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Filter Total Items: 362
WERC American Avocet on nest with eggs
Date Published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Contaminants in Waterbirds and Effects on Avian Reproduction

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 success...

Contacts: Josh T Ackerman
WERC sea otter
Date Published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

California Sea Otter Surveys and Research

WERC colloborates with other research scientists to conduct annual population surveys of the southern sea otter -- a federally listed threatened species. In coordination with the California Department of Fish and Game and other institutions, ongoing surveys and research continues to inform the southern sea otter recovery plan for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and contributes to our...

WERC caged mosquitofish used to monitor mercury bioaccumulation
Date Published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Mercury Bioaccumulation in Wetlands

Wetlands provide numerous ecosystem services, but also can be sources of methylmercury production and export. Click the next tab to learn how WERC's Dr. Josh Ackerman is evaluating the ecological factors that drive contaminant bioaccumulation in wetland-dependent fish and wildlife.

Contacts: Josh T Ackerman
Sea otter Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (WERC)
Date Published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Population Biology and Behavior of Sea Otters

WERC's sea otter researchers are developing and utilizing a variety of methodological and analytical tools to understand the causes of biological and ecological trends in sea otter populations, and to predict the ecological consequences of management practices on these populations and their ecosystems.

Photo of a hen pintail with a GPS transmitter.
Date Published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Waterfowl Ecology in California and the Pacific Flyway

The Suisun Marsh and Central Valley in California offer some of the world’s most important wetland habitats for waterfowl in the Pacific Flyway. Mike Casazza and USGS WERC biologists are providing the science to support and evaluate waterfowl populations and habitat management in North America.

Contacts: Michael Casazza
Image: Sea Otter Ready for a Nap
Date Published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Pacific Nearshore Project

Sea otters are crucial indicators of the health of our nearshore waters and coastal resources, from kelp forests to fisheries. What clues does the sea otter's decline hold for our knowledge of ecosystem and global change? WERC's sea otter team and U.S. and Canadian researchers have teamed together to investigate. 

Relevance to USGS Missions:

This research project has direct...

WERC researcher conducting elevation surveys in San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Date Published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Modeling Sea-Level Rise in San Francisco Bay Estuary

With sea level rise, how will the coastal habitats of the San Francisco Bay Estuary change over the next 100 years? Mapping and modeling studies by Dr. Karen Thorne, WERC scientists, and partners have produced scenarios for this important coastal ecosystem.

Contacts: Karen Thorne
Wildfire in the Mid-Elevation Mojave Desert
Date Published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Wildland Fire Science in Forests and Deserts

Fuel conditions and fire regimes in western forests and deserts have been altered due to past land management, biological invasions, and recent extreme weather events and climate shifts. These changes have created extreme fire risk to local and regional communities, threatening their economic health related to wildland recreation, forest production, livestock operations, and other uses of...

Contacts: Matthew Brooks
WERC Ridgway’s rail in vegetation
Date Published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Ecology and Population Dynamics of Ridgway's Rails along the West Coast of the U.S.

The Ridgway’s rail is a federal and state listed endangered species that occurs in wetlands along the Pacific Coast and from the Lower Colorado River drainage to southern Baja California. Three subspecies of Ridgway’s rail are found within the United States: the California Ridgway’s Rail, Yuma Ridgway’s rail, and Light-footed Ridgway’s rail.  All three subspecies have declined since 1900 as a...

Contacts: Michael Casazza
Joshua trees burning in the Bulldog Fire in Mojave Desert tortoise habitat of southwestern Utah
Date Published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Aridlands Disturbances and Restoration Ecology

Desert landscapes are rapidly changing due to increases in invasive plant species, frequency of wildfires, urban and energy development, recreational use, military training, and climate variation. Dr. Todd Esque, USGS researchers, and collaborators are working together to investigate these changes and provide managers with key information that can be used to manage natural resources more...

Contacts: Todd Esque
An experimental garden nestled against the La Salle Mountains in Utah.
Date Published: August 5, 2017
Status: Active

RestoreNet: Distributed Field Trial Network for Dryland Restoration

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) researchers and land managers are co-producing a network of restoration field trial sites on DOI and surrounding lands in the southwestern U.S. The network systematically tests restoration treatments across a broad range of landscape, soil, and climate conditions. Each site in the network is used to test suitable seed mixes and treatments that promote plant...

Contacts: Seth Munson, Brad Butterfield, Elise Gornish
Natural Hazards
Date Published: August 5, 2017
Status: Active

Hazards Societal Consequences and Risk Communication

The Hazards Societal Consequences and Risk Communication project is led by Anne Wein at the Western Geographic Science Center (WGSC).

The umbrella project is Science Application for Risk Reduction (SAFRR), which estimates consequences of natural hazard disaster scenarios as a strategy to engage decision-makers in increasing a community’s ability to cope with the effects of a disaster....

Filter Total Items: 315
USGS
January 1, 2017

To support Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) in the San Francisco Bay (v2.1), time series of historical and 21st-century near-surface wind fields (eastward and northward wind arrays) were simulated throughout the Bay.
While global climate models (GCMs) provide useful projections of near-surface wind vectors into the 21st century, resolution is not sufficient enough for use in regional

USGS
January 1, 2017

Model-derived significant wave height (in meters) for the given storm condition and sea-level rise (SLR) scenario.
The Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) makes detailed predictions (meter-scale) over large geographic scales (100s of kilometers) of storm-induced coastal flooding and erosion for both current and future sea-level rise (SLR) scenarios. CoSMoS v3.0 for Southern California shows pr

USGS
January 1, 2017

Model-derived total water levels (in meters) for the given storm condition and sea-level rise (SLR) scenario.
The Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) makes detailed predictions (meter-scale) over large geographic scales (100s of kilometers) of storm-induced coastal flooding and erosion for both current and future sea-level rise (SLR) scenarios. CoSMoS v3.0 for Southern California shows project

USGS
January 1, 2017

Files contain hydrodynamic and sediment transport data for the location and deployment indicated. Time-series data of water depth, velocity, turbidity, and temperature were collected in San Pablo Bay and China Camp Marsh as part of the San Francisco Bay Marsh Sediment Experiments. Several instruments were deployed in tidal creek, marsh, mudflat, and Bay locations, gathering data on water depth, v

Map of elevation and water depth shows channels and other features of a marsh, plus dots for instrument locations.
December 21, 2016

Investigate the influence of wind waves on sediment dynamics in two flooded agricultural tracts. Part of a large interdisciplinary study led by the USGS and funded by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to investigate how shallow-water habitats in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta function and whether they provide good habitat for native fish species, including the Delta smelt.

USGS
October 20, 2016

Abstract: This data release presents modeled time series of nearshore waves along the southern California coast, from Point Conception to the Mexican border, hindcasted for 1980-2010 and projected using global climate model forcing for 1975-2005 and 2012-2100.
Details: As part of the Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS), time series of hindcast, historical, and 21st-century nearshore wave param

Map shows land and bay with labels, in the water are lines that show ship's path as it collected data.
August 30, 2016

This data release includes chirp seismic-reflection data collected in 2014 aboard the USGS R/V Snavely in San Pablo Bay, part of northern San Francisco Bay. The data were collected as part of USGS efforts to better understand the fault geometry of the Hayward and Rodgers Creek faults beneath the bay.

Photograph and line drawings that show a long sediment core and its various attributes with graphs and plots.
August 15, 2016

The five files included in this U.S. Geological Survey data release are data from a set of sediment cores acquired from the continental slope, north of Monterey Canyon, offshore central California.

USGS
August 4, 2016

These data are part of a larger USGS project to develop an updated geospatial database of mines, mineral deposits and mineral regions in the United States. Mine and prospect-related symbols, such as those used to represent prospect pits, mines, adits, dumps, tailings, etc., hereafter referred to as “mine” symbols or features, are currently being digitized on a state-by-state basis fro

Map shows where data has been collected in the ocean along the coast of California.
June 6, 2016

This data release includes marine geophysical data collected on three research cruises conducted in 2010 and 2012 between Point Arena and Cape Mendocino. The overall goal of this research is to better understandthe northernmost section of the San Andreas Fault (SAF).

Structure datasets for the nation from The National Map
April 20, 2016

USGS data portray selected structures data, including the location and characteristics of manmade facilities. Characteristics consist of a structure's physical form (footprint), function, name, location, and detailed information about the structure. The types of structures collected are largely determined by the needs of the disaster planning and response and homeland security organizations.

Boundaries datasets for the nation from The National Map.
April 19, 2016

Boundaries data or governmental units represent major civil areas including states, counties, Federal, and Native American lands, and incorporated places such as cities and towns.

Filter Total Items: 312
Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 1996

Chapter A. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Main shock characteristics

The October 17, 1989, Loma Prieta, Calif., earthquake (0004:15.2 G.m.t. October 18; lat 37.036? N., long 121.883? W.; 19-km depth) had a local magnitude (ML) of about 6.7, a surface-wave magnitude (MS) of 7.1, a seismic moment of 2.2x1019 N-m to 3.5x1019 N-m, a source duration of 6 to 15 s, and an average stress drop of at least 50 bars. Slip...

Spudich, Paul
Chapter A. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Main Shock Characteristics; 1996; PP; 1550-A; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Earthquake Occurrence; Edited by Spudich, Paul

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Year Published: 1996

Riparian vegetation and its water use during 1995 along the Mojave River, Southern California

The extent and areal density of riparian vegetation, including both phreatophytes and hydrophytes, were mapped along the 100-mile main stem of the Mojave River during 1995. Mapping was aided by vertical false-color infrared and low-level oblique photographs. However, positive identification of plant species and plant physiological stress required...

Lines, Gregory C.; Bilhorn, Thomas W.
Riparian vegetation and its water use during 1995 along the Mojave River, Southern California; 1996; WRI; 96-4241; Lines, Gregory C.; Bilhorn, Thomas W.

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Year Published: 1995

Water-resources data network evaluation for Monterey County, California; Phase 2, northern and coastal areas of Monterey County

This report presents an evaluation of water- resources data-collection networks in the northern and coastal areas of Monterey County, California. This evaluation was done by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the Monterey County Flood Control and Water Conservation District to evaluate precipitation, surface water, and ground water...

Templin, W.E.; Smith, P.E.; DeBortoli, M.L.; Schluter, R.C.
Water-resources data network evaluation for Monterey County, California; Phase 2, northern and coastal areas of Monterey County; 1995; WRI; 95-4210; Templin, W. E.; Smith, P. E.; DeBortoli, M. L.; Schluter, R. C.

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Year Published: 1995

Land use and water use in the Antelope Valley, California

Urban land use and water use in the Antelope Valley, California, have increased significantly since development of the valley began in the late 1800's.. Ground water has been a major source of water in this area because of limited local surface-water resources. Ground-water pumpage is reported to have increased from about 29,000 acre-feet in 1919...

Templin, William E.; Phillips, Steven P.; Cherry, Daniel E.; DeBortoli, Myrna L.; Haltom, T.C.; McPherson, Kelly R.; Mrozek, C.A.
Land use and water use in the Antelope Valley, California; 1995; WRI; 94-4208; Templin, W. E.; Phillips, S. P.; Cherry, D. E.; DeBortoli, M. L.; Haltom, T. C.; McPherson, K. R.; Mrozek, C. A.

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Year Published: 1995

Look before you build; geologic studies for safer land development in the San Francisco Bay area

This Circular provides a general description of the types of geologic hazards that exist throughout the United States. In nontechnical language this book describes how geologic information can be incorporated in the land-use development process and contains useful discussion of several examples from the San Francisco Bay area and elsewhere in the...

Blair-Tyler, Martha
Look before you build; geologic studies for safer land development in the San Francisco Bay area; 1995; CIR; 1130; Blair-Tyler, Martha

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Year Published: 1994

Accounting for Consumptive Use of Lower Colorado River Water in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah

In the Colorado River valley between the east end of Lake Mead and the international boundary with Mexico (see figure), the river is the principal source of water for agricultural, domestic, municipal, industrial, hydroelectric-power generation, and recreational purposes. Water is stored in surface reservoirs and in the river aquifer---permeable...

Owen-Joyce, Sandra J.; Wilson, Richard P.
Accounting for Consumptive Use of Lower Colorado River Water in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah; 1994; FS; 074-94; Owen-Joyce, Sandra J.; Wilson, Richard P.

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Year Published: 1994

Chapter A. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Loss estimation and procedures

This Professional Paper includes a collection of papers on subjects ranging from evaluation of building safety, to human injuries, to correlation of ground deformation with building damage. What these papers share is a common goal to improve the tools available to the research community to measure the nature, extent, and causes of damage and...

Tubbesing, Susan K.
Chapter A. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Loss Estimation and Procedures; 1994; PP; 1553-A; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Societal Response; Edited by Tubbesing, Susan K.

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Year Published: 1994

Chapter A. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Strong ground motion

Strong ground motion generated by the Loma Prieta, Calif., earthquake (MS~7.1) of October 17, 1989, resulted in at least 63 deaths, more than 3,757 injuries, and damage estimated to exceed $5.9 billion. Strong ground motion severely damaged critical lifelines (freeway overpasses, bridges, and pipelines), caused severe damage to poorly constructed...

Borcherdt, Roger D.
Chapter A. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Strong Ground Motion; 1994; PP; 1551-A; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Strong Ground Motion and Ground Failure; Edited by Borcherdt, Roger D.

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Year Published: 1994

Chapter C. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Fire, police, transportation and hazardous materials

The papers in this chapter discuss some of the failures and successes that resulted from the societal response by a multitude of agencies to the Loma Prieta earthquake. Some of the lessons learned were old ones relearned. Other lessons were obvious ones which had gone unnoticed. Still, knowledge gained from past earthquakes spawned planning and...

Van Anne, Craig; Scawthorn, Charles R.
Chapter C. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Fire, Police, Transportation and Hazardous Materials; 1994; PP; 1553-C; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Societal Response; Edited by Van Anne, Craig; Scawthorn, Charles R.

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Year Published: 1994

Chapter E. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Hydrologic disturbances

Seismic events have long been known to cause changes in the level of oceans, streams, lakes, and the water table. The great San Francisco earthquake of 1906 induced significant hydrologic changes that were qualitatively similar to those changes observed for the Loma Prieta earthquake. What is different is that the hydrologic data sets collected...

Rojstaczer, Stuart A.
Chapter E. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Hydrologic Disturbances; 1994; PP; 1551-E; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Strong Ground Motion and Ground Failure; Edited by Rojstaczer, Stuart A.

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Year Published: 1994

Chapter F. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Tectonic processes and models

If there is a single theme that unifies the diverse papers in this chapter, it is the attempt to understand the role of the Loma Prieta earthquake in the context of the earthquake 'machine' in northern California: as the latest event in a long history of shocks in the San Francisco Bay region, as an incremental contributor to the regional...

Simpson, Robert W.
Chapter F. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Tectonic Processes and Models; 1994; PP; 1550-F; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Earthquake Occurrence; Edited by Simpson, Robert W.

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Year Published: 1994

Irrigation water supply and demand data for 1976, 1980, and 1984 for the western San Joaquin Valley, California

This report presents the irrigation water supply and demand data for 1976, 1980, and 1984 for 32 water districts in the western San Joaquin Valley, California. Data are provided for each water district or each of the three years if the data were available. The complete data base is given by water district or each township, range, and section in...

Templin, W.E.; Haltom, T.C.
Irrigation water supply and demand data for 1976, 1980, and 1984 for the western San Joaquin Valley, California; 1994; OFR; 94-335; Templin, W. E.; Haltom, T. C.

Filter Total Items: 1,137
August 31, 2017

2017 August Evening Public Lecture — Roving on Mars

Roving on Mars: Curiosity's exploration of Gale Crater

* Overview of the Mars Science Laboratory Mission
* Highlights from 5 years of exploring sedimentary environments
* Preview of next steps in Curiosity's climb up Aeolis Mons

Aerial view of coastal bluffs, marine terrace with farmland, beach in distance with lagoon, highway runs along coast.
August 18, 2017

Scott Creek area of California coast

Aerial photograph looking north, Scott Creek Beach in distance, along the California coast near Davenport.

Photo of driftwood and sand dunes at Point Reyes National Seashore
August 7, 2017

Driftwood and Dunes - Point Reyes

Photo of driftwood, and invasive grasses and iceplant at Point Reyes National Seashore, CA. Such "dune drainages" make surprising habitat for a threatened species of amphibian: the California red-legged frog.

Photo of dead trees and forest at Point Reyes National Seashore
August 7, 2017

Trees at Point Reyes National Seashore

Dead trees like the ones featured in this photo still provide valuable habitat for wildlife, including birds.

View from sky of a river mouth where it meets the ocean but it's blocked by a natural sand levee; with a bridge over the river.
August 4, 2017

San Gregorio Beach and Creek

Flow from San Gregorio Creek in San Gregorio, California is often blocked by a natural sand levee when the flow is not strong enough to push through to the Pacific Ocean.

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 31, 2017

A Current Immersion

Curt Storlazzi of the USGS explains how the water cycle pulled him into oceanography, and how his personal interests parallel his profession.
 

chart of vegetation change in the bird's foot delta
July 31, 2017

Changing vegetation in the Delta 2016-2017

Chart showing changes in vegetation density in the Mississippi River delta in Louisiana, May 2015-May 2016. From a USGS Open File Report published in July 2017 by co-authors Elijah Ramsey III and Amina Rangoonwala,

July 27, 2017

USGS Public Lecture: Warm Ice—Dynamics of Rapidly Changing Glaciers

  • Glacier Numerology – The how big, how long, how thick, how much, how often, of glacier science.
  • Glacier Photography – While a picture may be worth a thousand words, a collection of images may tell a complete forensic story.
  • Glacier Geophysics – How new technologies are being introduced to reexamine and refine decades old glacier analyses.
...
Southwest view of Soda-Avawatz Fault
July 26, 2017

Soda-Avawatz Fault, eastern Avawatz Mountains

This is a view to the southwest from the top of the piedmont on the eastern side of the Avawatz Mountains, ~25 km northwest of Baker, CA. In the foreground, from right to left, are the Avawatz Mountain Front, composed of Precambrian crystalline metamorphic rocks, a narrow pediment developed on these metamorphic rocks, a sliver of marble juxtaposed against the pediment, and

...
View from the sky looking at a steep oceanfront cliff with a road running along it close to the water, with lettering on top.
July 19, 2017

Location of Mud Creek slide

Lead-in to the Mud Creek slide UAS (drone) footage, Big Sur, California, July 19. 2017.

Filter Total Items: 906
Flyer for May presentation
May 28, 2014

Can better understanding fish diseases help to create much sought-after cures for human diseases such as Hepatitis C?

Image: Mud and Peat Deposits from Point Reyes Marsh
May 20, 2014

An extensive sedimentary deposit formed by a tsunami in 1946 was recently discovered at Pillar Point Marsh near Half Moon Bay, California. While there were photos and eyewitness accounts of the tsunami and resulting damage at the time, finding the tangible evidence in the geologic record is an important part of assessing the long-term hazard of tsunamis on California coastal communities.

USGS science for a changing world logo
May 19, 2014

Contaminated groundwater found at shallow depths in southern Los Angeles County has the potential to migrate to deeper aquifers, according to a scientific study just published by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Water Replenishment District of Southern California.

USGS science for a changing world logo
May 14, 2014

Nitrate was detected at high concentrations in about 14 percent of untreated groundwater sources used for public water supply in the Livermore, Gilroy-Hollister, and Cuyama valleys of the Southern Coast Ranges, according to an ongoing U.S. Geological Survey study of the state's groundwater quality.

Lidar image showing the upper parts of the landslide that occurred in northwest Washington on March 22, 2014.
May 14, 2014

Want to know how elevation will benefit your state? The USGS National Geospatial Program is advancing the 3D Elevation Program, known as 3DEP, in response to the growing need for high-quality three-dimensional representations of the Nation’s natural and constructed features.

USGS
May 13, 2014

Stronger storms, rising seas, and flooding are placing hundreds of millions people at risk around the world, and big part of the solution to decrease those risks is just off shore. A new study finds that coral reefs reduce the wave energy that would otherwise impact coastlines by 97 percent.

USGS science for a changing world logo
May 7, 2014

Results of a new hydrologic model show a decrease in groundwater levels in response to pumping, which in turn causes a reduction in groundwater discharge to streams, a reduction in groundwater evapotranspiration, and a reduction in groundwater storage in the Santa Rosa Plain watershed.

USGS science for a changing world logo
April 30, 2014

The coastal geology of Simeonof Island, the southeastern-most island in the Shumagin archipelago of the Aleutian Islands, suggests the region has not experienced a great megathrust earthquake in at least the past 3,400 years.

Catastrophic Earthquakes – In a Crowded World Public Lecture Flyer
April 22, 2014

Why have there been so many catastrophic earthquakes at the beginning of the 21stcentury? On April 24th, USGS Research Geologist Thomas Holzer will tell us the history and future of earthquake death tolls, and the urbanization of the planet. Find out what makes modern megacities vulnerable to natural hazards.

USGS science for a changing world logo
April 22, 2014

Inorganic trace elements – fluoride, arsenic, molybdenum and boron – were detected at high concentrations in 42 percent of groundwater used for public supply in the Borrego Valley, and southern desert areas of California, according to a recent study by the U.S. Geological Survey. The USGS evaluated the quality of untreated groundwater for this study – not treated tap water.

Image:  Desert Perchlorate Field Work
April 3, 2014

Newly published research is the first to characterize the distribution and interactions of natural perchlorate in a terrestrial ecosystem. The study results are important in assessing risks associated with ecological and human health and with potential movement of natural perchlorate contamination into groundwater.

Lecture flyer thumbnail
March 24, 2014

How much will California's climate warm in future decades and what are the greatest vulnerabilities to climate change? On March 27th, USGS Climate Researcher Dan Cayan will explain about how scientists are investigating the way climate change might impact resources that are crucial to the state, including the Sierra Nevada snowpack, California coastal sea levels and the San Francisco Bay and Delta