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Energy and Minerals

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Grand Canyon, Arizona as seen from Desert View Point on the South Rim.
Date Published: July 1, 2016

The use of uranium is an alternative energy source to petroleum products and some of the United States’ highest quality ore is located on the Colorado Plateau. However, some regions where suitable mining efforts are conducted include areas that are near important environmental resources such as National Parks that provide viewscapes and habitat for wildlife.

USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: March 3, 2016

Oil and gas undiscovered resource assessments for conventional and unconventional accumulations, reserve growth evaluations, and energy economic analyses for the U.S. and world.

USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: March 3, 2016

We operate a low–enriched uranium–fueled, pool–type reactor, the Geological Survey TRIGA® Reactor, to support science by providing information on geologic, plant, and animal specimens to advance methods and techniques unique to nuclear reactors. Samples from around the world are submitted to the USGS for analysis using the reactor facility.

USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: March 3, 2016

U.S. coal resource and reserve assessments, U.S. and world coal quality, and coalbed gas.

USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: March 3, 2016

The U.S. National Ice Core Laboratory is a facility for storing, curating, and studying ice cores recovered from the polar regions of the world. It provides scientists with the capability to conduct examinations and measurements on ice cores, and it preserves the integrity of these ice cores in a repository for current and future investigations.

USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: March 3, 2016

Research and evaluations of gas hydrates, geothermal, uranium, oil shale, and wind energy impacts on animals.

Image shows a scan of a grain of pyrite rimmed with stibnite, with varying levels of arsenic shown in a color gradient.
Date Published: March 3, 2016
Status: Active

The laboratory capabilities include imaging, x-ray analysis, x-ray mapping, image processing, and optical microscopy.

USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: March 3, 2016

Studies of environmental aspects of energy such as water from oil and gas production, geologic carbon sequestration, and mercury and selenium in the environment.

USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: March 3, 2016

Seismic data acquisition, processing, interpretation, and archiving; energy geochemistry laboratory; and geochemistry research.

USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: March 3, 2016

SHRIMP-RG stands for Sensitive High-Resolution Ion Microprobe with Reverse Geometry. We are committed to making SHRIMP-RG available to the scientific community and seek projects that require spatially resolved measurements and benefit from SHRIMP-RG's unique combination of high secondary transmission and high mass resolving power.

Filter Total Items: 612
Year Published: 2017

Geology and undiscovered resource assessment of the potash-bearing Pripyat and Dnieper-Donets Basins, Belarus and Ukraine

Undiscovered potash resources in the Pripyat Basin, Belarus, and Dnieper-Donets Basin, Ukraine, were assessed as part of a global mineral resource assessment led by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The Pripyat Basin (in Belarus) and the Dnieper-Donets Basin (in Ukraine and southern Belarus) host stratabound and halokinetic Upper Devonian (...

Cocker, Mark D.; Orris, Greta J.; Dunlap, Pamela; Lipin, Bruce R.; Ludington, Steve; Ryan, Robert J.; Słowakiewicz, Mirosław; Spanski, Gregory T.; Wynn, Jeff; Yang, Chao
Cocker, M.D., Orris, G.J., and Dunlap, Pamela, with contributions from Lipin, B.R., Ludington, Steve, Ryan, R.J., Słowakiewicz, Mirosław, Spanski, G.T., Wynn, Jeff, and Yang, Chao, 2017, Geology and undiscovered resource assessment of the potash-bearing Pripyat and Dnieper-Donets Basins, Belarus and Ukraine: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2010–5090–BB, 116 p., and spatial data, https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20105090BB.

Year Published: 2017

Geologic map of the northern White Hills, Mohave County, Arizona

IntroductionThe northern White Hills map area lies within the Kingman Uplift, a regional structural high in which Tertiary rocks lie directly on Proterozoic rocks as a result of Cretaceous orogenic uplift and erosional stripping of Paleozoic and Mesozoic strata. The Miocene Salt Spring Fault forms the major structural boundary in the map area....

Howard, Keith A.; Priest, Susan S.; Lundstrom, Scott C.; Block, Debra L.
Howard, K.A., Priest, S.S., Lundstrom, S.C., and Block, D.L., 2017, Geologic map of the northern White Hills, Mohave County, Arizona: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3372, pamphlet 31 p., scale 1:50,000, https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3372.

Year Published: 2017

Quantifying the heterogeneity of the tectonic stress field using borehole data

The heterogeneity of the tectonic stress field is a fundamental property which influences earthquake dynamics and subsurface engineering. Self-similar scaling of stress heterogeneities is frequently assumed to explain characteristics of earthquakes such as the magnitude-frequency relation. However, observational evidence for such scaling of the...

Schoenball, Martin; Davatzes, Nicholas C.
[complete this] Schoenball, Martin, and Davatzes, Nicholas C., 2016, Quantifying the heterogeneity of the tectonic stress field using local and global borehole data: Journal of Geophysical Research, doi:10.1002/2017JB014370.

Year Published: 2017

10Be dating of late Pleistocene megafloods and Cordilleran Ice Sheet retreat in the northwestern United States

During the late Pleistocene, multiple floods from drainage of glacial Lake Missoula further eroded a vast anastomosing network of bedrock channels, coulees, and cataracts, forming the Channeled Scabland of eastern Washington State (United States). However, the timing and exact pathways of these Missoula floods remain poorly constrained, thereby...

Balbas, Andrea M.; Barth, Aaron M.; Clark, Peter U.; Clark, Jorie; Caffee, Marc A.; O'Connor, Jim E.; Baker, Victor R.; Konrad, Kevin; Bjornstad, Bruce
Balbas, A., Barth, A.M., Clark, P.U., Clark, J., Caffee, M, O’Connor, J.E., Baker, V.R., Konrad, K., Bjornstad, B.,2 017, 10Be dating of late-Pleistocene megafloods and Cordilleran ice-sheet retreat in the northwestern U.S. Geology. First published on May 8, 2017, doi:10.1130/G38956.1

Year Published: 2017

Spatiotemporal analysis of changes in lode mining claims around the McDermitt Caldera, northern Nevada and southern Oregon

Resource managers and agencies involved with planning for future federal land needs are required to complete an assessment of and forecast for future land use every ten years. Predicting mining activities on federal lands is difficult as current regulations do not require disclosure of exploration results. In these cases, historic mining claims...

Coyan, Joshua; Zientek, Michael L.; Mihalasky, Mark J.
Coyan, J.A., Zientek, M.L. & Mihalasky, M.J. Nat Resour Res (2017) 26: 319. doi:10.1007/s11053-017-9324-9

Year Published: 2017

The Neogene genus Streptochilus (Brönnimann and Resig, 1971) from the Gulf of California

Four species of the planktonic foraminiferal genus Streptochilus from key Neogene marine localities are documented in relation to the evolution of the Gulf of California: S. globigerus, S. latus, S. macdougallae sp. nov., and S. inglei sp. nov. Planktonic foraminiferal bioevents and strontium isotopes in the Bouse, Tirabuzón, Carmen and Ojo de...

Miranda Martínez, A.Y.; Carreño, A.L.; McDougall, Kristin
Miranda-Martínez, A. Y., Carreño, A. L., & McDougall, K. (2017, April). The Neogene genus Streptochilus (Brönnimann and Resig, 1971) from the Gulf of California. Marine Micropaleontology. Elsevier BV. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marmicro.2017.05.001

Year Published: 2017

Geologic map of the Beacon Rock quadrangle, Skamania County, Washington

The Beacon Rock 7.5′ quadrangle is located approximately 50 km east of Portland, Oregon, on the north side of the Columbia River Gorge, a scenic canyon carved through the axis of the Cascade Range by the Columbia River. Although approximately 75,000 people live within the gorge, much of the region remains little developed and is encompassed by the...

Evarts, Russell C.; Fleck, Robert J.
Evarts, R.C., and Fleck, R.J., 2017, Geologic map of the Beacon Rock quadrangle, Skamania County, Washington: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3367, pamphlet 61 p., scale 1:24,000, https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3367.

Year Published: 2017

Regional and temporal variability of melts during a Cordilleran magma pulse: Age and chemical evolution of the jurassic arc, eastern mojave desert, California

Intrusive rock sequences in the central and eastern Mojave Desert segment of the Jurassic Cordilleran arc of the western United States record regional and temporal variations in magmas generated during the second prominent pulse of Mesozoic continental arc magmatism. U/Pb zircon ages provide temporal control for describing variations in rock and...

Barth, A.P.; Wooden, J.L.; Miller, David; Howard, Keith A.; Fox, Lydia; Schermer, Elizabeth R.; Jacobson, C.E.
Regional and temporal variability of melts during a Cordilleran magma pulse: Age and chemical evolution of the Jurassic arc, eastern Mojave Desert, California. Barth A.P., Wooden J.L., Miller D.M., Howard K.A., Fox L.K., Schermer E.R., Jacobson C.E. Geological Society of America Bulletin. 5 October 2016. v. 129 no. 3-4 p. 429-448

Year Published: 2017

Assessing changes in the physico-chemical properties and fluoride adsorption capacity of activated alumina under varied conditions

Adsorption using activated alumina is a simple method for removing fluoride from drinking water, but to be cost effective the adsorption capacity must be high and effective long-term. The intent of this study was to assess changes in its adsorption capacity under varied conditions. This was determined by evaluating the physico-chemical properties...

Craig, Laura; Stillings, Lisa; Decker, David L.

Year Published: 2017

Re-Os systematics and geochemistry of cobaltite (CoAsS) in the Idaho cobalt belt, Belt-Purcell Basin, USA: Evidence for middle Mesoproterozoic sediment-hosted Co-Cu sulfide mineralization with Grenvillian and Cretaceous remobilization

We report the first study of the Re-Os systematics of cobaltite (CoAsS) using disseminated grains and massive sulfides from samples of two breccia-type and two stratabound deposits in the Co-Cu-Au Idaho cobalt belt (ICB), Lemhi subbasin to the Belt-Purcell Basin, Idaho, USA. Using a 185Re + 190Os spike solution, magnetic and non-...

Saintilan, N.J.; Creaser, R.A.; Bookstrom, Arthur A.
Saintilan, N.J., Creaser, R.A., and Bookstrom, A.A., 2017, Re-Os systematics and geochemistry of cobaltite (CoAsS) in the Idaho cobalt belt, Belt-Purcell Basin, USA: Evidence for middle Mesoproterozoic sediment-hosted Co-Cu sulfide mineralization with Grenvillian and Cretaceous remobilization: Ore Geology Reviews, v. ?, p. ?

Year Published: 2017

Cascadia subduction tremor muted by crustal faults

Deep, episodic slow slip on the Cascadia subduction megathrust of western North America is accompanied by low-frequency tremor in a zone of high fluid pressure between 30 and 40 km depth. Tremor density (tremor epicenters per square kilometer) varies along strike, and lower tremor density statistically correlates with upper plate faults that...

Wells, Ray; Blakely, Richard J.; Wech, Aaron G.; McCrory, Patricia A.; Michael, Andrew
Wells, RE, Blakely, RJ, Wech, AG, McCrory, Michael, A., 2017, Cascadia subduction tremor muted by crustal faults. Geology, 45(6) 515-518.

Year Published: 2017

The Evergreen basin and the role of the Silver Creek fault in the San Andreas fault system, San Francisco Bay region, California

The Evergreen basin is a 40-km-long, 8-km-wide Cenozoic sedimentary basin that lies mostly concealed beneath the northeastern margin of the Santa Clara Valley near the south end of San Francisco Bay (California, USA). The basin is bounded on the northeast by the strike-slip Hayward fault and an approximately parallel subsurface fault that is...

Jachens, Robert C.; Wentworth, Carl M.; Graymer, Russell W.; Williams, Robert; Ponce, David A.; Mankinen, Edward A.; Stephenson, William J.; Langenheim, Victoria
R.C. Jachens, C.M. Wentworth, R.W. Graymer, R.A. Williams, D.A. Ponce, E.A. Mankinen, W.J. Stephenson, and V.E. Langenheim The Evergreen basin and the role of the Silver Creek fault in the San Andreas fault system, San Francisco Bay region, California Geosphere, April 2017, v. 13, p. 269-286

Filter Total Items: 117
Close up of salt, sodium, chlorine
March 23, 2017
Mineral : Halite (NaCl) Primary mineral Commodity : Salt Commodity Uses : Highway deicing accounted for about 44% of total salt consumed in 2016. Salt is also used as feedstock for chlorine and caustic soda manufacture; these two inorganic chemicals are used to make many consumer-related end-use products, such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic made from chlorine and paper-pulping chemicals...
Close up of Silicon Carbide
March 23, 2017
Mineral : Silicon Carbide Mineral Origin : Sample donated by Norton Company Primary Commodity : Silica (abrasive) Primary Commodity Uses : Just as their name implies, abrasives are used to abrade, clean, etch, grind, polish, scour, or otherwise remove material
Full view of Bauxite sample
March 23, 2017
Mineral : Bauxite Mineral Origin : Les Baux, France (Sample donated by Gary Kingston) Primary Commodity : Aluminum and Gallium Primary Commodity Uses : Aluminum is one of the most used metals on the planet, finding roles in transportation, construction, packaging, electronics, and other consumer goods. Gallium is primarily used in integrated circuits and LEDs. The United States is currently 100%...
Close up of Lead
March 23, 2017
Lead is a corrosion-resistant dense metal that is easily molded and shaped. 85% of lead in the US is used for lead-acid batteries, which are used in automobiles, as industrial-type batteries for standby power for computer and telecommunications networks, and for motive power.
Close up of Silicon Carbide
March 23, 2017
Mineral : Silicon Carbide Mineral Origin : Sample donated by Norton Company Primary Commodity : Silica (abrasive) Primary Commodity Uses : Just as their name implies, abrasives are used to abrade, clean, etch, grind, polish, scour, or otherwise remove material
Close up of Bastnaesite
March 23, 2017
Mineral : Bastnaesite (the reddish parts) in Carbonatite Mineral Origin : Mountain Pass, CA Primary Commodity : Rare earth elements Primary Commodity Uses : Rare earth elements are used to make strong magnets for smartphone speakers, microphones, vibration motors, smartphone screens, as well as many other high-tech applications.
Close up of Specularite
March 23, 2017
Mineral : Specularite (a variety of Hematite) Mineral Origin: Republic Mine, MI Primary Mineral Commodity : Iron Commodity Uses : Steelmaking
Close up of Rutile
March 23, 2017
Mineral : Rutile Primary Commodity : Titanium Primary Commodity Uses : The vast majority of titanium is used in whiteners in the form of titanium oxide. Titanium metal makes up a comparatively small amount of the use for titanium, but as a metal it is used in metal coatings and medical implants.
Close up of Bismuthinite
March 23, 2017
Primary Commodity : Bismuth Primary Commodity Uses : Bismuth is the heaviest of the heavy metals and the only non-toxic one at that. As such, it’s seen a lot of use in replacements for lead, as well as in medications and atomic research.
Close up of Fluorite
March 23, 2017
Mineral : Fluorite Mineral Origin : Cave-in-Rock District, IL (Sample donated by H.B. Wood) Primary Commodity : Fluorspar Primary Commodity Uses : Fluorspar is used directly or indirectly to manufacture products such as aluminum, gasoline, insulating foams, refrigerants, steel, and uranium fuel.
Close up of Silver
March 23, 2017
Mineral : Tetrahedrite (a copper antimony sulfosalt) Mineral Origin : Bingham Canyon, UT Main Commodity: Silver Uses : electric wiring and silver-based inks create electrical pathways in electronics; jewelry, mirrors, coins, in photovoltaic cells to transform sunlight into electricity.
Close up of Chromite
March 23, 2017
Mineral : Chromite Mineral Origin : Owings Mills, MD Primary Commodity : Chromium Primary Commodity Uses : Chromium mostly goes into stainless steel and other alloys, as well as in color pigments.
Filter Total Items: 117
Image shows a detail shot of finchite
October 1, 2017

Everyone’s seen the news–scientists discover a new species of fly and name it for Beyonce; scientists discover a new species of monkey and auction its name off; etc. Hundreds of new species of animals, plants, and other organisms are discovered and named every year. But did you know that dozens of minerals are discovered every year too?

Map of Crested Butte Low-Level Flight Study Area
September 25, 2017

Editor:  In the public interest and in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration regulations, the USGS is announcing this low-level airborne project. Your assistance in informing the local communities is appreciated.

Image shows a geologic map of the Lower 48
August 21, 2017

A carbonatite here, a glacial moraine there, a zig-zagging fault or two, even a behemoth of a batholith. The geology of the 50 States is an enormous patchwork of varied forms, beautiful in their variance but challenging to present as a single map.

House damage in central Oklahoma from a magnitude 5.6 earthquake in 2011
August 11, 2017

Editor:  In the public interest and in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration regulations, the USGS is announcing this low-level airborne project.  Your assistance in informing the local communities is appreciated.

Image shows a map of Eastern Europe with the assessed basins shown in colored polygons
August 3, 2017

The Dnieper-Donets Basin of Ukraine could contain an estimated 4.3 billion tons of undiscovered potassium-bearing salt according to a recent U.S. Geological Survey assessment. In addition, previous estimates show that the nearby Pripyat Basin of Belarus could contain 80–200 billion metric tons of undiscovered potash resources.

USGS
July 17, 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey has evaluated three methods for estimating how much oil and gas could be produced by injecting carbon dioxide (CO2) into petroleum reservoirs.

Image shows a map of the Mid-Continent of the United States
July 17, 2017

No, it’s not a title for a new reality-dating TV show, but it is real science! It also describes the ideal mineral deposit.

Image shows industrial piles of gray rock
June 29, 2017

Slag. Depending on where you’re from, it may be an insult, a term meaning trash, or, in our case, the waste left over from metal smelting or refining. Outside of the construction industry, it might seem that uses for slag are considered limited.

Image shows remnants of an abandoned mine in a hilly, forested area
June 9, 2017

At USGS, although the rocks we study are millions of years old, our scientific methods are cutting edge! Here's just one example of how we use creative problem-solving to help crystalize a solution to a complex issue.

Prescribed Burn at Tall Timbers Research Station
May 24, 2017

U.S. Geological Survey scientists and partners are taking technology to the next level, using unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), commonly called drones, to acquire both fire intensity and emissions data during prescribed burns.

Image shows a scan of an apatite grain on a black background
May 11, 2017

No one wants to have an active volcano in their backyard (just ask Dionisio Pulido), but ancient eroded volcanoes can sometimes be literal goldmines for mineral ores.