USGS - science for a changing world

GMEG - Geology, Minerals, Energy, & Geophysics Science Center

About us
A faulted alluvium deposit A geologic map Rare Earth Element oxidesA geothermal energy plant A geophysical map

Scientists with the GMEG Science Center work on issues related to geologic processes and mineral and energy resource potential, primarily in the western United States. The science staff includes geologists, geophysicists, geochemists, biologists, GIS and remote sensing specialists who are located in offices in several states. Learn more about our scientific capabilities.

Select a topic below for project and publications information

Geology

Projects

View Selected Geology Publications

A faulted alluvium deposit A geologic map 3D cross-section of faults
Minerals

Projects

View Selected Minerals Publications

Collecting samples for analysis Rare Earth Element oxides Sampling caliche material
Energy

Projects

More projects and publications from the Energy Resources program

Circum-arctic Resource Appraisal A geothermal power plant Image of transmission lines
Geophysics

Projects

View Selected geophysics publications

A geophysical map Collecting data on the ground Aeromagnetic survey
Contact us
Science Center Director: Colin Williams Office (650) 329-4881 - Cell (650) 888-3755 colin@usgs.gov
Deputy Director: Tom Frost (509) 368-3103 tfrost@usgs.gov
Administrative Officer: Kimberly Jenkins (509) 368-3104 kjenkins@usgs.gov
Outreach Coordinator: Dave Frank (509) 368-3107 dfrank@usgs.gov

GMEG Science Center staff directory

Answers for general science questions can be found at http://ask.usgs.gov/ or by calling 1-888-ASK-USGS.

Additional contact information can be retrieved from the USGS Electronic Directory.

News & PubsNews & Publications

Global copper consumption

Global Undiscovered Copper Resources Estimated at 3.5 Billion Metric Tons

The first-ever, geologically-based global assessment of undiscovered copper resources estimates that 3.5 billion metric tons of copper may exist worldwide. The U.S. Geological Survey outlined 225 areas for undiscovered copper in 11 regions of the world.  The amount of undiscovered global copper estimated by the USGS would be enough to satisfy current world demand for more than 150 years. According to the assessment, South America is the dominant source for both identified and undiscovered copper resources.  Particularly important, several regions of Asia including China have a large potential for undiscovered copper resources.

U.S. Geological Survey researcher Noah Athens secures a magnetometer pack onto Stanford graduate student Melissa Pandika, who blogged the team’s first year’s research for USGS in Surprise Valley, Modoc County, Calif., in 2012.

Self-Flying Planes Aid Geothermal, Seismic Exploration

Characterizing complex seismic and geothermal systems and understanding the relationships between them is challenging, largely because it can be difficult to see them. Not only are they in remote areas, but many are also deep underground, showing no surface trace except for an occasional hot spring. USGS geophysicist Jonathan Glen, in cooperation with scientists and engineers from NASA, Carnegie-Mellon University and Central Washington University, is working to address these challenges. They are using an experimental system called payload-directed flight (PDF) to study and map the underground fracture and fault systems of Surprise Valley, Calif., a promising target for geothermal exploration and development in the far northeast corner of the state. They hope to complete their two-year study not only with comprehensive geophysical data from Surprise Valley itself, but an efficient research strategy for exploring geothermal systems in comparable terrain throughout the world.

Schematic of the Colorado River aquifer

GMEG geologist Kyle House recognized by the Geological Society of America

In a recent GSA announcement the paper “Stratigraphic evidence for the role of lake spillover in the inception of the lower Colorado River in southern Nevada and western Arizona,” by P. Kyle House with Phil A. Pearthree and Michael E. Perkins, is the 2013 recipient of the prestigious Kirk Bryan Award for Research Excellence. The paper describes geologic evidence supporting a model of lake-spillover as a primary mechanism in the origin of the course of the lower Colorado River downstream of Grand Canyon. The results of the research provide a parsimonious solution for part of a problem that has been vexing geologists for more than a century...the age of Grand Canyon. By unraveling key details in the stratigraphic record of the river’s first arrival downstream from the canyon, House and his co-authors have provided new and strong support for previous arguments for a 5 to 6 Million year age of the modern course of the lower Colorado River and have presented evidence for a downstream river integration process involving a stair-stepping series of filling and spilling lakes. This new evidence for the nature of the river’s origin downstream from Grand Canyon has revitalized interest in developing a more complete understanding of the complete geologic history of the lower Colorado River, and its linkage to climatic and geologic change, and has led to a new regional geologic mapping project being led by House that will focus the river.

Map of the Inner and Outer Melanesian Arcs, Papua New Guinea.

Porphyry Copper Assessment of Southeast Asia and Melanesia

The U.S. Geological Survey collaborated with member countries of the Coordinating Committee for Geoscience Programmes in East and Southeast Asia (CCOP) on an assessment of the porphyry copper resources of Southeast Asia and Melanesia as part of a global mineral resource assessment. The region hosts world-class porphyry copper deposits and underexplored areas that are likely to contain undiscovered deposits. Examples of known porphyry copper deposits include Batu Hijau and Grasberg in Indonesia; Panguna, Frieda River, and Ok Tedi in Papua New Guinea; and Namosi in Fiji. View all products from the Global Mineral Resource Assessment project.

Composite satellite image of integrated water vapor (IWV) from Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) depicting substantial plume capable of generating heavy rainfall and regional flooding

BIGFOOT: BIG-storm FOOTprint on California and future hazards

Through a series of geomorphic process maps highlighting landscape responses to such big storms, GMEG scientists aim to tie the spatial patterns of geology and tectonics, landsliding and erosion, fluvial and alluvial responses, and onshore/offshore records of sedimentation.

 

 

 

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