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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

A huge canyon surrounded by deep-set cliffs opens to reveal a sunny gorge and part of the Colorado River.
April 11, 2019

A new study shows that mysterious cycles in salinity in the lower Colorado River are a result of precipitation patterns in the headwaters of the upper basin more than a thousand river miles away. The salinity levels generally repeat about every 10 years.

This is a photo of a view of Lake Powell's south shore.
March 18, 2019

Mercury concentrations within Lake Powell are highest in side canyons within the lower portion of the reservoir, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey report. This finding is part of a study to better understand why mercury concentrations in striped bass are higher in the lower part of the reservoir.

Photo of an active oil and gas pad on Bureau of Land Management lands near Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
February 12, 2019

Recovery of vegetation on plugged and abandoned oil and gas well sites on the Colorado Plateau is influenced by time, moisture, nonnative plants and the type of plant community that was originally in place before well sites were constructed, according to a recently published study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

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cheatgrass
Date Published: May 23, 2019
Status: Active

Cheatgrass and Medusahead

Invasive annual grasses, such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae), are one of the most significant stressors to rangeland ecosystems in the western U.S. Their expansion and dominance across this area are the most damaging ecosystem agents on this iconic landscape.

View below Flaming Gorge Dam from the Green River, eastern Utah
Date Published: May 14, 2019
Status: Active

Upper Colorado River Monthly Data Reports

These reports summarize monthly data for selected rivers and reservoirs in the the Upper Colorado River Basin.

Contacts: Chris Wilkowske
Application to explore US Oil and Gas Assessments
Date Published: April 19, 2019
Status: Active

United States Assessments of Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources

USGS Energy Resources Program provides periodic assessments of the oil and natural gas endowment of the United States and the World (click here for information about World Oil and Gas Assessments).  This website provides access to new, prioritized, assessment results and supporting data for the United States, as part...

August-September 2014 Southwest flood events
Date Published: February 26, 2019
Status: Completed

August-September 2014 Southwest Floods

Learn more about USGS flood activities related to the August-September 2014 Floods, caused by heavy rains followed by remnants of Hurricane Odile which brought major flooding to parts of Arizona.

September 2013 Southwest floods
Date Published: February 25, 2019
Status: Completed

September 2013 Southwest Floods

Learn more about USGS flood activities related to the September 2013 Southwest Floods that occurred when rains brought major flooding to parts of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah.

Attribution: Water Resources
CRC Oil Shale Core
Date Published: December 7, 2018
Status: Completed

Oil Shale

The USGS Energy Resources Program has studied oil shale resources of the United States, with a significant effort on the Eocene Green River Formation of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming.  This formation contains the largest oil shale deposits in the world. Oil shale, despite the name, does not actually contain oil, but is a precursor of oil that is converted to crude oil when heated.   This website...

Province 5036 Wyoming Thrust Belt National Oil and Gas Assessments
Date Published: November 29, 2018
Status: Active

Wyoming Thrust Belt Oil and Gas Assessments

 

The U.S. Geological Survey completed the following assessments of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the Wyoming Thrust Belt Province 5036 in Wyoming, Idaho, and Utah:

  • 2017 Conventional Assessment (Fact Sheet 2017-3091, Digital Data Series 69-H)
  • 2013 Conventional Assessment (
  • ...
Province 5021 Paradox Basin National Oil and Gas Assessment
Date Published: November 19, 2018
Status: Active

Paradox Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

The U.S. Geological Survey completed the following assessments of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the Paradox Basin Province of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona 5021:

Province 5020 Uinta Piceance National Oil and Gas Assessments
Date Published: November 19, 2018
Status: Active

Uinta-Piceance Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has conducted a number of geology-based assessments of undiscovered oil and gas resources in the Uinta-Piceance Basin (USGS Province 5020) of western Colorado and Eastern Utah. Recent assessments include:

Province 5019 Eastern Great Basin National Oil and Gas Assessments
Date Published: November 19, 2018
Status: Active

Eastern Great Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

The U.S. Geological Survey completed the following assessments of undiscovered oil and gas potential of the Eastern Great Basin Province of eastern Nevada, western Utah, southeastern Idaho, and northwestern Arizona 5019:

  • 2005 Conventional Assessment (DDS 69-L).
  • 1995 Assessment (
  • ...
Simulated reduction in flow in the Malad River as a result of groundwater pumping. 
Date Published: October 16, 2018
Status: Active

Groundwater Models

Groundwater is an important resource, but availability, quality, and sustainability during growth have become major concerns. Groundwater models are numerical representations that help hydrologists better understand groundwater systems. These models also provide tools for water managers. The Utah Water Science Center has groundwater models for many seperate areas in Utah as well as two...

View to the northeast from central Alpine, Utah of the northern Provo segment of the Wasatch fault zone.
Date Published: October 12, 2018
Status: Completed

New Methods for Dating and Sequencing Ancient Earthquakes Along the Wasatch Fault Zone

Release Date: OCTOBER 12, 2018

Complex geologic sites, like those between the fault segments along the Wasatch fault zone in Utah, make the dating and ordering past earthquakes a difficult task. Two new methods were used to make this task easier and to get better results.

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USGS
June 21, 2019

Beginning in November of 2015, a project was undertaken to reanalyze approximately 60,000 archived sample splits collected as part of the National Uranium Resource Evaluation (NURE) Hydrogeochemical and Stream Sediment Reconnaissance (HSSR) project from selected areas in Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. A small amount (approximately 0.25 g) of sieved -75 micron s

NWIS Mapper screenshot
March 5, 2019

The NWIS mapper provides access to over 1.5 million sites contained in the USGS National Water Information System (NWIS), including sites where current and historical surface-water, groundwater, springs, and atmospheric data has been collected. Users can search by site type, data type, site number, or place.

Image of data download web page
November 29, 2018

Downloadable Data for Wyoming Thrust Belt Oil and Gas Assessments 

Image of data download web page
November 29, 2018

Downloadable Data for Uinta-Piceance Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Image of data download web page
November 29, 2018

Downloadable Data for Paradox Basin Oil and Gas Assessments 

Image of data download web page
November 29, 2018

Downloadable Data for Eastern Great Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Screenshot of San Juan River Basin Sites
October 30, 2018

The USGS monitors current streamflow and water-quality conditions at various sites in the Animas and San Juan River Basins in Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah, including areas below the Gold King Mine release area. These streamgages provide continuous data on streamflow and select water-quality constituents including specific conductance, water temperature, pH, and turbidity.

Interactive map and chart highlighting USGS Domestic Continuous (Unconventional) Oil & Gas Assessments, 2000-Present
August 28, 2018

Interactively explore assessment summary information for continuous (unconventional) assessments conducted at the USGS from 2000-2018. The assessment results data used to generate this visualization can be downloaded here in Excel Format.  These data represent all assessment results for Continuous Assessments only from 2000-2018.

Screenshot of the Land Treatment Exploration Tool with proposed treatment drawn on screen.
May 3, 2018

The Land Treatment Exploration Tool is designed for resource managers to use when planning land treatments. The tool provides useful summaries of environmental characteristics of planned treatment areas and facilitates adaptive management practices by comparing those characteristics to other similar treatments within a specified distance or area of interest.  Provisional Software.

Snowpack-sampling pit at Berthoud Pass, Colorado.
April 24, 2018

Rocky Mountain Regional Snowpack Chemistry Monitoring Study.  Links to collected snowpack chemistry data.

Snowpack-sampling pit near Dunckley Pass, Colorado
April 23, 2018

Snowpack monitoring site identification and snow-sampling-site location information.

 

National Map Logo
February 22, 2018

The National Map is a collaborative effort among the USGS and other Federal, State, and local partners to improve and deliver topographic information for the Nation. It has many uses ranging from recreation to scientific analysis to emergency response. The National Map is easily accessible for display on the Web, as products and services, and as downloadable data.

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Application to explore US Oil and Gas Assessments
March 19, 2019

This map shows the provinces assessed by the USGS for undiscovered oil and gas resources. 

Screenshot of San Juan River Basin Sites
March 4, 2019

The USGS monitors current streamflow and water-quality conditions at various sites in the Animas and San Juan River Basins in Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah, including areas below the Gold King Mine release area. These streamgages provide continuous data on streamflow and select water-quality constituents including specific conductance, water temperature, pH, and turbidity.

Topoview logo for USGS interactive map viewer
February 23, 2018

Topographic maps are a signature product of the USGS. They were essential for integrating and analyzing place-based information, and were widely used by receationalists. After 125-year legacy of topographic mapping (1884-2009), the USGS embarked on an innovative future of integrating historical maps with computer-generated maps from a national geographical information system (GIS) database.

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.

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Year Published: 2017

3D ground‐motion simulations of Mw 7 earthquakes on the Salt Lake City segment of the Wasatch fault zone: Variability of long‐period (T≥1  s) ground motions and sensitivity to kinematic rupture parameters

We examine the variability of long‐period (T≥1  s) earthquake ground motions from 3D simulations of Mw 7 earthquakes on the Salt Lake City segment of the Wasatch fault zone, Utah, from a set of 96 rupture models with varying slip distributions, rupture speeds, slip velocities, and hypocenter locations. Earthquake ruptures were prescribed...

Moschetti, Morgan P.; Hartzell, Stephen H.; Ramirez-Guzman, Leonardo; Frankel, Arthur; Angster, Stephen J.; Stephenson, William J.
Moschetti, M. P., Hartzell, S., Ramírez‐Guzmán, L., Frankel, A. D., Angster, S. J., & Stephenson, W. J. (2017). 3D Ground‐Motion Simulations of Mw 7 Earthquakes on the Salt Lake City Segment of the Wasatch Fault Zone: Variability of Long‐Period (T≥ 1 s) Ground Motions and Sensitivity to Kinematic Rupture Parameters. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.

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Year Published: 2017

High-resolution seismic profiling reveals faulting associated with the 1934 Ms 6.6 Hansel Valley earthquake (Utah, USA)

The 1934 Ms 6.6 Hansel Valley, Utah, earthquake produced an 8-km-long by 3-km-wide zone of north-south−trending surface deformation in an extensional basin within the easternmost Basin and Range Province. Less than 0.5 m of purely vertical displacement was measured at the surface, although seismologic data suggest mostly strike-slip faulting at...

Bruno, Pier Paolo G.; Duross, Christopher; Kokkalas, Sotirios
Bruno, P.P.G., DuRoss, C.B., and Kokkalas, S., 2017, High-resolution seismic profiling reveals faulting associated with the 1934 Ms 6.6 Hansel Valley earthquake (Utah, USA), Geological Society of America Bulletin, 14 p., doi: 10.1130/B31516.1.

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Year Published: 2017

Holocene surface-faulting earthquakes at the Spring Lake and North Creek Sites on the Wasatch Fault Zone: Evidence for complex rupture of the Nephi Segment

The Nephi segment of the Wasatch fault zone (WFZ) comprises two fault strands, the northern and southern strands, which have evidence of recurrent late Holocene surface-faulting earthquakes. We excavated paleoseismic trenches across these strands to refine and expand their Holocene earthquake chronologies; improve estimates of earthquake...

Duross, Christopher; Hylland, Michael D.; Hiscock, Adam; Personius, Stephen; Briggs, Richard W.; Gold, Ryan D.; Beukelman, Gregg; McDonald, Geg N; Erickson, Ben; McKean, Adam; Angster, Steve; King, Roselyn; Crone, Anthony J.; Mahan, Shannon A.
DuRoss, C.B., Hylland, M.D., Hiscock, A.I., Personius, S.F., Briggs, R.W., Gold, R.D., Beukelman, G.S., McDonald, G.N., Erickson, B.A., McKean, A.P., Angster, S.J., King. R., Crone, A.J., and Mahan, S.A., 2017, Holocene Surface-Faulting Earthquakes at the Spring Lake and North Creek Sites on the Wasatch Fault Zone: Evidence for Complex Rupture of the Nephi Segment—Paleoseismology of Utah, Volume 28: Utah Geological Survey Special Study 159, 119 p, 4 plates.

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Year Published: 2017

The history of late holocene surface-faulting earthquakes on the central segments of the Wasatch fault zone, Utah

The Wasatch fault (WFZ)—Utah’s longest and most active normal fault—forms a prominent eastern boundary to the Basin and Range Province in northern Utah. To provide paleoseismic data for a Wasatch Front regional earthquake forecast, we synthesized paleoseismic data to define the timing and displacements of late Holocene surface-faulting earthquakes...

Duross, Christopher; Personius, Stephen; Olig, Susan S; Crone, Anthony J.; Hylland, Michael D.; Lund, William R.; Schwartz, David P.
DuRoss, C.B., Personius, S.F., Olig, S.S., Crone, A.J., Hylland, M.D., Lund, W.R., and Schwartz, D.P., 2017, The History of Late Holocene Surface-Faulting Earthquakes on the Central Segments of the Wasatch fault zone, Utah, in Lund, W.R., Emerman, S.H., Wang, W. and Zanazzi, A., editors, Geology and Resources of the Wasatch: Back to Front, Utah Geological Association Publication 46, 51 p.

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Year Published: 2016

Fault segmentation: New concepts from the Wasatch Fault Zone, Utah, USA

The question of whether structural segment boundaries along multisegment normal faults such as the Wasatch fault zone (WFZ) act as persistent barriers to rupture is critical to seismic hazard analyses. We synthesized late Holocene paleoseismic data from 20 trench sites along the central WFZ to evaluate earthquake rupture length and fault...

Duross, Christopher; Personius, Stephen F.; Crone, Anthony J.; Olig, Susan S.; Hylland, Michael D.; Lund, William R.; Schwartz, David P.

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Year Published: 2016

Geology and mineral resources of the Southwestern and South-Central Wyoming Sagebrush Focal Area, Wyoming, and the Bear River Watershed Sagebrush Focal Area, Wyoming and Utah: Chapter E in Mineral resources of the Sagebrush Focal Areas of Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming

SummaryThe U.S. Department of the Interior has proposed to withdraw approximately 10 million acres of Federal lands from mineral entry (subject to valid existing rights) from 12 million acres of lands defined as Sagebrush Focal Areas (SFAs) in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming (for further discussion on the lands involved see...

Wilson, Anna B.; Hayes, Timothy S.; Benson, Mary Ellen; Yager, Douglas B.; Anderson, Eric D.; Bleiwas, Donald I.; DeAngelo, Jacob; Dicken, Connie L.; Drake, Ronald M.; Fernette, Gregory L.; Giles, Stuart A.; Glen, Jonathan M. G.; Haacke, Jon E.; Horton, John D.; Parks, Heather L.; Rockwell, Barnaby W.; Williams, Colin F.
Wilson, A.B., Hayes, T.S., Benson, M.E., Yager, D.B., Anderson, E.D., Bleiwas, D.I., DeAngelo, J., Dicken, C.L., Drake, R.M., II, Fernette, G.L., Giles, S.A., Glen, J.M.G., Haacke, J.E., Horton, J.D., Parks, H.L., Rockwell, B.W., and Williams, C.F., 2016, Geology and mineral resources of the Southwestern and South-Central Wyoming Sagebrush Focal Area, Wyoming, and the Bear River Watershed Sagebrush Focal Area, Wyoming and Utah, (ver. 1.1, October 26, 2016): U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2016–5089–E, 128 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20165089E.

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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.

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Year Published: 2016

Earthquake forecast for the Wasatch Front region of the Intermountain West

The Working Group on Utah Earthquake Probabilities has assessed the probability of large earthquakes in the Wasatch Front region. There is a 43 percent probability of one or more magnitude 6.75 or greater earthquakes and a 57 percent probability of one or more magnitude 6.0 or greater earthquakes in the region in the next 50 years. These...

DuRoss, Christopher B.
DuRoss, C.B., 2016, Earthquake forecast for the Wasatch Front region of the Intermountain West: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2016–3019, 2 p., http://doi.dx.org/10.3133/fs20163019.

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Year Published: 2016

Earthquake probabilities for the Wassatch front region in Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming

In a letter to The Salt Lake Daily Tribune in September 1883, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) geologist G.K. Gilbert warned local residents about the implications of observable fault scarps along the western base of the Wasatch Range. The scarps were evidence that large surface-rupturing earthquakes had occurred in the past and more would likely...

Wong, Ivan G.; Lund, William R.; Duross, Christopher; Thomas, Patricia; Arabasz, Walter; Crone, Anthony J.; Hylland, Michael D.; Luco, Nicolas; Olig, Susan S.; Pechmann, James C.; Personius, Stephen; Petersen, Mark D.; Schwartz, David P.; Smith, Robert B.; Rowman, Steve

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Year Published: 2015

Analysis and selection of magnitude relations for the Working Group on Utah Earthquake Probabilities

Prior to calculating time-independent and -dependent earthquake probabilities for faults in the Wasatch Front region, the Working Group on Utah Earthquake Probabilities (WGUEP) updated a seismic-source model for the region (Wong and others, 2014) and evaluated 19 historical regressions on earthquake magnitude (M). These regressions relate M to...

Duross, Christopher; Olig, Susan; Schwartz, David
DuRoss, C.B., Olig, S.S., and Schwartz, D.P., 2015, Analysis and selection of magnitude relations for the Working Group on Utah Earthquake Probabilities, extended abstract in Proceedings Volume, Basin and Range Province Seismic Hazards Summit III, W.R. Lund (Editor), Utah Geological Survey Miscellaneous Publication 15-5, 4 pp., available at http://ugspub.nr.utah.gov/publications/misc_pubs/mp-15-5/mp-15-5_technical_sessions1-2.pdf

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Year Published: 2014

Late quaternary paleoseismology of the west valley fault zone: Insights from the Baileys Lake trench site

Hylland, Michael D.; DuRoss, Christopher B.; McDonald, Greg N.; Olig, Susan S.; Oviatt, Charles G.; Mahan, Shannon; Crone, Anthony J.; Personius, Stephen F.

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Year Published: 2014

Holocene and latest Pleistocene paleoseismology of the Salt Lake City segment of the Wasatch Fault Zone, Utah, at the Penrose Drive Trench Site

The Salt Lake City segment (SLCS) of the Wasatch fault zone (WFZ) and the West Valley fault zone (WVFZ) compromise Holocene-active normal faults that bound a large intrabasin graben in northern Salt Lake Valley and have evidence of recurrent, large-magnitude (M ~6-7) surface-faulting earthquakes. However, at the time of this investigation,...

DuRoss, Christopher B.; Hylland, Michael D.; McDonald, Greg N.; Crone, Anthony J.; Personius, Stephen F.; Gold, Ryan D.; Mahan, Shannon
Holocene and latest Pleistocene paleoseismology of the Salt Lake City segment of the Wasatch Fault Zone, Utah, at the Penrose Drive Trench Site; 2014; State/Local Government Series; 149; State/Local Government Series; Evaluating surface faulting chronologies of Graben-Bounding Faults in Salt Lake Valley, Utah: new paleoseismic data from the Salt Lake City segment of the Wasatch Fault Zone and the West Valley Fault Zone; DuRoss, Christopher B.; Hylland, Michael D.; McDonald, Greg N.; Crone, Anthony J.; Personius, Stephen F.; Gold, Ryan D.; Mahan, Shannon A.

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June 5, 2019

Virtual tour of Glen Canyon between Bullfrog Bay and the Rincon

This animation takes the viewer down the Glen Canyon from Bullfrog Bay to the Rincon, in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. New high resolution multibeam bathymetry collected by the USGS in 2018 shows the submerged portions of Glen Canyon. 
 

Image from an application that navigates users through USGS National Oil and Gas Assessment Provinces
November 14, 2018

National Oil and Gas Assessment Provinces

This is a graphic from the USGS National Oil and Gas Assessment Explorer application, which allows user to drill into 70 oil and gas assessment provinces throughout the United States.

A RestoreNet garden with plots covered by white cloth.
August 31, 2018

RestoreNet garden testing seedling establishment.

The RestoreNet gardens test seedlings of priority restoration species across the Southwest. This is a recently installed garden located in the juniper woodlands of the Colorado Plateau. The experiemental network will support land managers by providing insight into various restoration techniques, including testing seedlings vs seeds.

Technicians deploy water-quality instrumentation on Bear Lake platforms
May 17, 2018

Bear Lake QW Platforms

Technicians deploy water-quality instrumentation on Bear Lake platforms

NASA image of Bear Lake with beautiful swirls in blue water showing mixing
May 1, 2018

Bear Lake Mixing

NASA image of Bear Lake with beautiful swirls in blue water showing mixing

Attribution of storm-weighted potential contaminant hazard ranks to sampling locations
April 12, 2018

Attribution of storm-weighted potential contaminant hazard ranks

Geospatial Analyses and Applications — Salt Lake City, Utah. Attribution of storm-weighted potential contaminant hazard ranks to sampling locations in the Sediment-Bound Contaminant Resiliency and Response (SCoRR) network.

Close-up of dried, cracked soil with small plants trying to survive in this soil.
December 31, 2017

Dry, cracked soil (RAMPS)

Rangelands of the desert Southwest can be in a degraded condition and lacking perennial vegetation, which can lead to exposed soil and erosion. RAMPS is working to mitigate degradation by increasing 

...
Dry wash in San Rafael Desert with white surface salts
December 31, 2017

Dry wash in San Rafael Desert with white surface salts

Dry wash in San Rafael Desert with white surface salts. White efflorescent salts form on the soil surface as water evaporates from the soil leaving the salt at the surface. 

Salinity loads that originate from groundwater within the Upper Colorado River Basin have decreased from 1986-2011, according to

...
Lake Powell
December 31, 2017

Lake Powell

The USGS Utah Water Science Center and the Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center conducted a collaborative geophysical research effort within Lake Powell, UT-AZ to map the bathymetry of the lake and characterize shallow sediment deposition near the mouths of the San Juan and Colorado Rivers.

USGS scientists check breach on glass-calm Great Salt Lake in surreal light.
December 19, 2017

Great Salt Lake, USGS boat at work

USGS scientists check breach on glass-calm Great Salt Lake in surreal light.

Two researchers aligning a 2 meter by 2 meter PVC square for an experimental restoration plot within a fenced area.
July 31, 2017

Setting up experimental restoration plots.

Field crew install a Restoration Field Trial Network garden in the rangelands of Northern Arizona. Each garden in the network is examining seedlings and seeds in conjunction with restoration treatments to better

...
July 30, 2017

A Record of Change: Science and Elder Observations on the Navajo N.

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. 

...
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A huge canyon surrounded by deep-set cliffs opens to reveal a sunny gorge and part of the Colorado River.
April 11, 2019

A new study shows that mysterious cycles in salinity in the lower Colorado River are a result of precipitation patterns in the headwaters of the upper basin more than a thousand river miles away. The salinity levels generally repeat about every 10 years.

This is a photo of a view of Lake Powell's south shore.
March 18, 2019

Mercury concentrations within Lake Powell are highest in side canyons within the lower portion of the reservoir, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey report. This finding is part of a study to better understand why mercury concentrations in striped bass are higher in the lower part of the reservoir.

Photo of an active oil and gas pad on Bureau of Land Management lands near Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
February 12, 2019

Recovery of vegetation on plugged and abandoned oil and gas well sites on the Colorado Plateau is influenced by time, moisture, nonnative plants and the type of plant community that was originally in place before well sites were constructed, according to a recently published study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

two scientists working in a sagebrush experimental plot
February 1, 2019

To understand plant genetic diversity and adaptations, scientist often conduct “common garden” experiments growing plants with diverse origins under the same soil and climatic conditions. However, most common garden studies may be too short to detect adaptive differences. Understanding climate adaptation of Wyoming Big Sagebrush could improve restoration strategies and success.

Drill rig to collect sediment samples on Lake Powell.
November 20, 2018

Reporters: RSVP to Visit Coring Site on Lake Powell

photo of grasslands surrounding Winnemucca, Nevada
June 12, 2018

The advent of remote sensing was a boon to the ancient science of phenology.

Satellite data offered a global view of nature’s seasonal life cycles that historical tabulators of budding trees and buzzing bees could scarcely imagine.

From the start, however, remotely sensed phenology has come with caveats.

Bear Lake to Receive Water Quality and Weather Monitoring Equipment
March 30, 2018

Bear Lake will house water quality and weather monitoring equipment that will provide near real-time information to the public and water managers beginning in early April and continuing through 2022.

Dry wash in San Rafael Desert with white surface salts
January 25, 2018

Salinity loads that originate from groundwater within the Upper Colorado River Basin have decreased from 1986-2011, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study done in cooperation with the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program.

Prairie dog and SPV bait
December 13, 2017

About 70 percent of wild prairie dogs successfully ingested baits containing an oral sylvatic plague vaccine, or SPV, that were distributed throughout their habitats, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.

Lake Powell
December 12, 2017

Develop a new bathymetry map of Lake Powell, UT-AZ, and characterize shallow sediment deposition near the mouths of the San Juan and Colorado Rivers. Bathymetric data, acoustic backscatter imagery, and limited CHIRP sub-bottom data were collected by the USGS Utah Water Science Center (UTWSC) and Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center (WHCMSC) within Lake Powell, October - November, 2017.

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.

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