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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.

NOTICE: USGS is improving the way that sample data are stored and served to the public.

News

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USGS hydrologic study to use non-toxic green dye in Lake Fork Creek

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MEDIA ALERT: One of Colorado’s deadliest natural disasters on record began 47 years ago today

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Media Alert: USGS study will dye Slate River green in November

Publications

Snowpack relative permittivity and density derived from near-coincident lidar and ground-penetrating radar

Depth-based and radar-based remote sensing methods (e.g., lidar, synthetic aperture radar) are promising approaches for remotely measuring snow water equivalent (SWE) at high spatial resolution. These approaches require snow density estimates, obtained from in-situ measurements or density models, to calculate SWE. However, in-situ measurements are operationally limited, and few density models have
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Randall Bonnell, Daniel McGrath, Andrew Hedrick, Ernesto Trujillo, Tate Meehan, Keith Williams, Hans-Peter Marshall, Graham A. Sexstone, John Fulton, Michael Ronayne, Steven R. Fassnacht, Ryan Webb, Katherine Hale

To remediate or not? Source identification in an acid mine drainage stream, Warden Gulch, Colorado

A synoptic water quality study was implemented in Warden Gulch, a headwater stream affected by metals that are contributed by both natural and mining-impacted sources. Warden Gulch is a tributary to Peru Creek (Colorado, USA), where emplacement of a mine tunnel bulkhead and other remedial actions have improved water quality upstream of Warden Gulch. The goal of this study was to identify individua
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Matthew M. Jones, Robert L. Runkel, Diane M. McKnight

Changes in chemical occurrence, concentration, and bioactivity in the Colorado River before and after replacement of the Moab, Utah wastewater treatment plant

Long-term (2010–19) water-quality monitoring on the Colorado River downstream from Moab Utah indicated the persistent presence of Bioactive Chemicals (BC), such as pesticides and pharmaceuticals. This stream reach near Canyonlands National Park provides critical habitat for federally endangered species. The Moab wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) outfall discharges to the Colorado River and is the
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William A. Battaglin, Paul M. Bradley, Rebbecca Weissinger, Brett R. Blackwell, Jenna E. Cavallin, Daniel L. Villeneuve, Laura A. DeCicco, Julie Kinsey

Science

Isotopic and environmental tracers for improved understanding of geochemical and hydrologic processes occurring near flooded mine workings

Draining mine tunnels contribute metals and acidity to streams throughout the western United States. One remediation strategy that is increasing in usage is the emplacement of hydraulic bulkheads to impound water within the subsurface. Potential secondary effects of bulkhead usage are difficult to quantify however because of the inherent complexity of most mountain hydrologic systems. In...
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Isotopic and environmental tracers for improved understanding of geochemical and hydrologic processes occurring near flooded mine workings

Draining mine tunnels contribute metals and acidity to streams throughout the western United States. One remediation strategy that is increasing in usage is the emplacement of hydraulic bulkheads to impound water within the subsurface. Potential secondary effects of bulkhead usage are difficult to quantify however because of the inherent complexity of most mountain hydrologic systems. In...
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Data supporting management of thermal springs –Steamboat Springs, Colorado

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the city of Steamboat Springs and the Tread of Pioneers Museum, is undertaking a geologic, hydrologic, and geochemical study to better understand the sources of water to hot springs and the possible effects of land use change and human activities on the chemistry and sustainability of springs.
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Data supporting management of thermal springs –Steamboat Springs, Colorado

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the city of Steamboat Springs and the Tread of Pioneers Museum, is undertaking a geologic, hydrologic, and geochemical study to better understand the sources of water to hot springs and the possible effects of land use change and human activities on the chemistry and sustainability of springs.
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Actionable Science

The Colorado River Basin Pilot Project is exploring new approaches for the USGS to answer complex earth systems questions identified in partnership with stakeholders, which cannot be answered through a single discipline approach. Science coproduction is a method where scientists, managers, policy makers, and other stakeholders first identify specific decisions to be informed by science, and then...
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Actionable Science

The Colorado River Basin Pilot Project is exploring new approaches for the USGS to answer complex earth systems questions identified in partnership with stakeholders, which cannot be answered through a single discipline approach. Science coproduction is a method where scientists, managers, policy makers, and other stakeholders first identify specific decisions to be informed by science, and then...
Learn More