United States Geological Survey
The United States Geological Survey is a scientific agency of the United States government. The scientists of the USGS study the landscape of the United States, its natural resources, the natural hazards that threaten it; the organization has four major science disciplines, concerning biology, geography and hydrology. The USGS is a fact-finding research organization with no regulatory responsibility; the USGS is a bureau of the United States Department of the Interior. The USGS employs 8,670 people and is headquartered in Reston, Virginia; the USGS has major offices near Lakewood, Colorado, at the Denver Federal Center, Menlo Park, California. The current motto of the USGS, in use since August 1997, is "science for a changing world." The agency's previous slogan, adopted on the occasion of its hundredth anniversary, was "Earth Science in the Public Service." Since 2012, the USGS science focus is directed at six topical "Mission Areas", namely Climate and Land Use Change, Core Science Systems, Ecosystems and Minerals and Environmental Health, Natural Hazards, Water.
In December 2012, the USGS split the Energy and Minerals and Environmental Health Mission Area resulting in seven topical Mission Areas, with the two new areas being: Energy and Minerals and Environmental Health. Administratively, it is divided into six Regional Units. Other specific programs include: Earthquake Hazards Program monitors earthquake activity worldwide; the National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colorado on the campus of the Colorado School of Mines detects the location and magnitude of global earthquakes. The USGS runs or supports several regional monitoring networks in the United States under the umbrella of the Advanced National Seismic System; the USGS informs authorities, emergency responders, the media, the public, both domestic and worldwide, about significant earthquakes. It maintains long-term archives of earthquake data for scientific and engineering research, it conducts and supports research on long-term seismic hazards. USGS has released the UCERF California earthquake forecast.
As of 2005, the agency is working to create a National Volcano Early Warning System by improving the instrumentation monitoring the 169 volcanoes in U. S. territory and by establishing methods for measuring the relative threats posed at each site. The USGS National Geomagnetism Program monitors the magnetic field at magnetic observatories and distributes magnetometer data in real time; the USGS collaborates with Canadian and Mexican government scientists, along with the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, to produce the North American Environmental Atlas, used to depict and track environmental issues for a continental perspective. The USGS operates the streamgaging network for the United States, with over 7400 streamgages. Real-time streamflow data are available online. National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center implements partner-driven science to improve understanding of past and present land use change, develops relevant climate and land use forecasts, identifies lands and communities that are most vulnerable to adverse impacts of change from the local to global scale.
Since 1962, the Astrogeology Research Program has been involved in global and planetary exploration and mapping. In collaboration with Stanford University, the USGS operates the USGS-Stanford Ion Microprobe Laboratory, a world-class analytical facility for U--Pb geochronology and trace element analyses of minerals and other earth materials. USGS operates a number of water related programs, notably the National Streamflow Information Program and National Water-Quality Assessment Program. USGS Water data is publicly available from their National Water Information System database; the USGS operates the National Wildlife Health Center, whose mission is "to serve the nation and its natural resources by providing sound science and technical support, to disseminate information to promote science-based decisions affecting wildlife and ecosystem health. The NWHC provides information, technical assistance, research and leadership on national and international wildlife health issues." It is the agency responsible for surveillance of H5N1 avian influenza outbreaks in the United States.
The USGS runs 17 biological research centers in the United States, including the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. The USGS is investigating collaboration with the social networking site Twitter to allow for more rapid construction of ShakeMaps; the USGS produces several national series of topographic maps which vary in scale and extent, with some wide gaps in coverage, notably the complete absence of 1:50,000 scale topographic maps or their equivalent. The largest and best-known topographic series is the 7.5-minute, 1:24,000 scale, quadrangle, a non-metric scale unique to the United States. Each of these maps covers an area bounded by two lines of latitude and two lines of longitude spaced 7.5 minutes apart. Nearly 57,000 individual maps in this series cover the 48 contiguous states, Hawaii, U. S. territories, areas of Alaska near Anchorage and Prudhoe Bay. The area covered by each map varies with the latitude of its represented location due to convergence of the meridians. At lower latitudes, near 30° north, a 7.5-minute quadrangle contains an area of about 64 square miles.
At 49° north latitude, 49 square miles are contained within a quadrangle of that size. As a unique non-metric map scale, the 1:24,000 scale requires a separate and specialized romer scale for pl
Jewel Cave National Monument
Jewel Cave National Monument contains Jewel Cave the third longest cave in the world, with 200.3 miles of mapped passageways. It is located 13 miles west of the town of Custer in Black Hills of South Dakota, it became a national monument in 1908. Frank and Albert Michaud, two local prospectors, discovered the cave in 1900, when they felt cold air blowing out of a small hole in a canyon, it is unknown whether any previous inhabitants of the area were aware of the natural cave opening, not large enough for a person to enter. After enlarging the cave entrance with dynamite, the Michaud brothers found a cavern lined with calcite crystals, which led them to name it "Jewel Cave." The brothers tried to capitalize on the discovery, widening the opening, building walkways inside, opening it to tourists. Although their venture was unsuccessful, news of the discovery reached Washington. President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed Jewel Cave a National Monument on February 7, 1908; the area around the natural entrance to the cave was further developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.
The National Park Service assumed management of the monument in 1933 and began offering tours in 1939. As as 1959, less than 2 miles of passageway had been discovered; that year, however and Jan Conn, local rock climbers, began exploring, within two years had mapped 15 miles. Much of the new discoveries lay outside the boundaries of the monument, under land managed by the United States Forest Service; the two agencies performed a land swap in 1965, establishing the present boundaries of the park, enabling the development of a new part of the cave. The Park Service sunk a 300 feet elevator shaft to a remote cave area, built concrete walks and metal stairs and platforms along a one-half-mile loop; the "Scenic Tour" was opened in 1972. Most modern-day visitors tour that part of the cave. In August 2000, an 83,000 acres forest fire burned 90 % of the surrounding area; the visitor center and historic buildings were spared. By 1979, Herb and Jan Conn had discovered and mapped more than 64 miles of passages.
Although they retired from caving by the early 1980s, exploration has continued unabated. Because the areas being explored take many hours to reach, explorers now sometimes camp in the cave during expeditions of as long as four days; the cave is mapped by traditional survey techniques, using compass and today with lasers instead of tape measures. Its 198.00 mi of mapped passageway make Jewel Cave the third longest cave in the world, after Mammoth Cave System in Kentucky and Sistema Sac Actun at the Yucatán Peninsula, at 198 mi. The discovered areas in the cave account for only about 3 to 5% of the estimated total air volume of the cave; the cave volume is estimated by measuring the amount of air that the cave "exhales" when the outside air pressure drops and "inhales" when the outside air pressure rises. Jewel Cave is a "breathing cave," which means air enters or exits the cave with changes in atmospheric pressure from day to night or due to changes in the weather; this was first explained by Herb Conn in 1966.
Most of the cave formed within the Mississippian Pahasapa Limestone deposited 350 million years ago. The limestones and shales deposited in these Paleozoic and Mesozoic seas were eroded with the geologic uplift associated with Laramide Orogeny and the formation of the Black Hills; the main passages of the cave formed in the early Cenozoic. Uplift continued in the Late Pliocene or Early Pleistocene lowering the water table and draining the cave. Jewel Cave passages follow a pattern of joint development; the faults and joints are associated with the uplift of the Black Hills 58 to 54 million years ago. After main cave dissolution, a thick layer of calcite lined the walls about 2.5 million years ago. During cave development and afterwards and speleogens formed, including the "jewels" or spar. Other examples include stalactites, flowstone, cave popcorn, helictites, conulites, cave pearls, rafts, rims and frostwork; the gypsum formations include needles, cotton, hair and spiders. Jewel Cave contains a rare formation called a hydromagnesite balloon.
Those are created when gas of an unknown source inflates a pasty substance formed by the precipitation of the magnesium carbonate hydroxide mineral. Jewel Cave is open year round; the Park Service offers three tours: the scenic tour, a half-mile loop through a paved and lighted central portion of the cave accessible by elevator. There are 3 surface trails varying in difficulty. List of caves List of longest caves in the United States Wind Cave National Park Mammoth Cave National Park Lehman Caves Oregon Caves National Monument Russell Cave National Monument Timpanogos Cave National Monument Speleology
Hiking is the preferred term, in Canada and the United States, for a long, vigorous walk on trails, in the countryside, while the word walking is used for shorter urban walks. On the other hand, in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, the word "walking" is acceptable to describe all forms of walking, whether it is a walk in the park or backpacking in the Alps; the word hiking is often used in the UK, along with rambling and fell walking. The term bushwalking is endemic to Australia, having been adopted by the Sydney Bush Walkers club in 1927. In New Zealand a long, vigorous walk or hike is called tramping, it is a popular activity with numerous hiking organizations worldwide, studies suggest that all forms of walking have health benefits. In the United States, the Republic of Ireland, United Kingdom, hiking means walking outdoors on a trail, or off trail, for recreational purposes. A day hike refers to a hike. However, in the United Kingdom, the word walking is used, as well as rambling, while walking in mountainous areas is called hillwalking.
In Northern England, Including the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales, fellwalking describes hill or mountain walks, as fell is the common word for both features there. Hiking is sometimes referred to as such; this refers to difficult walking through dense forest, undergrowth, or bushes, where forward progress requires pushing vegetation aside. In extreme cases of bushwhacking, where the vegetation is so dense that human passage is impeded, a machete is used to clear a pathway; the Australian term bushwalking refers to both on and off-trail hiking. Common terms for hiking used by New Zealanders are walking or bushwalking. Trekking is the preferred word used to describe multi-day hiking in the mountainous regions of India, Nepal, North America, South America and the highlands of East Africa. Hiking a long-distance trail from end-to-end is referred to as trekking and as thru-hiking in some places. In North America, multi-day hikes with camping, are referred to as backpacking; the idea of taking a walk in the countryside for pleasure developed in the 18th century, arose because of changing attitudes to the landscape and nature associated with the Romantic movement.
In earlier times walking indicated poverty and was associated with vagrancy. Thomas West, an English priest, popularized the idea of walking for pleasure in his guide to the Lake District of 1778. In the introduction he wrote that he aimed to encourage the taste of visiting the lakes by furnishing the traveller with a Guide. To this end he included various'stations' or viewpoints around the lakes, from which tourists would be encouraged to enjoy the views in terms of their aesthetic qualities. Published in 1778 the book was a major success. Another famous early exponent of walking for pleasure, was the English poet William Wordsworth. In 1790 he embarked on an extended tour of France and Germany, a journey subsequently recorded in his long autobiographical poem The Prelude, his famous poem Tintern Abbey was inspired by a visit to the Wye Valley made during a walking tour of Wales in 1798 with his sister Dorothy Wordsworth. Wordsworth's friend Coleridge was another keen walker and in the autumn of 1799, he and Wordsworth undertook a three weeks tour of the Lake District.
John Keats, who belonged to the next generation of Romantic poets began, in June 1818, a walking tour of Scotland and the Lake District with his friend Charles Armitage Brown. More and more people undertook walking tours through the 19th century, of which the most famous is Robert Louis Stevenson's journey through the Cévennes in France with a donkey, recorded in his Travels with a Donkey. Stevenson published in 1876 his famous essay "Walking Tours"; the subgenre of travel writing produced many classics in the subsequent 20th century. An early American example of a book that describes an extended walking tour is naturalist John Muir's A Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf, a posthumous published account of a long botanizing walk, undertaken in 1867. Due to industrialisation in England, people began to migrate to the cities where living standards were cramped and unsanitary, they would escape the confines of the city by rambling about in the countryside. However, the land in England around the urban areas of Manchester and Sheffield, was owned and trespass was illegal.
Rambling clubs soon sprang up in the north and began politically campaigning for the legal'right to roam'. One of the first such clubs, was'Sunday Tramps' founded by Leslie White in 1879; the first national grouping, the Federation of Rambling Clubs, was formed in London in 1905 and was patronized by the peerage. Access to Mountains bills, that would have legislated the public's'right to roam' across some private land, were periodically presented to Parliament from 1884 to 1932 without success. In 1932, the Rambler’s Right Movement organized a mass trespass on Kinder Scout in Derbyshire. Despite attempts on the part of the police to prevent the trespass from going ahead it was achieved due to massive publicity; however the Mountain Access Bill, passed in 1939 was opposed by many walkers' organizations, including The Ramblers, who felt that it did not
Gouverneur K. Warren
Gouverneur Kemble Warren was a civil engineer and Union Army general during the American Civil War. He is best remembered for arranging the last-minute defense of Little Round Top during the Battle of Gettysburg and is referred to as the "Hero of Little Round Top." His subsequent service as a corps commander and his remaining military career were ruined during the Battle of Five Forks, when he was relieved of command of the V Corps by Philip Sheridan, who claimed that Warren had moved too slowly. Warren was born in Cold Spring, Putnam County, New York, named for Gouverneur Kemble, a prominent local Congressman, diplomat and owner of the West Point Foundry, his sister, Emily Warren Roebling, would play a significant role in the building of the Brooklyn Bridge. He entered the United States Military Academy at age 16 and graduated second in his class of 44 cadets in 1850, he was commissioned a brevet second lieutenant in the Corps of Topographical Engineers. In the antebellum years he worked on the Mississippi River, on transcontinental railroad surveys, mapped the trans-Mississippi West.
He served as the engineer on William S. Harney's Battle of Ash Hollow in the Nebraska Territory in 1855, where he saw his first combat, he took part in studies of possible transcontinental railroad routes, creating the first comprehensive map of the United States west of the Mississippi in 1857. This required extensive explorations of the vast Nebraska Territory, including Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, part of Montana, part of Wyoming. One region he surveyed was the Minnesota River Valley, a valley much larger than what would be expected from the low-flow Minnesota River. In some places the valley is 250 feet deep. Warren first explained the hydrology of the region in 1868, attributing the gorge to a massive river, which drained Lake Agassiz between 11,700 and 9,400 years ago; the great river was named Glacial River Warren in his honor after his death. At the start of the war, Warren was a first lieutenant and mathematics instructor at the United States Military Academy at West Point, across the Hudson River from his hometown.
He helped raise a local regiment for service in the Union Army and was appointed lieutenant colonel of the 5th New York Infantry on May 14, 1861. Warren and his regiment saw their first combat at the Battle of Big Bethel in Virginia on June 10, arguably the first major land engagement of the war, he was promoted to colonel and regimental commander on September 10. In the 1862 Peninsula Campaign, Warren commanded his regiment at the Siege of Yorktown and assisted the chief topographical engineer of the Army of the Potomac, Brig. Gen. Andrew A. Humphreys, by leading reconnaissance missions and drawing detailed maps of appropriate routes for the army in its advance up the Virginia Peninsula, he commanded a small brigade during the Seven Days Battles consisting of his own 5th New York along with the 10th New York. At Gaines Mill, he remained on the field, he continued to lead the brigade at the Second Battle of Bull Run, suffering heavy casualties in a heroic stand against an overwhelming enemy assault, at Antietam, where the V Corps was in reserve and saw no combat.
Warren was promoted to brigadier general on September 26, 1862, he and his brigade went to the Battle of Fredericksburg in December, but again were held in reserve and saw no action. When Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker reorganized the Army of the Potomac in February 1863, he named Warren his chief topographical engineer and chief engineer; as chief engineer, Warren was commended for his service in the Battle of Chancellorsville. At the start of the Gettysburg Campaign, as Confederate General Robert E. Lee began his invasion of Pennsylvania, Warren advised Hooker on the routes the Army should take in pursuit. On the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg, July 2, 1863, Warren initiated the defense of Little Round Top, recognizing the importance of the undefended position on the left flank of the Union Army, directing, on his own initiative, the brigade of Col. Strong Vincent to occupy it just. Warren suffered a minor neck wound during the Confederate assault. Promoted to major general after Gettysburg, Warren commanded the II Corps from August 1863 until March 1864, replacing the wounded Maj. Gen. Winfield S. Hancock, distinguishing himself at the Battle of Bristoe Station.
On March 13, 1865, he was brevetted to major general in the regular army for his actions at Bristoe Station. During the Mine Run Campaign, Warren's corps was ordered to attack Lee's army, but he perceived that a trap had been laid and refused the order from army commander Maj. Gen. George G. Meade. Although angry at Warren, Meade acknowledged that he had been right. Upon Hancock's return from medical leave, the spring 1864 reorganization of the Army of the Potomac, Warren assumed command of the V Corps and led it through the Overland Campaign, the Siege of Petersburg, the Appomattox Campaign. During these Virginia campaigns, Warren established a reputation of bringing his engineering traits of deliberation and caution to the role of infantry corps commander, he won the Battle of Globe Tavern, August 18 to August 20, 1864, cutting the Weldon Railroad, a vital supply route north to Petersburg. He won a limited success in the Battle of Peebles' Farm in September 1864, carrying a part of the Confederate lines protecting supplies moving to Petersburg on the Boydton Plank Road.
The aggressive Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan, a key subordinate of Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, was dissatisfied with Warren's performance, he was angry at Warren's corps for obstructing roads after the
In mountaineering, a first ascent is the first successful, documented attainment of the top of a mountain, or the first to follow a particular climbing route. First mountain ascents are notable because they entail genuine exploration, with greater risks and recognition than climbing a route pioneered by others; the person who performs the first ascent is called the first ascensionist. In free climbing, a first ascent of a climbing route is the first successful, documented climb of a route without using equipment such as anchors or ropes for aiding progression or resting; the details of the first ascents of many prominent mountains are scanty or unknown. Today, first ascents are carefully recorded and mentioned in guidebooks. Overwhelmingly, the idea of a "first ascent" is a modern one in places such as Africa and the Americas with a history of colonialism. There may be little or no physical evidence or documentation about the climbing activities of indigenous peoples living near the mountain.
For example, the volcano Llullaillaco on the border of Argentina and Chile is known to have been climbed in the prehistoric period due to the presence of Incan artifacts at the summit, yet credit for the first recorded ascent is given to Chilean climbers Bión González and Juan Harseim, who summited in 1952. The term is used when referring to ascents made using a specific technique or taking a specific route, such as via the North Face, without ropes or without oxygen. In rock climbing, some of the earlier first ascents for difficult routes, involved a mix of free and aid climbing; as a result, purist free climbers have developed the designation first free ascent to acknowledge ascents intentionally made more challenging by using equipment for protection only. Second ascents are noteworthy in climbing circles involving improving on a pioneering route through lessons learned from it, experience which may span from technical improvements to having a better understanding of how much gear and provisions to take.
Some other "first ascents" could be recorded for particular routes. One is the First Winter Ascent, which is, as the name suggests, the first ascent made during winter season; this is most important where the climate of winter is a factor in increasing the difficulty grade of the route. In the Northern Hemisphere conventional winter ascents are made between December 21 and March 21 and are not related to the conditions. In the Himalayan area, although Nepal and China's winter season permits start on December 1, the conventional winter ascents begin on December 21. Another is the First Solo Ascent, the first ascent made by a single climber; this is most important on high-level rock climbing, when the climber has to provide his own security or when climbing without any protection at all. Another type of ascent known as FFA is the first female ascent. While not considered as important, this designation remains significant on some difficult, limit-pushing climbs, where the first female ascent may not happen until well after the FA, due to possible difficulties encountered by female physicality.
The term last ascent has been used to refer to an ascent of a mountain or face that has subsequently changed to such an extent – because of rockfall – that the route no longer exists. It can be used facetiously to refer to a climb, so unpleasant or unaesthetic that no one would willingly repeat the first ascent party's ordeal. List of first ascents Notable first free ascents List of first ascents in the Alps List of first ascents in the Himalaya Glossary of climbing terms Alpinist Magazine – Peter Mortimer's First Ascent, Issue 17
Black Hills National Forest
Black Hills National Forest is located in southwestern South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming, United States. The forest is managed by the Forest Service. Forest headquarters are located in South Dakota. There are local ranger district offices in Custer, Rapid City, Spearfish in South Dakota, in Sundance, Wyoming. Predominantly ponderosa pine, the forest includes hard woods like aspen, bur oak, birch; the lower elevations include grassland prairie, but the National Forest System lands encompass most of the mountainous region known as the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming. Within the forest is Black Elk Peak, the tallest mountain in South Dakota and the highest peak east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States. After a series of devastating wildfires in 1893, U. S. President Grover Cleveland created the Black Hills Forest Reserve on February 22, 1897. U. S. President William McKinley issued a presidential proclamation on September 19, 1898 appending the Black Hills Forest Reserve geographic boundaries while acknowledging the forest preservation decrees established by the Timber Culture Act and Forest Reserve Act of 1891.
Upon the creation of the Forest Service in 1905, the reserve was transferred to the new agency under the United States Department of Agriculture and redesignated as a National Forest two years later. Lakota words pahá sápa meaning "hills that are black" may be one of the factors in the regions naming. Early settlers and explorers called the Laramie Range the Black Hills prior to Lt. G. K. Warren's expedition in 1857. Prior to explorations by the La Verendrye brothers in 1742, many tribes frequented the Black Hills including Ponca, Kiowa Apache, Arapaho and Cheyenne for at least the past 10,000 years; the smallpox epidemics of 1771 to 1781 broke the will of the Arikara who prior to that time held the Sioux east of the Missouri. American Horse's winter count of 1775-76 is interpreted as depicting the Sioux discovery of the Black Hills; the mountains and other key features in and around the Black Hills and now within the Forest were considered sacred to indigenous peoples and many came here on vision quests, for hunting and for trade.
The forest is located in parts of seven counties in South Wyoming. In descending order of forestland area they are Pennington, Lawrence, Fall River and Weston counties; the Forest is located west and south of Rapid City and can be accessed from Interstate 90. The forest headquarters is located in South Dakota; the Peter Norbeck National Scenic Byway passes through the forest in proximity to Mount Rushmore and along with the Spearfish Canyon National Forest Scenic Byway, provide two of the more scenic drives in the Country. Although surrounded by Black Hills National Forest, both Jewel Cave National Monument and Mount Rushmore National Memorial are separate areas administered by the National Park Service. Wind Cave National Park, another area administered by the National Park Service, borders portions of the forest in the southeast. Black Elk Wilderness is a wilderness within the Forest and no motorized transport is permitted. Outside of the wilderness, mining and ranching are permitted on public lands through land leases with companies and private parties, referred to as "permittees."
The Black Hills National Forest encompasses three distinct mountain ranges: the Black Hills and the Elk Mountains in South Dakota as well as the Bear Lodge Mountains in Wyoming. The Black Hills are by far the largest of the three ranges. While ponderosa pine is the most common tree species found in the forest, spruce can be found in the higher elevations. Elk, mule deer and white-tailed deer are seen. Black bears have been spotted in the Black Hills. Cougars are increasing as a result of prolific herds of deer and elk. Coyotes, bighorn sheep and mountain goats are frequently seen by visitors. Bald eagles, osprey, peregrine falcon and another two hundred species of birds can be found in this forest along streams and near water sources. 30 campgrounds are located in the forest and there are 11 reservoirs that are well stocked for sport fishing. 450 miles of hiking trails provide access to more remote destinations and to the summit of Black Elk Peak. With over 5,000 miles of Forest system roads, the Forest is a haven for motorized travel.
Black Hills National Forest travel guide from Wikivoyage "Black Hills National Forest". U. S. Forest Service