Archive | March 2011

New earthquake hazard report from NBMG

OF11-1 –  Comparison of loss-estimation modeling using HAZUS with ground-motion input from ShakeMap versus default values

by Jonathan G. Price (NBMG), Gary Johnson (NBMG), Glenn Biasi (Nevada Seismological Laboratory),  Douglas Bausch (Federal Emergency Management Agency), and Ivan G. Wong (URS Corporation)

 2011

 

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This report, which is available as an online document at www.nbmg.unr.edu, documents a comparison of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s loss-estimation model, HAZUS, for earthquakes using two different ground-motion inputs: (1) the standard or default input using the epicenter, depth, and magnitude of an earthquake, which results in a simplified calculation of ground motions performed internally in HAZUS and (2) a user-supplied ShakeMap, which is created with a U.S. Geological Survey program that maps ground shaking. Except at small magnitudes (5.0, when the ShakeMap input yields significantly less loss than the standard input), the two approaches yield results that are mostly well within an order of magnitude of one another.

24 pages (in color)
$24.00 for paper copy or free on the Web:
http://www.nbmg.unr.edu/dox/of111.pdf
http://www.nbmg.unr.edu/sales/pbsdtls.php?sku=OF11-1

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NBMG uses new GPS installation to forecast earthquakes

Begin the 3/17/11 archive video at 1:15 mark to see NBMG research geodesists Bill Hammond and Corné Kreemer in recent news appearance.

http://www.foxreno.com/video/index.html

Latest NBMG biennial report now available

OF10-14 – Biennial report of the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology
2010

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Executive Summary
The Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology (NBMG) stimulates economic diversification and development in the state, saves lives, and protects property from natural disasters. NBMG is the statewide research and public service unit of the University of Nevada, Reno that serves as the state geological survey. NBMG’s mission, to provide the state’s needs for geological and energy- and mineral-resource information and research, is defined in its enabling legislation. Established by the Nevada Legislature as a department within the public service division of the Nevada System of Higher Education, NBMG is part of the Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering within the College of Science and one of the Statewide Programs at the University of Nevada, Reno. NBMG scientists conduct research and publish reports that focus on the economic development, public safety, and quality of life in urban and rural areas of Nevada.

 URBAN GROWTH – NATURAL HAZARDS AND ECONOMIC STABILITY

  • Earthquakes
  • Floods
  • Subsidence and Fissures due to Groundwater Withdrawal
  • All Hazards

MINERAL, ENERGY, AND WATER RESOURCES VITAL TO ECONOMIC EXPANSION

  • Precious and Base Metals 
  •  Industrial Minerals, including Construction Raw Materials
  • Geothermal Energy and Other Forms of Renewable Energy
  •  Petroleum
  • Uranium

ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS

  • Mercury and Other Chemical Hazards from Historical Mining and Natural Sources
  • Global Change
  • Waste Isolation
  • Riparian Restoration

SCIENCE TO UNDERPIN THE APPLICATIONS

  • Geologic Framework – With Applications in Resources, Hazards, and Environment
  •  Tectonics and Earth Processes
  • Global Geodesy

EARTH SCIENCE EDUCATION AND OUTREACH TO THE PUBLIC

  • Outreach to the General Public, K-12 Teachers, and Students
  • Outreach to Professionals

This report provides details on the activities of NBMG scientists and support staff during the past two years. The University of Nevada, Reno is strategically planning for the future, and this report incorporates key elements of NBMG’s strategic plan for the next five to ten years. As indicated in the lists of publications, research grants, and other professional activity, NBMG has been highly productive and valuable to the State of Nevada. In accordance with Nevada Revised Statute 514.070, which calls for a biennial report on NBMG activities, it is my pleasure to transmit this report on behalf of the NBMG staff.

Jonathan G. Price
State Geologist and Director


Read more of this report:
http://www.nbmg.unr.edu/dox/of1014.pdf (web version only)

or learn more about NBMG:
http://www.nbmg.unr.edu

 

New at NBMG: M161-S – Nevada geothermal resources [with shaded relief]

by Robin Penfield, Lisa Shevenell, Larry Garside, and Richard Zehner

2010

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A 1:750,000-scale color map showing geothermal resources in Nevada, including active direct use applications and power plants as of June 2010. Locations are based on a compilation of databases containing information on thermal springs, geothermal wells in the literature, geothermal wells permitted by the State of Nevada, and thermal gradient wells. Site locations have been updated and corrected from the Nevada Geothermal Resources map published in 2005 (NBMG Map 141, 2nd edition).

34×47-inch color plate

 

$18.00 or free on the Web:

http://www.nbmg.unr.edu/sales/pbsdtls.php?sku=M161-S

 

For map without the shaded-relief background, see M161.


Geothermal research helps Nevada’s economy

“Geothermal energy development in Nevada is booming, thanks in part to research and maps produced by NBMG scientists. Our work on how faults control the location of geothermal systems, shallow temperature surveys, and water chemistry from springs stimulated companies to acquire leases, discover previously unknown geothermal resources, and build several new power plants. NBMG Map 161, Nevada Geothermal Resources (2010), http://www.nbmg.unr.edu/sales/pbsdtls.php?sku=M161, demonstrates the fact that Nevada has considerable potential for geothermal development. Production capacity is currently approximately 425 megawatts, but NBMG and other geothermal experts estimate that by 2025 Nevada could add as much as 3,000 megawatts of geothermal power-generating capacity. If this potential were realized, and if energy prices continue to rise, geothermal power could become a billion-dollar per year business in Nevada and account for 35% or more of the State’s electricity needs.” (Jon Price, 3-13-11 letter to NBMG supporters)

 

2010 NAIP mosaics now available – more coverage for Clark County

The Nevada State Mapping Advisory Committee (SMAC) and the W.M Keck Earth Sciences & Mining Research Center announced that the complete set of the 2010 National Agricultural Imagery Program County (NAIP) mosaics are now available on the front page of the Keck website (http://keck.library.unr.edu/). The 2010 NAIP has significantly more coverage for Clark County, Nevada. Note that the zipped mosaic files are now being hosted on Google Storage, and should be significantly faster for users outside the University of Nevada, Reno campus.

NBMG TARGETED TO LOSE HALF ITS BUDGET!

OPEN LETTER TO NBMG SUPPORTERS

We request that you express your support for the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology (NBMG) by writing to members of the Nevada Senate and Assembly, Board of Regents of the Nevada System of Higher Education, and Governor Brian Sandoval.

In an effort to meet proposed budget targets, the University of Nevada, Reno announced on March 7th that it plans to cut NBMG’s State funding from $2.1 million per year to $1.0 million, if the funds are available from the State. We believe this is a tragic mistake, because it will mean that Nevada will lose money, miss economic opportunities, and not protect and serve our citizens and visitors as well as we should. NBMG stimulates economic diversification and development in the State, saves lives, and protects property from natural disasters.

NBMG is the statewide research and public service unit that serves as the State geological survey. NBMG’s mission, to provide the State’s needs for geological and energy- and mineral-resource information and research, is defined in its enabling legislation. Established by the Nevada Legislature as a department within the public service division of the Nevada System of Higher Education, NBMG is one of the Statewide Programs at UNR. Although NBMG contributes to the educational mission of UNR through support of numerous graduate and undergraduate students on externally funded research and occasional teaching, NBMG’s main contributions are accomplished through research and dissemination of results. We are supplementing our State funding with approximately $4 million per year in external grants. Nevada stands to annually lose $2 million or more in additional federal grant funding, if NBMG’s State funding is cut by $1.1 million.

NBMG scientists conduct research and publish reports that foster economic development, promote public safety, and improve quality of life in urban and rural areas of Nevada. Some areas of economic development and risk reduction from natural hazards are listed below. The NBMG website, http://www.nbmg.unr.edu/, has links to NBMG publications and services.  The latest NBMG biennial report, http://www.nbmg.unr.edu/dox/of1014.pdf, provides details on what we have accomplished recently, and Appendix B of the report lists the statutory mandates for NBMG.

We ask that you contact Legislators, Regents, and the Governor to express, from your perspective on the benefits of NBMG to the State, your support for NBMG. One option that should be considered is dedicating some of the Net Proceeds of Minerals tax to support NBMG. With the revenue from this tax likely to rise with increasing mineral and energy production, the State could benefit tremendously from dedicating a portion of this revenue to support NBMG.

We would appreciate receiving a copy of your letter or e-mail of support by March 23, because it may help us in our internal response to UNR’s proposed cut.

Sincerely,                                                                    

Jonathan G. Price 
State Geologist and Director, Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology
E-mail: jprice@unr.edu                                
Telephone: 775-784-6691 extension 5

NBMG’s RESEARCH AND EDUCATION EFFORTS
SPUR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND SAVES LIVES!

·         Mining

o   NBMG maps, publications, and data sets have played a critical role in Nevada’s current gold-mining boom, the largest in the history of the Americas.

o   NBMG-supported mapping led to the discovery of the Carlin Gold deposit in 1961.  Since then, Nevada has produced over $230B in gold and silver at today’s prices, providing high-paying jobs for tens of thousands of Nevadans.

o   Many mineral deposits are still to be found in Nevada, especially under volcanic and gravel cover.  These difficult-to-find deposits will heavily rely on data made available by NBMG.  Estimates of the value of these deposits range up to $1.2 trillion.

·         Geothermal

o   NBMG scientists have played a critical role in Nevada’s booming geothermal energy.

o   NBMG’s work on the fault control on locations of geothermal systems, shallow temperature surveys, and water chemistry from springs stimulated companies to find new geothermal resources and develop new power plants.

o   NBMG’s estimate of Nevada’s potential indicates geothermal power can produce >35% of Nevada’s energy needs, potentially making the geothermal industry a billion-dollar-a-year business.

·         Earthquakes

o   NBMG scientists helped document the magnitude 6.0 earthquake near Wells and the 4.7 the Mogul swarm of earthquake in west Reno.

o   NBMG distributed information on earthquake safety before the largest earthquake in the Mogul swarm, likely saving millions of dollars of damage.

o   NBMG’s computer simulations of earthquakes indicates a major earthquake in Las Vegas or Reno-Carson City areas, like ones that have occurred in the geological past, could cause hundreds of fatalities and billions of dollars of damage, if we are not prepared.

o   NBMG’s continued work on locating active faults, mapping areas of potential liquefaction and landslides, measuring stresses with geodetic instruments, and informing the public of hazards will save lives.

·         Geologic Mapping

o   NBMG’s geologic maps play critical roles in resource development, hazard mitigation, and urban planning.

o   The value of geologic mapping in cost savings to developers and planners is up to almost 40 times the cost of the mapping.

o   NBMG estimates that 80% of Nevada lacks modern geologic mapping.

·         Education

o   NBMG scientists educate the Nevada public in how geology affects their lives by leading field trips, giving presentations, especially to students, and training teachers.

o   NBMG scientists help train Nevada professionals by leading field trips and giving workshops.

o   NBMG scientists train UNR students by teaching classes and funding and supervising graduate student research.  These students, many of whom are from outside Nevada, get high-paying jobs in Nevada and pay taxes.

In addition to letters you write, please visit NBMG’s Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nevada-Bureau-of-Mines-and-Geology/106397989390… and Blog (http://nbmg.posterous.com/) to post your support.


CONTACT INFORMATION

The Nevada Legislature’s website, http://www.leg.state.nv.us/, has a link to “Who’s My Legislator?” at http://mapserve.leg.state.nv.us/website/lcb/viewer.htm, where you can enter a street address and zip code.  Lists of members of the Nevada Assembly, http://www.leg.state.nv.us/Assembly/Current/Assembly/alist.cfm, and Senate,

http://www.leg.state.nv.us/Senate/Current/Senators/slist.cfm, are also available on the web.

The website of the Board of Regents of the Nevada System of Higher Education, http://system.nevada.edu/Board-of-R/Bios/index.htm, lists names, mailing addresses, and e-mail addresses for each Regent. 

The Governor can be reached at the following address and telephone number:

The Honorable Governor Brian Sandoval
775-684-5670
Capitol Building
Carson City, NV 89701