U.S. Geological Survey


A disease responsible for the deaths of millions of bats has spread in Illinois.

The white-nose syndrome gets its name from a fungus that grows on affected bats' noses. Scientists say infected bats often show odd behavior - like taking daytime flights - when they're supposed to be hibernating. It's suspected that depletes their fat reserves, and causes the bats to become emaciated, and eventually die. 


Scientists said today that the New Madrid fault zone in the nation's midsection is active and could spawn future large earthquakes.  

The journal Science published the study online. U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Susan Hough was part of the study. She says the fault zone is ``not dead yet.''  
Researchers have long debated just how much of a hazard New Madrid poses. The zone stretches 150 miles, crossing parts of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.  

Scientists Now Say Shaking In Suburbs Was An Earthquake

Nov 15, 2013

Scientists of the U.S. Geological Survey say it's likely it was an earthquake that shook Chicago's western suburbs after a blast at a quarry.

USGS scientist Jim Dewey says research indicates quarry blasts don't cause larger follow-up tremors. However, a quarry blast in McCook was followed by a related tremor seven seconds later.

Dewey says USGS scientists now believe the blast triggered a release of tectonic strain at a shallow depth, not miles deep in the earth's crust where earthquakes usually originate.

Lipinski Wants Quarry Blast Investigated

Nov 7, 2013

U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski has asked for a federal investigation into a quarry blast this week in suburban Chicago.

Lipinski has asked the U.S. Department of Labor and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to investigate the blast. It happened Monday at a company in McCook.  

The congressman says he was in his Western Springs kitchen when his house shook for five seconds.  
Lipinski says he wants to know if any laws or regulations were violated.  

Shaking Was Quarry Blast, Not An Earthquake

Nov 4, 2013

The U.S. Geological Survey says the shaking with a measured magnitude 3.2 in northern Illinois was a blast and not an earthquake.  

USGS geophysicist Don Blakeman also says it appears Monday afternoon's blast came from within a rock quarry but that the exact location of the blast had not yet been determined. He says that all indications so far leads experts to believe that the blast came from the quarry. That includes that the epicenter is in an area close to the quarry.  

Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Midwest waterways are getting lots of attention this summer. Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey and the Environmental Protection Agency have immersed themselves in the ecology of 100 streams from Ohio to Nebraska. It’s a first-of-its kind effort to understand how ag runoff is not just changing the water but affecting the critters that live there. Harvest Public Media’s Abbie Fentress Swanson joined a crew on a rainy day while they gathered water samples and searched for fish eggs on three streams in central Missouri.