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.

View Centers and Observatories

States L2 Landing Page Tabs

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 30, 2020

Coastal Change Mapping and Research in Alaska

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

Date published: November 16, 2020

Story Map on the Alaska Landbird Monitoring Survey

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...

Date published: September 28, 2020

Earth MRI Funds Critical Minerals Projects in Alaska

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

Filter Total Items: 205
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: November 24, 2020
Status: Active

Sitka, AK - Recent Conditions

Recent Monitoring Data

Date published: October 29, 2020
Status: Active

USGS Snow and Avalanche Project

Snow avalanches are a widespread natural hazard to humans and infrastructure as well as an important landscape disturbance affecting mountain ecosystems. Forecasting avalanche frequency is challenging on various spatial and temporal scales, and this project aims to fill a gap in snow science by focusing on reconstructing avalanche history on the continental mountain range scale - throughout...

Date published: October 9, 2020
Status: Active

Tracking Data for Tufted Puffins (Fratercula cirrhata)

Available here are tracking data for the tufted puffin, a seabird species that is found only in coastal and offshore areas of the North Pacific Ocean. These data were collected to better understand the migratory patterns of tufted puffins that breed in the Aleutian Islands.

Contacts: David Douglas
Date published: October 9, 2020
Status: Active

Tracking Data for Northern Fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis)

Available here are tracking data for the northern fulmar, a seabird species that breeds throughout northern ocean regions and spends the winter at-sea in the northern hemisphere. These data were collected to better understand the migratory patterns of northern fulmars in the Bergin Sea.

Contacts: David Douglas
Date published: August 18, 2020
Status: Active

Tracking Data for Pelagic Cormorants (Phalacrocorax pelagicus)

Available here are tracking data for the pelagic cormorant, a seabird species that breeds throughout the northern Pacific Ocean and spends the winter in East Asia and throughout costal portions of western North America. These data were collected to better understand the migratory patterns of Pelagic cormorants that breed in southeast Alaska.

Contacts: David Douglas
Date published: August 18, 2020
Status: Active

Tracking Data for Thick-billed Murres (Uria lomvia)

Available here are tracking data for the thick-billed murre, a seabird species that is found in the Arctic and regions of the North Pacific and North Atlantic oceans. These data were collected to better understand the migratory patterns of this species in the Chukchi Sea.

Contacts: David Douglas
Date published: August 18, 2020
Status: Active

Tracking Data for Common Murres (Uria aalge)

Available here are tracking data for the common murre, a seabird species that is found in regions of the North Pacific and Atlantic oceans, often in dense breeding colonies on cliffs and in large flocks on the water. These data were collected to better understand the migratory patterns of this species in the North Pacific Ocean and Chukchi Sea.

Contacts: David Douglas
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: 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 28, 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...

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...

Filter Total Items: 213
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...

Date published: October 9, 2020

Gene Transcription and Heat Shock Protein 70 Abundance Measured in Muscle Tissue of Chinook Salmon, Yukon River Watershed, Alaska, 2016–2018

This data set documents the gene transcription levels for a panel of 12 selected genes and the heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) protein abundance measured in the muscle tissue of individual wild Chinook salmon captured from locations within the U.S. portion of the Yukon River watershed. Chinook salmon were primarily captured in 2016 and 2017 from existing field efforts (n = 477). A small n

Date published: October 9, 2020

Water Temperature and Dissolved Oxygen Measured During a Manipulative Thermal Challenge Experiment for Adult Salmonids, Yukon River, Alaska, 2018

This data set documents the temperature and dissolved oxygen of water during the implementation of a new experimental thermal challenge protocol for migrating adult Pacific salmon in remote settings. This experiment was conducted with migrating adult Chinook salmon near Pilot Station, Alaska, along the Yukon River in a location without access to utilities. The analysis of this data was publis...

Date published: October 9, 2020

Probability of Land Cover Classification Estimates for the Kenai Peninsula Lowlands; 1973, 2002, and 2017

The raster image represents a continuous surface of estimated land cover type probabilities for the western Kenai Peninsula circa 1973, circa 2002, and circa 2017. The estimated land cover types (Needleleaf Forest, Mixed Forest, Broadleaf Forest, Herbaceous, Wetland, Alpine, Barren, Shrub, Water) were derived from a random forest classifier executed in R (version 3.5.0%2

Date published: October 9, 2020

Land Cover Series Estimates for the Kenai Peninsula Lowlands; 1973, 2002, and 2017

These raster images represent continuous surfaces of estimated land cover types for the western Kenai Peninsula circa 1973, circa 2002, and circa 2017. This raster image represents the coded series of estimated land cover types for each pixel over the three distinct time periods. The estimated land cover types (Needleleaf Forest, Mixed Forest, Broadleaf Forest, Herbaceous, Wetland%2

Filter Total Items: 6
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.

Filter Total Items: 7
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). 

Filter Total Items: 1,100
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

...
A white-fronted goose flies over a nesting area near Point Lonely, Alaska
November 13, 2020

White-fronted goose flies over a nesting area near Point Lonely, AK

A white-fronted goose flies over a nesting area near Point Lonely, Alaska. For more information about this USGS study read "Effects of industrial and investigator disturbance on Arctic-nesting geese" at: https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/70192845

Wolverine Glacier weather station in the Kenai Mountains on the coast of south-central Alaska
October 31, 2020

Wolverine Glacier weather station on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

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.  The data from

...
The new radar-based precipitation sensor is on the left, with the anemometer, wind vane, and GOES antenna on the station shack
October 31, 2020

Upgraded Wolverine Glacier weather station, Alaska

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. In Ocotober 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. The new radar-based

...
Close up of the new radar precipitation sensor on the top of the pole at Wolverine Glacier, Alaska
October 31, 2020

Close up of the new radar precipitation sensor on the top of the pole

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. Close up of the new radar precipitation sensor on the top of the pole. The crazy looking thing in the middle of the picture is an aspirated temperature sensor. Have you ever noticed a day where it feels really hot in the sun

...
Black Oystercatcher on Gull Island, Alaska
October 20, 2020

Black Oystercatcher on Gull Island, Alaska

Black Oystercatcher on Gull Island, Kachemak Bay, Alaska 

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

Filter Total Items: 283
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

Dragonfly larvae being held in an open hand
July 21, 2020

A team of federal, academic, and NGO researchers conducted a national-scale assessment of mercury bioaccumulation in aquatic ecosystems using dragonfly larvae as biosentinels.

Tyndall Glacier, Alaska
May 1, 2020

New research paper documents the dramatic change to the landscape following a massive landslide tsunami in Taan Fiord in 2015.

NLCD 2016 Alaska Land Cover
April 17, 2020

The latest edition of the National Land Cover Database (NLCD 2016) for Alaska is now publicly available.

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.

Filter Total Items: 45