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Alaska

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The Alaska Region represents a resource-rich, dynamic landscape shaped by volcanos, earthquakes, major rivers, and glaciers. Here, we conduct research to inform management of Alaska’s extensive natural resources, inform national Arctic energy policy, and provide scientific information to help others understand, respond to, and mitigate impacts from natural hazards.

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News

Graphic of lake dynamics study area in Yukon Flats, Alaska
March 27, 2019

Lakes don’t always behave as they’re expected to. Especially lakes in remote Arctic locales like Alaska’s Yukon Flats, where permafrost plays heavily into their behavior.

A man standing on a log in the grass near a bay
March 5, 2019

Recent geological studies of a key section of the Aleutian Island chain of Alaska suggest Aleutian tsunamis may occur more frequently than previously understood.

Map of earthquake in Anchorage, Alaska, November 30, 2018
November 30, 2018

A magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck north of Anchorage, Alaska, on November 30, 2018, at 8:29 a.m. local time (17:29:28 UTC).  For the most up-to-date information, please visit the USGS event page, and for estimates of casualties and damage, visit the USGS Prompt Assessment of Global Earthquakes for Response (PAGER) website.

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Brownlow Point, Alaska Shoreline position
Date Published: May 15, 2021
Status: Completed

Alaska North Slope LiDAR

High-resolution light detection and ranging (lidar) elevation data were acquired along the north coast of Alaska between 2009 and 2012. The lidar acquisition, from Icy Cape, Alaska to the United States/Canadian border, comprised approximately 11,000 km2. The airborne lidar data were acquired in support of the U.S. Geological Survey...

Application to explore US Oil and Gas Assessments
Date Published: April 19, 2019
Status: Active

United States Assessments of Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources

USGS Energy Resources Program provides periodic assessments of the oil and natural gas endowment of the United States and the World (click here for information about World Oil and Gas Assessments).  This website provides access to new, prioritized, assessment results and supporting data for the United States, as part...

A man stands smiling on a high coastal bluff near solar panels and a pole supported by guy wires, with a camera mounted on top.
Date Published: April 1, 2019
Status: Completed

Using Video Imagery to Study Coastal Change: Barter Island, Alaska

For a short study period, two video cameras overlooked the coast from atop the coastal bluff of Barter Island in northern Alaska. The purpose was to observe and quantify coastal processes such as wave run-up, development of rip channels, bluff erosion, and movement of sandbars and ice floes.

Read more about our Arctic research projects:

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A technician sits at a microscope to identify macrofossils
Date Published: March 7, 2019
Status: Active

Macrofossil and Sediment Processing Laboratory

In the Macrofossil and sediment processing lab we analyze the physical, biological, and geochemical characteristics of peat and sediment samples collected from lake, wetland, and peat cores as proxies for past changes to these depositional environments on timescales of decades to millennia. We primarily study terrestrial wetland ecosystems from subtropical to arctic regions in order to...

Image: Denali Fault
Date Published: February 1, 2019
Status: Active

Alaska Earthquake and Tsunami Hazards

Alaska has more large earthquakes than the rest of the United States combined. More than three-quarters of the state’s population live in an area that can experience a magnitude 7 earthquake. Our research provides objective science that helps stakeholders prepare for and mitigate the effects of future earthquakes and tsunamis, which bolsters the economic health and well-being of Alaska and the...

Flames consume woody fuels in a managed wildfire, New Mexico
Date Published: December 20, 2018
Status: Active

Ecosystems on the Edge: Landscape and Fire Ecology of Forests, Deserts, and Tundra

Climate changes and interacting disturbances such as wildfires, insect and disease outbreaks, and erosion and flooding can perturb and reorganize ecosystems.

View of a coastline from a camera that changes every half hour, with calm waters and tundra in foreground.
Date Published: December 19, 2018
Status: Active

Using Video Imagery to Study Wave Dynamics: Unalakleet

Two video cameras overlook the coast from atop a windmill tower in Unalakleet, Alaska where they look westward over Norton Sound.

Alaskan tundra
Date Published: November 29, 2018
Status: Active

Slow earthquakes in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest- Aaron Wech

Slow earthquakes occur regularly in subduction zones of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. The goal of this project is to use seismic and/or geodetic data to understand how these events occur and what their relationship is to large damaging earthquakes

Arctic glacier
Date Published: November 6, 2018
Status: Active

USGS Glaciers and Climate

Scientists with the USGS Glaciers and Climate Project study the process and impacts of glacier change, including sea-level rise, water resources, environmental hazards and ecosystem links. At the core of this research are mass balance measurements at five glaciers in the United States. These galciers have been studied since the 1960s, to help us understand how glaciers respond to changes in...

Researchers deploying gravity corer off boat in Chukchi Sea.
Date Published: October 31, 2018
Status: Active

Land-Sea Linkages in the Arctic

The Arctic is undergoing historically unprecedented changes in weather, sea ice, temperature and ecosystems.  These changes have led to greater coastal erosion, greater export of freshwater, and changes to marine and terrestrial ecosystems, habitats, and productivity, among other trends. Meanwhile, many believe the Arctic “amplifies” large climate changes during both warm periods and ice ages...

This shows hand-installing a well to understand ground water in the study area.
Date Published: October 30, 2018
Status: Active

Quantifying groundwater resources and biogeochemical fluxes on Alaska’s North Slope and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge- Josh Koch

The Arctic is in a state of rapid change related to thawing permafrost, shifting seasons, altered and novel wildlife migrations, and increasing industrial activity.  Working at the interdisciplinary office in Anchorage will provide you an introduction to many of these processes. You will visit remote sites, participate in and lead important science, and have broad exposure to Artic research....

Comparison of seismic ambient noise
Date Published: October 23, 2018
Status: Active

Comparison of seismic ambient noise and deformation data at Alaskan volcanoes- Matt Haney

Magma intrusions need not trigger significant seismicity. In such cases, subtle changes in surface deformation or subsurface elastic properties may be the only indication an intrusion took place. We seek a researcher to compare two types of data sensitive to subtle changes at volcanoes in Alaska: seismic ambient noise correlations and deformation.

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Science Datasets
/data-tools/allometrics-baltic-tellin-macoma-balthica-bivalves-cook-inlet-ak-and-baie-de-somme-france

Allometrics of Baltic Tellin (Macoma balthica) bivalves from Cook Inlet, AK, and Baie de Somme, France, 2010-2011

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March 26, 2019

This dataset contains two tables of sampling information and size and mass measurements of the Baltic Tellin (Macoma balthica) from sites in Cook Inlet, Alaska, USA, and the Baie de Somme estuary, France.

Science Datasets
/data-tools/pacific-sand-lance-energy-density-length-and-age-prince-william-sound-alaska-2012-2016

Pacific Sand Lance Energy Density, Length, and Age, Prince William Sound, Alaska, 2012-2016

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March 21, 2019

This data set documents the age, length, dry mass energy density, and dry mass of age-0 and age-1 Pacific sand lance captured in Prince William Sound Alaska each July from 2012 to 2016. The analysis of this data was published in von Biela et al. 2019 (doi:10.3354/meps12891).

Science Datasets
/data-tools/inventory-data-lowland-breeding-birds-and-associated-vegetation-types-alaska-peninsula

Inventory Data of Lowland-Breeding Birds and Associated Vegetation Types on the Alaska Peninsula, 2004-2007

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March 11, 2019

These are raw field data from a stratified random survey to inventory the birds breeding in lowlands (elevation below 100m) of the Alaska Peninsula, during summers 2004-2007. Data were collected at 792 survey points on 52 5-km x 5-km plots. The data are in: 1) four PDF files of digitally scanned original field data forms describing each of the 52 plots, and 2) a ZIP package containing 2824 JPEG p

Web Application
/data-tools/national-water-information-system-nwis-mapper

National Water Information System (NWIS) Mapper

NWIS Mapper screenshot
March 5, 2019

The NWIS mapper provides access to over 1.5 million sites contained in the USGS National Water Information System (NWIS), including sites where current and historical surface-water, groundwater, springs, and atmospheric data has been collected. Users can search by site type, data type, site number, or place.

Science Datasets
/data-tools/coastal-and-marine-geoscience-data-system

Coastal and Marine Geoscience Data System

Lidar data of the Gulf Islands, Florida
March 1, 2019

Site provides access to Coastal and Marine Geology Program (CMGP) data via Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards services; serving data to GeoMapApp and Virtual Ocean 2-D and 3-D earth browsing tools, for data integration, visualization and analysis; and metadata catalogs for data discovery.

Science Datasets
/data-tools/inventory-data-lowland-breeding-birds-and-associated-vegetation-types-alaska-peninsula-0

Inventory Data of Lowland-Breeding Birds and Associated Vegetation Types on the Alaska Peninsula, 2004-2007

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March 1, 2019

These are raw field data from a stratified random survey to inventory the birds breeding in lowlands (elevation below 100m) of the Alaska Peninsula, during summers 2004-2007. Data were collected at 792 survey points on 52 5-km x 5-km plots. The data are in: 1) four PDF files of digitally scanned original field data forms describing each of the 52 plots, and 2) a ZIP package containing 2824 JPEG p

Science Datasets
/data-tools/migratory-timing-and-site-use-marbled-godwits-breeding-alaska-2008-2015

Migratory Timing and Site Use of Marbled Godwits Breeding in Alaska, 2008–2015

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February 28, 2019

This dataset contains migration timing and land-based location information from nine Marbled Godwits (Limosa fedoa beringiae) equipped with solar-powered satellite transmitters on breeding grounds near Ugashik, Alaska, in June of 2008. Transmitters were programmed with a duty cycle of 10 hr on and 48 hr off, yielding 10,858 locations (47-3,490 locations per bird, depending on the duration of each

Science Datasets
/data-tools/high-altitude-weather-station-data-usgs-benchmark-glaciers

High Altitude Weather Station Data at USGS Benchmark Glaciers

View of glacier capped mountains taken from a helicopter
January 1, 2019

Since the late 1950s, the USGS has maintained a long-term glacier mass-balance program at three North American glaciers. Measurements began on South Cascade Glacier, WA in 1958, expanding to Gulkana and Wolverine glaciers, AK in 1966, and later Sperry Glacier, MT in 2005. Additional measurements have been made on Lemon Creek Glacier, AK to compliment data collected by the Juneau Icefield Research

Science Datasets
/data-tools/serological-data-influenza-a-birds-and-mammals-arctic-coastal-plain-northern-alaska-2011

Serological Data on Influenza A from Birds and Mammals on the Arctic Coastal Plain of Northern Alaska, 2011-2017

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December 19, 2018

These data (in two spreadsheets) are the results of screening for influenza A viruses (IAV) in blood from wild animals that utilize the Arctic region of Alaska. 758 blood samples from nine wildlife species (3 mammal, 6 waterbird) were collected in Arctic Alaska, 2011-2017. Two different tests were used and the results are presented in separate spreadsheets. All blood samples were screened for IAV

GIS Data
/data-tools/downloadable-data-southern-alaska-oil-and-gas-assessments

Downloadable Data for Southern Alaska Oil and Gas Assessments

Image of data download web page
December 17, 2018

GIS Data for Southern Alaska Oil and Gas Assessments

GIS Data
/data-tools/downloadable-data-central-alaska-oil-and-gas-assessments

Downloadable Data for Central Alaska Oil and Gas Assessments

World Oil and Gas Assessment Downloadable Data Page
December 17, 2018

GIS Data for Central Alaska Oil and Gas Assessments 

Science Datasets
/data-tools/influenza-a-virus-data-migratory-birds-izembek-national-wildlife-refuge-alaska

Influenza A Virus Data from Migratory Birds, Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska

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November 15, 2018

Data set containing avian influenza sampling information for late summer and early autumn waterfowl and gulls within and around the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), Alaska, 2011-2016. Data contains species, age, sex, collection data and location of sampled migratory birds. Laboratory specific data used to identify presence and absence of influenza A viruses (IAVs) from collected samples a

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Application to explore US Oil and Gas Assessments
March 19, 2019

This map shows the provinces assessed by the USGS for undiscovered oil and gas resources. 

The Alaska Geologic Map shows the generalized geology of the state, each color representing a different type or age of rock
December 5, 2017

This is an interactive version of the Alaska geologic map database which allows a user to view and access many features of the database and map through a standard web browser. In other words, there is no need for or knowledge of specialized GIS software.

Digital Elevation Model in the Atchafalaya Basin, LA
April 19, 2016

The 3DEP products and services available through The National Map consist of standard digital elevation models (DEMs) at various horizontal resolutions, elevation source and associated datasets, an elevation point query service and bulk point query service. All 3DEP products are available, free of charge and without use restrictions.

Map of Submerged Lands
March 15, 2016

Links to publications that contain maps of the sea floor or lake beds and the digital data used to create them.

Alaska Topographic Map Contours on Glacier
March 10, 2016

New US Topo maps for Alaska are being produced statewide, with digital 7.5 minute 1:25,000-scale maps providing a comprehensive update to the 15-minute 1:63,360-scale printed maps produced nearly fifty years ago. You can view a status map showing where the new maps are available, and link to a site to download the maps.

Map shows color-coded seafloor character offshore of Monterey, California
March 7, 2016

This portal is a “go to” source for maps related to ocean and coastal mapping. Information is organized by geography or region, by theme, and by the year data was published.

Image shows a road split due to earthquake damage
March 27, 2014

On March 27, 1964 the largest recorded earthquake in U.S. history struck southcentral Alaska.  Click on the photos or the numbers to take a tour.

Filter Total Items: 53
Year Published: 2019

Investigating lake-area dynamics across a permafrost-thaw spectrum using airborne electromagnetic surveys and remote sensing time-series data in Yukon Flats, Alaska

Lakes in boreal lowlands cycle carbon and supply an important source of freshwater for wildlife and migratory waterfowl. The abundance and distribution of these lakes are supported, in part, by permafrost distribution, which is subject to change. Relationships between permafrost thaw and lake dynamics remain poorly known in most boreal regions....

Rey, David; Walvoord, Michelle Ann; Minsley, Burke; Rover, Jennifer; Singha, Kamini

Year Published: 2018

Ichthyophonus in sport-caught groundfishes from southcentral Alaska

This report of Ichthyophonus in common sport-caught fishes throughout the marine waters of southcentral Alaska represents the first documentation of natural Ichthyophonus infections in lingcod Ophiodon elongates and yelloweye rockfish Sebastes ruberrimus. In addition, the known geographic range of ...

Harris, Bradley P.; Webster, Sarah R.; Wolf, Nathan; Gregg, Jacob L.; Hershberger, Paul
Harris, B.P., S.R. Webster, N. Wolf, J.L. Gregg, and P.K. Hershberger. 2018. Ichthyophonus in sport-caught groundfishes from southcentral Alaska. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 128(2):169-173.

Year Published: 2018

Molecular testing of adult Pacific salmon and trout (Oncorhynchus spp.) for several RNA viruses demonstrates widespread distribution of piscine orthoreovirus in Alaska and Washington

This research was initiated in conjunction with a systematic, multiagency surveillance effort in the United States (U.S.) in response to reported findings of infectious salmon anaemia virus (ISAV) RNA in British Columbia, Canada. In the systematic surveillance study reported in a companion paper, tissues from various salmonids taken from...

Purcell, Maureen K.; Thompson, Rachel L.; Evered, Joy; Kerwin, John; Meyers, Ted R.; Stewart, Bruce; Winton, James
Purcell, M.K., R.L. Powers, J. Evered, J. Kerwin, T.R. Meyers, B. Stewart, and J.R. Winton. 2017. Molecular testing of adult Pacific salmon and trout (Oncorhynchus spp.) for several RNA viruses demonstrates widespread distribution of piscine orthoreovirus in Alaska and Washington. J. Fish Dis. 41(2): 347-355. DOI: 10.1111/jfd.12740.

Year Published: 2018

Increasing rock-avalanche size and mobility in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska detected from 1984 to 2016 Landsat imagery

In the USA, climate change is expected to have an adverse impact on slope stability in Alaska. However, to date, there has been limited work done in Alaska to assess if changes in slope stability are occurring. To address this issue, we used 30-m Landsat imagery acquired from 1984 to 2016 to establish an inventory of 24 rock avalanches in a 5000-...

Coe, Jeffrey A.; Bessette-Kirton, Erin; Geertsema, Marten

Year Published: 2017

Geochemistry and mineralogy of the Dotson Zone HREE deposit in the Bokan Mountain peralkaline igneous complex, southeastern Alaska, USA

The Bokan Mountain igneous complex (BMIC) is a typical example of a peralkaline intrusive system that has evolved to the point of developing late stage HFSE- and REE-rich silicic pegmatites and dikes. The Dotson Zone comprises a series of felsic dikes that extend from the southeast margin of the composite pluton and may represent an important...

Taylor, Cliff D.; Lowers, Heather A.; Adams, David; Robinson, R. James
Taylor, C.D., Lowers, H.A., Adams, D.T., and Robinson, R.J., 2017, Geochemistry and mineralogy of the Dotson Zone HREE deposit in the Bokan Mountain peralkaline igneous complex, southeastern Alaska, USA. Proceedings of the 14th SGA Biennial Meeting, 20-23 August 2017, Quebec City, Canada, p. 1329-1332.

Year Published: 2017

Gene transcription patterns in response to low level petroleum contaminants in Mytilus trossulus from field sites and harbors in southcentral Alaska

The 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill damaged a wide range of natural resources, including intertidal communities, and post-spill studies demonstrated acute and chronic exposure and injury to an array of species. Standard toxicological methods to evaluate petroleum contaminants have assessed tissue burdens, with fewer assays providing...

Bowen, Lizabeth; Miles, A. Keith; Ballachey, Brenda E.; Waters, Shannon C.; Bodkin, James L.; Lindeberg, Mandy; Esler, Daniel N.
Bowen, L, AK Miles, B Ballachey, S Waters, J Bodkin, M Lindeberg, D Esler. 2017. Gene transcription patterns in response to low level petroleum contaminants in Mytilus trossulus from field sites and harbors in southcentral Alaska. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography. doi: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2017.08.007

Year Published: 2017

Geographic and temporal patterns of variation in total mercury concentrations in blood of harlequin ducks and blue mussels from Alaska

We compared total mercury (Hg) concentrations in whole blood of harlequin ducks (Histrionicus histrionicus) sampled within and among two geographically distinct locations and across three years in southwest Alaska. Blue mussels were collected to assess correlation between Hg concentrations in locally available forage and birds. Mercury...

Savoy, Lucas; Flint, Paul L.; Zwiefelhofer, Denny; Brant, Heather; Perkins, Christopher R.; Taylor, Robert J.; Lane, Oksana P.; Hall, Jefferson S.; Evers, David C.; Schamber, Jason
Savoy, L., Flint, P., Zwiefelhofer, D., Brant, H., Perkins, C., Taylor, R., Lane, O., Hall, J., Evers, D., and Schamber, J., 2017, Geographic and temporal patterns of variation in total mercury concentrations in blood of harlequin ducks and blue mussels from Alaska, vol. 117, no. 1-2, p. 178-183. Doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.01.084

Year Published: 2017

Geospatial analysis identifies critical mineral-resource potential in Alaska

Alaska consists of more than 663,000 square miles (1,717,000 square kilometers) of land—more than a sixth of the total area of the United States—and large tracts of it have not been systematically studied or sampled for mineral-resource potential. Many regions of the State are known to have significant mineral-...

Jacques, Katherine; Landowski, Claire; Karl, Susan M.; Labay, Keith A.
Karl, S.M., and Labay, K.A., Geospatial analysis identifies critical mineral-resource potential in Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2017–3012, 4 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20173012.

Year Published: 2016

Observations and modeling of fjord sedimentation during the 30 year retreat of Columbia Glacier, AK

To explore links between glacier dynamics, sediment yields and the accumulation of glacial sediments in a temperate setting, we use extensive glaciological observations for Columbia Glacier, Alaska, and new oceanographic data from the fjord exposed during its retreat. High-resolution seismic data indicate that 3.2 × 108 m3 of sediment has...

Love, Katherine B; Hallet, Bernard; Pratt, Thomas L.; O'Neel, Shad

Year Published: 2016

Hyperspectral surveying for mineral resources in Alaska

Alaska is a major producer of base and precious metals and has a high potential for additional undiscovered mineral resources. However, discovery is hindered by Alaska’s vast size, remoteness, and rugged terrain. New methods are needed to overcome these obstacles in order to fully evaluate Alaska’s geology and mineral resource...

Kokaly, Raymond F.; Graham, Garth E.; Hoefen, Todd M.; Kelley, Karen D.; Johnson, Michaela R.; Hubbard, Bernard E.
Kokaly, R.F., Graham, G.E., Hoefen, T.M., Kelley, K.D., Johnson, M.R., and Hubbard, B.E., Hyperspectral surveying for mineral resources in Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2016-3029, 2 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/fs20163029.

Year Published: 2016

The geochemical atlas of Alaska, 2016

A rich legacy of geochemical data produced since the early 1960s covers the great expanse of Alaska; careful treatment of such data may provide significant and revealing geochemical maps that may be used for landscape geochemistry, mineral resource exploration, and geoenvironmental investigations over large areas. To maximize the spatial density...

Lee, Gregory K.; Yager, Douglas B.; Mauk, Jeffrey L.; Granitto, Matthew; Denning, Paul; Wang, Bronwen; Werdon, Melanie B.
Lee, G.K., Yager, D.B., Mauk, J.L, Granitto, Matthew, Denning, P.D., Wang, Bronwen, and Werdon, M.B., 2016, The Geochemical Atlas of Alaska, 2016: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 908, 25 p., 272 sheets (11"×17"), GIS database, http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ds908.

Year Published: 2016

Historical files from Federal Government mineral exploration-assistance programs, 1950 to 1974

The Defense Minerals Administration (DMA), Defense Minerals Exploration Administration (DMEA), and Office of Minerals Exploration (OME) mineral exploration programs were active over the period 1950–1974. Under these programs, the Federal Government contributed financial assistance in the exploration for certain strategic and critical minerals. The...

Frank, David G.
Frank, D.G., 2016, Historical files from Federal Government mineral exploration-assistance programs, 1950 to 1974: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1004, http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ds1004.

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Placeholder for adding a file in SCALD
August 6, 2018

Bioinformatics software repository containing python scripts intended for search and download of genetic information obtained from GenBank NCBI genetics data resources in support of developing PCR primers, targeted genetic databases, genetic analyses, and data interpretation. Includes multiple functions to streamline this process.

Sea ice in the Chukchi Sea
July 25, 2017

Daily sea ice imagery and charting benefits logistics and navigational planning in the Alaskan Arctic waters, yet access to these data often requires high bandwidth data access and substantial GIS processing.

USGS
June 20, 2017

Cormack-Jolly-Seber (CJS) mark-recapture models are widely utilized in ecology, providing estimates of vital rates and abundance that are difficult to obtain using other means.

Polar bear still hunting at a seal breathing hole
June 20, 2017

Quantitative fatty acid signature analysis (QFASA; Iverson et al. 2004) has become a common method of estimating diet composition, especially for marine mammals, but the performance of the method has received limited investigation.

multicolored map of Ocean Shores, Washington
April 13, 2017

The Pedestrian Evacuation Analyst is an ArcGIS extension that estimates how long it would take for someone to travel on foot out of a hazardous area that was threatened by a sudden event such as a tsunami, flash flood, or volcanic lahar. It takes into account the elevation changes and the different types of landcover that a person would encounter along the way.

Kasilof coho salmon with radio tag antenna in it's mouth
January 10, 2017

Quantitative fatty acid signature analysis (QFASA) is a method of diet estimation introduced over a decade ago (Iverson et al. 2004). 

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USGS researcher Erich Peitzsch holds a tree cross section to look for irregular rings.
December 31, 2018

Tree ring research in Alaska

USGS researcher Erich Peitzsch holds a tree cross section to look for irregular rings.

UAS undergraduate student Mckenzie Wilson examines a cross section.
December 31, 2018

Tree ring research in Alaska

UAS undergraduate student Mckenzie Wilson examines a cross section.

AK CASC and USGS researchers select a field site.
December 31, 2018

Tree ring research in Alaska

AK CASC and USGS researchers select a field site.

Researchers examine tree rings for anomalies.
December 31, 2018

Tree ring research in Alaska

Researchers examine tree rings for anomalies.

Landsat animation of change in Twelvemile Lake, in the Yukon Flats ecoregion in Alaska
December 31, 2018

Twelvemile Lake - Change Over Time

Animation of Twelvemile Lake in the Yukon Flats ecoregion in Alaska, created using USGS Landsat data.

Map of AK showing probability of change occurrence
December 31, 2018

Map of AK showing probability of change occurrence

Map of Alaska showing probability (%) of change occurrence. Insets show fire boundaries from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Large Fire Database and Landsat 8 imagery (bottom right; 2016) north of Fairbanks, Alaska.

Thawing permafrost on various peatlands in Alaska.
December 31, 2018

Thawing Permafrost, Alaska

Thawing permafrost on various peatlands in Alaska. Permafrost thaw results in ground subsidence and inundation that kills black spruce and other understory plants living on the permafrost plateau. The black spruce forests found on permafrost plateaus are replaced with sedge- and moss-dominated bogs and fens, altering the ecosystem structure and function.

Scientist extract a sediment core from the permafrost plateaus in Alaska
December 31, 2018

Collecting Cores in Thawing Permafrost, Alaska

Cores were collected from various areas of thawing permafrost-peatlands in Alaska. Permafrost thaw results in ground subsidence and inundation that kills black spruce and other understory plants living on the permafrost plateau. 

December 20, 2018

Image of the Week - Letters to the North Pole

Unlike the South Pole, the geographic North Pole does not lie on a land mass. The Earth’s northern axis of rotation is in the Arctic Ocean, covered by shifting sea ice.

Landsat does not image the North Pole, which makes it an imperfect investigative tool for the detection of Santa’s workshop. 

It does, however, collect imagery over North Pole, Alaska, a small

...
December 13, 2018

Aquatic Ecosystem Vulnerability to Fire and Climate Change

Fire is the dominant ecological disturbance process in boreal forests (coniferous forests consisting mostly of pines, spruces, and larches) and fire frequency, size and severity are increasing in Alaska owing to climate warming. However, interactions among fire, climate, permafrost, vegetation and hydrologic and watershed processes are poorly understood, yet critical for

...
November 30, 2018

Shaking of Frontier Building, M7.0 November 30, 2018, Anchorage Quake

This video presents a visualization of how the Frontier Building in Anchorage, Alaska, shook during the moment magnitude (Mw) 7.0 November 30, 2018, Anchorage, Alaska, earthquake. The building was instrumented by U.S. Geological Survey to obtain data to study its behavior and performance during strong shaking. Such data are useful in making decisions about improving the

...
November 30, 2018

Shaking of BP Exploration Building, M7 Nov. 30, 2018, Anchorage Quake

This video presents a visualization of how the BP Exploration Building in Anchorage, Alaska, shook during the moment magnitude (Mw) 7.0 November 30, 2018, Anchorage, Alaska, earthquake. The building was instrumented by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to obtain data to study its behavior and performance during strong shaking. Such data are useful in making decisions about

...
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Graphic of lake dynamics study area in Yukon Flats, Alaska
March 27, 2019

Lakes don’t always behave as they’re expected to. Especially lakes in remote Arctic locales like Alaska’s Yukon Flats, where permafrost plays heavily into their behavior.

A man standing on a log in the grass near a bay
March 5, 2019

Recent geological studies of a key section of the Aleutian Island chain of Alaska suggest Aleutian tsunamis may occur more frequently than previously understood.

Map of earthquake in Anchorage, Alaska, November 30, 2018
November 30, 2018

A magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck north of Anchorage, Alaska, on November 30, 2018, at 8:29 a.m. local time (17:29:28 UTC).  For the most up-to-date information, please visit the USGS event page, and for estimates of casualties and damage, visit the USGS Prompt Assessment of Global Earthquakes for Response (PAGER) website.

A man wearing cold-weather gear and standing on a high coastal bluff points to an instrument that is mounted on short a pole.
August 7, 2018

In July 2018, three USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center researchers installed instruments and hosted a community outreach event.

man standing on dock next to large white ship
August 6, 2018

Researchers from NOAA, U.S. Geological Survey and their partners have completed the first high-resolution, comprehensive mapping of one of the fastest moving underwater tectonic faults in the world, located in southeastern Alaska. This information will help communities in coastal Alaska and Canada better understand and prepare for the risks from earthquakes and tsunamis that can occur when faults suddenly move.

The rock slide along the Kali Gandaki River in Nepal on May 24, 2015
June 25, 2018

USGS scientists have been developing a system to quickly identify areas where landslides may have been triggered by a significant earthquake.

Animated GIF of polar bears interacting on the ice
February 1, 2018

In June of 2014, the USGS released the first-ever polar bear point-of-view footage, offering a never-seen-before perspective from the top Arctic predator.

Map showing part of southern Alaska and Gulf of Alaska, with orange star in Gulf & white dots strung out along Aleutian Islands
January 30, 2018

One week ago, on January 23rd at 12:31 a.m. local time, Alaskans were rocked by a magnitude 7.9 earthquake, with an epicenter in the Gulf of Alaska, about 350 miles southwest of Anchorage, and about 175 miles southeast of Kodiak Island.

Image shows a map of Florida with USGS groundwater monitoring stations
January 24, 2018

At 12:32 am Alaska time on January 23, 2018, a magnitude 7.9 earthquake shook Alaska residents out of their beds and set off fears of a tsunami all down the West Coast. Fortunately, the tsunami was only a few inches in height, but within an hour of the earthquake in Alaska, waves of a different sort were hitting far away in Florida. 

Regional map showing the Gulf of Alaska and epicenter of M7.9 earthquake
January 23, 2018

The USGS has up-to-date details on the January 23, 2018 event.

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