- Frequently Asked Questions

DGGS geologists are available to help the public find information about Alaska's geologic resources and hazards. We provide both general information and technical expertise. Need more information? Contact our librarian.

Common questions

Where can I pan for gold?
The BLM Alaska web site provides an informative guide to recreational gold panning and rock hounding.
Alaska State Library - A guide to Alaska gold panning and placer mining resources.
Is my structure built on permafrost?
Permafrost is an important building consideration throughout northern and interior Alaska. To learn more about permafrost in Alaska see the permafrost section of the DGGS Online Guide to Geologic Hazards in Alaska.
Did I feel an earthquake?
The Alaska Earthquake Information Center personnel locate and report about 22,000 earthquakes each year, and advise federal and state officials of each major earthquake's location and size within 30 minutes. For additional information, the earthquake related hazards section of the DGGS Online Guide to Geologic Hazards in Alaska provides a wealth of links about earthquakes, earthquake related hazards, and earthquake safety.
Where can I find information about groundwater wells in my neighborhood?
The Alaska Division of Mining, Land and Water - Well Log Tracking System (WELTS) provides a helpful database of many groundwater well logs throughout the state.
Many Alaskan communities are challenged by limited sources of safe drinking water. The DGGS online library includes numerous research reports which describe how local rock chemistry, permafrost, and subsurface rock structure and distribution can influence groundwater chemistry and availability.
What is LiDAR?
LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is a remote sensing technology that provides high resolution digital elevation data. LiDAR is used by geologists to detect topographic features and to measure land surface elevation beneath the vegetation.