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Federal Aid Programs for the State of South Carolina Emergency Declaration

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 02/12/2014 - 19:41

Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama's emergency disaster declaration issued for the State of South Carolina.

Assistance for the State and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:

Language English
Categories: Federal News

President Obama Signs South Carolina Emergency Declaration

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 02/12/2014 - 19:39

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal emergency aid has been made available to the State of South Carolina to supplement state and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from a severe winter storm on February 10, 2014, and continuing.

Language English
Categories: Federal News

Federal/State Disaster Aid for Colorado Flooding Surpasses $267 Million

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 02/12/2014 - 13:04

Federal/State Disaster Aid for Colorado Flooding Surpasses $267 Million

DENVER – Since heavy rains brought flooding in September 2013, Colorado survivors have received more than $267 million in federal/state recovery assistance.

Language English
Categories: Federal News

DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife to hold second public workshop Feb 26 on Inland Bays shellfish aquaculture regulations

DNREC News - Wed, 02/12/2014 - 12:20
DOVER (Feb. 12, 2014) – DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife will hold a second public workshop on Delaware’s Inland Bays shellfish aquaculture regulations currently under development at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 26 at DNREC’s Lewes Field Facility, 901 Pilottown Road, Lewes.

First Global Geologic Map of Largest Moon in the Solar System Details an Icy World

USGS Newsroom - Wed, 02/12/2014 - 12:00

Contact Information:

Dr. Laszlo  P. Kestay ( Phone: 928-556-7002 ); Jennifer LaVista ( Phone: 303-202-4764 );



FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – More than 400 years after its discovery by Galileo, the largest moon in the Solar System – Ganymede – has finally claimed a spot on the map. 

A group of scientists led by Dr. Geoffrey Collins of Wheaton College (Norton, MA) has produced the first global geologic map of Ganymede, Jupiter’s seventh moon. The map, which was published by the U. S. Geological Survey, technically illustrates the varied geologic character of Ganymede’s surface, and is the first complete global geologic map of an icy, outer-planet moon. The geologic map of Ganymede is available for download online.

"After Mars, the interiors of icy satellites of Jupiter are considered the best candidates for habitable environments for life in our Solar System," said USGS Astrogeology Science Center director Laszlo Kestay. "This geologic map will be the basis for many decisions by NASA and partners regarding future U.S. missions under consideration to explore these worlds."

Since its discovery in January 1610, Ganymede has been the focus of repeated observation, first by Earth-based telescopes, and later by fly-by missions and spacecraft orbiting Jupiter. These studies depict a complex icy world whose surface is characterized by the striking contrast between its two major terrain types; the dark, very old, highly cratered regions, and the lighter, somewhat younger (but still ancient) regions marked with an extensive array of grooves and ridges.

"Three major geologic periods have been identified for Ganymede that involve the dominance of impact cratering, then tectonic upheaval, followed by a decline in geologic activity," said USGS research geologist Dr. Ken Tanaka.

The Ganymede geologic map is unique from other planetary geologic maps because it represents, for the first time, named geologic time periods for an object in the outer solar system.

Surface features, such as furrows, grooves, and impact craters, were characterized using a global image mosaic produced by the USGS. This image mosaic combines the best images from NASA’s Voyager 1 and 2 missions (acquired in 1979) as well as the Galileo orbiter (1995-2003).

"The highly detailed, colorful map confirmed a number of outstanding scientific hypotheses regarding Ganymede’s geologic history, and also disproved others," said USGS scientist Baerbel Lucchitta, who has been involved with geologic mapping of Ganymede since 1980. "For example, the more detailed Galileo images showed that cryovolcanism, or the creation of volcanoes that erupt water and ice, is very rare on Ganymede."

The Ganymede global geologic map will enable researchers to compare the geologic characters of other icy satellite moons, because almost any type of feature that is found on other icy satellites has a similar feature somewhere on Ganymede.

"The surface of Ganymede is over half as large as all the land area on Earth, so there is a wide diversity of locations to choose from," said map lead and Wheaton geology professor Geoff Collins. "Ganymede also shows features that are ancient alongside much more recently formed features, adding historical diversity in addition to geographic diversity."

The new geologic map of Ganymede is just one of many cartographic products that help drive scientific thought. The production of these products has been a focal point of research at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center since its inception in the early 1960s. USGS began producing planetary maps in support of the Apollo moon landings, and continues to help establish a framework for integrating and comparing past and future studies of extraterrestrial surfaces. In many cases, these planetary geologic maps show that, despite the many differences between bodies in our Solar System, there are many notable similarities that link the evolution and fate of our planetary system together.

Amateur astronomers can observe Ganymede (with binoculars) in the evening sky this month, as Jupiter is in opposition and easily visible.

An online video, Rotating Globe of Ganymede Geology, is available for viewing.

The project was funded by NASA through its Outer Planets Research and Planetary Geology and Geophysics Programs.

The mission of the USGS Astrogeology Science Center is to serve the Nation, the international planetary science community, and the general public’s pursuit of new knowledge of our Solar System. The Team's vision is to be a national resource for the integration of planetary geosciences, cartography, and remote sensing. As explorers and surveyors, with a unique heritage of proven expertise and international leadership, USGS astrogeologists enable the ongoing successful investigation of the Solar System for humankind.

To present the best information in a single view of Jupiter's moon Ganymede, a global image mosaic was assembled, incorporating the best available imagery from Voyagers 1 and 2 and Galileo spacecraft. This image shows Ganymede centered at 200 West Longitude. This mosaic (right) served as the base map for the geologic map of Ganymede (left). (High resolution image)

Identifying Bats By Sound

USGS Newsroom - Wed, 02/12/2014 - 09:30
Following White-Nose Syndrome, Acoustic Method Best for Sampling Bats

Contact Information:

W. Mark  Ford ( Phone: 304-704-7621 ); Hannah Hamilton ( Phone: 703-648-4356 );



BLACKSBURG, VA. – Recording bats' echolocation "calls" is the most efficient and least intrusive way of identifying different species of bats in a given area, providing insight into some populations that have been decimated by white-nose syndrome.This new research by scientists from Virginia Tech, the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Army is published in the Journal of Ecology and the Natural Environment.

White-nose syndrome, an unprecedented disease of cave hibernating bats caused by a cold-loving fungus, has caused the deaths of more than six million bats. It has spread from central New York to at least 22 states and five Canadian provinces since 2006. In addition to the endangered Indiana bat, populations of the formerly abundant little brown bat and northern long-eared bat have experienced severe disease-related declines, particularly in the Northeast and central Appalachians.

"Acoustic sampling is a noninvasive sampling technique for bats, and its use often allows for the detection of a greater number of bat species in less time than traditional sampling methods such as netting," said study co-author W. Mark Ford, a USGS scientist at the Virginia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Virginia Tech. "Low population numbers make netting both time and cost prohibitive. Netting also has low capture rates for WNS affected species. Moreover, acoustic sampling minimizes the handling of bats, which lessens the chance of unintended cross-contamination and exposure to the white-nose fungus from one bat to another or from equipment and personnel to uninfected bats."

Using acoustic bat detectors, researchers were able to assess the presence of bats by identifying their calls. Field work was conducted at Fort Drum in New York, which, with it's mix of wetlands, mature forests, newly regenerating sites and a large river corridor, provides optimal habitat for both little brown bats and Indiana bats.  Before white-nose syndrome affected the bats locally in 2008, these bat species were abundant, Ford noted.

"These species have not been eliminated, but because of white-nose syndrome they occur in low numbers," said Ford. "Acoustic sampling allows us to sample for affected bat species and determine where on the landscape they are and what habitats they continue to use. At Fort Drum, these data are critical for the Army's land managers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's regulators in working together to conserve endangered and declining bat species while providing range conditions necessary for the military mission."

Managers are seeking the most effective and least intrusive monitoring and survey techniques available for these populations to fulfill stewardship and regulatory requirements, and study authors explored the use of acoustic sampling as an alternative method to determine the presence of bats.

"The studies of bat ecology and management at Fort Drum have been a collaborative effort between USGS, the Department of Defense, U.S. Forest Service, Virginia Tech and West Virginia University since 2003," said Ford. "This long term data collection effort made the study particularly useful for managers, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which, because of white-nose syndromes devastating effects, announced a proposed rule to list the northern long-eared bat as an endangered species in 2013."

"Effect of passive acoustic sampling methodology on detecting bats after declines from white- nose syndrome" by L.S. Coleman, W.M. Ford, C.A. Dobony and E.R. Britzke, is published in the current issue of the Journal of Ecology and the Natural Environment.

National Scenic Trails Added to Washington State Maps

USGS Newsroom - Wed, 02/12/2014 - 09:00

Contact Information:

Mark Newell, APR ( Phone: 573-308-3850 ); Jack Haskel ( Phone: 916-285-1846 ); Matt McGrath ( Phone: 425-783-6199 );



Additional Contact:  Larry Moore, 303-202-4019,  lmoore@usgs.gov

Newly released US Topo maps  for Washington now feature segments of the Pacific Crest and Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trails. Several of the 1,446 new US Topo quadrangles for the state now display parts of the Trails along with other improved layers.

These trails are two of 11 National Scenic Trails in the U.S.

"Recreationists love maps and the Washington State US Topo maps will provide great planning and navigation tools for hikers and equestrians using the PCT," said Beth Boyst, U.S. Forest Service Pacific Crest Trail Program Manager. "'Plan ahead and prepare' for the trip is the corner stone of 'Leave No Trace' principles of backcountry travel."

The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail is a treasured pathway through some of the most scenic terrain in the nation. Beginning in southern California at the Mexican border, the PCT travels a total distance of 2,650 miles through California, Oregon, and Washington until reaching the Canadian border. The PCT is one of the original National Scenic Trails established by Congress in the 1968 National Trails System Act and fifty-four percent of the trail lies within designated wilderness.

"The Pacific Northwest Trail travels through rugged, remote wilderness areas and downtown Main Streets in gateway communities," says Matt McGrath, the Pacific Northwest Trail Program Manager for the U.S. Forest Service. "These new maps will improve recreational experiences by better connecting visitors to the varied opportunities available along the PNT."

The Pacific Northwest Trail begins near the Continental Divide in Glacier National Park and travels more than 1,200 miles through Montana, Idaho, and Washington before reaching its western terminus at the Pacific Ocean near Cape Alava. The Trail was designated by Congress as a NST in the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009.

The USGS partnered with the National Forest Service to incorporate the two trails onto the Washington US Topo maps. These two NST's join the Ice Age National Scenic Trail in Wisconsin as being featured on the new Topo maps. The USGS hopes to eventually include all National Scenic Trails in The National Map products. ­­­­­­­­­­­

These new maps replace the first edition US Topo maps for Washington and are available for free download from The National Map and the USGS Map Locator & Downloader website.

As with all US Topo map updates, the replaced maps will be added to the USGS Historical Topographic Map Collection and are also available for download.

To download US Topo maps: http://nationalmap.gov/ustopo/

The National Trails System was established by Act of Congress in 1968. The Act grants the Secretary of Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture authority over the National Trails System.  The Act defines four types of trails. Two of these types, the National Historic Trails and National Scenic Trails, can only be designated by Act of Congress.  National scenic trails are extended trails located as to provide for maximum outdoor recreation potential and for the conservation and enjoyment of nationally significant scenic, historic, natural, and cultural qualities of the area through which such trails may pass.

There are 11 National Scenic Trails:

  • Appalachian National Scenic Trail
  • Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail
  • Continental Divide National Scenic Trail
  • North Country National Scenic Trail
  • Ice Age National Scenic Trail
  • Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail
  • Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail
  • Florida National Scenic Trail
  • Arizona National Scenic Trail
  • New England National Scenic Trail
  • Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail

FEMA Urges Residents Across the South and Southeast to Prepare for Severe Winter Weather

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 02/11/2014 - 20:48
Residents Should Follow the Direction of Local Officials Language English
Categories: Federal News

Alapocas Through the Seasons photo exhibit to be displayed at Blue Ball Barn in Wilmington

DNREC News - Tue, 02/11/2014 - 18:07
WILMINGTON (Feb. 12, 2014) – The Blue Ball Barn at Alapocas Run State Park will be featuring a new exhibit highlighting the work of the participants from the Photo Hike series with photographer Lynn McDowell. The exhibit will showcase photos taken throughout the four seasons, drawing attention to each participant’s unique point of view. The exhibit will open with a reception from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16. Light refreshments will be served. Photos will be on display from Monday, Feb. 17-Sunday, March 1.

Federal Aid Programs for the State of Georgia Emergency Declaration

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 02/11/2014 - 13:40

Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama's emergency disaster declaration issued for the State of Georgia.

Assistance for the State and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:

Language English
Categories: Federal News

President Obama Signs Georgia Emergency Declaration

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 02/11/2014 - 13:38

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal emergency aid has been made available to the State of Georgia to supplement state and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from a severe winter storm on February 10, 2014, and continuing.

Language English
Categories: Federal News

Learn About Laser Spectrometry Online for Free

USGS Newsroom Technical - Tue, 02/11/2014 - 10:43
Summary: The USGS and the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI) have teamed up to teach six online workshops open to public discussing Laser Specs for Field Hydrology and Biogeochemistry: Lessons Learned and Future Prospects.

Contact Information:

Ethan Alpern ( Phone: 703-648-4406 ); Donna Myers ( Phone: 703-648-5012 );



The USGS and the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI) have teamed up to teach six online workshops open to public discussing Laser Specs for Field Hydrology and Biogeochemistry: Lessons Learned and Future Prospects.

The goal of this video workshop series is two-fold:

  1. To exchange technical information on application of laser spectrometry, both in field deployment and for analyzing field samples in the lab, and to compare performance with isotope-ratio mass spectrometry, the laboratory standard.
  2. To highlight research that makes use of this relatively recent and novel technology, both for understanding basic hydrologic processes, and as part of multi-tracer projects that allow new insights into hydrologic and geochemical systems.

Laser spectrometry enables new insights in environmental sciences for many problem-solving applications in hydrology, the science behind our understanding of water resources. Laser spectrometry enables measurements of the relative ratios of the stable isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen, found in all water, by determining absorption of water vapor of selected wavelengths of light reflected ten thousand times between mirrors in the spectrometer laser.

“With a commitment to both the advancement of water-quality science and education, this partnership with CUAHSI to promote these new breakthroughs in Laser Spectrometry is very exciting,” said Donna Myers, Chief of the USGS Office of Water Quality.

Participants are able to view the workshops live and participate by asking questions and posting comments on the discussion boards. By being a virtual workshop held online, national and international experts are able to provide their insights to participants on this new technology and its applications without traveling to a meeting. Each session of the series will be recorded and posted online after the event for those who cannot attend live or would like to watch them again.

"These visual workshops provide a no-cost, informative, and exciting opportunity for anyone interested to learn about hydrological science and technology from anywhere at their convenience," said Dr. Richard P. Hooper, Executive Director & President of CUAHSI, and former National Coordinator of the National Stream Quality Accounting Network (NASQAN) in the USGS Office of Water Quality from 1998-2003.

Education technology, specifically within higher education, is moving in the direction of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), which is the newest innovation in distance learning, allowing students from all over the world to enroll in the courses.

This is the third such workshop jointly organized by USGS and CUAHSI, and the first to be held on-line. Past workshops have similarly focused on bringing new technologies to the forefront of water monitoring and research. CUAHSI is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

DNREC Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Blotter Jan 28 to Feb 3

DNREC News - Mon, 02/10/2014 - 17:28
DOVER (Feb. 7, 2014) – To achieve public compliance through education and enforcement actions that help conserve Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources and ensure safe boating and public safety, DNREC Natural Resources Police, Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Agents between Jan. 28-Feb. 3 made 556 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including two vessel boardings for boating safety, hunting and fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents issued 36 citations.

Sweets and Spa Valentines Getaway offered at the Indian River Inlet Cottages

DNREC News - Fri, 02/07/2014 - 11:32
REHOBOTH BEACH (Feb. 7, 2014) – Delaware State Parks announces a special Valentine’s romantic getaway at the Indian River Marina Cottages now through Sunday, Feb. 16. Through unique public-private partnerships, the Indian River Marina is offering a “Sweets and Spa” Valentines special, featuring stays at the waterfront cottages along the Indian River Inlet.

Federal Aid Programs for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Emergency Declaration

FEMA Region III News Releases - Thu, 02/06/2014 - 15:07

Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama's emergency disaster declaration issued for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Assistance for the Commonwealth and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:

Language English

Federal Aid Programs for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Emergency Declaration

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 02/06/2014 - 15:07

Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama's emergency disaster declaration issued for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Assistance for the Commonwealth and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:

Language English
Categories: Federal News

President Obama Signs Pennsylvania Emergency Declaration

FEMA Region III News Releases - Thu, 02/06/2014 - 15:03

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal emergency aid has been made available to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to supplement the commonwealth and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from a Severe Winter Storm on February 4, 2014, and continuing.

Language English

President Obama Signs Pennsylvania Emergency Declaration

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 02/06/2014 - 15:03

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal emergency aid has been made available to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to supplement the commonwealth and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from a Severe Winter Storm on February 4, 2014, and continuing.

Language English
Categories: Federal News

New Tool Available to Help Track Spilled Oil

USGS Newsroom - Thu, 02/06/2014 - 13:30
Computer model can help with current, future clean-up efforts

Contact Information:

P. Soupy  Dalyander ( Phone: 727-502-8124 ); Hannah Hamilton ( Phone: 703-648-4356 );



St. Petersburg, Fla. – A newly developed computer model holds the promise of helping scientists track and predict where oil will go after a spill, sometimes years later.  U.S. Geological Survey scientists developed the model as a way of tracking the movement of sand and oil found along the Gulf of Mexico since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  The new tool can help guide clean-up efforts, and be used to aid the response to future oil spills. 

Following the Deepwater Horizon spill, denser-than-water conglomerates of sand and oil have been found in the surf zone, ranging in size from less than a millimeter to mats up to a few meters in size.  The surf zone is where waves break as they approach the shore. The USGS study looked at conglomerates several centimeters thick – known as "surface residual balls," or "SRBs", which continue to emerge in some beach locations more than three years after the first oil reached the shoreline.

Applying the model to movement of SRBs along the coast of Alabama and western Florida showed that normal wave conditions, less than 1.5 to 2 meters, will not move centimeter-sized SRBs alongshore.  However, tropical storms, or winter storms can mobilize and redistribute these SRBs alongshore.

The numerical model indicated that inlets trap SRBs, where they could accumulate over time. The model also suggests that when larger SRBs are found they are more likely to have been formed locally when the oil came ashore, rather than being transported from a different location along the coast.  

Published this week in Marine Pollution Bulletin, the report also shows that SRBs are likely to be covered and uncovered by sand that is relatively easily moved by waves and currents in the surf zone.  

"SRBs are dense enough to rest on the seafloor, rather than floating.  Because sand grains are smaller and more mobile than the larger SRBs, under non-storm conditions when the SRBs themselves are not moving, they can be buried and exhumed by mobilized sand," said P. Soupy Dalyander, a research oceanographer and lead author of the study.

In addition to providing guidance for the Deepwater Horizon clean-up effort, the USGS methodology has broader potential application.

"The techniques developed here can be applied to evaluate the potential alongshore movement of SRBs in other locations or from any future spill where large quantities of oil and sand mix in the surf zone", said Dalyander.

DNREC Watershed Assessment Section, DelDOT sponsor youth artist rain barrel-painting contest

DNREC News - Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:07
DOVER (Feb. 6, 2014) – DNREC’s Watershed Assessment Section and the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) are sponsoring a contest to educate the state’s young people on the benefits of using rain barrels to reduce rainwater runoff and improve water quality.