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The volcanic islands making up the Azores Archipelago rise above sea from a prominent submarine topographic high (the “Azores Plateau”), marked by the 2000-m bathymetric contour. Specifically, the Azores Islands lie at the so-called “Azores Triple Junction” (ATJ), where the Eurasian, North American, and African (or Nubian) tectonic plates meet. In general terms, the ATJ is defined by the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) separating the North American plate from the other two, and the Azores–Gibraltar fault zone separating the Eurasian and African plates. In addition, the existence of a mantle plume (“hotspot) beneath Azores Plateau has been inferred in many previous investigations. Not surprisingly, because of its distinctive...
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Ground water provides much of the water supply for residents of Tooele Valley (fig. 1). The protection, development, and wise management of ground-water resources are important to support community growth and to ensure the continued availability of ground water for all users.The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with Tooele County, Tooele City, Grantsville City, the U.S. Army, and the State of Utah, has been studying the water resources of Tooele Valley since 1913 to define the quality and amount of water in the principal ground-water aquifers. The most recent studies in the 1990s have provided new insights into the hydrology of the valley. This fact sheet presents a synopsis of the recent studies and describes...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Fact Sheet
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The southwestern region of the United States is a land of extremes and contrasts. Elevations vary from below sea level in the Imperial Valley of California to mountain peaks approaching 4,000 meters. Landscapes are striking and variable and include mountains, foothills, canyons, deserts, plains, and rivers. The area is arid or semiarid and, depending on the location, may have mild winters and summers, periods of bitter cold, or intervals of intense heat. Climate is inextricably tied to water and its availability. Historically, water varied from abundant to sparse over the span of a year, and adaptations of native plants and animals reflect those extremes. Annual precipitation, usually in the form of rain, varies...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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We report on the development of a No-project alternative analysis (NPAA) or “business as usual” scenario with respect to a 20-year projection of 21 indicators of environmental and socioeconomic conditions in the Lake Tahoe Basin for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA). Our effort was inspired by earlier work that investigated the tradeoffs between an environmental and an economic objective. The NPAA study has implications for a longer term goal of building a Tahoe Decision Support System (TDSS) to assist the TRPA and other Basin agencies in assessing the outcomes of management strategies. The NPAA assumes no major deviations from current management practices or from recent environmental or societal trends...
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Water-quality data for discharges from 140 abandoned mines in the Bituminous and Anthracite Coalfields of Pennsylvania illustrate relations among pH, sulfate, and dissolved metal concentrations. The pH for the 140 samples ranged from 2.7 to 7.3, with two modes at pH 2.5 to 4 (acidic) and 6 to 7 (near neutral). Generally, flow rates were smaller and solute concentrations were greater for low-pH samples; flow rates increased with pH. Although the pH distribution was similar for the bituminous and anthracite subsets, the bituminous discharges had smaller median flow rates, greater concentrations of sulfate, iron, and aluminum, and smaller concentrations of barium and lead than anthracite discharges with the same pH...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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This report is the first in a series of three reports that provide information about high-frequency (HF) nutrient and biogeochemical monitoring in the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta of northern California (Delta). This first report provides an introduction to the reasons for and fundamental concepts behind collecting HF measurements, and describes the benefits associated with a real-time, continuous, HF, multi-parameter water quality monitoring station network that is co-located with flow stations. It then provides examples of how HF nutrient measurements have improved our understating of nutrient sources and cycling in aquatic systems worldwide, followed by specific examples from the Delta. These examples describe...
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Vertical deformation of extensional provinces varies significantly and in seemingly contradictory ways. Sparse but robust geodetic, seismic, and geologic observations in the Basin and Range province of the western United States indicate that immediately after an earthquake, vertical change primarily occurs as subsidence of the normal fault hanging wall. A few decades later, a ±100 km wide zone is symmetrically uplifted. The preserved topography of long-term rifting shows bent and tilted footwall flanks rising high above deep basins. We develop finite element models subjected to extensional and gravitational forces to study time-varying deformation associated with normal faulting. We replicate observations with a...
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The United States is an Arctic nation—Americans depend on the Arctic for biodiversity and climate regulation and for natural resources. America’s Arctic—Alaska—is at the forefront of rapid climate, environmental, and socio-economic changes that are testing the resilience and sustainability of communities and ecosystems. Research to increase fundamental understanding of these changes is needed to inform sound, science-based decision- and policy-making and to develop appropriate solutions for Alaska and the Arctic region as a whole. Created by an Act of Congress in 1984, and since 2010 a subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) in the Executive Office of the President, the Interagency Arctic...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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The State of Alaska’s Strategic and Critical Minerals (SCM) Assessment project, a State-funded Capital Improvement Project (CIP), is designed to evaluate Alaska’s statewide potential for SCM resources. The SCM Assessment is being implemented by the Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys (DGGS), and involves obtaining new airborne-geophysical, geological, and geochemical data. As part of the SCM Assessment, thousands of historical geochemical samples from DGGS, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and U.S. Bureau of Mines archives are being reanalyzed by DGGS using modern, quantitative, geochemical-analytical methods. The objective is to update the statewide geochemical database to more clearly identify areas...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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The Provo shoreline of Lake Bonneville formed following the Bonneville flood, and, based on previous dating, was formed during a period of overflow from about 17.5 to 15.0 cal. ka. In many places the Provo shoreline consists of a pair of distinct shorelines, one ∼3 m higher than the other. We present data from two cuts through double beaches to show that the upper beach is younger and represents sedimentation after a lake-level rise. In addition, the lower beach deposits are internally stratified by beds that suggest three more lake-level rises during its development. The Provo beach complex thus appears to have been built during rising lake levels, which can be explained by rises in the overflow threshold by sequential...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Boreas
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Measurements of in-situ magnetic susceptibility were compiled from mainly Precambrian crystalline basement rocks beneath the Colorado Plateau and ranges in Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico. The susceptibility meter used measures about 30 cm3 of rock and measures variations in the modal distribution of magnetic minerals that form a minor component volumetrically in these coarsely crystalline granitic to granodioritic rocks. Recent measurements include 50–150 measurements on each outcrop, and show that the distribution of magnetic susceptibilities is highly variable, multimodal and strongly non-Gaussian. Although the distribution of magnetic susceptibility is well known to be multifractal, the small number of data...
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This report is the second in a series of three reports that provide information about high-frequency (HF) nutrient and biogeochemical monitoring in the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta of northern California (Delta). The purpose of this report is to synthesize the data available from a nutrient and water-quality HF (about every 15 minutes) monitoring network operated by the U.S. Geological Survey in the northern Delta. In this report, we describe the network and focus on the purpose of each station. We then present and discuss the available data, at various timescales—first at the monthly, seasonal, and inter-annual timescales, and second, for comparison, at the tidal and event timescales. As expected, we determined...
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Degradation of streams and associated riparian habitat across the Missouri River Headwaters Basin has motivated several stream restoration projects across the watershed. Many of these projects install a series of beaver dam analogues (BDAs) to aggrade incised streams, elevate local water tables, and create natural surface water storage by reconnecting streams with their floodplains. Satellite imagery can provide a spatially continuous mechanism to monitor the effects of these in-stream structures on stream surface area. However, remote sensing-based approaches to map narrow (e.g., <5 m wide) linear features such as streams have been under-developed relative to efforts to map other types of aquatic systems, such...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Remote Sensing
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Potable ground-water supplies throughout the world are contaminated or threatened by advancing plumes containing radionuclides, metals, and organic compounds. Currently (1999), the most widely used method of ground-water remediation is a combination of extraction, ex-situ treatment, and discharge of the treated water, commonly known as pump and treat. Pump-and-treat methods are costly and often ineffective in meeting long-term protection standards (Travis and Doty, 1990; Gillham and Burris, 1992; National Research Council, 1994). This fact sheet describes a new and potentially cost-effective technology for removal of organic and inorganic contaminants from ground water. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is currently...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Fact Sheet
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State and local water-resource managers need modeling tools to help them manage and protect water-supply resources for both human consumption and ecological needs. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, has developed a decision-support tool to estimate the effects of reservoirs on natural streamflow. The Massachusetts Reservoir Simulation Tool is a model that simulates the daily water balance of a reservoir. The reservoir simulation tool provides estimates of daily outflows from reservoirs and compares the frequency, duration, and magnitude of the volume of outflows from reservoirs with estimates of the unaltered streamflow that would occur if no...
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Between 2010 and 2014, the U.S. Geological Survey completed a series of laboratory and field experiments designed to develop methodology to support the National Park Service’s long-term atmospheric pollutant monitoring efforts in parklands of Arctic Alaska. The goals of this research were to develop passive sampling methods that could be used for long-term monitoring of inorganic pollutants in remote areas of arctic parklands and characterize relations between wet and dry deposition of atmospheric pollutants to that of concentrations accumulated by mosses, specifically the stair-step, splendid feather moss, Hylocomium splendens. Mosses and lichens have been used by National Park Service managers as atmospheric pollutant...
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Most of the land-surface subsidence in the Houston-Galveston region, Texas, has occurred as a direct result of groundwater withdrawals for municipal supply, commercial and industrial use, and irrigation that depressured and dewatered the Chicot and Evangeline aquifers, thereby causing compaction of the aquifer sediments, mostly in the fine-grained silt and clay layers. This report, prepared by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the Harris-Galveston Subsidence District, City of Houston, Fort Bend Subsidence District, Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District, and Brazoria County Groundwater Conservation District, is one in an annual series of reports depicting water-level altitudes and water-level changes...
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Domestic wells that are not safeguarded by regular water-quality testing provide drinking water for 79 percent of the residents of Geauga County, in northeastern Ohio. Since 1978, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has worked cooperatively with the Board of Commissioners and Geauga County Planning Commission to monitor the quality of groundwater in four commonly used aquifers in county—the glacial deposits, the Pottsville Formation, the Cuyahoga Group, and the Berea Sandstone. A 33-percent growth in population from 1980 to 2009 increased the potential for humans to influence groundwater resources by withdrawing more groundwater, disposing of more human waste near the land surface, treating an expanded network of...
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Ecosystem science is critical to making informed decisions about natural resources that can sustain our Nation’s economic and environmental well-being. Resource managers and policymakers are faced with countless decisions each year at local, regional, and national levels on issues as diverse as renewable and nonrenewable energy development, agriculture, forestry, water supply, and resource allocations at the urbanrural interface. The urgency for sound decisionmaking is increasing dramatically as the world is being transformed at an unprecedented pace and in uncertain directions. Environmental changes are associated with natural hazards, greenhouse gas emissions, and increasing demands for water, land, food, energy,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Circular
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The European Community Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) was established to provide guidelines for monitoring the quality of marine ecosystems. Monitoring the status of marine environments is traditionally based on macrofauna surveys, for which standardised methods have been established. Benthic foraminifera are also good indicators of environmental status because of their fast turnover rates, high degree of specialisation, and the preservation of dead assemblages in the fossil record. In spite of the growing interest in foraminiferal bio-monitoring during the last decades, no standardised methodology has been proposed until today. The aim of the FOraminiferal BIo-MOnitoring (FOBIMO) expert workshop, held...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Marine Micropaleontology