Mission Areas

Energy and Minerals

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The Energy and Minerals Mission Area conducts research and assessments that focus on the location, quantity, and quality of mineral and energy resources, including the economic and environmental effects of resource extraction and use.

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Date published: June 22, 2018

USGS Estimates Oil and Gas in Texas’ Eagle Ford Group

The Eagle Ford Group of Texas contains estimated means of 8.5 billion barrels of oil, 66 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 1.9 billion barrels of natural gas liquids, according to a new assessment by the U.S. Geological Survey. This estimate consists of undiscovered, technically recoverable resources in continuous accumulations.

Date published: June 1, 2018

Oklahoma Study Reveals Possible, Previously Unknown Sources of Earthquakes

Magnetic measurements made during low-altitude airplane flights conducted for the U.S. Geological Survey and the Oklahoma Geological Survey reveal possible deep faults that may contribute to increased seismic activity in response to wastewater injection in certain portions of Oklahoma.

Date published: May 24, 2018

Better Together: How Ecosystem Services and Adaptive Decision-Making Can Improve Land Management

An ecosystem services approach combined with adaptive decision-making can aid land and resource managers in administering their regions for the benefit of communities and stakeholders, according to a recent report by the U.S. Geological Survey and Resources for the Future

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Date published: April 11, 2017
Status: Active

Hydrogeologic and Geothermal Conditions of the Northwest Volcanic Aquifers

Although sparsely populated, this area in southeastern Oregon, northeastern California, northwestern Nevada, and southeastern Idaho has high geothermal heat flow that may be used to generate large amounts of electricity.

Date published: January 31, 2017

Geologic and Mineral Resource Studies in Alaska

Geologic, geophysical, and geochemical studies evaluate Alaska’s mineral endowment of strategic and critical minerals not found elsewhere in the United States.

Date published: January 31, 2017

Hyperspectral Imaging and Geophysical Surveys

Geophysical tools and techniques allow us to see geologic units and structures on and beneath the Earth’s surface to understand how mineral resources are distributed.

Date published: January 31, 2017

Assessment of Undiscovered Mineral Resources

Mineral resource assessments are a tool used for determining the potential for undiscovered domestic and global deposits of minerals such as copper. Land management agencies, industry and the public use this unbiased mineral resource information to help determine future resource development.

Date published: January 31, 2017

Mineral Resources and the Environment

Understanding potential and existing environmental impacts promotes sustainable development of needed mineral materials and responsible stewardship of our natural resources.

Date published: January 31, 2017

Laboratories, Analytical Research, and Methods Development

Laboratories provide data to help characterize and improve understanding of mineral resources and materials. Diverse technique and method development support our Program's research and provide data to other land management agencies and the public.

Date published: January 31, 2017

Minerals Information and Materials Flow

Information on domestic and international supplies and uses of mineral commodities is essential to the U.S. economy and to national security. Statistics and information on domestic and international minerals production, consumption, and materials flow is collected based on surveys of the domestic mineral industry and foreign governments.

Date published: January 31, 2017

Mineral Resources Research

Understanding the formation of major mineral deposits, which provide for society’s needed resources, can have broad impact on the economy and the environment.

Date published: January 31, 2017

Data Analysis, Inventory, and Delivery

Comprehensive data storage and delivery systems serve mineral resource and related data to USGS scientists and the general public.

Date published: January 17, 2017

Characterization and Identification of Critical Mineral Resources

Demand for critical mineral commodities is on the rise with increasing applications in consumer products such as phones and tablets. Research and assessment activities address the need for more up-to-date information on the nation's and the world's critical mineral resources.

Date published: January 17, 2017

Characterization of the Midcontinent Rift Region Mineral Resources

Geological, geochemical and geophysical studies in the midcontinent region of the U.S. help to better understand the region’s potential for critical mineral resources in rocks that are deeply buried.

Date published: August 12, 2016

Potential Toxicity of Multiple Metals Associated with PGE Deposits

Water quality and aquatic life standards that are set by Federal and state regulatory agencies are used to evaluate the quality of our nation’s water and the health of aquatic ecosystems. These standards currently are based on hardness of the water and are determined for single metals, not for mixtures of metals that are typically found in natural systems. Metal mixtures can potentially be...

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Date published: December 7, 2017

A Baseline Assessment of Contaminant Concentrations in Sediment and Biota in Proximity to Coal Transport Tracks in the Pacific Northwest (2014)

This dataset provides baseline concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH), other aromatic organic compounds, mercury (Hg), and trace metal concentrations in sediment and biota collected from two sites along an existing rail line used for coal transport in the Columbia River Gorge, Washington.

Date published: January 31, 2017

Minerals Information Periodicals and Data Products

Periodical publications that provide statistical data on production, distribution, stocks, and consumption of significant mineral commodities. Information on minerals-related issues, including minerals conservation, sustainability, availability, materials flow, and the economic health of the U.S. minerals industry is also available.

Date published: April 26, 2016

National Wind Turbine Map & Database

USGS has recently undertaken a project to develop a methodology for assessing wind energy impacts on wildlife at a national scale. The USGS data set provides industrial-scale onshore wind turbine locations in the United States through July 22, 2013.  

Date published: April 13, 2016

Mineral Resources Online Spatial Data

Interactive maps and downloadable data for regional and global geology, geochemistry, geophysics, and mineral resources. Includes web services providing data for users of Geographic Information System software (GIS). Links to portals for minerals information, geochemical data, and geophysical data.

Date published: April 12, 2016

Mineral Deposit Models

Conceptual models describing the essential characteristics of groups of similar mineral deposits.

Date published: March 4, 2016

Energy Data

Browse all energy-related datasets.

Date published: March 4, 2016

Energy Tools

View and download map-based energy data, search energy GIS data collections, browse the coal photomicrograph atlas and coal quality database, perform an advanced publications search, explore seismic reflection profiling data in Alaska, look at and print world geology maps, peruse the energy multimedia library, and more.

Filter Total Items: 3
Date published: March 7, 2016

Geologic Map Data

Digital geologic maps of the U.S. States with consistent lithology, age, GIS database structure, and format.

Date published: March 7, 2016

Mining Operation and Prospecting

Mine plants and operations for commodities monitored by the National Minerals Information Center of the USGS. Operations included are those considered active in 2003 and surveyed by the USGS.

Date published: March 7, 2016

Minerals Information Maps

Maps of facilities for both international and domestic locations.

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Year Published: 2018

Rapid 3-D analysis of rockfalls

Recent fatal and damaging rockfalls in Yosemite National Park indicate the need for rapid response data collection methods to inform public safety and assist with management response. Here we show the use of multiple-platform remote sensing methods to rapidly capture pertinent data needed to inform management and the public following a several...

Stock, Greg M.; Guerin, A.; Avdievitch, Nikita N.; Collins, Brian D.; Jaboyedoff, Michel
Stock, G.M., Guerin, A., Avdievitch, N., Collins, B.D., Jaboyedoff, M., 2018, Rapid 3-D analysis of rockfalls, GSA Today, Groundwork, v. 28, https://doi.org/10.1130/GSATG374GW.1.

Year Published: 2018

Geologic map of the Lower Valley quadrangle, Caribou County, Idaho

The Lower Valley 7.5-minute quadrangle, located in the core of the Southeast Idaho Phosphate Resource Area, includes Mississippian to Triassic marine sedimentary rocks, Pliocene to Pleistocene basalt, and Tertiary to Holocene surficial deposits. The Mississippian to Triassic marine sedimentary sequence was deposited on a shallow shelf between an...

Oberlindacher, H. Peter; Hovland, R. David; Miller, Susan T.; Evans, James G.; Miller, Robert J.
Oberlindacher, H.P., Hovland, R.D., Miller, S.T. , Evans, J.G., and Miller, R.J., 2018, Geologic map of the Lower Valley quadrangle, Caribou County, Idaho: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3215, 6 p., 1 sheet, scale 1:24,000, https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3215.

Year Published: 2018

Disentangling the effects of low pH and metal mixture toxicity on macroinvertebrate diversity

One of the primary goals of biological assessment of streams is to identify which of a suite of chemical stressors is limiting their ecological potential. Elevated metal concentrations in streams are often associated with low pH, yet the effects of these two potentially limiting factors of freshwater biodiversity are rarely considered to interact...

Fornaroli, Riccardo; Ippolito, Alessio; Tolkkinen, Mari J.; Mykrä, Heikki; Muotka, Timo; Balistrieri, Laurie S.; Schmidt, Travis S.
Riccardo Fornaroli, Alessio Ippolito, Mari J. Tolkkinen, Heikki Mykrä, Timo Muotka, Laurie S. Balistrieri, Travis S. Schmidt, Disentangling the effects of low pH and metal mixture toxicity on macroinvertebrate diversity, Environmental Pollution, Volume 235, 2018, Pages 889-898, ISSN 0269-7491.

Year Published: 2018

James Dwight Dana and John Strong Newberry in the US Pacific Northwest: The roots of American fluvialism

Recognition of the power of rivers to carve landscapes transformed geology and geomorphology in the late nineteenth century. Wide acceptance of this concept—then known as “fluvialism”—owes to many factors and people, several associated with exploration of western North America. Especially famous are the federal geographic and geologic surveys of...

O'Connor, Jim E.
O'Connor, J.E., 2018, James Dwight Dana and John Strong Newberry in the US Pacific Northwest; the roots of American fluvialism: The Journal of Geology, v. 126, https://doi.org/10.1086/695701.

Year Published: 2018

Stress concentrations at structural discontinuities in active fault zones in the western United States: Implications for permeability and fluid flow in geothermal fields

Slip can induce concentration of stresses at discontinuities along fault systems. These structural discontinuities, i.e., fault terminations, fault step-overs, intersections, bends, and other fault interaction areas, are known to host fluid flow in ore deposition systems, oil and gas reservoirs, and geothermal systems. We modeled stress transfer...

Siler, Drew; Hinz, Nicholas H.; Faulds, James E.

Year Published: 2018

The Colorado River and its deposits downstream from Grand Canyon in Arizona, California, and Nevada

Understanding the evolution of the Colorado River system has direct implications for (1) the processes and timing of continental-scale river system integration, (2) the formation of iconic landscapes like those in and around Grand Canyon, and (3) the availability of groundwater resources. Spatial patterns in the position and type of Colorado River...

Crow, Ryan S.; Block, Debra L.; Felger, Tracey J.; House, P. Kyle; Pearthree, Philip A.; Gootee, Brian F.; Youberg, Ann M.; Howard, Keith A.; Beard, L. Sue
Crow, R.S., Block, D., Felger, T.J., House, P.K., Pearthree, P.A., Gootee, B.F., Youberg, A.M., Howard, K.A., and Beard, L.S., 2018, The Colorado River and its deposits downstream from Grand Canyon in Arizona, California, and Nevada: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1005, 6 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181005.

Year Published: 2018

Ore-forming adakitic porphyry produced by fractional crystallization of oxidized basaltic magmas in a subcrustal chamber (Jiamate, East Junggar, NW China)

Adakitic intrusions are supposed to have a close genetic and spatial relationship to porphyry Cu deposits. However, the genesis of adakitic intrusions is still under dispute. Here, we describe newly discovered intrusive complex rocks, which are composed of ore-bearing, layered magnetite-bearing gabbroic and adakitic rocks in Jiamate, East Junggar...

Hong, Tao; Xu, Xing-Wang; Gao, Jun; Peters, Stephen; Zhang, Di; Jielili, Reyaniguli; Xiang, Peng; Li, Hao; Wu, Chu; You, Jun; Liu, Jie; Ke, Qiang
Tao Hong, Xing-Wang Xu, Jun Gao, Stephen G. Peters, Di Zhang, Reyaniguli Jielili, Peng Xiang, Hao Li, Chu Wu, Jun You, Jie Liu, Qiang Ke, 2017, Ore-forming adakitic porphyry produced by fractional crystallization of oxidized basaltic magmas in a subcrustal chamber (Jiamate, East Junggar, NW China). Lithos, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lithos.2017.11.004.

Year Published: 2018

Networking our science to characterize the state, vulnerabilities, and management opportunities of soil organic matter

Soil organic matter (SOM) supports the Earth's ability to sustain terrestrial ecosystems, provide food and fiber, and retains the largest pool of actively cycling carbon. Over 75% of the soil organic carbon (SOC) in the top meter of soil is directly affected by human land use. Large land areas have lost SOC as a result of land use practices, yet...

Harden, Jennifer W.; Hugelius, Gustaf; Ahlström, Anders; Blankinship, Joseph C.; Bond-Lamberty, Ben; Lawrence, Corey; Loisel, Julie; Malhotra, Avni; Jackson, Robert B.; Ogle, Stephen M.; Phillips, Claire; Ryals, Rebecca; Todd-Brown, Katherine; Vargas, Rodrigo; Vergara, Sintana E.; Cotrufo, M. Francesca; Keiluweit, Marco; Heckman, Katherine; Crow, Susan E.; Silver, Whendee L.; DeLonge, Marcia; Nave, Lucas E.
Harden JW, Hugelius G, Ahlström A, et al. Networking our science to characterize the state, vulnerabilities, and management opportunities of soil organic matter. Glob Change Biol. 2017;00:1–14. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.13896

Year Published: 2017

Control of landslide volume and hazard by glacial stratigraphic architecture, Northwest Washington state, USA

Landslide volumes span many orders of magnitude, but large-volume slides tend to travel farther and consequently can pose a greater hazard. In northwest Washington State, USA, a landscape abounding with landslides big and small, the recent occurrence of the large-volume and tragically deadly State Route 530 (Oso) landslide is a stark reminder of...

Perkins, Jonathan; Reid, Mark E.; Schmidt, Kevin M.
Perkins, J.P., Reid, M.E., and Schmidt, K.M. 2017, Control of landslide volume and hazard by glacial stratigraphic architecture, northwest Washington State, USA: Geology, v. 45, https://doi.org/10.1130/G39691.1

Year Published: 2017

Analysis of the age and paleomagnetic orientation of the Broadwell Mesa Basalt, Bristol Mountains, CA

To add to the regional paleomagnetic data documenting block rotation in eastern California, we determined the age and paleomagnetic rotation of the Broadwell Mesa basalt, a basalt in the Bristol Mountains, CA as part of an effort to constrain the timing and rotation of blocks adjacent to the fault. The east-striking sinistral Broadwell Mesa fault...

Phelps, Geoffrey; Hillhouse, John; Fleck, Robert J.; Miller, David; Buesch, David C.; Cyr, Andrew J.; Schmidt, Kevin M.
Phelps, G.A., Hillhouse, J.W., Fleck, R.J., Miller, D.M., Buesch, D.C., Cyr, A., and Schmidt, K.M., 2017, Analysis of the Age and Paleomagnetic Orientation of the Broadwell Mesa Basalt, Bristol Mountains, CA: in R. E. Reynolds, ed. Eastern California Shear Zone (ECSZ) Changes in Latitude, Changes in Altitude, 2017 Desert Symposium Field Guide and Proceedings April 2017

Year Published: 2017

Evaluation of hypotheses for right-lateral displacement of Neogene strata along the San Andreas Fault between Parkfield and Maricopa, California

We used geological field studies and diatom biostratigraphy to test a published hypothesis that Neogene marine siliceous strata in the Maricopa and Parkfield areas, located on opposite sides of the San Andreas Fault, were formerly contiguous and then were displaced by about 80–130 kilometers (km) of right-lateral slip along the fault. In the...

Stanley, Richard G.; Barron, John A.; Powell, Charles L.
Stanley, R.G., Barron, J.A., and Powell, C.L., II, 2017, Evaluation of hypotheses for right-lateral displacement of Neogene strata along the San Andreas Fault between Parkfield and Maricopa, California: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2017–5125, 26 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20175125.

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May 7, 2018

Mapping the Nation's Wind Power: Using the U.S. Wind Turbine Database

Did you know there are more than 57,000 wind turbines in the United States? In this video, we'll show you how you can get to know each and every one of them with our U.S. Wind Turbine Database and viewer, which we've assembled in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy, DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the American Wind Energy Association.
 

Image shows a drill rig and vehicles near a road at dawn
April 17, 2018

Eagle Ford Test Well Drilling in Texas

USGS researchers drill a research well located on the south side of U.S. 90, 7.1 miles east of Brackettville, Texas. This core was drilled by USGS during field work for an oil and gas assessment for the Eagle Ford of the Gulf Coast Basins. Cores like these provide information on the various rock layers, such as their make-up, their age, etc. The borehole, core, and logging suite are the third...

Image of Tim Collett talking about Gas Hydrates
February 28, 2018

USGS in South Korea

Tim Collett, USGS research geologist, presenting at the Korean Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources' (KIGAM)  international program for geoscience resources.

USGS scientists in front of a painted archway in South Korea
February 28, 2018

USGS in Daejon, South Korea

USGS scientists, Bill Waite, Tim Collett, and Seth Haines in front of a archway in Daejeon, South Korea

Photograph of a core storage facility in South Korea
February 28, 2018

Core Storage Facility in Daejeon, South Korea

Core storage facility at the the Korean Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources in Daejeon, South Korea

Gas hydrate from offshore Korea
February 28, 2018

Gas Hydrate from offshore Korea

Gas hydrate from offshore Korea courtesy of the Korean Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources.   Learn more about gas hydrates at https://woodshole.er.usgs.gov/project-pages/hydrates/

Image of Tim Collett
February 28, 2018

USGS research geologist, Tim Collett

Tim Collett, research geologist in gas hydrates, is chief for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Energy Resources Program gas hydrate research efforts offering a presentation on unconventional oil and gas resources at KIGAM, the Korean Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources in Daejeon, South Korea

Image of Seth Haines
February 28, 2018

Gas Hydrate and Sediment Pressure Chamber

 Seth Haines, USGS research geophysicist, on a Korean Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources laboratory tour, which included stops at their gas hydrate and sediment pressure chamber - it's a whopping 320 gallons, dwarfing even Seth, a 6-footer.  The chamber is the silvery ring and the black cylinder beneath it.  It's so big and heavy that it gets wheeled out of that cold room on a set...

Oil with a taffy-like consistency in a natural seep along a small creek, being poked with a stick to show its gooey nature.
February 19, 2018

Natural oil seep along Tarwater Creek, San Mateo County, California

The natural oil seep in this photo is located in Pescadero Creek County Park, where the Canyon Trail crosses Tarwater Creek. The oil is black, has a taffy-like consistency, and smells like motor oil.

In a pasture a white horse is standing in the foreground, in background is an apparatus that pumps oil from the ground.
February 2, 2018

Oil well pumping unit, Half Moon Bay oil field, California

The Half Moon Bay oil field is one of the oldest oil fields in California and was first developed during the 1880s. Since then, the field has produced an estimated 60,000 barrels of oil from about 19 wells. Most of the old wells have been plugged and abandoned, but this well was reworked in 1980 and produces small volumes of oil from thin sandstone layers of the Miocene and Pliocene Purisima...

Map of countries from which the US imports more than 50% of certain mineral commodities
January 30, 2018

The US relies on these countries for 50% or more of certain minerals

This map shows the countries that supply mineral commodities for which the United States was more than 50 percent import reliant in 2017.

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Date published: June 22, 2018

USGS Estimates Oil and Gas in Texas’ Eagle Ford Group

The Eagle Ford Group of Texas contains estimated means of 8.5 billion barrels of oil, 66 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 1.9 billion barrels of natural gas liquids, according to a new assessment by the U.S. Geological Survey. This estimate consists of undiscovered, technically recoverable resources in continuous accumulations.

Date published: June 1, 2018

Oklahoma Study Reveals Possible, Previously Unknown Sources of Earthquakes

Magnetic measurements made during low-altitude airplane flights conducted for the U.S. Geological Survey and the Oklahoma Geological Survey reveal possible deep faults that may contribute to increased seismic activity in response to wastewater injection in certain portions of Oklahoma.

Date published: May 24, 2018

Better Together: How Ecosystem Services and Adaptive Decision-Making Can Improve Land Management

An ecosystem services approach combined with adaptive decision-making can aid land and resource managers in administering their regions for the benefit of communities and stakeholders, according to a recent report by the U.S. Geological Survey and Resources for the Future

Date published: May 22, 2018

Digital Gold Rush Depends on Traditional Gold

In 1849, the discovery of gold in California sparked one of the most famous gold rushes in history. Thousands trekked across mountainous terrain to seek the precious metal, with entire industries springing up around the rush. In fact, the desire to understand our mineral resource wealth that led to the creation of the U.S. Geological Survey was in part fueled by gold rushes like this one.

Date published: May 18, 2018

Interior Releases 2018’s Final List of 35 Minerals Deemed Critical to U.S. National Security and the Economy

The Department of the Interior today published a list of 35 mineral commodities considered critical to the economic and national security of the United States. This list will be the initial focus of a multi-agency strategy due in August this year to implement President Donald J. Trump's Executive Order to break America's dependence on foreign minerals

Date published: May 16, 2018

Mapping the Nation's Wind Turbines

There are more than 57,000 wind turbines across the United States, and a new tool allows you to get up close and personal with each one!

Date published: April 19, 2018

U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Department of Energy Release Online Public Dataset and Viewer of U.S. Wind Turbine Locations and Characteristics

Today, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in partnership with DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the American Wind Energy Association, released the United States Wind Turbine Database (USWTDB) and the USWTDB Viewer to access this new public dataset.

Date published: April 5, 2018

USGS Scientists Develop New Tool to Determine if Vermiculite Insulation Contains Asbestos

U.S. Geological Survey scientists and partners have created an onsite, time-saving technique for building inspectors to ascertain whether vermiculite insulation contains amphibole asbestos. The findings are featured in the April 2 edition of American Mineralogist.

Date published: March 8, 2018

Modern Perspective on Gas Hydrates

After lying hidden in sediments for thousands of years, delicate frozen gas structures are in the spotlight for both scientific research and the national interest. These structures, known as gas hydrate, are being investigated by scientists the world over for their possible contributions to the global energy mix, as well as their potential interaction with the environment.

Date published: March 1, 2018

Media Advisory: Low-Flying Airplane to Study Geology of the Central Upper Peninsula, Michigan

Residents and visitors may witness a low-flying airplane above the broader Iron Mountain-Escanaba-Marquette region starting at the beginning of April, 2018.

Date published: February 27, 2018

Reservoir Sediment Can be Used as Fracking Proppant

Instead of requiring costly dredging to remove sediment buildup behind water reservoirs and diversions, sediment from reservoirs in the Missouri River Basin could actually be used as fracking proppant feedstock, also known as frac sand, according to a recently published U.S. Geological Survey study

Date published: February 23, 2018

USGS in South Korea

 For several years, KIGAM, the Korean Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources, has hosted an international program for geoscience resources (IS-Geo).  The IS-Geo program draws together federal and private-sector professionals from the international community to discuss a range of specific geoscience and mineral topics.

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