Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government


USGS research activities relevant to Alaska have yielded more than 9400 historical publications. This page features some of the most recent newsworthy research findings.

Filter Total Items: 2822

Breaking up is hard to do: Magmatism during oceanic arc breakup, subduction reversal, and cessation

The formerly continuous Vitiaz Arc broke into its Vanuatu and Fijian portions during a reversal of subduction polarity in the Miocene. Basaltic volcanism in Fiji that accompanied the breakup ranged from shoshonitic to low-K and boninitic with increasing distance from the broken edge of the arc that, presumably, marks the broken edge of the slab. The Sr-Pb-Nd isotope ratios of the slab-derived comp

Recent history of glacial lake outburst floods, analysis of channel changes, and development of a two-dimensional flow and sediment transport model of the Snow River near Seward, Alaska

Snow Lake, a glacially dammed lake on the Snow Glacier near Seward, Alaska, drains rapidly every 14 months–3 years, causing flooding along the Snow River. Highway, railroad, and utility infrastructure on the lower Snow River floodplain is vulnerable to flood damage. Historical hydrology, geomorphology, and two-dimensional hydraulic and sediment transport modeling were used to assess the flood risk

Trace elements in blood of sea ducks from Dutch Harbor and Izembek Lagoon, Alaska

In 2001, we collected whole blood from sea ducks (Steller’s eider Polysticta stelleri, harlequin duck Histrionicus histrionicus, black scoter Melanitta nigra, and long-tailed duck Clangula hyemalis) wintering at Dutch Harbor, Alaska, and from Steller’s eiders molting at Izembek Lagoon on the Alaska Peninsula. Blood samples were analyzed for 19 trace elements, of which 17 were detected in one or mo

Moisture abundance and proximity mediate seasonal use of mesic areas and survival of greater sage-grouse broods

Water is a critical and limited resource, particularly in the arid West, but water availability is projected to decline even while demand increases due to growing human populations and increases in duration and severity of drought. Mesic areas provide important water resources for numerous wildlife species, including the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; hereafter, sage-grouse), an i

U.S. Geological Survey science strategy for Arctic Alaska, fiscal years 2022–24

IntroductionThe United States is an Arctic nation because of Alaska and thus maintains tremendous interests and stewardship responsibilities in the region, especially as the region undergoes substantial environmental transformation. This Arctic Science Strategy is intended to support those interests and responsibilities by expressing the core values, mission, vision, and the broad research goals a

Efficacy of bear spray as a deterrent against polar bears

Although there have been few attempts to systematically analyze information on the use of deterrents on polar bears (Ursus maritimus), understanding their effectiveness in mitigating human-polar bear conflicts is critical to ensuring both human safety and polar bear conservation. To fill this knowledge gap, we analyzed 19 incidents involving the use of bear spray on free-ranging polar bears from 1

Optimizing surveys of fall-staging geese using aerial imagery and automated counting

Ocular aerial surveys allow efficient coverage of large areas and can be used to monitor abundance and distribution of wild populations. However, uncertainty around resulting population estimates can be large due to difficulty in visually identifying and counting animals from aircraft, as well as logistical challenges in estimating detection probabilities. Photographic aerial surveys can mitigate

Partnering in search of answers: Seabird die-offs in the Bering and Chukchi Seas

Prior to 2015, seabird die-offs in Alaskan waters were rare; they typically occurred in mid-winter, linked to epizootic disease events or above-average ocean temperatures associated with strong El Nino-Southern Oscillation events (Bodenstein et al. 2015, Jones et al. 2019, Romano et al. 2020). Since 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has monitored mortality events that have become an

Estimating reproductive and juvenile survival rates when offspring ages are uncertain: A novel multievent mark-resight model with beluga whale case study

Understanding the survival and reproductive rates of a population is critical to determining its long-term dynamics and viability. Mark-resight models are often used to estimate these demographic rates, but estimation of survival and reproductive rates is challenging, especially for wide-ranging, patchily distributed, or cryptic species. In particular, existing mark-resight models cannot accommoda

Geochemistry and fluxes of gases from hydrothermal features at Newberry Volcano, Oregon, USA

We present the chemical and isotopic compositions of gases and fluxes of CO2 from the hydrothermal features of Newberry Volcano, a large composite volcano located in Oregon's Cascade Range with a summit caldera that hosts two lakes, Paulina and East Lakes. Gas samples were collected from 1982 to 2021 from Paulina Hot Springs (PHS) on the shore of Paulina Lake, East Lake Hot Springs (ELHS) on the s

Ordovician geology of Alaska

Ordovician rocks, found in northern, east-central, interior and southern Alaska, formed in a variety of depositional and palaeogeographic settings. Shallow- and deep-water strata deposited along the northwestern Laurentian margin occur in east-central Alaska (Yukon River area) and probably correlative rocks crop out to the north in the Porcupine River area. Ordovician strata elsewhere in Alaska ar

Brown bear–sea otter interactions along the Katmai coast: Terrestrial and nearshore communities linked by predation

Sea otters were extirpated throughout much of their range by the maritime fur trade in the 18th and 19th centuries, including the coast of Katmai National Park and Preserve in southcentral Alaska. Brown bears are an important component of the Katmai ecosystem where they are the focus of a thriving ecotourism bear-viewing industry as they forage in sedge meadows and dig clams in the extensive tidal