Regions

Alaska Region

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Scour under a bridge on the Kenai Peninsula
Date Published: March 10, 2016

Floods, Bridge Scouring, and Coastal Erosion

These natural hazards are significant areas of concern as they threaten the lives of people and/or cause economic damage to Alaska villages along rivers and coast. Research activities move forward innovative means to monitor these hazards and conduct research on the underlying physical processes to improve short and long-term hazard assessments.

Allen Bondurant measuring the depth to permafrost along a thermokarst lake shore.
Date Published: March 10, 2016

Arctic Change

Scientists are conducting a variety of studies such as modeling Arctic barrier island, lagoon system response to projected warming, characterizing permafrost using remote sensing and ground-based geophysics, estimating rates of ocean acidification of the Arctic, and investigating possible degassing of permafrost associated with methane hydrates.

Degrading ice wedges on the Ikpikpuk River Delta on the North Slope of Alaska.
Date Published: March 10, 2016

Understanding Changing Hydrological Systems

Knowledge of water availability, discharge patterns, and demand are essential to sustaining human life, ecosystem health, and economic viability. In Alaska, there are issues involving community potable water, salmon productivity, wetland dynamics, marine systems productivity, hazards, and environmental health.

Attribution: Alaska
Spectacled eider male and female flying near the Colville River in 2013.
Date Published: March 10, 2016

Recovery and Management of Species of Concern

The Alaska Region is the home for migratory fish, migratory birds under the International Treaty, marine mammals under the Marine Mammals Protection Act, species listed under the Threatened and Endangered Species Act, and those under review.

Attribution: Alaska
Redoubt Volcano viewed from the northwest following the April 4, 2009 eruption (Event 19). Steam rises from the summit crater, p
Date Published: March 7, 2016

U.S. Volcano Information

There are 169 potentially active volcanoes in the U.S., and the USGS Volcano Hazards Program provides warnings of unrest and eruption for these volcanoes. We offer volcano monitoring data, provide maps and geologic information, conduct research how volcanoes work, and engage with community education and outreach.

Alaska Volcano Observatory logo
Date Published: March 2, 2016

Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)

The AVO is a partnership among the USGS, the Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys. To mitigate volcanic hazards, AVO monitors and studies Alaska's hazardous volcanoes to forecast and record eruptive activity. AVO also monitors volcanic activity in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

California Volcano Observatory emblem
Date Published: March 2, 2016

USGS California Volcano Observatory (CalVO)

CalVO operates real-time volcano monitoring networks, disseminates forecasts and notifications of significant activity, assesses volcano hazards, researches volcano processes, and works with communities to prepare for volcanic eruptions in California and Nevada. The Observatory is located at USGS offices in Menlo Park, California.

Scientist shields face while scooping lava with a hammer for chemical analysis
Date Published: March 2, 2016

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)

HVO operates monitoring networks, assesses hazards, and issues notifications of volcanic activity and earthquakes in the State of Hawai‘i. HVO scientists conduct fundamental research on volcanic processes and work to educate the communities at risk. HVO is located in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park on the Island of Hawaii.

Filter Total Items: 120
Annotated aerial photo of crescent shaped island surrounded by open ocean.
January 10, 2017
Annotated photograph of Bogoslof Island showing the cumulative effects of 2016-17 eruptive activity. A layer of fine muddy appearing ash drapes most of the landscape and covers pre-existing vegetation. The dashed line indicates the area excavated by explosive eruptive activity so far. A prominent zone of upwelling is probably the surface expression of a shallow submarine vent. Photograph taken by...
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.
Alaska Interior mountain range shot with snow capped mountains.
2016 (approx.)
Alaska Interior mountain range shot with snow capped mountains.
Tufted Puffin, the species most affected by a recent seabird die-off in the Pribilof Islands, AK
November 23, 2016
Tufted Puffin, the species most affected by a recent seabird die-off in the Pribilof Islands, AK. Near Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska
Horned Puffin, one of the species affected by a recent seabird die-off in the Pribilof Islands, AK
August 26, 2016
Horned Puffin, one of the species affected by a recent seabird die-off in the Pribilof Islands, AK. Near Chisik Island in Lower Cook Inlet, Alaska
August 7, 2016
Twenty middle-school girls from Washington and Oregon participated in the 2016 “GeoGirls” outdoor volcano science program at Mount St. Helens, jointly organized by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Mount St. Helens Institute. The GeoGirls spent five days conducting hands-on research and interacting with scientists, educators, and older students, learning about volcanoes, natural hazards, and...
Horned Puffin, one of the species affected by a recent seabird die-off in the Pribilof Islands, AK
July 14, 2016
Horned Puffin, one of the species affected by a recent seabird die-off in the Pribilof Islands, AK. Near Chisik Island in Lower Cook Inlet, Alaska
Scientists Andrew Ramey, Bjorn Olsen, and Jonas Bonnedahl (L to R) setting a trap for gulls at the Soldotna landfill in 2016.
2016 (approx.)
Scientists Andrew Ramey, Bjorn Olsen, and Jonas Bonnedahl (L to R) setting a trap for gulls at the Soldotna landfill in June 2016.
Gulls using beach at the mouth of Kenai River during the personal use dipnet fishery for sockeye salmon.
2016 (approx.)
Gulls using beach at the mouth of Kenai River during the personal use dipnet fishery for sockeye salmon; photo taken during sampling trip in July 2016.
John Reed (USGS scientist) holding a gull marked with a satellite transmitter at the Soldotna landfill in June 2016
2016 (approx.)
John Reed (USGS scientist) holding a gull marked with a satellite transmitter at the Soldotna landfill in June 2016.
Glacier Bay National Park
June 5, 2016
Trench site along the southern Fairweather Fault, in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska. The alluvial fan at left consists of lake, stream channel and debris flow deposits impounded by the Fairweather Fault scarp, at right.
Filter Total Items: 81
USGS
March 13, 2017

A new report by the USGS finds that although snow geese are increasing rapidly in northern Alaska, they are not having a negative effect on black brant. Brant are a goose species that shares its nesting habitat with snow geese.

Scientist collecting samples in the Arctic Coastal Plain.
March 7, 2017

Despite recent changes to the growing season for plants in the Arctic, Alaska, caribou appear to have remained in sync with these changes over the last 30 years. 

Annotated aerial photo of crescent shaped island surrounded by open ocean.
March 3, 2017

Bogoslof volcano, located in the Aleutian Islands about 98 km (61 mi) northwest of Dutch Harbor/Unalaska, is in an active eruption sequence that began in mid-December 2016 and continues today.

A small bird with distinctive orange-brown feathers around its neck and blue feathers on head, sitting on a small shrub
March 2, 2017

Scientists can now predict which avian species are most sensitive to the increasingly dominant shrub habitat spreading across Alaska, a capability that will be useful for natural resource agencies in Alaska charged with managing these resources.

USGS
February 16, 2017

A new study shows that harlequin ducks in coastal areas of Alaska’s Kodiak and Unalaska islands are exposed to environmental sources of mercury and that mercury concentrations in their blood are associated with their local food source, mainly blue mussels.

Image shows an undersea gas hydrate formation with shellfish on it.
February 9, 2017

A recent interpretive review of scientific literature performed by the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Rochester sheds light on the interactions of gas hydrates and climate.

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.

USGS scientist placing a tracking collar on a caribou.
December 19, 2016

Caribou, North America’s wild reindeer, have lives apart from their famous role on Christmas Eve. Reindeer and caribou are large, cold-adapted, herding herbivores related to deer, elk and moose.

To learn more about how these arctic antler-bearers spend the other 364 days of the year, we talked to USGS caribou expert Dr. Layne Adams, who has studied these animals for more than 30 years.

Repeat oblique photographs of Gulkana glaciers in Alaska.
September 28, 2016

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — This year marks the 50th anniversary of one of the longest continuous glacier research efforts in North America.

Scientists Andrew Ramey, Bjorn Olsen, and Jonas Bonnedahl (L to R) setting a trap for gulls at the Soldotna landfill in 2016.
September 26, 2016

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Some gulls in southcentral Alaska are carriers of antibiotic resistant strains of E. coli, according to a new study co-authored by the U.S. Geological Survey.