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Year Published: 2018

Brackish groundwater and its potential as a resource in the southwestern United States

Secure, reliable, and sustainable water resources are fundamental to food production, energy independence, and the health of humans and ecosystems. But the large-scale development of fresh groundwater resources has stressed aquifers in some areas, causing declines in the amount of groundwater in storage and decreases in discharge to surface-water...

Anning, David W.; Beisner, Kimberly R.; Paul, Angela P.; Stanton, Jennifer S.; Thiros, Susan A.
Anning, D.W., Beisner, K.R., Paul, A.P., Stanton, J.S., and Thiros, S.A., 2018, Brackish groundwater and its potential as a resource in the southwestern United States: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2018–3010, 6 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20183010.

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Year Published: 2018

Patterns of longer-term climate change effects on CO2 efflux from biocrusted soils differ from those observed in the short term

Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are predicted to be sensitive to the increased temperature and altered precipitation associated with climate change. We assessed the effects of these factors on soil carbon dioxide (CO2) balance in biocrusted soils using a sequence of manipulations over a 9-year period. We warmed biocrusted soils by 2 and, later...

Darrouzet-Nardi, Anthony; Reed, Sasha C.; Grote, Edmund E.; Belnap, Jayne
Darrouzet-Nardi, A., Reed, S.C., Grote, E.E., and Belnap, J., 2018, Patterns of longer-term climate change effects on CO2 efflux from biocrusted soils differ from those observed in the short term: Biogeosciences, v. 15, p. 4561-4573, https://10.5194/bg-15-4561-2018.

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Year Published: 2018

Complex bedding geometry in the upper portion of Aeolis Mons, Gale crater, Mars

The Upper formation of Aeolis Mons in Gale crater exhibits curvilinear bedding patterns on the surfaces of several erosional benches that have been interpreted as cross-bedding. We use High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) stereo topography to test this hypothesis by measuring the bedding geometry within these benches. The bedding...

Anderson, Ryan; Edgar, Lauren A.; Rubin, David M.; Lewis, Kevin W.; Newman, Claire
Anderson, R.B., Edgar, L.A., Rubin, D.M., Lewis, K.W., Newman, C., 2018. Complex bedding geometry in the upper portion of Aeolis Mons, Gale crater, Mars. Icarus 314, 246–264. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2018.06.009

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Year Published: 2018

Geomorphology and vegetation change at Colorado River campsites, Marble and Grand Canyons, Arizona

Sandbars along the Colorado River are used as campsites by river runners and hikers and are an important recreational resource within Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. Regulation of the flow of river water through Glen Canyon Dam has reduced the amount of sediment available to be deposited as sandbars, has reduced the magnitude and frequency of...

Hadley, Daniel R.; Grams, Paul E.; Kaplinski, Matthew A.; Hazel, Joseph E.; Parnell, Roderic A.
Hadley, D.R., Grams, P.E., Kaplinski, M.A., Hazel, J.E., Jr., and Parnell, R.A., 2018, Geomorphology and vegetation change at Colorado River campsites, Marble and Grand Canyons, Arizona: U.S. Geological Survey Report 2017–5096, 64 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20175096.

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Year Published: 2018

Landscape-scale wildlife species richness metrics to inform wind and solar energy facility siting: An Arizona case study

The juxtaposition of wildlife and wind or solar energy facility infrastructure can present problems for developers, planners, policy makers, and management agencies. Guidance on siting of these renewable energy facilities may help identify potential wildlife-facility conflicts with species of regulatory or economic concern. However, existing...

Thomas, Kathryn A.; Jarchow, Christopher; Arundel, Terence R.; Jamwal, Pankaj; Borens, Amanda; Drost, Charles A.
Thomas, K.A., Jarchow, C.J., Arundel, T.R., Jamwal, P., Borens, A., and Drost, C.A., 2018, Landscape-scale wildlife species richness metrics to inform wind and solar energy facility siting--an Arizona case study: Energy Policy, v. 116, p. 145-152, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2018.01.052.

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Year Published: 2018

Soil water dynamics at 15 locations distributed across a desert landscape: insights from a 27‐yr dataset

Desert ecosystems are primarily limited by water availability. Within a climatic regime, topography, soil characteristics, and vegetation are expected to determine how the combined effects of precipitation, temperature, and evaporative demand of the atmosphere shape the spatial and temporal patterns of water within the soil profile and across a...

Duniway, Michael C.; Petrie, Matthew D.; Peters, Debra P. C.; Anderson, John P.; Crossland, Keith; Herrick, Jeffrey E.
Duniway, M.C., Petrie, M.D., Peters, D.P.C., Anderson, J.P., Crossland, K., and Herrick, J.E., Soil water dynamics at 15 locations distributed across a desert landscape--Insights from a 27-yr dataset: Ecosphere, v. 9, no. 7, p. 1-36, http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1002/ecs2.2335.

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Year Published: 2018

A novel technique for precision geometric correction of jitter distortion for the Europa Imaging System and other rolling shutter cameras

We use simulated images to demonstrate a novel technique for mitigating geometric distortions caused by platform motion (“jitter”) as two-dimensional image sensors are exposed and read out line by line (“rolling shutter”). The results indicate that the Europa Imaging System (EIS) on NASA’s Europa Clipper can likely meet its scientific goals...

Kirk, Randolph L.; Shepherd, Makayla; Sides, Stuart
International Archives of Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing, and Spatial Information Sciences, XLII-3, 735–739.

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Year Published: 2018

Geochemical characterization and modeling of regional groundwater contributing to the Verde River, Arizona between Mormon Pocket and the USGS Clarkdale gage

We use synoptic surveys of stream discharge, stable isotopes, and dissolved noble gases to identify the source of groundwater discharge to the Verde River in central Arizona. The Verde River more than doubles in discharge in Mormon Pocket over a 1.4 km distance that includes three discrete locations of visible spring input to the river and other...

Beisner, Kimberly R.; Gardner, W. Payton; Hunt, Andrew G.
Beisner, K.R., Gardner, W.P., Hunt, A.G., (2018) Geochemical characterization and modeling of regional groundwater contributing to the Verde River, Arizona between Mormon Pocket and the USGS Clarkdale gage, Journal of Hydrology. vol. 564, p. 99-114. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2018.06.078

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Year Published: 2018

Insights from long-term ungrazed and grazed watersheds in a salt desert Colorado Plateau ecosystem

Dryland ecosystems cover over 41% of the earth’s land surface, and living within these important ecosystems are approximately 2 billion people, a large proportion of whom are subsistence agropastoralists. Improper grazing in drylands can negatively impact ecosystem productivity, soil conservation, hydrologic processes, downstream water...

Duniway, Michael C.; Geiger, Erika L.; Minnick, Tamera J.; Phillips, Susan L.; Belnap, Jayne
Duniway, M.C., Geiger, E.L., Minnick, T.J., Phillips, S.L., and Belnap, J., 2018, Insights from Long-Term Ungrazed and Grazed Watersheds in a Salt Desert Colorado Plateau Ecosystem: Rangeland Ecology and Management, v. 71, no 4, p. 492-505, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rama.2018.02.007.

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Year Published: 2018

Fungal loop transfer of nitrogen depends on biocrust constituents and nitrogen form

Besides performing multiple ecosystem services individually and collectively, biocrust constituents may also create biological networks connecting spatially and temporally distinct processes. In the fungal loop hypothesis rainfall variability allows fungi to act as conduits and reservoirs, translocating resources between soils and host plants. To...

Aanderud, Zachary T.; Smart, Trevor B.; Wu, Nan; Taylor, Alexander S.; Zhang, Yuanming; Belnap, Jayne
Aanderud, Z.T., Smart, T.B., Wu, N., Taylor, A.S., Zhang, Y., and Belnap, J., 2018, Fungal loop transfer of nitrogen depends on biocrust constituents and nitrogen form: Biogeosciences, v. 15, no. 12, p. 3831-3840, https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-15-3831-2018.

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Year Published: 2018

Hydrological regime and climate interactively shape riparian vegetation composition along the Colorado River, Grand Canyon

QuestionHow closely do riparian plant communities track hydrological and climatic variation in space, and how do interactions among hydrological and climatic filters influence success of flow management strategies?LocationGrand Canyon, Arizona, USA.MethodsMulti‐year vegetation surveys were conducted across three hydrological zones – active channel...

Butterfield, Bradley J.; Palmquist, Emily C.; Ralston, Barbara

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Year Published: 2018

Dryland photoautotrophic soil surface communities endangered by global change

Photoautotrophic surface communities forming biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are crucial for soil stability as well as water, nutrient and trace gas cycling at regional and global scales. Quantitative information on their global coverage and the environmental factors driving their distribution patterns, however, are not readily available. We...

Rodriguez-Caballero, Emilio; Belnap, Jayne; Büdel, Burkhard; Crutzen, Paul J.; Andreae, Meinrat O.; Pöschl, Ulrich; Weber, Bettina
Rodriguez-Caballero, E., Belnap, J., Büdel, B., Crutzen, P.J., Andreae, M.O., Pöschl, U., and Weber, B., 2018. Dryland photoautotrophic soil surface communities endangered by global change: Nature Geoscience, v. 11, p.185–189, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41561-018-0072-1. doi:10.1038/s41561-018-0072-1

Filter Total Items: 239
USGS scientist Jackson Currie navigates a personal water craft through waves, collecting bathymetric data in Monterey, CA
March 24, 2016

Collecting Bathymetric Data

Physical scientist Jackson Currie steers a personal water craft (PWC) equipped with GPS and echo sounder through the waves of the nearshore area of Zmudowski State Beach in Moss Landing, California. The data collected is used to generate bathymetric maps, or maps of what the nearshore environment looks like underwater. Gathering this type of information helps USGS

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Image shows the Colorado River cutting through the Grand Canyon
March 7, 2016

Colorado River through the Grand Canyon

A view of the Grand Canyon, with the Great Unconformity visible. Credit: Alex Demas, USGS.

Attribution: Southwest
A Spawning Coho Salmon
December 31, 2015

A Spawning Coho Salmon

Coho salmon fins just above water surface. Female coho select breeding sties based on specific characteristics that offer protection and desired habitat for juveniles. Photo courtesy of Steven Clark, BLM

Aerial view showing greenup of restoration plots in the lower Colorado River Delta following the 2014 Minute 319 pulse flow.
October 31, 2015

Aerial view of lower Colorado River

Aerial view showing the intense greenup of restoration plots in the lower Colorado River Delta following the 2014 Minute 319 pulse flow.

A repeating loop showing a hammer scooping lava from a flow and dropping it into a bucket.
September 28, 2015

Lava Sampling

This is an animated GIF, taken from a longer video, showing the moment that this geologist from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) scoops up lava from an active flow and drops it into a bucket of water to cool it down. 

Photograph showing San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area.
June 1, 2015

San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area

Photograph showing San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, residential development southeast of Sierra Vista, Arizona, and the Huachuca Mountains from Hereford Road, Cochise County, Arizona. 

May 2, 2015

Mojave Golden Eagles

This short video features incredible and graphic images and video of golden eagle prey. These birds are eating machines. USGS biologist-rock climbers install nest cameras to study the eating habits of golden eagles and their young in the Mojave Desert. This work goes towards creating a Prey Availability Habitat Model to better site green energy projects so that they will

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March 31, 2015

Exploring Causes of Coral Disease

The Hawaiian Islands’ beautiful ocean and beaches attract more than 8.5 million tourists each year. The USGS aims to help Hawaii preserve its underwater natural resources by tracing how oceanography may influence coral disease outbreaks. Looking into contaminants in the freshwater, or how quickly a bay may or may not flush, will help enrich future and past studies about

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Tim Elfers watches the incoming waves while conducting a bathymetric survey of the nearshore in Santa Cruz, California.
December 31, 2014

Conducting Bathymetric Surveys

USGS scientist Tim Elfers conducts a bathymetric (depth) survey from a personal watercraft with onboard GPS and echo sounder equipment, in Santa Cruz, California.

USGS ATV is equipped with GPS and collects topographic (elevation) data on Seacliff Beach, Aptos, CA
December 31, 2014

USGS ATV Collecting Topographic Data

Photograph shows a USGS ATV equipped with GPS, ready to collect topographic data on Seacliff Beach in Aptos, California. The pier leads out to the heavily eroded cement ship SS Palo Alto. Various sources reveal that SS Palo Alto was built as an oil tanker by the San Francisco Shipbuilding Company in Oakland, California, and was launched May 29, 1919. She

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USGS geologist standing near an active lava flow with smoke coming from the lava
October 26, 2014

Hawaiʻi Hot Lava

After slowly moving downslope from Kīlauea Volcano’s East Rift Zone since June 27, 2014, this active lava flow in Hawaiʻi reached the town of Pāhoa just before Halloween, destroying roads, a cemetery, and private property in this community. Amazingly, the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent began erupting in 1983 and has continued erupting essentially nonstop for more than 31

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USGS all-terrain vehicle is equipped with GPS and collects beach topography on Rio Del Mar State Beach, Aptos, CA
October 21, 2014

USGS ATV Collecting Topographic Data

Photograph shows a USGS scientist navigating an all-terrain vehicle equipped with GPS, collecting topographic data on Rio Del Mar State Beach in Aptos, California. Gathering this type of information helps USGS scientists to document the changes in beach and nearshore morphology (or form and structure), caused by seasonal variations and storms.

Nine USGS Science Centers are administered by the Pacific Regional office, which is headquartered in Sacramento, California.