Unified Interior Regions

Alaska

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

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News

Date published: March 23, 2020

Mapping Near-Surface Permafrost: EROS Work Important for Studying Arctic

Imagine, Neal Pastick says, if the infrastructure under your house disappeared. If the concrete forms or block basement walls disintegrated over time, and your house collapsed. That’s an apt analogy, Pastick says, to what’s happening with the degradation of permafrost in Alaska today.

Date published: January 23, 2020

USGS Releases Estimate of Conventional Oil and Gas in Alaska Central North Slope

USGS continues its estimates of technically recoverable oil and gas in Alaska's North Slope.

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Brownlow Point, Alaska Shoreline position
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...

A building after an earthquake has crumbled the roof and brick walls, the interior is now visible.
Date Published: March 31, 2020
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...

Scientist prepares to go sample Alaskan lake
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...

Bruce Wylie with graphic for USGS EROS podcast Eyes on Earth
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...

Contacts: Janice Nelson
Male Surf Scoter
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.

Black Scoter in Dutch Harbor, Alaska
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.

Image: Pacific Loon (Gavia pacifica)
Date Published: February 20, 2020
Status: Active

Tracking Data for Pacific Loons (Gavia pacifica)

Available here are tracking data of Pacific Loons, a species that breeds throughout much of Alaska and winters throughout the Pacific Ocean basin, along the costs of East Asia and the U.S.  These data were collected to better understand timing of spring arrival, fall departure, and habitat use patterns on the North Slope of Alaska.

Aerial photograph looking at an eroding bluff on an arctic island with ponded water, green grass, and dying grass.
Date Published: February 14, 2020
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.

NPPSD V3 Map showing sum of area sampled 2013-2019
Date Published: February 10, 2020
Status: Active

NPPSD Sampling Effort Maps

Maps showing the sampling extent in the North Pacific Pelagic Seabird Database (NPPSD).

View of a coastline from a camera that changes every half hour, with calm waters and tundra in foreground.
Date Published: January 30, 2020
Status: Active

Using Video Imagery to Study Wave Dynamics: Unalakleet

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

Map illustration showing fault lines and direction of tectonic plate movement along a stretch of the Alaskan coastline.
Date Published: January 30, 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
Tundra Swan swimming on a lake in northern Alaska
Date Published: January 22, 2020
Status: Active

Tracking Data for Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus)

Available here are tracking data of Tundra Swans, a species that nests in coastal areas throughout Alaska and winters across a broad area of North America from the Pacific to Atlantic coasts. 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 North America.

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Sea Otter
March 27, 2020

These data are part of the Gulf Watch Alaska (GWA) long term monitoring program, nearshore monitoring component. The dataset is a comma separated file exported from a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. The data consist of information related to collection of sea otter carcasses. Collectors walked selected shorelines searching for signs of carcasses. Date, location, carcass condition, parts

Sea Otter
March 26, 2020

These data are part of the Gulf Watch Alaska (GWA) long term monitoring program, nearshore monitoring component. Specifically, these data describe sea otter (Enhydra lutris) aerial survey observations from the waters around Katmai National Park and Preserve from surveys conducted in 2008, 2012, 2015, and 2018. Sea otters are a keystone predator, well known for structuring the

Black Scoter in Dutch Harbor, Alaska
March 19, 2020

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 53 satellite transmitters attached to Black Scoters on their breeding and winter ranges in western Alaska, 2003-2007. Five data files are included in the "rawData" folder of this data package. Two data files (with iden

Black Scoter in Dutch Harbor, Alaska
March 19, 2020

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 53 satellite transmitters attached to Black Scoters on their breeding and winter ranges in western Alaska, 2003-2007. The raw data were processed to accomplish two goals: flag implausible location estimates and decod

Male Surf Scoter
March 17, 2020

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 25 satellite transmitters attached to Surf Scoters on their winter ranges in southeast Alaska and Baja California, Mexico, 2005-2008. The raw data were processed to accomplish two goals: flag implausible location e

Male Surf Scoter
March 17, 2020

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 25 satellite transmitters attached to Surf Scoters on their winter ranges in southeast Alaska and Baja California, Mexico, 2005-2008. Five data files are included in the "rawData" folder of this data package. Two data

View of snow covered mountains in Alaska
March 11, 2020

Mountain glaciers are closely coupled to climate processes, ecosystems, and regional water resources. To enhance physical understanding of these connections, the USGS maintains a collection of glacier mass balance and climate data across the western United States and Alaska. In some cases, records of glacier mass balance extend back to the mid-1940s. These data have been incorporated from

Pacific walruses hauled out on beach, Alaska
March 9, 2020

These data are three sets of aerial photos used to estimate the number of walruses at a haulout near Pt. Lay, Alaska in September 2014. They were collected during photographic aerial surveys of the only major haulout that occurred on the eastern shores of the Chukchi Sea after sea ice receded beyond the continental shelf on 25 and 27 September 2014.

Black Brant on rocky beach
March 2, 2020

These data are in two tables relating to fall age ratios (number of juvenile birds : total birds aged) of Black brant (Branta bernicla nigricans) staging in Izembek Lagoon, Alaska since 1963. The first file is observation data for the birds’ age classes during surveys and associated survey characteristics. The second file contains model-based estimates of age ratios by year al

Large polar bear
February 24, 2020

This data set provides Polar Bear microsatellite genotypes derived from twenty loci (G1A, G10B, G10C, CXX110, G1D, G10H, G10J, G10L, G10M, MSUT2, MU59, G10P, 145P07, CPH9, CXX20, MU50, MU51, G10X, CXX173, G10U). Samples for microsatellite genetic analysis were collected from polar bears from the southern Beaufort Sea during the spring and fall, 2010-201

Image: Pacific Loon (Gavia pacifica)
February 20, 2020

This metadata document describes the data contained in the "processedData" folder of this data package. This data package contains data collected by the Argos System from 12 satellite transmitters attached to Pacific Loons on their breeding range in arctic, 2015-2016. The raw data were processed to accomplish two goals: flag implausible location estimates and decode raw sensor data. Two C

A Red-throated Loon swimming in a small lake
February 18, 2020

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 92 satellite transmitters attached to Red-throated Loons on their breeding range in coastal areas throughout Alaska, 2000-2010. Five data files are included in the"rawData" folder of this data package. Two data files (

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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: 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

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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

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

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Year Published: 2019

Crustal architecture beneath the southern Midcontinent (USA) and controls on Mesoproterozoic iron-oxide mineralization from 3D geophysical models

Several types of critical mineral-bearing ore deposits in the southern Midcontinent region of the U.S. are hosted in Mesoproterozoic igneous rocks largely concealed beneath Paleozoic cover. Discerning the architecture of igneous intrusions and volcanic centers in the crust is fundamental to understanding the geologic evolution of this vast region...

McCafferty, Anne E.; Phillips, Jeffrey D.; Hofstra, Albert H.; Day, Warren C.
McCafferty, A.E., Phillips, J.D., Hofstra, A.H., and Day, W.C., 2019, Crustal architecture beneath the southern Midcontinent (USA) and controls on Mesoproterozoic iron-oxide mineralization from 3D geophysical models: Ore Geology Reviews, v. 111, 21 p.

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Year Published: 2019

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

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

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

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Year Published: 2019

Slope failure and mass transport processes along the Queen Charlotte Fault, southeastern Alaska

The Queen Charlotte Fault defines the Pacific–North America transform plate boundary in western Canada and southeastern Alaska for c. 900 km. The entire length of the fault is submerged along a continental margin dominated by Quaternary glacial processes, yet the geomorphology along the margin has never been systematically examined due to the...

Brothers, Daniel; Andrews, Brian D.; Walton, Maureen A. L.; H. Gary Greene; J. Vaughn Barrie; Miller, Nathaniel C.; ten Brink, Uri S.; East, Amy E.; Haeussler, Peter J.; Kluesner, Jared W.; Conrad, James E.

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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. (in review) 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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Argos Wildlife Tracking Surf Scoter animation
March 18, 2020

Argos Wildlife Tracking Surf Scoter animation

Illustrates where Surf Scoters were tracked using Argos Wildlife Tracking.

Argos Wildlife Tracking Black Scoters animation
March 18, 2020

Argos Wildlife Tracking Black Scoters animation

Illustrates where Black Scoters were tracked using Argos Wildlife Tracking.

Argos Wildlife Tracking Pacific Loon
February 20, 2020

Argos Wildlife Tracking Pacific Loon

Illustrates the where of all Pacific Loons that were tracked using Argos Wildlife Tracking.

Maps displaying the spatial-temporal variability in the NPPSD 3.0 dataset
February 10, 2020

Maps displaying the spatial-temporal variability in the NPPSD 3.0 data

Maps displaying the spatial-temporal variability in the NPPSD 3.0 dataset

Northen Fulmar flying over water
February 10, 2020

Northern Fulmar flying over water

Northen Fulmar flying over water in the Aleutian Islands

Argos Wildlife Tracking Red-throated Loons
January 30, 2020

Argos Wildlife Tracking Red-throated Loons

Illustrates the where of all Red-throated Loons that were tracked using Argos Wildlife Tracking.

click on image for full description
January 23, 2020

Alaska Central North Slope - January 2020

ALASKA CENTRAL NORTH SLOPE
January 2020

One of the most productive areas in the world for oil remains rich in the resource, according to the latest USGS assessment. This assessment is for undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and gas resources in conventional accumulations.

3.6 Billion Barrels of Oil
Estimate of the undiscovered

...
Attribution: Energy and Minerals
Aerial survey for Black Brant at Izembek Lagoon, Alaska
January 21, 2020

Aerial survey for Black Brant at Izembek Lagoon, Alaska

Example of a photo from the USFWS fall aerial survey for Black Brant at Izembek Lagoon. Inset shows a closer view of four Black Brant (bottom) with a Cackling Goose (top) foraging on eelgrass.  We can use artificial intelligence to automate counting birds in each photo to develop population estimates.

Animated plot of migration tracks for adult Snow Geese in the Western Arctic Population
January 21, 2020

Migration tracks for adult Snow Geese in the Western Arctic Population

Animated plot of migration tracks for adult Snow Geese in the Western Arctic Population, from Fall 2018 to Winter 2019. Each colored dot represents an individual goose. The red polygon on the north slope of Alaska represents the 1002 area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, where these geese briefly stage each fall.  Locations are derived from GPS/GSM collars that were

...
Semipalmated Sandpipers with leg bands or leg bands plus flag
January 21, 2020

Semipalmated Sandpipers with leg bands or leg bands plus flag

Semipalmated Sandpipers with A) Leg bands only (no flag), or B) leg bands plus flag From: Leg flags do not affect shorebird nests: https://doi.org/10.1111/jofo.12264

January 10, 2020

Image of the Week - An Aleutian Eruption, Day & Night

The Shishaldin Volcano on the eastern edge of Alaska's Aleutian Island chain erupted with activity in January of 2020. The eruption on the island of Unimak sent an ash cloud nearly 5 miles into the sky on January 7th, sparking ash alerts for aviators, mariners, and residents of nearby communities. Landsat 8 captured both day and night imagery of the event as it happened.

A satellite image that shows the eruption during the day and the night.
January 7, 2020

An Aleutian Eruption, Day and Night

The Shishaldin Volcano on the eastern edge of Alaska's Aleutian Island chain erupted with activity in January of 2020.

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Photo of USGS researchers using frost probes
March 23, 2020

Imagine, Neal Pastick says, if the infrastructure under your house disappeared. If the concrete forms or block basement walls disintegrated over time, and your house collapsed. That’s an apt analogy, Pastick says, to what’s happening with the degradation of permafrost in Alaska today.

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.

water with snow-covered mountains around
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)

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