Unified Interior Regions

Region 11: Alaska

Alaska Science Center

Alaska Science Center

4210 University Drive
Anchorage, AK 99508
Phone: (907) 786-7000

View Center Website

Volcano Science Center

Volcano Science Center

4230 University Drive
Anchorage, AK 99508
Phone: (907) 786-7497

View Center Website

Climate Adaptation Science Center

Climate Adaptation Science Center

4230 University Drive
Anchorage, AK 99508
Phone: 907-301-7830

View Center Website

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

Search USGS publications for Alaska

Arctic Science for Decision Maker

2020 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report
Filter Total Items: 2,613
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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

Soil mineralogy and geochemistry along a north-south transect in Alaska and the relation to source-rock terrane

Soils collected along a predominately north-south transect in Alaska were used to evaluate regional differences in the soil mineralogy and geochemistry in the context of a geotectonic framework for Alaska. The approximately 1,395-kilometer-long transect followed the Dalton, Elliott, and Richardson Highways from near Prudhoe Bay to Valdez. Sites...

Wang, Bronwen; Hults, Chad P.; Eberl, Dennis D.; Woodruff, Laurel G.; Cannon, William F.; Gough, Larry P.
Wang, B., Hults, C., Eberl, D., Woodruff, L., Cannon, W., and Gough, L., 2019, Soil mineralogy and geochemistry along a north-south transect in Alaska and the relation to source-rock terrane in Dumoulin, J.A., ed., Studies by the U.S. Geological Survey in Alaska, vol. 15: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1814–E, 27 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/pp1814E.

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Year Published: 2019

Confronting models with data: The challenges of estimating disease spillover

For pathogens known to transmit across host species, strategic investment in disease control requires knowledge about where and when spillover transmission is likely. One approach to estimating spillover is to directly correlate observed spillover events with covariates. An alternative is to mechanistically combine information on host density,...

Cross, Paul C.; Prosser, Diann; Ramey, Andrew M.; Hanks, Ephraim M.; Pepin, Kim M.

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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

Giving ecological meaning to satellite-derived fire severity metrics across North American forests

Satellite-derived spectral indices such as the relativized burn ratio (RBR) allow fire severity maps to be produced in a relatively straightforward manner across multiple fires and broad spatial extents. These indices often have strong relationships with field-based measurements of fire severity, thereby justifying their widespread use in...

Parks, Sean; Holsinger, Lisa M.; Koontz, Michael J.; Collins, Luke S.; Whitman, Ellen; Parisien, Marc-André; Loehman, Rachel A.; Barnes, Jennifer L.; Bourdon, Jean-François; Boucher, Jonathan; Boucher, Yan; Caprio, Anthony C.; Collingwood, Adam; Hall, Ron; Park, Jane; Saperstein, Lisa; Smetanka, Charlotte; Smith, Rebecca; Soverel, Nick

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Year Published: 2019

The Aleutian Low – Beaufort Sea Anticyclone: A climate index for predicting the timing of springtime melt in the Pacific Arctic cryosphere

Early and late extremes in the timing of snowmelt have recently been observed in the Pacific Arctic. Subseasonal-to-seasonal forecasts of this timing are important for industry, environmental management and Arctic communities. In northern Alaska, the timing is influenced by the advection of marine air from the north Pacific by the Aleutian Low,...

Cox, Christopher J.; Stone, Robert S.; Douglas, David C.; Stanitski, Diane; Gallagher, Michael
Cox, C. J., Stone, R. S., Douglas, D. C., Stanitski, D. M., & Gallagher, M. R. (2019). The Aleutian Low‐Beaufort Sea Anticyclone: A climate index correlated with the timing of springtime melt in the Pacific Arctic cryosphere. Geophysical Research Letters, 46, 7464–7473. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019GL083306

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Year Published: 2019

Filling knowledge gaps in a threatened shorebird flyway through satellite tracking

Satellite‐based technologies that track individual animal movements enable the mapping of their spatial and temporal patterns of occurrence. This is particularly useful in poorly studied or remote regions where there is a need for the rapid gathering of relevant ecological knowledge to inform management actions. One such region is East Asia, where...

Yin-Chi Chan; Tibbitts, Lee; Tamar Lok; Chris Hassell; He-Bo Peng; Zhijun Ma; Zhengwang Zhang; Theunis Piersma

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Year Published: 2019

Improving population estimates of threatened spectacled eiders: Correcting aerial counts for visibility bias

Listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1993, the Spectacled Eider (Somateria fischeri) population in western Alaska has since rebounded, prompting an assessment of their suitability for delisting. This assessment, however, is limited by aerial-based population estimates that are incompletely corrected for unobserved eiders....

Lewis, Tyler; Michael Swaim; Schmutz, Joel A.; Julian Fischer
Lewis TL, Swaim MA, Schmutz JA, Fischer JB (2019) Improving population estimates of threatened spectacled eiders: correcting aerial counts for visibility bias. Endang Species Res 39:191-206. https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00959

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Year Published: 2019

Are polar bear habitat resource selection functions developed from 1985-1996 data still useful?

1. Greenhouse gas-induced warming in the Arctic has caused declines in sea ice extent and changed its composition, raising concerns by all circumpolar nations for polar bear conservation. 2. Negative impacts have been observed in three well-studied polar bear subpopulations. Most subpopulations, however, receive little or no direct monitoring,...

Durner, George M.; Douglas, David C.; Atwood, Todd C.

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Year Published: 2019

Late Miocene to Pleistocene source to sink record of exhumation and sediment routing in the Gulf of Alaska from detrital zircon fission-track and U-Pb double dating

We investigate the late Miocene‐Pleistocene offshore sedimentary record of the Yakutat microplate to evaluate the spatial and temporal variations in rock exhumation and sediment routing patterns at the heavily glaciated and actively converging plate boundary in southeast Alaska. We present 1,456 new fission track ages and 1,372 new U‐Pb ages from...

Bootes, Nathaniel; Enkelmann, Eva; Lease, Richard O.

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Year Published: 2019

Near-field remote sensing of Alaskan Rivers

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Geomorphology and Sediment Transport Laboratory (GSTL), in collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL), acquired remotely sensed data from several Alaskan rivers in 2017 and 2018 with the goal of developing a methodology for measuring streamflow from...

Kinzel, Paul J.; Legleiter, Carl J.; Nelson, Jonathan M.; Conaway, Jeff; LeWinter, Adam; Gadomski, Peter; Filiano, Dominic

Browse a selection of videos, audio clips, images, and more from a wide range of science topics covered by USGS!

"Science for a Changing World" - watch the short film here!

Documentary on walruses here!

Watch the first-ever footage of a polar bear on Arctic sea ice!

Join USGS geologists as they collect lava samples from Kilauea Volcano.

Watch researchers in the Arctic!

Filter Total Items: 984
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.

Scintillometer sitting on top of a rock outcropping surrounded by trees
February 17, 2017

Torrs of the Ruby Batholith

Scintillometer and torrs of the Melozitna granite in the Ruby batholith.  This granite contains abundant monazite and high levels of thorium and rare earth elements. This area is part of the Bureau of Land Management's Central Yukon Planning Area, which USGS did a mineral assessment of in 2015.

Satellite image of small crescent-shaped ocean island.
January 24, 2017

Shoreline changes at Bogoslof volcano

Analysis of shoreline changes at Bogoslof volcano due to eruptive activity between January 11 and 24, 2017. The base image is a Worldview-2 satellite image collected on January 24, 2017. The approximate location of the shoreline on January 11, 2017 is shown by the dashed orange line.

Annotated aerial photo of crescent shaped island surrounded by open ocean.
January 10, 2017

Annotated photo of Bogoslof Island showing effects of eruption

Annotated photograph of Bogoslof Island showing the cumulative effects of 2016-17 eruptive activity. A layer of fine muddy appearing ash drapes most of the landscape and covers pre-existing vegetation. The dashed line indicates the area excavated by explosive eruptive activity so far. A prominent zone of upwelling is probably the surface expression of a shallow submarine

...
A long-beaked brown bird standing in the grass
December 31, 2016

Bristle-thighed Curlew in Alaska

A Bristle-thighed Curlew on the tundra.  This photo was taken during the Changing Arctic Ecosystems Boreal-Arctic Transition program.

Image shows a sample of epidote and quartz against a black background
December 31, 2016

Epidote and Quartz

Epidote is a silicate mineral used mostly as a semiprecious gemstone.

Sample provided by Carlin Green, USGS. Sample originated from Prince of Wales Island, Alaska, and is 6.0cm in size.

Alaska Interior mountain range shot with snow capped mountains.
December 31, 2016

Alaska Interior Mountain Range

Alaska Interior mountain range shot with snow capped mountains. 

Large euhedral shape (brown) in a fine-grained matrix of rectangles
December 31, 2016

Rock thin section: andesite

Photomicrograph of sample 09RDWES301 - an andesite collected during the Redoubt 2009 eruption. A rock thin section is created by gluing a small piece of rock onto a glass slide, then grinding it down to a thickness of 30 microns (the average human hair is about 100 microns in diameter) so that light shines through it when examined under the microscope. In this image, the

...
View looks out from a boat with instruments mounted on the side, over the water and in the far distance are snow-capped peaks.
December 31, 2016

Seafloor mapping in southeastern Alaska

Mount Crillon in the backdrop during a multibeam bathymetry survey of the Queen Charlotte-Fairweather Fault, offshore southeastern Alaska.

A layout diagram of the R/V Alaskan Gyre
November 30, 2016

A layout diagram of the R/V Alaskan Gyre

A layout illustration of the R/V Alaskan Gyre deck.

Browse a collection of stories about prominent USGS scientists and projects in Alaska news.

2020 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report

Filter Total Items: 252
USGS
December 14, 2004

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recently completed a new assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources in the Yukon Flats region of east-central Alaska.

USGS science for a changing world logo
December 6, 2004

USGS Director Chip Groat is available for interviews on Dec. 6-7. Please call the contact, above. Groat will present Science for Ecosystem Restoration on Mon, Dec. 6 from 2:20-2:50pm.

USGS science for a changing world logo
May 14, 2004

America’s rivers and streams are generally suitable for irrigation, supplying drinking water, and home and recreational uses. However, in areas with significant agricultural and urban development, the quality of our nation’s water resources has been degraded by contaminants such as pesticides, nutrients, and gasoline-related compounds.

USGS
May 14, 2004

America’s rivers and streams are generally suitable for irrigation, supplying drinking water, and home and recreational uses. However, in areas with significant agricultural and urban development, the quality of our nation’s water resources has been degraded by contaminants such as pesticides, nutrients, and gasoline-related compounds.

USGS
March 26, 2004

It was the earthquake that woke up America, its 9.2 Herculean shaking reverberating through the earth, causing the whole planet to ring like a bell for weeks afterward. Even now, the earth is still moving in response to the "Good Friday Earthquake" that rocked Alaska on March 27, 1964.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 24, 2004

It was the earthquake that woke up America, its 9.2 Herculean shaking reverberating through the earth, causing the whole planet to ring like a bell for weeks afterward. Even now, the earth is still moving in response to the "Good Friday Earthquake" that rocked Alaska on March 27, 1964.

USGS science for a changing world logo
September 22, 2003

The rapid depletion of at least a half million great whales from the North Pacific Ocean by intensive industrial whaling over 50 years ago may have unleashed a complex ecological chain reaction that has since rippled resoundingly from ocean to coastal ecosystems, according to a team of eight scientists, including Dr. Jim Estes, a U.S. Geological Survey research ecologist.

USGS science for a changing world logo
August 8, 2003

Wesley Ward has been named Regional Executive for Geology for the Western Region of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The announcement of Ward’s new appointment was made by John D. Buffington, Western Regional Director, effective Aug. 11, 2003.

USGS science for a changing world logo
July 2, 2003

On July 9, 1953, at 6 a.m., flying out of Anchorage International Airport, a Northwest Airlines pilot noticed a rapidly growing ash cloud erupting from Mount Spurr volcano on the northwest side of Cook Inlet, about 80 miles west of Anchorage.

USGS
July 2, 2003

On July 9, 1953, at 6 a.m., flying out of Anchorage International Airport, a Northwest Airlines pilot noticed a rapidly growing ash cloud erupting from Mount Spurr volcano on the northwest side of Cook Inlet, about 80 miles west of Anchorage.

USGS science for a changing world logo
June 11, 2003

Glaciers: Alaska’s Rivers of Ice, a 90-minute, broadcast quality, educational DVD, produced by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Alpha DVD of Crofton, Md., has been awarded the Duane Marquis Government DVD Excellence Award by the DVD Association (DVDA). 

USGS
June 11, 2003

Glaciers: Alaska’s Rivers of Ice, a 90-minute, broadcast quality, educational DVD, produced by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Alpha DVD of Crofton, Md., has been awarded the Duane Marquis Government DVD Excellence Award by the DVD Association (DVDA).

Stay up-to-date with what is happening in the Alaska Region by checking out our different social media accounts. You can also contact Alaska Regional Office staff or Center Directors for more information.