Unified Interior Regions


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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Scientist operates equipment console while towing GPR on ice
May 4, 2017

Pulling GPR

Research Hydrologist Neil Terry (USGS) collects ground-penetrating radar (GPR) data. Using hydrogeophysical tools such as GPR enables scientists to collect images of the structure and conditions of the ice below them. (April 2017)

A Black-capped Chickadee with a beak that has grown long and crossed
May 4, 2017

Black-capped Chickadee with a deformed crossed beak

A Black-capped Chickadee with a beak that has grown long and crossed

 Scientist tows GPR over ice
April 26, 2017

Collecting GPR Data in Alaska

Research Hydrologist Neil Terry (USGS) collects ground-penetrating radar (GPR) data along an oil pipeline in Alaska. (April 2017)

Helicopter with equipment strapped to side
April 24, 2017

GPR and Helicopter

Helicopters are often used to carry scientists and equipment to remote study areas in Alaska. In this photo, a ground-penetrating radar (GPR) unit is securely strapped to the side of the helicopter. (April 2017)

Scientist operates equipment console while towing GPR on ice
April 24, 2017

Hydrologist and Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR)

Research Hydrologist Martin Briggs (USGS) collects ground-penetrating radar (GPR) data. He is wearing special ice cleats on his shoes to have better traction walking on the ice. (April 2017)

Scientist tows GPR over ice
April 24, 2017

Ground-penetrating Radar

Research Hydrologist Martin Briggs (USGS) tows ground-penetrating radar (GPR) during field work in Alaska. (April 2017)

Scientists work on equipment in snow-covered area.
April 22, 2017

Surface nuclear magnetic resonance in Alaska

USGS Research Geophysicist Andy Kass (left, in orange) adjusts surface nuclear magnetic resonance equipment (NMR) with input from collaborators Eliot Grunewald (Vista Clara), Alex Huryn (University of Alabama), and Patrick Hendrickson (University of Colorado). NMR is being used to measure the distribution of liquid water in the subsurface. (April 2017)

Small bird with really long beak
April 14, 2017

Red-breasted Nuthatch with an elongated deformed beak

Female Red-breasted Nuthatch with an elongated beak. It was captured in Anchorage as part of the beak deformity research project.

March 30, 2017

2017 March Public Lecture—Brown Bears, Sea Otters, and Seals, Oh My!

Brown Bears, Sea Otters, and Seals, Oh My!
Unexpected interactions on the Katmai Coast
by Grant Hilderbrand, Chief of the Marine Ecosystems Office, USGS Alaska Science Center

  • Highlights of ongoing research on brown bears on the coast of the Katmai National Park
  • Observations from video collars deployed on brown bears
A stony islet in an Icy Point pond
February 28, 2017

A stony islet in one of the many ponds of Icy Point

A stony islet in one of the many ponds of Icy Point.

February 28, 2017

Assessing Soil Moisture Availability Across the Gulf of Alaska Region

The distribution of water on the landscape influences many ecological functions such as the distribution of vegetation, soil development and the cycle of chemical nutrients. All of these functions are subject to change as a result of variations in the duration of soil water saturation and flow of water through the distributed channel networks of watersheds. The landscape

Aerial photo of snow-covered mountaIns with umbrella-shaped volcanic ash plume rising in the background
February 19, 2017

Bogoslof volcano eruption plume

February 19 Bogoslof eruption plume as seen from Unalaska Island, 53 miles ESE of Bogoslof volcano. Photo taken from helicopter during fieldwork by AVO geologists at 5:22PM, approximately 14 minutes after the start of the eruption.

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July 26, 2000

As of 7:30 a.m. today, July 26, the Taku River near Juneau, Alaska, was flowing at approximately 81,000 cubic feet per second, which is about 50,000 cubic feet per second higher than normal for the time of year, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

September 29, 1999

Elevated levels of organochlorine pesticides such as DDE have been associated with low reproduction of nesting bald eagles on remote islands in the seemingly pristine Aleutian Archipelago in Alaska, according to recent research published in the September issue of the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

July 13, 1999

Providing a plan to help resource managers restore the Bering Sea and North Pacific ecosystem is a task research scientist Jim Estes of the U.S. Geological Survey will pursue during the next four years with funding help from a 1999 Pew Marine Conservation fellowship of $150,000.

June 23, 1999

Alaska is a land of great opportunity for scientific research, according to the director of the U.S. Geological Survey. 

November 24, 1998

The water quality of the Fortymile River -- a beautiful, wild and scenic river in the remote part of east-central Alaska -- has not been adversely impacted by selected suction-dredge gold placer mining operations, according to an integrated study under way by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Alaska Department of Natural Resources.

August 31, 1998

The Aleutian Islands of Alaska and the Kamchatka Peninsula of the Russian Far East are often thought of as desolate windswept outposts along the northern Pacific rim, yet this is a heavily traveled region.

August 28, 1998

Torrents of meltwater are unleashed suddenly from the margins of the great moving sheets of snow and ice, known as glaciers. In Alaska, these pulses of activity, called "outburst floods," are usually caused by the failure of ice dams that restrain the meltwater of glacial margin lakes.

May 17, 1998

A new fact sheet from the U.S. Geological Survey provides results of the latest assessment of petroleum resources in the 1002 area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, including new estimates of how much petroleum may be present. The 1002 area, defined by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980, includes most of the coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge and covers about 1.5 mil

September 19, 1997

A new, computer-generated, digital map of Alaska was presented to Gov.Tony Knowles and John Shively, Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, today by Gordon Nelson, State Representative for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

May 15, 1997

A computer-generated map published by the U.S. Geological Survey provides a striking portrayal of Alaska’s varied landscape.

February 13, 1997

China and Indonesia suffered the deadliest and most destructive earthquakes in 1996, while the U.S. remained relatively quiet according to scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior. The last deadly earthquake in the U.S. was the 1994 Northridge, Calif., quake that took 60 lives.

December 13, 1996

Just in time for Christmas, Pavlof volcano in Alaska and Montserrat volcano in the Caribbean are more active but are not expected to alter or delay Santa’s trip around the world, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.