Mission Areas

Energy and Minerals

Mission Areas L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 621
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

Populations of concern: Chapter 9

Climate change is already causing, and is expected to continue to cause, a range of health impacts that vary across different population groups in the United States. The vulnerability of any given group is a function of its sensitivity to climate change related health risks, its exposure to those risks, and its capacity for responding to or coping...

Gamble, Janet; Balbus, John; Berger, Martha; Bouye, Karen; Campbell, Vince; Chief, Karletta; Conlon, K.; Crimmins, Allison; Flanagan, Barry; Gonzalez-Maddux, C.; Hallisey, E.; Hutchins, S.; Jantarasami, L.; Khoury, S.; Kiefer, M.; Kolling, J.; Lynn, K.; Manangan, A.; McDonald, M.; Morello-Frosch, R.; Hiza, Margaret; Sheffield, P.; Thigpen Tart, K.; Watson, J.; Whyte, K.P.; Wolkin, A.F.
Gamble, J.L., Balbus, J., Berger, M., Bouye, K., Campbell, V., Chief, K., Conlon, K., Crimmins, A., Flanagan, B., Gonzalez-Maddux, C., Hallisey, E., Hutchins, S., Jantarasami, L., Khoury, S., Kiefer, M., Kolling, J., Lynn, K., Manangan, A., McDonald, M., Morello-Frosch, R., Redsteer, M.H., Sheffield, P., Thigpen Tart, K., Watson, J., Whyte, K.P., and Wolkin, A.F., 2016: Populations of Concern, chap. 9 of The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States; A Scientific Assessment: U.S. Global Change Research Program, Washington, DC, p. 247–286, https://doi.org/10.7930/J0Q81B0T.

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.

Year Published: 2016

Potash—A vital agricultural nutrient sourced from geologic deposits

This report summarizes the primary sources of potash in the United States. Potash is an essential nutrient that, along with phosphorus and nitrogen, is used as fertilizer for growing crops. Plants require sufficient potash to activate enzymes, which in turn catalyze chemical reactions important for water uptake and photosynthesis. When potassium...

Yager, Douglas B.
Yager, D.B., 2016, Potash—A vital agricultural nutrient sourced from geologic deposits: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016-1167, 28 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161167.

Year Published: 2016

Age, distribution and style of deformation in Alaska north of 60°N: Implications for assembly of Alaska

The structural architecture of Alaska is the product of a complex history of deformation along both the Cordilleran and Arctic margins of North America involving oceanic plates, subduction zones and strike-slip faults and with continental elements of Laurentia, Baltica, and Siberia. We use geological constraints to assign regions of deformation to...

Moore, Thomas; Box, Stephen E.
Moore, T.E. and Box, S.E., 2016, Age, distribution and style of deformation in Alaska north of 60°N: Implications for assembly of Alaska: Tectonophysics, doi:10.1016/j.tecto.2016.06.025.

Filter Total Items: 119
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.
January 27, 2017
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
2016 (approx.)
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 acid...
Image shows a sample of pyrrhotite against a black background
2016 (approx.)
Pyrrhotite is an iron sulfide mineral related to iron pyrite, which is one of the minerals known as Fool's Gold. Pyrrhotite, although not one of the Fool's Gold minerals, is sometimes called magnetic pyrite as it is weakly magnetic. It is most valued as a collectors mineral. Sample provided by Carlin Green, USGS. Sample originated from Eagle Mine, Michigan, and is 4.5cm in size.
Image shows a sample of rutile against a black background
2016 (approx.)
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 (TiO 2 ), a white pigment used in paints, paper, and plastics. Read more about titanium here , and learn about the titanium industry here ...
Image shows a sample of axinite against a black background
2016 (approx.)
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 cerussite on a black background
2016 (approx.)
This sample is of the mineral cerussite, once an important source of lead for paints and pigments. With the phasing out of lead-based paints, cerussite is now mostly valued as a collectors mineral. Sample provided by Carlin Green, USGS. Sample originated from Mibladen, Morocco, and is 5.6cm in size.
Image shows a sample of clinozoisite against a black background
2016 (approx.)
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 coal being loaded into trucks at a coal mine
2016 (approx.)
Coal is loaded into trucks at the Trapper Mine in northwest Colorado.
Image shows a sample of epidote and quartz against a black background
2016 (approx.)
Epidote is a silicate mineral used mostly as a semiprecious gemstone. Sample provided by Carlin Green, USGS. Sample originated from Prince of Wales Island, Alaska, and is 6.0cm in size.
Image shows a sample of gold against a black background
2016 (approx.)
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 here . Sample provided by Carlin Green, USGS. Sample...
Filter Total Items: 120
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...

Midnight Rainbow at Atigun Gorge, Alaska
April 10, 2017

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.

Image shows a tall, triangular gray stone surrounded by grass and trees
April 7, 2017

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.

Image shows a scan of a grain of pyrite rimmed with stibnite, with varying levels of arsenic shown in a color gradient. Image pr
April 6, 2017

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

A graphic of some examples of smartphones.
April 4, 2017

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. 

Close up of Fluorite
April 4, 2017

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

U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles
April 3, 2017

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.

Close up of Chalcopyrite
April 1, 2017

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

Scientists taking soil samples
March 15, 2017

Alaska has considerable potential for undiscovered mineral resources, including critical minerals.

Dr. Christian Zimmerman, USGS Alaska Science Center Director
February 1, 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Christian Zimmerman as the new director of their Alaska Science Center in Anchorage, Alaska. Zimmerman succeeds Dr. Mark Shasby who held the position for the past six years.