Mission Areas

Energy and Minerals

Mission Areas L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 22
Grand Canyon, Arizona as seen from Desert View Point on the South Rim.
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
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
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
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
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
March 3, 2016

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

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 3, 2016

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

USGS science for a changing world logo
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
March 3, 2016

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

USGS science for a changing world logo
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: 91
Probing the volcanic-plutonic connection and the genesis of crystal-rich rhyolite in a deeply dissected supervolcano in the Nevada Great Basin: Source of the late Eocene Caetano Tuff
Year Published: 2016

Probing the volcanic-plutonic connection and the genesis of crystal-rich rhyolite in a deeply dissected supervolcano in the Nevada Great Basin: Source of the late Eocene Caetano Tuff

Late Cenozoic faulting and large-magnitude extension in the Great Basin of the western USA has created locally deep windows into the upper crust, permitting direct study of volcanic and plutonic rocks within individual calderas. The Caetano caldera in north–central Nevada, formed during the mid-Tertiary ignimbrite flare-up, offers one of the best...

Watts, Kathryn E.; John, David A.; Colgan, Joseph P.; Henry, Christopher D.; Bindeman, Ilya N.; Schmitt, Axel K.
Geology and mineral resources of the North-Central Idaho Sagebrush Focal Area: Chapter C in Mineral resources of the Sagebrush Focal Areas of Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming
Year Published: 2016

Geology and mineral resources of the North-Central Idaho Sagebrush Focal Area: Chapter C in Mineral resources of the Sagebrush Focal Areas of Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming

SummaryThe U.S. Department of the Interior has proposed to withdraw approximately 10 million acres of Federal lands from mineral entry (subject to valid existing rights) from 12 million acres of lands defined as Sagebrush Focal Areas (SFAs) in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming (for further discussion on the lands involved see...

Lund, Karen; Zürcher, Lukas; Hofstra, Albert H.; Van Gosen, Bradley S.; Benson, Mary Ellen; Box, Stephen E.; Anderson, Eric D.; Bleiwas, Donald I.; DeAngelo, Jacob; Drake, Ronald M.; Fernette, Gregory L.; Giles, Stuart A.; Glen, Jonathan M. G.; Haacke, Jon E.; Horton, John D.; John, David A.; Robinson,, Gilpin R.; Rockwell, Barnaby W.; San Juan, Carma A.; Shaffer, Brian N.; Smith, Steven M.; Williams, Colin F.
Lund, K., Zürcher, L., Hofstra, A.H., Van Gosen, B.S., Benson, M.E., Box, S.E., Anderson, E.D., Bleiwas, D.I., DeAngelo, J., Drake, R.M., II, Fernette, G.L., Giles, S.A., Glen, J.M.G., Haacke, J.E., Horton, J., John, D.M., Robinson, G.R., Jr., Rockwell, B.W., San Juan, C.A., Shaffer, B.N., Smith, S.M., and Williams, C.F., 2016, Geology and mineral resources of the North-Central Idaho Sagebrush Focal Area (ver. 1.1, October 27, 2016): U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2016–5089 –C, 147 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20165089C.
Geology and mineral resources of the North-Central Montana Sagebrush Focal Area: Chapter D in Mineral resources of the Sagebrush Focal Areas of Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming
Year Published: 2016

Geology and mineral resources of the North-Central Montana Sagebrush Focal Area: Chapter D in Mineral resources of the Sagebrush Focal Areas of Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming

SummaryThe U.S. Department of the Interior has proposed to withdraw approximately 10 million acres of Federal lands from mineral entry (subject to valid existing rights) from 12 million acres of lands defined as Sagebrush Focal Areas (SFAs) in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming (for further discussion on the lands involved see...

Mauk, Jeffrey L.; Zientek, Michael L.; Hearn, B. Carter; Parks, Heather L.; Jenkins, M. Christopher; Anderson, Eric D.; Benson, Mary Ellen; Bleiwas, Donald I.; DeAngelo, Jacob; Denning, Paul D.; Dicken, Connie L.; Drake, Ronald M.; Fernette, Gregory L.; Folger, Helen W.; Giles, Stuart A.; Glen, Jonathan M. G.; Granitto, Matthew; Haacke, Jon E.; Horton, John D.; Kelley, Karen D.; Ober, Joyce A.; Rockwell, Barnaby W.; San Juan, Carma A.; Sangine, Elizabeth S.; Schweitzer, Peter N.; Shaffer, Brian N.; Smith, Steven M.; Williams, Colin F.; Yager, Douglas B.
Mauk, J.L., Zientek, M.L., Hearn, B.C., Jr., Parks, H.L., Jenkins, M.C., Anderson, E.D., Benson, M.E., Bleiwas, D.I., DeAngelo, J., Denning, P.D., Dicken, C.L., Drake, R.M., II, Fernette, G.L., Folger, H.W., Giles, S.A., Glen, J.M.G., Granitto, M., Haacke, J.E., Horton, J.D., Kelley, K.D., Ober, J.A., Rockwell, B.W., San Juan, C.A., Sangine, E.S., Schweitzer, P.N., Shaffer, B.N., Smith, S.M., Williams, C.F., and Yager, D.B., 2016, Geology and mineral resources of the North-Central Montana Sagebrush Focal Area: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2016–5089–D, 104 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20165089D.
USGS mineral-resource assessment of Sagebrush Focal Areas in the western United States
Year Published: 2016

USGS mineral-resource assessment of Sagebrush Focal Areas in the western United States

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists have completed an assessment of the mineral-resource potential of nearly 10 million acres of Federal and adjacent lands in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming. The assessment of these lands, identified as Sagebrush Focal Areas, was done at the request of the Bureau of Land Management.

Frank, David G.; Frost, Thomas P.; Day, Warren C.
Frank, D.G., Frost, T.P., Day, W.C., and the USGS SaMiRA team, 2016, U.S. Geological Survey mineral-resource assessment of Sagebrush Focal Areas in the Western United States: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2016–3074, 4 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/fs20163074.
Geology and mineral resources of the Sheldon-Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex (Oregon and Nevada), the Southeastern Oregon and North-Central Nevada, and the Southern Idaho and Northern Nevada (and Utah) Sagebrush Focal Areas: Chapter B in M
Year Published: 2016

Geology and mineral resources of the Sheldon-Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex (Oregon and Nevada), the Southeastern Oregon and North-Central Nevada, and the Southern Idaho and Northern Nevada (and Utah) Sagebrush Focal Areas: Chapter B in M

SummaryThe U.S. Department of the Interior has proposed to withdraw approximately 10 million acres of Federal lands from mineral entry (subject to valid existing rights) from 12 million acres of lands defined as Sagebrush Focal Areas (SFAs) in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming (for further discussion on the lands involved see...

Vikre, Peter G.; Benson, Mary Ellen; Bleiwas, Donald I.; Colgan, Joseph P.; Cossette, Pamela M.; DeAngelo, Jacob; Dicken, Connie L.; Drake, Ronald M.; du Bray, Edward A.; Fernette, Gregory L.; Glen, Jonathan M.G.; Haacke, Jon E.; Hall, Susan M.; Hofstra, Albert H.; John, David A.; Ludington, Stephen; Mihalasky, Mark J.; Rytuba, James J.; Shaffer, Brian N.; Stillings, Lisa L.; Wallis, John C.; Williams, Colin F.; Yager, Douglas B.; Zürcher, Lukas
Vikre, P.G., Benson, M.E., Bleiwas, D.I., Colgan, J.P., Cossette, P.M., DeAngelo, J., Dicken, C.L., Drake, R.M., II, du Bray, E.A., Fernette, G.L., Glen, J.M.G., Haacke, J.E., Hall, S.M., Hofstra, A.H., John, D.A., Ludington, S., Mihalasky, M.J., Rytuba, J.J., Shaffer, B.N., Stillings, L.L., Wallis, J.C., Williams, C.F., Yager, D.B., and Zürcher, L., 2016, Geology and mineral resources of the Sheldon-Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex (Oregon and Nevada), the Southeastern Oregon and North-Central Nevada, and the Southern Idaho and Northern Nevada (and Utah) Sagebrush Focal Areas (ver. 1.1, October 28, 2016): U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2016–5089–B, 224 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20165089B.
Geology and mineral resources of the Southwestern and South-Central Wyoming Sagebrush Focal Area, Wyoming, and the Bear River Watershed Sagebrush Focal Area, Wyoming and Utah: Chapter E in Mineral resources of the Sagebrush Focal Areas of Idaho, Montana,
Year Published: 2016

Geology and mineral resources of the Southwestern and South-Central Wyoming Sagebrush Focal Area, Wyoming, and the Bear River Watershed Sagebrush Focal Area, Wyoming and Utah: Chapter E in Mineral resources of the Sagebrush Focal Areas of Idaho, Montana,

SummaryThe U.S. Department of the Interior has proposed to withdraw approximately 10 million acres of Federal lands from mineral entry (subject to valid existing rights) from 12 million acres of lands defined as Sagebrush Focal Areas (SFAs) in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming (for further discussion on the lands involved see...

Wilson, Anna B.; Hayes, Timothy S.; Benson, Mary Ellen; Yager, Douglas B.; Anderson, Eric D.; Bleiwas, Donald I.; DeAngelo, Jacob; Dicken, Connie L.; Drake, Ronald M.; Fernette, Gregory L.; Giles, Stuart A.; Glen, Jonathan M. G.; Haacke, Jon E.; Horton, John D.; Parks, Heather L.; Rockwell, Barnaby W.; Williams, Colin F.
Wilson, A.B., Hayes, T.S., Benson, M.E., Yager, D.B., Anderson, E.D., Bleiwas, D.I., DeAngelo, J., Dicken, C.L., Drake, R.M., II, Fernette, G.L., Giles, S.A., Glen, J.M.G., Haacke, J.E., Horton, J.D., Parks, H.L., Rockwell, B.W., and Williams, C.F., 2016, Geology and mineral resources of the Southwestern and South-Central Wyoming Sagebrush Focal Area, Wyoming, and the Bear River Watershed Sagebrush Focal Area, Wyoming and Utah, (ver. 1.1, October 26, 2016): U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2016–5089–E, 128 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20165089E.
Coastal deposits of heavy mineral sands; Global significance and US resources
Year Published: 2016

Coastal deposits of heavy mineral sands; Global significance and US resources

Ancient and modern coastal deposits of heavy mineral sands (HMS) are the principal source of several heavy industrial minerals, with mining and processing operations on every continent except Antarctica. For example, HMS deposits are the main source of titanium feedstock for the titanium dioxide (TiO2) pigments industry, obtained from the minerals...

Van Gosen, Bradley S.; Bleiwas, Donald I.; Bedinger, George M.; Ellefsen, Karl J.; Shah, Anjana K.
Element concentrations in surface soils of the Coconino Plateau, Grand Canyon region, Coconino County, Arizona
Year Published: 2016

Element concentrations in surface soils of the Coconino Plateau, Grand Canyon region, Coconino County, Arizona

This report provides the geochemical analyses of a large set of background soils collected from the surface of the Coconino Plateau in northern Arizona. More than 700 soil samples were collected at 46 widespread areas, sampled from sites that appear unaffected by mineralization and (or) anthropogenic contamination. The soils were analyzed for 47...

Van Gosen, Bradley S.
Van Gosen, B.S., 2016, Element concentrations in surface soils of the Coconino Plateau, Grand Canyon region, Coconino County, Arizona: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016–1160, 9 p. http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161160.
Marine magnetic survey and onshore gravity and magnetic survey, San Pablo Bay, northern California
Year Published: 2016

Marine magnetic survey and onshore gravity and magnetic survey, San Pablo Bay, northern California

IntroductionFrom November 2011 to August 2015, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) collected more than 1,000 line-kilometers (length of lines surveyed in kilometers) of marine magnetic data on San Pablo Bay, 98 onshore gravity stations, and over 27 line-kilometers of ground magnetic data in northern California. Combined magnetic and gravity...

Ponce, David A.; Denton, Kevin M.; Watt, Janet T.
Ponce, D.A., Denton, K.M., and Watt, J.T., 2016, Marine magnetic survey and onshore gravity and magnetic survey, San Pablo Bay, northern California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016–1150, 14 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161150.
Forward modeling of gravity data using geostatistically generated subsurface density variations
Year Published: 2016

Forward modeling of gravity data using geostatistically generated subsurface density variations

Using geostatistical models of density variations in the subsurface, constrained by geologic data, forward models of gravity anomalies can be generated by discretizing the subsurface and calculating the cumulative effect of each cell (pixel). The results of such stochastically generated forward gravity anomalies can be compared with the observed...

Phelps, Geoffrey
Time-slice maps showing age, distribution, and style of deformation in Alaska north of 60° N.
Year Published: 2016

Time-slice maps showing age, distribution, and style of deformation in Alaska north of 60° N.

The structural architecture of Alaska is the product of a complex history of tectonism that occurred along the Cordilleran and Arctic margins of North America through interactions with ancient and modern ocean plates and with continental elements derived from Laurentia, Siberia, and Baltica. To unravel the tectonic history of Alaska, we...

Moore, Thomas E.; Box, Stephen E.
Moore, T.E., and Box, S.E., 2016, Time-slice maps showing age, distribution, and style of deformation in Alaska north of 60° N.: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016–1138, 101 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161138.
Mineral resources of the Sagebrush Focal Areas of Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming
Year Published: 2016

Mineral resources of the Sagebrush Focal Areas of Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming

Scientific Investigations Report 2016–5089 and accompanying data releases are the products of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Sagebrush Mineral-Resource Assessment (SaMiRA). The assessment was done at the request of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to evaluate the mineral-resource potential of some 10 million acres of Federal and adjacent...

Day, W.C., Frost, T.P., Hammarstrom, J.M., and Zientek, M.L., eds., 2016, Mineral Resources of the Sagebrush Focal Areas of Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2016–5089, http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20165089.
Filter Total Items: 64
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 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 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 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 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.
Full view of salt, sodium, chlorine sample
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 Sphalerite
March 23, 2017
Sphalerite, zinc sulfide, is and has been the principal ore mineral in the world. Zinc uses range from metal products to rubber and medicines. Zinc alloys readily with other metals and is chemically active. On exposure to air, it develops a thin gray oxide film (patina), which inhibits deeper oxidation (corrosion) of the metal. The metal’s resistance to corrosion is an important characteristic in...
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.
Close up of Garnet Schist
March 23, 2017
Mineral : Garnet Schist Primary Commodity : Garnet Primary Commodity Uses : Garnet is mostly used for abrasives, water filtration, and some electronics
Full view of Molybdenite
March 23, 2017
Mineral : Molybdenite Mineral Origin : Henderson Mine, Empire, CO Primary Mineral Commodity : Molybdenum Mineral Commodity Uses : In the late 19th century, French metallurgists discovered that molybdenum, when alloyed (mixed) with steel in small quantities, creates a substance that is remarkably tougher than steel alone and is highly resistant to heat. The alloy was found to be ideal for making...
Close up of Bertrandite
March 23, 2017
Mineral : Bertrandite (in carbonate clasts that have been largely replaced by fluorite (purple) that contains submicroscopic bertrandite) Mineral Origin : Spor Mountain, UT Primary Commodity : Beryllium Primary Commodity Uses : Beryllium alloys are used in making connectors, springs, switches and other components of electronics
Filter Total Items: 75
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.