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Publications

USGS has a long history of interdisciplinary research in the Salton Sea basin. Browse the publications below for more information about our research.

Filter Total Items: 131

Unusual dominance by desert pupfish (Cyprinodon macularius) in experimental ponds within the Salton Sea Basin

In October 2006, months after shallow experimental ponds in the Salton Sea Basin were filled with water from the Alamo River and Salton Sea, fish were observed in several ponds, although inlets had been screened to exclude fish. During October 2007–November 2009, nine surveys were conducted using baited minnow traps to document species and relative abundance of fish. Surveys yielded 3,620 fish rep

The wister mud pot lineament: Southeastward extension or abandoned strand of the San Andreas fault?

We present the results of a survey of mud pots in the Wister Unit of the Imperial Wildlife Area. Thirty-three mud pots, pot clusters, or related geothermal vents (hundreds of pots in all) were identified, and most were found to cluster along a northwest-trending line that is more or less coincident with the postulated Sand Hills fault. An extrapolation of the trace of the San Andreas fault southea

Organochlorines and selenium in California night-heron and egret eggs

Exceptionally high concentrations of DDE were found in black-crowned night-heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) (geometric mean 8.62 μg g−1 wet wt.) and great egret (Casmerodius albus) (24.0 μg g−1) eggs collected from the Imperial Valley (Salton Sea), California in 1985. DDE concentrations in 14 of the 87 (16%) randomly selected night-heron eggs from six colonies (two in San Francisco Bay, three in the

Distribution of two western clapper rail races as determined by responses to taped calls

During 1969 and 1970, surveys of the endangered Yuma Clapper Rail were conducted using taped calls to elicit responses from the birds. During the two summers, more than 158 Yuma clappers were located in cattailtule marshes along the Colorado River south of Needles, California, to the International Boundary, a distance of about 240 miles. Clappers (probably of the same race) were also found in estu

Dramatic fluctuations in liver mass and metal content of eared grebes (<i>Podiceps nigricollis</i>) during autumnal migration

Adult eared grebes exhibit threefold fluctuation in body mass and up to a fivefold variation in liver weight during the course of their annual breeding and migratory cycle. Concentrations of 20 metals or metalloids were quantified in the liver from eared grebes obtained at three phases of their annual cycle: newly arrived migrants (July-August-September), staging (October-November), and immediate

Final Report: Baseline Selenium Monitoring of Agricultural Drains Operated by the Imperial Irrigation District in the Salton Sea Basin, California

This report summarizes comprehensive findings from a 4-year-long field investigation to document baseline environmental conditions in 29 agricultural drains and ponds operated by the Imperial Irrigation District along the southern border of the Salton Sea. Routine water-quality collections and fish community assessments were conducted on as many as 16 sampling dates at roughly quarterly intervals

Occurrence of West Nile virus infection in raptors at the Salton Sea, California

We investigated the prevalence of West Nile virus (WNV)-neutralizing antibodies and infectious virus, and the occurrence of overwinter transmission in two raptor species during January and March 2006 at the Salton Sea, Imperial County, California. We captured 208 American Kestrels (Falco sparverius) (January, n=100; March, n=108) and 116 Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia) (January, n=52; March, n

Salton Sea Ecosystem Monitoring Project

The Salton Sea is critically important for wintering and breeding waterbirds, but faces an uncertain future due to water delivery reductions imposed by the Interstate and Federal Quantification Settlement Agreement of 2003. The current preferred alternative for wetland restoration at the Salton Sea is saline habitat impoundments created to mitigate the anticipated loss of wetland habitat. In 2006,

Total selenium in irrigation drain inflows to the Salton Sea, California, April 2009

This report presents the results for the final sampling period (April 2009) of a 4-year monitoring program to characterize selenium concentrations in selected irrigation drains flowing into the Salton Sea, California. Total selenium and total suspended solids were determined in water samples. Total selenium, percent total organic carbon, and particle size were determined in sediments. Mean total s

Total selenium and selenium species in irrigation drain inflows to the Salton Sea, California, October 2008 and January 2009

This report presents the results for two sampling periods (October 2008 and January 2009) during a 4-year monitoring program to characterize selenium concentrations in selected irrigation drains flowing into the Salton Sea, California. Total selenium, selenium species (dissolved selenite, selenate, organoselenium), and total suspended solids were determined in water samples. Total selenium also wa

Total selenium and selenium species in irrigation drain inflows to the Salton Sea, California, April and July 2008

This report presents the results for two sampling periods (April 2008 and July 2008) during a 4-year monitoring program to characterize selenium concentrations in selected irrigation drains flowing into the Salton Sea, California. Total selenium, selenium species (dissolved selenite, selenate, organoselenium), and total suspended solids were determined in water samples and total selenium was deter

Tectonic evolution of the Salton Sea inferred from seismic reflection data

Oblique extension across strike-slip faults causes subsidence and leads to the formation of pull-apart basins such as the Salton Sea in southern California. The formation of these basins has generally been studied using laboratory experiments or numerical models. Here we combine seismic reflection data and geological observations from the Salton Sea to understand the evolution of this nascent pull