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International Activities


Ooperative and assistance programs

between the USGS and foreign coun

tries transfer technology to other nations by providing advice and training. Funds for USGS technical assistance to foreign countries, including all training programs either within or outside the United States, are supplied by other Federal agencies, international organizations, or foreign governments. Some funds appropriated annually to the USGS for research are allocated to cooperative ventures with foreign counterpart organizations that in turn supply funding and (or) personnel and printing services.

Cooperative projects range from individual scientist-to-scientist discussions, correspondence, and exchange visits on topics of mutual interest to jointly staffed, formally organized, bilateral scientific research and multilaterally coordinated investigations that focus on various scientific phenomena. USGS scientists also serve as officers, committee members, or participants in international organizations, commissions, and associations. Currently the USGS and counterpart

agencies in 47 countries have 71 agreements under which cooperative research may be undertaken; another 16 agreements are multinational, regional, or worldwide in scope. In fiscal year 1990, investigations conducted under these agreements include: • Data collection by remote sensing from AVHRR, Landsat, and SPOT imagery, • Surveying and mapping to produce base, topographic, geologic, and other thematic maps, • Surveying and mapping in polar regions to assess changes in glaciers, ice-sheets, and climate, • A worldwide International Strategic Minerals Inventory and, in individual countries, research, assessment, and modeling of mineral resources, • Assessment of worldwide resources of oil and gas under the World Energy Resources Program and, in individual countries, research, assessment, and modeling of energy resources, such as petroleum, coal, peat, and geothermal, • Research, assessment, and modeling of surface- and ground-water resources in various countries and regions,

• Activities to mitigate geologic and hydrologic hazards, predictive investigations and monitoring for volcanic eruptions, and global research on geophysics, seismicity, and earthquakes, • Exploration research in marine geology, and • Research, assessment, and modeling for climate-change and atmospheric-deposition programs. The strengthening of earth science institutions in other countries, training of foreign nationals, and exchange of scientists are all integral to USGS international programs. During fiscal year 1990, 155 nationals from 41 countries received training in the United States. Fifty-seven visiting scientists from 15 countries conducted research either at USGS or other installations in the United States as arranged by the USGS, USGS personnel trained more than 78 foreign scientists and technicians, either individually or in groups, in their respective countries. Overseas training was concentrated in those countries that have long-term projects—Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Abu Dhabi UAE, Indonesia, Venezuela, and Bolivia. In the spirit of international openness and cooperation underway, new and expanding programs in the Soviet Union and in Eastern European countries are providing exciting opportunities for USGS scientists and their counterparts in these nations to enhance their scientific knowledge of the world. The joint studies at Lake Baikal and in the Soviet Far East are examples of the effective scientific cooperation that is being fostered. Finally, continuing partnerships with nations in Central and Latin America underscore the longstanding commitment of the USGS and the Nation to pursue scientific investigations and cooperation in our own Hemisphere.

Lake Baikal in the Soviet Union

By Paul P. Hearn, Steven M. Colman, and Peter W. Lipman

ocated just north of the Mongolian

border in southeastern Siberia, Lake

Baikal is the oldest (25–30 million years old), the deepest (1,056 feet), and by volume

[blocks in formation]

pursued: Domestic research objectives will be expanded in scope and achieved through the comparative studies of scientific phenomena nationally and internationally. Information about existing and potential foreign resources of interest to the United States will be obtained and incorporated in worldwide data bases. Scientific knowledge, understanding, expertise, and reputation of the USGS and of the United States in the earth sciences will be broadened and appropriately recognized internationally. Relations with foreign counterpart institutions will be developed and maintained, and the programs will facilitate scientific cooperation, technology transfer, and data exchange. International programs of other Federal agencies, academia, and the private sector will be supported; in particular, the Department of State will receive adequate scientific information required to formulate foreign policy objectives and decisions.

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record of rift evolution, the relation of volcanic activity to rifting, the study of deep rift structures by geophysical methods, and the relation of the rifts to the overall geologic evolution of the surrounding areas.

Despite contrasts in geologic setting, both rift systems are similar in the timing and structural character of their development and have similar geophysical signatures. Volcanic activity, on the other hand, is much more extensive in the Rio Grande rift area than in the Baikal region. Longer term cooperative exchanges will (1) provide more data on the timing of rifting by using radiometric analyses, (2) determine the exact mechanisms of rifting, (3) examine the deep structure of the rift areas by using geophysical methods, and (4) study the composition of rift related rocks.

Paleoclimate Research on

Lake Baikal In Lake Baikal, U.S. and Soviet geologists deploy a giant gravity corer from the R/V Vereschagin, a research vessel of the Limnological Institute in Irkutsk.

As the Baikal rift has opened during the last 25 million years, as much as 2.5 miles of sediment have accumulated on the bottom of the lake. By studying plant and animal matter

1129 116°

EXPLANATION Ancient Siberian

| Cenozoic sediments in rift depressions

Volcanic districts

Fault—Long dash where approximately located; arrows show relative movement

o Volcanic cone o V or -


Baikal rift zone (Sayan-Baikal domal uplift)

Rift Depressions

1 Busignol
2 Darkhat
3 Khubsugal
4 Tunka
5 South Baikal
6 North Baikal
7 Barguzin
8 Upper Angara
9 Tsipa
10 Baunt
11 Muya
12 Chara
13 Tokka

0 100 200 MILES


0 100 200 KILOMETERS

The general regional geologic setting of the Baikal rift, southeastern Siberia.


Sunset on Lake Baikal near the northern end of Olkhon Island.

preserved in these sediments and the composition of lake sediment and pore water, scientists can reconstruct a record of past climatic conditions.

Baikal is an especially promising site for paleoclimate studies. The high-latitude location (52 to 58° N.) makes the lake particularly sensitive to changes in the Sun's radiative heat input; these changes are caused by long-term variations in the shape of the Earth's orbit. Also, the extreme seasonal contrast of the highly continental climate in southeastern Siberia makes Baikal an ideal location to record annual variations. Finally, unlike most other lake systems existing today, the sediments preserved in Baikal were not scoured by advancing ice sheets during the last ice age. Consequently, Baikal sediments represent one of the longest and most complete continental records of climate change in the world.

During the summer of 1990, scientists from the USGS and from U.S. universities conducted a joint field study on Lake Baikal. They collected samples from miles below the sediment surface and cores of bottom sediments at several sites in the lake.

These data and samples represent the first stage of a proposed 5-year joint U.S.– U.S.S.R. paleoclimate study on Lake Baikal. The proposed research will apply micropaleontologic, isotopic, geochronologic, sedimentologic, and geochemical methods to reconstruct a record of climate change in southeastern Siberia during the last 1 to 2 million years. The USGS contribution to this effort is the Climate Change Program. The involvement of U.S. universities is being supported through the National Science Foundation.

The SOviet Far East and Alaska

By Warren J. Nokleberg, William W. Patton, Jr., and Paul P. Hearn

ineral Deposits. –The formation of

mineral deposits in the Soviet Far

East and Alaska is the focus of a cooperative project by the USGS with the Far East Branch of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, the Soviet Ministry of Geology, and the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys (DGGS). This project will allow scientists from both countries to (1) conduct collaborative field studies of lode mineral deposits, bedrock geology, and tectonics in both regions, (2) publish a series of metallogenic maps that show the distribution of rocks associated with specific types of ore deposits and their relations to the overall geologic evolution of the area, and (3) publish interpretive articles describing the formation of mineral deposits in the context of the geologic and tectonic history of the two regions.

USGS and DGGS geologists visited ore

deposits in the Magadan and Primor'ye regions of the Soviet Far East when project work began in 1989. In 1990 the U.S. team continued work on a series of metallogenic and tectonic maps of Alaska. In addition, two groups of Soviet geologists took part in 5 weeks of detailed field studies in Alaska and interpretive discussions at USGS facilities. In Alaska, the Soviet geologists examined various lode mineral deposits in areas near Nome, Fairbanks, McGrath, Homer, and Anchorage.

U.S. and Soviet members of the metallogenesis project at the Democrat granite-hosted gold deposit, south of Fairbanks, Alaska.

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