Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Publications

Filter Total Items: 2357

The contribution of water radiolysis to marine sedimentary life

Water radiolysis continuously produces H2 and oxidized chemicals in wet sediment and rock. Radiolytic H2 has been identified as the primary electron donor (food) for microorganisms in continental aquifers kilometers below Earth’s surface. Radiolytic products may also be significant for sustaining life in subseafloor sediment and subsurface environments of other planets. However, the extent to whic

No ring fracture in Mono Basin, California

In Mono Basin, California, USA, a near-circular ring fracture 12 km in diameter was proposed by R.W. Kistler in 1966 to have originated as the protoclastic margin of the Cretaceous Aeolian Buttes pluton, to have been reactivated in the middle Pleistocene, and to have influenced the arcuate trend of the chain of 30 young (62−0.7 ka) rhyolite domes called the Mono Craters. In view of the frequency a

Redefining the age of the lower Colorado River, southwestern United States

Sanidine dating and magnetostratigraphy constrain the timing of integration of the lower Colorado River (southwestern United States and northern Mexico) with the evolving Gulf of California. The Colorado River arrived at Cottonwood Valley (Nevada and Arizona) after 5.24 Ma (during or after the Thvera subchron). The river reached the proto–Gulf of California once between 4.80 and 4.63 Ma (during th

Local explosion detection and infrasound localization by reverse time migration using 3-D finite-difference wave propagation

Infrasound data are routinely used to detect and locate volcanic and other explosions, using both arrays and single sensor networks. However, at local distances (

Azorella compacta's long-term growth rate, longevity, and potential for dating geomorphological and archaeological features in the arid southern Peruvian Andes

We determine the long-term growth rate and longevity of an Azorella compacta growing on Misti volcano, near Arequipa, Peru to investigate the species' capacity as a geochronological resource. Using 14C dating on stem pieces sequestered within the plant's cushion, which grows larger through time, we obtain ages of 15 ± 15 14C yrs BP and 165 ± 15 14C yrs BP at depths of 15 cm and 29 cm below the cus

Patterns of bubble bursting and weak explosive activity in an active lava lake—Halema‘uma‘u, Kīlauea, 2015

The rise of the Halemaʻumaʻu lava lake in 2013–2018 to depths commonly 40 meters or less below the rim of the vent was an excellent opportunity to study outgassing and the link to associated eruptive activity. We use videography to investigate the rise and bursting of bubbles through the free surface of the lake in 2015. We focus on low-energy explosive activity (spattering) in which the ascent an

Indicators of volcanic eruptions revealed by global M4+ earthquakes

Determining whether seismicity near volcanoes is due primarily to tectonic or magmatic processes is a challenging but critical endeavor for volcanic eruption forecasting and detection, especially at poorly monitored volcanoes. Global statistics on the occurrence and timing of earthquakes near volcanoes both within and outside of eruptive periods reveal patterns in eruptive seismicity that may impr

Yellowstone Volcano Observatory 2018 annual report

The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO) monitors volcanic and hydrothermal activity associated with the Yellowstone magmatic system, conducts research into magmatic processes occurring beneath Yellowstone Caldera, and issues timely warnings and guidance related to potential future geologic hazards. This report summarizes the activities and findings of YVO during the year 2018, focusing on the Ye

Near-real-time volcanic cloud monitoring: Insights into global explosive volcanic eruptive activity through analysis of Volcanic Ash Advisories

Understanding the location, intensity, and likely duration of volcanic hazards is key to reducing risk from volcanic eruptions. Here, we use a novel near-real-time dataset comprising Volcanic Ash Advisories (VAAs) issued over 10 years to investigate global rates and durations of explosive volcanic activity. The VAAs were collected from the nine Volcanic Ash Advisory Centres (VAACs) worldwide. Info

USGS permafrost research determines the risks of permafrost thaw to biologic and hydrologic resources

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in collaboration with university, Federal, Tribal, and independent partners, conducts fundamental research on the distribution, vulnerability, and importance of permafrost in arctic and boreal ecosystems. Scientists, land managers, and policy makers use USGS data to help make decisions for development, wildlife habitat, and other needs. Native villages and cities

Radiometric constraints on the timing, tempo, and effects of large igneous province emplacement

There is an apparent temporal correlation between large igneous province (LIP) emplacement and global environmental crises, including mass extinctions. Advances in the precision and accuracy of geochronology in the past decade have significantly improved estimates of the timing and duration of LIP emplacement, mass extinction events, and global climate perturbations, and in general have supported

Groundwater dynamics at Kīlauea Volcano and vicinity, Hawaiʻi

Kīlauea Volcano, on the Island of Hawaiʻi, is surrounded and permeated by active groundwater systems that interact dynamically with the volcanic system. A generalized conceptual model of Hawaiian hydrogeology includes high-level dike-impounded groundwater, very permeable perched and basal aquifers, and a transition (mixing) zone between freshwater and saltwater. Most high-level groundwater is asso