Regions

Southwest

Regions L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 81
USGS science for a changing world logo
March 14, 2016

The USGS Utah Water Science Center and the USGS Salton Sea Science Office work closely with Federal, State, local, nongovernmental, and tribal partners, providing valuable scientific information on the physical, chemical, and biological aspects of the Great Salt Lake and the Salton Sea.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 14, 2016

Landscape change is constant—understanding the drivers of change, and shifts in the uses and perceived intrinsic value of certain landscapes, has a profound influence on how communities and ecosystems respond and adapt throughout the change process.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 14, 2016

Water in the southwestern United States is a limited and precious resource, vital for municipal supply, generating hydroelectric power, supporting agriculture and energy development, providing for recreational opportunities, and sustaining ecosystems and their interdependent wildlife.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 14, 2016

Energy and mineral resources are the foundation of many economies across the Southwest Region and provide the basic materials necessary for the Nation's quality of life and economic vitality.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 14, 2016

Wildland fire is a natural phenomenon that helps maintain and propagate healthy forest and rangeland ecosystems. However, it is a growing hazard as communities expand into the wildland urban-interface.

Image shows a scan of a grain of pyrite rimmed with stibnite, with varying levels of arsenic shown in a color gradient.
March 3, 2016
Status: Active

The laboratory capabilities include imaging, x-ray analysis, x-ray mapping, image processing, and optical microscopy.

Yellowstone Volcano Observatory logo
March 2, 2016

Monitors and studies the active geologic processes and hazards of the Yellowstone Plateau volcanic field and its caldera. Yellowstone National Park contains the largest and most diverse collection of natural thermal features in the world. YVO also monitors volcanic activity in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico.

USGS science for a changing world logo
February 26, 2016

Many species of sea turtle are endangered. Conservation of these species is complicated by their complex life history, the broad spatial distribution of different life stages, and their migratory nature. Monitoring programs track general status of populations and evaluate the effect of management actions on species conservation.

Water Use Site Retrieval Page Icon
September 1, 1977

In 1977, the Congress of the United States recognized the need for uniform, current, and reliable information on water use and directed the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to establish a National Water-Use Information Program (NWUIP) to complement the Survey's data on the availability and quality of the Nations water resources. Since 1985 site-specific water-use data for several categories have...

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

Filter Total Items: 193
View from Canyonlands Research Center
September 29, 2016
View from Canyonlands Research Center.
Photo of biocrust
September 29, 2016
On the Colorado Plateau, mature biocrusts are bumpy and dark-colored due to the presence of lichens, mosses, and high densities of cyanobacteria and other organisms. Disturbed biocrusts are lighter in color, looking more like the underlying sand than undisturbed ones, and are less capable of stabilizing soils or providing soil fertility. Arid and semiarid ecosystems are expected to experience...
Photo of USGS scientist Jayne Belnap examining instrumentation to measure photosynthetic rates of biocrusts.
September 29, 2016
USGS scientist Jayne Belnap examines instrumentation to measure photosynthetic rates of biocrusts. 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 USGS study.
Photo of footprint damage to biocrusts.
September 29, 2016
Many human activities can be unintentionally harmful to biological crusts. The biocrusts are no match for the compressional stress caused by footprints of livestock or people or tracks from vehicles. 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...
Photo of mature, dark-colored biocrust
September 29, 2016
On the Colorado Plateau, mature biocrusts are bumpy and dark-colored due to the presence of lichens, mosses, and high densities of cyanobacteria and other organisms. These organisms perform critical functions, such as fertilizing soils and increasing soil stability, therefore reducing dust. Arid and semiarid ecosystems are expected to experience significant changes in temperature and...
Photo of USGS scientist Sasha Reed studying outdoor biocrust testing sites
September 26, 2016
USGS scientist Sasha Reed studies sites where different climate conditions are being mimicked to determine effect on biocrusts. 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 USGS study.
Photo of biocrusts providing soil stability in the desert
September 26, 2016
Biocrusts provide soil stability and prevent erosion. Soil is the foundation where plants live; if soil is not stable, native plants can have difficulty growing. 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...
Photo of Biocrust outdoor testing plots
September 26, 2016
USGS scientists created outdoor testing plots where large squares of biocrusts were exposed to different warming and precipitation factors over time. Researchers not only looked at how the biocrusts responded, but also measured the amount of energy that the different biocrust communities reflected back into the atmosphere relative to how much energy came in from the sun. Arid and semiarid...
Photo of biocrust outdoor testing plots.
September 26, 2016
USGS scientists created outdoor testing plots where large squares of biocrusts were exposed to different warming and precipitation factors over time. Researchers not only looked at how the biocrusts responded, but also measured the amount of energy that the different biocrust communities reflected back into the atmosphere relative to how much energy came in from the sun. Arid and semiarid...
Photo of outdoor testing plots where biocrusts were exposed to different warming and precipitation factors over time.
September 26, 2016
USGS scientists created outdoor testing plots where large squares of biocrusts were exposed to different warming and precipitation factors over time. Researchers not only looked at how the biocrusts responded, but also measured the amount of energy that the different biocrust communities reflected back into the atmosphere relative to how much energy came in from the sun. Arid and semiarid...
August 25, 2016
Cell phone video of USGS biologist Diego Johnson releasing a golden eagle that had just been fitted with a tracking device. The work is informing land managers on eagle movements in the southwest, an area of expanding renewable energy development.
August 23, 2016
Golden eagles can be killed by colliding with a number of human-made objects, including wind turbines. USGS research wildlife biologist Todd Katzner describes his studies of golden eagle flight. This research is being done to model flight behavior which might help managers understand how placement of wind turbines might pose significant risks to golden eagles.
Filter Total Items: 142
Wildfire
November 15, 2016

FORT Economist, Dr. James Meldrum, was one of several presenters at the "Understanding SW Colorado Resident's Perceptions of their Wildfire Risk" presentation on November 15, 2016 in Durango, Colorado on behalf of WiRe.

Image shows an outline of the Midland Basin and assessment units on a Texas County Map
November 15, 2016

This is the largest estimate of continuous oil that USGS has ever assessed in the United States.

Oklahoma
October 24, 2016

Distant wastewater disposal wells likely induced the third largest earthquake in recent Oklahoma record, the Feb. 13, 2016, magnitude 5.1 event roughly 32 kilometers northwest of Fairview, Oklahoma. These findings from the U.S. Geological Survey are available in the online edition of Geophysical Research Letters.

Satellite images showing the condition of vegetation after the 2014 Minute 319 pulse flow.
October 24, 2016

In 2014, a large pulse of water was released into the mostly dry delta of the Colorado River along the U.S.-Mexico border. U.S. Geological Survey scientists are studying the effects of the pulse on the environment as part of a historic, bi-national collaborative effort. The pulse flow and the need to study its effects were accepted as part of the Minute 319 of the 1944 U.S.-Mexico Water Treaty.

USGS logo
October 20, 2016

Scientists have discovered possible evidence for water-rich minerals on the surface of the largest metallic asteroid in the solar system, according to a study by the U.S. Geological Survey and NASA. 

Photo of scientists testing where methane goes once released into streams
October 17, 2016

First application shows majority of methane in study stream emitted to the atmosphere. 

Photo of Flooding on Mississippi River in December 2015
October 13, 2016

An assessment of the flooding that occurred in the Meramec River Basin from December 2015–January 2016 is available in a new report from the U.S. Geological Survey. The report includes peak stages and streamflows, historical comparisons and flood-frequency statistics from the record flood.

Photo showing the Great Basin area
October 11, 2016

Large precipitation events that occur about every 10 years are a critical source of recharge for replenishing groundwater resources, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Bureau of Reclamation.

Image shows sagebrush lands with cloudy sky
October 4, 2016

At the request of the Bureau of Land Management, USGS has released an assessment of mineral resources in six Western states.

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.