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: 2,642
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Year Published: 2014

Historical and contemporary imagery to assess ecosystem change on the Arctic coastal plain of northern Alaska

The Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska is a complex landscape of lakes, streams, and wetlands scattered across low-relief tundra that is underlain by permafrost. This region of the Arctic has experienced a warming trend over the past three decades leading to thawing of on-shore permafrost and the disappearance of sea ice at unprecedented...

Tape, Ken D.; Pearce, John M.; Walworth, Dennis H.; Meixell, Brandt W.; Fondell, Tom F.; Gustine, David D.; Flint, Paul L.; Hupp, Jerry W.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Ward, David H.
Historical and contemporary imagery to assess ecosystem change on the Arctic coastal plain of northern Alaska; 2014; OFR; 2014-1140; Tape, Ken D.; Pearce, John M.; Walworth, Dennis; Meixell, Brandt W.; Fondell, Tom F.; Gustine, David D.; Flint, Paul L.; Hupp, Jerry W.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Ward, David H.

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Year Published: 2014

Cenozoic mountain building on the northeastern Tibetan Plateau

Northeastern Tibetan Plateau growth illuminates the kinematics, geodynamics, and climatic consequences of large-scale orogenesis, yet only recently have data become available to outline the spatiotemporal pattern and rates of this growth. I review the tectonic history of range growth across the plateau margin north of the Kunlun fault (35°–40°N)...

Lease, Richard O.

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Year Published: 2014

Polar bears from space: Assessing satellite imagery as a tool to track Arctic wildlife

Development of efficient techniques for monitoring wildlife is a priority in the Arctic, where the impacts of climate change are acute and remoteness and logistical constraints hinder access. We evaluated high resolution satellite imagery as a tool to track the distribution and abundance of polar bears. We examined satellite images of a small...

Stapleton, Seth P.; LaRue, Michelle A.; Lecomte, Nicolas; Atkinson, Stephen N.; Garshelis, David L.; Porter, Claire; Atwood, Todd C.
Stapleton, S. P., M. LaRue, N. Lecomte, S. N. Atkinson, D. L. Garshelis, C. Porter, and T. C. Atwood. 2014. Polar bears from space: assessing satellite imagery as a tool to track Arctic wildlife. PLoS ONE 9(7):e101513. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0101513

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Year Published: 2014

Climate-driven effects of fire on winter habitat for caribou in the Alaskan-Yukon Arctic

Climatic warming has direct implications for fire-dominated disturbance patterns in northern ecosystems. A transforming wildfire regime is altering plant composition and successional patterns, thus affecting the distribution and potentially the abundance of large herbivores. Caribou (Rangifer tarandus) are an important subsistence resource for...

Gustine, David D.; Brinkman, Todd J.; Lindgren, Michael A.; Schmidt, Jennifer I.; Rupp, T. Scott; Adams, Layne G.
Climate-driven effects of fire on winter habitat for caribou in the Alaskan-Yukon Arctic; 2014; Article; Journal; PLoS One; Gustine, David D.; Brinkman, Todd J.; Lindgren, Michael A.; Schmidt, Jennifer I.; Rupp, T. Scott; Adams, Layne G.

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Year Published: 2014

Geochemical and Nd-Sr-Pb isotopic evolution of metabasites from rifting of continental lithosphere, Seward Peninsula, Alaska, and implications for paleogeographic reconstruction

The chemical character of mafic rocks from the Arctic Alaska–Chukotka terrane records rifting of continental crust during the early Paleozoic, possibly during the Ordovician. The mafic rocks are part of a metamorphosed Neoproterozoic to Devonian continental margin sequence preserved in a Mesozoic metamorphic terrane, the Nome Complex, of Seward...

Ayuso, Robert A.; Till, Alison

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Year Published: 2014

Age, chemistry, and correlations of Neoproterozoic–Devonian igneous rocks of the Arctic Alaska–Chukotka terrane: An overview with new U-Pb ages

The Arctic Alaska–Chukotka terrane is a microcontinent with an origin exotic to Laurentia. We used a sensitive high-resolution ion microprobe (SHRIMP) to date nine samples of Neoproterozoic rock and five samples of Devonian rock from the Brooks Range and Seward Peninsula of Alaska and from the Chukotka Peninsula of northeastern Russia. Felsic...

Dumoulin, Julie A.; Till, Alison B.; Amato, Jeffrey M; Aleinikoff, John N.; Akinin, Vyacheslav V; McClelland, William C.; Toro, Jaime

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Year Published: 2014

U-Pb detrital zircon geochronology as evidence for the origin of the Nome Complex, northern Alaska, and implications for regional and trans-Arctic correlations

Detrital zircons from the Nome Complex, a metamorphic terrane in northern Alaska, reveal important constraints on the early Paleozoic history of the Arctic Alaska–Chukotka terrane, a microcontinental block with an origin exotic to Laurentia.Twenty-two samples (17 in this study, five previously published) produce three detrital zircon population...

Till, Alison; Amato, Jeffrey M.; Aleinikoff, John N.; Bleick, Heather A.

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Year Published: 2014

Preface

The tectonic evolution of the Arctic realm, particularly in the Mesozoic, remains a subject of considerable uncertainty. The nature of the crustal entities involved, their origins, and the nature, location, and age of major tectonic boundaries are incompletely studied and understood (Pease, 2011). The largest piece of continental crust of...

Dumoulin, Julie A.; Till, Alison

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Year Published: 2014

Pb isotope geochemistry of stratabound Zn-Pb(-Ag-Au-Ba-F) deposits and occurrences in the Nome Complex, Seward Peninsula, Alaska: Metal sources and regional comparisons

A detailed study of the Pb isotope geochemistry of Zn-Pb(-Ag-Au-Ba-F) stratabound sulfide deposits within metasedimentary rocks of the Neoproterozoic to Mississippian(?) Nome Complex provides key information for understanding deposit genesis and crustal evolution. A total of 106 new analyses of galena (and other sulfi des) and metasedimentary...

Ayuso, Robert A.; Till, Alison; Slack, John F.; Forni, Francesca

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Year Published: 2014

A multiscale assessment of tree avoidance by prairie birds

In North America, grassland bird abundances have declined, likely as a result of loss and degradation of prairie habitat. Given the expense and limited opportunity to procure new grasslands, managers are increasingly focusing on ways to improve existing habitat for grassland birds, using techniques such as tree removal. To examine the potential...

Thompson, Sarah J.; Arnold, Todd W.; Amundson, Courtney L.
A multiscale assessment of tree avoidance by prairie birds; 2014; Article; Journal; The Condor; Thompson, Sarah J.; Arnold, Todd W.; Amundson, Courtney L.

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Year Published: 2014

InSAR detects increase in surface subsidence caused by an Arctic tundra fire

Wildfire is a major disturbance in the Arctic tundra and boreal forests, having a significant impact on soil hydrology, carbon cycling, and permafrost dynamics. This study explores the use of the microwave Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) technique to map and quantify ground surface subsidence caused by the Anaktuvuk River fire on...

Liu, Lin; Jafarov, Elchin E.; Schaefer, Kevin M.; Jones, Benjamin M.; Zebker, Howard A.; Williams, Christopher A.; Rogan, John; Zhang, Tingjun
InSAR detects increase in surface subsidence caused by an Arctic tundra fire; 2014; Article; Journal; Geophysical Research Letters; Liu, Lin; Jafarov, Elchin E.; Schaefer, Kevin M.; Jones, Benjamin M.; Zebker, Howard A.; Williams, Christopher A.; Rogan, John; Zhang, Tingjun

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Year Published: 2014

Proterozoic geochronological links between the Farewell, Kilbuck, and Arctic Alaska terranes

New U-Pb igneous and detrital zircon ages reveal that despite being separated by younger orogens, three of Alaska’s terranes that contain Precambrian rocks—Farewell, Kilbuck, and Arctic Alaska—are related. The Farewell and Kilbuck terranes can be linked by felsic magmatism at ca. 850 Ma and by abundant detrital zircons in the Farewell that overlap...

Bradley, Dwight C.; McClelland, William C.; Friedman, Richard M.; O'Sullivan, Paul B.; Layer, Paul; Miller, Marti L.; Dumoulin, Julie A.; Till, Alison B.; Abbott, J. Grant; Bradley, Dan B.; Wooden, Joseph L.
Dwight C. Bradley, William C. McClelland, Richard M. Friedman, Paul O'Sullivan, Paul W. Layer, Marti L. Miller, Julie A. Dumoulin, Alison B. Till, J. Grant Abbott, Dan B. Bradley, and Joseph L. Wooden, "Proterozoic Geochronological Links between the Farewell, Kilbuck, and Arctic Alaska Terranes," The Journal of Geology 122, no. 3 (May 2014): 237-258.

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 Matanuska River side channel
April 23, 2007

A Matanuska River side channel

A side channel of the Matanuska River. Results from this study were published in Curran, J.H., McTeague, M.L., Burril, S.E., and Zimmerman, C.E., 2011, Distribution, persistence, and hydrologic characteristics of salmon spawning habitats in clearwater side channels of the Matanuska River, southcentral Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2011–

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Winter phase Arctic fox on the northern coast of Alaska
April 14, 2007

Winter phase Arctic fox on the northern coast of Alaska

An arctic fox in it's white winter phase. Taken during polar bear studies on the northern coast of Alaska.

A bearded seal on the edge of the sea ice
April 5, 2007

A bearded seal on the edge of the sea ice

A bearded seal on the edge of the sea ice

An anesthetized polar bear lying on the snow while a scientist is measuring the neck area where hair is missing due to alopecia
April 5, 2007

A polar bear with hair loss (alopecia) along its neck

A polar bear with hair loss (alopecia) along its neck. The bear was captured by USGS scientists using the immobilizing drug Telazol

Small bird in the brush with a long upper beak
February 19, 2007

Black-capped Chickadee with a long upper beak in the brush

Black-capped Chickadee with a long upper beak in the brush.

Chickadee with a deformed beak in a bush
February 19, 2007

Black-capped Chickadee with elongated upper beak

Black-capped Chickadee with elongated upper beak.

Shoreline is crumbling into the water, and the land itself is interlocking polygons with brackish water in the centers.
August 31, 2006

Cape Halkett, Beaufort Sea, Alaska

This photograph shows ice-wedge polygons and an eroding shoreline at Cape Halkett on the Beaufort Sea coast of Alaska. Coastal erosion along the Arctic coast is chronic, widespread, and potentially accelerating, posing threats to infrastructure important for defense and energy purposes, natural shoreline habitats, and nearby Native communities. To help address these

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A flock of shorebirds flying near the upper Alaskan Peninsula, Alaska
August 26, 2006

Dunlin flock near Egegik, Alaska

Dunlin flock near Egegik, Alaska.

Aerial photograph looking at an eroding bluff on an arctic island with ponded water, green grass, and dying grass.
August 9, 2006

Pingok Island, Alaska

Photograph of Pingok Island, Alaska, reveals physical features of a changing Arctic: collapsing bluffs, salt-killed tundra (lighter brown near the bluff edge), and drained thermokarst lakes (rust-colored depressions).

Image: Scientists Explore Alaska's Coast
August 8, 2006

Scientists Explore Alaska's Coast

This oblique aerial photograph is of Flaxman Island off the Alaska coast and shows a tapped thermokarst lakes, caribou tracks and ice-rich bluffs that are eroding. Coastal erosion along the Arctic coast is chronic, widespread and potentially accelerating, posing threats to infrastructure important for defense and energy purposes, natural shoreline habitats and nearby

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Image: Caribou Tracks Along Alaska's Coast
August 8, 2006

Caribou Tracks Along Alaska's Coast

This photograph shows caribou tracks on ice-wedge polygons near Garry Creek in Alaska. Coastal erosion along the Arctic coast is chronic, widespread and potentially accelerating, posing threats to infrastructure important for defense and energy purposes, natural shoreline habitats and nearby Native communities. To help address these concerns, the USGS is collecting

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Image: Eroding Shoreline Along Alaska's Coast
August 8, 2006

Eroding Shoreline Along Alaska's Coast

This photograph shows ice-wedge polygons and an eroding shoreline at Cape Halkett on the Beaufort Sea coast of Alaska. Coastal erosion along the Arctic coast is chronic, widespread and potentially accelerating, posing threats to infrastructure important for defense and energy purposes, natural shoreline habitats and nearby Native communities. To help address these

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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.