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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.

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Random variable

A random variable is a function that assigns a value in a sample space to an element of an arbitrary set (James 1992; Pawlowsky-Glahn et al. 2015). It is a model for a random experiment: the arbitrary set is an abstraction of the experimental conditions, the values taken by the random variable are in the sample space, and the function itself models the assignment of outcomes, thus also describing

Geochemistry and mineralogy of metallurgical slag

Slag is a waste product from the pyrometallurgical processing of natural ores or the recycling of man-made materials. This chapter provides an overview of the geochemical and mineralogical characteristics of different types of slag. A review of the analytical methods used to determine these characteristics is also provided. Ferrous slags include blast furnace, steelmaking, and ferroalloy slags; th

Middle and late Pleistocene pluvial history of Newark Valley, central Nevada, USA

Newark Valley lies between the two largest pluvial lake systems in the Great Basin, Lake Lahontan and Lake Bonneville. Soils and geomorphology, stratigraphic interpretations, radiocarbon ages, and amino acid racemization geochronology analyses were employed to interpret the relative and numerical ages of lacustrine deposits in the valley. The marine oxygen isotope stage (MIS) 2 beach barriers are

Paleoclimate record for Lake Coyote, California, and the Last Glacial Maximum and deglacial paleohydrology (25 to 14 cal ka) of the Mojave River

Lake Coyote, California, which formed in one of five basins along the Mojave River, acted both as a part of the Lake Manix basin and, after the formation of Afton Canyon and draining of Lake Manix ca. 24.5 calibrated (cal) ka, a side basin that was filled episodically for the next 10,000 yr. As such, its record of lake level is an important counterpart to the record of the other terminal basin, La

Earth's coastlines

With approximately half the world’s population living less than 65 miles from the ocean, coastal ecosystems are arguably Earth’s most critical real estate. Yet coastlines are among the more difficult features to accurately map; until now, no comprehensive high-resolution geospatial dataset existed. This chapter presents a new map and ecological inventory of global coastlines developed by Esri, the

Steppe eagle Aquila nipalensis

The steppe eagle (Aquila nipalensis) is a globally endangered, full migrant raptor that breeds in the southern temperate zone from European Russia in the west to eastern Mongolia, Dauria and adjacent north-eastern China in the east. It winters in Africa, the Middle East and Southern and South-Eastern Asia, and migrations can sometimes entail journeys > 10,000 km in length. Kazakhstan, Russia and M

Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus

Red-footed falcons (Falco vespertinus) are a small, long-distance and obligate migrant falcon that breeds at the forest-steppe interface in Eurasia and winters in Southern Africa. Research carried out with geolocators and satellite transmitters show that during the southbound migration Central Asian birds migrate through the Caucasus and the Middle East, while those from Eastern Europe cross the E

Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca

Eastern imperial eagles are a short-, medium-distance, partially-migratory, or even non-migratory, raptor that breeds at the forest-steppe interface in Eurasia and winters in Northern Africa, the Middle East or South Asia. Migratory strategies of imperial eagles are diverse. Eagles breeding in Central and Southeast Europe and south of the Black Sea usually are year-round residents or partial- or s

Fluid flow, solution collapse, and massive dissolution at detachment faults, Mormon Mountains, Nevada

Dissolution has removed large volumes of rock at low-angle normal faults, i.e., detachment faults, in the Mormon Mountains and the Tule Springs Hills in the eastern Basin and Range Province, southeastern Nevada. Evidence for major dissolution includes widespread solution-collapse breccias, meter-scale stylolite structures, and high-angle accommodation faults that terminate at or merge with dissolu

Human-polar bear interactions

Human-wildlife interactions (HWI) are driven fundamentally by overlapping space and resources. As competition intensifies, the likelihood of interaction and conflict increases. In turn, conflict may impede conservation efforts by lowering social tolerance of wildlife, especially when human-wildlife conflict (HWC) poses a threat to human safety and economic well-being. Thus, mitigating conflict is

Sea otter foraging behavior

Sea otters are marine specialists but diet generalists, which feed primarily on benthic mega-invertebrates (i.e., body dimension >1 cm). They locate and capture epibenthic and infaunal prey with their forepaws by relying on vision and tactile sensitivity during short-duration dives (generally