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Science

We support research and data collection on non-fuel mineral resources. We study geologic processes that form known mineral resources at specific areas in the Earth's crust; assess potential future mineral resource supply; characterize ore deposits by host geology, chemistry, mineralogy, environmental impacts; and compile data on production, consumption, and the sustainability of supply chains.

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Regional Studies and Mineral Resources

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Mineral Resource Assessments

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Support Activities

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Mineral System Life Cycles

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Critical Mineral Resources

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Minerals Information and Material Flow

FAQs

What is the Earth's "water cycle?"

The water cycle, also known as the hydrologic cycle, describes the continuous movement of water as it makes a circuit from the oceans to the atmosphere to the Earth and on again. Most of Earth's water is in the oceans. The sun, which drives the water cycle, heats water in the oceans. Some of it evaporates as vapor into the air. Rising vapor cools and condenses into clouds. Cloud particles grow and...

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What is the Earth's "water cycle?"

The water cycle, also known as the hydrologic cycle, describes the continuous movement of water as it makes a circuit from the oceans to the atmosphere to the Earth and on again. Most of Earth's water is in the oceans. The sun, which drives the water cycle, heats water in the oceans. Some of it evaporates as vapor into the air. Rising vapor cools and condenses into clouds. Cloud particles grow and...

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How much of the Earth's water is stored in glaciers?

About 2.1% of all of Earth's water is frozen in glaciers. 97.2% is in the oceans and inland seas 2.1% is in glaciers 0.6% is in groundwater and soil moisture less than 1% is in the atmosphere less than 1% is in lakes and rivers less than 1% is in all living plants and animals. About three-quarters of Earth's freshwater is stored in glaciers. Therefore, glacier ice is the second largest reservoir...

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How much of the Earth's water is stored in glaciers?

About 2.1% of all of Earth's water is frozen in glaciers. 97.2% is in the oceans and inland seas 2.1% is in glaciers 0.6% is in groundwater and soil moisture less than 1% is in the atmosphere less than 1% is in lakes and rivers less than 1% is in all living plants and animals. About three-quarters of Earth's freshwater is stored in glaciers. Therefore, glacier ice is the second largest reservoir...

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How important is groundwater?

Groundwater, which is in aquifers below the surface of the Earth, is one of the Nation's most important natural resources. Groundwater is the source of about 37 percent of the water that county and city water departments supply to households and businesses (public supply). It provides drinking water for more than 90 percent of the rural population who do not get their water delivered to them from...

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How important is groundwater?

Groundwater, which is in aquifers below the surface of the Earth, is one of the Nation's most important natural resources. Groundwater is the source of about 37 percent of the water that county and city water departments supply to households and businesses (public supply). It provides drinking water for more than 90 percent of the rural population who do not get their water delivered to them from...

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Education

Mineral Commodity Fact Sheets

The Mineral Resources Program publishes fact sheets on selected important commodities. These fact sheets teach about commodities and the important role each one plays in the national economy, national security, and lives of Americans every day.

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Mineral Commodity Fact Sheets

The Mineral Resources Program publishes fact sheets on selected important commodities. These fact sheets teach about commodities and the important role each one plays in the national economy, national security, and lives of Americans every day.

Learn More