Mission Areas

Energy and Minerals

Mission Areas L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 1,006
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

Earth science atlas

No abstract available.

Bundtzen, Thomas K.; Nokleberg, Warren J.; Price, Raymond A.; Scholl, David W.; Stone, David B.; Nokleberg, Warren J.; Bundtzen, Thomas K.; Scholl, David W.; Stone, David B.
Nokleberg, W.J., Bundtzen, T.K., Scholl, D.W., and Stone, D.B., 2017, Earth Science Atlas, in Nokleberg, W.J., ed., Dynamic Geology of the Northern Cordillera (Alaska and Western Canada) and Adjacent Marine Areas: Tectonics, Hazards, and Resources: University of Alaska ScholarWorks@UA, 8 p., 5 maps, scale 1:5,000,000.

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

Geologic sources of energy

This chapter describes the exploration, development, and geologic setting of petroleum resources (including tar sands), coal resources (including coalbed methane), and geothermal energy resources of the Northern Cordillera.For petroleum resources, the chapter describes: (1) the history of petroleum development and production, first for Alaska and...

Bundtzen, Thomas K.; Nokleberg, Warren J.; Price, Raymond A.; Scholl, David W.; Stone, David B.; Bundtzen, Thomas K.; Nokleberg, Warren J.

Year Published: 2017

How the solid earth works

No abstract available.

Bundtzen, Thomas K.; Nokleberg, Warren J.; Price, Raymond A.; Scholl, David W.; Stone, David B.; Price, Raymond A.
Price, R.A., How the Solid Earth Works, 2017, in Nokleberg, W.J., ed., Dynamic Geology of the Northern Cordillera (Alaska and Western Canada) and Adjacent Marine Areas: Tectonics, Hazards, and Resources: University of Alaska ScholarWorks@UA, 65 p.

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: 138
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

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 Tungsten Ore - Wolframite
March 23, 2017

Wolframite

Mineral: Wolframite
Primary Commodity: Tungsten
Primary Commodity Uses: Tungsten is one of the densest metals on the planet, and therefore gets used in metalworking and construction, as well as in heat sinks, weights, and even vibrating batteries.

Close up of Vanadinite
March 23, 2017

Vanadinite

Mineral: Vanadinite
Mineral Origin: J.C. Holmes Claim, Patagonia, AZ (Sample donated by G. van Oss)
Primary Commodity: Vanadium
Primary Commodity Uses: Vanadium is used mostly in metal alloys, primarily in car parts and jet engines. The United States is currently 100% reliant on foreign sources for vanadium used...

Close up of Bismuthinite
March 23, 2017

Bismuthinite

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

Fluorite

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

Rutile

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 Spodumene
March 23, 2017

Spodumene

Mineral origin: Hallman Beam Mine, Cherryville, NC
Primary mineral commodity: Lithium
Uses: batteries for cell phones, laptops, and electric and hybrid vehicles

Close up of Alumina-Zirconia
March 23, 2017

Alumina-Zirconia Abrasive

Mineral: Alumina-Zirconia Abrasive
Mineral Origin: Manufactured in Huntsville, AL (Sample on loan from J.B. Hedrick)
Primary Commodity: Aluminum and zirconia
Primary Commodity Uses: This abrasive is primarily used in metal casting and the foundry process

Close up of Chalcopyrite
March 23, 2017

Chalcopyrite

Mineral: Chalcopyrite
Mineral Origin: Bingham Canyon, UT
Primary Commodity: Copper
Primary Commodity Uses: Copper is used primarily in electronics, mostly in building construction and industrial electronics.

Full view of salt, sodium, chlorine sample
March 23, 2017

Salt, Sodium, Chlorine

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...

Filter Total Items: 134
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...

Date published: October 1, 2017

New Uranium Mineral Named for USGS Scientist

Everyone’s seen the news–scientists discover a new species of fly and name it for Beyonce; scientists discover a new species of monkey and auction its name off; etc. Hundreds of new species of animals, plants, and other organisms are discovered and named every year. But did you know that dozens of minerals are discovered every year too?

Date published: September 25, 2017

Helicopter Study to Map Beneath Mountain Watershed Near Crested Butte

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.

Date published: August 21, 2017

Stitching Together the New Digital Geologic Quilt of the United States

A carbonatite here, a glacial moraine there, a zig-zagging fault or two, even a behemoth of a batholith. The geology of the 50 States is an enormous patchwork of varied forms, beautiful in their variance but challenging to present as a single map.

Date published: August 11, 2017

MEDIA ADVISORY: Upcoming Low-Level Flights in Oklahoma to Image Unmapped Faults and Underground Geology

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.

Date published: August 3, 2017

USGS Assesses Billions of Potential Potash Resources in Ukraine

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.

Date published: July 17, 2017

USGS Releases Three Approaches for Estimating Recovery Factors in Carbon Dioxide Enhanced Oil Recovery

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.

Date published: July 17, 2017

Rich, Attractive, and Extremely Shallow

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.