Mission Areas

Energy and Minerals

Mission Areas L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 521
Year Published: 2016

Hyperspectral surveying for mineral resources in Alaska

Alaska is a major producer of base and precious metals and has a high potential for additional undiscovered mineral resources. However, discovery is hindered by Alaska’s vast size, remoteness, and rugged terrain. New methods are needed to overcome these obstacles in order to fully evaluate Alaska’s geology and mineral resource...

Kokaly, Raymond F.; Graham, Garth E.; Hoefen, Todd M.; Kelley, Karen D.; Johnson, Michaela R.; Hubbard, Bernard E.
Kokaly, R.F., Graham, G.E., Hoefen, T.M., Kelley, K.D., Johnson, M.R., and Hubbard, B.E., Hyperspectral surveying for mineral resources in Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2016-3029, 2 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/fs20163029.

Year Published: 2016

Accretionary lapilli: what’s holding them together?

Accretionary lapilli from Tagus cone, Isla Isabela, Galápagos were analyzed using scanning electron microscope (SEM) and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) techniques. Our main findings are (1) the lapilli formed and hardened in a few minutes while still aloft in the dispersing eruption column. (2) Palagonite rinds developed first...

Adams, Paul M.; Lynch, David K.; Buesch, David C.
Adams, P.M., Lynch, D.K., and Buesch, D.C., 2016, Accretionary lapilli: what’s holding them together? in Reynolds, R.E., ed, “Going LOCO: Investigations along the Lower Colorado River”, California State University Desert Studies Consortium, p. 256-265.

Year Published: 2016

Architecture, geochemistry, and paleomagnetic directions of the 5.42 Ma Broadwell Mesa basalt volcanic field, Bristol Mountains, California

No abstract available.

Buesch, David C.; Phelps, Geoffrey
Buesch, D.C., and Phelps, G.A., 2016, Architecture, geochemistry, and paleomagnetic directions of the 5.42 Ma Broadwell Mesa basalt volcanic field, Bristol Mountains, California: in Reynolds, R.E., ed, “Going LOCO: Investigations along the Lower Colorado River”, California State University Desert Studies Consortium, p. 253-255.

Year Published: 2016

Contemporary deformation in the Yakima fold and thrust belt estimated with GPS

Geodetic, geologic and palaeomagnetic data reveal that Oregon (western USA) rotates clockwise at 0.3 to 1.0° Ma−1 (relative to North America) about an axis near the Idaho–Oregon–Washington border, while northeast Washington is relatively fixed. This rotation has been going on for at least 15 Ma. The Yakima fold and thrust belt (YFTB) forms the...

McCaffrey, Robert; King, Robert W.; Wells, Ray; Lancaster, Matthew; Miller, M. Meghan

Year Published: 2016

Isotopically constrained lead sources in fugitive dust from unsurfaced roads in the southeast Missouri mining district

The isotopic composition of lead (Pb) in fugitive dust suspended by a vehicle from 13 unsurfaced roads in Missouri was measured to identify the source of Pb within an established long-term mining area. A three end-member model using 207Pb/206Pb and concentration as tracers resulted in fugitive dust samples plotting in the mixing field of well...

Witt, Emitt C.; Pribil, Michael; Hogan, John P; Wronkiewicz, David

Year Published: 2016

Chemical abrasion-SIMS (CA-SIMS) U-Pb dating of zircon from the late Eocene Caetano caldera, Nevada

Zircon geochronology is a critical tool for establishing geologic ages and time scales of processes in the Earth's crust. However, for zircons compromised by open system behavior, achieving robust dates can be difficult. Chemical abrasion (CA) is a routine step prior to thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS) dating of zircon to remove...

Watts, Kathryn E.; Coble, Matthew A.; Vazquez, Jorge A.; Henry, Christopher D.; Colgan, Joseph P.; John, David A.

Year Published: 2016

Manual hierarchical clustering of regional geochemical data using a Bayesian finite mixture model

Interpretation of regional scale, multivariate geochemical data is aided by a statistical technique called “clustering.” We investigate a particular clustering procedure by applying it to geochemical data collected in the State of Colorado, United States of America. The clustering procedure partitions the field samples for the entire...

Ellefsen, Karl J.; Smith, David

Year Published: 2016

The geochemical atlas of Alaska, 2016

A rich legacy of geochemical data produced since the early 1960s covers the great expanse of Alaska; careful treatment of such data may provide significant and revealing geochemical maps that may be used for landscape geochemistry, mineral resource exploration, and geoenvironmental investigations over large areas. To maximize the spatial density...

Lee, Gregory K.; Yager, Douglas B.; Mauk, Jeffrey L.; Granitto, Matthew; Denning, Paul D.; Wang, Bronwen; Werdon, Melanie B.
Lee, G.K., Yager, D.B., Mauk, J.L, Granitto, Matthew, Denning, P.D., Wang, Bronwen, and Werdon, M.B., 2016, The Geochemical Atlas of Alaska, 2016: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 908, 25 p., 272 sheets (11"×17"), GIS database, http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ds908.

Year Published: 2016

New perspectives on a 140-year legacy of mining and abandoned mine cleanup in the San Juan Mountains, Colorado

The Gold King mine water release that occurred on 5 August 2015 near the historical mining community of Silverton, Colorado, highlights the environmental legacy that abandoned mines have on the environment. During reclamation efforts, a breach of collapsed workings at the Gold King mine sent 3 million gallons of acidic and metal-rich mine water...

Yager, Douglas B.; Fey, David L.; Chapin, Thomas; Johnson, Raymond H.

Year Published: 2016

Gravity and magnetic studies of the eastern Mojave Desert, California and Nevada

IntroductionFrom May 2011 to August 2014, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) collected gravity data at more than 2,300 stations and physical property measurements on more than 640 rock samples from outcrops in the eastern Mojave Desert, California and Nevada. Gravity, magnetic, and physical-property data are used to study and locate regional...

Denton, Kevin M.; Ponce, David A.
Denton, K.M., and Ponce, D.A., 2016, Gravity and magnetic studies of the eastern Mojave Desert, California and Nevada: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016-1070, 20 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161070.

Year Published: 2016

Historical files from Federal Government mineral exploration-assistance programs, 1950 to 1974

The Defense Minerals Administration (DMA), Defense Minerals Exploration Administration (DMEA), and Office of Minerals Exploration (OME) mineral exploration programs were active over the period 1950–1974. Under these programs, the Federal Government contributed financial assistance in the exploration for certain strategic and critical minerals. The...

Frank, David G.
Frank, D.G., 2016, Historical files from Federal Government mineral exploration-assistance programs, 1950 to 1974: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1004, http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ds1004.

Year Published: 2016

Geologic map of the Vancouver and Orchards quadrangles and parts of the Portland and Mount Tabor quadrangles, Clark County, Washington, and Multnomah County, Oregon

IntroductionThis is a 1:24,000-scale geologic map of the Vancouver and Orchards quadrangles and parts of the Portland and Mount Tabor quadrangles in the States of Washington and Oregon. The map area is within the Portland Basin and includes most of the city of Vancouver, Washington; parts of Clark County, Washington; and a small part of...

O'Connor, Jim E.; Cannon, Charles M.; Mangano, Joseph F.; Evarts, Russell C.
O’Connor, J.E., Cannon, C.M., Mangano, J.F., and Evarts, R.C., 2016, Geologic map of the Vancouver and Orchards quadrangles and parts of the Portland and Mount Tabor quadrangles, Clark County, Washington, and Multnomah County, Oregon: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3357, scale 1:24,000, http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sim3357.

Filter Total Items: 81
Image shows a sample of pyrrhotite against a black background
2016 (approx.)
Pyrrhotite is an iron sulfide mineral related to iron pyrite, which is one of the minerals known as Fool's Gold. Pyrrhotite, although not one of the Fool's Gold minerals, is sometimes called magnetic pyrite as it is weakly magnetic. It is most valued as a collectors mineral. Sample provided by Carlin Green, USGS. Sample originated from Eagle Mine, Michigan, and is 4.5cm in size.
Image shows a sample of rutile against a black background
2016 (approx.)
This is a sample of rutile, one of the primary mineral sources of titanium. While as a metal, titanium is well known for corrosion resistance and for its high strength-to-weight ratio, approximately 95% of titanium is consumed in the form of titanium dioxide (TiO 2 ), a white pigment used in paints, paper, and plastics. Read more about titanium here , and learn about the titanium industry here ...
Image shows a sample of axinite against a black background
2016 (approx.)
This is a sample of axinite with iron, making it ferroaxinite. Axinite is primarily used as a collectors mineral. Sample provided by Carlin Green, USGS. Sample originated from Puiva Mount, Russia, and is 3.0cm in size.
Image shows a sample of cerussite on a black background
2016 (approx.)
This sample is of the mineral cerussite, once an important source of lead for paints and pigments. With the phasing out of lead-based paints, cerussite is now mostly valued as a collectors mineral. Sample provided by Carlin Green, USGS. Sample originated from Mibladen, Morocco, and is 5.6cm in size.
Image shows a sample of clinozoisite against a black background
2016 (approx.)
This sample is clinozoisite, a calcium aluminum silicate mineral. It is mostly prized as a collectors mineral rather than a source of its industrial mineral commodities. Sample provided by Carlin Green, USGS. Sample originated from Hachupa, Pakistan, and is 6.0cm in size.
Image shows a sample of epidote and quartz against a black background
2016 (approx.)
Epidote is a silicate mineral used mostly as a semiprecious gemstone. Sample provided by Carlin Green, USGS. Sample originated from Prince of Wales Island, Alaska, and is 6.0cm in size.
Image shows a sample of gold against a black background
2016 (approx.)
A sample of native gold. Gold has been treasured since ancient times for its beauty and permanence. Most of the gold that is fabricated today goes into the manufacture of jewelry, but it also performs critical functions in computers, communications equipment, spacecraft, jet aircraft engines, and a host of other products. Read more about gold here . Sample provided by Carlin Green, USGS. Sample...
Image shows a sample of torbernite against a black background
2016 (approx.)
Torbernite is a copper phosphate mineral that contains uranium, making it somewhat radioactive. Although it can be used as a uranium ore, it's more valued as a collectors mineral. It can be used as a good indicator of uranium deposits, however. Sample provided by Carlin Green, USGS. Sample originated from Musonoi Mine, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and is 5.0cm in size.
Image shows a sample of augelite and quartz on a black background.
2016 (approx.)
A sample of augelite and quartz. Augelite is an aluminum phosphate mineral, primarily prized for collecting rather than as a source for its industrial mineral components. Sample provided by Carlin Green, USGS. Sample originated from Mundo Nuevo Mine, Peru, and is 3.7cm in size.
Image shows a sample of Apophyllite and Prehnite on a black background
2016 (approx.)
These two minerals are apophyllite and prehnite. Both apophyllite, the clear crystals, and prehnite, the green mineral, are primarily prized as collectors minerals. Sample provided by Carlin Green, USGS. Sample originated from Virginia Crushed Stone Quarry, Virginia, and is 4.6cm in size.
Image shows a sample of azurite and malachite against a black background
2016 (approx.)
A sample of azurite, the blue mineral, and malachite, the green mineral. Both azurite and malachite are copper minerals that were once used as pigments but are now mostly valued as collectors minerals. They do serve as good indicators of copper deposits that can be developed. Read more information about copper here . Sample provided by Carlin Green, USGS. Sample originated from Milpillas Mine,...
Image shows a sample of elbaite on a black background
2016 (approx.)
Elbaite is one of the best-known members of the tourmaline mineral family, particularly for its high-quality gemstones. Read more about the tourmaline mineral family here . Sample provided by Carlin Green, USGS. Sample originated from Himalaya Mine, California, and is 4.9cm in size.
Filter Total Items: 98
Image shows a man standing ankle-deep in a stream with an orange sampler
July 18, 2016

“Whatcha gonna do when they come for you”-thinks this week’s EarthWord...

Illustrated map of Iran showing various mining sites and refining/smelting plants of nonfuel minerals.
July 11, 2016

The USGS released a publication highlighting the nonfuel minerals industry of Iran. 

USGS logo
July 7, 2016

Alaska is a major producer of base and precious metals and has a high potential for additional undiscovered mineral resources. However, discovery is hindered by Alaska’s vast size, remoteness and rugged terrain. New methods are needed to overcome these obstacles in order to evaluate Alaska’s geology and mineral resource potential.

Painting - Denali in Midsummer
June 21, 2016

The U.S. Geological Survey has produced a new compilation of landscape-scale sediment and soil geochemical data for Alaska. This was last completed nearly 40 years ago in 1978, but the new effort uses modern modeling and analysis techniques to map 68 elements across a newly developed and updated geochemical atlas of Alaska.

Image shows sunrise through a drill rig
June 8, 2016

This is the second-largest assessment of potential shale & tight gas resources that the USGS has ever conducted.

Image shows a map with an aerial image of the study site beneath it
May 9, 2016

These are the first published studies to demonstrate water-quality impacts to a surface stream due to activities at an unconventional oil and gas wastewater deep well injection disposal site.

Image shows gold-bearing veins of quartz
May 6, 2016

Happy Mother's Day from EarthWords!

collage of scientists conducting science related to each mission are
April 12, 2016

The fourth volume of the comprehensive history of the U.S. Geological Survey, Minerals, Lands, and Geology for the Common Defence and General Welfare: Volume 4, 1939‒1961, has been issued as an electronic document.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 30, 2016

Scientists studying rare earth and critical elements now have a solid foundation for future research, as detailed in a special volume of the Society of Economic Geologists. This review volume, featuring several papers authored and co-authored by the U.S. Geological Survey, provides a comprehensive review of the current state of knowledge for rare earth and critical elements in ore deposits.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 23, 2016

The Central Asia Salt Basin of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan has the potential to contain between 39 and 54 billion metric tons of undiscovered potash resources, according to a global mineral resource assessment led by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Known potash resources in the Central Asia Salt Basin consist of 1.63 billion metric tons.