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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.

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News

Image shows a view of Libby Dam and Lake Koocanusa
October 25, 2017

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.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 19, 2014

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.

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USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: February 29, 2016

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.

USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: February 29, 2016

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.

USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: February 29, 2016

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.

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Year Published: 2018

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.
Rebecca J. Dorsey, Brennan O'Connell, Kristin McDougall, and Mindy B. Homan, 2018, Punctuated sediment discharge during early Pliocene birth of the Colorado River; evidence from regional stratigraphy, sedimentology, and paleontology: Sedimentary Geology, v. 363, p. 1-33, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sedgeo.2017.09.018.

Year Published: 2017

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: 2017

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
Langenheim, V.E, and Miller, D.M., 2017, Connecting the Soda–Avawatz and Bristol–Granite Mountains faults with gravity and aeromagnetic data, Mojave Desert, California in Reynold, Robert E., ed., ECSZ Does it: Annual proceedings of the Desert Science Symposium, p. 83-92.

Year Published: 2017

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.
Dusel-Bacon, C., Holm-Denoma, C.S., Jones, J.V. III, Aleinikoff, J.N., and Mortensen, J.K., 2017, Detrital zircon geochronology of quartzose metasedimentary rocks from parautochthonous North America, east-central Alaska: Lithosphere, v. 9, no. 6, p. 927–952; GSA Data Repository Item 2017332; https://doi.org/10.1130/L672.1

Year Published: 2017

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.
Buesch, D.C., 2017, Geochemical variations during development of the 5.4 Ma Broadwell Mesa basalt volcanic field, California: in Reynolds, R.E., ed, “ECSZ DOES IT: Revisiting the Eastern California Shear Zone”, California State University Desert Studies Consortium, p. 103-117.

Year Published: 2017

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.
T. Diedrich, P. Fix, and A. Foster (2017) Mineralogical characterization of weathered outcrops as a tool for constraining water chemistry predictions during project planning. Proceedings of IMWA 2017, "Mine Water and Circular Economy" , Wolkersdorfer C, Sartz L., and Hakkinen A, Editors, p. 712-719

Year Published: 2017

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
Lydia Staisch, Harvey Kelsey, Brian Sherrod, Andreas Möller, James Paces, Richard Blakely, Richard Styron; Miocene−Pleistocene deformation of the Saddle Mountains: Implications for seismic hazard in central Washington, USA. GSA Bulletin doi: https://doi.org/10.1130/B31783.1

Year Published: 2017

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.
Gautier, D.L., and Moore, T.E., 2017, Introduction to the 2008 Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal (CARA) professional paper, chap. A of Moore, T.E., and Gautier, D.L., eds., The 2008 Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1824, 9 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/pp1824A.

Year Published: 2017

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
Journal of Environmental Management Volume 203, Part 1, 1 December 2017, Pages 375-382

Year Published: 2017

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.
Tabor, R.W., and Booth, D.B., 2017, Lidar-revised geologic map of the Des Moines 7.5' quadrangle, King County, Washington: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3384, 17 p., 1 sheet, scale 1:24,000, https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3384.

Year Published: 2017

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

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.
Jenni, K.E., Naftz, D.L., and Presser, T.S., 2017, Conceptual modeling framework to support development of site-specific selenium criteria for Lake Koocanusa, Montana, U.S.A., and British Columbia, Canada: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2017–1130, 14 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20171130.

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Image shows a view of Libby Dam and Lake Koocanusa
October 25, 2017

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.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 19, 2014

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.

Filter Total Items: 1