Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center


GECSC researchers conduct multi-purpose geologic mapping and topical scientific studies to address issues concerning geologic, climatic, ecosystem, and land surface changes; human interactions with the environment; and physical, chemical, and biological characterization of the Earth's surface and upper crust. 


Lake Fork Creek below Sugarloaf dam near Leadville
November 17, 2017

Bringing together decades of research and mapping, the U.S. Geological Survey just released a geologic map and companion pamphlet featuring the Arkansas River Valley region in north-central Colorado.  

View of snow-capped Borah Peak, Idaho
October 24, 2017

A new tool that gives users the most detailed view yet of the world’s mountains is now available from the USGS. And it’s as close as your computer or cellphone.

Image: Rio Grande and Cliffs in Boquillas Canyon, Big Bend National Park
September 14, 2017

A new U.S. Geological Survey report describes the below ground geology of the Rio Grande transboundary region of New Mexico and Texas, United States, and northern Chihuahua, Mexico.


Year Published: 2018

Geologic map of the Weldona 7.5′ quadrangle, Morgan County, Colorado

The Weldona 7.5′ quadrangle is located on the semiarid plains of northeastern Colorado, along the South Platte River corridor where the river has incised into Upper Cretaceous Pierre Shale. The Pierre Shale is largely covered by surficial deposits that formed from alluvial, eolian, and hillslope processes operating in concert with environmental...

Berry, Margaret E.; Taylor, Emily M.; Slate, Janet L.; Paces, James B.; Hanson, Paul R.; Brandt, Theodore R.
Berry, M.E., Taylor, E.M., Slate, J.L., Paces, J.B., Hanson, P.R., and Brandt, T.R., 2018, Geologic map of the Weldona 7.5′ quadrangle, Morgan County, Colorado: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3396, 1 sheet, scale 1:24,000,

Year Published: 2018

Wetlands inform how climate extremes influence surface water expansion and contraction

Effective monitoring and prediction of flood and drought events requires an improved understanding of how and why surface water expansion and contraction in response to climate varies across space. This paper sought to (1) quantify how interannual patterns of surface water expansion and contraction vary spatially across the Prairie Pothole...

Vanderhoof, Melanie; Lane, Charles R.; McManus, Michael L.; Alexander, Laurie C.; Christensen, Jay R.
Vanderhoof, M.K., Lane, C., McManus, M., Alexander, L., Christensen, J. (2018) Wetlands inform how climate extremes influence surface water expansion and contraction. Hydrology and Earth System Science. 22, 1851-1873.

Year Published: 2018

Anthropogenic impact in the Mayan Lowlands of Petén, Guatemala, during the last 5500 years

Trace and rare earth elements from a Lake Peten Itzá (Guatemala) sediment core depict the geochemical dynamics affecting the lake from ~5500 y BP to the present. This timing encompasses the Preclassic (4000 to 1700 y BP) and Classic Periods (1700-1000 y BP) when thriving Maya societies extensively cleared land for agriculture. We demonstrate that...

Battistel, D.; Roman, Marco; Marchetti, A; Kehrwald, Natalie; Radaelli, Marta; Balliana, Eleanora; Toscano, Giuseppina; Barbante, Carlo
Battistel, D., Roman, M., Marchetti, A., Kehrwald, N. M., Radaelli, M., Balliana, E., Toscano, G. and Barbante, C. (2018), Anthropogenic impact in the Maya Lowlands of Petén, Guatemala, during the last 5500 years. J. Quaternary Sci., 33: 166–176. doi:10.1002/jqs.3013