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: February 23, 2021

Video on USGS Pacific Seabird Research

This video features an overview of USGS and Ecosystems research with a focus on Pacific seabirds. Our scientists at the USGS Alaska Science Center, Western Ecological Research Center and National Wildlife Health Center work on Pacific seabird research topics in collaboration with partner agencies, non-governmental organizations, universities, and rehabilitation centers.

Date published: February 16, 2021

USGS Updates Mineral Database with Niobium Deposits in the United States 

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has updated its USMIN Mineral Deposit Database (USMIN) for the mineral commodity niobium, one of 35 mineral commodities declared critical by the U.S. Department of the Interior. Sites in this dataset occur in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Nebraska and Texas.

February 9, 2021

Alaska Science Center Newsletter - Winter 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 news on the Alaska Landbird Monitoring Survey, a USGS Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellow, USGS Transboundary River Monitoring, and Permafrost Thaw in the Arctic. See new additions to our Data & Tools and Publications pages.

Filter Total Items: 212
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...

Date published: February 22, 2021
Status: Active

Barry Arm, Alaska Landslide and Tsunami Monitoring

A large steep slope in the Barry Arm fjord 30 miles (50 kilometers) northeast of Whittier, Alaska has the potential to fall into the water and generate a tsunami that could have devastating local effects on those who live, work, and recreate in and around Whittier and in northern Prince William Sound.

Date published: February 17, 2021
Status: Active

Suspended-Sediment and Solids Sampling

Suspended-sediment samples are collected on each visit at both gage and border site locations.

Date published: February 5, 2021
Status: Active

Pacific Marine Heatwave

The USGS conducts research on marine wildlife, habitats, and ecosystem processes to provide science to inform our partners as they make decisions relative to species status, resource use, and human activities. These studies examine impacts of severe heatwaves on marine ecosystems of the North Pacific. 

Date published: January 22, 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: January 19, 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: December 3, 2020
Status: Active

Collaborative Science for Priority Information Needs

One of the primary missions of the USGS is to address the science needs of Department of Interior bureaus, particularly those that manage natural resources and lands.  This mission is fulfilled through the research and other activities of USGS scientists but also specifically through three USGS nationally-funded programs listed below.

Date published: December 3, 2020
Status: Active

Natural Resources Preservation Program

This is a nation-wide collaborative program, supported by the USGS Ecosystems Mission Area, through which USGS and National Park Service staff address priority research needs identified by the National Park Service.  On this page, we highlight research taking place in Alaska as part of this program.

Date published: December 3, 2020
Status: Active

Science Support Program and Quick Response Program

This is a nation-wide collaborative program, supported by the USGS Ecosystems Mission Area, through which USGS and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff address priority research needs identified by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  On this page, we highlight research taking place in Alaska as part of this program.

Date published: December 3, 2020
Status: Active

Outer Continental Shelf Program

This is a nation-wide collaborative program, supported by the USGS Ecosystems Mission Area, through which USGS and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management staff address priority research needs identified by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.  On this page, we highlight research taking place in Alaska as part of this program.

Date published: November 24, 2020
Status: Active

Sitka, AK - Recent Conditions

Recent Monitoring Data

Date published: November 2, 2020
Status: Active

Earthquake Hazards in Southeastern Alaska

Over the last 100 years, the Queen Charlotte-Fairweather fault system has produced large-magnitude earthquakes affecting both Canada and the U.S. To fill in missing details about its offshore location and structure, USGS uses sophisticated techniques to truly understand the fault’s hazard potential.

Contacts: Danny Brothers
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Date published: February 23, 2021

Vegetation and Temperature Data, Smith River Estuary, Alaska, 2011-2013

This data release contains measurements of vegetation samples and temperature collected from experimental plots of Carex subspathacea along the Smith River Estuary, Alaska (2011-2013).

Date published: February 16, 2021

Pelagic Forage Fish Distribution Abundance and Body Condition

Monitoring long-term changes in forage fish distribution, abundance and body condition in the Prince William Sound 2012-2019.

Date published: January 28, 2021

Survey Data for Loon Occupancy in Freshwater Lakes, National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, 2011-2014

These data are in one table of territory occupancy data for loons and presence/absence data for fish species based on survey information for Pacific (Gavia pacifica) and Yellow-billed Loon (G. adamsii) and five species of fish (Alaska blackfish, arctic grayling, broad whitefish, least cisco, ninespine stickleback) from freshwater lakes on the Arctic Coastal Plain in northern Alaska, 2011-2014...

Date published: January 21, 2021

Pacific Walrus Blubber Lipid Content and Fatty Acid Composition, St. Lawrence Island, 2007-2010

This dataset contains lab-measured percent lipid and fatty acid composition data from Pacific walruses harvested in waters near Saint Lawrence Island. Each row indicates data from a single layer from a blubber core sample collected from one body site (flank, rump, or sternum) from one walrus harvested by Native Alaskans during the spring walrus hunts of 2007 - 2010.

Date published: January 19, 2021

Counts and Abdominal Profile Indices of Wintering Emperor Geese (Anser canagicus) at Three Islands in Alaska, 2003 and 2015-2017

These data are in two tables related to surveys conducted on wintering Emperor Geese in Alaska. Surveys counting the number of wintering Emperor Geese were conducted on Shemya Island in 2003 and 2016, and on Adak Island in 2016-2017.

Date published: January 18, 2021

Benthos Sample Data from Izembek and Nelson Lagoons, Alaska, 1998

This data set contains a single table of descriptions of benthic samples collected in 1998 at Nelson and Izembek lagoons, Alaska. This includes: the weight of the sample, the species or species group of benthic animals (also vegetation) and their number, size and weight, and the amount of sand and gravel.

Date published: January 5, 2021

A GIS compilation of vector shorelines and coastal bluff edge positions, and associated rate-of-change data for Barter Island, Alaska

This dataset consists of rate-of-change statistics for the coastal bluffs and shorelines at Barter Island, Alaska, for the time period 1947 to 2020. Rate calculations were computed within a GIS using the Digital Shoreline Analysis System version 5.0, an ArcGIS extension developed by the U.S. Geological Survey. A reference baseline was used as the originating point for the orthogonal transects...

Date published: January 5, 2021

Genetic Data from Barrow's Goldeneye and Common Goldeneye

This data set describes nuclear microsatellite genotypes derived from eight autosomal loci (Aph02, Aph11, Aalµ1, Sfiµ4, Smo4, Smo7, Smo12, and Sfiµ8) and accession numbers for double digest restriction-site associated DNA (ddRAD) sequences.

Date published: December 18, 2020

Data for Continental-Scale Dispersal of Antimicrobial Resistant Bacteria by Alaska Landfill-Foraging Gulls

This data set includes information on collections of fecal samples from wild gulls (Larus spp.) at seven locations in Alaska, USA. Samples were screened for Escherichia coli (E. coli) and tested for resistance to multiple antibiotics.

Date published: December 18, 2020

Data Associated with Algal Toxin Testing of Seabirds from the Bering and Chukchi Seas, 2017

This data set is comprised of three tables with results of algal toxin screening for saxitoxin and domoic acid. We used enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) to screen seabirds in the Bering and Chukchi Seas, 2017.

Date published: December 16, 2020

Streamgage Attributes, Basin Characteristics, and Seasonal Flow Regimes, Selected Streamgages in Alaska, 1914-2017

This data set contains selected information about U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) streamgages in Alaska that had at least 5 years of daily streamflow record through September 30, 2017. The goals for developing this dataset were to identify USGS streamgages that had at least 5 years of daily streamflow that responded mostly to seasonal meteorological inputs, that had a definable drainage bas

Date published: December 14, 2020

Sex and Age Composition of Walrus Groups Hauled Out on Ice Floes in the Bering and Chukchi Seas, 2013-2015

These data are in one table with age and sex composition counts of groups of walruses on ice floes in the northern Bering and Chukchi Seas. Counts were collected by visual observations from boats.

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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

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

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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Year Published: 2021

Hydrogeochemistry in the Yukon-Tanana Upland region of east-central Alaska: Possible exploration tool for porphyry-style deposits

A hydrogeochemical study using high resolution ICP-MS was undertaken at the Taurus and other porphyry Cu-Mo(-Au) occurrences and Ag-Au-Cu (+/- Pb, Zn) occurrences with epithermal-style characteristics in the Yukon-Tanana upland region of eastern Alaska. Surface water samples were collected from 30 sites on creeks that drain known deposits and...

Kelley, Karen D.; Graham, Garth E.

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Year Published: 2020

Alaska and Landsat

Alaska’s landscapes are changing at a more rapid rate than those of the lower 48. Its large size makes the collection of aerial surveys—a biannual occurrence for the conterminous United States—cost-prohibitive. That means the Landsat series of land imaging satellites offer the only publicly available, up-to-date imagery of land conditions for...

U.S. Geological Survey, 2020, Alaska and Landsat: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2020–3068, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20203068.

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Year Published: 2020

Detection and assessment of a large and potentially‐tsunamigenic periglacial landslide in Barry Arm, Alaska

The retreat of glaciers in response to global warming has the potential to trigger landslides in glaciated regions around the globe. Landslides that enter fjords or lakes can cause tsunamis, which endanger people and infrastructure far from the landslide itself. Here we document the ongoing movement of an unstable slope (total volume of 455...

Dai, Chunli; Higman, Bretwood; Lynett, Patrick J.; Jacquemart, Mylène; Howat, Ian; Liljedahl, Anna K.; Dufresne, Anja; Freymueller, Jeffery T.; Geertsema, Marten; Jones, Melissa Ward; Haeussler, Peter

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Year Published: 2020

Recording the aurora borealis (northern lights) at seismometers across Alaska

We examine three continuously recording data sets related to the aurora: all‐sky camera images, three‐component magnetometer data, and vertical‐component, broadband seismic data as part of the EarthScope project (2014 to present). Across Alaska there are six all‐sky cameras, 13 magnetometers, and >200">>200>200 ...

Tape, C.; Ringler, Adam T.; Hampton, D.L.

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Year Published: 2020

Citizen science collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey in Alaska

Citizen science is science undertaken by the public, usually in collaboration with professional scientific institutions. It encourages citizens to tackle real-world scientific problems and augments traditional science by expanding the coverage of data collection and by reducing costs of fieldwork in remote locations. Information collected by...

Powers, Elizabeth; Williams, Dee
Powers, E.M., and Williams, D.M., 2020, Citizen science collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey in Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2020-3026, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20203026.

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Year Published: 2020

A 36-year record of rock avalanches in the Saint Elias Mountains of Alaska, with implications for future hazards

Glacial retreat and mountain-permafrost degradation resulting from rising global temperatures have the potential to impact the frequency and magnitude of landslides in glaciated environments. Several recent events, including the 2015 Taan Fiord rock avalanche, which triggered a tsunami with one of the highest wave runups ever recorded, have called...

Bessette-Kirton, Erin K.; Coe, Jeffrey A.

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Year Published: 2020

Magnetic field variations in Alaska: Recording space weather events on seismic stations in Alaska

Seismometers are highly sensitive instruments to not only ground motion but also many other nonseismic noise sources (e.g., temperature, pressure, and magnetic field variations). We show that the Alaska component of the Transportable Array is particularly susceptible to recording magnetic storms and other space weather events because the sensors...

Ringler, Adam T.; Anthony, Robert E.; Wilson, David C.; Claycomb, Abram E.; Spritzer, John

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Year Published: 2020

Selected geologic maps of the Kodiak batholith and other Paleocene intrusive rocks, Kodiak Island, Alaska

Kodiak Island in southern Alaska is one of the premier examples globally for the study of forearc magmatism. This location contains two Paleocene intrusive belts that formed due to the subduction of a migrating spreading ridge and slab-window: the Kodiak batholith and the trenchward magmatic belt. These magmatic rocks are part of the Sanak-Baranof...

Farris, David W.; Haeussler, Peter J.
Farris, D.W., and Haeussler, P.J., 2020, Selected geologic maps of the Kodiak batholith and other Paleocene intrusive rocks, Kodiak Island, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3441, pamphlet 10 p., scale 1:50,000, https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3441.

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Year Published: 2020

Ground failure triggered by shaking during the November 30, 2018, magnitude 7.1 Anchorage, Alaska, earthquake

We developed an initial inventory of ground failure features from the November 30, 2018, magnitude 7.1 Anchorage earthquake. This inventory of 153 features is from ground-based observations soon after the earthquake (December 5–10) that include the presence or absence of liquefaction, landslides, and individual crack traces of lateral spreads and...

Grant, Alex R. R. ; Jibson, Randall W.; Witter, Robert C.; Allstadt, Kate E.; Thompson, Eric M.; Bender, Adrian M.
Grant, A.R.R., Jibson, R.W., Witter, R.C., Allstadt, K.E., Thompson, E.M., and Bender, A.M., 2020, Ground failure triggered by shaking during the November 30, 2018, magnitude 7.1 Anchorage, Alaska, earthquake: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020–1043, 21 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20201043.

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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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Alsek River Layout
February 17, 2021

Alsek River Layout

Illustration detailing the Alsek River layout.  Visit USGS Transboundary River Monitoring in Southeast Alaska for more information about our research.

Salmon River Layout
February 17, 2021

Salmon River Layout

Illustration detailing the Salmon River layout.  Visit USGS Transboundary River Monitoring in Southeast Alaska for more information about our research.

Taku River Layout
February 17, 2021

Taku River Layout

Illustration detailing the Taku River layout.  Visit USGS Transboundary River Monitoring in Southeast Alaska for more information about our research.

Unuk River Layout
February 17, 2021

Unuk River Layout

Illustration detailing the Unuk River layout.  Visit USGS Transboundary River Monitoring in Southeast Alaska for more information about our research.

Stikine River Layout
February 12, 2021

Stikine River Layout

Illustration detailing the Stikine River layout.  Visit USGS Transboundary River Monitoring in Southeast Alaska for more information about our research.

USGS Alaska Transboundary Rivers DEM
February 12, 2021

USGS Alaska Transboundary Rivers DEM

USGS Alaska Transboundary Rivers DEM.  Visit USGS Transboundary River Monitoring in Southeast Alaska for more information about our research.

January 29, 2021

USGS Pacific Seabird Research

Alaska's coastal and offshore waters provide foraging habitat for an estimated 100 million birds comprising more than 90 different species. Researchers at the USGS Alaska Science Center work in collaboration with many partner agencies, non-governmental organizations, universities and rehabilitation centers to investigate seabirds. USGS ecosystems research is focused on

January 29, 2021

Image of the Week: Glacial Retreat Fills Alaska Lake

The visible impact of climate change on the Earth’s surface is often clearest in the Arctic’s receding glaciers and swelling glacial lakes. Southeastern Alaska’s Harlequin Lake is one of the fastest-growing in North America. These false color Landsat images show the rapidly-retreating Yakutat Glacier, which feeds the lake. Landsat can be used to illustrate the lake’s

Image shows grass-covered rocks with rolling hills in the background
January 6, 2021

Tingmerkpuk Ridges

Jurassic rocks exposed in thurst-faulted structures near the southern limit of Western North Slope. In the subsurface farther north, these rocks may be reservoir rocks for natural gas.

Image shows an aerial view of rolling hills and rock formations
January 6, 2021

Western North Slope Foothills

The Kukpowruk River cuts through folded Cretaceous rocks in the central North Slope. These rocks were assessed by the USGS in 2017 and lie above the rocks assessed in the USGS 2021 Western North Slope assessment.

Image shows rocky ground with grasslands and a USGS scientist in the background
January 6, 2021

Western North Slope Foothills

Geologist hikes across folded Cretaceous rocks in the central North Slope. These rocks were assessed by the USGS in 2017 and lie above the rocks assessed in the USGS 2021 Western North Slope assessment.

Weighing type precipitation gage is on the left and new radar-based sensor in on a pole on the right
November 13, 2020

Weighing type precipitation gage and new radar-based sensor

The Wolverine Glacier weather station was installed in 1968, and at 3250 ft is the highest elevation long-term weather record on the Kenai Peninsula. On October 19, 2020, USGS scientists upgraded the power system to a Lithium battery bank and installed a radar-based precipitation sensor (Lufft WS-100) to compare with the weighing based precipitation gage. From this angle

...
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Scientist on the bow of the R/V Alaskan Gyre looking through binoculars
February 23, 2021

This video features an overview of USGS and Ecosystems research with a focus on Pacific seabirds. Our scientists at the USGS Alaska Science Center, Western Ecological Research Center and National Wildlife Health Center work on Pacific seabird research topics in collaboration with partner agencies, non-governmental organizations, universities, and rehabilitation centers.

Image shows a satellite view of the United States, with parts of Mexico and Canada visible.
February 16, 2021

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has updated its USMIN Mineral Deposit Database (USMIN) for the mineral commodity niobium, one of 35 mineral commodities declared critical by the U.S. Department of the Interior. Sites in this dataset occur in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Nebraska and Texas.

Unuk River in Winter
February 9, 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 news on the Alaska Landbird Monitoring Survey, a USGS Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellow, USGS Transboundary River Monitoring, and Permafrost Thaw in the Arctic. See new additions to our Data & Tools and Publications pages.

Image shows a helicopter with four USGS scientists talking to each other next to it, with grasslands in the background
February 5, 2021

USGS provides its first estimate of conventional natural gas resources in rock formations west of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. The rock formations in this region are believed to contain no recoverable oil deposits, so no assessment was made of those resources in this study. 

flooding stream through a permafrost landscape in Kobuk Valley National Park, Alaska
January 13, 2021

Permafrost thaw is occurring across the Arctic with potential consequences for hydrology, ecosystems, humans, and wildlife. A team of scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey Alaska Science Center, the National Park Service, and the Department of Energy Oak Ridge National Laboratory are collaborating to understand the impacts of warming on the ecosystems in the Noatak Preserve in Alaska.

A scientist on an all-terrain vehicle next to a tall permafrost bluff on a sandy coastline
November 30, 2020

USGS studies coastal change along Alaska’s 66,000 miles of complex coastline - which stands as a tremendous resource to the Nation.

A young songbird in a tree
November 16, 2020

A creative story map showcasing the Alaska Landbird Monitoring Survey (ALMS) has recently been developed by the Alaska Migratory Bird Management of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This highly collaborative monitoring program was created by the USGS Alaska Science Center in cooperation with Boreal Partners in Flight to monitor breeding bird populations across the vast roadless area of Alaska.

Image shows a map of Alaska with Earth MRI projects marked in colored polygons
September 28, 2020

A total of $634,000 will fund new research and preserve important data across the Last Frontier.

Photo of flowing glacier
August 18, 2020

A large steep slope in the Barry Arm fjord 30 miles (50 kilometers) northeast of Whittier, Alaska has the potential to fall into the water and generate a tsunami that could have devastating local effects on those who live, work, and recreate in and around Whittier and in northern Prince William Sound.

View the information provided by the State of Alaska, Natural Resources.

Map of Alaska showing estimated mineral-resource potential
August 17, 2020

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 news on the Pacific marine heatwave, Alaska Earth Mapping Resources Initiative, and our Ecosystems Analytics group. See new additions to the Wildlife Tracking page, Data and tools and Publications.

Common Murres in their colony in Cook Inlet, Alaska. Adult touching bill to chick.
August 5, 2020

A story map, developed by the National Park Service, is based on a published article by John Piatt, Sarah Schoen and Mayumi Arimitsu at the U.S. Geological Survey Alaska Science Center in collaboration with 20 coauthors from the USFWS, NPS, NOAA, UW, and other research organizations. It describes the massive seabird die-off in the north Pacific and the research findings on this event.

graph with squiggly lines of 4 colors
July 31, 2020

In a win-win situation for both seismologists and space physicists, a cheap magnetometer at a seismic station can result in better seismic data for earthquakes and also more geomagnetic data in real time for monitoring space weather.

Read the new Science for Everyone article: Auroras and Earthquakes: Strange Companions

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