Mission Areas

Energy and Minerals

Mission Areas L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 22
Date published: July 1, 2016

Assessing Impacts to Ecosystems from Uranium Mining in the Grand Canyon Region

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.

Date published: March 3, 2016

TRIGA Reactor

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.

Date published: March 3, 2016

Oil and Gas

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

Date published: March 3, 2016

National Ice Core Laboratory

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.

Date published: March 3, 2016

Coal

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

Date published: March 3, 2016
Status: Active

Denver Microbeam Laboratory

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

Date published: March 3, 2016

Other Energy

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

Date published: March 3, 2016

Health and Environment

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

Date published: March 3, 2016

Geochemistry and Geophysics

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

Date published: March 3, 2016

SHRIMP-RG

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: 646
Year Published: 2017

Element migration of pyrites during ductile deformation of the Yuleken porphyry Cu deposit (NW-China)

The strongly deformed Yuleken porphyry Cu deposit (YPCD) occurs in the Kalaxiangar porphyry Cu belt (KPCB), which occupies the central area of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB) between the Sawu’er island arc and the Altay Terrane in northern Xinjiang. The YPCD is one of several typical subduction-related deposits in the KPCB, which has...

Hong, Tao; Xu, Xing-Wang; Gao, Jun; Peters, Stephen; Li, Jilei; Cao, Mingjian; Xiang, Peng; Wu, Chu; You, Jun
Tao Hong, Xing-Wang Xu, Jun Gao, Peters, S.G., Jilei Li, Mingjian Cao, Peng Xiang, Chu Wu, and Jun You, 2017, Element migration of pyrites during ductile deformation of the Yuleken porphyry Cu deposit (NW-China): Ore Geology Reviews, , https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oregeorev.2017.10.019.

Year Published: 2017

Control of landslide volume and hazard by glacial stratigraphic architecture, Northwest Washington state, USA

Landslide volumes span many orders of magnitude, but large-volume slides tend to travel farther and consequently can pose a greater hazard. In northwest Washington State, USA, a landscape abounding with landslides big and small, the recent occurrence of the large-volume and tragically deadly State Route 530 (Oso) landslide is a stark reminder of...

Perkins, Jonathan; Reid, Mark E.; Schmidt, Kevin M.
Perkins, J.P., Reid, M.E., and Schmidt, K.M. 2017, Control of landslide volume and hazard by glacial stratigraphic architecture, northwest Washington State, USA: Geology, v. 45, https://doi.org/10.1130/G39691.1

Year Published: 2017

Evaluation of hypotheses for right-lateral displacement of Neogene strata along the San Andreas Fault between Parkfield and Maricopa, California

We used geological field studies and diatom biostratigraphy to test a published hypothesis that Neogene marine siliceous strata in the Maricopa and Parkfield areas, located on opposite sides of the San Andreas Fault, were formerly contiguous and then were displaced by about 80–130 kilometers (km) of right-lateral slip along the fault. In the...

Stanley, Richard G.; Barron, John A.; Powell, Charles L.
Stanley, R.G., Barron, J.A., and Powell, C.L., II, 2017, Evaluation of hypotheses for right-lateral displacement of Neogene strata along the San Andreas Fault between Parkfield and Maricopa, California: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2017–5125, 26 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20175125.

Year Published: 2017

Fluorine

Fluorine compounds are essential in numerous chemical and manufacturing processes. Fluorspar is the commercial name for fluorite (isometric CaF2), which is the only fluorine mineral that is mined on a large scale. Fluorspar is used directly as a fluxing material and as an additive in different manufacturing processes. It is the source of fluorine...

Schulz, Klaus J.; DeYoung,, John H.; Seal, Robert R.; Bradley, Dwight C.; Hayes, Timothy S.; Miller, M. Michael; Orris, Greta J.; Piatak, Nadine M.
Hayes, T.S., Miller, M.M., Orris, G.J., and Piatak, N.M., 2017, Fluorine, chap. G of Schulz, K.J., DeYoung, J.H., Jr., Seal, R.R., II, and Bradley, D.C., eds., Critical mineral resources of the United States—Economic and environmental geology and prospects for future supply: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1802, p. G1–G80, http://doi.org/10.3133/pp1802G.

Year Published: 2017

Platinum-group elements

The platinum-group elements (PGEs)—platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium, and osmium—are metals that have similar physical and chemical properties and tend to occur together in nature. PGEs are indispensable to many industrial applications but are mined in only a few places. The availability and accessibility of PGEs could be disrupted...

Schulz, Klaus J.; DeYoung,, John H.; Seal, Robert R.; Bradley, Dwight C.; Zientek, Michael L.; Loferski, Patricia J.; Parks, Heather L.; Schulte, Ruth F.; Seal, Robert R.
Zientek, M.L., Loferski, P.J., Parks, H.L., Schulte, R.F., and Seal, R.R., II, 2017, Platinum-group elements, chap. N of Schulz, K.J., DeYoung, J.H., Jr., Seal, R.R., II, and Bradley, D.C., eds., Critical mineral resources of the United States—Economic and environmental geology and prospects for future supply: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1802, p. N1–N91, https://doi.org/10.3133/pp1802N.

Year Published: 2017

Rhenium

Rhenium is one of the rarest elements in Earth’s continental crust; its estimated average crustal abundance is less than 1 part per billion. Rhenium is a metal that has an extremely high melting point and a heat-stable crystalline structure. More than 80 percent of the rhenium consumed in the world is used in high-temperature superalloys,...

Schulz, Klaus J.; DeYoung,, John H.; Seal, Robert R.; Bradley, Dwight C.; John, David A.; Seal, Robert R. ; Polyak, Désirée E.
John, D.A., Seal, R.R., II, and Polyak, D.E., 2017, Rhenium, chap. P of Schulz, K.J., DeYoung, J.H., Jr., Seal, R.R., II, and Bradley, D.C., eds., Critical mineral resources of the United States—Economic and environmental geology and prospects for future supply: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1802, p. P1–P49, https:/doi.org/10.3133/pp1802P.

Year Published: 2017

Tin

Tin (Sn) is one of the first metals to be used by humans. Almost without exception, tin is used as an alloy. Because of its hardening effect on copper, tin was used in bronze implements as early as 3500 B.C. The major uses of tin today are for cans and containers, construction materials, transportation materials, and solder. The predominant ore...

Schulz, Klaus J.; DeYoung,, John H.; Seal, Robert R.; Bradley, Dwight C.; Kamilli, Robert J.; Kimball, Bryn E.; Carlin, James F.
Kamilli, R.J., Kimball, B.E., and Carlin, J.F., Jr., 2017, Tin, chap. S of Schulz, K.J., DeYoung, J.H., Jr., Seal, R.R., II, and Bradley, D.C., eds., Critical mineral resources of the United States—Economic and environmental geology and prospects for future supply: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1802, p. S1–S53, https://doi.org/10.3133/ pp1802S.

Year Published: 2017

Connecting the Soda–Avawatz and Bristol–Granite Mountains faults with gravity andaeromagnetic data, Mojave Desert, California

The Soda–Avawatz and Bristol–Granite Mountains faults are considered by some to form the northeastern margin of the eastern California shear zone yet their connectivity and extents are obscured by surficial deposits and the estimates of total right-lateral offset from geologic data range from 0 to as much as 24 km. We use gravity and recently...

Langenheim, Victoria; Miller, David
Langenheim, V.E, and Miller, D.M., 2017, Connecting the Soda–Avawatz and Bristol–Granite Mountains faults with gravity and aeromagnetic data, Mojave Desert, California in Reynold, Robert E., ed., ECSZ Does it: Annual proceedings of the Desert Science Symposium, p. 83-92.

Year Published: 2017

Detrital zircon geochronology of quartzose metasedimentary rocks from parautochthonous North America, east-central Alaska

We report eight new U-Pb detrital zircon ages for quartzose metasedimentary rocks from four lithotectonic units of parautochthonous North America in east-central Alaska: the Healy schist, Keevy Peak Formation, and Sheep Creek Member of the Totatlanika Schist in the northern Alaska Range, and the Butte assemblage in the northwestern Yukon-Tanana...

Dusel-Bacon, Cynthia; Holm-Denoma, Christopher S.; Jones, James V.; Aleinikoff, John N.; Mortensen, James K.
Dusel-Bacon, C., Holm-Denoma, C.S., Jones, J.V. III, Aleinikoff, J.N., and Mortensen, J.K., 2017, Detrital zircon geochronology of quartzose metasedimentary rocks from parautochthonous North America, east-central Alaska: Lithosphere, v. 9, no. 6, p. 927–952; GSA Data Repository Item 2017332; https://doi.org/10.1130/L672.1

Year Published: 2017

Geochemical variations during development of the 5.46 Ma Broadwell Mesa basaltic volcanic field, California

The 5.46±0.04 Ma Broadwell Mesa basalt and associated basaltic volcanic field in the western Bristol Mountains, California, formed a ~6 km2 volcanic flow field with architecture including numerous lava flows, a ~1.1 km2 lava lake, and a ~0.17 km2 cinder cone. The local number of lava flows varies from one along the margins of the field to as many...

Buesch, David C.
Buesch, D.C., 2017, Geochemical variations during development of the 5.4 Ma Broadwell Mesa basalt volcanic field, California: in Reynolds, R.E., ed, “ECSZ DOES IT: Revisiting the Eastern California Shear Zone”, California State University Desert Studies Consortium, p. 103-117.

Year Published: 2017

Mineralogical characterization of weathered outcrops as a tool for constraining water chemistry predictions during project planning

Weathered samples from naturally exposed outcrops of troctolite associated with a magmatic Ni-Cu sulphide deposit were characterized by synchrotron-based micro-X-ray fluorescence mapping (µ-XRF) and X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS), as well as by lab-based X-ray diffraction, electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy and wet chemical methods....

Diedrich, Tamara; Fix, Paul; Foster, Andrea L.
T. Diedrich, P. Fix, and A. Foster (2017) Mineralogical characterization of weathered outcrops as a tool for constraining water chemistry predictions during project planning. Proceedings of IMWA 2017, "Mine Water and Circular Economy" , Wolkersdorfer C, Sartz L., and Hakkinen A, Editors, p. 712-719

Year Published: 2017

Miocene−Pleistocene deformation of the Saddle Mountains: Implications for seismic hazard in central Washington, USA

The Yakima fold province, located in the backarc of the Cascadia subduction zone, is a region of active strain accumulation and deformation distributed across a series of fault-cored folds. The geodetic network in central Washington has been used to interpret large-scale N-S shortening and westward-increasing strain; however, geodetic data are...

Staisch, Lydia; Kelsey, Harvey; Sherrod, Brian; Möller, Andreas; Paces, James B.; Blakely, Richard J.; Styron, Richard
Lydia Staisch, Harvey Kelsey, Brian Sherrod, Andreas Möller, James Paces, Richard Blakely, Richard Styron; Miocene−Pleistocene deformation of the Saddle Mountains: Implications for seismic hazard in central Washington, USA. GSA Bulletin doi: https://doi.org/10.1130/B31783.1

Filter Total Items: 135
October 26, 2017

2017 Oct. Public Lecture — Global Trends in Mineral Commodity Supplies

  • The U.S. is increasingly reliant on supply of mineral raw materials from other countries.
  • Advanced technologies are increasingly making use of nearly the entire periodic table of the elements.
  • Dynamic studies of critical and strategic mineral supply and demand can identify emerging potential supply risks.
  • The USGS - National Minerals Information Center has
  • ...
Cross-section of rock with distinct layers of sand grains at core then mostly black, each layer dated back millions of years.
August 18, 2017

Seafloor crust, Marshall Islands

Cross section of a seafloor crust (AKA, ferromanganese or cobalt-rich crusts) from the Marshall Islands collected at almost 2,000 meters depth. 

July 6, 2017

Wildlife on the Nevada National Security Site

Mountain lions, desert bighorn sheep, mule deer, and a variety of other wildlife live on and pass through the Nevada National Security Site each day. It’s a highly restricted area that is free of hunting and has surprisingly pristine areas.This 22-minute program highlights an extraordinary study on how mountain lions interact with their prey. It shows how the scientists use helicopters and...

April 19, 2017

Prescribed Burn — Tall Timbers Research Station, FL (Footage of Drone)

See the actual drone footage at: https://www.usgs.gov/media/videos/prescribed-burn-tall-timbers-research-...

Footage of drone during a prescribed fire at Tall Timbers Research Station, Tallahassee, Florida (April 19, 2017).

April 19, 2017

Prescribed Burn — Tall Timbers Research Station, FL (Drone)

Drone footage of a prescribed fire at Tall Timbers Research Station, Tallahassee, Florida (April 19, 2017).

Minerals in mobile devices infographic
April 6, 2017

Minerals in Mobile Devices — Infographic

This infographic displays the different minerals located in mobile devices. Included within this infographic are:

  • Display: Silica Sand and Bauxite
    Silica Sand: A mobile device's glass screen is very durable because glassmakers combine its main ingredient, silica (silicon dioxide or quartz) sand, with ceramic materials and then add potassium.
    Bauxite: Gallium provides
  • ...
Close up of Conglomerate (Gold Ore)
March 23, 2017

Conglomerate (Gold Ore)

Rock: Conglomerate (Gold Ore) Contains sediments of Precambrian age; contains about 8 grams of gold per ton of rock.
Mineral Origin: Witwatersrand formation, South Africa. The gold in the Witwatersrand Basin area was deposited in Archean river deltas having been washed down from surrounding gold-rich greenstone belts to the north and west. 
...

Close up of Silver
March 23, 2017

Tetrahedrite

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 Feldspar
March 23, 2017

Feldspar

Mineral: Feldspar
Primary Commodity: Feldspar
Primary Commodity Uses: Feldspar is one of the most common minerals on the planet and is mostly used for glassmaking and ceramics.

Close up of Garnet Schist
March 23, 2017

Garnet Schist

Mineral: Garnet Schist
Primary Commodity: Garnet
Primary Commodity Uses: Garnet is mostly used for abrasives, water filtration, and some electronics

Close up of Silicon Carbide
March 23, 2017

Silicon Carbide

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 Silicon Carbide
March 23, 2017

Silicon Carbide

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

Filter Total Items: 129
Date published: October 26, 2017

Geologic Groundwork-How USGS Coal Assessments Assist EIA's Coal Forecasts

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

Date published: October 25, 2017

USGS Releases Selenium Modeling Framework for Montana and British Columbia’s Lake Koocanusa

Resource managers, regulators, and stakeholders of Montana and British Columbia’s Lake Koocanusa now have a new approach for understanding the implications of different levels of selenium, and to explore alternative selenium criteria for waters in the Lake.

Date published: October 23, 2017

Assessments Evolved: USGS Coal Research in the 21st Century

Although often associated with helping fuel the Nation’s growth during the Industrial Revolution, coal is very much part of our space-age present. In 2016, coal-fired power plants provided 30.4 percent of the country’s electricity, and it is an important source of employment in many states.

Date published: October 20, 2017

Exploring Gas Hydrates as a Future Energy Source

In the past decade, the development of the Barnett, Eagle Ford, Marcellus, and other shales has dominated the national consciousness regarding natural gas. But in Alaska, another form of natural gas has been the focus of research for decades—methane hydrate.

Date published: October 18, 2017

EarthWord–Gas Hydrate

No, this EarthWord isn’t how natural gas quenches its thirst-it just sounds like it...

Date published: October 16, 2017

When Ice Yields Fire

When can ice yield fire? That’s the burning question at the heart of one of USGS’s longest-running research programs to date: the exploration of gas hydrates.

Date published: October 11, 2017

EarthWord–Discovery

Eureka often accompanies this EarthWord.

Date published: October 6, 2017

EarthWord–Thermal Maturity

No, this EarthWord isn’t a trait of adult petroleum basins, but it is related to how old they are...

Date published: October 5, 2017

Forecasting the World’s Energy Resources

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.

Date published: October 4, 2017

EarthWord–Cracking

This EarthWord is probably what you’ve been doing thanks to our fantastic puns...

Date published: October 3, 2017

EarthWord–Continuous Resources

This EarthWord may sound infinite, but it actually refers to a type of finite resource...