce the transmission and subsequent spread of brucellosis within and between livestock and elk by consuming infectious abortion materials, thereby removing th
Kimberly E Szcodronski, Paul C. Cross

Predicting regional fluoride concentrations at public and domestic supply depths in basin-fill aquifers of the western United States using a random forest model

A random forest regression (RFR) model was applied to over 12,000 wells with measured fluoride (F) concentrations in untreated groundwater to predict F concentrations at depths used for domestic and public supply in basin-fill aquifers of the western United States. The model relied on twenty-two regional-scale environmental and surficial predictor variables selected to represent factors known to c
Celia Z Rosecrans, Kenneth Belitz, Katherine Marie Ransom, Paul E. Stackelberg, Peter B. McMahon

Weakening of peridotite sheared at hydrothermal conditions

We conducted triaxial friction tests at hydrothermal conditions (25°C–350°C) on gouges of peridotite and its principal mineral constituents olivine and orthopyroxene. Pore-fluid chemistry was varied by the use of peridotite, granite, or quartzite driving blocks (representing wall rock) housing the gouge layer. Samples sheared at slow rates initially strengthen to a peak value, and then weaken towa
Diane E. Moore, David A. Lockner

A 40-year story of river sediment at Mount St. Helens

The 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington State unleashed one of the largest debris avalanches (landslide) in recorded history. The debris avalanche deposited 3.3 billion cubic yards of material into the upper North Fork Toutle River watershed and obstructed the Columbia River shipping channel downstream. From the eruption on May 18, 1980, to September 30, 2018, the Toutle River transpor
Mark A. Uhrich, Kurt R. Spicer, Adam R. Mosbrucker, Dennis R. Saunders, Tami S. Christianson

Comparison of flea sampling methods and Yersinia pestis detection on prairie dog colonies

Scientists collect fleas (Siphonaptera) to survey for Yersinia pestis, the bacterial agent of plague. When studying fleas parasitizing prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.), two primary methods are used: (1) combing fleas from live-trapped prairie dogs and (2) swabbing fleas from burrows with cloth swabs attached to metal cables. Ideally, burrow swabbing, the cheaper and easier method, would explain flea bu
David A. Eads, Marc R. Matchett, Julia Poje, Dean E. Biggins

Contribution of deep-sourced carbon from hydrocarbon seeps to sedimentary organic carbon: Evidence from radiocarbon and stable isotope geochemistry

Sulfate-driven anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) limits the release of methane from marine sediments and promotes the formation of carbonates close to the seafloor in seepage areas along continental margins. It has been established that hydrocarbon seeps are a source of methane, dissolved inorganic carbon, and dissolved organic carbon to marine environments. However, questions remain about the
Dong Feng, John Pohlman, Jorn Peckmann, Yuedong Sun, Yu Hu, Harry Roberts, Duofu Chen

Grasslands maintain stability in productivity through compensatory effects and dominant species stability under extreme precipitation patterns

Extreme climatic events are likely to intensify under climate change and can have different effects on ecosystems depending on their timing and magnitude. Understanding how productivity responds to extreme precipitation patterns requires assessing stability and vulnerability during critical growing periods at the plant community level. In this study, we experimentally imposed two contrasting types
Wenlan Gao, Linfeng Li, Seth M. Munson, Xiaoyong Cui, Yanfen Wang, Yanbin Hao

Reproductive plasticity as an advantage of snakes during island invasion

Most invasive species are not studied during their initial colonization of ecosystems to which they were recently introduced. Rather, research is typically performed after invasive species are well established and causing harm to the native biodiversity. Thus, novel adaptations of invasive species during their initial invasions are rarely identified. The California kingsnake (Lampropeltis californ
S R Fisher, Robert N. Fisher, S E Alcaraz, R Gallo-Barneto, C Patino-Martinez, L F López- Jurado, M Á Cabrera-Pérez, J L Grismer

Developing climate resilience in aridlands using rock detention structures as green infrastructure

The potential of ecological restoration and green infrastructure has been long suggested in the literature as adaptation strategies for a changing climate, with an emphasis on revegetation and, more recently, carbon sequestration and stormwater management. Tree planting and “natural” stormwater detention structures such as bioswales, stormwater detention basins, and sediment traps are popular appr
Laura M. Norman, Benjamin L. Ruddell, Deborah Tosline, Michael Fell, Blair P. Greimann, Jay Cederberg

Rapa Nui (Easter Island) Rano Raraku crater lake basin: Geochemical characterization and implications for the Ahu-Moai Period

Rano Raraku, the crater lake constrained by basaltic tuff that served as the primary quarry used to construct the moai statues on Rapa Nui (Easter Island), has experienced fluctuations in lake level over the past centuries. As one of the only freshwater sources on the island, understanding the present and past geochemical characteristics of the lake water is critical to understand if the lake coul
Elena Argiriadis, Mara Bortolini, Natalie Kehrwald, Marco Roman, Clara Turetta, Shahpara Hanif, Evans Osayuki Erhendi, José Miguel Ramirez Aliaga, David B. McWethy, Amy E. Myrbo, Anibal Pauchard, Carlo Barbante, Dario Battistel

A new approach to evaluate and reduce uncertainty of model-based biodiversity projections for conservation policy formulation

Biodiversity projections with uncertainty estimates under different climate, land-use, and policy scenarios are essential to setting and achieving international targets to mitigate biodiversity loss. Evaluating and improving biodiversity predictions to better inform policy decisions remains a central conservation goal and challenge. A comprehensive strategy to evaluate and reduce uncertainty of mo
Bonnie Myers, Sarah R. Weiskopf, Alexey N. Shiklomanov, Simon Ferrier, Ensheng Weng, Kimberly Ann Casey, Michael Harfoot, Stephen Jackson, Allison K. Leidner, Timothy M. Lenton, Gordon Luikart, Hiroyuki Matsuda, Nathalie Pettorelli, Isabel M. D. Rosa, Alexander C. Ruane, Gabriel B. Senay, Shawn P. Serbin, Derek P. Tittensor, T. Douglas Beard

Feather corticosterone reveals developmental challenges in a long-term study of juvenile northern spotted owls

Corticosterone is a steroid hormone integral to a variety of physiological pathways and is strongly associated with the vertebrate stress response. In avian species, circulating corticosterone is sequestered into developing feathers and is used as an indicator of energy allocation during feather growth and widely applied in conservation physiology.The northern spotted owl Strix occidentalis caurin
Katie Dugger, Ashlee J. Mikkelsen, Damon B. Lesmeister, Kathleen M. O’Reilly