Unified Interior Regions

Alaska

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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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.

View Centers and Observatories

News

Date published: November 4, 2021

Volcano Watch — Pavlof: a volcano without typical signs of unrest?

Volcanoes commonly give us clues that they are going to erupt. Before an eruption, gas, magma, and other fluids move below the surface of a volcano and typically cause earthquakes. This movement can also create a signal called volcanic tremor, which can often be observed on local seismometers. Seismometers, which measure movement of the ground, are important tools for monitoring volcanic...

Date published: October 15, 2021

Tracking Changes to Barrier Islands in the Arctic

Barrier islands and spits shelter coastlines from storms, protecting coastal communities and providing habitat for native species.

Date published: October 6, 2021

Queen Charlotte Fault Mapping

The Queen Charlotte Fault is an active strike-slip boundary, similar to California’s San Andreas fault.

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Date published: October 15, 2021
Status: Active

U.S. West Coast and Alaska Marine Geohazards

Marine geohazards are sudden and extreme events beneath the ocean that threaten coastal populations. Such underwater hazards include earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, and tsunamis.

Devastating earthquakes in Japan (2011) and Chile (2010) that spawned pan-oceanic tsunamis sent a sobering reminder that U.S. coastlines are also vulnerable to natural disasters that originate in...

Date published: October 15, 2021
Status: Active

Climate impacts to Arctic coasts

The Arctic region is warming faster than anywhere else in the nation. Understanding the rates and causes of coastal change in Alaska is needed to identify and mitigate hazards that might affect people and animals that call Alaska home.

Date published: October 15, 2021
Status: Active

Decline of Beluga Whales in Cook Inlet, Alaska

In conjunction with the Cook Inlet PhotoID Project and federal agencies, the USGS Washington Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit is aiming to learn more about the fundamental factors that drive changes in beluga whale population dynamics, specifically what affects the rates at which individuals survive and reproduce.

Date published: October 5, 2021
Status: Active

Barry Arm, Alaska, Tsunami Hazard Maybe Not So Severe

...however, wave height could still be hazardous to Whittier and other nearshore communities in Prince William Sound. 

Date published: September 30, 2021
Status: Active

Using Video Imagery to Study Wave Dynamics: Unalakleet

USGS scientists installed two video cameras atop a windmill tower in Unalakleet, Alaska, pointing westward over Norton Sound, to observe and quantify coastal processes such as wave run-up, development of rip channels, bluff erosion, and movement of sandbars and ice floes.

Date published: September 30, 2021
Status: Active

Using Video Imagery to Study Sediment Transport and Wave Dynamics: Nuvuk (Point Barrow)

Two coastal observing video cameras are installed atop a utility pole near the northernmost point of land in the United States, at Nuvuk (Point Barrow), Alaska. The cameras point northwest toward the Arctic Ocean and the boundary between the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, and will be used to observe and quantify coastal processes such as wave run-up, bluff erosion, movement of sandbars and ice...

Date published: September 21, 2021
Status: Active

Tracking Data for Common Eiders (Somateria mollissima)

Available here are tracking data of Common Eider, a sea duck species found across Alaska and the Arctic.  Some populations migrate between distant breeding and wintering areas while others are essentially nonmigratory.  These data were collected to better understand the migration of the different populations in Alaska and migratory connectivity to adjacent regions, such as Russia.

Contacts: David Douglas
Date published: September 1, 2021
Status: Active

Coastal Climate Impacts

The impacts of climate change and sea-level rise around the Pacific and Arctic Oceans can vary tremendously. Thus far the vast majority of national and international impact assessments and models of coastal climate change have focused on low-relief coastlines that are not near seismically active zones. Furthermore, the degree to which extreme waves and wind will add further stress to coastal...

Date published: June 23, 2021
Status: Active

Tracking Data for Whooper Swans (Cygnus cygnus)

Available here are tracking data for the whooper swan, a Eurasian species that closely resembles the trumpeter swan in North America. These data were collected to better understand the potential transmission of avian influenza viruses carried by swans and provide information on the migratory habits of whooper swans in East Asia.

Contacts: David Douglas
Date published: June 23, 2021
Status: Active

Tracking Data for Kittlitz's Murrelet (Brachyramphus brevirostris)

Available here are tracking data for the Kittlitz’s murrelet, a rare seabird species that nests solitarily on the ground in barren, often alpine areas near the North Pacific and Bering Sea. 

Date published: May 15, 2021
Status: Active

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 Coastal and Marine Geology Program. The purpose of...

Date published: April 30, 2021
Status: Active

Tracking Data for Greater White-fronted Geese (Anser albifrons)

Available here are tracking data of Greater White-fronted Geese, a species that nests in coastal areas of western and northern Alaska and winters across a broad area of North America along the Pacific and Central flyways. These data were collected to better understand the timing and patterns of migratory movements and seasonal use of habitats in breeding, wintering, and migratory areas of...

Contacts: David Douglas
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Date published: November 16, 2021

Metabolic Rates Measured in Three Captive Adult Female Walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) While Resting and Diving

This dataset contains measurements of oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production of 3 adult female walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) while resting and diving at the Oceanografic Aquarium in Valencia, Spain. Oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production was measured for walruses via a respiratory dome while resting at the water surface and after swimming and diving.

Date published: November 15, 2021

Water Level, Temperature, and Discharge in West Twin Creek, Alaska, 2010 to 2012

This data set includes 15-minute interval data on stream temperature, stage, and discharge from an upstream and downstream gaging location on West Twin Creek, a first-order tributary to Nome Creek in the White Mountains of Alaska.

Date published: October 8, 2021

Point Sampling Data for Eelgrass (Zostera marina) and Seaweed Distribution and Abundance in Bays Adjacent to the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska

These data are in seven tables relating to surveys of eelgrass beds in Izembek and Kinzarof Lagoons, Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. The tables provide environmental conditions, eelgrass abundance, distribution, and measurements used to estimate overall biomass.

Date published: October 6, 2021

Field Data Collected 2018 to Document Human-induced Gorge Incision at The Kink (Fortymile River, Alaska)

This dataset comprises four tables containing channel survey cross section data, field observations including channel width and bank material, measured surface water velocity, and alluvial grain size data collected along the North Fork Fortymile River near a man-made meander cutoff called The Kink.

Date published: September 30, 2021

Wave model results of the central Beaufort Sea coast, Alaska

A three-level SWAN (version 41.31) nesting grid has been developed for the central Beaufort Sea coast to simulate waves over the hindcast period 1979 - 2019. The model includes the implementations of sea ice by Rogers (2019) and includes both 1) a dissipation source term and 2) a scaling of wind input source as functions by sea ice. The bathymetric dataset used for the model is the...

Date published: September 24, 2021

Polar Bear Continuous Time-Correlated Random Walk (CTCRW) Location Data Derived from Satellite Location Data, Southern Beaufort Sea, 1986–2016

This dataset consists of one table with predicted locations of adult female polar bears. Locations were derived by a Continuous Time-Correlated Random Walk (CTCRW) model using satellite tracking radio-collared adult female polar bears captured and instrumented in the southern Beaufort Sea, 1986–2016.

Date published: September 24, 2021

Sea Otter Aerial Survey Data from Northern and Eastern Prince William Sound, Alaska, 2014

This dataset consists of three tables related to abundance and distribution of northern sea otters (Enhydra lutris kenyoni) in northern and eastern Prince William Sound, Alaska, based on data collected during a series of population-wide aerial surveys in June 2014.

Date published: September 21, 2021

Tracking Data for Common Eiders (Somateria mollissima)

These data were collected to better understand the timing and patterns of migratory movement of Common Eiders between breeding areas in Alaska and wintering areas along the north Pacific and Bering Sea coast of North America and Asia.

Date published: September 13, 2021

Goose Migration and Egg Nutrient Allocation, Colville River Delta, Alaska, 2011-2015

These data are in nine tables relating to three species of arctic breeding geese studied on the Colville River Delta, Alaska, 2011-2014.

Date published: August 30, 2021

Temporal Viral Viability Data from Avian Influenza A Viruses Maintained in Alaska Wetlands Under Experimental and Environmental Conditions

Data sets containing: (1) sample collection and influenza A virus (IAV) screening information for wild ducks, (2) water temperature data from four wetlands within the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, USA (3) water quality measurement from four wetlands within the Izembek NWR in AK, USA, (4) genetic sequence data for IAVs recovered from replicate samples of wild ducks.

Date published: August 26, 2021

Walrus Haulout Outlines Apparent from Satellite Imagery Near Point Lay Alaska, Autumn 2018-2020

These data are in three folders of Keyhole Markup Language (KML) geospatial polygons representing the outlines of walrus herds apparent in satellite imagery. Each KML file contains one or more geospatial polygons of walrus herd outlines created by one observer who visually interpreted the images. The attribute values from all KML files are collected in a CSV table included with this data...

Date published: August 25, 2021

Innate Immunity and Stress and Reproductive Hormone Metrics for Southern Beaufort Sea Polar Bears, 2013-2015

These were data collected from polar bears from the Southern Beaufort Sea during the spring between 2013 and 2015. Data include individual id, demographic characteristics, year, status for the current and prior year regarding use of land, concentrations of stress response and reproductive hormones, blood-based biomarker measures indicative of fasting, body mass index, and body condition.

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Arctic Boundaries as defined by the Arctic Research & Policy Act-ARPA Circumpolar Map
January 5, 2021

All US and Foreign territory north of the Arctic Circle and all US terrritory north and west of the boundary formed by the Porcupine, Yukon, and Kuskokwim Rivers; all contiguous seas including the Arctic Ocean and the Beaufort, Bering and Chukchi Seas, and the Aleutian chain.

Arctic Boundary as Defined by the Arctic Research and Policy Act-ARPA Alaska
January 5, 2021

All US and Foreign territory north of the Arctic Circle and all US terrritory north and west of the boundary formed by the Porcupine, Yukon, and Kuskokwim Rivers; all contiguous seas including the Arctic Ocean and the Beaufort, Bering and Chukchi Seas, and the Aleutian chain.

Arctic Research & Policy Act Region: Alaska
January 5, 2021

Region: Alaska.  All US and Foreign territory north of the Arctic Circle and all US terrritory north and west of the boundary formed by the Porcupine, Yukon, and Kuskokwim Rivers; all contiguous seas including the Arctic Ocean and the Beaufort, Bering and Chukchi Seas, and the Aleutian chain.

U.S. Geological Survey scientist walks on  a coastal bluff in Alaska.
January 4, 2021

Alaska's north coast has been home to indigenous communities for centuries. Changing coastlines threaten important infrastructure and historic sites that support indigenous communities. Changing coastlines also can potentially reduce habitat for Arctic wildlife, such as polar bears, shorebirds, and walruses. Oil- and gas-related development sites and U.S. Department of Defense installations 

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.

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.

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.

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Year Published: 2021

Seven decades of coastal change at Barter Island, Alaska: Exploring the importance of waves and temperature on erosion of coastal permafrost bluffs

Observational data of coastal change over much of the Arctic are limited largely due to its immensity, remoteness, harsh environment, and restricted periods of sunlight and ice-free conditions. Barter Island, Alaska, is one of the few locations where an extensive, observational dataset exists, which enables a detailed assessment of the trends and...

Gibbs, Ann E.; Erikson, Li H.; Jones, Benjamin M.; Richmond, Bruce M.; Engelstad, Anita C

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Year Published: 2021

Assessment of barrier island morphological change in northern Alaska

Arctic barriers islands are highly dynamic features influenced by a variety of oceanographic, geologic, and environmental factors. Many Alaskan barrier islands and spits serve as habitat and protection for native species, as well as shelter the coast from waves and storms that cause flooding and degradation of coastal villages. This study...

Hamilton, Anna I.; Gibbs, Ann E.; Erikson, Li H.; Engelstad, Anita C.
Hamilton, A.I., Gibbs, A.E., Erikson, L.H., and Engelstad, A.C., 2021, Assessment of barrier island morphological change in northern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2021–1074, 28 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20211074.

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Year Published: 2021

Preliminary assessment of the wave generating potential from landslides at Barry Arm, Prince William Sound, Alaska

We simulated the concurrent rapid motion of landslides on an unstable slope at Barry Arm, Alaska. Movement of landslides into the adjacent fjord displaced fjord water and generated a tsunami, which propagated out of Barry Arm. Rather than assuming an initial sea surface height, velocity, and location for the tsunami, we generated the tsunami...

Barnhart, Katherine R.; Jones, Ryan P.; George, David L.; Coe, Jeffrey A.; Staley, Dennis M.
Barnhart, K.R., Jones, R.P., George, D.L., Coe, J.A., and Staley, D.M., 2021, Preliminary assessment of the wave generating potential from landslides at Barry Arm, Prince William Sound, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2021–1071, 28 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20211071.

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Year Published: 2021

Evaluation of remote mapping techniques for earthquake-triggered landslide inventories in an urban subarctic environment: A case study of the 2018 Anchorage, Alaska Earthquake

Earthquake-induced landslide inventories can be generated using field observations but doing so can be challenging if the affected landscape is large or inaccessible after an earthquake. Remote sensing data can be used to help overcome these limitations. The effectiveness of remotely sensed data to produce landslide inventories, however, is...

Martinez, Sabrina Nicole; Schaefer, Lauren Nicole; Allstadt, Kate; Thompson, Eric M.

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Year Published: 2021

Biogeography and ecology of Ostracoda in the U.S. northern Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas

Ostracoda (bivalved Crustacea) comprise a significant part of the benthic meiofauna in the Pacific-Arctic region, including more than 50 species, many with identifiable ecological tolerances. These species hold potential as useful indicators of past and future ecosystem changes. In this study, we examined benthic ostracodes from nearly 300 surface...

Gemery, Laura; Cronin, Thomas M.; Cooper, Lee W.; Dowsett, Harry J.; Grebmeier, Jacqueline M.

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Year Published: 2021

Assessment of undiscovered gas resources in Upper Devonian to Lower Cretaceous strata of the western North Slope, Alaska, 2021

Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated a mean of 1,407 billion (1.4 trillion) cubic feet of gas in conventional accumulations in Upper Devonian to Lower Cretaceous strata of the western North Slope, Alaska.

Houseknecht, David W.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Schenk, Christopher J.; Moore, Thomas E.; Rouse, William A.; Dumoulin, Julie A.; Craddock, William H.; Lease, Richard O.; Botterell, Palma J.; Sanders, Margaret M.; Smith, Rebecca A.; Connors, Christopher D.; Garrity, Christopher P.; Whidden, Katherine J.; Gooley, Jared T.; Counts, John W.; Long, Joshua H.; DeVera, Christina A.
Houseknecht, D.W., Mercier, T.J., Schenk, C.J., Moore, T.E., Rouse, W.A., Dumoulin, J.A., Craddock, W.H., Lease, R.O., Botterell, P.J., Sanders, M.M., Smith, R.A., Connors, C.D., Garrity, C.P., Whidden, K.J., Gooley, J.T., Counts, J.W., Long, J.H., and DeVera, C.A., 2021, Assessment of undiscovered gas resources in Upper Devonian to Lower Cretaceous strata of the western North Slope, Alaska, 2021: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2021-3003, 4 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20213003.

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Year Published: 2021

Dating fault damage along the eastern Denali fault zone with hematite (U-Th)/He thermochronometry

Unraveling complex slip histories in fault damage zones to understand relations among deformation, hydrothermal alteration, and surface uplift remains a challenge. The dextral eastern Denali fault zone (EDFZ; southwest Yukon, Canada) bounds the Kluane Ranges and hosts a variety of fault-related rocks, including hematite fault surfaces, which have...

McDermott, Robert G.; Ault, Alexis K.; Caine, Jonathan

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Year Published: 2021

Extreme Quaternary plate boundary exhumation and strike slip localized along the southern Fairweather fault, Alaska, USA

The Fairweather fault (southeastern Alaska, USA) is Earth’s fastest-slipping intracontinental strike-slip fault, but its long-term role in localizing Yakutat–(Pacific–)North America plate motion is poorly constrained. This plate boundary fault transitions northward from pure strike slip to transpression where it comes onshore and undergoes a <...

Lease, Richard O.; Haeussler, Peter; Witter, Robert C.; Stockli, Daniel F.; Bender, Adrian; Kelsey, Harvey; O'Sullivan, Paul

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Year Published: 2021

Tectonic and magmatic controls on the metallogenesis of porphyry deposits in Alaska

Porphyry Cu and Mo deposits and occurrences are found throughout Alaska; they formed episodically during repeated subduction and arc-continent collisions spanning the Silurian to Quaternary. Porphyry systems occur in continental-margin and island arcs, which are broadly grouped into pre-accretionary or post-accretionary arcs. Pre-Mesozoic...

Kreiner, Douglas C.; Jones, James V.; Kelley, Karen D.; Graham, Garth E.

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Year Published: 2021

USGS permafrost research determines the risks of permafrost thaw to biologic and hydrologic resources

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in collaboration with university, Federal, Tribal, and independent partners, conducts fundamental research on the distribution, vulnerability, and importance of permafrost in arctic and boreal ecosystems. Scientists, land managers, and policy makers use USGS data to help make decisions for development, wildlife...

Waldrop, Mark P.; Anderson, Lesleigh; Dornblaser, Mark; Erikson, Li H.; Gibbs, Ann E.; Herman-Mercer, Nicole M.; James, Stephanie R.; Jones, Miriam C.; Koch, Joshua C.; Leewis, Mary-Cathrine; Manies, Kristen L.; Minsley, Burke J.; Pastick, Neal J.; Patil, Vijay; Urban, Frank; Walvoord, Michelle A.; Wickland, Kimberly P.; Zimmerman, Christian
Waldrop, M.P., Anderson, L., Dornblaser, M., Erikson, L.H., Gibbs, A.E., Herman-Mercer, N.M., James, S.R., Jones, M.C., Koch, J.C., Leewis, M.-C., Manies, K.L., Minsley, B.J., Pastick, N.J., Patil, V., Urban, F., Walvoord, M.A., Wickland, K.P., and Zimmerman, C., 2021, USGS permafrost research determines the risks of permafrost thaw to biologic and hydrologic resources: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2020-3058, 6 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20203058.

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Year Published: 2021

Geochemistry of coastal permafrost and erosion-driven organic matter fluxes to the Beaufort Sea near Drew Point, Alaska

Accelerating erosion of the Alaska Beaufort Sea coast is increasing inputs of organic matter from land to the Arctic Ocean, and improved estimates of organic matter stocks in eroding coastal permafrost are needed to assess their mobilization rates under contemporary conditions. We collected three permafrost cores (4.5–7.5 m long) along a...

Bristol, Emily M.; Connolly, Craig T.; Lorenson, Thomas; Richmond, Bruce M.; Ilgen, Anastasia G.; Choens, Charles R.; Bull, Diana L.; Kanevskiy, Mikhail Z.; Iwahana, Go; Jones, Benjamin M.; McClelland, James M.

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Year Published: 2021

The Alaska convergent margin backstop splay fault zone, a potential large tsunami generator between the frontal prism and continental framework

The giant tsunami that swept the Pacific from Alaska to Antarctica in 1946 was generated along one of three Alaska Trench instrumentally recorded aftershock areas following great and giant earthquakes. Aftershock areas were investigated during the past decade with multibeam bathymetry, ocean bottom seismograph wide‐angle seismic, reprocessed...

von Huene, Roland; Miller, John J.; Krabbenhoeft, Anne

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Eggs in a nest on the ground
March 10, 2021

This R script will run one replicate of one scenario used by Weiser (in review) to quantify biases in estimates of nest survival when nests are not found at the beginning of the nesting interval (age 0). The script simulates nest monitoring histories based on input parameters, applies models with or without an age effect to estimate daily survival rates, and calculates nest survival (to the end of

Shorebird on the tundra on the north slope of Alaska
March 16, 2020

This R script will run one example of the stochastic matrix models run by Weiser et al. (2020) to simulate shorebird populations. The model predicts population growth rates and elasticity values of vital rates. The example script is stand-alone and contains input values for one example species; input values for the other species are provided in the manuscript.

A DNA strand illustration
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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November 10, 2021

Climate change and landslides in subpolar Alaska: Less ice, more water

Landslide initiation processes in subarctic Alaska are complicated by the prevalence of ice-rich permafrost. Permafrost and permafrost thaw influence landslide type, frequency, and continued ground surface deformation, resulting in positive feedbacks between permafrost thaw and landsliding. Thaw-induced landslides in interior Alaska and rain-induced landslides across the

Graphical abstract showing use of satellite imagery for monitoring large Pacific walrus haulouts in northwestern Alaska
October 31, 2021

Evaluation of Satellite Imagery Monitoring Pacific Walruses haulouts

This is a graphical abstract for a publication by the USGS that evaluates satellite imagery for monitoring large Pacific walrus haulouts in northwestern Alaska. Pacific walruses are using coastal haulouts to rest between foraging bouts in the Chukchi Sea more often and in larger numbers in late summer, because climate

...
October 20, 2021

COP26-Communities on the Frontline-Jerilyn Kelly from Quinhagak, AK

This video was prepared for Douglas Beard's presentation at COP26, Communities on the Frontline. Jerilyn Kelly, from Quinhagak, AK shares video and photographs from her community and some of the climate related challenges her community faces. She describes how erosion and permafrost degradation impact her community and their housing.

Photo looks down to a coastal area with ice and snow and the open ocean in the background.
September 30, 2021

Video monitoring at Nuvuk

This image from a video camera pointed at the coast tracks the brightest pixels in the camera view over 10 minutes of video. The resulting image is useful for identifying features such as the position of maximum wave run-up on the beach, the position of all breaking waves, and sea-state. When the time frame is close to sunrise or sunset, the photo often looks like art.

September 29, 2021

Infrastructure on ice – when road rides on accelerating rock glacier

The 92-mile, dead-end Denali Park Road crosses an accelerating rock glacier. Until 2014, the rock glacier would only displace the road a few tens of centimeters per year, however during the summer of 2021 the rock glacier has moved the road almost 40 cm/day. On August 24th, the park announced that the road would be closing near its midpoint weeks early because we could no

USGS wave glider secured to the deck of the R/V Alaskan Gyre off the southern coast of the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
September 28, 2021

USGS wave glider

USGS wave glider secured to the deck of the R/V Alaskan Gyre off the southern coast of the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska.

USGS wave glider deployed in the Gulf of Alaska off the southern coast of the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
September 28, 2021

USGS wave glider deployed in the Gulf of Alaska

USGS wave glider deployed in the Gulf of Alaska off the southern coast of the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska.

Photo looks down to a coastal area with ice and snow and the open ocean in the background.
September 27, 2021

Video camera snapshot at Point Barrow, AK

Two coastal observing video cameras are installed atop a utility pole near the northernmost point of land in the United States: at Nuvuk (Point Barrow), Alaska. The cameras point northwest toward the Arctic Ocean and the boundary between the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. Every half hour during daylight hours, the cameras collect snapshots and video for 10 minutes. Today’s

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View of a shoreline of soil near the ocean with wooden poles sitting atop a large berm.
August 31, 2021

Video camera setup at Point Barrow, Alaska

Point Barrow, Alaska, or Nuvuk, is the northernmost point in the United States. USGS has set up video cameras, mounted to the pole shown here, to study sediment movement and wave dynamics along this dynamic coastline.

View of a shoreline with a wooden pole supported by wires and secured to the soil, with a pickup truck parked nearby.
August 31, 2021

Video camera setup at Nuvuk, Alaska

Point Barrow, Alaska, or Nuvuk, is the northernmost point in the United States. USGS has set up video cameras, mounted to the pole shown here, to study sediment movement and wave dynamics along this dynamic coastline.

A pole with instruments strapped to it is supported by wires and stands on a coastal bluff with the ocean in the background.
August 31, 2021

Video camera setup, Point Barrow, Alaska

Point Barrow, Alaska, or Nuvuk, is the northernmost point in the United States. USGS has set up video cameras, mounted to the pole shown here, to study sediment movement and wave dynamics along this dynamic coastline.

Outstanding in the Field - Episode 8 artwork
August 17, 2021

USGS Outstanding in the Field, Episode 8, Braving thin ice

This is the first in a special edition of Outstanding in the Field, the U.S. Geological Survey’s podcast series produced by the Ecosystems Mission Area. In this series we will be highlighting stories from the Alaska Voices podcast, a partnership between the U.S. Geological Survey’s Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center and the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

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Color photograph of eruption plume
November 4, 2021

Volcanoes commonly give us clues that they are going to erupt. Before an eruption, gas, magma, and other fluids move below the surface of a volcano and typically cause earthquakes. This movement can also create a signal called volcanic tremor, which can often be observed on local seismometers. Seismometers, which measure movement of the ground, are important tools for monitoring volcanic activity.

Aerial photograph looking at an eroding bluff on an arctic island with ponded water, green grass, and dying grass.
October 15, 2021

Barrier islands and spits shelter coastlines from storms, protecting coastal communities and providing habitat for native species.

A sparrow in the grass
September 1, 2021

Alaska, where four major migratory flyways converge, hosts a diverse array of globally important avian habitats, ranging from towering rainforests to treeless tundra. USGS scientists recently led two teams of experts to produce key documents to help conserve Alaska’s similarly diverse landbird populations: the Alaska Landbird Conservation Plan and the Alaska Landbird Monitoring Survey Protocol.

Female McKay's Bunting with berry stained feathers on St. Matthew Island, Alaska
August 16, 2021

A video produced by Andy Johnson with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology highlights collaborative research conducted on St. Matthew Island, in the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. The video features research by the USGS Alaska Science Center and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Alaska in 2018 - 2019. The research team focused on surveying McKay's Bunting and the Pribilof Rock Sandpiper.

USGS boat on bank of Stikine River, Alaska
August 10, 2021

The USGS monitors water quantity and quality on Alaska rivers to provide valuable up-to-date information for water resource planners, engineers, land and natural resource managers. This enables them to design infrastructure, manage floodplains, and protect life, property, and aquatic resources.

THUMBNAIL: Timelapse of City/Town Halls in AK
August 3, 2021

Summary statistics are now available for this challenge. Thanks again to everyone who contributed!

Thawing Permafrost
August 2, 2021

Newly published research indicates permafrost, or seasonally frozen, soils may be an overlooked source of greenhouse gases (GHG) prior to complete thaw, which could have implications for how thawing of this thick subsurface layer of soil will impact the global carbon budget and how future climate conditions are studied.  

  

TNMCorps Mapping Challenge: City/Town Halls in AK FINISHED
July 29, 2021

This challenge is now complete! Thank you to everyone who contributed!

TNMCorps Mapping Challenge: City/Town Halls in AK
July 22, 2021

This challenge is SO CLOSEThere's just a few remaining points that need to be confirmed. 

Photograph looking across a large body of calm water surrounded by mountains with a glacier and snow-capped peaks in distance.
July 21, 2021

USGS researchers in Alaska, including geologist and Mendenhall Fellow Drake Singleton of the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, are using techniques from a discipline known as lake paleoseismology, studying cores of lake sediment to reconstruct past seismic activity. 

Image: Rainbow Over Yukon River, Eagle, Alaska, June 2002
July 21, 2021

We hope you enjoy and subscribe. Below are links to recent publications, data releases, and highlights of on-going research programs. In this issue, we feature Wildfire Research, our Research Landscape Ecologist, a Geology publication on prospectivity for lode gold, and video about USGS Seabird Research. See new additions to our Data & Tools and Publications pages. 

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