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: 2,661
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Year Published: 2014

Blood lead concentrations in Alaskan tundra swans: linking breeding and wintering areas with satellite telemetry

Tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) like many waterfowl species are susceptible to lead (Pb) poisoning, and Pb-induced mortality has been reported from many areas of their wintering range. Little is known however about Pb levels throughout the annual cycle of tundra swans, especially during summer when birds are on remote northern breeding areas...

Ely, Craig R.; Franson, Christian
Blood lead concentrations in Alaskan tundra swans: linking breeding and wintering areas with satellite telemetry; 2014; Article; Journal; Ecotoxicology; Ely, Craig R.; Franson, Christian

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Year Published: 2014

Identifying marine Important Bird Areas using at-sea survey data

Effective marine bird conservation requires identification of at-sea locations used by populations for foraging, staging, and migration. Using an extensive database of at-sea survey data spanning over 30 years, we developed a standardized and data-driven spatial method for identifying globally significant marine Important Bird Areas in Alaska. To...

Smith, Melanie A.; Walker, Nathan J.; Free, Christopher M.; Kirchhoff, Matthew J.; Drew, Gary S.; Warnock, Nils; Stenhouse, Iain J.
Identifying marine Important Bird Areas using at-sea survey data; 2014; Article; Journal; Biological Conservation; Smith, Melanie A.; Walker, Nathan J.; Free, Christopher M.; Kirchhoff, Matthew J.; Drew, Gary S.; Warnock, Nils; Stenhouse, Iain J.

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Year Published: 2014

Risk of predation and weather events affect nest site selection by sympatric Pacific (Gavia pacifica) and Yellow-billed (Gavia adamsii) loons in Arctic habitats

Pacific (Gavia pacifica) and Yellow-billed (G. adamsii) loons nest sympatrically in Arctic regions. These related species likely face similar constraints and requirements for nesting success; therefore, use of similar habitats and direct competition for nesting habitat is likely. Both of these loon species must select a breeding lake that provides...

Haynes, Trevor B.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Lindberg, Mark S.; Rosenberger, Amanda E.
Risk of predation and weather events affect nest site selection by sympatric Pacific (Gavia pacifica) and Yellow-billed (Gavia adamsii) loons in Arctic habitats; 2014; Article; Journal; Waterbirds; Haynes, Trevor B.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Lindberg, Mark S.; Rosenberger, Amanda E.

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Year Published: 2014

The global age distribution of granitic pegmatites

An updated global compilation of 377 new and previously published ages indicates that granitic pegmatites range in age from Mesoarchean to Neogene and have a semi-periodic age distribution. Undivided granitic pegmatites show twelve age maxima: 2913, 2687, 2501, 1853, 1379, 1174, 988, 525, 483, 391, 319, and 72 Ma. These peaks correspond broadly...

McCauley, Andrew; Bradley, Dwight C.
The global age distribution of granitic pegmatites; 2014; Article; Journal; The Canadian Mineralogist; McCauley, Andrew; Bradley, Dwight C.

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Year Published: 2014

Spatial variation and low diversity in the major histocompatibility complex in walrus (Odobenus rosmarus)

Increased global temperature and associated changes to Arctic habitats will likely result in the northward advance of species, including an influx of pathogens novel to the Arctic. How species respond to these immunological challenges will depend in part on the adaptive potential of their immune response system. We compared levels of genetic...

Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Fales, Krystal R.; Jay, Chadwick V.; Sage, George K.; Talbot, Sandra L.

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Year Published: 2014

Why the 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake matters 50 years later

Spring was returning to Alaska on Friday 27 March 1964. A two‐week cold snap had just ended, and people were getting ready for the Easter weekend. At 5:36 p.m., an earthquake initiated 12 km beneath Prince William Sound, near the eastern end of what is now recognized as the Alaska‐Aleutian subduction zone. No one was expecting this...

West, Michael E.; Haeussler, Peter J.; Ruppert, Natalia A.; Freymueller, Jeffrey T.
West, M. E., P. J. Haeussler, N. A. Ruppert, J. T. Freymueller, and Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety Commission. 2014. Why the 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake matters 50 years later. Seismological Research Letters 85(2):245-251. doi:10.1785/0220140020

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Year Published: 2014

Little late Holocene strain accumulation and release on the Aleutian megathrust below the Shumagin Islands, Alaska

Can a predominantly creeping segment of a subduction zone generate a great (M > 8) earthquake? Despite Russian accounts of strong shaking and high tsunamis in 1788, geodetic observations above the Aleutian megathrust indicate creeping subduction across the Shumagin Islands segment, a well-known seismic gap. Seeking evidence for...

Witter, Robert C.; Briggs, Richard W.; Engelhart, Simon E.; Gelfenbaum, Guy R.; Koehler, Richard D.; Barnhart, William D.
Witter, R. C., R. W. Briggs, S. E. Engelhart, G. Gelfenbaum, R. D. Koehler, and W. D. Barnhart. 2014. Little late Holocene strain accumulation and release on the Aleutian megathrust below the Shumagin Islands, Alaska. Geophysical Research Letters 41(7):2359-2367. doi:10.1002/2014GL059393

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Year Published: 2014

Recolonization of the intertidal and shallow subtidal community following the 2008 eruption of Alaska’s Kasatochi Volcano

The intertidal and nearshore benthic communities of Kasatochi Island are described following a catastrophic volcanic eruption in 2008. Prior to the eruption, the island was surrounded by a dense bed of canopy-forming dragon kelp Eualaria fistulosa which supported a productive nearshore community. The eruption extended the coastline of the island...

Jewett, S.C.; Drew, Gary S.
Recolonization of the intertidal and shallow subtidal community following the 2008 eruption of Alaska’s Kasatochi Volcano; 2014; Article; Journal; Biogeosciences Discuss; Jewett, S.C.; Drew, Gary S.

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Year Published: 2014

Comparative population structure of cavity-nesting sea ducks

A growing collection of mtDNA genetic information from waterfowl species across North America suggests that larger-bodied cavity-nesting species exhibit greater levels of population differentiation than smaller-bodied congeners. Although little is known about nest-cavity availability for these species, one hypothesis to explain differences in...

Pearce, John M.; Eadie, John M.; Savard, Jean-Pierre L.; Christensen, Thomas K.; Berdeen, James; Taylor, Eric J.; Boyd, Sean; Einarsson, Árni
Pearce, J. M., J. M. Eadie, J-P. L. Savard, T. K. Christensen, J. Berdeen, E. J. Taylor, S. Boyd, A. Einarsson, and S. L. Talbot. 2014. Comparative population structure of cavity-nesting sea ducks. The Auk 131(2):195-207. doi:10.1642/AUK-13-071.1

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Year Published: 2014

Geochronology of plutonic rocks and their tectonic terranes in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, southeast Alaska: Chapter E in Studies by the U.S. Geological Survey in Alaska, 2008-2009

We have identified six major belts and two nonbelt occurrences of plutonic rocks in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve and characterized them on the basis of geologic mapping, igneous petrology, geochemistry, and isotopic dating. The six plutonic belts and two other occurrences are, from oldest to youngest: (1) Jurassic (201.6–145.5 Ma)...

Brew, David A.; Tellier, Kathleen E.; Lanphere, Marvin A.; Nielsen, Diane C.; Smith, James G.; Sonnevil, Ronald A.
Geochronology of plutonic rocks and their tectonic terranes in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, southeast Alaska: Chapter E in Studies by the U.S. Geological Survey in Alaska, 2008-2009; 2014; PP; 1776-E; Studies by the U.S. Geological Survey in Alaska, 2008-2009 (Professional Paper 1776); Brew, David A.; Tellier, Kathleen E.; Lanphere, Marvin A.; Nielsen, Diane C.; Smith, James G.; Sonnevil, Ronald A.

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Year Published: 2014

2013 update on sea otter studies to assess recovery from the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, Prince William Sound, Alaska

On March 24, 1989, the tanker vessel Exxon Valdez ran aground in Prince William Sound, Alaska, spilling an estimated 42 million liters of Prudhoe Bay crude oil. Oil spread in a southwesterly direction and was deposited on shores and waters in western Prince William Sound (WPWS). The sea otter (Enhydra lutris) was one of more than 20 nearshore...

Ballachey, Brenda E.; Monson, Daniel H.; Esslinger, George G.; Kloecker, Kimberly A.; Bodkin, James L.; Bowen, Lizabeth; Miles, A. Keith
2013 update on sea otter studies to assess recovery from the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, Prince William Sound, Alaska; 2014; OFR; 2014-1030; Ballachey, Brenda E.; Monson, Daniel H.; Esslinger, George G.; Kloecker, Kimberly; Bodkin, James; Bowen, Lizabeth; Miles, A. Keith

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Year Published: 2014

Isotopic nitrogen in fecal fiber as an indicator of winter diet in caribou and muskoxen

RATIONALE: The ratios of stable nitrogen isotopes (δ15N values) in excreta have been used to examine aspects of trophic and nutritional ecology across taxa. Nitrogen fractions in feces of herbivores include endogenous (e.g., sloughed intestinal cells, unresorbed digestive secretions, and microbial debris) and dietary sources. For animals such as...

Gustine, David D.; Barboza, Perry S.; Addison, Jennifer; Shively, Rachel; Oliver, Lola
Isotopic nitrogen in fecal fiber as an indicator of winter diet in caribou and muskoxen; 2014; Article; Journal; Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry; Gustine, David D.; Barboza, Perry S.; Addison, Jennifer; Shively, Rachel; Oliver, Lola

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: 976
A Pacific sand lance from Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve
November 15, 2002

A Pacific sand lance from Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

A Pacific sand lance from Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

Image: Denali Fault: Alaska Pipeline
November 10, 2002

Denali Fault: Alaska Pipeline

View south along the Trans Alaska Pipeline in the zone where it was engineered for the Denali fault. The fault trace passes beneath the pipeline between the 2nd and 3rd slider supports at the far end of the zone. A large arc in the pipe can be seen in the pipe on the right, due to shortening of the zigzag-shaped pipeline trace within the fault zone. (It was snowing when

...
Image: Denali Fault: Alaska Pipeline
November 10, 2002

Denali Fault: Alaska Pipeline

Surface faulting split this tree near the Trans Alaska Pipeline.

Image: Central Alaska Range
November 7, 2002

Central Alaska Range

View of central Alaska Range from the south.

3 glaciers coming down from the mountains
October 2, 2002

Portage, Burns and Shakespeare glaciers in Southcentral Alaska

Portage Glacier (right), Burns Glacier (center), Shakespeare Glacier (left) in Southcentral Alaska from the air.

A sunset seen from Kaktovik, Alaska
September 13, 2002

A sunset seen from Kaktovik, Alaska

A sunset seen from Kaktovik, Alaska

Biologist pulling a beach seine on a side channel of the Yukon River
August 15, 2002

Beach seining on the Yukon River Delta

Jason Baker and Scott McLean pulling a beach seine in a side channel of the Yukon River

Image: Alaska Mountain Range
July 1, 2002

Alaska Mountain Range

Alaska mountain range.

Image: Alaska Mountain Range
July 1, 2002

Alaska Mountain Range

Alaska mountain range.

Image: Alaska Scenic View
June 30, 2002

Alaska Scenic View

Scenic view of Alaskan lake and mountains.

Brooks Range, Alaska: View southward from Fortress Mountain Formation on Atigun syncline
December 31, 2001

Fortress Mountain Formation, Brooks Range

View southward from Fortress Mountain Formation on Atigun syncline towards Brooks Range.  Trans-Alaska Pipeline, haul road, and Galbraith Lake in valley.  Location in Brooks Range foothills, about 90 miles southeast of Umiat.

Polar bear mother and two cubs on the Beaufort Sea ice.
January 16, 2001

Polar bear mother and two cubs on the Beaufort Sea ice

Polar bear mother and two cubs on the Beaufort Sea ice.

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.