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USGS research activities relevant to Alaska have yielded more than 9400 historical publications. This page features some of the most recent newsworthy research findings.

Filter Total Items: 2856

Constraints on the genesis of Au veins in interior Alaska: Evidence from geochronology and vein textures

The origin of Au-bearing, low sulfide quartz veins in the Pogo and Tibbs Creek regions of interior Alaska remain enigmatic. Intrusion-related Au and mesozonal orogenic vein models have both been proposed (Thompson and Newberry, 2000; Rhys et al., 2003; Goldfarb et al., 2022; Dilworth et al., 2007). To date, studies of igneous geochronology and metamorphic timing have shown that gold veins formed b
Douglas C. Kreiner, William Thompson, Jonathan Caine, Ashleigh Ball, Christopher Holm-Denoma, Paul O'Sullivan, Holly J. Stein

Forecasts of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) land use in the southern Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, 2040–65

This report provides analysis to extend the 2040 forecasts of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) land use for the southern Beaufort and Chukchi Sea populations presented in a recent publication (Rode and others, 2022) through the year 2065. To inform long-term polar bear management considerations, we provide point-estimate forecasts and 95-percent prediction intervals of the proportion of polar bear pop
Karyn D. Rode, David C. Douglas, Todd C. Atwood, Ryan R. Wilson

Gene expression and wildlife health: Varied interpretations based on perspective

We evaluated wildlife population health from the perspective of statistical means vs. variances. We outlined the choices necessary to provide the framework for our study. These consisted of spatial and temporal boundaries (e.g., choice of sentinel species, populations, time frame), measurement techniques (molecular to population level), and appropriate statistical analyses. We chose to assess the
Lizabeth Bowen, Julie L. Yee, James L. Bodkin, Shannon C. Waters, Michael J. Murray, Heather Coletti, Brenda E. Ballachey, Daniel Monson, A. Keith Miles

2019 Volcanic activity in Alaska—Summary of events and response of the Alaska Volcano Observatory

The Alaska Volcano Observatory responded to eruptions, volcanic unrest or suspected unrest, increased seismicity, and other significant activity at 17 volcanic centers in Alaska in 2019. The most notable volcanic activity was an eruption of Shishaldin Volcano, featuring eruptive activity that produced lava flows, lahars, and ash. Weak explosive activity also took place at Great Sitkin Volcano and
Tim R. Orr, Cheryl E. Cameron, Hannah R. Dietterich, James P. Dixon, Max L. Enders, Ronni Grapenthin, Alexandra M. Iezzi, Matthew W. Loewen, John A. Power, Cheryl Searcy, Gabrielle Tepp, Liam Toney, Christopher F. Waythomas, Aaron G. Wech

Survival of Common Loon chicks appears unaffected by Bald Eagle recovery in northern Minnesota

Recovering species are not returning to the same environments or communities from which they disappeared. Conservation researchers and practitioners are thus faced with additional challenges in ensuring species resilience in these rapidly changing ecosystems. Assessing the resilience of species in these novel systems can still be guided by species’ ecology, including knowledge of their population
Jennyffer Cruz, Steve K. Windels, Wayne E. Thogmartin, Shawn M. Crimmins, Benjamin Zuckerberg

Colorado River Basin

The Colorado River is often referred to as “the lifeblood of the west.” The basin supplies municipal water to nearly 40 million people and irrigates approximately 22,000 km2 of agricultural lands. Twenty-two major rivers converge with the Colorado after it begins its descent from the Rocky Mountains and winds through the plateaus of Colorado, Utah, and Arizona, onto the deserts of southwestern Ari
Anya Metcalfe, Jeffrey Muehlbauer, Morgan Ford, Theodore Kennedy

Oligocene–Miocene northward growth of the Tibetan Plateau: Insights from intermontane basins in the West Qinling Belt, NW China

Growth of the Tibetan Plateau, Earth’s broadest and highest elevation collisional system, shapes orographic barriers, reorganizes drainage networks, and influences surface erosion and sediment delivery, whose changes in space and provenance feed back to intracontinental tectonic processes. Studies of interior basins within the northern Tibetan Plateau provide new sediment accumulation, provenance,
Yi-Peng Zhang, Wei-Tao Wang, Richard O. Lease, Renjie Zhou, Yue-Jun Wang, Yong-Gang Yan, Ying Wang, Wen-Jun Zheng, Bing-Xu Liu, Zhi-Gang Li, Hao Liang, Ge-Ge Hui, Chuang Sun, Qing-Ying Tian, Bin-Bin Xu, Pei-Zhen Zhang

Climate change and pulse migration: Intermittent Chugach Inuit occupation of glacial fiords on the Kenai Coast, Alaska

For millennia, Inuit peoples of the Arctic and Subarctic have been challenged by the impacts of climate change on the abundance of key subsistence species. Responses to climate-induced declines in animal populations included switching to alternative food sources and/or migrating to regions of greater availability. We examine these dynamics for the Chugach Inuit (Sugpiat) people of southern coastal
Aron Crowell, Mayumi L. Arimitsu

The Lower Cretaceous sequence of western Alaska – demise of the Koyukuk terrane?

Lower Cretaceous marine sedimentary rocks, deposited in shallow shelf and basin settings and unconformity-bound, are well exposed in southwest Alaska. Collections of Early Cretaceous fossils from across western Alaska show that similar and coeval Lower Cretaceous clastic rocks are widely distributed though only locally exposed. Volcanic rocks become an important part of the Lower Cretaceous sequ
Travis L. Hudson, Robert Blodgett, Frederic H. Wilson

Rapid active thrust faulting at the northern Alaska Range front

Plate convergence rates strongly influence seismicity and mountain building inboard of convergent margins, but the distribution and kinematics of structures accommodating farfield convergence can be elusive. In interior Alaska, Yakutat microplate convergence drives late Pleistocene–recent right slip on the Denali fault, but westward-decreasing slip rates leave substantial residual Yakutat motion u
Adrian Bender, Richard O. Lease, Tammy M. Rittenour, James V. Jones

Exploring effects of vessels on walrus behaviors using telemetry, automatic identification system data and matching

Arctic marine mammals have had little exposure to vessel traffic and potential associated disturbance, but sea ice loss has increased accessibility of Arctic waters to vessels. Vessel disturbance could influence marine mammal population dynamics by altering behavioral activity budgets that affect energy balance, which in turn can affect birth and death rates. As an initial step in studying these l
Rebecca L. Taylor, Chadwick V. Jay, William S. Beatty, Anthony S. Fischbach, Lori T. Quakenbush, Justin A. Crawford

Unrecorded tundra fires of the Arctic Slope, Alaska USA

Few fires are known to have burned the tundra of the Arctic Slope north of the Brooks Range in Alaska, USA. A total of 90 fires between 1969 and 2022 are known. Because fire has been rare, old burns can be detected by the traces of thermokarst and distinct vegetation they leave in otherwise uniform tundra, which are visible in aerial photograph archives. Several prehistoric tundra burns have been
Eric A. Miller, Benjamin M. Jones, Carson Baughman, Randi R. Jandt, Jennifer L. Jenkins, David A. Yokel