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Colorado Water Science Center

Welcome to the USGS Colorado Water Science Center!  Please use these pages to explore the hydrologic data and scientific investigations we conduct on Colorado water resources.

News

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Bakken Shale unconventional oil and gas production has not caused widespread hydrocarbon contamination to date in groundwater used for water supply

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USGS Unveils Mobile Flood Tool for the Nation

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USGS Responds to Spring Flooding

Publications

Quantification of metal loading using tracer dilution and instantaneous synoptic sampling and importance of diel cycling in Leavenworth Creek, Clear Creek County, Colorado, 2012

Leavenworth Creek, a tributary of South Clear Creek and Clear Creek near Georgetown, Colorado, contains copper, lead, and zinc at concentrations close to or in excess of aquatic-life standards. In the summer of 2012, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service and the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety, conducted monitoring to

Cyanobacteria, cyanotoxin synthetase gene, and cyanotoxin occurrence among selected large river sites of the conterminous United States, 2017–18

The U.S. Geological Survey measured cyanobacteria, cyanotoxin synthetase genes, and cyanotoxins at 11 river sites throughout the conterminous United States in a multiyear pilot study during 2017–19 through the National Water Quality Assessment Project to better understand the occurrence of cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins in large inland and coastal rivers. This report focuses on the first 2 years of

A simple low-cost approach for transport parameter determination in mountain rivers

A simplified low-cost approach to experimentally determine transport parameters in mountain rivers is described, with an emphasis on the longitudinal dispersion coefficient (DL). The approach is based on a slug injection of table salt (NaCl) as a tracer and specific conductance readings at different locations downstream of the injection spot. Observed specific conductance readings are fit using th

Science

Rocky Mountain Regional Snowpack Chemistry Monitoring Study

Snowpacks collect atmospheric deposition throughout the snowfall season and offer a unique opportunity to obtain a composite sample of the chemistry of most of the annual precipitation at high elevations [> 1,800 meters]. The purpose of the snowpack network is to determine annual concentrations and depositional amounts of selected nutrients and other constituents in snow resulting from atmospheric...
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Rocky Mountain Regional Snowpack Chemistry Monitoring Study

Snowpacks collect atmospheric deposition throughout the snowfall season and offer a unique opportunity to obtain a composite sample of the chemistry of most of the annual precipitation at high elevations [> 1,800 meters]. The purpose of the snowpack network is to determine annual concentrations and depositional amounts of selected nutrients and other constituents in snow resulting from atmospheric...
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Streamflows at Baca and Alamosa National Wildlife Refuges using Non-Contact Technology

The goal of this study is to design, install, and operationalize non-contact radar monitoring to measure streamflow at two sites at National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) in the San Luis Valley, Colorado. Where traditional monitoring equipment in a stream channel is difficult to operate and maintain, non-contact radar technology is a solution that provides more cost-effective and accurate continuous...
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Streamflows at Baca and Alamosa National Wildlife Refuges using Non-Contact Technology

The goal of this study is to design, install, and operationalize non-contact radar monitoring to measure streamflow at two sites at National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) in the San Luis Valley, Colorado. Where traditional monitoring equipment in a stream channel is difficult to operate and maintain, non-contact radar technology is a solution that provides more cost-effective and accurate continuous...
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Hydrology of an Artesian Aquifer near Manitou Springs, Colorado

The area surrounding Manitou Springs, Colorado is host to numerous bedrock springs, which help to support the local economy through tourist visitation. Although many springs previously flowed directly to the surface, most of the “springs” in the area are now more strictly classified as flowing artesian wells completed in the Manitou Formation, a cavernous intermixed limestone and dolomite, which...
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Hydrology of an Artesian Aquifer near Manitou Springs, Colorado

The area surrounding Manitou Springs, Colorado is host to numerous bedrock springs, which help to support the local economy through tourist visitation. Although many springs previously flowed directly to the surface, most of the “springs” in the area are now more strictly classified as flowing artesian wells completed in the Manitou Formation, a cavernous intermixed limestone and dolomite, which...
Learn More