Geology

The New Madrid, Missouri Earthquakes, 1811-1812

 

When one thinks of earthquakes in the U.S., we often think of the west coast. But, on a U.S. earthquake hazards map, there is a big bull’s eye in the Midwest along the Mississippi River, centered on the town of New Madrid, Missouri. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) this area, the New Madrid seismic zone has “ repeatedly produced sequences of major earthquakes, including several of magnitude 7 to 8, over the past 4,500 years.”

The most famous New Madrid earthquakes occurred from December 16, 1811, through February 7, 1812. The three main earthquakes measured 7.3-7.5 on the Richter scale. Aftershocks persisted through 1813.

 

According to the USGS:

1811, December 16, 08:15 UTC Northeast Arkansas – the first main shock

2:15 am local time

Magnitude ~7.5

This powerful earthquake was felt widely over the entire eastern United States. People were awakened by the shaking in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Charleston, South Carolina. Perceptible ground shaking was in the range of one to three minutes depending upon the observers location. The ground motions were described as most alarming and frightening in places like Nashville, Tennessee, and Louisville, Kentucky. Reports also describe houses and other structures being severely shaken with many chimneys knocked down. In the epicentral area the ground surface was described as in great convulsion with sand and water ejected tens of feet into the air liquefaction).

 

During the February 7 earthquake, “Large waves (seiches) were generated on the Mississippi River by seismically-induced ground motions deforming the riverbed. Local uplifts of the ground and water waves moving upstream gave the illusion that the river was flowing upstream. Ponds of water also were agitated noticeably.”

The New Madrid seismic zone is underlain by the Reelfoot Rift, a large fault zone with mainly horizontal movement. It is speculated that this rift was formed about 750 million years ago during the breakup of the supercontinent Rodinia. The Reelfoot Rift failed to split the continent, but remains a weak area in Earth’s crust. From time to time, pressure from the movement of tectonic plates causes movement on this weak area resulting in earthquakes.

The USGS “concludes that the New Madrid Seismic zone is at significant risk for damaging earthquakes that must be accounted for in urban planning and development. A fundamental problem is the lack of knowledge concerning the physical processes that govern earthquake recurrence in the Central US, and whether large earthquakes will continue to occur at the same intervals as the previous three clusters of events. ”

To read more, including eyewitness accounts, and a summary of 1811-1812 New Madrid earthquakes sequence, go to:

https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/events/1811-1812newmadrid/

 

Related stories:

Where the Next Big American Earthquake and Tsunami Might Occur

The Great Arizona-Sonora Earthquake of 1887

 

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Case Studies of Flood Impacts to Development on Active Alluvial Fans in Central Arizona

The Arizona Geological Survey has made available for free download an new report on alluvial fans near the Phoenix area. The report shows how development on the fans fared.
The full report may be downloaded here. The report contains many photos from pre-development through developed stage.

Here is a summary from AZGS:

Flooding issues and drainage problems associated with historical development on four active alluvial fan study sites in central Arizona were examined to document the effectiveness of engineered flood protection measures and floodplain management policies. The study sites are located in the metropolitan Phoenix area and include (1) Ahwatukee-City of Phoenix, (2) Pima Canyon-City of Phoenix/Guadalupe, (3) Reata Pass-Scottsdale, and (4) Lost Dog-Scottsdale. The four study sites have experienced different types of urbanization, including master-planned communities, single lot residential development, public transportation and utility networks, and major engineered drainage structures such as channels, detention basins, culverts, and dams. The engineered drainage systems at the four historical alluvial fan study sites have performed adequately during the 30-year period of record, at least with respect to controlling the flow path uncertainty and sedimentation normally associated with active alluvial fans. Significantly, no homes have been damaged by alluvial fan flooding at any of the study sites, and no avulsions* have occurred in the developed portions of the alluvial fans. Two floods exceeding the 100-year design storm occurred on two of the fans, but many of the flood control measures on the other fan sites remain untested by large floods. The absence of flood damages is likely due to lack of debris flow potential at any of the sites, low rates of sediment yield at the fan sites, channelization and encroachment that increase sediment transport off the fan surface, and to some degree, the relatively short period of record since development first occurred.

*Avulsions: An abrupt change in the course of a stream that forms the boundary between two parcels of land resulting in the loss of part of the land of one landowner and a consequent increase in the land of another.

Check the Article Index page for more stories of Arizona geology.

Nitrogen in rocks identified as major plant fertilizer not considered by climate models

Organic nitrogen compounds such as ammonia (NH3) act as plant fertilizers. Robust plant growth consumes more atmospheric carbon dioxide during the process of photosynthesis. However, atmospheric nitrogen (N2) is relatively inert. It is converted to organic nitrogen compounds by bacteria in the top soil layers. (See nitrogen fixation) Climate models have assumed that the atmosphere is the only source of nitrogen and have therefore underestimated its fertilization effect and also underestimated the capability of plants to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. New studies show that much nitrogen comes from rocks, some already in useable organic form. Weathering of rocks releases this organic nitrogen.

“A considerable amount of the nitrogen in igneous and sedimentary rocks exists as ammonium ions held within the lattice structures of silicate minerals. In sedimentary rocks, the ammonium is held by secondary silicate minerals; in igneous rocks, the ammonium is contained largely within potassium-bearing primary minerals. Analyses indicated that most of the nitrogen in igneous rocks, and from one-tenth to two-thirds of that in sedimentary rocks (shales) occurred as fixed ammonium.” (Source)

Nitrate deposits in arid and semi-arid regions provide another source of nitrogen.

“Nitrogen bearing rocks are globally distributed and comprise a potentially large pool of nitrogen in nutrient cycling that is frequently neglected because of a lack of routine analytical methods for quantification. Nitrogen in rock originates as organically bound nitrogen associated with sediment, or in thermal waters representing a mixture of sedimentary, mantle, and meteoric sources of nitrogen.” (Source)

A new study, reported by Science Daily, concerns research conducted by University of California – Davis published April 6, 2018.

“For centuries, the prevailing science has indicated that all of the nitrogen on Earth available to plants comes from the atmosphere. But a study from the University of California, Davis, indicates that more than a quarter comes from Earth’s bedrock.”

“The discovery could greatly improve climate change projections, which rely on understanding the carbon cycle. This newly identified source of nitrogen could also feed the carbon cycle on land, allowing ecosystems to pull more emissions out of the atmosphere, the authors said.”

“Geology might have a huge control over which systems can take up carbon dioxide and which ones don’t.”

“While there were hints that plants could use rock-derived nitrogen, this discovery shatters the paradigm that the ultimate source of available nitrogen is the atmosphere. Nitrogen is both the most important limiting nutrient on Earth and a dangerous pollutant, so it is important to understand the natural controls on its supply and demand. Humanity currently depends on atmospheric nitrogen to produce enough fertilizer to maintain world food supply. A discovery of this magnitude will open up a new era of research on this essential nutrient.”

Study citation: B. Z. Houlton, S. L. Morford, R. A. Dahlgren. Convergent evidence for widespread rock nitrogen sources in Earth’s surface environment. Science, 2018; 360 (6384): 58 DOI: 10.1126/science.aan4399.

Looks like “climate science” is still not settled. For instance, a 2003 study published in the same Science journal claimed, “there will not be enough nitrogen available to sustain the high carbon uptake scenarios.” Investor’s Business Daily opines: “with more nitrogen available, plant life might be able to absorb more CO2 than climate scientists have been estimating, which means the planet won’t warm as much, despite mankind’s pumping CO2 into the atmosphere.”

 

See also:

Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect

An examination of the relationship between temperature and carbon dioxide

A Simple Question for Climate Alarmists

The men, mines, and geology of the Verde Mining District, Jerome, Arizona

From the Arizona Geological Survey:

The town of Jerome roosts on the slopes of Cleopatra Hill in Yavapai County, Arizona; and is steeped in a rich history of copper, zinc, gold, and silver ore mining from an ancient volcanogenic massive sulfide deposit that formed on a sea floor more than 1.74 billion years ago.

Author, geologist, and mining historian David Briggs’ new contributed report, ‘History of the Verde Mining District, Jerome, Arizona’, reviews the mining history of Jerome from the Spanish discovery of copper in A.D. 1583 at what is now the United Verde Mine site to recent remediation efforts of Freeport McMoRan c. 2010.

The United Verde Mine was the most prolific producer in the district. Between 1883 and 1975 it produced nearly 3 billion pounds of copper; 52 million pounds of zinc; 1.3 million troy oz. of gold; and 48.3 million troy Oz. of silver.

Snapshot of the geology of the United Verde Mining District. The oldest stratigraphic units exposed in the Verde Mining District are a part of the early Proterozoic Ash Creek Group, which is characterized by at least two mafic to felsic cycles of largely submarine volcanics that are stratigraphically overlain by a thick sequence of volcaniclastic sediments deposited along the steep slopes of an ancient intraoceanic island arc (Anderson, 1989 and Gustin, 1988). Evidence for subaqueous deposition of these units is supported by the presence of pillow basalts and hyaloclastitic (quench) textures, presence of black-smoker-type massive sulfide and exhalative chert, and turbidites and textures suggesting soft sediment deformation (Lindholm, 1991). The Ash Creek Group was deposited in a deep water oceanic environment, which is similar to the Izu-Bonin-Mariana arc, a modern day analog located in the western Pacific Ocean (D. Briggs, 2018).

High-grade ore -10-20% copper – was transported directly to the Jerome smelter, while low-grade ore was first treated on the hillslope by heap roasting with cordwood; a practice that undoubtedly reduced air quality.

By 1922, the economy of mining and falling ore grade caused the United Verde mine to begin open pit mining to complement ongoing underground workings.

Mine fires plagued the United Verde operation, killing miners, caving ground, hampering production and causing the 1,000-foot No.2 shaft to be abandoned.  Efforts to extinguish the mine fires using water or carbon dioxide failed because there was no way to prevent oxygen from filtering into the burn area. Uncontrolled burning of underground ore seams would at times fill the open pit with dense smoke.

The roles of James Douglas, Eugene Jerome, James Thomas and William Andrews Clark in establishing the United Mine Verde Mine and the towns of Jerome and Clarksdale are described in detail.

By 1920, the Jerome mining camp was a polyglot village with more than 20 nationalities, including: Americans, Chinese, Irish, Italian, Mexican, and people of Slavic origin. Life in the camp was primitive, austere, and the air, water, environment and sanitary conditions were degraded by smelting ore and deforestation of the surrounding Black Hills. Labor problems during WW1 were managed by forcing the ringleaders into cattle cars and marooning them in the Mojave Desert outside Needles, California.

By the 1950s, ore production was falling, forcing those living in Jerome to slowly transition from mining to a small but burgeoning tourism economy.  The Jerome Historical Society, founded in 1953, worked with the local mine companies, business leaders, and the community to strategize a move from mining to tourism bolstered by artisans and craftsman.

In the final section of this exemplary history, the author revisits recent reclamation efforts and explores the future of mining in the Verde mining district.

Citation. Briggs, D.F., 2018, History of the Verde Mining District, Jerome, Arizona. Arizona Geological Survey Contributed Report CR-18-D, 85 p.    http://repository.azgs.az.gov/uri_gin/azgs/dlio/1877

 

See my post on the Jerome district:

https://wryheat.wordpress.com/2010/01/11/ancient-undersea-volcano-in-arizona/

 

Tuvalu and other Pacific islands resist sea level rise and add land area

Climate alarmists have long been predicting that global warming induced sea level rise would make low-lying Pacific islands disappear and cause thousands of “climate refugees” to seek new homes. Here are some examples:

Smithsonian.com, August, 2004: Will Tuvalu Disappear Beneath the Sea? Global warming threatens to swamp a small island nation.

Mother Jones, December, 2009: What Happens When Your Country Drowns?

Washington Post, August, 2014: Has the era of the ‘climate change refugee’ begun?

Bloomberg, November, 2017: A Tiny Island Prepares the World for a Climate Refugee Crisis.

The University of Arizona has been complicit in this hype; see my Wryheat post: University of Arizona dances with sea level.

These alarmist claims have not come to pass because of the geologic processes that build these islands.

A new paper published in Nature Communications on Feb. 9, 2018, shows that despite sea level rise, most islands are increasing in land area.

A University of Auckland study (Patterns of island change and persistence offer alternate adaptation pathways for atoll nations, Paul S. Kench, Murray R. Ford & Susan D. Owen) examined changes in the geography of Tuvalu’s nine atolls and 101 reef islands between 1971 and 2014, using aerial photographs and satellite imagery. The paper claims that local sea level has risen at twice the global average (~3.90 + 0.4 mm.yr-1). That translates to about six inches over the 43-year period. However, the study found eight of the atolls and almost three-quarters of the islands grew during the study period, increasing Tuvalu’s total land area by 2.9 percent, even though sea levels in the country rose at twice the global average. (Read Full paper in Nature).

Here is figure 3 from that paper followed by its caption:

Caption for Tuvalu fig 3 (ha = hectares): Examples of island change and dynamics in Tuvalu from 1971 to 2014.

A Nanumaga reef platform island (301 ha) increased in area 4.7 ha (1.6%) and remained stable on its reef platform.

B Fangaia island (22.4 ha), Nukulaelae atoll, increased in area 3.1 ha (13.7%) and remained stable on reef rim.

C Fenualango island (14.1 ha), Nukulaelae atoll rim, increased in area 2.3 ha (16%). Note smaller island on left Teafuafatu (0.29 ha), which reduced in area 0.15 ha (49%) and had significant lagoonward movement.

D Two smaller reef islands on Nukulaelae reef rim. Tapuaelani island, (0.19 ha) top left, increased in area 0.21 ha (113%) and migrated lagoonward. Kalilaia island, (0.52 ha) bottom right, reduced in area 0.45 ha (85%) migrating substantially lagoonward.

E Teafuone island (1.37 ha) Nukufetau atoll, increased in area 0.04 ha (3%). Note lateral migration of island along reef platform. Yellow lines represent the 1971 shoreline, blue lines represent the 1984 shoreline, green lines represent the 2006 shoreline and red lines represent the 2014 shoreline.

 

The reason that these islands are gaining area is that as the sea rises, coral reefs grow higher and trap coral debris and sand to build up the island. The science of coral reef atolls is not new. This process was first described by Charles Darwin in 1842: The structure and distribution of coral reefs. Being the first part of the geology of the voyage of the Beagle, under the command of Capt. Fitzroy, R.N. during the years 1832 to 1836. London: Smith Elder and Co. (Link to Darwin’s full description).

This figure from Darwin’s paper shows that coral atolls originate around a volcanic island or seamount. As sea level rises (or land sinks) the corals grow to remain in shallow water and the coral debris and sand cause an atoll island to form. That the corals were able to overcome a recent six-inch rise in sea level may not seem very much, but remember that these islands have been around a long time and dealt with a 400-foot rise in sea level since the depths of the last glacial epoch.

The findings of the new paper cited above support previous studies. For instance:

Kench et al., 2015, Coral islands defy sea-level rise over the past century: Records from a central Pacific atoll, Geological Society of America, in Geology Magazine, March 2015. (Source)

“Funafuti Atoll, in the tropical Pacific Ocean, has experienced some of the highest rates of sea-level rise (~5.1 + 0.7 mm/yr), totaling ~0.30 + 0.04 m over the past 60 yr. We analyzed six time slices of shoreline position over the past 118 yr at 29 islands of Funafuti Atoll to determine their physical response to recent sea-level rise. Despite the magnitude of this rise, no islands have been lost, the majority have enlarged, and there has been a 7.3% increase in net island area over the past century (A.D. 1897–2013). There is no evidence of heightened erosion over the past half-century as sea-level rise accelerated. Reef islands in Funafuti continually adjust their size, shape, and position in response to variations in boundary conditions, including storms, sediment supply, as well as sea level. Results suggest a more optimistic prognosis for the habitability of atoll nations and demonstrate the importance of resolving recent rates and styles of island change to inform adaptation strategies.”

See also:

The Sea Level Scam

UPDATE: A new paper published 19 September 2018 finds: 

Over the past decades, atoll islands exhibited no widespread sign of physical destabilization
in the face of sea-level rise. A reanalysis of available data, which cover
30 Pacific and Indian Ocean atolls including 709 islands, reveals that no atoll lost
land area and that 88.6% of islands were either stable or increased in area, while
only 11.4% contracted. Atoll islands affected by rapid sea-level rise did not show a
distinct behavior compared to islands on other atolls. Island behavior correlated
with island size, and no island smaller than 10 ha decreased in size. This threshold
could be used to define the minimum island size required for human occupancy
and to assess atoll countries and territories’ vulnerability to climate change. Beyond
emphasizing the major role of climate drivers in causing substantial changes in the
configuration of islands, this reanalysis of available data indicates that these drivers
explain subregional variations in atoll behavior and within-atoll variations in island
and shoreline (lagoon vs. ocean) behavior, following atoll-specific patterns.
Increasing human disturbances, especially land reclamation and human structure
construction, operated on atoll-to-shoreline spatial scales, explaining marked
within-atoll variations in island and shoreline behavior. Collectively, these findings
highlight the heterogeneity of atoll situations. Further research needs include
addressing geographical gaps (Indian Ocean, Caribbean, north-western Pacific
atolls), using standardized protocols to allow comparative analyses of island and
shoreline behavior across ocean regions, investigating the role of ecological
drivers, and promoting interdisciplinary approaches. Such efforts would assist in
anticipating potential future changes in the contributions and interactions of key
drivers. Read paper: http://sci-hub.tw/10.1002/wcc.557

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

American Mineral Production for 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey has just released its annual summary of non-fuel mineral production in the U.S. for 2017. The estimated total value of domestically-mined, non-fuel minerals in the United States was $75.2 billion, a 6% increase from 2016.

The estimated value of metals production increased 12% to $26.3 billion. Principal contributors to the total value of metal mine production in 2017 were gold (38%), copper (30%), iron ore (12%), and zinc (8%).

The total value of industrial minerals production was $48.9 billion, a 3% increase from that of 2016. The main industrial minerals were crushed stone (31%), cement (20%), and construction sand and gravel (16%).

These mineral materials were, in turn, consumed by downstream industries to produce an estimated value of $2.94 trillion for the U.S. economy in 2017, a 3.5% increase from 2016. If you add in manufacturing which uses imported mineral products as well, the value of non-fuel minerals to the U.S. gross domestic product was $19.3 trillion in 2017.

Nevada captured first place in U.S. non-fuel mineral mining in 2017 with a production value of $8.68 billion, mainly from Gold.

Arizona was the second largest producer with a production value of $6.61, mainly from copper. Mike Conway of the Arizona Geological Survey summed up the Arizona 2017 highlights as follows:

1st in copper production with ~ 68% of domestic production.

2nd in gemstone production after Oregon and ahead of Idaho.

5th in producing sand and gravel for construction.

Other industrial minerals produced in Arizona in 2017: gypsum, dimension stone, clay, zeolites, bentonite, perlite, and salt.

6th in production of zeolites, and the only producer of chabazite.

Arizona joins six other states involved in helium production.

Arizona is one of five states with molybdenum production.

Arizona is a leader in Rhenium production with four of the six operations in the U.S.

The U.S. Geological Survey notes:

In 2017, U.S. production of 13 mineral commodities was valued at more than $1 billion each. These were, in decreasing order of value, crushed stone, gold, cement, copper, construction sand and gravel, industrial sand and gravel, iron ore, lime, zinc, phosphate rock, salt, soda ash, and clays (all types).

In 2017, 11 States each produced more than $2 billion worth of nonfuel mineral commodities. These States were, in descending order of production value, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Alaska, California, Minnesota, Florida, Utah, Missouri, Michigan, and Wyoming.

The US Geological Survey report shows that the U.S. is 100% reliant on imports for 22 minerals.

 

A note on reserves and resources from the U.S. Geological Survey:

Reserves data are dynamic. They may be reduced as ore is mined and (or) the feasibility of extraction diminishes, or more commonly, they may continue to increase as additional deposits (known or recently discovered) are developed, or currently exploited deposits are more thoroughly explored and (or) new technology or economic variables improve their economic feasibility. Reserves may be considered a working inventory of mining companies’ supplies of an economically extractable mineral commodity. As such, the magnitude of that inventory is necessarily limited by many considerations, including cost of drilling, taxes, price of the mineral commodity being mined, and the demand for it. Reserves will be developed to the point of business needs and geologic limitations of economic ore grade and tonnage. For example, in 1970, identified and undiscovered world copper resources were estimated to contain 1.6 billion metric tons of copper, with reserves of about 280 million tons of copper. Since then, almost 520 million tons of copper have been produced worldwide, but world copper reserves in 2017 were estimated to be 790 million tons of copper, more than double those of 1970, despite the depletion by mining of more than the original estimated reserves.

Future supplies of minerals will come from reserves and other identified resources, currently undiscovered resources in deposits that will be discovered in the future, and material that will be recycled from current in use stocks of minerals or from minerals in waste disposal sites. Undiscovered deposits of minerals constitute an important consideration in assessing future supplies.

You can read the entire 200-page report, MINERAL COMMODITY SUMMARIES 2018, at

https://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/mcs/2018/mcs2018.pdf

The report gives details of the status of 84 mineral commodities.

See also:

Coal – A Possible New Source of Rare Earth Elements

Critical mineral resources of the United States

Coal – A Possible New Source of Rare Earth Elements

The US Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has identified high concentrations of rare earth elements (REE) in coal samples collected from several American coal basins and is doing research to see if these minerals are economically recoverable.

According to the Energy Business Review, samples

were collected from the Illinois, Northern Appalachian, Central Appalachian, Rocky Mountain Coal Basins, and the Pennsylvania Anthracite regions. The samples were found to have high REE concentrations greater than 300 parts per million (ppm).

NETL said: “Concentrations of rare earths at 300ppm are integral to the commercial viability of extracting REE from coal and coal by-products, making NETL’s finding particularly significant in the effort to develop economical domestic supplies of these elements.”

NETL has partnered with West Virginia University (WVU), the University of Kentucky (UK), Tetra Tech, and the XLight for the research project.

The current difficulties and high expenses associated with REE extraction has left the U.S. dependent on foreign REE imports. Currently, China supplies about 90 percent of REE used in industry.

Rare earth elements are vital to modern society. Some of the uses include computer memory, DVDs, rechargeable batteries, cell phones, catalytic converters, magnets, fluorescent lighting, night-vision goggles, precision-guided weapons, communications equipment, GPS equipment, batteries, and other defense electronics.

There are 17 naturally occurring rare earth elements: yttrium, scandium, lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium, promethium, samarium, europium, gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, holmium, erbium, thulium, ytterbium, and lutetium.

Despite the name “rare earths” the more common REE are each similar in crustal abundance to commonplace metals such as chromium, nickel, copper, zinc, molybdenum, tin, tungsten, and lead, but REE rarely occur in economic concentrations, and that’s the problem.

The U.S. used to be self-sufficient in REE due to one deposit, Mountain Pass in the Mojave desert, California, just west of Las Vegas, Nevada. That mine, a carbonatiteintrusion with extraordinary contents of light REE (8 to 12% rare earth oxides) was discovered in 1949 and began production in 1952. Mining ceased in 2002 due to low prices and some environmental regulatory trouble triggered by a tailings spill. However, the mine was reactivated in 2012 but went bankrupt in 2016. Another company (a Chinese consortium) purchased the property in July, 2017, and is working to restart operations.

Some other U.S. rare earth resources are shown on the map below.

See a power-point essay on REE that explains geology, deposit types, and many more details.

One of the authors of that power-point says:

“For example, a typical coal contains 62 parts per million (ppm) of total rare earth elements on a whole sample basis. With more than 275 billion tons of coal reserves in the United States, approximately 17 million tons of rare earth elements are present within the coal—that’s a 1,000-year supply at the current rate of consumption.” —Dr. Evan Granite, NETL

The report also says that abandoned tailings piles from coal and iron mines may be important resources of REE.

Dr. Granite says that the United States consumes around 16- to17 thousand tons of REE each year, and this demand could be completely satisfied by extracting rare earths from domestic coal and coal by-products.

See also:

Rare Earths Resources in the US

How we use rare earth elements

Rare Earth Elements Deposits in New Mexico

Field-trip guides to selected volcanoes and volcanic landscapes of the western United States

The US Geological Survey has just published Field-trip guides to selected volcanoes and volcanic landscapes of the western United States Scientific Investigations Report 2017-5022. Links to separate chapters are found at https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/sir20175022

Here is the table of contents:

Abstract

The North American Cordillera is home to a greater diversity of volcanic provinces than any comparably sized region in the world. The interplay between changing plate-margin interactions, tectonic complexity, intra-crustal magma differentiation, and mantle melting have resulted in a wealth of volcanic landscapes.  Field trips in this guide book collection (published as USGS Scientific Investigations Report 2017–5022) visit many of these landscapes, including (1) active subduction-related arc volcanoes in the Cascade Range; (2) flood basalts of the Columbia Plateau; (3) bimodal volcanism of the Snake River Plain-Yellowstone volcanic system; (4) some of the world’s largest known ignimbrites from southern Utah, central Colorado, and northern Nevada; (5) extension-related volcanism in the Rio Grande Rift and Basin and Range Province; and (6) the eastern Sierra Nevada featuring Long Valley Caldera and the iconic Bishop Tuff.  Some of the field trips focus on volcanic eruptive and emplacement processes, calling attention to the fact that the western United States provides opportunities to examine a wide range of volcanological phenomena at many scales.

The 2017 Scientific Assembly of the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior (IAVCEI) in Portland, Oregon, was the impetus to update field guides for many of the volcanoes in the Cascades Arc, as well as publish new guides for numerous volcanic provinces and features of the North American Cordillera. This collection of guidebooks summarizes decades of advances in understanding of magmatic and tectonic processes of volcanic western North America.

These field guides are intended for future generations of scientists and the general public as introductions to these fascinating areas; the hope is that the general public will be enticed toward further exploration and that scientists will pursue further field-based research.

 

Critical mineral resources of the United States

The U.S. Geological Survey has just published a new assessment of mineral resources vital to our modern economy: Critical mineral resources of the United States—Economic and environmental geology and prospects for future supply, Professional Paper 1802

Edited by:Klaus J. Schulz , John H. DeYoung Jr. , Robert R. Seal II , and Dwight C. Bradley

You can download the entire book (148 Mb) and/or individual chapters here:

https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/pp1802

 

The book consists of two introductory chapters and 20 chapters which each discuss the geology, mineralogy, and occurrence of specific mineral commodities. Note that the U.S. is entirely dependent on imports for 20 critical minerals (see page 6 of this publication for a chart:https://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/mcs/2017/mcs2017.pdf )

The following map from PP1802 shows where the U.S. gets minerals for which we are at least 50 percent dependent on imports.

 

The first chapter in PP1802 justifies the need for this report as follows:

The global demand for mineral commodities is at an all time high and is expected to continue to increase, and the development of new technologies and products has led to the use of a greater number of mineral commodities in increasing quantities to the point that, today, essentially all naturally occurring elements have several significant industrial uses. Although most mineral commodities are present in sufficient amounts in the earth to provide adequate supplies for many years to come, their availability can be affected by such factors as social constraints, politics, laws, environmental regulations, land-use restrictions, economics, and infrastructure.

This volume presents updated reviews of 23 mineral commodities and commodity groups viewed as critical to a broad range of existing and emerging technologies, renewable energy, and national security. The commodities or commodity groups included are antimony, barite, beryllium, cobalt, fluorine, gallium, germanium, graphite, hafnium, indium, lithium, manganese, niobium, platinum-group elements, rare-earth elements, rhenium, selenium, tantalum, tellurium, tin, titanium, vanadium, and zirconium. All these commodities have been listed as critical and (or) strategic in one or more of the recent studies based on assessed likelihood of supply interruption and the possible cost of such a disruption to the assessor. For some of the minerals, current production is limited to only one or a few countries. For many, the United States currently has no mine production or any significant identified resources and is largely dependent on imports to meet its needs. As a result, the emphasis in this volume is on the global distribution and availability of each mineral commodity. The environmental issues related to production of each mineral commodity, including current mitigation and remediation approaches to deal with these challenges, are also addressed.

See also:

American non-fuel mineral production 2016

This article notes: The value of all non-fuel minerals produced from U.S. mines was $74.6 billion, a slight increase over production in 2015. “ Domestic raw materials and domestically recycled materials were used to process mineral materials worth $675 billion. These mineral materials were, in turn, consumed by downstream industries with an estimated value of $2.78 trillion in 2016.” Nevada was ranked first with a total mineral production value of $7.65 billion, mainly from gold. Arizona came in second in total production with a value of $5.56 billion and first in U.S. copper production.

Arizona’s Proterozoic Geology Revealed: Geologic maps of Phillip Anderson

From the Arizona Geological Survey:

Phil Anderson (Ph.D., University of Arizona) had a genius for mapping and interpreting the Proterozoic geology, tectonics, and mineral deposits of the Southwest. Unfortunately, his mapping was never made public, until now.

From the mid-1970s to the early 1990s, Phil traversed Arizona’s Transition Zone visiting and studying nearly every exposure of Proterozoic rocks. He described this work in his 1986 dissertation, ‘The Proterozoic tectonic evolution of Arizona’, and two subsequent papers from the Arizona Geological Society’s Digest 17, but he did not disclose his geologic maps. He issued, instead, small-scale, state-wide overviews of the distribution of Proterozoic rocks.

Phil passed away in Payson, Arizona, in Feb. 2012. In Sept. 2017, Donna Smart, Phil’s widow, donated Phil’s geologic map products and files – his life’s work – to the Arizona Geological Survey. Steve Reynolds (ASU Earth and Space Science Exploration) then organized and led a team of geoscientists in salvaging, reviewing, and selecting Anderson’s geologic maps to release as ‘The Philip Anderson Arizona Proterozoic Archive.

According to Reynolds and others (2017), the “Precambrian geologic maps of the Bradshaw Mountains, Central Arizona” represents the most significant collection of geologic maps ever released for the Proterozoic of Arizona. The Bradshow Mountains contributed map includes the following elements.

  • Reynolds & others (2017) contextualizing Anderson’s contribution to the Proterozoic of Arizona;
  • 11 geologic topographic quadrangles (1:24,000) from central Arizona’s Bradshaw Mountains, with key and legend;
  • A suite of geologic, structural, and tectonic illustrations;
  • 9 sub-regional geochemical plots;
  • 2 papers (totaling 150 p.) authored by Phil Anderson and published in the Arizona Geological Society’s Digest 17.
  • This is the first of a suite of Anderson geologic map products that we plan to release. The remaining Anderson collection comprises dozens of other topographic maps with original geologic observations and notes regarding structures and mineralogy. It will take several hundred hours to review, process, and prepare these materials for release.

    In the meantime, researchers working in the Proterozoic of Arizona’s Transition Zone are advised to reach out to the AZGS with specific requests for information.

    Acknowledgments. We thank Donna Smart for preserving and donating Phil Anderson’s geologic research. We thank, too, David Briggs (President) and the Arizona Geological Society Executive Committee for their generous permission to include Phil’s two papers from AGS Digest 17.

    References

    Anderson, Phillip, 1986, The Proterozoic tectonic evolution of Arizona; Tucson, University of Arizona, unpublished PhD dissertation, 416 pages.

    Anderson, Phillip, 1989a, Proterozoic plate tectonic evolution of Arizona, in Jenney, J.P., and Reynolds, S.J., 1989, Geologic evolution of Arizona: Tucson, Arizona Geological Society Digest 17, p. 17 – 55.

    Anderson, Phillip, 1989b, Stratigraphic framework, volcanic plutonic evolution, and vertical deformation of the Proterozoic volcanic belts of central Arizona, in Jenney, J.P., and Reynolds, S.J., 1989, Geologic evolution of Arizona: Tucson, Arizona Geological Society Digest 17, p. 57 -147.

    Reynolds, S.J, Conway, F.M., Johnson, J.K., Doe, M.F., Niemuth, N.J., 2017, The Phillip Anderson Arizona Proterozoic Archive. Arizona Geological Survey Contributed Report CR-17-D, 2 p.

    On a personal note: I had the opportunity of working with Phil on a project of evaluating the United Verde mine, at Jerome. Arizona. The ore is hosted by Precambrian volcanic rocks. For a description of that deposit type, see my post  https://wryheat.wordpress.com/2010/01/11/ancient-undersea-volcano-in-arizona/