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Glines Canyon Dam on the Elwha River, during the dam removal process. Photo credit: National Park Service
Date Published: November 29, 2016

Riparian Vegetation Response to Dam Removal

Dam removal is an approach to river restoration that is becoming increasingly common. In most cases, dam removal is driven by considerations other than river restoration like dam safety, but how dam removal affects aquatic and riparian systems is of great interest in many dam removals. My work in this area has had two areas of focus thus far: 1) studies of vegetation and geomorphic change...

The South Platte River. USGS Water Science Center image.
Date Published: November 29, 2016

Science to Inform Riparian Ecosystem Restoration and Management

Throughout the world, riparian habitats have been dramatically modified from their natural condition. Dams, non-native species and climate change are often principal drivers of these changes, via their alteration of water and sediment regimes that determine key resources for riparian plants.

The Bill Williams River in Arizona. USGS photo.
Date Published: November 29, 2016

Large-scale streamflow experiments

Because the underlying cause of riparian system alteration is often attributed to the effects of dams on flow regime, managing flow releases, particularly high flows, from dams is an often-advocated approach to river and riparian restoration. Our work has focused on understanding effects of managed high flow releases (a.k.a., pulse flows, controlled floods) from dams along rivers in the lower...

Extensive defoliation of tamarisk (orange/brown vegetation throughout mid-ground) along the Virgin River, Arizona, 2009.
Date Published: November 28, 2016
Status: Active

Biological Invasions of Riparian Ecosystems

Beginning in the early twentieth century, non-native trees and shrubs, including tamarisk (also commonly known as saltcedar) and Russian-olive, were introduced to the United States for use as ornamental plants and in erosion-control plantings. These plants spread extensively, becoming the third and fourth most frequently occurring woody riparian plants in the American West.

 

The unregulated Santa Maria River in west-central Arizona.
Date Published: November 28, 2016

Streamflow-fluvial Geomorphology-riparian Vegetation Interactions

The foundation for applying science to river and riparian restoration contexts lies in a basic understanding of the factors that drive riparian vegetation dynamics. Much of our research is focused on clarifying relationships between streamflow, fluvial geomorphology, and riparian vegetation, including various feedbacks.

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Date Published: October 27, 2016

Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative: Inventory and Long-Term Monitoring

The Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI) addresses effects of land-use and climate changes on Southwest Wyoming’s natural resources. In partnership with twelve Federal, State, and local natural resource agencies, and non-governmental organizations– FORT and ten other USGS centers are conducting dozens of integrated science projects to assess the status of Southwest Wyoming’s...

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Date Published: October 27, 2016

Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative: Mechanistic Studies of Wildlife

The Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI) addresses effects of land-use and climate changes on Southwest Wyoming’s natural resources. In partnership with twelve Federal, State, and local natural resource agencies, and non-governmental organizations– FORT and ten other USGS centers are conducting dozens of integrated science projects to assess the status of Southwest Wyoming’s...

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Date Published: October 27, 2016

Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative: Baseline Synthesis

The Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI) addresses effects of land-use and climate changes on Southwest Wyoming’s natural resources. In partnership with twelve Federal, State, and local natural resource agencies, and non-governmental organizations– FORT and ten other USGS centers are conducting dozens of integrated science projects to assess the status of Southwest Wyoming’s...

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Date Published: October 27, 2016

Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative: Effectiveness Monitoring

The Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI) addresses effects of land-use and climate changes on Southwest Wyoming’s natural resources. In partnership with twelve Federal, State, and local natural resource agencies, and non-governmental organizations– FORT and ten other USGS centers are conducting dozens of integrated science projects to assess the status of Southwest Wyoming’s...

A sunset in western Loveland, Colorado.
Date Published: October 26, 2016
Status: Active

Economics and Ecosystem Services

Federal policymakers and land managers are accountable to the public for how they use public resources and for the outcomes of policy and management decisions. Through a variety of economic analyses and custom modeling, SEA economists evaluate how investments and management decisions affect individuals, local communities, and society as a whole.

Hikers negotiate a mountainside near Fulford, CO.
Date Published: October 24, 2016
Status: Active

Policy Analysis and Decision Support

SEA Social Scientists investigate the process of environmental decision making and how stakeholder engagement strategies,  policies, institutions, and decision support tools influence management outcomes.

A non-invasive monitoring camera for bat research.
Date Published: October 17, 2016

Non-invasive Surveillance of Bat Hibernacula to Investigate Potential Behavioral Causes of Mortality Associated with White Nose Syndrome

White-Nose Syndrome (WNS) is a devastating disease that threatens the survival of hibernating bats in North America. Since first documented in the winter of 2005/2006, WNS has spread from a very small area of New York across at least two thousand kilometers and half or more of states and provinces in the U.S. and Canada.

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USGS science for a changing world logo
March 14, 2016

Ensuring that the data behind our science is effectively captured, documented, protected, shared, and archived touches all of the Regional science priorities. The Fort Collins Science Center works with the Climate Science Centers, Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, and multiple regional landscape conservation efforts to provide that data lifecycle support.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 14, 2016

The interactive map with photo viewer application allows users to navigate to, select, and explore attributes, photos, and documents associated with Campsite and Sandbar features of the Colorado River channel between Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Mead.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 14, 2016

The Planetary Data System (PDS) is the Nation’s digital archive of the data collected in the course of exploring beyond our home planet. The USGS, in partnership with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, maintains all the image data provided by space missions for archival. A variety of tools are available to search the hundreds of Terabytes of images and related ancillary data.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 14, 2016

The Software for Assisted Habitat Modeling (SAHM) has been created to both expedite habitat modeling and help maintain a record of the various input data, pre- and post- processing steps, and modeling options incorporated in the construction of a species distribution model. It is constructed as a package of modules to be utilized within the VisTrails system.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 14, 2016

Located in the Upper Green River Basin of west-central Wyoming, the Jonah Natural Gas Field contains one of the richest natural gas concentrations in the United States, currently estimated at more than 14 trillion cubic feet.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 12, 2016

WaterWatch is a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) World Wide Web site that displays maps, graphs, and tables describing real-time, recent, and past streamflow conditions for the United States. The real-time information generally is updated on an hourly basis.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 12, 2016

Data on 6,767 flood events at 1,597 individual sites throughout Colorado were compiled to generate the flood database. The data sources of flood information are indirect discharge measurements that were stored in U.S. Geological Survey offices (water years 1867–2011), flood data from indirect discharge measurements referenced in U.S. Geological Survey reports.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 12, 2016

In cooperation with other government agencies, stakeholder groups, and private entities, we are maintaining a water-quality database for selected study areas in Colorado. This database combines water-quality data from the USGS National Water Information System (NWIS) and the U.S. EPA STORET databases. Additional relevant datasets from a variety of other sources also are being included.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 12, 2016

Summaries of water-quality monitoring data are now available for several major river basins in Colorado. For each basin, current data from a network of sites are compared to previously collected data and instream standards. Lowess curves are provided on plots for selected constituents where a sufficient period of record and limited censored data are available.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 12, 2016

In cooperation with other government agencies, stakeholder groups, and private entities, we are maintaining a water-quality database for selected study areas in Colorado. This database combines water-quality data from the USGS National Water Information System (NWIS) and the U.S. EPA STORET databases. Additional relevant datasets from a variety of other sources also are being included.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 12, 2016

Summaries of water-quality monitoring data are now available for several major river basins in Colorado. For each basin, current data from a network of sites are compared to previously collected data and instream standards. Lowess curves are provided on plots for selected constituents where a sufficient period of record and limited censored data are available.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 12, 2016

Interactive maps and downloadable data for regional and global Geology, Geochemistry, Geophysics, and Mineral Resources.

Filter Total Items: 780
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Year Published: 2019

Inundation, flow dynamics, and damage in the 9 January 2018 Montecito Debris-Flow Event, California, USA: Opportunities and challenges for post-wildfire risk assessment

Shortly before the beginning of the winter rainy season, one of the largest fires in California history (Thomas Fire) substantially increased the susceptibility of steep slopes in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties to debris flows. On January 9, 2018, before the fire was fully contained, an intense burst of rain fell on the portion of the burn...

Kean, Jason W.; Staley, Dennis M.; Lancaster, Jeremy T.; Rengers, Francis K.; Swanson, Brian J.; Coe, Jeffrey A.; Hernandez, Janis .; Sigman, Aaron; Allstadt, Kate E.; Lindsay, Donald N.

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Year Published: 2019

Constraining parameter uncertainty in modeling debris-flow initiation during the September 2013 Colorado Front Range storm

The occurrence of debris flows during the September 2013 northern Colorado floods took the emergency management community by surprise. The September 2013 debris flows in the Colorado Front Range initiated from shallow landslides in colluvium. Most occurred on south- and east-facing slopes on the walls of steep canyons in crystalline rocks and on...

Baum, Rex L.; Scheevel, C.R.; Jones, Eric S.

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Year Published: 2019

Bayesian analysis of the impact of rainfall data product on simulated slope failure for North Carolina locations

In the past decades, many different approaches have been developed in the literature to quantify the load-carrying capacity and geotechnical stability (or the Factor of Safety, F_s) of variably saturated hillslopes. Much of this work has focused on a deterministic characterization of hillslope stability. Yet, simulated F_s values are subject to...

Yatheendradas, Soni; Kirschbaum, Dalia; Nearing, Grey; Vrugt, Jasper A.; Baum, Rex L.; Wooten, Rick; Lu, Ning; Godt, Jonathan W.
Yatheendradas, S., Kirschbaum, D., Nearing, G., Vrugt, J.A., Baum, R.L., Wooten, Rick, Lu, Ning, Godt, J.W., 2019, Bayesian analysis of the impact of rainfall data product on simulated slope failure for North Carolina locations: Computational Geosciences, v. 23, no. 3, p. 495–522. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10596-018-9804-y

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Year Published: 2019

Estimation of ground motion variability in the CEUS using simulations

We estimate earthquake ground-motion variability in the central and eastern U.S. (CEUS) by varying the model parameters of a deterministic physics-based and a stochastic site-based simulation method. Utilizing a moderate-magnitude database of recordings, we simulate ground motions for larger-magnitude scenarios M6.0, 6.5, 7.0, 7.5, and 8.0. For...

Hartzell, Stephen H.; Sun, Xiaodan; Rezaeian, Sanaz; Clayton, Brandon; Hartzell, Stephen H.

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Year Published: 2019

Vertical coseismic offsets from differential high-resolution stereogrammetric DSMs: The 2013 Baluchistan, Pakistan earthquake

The recent proliferation of high-resolution (< 3-m spatial resolution) digital topography datasets opens a spectrum of geodetic applications in differential topography, including the quantification of coseismic vertical displacement fields. Most investigations of coseismic vertical displacements to date rely, in part, on pre- or post-event...

Barnhart, William D.; Gold, Ryan D.; Shea, Hannah N.; Peterson, Katherine E.; Briggs, Richard W.; Harbor, David J.

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Year Published: 2019

Groundwater quality of a public supply aquifer in proximity to oil development, Fruitvale Oil Field, Bakersfield, California

Due to concerns over the effects of oil production activities on groundwater quality in California, chemical, isotopic, dissolved gas and age-dating tracers were analyzed in samples collected from public-supply wells and produced-water sites in the Fruitvale oil field (FVOF). A combination of newly collected and historical data was used to...

Wright, Michael; McMahon, Peter B.; Landon, Matthew K.; Kulongoski, Justin T.

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Year Published: 2019

The USGS National crustal model for seismic hazard studies: 2019 update

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) National Crustal Model (NCM) is being developed to assist in the modeling of seismic hazards across the conterminous United States, specifically by improving estimates of site response. The NCM is composed of geophysical profiles, extending from the Earth’s surface into the upper mantle, constructed from...

Boyd, Oliver S.

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Year Published: 2019

Evaluation of ground motion models for USGS seismic hazard forecasts: Induced and tectonic earthquakes in the Central and Eastern U.S.

Ground motion model (GMM) selection and weighting introduces a significant source of uncertainty in United States Geological Survey (USGS) seismic hazard models. The increase in moderate moment magnitude induced earthquakes (Mw 4 to 5.8) in Oklahoma and Kansas since 2009, due to increased wastewater injection related to oil and gas production (...

McNamara, Daniel E.; Petersen, Mark D.; Thompson, Eric M.; Powers, Peter M.; Shumway, Allison; Hoover, Susan M.; Moschetti, Morgan P.; Wolin, Emily

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Year Published: 2019

Sedimentary evidence of prehistoric distant-source tsunamis in the Hawaiian Islands

Over the past 200 years of written records, the Hawaiian Islands have experienced tens of tsunamis generated by earthquakes in the subduction zones of the Pacific "Ring of Fire" (e.g., Alaska-Aleutian, Kuril-Kamchatka, Chile, and Japan). Mapping and dating anomalous beds of sand and silt deposited by tsunamis in low-lying areas along Pacific...

La Selle, Seanpaul; Richmond, Bruce M.; Jaffe, Bruce E.; Nelson, Alan; Griswold, Frances; Arcos, Maria E.M.; Chague, Catherine; Bishop, James M.; Bellanova, Piero; Kane, Haunani H.; Lunghino, Brent D.; Gelfenbaum, Guy R.

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Year Published: 2019

Wildfire as a catalyst for hydrologic and geomorphic change

Wildfire has been a constant presence on the Earth since at least the Silurian period, and is a landscape-scale catalyst that results in a step-change perturbation for hydrologic systems, which ripples across burned terrain, shaping the geomorphic legacy of watersheds. Specifically, wildfire alters two key landscape properties: (1) overland flow,...

Rengers, Francis K.

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Year Published: 2019

Exotic Seismic Events Catalog (ESEC) Data Product

Nonearthquake seismic events from sources such as landslides, debris flows, dam collapses, floods, glaciers, and avalanches are rarely included in traditional earthquake catalogs. The new Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) Data Management Center Exotic Seismic Events Catalog data product provides information on such events to...

Bahavar, Manoch; Allstadt, Kate E.; Fossen, Mick Van; Malone, Stephen; Trabant, Chad

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Year Published: 2019

Factors controlling landslide frequency-area distributions

A power‐law relation for the frequency–area distribution (FAD) of medium and large landslides (e.g. tens to millions of square meters) has been observed by numerous authors. But the FAD of small landslides diverges from the power‐law distribution, with a rollover point below which frequencies decrease for smaller landslides. Some studies conclude...

Tanyaş, Hakan; van Westen, Cees J.; Allstadt, Kate E.; Jibson, Randall W.

The Southwest Region ranges from the Colorado Rockies to the Gulf Coast and the Western Deserts to the Great Plains. The Southwest Region conducts multi- and interdisciplinary research and monitoring in locations across the Region, the United States, around the world, and across our solar system.

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USGS scientist Vidal Mendoza surveying high water marks from storm surge from Hurricane Harvey near Port Aransas, Texas.
September 5, 2017

Surveying High Water Marks following Harvey

USGS scientist Vidal Mendoza surveying high water marks from storm surge from Hurricane Harvey near Port Aransas, Texas.

USGS scientists Lisa Ashmore and Lee Bodkin collect water-quality samples on Lake Houston in response to Harvey.
August 31, 2017

Collecting Water Quality Samples following Harvey

USGS scientists Lisa Ashmore and Lee Bodkin collect water-quality samples on Lake Houston in response to the high flow conditions that resulted from Harvey. 

USGS scientist Lisa Ashmore services a water-quality monitor on Lake Houston. These instruments stayed afloat throughout Harvey.
August 31, 2017

Servicing a water-quality monitor following Harvey

USGS scientist Lisa Ashmore services a water-quality monitor on Lake Houston. These instruments stayed afloat and collected data throughout Harvey. 

Image shows a USGS scientist in a PFD servicing a streamgage
August 31, 2017

Servicing a Streamgage at Addicks Reservoir following Hurricane Harvey

USGS scientist Jimmy Hopkins repairs a streamgage downstream of Addicks reservoir at Buffalo Bayou after flooding from Hurricane Harvey. This gauge is normally accessed on land from a platform on the side of a bridge.

Image shows USGS scientists planning their water quality work on a whiteboard
August 31, 2017

Water Quality Sampling Planning Following Hurricane Harvey

A peek into a USGS planning meeting to coordinate water-quality sampling efforts in response to Harvey. This sampling effort is part of the federal government’s broad efforts to ensure public health and to support the state, tribal, and local response to the storm

Image shows USGS scientists in PFDs taking water quality samples from Lake Houston
August 31, 2017

Water Quality Sampling on Lake Houston Following Hurricane Harvey

A USGS field crew takes water-quality samples on Lake Houston following Harvey.

Image shows a USGS scientist in a PFD servicing a water quality monitor on a lake
August 31, 2017

Water Quality Sampling on Lake Houston Following Hurricane Harvey

USGS scientist Lisa Ashmore services a water-quality monitor on Lake Houston. These instruments stayed afloat and collected data throughout the storm.

A USGS scientist wearing a PFD measures flooding on the Guadalupe River
August 30, 2017

Measuring Hurricane Harvey Flooding on the Guadalupe River

USGS scientist Alec MacDonald takes flood measurements on the Guadalupe River in Victoria, Texas.

Image shows flooding around a streamgage at Addicks Reservoir
August 29, 2017

Hurricane Harvey Flooding at Addicks Reservoir

USGS field crew measure reservoir water-level data at Addicks Reservoir, which are critical for helping the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers make informed reservoir operation decisions.

Image shows flooding at a streamgage site on Addicks Reservoir
August 29, 2017

Hurricane Harvey Flooding at Addicks Reservoir

USGS field crew measure reservoir water-level data at Addicks Reservoir, which are critical for helping the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers make informed reservoir operation decisions.

Image shows a USGS scientist in a PFD servicing a streamgage
August 29, 2017

Servicing a Streamgage at Barker Reservoir Following Hurricane Harvey

USGS scientist Tom Pistillo wades through the waters of Barker Reservoir to ensure accurate reservoir water-level data are being measured, which are critical for helping the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Harris County Flood Control District make informed reservoir operation decisions.

Image shows a USGS scientist in a PFD servicing a streamgage
August 29, 2017

Servicing the Streamgage at Addicks Reservoir

USGS scientist Tom Pistillo services the streamgage at Addicks Reservoir to ensure that accurate reservoir water-level data are being measured, which are critical for helping the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Harris County Flood Control District make informed reservoir operation decisions.

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The Bathythermograph
June 6, 2017

On June 6, 1944, thousands of men rained down from the skies onto the battlegrounds of Normandy. After five grueling years of war that shook the globe, D-Day’s victory swept the Allied nations into a wave of celebration.

Prescribed Burn at Tall Timbers Research Station
May 24, 2017

U.S. Geological Survey scientists and partners are taking technology to the next level, using unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), commonly called drones, to acquire both fire intensity and emissions data during prescribed burns.

2014 South Napa Earthquake in California
May 15, 2017

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.” 

Image shows a scan of an apatite grain on a black background
May 11, 2017

No one wants to have an active volcano in their backyard (just ask Dionisio Pulido), but ancient eroded volcanoes can sometimes be literal goldmines for mineral ores.

Measuring Streamflow
May 11, 2017

Gary Moore spent the last three days of 2015 stacking hefty bags of sand in front of a fellow church member’s brick home. With only 1,000 feet between the house and the swelling Mississippi and Meramec Rivers, Moore and other volunteers worked quickly, in frigid temperatures, to assemble a 10-foot high, 1,000-foot-long sandbag wall to ward off floodwaters.

Image: A Mule Deer Released After Being Radio-Collared
May 3, 2017

Migratory mule deer in Wyoming closely time their movements to track the spring green-up, providing evidence of an underappreciated foraging benefit of migration, according to a study by University of Wyoming and U.S. Geological Survey scientists at the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit.

Walker Lake on a Spring day
April 24, 2017

USGS model simulations suggest that Walker Lake will rise by as much as 15 to 18 feet this year, the most in a single year in recorded history.

Hydrologic Regions of Alaska
April 14, 2017

While freshwater ecosystems cover only a small amount of the land surface in Alaska, they transport and emit a significant amount of carbon, according to new U.S. Geological Survey research. An invited feature article for Ecological Applications provides the first-ever major aquatic carbon flux assessment for the entire state. Carbon flux refers to the rate of carbon transfer between pools.

Looking northeast along the Bear River Duck Club Canal toward the Wellsville Mountains. 
April 6, 2017

A new report illustrates how groundwater pumping can affect the amount of water available in streams within the Malad-Lower Bear River Area in Utah. The product was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Utah Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water Rights.

Lake Mead
March 15, 2017

The Colorado River system provides about 35 million Americans with a portion of their water supply. It irrigates 5½ million acres of land in the West and provides water to tribes, parks, and wildlife. The system serves parts of seven States and Mexico—but reservoir levels have crept lower over the past several years, sparking questions about how much water remains and who will have access.

The Southwest Region ranges from the Colorado Rockies to the Gulf Coast and the Western Deserts to the Great Plains. The Southwest Region conducts multi- and interdisciplinary research and monitoring in locations across the Region, the United States, around the world, and across our solar system.

Filter Total Items: 215