Unified Interior Regions

Tennessee

We conduct impartial, multi- and interdisciplinary research and monitoring on a large range of natural-resource issues that impact the quality of life of citizens and landscapes of the Southeastern United States and the Caribbean region.

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We conduct impartial, multi- and interdisciplinary research and monitoring on a large range of natural-resource issues that impact the quality of life of citizens and landscapes of the Southeastern United States and the Caribbean region.

News

Date published: July 21, 2020

Assessment of Mercury Bioaccumulation in US National Parks Using Citizen Science

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

Date published: October 3, 2019

USGS Estimates 214 trillion Cubic Feet of Natural Gas in Appalachian Basin Formations

The Marcellus Shale and Point Pleasant-Utica Shale formations of the Appalachian Basin contain an estimated mean of 214 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered, technically recoverable continuous resources of natural gas, according to new USGS assessments.

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Date published: August 15, 2019
Status: Active

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Date published: July 31, 2019
Status: Active

Terrestrial Analog Sample Collections

The Astrogeology Terrestrial Analog Sample Collections include three individual sample collections: the Meteor Crater Sample Collection, the Flynn Creek Crater Sample Collection, and the Shoemaker Sample Collection (embed links to individual pages; add buttons to click to go to individual pages). 

 

Click Related Science tab above to navigate to the individual...

Date published: June 4, 2019
Status: Active

Appalachian Basin Geologic Mapping Project

The Appalachian Basin Geologic Mapping Project performs geologic mapping at local and regional scales, and geologic research in The Valley and Ridge and Appalachian Plateaus physiographic provinces. These provinces include parts of 11 states and mainly borders the Blue Ridge / Piedmont and North Interior Lowlands Provinces. Two states have Valley and Ridge geology only (GA, NJ), two have...

Date published: February 25, 2019
Status: Completed

Spring/Summer 2011 Mississippi River Basin Floods

Learn more about USGS flood activities related to the Spring/Summer 2011 floods throughout the Mississippi River Basin.

Date published: February 25, 2019
Status: Completed

May 2011 Memphis, Tennessee Flood

Learn more about USGS flood activities related to the May 2011 flood in Memphis, Tennessee, including deploying emergency real-time surface-water stage gages at critical locations in Shelby County.

Date published: December 7, 2018
Status: Active

Cincinnati Arch Oil and Gas Assessments

The U.S. Geological Survey completed the following assessments of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the Cincinnati Arch Province (5066) :

 

Date published: November 30, 2018
Status: Active

Illinois Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

The U.S. Geological Survey completed the following assessments of undiscovered continuous oil and gas resources of the  Illinois Basin Province 5064:

Date published: October 26, 2018
Status: Active

Blue Ridge and Inner Piedmont Geologic Mapping

The Blue Ridge and Inner Piedmont Geologic Mapping Task (BRIP) is the western focus of geologic mapping and framework studies of the Piedmont and Blue Ridge Project. BRIP will conduct modern geologic mapping and geologic framework studies in the Wytheville, Hickory and Boone 30x60-min. sheets. Collectively, the objectives of BRIP are to (1) characterize the geologic framework of the Blue Ridge...

Contacts: Arthur Merschat
Date published: September 27, 2018
Status: Active

Piedmont and Blue Ridge Project

The Piedmont and Blue Ridge Project is a geologic mapping project supported by the USGS National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program. The Piedmont Blue Ridge Project aims to understand the geologic framework and tectonic evolution of terranes and basins in the Appalachian Piedmont and Blue Ridge, and their significance for water, mineral and energy resources, natural hazards, and engineering/...

Date published: July 19, 2018
Status: Active

Appalachian Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

The USGS has conducted numerous assessments of undiscovered oil and gas in the Appalachian Basin, including studies of the Marcellus Shale. The region extends from Alabama to Maine. The following is an overview of the assessments:

  • 2019 Ordovician Point Pleasant Formation and Utica Shale (FS 2019-3044)
  • 2019
  • ...
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Date published: June 23, 2020

Global Geochemical Database for Critical Minerals in Archived Mine Samples

The Critical Minerals in Archived Mine Samples Database (CMDB) contains chemistry and geologic information for historic ore and ore-related rock samples from mineral deposits in the United States. In addition, the database contains samples from archetypal deposits from 27 other countries in North America, South America, Asia, Africa and Europe. Samples were obtained from archived ore

Date published: April 23, 2020

Domestic Wells in the United States

Domestic wells provide drinking water supply for approximately 40 million people in the United States. Knowing the location of these wells, and the populations they serve, is important for identifying heavily used aquifers, locations susceptible to contamination, and populations potentially impacted by poor-quality groundwater. 

Date published: January 1, 2019

Ground-based time-domain electromagnetic data and resistivity models for the Mississippi Alluvial Plain Project

The Mississippi Alluvial Plain (MAP) Project contains several geologic units which act as important aquifers. We collected several sets of time-domain electromagnetic (TEM) data consisting of two higher-density surveys and six regional-scale transects. The higher density surveys were collected to compare and contrast to other geophysical data not included in this data release, such as a

Date published: January 1, 2019

Crustal Architecture Beneath the Southern Midcontinent (USA) -- Data Grids and 3D Geophysical Models

Regional grid files and 3D voxel models were used to study crustal architecture beneath the Southern Midcontinent (USA) by McCafferty and others (2019). The study covered a rectangular, multi-state area of 924 by 924 kilometers centered on Missouri, and a corresponding volume extending from the topographic surface to a depth of 50 kilometers below sea level. The grid files consist of

Date published: August 28, 2018

USGS Domestic Continuous (Unconventional) Oil & Gas Assessments, 2000-Present

Interactively explore assessment summary information for continuous (unconventional) assessments conducted at the USGS from 2000-2018. The assessment results data used to generate this visualization can be downloaded here in Excel Format.  These data represent all assessment results...

Date published: September 1, 2017

National Water Information System web interface (NWISweb)

The National Water Information System (NWIS) web application provides access to real-time and historical surface-water, groundwater, water-quality, and water-use data collected at approximately 1.5 million sites across all 50 states.

Date published: January 1, 2017

Data used for assessing relationships between fish assemblages and acid-base chemistry in streams of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, 1993-2014

Fish community richness, density, and biomass for entire communities, Brook Trout, Rainbow Trout, and minnows, including site characteristics, and water chemistry (acid neutralizing capacity, pH, nitrate, sulfate, ammonia, calcium, and total aluminum) collected at least once and as many as 13 times at each of 52 stream sites during the same years that fish were inve

Date published: November 29, 2016

Tennessee Current Water Conditions

See Current Water Conditions for Tennessee using our new interactive map. Here you can find information on Groundwater, Surface Water and Water Quality.

Date published: September 26, 2016

Memphis Area Groundwater-Level Network

Groundwater Watch is a supplemental tool to NWISWeb and, as such, is able to provide additional benefits to the groundwater community. NWIS is the authoritative database for USGS groundwater data, and NWISWeb is the public interface for these groundwater data. This is information pertaining to the Memphis Area Groundwater-Level Network.

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Black and grey map of the contiguous 48 states shaded by the number of people using domestic wells per square kilometer (2010)
April 23, 2020

Domestic wells provide drinking water supply for approximately 40 million people in the United States. Knowing the location of these wells, and the populations they serve, is important for identifying heavily used aquifers, locations susceptible to contamination, and populations potentially impacted by poor-quality groundwater. 

USGS
August 22, 2018

Flynn Creek crater is a 3.8 km diameter, 360-million-year-old impact structure located in north central Tennessee, and is an invaluable terrestrial analog for the study of impact cratering dynamics. The Flynn Creek Crater Sample Collection consists of over two thousand boxes of drill core from 18 drill holes in the crater’s central uplift, floor, and rim. 

North Platte, Nebraska US Topo quadrangle: 2014
September 26, 2016

Network wells depicted on the Climate Response Network location map
Note: Color shading in the table below indicates multiple wells that plot as a single point on the state location map above.
Note: BLS = Water Level in Feet Below Land Surface, RVD = Water Level referenced to a vertical datum

Hurricane Louisiana Coast
September 14, 2016

June 1 marks the beginning of hurricane season. Should storms arrive on the Louisiana coast, the people in coastal communities across the State, along with many Federal, State, and local agencies will need to know how the storms are affecting the coastal and low-lying areas.The USGS maintains an extensive network of coastal gages that provides critical time-sensitive water level.

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.

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Year Published: 2020

The relation of geogenic contaminants to groundwater age, aquifer hydrologic position, water type, and redox conditions in Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain aquifers, eastern and south-central USA

Groundwater age distributions developed from carbon-14 (14C), tritium (3H), and helium-4 (4He) concentrations, along with aquifer hydrologic position, water type, and redox conditions, were compared to geogenic contaminants of concern (GCOC) from 252 public-supply wells in six Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain unconsolidated-sediment aquifers....

Degnan, James R.; Lindsey, Bruce D.; Levitt, Joseph Patrick; Szabo, Zoltan

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Year Published: 2019

Four major Holocene earthquakes on the Reelfoot fault recorded by sackungen in the New Madrid seismic zone, USA

Three sequences of well-documented, major ~M7+ earthquakes (1811-1812 CE, ~1450 CE, and ~900 CE) in the New Madrid seismic zone, USA, contribute significantly to seismic hazard in the region. However, it is unknown whether this <550 yr recurrence interval has been constant throughout the Holocene given limited geomorphic evidence of prior...

Gold, Ryan D.; Duross, Christopher; Delano, Jaime E.; Jibson, Randall W.; Briggs, Richard W.; Mahan, Shannon A.; Williams, Robert; Corbett, D. Reide

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Year Published: 2018

Coseismic sackungen in the New Madrid seismic zone, USA

High‐resolution lidar reveals newly recognized evidence of strong shaking in the New Madrid seismic zone in the central United States. We mapped concentrations of sackungen (ridgetop spreading features) on bluffs along the eastern Mississippi River valley in northwestern Tennessee that likely form or are reactivated during large earthquakes. These...

Delano, Jaime E.; Gold, Ryan D.; Briggs, Richard W.; Jibson, Randall W.

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Year Published: 2017

Continuity of the Reelfoot fault across the Cottonwood Grove and Ridgely faults of the New Madrid Seismic Zone

Previous investigators have argued that the northwest-striking Reelfoot fault of northwest Tennessee and southeastern Missouri is segmented. One segment boundary is at the intersection of the northeast-striking Cottonwood Grove and Ridgely strike-slip faults with the Reelfoot fault. We use seismic reflection and geologic mapping to locate and...

Greenwood, M.L.; Woolery, Edward W; Van Arsdale, R. B.; Stephenson, William J.; Patterson, Gary L.
Greenwood, M.L., Woolery, E.W., Van Arsdale, R.B., Stephenson, W.J., and Patterson, G.L., 2016, Continuity of the Reelfoot Fault Across the Cottonwood Grove and Ridgely Faults of the New Madrid Seismic Zone, Bulletin Seismological Society of America, v. 106, n. 6, p. 2674–2685, doi: 10.1785/0120150290.

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Year Published: 2016

St. Louis area earthquake hazards mapping project; seismic and liquefaction hazard maps

We present probabilistic and deterministic seismic and liquefaction hazard maps for the densely populated St. Louis metropolitan area that account for the expected effects of surficial geology on earthquake ground shaking. Hazard calculations were based on a map grid of 0.005°, or about every 500 m, and are thus higher in resolution than any...

Cramer, Chris H.; Bauer, Robert A.; Chung, Jae-won; Rogers, David; Pierce, Larry; Voigt, Vicki; Mitchell, Brad; Gaunt, David; Williams, Robert; Hoffman, David; Hempen, Gregory L.; Steckel, Phyllis; Boyd, Oliver S.; Watkins, Connor M.; Tucker, Kathleen; McCallister, Natasha
Cramer C.H., Bauer R.A., Chung J.-W., Rogers J.D., Pierce L., Voigt V., Mitchell B., Gaunt D., Williams R.A., Hoffman D., Hempen G.L., Steckel P.J., Boyd O.S., Watkins C.M., Tucker K., McCallister N.S. St. Louis area earthquake hazards mapping project; seismic and liquefaction hazard maps Seismological Research Letters, January, 2017, Vol. 88, Issue 1, pp. 206-223

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Year Published: 2016

Dense lower crust elevates long-term earthquake rates in the New Madrid seismic zone

Knowledge of the local state of stress is critical in appraising intraplate seismic hazard. Inverting earthquake moment tensors, we demonstrate that principal stress directions in the New Madrid seismic zone (NMSZ) differ significantly from those in the surrounding region. Faults in the NMSZ that are incompatible with slip in the regional stress...

Levandowski, William Brower; Boyd, Oliver S.; Ramirez-Guzman, Leonardo
Levandowski, W., O. S. Boyd, and L. Ramirez-Guzmán (2016), Dense lower crust elevates long-term earthquake rates in the New Madrid seismic zone, Geophys. Res. Lett., 43, doi:10.1002/2016GL070175.

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Year Published: 2016

Historical files from Federal Government mineral exploration-assistance programs, 1950 to 1974

The Defense Minerals Administration (DMA), Defense Minerals Exploration Administration (DMEA), and Office of Minerals Exploration (OME) mineral exploration programs were active over the period 1950–1974. Under these programs, the Federal Government contributed financial assistance in the exploration for certain strategic and critical minerals. The...

Frank, David G.
Frank, D.G., 2016, Historical files from Federal Government mineral exploration-assistance programs, 1950 to 1974: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1004, http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ds1004.

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Year Published: 2016

Growth, survival, longevity, and population size of the Big Mouth Cave salamander (Gyrinophilus palleucus necturoides) from the type locality in Grundy County, Tennessee, USA

Salamander species that live entirely in subterranean habitats have evolved adaptations that allow them to cope with perpetual darkness and limited energy resources. We conducted a 26-month mark–recapture study to better understand the individual growth and demography of a population of the Big Mouth Cave Salamander (Gyrinophilus palleucus...

Niemiller, Matthew L.; Glorioso, Brad M.; Fenolio, Dante B.; Reynolds, R. Graham; Taylor, Steven J.; Miller, Brian T.
Niemiller, M.L., Glorioso, B.M., Fenolio, D.B., Reynolds, R.G., Taylor, S.J., and Miller, B.T., 2016, Growth, survival, longevity, and population size of the Big Mouth Cave salamander (Gyrinophilus palleucus necturoides) from the type locality in Grundy County, Tennessee, USA: Copeia, v. 104, no. 1, p. 35-41, http://www.bioone.org/doi/full/10.1643/OT-14-197.

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Year Published: 2015

Ground motion-simulations of 1811-1812 New Madrid earthquakes, central United States

We performed a suite of numerical simulations based on the 1811–1812 New Madrid seismic zone (NMSZ) earthquakes, which demonstrate the importance of 3D geologic structure and rupture directivity on the ground‐motion response throughout a broad region of the central United States (CUS) for these events. Our simulation set consists of 20...

Ramirez-Guzman, L.; Graves, Robert; Olsen, Kim B.; Boyd, Oliver S.; Cramer, Chris H.; Hartzell, Stephen H.; Ni, Sidao; Somerville, Paul G.; Williams, Robert; Zhong, Jinquan

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Year Published: 2015

Crustal deformation in the New Madrid seismic zone and the role of postseismic processes

Global Navigation Satellite System data across the New Madrid seismic zone (NMSZ) in the central United States over the period from 2000 through 2014 are analyzed and modeled with several deformation mechanisms including the following: (1) creep on subsurface dislocations, (2) postseismic frictional afterslip and viscoelastic relaxation from the...

Boyd, Oliver S.; Robert Smalley, Jr; Zeng, Yuehua
Boyd, O. S., R. Smalley Jr., and Y. Zeng (2015), Crustal deformation in the New Madrid seismic zone and the role of postseismic processes, J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth, 120, doi:10.1002/2015JB012049.

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Year Published: 2014

Why the New Madrid earthquakes are M 7–8 and the Charleston earthquake is ∼M 7

Estimates of magnitudes of large historical earthquakes are an essential input to and can seriously affect seismic‐hazard estimates. The earthquake‐intensity observations, modified Mercalli intensities (MMI), and assigned magnitudes Mof the 1811–1812 New Madrid events have been reinterpreted several times in the last decade and have...

Cramer, Chris H.; Boyd, Oliver S.
Cramer, C. H., and O. S. Boyd (2014), Why the New Madrid Earthquakes are M7–8 and the Charleston Earthquake is ~M7, Bull. Seis. Soc. Am., 104, 2884–2903, doi:10.1785/0120120257.

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Year Published: 2013

Workshop on New Madrid geodesy and the challenges of understanding intraplate earthquakes

On March 4, 2011, 26 researchers gathered in Norwood, Massachusetts, for a workshop sponsored by the U.S. Geological Survey and FM Global to discuss geodesy in and around the New Madrid seismic zone (NMSZ) and its relation to earthquake hazard. The group addressed the challenge of reconciling current geodetic measurements, which show low present-...

Boyd, Oliver; Calais, Eric; Langbein, John; Magistrale, Harold; Stein, Seth; Zoback, Mark
Workshop on New Madrid geodesy and the challenges of understanding intraplate earthquakes; 2013; OFR; 2013-1004; Boyd, Oliver ; Calais, Eric ; Langbein, John ; Magistrale, Harold ; Stein, Seth ; Zoback, Mark

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July 9, 2020

Image of the Week - Virtual Road Trip with Landsat

Summer vacation plans changed for many in 2020. Whatever your plans, Landsat can take you on a virtual road trip. Landsat 8, in its sun-synchronous polar orbit, views every national park in the U.S. every 16 days and gathers more photographic data than the most ambitious of tourists.
 

Image from an application that navigates users through USGS National Oil and Gas Assessment Provinces
November 14, 2018

National Oil and Gas Assessment Provinces

This is a graphic from the USGS National Oil and Gas Assessment Explorer application, which allows user to drill into 70 oil and gas assessment provinces throughout the United States.

September 20, 2018

Habitat Connectivity: Assessing Threats and IDing Conservation Actions

An important conservation strategy for climate change is to enhance and maintain regional habitat connectivity for the long-term viability of wildlife populations. Modeling habitat connectivity for wildlife species often results in a mapped network of linkages between habitat patches. A critical next step is to determine which of those linkages are priorities for

Conglomerates within the Sycamore Sand at Hammetts Crossing
February 27, 2018

Conglomerates, Sycamore Sand at Hammetts Crossing, Travis Cty, Texas

Conglomerates within the Sycamore Sand at Hammetts Crossing, Travis County, Texas (photograph by Allan K. Clark, U.S. Geological Survey, February 27, 2018).
U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3418, https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3418

August 7, 2017

Developing Effective Drought Monitoring Tools for Farmers and Ranchers

This webinar was conducted on August 7, 2017 as part of the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center’s Climate Change Science and Management Webinar Series, held in partnership with the USFWS National Conservation Training Center. 

Webinar Summary: The South Central U.S. is one of the main agricultural regions in North America: annual agricultural

Panoramic view of the Blue Ridge (Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee)
October 3, 2012

Blue Ridge of Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee

Panoramic view (~270 degrees) looking across the Blue Ridge of Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee (from left to right).  The Valley and Ridge is in the distance (gap between mountains). 

The Piedmont and Blue Ridge provinces extend from southeastern New York to Alabama and include parts of eleven states in the Eastern U.S. and part of Washington, D.C. Blue Ridge

...
USGS boat crew prepares for a discharge measurement during May 2011 Memphis, Tennessee flooding
May 4, 2011

USGS boat crew prepares for a discharge measurement

USGS boat crew prepares for a discharge measurement during May 2011 Memphis, Tennessee flooding

video thumbnail: Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge Visitor's Center Site Dedication
November 8, 2009

Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge Visitor's Center Site Dedication

Dedication ceremony for the construction of the new Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge Visitor's Center by U.S. Fish and Wildife Director Same Hamilton, and refuge manage John Taylor.

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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.

Image shows a map of the Eastern United States with the boundaries of the Marcellus Shale superimposed
October 3, 2019

The Marcellus Shale and Point Pleasant-Utica Shale formations of the Appalachian Basin contain an estimated mean of 214 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered, technically recoverable continuous resources of natural gas, according to new USGS assessments.

USGS: Science for a changing world
September 21, 2017

This page contains the weekly highlights from the Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Center for the week of 9/112017 - 9/15/2017! Please take a look and see what we have been up to!

Satellite captured image of the rapidly intensifying storm, Harvey
September 8, 2017

As Harvey’s record breaking rainfall and catastrophic flood waters recede in Texas and western Louisiana, U.S. Geological Survey teams are collecting high water marks, monitoring water levels and coastal change, retrieving storm tide sensors and collecting samples for water quality analysis.

Photo of a young girl drinking water, which likely originated from groundwater sources. 
January 19, 2017

A regional assessment of untreated groundwater in the Southeastern Coastal Plain aquifer system is now available from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Photo of a young girl drinking water, which likely originated from groundwater sources. 
January 19, 2017

A regional assessment of untreated groundwater in the combined Valley and Ridge and Piedmont and Blue Ridge aquifers in the eastern United States is now available from the U.S. Geological Survey.

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