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: 2,679
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Year Published: 2020

The sedimentary record of the 2018 Anchorage Earthquake in Eklutna Lake, Alaska: Calibrating the lacustrine seismograph

The 30 November 2018 Mw">MMw">w 7.1 Anchorage earthquake caused modified Mercalli intensities of V¼ to V½ at Eklutna Lake (south central Alaska). A few hours after the earthquake, a “dirt streak” was observed on the lake surface, followed by a peak in sediment turbidity values (⁠∼80">∼80 times normal) at a drinking...

Van Daele, Maarten; Haeussler, Peter; Witter, Robert C.; Praet, Nore; De Batist, Marc

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Year Published: 2020

Plate boundary localization, slip-rates and rupture segmentation of the Queen Charlotte Fault based on submarine tectonic geomorphology

Linking fault behavior over many earthquake cycles to individual earthquake behavior is a primary goal in tectonic geomorphology, particularly across an entire plate boundary. Here, we examine the 1150-km-long, right-lateral Queen Charlotte-Fairweather fault system using comprehensive multibeam bathymetry data acquired along the Queen Charlotte...

Brothers, Daniel; Miller, Nathaniel C.; Vaughn Barrie; Haeussler, Peter; H. Gary Greene; Andrews, Brian D.; Olaf Zielke; Dartnell, Peter

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Year Published: 2020

Permafrost hydrology drives the assimilation of old carbon by stream food webs in the Arctic

Permafrost thaw in the Arctic is mobilizing old carbon (C) from soils to aquatic ecosystems and the atmosphere. Little is known, however, about the assimilation of old C by aquatic food webs in Arctic watersheds. Here, we used C isotopes (δ13C, Δ14C) to quantify C assimilation by biota across 12 streams in arctic Alaska. Streams spanned watersheds...

O'Donnell, Jonathon A; Carey, Michael P.; Koch, Joshua C.; Xu, Xiaomei; Poulin, Brett; Walker, Jennifer; Zimmerman, Christian E.

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Year Published: 2020

Global change-driven use of onshore habitat impacts polar bear faecal microbiota

The gut microbiota plays a critical role in host health, yet remains poorly studied in wild species. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus), key indicators of Arctic ecosystem health and environmental change, are currently affected by rapid shifts in habitat that may alter gut homeostasis. Declining sea ice has led to a divide in the southern Beaufort Sea...

Watson, Sophie; Hauffe, Heidi; Bull, Matthew; Atwood, Todd C.; McKinney, Melissa; Pindo, Massimo; Perkins, Sarah

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Year Published: 2020

Weak effects of geolocators on small birds: a meta‐analysis controlled for phylogeny and publication bias

Currently, the deployment of tracking devices is one of the most frequently used approaches to study movement ecology of birds. Recent miniaturisation of light‐level geolocators enabled studying small bird species whose migratory patterns were widely unknown. However, geolocators may reduce vital rates in tagged birds and may bias obtained...

Brlík, Vojtěch; Koleček, Jaroslav; Burgess, Malcolm; Hahn, Steffen; Humple, Diana; Krist, Milos; Ouwehand, Janne; Weiser, Emily L.; Adamik, Peter; Alves, José A.; Arlt, Debora; Barišić, Sanja; Becker, Detlef; Belda, Eduardo J.; Beran, Vaclav; Both, Christiaan; Bravo, Susana P.; Briedis, Martins; Bohumír, Chutný; Ćiković, Davor; Cooper, Nathan W.; Costa, Joana S.; Cueto, Víctor R.; Emmenegger, Tamara; Fraser, Kevin; Gilg, Olivier; Guerrero, Marina; Hallworth, Michael T.; Hewson, Chris; Jiguet, Frédéric; Johnson, James; Kelly, Tosha; Kishkinev, Dmitry; Leconte, Michel; Lislevand, Terje; Lisovski, Simeon; López, Cosme; McFarland, Kent P.; Marra, Peter P.; Matsuoka, Steven M.; Matyjasiak. Piotr; Meier, Christoph M.; Metzger, Benjamin; Monrós, Juan S.; Neumann, Roland; Newman, Amy; Norris, Ryan; Pärt, Tomas; Pavel, Václav; Perlut, Noah; Piha, Markus; Reneerkens, Jeroen; Rimmer, Christopher C.; Roberto-Charro, Amélie; Scandolara, Chiara; Sokolova, Natalia; Takenaka, Makiko; Tolkmitt, Dirk; van Oosten, Herman; Wellbrock, Arndt H. J.; Wheeler, Hazel; van der Winden, Jan; Witte, Klaudia; Woodworth, Brad; Procházka, Petr

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Year Published: 2020

Using redundant primer sets to detect multiple native Alaskan fish species from environmental DNA

Accurate and timely data regarding freshwater fish communities is important for informed decision-making by local, state, tribal, and federal land and resource managers; however, conducting traditional gear-based fish surveys can be an expensive and time-consuming process, particularly in remote areas, like those that characterize much of Alaska....

Menning, Damian M.; Simmons, Trey; Talbot, Sandra L.

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Year Published: 2019

Future directions in sea otter research and management

The conservation and management of sea otters has benefited from a dedicated research effort over the past 60 years enabling this species to recover from a few thousand in the early 20th century to about 150,000 today. Continued research to allow full, pre-exploitation recovery and restoration of nearshore ecosystems should focus on at least seven...

Davis, Randall W.; Bodkin, James L.; Coletti, Heather A.; Monson, Daniel; Larson, Shawn E.; Carswell, Lilian P.; Nichol, Linda M.

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Year Published: 2019

Preliminary geologic map of the Greater Antilles and the Virgin Islands

IntroductionThis geologic map of the Greater Antilles and the Virgin Islands is a compilation of information from the literature, integrated to provide a seamless geologic map of the region. The geology shown on sheet 1 covers Cuba, the island of Hispaniola, which includes Haiti and the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico...

Wilson, Frederic H.; Orris, Greta; Gray, Floyd
Wilson, F.H., Orris, G., and Gray, F., 2019, Preliminary geologic map of the Greater Antilles and the Virgin Islands: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1036, pamphlet 50 p., 2 sheets, scales 1:2,500,000 and 1:300,000, https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191036.

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Year Published: 2019

Limited detection of antibodies to clade 2.3.4.4 A/Goose/Guangdong/1/1996 lineage highly pathogenic H5 avian influenza virus in North American waterfowl

During 2014, highly pathogenic (HP) influenza A viruses (IAVs) of the A/Goose/Guangdong/1/1996 lineage (GsGD-HP-H5), originating from Asia, were detected in domestic poultry and wild birds in Canada and the US. These clade 2.3.4.4 GsGD-HP-H5 viruses included reassortants possessing North American lineage gene segments; were detected in wild birds...

Stallknecht, David E.; Kienzle-Dean, Clara; Davis-Fields, Nick; Jennelle, Christopher S.; Bowman, Andrew S.; Nolting, Jacqueline M.; Boyce, Walter; Crum, James; Santos, Jefferson; Brown, Justin D.; Prosser, Diann; De La Cruz, Susan E. W.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Casazza, Michael L.; Krauss, Scott; Perez, Daniel; Ramey, Andrew M.; Poulson, Rebecca L.

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Year Published: 2019

Monitoring boreal avian populations: How can we estimate trends and trajectories from noisy data?

Substantial effort has been dedicated to developing reliable monitoring schemes for North American bird populations, but our ability to monitor bird populations in the boreal forest remains limited because of the sparsity of long-term data sets, particularly in northerly regions. Given the importance of the boreal forest for many migratory birds,...

Roy, Christian; Michel, Nicole L; Handel, Colleen M.; Van Wilgenburg, Steven; Burkhalter, Curtis; Gurney, Kirsty A B; Messmer, David; Prince, Karine; Rushing, Clark S; Saracco, James E; Schuster, Richard; Smith, Adam C.; Smith, Paul A; Solymos, Peter; Venier, Lisa A; Zuckerberg, Benjamin

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Year Published: 2019

The US Geological Survey’s Earth Mapping Resources Initiative (Earth MRI)—Providing framework geologic, geophysical, and elevation data to the nation’s critical mineral-bearing regions

New detailed mapping of the geologic resources of the Nation has the potential to significantly close the gap in the essential data needed to fuel a modern era of economic development and technological innovation, while at the same time dramatically enhancing our understanding of the fundamental way geology impacts everyday life, from the domestic...

Day, Warren C.; Drenth, Benjamin J.; McCafferty, Anne E.; Shah, Anjana K.; Ponce, David A.; Jones, James V.; Grauch, V. J.

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Year Published: 2019

Recovery planning in a dynamic system: Integrating uncertainty into a decision support tool for an endangered songbird

Along the Santa Clara River in California, populations of the federally and state-listed Least Bell's Vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus) are recovering from near extirpation. Habitat protection and restoration, as well as controlling rates of brood parasitism, are thought to be the primary drivers of this recovery. Continuing successful management of...

Stanton, Jessica; Marek, Jenny; Hall, Linnea S.; Kus, Barbara E.; Alvarado, Allison; Orr, Bruce K.; Morrissette, Eric; Riege, Laura; Thogmartin, Wayne E.

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
Salmon River
October 27, 2016

Salmon River in Southeast Alaska

Salmon River is one of the transboundary watersheds of Southeast Alaska.

Kashwitna River sonar on a bridge
October 10, 2016

Kashwitna River sonar on a bridge

Kashwitna River sonar on a bridge

Many Dolly Varden char and Arctic grayling underwater in the Agashashok River
September 30, 2016

Dolly Varden and Arctic grayling in the Agashashok River

Underwater photo of a large school of Dolly Varden char and Arctic grayling in the Agashashok River.  These fish were part of the Hydro-Ecology of Arctic Thawing (HEAT) project.

Two people stand on a coastal bluff wearing heavy coats and hoods to keep warm, with waves crashing in the distance.
September 18, 2016

Coastal bluff study site prep

Two scientists on the Arctic coastal bluff preparing a study location with cameras that they hope will run continuously, collecting images.

Polar bear appears to walk on top of rippled gray water. Just behind it are very large breaking waves below a gray-blue sky.
September 18, 2016

Polar bear walks across flooded barrier island during Arctic storm

Adult polar bear walking across a recently overwashed barrier island during a large Arctic storm in September 2016. The barrier island is offshore of Barter Island on Alaska’s north coast. Polar bears typically rest on the barrier islands during the day and transit to the "bone pile" on Barter Island in the evenings to feast on whale carcass remnants supplied by local

...
A shorebird walking in small rocks on a shore
September 17, 2016

Pacific Golden-Plover standing on rocks near Big Creek, Alaska

Pacific Golden-Plover standing on rocks near Big Creek, Alaska.

The Agashashok River and Asik watershed
September 15, 2016

Agashashok River and Asik watershed

The Agashashok River and Asik watershed

Scientists operate equipment in snow-covered area.
September 6, 2016

GPR and Broadband Electromagnetic Induction

USGS scientists conduct field work in the foothills of the Brooks Range in Alaska. Hydrologist Eric White (left) is collecting ground-penetrating radar (GPR). Research Hydrologist Martin Briggs (right) is collecting broadband electromagnetic induction data. The flowing water visible in the background is groundwater discharging at a spring. (October 2016)

Tyndall Glacier, Alaska
September 6, 2016

Tyndall Glacier in Taan Fiord, Alaska

Tyndall Glacier in Taan Fiord, Alaska, is a modern day remnant of the glaciers that once flowed over the Gulf of Alaska.

Example of thawing landscapes and thermokarst at our field sites
September 5, 2016

Example of thawing landscapes and thermokarst at our field sites

Example of thawing landscapes and thermokarst at our field sites

Scientist pours a dye in a pit to see how water moves through soil
September 3, 2016

Soil tracer applied on burned hillslope

Brian Ebel pours a dye tracer into a pit to observe how water moves through soils on a burned hillslope.

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

2020 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report

Filter Total Items: 255
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).

USGS science for a changing world logo
May 15, 2003

Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and their partners studying the largest on-land earthquake in North America in almost 150 years report new information that will help further safety-planning efforts for future large quakes, according to an article published in the May 16, 2003, edition of the journal Science.

USGS
May 15, 2003

Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and their partners studying the largest on-land earthquake in North America in almost 150 years report new information that will help further safety-planning efforts for future large quakes, according to an article published in the May 16, 2003, edition of the journal Science.

USGS science for a changing world logo
December 6, 2002

Standard fare in geology textbooks and school classrooms across the world is that the hot springs, geysers and volcanoes of Yellowstone National Park, Hawaii, Iceland, and many other volcanic regions were "created" by plumes of hot rock that rise from near the Earth’s core. New results from recently published U.S. Geological Survey research hint, astonishingly, that such plumes may not exist.

USGS science for a changing world logo
November 8, 2002

A ShakeMap portraying the variations in shaking intensity from the Nov. 3, 2002, 7.9-magnitude earthquake was released today by the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

USGS
November 8, 2002

A ShakeMap portraying the variations in shaking intensity from the Nov. 3, 2002, 7.9-magnitude earthquake was released today by the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. The map is the first ShakeMap produced for the state of Alaska and is considered a prototype.

USGS
November 7, 2002

Sunday’s magnitude 7.9 earthquake in central Alaska created a scar across the landscape for more than 145 miles, according to surveys conducted the past two days by geologists from the U.S. Geological Survey and the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Survey.

USGS
November 6, 2002

Sunday’s magnitude (M) 7.9 central Alaska earthquake was one of the largest recorded earthquakes in our Nation’s history. The epicenter of the Nov. 3 temblor was located approximately 75 miles (135 km) south of Fairbanks and 176 miles (283 km) north of Anchorage. 

USGS
October 25, 2002

On October 23, 2002, a strong magnitude (M) 6.7 earthquake occurred at 3:27 AM Local time 85 miles (135 km) south of Fairbanks and 172 miles (276 km) north of Anchorage. The earthquake was felt broadly, from Fairbanks in the north to Anchorage in the south, a distance of 255 miles. Because of the remote location, however, there was very little damage.

USGS
October 23, 2002

A new study by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) shows that the Castle Mountain fault in south-central Alaska may be ready to produce a strong magnitude 6 to 7 earthquake. The study, which examined the ancient earthquake history of the Castle Mountain fault, was just published in the October issue of the Geological Society of America Bulletin.

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.