Geophysics - Program Information

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The Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys' (DGGS's) geophysics program is responsible for the collection, distribution, and promotion of geophysical data to support Alaska's resource exploration, transportation, and environmental stakeholders. Data products are designed to catalyze new private-sector exploration and discovery and, ultimately, development and production. These data are used by State and Federal agencies and the private sector to produce more accurate detailed geologic maps. Better surface and subsurface geologic understanding facilitate informed infrastructure and transportation planning decisions and improved exploration results.

The geophysics program's data collection primarily contains high-quality airborne magnetic, electromagnetic, and radiometric data covering more than 30,000 square miles. These data are available to download from the DGGS website using the GeophysWeb interactive map or going directly to the surveys page. Paper maps and data on digital media are available for nominal costs.

Funding for these data has been provided by the Alaska State Legislature under AGGMI and SCMA. Significant additional funding has been provided by federal grants, Alaska Native corporations, and private-sector contributions.

Please send inquiries and comments to the Geophysics program staff: Abraham Emond or Gina Graham. Candidate areas for new data acquisition are provided here. Geophysics related presentations are also available. We welcome comments on proposed candidate areas, proposals for new areas, and geophysical data types.

Request for Proposals

The Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys (DGGS) is soliciting detailed proposals for airborne magnetic data collection for Icy Cape Alaska. It is anticipated approximately 750 line kilometers (km) of data will be required. The work includes survey design, data acquisition, processing of the data, map and digital data preparation and documentation. These data will be used to identify areas of concentrated heavy mineral sands.

Request for Proposals (RFP) 16000077, "Airborne Magnetic Survey of Icy Cape, Alaska," is posted on the State's Online Public Notice site and the IRIS Vendor Self-Service VSS portal.

Interactive map: Airborne GeophysWeb

This interactive map is a compilation of publicly available airborne geophysical surveys conducted in Alaska since 1993 by DGGS and other cooperating agencies. More info...

Regional geophysical data

DDS 12: Sub-regional, merged, gridded airborne geophysical data

Yukon - Eastern Alaska magnetic grid: Geologic Survey of Canada and U.S. Geological Survey magnetic data compilation. Resulting merged grid available in GeoTiff and Geosoft Grid formats. First published fourth quarter 2015.

Airborne Geophysical/Geological Mineral Inventory (AGGMI)

The goal of the Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys' Airborne Geophysical/Geological Mineral Inventory (AGGMI) program is to enhance the understanding of Alaska's mineral resources and stimulate private-sector mineral development. The program seeks to delineate mineral zones on Alaska State lands that: (1) have major economic value; (2) can be developed in the short term to provide high-quality jobs for Alaskans; and (3) will provide economic diversification to help offset the loss of Prudhoe Bay oil revenue. Candidate lands for this program are identified on the basis of existing geologic knowledge, land ownership, and nominations from Alaska's geologic community. Products resulting from this program generally include aeromagnetic, airborne-electromagnetic, and geologic maps as well as other geological, geochemical, and geophysical data compilations. The AGGMI program and resulting new geologic knowledge are recognized worldwide and have encouraged millions of dollars of venture capital expenditures in the local economies of the surveyed mining districts. These venture capital expenditures have led to discovery and delineation of new mineral resources.

Strategic and Critical Minerals Assessment Capital Improvement Project (SCMA)

The multi-year Strategic and Critical Minerals Assessment Capital Improvement Project (SCMA) was established to determine Alaska's geologic potential for rare-earth elements and other minerals that are essential for our modern, technology-based society. These include military and high-technology applications and clean/renewable-energy applications (such as wind turbines, solar panels, and batteries for electric vehicles, among many other uses) for which the U.S. is overly dependent on foreign sources for the required minerals. This program began in FY2012 with a data survey and compilation of existing information on rare-earth-element occurrences in Alaska, and expanded significantly in FY2013 to include additional critical minerals, re-analyses of existing samples, and obtaining new field and analytical data, including airborne geophysics.

Additional funding sources and contributions

DGGS has received federal grants through the BLM, NSF and USGS for geophysical surveys. Millrock Exploration, Anglo American USA Exploration Inc., AngloGold Ashanti USA Exploration Inc., and CIRI contributed to portions of airborne electromagnetic and magnetic surveys. Sealaska Corporation and Bering Straits Native Corporation contributed airborne geophysical data. City of Thorne Bay, City of Coffman Cove, Ketchikan Gateway Borough, Alaska State Mental Health Trust Land Office, and the University of Alaska have contributed to geophysical surveys.