Filter Total Items: 31
West Desert Windmill on bluebird day
Date Published: December 18, 2017
Status: Active

Groundwater Conditions in Utah

Small amounts of groundwater can be obtained from wells throughout most of Utah, but large amounts that are of suitable chemical quality for irrigation, public supply, or industrial use generally can be obtained only in specific ares. Most wells in Utah yield water from unconsolidated basin-fill deposits, and most are in intermountain basins that have been partly filled with rock materials...

Contacts: Tom Marston
WERC Ants collect seeds/floret
Date Published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Process-based Approaches for Ecological Restoration of Degraded Drylands

Surface disturbances ranging from military training, recreation, energy exploration and development, and wildfires impact a large majority of federal lands in the western US, but the ecological and economic impacts are poorly understood. Explore this webpage to learn how Dr. Lesley DeFalco and her research team are currently evaluating and refining conventional approaches for post-fire...

Contacts: Lesley DeFalco
Plants grown in a greenhouse
Date Published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Native Plant Materials for Ecological Restoration of Degraded Drylands

There is a growing consensus among resource managers to use native plant materials for ecological restoration of degraded drylands. Some plant species may be suitable for re-introduction across broad environmental gradients. Other species may fail under narrower conditions, or their re-introduction may have genetic consequences for local ecotypes, particularly when adapting to future climate...

Contacts: Lesley DeFalco
Eureka Valley. Desert Landscape photo
Date Published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Conservation of Rare, Sensitive, and At-risk Desert Plant Species

The Mojave Desert is among the hottest and driest of the North American drylands, but in spite of these extreme conditions, and in part because of them, a diverse flora exists. This diversity of rare, endemic, and endangered species is threatened by the complex interaction between fluctuating climate and human-mediated disturbances. USGS studies have identified rare species “hotspots” for...

Contacts: Lesley DeFalco
Joshua trees burning in the Bulldog Fire in Mojave Desert tortoise habitat of southwestern Utah
Date Published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Aridlands Disturbances and Restoration Ecology

Desert landscapes are rapidly changing due to increases in invasive plant species, frequency of wildfires, urban and energy development, recreational use, military training, and climate variation. Dr. Todd Esque, USGS researchers, and collaborators are working together to investigate these changes and provide managers with key information that can be used to manage natural resources more...

Contacts: Todd Esque
Map of the Colorado Plateau, including the San Juan River pilot study area.
Date Published: October 3, 2017

Colorado Plateaus Regional Groundwater Availability

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 evaluate GSFLOW in the San Juan River Basin (...

Simulated reduction in flow in the Malad River as a result of groundwater pumping. 
Date Published: May 8, 2017

Groundwater Models

Groundwater models are numerical representations of groundwater systems that help hydrologists understand groundwater systems, and provide tools for water managers. The Utah Water Science Center has groundwater models of many separate areas in Utah and two regional models that include the western part of the state. 

Looking down and across the Great Salt Lake
Date Published: May 1, 2017

Great Salt Lake

Great Salt Lake is located on a shallow playa. Consequently, small changes in the water-surface elevation result in large changes in the surface area of the lake. This is particularly evident when the lake spills into the west desert at an elevation of about 4,215 feet, greatly increasing its area. The satellite imagery shows changes in the area of the lake from 1972, through the high-runoff...

Contacts: Cory Angeroth
Date Published: April 12, 2017
Status: Active

Hydrocarbon Monitoring in Response to Personal Watercraft Regulation at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contamination related to watercraft use is one of the most significant water-quality issues affecting Lake Powell at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (GLCA). Water quality in Lake Powell is important as the lake is a water source for public and agricultural consumption. In addition, more than 2 million people visit GLCA annually, and most of these...

Aerial view of Great Salt Lake causeway
Date Published: March 21, 2017
Status: Active

Deep Brine Layer

In 1959, a solid-fill railroad causeway was constructed across the middle of the Great Salt Lake. The construction of the causeway divided the lake into two parts; the north (Gunnison Bay) and the south (Gilbert Bay). By 2013, water flowed from one side to the other through only two culverts near the center of the causeway. In December 2013, concern about the structural integrity of the...

Contacts: Ryan Rowland
Comparison of lake levels from Landsat 5 images of Great Salt Lake in 1985 and 2010.
Date Published: February 20, 2017

Great Salt Lake 1985-2010

Landsat satellite images from 1985 and 2010 show dramatic changes in the Great Salt Lake. Mosaics of four satellite images were used to illustrate the changes over the full lake area. The 1985 image shows that upstream feeder streams, charged by snow melt and heavy rainfall, have filled the lake to near capacity. In the 2010 image, drought conditions upstream have impacted the lake region. The...

Outside of new shelter for gage on Little Cottonwood Ck at Jordan R
Date Published: February 17, 2017

What is a streamgage?

Information on the flow of rivers and streams is a vital national asset that safeguuards lives, protects property, and ensures adequate water supplies for the future. The USGS operates a network of more than 9,000 streamgages nationwide with more than 150 in Utah, but how does a streamgage work? Dee Lurry of the Texas Water Science Center answers that question.

Contacts: Cory Angeroth