Mission Areas

Energy and Minerals

Mission Areas L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 23
Poudre River looking upstream.
August 12, 2016

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...

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: 557
Year Published: 2017

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.
du Bray, E.A., 2017, Geochemical characteristics of igneous rocks associated with epithermal mineral deposits—A review: Ore Geology Reviews, v. 80, p. 767-783

Year Published: 2017

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

Year Published: 2017

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.
Mebane, C.A., T.S. Schmidt, and L.S. Balistrieri. 2016. Larval aquatic insect responses to cadmium and zinc in experimental streams. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/etc.3599

Year Published: 2017

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

Year Published: 2016

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.
Mankinen, E.A., Rowley, P.D., Dixon, G.L., and McKee, E.H., 2016, Regional geophysics of western Utah and eastern Nevada, with emphasis on the Confusion Range, in Comer, J.B., Inkenbrandt, P.C., Krahulec, K.A., and Pinnell, M.L., editors, Resources and Geology of Utah's West Desert: Utah Geologic Association Publication 45, p. 147-166.

Year Published: 2016

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.

Year Published: 2016

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

Year Published: 2016

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

Year Published: 2016

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.
Yager, D.B., 2016, Potash—A vital agricultural nutrient sourced from geologic deposits: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016-1167, 28 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161167.

Year Published: 2016

Age, distribution and style of deformation in Alaska north of 60°N: Implications for assembly of Alaska

The structural architecture of Alaska is the product of a complex history of deformation along both the Cordilleran and Arctic margins of North America involving oceanic plates, subduction zones and strike-slip faults and with continental elements of Laurentia, Baltica, and Siberia. We use geological constraints to assign regions of deformation to...

Moore, Thomas; Box, Stephen E.
Moore, T.E. and Box, S.E., 2016, Age, distribution and style of deformation in Alaska north of 60°N: Implications for assembly of Alaska: Tectonophysics, doi:10.1016/j.tecto.2016.06.025.

Year Published: 2016

Bedrock morphology and structure, upper Santa Cruz Basin, south-central Arizona, with transient electromagnetic survey data

The upper Santa Cruz Basin is an important groundwater basin containing the regional aquifer for the city of Nogales, Arizona. This report provides data and interpretations of data aimed at better understanding the bedrock morphology and structure of the upper Santa Cruz Basin study area which encompasses the Rio Rico and Nogales 1:24,000-scale U....

Bultman, Mark W.; Page, William R.
Bultman, M.W., and Page, W.R., 2016, Bedrock morphology and structure, upper Santa Cruz Basin, south-central Arizona, with transient electromagnetic survey data: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016–1152, 49 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161152.

Year Published: 2016

Sedimentary exhalative (sedex) zinc-lead-silver deposit model

This report draws on previous syntheses and basic research studies of sedimentary exhalative (sedex) deposits to arrive at the defining criteria, both descriptive and genetic, for sedex-type deposits. Studies of the tectonic, sedimentary, and fluid evolution of modern and ancient sedimentary basins have also been used to select defining criteria....

Emsbo, Poul; Seal, Robert R.; Breit, George N.; Diehl, Sharon F.; Shah, Anjana K.
Emsbo, Poul, Seal, R.R., Breit, G.N., Diehl, S.F., and Shah, A.K., 2016, Sedimentary exhalative (sedex) zinc-lead-silver deposit model: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2010–5070–N, 57 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20105070N.

Filter Total Items: 82
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.
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...
Filter Total Items: 103
Image shows black pans with gold grains
April 25, 2017

Whether you pan for gold or rare earths, you’ll get a lot of sand...and this EarthWord!

Image shows an Alaskan Mountain viewed through hyperspectral imaging
April 20, 2017

We've got a library full of spectral signatures, like a police fingerprint library for minerals and other substances!

A piece of limonite, an ore of iron.
April 18, 2017

While not a Ferris wheel, this EarthWord is just as magnetic an attraction...

Image shows a map of U.S. states colored based on the value of their mineral industry
April 14, 2017

In 2016, these five states led the pack in mineral production, accounting for about one third of the total mineral production value for the entire country.

Image shows a map of countries that are color-coded by the amount of mineral commodities they supply to the U.S.
April 12, 2017

The USGS National Minerals Information Center tracks how much the United States relies on other countries for minerals critical to the economy and national security.

Image shows a hyperspectral map of deposit types
April 11, 2017

It’s not a caffeinated ghost, but this EarthWord is nearly as trippy...

Midnight Rainbow at Atigun Gorge, Alaska
April 10, 2017

Managing 72 million acres of Federal lands in Alaska is not easy, especially when the land’s many uses need to be balanced. There are several competing interests, including the development of mineral resources that are critical to the American economy.

Image shows a tall, triangular gray stone surrounded by grass and trees
April 7, 2017

In 2016, the United States mined $74.6 billion worth of minerals, and the following five mineral commodities accounted for 68.5 percent of that value.

Image shows a scan of a grain of pyrite rimmed with stibnite, with varying levels of arsenic shown in a color gradient. Image pr
April 6, 2017

Today’s high-end electronics increasingly rely on mineral commodities...and research into those mineral commodities is increasingly using high-end electronics too!