Regions

New Mexico

States L2 Landing Page Tabs

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.

News

Image shows a detail of a yellow mineral on white rock
November 14, 2017

Estimates of Potential Uranium in the Southern High Plains Could Equal Just Under One Year of U.S. Needs.

Image: Rio Grande and Cliffs in Boquillas Canyon, Big Bend National Park
September 14, 2017

A new U.S. Geological Survey report describes the below ground geology of the Rio Grande transboundary region of New Mexico and Texas, United States, and northern Chihuahua, Mexico.

A wildfire in a forest
September 7, 2017

A growing number of wildfire-burned areas throughout the western United States are expected to increase soil erosion rates within watersheds, causing more sediment to be present in downstream rivers and reservoirs, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Filter Total Items: 19
Map of the Colorado Plateau, including the San Juan River pilot study area.
October 3, 2017

Colorado Plateaus Regional Groundwater Availability Study

Pilot phase

This study is in a pilot phase during fiscal years 2017 and 2018. The purpose of the pilot phase is to identify possible technical challenges of using the USGS code GSFLOW for simulating groundwater and surface-water flow in the Colorado Plateau principal aquifer system. During the pilot phase, the project will...

September 2002 stormwater flow; view oriented upstream at streamgage 08329870, Bear Arroyo at Jefferson Street site.
September 20, 2017

The system of drainage channels and natural stream channels in the Albuquerque metropolitan area is a source of concern because of potential local flooding and water-quality problems. Rapid urbanization since 1970 has increased precipitation runoff to these channels, which in many instances return flow to the Rio Grande. As an important element of the City of Albuquerque’s water-resources...

Erosion along the Rio Puerco during the flood of 2006 following herbicide application to control saltcedar in 2003.
December 3, 2016

Formation of arroyos in the late 1800s greatly increased erosion across the southwestern United States. Since the 1930s, however, this erosion has decreased, partly because of bank stabilization by introduced saltcedar. With Isleta Pueblo Indian Nation, the Aquatic Systems Branch developed a new sediment dating method using saltcedar tree rings. We applied the method in a landmark study of...

Vegetation along the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon
December 1, 2016

Riparian ecologists in the AS Branch study interactions among flow, channel change, and vegetation along rivers across the western United States and worldwide. Our work focuses on issues relevant to the management of water and public lands, including dam operation, climate change, invasive species, and ecological restoration. Investigations take place on a range of scales. For example,...

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

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.

 

This is a picture of a Grasshopper sparrow nest
November 21, 2016

The Arizona Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum ammolegus) is a disjunct race that breeds in desert grasslands of southeastern Arizona, extreme southwestern New Mexico, and adjacent parts of northern Sonora and Chihuahua, Mexico.

Nambe grasslands, New Mexico.
September 23, 2016

The New Mexico Landscapes Field Station is a place-based, globally-connected, ecological research group that studies and interprets ecosystem and wildlife dynamics, working with land managers and community leaders to deliver solutions that foster the linked health of human and natural systems.

Our partnerships, and co-location, with land management agencies provide us with opportunities...

A bat with White-nose syndrome hanging in a cave. Photo by USFWS.
September 21, 2016

White-nose syndrome (WNS) and/or Pseudogymnoascus destructans (P.d.), the causal agent, has spread westward across 26 states and 5 provinces within the eastern United States and Canada, respectively, over a short period of time. Since its discovery there has been a search to stop the spread of this disease that has killed millions of hibernating bats in its wake. Recent collaborative work by...

This area needs to recover from fire damage to its trees.
September 20, 2016

High-severity crown fires in Southwestern dry-conifer forests — resulting from fire suppression, fuel buildups, and drought — are creating large treeless areas that are historically unprecedented in size. These recent stand-replacing fires have reset extensive portions of Southwest forest landscapes, fostering post-fire successional vegetation that can alter ecological recovery trajectories...

a cross section of a tree used for dating
August 30, 2016

Using tree ring analysis as a primary research tool, we conduct landscape-scale ecological research that focuses on the effects of climate variability on forest ecology, fire ecology, and ecohydrology. 

We are the only tree-ring lab in New Mexico, working in close collaboration with Bandelier National Monument and Emeritus Regents’ Professor Dr. Thomas Swetnam.  However, we were not the...

The Yampa River at Dinosaur National Monument.
August 18, 2016

As the need for incorporating biological objectives into water management decisions has grown, so has the need for methods and metrics to incorporate predictions of relevant biological responses into an increasingly complex decision environment that attempts to balance multiple uses. 

This photo of a Pacific sheath-tailed bat is the last good photo of this bat from Aguiguan in existence.
August 1, 2016

Bats are the only flying mammals that are active mostly at night and occur on all continents except Antarctica. Bats are ecologically diverse, with a range of species that specialize in feeding on fruit, nectar, blood, fish, small mammals, and insects. However, of the more than 1,100 known species of bats on Earth, the majority specialize in feeding on insects. In the United States for example...

Filter Total Items: 18
USGS logo green
September 28, 2017

Radio telemetry data on nighttime movements of two species of migratory nectar-feeding bats (Leptonycteris) in Hidalgo County, New Mexico, late-summer 2004 and 2005

These bat location estimates have been reported by Bogan and others and come in the form of a GIS shape file.

Application screenshot thumbnail
September 1, 2017

National Water Information System (NWIS)

The National Water Information System (NWIS) web application provides access to surface-water, groundwater, water-quality, and water-use data collected at approximately 1.5 million sites across all 50 states.

NWIS-Mapper thumbnail image
August 30, 2017

National Water Information System (NWIS) Mapper

The National Water Information System (NWIS) Mapper provides access to water-resources data at over 1.5 million sites across the U.S., including current and historical data. Users can search by site type, data type, site number, or place.

USGS logo green
August 25, 2017

Roadside Survey Data from southeastern Arizona and New Mexico for Grasshopper Sparrow and other grassland Birds 2003 to 2005

These data include descriptions of all roadside segments surveyed, including GPS waypoints and verbal descriptions for each point (every half mile), survey data collected on roadside surveys in 2003-2005 in the months of July and August, along roads within the known breeding range of the Arizona Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum ammolegus).

Janet Ruth releasing a color-banded male Grasshopper Sparrow. Photo by Noel Snyder.
July 6, 2017

Life history attributes data for Arizona Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum ammolegus) in Arizona 2013

The Arizona Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum ammolegus) occurs in the desert and plains grasslands of southeastern Arizona, southwestern New Mexico, and northern Sonora, Mexico. This data was produced as part of the first intensive study of its life history and breeding ecology, providing baseline data and facilitating comparisons with other North American Grasshopper Sparrow subspecies.

Screen shot of the data release for SIR 2017-5009
March 7, 2017

Catchment-flowline network and selected model inputs for an enhanced and updated spatially referenced statistical assessment of dissolved-solids load sources and transport in streams of the Upper Colorado River Basin

This USGS data release consists of the synthetic stream network and associated catchments used to develop spatially referenced regressions on watershed attributes (SPARROW) model of dissolved-solids sources and transport in the Upper Colorado River Basin as well as geology and selected Basin Characterization Model (BCM) data used as input to the model.

Erosion along the Rio Puerco during the flood of 2006 following herbicide application to control saltcedar in 2003.
January 27, 2017

Lower Rio Puerco geospatial data, 1935 - 2014

A long-term study of the geomorphic history of the lower Rio Puerco arroyo in north-central New Mexico included the collection of high-precision (Real-time kinematic) GPS survey data (2002, 2007, 2010, and 2014), registration and rectification of historical aerial photographs (1935, 1950s, 1970s, and 1996), aerial LiDAR survey (2005) and post-flood (2006) satellite imagery.

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

Structures Data

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

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.

Illustration related to the the river corridor
April 19, 2016

Hydrography Data

The National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) and Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD) are used to portray surface water on The National Map.

3D Lidar Point Cloud Image of San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge
April 19, 2016

The United States Interagency Elevation Inventory (USIEI)

The USIEI is a comprehensive, nationwide listing of known high-accuracy topographic and bathymetric data for the United States and its territories. The project is a collaborative effort of the USGS and NOAA with contributions from other federal agencies. The inventory supports the 3D Elevation Program and the Integrated Ocean and Coastal Mapping effort. This resource is updated in Spring and Fall.

Digital Elevation Model in the Atchafalaya Basin, LA
April 19, 2016

Elevation Data

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.

Filter Total Items: 1
Digital Elevation Model in the Atchafalaya Basin, LA
April 19, 2016

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.

Filter Total Items: 3
Year Published: 2016

Historical files from Federal Government mineral exploration-assistance programs, 1950 to 1974

The Defense Minerals Administration (DMA), Defense Minerals Exploration Administration (DMEA), and Office of Minerals Exploration (OME) mineral exploration programs were active over the period 1950–1974. Under these programs, the Federal Government contributed financial assistance in the exploration for certain strategic and critical minerals. The...

Frank, David G.
Frank, D.G., 2016, Historical files from Federal Government mineral exploration-assistance programs, 1950 to 1974: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1004, http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ds1004.

Year Published: 2013

Simulations of groundwater flow, transport, and age in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for a study of transport of anthropogenic and natural contaminants (TANC) to public-supply wells

Vulnerability to contamination from manmade and natural sources can be characterized by the groundwater-age distribution measured in a supply well and the associated implications for the source depths of the withdrawn water. Coupled groundwater flow and transport models were developed to simulate the transport of the geochemical age-tracers carbon...

Heywood, Charles E.
Simulations of groundwater flow, transport, and age in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for a study of transport of anthropogenic and natural contaminants (TANC) to public-supply wells; 2013; SIR; 2012-5242; Heywood, Charles E.

Year Published: 2002

Generalized hydrogeology and ground-water budget for the C Aquifer, Little Colorado River Basin and parts of the Verde and Salt River Basins, Arizona and New Mexico

The C aquifer underlies the Little Colorado River Basin and parts of the Verde and Salt River Basins and is named for the primary water-bearing rock unit of the aquifer, the Coconino Sandstone. The areal extent of this aquifer is more than 27,000 square miles. More than 1,000 well and spring sites were identified in the U.S. Geological Survey...

Hart, Robert J.; Ward, John J.; Bills, Donald J.; Flynn, Marilyn E.
Generalized hydrogeology and ground-water budget for the C Aquifer, Little Colorado River Basin and parts of the Verde and Salt River Basins, Arizona and New Mexico; 2002; WRI; 2002-4026; Hart, Robert J.; Ward, John J.; Bills, Donald J.; Flynn, Marilyn E.

Filter Total Items: 45
Digital elevation model created by an Unmanned Aerial System
2017 (approx.)
This digital elevation model was created using structure from motion software mounted to an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) to analyze bridge scour. Studies using UAS have included stream temperature analyses, bird and mammal surveys, coastal change mapping, sandbar habitat surveys, fluvial erosion rates, microclimate mapping, air quality analysis, plant stress assessment, and sediment erosion and...
Unmanned Aerial System takes images in Arizona
2017 (approx.)
Small Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) collecting digital photos to create digital elevation models. UAS are an increasingly important tool for monitoring, assessing, and conducting targeted scientific research for the nation.
Unmanned Aerial System prior to takeoff
2017 (approx.)
This small unmanned aerial system with digital camera has been used to create digital elevation models to answer questions about erosion, bridge scour, and other hydraulics analyses.
Hydro techs from the New Mexico Water Science Center perform a well integrity test
September 19, 2017
On September 19th, 2017 staff from the USGS NM WSC Albuquerque and Las Cruces offices visited a Climate Response Network (CRN) well just on the east side of the Organ Mountains outside of Las Cruces to receive training on integrity testing groundwater wells. What is integrity testing? Integrity testing involves adding a slug of clean water to a well and measuring how fast the water comes up then...
New Mexico NWIS Mapper
August 23, 2017
New Mexico NWIS Mapper
USGS, Las Cruces Field Office
August 4, 2017
U.S. Geological Survey, New Mexico Water Science Center - Las Cruces Field Office location
Making a discharge measurement below the Eagle Nest Dam near Cimarron, New Mexico
2017 (approx.)
Hydrologic technician Chris Peskuski snapped this picture from Eagle Nest Dam overlooking the Cimarron River where streamflow measurements are made to measure outflow from the dam. Eagle Nest Dam sits at 8,300 feet elevation and is surrounded by two of the highest peaks in New Mexico; Wheeler Peak and Baldy Mountain.
July 30, 2017
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. Sparse historic data on tribal...
Johanna Blake demonstrates how to use a water quality sonde
June 21, 2017
USGS NMWSC Hydrologists Johanna Blake and Jeb Brown attended the 2nd Annual Conference on Environmental Conditions of the Animas and San Juan Watersheds with Emphasis on Gold King Mine and other Mine Waste Issues in Farmington, NM from June 20-21. Johanna and Jeb presented on the USGS long-term monitoring work of continuous monitoring sondes, water quality, and sediment measurement. On June 22nd...
Hydrologists doing field work near Farmington, NM
June 20, 2017
USGS NMWSC Hydrologists Johanna Blake and Jeb Brown attended the 2nd Annual Conference on Environmental Conditions of the Animas and San Juan Watersheds with Emphasis on Gold King Mine and other Mine Waste Issues in Farmington, NM from June 20-21. Johanna and Jeb presented on the USGS long-term monitoring work of continuous monitoring sondes, water quality, and sediment measurement. On June 22nd...
Rio Chama near La Puente, NM
May 23, 2017
This photo was taken during a routine site visit to measure streamflow on the Rio Chama in New Mexico.
Cooperators gather to learn about Otowi Streamgage in New Mexico
May 23, 2017
Many eyes watch the amount of water running past the important Otowi streamflow gage. On May 23rd, Tyson Hatch from the New Mexico Water Science Center (NMWSC) presented an overview of the streamgaging activities of the Otowi Gage to participants of the Rio Chama Basin and San Juan-Chama Project Tour. The Otowi gage measures streamflow in the Rio Grande River. The streamgage record at Otowi is a...
Filter Total Items: 75
Image: Rio Grande and Cliffs in Boquillas Canyon, Big Bend National Park
September 14, 2017

A new U.S. Geological Survey report describes the below ground geology of the Rio Grande transboundary region of New Mexico and Texas, United States, and northern Chihuahua, Mexico.

A wildfire in a forest
September 7, 2017

A growing number of wildfire-burned areas throughout the western United States are expected to increase soil erosion rates within watersheds, causing more sediment to be present in downstream rivers and reservoirs, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Image: Burning Sagebrush
September 6, 2017

An examination of long-term data for lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management finds that land treatments in the southwestern United States are increasingly large, expensive and related to fire and invasive species control.

Image shows a geologic map of the Lower 48
August 21, 2017

A carbonatite here, a glacial moraine there, a zig-zagging fault or two, even a behemoth of a batholith. The geology of the 50 States is an enormous patchwork of varied forms, beautiful in their variance but challenging to present as a single map.

High Plains aquifer water-level changes, predevelopment to 2015
June 16, 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey has released a new report detailing changes of groundwater levels in the High Plains aquifer. The report presents water-level change data in the aquifer for two separate periods: from 1950 – the time prior to significant groundwater irrigation development – to 2015, and from 2013 to 2015.

View from Canyonlands Research Center
March 15, 2017

Arid and semiarid ecosystems are expected to experience significant changes in temperature and precipitation patterns, which may affect soil organisms in ways that cause surfaces to become lighter in color and thus reflect more sunlight, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.

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.

USGS: Science for a changing world
March 8, 2017

In order to provide long-term storage of diverted surface water from the Rio Grande as part of the Aamodt water rights settlement, managed aquifer recharge by surface infiltration in Pojoaque River Basin arroyos was proposed as an option.

Photo of an active oil and gas pad on Bureau of Land Management lands near Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
February 7, 2017

A new scientific approach can now provide regional assessments of land recovery following oil and gas drilling activities, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study published in the journal Science of the Total Environment.

Southwestern Willow Flycatcher
September 6, 2016

A new report by the U.S. Geological Survey shows, for the first time ever, detailed habitat information on the entire range of a federally listed endangered bird allowing officials to take a scientific approach to helping protect the species.