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: 109
Potash—A vital agricultural nutrient sourced from geologic deposits
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.
Bedrock morphology and structure, upper Santa Cruz Basin, south-central Arizona, with transient electromagnetic survey data
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.
Sedimentary exhalative (sedex) zinc-lead-silver deposit model
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.
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.
Geology, selected geophysics, and hydrogeology of the White River and parts of the Great Salt Lake Desert regional groundwater flow systems, Utah and Nevada
Year Published: 2016

Geology, selected geophysics, and hydrogeology of the White River and parts of the Great Salt Lake Desert regional groundwater flow systems, Utah and Nevada

The east-central Great Basin near the Utah-Nevada border contains two great groundwater flow systems. The first, the White River regional groundwater flow system, consists of a string of hydraulically connected hydrographic basins in Nevada spanning about 270 miles from north to south. The northernmost basin is Long Valley and the southernmost...

Rowley, Peter D.; Dixon, Gary L.; Watrus , James M.; Burns, Andrews G.; Mankinen, Edward A.; McKee, Edwin H.; Pari, Keith T.; Ekren, E. Bartlett; Patrick , William G.
Rowley, P.D., Dixon, G.L., Watrus, J.M., Burns, A.G., Mankinen, E.A., McKee, E.H., Pari, K.T., Ekren, E.B., and Patrick, W.G., 2016, Geology, selected geo- physics, and hydrogeology of the White River and parts of the Great Salt Lake Desert regional groundwater flow systems, Utah and Nevada, , in Comer, J.B., Inkenbrandt, P.C., Krahulec, K.A., and Pinnell, M.L., editors, Resources and Geo- logy of Utah's West Desert: Utah Geologic Association Publication 45, p. 167-200.
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.
Filter Total Items: 81
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.
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 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 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.
Filter Total Items: 97
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!

A graphic of some examples of smartphones.
April 4, 2017

Earlier this year, Apple’s iPhone celebrated the 10th anniversary of its introduction to the world, an event that fueled a transformation within the technology and communications sector. This revolution would influence billions of smartphone users around the world forever altering many aspects of human life. 

Close up of Fluorite
April 4, 2017

Ever wondered what the difference between a rock and a mineral was? This EarthWord should cover it...

U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles
April 3, 2017

On an ordinary Tuesday in 2014, David Pineault, an economist at the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), reviewed his specialized reports and came to a startling conclusion: the United States needed to increase its stockpile of a basic manufacturing material with military applications—yttrium oxide, a material used in laser rangefinders.

Close up of Chalcopyrite
April 1, 2017

Think you know which mineral Fool’s Gold is? You might be fooled...

Scientists taking soil samples
March 15, 2017

Alaska has considerable potential for undiscovered mineral resources, including critical minerals.

Drill Rig and American Flag
February 27, 2017

It is difficult to overstate the importance of energy to the American economy.  Managing this vital sector depends on knowing how many energy resources we have, how many we use and need, and how these resources are transported.