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

Regions L2 Landing Page Tabs

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: 2,693
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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

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Year Published: 2014

Polar bears exhibit genome-wide signatures of bioenergetic adaptation to life in the Arctic environment

Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) face extremely cold temperatures and periods of fasting, which might result in more severe energetic challenges than those experienced by their sister species, the brown bear (U. arctos). We have examined the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes of polar and brown bears to investigate if polar bears demonstrate lineage-...

Welch, Andreanna J.; Bedoya-Reina, Oscar C.; Carretero-Paulet, Lorenzo; Miller, Webb; Rode, Karyn D.; Lindqvist, Charlotte
Welch, A. J., O. C. Bedoya-Reina, L. Carretro-Paulet, W. Miller, K. D. Rode, and C. Lindqvist. 2014. Polar bears exhibit genome-wide signatures of bioenergetic adaptation to life in the Arctic environment. Genome Biology and Evolution 6(2):433-450. doi:10.1093/gbe/evu025

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Year Published: 2014

Reconstruction of historic sea ice conditions in a sub-Arctic lagoon

Historical sea ice conditions were reconstructed for Izembek Lagoon, Bering Sea, Alaska. This lagoon is a crucial staging area during migration for numerous species of avian migrants and a major eelgrass (Zostera marina) area important to a variety of marine and terrestrial organisms, especially Pacific Flyway black brant geese (Branta bernicla...

Petrich, Chris; Tivy, Adrienne C.; Ward, David H.

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Year Published: 2014

Synthesis of nearshore recovery following the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill: sea otter liver pathology and survival in Western Prince William Sound, 2001 – 2008

We examined livers and liver biopsies collected from captured sea otters in WPWS, 2001–2008, to determine whether indicators of liver health correlated with history of oil contamination from the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. Sea otters captured in oiled areas had a significantly higher proportion of livers with gross pathological change,...

Ballachey, Brenda E.; Monson, Daniel H.; Kloecker, Kimberly A.; Esslinger, George G.; Mohr, F.C.; Lipscomb, T.P.; Murray, M.J.; Howlin, S.
Ballachey, B.E., D.H. Monson, K.A. Kloecker, G.G. Esslinger, F.C. Mohr, T.P. Lipscomb, M.J. Murray, and S. Howlin. 2014. Synthesis of nearshore recovery following the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill: Sea otter liver pathology and survival in Western Prince William Sound, 2001 – 2008, Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Restoration Project Final Report (Restoration Projects 070808 and 070808A), U.S. Geological Survey, Alaska Science Center, Anchorage, Alaska.

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Year Published: 2014

Assessing streamflow sensitivity to variations in glacier mass balance

The mountains ringing the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) receive upwards of 4–8 m yr−1 of precipitation (Simpson et al.2005; Weingartner et al. 2005; O’Neel 2012), much of which runs off into productive coastal waters. The alpine landscape is heavily glacierized, and storage and turnover of water by glaciers substantially influences the regional surface...

O'Neel, Shad; Hood, Eran; Arendt, Anthony; Sass, Louis C.
Assessing streamflow sensitivity to variations in glacier mass balance; 2014; Article; Journal; Climatic Change; O'Neel, Shad; Hood, Eran; Arendt, Anthony; Sass, Louis

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Year Published: 2014

Validation of adipose lipid content as a body condition index for polar bears

Body condition is a key indicator of individual and population health. Yet, there is little consensus as to the most appropriate condition index (CI), and most of the currently used CIs have not been thoroughly validated and are logistically challenging. Adipose samples from large datasets of capture biopsied, remote biopsied, and harvested polar...

McKinney, Melissa A.; Atwood, Todd C.; Dietz, Rune; Sonne, Christian; Iverson, Sara J.; Peacock, Elizabeth L.
Validation of adipose lipid content as a body condition index for polar bears; 2014; Article; Journal; Ecology and Evolution; McKinney, Melissa A.; Atwood, Todd; Dietz, Rune; Sonne, Christian; Iverson, Sara J.; Peacock, Elizabeth

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Year Published: 2014

Tsunami impact to Washington and northern Oregon from segment ruptures on the southern Cascadia subduction zone

This paper explores the size and arrival of tsunamis in Oregon and Washington from the most likely partial ruptures of the Cascadia subduction zone (CSZ) in order to determine (1) how quickly tsunami height declines away from sources, (2) evacuation time before significant inundation, and (3) extent of felt shaking that would trigger evacuation....

Priest, George R.; Zhang, Yinglong; Witter, Robert C.; Wang, Kelin; Goldfinger, Chris; Stimely, Laura
Tsunami impact to Washington and northern Oregon from segment ruptures on the southern Cascadia subduction zone; 2014; Article; Journal; Natural Hazards; Priest, George R.; Zhang, Yinglong; Witter, Robert C.; Wang, Kelin; Goldfinger, Chris; Stimely, Laura

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Year Published: 2014

Late Devonian–Mississippian(?) Zn-Pb(-Ag-Au-Ba-F) deposits and related aluminous alteration zones in the Nome Complex, Seward Peninsula, Alaska

Stratabound base-metal sulfide deposits and occurrences are present in metasedimentary rocks of the Neoproterozoic and Paleozoic Nome Complex on south-central Seward Peninsula, Alaska. Stratabound and locally stratiform deposits including Aurora Creek (Zn-Au-Ba-F), Wheeler North (Pb-Zn-Ag-Au-F), and Nelson (Zn-Pb- Cu-Ag), consist of lenses...

Slack, John F.; Till, Alison; Belkin, Harvey E.; Shanks, Wayne C.

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: 975
Repeat oblique photographs of Gulkana glaciers in Alaska.
December 31, 1967

Repeat oblique photographs of Gulkana glaciers in Alaska.

Repeat oblique photographs of Gulkana glaciers in Alaska.  1967, Unknown USGS photographer. 2016, L. Sass, USGS.

Repeat oblique photographs of Wolverine glacier in Alaska.
December 31, 1966

Repeat oblique photographs of Wolverine glacier in Alaska.

Repeat oblique photographs of Wolverine glacier in Alaska.  1966 image by unknown USGS photographer; 2015 image by L. Sass, USGS.

Photograph shows what remains of a building foundation in the foreground and a house in the background and up a slight elevation
December 31, 1964

Chenega Village after tsunami waves hit in 1964

Photograph taken in 1964 of the main part of the Chenega village site in Alaska. Pilings in the ground mark the former locations of homes swept away by tsunami waves. The schoolhouse on high ground was undamaged. Credit: Figure 6 from Plafker et al. (1969).

Image: Muir and Riggs Glaciers, Muir Inlet, Alaska - 1950
August 4, 1950

Muir and Riggs Glaciers, Muir Inlet, Alaska - 1950

This, the first of two repeat photographs, documents significant changes that have occurred during the nine years between photographs A and B. Although Muir Glacier has retreated more than 3 kilometers and thinned more than 100 meters, exposing Muir Inlet, it remains connected with tributary Riggs Glacier. White Thunder Ridge remains devoid of vegetation. In places,

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Image: Muir and Riggs Glaciers, Muir Inlet, Alaska - 1941
August 13, 1941

Muir and Riggs Glaciers, Muir Inlet, Alaska - 1941

This northeast-looking photograph, on the southeastern side of White Thunder Ridge ,shows the lower reaches of Muir Glacier, then a large tidewater calving valley glacier, and its tributary Riggs Glacier. The séracs in the lower right-hand corner of the photograph mark Muir Glacier’s terminus. The ice thickness is more than 700 meters. Muir Glacier had been retreating

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Image: Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska
August 13, 1912

Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska

Volcanic ash drifts around houses at Katmai after the June 1912 eruption of Novarupta Volcano. Church in the distant background. August 13, 1912.

This image shows the darkest pixel values captured during 10 minutes of video.

Unalakleet video camera 1 dark image

Two video cameras overlook the coast from atop a windmill tower in Unalakleet, Alaska where they look westward over Norton Sound. Every half hour during daylight hours, the cameras collect snapshots and video for 10 minutes. Today’s most recent image from camera 1 is shown here. Please note that it takes 10 minutes for the images to be posted, once they are collected by

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Image: Exit Glacier, Alaska (In Full Retreat)

Exit Glacier, Alaska (In Full Retreat)

USGS ecologist Kevin Lafferty visits the Exit Glacier in Alaska.

Clear day view of Augustine - Mound volcano

Augustine - Island

The Augustine island webcam has been replaced with a new camera, and is now functioning. Read more details about Augustine volcano.
 

Clear day view of SpurrCKT

SpurrCKT Volcano

Camera is located at station CKT, and looks at Crater Peak and the Spurr summit behind. Read more details about SpurrCKT volcano.

download file
July 30, 2018

NPPSD Literature Methods for Conducting Surveys

NPPSD Literature Methods for Conducting Surveys

This image shows the darkest pixel values captured during 10 minutes of video.

Unalakleet video camera 2 dark image

Two video cameras overlook the coast from atop a windmill tower in Unalakleet, Alaska where they look westward over Norton Sound. Every half hour during daylight hours, the cameras collect snapshots and video for 10 minutes. Today’s most recent image from camera 2 is shown here. Please note that it takes 10 minutes for the images to be posted, once they are collected by

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