United States Geological Survey

The United States Geological Survey (USGS, formerly simply Geological Survey) is a scientific agency of the United States government. The scientists of the USGS study the landscape of the United States, its natural resources, and the natural hazards that threaten it. The organization has four major science disciplines, concerning biology, geography, geology, and hydrology. The USGS is a fact-finding research organization with no regulatory responsibility.

The USGS is a bureau of the United States Department of the Interior; it is that department's sole scientific agency. The USGS employs approximately 8,670 people[1] and is headquartered in Reston, Virginia. The USGS also has major offices near Lakewood, Colorado, at the Denver Federal Center, and Menlo Park, California.

The current motto of the USGS, in use since August 1997, is "science for a changing world".[2][3] The agency's previous slogan, adopted on the occasion of its hundredth anniversary, was "Earth Science in the Public Service".[4]

United States Geological Survey (USGS)
Seal of the United States Geological Survey
Seal of the United States Geological Survey
USGS logo green
Official identifier of the U.S. Geological Survey
Flag of the United States Geological Survey

Flag of the United States Geological Survey
Agency overview
FormedMarch 3, 1879 (as Geological Survey)
JurisdictionUnited States
HeadquartersJohn W. Powell National Center
Reston, Virginia, U.S.
38°56′49″N 77°22′03″W / 38.9470°N 77.3675°WCoordinates: 38°56′49″N 77°22′03″W / 38.9470°N 77.3675°W
Employees8,670 (2009)
Annual budget$1.16 billion (FY2019) H.J.Res. 31
Agency executive
Parent agencyUnited States Department of the Interior
WebsiteUSGS.gov

Programs

Usgs-headquarters.jpeg
The USGS headquarters in Reston, Virginia
USGS Station
USGS gauging station 03221000 on the Scioto River below O'Shaughnessy Dam near Dublin, Ohio
Anim7 us
Earthquake animations from 16 May 2010 to 22 May 2010
Recent Earthquakes Last 8-30 Days
Recent earthquakes around the world, from 23 April 2010 to 23 May 2010

Since 2012, the USGS science focus is directed at six topical "Mission Areas",[5] namely (1) Climate and Land Use Change, (2) Core Science Systems, (3) Ecosystems, (4) Energy and Minerals and Environmental Health, (5) Natural Hazards, and (6) Water. In December 2012, the USGS split the Energy and Minerals and Environmental Health Mission Area resulting in seven topical Mission Areas, with the two new areas being: Energy and Minerals and Environmental Health. Administratively, it is divided into a Headquarters unit and six Regional Units.[6] Other specific programs include:

  • Earthquake Hazards Program[7] monitors earthquake activity worldwide. The National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) in Golden, Colorado on the campus of the Colorado School of Mines detects the location and magnitude of global earthquakes. The USGS also runs or supports several regional monitoring networks in the United States under the umbrella of the Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS).[8] The USGS informs authorities, emergency responders, the media, and the public, both domestic and worldwide, about significant earthquakes. It also maintains long-term archives of earthquake data for scientific and engineering research. It also conducts and supports research on long-term seismic hazards. USGS has released the UCERF California earthquake forecast.
  • As of 2005, the agency is working to create a National Volcano Early Warning System by improving the instrumentation monitoring the 169 volcanoes in U.S. territory and by establishing methods for measuring the relative threats posed at each site.
  • The USGS National Geomagnetism Program monitors the magnetic field at magnetic observatories and distributes magnetometer data in real time.
  • The USGS collaborates with Canadian and Mexican government scientists, along with the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, to produce the North American Environmental Atlas, which is used to depict and track environmental issues for a continental perspective.
  • The USGS operates the streamgaging network for the United States, with over 7400 streamgages. Real-time streamflow data[9] are available online.
  • National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC)[10] implements partner-driven science to improve understanding of past and present land use change, develops relevant climate and land use forecasts, and identifies lands, resources, and communities that are most vulnerable to adverse impacts of change from the local to global scale.[11]
  • Since 1962, the Astrogeology Research Program has been involved in global, lunar, and planetary exploration and mapping.
  • In collaboration with Stanford University, the USGS also operates the USGS-Stanford Ion Microprobe Laboratory,[12] a world-class[13] analytical facility for U-(Th)-Pb geochronology and trace element analyses of minerals and other earth materials.
  • USGS operates a number of water related programs, notably the National Streamflow Information Program[14] and National Water-Quality Assessment Program.[15] USGS Water data is publicly available from their National Water Information System[16] database.
  • The USGS also operates the National Wildlife Health Center, whose mission is "to serve the nation and its natural resources by providing sound science and technical support, and to disseminate information to promote science-based decisions affecting wildlife and ecosystem health. The NWHC provides information, technical assistance, research, education, and leadership on national and international wildlife health issues."[17] It is the agency primarily responsible for surveillance of H5N1 avian influenza outbreaks in the United States. The USGS also runs 17 biological research centers in the United States, including the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center.
  • The USGS is investigating collaboration with the social networking site Twitter to allow for more rapid construction of ShakeMaps.[18][19]

Topographic mapping

Mount Marcy New York USGS topo map 1892
1892 15-minute map (or topographic sheet) of the Mount Marcy area of the Adirondacks in New York State from the first decades of the USGS

The USGS produces several national series of topographic maps which vary in scale and extent, with some wide gaps in coverage, notably the complete absence of 1:50,000 scale topographic maps or their equivalent. The largest (both in terms of scale and quantity) and best-known topographic series is the 7.5-minute, 1:24,000 scale, quadrangle, a non-metric scale virtually unique to the United States. Each of these maps covers an area bounded by two lines of latitude and two lines of longitude spaced 7.5 minutes apart. Nearly 57,000 individual maps in this series cover the 48 contiguous states, Hawaii, U.S. territories, and areas of Alaska near Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Prudhoe Bay. The area covered by each map varies with the latitude of its represented location due to convergence of the meridians. At lower latitudes, near 30° north, a 7.5-minute quadrangle contains an area of about 64 square miles (166 km2). At 49° north latitude, 49 square miles (127 km2) are contained within a quadrangle of that size. As a unique non-metric map scale, the 1:24,000 scale naturally requires a separate and specialized romer scale for plotting map positions.[20][21] In recent years, budget constraints have forced the USGS to rely on donations of time by civilian volunteers in an attempt to update its 7.5-minute topographic map series, and USGS stated outright in 2000 that the program was to be phased out in favor of The National Map[22] (not to be confused with the National Atlas of the United States produced by the Department of the Interior, one of whose bureaus is USGS).

An older series of maps, the 15-minute series, was once used to map the contiguous 48 states at a scale of 1:62,500, but was discontinued some time ago for maps covering the continental United States. Each map was bounded by two parallels and two meridians spaced 15 minutes apart—the same area covered by four maps in the 7.5-minute series. The 15-minute series, at a scale of 1:63,360 (one inch representing one mile), remains the primary topographic quadrangle for the state of Alaska (and only for that particular state). Nearly 3,000 maps cover 97% of the state.[20] The United States remains virtually the only developed country in the world without a standardized civilian topographic map series in the standard 1:25,000 or 1:50,000 metric scales, making coordination difficult in border regions (the U.S. military does issue 1:50,000 scale topo maps of the continental United States, though only for use by members of its defense forces).

The next-smallest topographic series, in terms of scale, is the 1:100,000 series. These maps are bounded by two lines of longitude and two lines of latitude. However, in this series, the lines of latitude are spaced 30 minutes apart and the lines of longitude are spaced 60 minutes, which is the source of another name for these maps; the 30 x 60-minute quadrangle series. Each of these quadrangles covers the area contained within 32 maps in the 7.5-minute series. The 1:100,000 scale series is unusual in that it employs the Metric system primarily. One centimeter on the map represents one kilometer of distance on the ground. Contour intervals, spot elevations, and horizontal distances are also specified in meters.

The final regular quadrangle series produced by the USGS is the 1:250,000 scale topographic series. Each of these quadrangles in the conterminous United States measures 1 degree of latitude by 2 degrees of longitude. This series was produced by the U.S. Army Map Service in the 1950s, prior to the maps in the larger-scale series, and consists of 489 sheets, each covering an area ranging from 8,218 square miles (21,285 km2) at 30° north to 6,222 square miles (16,115 km2) at 49° north.[20] Hawaii is mapped at this scale in quadrangles measuring 1° by 1°.

USGS topographic quadrangle maps are marked with grid lines and tics around the map collar which make it possible to identify locations on the map by several methods, including the graticule measurements of longitude and latitude, the township and section method within the Public Land Survey System, and cartesian coordinates in both the State Plane Coordinate System and the Universal Transverse Mercator coordinate system.

Other specialty maps have been produced by the USGS at a variety of scales. These include county maps, maps of special interest areas, such as the national parks, and areas of scientific interest.

A number of Internet sites have made these maps available on the web for affordable commercial and professional use. Because works of the U.S. government are in the public domain, it is also possible to find many of these maps for free at various locations on the Internet. Georeferenced map images are available from the USGS as digital raster graphics (DRGs) in addition to digital data sets based on USGS maps, notably digital line graphs (DLGs) and digital elevation models (DEMs).

In 2015, the USGS unveiled the topoView website, a new way to view their entire digitized collection of over 178,000 maps from 1884–2006. The site is an interactive map of the United States that allows users to search or move around the map to find the USGS collection of maps for a specific area. Users may then view the maps in great detail and download them if desired.[23]

The National Map and U.S. Topo

In 2008 the USGS abandoned traditional methods of surveying, revising, and updating topographic maps based on aerial photography and field checks.[24] Today's U.S. Topo quadrangle (1:24,000) maps are mass-produced, using automated and semiautomated processes, with cartographic content supplied from the National GIS Database.[24] In the two years from June 2009 to May 2011, the USGS produced nearly 40,000 maps, more than 80 maps per work day.[24] Only about two hours of interactive work are spent on each map, mostly on text placement and final inspection; there are essentially no field checks or field inspections to confirm map details.[24]

While much less expensive to compile and produce, the revised digital U.S. topo maps have been criticized for a lack of accuracy and detail in comparison to older generation maps based on aerial photo survey and field checks.[24] As the digital databases were not designed for producing general purpose maps, data integration can be a problem when retrieved from sources with different resolutions and collection dates.[24] Man-made features once recorded by direct field observation are not in any public domain national database, and are frequently omitted from the newest generation digital topo maps, including windmills, mines and mineshafts, water tanks, fence lines, survey marks, parks, recreational trails, buildings, boundaries, pipelines, telephone lines, power transmission lines, and even railroads.[24] Additionally, the digital map's use of existing software may not properly integrate different feature classes or prioritize and organize text in areas of crowded features, obscuring important geographic details.[24] As a result, some have noted that the U.S. Topo maps currently fall short of traditional topographic map presentation standards achieved in maps drawn from 1945 to 1992.[24]

USGS Hydrologic Instrumentation Facility

The Hydrologic Instrumentation Facility (HIF) has four sections within its organizational structure;[25] the Field Services Section which includes the warehouse, repair shop, and Engineering Unit; the Testing Section which includes the Hydraulic Laboratory, testing chambers, and Water Quality Laboratory; the Information Technology Section which includes computer support and the Drafting Unit; and the Administrative Section.

The HIF was given national responsibility for the design, testing, evaluation, repair, calibration, warehousing, and distribution of hydrologic instrumentation. Distribution is accomplished by direct sales and through a rental program. The HIF supports data collection activities through centralized warehouse and laboratory facilities. The HIF warehouse provides hydrologic instruments, equipment, and supplies for USGS as well as Other Federal Agencies (OFA) and USGS Cooperators. The HIF also tests, evaluates, repairs, calibrates, and develops hydrologic equipment and instruments. The HIF Hydraulic Laboratory facilities include a towing tank, jet tank, pipe flow facility, and tilting flume. In addition, the HIF provides training and technical support for the equipment it stocks.

The Engineering Group seeks out new technology and designs for instrumentation that can work more efficiently, be more accurate, and or be produced at a lower cost than existing instrumentation. HIF works directly with vendors to help them produce products that will meet the mission needs of the USGS. For instrument needs not currently met by a vendor, the Engineering Group designs, tests, and issues contracts to have HIF designed equipment made. Sometimes HIF will patent a new design in the hope that instrument vendors will buy the rights and mass-produce the instrument at a lower cost to everyone.

USGS publications

USGS researchers publish the results of their science in a variety of ways. Many researchers publish their science in peer-reviewed scientific journals as well as in one of a variety of series that includes series for preliminary results, maps data, and final results. These series include:

  • Biological Science Report (BSR): Record significant scientific interpretations and findings, usually of lasting scientific interest, addressing a wide variety of topics relevant to Biological Resources Discipline (BRD) investigations and research. May include extensive data or theoretical analyses. Reports published by the U.S. Biological Survey and later by the U.S. Geological Survey. The report series began in 1995 and continued through 2003.
  • Bulletin (B): Significant data and interpretations of lasting scientific interest but generally narrower in scope than professional papers. Results of resource studies, geologic or topographic studies, and collections of short papers on related topics.
  • Circular (CIR/C): A wide variety of topics covered concisely and clearly to provide a synthesis of understanding about processes, geographic areas, issues, or USGS programs. The Circular should be aimed at enhancing knowledge and understanding among general audiences, decision makers, university students, and scientists in related fields.
  • Circum-Pacific Map (CP): Multicolor equal-area maps at scales of 1:10,000,000 for the Northwest, Northeast, Southwest, Southeast quadrants of the Pacific and the Arctic and Antarctic regions, and of 1:17,000,000 for the whole Pacific Basin. The series consists of base, geographic, geodynamic, plate-tectonic, geologic, tectonic, mineral-resources, and energy-resources maps, as well as other miscellaneous maps.
  • Coal Investigations (COAL/C-) Map: Origin, character, and resource potential of coal deposits shown by geologic maps, structure contours, cross sections, columnar sections, and measured coal sections, where appropriate. Text on same sheet or in an accompanying pamphlet.
  • Data Series (DS): The Data Series is intended for release of basic data sets, databases, and multimedia or motion graphics. This series can be used for videos, computer programs, and collections of digital photographs.
  • General Interest Publication (GIP): A wide variety of topics covered concisely and clearly in a variety of formats. Focus is on USGS programs, projects, and services and general scientific information of public interest. The series covers a broad range of topics in a variety of media, including pamphlets, postcards, posters, videos, teacher kits, CD/DVDs, bookmarks, and interactive and motion graphics. Previously called "General Interest Publications".
  • Geologic Quadrangle (GQ) Map: Detailed geologic maps depicting areas of special importance to the solution of geologic problems. May portray bedrock or surficial units, or both. May include brief texts, structure sections, and columnar sections. 71/2- or 15-minute quadrangles printed in multicolor on topographic bases that meet National Map Accuracy standards.
  • Geophysical Investigations (GP) Map: Chiefly the results of aeromagnetic and (or) gravity surveys shown by contours. Area depicted may range in size from a few square miles to an entire country. Single or multiple sheets.
  • Land Use and Land Cover (L) Map: Various categories of land use and cover, both artificial and natural, for use by geographers, land-use planners, and others. Planimetric maps at scales of 1:250,000 or 1:100,000 on a single sheet.
  • Mineral Investigations Resource (MR) Map: Information on mineral occurrences, mineral resources, mines and prospects, commodities, and target areas of possible resources other than coal, petroleum, or natural gas. Small scale (1:250,000 or smaller).
  • Miscellaneous Field Studies (MF) Map: Rapidly prepared, low-budget maps in a broad range of presentations in terms of portrayal, completeness, interpretations, draftsmanship, scale, and area coverage. Single or multiple sheets.
  • Miscellaneous Investigations/ Geologic Investigations (I) Series: High-quality maps and charts of varied subject matter such as bathymetry, geology, hydrogeology, landforms, land-use classification, vegetation, and others including maps of planets, the Moon, and other satellites. Various scales. Topographic or planimetric bases; regular or irregular areas. May include a text printed as an accompanying pamphlet.
  • Oil and Gas Investigations (OC) Chart: Information about known or possible petroleum resources, presented as logs, correlation diagrams, graphs, and tables, but ordinarily not as maps. Single or multiple sheets. Text printed on same sheet or in an accompanying pamphlet.
  • Oil and Gas Investigations (OM) Map: Apply particularly to areas of known or possible petroleum resources. Typically include cross sections, columnar sections, structure contours, correlation diagrams, and information on wells drilled for oil and gas. Single or multiple sheets. Text usually on map sheet but sometimes printed as an accompanying pamphlet.
  • Open-File Report (OFR/OF): Interpretive information that needs to be released immediately; maps and reports (and their supporting data) that need to be released as supporting documentation because they are referenced, discussed, or interpreted in another information product; preliminary findings (pending a final map or report); interim computer programs and user guides; bibliographies.
  • Professional Paper (PP): Premier series of the USGS. Comprehensive reports of wide and lasting interest and scientific importance, characterized by thoroughness of study and breadth of scientific or geographic coverage. The series may include collections of related papers addressing different aspects of a single scientific topic, either issued together under one cover or separately as chapters.
  • Water-Resources Investigations Report (WRIR/WRI): Hydrologic information, mainly of local interest, intended for quick release. Book or map format. Varied scales.
  • Water-Supply Paper (WSP): Reports on all aspects of hydrology, including quality, recoverability, and use of water resources; statistical reports on streamflow, floods, groundwater levels, and water quality; and collections of short papers on related topics.

A complete listing of descriptions of USGS Series is available at the Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys (ADGGS) website.[26]

Locating USGS publications

The United States Geological Survey Library holds copies of current and historical USGS publications, and is the largest earth sciences library in the world. Most publications are available for inter-library loan within the United States. Under the Organic Act, which provided for the formation of the USGS, the library was given extra copies of all USGS publications when published to be used in exchange with other domestic and foreign geological agencies, making the acquisition of the USGS Library collection one of the most cost efficient libraries in the U.S. government.

USGS publications are available for purchase at USGS Store.[27] Many USGS published reports are available to view and access on-line from the USGS Publications Warehouse,[28] while many USGS publications are now available online (see Publications below).

Many older USGS publications have been scanned and digitized by such services as Google Books and the Hathi Trust and Internet Archive. An online search will quickly reveal if a digital version is available. All USGS publications are public domain.

History

Prompted by a report from the National Academy of Sciences, the USGS was created, by a last-minute amendment, to an act of Congress on March 3, 1879. It was charged with the "classification of the public lands, and examination of the geological structure, mineral resources, and products of the national domain". This task was driven by the need to inventory the vast lands added to the United States by the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 and the Mexican–American War in 1848.

The legislation also provided that the Hayden, Powell, and Wheeler surveys be discontinued as of June 30, 1879.[29]

Clarence King, the first director of USGS, assembled the new organization from disparate regional survey agencies. After a short tenure, King was succeeded in the director's chair by John Wesley Powell.

List of USGS directors

Clarence King
Clarence King, first director of the USGS

See also

References

Footnotes

  1. ^ "Monterey Aquarium's McNutt new USGS Director". The Seattle Times. Associated Press. October 23, 2009. Retrieved October 25, 2009.
  2. ^ FY 1997 Annual Financial Report, U.S. Geological Survey.
  3. ^ "USGS Visual Identity System". United States Geological Survey. July 27, 2006. Archived from the original on January 30, 2009. Retrieved December 29, 2008.
  4. ^ Suggestions to Authors of the Reports of the United States Geological Survey, U.S. Geological Survey (7th ed. 1991), pp. 247–248.
  5. ^ "Start with science". United States Geological Survey. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  6. ^ "Map of Geographic Areas". Archived from the original on January 15, 2013. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
  7. ^ "USGS Earthquake Hazards Program". Usgs.gov. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  8. ^ "ANSS – Advanced National Seismic System". earthquake.usgs.gov.
  9. ^ "USGS WaterWatch – Streamflow conditions". Waterwatch.usgs.gov. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  10. ^ "Welcome to the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center – National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center". Nccwsc.usgs.gov. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  11. ^ "NCCWSC Web site". Nccwsc.usgs.gov. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
  12. ^ "Home – SHRIMP-RG Lab". Shrimprg.stanford.edu. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  13. ^ [1] Archived July 7, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Streamgages, USGS – U.S. Geological Survey Federal Priority. "USGS Federal Priority Streamgages (FPS)". Water.usgs.gov. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  15. ^ "USGS National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program". Water.usgs.gov. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  16. ^ "Water Resources: USGS Water Data Discovery". Water.usgs.gov. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  17. ^ "National Wildlife Health Center". Nwhc.usgs.gov. Retrieved December 27, 2007.
  18. ^ Mahalia Miller, Lynne Burks, and Reza Bosagh Zadeh Rapid Estimate of Ground Shaking Intensity by Combining Simple Earthquake Characteristics with Tweets, Tenth U.S. National Conference on Earthquake Engineering
  19. ^ Reza Bosagh Zadeh Using Twitter to measure earthquake impact in almost real time, Twitter Engineering
  20. ^ a b c Missouri, USGS Rolla. "USGS – Topographic Maps". Topomaps.usgs.gov. Archived from the original on April 12, 2009. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  21. ^ "USGS Maps Booklet". erg.usgs.gov. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  22. ^ Moore, Larry (December 2000). "The U.S. Geological Survey's Revision Program for 7.5-Minute Topographic Maps" (PDF). United States Geological Survey.
  23. ^ "topoView – USGS". USGS Topoview.
  24. ^ a b c d e f g h i Moore, Larry (May 16, 2011). "US Topo: A New National Map Series". Directions Magazine. Retrieved April 18, 2012.
  25. ^ USGS. "History of the HIF". United States Geological Survey. Retrieved October 9, 2015.
  26. ^ "USGS Publications Series". Division of Geological and Geophysical Services. Alaska Department of Natural Resources. 2010.
  27. ^ "USGS Store". United States Geological Survey. May 17, 2012. Retrieved February 5, 2014.
  28. ^ Ivan Suftin; David Sibley; James Kreft. "USGS Publications Warehouse". United States Geological Survey. Retrieved February 5, 2014.
  29. ^ "Establishment of the U.S. Geological Survey, USGS Circular 1050". United States Geological Survey. Retrieved February 5, 2014.

Works cited

External links

USGS websites

Publications

Non-USGS related websites

2019 Ridgecrest earthquakes

The 2019 Ridgecrest earthquakes of July 4th and 5th occurred north and northeast of the town of Ridgecrest, California (approximately 200 km [122 miles] north-northeast of Los Angeles). They included three main shocks of Mw magnitudes 6.4, 5.4, and 7.1, and many perceptible aftershocks, mainly within the area of the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. The first main shock (now deemed to be a foreshock) occurred on July 4 at 10:33 a.m. PDT, approximately 18 km (11.2 mi) ENE of Ridgecrest, and 13 km (8.1 mi) WSW of Trona, on a NE-SW trending fault where it intersects the NW-SE trending Airport Lake Fault Zone. This quake was preceded by several smaller earthquakes, and was followed by more than 1,400 detected aftershocks. The M 5.4 and M 7.1 quakes struck on July 5 at 4:08 a.m. and 8:19 p.m. PDT approximately 10 km (6 miles) to the northwest. The latter, now considered the mainshock, was the most powerful earthquake to occur in the state in 20 years. Subsequent aftershocks extended approximately 50 km (~30 miles) along the Airport Lake Fault Zone.

Relatively minor damage resulted from the initial foreshock, though some building fires were reported in Ridgecrest near the epicenter. The main quake on July 5 cut power to at least 3,000 residents in Ridgecrest. Effects were felt across much of Southern California, parts of Arizona and Nevada, as far north as the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento, and as far south as Baja California, Mexico. An estimated 20 million people experienced the foreshock, and approximately 30 million people experienced the mainshock.

Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names

The Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names (ACAN or US-ACAN) is an advisory committee of the United States Board on Geographic Names responsible for recommending names for features in Antarctica. The United States does not recognise territorial boundaries within Antarctica, so ACAN will assign names to features anywhere within the continent, in consultation with other national nomenclatural bodies where appropriate.

ACAN has a published policy on naming, based on priority of application, appropriateness, and the extent to which usage has become established.

Black River (Gogebic County)

The Black River is a 41.1-mile-long (66.1 km) river on the Upper Peninsula of the U.S. state of Michigan, flowing mostly in Gogebic County into Lake Superior at 46°40′03″N 90°02′57″W. Its source at 46°18′54″N 90°01′15″W is a boreal wetland on the border with Iron County, Wisconsin. The northern section of the river, 14 miles (23 km) within the boundaries of the Ottawa National Forest, was designated a National Wild and Scenic River in 1992.

At the Lake Superior mouth of the Black River is Black River Harbor, a former fishing station where commercial fishermen brought in cargoes of lake trout. The North Country Trail crosses the river here via a suspension footbridge.

Carp River (Mackinac County)

Carp River is a 40.2-mile-long (64.7 km) river in Chippewa and Mackinac counties in the U.S. state of Michigan. 21.7 miles (34.9 km) of the river were added to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System in 1992.

Geographic Names Information System

The Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) is a database that contains name and locative information about more than two million physical and cultural features located throughout the United States of America and its territories. It is a type of gazetteer. GNIS was developed by the United States Geological Survey in cooperation with the United States Board on Geographic Names (BGN) to promote the standardization of feature names.

The database is part of a system that includes topographic map names and bibliographic references. The names of books and historic maps that confirm the feature or place name are cited. Variant names, alternatives to official federal names for a feature, are also recorded. Each feature receives a permanent, unique feature record identifier, sometimes called the GNIS identifier. The database never removes an entry, "except in cases of obvious duplication."

Lillie Glacier

Lillie Glacier (70°45′S 163°55′E) is a large glacier in Antarctica, about 100 nautical miles (190 km) long and 10 nautical miles (19 km) wide. It lies between the Bowers Mountains on the west and the Concord Mountains and Anare Mountains on the east, flowing to Ob' Bay on the coast and forming the Lillie Glacier Tongue.

The glacier tongue (70°34′S 163°48′E), the prominent seaward extension of the glacier into Ob' Bay, was discovered by the British Antarctic Expedition, 1910–13, when the Terra Nova explored westward of Cape North in February 1911. It was named by the expedition for Dennis G. Lillie, a biologist on the Terra Nova. The name Lillie has since been extended to the entire glacier.

The lower half of the glacier was plotted by the Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition (Thala Dan) in 1962, which explored the area and utilized air photos taken by U.S. Navy Operation Highjump, 1946–47. The whole feature was mapped by the United States Geological Survey from surveys and U.S. Navy air photos, 1960–62.

List of earthquakes in 2017

This is a list of earthquakes in 2017. Only earthquakes of magnitude 6 or above are included, unless they result in damage and/or casualties, or are notable for some other reason. All dates are listed according to UTC time. Maximum intensities are indicated on the Mercalli intensity scale and are sourced from United States Geological Survey (USGS) ShakeMap data. Major events took place in Iran and Mexico, with the latter experiencing two such events, two of them exceeding magnitude 8.

List of earthquakes in Italy

This is a list of earthquakes in Italy.

List of islands of Michigan

The following is a list of islands of Michigan. Michigan has the second longest coastline of any state after Alaska. Being bordered by four of the five Great Lakes—Erie, Huron, Michigan, and Superior—Michigan also has 64,980 inland lakes and ponds, as well as innumerable rivers, that may contain their own islands included in this list. The majority of the islands are within the Great Lakes. Other islands can also be found within other waterways of the Great Lake system, including Lake St. Clair, St. Clair River, Detroit River, and St. Marys River.

The largest of all the islands is Isle Royale in Lake Superior, which, in addition to its waters and other surrounding islands, is organized as Isle Royale National Park. Isle Royale itself is 206 square miles (530 km2). The most populated island is Grosse Ile with approximately 10,000 residents, located in the Detroit River about 10 miles (16 kilometres) south of Detroit. The majority of Michigan's islands are uninhabited and very small. Some of these otherwise unusable islands have been used for the large number of Michigan's lighthouses to aid in shipping throughout the Great Lakes, while others have been set aside as nature reserves. Many islands in Michigan have the same name, even some that are in the same municipality and body of water, such as Gull, Long, or Round islands.

List of mountain peaks of Colorado

This article comprises three sortable tables of major mountain peaks of the U.S. State of Colorado.

The summit of a mountain or hill may be measured in three principal ways:

The topographic elevation of a summit measures the height of the summit above a geodetic sea level. The first table below ranks the 55 highest major summits of Colorado by elevation.

The topographic prominence of a summit is a measure of how high the summit rises above its surroundings. The second table below ranks the 50 most prominent summits of Colorado.

The topographic isolation (or radius of dominance) of a summit measures how far the summit lies from its nearest point of equal elevation. The third table below ranks the 50 most isolated major summits of Colorado.

List of mountain ranges in Montana

This is a list of mountain ranges in the state of Montana. Montana is the fourth largest state in the United States and is well known for its mountains. The name "Montana" means mountain in the Spanish language. Representative James Mitchell Ashley (R-Ohio), suggested the name when legislation organizing the territory was passed by the United States Congress in 1864. Ashley noted that a mining camp in the Colorado Territory had already used the name, and Congress agreed to use the name for the new territory.According to the United States Board on Geographic Names, there are at least 100 named mountain ranges and sub-ranges in Montana. However, mountain ranges have no official boundaries, and there is no official list of mountain ranges in the state.

List of mountains and mountain ranges of Glacier National Park (U.S.)

Mountains in Glacier National Park (U.S.) are part of the Rocky Mountains. There are at least 150 named mountain peaks over 8,000 feet (2,400 m) in Glacier in three mountain ranges--the Clark Range, Lewis Range, Livingston Range. Mount Cleveland el. 10,479 feet (3,194 m)

is the highest peak in the park. Many peaks in Glacier National Park have both English and anglicized versions of native American names. The names listed here reflect the official names in the USGS U.S. Board on Geographic Names database.

List of volcanoes in Antarctica

This is a list of volcanoes in Antarctica.

Lützow-Holm Bay

Lützow-Holm Bay is a large bay, about 220 kilometres (120 nmi) wide, indenting the coast of Queen Maud Land in Antarctica between Riiser-Larsen Peninsula and the coastal angle immediately east of the Flatvaer Islands. It was discovered by Captain Hjalmar Riiser-Larsen in two airplane flights from his expedition vessel, the Norvegia, on February 21 and 23, 1931. The name honours Commander Finn Lützow-Holm of the Royal Norwegian Navy Air Service, a pilot for Captain Riiser-Larsen on the Aagaard in 1935.

Mauna Loa

Mauna Loa ( or ; Hawaiian: [ˈmɐwnə ˈlowə]; English: Long Mountain) is one of five volcanoes that form the Island of Hawaii in the U.S. state of Hawaiʻi in the Pacific Ocean. The largest subaerial volcano in both mass and volume, Mauna Loa has historically been considered the largest volcano on Earth, dwarfed only by Tamu Massif. It is an active shield volcano with relatively gentle slopes, with a volume estimated at approximately 18,000 cubic miles (75,000 km3), although its peak is about 125 feet (38 m) lower than that of its neighbor, Mauna Kea. Lava eruptions from Mauna Loa are silica-poor and very fluid, and they tend to be non-explosive.

Mauna Loa has probably been erupting for at least 700,000 years, and may have emerged above sea level about 400,000 years ago. The oldest-known dated rocks are not older than 200,000 years. The volcano's magma comes from the Hawaii hotspot, which has been responsible for the creation of the Hawaiian island chain over tens of millions of years. The slow drift of the Pacific Plate will eventually carry Mauna Loa away from the hotspot within 500,000 to one million years from now, at which point it will become extinct.

Mauna Loa's most recent eruption occurred from March 24 to April 15, 1984. No recent eruptions of the volcano have caused fatalities, but eruptions in 1926 and 1950 destroyed villages, and the city of Hilo is partly built on lava flows from the late 19th century. Because of the potential hazards it poses to population centers, Mauna Loa is part of the Decade Volcanoes program, which encourages studies of the world's most dangerous volcanoes. Mauna Loa has been monitored intensively by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory since 1912. Observations of the atmosphere are undertaken at the Mauna Loa Observatory, and of the Sun at the Mauna Loa Solar Observatory, both located near the mountain's summit. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park covers the summit and the southeastern flank of the volcano, and also incorporates Kīlauea, a separate volcano.

Newall Glacier

Newall Glacier is a glacier in the east part of the Asgard Range of Victoria Land, flowing east between Mount Newall and Mount Weyant into the Wilson Piedmont Glacier. In its uppermost névé area sits Kaminuma Crag, a craggy, island-like nunatak, 0.75 nautical miles (1.4 km) long, rising to 1,750 metres (5,740 ft) high.The glacier was mapped by the New Zealand Northern Survey Party of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1956–58, who named it after nearby Mount Newall. The crag was named by the Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names in 1997 for Japanese geophysicist Katsutada Kaminuma, Professor of Earth Sciences at the National Institute of Polar Research, Tokyo.

Quadrangle (geography)

A "quadrangle" is a United States Geological Survey (USGS) 7.5-minute map, which are usually named after a local physiographic feature. The shorthand "quad" is also used, especially with the name of the map; for example, "the Ranger Creek, Texas quad map". These maps are one-quarter of the older 15-minute series. On a quadrangle map, the north and south limits are not straight lines, but are actually curved to match Earth's lines of latitude on the standard projection. The east and west limits are usually not parallel as they match Earth's lines of longitude. In the United States, a 7.5 minute quadrangle map covers an area of 49 to 70 square miles (130 to 180 km2).The surfaces of other planets have also been divided into quadrangles by the USGS. Martian quadrangles are also named after local features.Quadrangles that lie on the pole of a body are also sometimes called "areas" instead, since they are circular rather than four-sided.

Support Force Glacier

Support Force Glacier is a major glacier in the Pensacola Mountains, draining northward between the Forrestal Range and Argentina Range to the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf. Mapped by the United States Geological Survey from surveys and US Navy air photos, 1956-66. Named by US-ACAN for the U.S. Naval Support Force Antarctica, which provided logistical support for the United States Antarctic Program during this period.

The National Map

The National Map is a collaborative effort of the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and other federal, state, and local agencies to improve and deliver topographic information for the United States. The purpose of the effort is to provide "...a seamless, continuously maintained set of public domain geographic base information that will serve as a foundation for integrating, sharing, and using other data easily and consistently".The National Map is part of the USGS National Geospatial Program. The geographic information available includes orthoimagery (aerial photographs), elevation, geographic names, hydrography, boundaries, transportation, structures and land cover. The National Map is accessible via the Web, as products and services, and as downloadable data. Its uses range from recreation to scientific analysis to emergency response.The National Map is a significant contribution to the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) and currently is being transformed to better serve the geospatial community by providing high quality, integrated geospatial data and improved products and services including new generation digital topographic maps. In addition, the National Map is foundational to implementation of the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) Geospatial Modernization Blueprint.The USGS also utilizes data from The National Map Corps, which consists of volunteers who devote some of their time to provide cartographic information on structures.The National Map is the official replacement for the USGS topographic map program.

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