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Western Geographic Science Center

Our Western Geographic Science Center (WGSC) priority is to continue the important work of the Department of the Interior and the USGS, while also maintaining the health and safety of our employees and the community.  Based on guidance from the White House, the CDC, and state and local authorities, we are shifting our operations to a virtual mode and have minimal staf

News

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WGSC Research Geographer Visits India under the Professional Engineer and Scientist Exchange Program

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Cropland water in California: The view from space

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Friday's Findings - October 14th 2022

Publications

Spatial models of jaguar energy expenditure in response to border wall construction and remediation

The construction of a wall at the United States-Mexico border is known to impede and deter movement of terrestrial wildlife between the two countries. One such species is the jaguar, in its northernmost range in the borderlands of Arizona and Sonora. We developed an anisotropic cost distance model for jaguar in a binational crossing area of the Madrean Sky Islands at the United States-Mexico borde

Using Landsat and MODIS satellite collections to examine extent, timing, and potential impacts of surface water inundation in California croplands☆

The state of California, United States of America produces many crop products that are both utilized domestically and exported throughout the world. With nearly 39,000 km2 of croplands, monitoring unintentional and intentional surface water inundation is important for water resource management and flood hazard readiness. We examine inundation dynamics in California croplands from 2003 to 2020 by i

What to expect when you are expecting earthquake early warning

We present a strategy for earthquake early warning (EEW) alerting that focuses on providing users with a target level of performance for their shaking level of interest (for example, ensuring that users receive warnings for at least 95 per cent of the occurrences of that shaking level). We explore the factors that can affect the accuracy of EEW shaking forecasts including site conditions (which ca

Science

Klamath Dam Removal Studies

Following the removal of four dams along the Klamath River, free-flowing river conditions may result in novel water quality, sediment transport, and geomorphic conditions leading to temporary or longer-term ecological impacts. Basin partners are reliant upon the USGS to provide continuous and discrete monitoring data to support post-dam removal assessments.
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Klamath Dam Removal Studies

Following the removal of four dams along the Klamath River, free-flowing river conditions may result in novel water quality, sediment transport, and geomorphic conditions leading to temporary or longer-term ecological impacts. Basin partners are reliant upon the USGS to provide continuous and discrete monitoring data to support post-dam removal assessments.
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Cienega Ranch - Semi-desert Native Grassland Restoration

At the Cienega Ranch, near Willcox, Arizona, in the foothills of the Dos Cabeza Mountains, a rancher is working to restore and conserve high- quality native grasslands and critical wildlife habitat, while keeping the land as a working cattle ranch. Our objectives were to estimate the hydrological effect of water harvesting on grassland restoration and quantify how grassland conservation efforts...
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Cienega Ranch - Semi-desert Native Grassland Restoration

At the Cienega Ranch, near Willcox, Arizona, in the foothills of the Dos Cabeza Mountains, a rancher is working to restore and conserve high- quality native grasslands and critical wildlife habitat, while keeping the land as a working cattle ranch. Our objectives were to estimate the hydrological effect of water harvesting on grassland restoration and quantify how grassland conservation efforts...
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Rancho Ancón – Water Cycle Augmentation

The USGS is working with partners to understand the impacts of installing structures made from rock, sandbags and wood in channels at a dryland ranch in southern Baja California. Hydrogeological instrumentation, recording observations, modeling hydrogeological scenarios, and an interdisciplinary scientific study of the watershed interactions between water, ecological systems, and human activities...
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Rancho Ancón – Water Cycle Augmentation

The USGS is working with partners to understand the impacts of installing structures made from rock, sandbags and wood in channels at a dryland ranch in southern Baja California. Hydrogeological instrumentation, recording observations, modeling hydrogeological scenarios, and an interdisciplinary scientific study of the watershed interactions between water, ecological systems, and human activities...
Learn More