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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Filter Total Items: 221
Date published: August 17, 2020
Status: Active

Tracking Data for Red-faced Cormorants (Phalacrocorax urile)

Available here are tracking data for the red-faced cormorant, a seabird species that is found only in the North Pacific Ocean, breeding and wintering from southern Alaska and throughout the Aleutian Islands to Far Eastern Russia. These data were collected to better understand the migratory patterns of red-faced cormorants that breed in the Aleutian Islands.

Contacts: David Douglas
Date published: August 5, 2020
Status: Active

Bird Species Checklists from USGS Alaska Science Center Field Camps

Scientists from the USGS Alaska Science Center regularly work in remote field camps, often for days or weeks at a time. Though not the primary research focus of these camps, many researchers maintain daily checklists of all bird species encountered during field work. These checklists can provide documentation of the presence, distribution, timing of arrival and departure, and breeding...

Date published: July 30, 2020
Status: Active

Tracking Data for Spectacled Eiders (Somateria fischeri)

Available here are tracking data of Spectacled Eider, a sea duck species that breeds only in Alaska and Russia and spends the winter exclusively in the Bering Sea.  The Alaska breeding population is listed as threatened under provisions of the Endangered Species Act. These data were collected to better understand the winter distribution in the Bering Sea and locate birds for winter aerial...

Contacts: David Douglas
Date published: July 13, 2020
Status: Active

Molecular Ecology Laboratory

The main objectives of the USGS ASC molecular ecology research program are to 1) Identify and fill gaps in our knowledge about species and population diagnosis, biodiversity, and health of wildlife and their habitats to inform decision making by management agencies and 2) Provide state-of-the-art molecular science applications and protocols for USGS, Department of Interior, and other partners...

Date published: July 6, 2020
Status: Completed

Auroras and Earthquakes: Strange Companions

In 1722 and 1723 a London clockmaker, George Graham, observed daily and consistent variations on one of his instruments, a “Needle upon the Pin” (a compass), for which he had no explanation. Swedish scientists obtained some of Graham’s instruments to record what is now known to be the variations in Earth’s magnetic field. In 1741, they noticed a significant deflection of the compass needle...

Contacts: Adam Ringler, Ph.D., Lisa A Wald, Carl Tape
Date published: June 30, 2020
Status: Active

Tracking Data Releases

U.S. Geological Survey, Alaska Science Center, has previously released tracking data sets of polar bears, walrus, and Greater White-fronted goose.

Date published: June 26, 2020
Status: Active

Tracking Data for Three Large-bodied Gull Species and Hybrids (Larus spp.)

Available here are tracking data of large-bodied gull species and hybrids (Larus species). These data were collected to better understand the migratory movements of these birds and their role in the dispersal of antibiotic resistant bacteria among areas of Alaska and other regions.

Date published: May 11, 2020
Status: Active

Denali National Park Geohazards Geologic Mapping

Denali National Park (DENA) is a major draw for tourism and recreation and a major economic engine for central Alaska. However, the geologic forces that created the steep landscape of DENA also make it prone to geologic hazards (geohazards) like landslides, debris flows, and earthquakes. DENA has only one major road, called the ‘Park Road’, that serves nearly all of its infrastructure.

...

Date published: March 25, 2020
Status: Active

Past Perspectives of Water in the West

In the intermountain west, seasonal precipitation extremes, combined with population growth, are creating new challenges for the management of water resources, ecosystems, and geologic hazards. This research contributes a comprehensive long-term context for a deeper understanding of past hydrologic variability, including the magnitude and frequency of drought and flood extremes and ecosystem...

Date published: March 23, 2020
Status: Active

Eyes on Earth Episode 20 - Mapping Alaska's Permafrost

Eyes on Earth is a podcast on remote sensing, Earth observation, land change and science, brought to you by the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center. In this episode, we hear about efforts to map near surface permafrost across Alaska and why such efforts are important.

Contacts: Janice Nelson
Date published: March 18, 2020
Status: Active

Tracking Data for Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata)

Available here are tracking data of Surf Scoter, a duck species that breeds throughout higher latitudes of Alaska and Canada and winters along coastal areas of North America. These data were collected to better understand the timing and patterns of migratory movements between breeding and wintering areas.

Date published: March 12, 2020
Status: Active

Tracking Data for Black Scoter (Melanitta americana)

Available here are tracking data of Black Scoter, a duck species that breeds throughout higher latitudes of Alaska and Canada and winters along coastal areas of North America. These data were collected to better understand the timing and patterns of migratory movements between breeding and wintering areas.

Filter Total Items: 250
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.

Date published: December 11, 2020

Genetic Data from Cooper's Hawks, North America

This data set describes nuclear microsatellite genotypes derived from six autosomal loci (AgCA222, Age7.1JT, BV13, BV20, NVH206, NVH195-2) in Cooper's Hawks. Samples originated from blood samples collected from live trapped birds.

Date published: December 11, 2020

Genetic Data for Merlin (Falco columbarius) and Cross-Species Microsatellite Amplification in Select Falco Species, North America

This data set contains allele sizes for 8 previously published and 16 novel microsatellite loci, and one microsatellite redesigned for amplification in Merlins (Falco columarius) associated with circadian clock control and polymorphism that has been associated with juvenile dispersal and migratory behavior in some avian species for Merlin (Falco columbarius) from North America (n=21

Date published: December 7, 2020

Modeled 21st century storm surge, waves, and coastal flood hazards and supporting oceanographic and geological field data (2010 and 2011) for Arey and Barter Islands, Alaska and vicinity

The data provided in this release are part of a study that assessed the likelihood of changes to a barrier island – lagoon systems in response to projected changes in atmospheric and oceanographic forcing associated with Arctic warming. The study investigates the dominance and relative importance of physical processes shaping the modern Arctic coastline as well as decadal flood potentials of...

Date published: November 16, 2020

Alaska permafrost characterization: Geophysical and related field data collected from 2019-2020

Geophysical measurements were collected by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) at two sites in Interior Alaska in 2019 and 2020 for the purposes of imaging permafrost structure and quantifying variations in subsurface moisture content in relation to thaw features. In September 2019, electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) and downhole nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) data were used to

Date published: November 13, 2020

Stable Isotope Data from Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus) Feathers, Alaska, 2008 and 2010

These data are in a single table that provides date and location information of Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus) that were sampled in Alaska for feathers that were subsequently used in a stable isotope analysis. Results of deuterium, nitrogen, and carbon stable isotope analysis of feathers are provided.

Date published: November 12, 2020

Information from Bird Nests Monitored on the Colville River Delta, Alaska, 2011–2018

This dataset contains nesting information for birds breeding at a site on the Colville River, Alaska, 2011–2018. Nests were located during area searches conducted by biologists, and standardized information on each nest was collected following protocols of the Arctic Shorebird Demographic Network (Brown et al. 2014).

Date published: October 30, 2020

Argos Satellite Tracking Data for Tufted Puffins (Fratercula cirrhata) - Raw Data

This metadata document describes the data contained in the "rawData" folder of this data package. This data package contains all data collected by the Argos System from 5 satellite transmitters attached to Tufted puffins on the Barren Islands in the northern Gulf of Alaska, 1995. Five data files are included in the "rawData" folder of this data package. Two data files (with identical

Date published: October 30, 2020

Argos Satellite Tracking Data for Tufted Puffins (Fratercula cirrhata) - Processed Data

This metadata document describes the data contained in the "processedData" folder of this data package. This data package contains all data collected by the Argos System from 5 satellite transmitters attached to Tufted puffins on the Barren Islands in the northern Gulf of Alaska, 1995. The raw data were processed to accomplish two goals: flag implausible location estimates and decode raw

Date published: October 30, 2020

Argos Satellite Tracking Data for Northern Fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis) - Processed Data

This metadata document describes the data contained in the "processedData" folder of this data package. This data package contains all data collected by the Argos System from 19 satellite transmitters attached to Northern Fulmars on their breeding range in the Bering Sea and northern Gulf of Alaska, 2001-2006. The raw data were processed to accomplish two goals: flag implausible location

Date published: October 30, 2020

Argos Satellite Tracking Data for Northern Fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis) - Raw Data

This metadata document describes the data contained in the "rawData" folder of this data package. This data package contains all data collected by the Argos System from 19 satellite transmitters attached to Northern Fulmars on their breeding range in the Bering Sea and northern Gulf of Alaska, 2001-2006. Five data files are included in the "rawData" folder of this data package. Two data

Date published: October 15, 2020

Aerial Surveys of Shorebirds at Pre-migratory Staging Sites in Western Alaska, 2018-2019

These data are in one table and document the numbers of four species of shorebird counted during aerial surveys of coastal sites in western Alaska. Survey regions encompassed coastline between the mouths of the Kuskokwim and Yukon rivers, and the northern coast of the Alaska Peninsula from the mouths of the Kvichak and Naknek Rivers to Nelson Lagoon. Surveys were flown from 7-9 September 2018...

Filter Total Items: 163
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Year Published: 2020

Conservation genomics in a changing arctic

Although logistically challenging to study, the Arctic is a bellwether for global change and is becoming a model for questions pertinent to the persistence of biodiversity. Disruption of Arctic ecosystems is accelerating, with impacts ranging from mixing of biotic communities to individual behavioral responses. Understanding these changes is...

Colella, Jocelyn P.; Talbot, Sandra L.; Brochmann, Christian; Taylor, Eric B.; Hoberg, Eric P.; Cook, Joseph A.

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Year Published: 2020

USGS near-real-time products-and their use-for the 2018 Anchorage earthquake

In the minutes to hours after a major earthquake, such as the recent 2018 Mw">Mw 7.1 Anchorage event, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) produces a suite of interconnected earthquake products that provides diverse information ranging from basic earthquake source parameters to loss estimates. The 2018 Anchorage earthquake is the first...

Thompson, Eric M.; McBride, Sara; Hayes, Gavin P.; Allstadt, Kate; Wald, Lisa; Wald, David J.; Knudsen, Keith L.; Worden, Charles; Marano, Kristin; Jibson, Randall W.; Grant, Alex R. R.

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Year Published: 2020

Ground-motion amplification in Cook Inlet region, Alaska from intermediate-depth earthquakes, including the 2018 MW=7.1 Anchorage earthquake

We measure pseudospectral and peak ground motions from 44 intermediate‐depth Mw≥4.9">Mw≥4.9 earthquakes in the Cook Inlet region of southern Alaska, including those from the 2018 Mw">Mw 7.1 earthquake near Anchorage, to identify regional amplification features (⁠0.1–5  s">0.1...

Moschetti, Morgan P.; Thompson, Eric M.; Rekoske, John; Hearne, Mike; Powers, Peter M.; McNamara, Daniel E.; Tape, Carl

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Year Published: 2020

Plate boundary localization, slip-rates and rupture segmentation of the Queen Charlotte Fault based on submarine tectonic geomorphology

Linking fault behavior over many earthquake cycles to individual earthquake behavior is a primary goal in tectonic geomorphology, particularly across an entire plate boundary. Here, we examine the 1150-km-long, right-lateral Queen Charlotte-Fairweather fault system using comprehensive multibeam bathymetry data acquired along the Queen Charlotte...

Brothers, Daniel; Miller, Nathaniel C.; Vaughn Barrie; Haeussler, Peter; H. Gary Greene; Andrews, Brian D.; Olaf Zielke; Dartnell, Peter

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Year Published: 2019

National assessment of shoreline change—Historical shoreline change along the north coast of Alaska, Icy Cape to Cape Prince of Wales

Beach erosion is a persistent problem along most open-ocean shores of the United States. Along the Arctic coast of Alaska, coastal erosion is widespread and threatens communities, defense and energy-related infrastructure, and coastal habitat. As coastal populations continue to expand and infrastructure and habitat are increasingly threatened by...

Gibbs, Ann E.; Snyder, Alexander G.; Richmond, Bruce M.
Gibbs, A.E., Snyder, A.G., and Richmond, B.M., 2019, National assessment of shoreline change—Historical shoreline change along the north coast of Alaska, Icy Cape to Cape Prince of Wales: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1146, 52 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191146.

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Year Published: 2019

Catastrophic landscape modification from a massive landslide tsunami in Taan Fiord, Alaska

The October 17th, 2015 Taan Fiord landslide and tsunami generated a runup of 193 m, nearly an order of magnitude greater than most previously surveyed tsunamis. To date, most post-tsunami surveys are from earthquake-generated tsunamis and the geomorphic signatures of landslide tsunamis or their potential for preservation are largely...

Bloom, Colin K; MacInnes, Breanyn; Higman, Bretwood; Shugar, Dan H.; Venditti, Jeremy G.; Richmond, Bruce M.; Bilderback, Eric L.

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Year Published: 2019

The August 2018 Kaktovik earthquakes: Active tectonics in northeastern Alaska revealed With InSAR and seismology

The largest earthquakes recorded in northern Alaska (Mw 6.4 and Mw 6.0) occurred ~6 hours apart on August 12, 2018 in the northeastern Brooks Range. The earthquakes were captured by Sentinel-1 InSAR satellites and Earthscope Transportable Array seismic data, giving insight into the little-known active tectonic processes of Arctic Alaska, obscured...

Gaudreau, E.; Nissen, E.K.; Bergman, Eric A.; Benz, Harley M.; Tan, F.; Karasözen, E.

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Year Published: 2019

A ship's ballasting history as an indicator of foraminiferal invasion potential--An example from Prince William Sound, Alaska, USA

We investigated the potential role of ballast sediment from coastal and transoceanic oil tankers arriving and de-ballasting in Port Valdez as a vector for the introduction of invasive benthic foraminifera in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Forty-one ballast sediment samples were obtained in 1998-1999 from 11 oil tankers that routinely discharged...

McGann, Mary; Ruiz, Gregory M.; Hines, Anson H.; Smith, George D.

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Year Published: 2019

The 30 November 2018 Mw7.1 Anchorage Earthquake

The Mw">Mw 7.1 47 km deep earthquake that occurred on 30 November 2018 had deep societal impacts across southcentral Alaska and exhibited phenomena of broad scientific interest. We document observations that point to future directions of research and hazard mitigation. The rupture mechanism, aftershocks, and deformation of the...

West, Michael E.; Bender, Adrian; Gardine, Matthew; Gardine, Lea; Gately, Kara; Haeussler, Peter; Hassan, Wael; Meyer, Franz; Richards, Cole; Ruppert, Natalia; Tape, Carl; Thornley, John; Witter, Robert

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Year Published: 2019

Alaska Geochemical Database Version 3.0 (AGDB3)—Including “Best Value” Data Compilations for Rock, Sediment, Soil, Mineral, and Concentrate Sample Media

The Alaska Geochemical Database Version 3.0 (AGDB3) contains new geochemical data compilations in which each geologic material sample has one “best value” determination for each analyzed species, greatly improving speed and efficiency of use. Like the Alaska Geochemical Database Version 2.0 before it, the AGDB3 was created and designed to compile...

Granitto, Matthew; Wang, Bronwen; Shew, Nora B.; Karl, Susan M.; Labay, Keith A.; Werdon, Melanie B.; Seitz, Susan S.; Hoppe, John E.
Granitto, M., Wang, B., Shew, N.B., Karl, S.M., Labay, K.A., Werdon, M.B., Seitz, S.S., and Hoppe, J.E., 2019, Alaska Geochemical Database Version 3.0 (AGDB3)—Including “best value” data compilations for rock, sediment, soil, mineral, and concentrate sample media: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1117, 33 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ds1117.

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Year Published: 2019

Catalog of earthquake parameters and description of seismograph and infrasound stations at Alaskan volcanoes—January 1, 2013, through December 31, 2017

Between January 1, 2013, and December 31, 2017, the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) located a total of 28,172 earthquakes at volcanoes in Alaska. The annual totals are 3,840, 5,819, 5,297, 6,151, and 7,065 earthquakes for the years 2013 through 2017, respectively. This represents an average of 5,634 earthquakes per year, which is comparable to...

Dixon, James P.; Stihler, Scott D.; Haney, Matthew M.; Lyons, John J.; Ketner, Dane M.; Mulliken, Katherine M.; Parker, Thomas; Power, John A.
Dixon, J.P., Stihler S.D., Haney, M.M., Lyons, J.J., Ketner, D.M., Mulliken, K.M., Parker, T., and Power, J.A., 2019, Catalog of earthquake parameters and description of seismograph and infrasound stations at Alaskan volcanoes—January 1, 2013, through December 31, 2017: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1115, 92 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ds1115.

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Year Published: 2019

An initial assessment of areas where landslides could enter the West Arm of Glacier Bay, Alaska and implications for tsunami hazards

Tsunamis generated by landslides in Glacier Bay are uncommon, but have potential to be extraordinarily destructive when they occur. This article identifies areas that are susceptible to landslides that could generate tsunamis and discusses approaches to characterize hazard and risk from these events.

Coe, Jeffrey A.; Schmitt, Robert G.; Bessette-Kirton, Erin

Filter Total Items: 1,207
Image shows a detail shot of a rock outcropping with grass covering in the background and two USGS scientists in hivis clothes
October 11, 2020

Kokolik River Oil Sand

Oil-saturated sandstone in the Nanushuk Formation in westernmost National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A). Oil in these rocks likely was generated beneath Western North Slope and migrated northeastward into NPR-A.

Image shows a landscape of a large rock and sediment outcropping with grass coverings
October 11, 2020

Kukpowruk Redwul

Faulted and folded petroleum source rocks in Jurassic and Cretaceous rocks (Kingak Shale, pebble shale unit, and gamma-ray zone of Hue Shale) in southern part of Western North Slope. Thermal maturity of these rocks are at the upper limit of oil preservations. Oil odor indicates that oil was generated from these rocks but it likely migrated to other rocks or was transformed

...
Image shows two pyramidal rock outcroppings with grass coverings
October 11, 2020

Kukpowruk Redwul

Geologist examines f Faulted and folded petroleum source rocks in Jurassic and Cretaceous rocks (Kingak Shale, pebble shale unit, and gamma-ray zone of Hue Shale) in southern part of Western North Slope. Thermal maturity of these rocks is at the upper limit of oil preservations. Oil odor indicates that oil was generated from these rocks but it likely migrated to other

...
Image is an aerial shot showing grass-covered rolling hills with occasional exposed rock formations
October 11, 2020

Surprise Creek, Western North Slope of Alaska

Overview of folded Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous rocks in southern part of Western North Slope.

Image shows a helicopter with four USGS scientists talking to each other next to it, with grasslands in the background
October 11, 2020

Tingmerkpuk Ridges

Geologists discuss the geology of Jurassic rocks in thurst-faulted structures near the southern limit of Western North Slope.

USGS scientists map river bathymetry around bridge piers in the Copper River Delta, Alaska
September 30, 2020

Mapping river bathymetry in the Copper River Delta, Alaska

USGS scientists Robin Beebee (left) and Jeff Conaway use a boat-mounted multibeam echosounder to map river bathymetry around bridge piers in the Copper River Delta of Alaska. The bathymetric mapping is part of a streambed scour study conducted in cooperation with the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.

5 meter DEM - Recent Updates (Alaska only)
September 20, 2020

5 meter DEM - Recent Updates (Alaska only)

5 meter DEM - Recent Updates (Alaska only)

5 meter DEM - Availability (Alaska only)
September 20, 2020

5 meter DEM - Availability (Alaska only)

5 meter DEM - Availability (Alaska only)

Ifsar Digital Surface Model - Availability (Alaska only)
September 20, 2020

Ifsar Digital Surface Model - Availability (Alaska only)

Ifsar Digital Surface Model - Availability (Alaska only)

Pelagic cormorant, Gull Island, Kachemak Bay Alaska
August 24, 2020

Pelagic cormorant, Gull Island, Kachemak Bay Alaska

Pelagic cormorant, Gull Island, Kachemak Bay Alaska

Thick-billed Murres on the Pribilof Islands
August 24, 2020

Thick-billed Murres on the Pribilof Islands

Thick-billed Murres on the Pribilof Islands

August 7, 2020

Role of Infrasound in the USGS Eruption Response

Infrasound is an important tools for volcanologists, allowing them to detect eruptions, locate the source of explosions, and understand important parameters of volcanic events. John Lyons discusses how the technique is used by the USGS, especially in Alaska, and how we are working to help study infrasound around the world.
 

Filter Total Items: 294
A sitting polar bear holds a square tarp in its mouth, seeming to treat it like a toy.
December 31, 2019

On a far-away island along Alaska’s North Slope coast, conducting fieldwork can be challenging.

A bull caribou grazes in autumn at the Lake Clark National Park and Preserve in Alaska
December 18, 2019

Caribou, North America’s wild reindeer, have lives apart from their famous role on Christmas Eve. To learn more about how  these Arctic antler-bearers spend the other 364 days of the year,  we talked to USGS caribou  expert Dr. Layne Adams, who has studied these animals for more than 35 years.

A stream winding through polygonal ground on the Arctic Coastal Plain
December 10, 2019

The USGS Alaska Science Center is now embarking on the next 5-year (FY2020 – 2024) research plan of the Changing Arctic Ecosystems Initiative.

house next to landslide with snowcovered ground
October 25, 2019

"Major landslides triggered by the 1964 magnitude 9.2 Great Alaska earthquake responded to, but were not reactivated by, the magnitude 7.1 Anchorage earthquake that took place  30 November 2018, researchers concluded in a new study published in Seismological Research Letters."

Read full story on SSA website.

Color photo of research team near Faribanks, Alaska
October 15, 2019

In the Arctic, there are lakes where the bubbles will burn.

The bubbles are filled with methane gas. The flammable archaeal belches form as microbes feast on stores of long-frozen organic matter, freed up for decomposition thanks to permafrost thawing somewhere deep beneath the lakebed.

Tidal Inlet, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska
August 22, 2019

A new "Science for Everyone" article summarizes a recent publication about the potential of landslide-triggered tsunamis in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.

Spreading the wing of a Marbled godwit
July 31, 2019

Marbled Godwits are common and conspicuous North American shorebirds. So how did such a charismatic species go largely undetected in Alaska until the 1980s?

man inside large boat
April 30, 2019

A rare submarine landslide provides researchers with a reference point for modeling the biggest tsunamis. (EOS article)

Image shows a drill rig on the snow against a twilight sky
April 26, 2019

In the far north of Alaska, near the giant Prudhoe Bay oil field, an international research consortium has been studying the potential of an altogether different energy source.  In late December of 2018, drilling operations confirmed the existence of two high-quality reservoirs that were fully saturated with a potential alternative fuel source: gas hydrate.

pilots flying drones at Barter Island
March 29, 2019

The USGS has developed a low-cost technique for making detailed measurements of methane escaping from thawing permafrost in coastal Arctic bluffs.

Filter Total Items: 52