USGS Argon Geochronology laboratory in Denver, CO. Photograph by USGS.
Our scientists conduct research to provide information about the genesis, characteristics, and deposit models for major mineral deposit types, to understand the geologic processes that concentrate known mineral resources at specific localities in the Earth's crust. This full spectrum of mineral resource science allows for a comprehensive understanding of the complete life cycle of mineral resources and materials.
Current Projects and Laboratories
- Understanding Our Planet Through Chemistry
USGS chemists and geologists use analytical chemistry to, among other things:
- determine the age of the Earth;
- show that an extraterrestrial body collided with the Earth;
- predict volcanic eruptions;
- observe atmospheric change over millions of years; and
- document damage by acid rain and pollution of the Earth's surface.