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

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

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

Coal

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

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

Other Energy

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

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

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: 1,200
Year Published: 2018

Computational fluid dynamics simulations of the Late Pleistocene Lake Bonneville flood

At approximately 18.0 ka, pluvial Lake Bonneville reached its maximum level. At its northeastern extent it was impounded by alluvium of the Marsh Creek Fan, which breached at some point north of Red Rock Pass (Idaho), leading to one of the largest floods on Earth. About 5320 km3 of water was discharged into the Snake River drainage and...

Abril-Hernández, José M.; Periáñez, Raúl; O'Connor, Jim E.; Garcia-Castellanos, Daniel
Abril-Hernández, J.M., Periáñez, R., O'Connor, J.E., and Garcia-Castellanos, D., 2018, Computational Fluid Dynamics simulations of the Late Pleistocene Lake Bonneville Flood: Journal of Hydrology, v. 561, p. 1-15, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2018.03.065.

Year Published: 2018

James Dwight Dana and John Strong Newberry in the US Pacific Northwest: The roots of American fluvialism

Recognition of the power of rivers to carve landscapes transformed geology and geomorphology in the late nineteenth century. Wide acceptance of this concept—then known as “fluvialism”—owes to many factors and people, several associated with exploration of western North America. Especially famous are the federal geographic and geologic surveys of...

O'Connor, Jim E.
O'Connor, J.E., 2018, James Dwight Dana and John Strong Newberry in the US Pacific Northwest; the roots of American fluvialism: The Journal of Geology, v. 126, https://doi.org/10.1086/695701.

Year Published: 2018

Middle Pleistocene infill of Hinkley Valley by Mojave River sediment and associated lake sediment: Depositional architecture and deformation by strike-slip faults

Hinkley Valley in the Mojave Desert, near Barstow about 140 km northeast of Los Angeles and midway between Victorville Valley and the Lake Manix basin, contains a thick sedimentary sequence delivered by the Mojave River. Our study of sediment cores drilled in the valley indicates that Hinkley Valley was probably a closed playa basin with stream...

Miller, David; Haddon, Elizabeth; Langenheim, Victoria; Cyr, Andrew J.; Wan, Elmira; Walkup, Laura; Starratt, Scott W.
Miller, D.M., Haddon, E.K., Langenheim, V.E., Cyr, A.J., Wan, E., Walkup, L.C., and Starratt, S.W., 2018, Middle Pleistocene infill of Hinkley Valley by Mojave River sediment and associated lake sediment: Depositional architecture and deformation by strike-slip faults: California, Desert Symposium meeting in April of 2018.

Year Published: 2018

Monogenetic origin of Ubehebe Crater maar volcano, Death Valley, California: Paleomagnetic and stratigraphic evidence

Paleomagnetic data for samples collected from outcrops of basaltic spatter at the Ubehebe Crater cluster, Death Valley National Park, California, record a single direction of remanent magnetization indicating that these materials were emplaced during a short duration, monogenetic eruption sequence ~ 2100 years ago. This...

Champion, Duane E.; Cyr, Andrew J.; Fierstein, Judith; Hildreth, Edward
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research Volume 354, 1 April 2018, Pages 67-73 Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research Monogenetic origin of Ubehebe Crater maar volcano, Death Valley, California: Paleomagnetic and stratigraphic evidence

Year Published: 2018

Stress concentrations at structural discontinuities in active fault zones in the western United States: Implications for permeability and fluid flow in geothermal fields

Slip can induce concentration of stresses at discontinuities along fault systems. These structural discontinuities, i.e., fault terminations, fault step-overs, intersections, bends, and other fault interaction areas, are known to host fluid flow in ore deposition systems, oil and gas reservoirs, and geothermal systems. We modeled stress transfer...

Siler, Drew; Hinz, Nicholas H.; Faulds, James E.

Year Published: 2018

Rare earth element and rare metal inventory of central Asia

Rare earth elements (REE), with their unique physical and chemical properties, are an essential part of modern living. REE have enabled development and manufacture of high-performance materials, processes, and electronic technologies commonly used today in computing and communications, clean energy and transportation, medical treatment and health...

Mihalasky, Mark J.; Tucker, Robert D.; Renaud, Karine; Verstraeten, Ingrid M.
Mihalasky, M.J., Tucker, R.D., Renaud, K., and Verstraeten, I.M., 2018, Rare earth element and rare metal inventory of central Asia: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2017–3089, 4 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20173089.

Year Published: 2018

Thermal influences on spontaneous rock dome exfoliation

Rock domes, with their onion-skin layers of exfoliation sheets, are among the most captivating landforms on Earth. Long recognized as integral in shaping domes, the exact mechanism(s) by which exfoliation occurs remains enigmatic, mainly due to the lack of direct observations of natural events. In August 2014, during the hottest days of summer, a...

Collins, Brian D.; Stock, Greg M.; Eppes, Martha C.; Lewis, Scott W.; Corbett, Skye C.; Smith, Joel B.
Collins, B.D., Stock, G.M., Eppes, M.C., Lewis, S., Corbett, S.C., Smith, J.B., 2018, Thermal influences on spontaneous rock dome exfoliation, Nature Communications 9, 762, 12p., doi:10.1038/s41467-017-02728-1.

Year Published: 2018

The Colorado River and its deposits downstream from Grand Canyon in Arizona, California, and Nevada

Understanding the evolution of the Colorado River system has direct implications for (1) the processes and timing of continental-scale river system integration, (2) the formation of iconic landscapes like those in and around Grand Canyon, and (3) the availability of groundwater resources. Spatial patterns in the position and type of Colorado River...

Crow, Ryan S.; Block, Debra L.; Felger, Tracey J.; House, P. Kyle; Pearthree, Philip A.; Gootee, Brian F.; Youberg, Ann M.; Howard, Keith A.; Beard, L. Sue
Crow, R.S., Block, D., Felger, T.J., House, P.K., Pearthree, P.A., Gootee, B.F., Youberg, A.M., Howard, K.A., and Beard, L.S., 2018, The Colorado River and its deposits downstream from Grand Canyon in Arizona, California, and Nevada: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1005, 6 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181005.

Year Published: 2018

Punctuated sediment discharge during early Pliocene birth of the Colorado River: Evidence from regional stratigraphy, sedimentology, and paleontology

The Colorado River in the southwestern U.S. provides an excellent natural laboratory for studying the origins of a continent-scale river system, because deposits that formed prior to and during river initiation are well exposed in the lower river valley and nearby basinal sink. This paper presents a synthesis of regional stratigraphy,...

Dorsey, Rebecca J.; O’Connell, Brennan; McDougall-Reid, Kristin; Homan, Mindy B.
Rebecca J. Dorsey, Brennan O'Connell, Kristin McDougall, and Mindy B. Homan, 2018, Punctuated sediment discharge during early Pliocene birth of the Colorado River; evidence from regional stratigraphy, sedimentology, and paleontology: Sedimentary Geology, v. 363, p. 1-33, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sedgeo.2017.09.018.

Year Published: 2018

Ore-forming adakitic porphyry produced by fractional crystallization of oxidized basaltic magmas in a subcrustal chamber (Jiamate, East Junggar, NW China)

Adakitic intrusions are supposed to have a close genetic and spatial relationship to porphyry Cu deposits. However, the genesis of adakitic intrusions is still under dispute. Here, we describe newly discovered intrusive complex rocks, which are composed of ore-bearing, layered magnetite-bearing gabbroic and adakitic rocks in Jiamate, East Junggar...

Hong, Tao; Xu, Xing-Wang; Gao, Jun; Peters, Stephen; Zhang, Di; Jielili, Reyaniguli; Xiang, Peng; Li, Hao; Wu, Chu; You, Jun; Liu, Jie; Ke, Qiang
Tao Hong, Xing-Wang Xu, Jun Gao, Stephen G. Peters, Di Zhang, Reyaniguli Jielili, Peng Xiang, Hao Li, Chu Wu, Jun You, Jie Liu, Qiang Ke, 2017, Ore-forming adakitic porphyry produced by fractional crystallization of oxidized basaltic magmas in a subcrustal chamber (Jiamate, East Junggar, NW China). Lithos, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lithos.2017.11.004.

Year Published: 2018

Networking our science to characterize the state, vulnerabilities, and management opportunities of soil organic matter

Soil organic matter (SOM) supports the Earth's ability to sustain terrestrial ecosystems, provide food and fiber, and retains the largest pool of actively cycling carbon. Over 75% of the soil organic carbon (SOC) in the top meter of soil is directly affected by human land use. Large land areas have lost SOC as a result of land use practices, yet...

Harden, Jennifer W.; Hugelius, Gustaf; Ahlström, Anders; Blankinship, Joseph C.; Bond-Lamberty, Ben; Lawrence, Corey; Loisel, Julie; Malhotra, Avni; Jackson, Robert B.; Ogle, Stephen M.; Phillips, Claire; Ryals, Rebecca; Todd-Brown, Katherine; Vargas, Rodrigo; Vergara, Sintana E.; Cotrufo, M. Francesca; Keiluweit, Marco; Heckman, Katherine; Crow, Susan E.; Silver, Whendee L.; DeLonge, Marcia; Nave, Lucas E.
Harden JW, Hugelius G, Ahlström A, et al. Networking our science to characterize the state, vulnerabilities, and management opportunities of soil organic matter. Glob Change Biol. 2017;00:1–14. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.13896

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.

Filter Total Items: 141
Map of countries from which the US imports more than 50% of certain mineral commodities
January 30, 2018

The US relies on these countries for 50% or more of certain minerals

This map shows the countries that supply mineral commodities for which the United States was more than 50 percent import reliant in 2017.

January 25, 2018

Welcome to the USGS GeoLog Locator

Welcome to the USGS GeoLog Locator, an online tool for viewing and downloading digital borehole geophysical logs. These borehole logs are used to answer scientific questions about things like groundwater availability, geologic structure of the Earth, and certain characteristics of the structure of the soil and rock formations. The Geolog map viewer allows users to zoom and

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Image shows a river winding through a green landscape
December 31, 2017

Fish Creek Watershed in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska

Fish Creek wanders through the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, a 22.8 million acre region managed by the Bureau of Land Management on Alaska's North Slope. USGS has periodically assessed oil and gas resource potential there. These assessments can be found here.

Image shows squares of permafrost
December 31, 2017

Permafrost in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska

Permafrost forms a grid-like pattern in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, a 22.8 million acre region managed by the Bureau of Land Management on Alaska's North Slope. USGS has periodically assessed oil and gas resource potential there. These assessments can be found here.

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
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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

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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:
...
March 31, 2017

Drilling a Research Well in the Eagle Ford

USGS scientists drill a research well near Waco, Texas, as part of the assessment of oil and gas resources in the Eagle Ford Group.  Cores like these provide information on the various rock layers, such as their make-up, their age, etc. 

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

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Filter Total Items: 137
Date published: February 27, 2018

Reservoir Sediment Can be Used as Fracking Proppant

Instead of requiring costly dredging to remove sediment buildup behind water reservoirs and diversions, sediment from reservoirs in the Missouri River Basin could actually be used as fracking proppant feedstock, also known as frac sand, according to a recently published U.S. Geological Survey study

Date published: February 23, 2018

USGS in South Korea

 For several years, KIGAM, the Korean Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources, has hosted an international program for geoscience resources (IS-Geo).  The IS-Geo program draws together federal and private-sector professionals from the international community to discuss a range of specific geoscience and mineral topics.

Date published: February 16, 2018

Interior Seeks Public Comment on Draft List of 35 Minerals Deemed Critical to U.S. National Security and the Economy

List includes minerals key to all sectors of economy including tech and defense

Date published: January 31, 2018

U.S. Mines Produced an Estimated $75.2 Billion in Minerals During 2017

U.S. mines produced an estimated $75.2 billion of raw mineral materials in 2017 – a 6 percent increase over 2016 – the U.S. Geological Survey announced Wednesday, January 31, in its annual Mineral Commodity Summaries.

Date published: January 25, 2018

Understanding the Mineral Resources of the Midcontinent Rift

The first great geologic expeditions of the United States set off in the mid-1800s, equipped with mules, rifles, and early scientific instruments. Their goal: to uncover the great mineral wealth of the United States and learn about its earliest geologic history.

Date published: December 22, 2017

Re-Assessing Alaska's Energy Frontier

Less than 80 miles from Prudhoe Bay, home to the giant oil fields that feed the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, lies the site of USGS’ latest oil and gas assessment: the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and adjacent areas. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the NPR-A covers 22.8 million acres, more than the entire state of South Carolina.

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.