Science and Decisions Center
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The USGS Science and Decisions Center (SDC) is an interdisciplinary organization advancing the use of science in natural resource decision making. The Center focuses on research and applications in three science areas: decision science (adaptive management and structured decision making), ecosystem services, and resilience/sustainability.Science and Decisions Center Website
Adaptive management is "learning by doing" and adapting based on what is learned, in an objective, science-based management strategy that explicitly recognizes and delineates uncertainty.
Ecosystem services are attributes and outputs of ecosystems that are valued by human users. Ecosystem services are produced by ecosystem processes such as nutrient cycling, climate regulation, and maintenance of biodiversity. Ecosystems also provide marketable goods like seafood and timber.
Resilience is the ability of a system or a community to absorb shocks and still maintain the same basic structure and functions. Management for ecological resilience seeks flexible system behaviors that can deliver ecosystem goods and services on a sustained basis.
Punctuated sediment discharge during early Pliocene birth of the Colorado River: Evidence from regional stratigraphy, sedimentology, and paleontology
The Colorado River in the southwestern U.S. provides an excellent natural laboratory for studying the origins of a continent-scale river system, because deposits that formed prior to and during river initiation are well exposed in the lower river valley and nearby basinal sink. This paper presents a synthesis of regional stratigraphy,...Dorsey, Rebecca J.; O’Connell, Brennan; McDougall-Reid, Kristin; Homan, Mindy B.
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
Connecting the Soda–Avawatz and Bristol–Granite Mountains faults with gravity andaeromagnetic data, Mojave Desert, California
The Soda–Avawatz and Bristol–Granite Mountains faults are considered by some to form the northeastern margin of the eastern California shear zone yet their connectivity and extents are obscured by surficial deposits and the estimates of total right-lateral offset from geologic data range from 0 to as much as 24 km. We use gravity and recently...Langenheim, Victoria; Miller, David
Detrital zircon geochronology of quartzose metasedimentary rocks from parautochthonous North America, east-central Alaska
We report eight new U-Pb detrital zircon ages for quartzose metasedimentary rocks from four lithotectonic units of parautochthonous North America in east-central Alaska: the Healy schist, Keevy Peak Formation, and Sheep Creek Member of the Totatlanika Schist in the northern Alaska Range, and the Butte assemblage in the northwestern Yukon-Tanana...Dusel-Bacon, Cynthia; Holm-Denoma, Christopher S.; Jones, James V.; Aleinikoff, John N.; Mortensen, James K.
Geochemical variations during development of the 5.46 Ma Broadwell Mesa basaltic volcanic field, California
The 5.46±0.04 Ma Broadwell Mesa basalt and associated basaltic volcanic field in the western Bristol Mountains, California, formed a ~6 km2 volcanic flow field with architecture including numerous lava flows, a ~1.1 km2 lava lake, and a ~0.17 km2 cinder cone. The local number of lava flows varies from one along the margins of the field to as many...Buesch, David C.
Mineralogical characterization of weathered outcrops as a tool for constraining water chemistry predictions during project planning
Weathered samples from naturally exposed outcrops of troctolite associated with a magmatic Ni-Cu sulphide deposit were characterized by synchrotron-based micro-X-ray fluorescence mapping (µ-XRF) and X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS), as well as by lab-based X-ray diffraction, electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy and wet chemical methods....Diedrich, Tamara; Fix, Paul; Foster, Andrea L.
Miocene−Pleistocene deformation of the Saddle Mountains: Implications for seismic hazard in central Washington, USA
The Yakima fold province, located in the backarc of the Cascadia subduction zone, is a region of active strain accumulation and deformation distributed across a series of fault-cored folds. The geodetic network in central Washington has been used to interpret large-scale N-S shortening and westward-increasing strain; however, geodetic data are...Staisch, Lydia; Kelsey, Harvey; Sherrod, Brian; Möller, Andreas; Paces, James B.; Blakely, Richard J.; Styron, Richard
Introduction to the 2008 Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal (CARA) professional paper
The amount of yet-to-find oil and gas in the high northern latitudes is one of the great uncertainties of future energy supply. The possibility of extensive new petroleum developments in the Arctic Ocean is of interest to the Arctic nations, to petroleum companies, and to those concerned with the delicate and changing Arctic environment. The U.S....Moore, T.E.; Gautier, D.L.; Gautier, Donald L.; Moore, Thomas E.
Benefits of the fire mitigation ecosystem service in the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia, USA
The Great Dismal Swamp (GDS) National Wildlife Refuge delivers multiple ecosystem services, including air quality and human health via fire mitigation. Our analysis estimates benefits of this service through its potential to reduce catastrophic wildfire related impacts on the health of nearby human populations. We used a combination of high-...Parthum, Bryan M.; Pindilli, Emily; Hogan, Dianna
Lidar-revised geologic map of the Des Moines 7.5' quadrangle, King County, Washington
This map is an interpretation of a modern lidar digital elevation model combined with the geology depicted on the Geologic Map of the Des Moines 7.5' Quadrangle, King County, Washington (Booth and Waldron, 2004). Booth and Waldron described, interpreted, and located the geology on the 1:24,000-scale topographic map of the Des Moines 7.5'...Tabor, Rowland W.; Booth, Derek B.
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.
Conceptual modeling framework to support development of site-specific selenium criteria for Lake Koocanusa, Montana, U.S.A., and British Columbia, Canada
The U.S. Geological Survey, working with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality and the British Columbia Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change Strategy, has developed a conceptual modeling framework that can be used to provide structured and scientifically based input to the Lake Koocanusa Monitoring and Research Working Group as...Jenni, Karen E.; Naftz, David L.; Presser, Theresa S.
Resource managers, regulators, and stakeholders of Montana and British Columbia’s Lake Koocanusa now have a new approach for understanding the implications of different levels of selenium, and to explore alternative selenium criteria for waters in the Lake.
In a finding authors are coining an "unintentional rewilding," scientists identified a cave dung deposit as belonging to bighorn sheep that became extinct on a desert island sometime between the 6th and the 20th century.