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USGS is the nation's premiere earth and natural science research organization. Because our core mission is to provide objective science and technical support to address a wide array of important societal issues, our capabilities and activities are diverse. Our work is conducted by employees at our Science Centers, and in collaboration with our many external partners.

Filter Total Items: 24
USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: March 9, 2016

California Water Science Center

The Water Science Center's mission is to collect and analyze hydrologic data needed to manage water resources for the State of California. The CAWSC operates local and statewide networks to collect high-quality data that define natural and human hydrologic changes; analyzes hydrologic processes; maintains data bases; and publishes peer-reviewed reports to create unbiased hydrologic information...

Attribution: Pacific
USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: March 9, 2016

Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics (GMEG) Science Center

Scientists at the GMEG Science Center work on issues related to geologic processes and mineral and energy resource potential, primarily in the western United States. The science staff includes geologists, geophysicists, geochemists, biologists, geospatial information specialists, and remote sensing specialists who are located in offices in several western states.

Attribution: Pacific
USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: March 9, 2016

Nevada Water Science Center (NVWSC)

The NVWSC is committed to providing reliable scientific information about Nevada's natural resources to customers, cooperators, and the public. To provide this scientific information, we operate a widespread surface-water and groundwater data collection network as well as research a wide range of scientific issues throughout Nevada.

Attribution: Pacific
USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: March 9, 2016

Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

This center conducts multidisciplinary scientific research in the coastal and offshore areas of California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, and other U.S. Pacific Islands; and in other waterways of the United States.

Attribution: Pacific
USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: March 9, 2016

Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center

We work with others to provide scientific understanding and technologies needed to support and implement sound management and conservation of our Nation's biological resources in Hawaii and other Pacific island locations.

Attribution: Pacific
USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: March 9, 2016

Western Ecological Research Center

The Pacific Region contains a dazzling array of habitats from below-sea-level deserts to alpine tundra to coastal mountains, seashores, and marine ecosystems. The Western Ecological Research Center reflects the qualities of this region with equally diverse expertise. Our scientists are trained in research, monitoring, and technology development to basic biology and modeling.

Attribution: Pacific
USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: March 9, 2016

Pacific Islands Water Science Center

This center is one of 48 Water Science Centers in the USGS, and its mission is to collect, analyze and disseminate the impartial hydrologic data and information needed to wisely manage water resources for the people of the United States, the State of Hawaii, and other Pacific Islands.

Attribution: Pacific
USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: March 9, 2016

Salton Sea Science Office

USGS Salton Sea Science Office works closely with Federal, State, local, nongovernmental, and tribal partners, providing information for management actions. This USGS office has a unique charter to serve as an independent liaison between resource managers and the scientific community. In that capacity the the office provides scientific information and evaluations to decision makers who are...

Attribution: Pacific
USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: March 9, 2016

Western Geographic Science Center (WGSC)

WGSC scientists conduct geographic research on the environmental and societal consequences of a changing landscape. We develop tools and models to help decision makers better understand complex scientific information so that alternative options/scenarios can be assessed.

Attribution: Pacific
Redoubt Volcano viewed from the northwest following the April 4, 2009 eruption (Event 19). Steam rises from the summit crater, p
Date Published: March 7, 2016

U.S. Volcano Information

There are 169 potentially active volcanoes in the U.S., and the USGS Volcano Hazards Program provides warnings of unrest and eruption for these volcanoes. We offer volcano monitoring data, provide maps and geologic information, conduct research how volcanoes work, and engage with community education and outreach.

California Volcano Observatory emblem
Date Published: March 2, 2016

USGS California Volcano Observatory (CalVO)

CalVO operates real-time volcano monitoring networks, disseminates forecasts and notifications of significant activity, assesses volcano hazards, researches volcano processes, and works with communities to prepare for volcanic eruptions in California and Nevada. The Observatory is located at USGS offices in Menlo Park, California.

Scientist shields face while scooping lava with a hammer for chemical analysis
Date Published: March 2, 2016

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)

HVO operates monitoring networks, assesses hazards, and issues notifications of volcanic activity and earthquakes in the State of Hawai‘i. HVO scientists conduct fundamental research on volcanic processes and work to educate the communities at risk. HVO is located in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park on the Island of Hawaii.

Filter Total Items: 612
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Year Published: 2007

A cold phase of the East Pacific triggers new phytoplankton blooms in San Francisco Bay

Ecological observations sustained over decades often reveal abrupt changes in biological communities that signal altered ecosystem states. We report a large shift in the biological communities of San Francisco Bay, first detected as increasing phytoplankton biomass and occurrences of new seasonal blooms that began in 1999. This phytoplankton...

Cloern, James E.; Jassby, Alan D.; Thompson, Janet K.; Hieb, Kathryn
A cold phase of the East Pacific triggers new phytoplankton blooms in San Francisco Bay; 2007; Article; Journal; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America; Cloern, J. E.; Jassby, A. D.; Thompson, J. K.; Hieb, K. A.

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Year Published: 2007

Anthropogenic influence on sedimentation and intertidal mudflat change in San Pablo Bay, California: 1856-1983

Analysis of a series of historical bathymetric surveys has revealed large changes in morphology and sedimentation from 1856 to 1983 in San Pablo Bay, California. In 1856, the morphology of the bay was complex, with a broad main channel, a major side channel connecting to the Petaluma River, and an ebb-tidal delta crossing shallow parts of the bay...

Jaffe, B.E.; Smith, R.E.; Foxgrover, A.C.
Anthropogenic influence on sedimentation and intertidal mudflat change in San Pablo Bay, California: 1856-1983; 2007; Article; Journal; Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science; Jaffe, B. E.; Smith, R. E.; Foxgrover, A. C.

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Year Published: 2007

Detection, attribution, and sensitivity of trends toward earlier streamflow in the Sierra Nevada

Observed changes in the timing of snowmelt dominated streamflow in the western United States are often linked to anthropogenic or other external causes. We assess whether observed streamflow timing changes can be statistically attributed to external forcing, or whether they still lie within the bounds of natural (internal) variability for four...

Maurer, E.P.; Stewart, I.T.; Bonfils, Celine; Duffy, P.B.; Cayan, D.
Detection, attribution, and sensitivity of trends toward earlier streamflow in the Sierra Nevada; 2007; Article; Journal; Journal of Geophysical Research D: Atmospheres; Maurer, E. P.; Stewart, I. T.; Bonfils, C.; Duffy, P. B.; Cayan, D.

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Year Published: 2007

Effects of flow diversions on water and habitat quality: Examples from California's highly manipulated Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta

We use selected monitoring data to illustrate how localized water diversions from seasonal barriers, gate operations, and export pumps alter water quality across the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (California). Dynamics of water-quality variability are complex because the Delta is a mixing zone of water from the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers,...

Monsen, Nancy E.; Cloern, James E.; Burau, Jon R.

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Year Published: 2007

Habitat connectivity and ecosystem productivity: implications from a simple model.

The import of resources (food, nutrients) sustains biological production and food webs in resource-limited habitats. Resource export from donor habitats subsidizes production in recipient habitats, but the ecosystem-scale consequences of resource translocation are generally unknown. Here, I use a nutrient-phytoplankton-zooplankton model to show...

Cloern, James E.
Habitat connectivity and ecosystem productivity: implications from a simple model.; 2007; Article; Journal; American Naturalist; Cloern, J. E.

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Year Published: 2007

Holocene climates and connections between the San Francisco Bay Estuary and its watershed: A review

Climate over the watershed of the San Francisco Bay Delta estuary system varies on a wide range of space and time scales, and affects downstream estuarine ecosystems. The historical climate has included mild to severe droughts and torrential rains accompanied by flooding, providing important lessons for present-day resource managers. Paleoclimate...

Malamud-Roam, F.; Dettinger, M.; Ingram, B. Lynn; Hughes, Malcolm K.; Florsheim, Joan

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Year Published: 2007

Mercury in sediments, Alviso and Eden Landing salt ponds, south San Francisco Bay, California

No abstract available.

Miles, A.K.; Ricca, M.A.; Spring, S.E.; Morris, C.; Wilcox, C.; Maurer, T.

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Year Published: 2007

Spatial and temporal structure of macroinvertebrate assemblages, San Francisco Bay salt ponds

No abstract available.

Miles, A.K.; Spring, S.E.; Ricca, M.A.; Takekawa, J.T.; Athearn, N.D.; Schoellhamer, D.H.

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Year Published: 2007

Surface temperature patterns in complex terrain: Daily variations and long-term change in the central Sierra Nevada, California

A realistic description of how temperatures vary with elevation is crucial for ecosystem studies and for models of basin-scale snowmelt and spring streamflow. This paper explores surface temperature variability using temperature data from an array of 37 sensors, called the Yosemite network, which traverses both slopes of the Sierra Nevada in the...

Lundquist, J.D.; Cayan, D.R.
Attribution: Pacific
Surface temperature patterns in complex terrain: Daily variations and long-term change in the central Sierra Nevada, California; 2007; Article; Journal; Journal of Geophysical Research D: Atmospheres; Lundquist, J. D.; Cayan, D. R.

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Year Published: 2006

Mapping South San Francisco Bay's seabed diversity for use in wetland restoration planning

In an effort to understand the role of sediment of South San Francisco Bay (South Bay) salt ponds, an acoustic seabed classification was performed with the condition of over two hundred sediment samples.  The success of the large-scale tidal wetland restoration  of up to 15,000 acres of South Bay partly depends on the ability of the...

Fregoso, Theresa A.; Jaffe, B.; Rathwell, G.; Collins, W.; Rhynas, K.; Tomlin, V.; Sullivan, S.

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Year Published: 2006

Mapping new terrain climate change and America’s West: Anticipating challenges to western mountain ecosystems and resources

Climate variability and sustained change presage far-reaching transformations across America’s West, an expanse dominated by immense mountain ranges and interspersed with important urban centers. These mountains provide the region’s life blood—water that courses through its streams and runs out its faucets, power that fuels its...

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Year Published: 2006

Prediction of summer maximum and minimum temperature over the central and western United States: the roles of soil moisture and sea surface temperature

A statistical model based on canonical correlation analysis (CCA) was used to explore climatic associations and predictability of June–August (JJA) maximum and minimum surface air temperatures (Tmax and Tmin) as well as the frequency of Tmax daily extremes (Tmax90) in the central and western United States (west of 90°W). Explanatory...

Alfaro, Eric J.; Gershunov, Alexander; Cayan, Daniel R.

Filter Total Items: 223
Man measuring a little red bird.
August 31, 2017

Iiwi banding 2

Measuring the wing length of a banded Iiwi

Man holding red bird.
August 31, 2017

Iiwi with transmitter

Iiwi with small radio transmitter attached to help track the bird's movement through the forest

WERC researcher conducting elevation surveys in San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge
July 31, 2017

WERC Elevation surveys in San Pablo Bay NWR

WERC researcher conducting elevation surveys in San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge

WERC Coastal ecosystem
July 31, 2017

WERC Coastal Ecosystem Studies

Coastal ecosystem studies at Trinidad coast, California. 

July 30, 2017

A Record of Change: Science and Elder Observations on the Navajo N.

A Record of Change—Science and Elder Observations on the Navajo Nation is a 25-minute documentary about collaborative studies using conventional physical sciences, combined with tribal elder observations to show that local knowledge and conventional science partnerships can effectively document ecosystem change and determine the resulting challenges to livelihoods. 

...
Two same-size items: Pack of playing cards (top) and circuit board with fan and electronic components (bottom).
July 18, 2017

Small computer that controls video cameras above beach in Santa Cruz

The small computer, or “micro-controller,” at the bottom of this photo controls the operation of two video cameras mounted on the 10-story Dream Inn hotel in Santa Cruz, California. The cameras take 10-minute videos of Santa Cruz Main Beach and Cowells Beach every half hour during daylight hours (view the most recent images).

...
July 6, 2017

Wildlife on the Nevada National Security Site

Mountain lions, desert bighorn sheep, mule deer, and a variety of other wildlife live on and pass through the Nevada National Security Site each day. It’s a highly restricted area that is free of hunting and has surprisingly pristine areas.This 22-minute program highlights an extraordinary study on how mountain lions interact with their prey. It shows how the scientists

...
June 22, 2017

PubTalk 6/2017 — Effects of Climate Change: A Scientific Path Forward

Title: The Effects of Climate Change: A Scientific Pathway Forward

  • The frequency of extreme and unpredictable weather events is increasing.
  • What are the effects of an increase or decrease in carbon emissions?
  • What is scientific research projecting for the future of climate change?
May 25, 2017

PubTalk 5/2017 — Underwater secrets of the Hayward fault zone

Title: Underwater Secrets of the Hayward Fault Zone: Integrated 3D imaging to understand earthquake hazards 

  • Underwater imaging provides a unique opportunity to study urban fault hazards.
  • How do we link surface structures to depths where earthquakes occur?
  • How does "acoustic trenching" help us understand earthquake history?
Two adjacent poles holding video cameras near top, one control box near bottom, one man holding small tool near control box.
May 12, 2017

Beach-monitoring video cameras atop hotel in Santa Cruz, California

USGS ocean engineer Gerry Hatcher (left) and USGS postdoctoral oceanographer Shawn Harrison make adjustments to a computer controlling two video cameras on the roof of the Dream Inn, a 10-story hotel overlooking Monterey Bay in Santa Cruz, California. One camera looks eastward over Santa Cruz Main Beach and boardwalk, and the other southward over Cowells Beach. Since May

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Distant view of the shore from a flat rooftop that is visible at bottom of image.
May 6, 2017

“Snapshot” or first frame of beach video, Santa Cruz, California

Snapshot, or first frame of from a 10-minute video taken May 6, 2017, in Santa Cruz, California. View is from atop a hotel looking down on Cowells Beach, a popular surf spot. Researchers at the USGS are using these and other video images to improve understanding and computer modeling of beach processes, especially those that change the coast. 

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Distant view of the shore from a flat rooftop that is visible at bottom of image.
May 6, 2017

Time-averaged image from video of beach in Santa Cruz, California

Time-averaged image, or “timex,” created by averaging the intensity of light recorded at each spot, or “pixel,” during a 10-minute video taken at Santa Cruz, California, on May 6, 2017. Blurred white zones show where waves are breaking. Line between wet and dry sand shows the maximum height on the beach reached by the waves (“runup”). Researchers at the USGS are using

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Research and technical support provided by USGS makes a difference Some recent press releases and media advisories from the Pacific Region are highlighted below.

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Earthquake Early Warning: Vital for City Transit
April 6, 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey along with university, state and private-sector partners will highlight the rollout of Version 1.2 of the USGS ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system on April 10, 2017.

house perched at the top of cliff edge above beach.
March 27, 2017

Using a newly-developed computer model called “CoSMoS-COAST” (Coastal Storm Modeling System – Coastal One-line Assimilated Simulation Tool) scientists predict that with limited human intervention, 31 to 67 percent of Southern California beaches may become completely eroded (up to existing coastal infrastructure or sea-cliffs) by the year 2100 under scenarios of sea-level rise of one to two meters.

USGS
March 20, 2017

Seal Beach, Calif.— A new collaborative study shows evidence of prior abrupt sinking of the wetlands near Seal Beach, caused by ancient earthquakes that shook the area at least three times in the past 2,000 years, according to researchers.

Chinook Salmon
March 13, 2017

The water in the Delta arrives primarily from the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, supplying water for more than 22 million people. This water source supports California’s trillion-dollar economy—the sixth largest in the world—and its $27 billion agricultural industry.

USGS
March 2, 2017

Pasadena, Calif. – A new U.S. Geological Survey study offers a view into the past behavior of large earthquakes along the southern San Andreas Fault. 

 

Large waves crashing on rocks at beach.
February 22, 2017

Atmospheric rivers are a global weather phenomenon that can bring large amounts of rain or snow to the U.S. West Coast each year. These rivers of wet air form over the Pacific Ocean near Hawaiʻi and pick up large amounts of moisture from the tropics and on their way to the West Coast. This moisture is carried in narrow bands across the Pacific Ocean to California, Oregon, Washington and Nevada.

Sandy ocean beach with low cliffs on the right side. Ocean visible at left side. One person walking on beach
February 14, 2017

In a study released today, U.S. Geological Survey scientists and their colleagues document how the 2015-16 winter featured one of the most powerful El Niño climate events of the last 145 years.

K2 Seismic Station
February 2, 2017

The U. S. Geological Survey is seeking volunteers to host temporary seismic stations in the Walnut Creek/Pleasant Hill/Concord California area. Volunteers will be assisting with a new ground motion study that will begin in March 2017.

Clark's Grebe at Thermalito Afterbay, CA
January 24, 2017

A new study published in PLOS ONE demonstrates that current conservation planning efforts for waterbird habitat in the Central Valley can likely compensate for habitat loss through the middle of the century.

head shot of man
January 19, 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Guy Gelfenbaum as the new director of their Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California Gelfenbaum succeeds Dr. Robert Rosenbauer who held the position for the past six years. Rosenbauer is retiring to a Scientist Emeritus position.

Nine USGS Science Centers are administered by the Pacific Regional office, which is headquartered in Sacramento, California.

The Pacific Region works with a wide array of partners across the country, including other Federal and state agencies, regional and local governments, academic institutions, research organizations, non-governmental organizations, and more.

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