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: 205
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...

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.

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.

Date published: February 10, 2020
Status: Active

NPPSD Sampling Effort Maps

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

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
Filter Total Items: 213
Date published: October 9, 2020

Classification of Land Cover 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. 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). Predictor

Date published: October 8, 2020

Airborne Lidar-based Digital Elevation Models of Coastal Montague Island (Alaska) Acquired September 2018

This dataset provides a digital elevation model mosaic derived from airborne lidar data acquired in 2018 from September 2–3 over eight separate areas along Alaska's Montague Island coast, between Prince William Sound and the Gulf of Alaska.

Date published: September 25, 2020

Meteorological Data from Two Locations in the Agashashok River Watershed, Northwestern Alaska, 2015 to 2017

Meteorological data was collected from two locations in the Agashashok River Watershed, one high in the drainage located on tundra (67.5440 N, -161.6828 E) and a second on a rocky knoll near the watershed mouth (67.2821 N, -162.5841 E). The data contain information on air temperatures, rainfall, barometric pressure, relative humidity, incoming and outgoing radiation, and w

Date published: September 25, 2020

Continuous Records of Shallow Soil Temperature and Moisture in the Noatak River Basin, Alaska

Soil moisture and temperature were measured at four shallow depths in multiple locations within tundra and forested landscapes of the Agashashok River basin. The measurements were made continuously beginning in 2015 until the most recent download in summer, 2019 or until the sensors or loggers failed.

Date published: September 21, 2020

Genetic Data from Three Accipiter Species, North America, 1996-2014

This data set provides sample collection information and genetic data used to identify relationships between groups of North American accipiters, including one hybrid. Genetic data includes gender identification, nuclear and mtDNA sequence markers, and microsatellite genotypes derived from 20 autosomal loci (Age1302, Age1303, Age1304, Age1305, Age1306, Age1307, Age1308, Age1

Date published: September 21, 2020

Shrew (Sorex sp.) Gut Contents Identified by DNA Metabarcoding, North America, 1968-2016

This data package contains four tables related to helminths and bacteria identified in the guts of North American shrews (Genus: Sorex). Tables include: two tables of specimen information about each shrew, such as species, museum collection identification, and NCBI accession IDs; one table of NBCI GenBank accession numbers of previously identified DNA sequences used in this study

Date published: September 21, 2020

40Ar/39Ar Isotopic Data and Ages for Rocks from the Yukon-Tanana Upland of Eastern Alaska and the Northern Aleutian Range of South-Central Alaska

This data set contains 40Ar/39Ar isotopic data and ages for rocks from the Yukon-Tanana upland of eastern Alaska and the northern Aleutian Range of south-central Alaska. The entire sample suite was collected as part of geological mapping and supporting geochemical and geochronological analysis were conducted from 2013 to 2019 by the Mineral Resources Program of the U.S. Geological Survey (USG...

Date published: September 21, 2020

Data for Determining Age of Barrow's Goldeneye (Bucephala islandica) from External Characteristics, Alaska and Canada, 2007-2015

These data describe an exercise in which known age and sex class of 100 Barrow’s goldeneyes (Bucephala islandica), determined by expert examination bursa and plumage, was contrasted with age and sex classes estimated from photos by trained observers.

Date published: September 17, 2020

U-Pb zircon data for: Cretaceous plutonic rocks of western Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

In 2016, with National Park Service support, several previously undated plutons were sampled in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve along the west side of Glacier Bay for age determinations. Geochronologic analyses were conducted to determine the ages of the plutonic rocks in the Glacier Bay area. Five samples were collected by Frederic Wilson (USGS Alaska Science Center), from Dunda

Date published: September 8, 2020

Data Associated with Poecivirus Testing of Individual Birds with Beak Deformities

This data set is comprised of two tables, one with results of poecivirus screening of tissues from six North American avian species using PCR followed by Sanger sequencing in addition to unbiased metagenomic sequencing, the second lists the names and sequences of primers used.

Date published: August 26, 2020

U-Pb Isotopic Data and Ages of Zircon and Titanite from Rocks from the Yukon-Tanana Upland, Alaska

This data set contains 3 tables containing uranium-lead (U-Pb) isotopic data and crystallization ages of zircon and titanite from igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks collected from the Yukon-Tanana upland of eastern interior Alaska between 2013 and 2019. Bulk samples of igneous and metamorphic rocks were processed into concentrated mineral separates of zircon and (or) titanite

Date published: August 18, 2020

Argos Satellite Tracking Data for Thick-billed Murres (Uria lomvia) - 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 20 satellite transmitters attached to Thick-billed murres on their breeding range in arctic and western Alaska, 1995-1996. The raw data were processed to accomplish two goals: flag implausible location estimates and

Filter Total Items: 138
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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
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

The Shumagin seismic gap structure and associated tsunami hazards, Alaska convergent margin

The potential for a major earthquake in the Shumagin seismic gap, and the tsunami it could generate, was reported in 1971. However, while potentially tsunamigenic splay faults in the adjacent Unimak and Semidi earthquake segments are known, such features along the Shumagin segment were undocumented until recently. To investigate margin structure...

Detweiler, Shane T.; von Huene, Roland E.; Miller, John J.; Krabbenhoeft, Anne

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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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Year Published: 2018

Secular changes in Cenozoic arc magmatism recorded by trends in forearc-basin sandstone composition, Cook Inlet, southern Alaska

A robust set of modal composition data (238 samples) for Eocene to Pliocene sandstone from the Cook Inlet forearc basin of southern Alaska reveals strong temporal trends in composition, particularly in the abundance of volcanic lithic grains. Field and petrographic point-count data from the northwestern side of the basin indicate that the middle...

Ingersoll, Raymond V.; Lawton, Timothy F.; Graham, Stephan A.; Helmold, Kenneth P.; Wartes, Marwan A.; Gillis, Robert J.; LePain, David L.; Herriott, Trystan M.; Stanley, Richard G.; Wilson, Michael D.

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Year Published: 2018

Using stereo satellite imagery to account for ablation, entrainment, and compaction in volume calculations for rock avalanches on Glaciers: Application to the 2016 Lamplugh Rock Avalanche in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska

The use of preevent and postevent digital elevation models (DEMs) to estimate the volume of rock avalanches on glaciers is complicated by ablation of ice before and after the rock avalanche, scour of material during rock avalanche emplacement, and postevent ablation and compaction of the rock avalanche deposit. We present a model to account for...

Bessette-Kirton, Erin; Coe, Jeffrey A.; Zhou, Wendy
Bessette-Kirton, E. K., Coe, J. A., & Zhou, W. (2018). Using stereo satellite imagery to account for ablation, entrainment, and compaction in volume calculations for rock avalanches on glaciers: Application to the 2016 Lamplugh rock avalanche in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface,123, 622–641.

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Year Published: 2018

Ichthyophonus in sport-caught groundfishes from southcentral Alaska

This report of Ichthyophonus in common sport-caught fishes throughout the marine waters of southcentral Alaska represents the first documentation of natural Ichthyophonus infections in lingcod Ophiodon elongates and yelloweye rockfish Sebastes ruberrimus. In addition, the known geographic range of ...

Harris, Bradley P.; Webster, Sarah R.; Wolf, Nathan; Gregg, Jacob L.; Hershberger, Paul
Harris, B.P., S.R. Webster, N. Wolf, J.L. Gregg, and P.K. Hershberger. 2018. Ichthyophonus in sport-caught groundfishes from southcentral Alaska. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 128(2):169-173.

Filter Total Items: 1,101
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.
 

Scientists in boat record observations along nearshore transects in Kachemak Bay, Alaska
July 31, 2020

Scientists record nearshore transects in Kachemak Bay, Alaska

Brian Robinson (USGS) and Ben Weitzman (NOAA) record observations along nearshore transects in Kachemak Bay, Alaska. USGS is studying the migration strategies and movement ecology of Black Oystercatchers as part of the new tracking study.

 

Caitlin Marsteller prepares to release a Black Oystercatcher, Alaska
July 31, 2020

Caitlin Marsteller prepares to release a Black Oystercatcher, Alaska

USGS Biologist Caitlin Marsteller prepares to release a Black Oystercatcher after assisting with the collection of morphometric data and tagging. Data were collected from Black Oystercatchers as part of a new study to better understand migration strategies and movement ecology of the species.

Biologist releases a Black Oystercatcher on Beach in Alaska
July 31, 2020

Caitlin Marsteller releases a Black Oystercatcher on beach in Alaska

USGS Biologist Caitlin Marsteller releases a Black Oystercatcher after assisting with the collection of morphometric data and tagging. Data were collected from Black Oystercatchers as part of a new study to better understand migration strategies and movement ecology of the species.

Walruses resting on an ice floe
June 3, 2020

Walruses resting on an ice floe

A group of Pacific walruses during summer in the Chukchi Sea

Glaucous-winged gull with externally attached GPS satellite transmitter
May 28, 2020

Glaucous-winged gull with externally attached GPS satellite transmitte

Glaucous-winged gull with externally attached GPS satellite transmitter, Soldotna, Alaska

Barry Arm of Harriman Fjord, Prince William Sound, Alaska
May 15, 2020

Barry Arm of Harriman Fjord, Prince William Sound, Alaska

Barry Arm of Harriman Fjord, Prince William Sound, Alaska. Included is Barry Glacier and Cascade Glacier.

scientists collect field data at Gulkana Glacier
May 5, 2020

Collecting Field Data at Gulkana Glacier

USGS scientists collect field data at Gulkana Glacier in the eastern Alaska Range. The checkerboard sampling pattern in the foreground indicates where snow pit density measurements were collected. A series of snow cores (one is laying on top of the black tool box) collected by drilling into the seasonal snowpack will be used to measure the density at even deeper depths. If

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Aerial photograph showing a fiord and bay area, labeled with features like fan deltas from rivers.
March 15, 2020

Overview of Taan Fiord

Overview of Taan Fiord. Inset showing location of Taan Fiord, Alaska in Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve. Taan Fiord is about 100 km from the nearest town, Yakutat, AK. Landsat 8 image of Taan Fiord acquired in 2016. Vegetation loss is clear near the water line. The evacuated subaerial landslide area and runout are visible to the left of the fjord head.

...
March 1, 2020

FBGC Quaternary Wetlands and Permafrost Research (AD)

This video explains how scientists from the Florence Bascom Geoscience Center research paleo-environmental wetland conditions and explain how studying these environments is valuable to better understand past changes and responses to disturbance, such as fire, sea-level rise, and permafrost

March 1, 2020

FBGC Quaternary Wetlands and Permafrost Research

This video explains how scientists from the Florence Bascom Geoscience Center research paleo-environmental wetland conditions and explain how studying these environments is valuable to better understand past changes and responses to disturbance, such as fire, sea-level rise, and permafrost

March 1, 2020

Arctic Sea Ice Research at USGS Florence Bascom Geoscience Center (AD)

This video introduces research that Florence Bascom Geoscience Center (FBGC) scientists are conducting on the 500,000 year history of Arctic sea ice to assess changes in weather, sea ice extent, temperature and ecosystems. The research informs decision makers on

Filter Total Items: 283
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)

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.

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