States L2 Landing Page Tabs

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map of the central valley with the CVHM grid cells overlaid, and a cross section of the subsurface
Date Published: August 27, 2012
Status: Active

Central Valley Hydrologic Model (CVHM)

In an effort to aid water managers in understanding how water moves through the aquifer system, predicting water-supply scenarios, and addressing issues related to water competition, the USGS developed a new hydrologic modeling tool, the Central Valley Hydrologic Model (CVHM). The CVHM is an extensive, detailed three-dimensional (3D) computer model of the hydrologic system of the Central...

Contacts: Claudia C Faunt
close-up Santa Ana Sucker
Date Published: September 28, 2011
Status: Completed

Native Fish Population and Habitat Study - Santa Ana River

California Water Science Center scientists further research on two native fish species.

Contacts: Larry Brown
Longfin Smelt
Date Published: September 28, 2011
Status: Completed

Exploring Drivers of Pelagic Fish Population Decline in Bay-Delta

USGS scientists develop spatially explicit ecosystem model to explore changes pelagic fish species population and distribution in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Suisun Bay.

Contacts: Larry Brown
Date Published: May 6, 2009
Status: Completed

Sources of Microbial Contamination at Public Beaches, Santa Barbara

The focus of this study is on analysis of existing hydrologic, chemical, and microbiological data; collection of surface-water and shallow ground-water hydrologic, chemical, and microbiological data; and characterization of dissolved organic carbon composition.

Contacts: John Izbicki
ShakeOut Don't Freak Out
Date Published: May 14, 2008
Status: Completed


The ShakeOut Scenario was located in southern California where earthquake risk is high compared to the rest of the country. This scenario is a hypothetical, but plausible 7.8 magnitude earthquake on the southern San Andreas Fault. This scenario was completed in May 2008. The ShakeOut Scenario is described in two publications: The Scenario (Jones and others) and The Narrative (Perry and others...

Thumbnail of a poster which is laid out with photos, images, and text.
Date Published: January 1, 2008
Status: Completed

Does Pleasure Point Need A Seawall?

Information about the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center's study of Pleasure Point in Santa Cruz, California, from 2005-2007.

Contacts: Curt Storlazzi
Thumbnail of a poster which is laid out with photos, images, and text.
Date Published: January 1, 2005
Status: Completed

Should Englebright Dam Be Removed?

Information about the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center's study from 2001-2004, on Englebright Dam and the science behind its removal.

Thumbnail of a poster which is laid out with photos, images, and text.
Date Published: January 1, 2004
Status: Completed

Tsunami Hazards in the Santa Barbara Channel

Information about the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center's study of tsunami hazards in the Santa Barbara Channel from 1993-2003.

Thumbnail of a poster which is laid out with photos, images, and text.
Date Published: January 1, 2004
Status: Completed

Big Sur Coastal Landslides

Information about the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center study on Big Sur coastal landslides.

Thumbnail of a poster which is laid out with photos, images, and text.
Date Published: January 1, 2004
Status: Completed

Oceanography Beyond the Golden Gate

Information about the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center's oceanographic studies offshore of San Francisco Bay, from 1989-2003.

Present day sagebrush distribution
Date Published: November 15, 2001
Status: Archived


A GIS Database for Sage-grouse and Shrubsteppe Management in the Intermountain West

Contacts: Steve Hanser
View of three USGS Visual Identity items
Date Published: October 1, 2001
Status: Completed

Water-Quality Sampling at Five Hydrologic Benchmark Stations in the Western United States

The Hydrologic Benchmark Network (HBN) was established in 1963 to provide  Swiftwater Creek, MT long-term measurements of streamflow and water quality in areas of the United States that are minimally affected by human activities. Historically, the HBN has used a fixed-interval sampling strategy, however other more robust sampling strategies are now available. Trend networks, for example, can...

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December 13 - 14, 2016 Long Valley Caldera earthquake swarm recorde...
December 14, 2016

Dec. 13 - 14, 2016 Long Valley Caldera earthquake swarm recorded on...

December 13 - 14, 2016 Long Valley Caldera earthquake swarm recorded on instrument MDH1 webicorder. Swarm begins at 23:28 PST.

Two USGS Hydrologists taking water sample
November 28, 2016

Discover the great things going on in the Bay-Delta

Two USGS Hydrologists taking water sample

November 17, 2016

PubTalk 11/2016 — Ecological Stressors

Ecological Stressors: It's a Lot of 'WERC'
"There's is no place like California" by A. Keith Miles, Center Director, USGS Western Ecological Research Center

Highlights of the science of the USGS Western Ecological Research Center: 

  • Wildlife, drought, sea level rise
  • Endangered species, species of concern
  • Alternate energy,
October 27, 2016

PubTalk 10/2016 — Rockfalls in California's Sierra Nevada

Rock falls in California’s Sierra Nevada - Pursuing explanations for exfoliation and seemingly spontaneous fracture of rock

Two sea otters floating on their backs in water.
October 21, 2016

Sea Otters

Three of the nine wild sea otter populations in the U.S. are federally listed as threatened. In California, USGS biologists have lead an annual population census to assess the local populations' recovery, working closely with state agencies and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

October 19, 2016

B-roll Sampling and Coring in San Pablo Bay

All clips show the deck of a barge in San Pablo Bay, California.

  • Clip 1 - USGS technicians lower and raise a grab sampler
  • Clips 2, 3, 4 - USGS technicians lower and raise a vibracore
  • Clip 5 - Tanker passes as USGS technicians work on anchor lines
  • Clip 6 - USGS technicians raise anchor, while another works on a vibracore tube
Men stand on a boat wearing safety gear and they are deploying instrumentation into the water using cables and ropes.
October 6, 2016

Deploying instrument package into Monterey Canyon

On October 6, 2016, scientists lower an instrument package on a taut-wire mooring into the canyon. The sediment trap (long funnel-shaped device) is designed to capture mud and sand carried in turbidity flows; the other sensors measure currents and suspended sediment.

People standing on a boat preparing an instrument for deployment, into the water.
October 6, 2016

Sediment trap deployment

Sediment trap is being prepared for deployment into Monterey Canyon offshore of Monterey, California.

September 30, 2016

Alluvial Thickness Model, Yucaipa area, California

To help visualize the Yucaipa groundwater basin geometry, this animation of the elevation of the top of the basement rocks was created. The animation allows the viewer to “fly” over the Yucaipa groundwater basin, viewing the land surface, geology (grouped by major geologic perioid and colored by deposit type), faults (color coded based on location), wells in different

Wind turbines at the Altamont Pass Wind Farm
September 8, 2016

Wind turbines at the Altamont Pass Wind Farm

The Altamont Pass Wind Far is located in northern California.

September 1, 2016

What is the Delta?

This short video is intended to serve as an introduction to the Sacramento and San Joaquin Delta, and is the first in a series of four short videos highlighting USGS science in the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Estuary. This video serves to orient the viewer to physical characteristics of the Delta, the challenges facing it, and the work the USGS is

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May 23, 2012

CARNELIAN BAY, Calif. — Results of a new U.S. Geological Survey study conclude that faults west of Lake Tahoe, Calif., referred to as the Tahoe-Sierra frontal fault zone, pose a substantial increase in the seismic hazard assessment for the Lake Tahoe region of California and Nevada, and could potentially generate earthquakes with magnitudes ranging from 6.3 to 6.9. 

May 22, 2012

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — The results of an innovative collaboration that paired artists from California's central coast and the greater San Francisco Bay Area with scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey's Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, will be on display at the R. Blitzer Gallery in Santa Cruz during June. 

Lassen Peak viewed from the south at the summit of Brokeoff Volcano...
May 22, 2012

On May 22, 1915 an explosive volcanic eruption occurred at Lassen Peak, California.

May 18, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. – Members of the news media are invited to attend the U.S. Geological Survey Open House in Menlo Park this weekend.  This event includes over 80 exhibits that highlight the work USGS scientists do. Join them in action as they share the excitement of their scientific work and discoveries with the general public. 

May 16, 2012

PORTLAND, Ore.­– The U.S. Geological Survey has developed models to help water managers identify strategies to use groundwater for meeting competing water demands in the semi-arid upper Klamath Basin. 

May 9, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. – Many Bay Area residents know what it’s like to experience an earthquake, but fewer of them know why earthquakes happen. The concepts behind earthquakes and living safely in earthquake country are as simple as a fishing line hooked to a stack of bricks, explains USGS geophysicist Ross Stein, whose family-friendly seismic demos and models are part of the...

May 7, 2012

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, Calif. -- For the first time, scientists have measured the amounts of mercury flowing into the San Francisco estuary from tidal wetlands using a new technique that can measure concentrations of mercury in water every few minutes, which is essential for understanding mercury flows in a complex tidal estuarine environment. 

May 3, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. – Education and entertainment await visitors of all ages at the U.S. Geological Survey's Menlo Park Campus Open House on Saturday, May 19 and Sunday, May 20, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

April 16, 2012

Building an Earthquake Early Warning System for California

March 22, 2012

SAN DIEGO —Organic solvents were detected at high concentrations in 18 percent of the aquifer system used for public supply in the San Fernando and San Gabriel basins. However, groundwater is not directly used as drinking water; water purveyors may treat groundwater before delivering it to customers to ensure compliance with water quality standards.

March 20, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. Decisions made by the global community about emissions will directly impact the future of the western United States.  On March 22nd, Tom Suchanek, U.S. Geological Survey climate change coordinator, will discuss how increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide might affect human land-use and environmental systems in California and the Bay Area. 

March 8, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif.— The El Mayor-Cucapah earthquake in northern Baja California, Mexico on April 4, 2010 triggered surface movement on several Southern California faults. Detailed mapping of these small movements by the U.S. Geological Survey, California Geological Survey, and other institutions, revealed previously unknown faults in the greater Salton Sea area...