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The Pacific Region has nine USGS Science Centers in California, Nevada, and Hawaii. The Regional Office, headquartered in Sacramento, provides Center oversight and support, facilitates internal and external collaborations, and works to further USGS strategic science directions. Our scientists do a broad array of research and technical assistance throughout the U.S. and across the globe.
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.
The Suisun Marsh and Central Valley in California are recognized as some of the world’s most important wetland habitat because it provides critical breeding and wintering habitat for many waterfowl in the Pacific Flyway. Mike Casazza and USGS WERC biologists are providing necessary scientific information to support and evaluate waterfowl populations and habitat management in North...
California’s Central Valley and San Francisco Bay Estuary have a long history of mercury contamination from past mercury mining and gold extraction. Waterbirds are particularly susceptible to mercury because of their use of wetland habitats where methylmercury (the most toxic and biologically available form) is produced and relatively low methylmercury exposure can reduce reproductive...
Invasive species are considered to be second only to habitat degradation in terms of negative impacts on the Earth’s ecosystems, and our scientists make up a significant proportion of the global expertise in the rapidly-growing problem of invasive reptiles....
USGS scientists and staff associated with the Brown Treesnake Project are co-located at the Guam National Wildlife Refuge at the northern end of Guam in the western Pacific Ocean. Project staff work on developing and testing control tools for invasive brown treesnakes, as well as understanding their impacts on Guam's ecosystems. Project staff also lead the multi-agency Brown Treesnake...
The Challenge: The Laysan Teal is an endangered, endemic, Hawaiian dabbling duck that has been pushed to the brink of extinction numerous times. The previous range includes the Main and Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, and its current range is less than 10 sq. km within the National Wildlife Refuges of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. This non-migratory...
Deserts in the southwestern United States are experiencing rapid changes due to human activities. The growth of human populations and development of cities and towns affect adjacent rare, threatened, and endangered species and their associated ecosystems in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts of southeastern California, southern Nevada, southwestern Utah, and western Arizona. ...
The Molecular Ecology Laboratory applies genetic and genomic technologies to address a variety of complex questions and conservation issues facing the management of the Nation's fish and wildlife resources. Together with our partners, we design and implement studies to document genetic diversity and the distribution of genetic variation among individuals, populations, and species....
The Brown Treesnake is a highly destructive reptile species that has extirpated many native species of birds, bats, and lizards from the U.S. Territory of Guam. For more than two decades branch scientists with the Invasive Reptile Project have developed, validated, and tested the feasibility of Brown Treesnake control and suppression at various spatial scales....
Would you like to learn more about USGS National Map products and services? Then welcome to the National Geospatial Program User Engagement office. We can help you leverage NGP products and services through The National Map and other venues. Connect with us through our network of National Map Liaisons. There's a liaison for every state!
Mozambique tilapia, a highly invasive non-native fish of the family Cichlidae, were discovered in a wetland in Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park on the Big Island of Hawai'i. As the U.S. National Park Service works to restore the natural communities and functions of wetland ecosystems on the island, the eradication of the tilapia population is considered necessary to fully...
Scientists perform a range of studies that document, assess, and model coastal change, risk, and vulnerability. Studies include historical shoreline change, the geologic structure and history of coastal regions, sediment supply and transport, sea-level rise, and how extreme storm events affect rates and impacts of coastal change.
We study the distribution and hazard potential of coastal and submarine events such as earthquakes and submarine landslides and associated tsunami potential, hurricane induced coastal inundation, extreme storms, sea-level rise and oil and gas spills. We also model development to help evaluate and forecast coastal hazard probability and occurrence.
USGS is known for the producing objective, high-quality data that is relevant to decision-makers, resource managers, the scientific community, and the public. We are recognized as the world leader in making data and tools readily available; as a result, our tools and data are widely used to better understand our world and protect human life and property.
The 3DEP products and services available through The National Map consist of lidar point clouds (LPC), standard digital elevation models (DEMs) at various horizontal resolutions, elevation source and associated datasets, an elevation point query service and bulk point query service. All 3DEP products are available, free of charge and without use restrictions.
This portal contains U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) video and photography of the seafloor off of coastal California and Massachusetts, and aerial imagery of the coastline along segments of the Gulf of Mexico and mid-Atlantic coasts. These data were collected as part of several USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program Seafloor Mapping projects and Hurricane and Extreme Storm research.
Site provides access to Coastal and Marine Geology Program (CMGP) data via Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards services; serving data to GeoMapApp and Virtual Ocean 2-D and 3-D earth browsing tools, for data integration, visualization and analysis; and metadata catalogs for data discovery.
GIS data files for map areas offshore of California are listed with a brief description, a small image, and links to the metadata files and the downloadable data files.
USGS is a world leader in producing and distributing maps and geospatial data, ranging from local to national scales.
The 3DEP products and services available through The National Map consist of standard digital elevation models (DEMs) at various horizontal resolutions, elevation source and associated datasets, an elevation point query service and bulk point query service. All 3DEP products are available, free of charge and without use restrictions.
CSMP is a cooperative program to create a comprehensive coastal and marine geologic and habitat base map series for all of California's State waters. Data collected during this project reveal the seafloor offshore of the California coast in unprecedented detail and provide an ecosystem context for the effective management of this precious marine resource.
This portal is a “go to” source for maps related to ocean and coastal mapping. Information is organized by geography or region, by theme, and by the year data was published.
Kelp, cobbles, and currents: Biologic reduction of coarse grain entrainment stress
Models quantifying the onset of sediment motion do not typically account for the effect of biotic processes because they are difficult to isolate and quantify in relation to physical processes. Here we investigate an example of the interaction of kelp (Order Laminariales) and coarse sediment transport in the coastal zone, where it is possible to...Masteller, Claire C; Finnegan, Noah J; Warrick, Jonathan; Miller, Ian M.
Rapid water quality change in the Elwha River estuary complex during dam removal
Dam removal in the United States is increasing as a result of structural concerns, sedimentation of reservoirs, and declining riverine ecosystem conditions. The removal of the 32 m Elwha and 64 m Glines Canyon dams from the Elwha River in Washington, U.S.A., was the largest dam removal project in North American history. During the 3 yr of dam...Foley, Melissa M.; Duda, Jeffrey J.; Beirne, Matthew M.; Paradis, Rebecca; Ritchie, Andrew; Warrick, Jonathan A.
USGS science at work in the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta estuary
The San Francisco Bay and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta form one of the largest estuaries in the United States. The “Bay-Delta” system provides water to more than 25 million California residents and vast farmlands, as well as key habitat for birds, fish, and other wildlife. To help ensure the health of this crucial estuary, the U.S. Geological...Shouse, Michelle K.; Cox, Dale A.
Calculation of hydrocarbon-in-place in gas and gas-condensate reservoirs - Carbon dioxide sequestration
The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (Public Law 110-140) authorized the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to conduct a national assessment of geologic storage resources for carbon dioxide (CO2), requiring estimation of hydrocarbon-in-place volumes and formation volume factors for all the oil, gas, and gas-condensate reservoirs within the...Verma, Mahendra K.
Mercury-contaminated hydraulic mining debris in San Francisco Bay
The hydraulic gold-mining process used during the California Gold Rush and in many developing countries today contributes enormous amounts of sediment to rivers and streams. Commonly, accompanying this sediment are contaminants such as elemental mercury and cyanide used in the gold extraction process. We show that some of the mercurycontaminated...Bouse, Robin M.; Fuller, Christopher C.; Luoma, Samuel N.; Hornberger, Michelle I.; Jaffe, Bruce E.; Smith, Richard E.
Estuarine sedimentation, sediment character, and foraminiferal distribution in central San Francisco Bay, California
Central San Francisco Bay is the deepest subembayment in the San Francisco Bay estuary and hence has the largest water volume of any of the subembayments. It also has the strongest tidal currents and the coarsest sediment within the estuary. Tidal currents are strongest over the west-central part of central bay and, correspondingly, this area is...Chin, John L.; Woodrow, Donald L.; McGann, Mary; Wong, Florence L.; Fregoso, Theresa; Jaffe, Bruce E.
Spatial trends in tidal flat shape and associated environmental parameters in South San Francisco Bay
Spatial trends in the shape of profiles of South San Francisco Bay (SSFB) tidal flats are examined using bathymetric and lidar data collected in 2004 and 2005. Eigenfunction analysis reveals a dominant mode of morphologic variability related to the degree of convexity or concavity in the cross-shore profileindicative of (i) depositional, tidally...Bearman, J.A.; Friedrichs, Carl T.; Jaffe, B.E.; Foxgrover, A.C.
The annual cycles of phytoplankton biomass
Terrestrial plants are powerful climate sentinels because their annual cycles of growth, reproduction and senescence are finely tuned to the annual climate cycle having a period of one year. Consistency in the seasonal phasing of terrestrial plant activity provides a relatively low-noise background from which phenological shifts can be detected...Winder, M.; Cloern, J.E.
How humans and nature have shaped the San Francisco Estuary since the Gold Rush
The San Francisco Estuary has undergone dramatic changes since the Gold Rush, as both natural forces and human activities have added and removed massive quantities of sediment, primarily sand and mud. A long-term perspective of sediment movement and patterns of sediment deposition and erosion is vital for effective management of wetlands, sediment...Jaffe, B.E.
A Tidally Averaged Sediment-Transport Model for San Francisco Bay, California
A tidally averaged sediment-transport model of San Francisco Bay was incorporated into a tidally averaged salinity box model previously developed and calibrated using salinity, a conservative tracer (Uncles and Peterson, 1995; Knowles, 1996). The Bay is represented in the model by 50 segments composed of two layers: one representing the channel (...Lionberger, Megan A.; Schoellhamer, David H.
Complex seasonal patterns of primary producers at the land-sea interface
Seasonal fluctuations of plant biomass and photosynthesis are key features of the Earth system because they drive variability of atmospheric CO 2, water and nutrient cycling, and food supply to consumers. There is no inventory of phytoplankton seasonal cycles in nearshore coastal ecosystems where forcings from ocean, land and atmosphere intersect...Cloern, J.E.; Jassby, A.D.
Box Model of a Series of Salt Ponds, as Applied to the Alviso Salt Pond Complex, South San Francisco Bay, California
This report documents the development and application of a box model to simulate water level, salinity, and temperature of the Alviso Salt Pond Complex in South San Francisco Bay. These ponds were purchased for restoration in 2003 and currently are managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to maintain existing wildlife habitat and prevent a...Lionberger, Megan A.; Schoellhamer, David H.; Shellenbarger, Gregory; Orlando, James L.; Ganju, Neil K.
Research and technical support provided by USGS makes a difference Some recent press releases and media advisories from the Pacific Region are highlighted below.
Editor: In the public interest and in accordance with FAA regulations, the USGS is announcing this low-level airborne project. Your assistance in informing the local communities is appreciated.
The U.S. Geological Survey awarded approximately $4.9 million this week to six universities and a university-governed non-profit, to support transitioning the west coast “ShakeAlert” earthquake early warning system into a production system.
A new U.S. Geological Survey-led study suggests that earthquake-related deformation just below the Earth's surface can be quite different from how it is expressed at the surface.
Direct encounters with humans can increase the likelihood that nesting geese will lose their eggs to predators, according to a recent study released Monday, July 17.
Scientists from the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center mapped the offshore extent of the Mud Creek landslide on California’s Big Sur coast on July 11, 2017.
Forest birds on the island of Hawaii are responding positively to being restored in one of the largest, ongoing reforestation projects at Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, according to a new study released July 10 in the journal Restoration Ecology.
Sudden flooding hit islands of global importance for Pacific birds highlighting threats and opportunities for conservation planning
Just like smog and fog, this EarthWord is not what you want to see while driving...
Early on the morning of August 24, 2014, Loren Turner was awoken by clattering window blinds, a moving bed, and the sound of water splashing out of his backyard pool. He experienced what is now named the “South Napa Earthquake.”
Vast mineral wealth has been discovered in the Great Basin since the 1800s. As each new generation of prospectors and geologists brings their cutting-edge tools with them, the arid ridgelines of the desert Southwest have shown more and more potential.
Although no one can reliably predict earthquakes, today’s technology is advanced enough to rapidly detect seismic waves as an earthquake begins, calculate the maximum expected shaking, and send alerts to surrounding areas before damage can occur. This technology is known as “earthquake early warning” (EEW).
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.
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.