Mission Areas

Energy and Minerals

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Filter Total Items: 602
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

Influence of the Eastern California Shear Zone on deposition of the Mio-Pliocene Bouse Formation: Insights from the Cibola area, Arizona

The Eastern California Shear Zone (ECSZ) is a wide zone of late Cenozoic strike-slip faults and related diffuse deformation that currently accommodates ~20–25% of relative Pacific–North America plate motion in the lower Colorado River region (Fig. 1A; Dokka and Travis, 1990; Miller et al., 2001; Guest et al., 2007; Mahan et al., 2009). The ECSZ is...

Dorsey, Rebecca J.; O'Connell, Brennan; Homan, Mindy B.; Bennett, Scott E. K.
Dorsey, R.J., O’Connell, B., Homan, M.B., Bennett, S.E.K., 2017, Influence of the Eastern California Shear Zone on Deposition of the Mio-Pliocene Bouse Formation: Insights From the Cibola Area, Arizona, in Reynolds, R.E. eds., Proceedings for the 2017 Desert Symposium, p. 150-157.

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.

Year Published: 2016

Paleogeographic implications of Late Miocene lacustrine and nonmarine evaporite deposits in the Lake Mead region: Immediate precursors to the Colorado River

Thick late Miocene nonmarine evaporite (mainly halite and gypsum) and related lacustrine limestone deposits compose the upper basin fill in half grabens within the Lake Mead region of the Basin and Range Province directly west of the Colorado Plateau in southern Nevada and northwestern Arizona. Regional relations and geochronologic data indicate...

Faulds, James E; Schreiber, Charlotte; Langenheim, Victoria; Hinz, Nicholas H; Shaw, Tom; Heizler, Matthew T.; Perkins, Michael E; El Tabakh, Mohammed; Kunk, Michael J.

Year Published: 2016

U.S. Geological Survey assessment of global potash production and resources—A significant advancement for global development and a sustainable future.

During the past 15 yr, the global requirement for fertilizers has grown considerably, mainly due to demand by a larger and wealthier world population for more and higher-quality food. The demand and price for potash as a primary fertilizer ingredient have increased in tandem, because of the necessity to increase the quantity and quality of food...

Cocker, Mark D.; Orris, Greta J.; Wynn, Jeff

Year Published: 2016

The Bonneville Flood—A veritable débâcle: Chapter 6

The Bonneville Flood was one of the largest floods on Earth. First discovered by G.K. Gilbert in the 1870s during his inspection of the outlet at Red Rock Pass, it was rediscovered in the 1950s by Harold Malde and coworkers, leading to mapping and assessment of spectacular flood features along Marsh Creek, Portneuf River, and Snake River for over...

O'Connor, Jim E.

Filter Total Items: 117
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.
Close up of Garnet Schist
March 23, 2017
Mineral : Garnet Schist Primary Commodity : Garnet Primary Commodity Uses : Garnet is mostly used for abrasives, water filtration, and some electronics
Full view of Molybdenite
March 23, 2017
Mineral : Molybdenite Mineral Origin : Henderson Mine, Empire, CO Primary Mineral Commodity : Molybdenum Mineral Commodity Uses : In the late 19th century, French metallurgists discovered that molybdenum, when alloyed (mixed) with steel in small quantities, creates a substance that is remarkably tougher than steel alone and is highly resistant to heat. The alloy was found to be ideal for making...
Close up of Bertrandite
March 23, 2017
Mineral : Bertrandite (in carbonate clasts that have been largely replaced by fluorite (purple) that contains submicroscopic bertrandite) Mineral Origin : Spor Mountain, UT Primary Commodity : Beryllium Primary Commodity Uses : Beryllium alloys are used in making connectors, springs, switches and other components of electronics
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 Graphite
March 23, 2017
Mineral : Graphite (C) in pegmatite rock Mineral Origin : Ticonderoga, NY Primary Mineral Commodity : Graphite Mineral Commodity Uses : brake linings, foundry operations, heat-resistant lubricants, refractory applications, and steelmaking
Close up of Bauxite
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 Tungsten Ore - Wolframite
March 23, 2017
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
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 here.
February 23, 2017
How does a scanning electron microscope (SEM) work? What does USGS study with the SEM? Earthquakes Volcanoes Mineral and energy resources Soil and aquifer processes By Leslie Hayden, USGS Geologist, Diane Moore, USGS Geologist, Kathryn Watts, USGS Research Geologist, Marjorie Schulz, USGS Research Hydrologist, and Laura Stern, USGS Research Geophysicist
Image shows a Scintillometer sitting on top of a rock outcropping surrounded by trees
2017 (approx.)
Scintillometer and torrs of the Melozitna granite in the Ruby batholith. This granite contains abundant monazite and high levels of thorium and rare earth elements. This area is part of the Bureau of Land Management's Central Yukon Planning Area, which USGS did a mineral assessment of in 2015.
Filter Total Items: 117
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.

Image shows black pans with gold grains
April 25, 2017

Whether you pan for gold or rare earths, you’ll get a lot of sand...and this EarthWord!

Image shows an Alaskan Mountain viewed through hyperspectral imaging
April 20, 2017

We've got a library full of spectral signatures, like a police fingerprint library for minerals and other substances!

A piece of limonite, an ore of iron.
April 18, 2017

While not a Ferris wheel, this EarthWord is just as magnetic an attraction...

Image shows a map of U.S. states colored based on the value of their mineral industry
April 14, 2017

In 2016, these five states led the pack in mineral production, accounting for about one third of the total mineral production value for the entire country.

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...