Mission Areas

Energy and Minerals

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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: 591
Year Published: 2017

The Evergreen basin and the role of the Silver Creek fault in the San Andreas fault system, San Francisco Bay region, California

The Evergreen basin is a 40-km-long, 8-km-wide Cenozoic sedimentary basin that lies mostly concealed beneath the northeastern margin of the Santa Clara Valley near the south end of San Francisco Bay (California, USA). The basin is bounded on the northeast by the strike-slip Hayward fault and an approximately parallel subsurface fault that is...

Jachens, Robert C.; Wentworth, Carl M.; Graymer, Russell W.; Williams, Robert; Ponce, David A.; Mankinen, Edward A.; Stephenson, William J.; Langenheim, Victoria
R.C. Jachens, C.M. Wentworth, R.W. Graymer, R.A. Williams, D.A. Ponce, E.A. Mankinen, W.J. Stephenson, and V.E. Langenheim The Evergreen basin and the role of the Silver Creek fault in the San Andreas fault system, San Francisco Bay region, California Geosphere, April 2017, v. 13, p. 269-286

Year Published: 2017

Reconnaissance sedimentology of selected tertiary exposures in the upland region bordering the Yukon Flats basin, east-central Alaska

This report summarizes reconnaissance sedimentologic and stratigraphic observations made during six days of helicopter-supported fieldwork in 2002 on Tertiary sedimentary rocks exposed in the upland region around the flanks of the Yukon Flats basin in east-central Alaska (fig. 1). This project was a cooperative effort between the Alaska Division...

LePain, David L.; Stanley, Richard G.
LePain, D.L., and Stanley, R.G., 2017, Reconnaissance sedimentology of selected Tertiary exposures in the upland region bordering the Yukon Flats basin, east-central Alaska: LePain, D.L., and Stanley, R.G., 2017, Reconnaissance sedimentology of selected Tertiary exposures in the upland region bordering the Yukon Flats basin, east-central Alaska: Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys Preliminary Interpretive Report 2016-6, 14 p. http://doi.org/10.14509/29700 Preliminary Interpretive Report 2016-6, 14 p. http://doi.org/10.14509/29700

Year Published: 2017

Geologic map of the Providence Mountains in parts of the Fountain Peak and adjacent 7.5' quadrangles, San Bernardino County, California

IntroductionThe Providence Mountains are in the eastern Mojave Desert about 60 km southeast of Baker, San Bernardino County, California. This range, which is noted for its prominent cliffs of Paleozoic limestone, is part of a northeast-trending belt of mountainous terrain more than 100 km long that also includes the Granite Mountains, Mid Hills,...

Stone, Paul; Miller, David M.; Stevens, Calvin H.; Rosario, Jose J.; Vazquez, Jorge A.; Wan, Elmira; Priest, Susan S.; Valin, Zenon C.
Stone, Paul, Miller, D.M., Stevens, C.H., Rosario, Jose, Vazquez, J.A., Wan, Elmira, Priest, S.S., and Valin, Z.C., 2017, Geologic map of the Providence Mountains in parts of the Fountain Peak and adjacent 7.5' quadrangles, San Bernardino County, California: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3376, pamphlet 52 p., scale 1:24,000, https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3376.

Year Published: 2017

Geospatial analysis identifies critical mineral-resource potential in Alaska

Alaska consists of more than 663,000 square miles (1,717,000 square kilometers) of land—more than a sixth of the total area of the United States—and large tracts of it have not been systematically studied or sampled for mineral-resource potential. Many regions of the State are known to have significant mineral-...

Jacques, Katherine; Landowski, Claire; Karl, Susan; Labay, Keith A.
Karl, S.M., and Labay, K.A., Geospatial analysis identifies critical mineral-resource potential in Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2017–3012, 4 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20173012.

Year Published: 2017

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.
U.S. Geological Survey, 2017, Mineral commodity summaries 2017: U.S. Geological Survey, 202 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/70180197.

Year Published: 2017

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.
Holloway, J.M, Pribil, M.J., McCleskey, R.B., Etheridge, A.B., Krabbenhoft, D.P., Aiken, G.R., 2017, Mobilization of mercury and arsenic from a carbonate-hosted ore deposit, central Idaho, U.S.A.: Procedia Earth and Planetary Science 17, 610-613. http://dx.doi.org/doi: 10.1016/j.proeps.2016.12.163

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

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.
Matmon, A., Stock, G. M., Granger, D. E., & Howard, K. A. (2011). Dating of Pliocene Colorado River sediments: Implications for cosmogenic burial dating and the evolution of the lower Colorado River. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 124(3–4), 626–640

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.

Filter Total Items: 112
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 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 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 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 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 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: 114
House damage in central Oklahoma from a magnitude 5.6 earthquake in 2011
August 11, 2017

Editor:  In the public interest and in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration regulations, the USGS is announcing this low-level airborne project.  Your assistance in informing the local communities is appreciated.

Image shows a map of Eastern Europe with the assessed basins shown in colored polygons
August 3, 2017

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.

USGS logo
July 17, 2017

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.

Image shows a map of the Mid-Continent of the United States
July 17, 2017

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.

Image shows industrial piles of gray rock
June 29, 2017

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.

Image shows remnants of an abandoned mine in a hilly, forested area
June 9, 2017

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.

Prescribed Burn at Tall Timbers Research Station
May 24, 2017

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.

Image shows a scan of an apatite grain on a black background
May 11, 2017

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.

Image shows a color-based map of the various magnetic readings of the Great Basin
May 3, 2017

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.