Cyanobacterial blooms in eutrophic inland waters are a worldwide concern. Simple and fast detection methods would greatly aid water managers in issuing proper warnings for harmful algae.
Alaska is a major producer of base and precious metals and has a high potential for additional undiscovered mineral resources. However, discovery is hindered by Alaska’s vast size, remoteness, and rugged terrain. Hyperspectral remote sensing is one method that can be used to rapidly acquire data about the distributions of surficial materials, including different types of bedrock and ground cover.
Color views of the Moon have revealed substantial distributions of water on the lunar surface in the form of molecules trapped in minerals. This discovery has fundamentally changed the prevailing view of the Moon as a sterile object. The USGS is supporting further analyses of lunar water by producing a high-precision cartographic mosaic from data collected by the NASA Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) instrument. These products include geodetically controlled, near-global maps of the lunar surface in visible to near-infrared wavelengths.
In the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, the use of winter cover crops on agricultural land has been identified as a priority conservation practice for improving soil health and reducing the loss of nutrients and sediment from farmland. Winter cover crops (such as rye, barley, wheat, and radish) are planted in the fall, following the harvest of summer row crops (such as corn, soybean, vegetables). The cover crops are typically killed the following spring to release nutrients for the subsequent cash crop.
The BLM/USGS Mojave Desert soils and sediments project is investigating the mineralogy of the Clark Mountain Range, California, for associations of minerals with human health concerns and economic importance. Soils, rock lithology, and dry lake surfaces are well exposed for mapping using image spectrometer data. These lands have a wide variety of surface materials that are identifiable using spectral features unique to each mineral. Mineral suites are directly relatable to mineral resources, such as rare earth deposits, hydrothermal systems, and evaporate (gypsum) dry lake deposits. Hum
As part of the USGS Changing Arctic Ecosystem (CAE) Initiative, the Alaska Science Center is conducting research to assess the distribution and nutrient value of halophytic graminoid “grazing lawn” habitat across the Arctic Coastal Plain (ACP) of Alaska. These grazing lawns are important habitat for Pacific Black Brant and Lesser Snow and Greater White Fronted Geese. The timing of the resource’s seasonal nutrient abundance as related to peak hatch and molting periods is thought to be crucial to reproductive and migratory success.
The effective implementation of agricultural conservation practices is critical to the improvement of water quality in the Chesapeake Bay region, where non-point sources of nutrients, sediment, and agrichemicals are major contributors to water quality impairment. The use of winter cover crops, for example, has been identified as a key conservation management practice for reducing the loss of nitrogen and sediment from agricultural lands. However, the effectiveness of conservation practices varies widely depending on landscape, climate, and agronomic management.
Algal blooms cause extensive problems in lakes worldwide, including human and animal health risks, anoxia and fish kills, and contaminated potable water. Cyanobacterial blooms are a particular concern because of their dense biomass, toxins, and taste and odor. The Cyanobacteria Assessment Network (CyAN) for freshwater systems project is an interagency collaboration between the EPA, NASA, NOAA, and the USGS.
USGS, Northern Arizona University (NAU), and National Park Service (NPS) scientists are collectively evaluating cutting-edge remote sensing methods to detect invasive species that threaten ecosystem stability. The researchers are using a suite of remote sensing tools that range from sensors aboard Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) to high-resolution satellite imagery to detect buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare), a non-native perennial grass that is rapidly spreading across NPS lands and adjacent areas in the Sonoran Desert in the southwestern United States.
The USGS Mineral Resources Program (MRP) is using hyperspectral remote sensing at a variety of scales to characterize rocks and soils in selected areas of Alaska using laboratory, field-based, and airborne spectrometers. The advanced sensors can identify and map specific minerals. These mineral maps are being linked to geologic field surveys, rock samples, and chemical analyses to better characterize known deposits and identify prospective ground for additional mineral resources in steep, remote terrain.