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: 2012

Rapid movement of frozen debris-lobes: implications for permafrost degradation and slope instability in the south-central Brooks Range, Alaska

We present the results of a reconnaissance investigation of unusual debris mass-movement features on permafrost slopes that pose a potential infrastructure hazard in the south-central Brooks Range, Alaska. For the purpose of this paper, we describe these features as frozen debris-lobes. We focus on the characterisation of frozen debris-lobes as...

Daanen, R.P.; Grosse, G.; Darrow, M.M.; Hamilton, T.D.; Jones, Benjamin M.
Rapid movement of frozen debris-lobes: implications for permafrost degradation and slope instability in the south-central Brooks Range, Alaska; 2012; Article; Journal; Natural Hazards and Earth System Science; Daanen, R. P.; Grosse, G.; Darrow, M. M.; Hamilton, T. D.; Jones, Benjamin M.

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Year Published: 2012

Structure of marine predator and prey communities along environmental gradients in a glaciated fjord

Spatial patterns of marine predator communities are influenced to varying degrees by prey distribution and environmental gradients. We examined physical and biological attributes of an estuarine fjord with strong glacier influence to determine the factors that most influence the structure of predator and prey communities. Our results suggest that...

Renner, Martin; Arimitsu, Mayumi L.; Piatt, John F.
Structure of marine predator and prey communities along environmental gradients in a glaciated fjord; 2012; Article; Journal; Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences; Renner, Martin; Arimitsu, Mayumi L.; Piatt, John F.

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Year Published: 2012

Using surface velocities to calculate ice thickness and bed topography: A case study at Columbia Glacier, Alaska, USA

Information about glacier volume and ice thickness distribution is essential for many glaciological applications, but direct measurements of ice thickness can be difficult and costly. We present a new method that calculates ice thickness via an estimate of ice flux. We solve the familiar continuity equation between adjacent flowlines, which...

McNabb, R.W.; Hock, R.; O'Neel, Shad; Rasmussen, Lowell A.; Ahn, Y.; Braun, M.; Conway, H.; Herreid, S.; Joughin, I.; Pfeffer, W.T.; Smith, B.E.; Truffer, M.
Using surface velocities to calculate ice thickness and bed topography: A case study at Columbia Glacier, Alaska, USA; 2012; Article; Journal; Journal of Glaciology; McNabb, R. W.; Hock, R.; O'Neel, Shad R.; Rasmussen, L. A.; Ahn, Y.; Braun, M.; Conway, H.; Herreid, S.; Joughin, I.; Pfeffer, W. T.; Smith, B. E.; Truffer, M.

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Year Published: 2012

Vegetation shifts observed in arctic tundra 17 years after fire

With anticipated climate change, tundra fires are expected to occur more frequently in the future, but data on the long-term effects of fire on tundra vegetation composition are scarce. This study addresses changes in vegetation structure that have persisted for 17 years after a tundra fire on the North Slope of Alaska. Fire-related shifts in...

Barrett, Kirsten; Rocha, Adrian V.; van de Weg, Martine Janet; Shaver, Gaius
Vegetation shifts observed in arctic tundra 17 years after fire; 2012; Article; Journal; Remote Sensing Letters; Barrett, Kirsten; Rocha, Adrian V.; van de Weg, Martine Janet; Shaver, Gaius

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Year Published: 2012

A multi-sensor lidar, multi-spectral and multi-angular approach for mapping canopy height in boreal forest regions

Spatially explicit representations of vegetation canopy height over large regions are necessary for a wide variety of inventory, monitoring, and modeling activities. Although airborne lidar data has been successfully used to develop vegetation canopy height maps in many regions, for vast, sparsely populated regions such as the boreal forest biome...

Selkowitz, David J.; Green, Gordon; Peterson, Birgit E.; Wylie, Bruce
A multi-sensor lidar, multi-spectral and multi-angular approach for mapping canopy height in boreal forest regions; 2012; Article; Journal; Remote Sensing of Environment; Selkowitz, David J.; Green, Gordon ; Peterson, Birgit ; Wylie, Bruce

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Year Published: 2012

Analysis of low-frequency seismic signals generated during a multiple-iceberg calving event at Jakobshavn Isbræ, Greenland

We investigated seismic signals generated during a large-scale, multiple iceberg calving event that occurred at Jakobshavn Isbræ, Greenland, on 21 August 2009. The event was recorded by a high-rate time-lapse camera and five broadband seismic stations located within a few hundred kilometers of the terminus. During the event two full-glacier-...

Walter, Fabian; Amundson, Jason M.; O'Neel, Shad; Truffer, Martin; Fahnestock, Mark; Fricker, Helen A.
Analysis of low-frequency seismic signals generated during a multiple-iceberg calving event at Jakobshavn Isbræ, Greenland; 2012; Article; Journal; Journal of Geophysical Research; Walter, Fabian ; Amundson, Jason M.; O'Neel, Shad ; Truffer, Martin ; Fahnestock, Mark ; Fricker, Helen A.

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Year Published: 2012

Behavioral vs. molecular sources of conflict between nuclear and mitochondrial DNA: The role of male-biased dispersal in a Holarctic sea duck

Genetic studies of waterfowl (Anatidae) have observed the full spectrum of mitochondrial (mt) DNA population divergence, from apparent panmixia to deep, reciprocally monophyletic lineages. Yet, these studies often found weak or no nuclear (nu) DNA structure, which was often attributed to male-biased gene flow, a common behaviour within this family...

Peters, Jeffrey L.; Bolender, Kimberly A.; Pearce, John M.
Behavioral vs. molecular sources of conflict between nuclear and mitochondrial DNA: The role of male-biased dispersal in a Holarctic sea duck; 2012; Article; Journal; Molecular Ecology; Peters, Jeffrey L.; Bolender, Kimberly A.; Pearce, John M.

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Year Published: 2012

Bioenergetics model for estimating food requirements of female Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens)

Pacific walruses Odobenus rosmarus divergens use sea ice as a platform for resting, nursing, and accessing extensive benthic foraging grounds. The extent of summer sea ice in the Chukchi Sea has decreased substantially in recent decades, causing walruses to alter habitat use and activity patterns which could affect their energy requirements. We...

Noren, S.R.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Jay, C.V.
Bioenergetics model for estimating food requirements of female Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens); 2012; Article; Journal; Marine Ecology Progress Series; Noren, S. R.; Udevitz, M. S.; Jay, C. V.

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Year Published: 2012

Cenozoic tectono-thermal history of the Tordrillo Mountains, Alaska: Paleocene-Eocene ridge subduction, decreasing relief, and late Neogene faulting

Topographic development inboard of the continental margin is a predicted response to ridge subduction. New thermochronology results from the western Alaska Range document ridge subduction related orogenesis. K-feldspar thermochronology (KFAT) of bedrock samples from the Tordrillo Mountains in the western Alaska Range complement existing U-Pb, 40Ar...

Benowitz, Jeff A.; Haeussler, Peter J.; Layer, Paul W.; O'Sullivan, Paul B.; Wallace, Wes K.; Gillis, Robert J.
Cenozoic tectono-thermal history of the Tordrillo Mountains, Alaska: Paleocene-Eocene ridge subduction, decreasing relief, and late Neogene faulting; 2012; Article; Journal; Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems; Benowitz, Jeff A.; Haeussler, Peter J.; Layer, Paul W.; O'Sullivan, Paul B.; Wallace, Wes K.; Gillis, Robert J.

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Year Published: 2012

Effects of sea ice on winter site fidelity of Pacific common eiders (Somateria mollissima v-nigrum)

In northern marine habitats, the presence or absence of sea ice results in variability in the distribution of many species and the quality and availability of pelagic winter habitat. To understand the effects of ice on intra- and inter-annual winter site fidelity and movements in a northern sea-duck species, we marked 25 adult Pacific Common...

Petersen, Margaret R.; Douglas, David C.; Wilson, Heather M.; McCloskey, Sarah E.
Effects of sea ice on winter site fidelity of Pacific common eiders (Somateria mollissima v-nigrum); 2012; Article; Journal; The Auk; Petersen, Margaret R.; Douglas, David C.; Wilson, Heather M.; McCloskey, Sarah E.

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Year Published: 2012

Evidence of accelerated beak growth associated with avian keratin disorder in black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus)

We recently documented an epizootic of beak deformities in more than 2,000 Black-capped Chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) and other wild bird species in North America. This emerging avian disease, which has been termed avian keratin disorder, results in gross overgrowth of the rhamphotheca, the outer, keratinized layer of the beak. To test the...

Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Handel, Colleen M.; O'Hara, Todd M.
Evidence of accelerated beak growth associated with avian keratin disorder in Black-capped Chickadees (Poecile atricapillus); 2012; Article; Journal; Journal of Wildlife Diseases; Van Hemert, Caroline ; Handel, Colleen M.; O'Hara, Todd M.

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Year Published: 2012

Carry-over effects of winter location contribute to variation in timing of nest initiation and clutch size in black brant (Branta bernicla nigricans)

We assessed carry-over effects from winter location on timing of nest initiation and clutch size of Black Brant (Branta bernicla nigricans) using observations of individually marked brant breeding at the Tutakoke River colony in Alaska, and wintering along a latitudinal gradient at three areas on the Pacific coast of Baja California: northernmost...

Schamber, Jason L.; Sedinger, James S.; Ward, David H.
Carry-over effects of winter location contribute to variation in timing of nest initiation and clutch size in black brant (Branta bernicla nigricans); 2012; Article; Journal; Auk; Schamber, Jason L.; Sedinger, James S.; Ward, David H.

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