The USGS presently operates 102 streamgaging stations distributed throughout Alaska. As many of these stations are quite remote, considerable effort is needed to collect periodic measurements and maintain gages. Thus, developing remote sensing methods for measuring streamflow in this vast, largely inaccessible State is valuable for many reasons.
The potential for gravitational and explosion-driven collapse is one of the greatest hazards of lava dome eruptions. Topographic modeling of active lava domes is useful for detecting changes that may influence collapse or explosive activity. It also provides constraints on the volume of potentially collapsible material, a key parameter of effective hazard assessment.
The NPS, Arctic Inventory and Monitoring Network (ARCN) is using 35-mm aerial photography to monitor the growth of permafrost thaw slumps in the five national parks of northern Alaska. These slumps can grow for a decade or longer and shed large amounts of sediment into nearby rivers and lakes. ARCN scientists have obtained overlapping, oblique and vertical, digital aerial photographs of 15 slumps taken from a helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft in a 4 to 7 year span between 2008 and 2016.
The USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory utilizes oblique and vertical aerial photography to monitor topographic changes at Mount St. Helens volcano.
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory continues to rely heavily on satellite and airborne remote sensing data for monitoring and research of Kilauea Volcano’s ongoing summit and East Rift Zone eruptions.
Groundwater research is often hindered by the scarcity of information about the subsurface, leading to uncertainty in groundwater model predictions and resource management decisions. Borehole and well data, where available, represent invaluable but spatially limited windows into the hydrogeologic conditions at depth, and it can be difficult to assess how conditions change between these points. To fill in the gaps, the USGS has been using airborne electromagnetic (AEM) methods as part of a number of groundwater-resource and related studies. AEM data can be used to develop spatially compre
At roughly 50,000 mi2, the Yukon-Kuskokwim River Delta forms a vast, flat expanse in western Alaska that is a critical northern breeding and staging habitat for migrating waterbirds and hosts more than 35 indigenous villages. Due to its orientation, shallow bathymetry, and low relief, the delta is highly vulnerable to coastal flooding associated with storm surges, which can reach miles inland. The region also appears to be subsiding, which further exacerbates flooding concerns. As a result, the villages in the area are some of the most imperiled communities in Alaska.
How often does the Fairweather Fault break in large earthquakes along the outer coast of Glacier Bay National Park in southeastern Alaska? Researchers at the USGS Alaska Science Center are mapping active surface traces of the Fairweather Fault to identify sites that may answer this question and reveal the frequency and size of past large earthquakes. By assessing past earthquake activity of the Fairweather Fault, scientists hope to improve the USGS National Seismic Hazard Map for the southeastern Alaska region.
The USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory utilizes oblique and vertical aerial photography to monitor topographic changes at Mount St. Helens volcano. During the 2004–2008 eruption of Mount St.
Airborne, surface, and borehole geophysical surveys were conducted as a major component of a groundwater resource exploration study of arid basins at Fort Irwin National Training Center (NTC) in the Mojave Desert in eastern California. To plan for the long-term water availability at the NTC, water resources are being evaluated in undeveloped groundwater basins underlying the NTC.