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Southwest Region

The Southwest Region covers Arizona, California, Nevada, and a portion of southern Oregon. Our scientists do a broad array of research and technical assistance throughout the U.S. and across the globe. The Regional Office, headquartered in Sacramento, provides Center oversight & support, facilitates internal & external collaborations, and works to further USGS strategic science direction.

News

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USGS provides easy access to Colorado River science with new online portal

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San Francisco Bay Shallow Water Strategic Placement Pilot Project

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New Video Offers Virtual Tour of the USGS Sediment Core Lab

Publications

Analyzing spatial distributions and alignments of pitted cone features in Utopia Planitia on Mars

Martian geomorphology and surface features provide links to understanding past geologic processes such as fluid movement, local and regional tectonics, and feature formation mechanisms. Pitted cones are common features in the northern plains basins of Mars. They have been proposed to have formed from upwelling volatile-rich fluids, such as magma or water-sediment slurries. In this study, we map th
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Mackenzie M. Mills, Alfred S. McEwen, Amanda N. Hughes, Ji-Eun Kim, Chris Okubo

Soil surface treatments and precipitation timing determine seedling development across southwestern US restoration sites

Restoration in dryland ecosystems often has poor success due to low and variable water availability, degraded soil conditions, and slow plant community recovery rates. Restoration treatments can mitigate these constraints but, because treatments and subsequent monitoring are typically limited in space and time, our understanding of their applicability across broader environmental gradients remains
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Hannah Lucia Farrell, Seth M. Munson, Bradley J. Butterfield, Michael C. Duniway, Aksasha M Faist, Elise S Gornish, Caroline Havrilla, Loralee Larios, Sasha C. Reed, Helen I Rowe, Katherine M. Laushman, Molly L. McCormick

Addressing stakeholder science needs for integrated drought science in the Colorado River Basin

Stakeholders need scientific data, analysis, and predictions of how drought the will impact the Colorado River Basin in a format that is continuously updated, intuitive, and easily accessible. The Colorado River Basin Actionable and Strategic Integrated Science and Technology Pilot Project was formed to demonstrate the effectiveness of addressing complex problems through stakeholder involvement an
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Anne C. Tillery, Sally House, Rebecca J. Frus, Sharon L. Qi, Daniel Jones, William J. Andrews

Science

Typhoon Merbok Disaster Emergency Recovery Efforts

Extreme storm events, such as Extratropical-Typhoon Merbok that hit the coast of Western Alaska in September 2022, are stark reminders of the devastating impacts coastal storms can have on Alaska Native community’s livelihoods and infrastructure. A chronic lack of environmental monitoring and technical assistance in rural Alaska present major barriers to communities affected by Typhoon Merbok...
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Typhoon Merbok Disaster Emergency Recovery Efforts

Extreme storm events, such as Extratropical-Typhoon Merbok that hit the coast of Western Alaska in September 2022, are stark reminders of the devastating impacts coastal storms can have on Alaska Native community’s livelihoods and infrastructure. A chronic lack of environmental monitoring and technical assistance in rural Alaska present major barriers to communities affected by Typhoon Merbok...
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Culturally Prescribed Fire

Culturally prescribed burning has been long practiced by the Yurok Tribe for a variety of reasons. This study explores using culturally prescribed fire as a land management tool for increasing the resiliency of streams and watersheds.
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Culturally Prescribed Fire

Culturally prescribed burning has been long practiced by the Yurok Tribe for a variety of reasons. This study explores using culturally prescribed fire as a land management tool for increasing the resiliency of streams and watersheds.
Learn More

M6.7 January 17, 1994 Northridge, California Earthquake

The magnitude 6.7 Northridge, California earthquake took a heavy toll, killing 33 people, leaving over 7,000 injured, and 20,000 area residents homeless. Estimates of property damage are approximately 40 billion dollars. Damage to freeway bridges and overpasses disrupted key transportation arteries for months after the earthquake.
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M6.7 January 17, 1994 Northridge, California Earthquake

The magnitude 6.7 Northridge, California earthquake took a heavy toll, killing 33 people, leaving over 7,000 injured, and 20,000 area residents homeless. Estimates of property damage are approximately 40 billion dollars. Damage to freeway bridges and overpasses disrupted key transportation arteries for months after the earthquake.
Learn More