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USGS has a long history of interdisciplinary research in the Salton Sea basin. Browse the publications below for more information about our research.

Filter Total Items: 131

Irregular focal mechanisms observed at Salton Sea Geothermal Field: Possible influences of anthropogenic stress perturbations

At the Salton Sea Geothermal Field (SSGF), strain accumulation is released through seismic slip and aseismic deformation. Earthquake activity at the SSGF often occurs in swarm-like clusters, some with clear migration patterns. We have identified an earthquake sequence composed entirely of focal mechanisms representing an ambiguous style of faulting, where strikes are similar but deformation occurs
Aren Crandall-Bear, Andrew J. Barbour, Martin Schoenball

Punctuated sediment discharge during early Pliocene birth of the Colorado River: Evidence from regional stratigraphy, sedimentology, and paleontology

The Colorado River in the southwestern U.S. provides an excellent natural laboratory for studying the origins of a continent-scale river system, because deposits that formed prior to and during river initiation are well exposed in the lower river valley and nearby basinal sink. This paper presents a synthesis of regional stratigraphy, sedimentology, and micropaleontology from the southern Bouse Fo
Rebecca J. Dorsey, Brennan O’Connell, Kristin McDougall-Reid, Mindy B. Homan

Subsurface geometry of the San Andreas fault in southern California: Results from the Salton Seismic Imaging Project (SSIP) and strong ground motion expectations

The San Andreas fault (SAF) is one of the most studied strike‐slip faults in the world; yet its subsurface geometry is still uncertain in most locations. The Salton Seismic Imaging Project (SSIP) was undertaken to image the structure surrounding the SAF and also its subsurface geometry. We present SSIP studies at two locations in the Coachella Valley of the northern Salton trough. On our line 4, a
Gary S. Fuis, Klaus Bauer, Mark R. Goldman, Trond Ryberg, Victoria E. Langenheim, Daniel S. Scheirer, Michael J. Rymer, Joann M. Stock, John A. Hole, Rufus D. Catchings, Robert Graves, Brad T. Aagaard

State of the Salton Sea—A science and monitoring meeting of scientists for the Salton Sea

IntroductionThe Salton Sea (Sea) is an ecosystem facing large systemic changes in the near future. Managers and stakeholders are seeking solutions to the decline of the Sea and have turned to the scientific community for answers. In response, scientists gathered in Irvine, California, to review existing science and propose scientific studies and monitoring needs required for understanding how to r
Douglas A. Barnum, Timothy Bradley, Michael Cohen, Bruce Wilcox, Gregor Yanega

A biographical memoir of Donald Edward White

Donald E. White was a leading scientist for the U.S. Geological Survey, where his career was devoted almost entirely to the study of hydrothermal processes in the Earth’s crust, from the dual perspectives of active geothermal systems and of extinct hydrothermal systems now represented only by ore deposits and alteration patterns. White was devoted to analyzing the mechanisms by which ore-forming m
L. J. Patrick Muffler

Seismic imaging of the metamorphism of young sediment into new crystalline crust in the actively rifting Imperial Valley, California

Plate-boundary rifting between transform faults is opening the Imperial Valley of southern California and the rift is rapidly filling with sediment from the Colorado River. Three 65–90 km long seismic refraction profiles across and along the valley, acquired as part of the 2011 Salton Seismic Imaging Project, were analyzed to constrain upper crustal structure and the transition from sediment to un
Liang Han, John Hole, Joann Stock, Gary S. Fuis, Colin F. Williams, Jonathan Delph, Kathy Davenport, Amanda Livers

Continental rupture and the creation of new crust in the Salton Trough rift, southern California and northern Mexico: Results from the Salton Seismic Imaging Project

A refraction and wide-angle reflection seismic profile along the axis of the Salton Trough, California and Mexico, was analyzed to constrain crustal and upper mantle seismic velocity structure during active continental rifting. From the northern Salton Sea to the southern Imperial Valley, the crust is 17-18 km thick and approximately one-dimensional. The transition at depth from Colorado River sed
Liang Han, John A. Hole, Joann M. Stock, Gary S. Fuis, Annie Kell, Neal W. Driscoll, Graham M. Kent, Michael J. Rymer, Antonio Gonzalez-Fernandez, Octavio Aburto-Oropeza

Characterizing potentially induced earthquake rate changes in the Brawley Seismic Zone, southern California

The Brawley seismic zone (BSZ), in the Salton trough of southern California, has a history of earthquake swarms and geothermal energy exploitation. Some earthquake rate changes may have been induced by fluid extraction and injection activity at local geothermal fields, particularly at the North Brawley Geothermal Field (NBGF) and at the Salton Sea Geothermal Field (SSGF). We explore this issue by
Andrea L. Llenos, Andrew J. Michael

Subsidence rates at the southern Salton Sea consistent with reservoir depletion

Space geodetic measurements from the Envisat satellite between 2003 and 2010 show that subsidence rates near the southeastern shoreline of the Salton Sea in Southern California are up to 52mmyr−1 greater than the far-field background rate. By comparing these measurements with model predictions, we find that this subsidence appears to be dominated by poroelastic contraction associated with ongoing
Andrew J. Barbour, Eileen Evans, Stephen H. Hickman, Mariana Eneva

New summer areas and mixing of two greater sandhill crane populations in the Intermountain West

Population delineation throughout the annual life cycle for migratory birds is needed to formulate regional and national management and conservation strategies. Despite being well studied continentally, connectivity of sandhill crane Grus canadensis populations throughout the western portion of their North American range remains poorly described. Our objectives were to 1) use global positioning sy
Daniel P. Collins, Blake A. Grisham, Courtenay M. Conring, Jeffrey M. Knetter, Warren C. Conway, Scott A. Carleton, Matthew A. Boggie

Sources of subsidence at the Salton Sea Geothermal Field

At the Salton Sea Geothermal Field (SSGF) in Southern California, surface deformation associated with geologic processes including sediment compaction, tectonic strain, and fault slip may be augmented by energy production activities. Separating the relative contributions from natural and anthropogenic sources is especially important at the SSGF, which sits at the apex of a complex tectonic transit
Andrew J. Barbour, Eileen Evans, Stephen H. Hickman, Mariana Eneva

Natural or Induced: Identifying Natural and Induced Swarms from Pre-production and Co-production Microseismic Catalogs at the Coso Geothermal Field

Increased levels of seismicity coinciding with injection of reservoir fluids have prompted interest in methods to distinguish induced from natural seismicity. Discrimination between induced and natural seismicity is especially difficult in areas that have high levels of natural seismicity, such as the geothermal fields at the Salton Sea and Coso, both in California. Both areas show swarm-like sequ
Martin Schoenball, J. Ole Kaven, Jonathan M. G. Glen, Nicholas C. Davatzes