Energy and Minerals
Mission Areas L2 Landing Page Tabs
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...
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....
Oil and gas undiscovered resource assessments for conventional and unconventional accumulations, reserve growth evaluations, and energy economic analyses for the U.S. and world.
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.
U.S. coal resource and reserve assessments, U.S. and world coal quality, and coalbed gas.
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.
Research and evaluations of gas hydrates, geothermal, uranium, oil shale, and wind energy impacts on animals.
The laboratory capabilities include imaging, ex-ray analysis, x-ray mapping, image processing, and optical microscopy.
Studies of environmental aspects of energy such as water from oil and gas production, geologic carbon sequestration, and mercury and selenium in the environment.
Seismic data acquisition, processing, interpretation, and archiving; energy geochemistry laboratory; and geochemistry research.
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.
Mineral commodity summaries 2017
This report is the earliest Government publication to furnish estimates covering 2016 nonfuel mineral industry data. Data sheets contain information on the domestic industry structure, Government programs, tariffs, and 5-year salient statistics for more than 90 individual minerals and materials.Ober, Joyce A.
Mobilization of mercury and arsenic from a carbonate-hosted ore deposit, central Idaho, U.S.A.
The Cinnabar and Fern mine sites in central Idaho are primary source areas for elevated mercury and arsenic entering the South Fork of the Salmon River, which provides critical spawning habitat for bull trout and Chinook salmon. Mercury mineralization is hosted by carbonate rocks, which generate waters dominated by Ca2+ and HCO3 - at pH 7 to 9. A...Holloway, JoAnn M.; Pribil, Michael; McCleskey, R. Blaine; Etheridge, Alexandra B.; Krabbenhoft, David P.; Aiken, George R.
Geochemical characteristics of igneous rocks associated with epithermal mineral deposits—A review
Newly synthesized data indicate that the geochemistry of igneous rocks associated with epithermal mineral deposits varies extensively and continuously from subalkaline basaltic to rhyolitic compositions. Trace element and isotopic data for these rocks are consistent with subduction-related magmatism and suggest that the primary source magmas were...du Bray, Edward A.
Excursions in fluvial (dis)continuity
Lurking below the twin concepts of connectivity and disconnectivity are their first, and in some ways, richer cousins: continuity and discontinuity. In this paper we explore how continuity and discontinuity represent fundamental and complementary perspectives in fluvial geomorphology, and how these perspectives inform and underlie our conceptions...Grant, Gordon E.; O'Connor, James E.; Safran, Elizabeth
Larval aquatic insect responses to cadmium and zinc in experimental streams
To evaluate the risks of metal mixture effects to natural stream communities under ecologically relevant conditions, the authors conducted 30-d tests with benthic macroinvertebrates exposed to cadmium (Cd) and zinc (Zn) in experimental streams. The simultaneous exposures were with Cd and Zn singly and with Cd+Zn mixtures at environmentally...Mebane, Christopher A.; Schmidt, Travis S.; Balistrieri, Laurie S.
Dating of Pliocene Colorado River sediments: Implications for cosmogenic burial dating and the evolution of the lower Colorado River
We applied cosmogenic 26Al/10Be burial dating to sedimentary deposits of the ancestral Colorado River. We compared cosmogenic burial ages of sediments to the age of an independently well-dated overlying basalt flow at one site, and also applied cosmogenic burial dating to sediments with less precise independent age constraints. All dated...Howard, Keith A.; Matmon, Ari; Stock, Greg M.; Granger, Darryl E.
Lidar-Based Rock-Fall Hazard Characterization of Cliffs
Rock falls from cliffs and other steep slopes present numerous challenges for detailed geological characterization. In steep terrain, rock-fall source areas are both dangerous and difficult to access, severely limiting the ability to make detailed structural and volumetric measurements necessary for hazard assessment. Airborne and terrestrial...Collins, Brian; Greg M.Stock
Regional geophysics of western Utah and eastern Nevada, with emphasis on the Confusion Range
As part of a long term geologic and hydrologic study of several regional groundwater flow systems in western Utah and eastern Nevada, the U.S. Geological Survey was contracted by the Southern Nevada Water Authority to provide geophysical data. The primary object of these data was to enable construction of the geological framework of the flow...Mankinen, Edward A.; Rowley, Peter D.; Dixon, Gary L.; McKee, Edwin H.
Paleogeographic implications of Late Miocene lacustrine and nonmarine evaporite deposits in the Lake Mead region: Immediate precursors to the Colorado River
Thick late Miocene nonmarine evaporite (mainly halite and gypsum) and related lacustrine limestone deposits compose the upper basin fill in half grabens within the Lake Mead region of the Basin and Range Province directly west of the Colorado Plateau in southern Nevada and northwestern Arizona. Regional relations and geochronologic data indicate...Faulds, James E; Schreiber, Charlotte; Langenheim, Victoria; Hinz, Nicholas H; Shaw, Tom; Heizler, Matthew T.; Perkins, Michael E; El Tabakh, Mohammed; Kunk, Michael J.
U.S. Geological Survey assessment of global potash production and resources—A significant advancement for global development and a sustainable future.
During the past 15 yr, the global requirement for fertilizers has grown considerably, mainly due to demand by a larger and wealthier world population for more and higher-quality food. The demand and price for potash as a primary fertilizer ingredient have increased in tandem, because of the necessity to increase the quantity and quality of food...Cocker, Mark D.; Orris, Greta J.; Wynn, Jeff
The Bonneville Flood—A veritable débâcle: Chapter 6
The Bonneville Flood was one of the largest floods on Earth. First discovered by G.K. Gilbert in the 1870s during his inspection of the outlet at Red Rock Pass, it was rediscovered in the 1950s by Harold Malde and coworkers, leading to mapping and assessment of spectacular flood features along Marsh Creek, Portneuf River, and Snake River for over...O'connor, James
Potash—A vital agricultural nutrient sourced from geologic deposits
This report summarizes the primary sources of potash in the United States. Potash is an essential nutrient that, along with phosphorus and nitrogen, is used as fertilizer for growing crops. Plants require sufficient potash to activate enzymes, which in turn catalyze chemical reactions important for water uptake and photosynthesis. When potassium...Yager, Douglas B.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Budget Focuses on Core USGS Science and Efficiency
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.
Vast mineral wealth has been discovered in the Great Basin since the 1800s. As each new generation of prospectors and geologists brings their cutting-edge tools with them, the arid ridgelines of the desert Southwest have shown more and more potential.
On its 205th anniversary, Louisiana still rocks.
On its 229th birthday, Maryland still rocks.