Energy and Minerals
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The Energy and Minerals Mission Area conducts research and assessments that focus on the location, quantity, and quality of mineral and energy resources, including the economic and environmental effects of resource extraction and use.View Science Strategy
Although sparsely populated, this area in southeastern Oregon, northeastern California, northwestern Nevada, and southeastern Idaho has high geothermal heat flow that may be used to generate large amounts of electricity.
Geologic, geophysical, and geochemical studies evaluate Alaska’s mineral endowment of strategic and critical minerals not found elsewhere in the United States.
Geophysical tools and techniques allow us to see geologic units and structures on and beneath the Earth’s surface to understand how mineral resources are distributed.
Mineral resource assessments are a tool used for determining the potential for undiscovered domestic and global deposits of minerals such as copper. Land management agencies, industry and the public use this unbiased mineral resource information to help determine future resource development.
Understanding potential and existing environmental impacts promotes sustainable development of needed mineral materials and responsible stewardship of our natural resources.
Laboratories provide data to help characterize and improve understanding of mineral resources and materials. Diverse technique and method development support our Program's research and provide data to other land management agencies and the public.
Information on domestic and international supplies and uses of mineral commodities is essential to the U.S. economy and to national security. Statistics and information on domestic and international minerals production, consumption, and materials flow is collected based on surveys of the domestic mineral industry and foreign governments.
Demand for critical mineral commodities is on the rise with increasing applications in consumer products such as phones and tablets. Research and assessment activities address the need for more up-to-date information on the nation's and the world's critical mineral resources.
Geological, geochemical and geophysical studies in the midcontinent region of the U.S. help to better understand the region’s potential for critical mineral resources in rocks that are deeply buried.
Water quality and aquatic life standards that are set by Federal and state regulatory agencies are used to evaluate the quality of our nation’s water and the health of aquatic ecosystems. These standards currently are based on hardness of the water and are determined for single metals, not for mixtures of metals that are typically found in natural systems. Metal mixtures can potentially be...
A Baseline Assessment of Contaminant Concentrations in Sediment and Biota in Proximity to Coal Transport Tracks in the Pacific Northwest (2014)
This dataset provides baseline concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH), other aromatic organic compounds, mercury (Hg), and trace metal concentrations in sediment and biota collected from two sites along an existing rail line used for coal transport in the Columbia River Gorge, Washington.
Periodical publications that provide statistical data on production, distribution, stocks, and consumption of significant mineral commodities. Information on minerals-related issues, including minerals conservation, sustainability, availability, materials flow, and the economic health of the U.S. minerals industry is also available.
USGS has recently undertaken a project to develop a methodology for assessing wind energy impacts on wildlife at a national scale. The USGS data set provides industrial-scale onshore wind turbine locations in the United States through July 22, 2013.
Interactive maps and downloadable data for regional and global geology, geochemistry, geophysics, and mineral resources. Includes web services providing data for users of Geographic Information System software (GIS). Links to portals for minerals information, geochemical data, and geophysical data.
View and download map-based energy data, search energy GIS data collections, browse the coal photomicrograph atlas and coal quality database, perform an advanced publications search, explore seismic reflection profiling data in Alaska, look at and print world geology maps, peruse the energy multimedia library, and more.
Mine plants and operations for commodities monitored by the National Minerals Information Center of the USGS. Operations included are those considered active in 2003 and surveyed by the USGS.
Geochemical characterization and modeling of regional groundwater contributing to the Verde River, Arizona between Mormon Pocket and the USGS Clarkdale gage
We use synoptic surveys of stream discharge, stable isotopes, and dissolved noble gases to identify the source of groundwater discharge to the Verde River in central Arizona. The Verde River more than doubles in discharge in Mormon Pocket over a 1.4 km distance that includes three discrete locations of visible spring input to the river and other...Beisner, Kimberly; W. Payton Gardner; Hunt, Andrew
Rapid 3-D analysis of rockfalls
Recent fatal and damaging rockfalls in Yosemite National Park indicate the need for rapid response data collection methods to inform public safety and assist with management response. Here we show the use of multiple-platform remote sensing methods to rapidly capture pertinent data needed to inform management and the public following a several...Stock, Greg M.; Guerin, A.; Avdievitch, Nikita N.; Collins, Brian D.; Jaboyedoff, Michel
Against the current— The Mojave River from sink to source: The 2018 Desert Symposium field trip road log
The Mojave River evolved over the past few million years by “fill and spill” from upper basins near its source in the Transverse Ranges to lower basins. Each newly “spilled into” basin in the series? sustained a long-lived lake but gradually filled with Mojave River sediment, leading to spill to a yet lower elevation? basin. The Mojave River...Miller, David; Reynolds, R.E.; Groover, Krishangi D.; Buesch, David C.; Brown, H. J.; Cromwell, Geoffrey; Densmore-Judy, Jill; Garcia, A.L.; Hughson, D.; Knott, J.R.; Lovich, Jeffrey E.
World distribution of uranium deposits
Deposit data derived from IAEA UDEPO (http://infcis.iaea.org/UDEPO/About.cshtml) database with assistance from P. Bruneton (France) and M. Mihalasky (U.S.A.). The map is an updated companion to "World Distribution of Uranium Deposits (UDEPO) with Uranium Deposit Classification, IAEA Tech-Doc-1629". Geology was derived from L.B. Chorlton,...Fairclough, M. C.; Irvine, J. A.; Katona, L. F.; Simmon, W. L.; Bruneton, P.; Mihalasky, Mark J.; Cuney, M.; Aranha, M.; Pylypenko, O.; Poliakovska, K.
Assessing rockfall susceptibility in steep and overhanging slopes using three-dimensional analysis of failure mechanisms
Rockfalls strongly influence the evolution of steep rocky landscapes and represent a significant hazard in mountainous areas. Defining the most probable future rockfall source areas is of primary importance for both geomorphological investigations and hazard assessment. Thus, a need exists to understand which areas of a steep cliff are more likely...Matasci, Battista; Stock, Greg M.; Jaboyedoff, Michael; Carrea, Dario; Collins, Brian D.; Guérin, Antoine; Matasci, G.; Ravanel, L.
Crustal structure and quaternary acceleration of deformation rates in central Washington revealed by stream profile inversion, potential field geophysics, and structural geology of the Yakima folds
Post-Miocene tectonic uplift along fault-cored anticlines within central Washington produced the Yakima Fold Province (YFP), a region of active NNE-SSW shortening in the Cascadian backarc. The relative timing and rate of deformation along individual structures is coarsely defined yet imperative for seismic hazard assessment. In this work, we use...Staisch, Lydia; Blakely, Richard J.; Styron, Richard; Sherrod, Brian; Kelsey, Harvey
Assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the Susitna Basin, southern Alaska, 2017
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recently completed an assessment of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and gas resources in the Susitna Basin of southern Alaska. Using a geology-based methodology, the USGS estimates that mean undiscovered volumes of about 2 million barrels of oil and nearly 1.7 trillion cubic feet of gas may be found in...Stanley, Richard G.; Potter, Christopher J.; Lewis, Kristen A.; Lillis, Paul G.; Shah, Anjana K.; Haeussler, Peter J.; Phillips, Jeffrey D.; Valin, Zenon C.; Schenk, Christopher J.; Klett, Timothy R.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Drake II, Ronald M.; Finn, Thomas M.; Haines, Seth S.; Higley, Debra K.; Houseknecht, David W.; Le, Phuong A.; Marra, Kristen R.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.; Paxton, Stanley T.; Pearson, Ofori N.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.; Woodall, Cheryl A.; Zyrianova, Margarita V.
A time-lapse gravity survey of the Coso geothermal field, China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station, California
We have conducted a gravity survey of the Coso geothermal field to continue the time-lapse gravity study of the area initiated in 1991. In this report, we outline a method of processing the gravity data that minimizes the random errors and instrument bias introduced into the data by the Scintrex CG-5 relative gravimeters that were used. After...Phelps, Geoffrey; Cronkite-Ratcliff, Collin; Blake, Kelly
New geologic mapping of the northwestern Willamette Valley, Oregon, and its American Viticultural Areas (AVAs)—A foundation for understanding their terroir
A geologic map of the greater Portland, Oregon, metropolitan area is planned that will document the region’s complex geology (currently in review: “Geologic map of the greater Portland metropolitan area and surrounding region, Oregon and Washington,” by Wells, R.E., Haugerud, R.A., Niem, A., Niem, W., Ma, L., Evarts, R., Madin, I., and others)....Wells, Ray E.; Haugerud, Ralph A.; Niem, Alan; Niem, Wendy; Ma, Lina; Madin, Ian; Evarts, Russell C.
Geologic map of the Lower Valley quadrangle, Caribou County, Idaho
The Lower Valley 7.5-minute quadrangle, located in the core of the Southeast Idaho Phosphate Resource Area, includes Mississippian to Triassic marine sedimentary rocks, Pliocene to Pleistocene basalt, and Tertiary to Holocene surficial deposits. The Mississippian to Triassic marine sedimentary sequence was deposited on a shallow shelf between an...Oberlindacher, H. Peter; Hovland, R. David; Miller, Susan T.; Evans, James G.; Miller, Robert J.
Disentangling the effects of low pH and metal mixture toxicity on macroinvertebrate diversity
One of the primary goals of biological assessment of streams is to identify which of a suite of chemical stressors is limiting their ecological potential. Elevated metal concentrations in streams are often associated with low pH, yet the effects of these two potentially limiting factors of freshwater biodiversity are rarely considered to interact...Fornaroli, Riccardo; Ippolito, Alessio; Tolkkinen, Mari J.; Mykrä, Heikki; Muotka, Timo; Balistrieri, Laurie S.; Schmidt, Travis S.
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
Greg Walsh using digital geologic mapping technics to measure fault in Champlaign Valley, NY
Did you know there are more than 57,000 wind turbines in the United States? In this video, we'll show you how you can get to know each and every one of them with our U.S. Wind Turbine Database and viewer, which we've assembled in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy, DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the American Wind Energy Association.
USGS researchers drill a research well located on the south side of U.S. 90, 7.1 miles east of Brackettville, Texas. This core was drilled by USGS during field work for an oil and gas assessment for the Eagle Ford of the Gulf Coast Basins. Cores like these provide information on the various rock layers, such as their make-up, their age, etc. The borehole, core, and logging...
Tim Collett, USGS research geologist, presenting at the Korean Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources' (KIGAM) international program for geoscience resources.
USGS scientists, Bill Waite, Tim Collett, and Seth Haines in front of a archway in Daejeon, South Korea
Core storage facility at the the Korean Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources in Daejeon, South Korea
Tim Collett, research geologist in gas hydrates, is chief for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Energy Resources Program gas hydrate research efforts offering a presentation on unconventional oil and gas resources at KIGAM, the Korean Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources in Daejeon, South Korea
Seth Haines, USGS research geophysicist, on a Korean Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources laboratory tour, which included stops at their gas hydrate and sediment pressure chamber - it's a whopping 320 gallons, dwarfing even Seth, a 6-footer. The chamber is the silvery ring and the black cylinder beneath it. It's so big and heavy that it gets wheeled out of that...
The natural oil seep in this photo is located in Pescadero Creek County Park, where the Canyon Trail crosses Tarwater Creek. The oil is black, has a taffy-like consistency, and smells like motor oil.
The Half Moon Bay oil field is one of the oldest oil fields in California and was first developed during the 1880s. Since then, the field has produced an estimated 60,000 barrels of oil from about 19 wells. Most of the old wells have been plugged and abandoned, but this well was reworked in 1980 and produces small volumes of oil from thin sandstone layers of the Miocene...
Land managers, regulators and other participants in market-based conservation wanting to assess the ecological benefits provided by restored, enhanced and preserved land now have a one-stop shop for the quantification tools used to measure these benefits, courtesy of the USGS and the USDA.
The Eagle Ford Group of Texas contains estimated means of 8.5 billion barrels of oil, 66 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 1.9 billion barrels of natural gas liquids, according to a new assessment by the U.S. Geological Survey. This estimate consists of undiscovered, technically recoverable resources in continuous accumulations.
Magnetic measurements made during low-altitude airplane flights conducted for the U.S. Geological Survey and the Oklahoma Geological Survey reveal possible deep faults that may contribute to increased seismic activity in response to wastewater injection in certain portions of Oklahoma.
An ecosystem services approach combined with adaptive decision-making can aid land and resource managers in administering their regions for the benefit of communities and stakeholders, according to a recent report by the U.S. Geological Survey and Resources for the Future
In 1849, the discovery of gold in California sparked one of the most famous gold rushes in history. Thousands trekked across mountainous terrain to seek the precious metal, with entire industries springing up around the rush. In fact, the desire to understand our mineral resource wealth that led to the creation of the U.S. Geological Survey was in part fueled by gold rushes like this one.
Interior Releases 2018’s Final List of 35 Minerals Deemed Critical to U.S. National Security and the Economy
The Department of the Interior today published a list of 35 mineral commodities considered critical to the economic and national security of the United States. This list will be the initial focus of a multi-agency strategy due in August this year to implement President Donald J. Trump's Executive Order to break America's dependence on foreign minerals
U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Department of Energy Release Online Public Dataset and Viewer of U.S. Wind Turbine Locations and Characteristics
Today, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in partnership with DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the American Wind Energy Association, released the United States Wind Turbine Database (USWTDB) and the USWTDB Viewer to access this new public dataset.
U.S. Geological Survey scientists and partners have created an onsite, time-saving technique for building inspectors to ascertain whether vermiculite insulation contains amphibole asbestos. The findings are featured in the April 2 edition of American Mineralogist.
After lying hidden in sediments for thousands of years, delicate frozen gas structures are in the spotlight for both scientific research and the national interest. These structures, known as gas hydrate, are being investigated by scientists the world over for their possible contributions to the global energy mix, as well as their potential interaction with the environment.
Residents and visitors may witness a low-flying airplane above the broader Iron Mountain-Escanaba-Marquette region starting at the beginning of April, 2018.
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.