Mission Areas

Energy and Minerals

Mission Areas L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 1,006
Year Published: 2017

Play-fairway analysis for geothermal resources and exploration risk in the Modoc Plateau region

The region surrounding the Modoc Plateau, encompassing parts of northeastern California, southern Oregon, and northwestern Nevada, lies at an intersection between two tectonic provinces; the Basin and Range province and the Cascade volcanic arc. Both of these provinces have substantial geothermal resource base and resource potential. Geothermal...

Siler, Drew; Zhang, Yingqi; Spycher, Nicolas F.; Dobson, Patrick; McClain, James S.; Gasperikova, Erika; Zierenberg, Robert A.; Schiffman, Peter; Ferguson, Colin; Fowler, Andrew; Cantwell, Carolyn
Siler, D.L., Zhang, Y., Spycher, N.F., Dobson, P.F., Mcclain, J.S., Gasperikova, E., Zierenberg, R.A., Schi, P., Ferguson, C., Fowler, A., Cantwell, C., 2017. Geothermics Play-fairway analysis for geothermal resources and exploration risk in the Modoc Plateau region. Geothermics 69, 15–33. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geothermics.2017.04.003

Year Published: 2017

Geology and undiscovered resource assessment of the potash-bearing Pripyat and Dnieper-Donets Basins, Belarus and Ukraine

Undiscovered potash resources in the Pripyat Basin, Belarus, and Dnieper-Donets Basin, Ukraine, were assessed as part of a global mineral resource assessment led by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The Pripyat Basin (in Belarus) and the Dnieper-Donets Basin (in Ukraine and southern Belarus) host stratabound and halokinetic Upper Devonian (...

Cocker, Mark D.; Orris, Greta J.; Dunlap, Pamela; Lipin, Bruce R.; Ludington, Steve; Ryan, Robert J.; Słowakiewicz, Mirosław; Spanski, Gregory T.; Wynn, Jeff; Yang, Chao
Cocker, M.D., Orris, G.J., and Dunlap, Pamela, with contributions from Lipin, B.R., Ludington, Steve, Ryan, R.J., Słowakiewicz, Mirosław, Spanski, G.T., Wynn, Jeff, and Yang, Chao, 2017, Geology and undiscovered resource assessment of the potash-bearing Pripyat and Dnieper-Donets Basins, Belarus and Ukraine: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2010–5090–BB, 116 p., and spatial data, https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20105090BB.

Year Published: 2017

Geologic map of the northern White Hills, Mohave County, Arizona

IntroductionThe northern White Hills map area lies within the Kingman Uplift, a regional structural high in which Tertiary rocks lie directly on Proterozoic rocks as a result of Cretaceous orogenic uplift and erosional stripping of Paleozoic and Mesozoic strata. The Miocene Salt Spring Fault forms the major structural boundary in the map area....

Howard, Keith A.; Priest, Susan S.; Lundstrom, Scott C.; Block, Debra L.
Howard, K.A., Priest, S.S., Lundstrom, S.C., and Block, D.L., 2017, Geologic map of the northern White Hills, Mohave County, Arizona: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3372, pamphlet 31 p., scale 1:50,000, https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3372.

Year Published: 2017

Quantifying the heterogeneity of the tectonic stress field using borehole data

The heterogeneity of the tectonic stress field is a fundamental property which influences earthquake dynamics and subsurface engineering. Self-similar scaling of stress heterogeneities is frequently assumed to explain characteristics of earthquakes such as the magnitude-frequency relation. However, observational evidence for such scaling of the...

Schoenball, Martin; Davatzes, Nicholas C.
[complete this] Schoenball, Martin, and Davatzes, Nicholas C., 2016, Quantifying the heterogeneity of the tectonic stress field using local and global borehole data: Journal of Geophysical Research, doi:10.1002/2017JB014370.

Year Published: 2017

10Be dating of late Pleistocene megafloods and Cordilleran Ice Sheet retreat in the northwestern United States

During the late Pleistocene, multiple floods from drainage of glacial Lake Missoula further eroded a vast anastomosing network of bedrock channels, coulees, and cataracts, forming the Channeled Scabland of eastern Washington State (United States). However, the timing and exact pathways of these Missoula floods remain poorly constrained, thereby...

Balbas, Andrea M.; Barth, Aaron M.; Clark, Peter U.; Clark, Jorie; Caffee, Marc A.; O'Connor, Jim E.; Baker, Victor R.; Konrad, Kevin; Bjornstad, Bruce
Balbas, A., Barth, A.M., Clark, P.U., Clark, J., Caffee, M, O’Connor, J.E., Baker, V.R., Konrad, K., Bjornstad, B.,2 017, 10Be dating of late-Pleistocene megafloods and Cordilleran ice-sheet retreat in the northwestern U.S. Geology. First published on May 8, 2017, doi:10.1130/G38956.1

Year Published: 2017

Microbial survival strategies in ancient permafrost: insights from metagenomics

In permafrost (perennially frozen ground) microbes survive oligotrophic conditions, sub-zero temperatures, low water availability and high salinity over millennia. Viable life exists in permafrost tens of thousands of years old but we know little about the metabolic and physiological adaptations to the challenges presented by life in frozen ground...

Mackelprang, Rachel; Burkert, Alexander; Haw, Monica; Mahendrarajah, Tara; Conaway, Christopher H.; Douglas, Thomas A.; Waldrop, Mark P.
The ISME Journal 11, 2305–2318 (2017)

Year Published: 2017

Spatiotemporal analysis of changes in lode mining claims around the McDermitt Caldera, northern Nevada and southern Oregon

Resource managers and agencies involved with planning for future federal land needs are required to complete an assessment of and forecast for future land use every ten years. Predicting mining activities on federal lands is difficult as current regulations do not require disclosure of exploration results. In these cases, historic mining claims...

Coyan, Joshua; Zientek, Michael L.; Mihalasky, Mark J.
Coyan, J.A., Zientek, M.L. & Mihalasky, M.J. Nat Resour Res (2017) 26: 319. doi:10.1007/s11053-017-9324-9

Year Published: 2017

The interacting roles of climate, soils, and plant production on soil microbial communities at a continental scale

Soil microbial communities control critical ecosystem processes such as decomposition, nutrient cycling, and soil organic matter formation. Continental scale patterns in the composition and functioning of microbial communities are related to climatic, biotic, and edaphic factors such as temperature and precipitation, plant community composition,...

Waldrop, Mark P.; Holloway, JoAnn M.; Smith, David; Goldhaber, Martin B.; Drenovsky, R.E.; Scow, K.M.; Dick, R.; Howard, Daniel M.; Wylie, Bruce K.; Grace, James B.
Waldrop, M.P., Holloway, J.M., Smith, D.B., Goldhaber, M.B., Drenovsky, R.E., Scow, K.M., Dick, R., Howard, D., Wylie, B., and Grace, J.B., 2017, The interacting roles of climate, soils, and plant production on soil microbial communities at a continental scale: Ecology, v. 98, no. 7, p. 1957-1967, https://doi.org/10.1002/ecy.1883.

Year Published: 2017

Active tectonics of the northern Mojave Desert: The 2017 Desert Symposium field trip road log

The 2017 Desert Symposium field trip will highlight recent work by the U.S. Geological Survey geologists and geophysicists, who have been mapping young sediment and geomorphology associated with active tectonic features in the least well-known part of the eastern California Shear Zone (ECSZ). This area, stretching from Barstow eastward in a giant...

Miller, David; Reynolds, R.E.; Phelps, Geoffrey; Honke, Jeff; Cyr, Andrew J.; Buesch, David C.; Schmidt, Kevin M.; Losson, G.

Year Published: 2017

The Neogene genus Streptochilus (Brönnimann and Resig, 1971) from the Gulf of California

Four species of the planktonic foraminiferal genus Streptochilus from key Neogene marine localities are documented in relation to the evolution of the Gulf of California: S. globigerus, S. latus, S. macdougallae sp. nov., and S. inglei sp. nov. Planktonic foraminiferal bioevents and strontium isotopes in the Bouse, Tirabuzón, Carmen and Ojo de...

Miranda Martínez, A.Y.; Carreño, A.L.; McDougall, Kristin
Miranda-Martínez, A. Y., Carreño, A. L., & McDougall, K. (2017, April). The Neogene genus Streptochilus (Brönnimann and Resig, 1971) from the Gulf of California. Marine Micropaleontology. Elsevier BV. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marmicro.2017.05.001

Year Published: 2017

Geologic map of the Beacon Rock quadrangle, Skamania County, Washington

The Beacon Rock 7.5′ quadrangle is located approximately 50 km east of Portland, Oregon, on the north side of the Columbia River Gorge, a scenic canyon carved through the axis of the Cascade Range by the Columbia River. Although approximately 75,000 people live within the gorge, much of the region remains little developed and is encompassed by the...

Evarts, Russell C.; Fleck, Robert J.
Evarts, R.C., and Fleck, R.J., 2017, Geologic map of the Beacon Rock quadrangle, Skamania County, Washington: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3367, pamphlet 61 p., scale 1:24,000, https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3367.

Year Published: 2017

Regional and temporal variability of melts during a Cordilleran magma pulse: Age and chemical evolution of the jurassic arc, eastern mojave desert, California

Intrusive rock sequences in the central and eastern Mojave Desert segment of the Jurassic Cordilleran arc of the western United States record regional and temporal variations in magmas generated during the second prominent pulse of Mesozoic continental arc magmatism. U/Pb zircon ages provide temporal control for describing variations in rock and...

Barth, A.P.; Wooden, J.L.; Miller, David; Howard, Keith A.; Fox, Lydia; Schermer, Elizabeth R.; Jacobson, C.E.
Regional and temporal variability of melts during a Cordilleran magma pulse: Age and chemical evolution of the Jurassic arc, eastern Mojave Desert, California. Barth A.P., Wooden J.L., Miller D.M., Howard K.A., Fox L.K., Schermer E.R., Jacobson C.E. Geological Society of America Bulletin. 5 October 2016. v. 129 no. 3-4 p. 429-448

Filter Total Items: 138
Close up of Bastnaesite
March 23, 2017

Bastnaesite (the reddish parts) in Carbonatite

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...

February 23, 2017

2017 February Evening Public Lecture — Geology Up-Close

  • 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...

Image shows a Scintillometer sitting on top of a rock outcropping surrounded by trees
February 17, 2017

Torrs of the Ruby Batholith

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.

January 27, 2017

NMIC - 2017 Mineral Commodity Summaries Release

The National Minerals Information Center, the primary agency for collecting and analyzing nonfuel minerals information, releases the 2017 Mineral Commodity Summaries, a collection of reports on over 85 commodities essential to the U.S. economy and national security.

Image shows a cubical sample of pyrite with a quartz crystal extending beneath it
December 31, 2016

Pyrite and Quartz

A sample of pyrite and quartz. Iron pyrite, also known as Fool's Gold due to its resemblance to gold, often occurs in quartz veins. Pyrite is an important source of sulfur dioxide, which is primarily used to create sulfuric acid, an important industrial acid. In fact, consumption of sulfuric acid has been regarded as one of the best indexes of a nation's industrial development. More sulfuric...

Image shows a sample of gold against a black background
December 31, 2016

Native Gold

A sample of native gold. Gold has been treasured since ancient times for its beauty and permanence.   Most of the gold that is fabricated today goes into the manufacture of jewelry, but it also performs critical functions in computers, communications equipment, spacecraft, jet aircraft engines, and a host of other products. Read more about gold...

Image shows a sample of rutile against a black background
December 31, 2016

Rutile

This is a sample of rutile, one of the primary mineral sources of titanium. While as a metal, titanium is well known for corrosion resistance and for its high strength-to-weight ratio, approximately 95% of titanium is consumed in the form of titanium dioxide (TiO2), a white pigment used in paints, paper, and plastics. Read more about titanium...

Image shows a sample of augelite and quartz on a black background.
December 31, 2016

Augelite and Quartz

A sample of augelite and quartz. Augelite is an aluminum phosphate mineral, primarily prized for collecting rather than as a source for its industrial mineral components.

Sample provided by Carlin Green, USGS. Sample originated from Mundo Nuevo Mine, Peru, and is 3.7cm in size.

Image shows a sample of axinite against a black background
December 31, 2016

Axinite

This is a sample of axinite with iron, making it ferroaxinite. Axinite is primarily used as a collectors mineral.

Sample provided by Carlin Green, USGS. Sample originated from Puiva Mount, Russia, and is 3.0cm in size.

Image shows a sample of azurite and malachite against a black background
December 31, 2016

Azurite and Malachite

A sample of azurite, the blue mineral, and malachite, the green mineral. Both azurite and malachite are copper minerals that were once used as pigments but are now mostly valued as collectors minerals. They do serve as good indicators of copper deposits that can be developed. Read more information about copper here.

Sample provided by...

Image shows a sample of clinozoisite against a black background
December 31, 2016

Clinozoisite

This sample is clinozoisite, a calcium aluminum silicate mineral. It is mostly prized as a collectors mineral rather than a source of its industrial mineral commodities.

Sample provided by Carlin Green, USGS. Sample originated from Hachupa, Pakistan, and is 6.0cm in size.

Image shows a sample of elbaite on a black background
December 31, 2016

Elbaite

Elbaite is one of the best-known members of the tourmaline mineral family, particularly for its high-quality gemstones. Read more about the tourmaline mineral family here

Sample provided by Carlin Green, USGS. Sample originated from Himalaya Mine, California, and is 4.9cm in size.

Filter Total Items: 134
Date published: April 14, 2017

The Top 5 Mineral-Producing States

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.

Date published: April 13, 2017

USGS Estimates 304 Trillion Cubic Feet of Natural Gas in the Bossier and Haynesville Formations of the U.S. Gulf Coast

USGS also estimates 4 billion barrels of oil and 2 billion barrels of natural gas liquids in the two formations.

Date published: April 12, 2017

Risk and Reliance: The U.S. Economy and Mineral Resources

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.

Date published: April 11, 2017

EarthWord–Hyperspectral

It’s not a caffeinated ghost, but this EarthWord is nearly as trippy...

Date published: April 10, 2017

Cutting-Edge Tools to Explore Alaska’s Mineral Potential

Managing 72 million acres of Federal lands in Alaska is not easy, especially when the land’s many uses need to be balanced. There are several competing interests, including the development of mineral resources that are critical to the American economy.

Date published: April 7, 2017

The Top 5 U.S. Minerals by Production Value

In 2016, the United States mined $74.6 billion worth of minerals, and the following five mineral commodities accounted for 68.5 percent of that value.

Date published: April 6, 2017

How an Electron Microprobe Helps Find Minerals (and Makes Pretty Pictures!)

Today’s high-end electronics increasingly rely on mineral commodities...and research into those mineral commodities is increasingly using high-end electronics too!

Date published: April 4, 2017

Ordinary Minerals Give Smartphones Extraordinary Capabilities

Earlier this year, Apple’s iPhone celebrated the 10th anniversary of its introduction to the world, an event that fueled a transformation within the technology and communications sector. This revolution would influence billions of smartphone users around the world forever altering many aspects of human life. 

Date published: April 4, 2017

EarthWord–Rock vs. Mineral

Ever wondered what the difference between a rock and a mineral was? This EarthWord should cover it...

Date published: April 3, 2017

Tracking Critical Minerals to Ensure National Preparedness

On an ordinary Tuesday in 2014, David Pineault, an economist at the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), reviewed his specialized reports and came to a startling conclusion: the United States needed to increase its stockpile of a basic manufacturing material with military applications—yttrium oxide, a material used in laser rangefinders.

Date published: April 1, 2017

The Golden Rule on April Fools

Think you know which mineral Fool’s Gold is? You might be fooled...