Unified Interior Regions

Arizona

The Southwest Region includes California, Nevada, and Arizona. The Regional Office, headquartered in Sacramento, provides Center oversight and support, facilitates internal and external collaborations, and works to further USGS strategic science directions.

States L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 143
Date published: March 19, 2018
Status: Active

Ciénega San Bernardino - Wetland Restoration

Desert marshes, or ciénega, are extremely biodiverse habitats imperiled by anthropogenic demands for water and changing climates. Given their widespread loss and increased recognition as important wildlife habitat, remarkably little is known about restoration techniques.

Contacts: Laura M Norman
Date published: March 19, 2018
Status: Active

Patagonia - Gully Restoration

The Deep Dirt Farm Institute (DDFI), founded and directed by Kate Tirion, comprises 34 acres with deep agricultural soils, bisected by an ephemeral stream/wildlife corridor. The farm lies within a folded topography of hills, small sheltered valleys & broad meadow.  A deep gully has diverted flows and needs repair.

Contacts: Laura M Norman
Date published: March 19, 2018
Status: Active

Nogales, Sonora - Flood Control

Flooding in Ambos Nogales often exceeds the capacity of the channel and adjacent land areas, endangering people and property. Goals of RDS are to diminish impacts of flooding and sedimentation on wastewater infrastructure thereby reducing the incidence of sanitary sewer overflows. We are studying the Nogales Wash to prevent future flood disasters and RDS are being installed in tributaries. We...

Contacts: Laura M Norman
Date published: March 18, 2018
Status: Active

AzWSC Capabilities: Hydrologic Gravity Monitoring

Gravity is a measurement of mass: the greater an object's mass, the stronger its gravitational pull. By measuring changes in gravity over time, inferences can be made about changes in mass. In hydrology, this can be used to study water in the subsurface. If the amount of groundwater in a particular area increases over time, through processes such as infiltration of rainfall or aquifer recharge...

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
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
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
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 (...

Date published: September 20, 2017
Status: Active

Land Treatment Digital Library

The LTDL was created by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to catalog information about land treatments on Federal lands in the western United States for all interested parties. The flexible framework of the library allows for the storage of a wide variety of data in different formats. The LTDL currently stores previously established land treatments or what often are called legacy data. The...

Date published: August 5, 2017
Status: Active

RestoreNet: Distributed Field Trial Network for Dryland Restoration

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) researchers and land managers are co-producing a network of restoration field trial sites on DOI and surrounding lands in the southwestern U.S. The network systematically tests restoration treatments across a broad range of landscape, soil, and climate conditions. Each site in the network is used to test suitable seed mixes and treatments that promote plant...

Contacts: Seth Munson, Molly McCormick, Katie Laushman, Rebecca Mann, Mike Duniway, Ph.D., Brad Butterfield, Elise Gornish, Loralee Larios, Akasha Faist, Helen Rowe, Christopher Lortie, Caroline A. Havrilla
Date published: August 4, 2017
Status: Active

Occurrence and Potential Risk of Microplastics in Lake Mead and the Delaware River

There is mounting evidence that microplastics present a significant threat to aquatic organisms. Microplastics – defined as plastic particles less than 5 mm in diameter – come from many different sources, including synthetic textiles, industrial waste products, personal care products, and the breakdown of litter, car tires, and other objects. This study will assess the occurrence of...

Date published: April 25, 2017
Status: Active

National Water-Quality Program Monitoring Networks, Arizona, 2013-2023

The Arizona Water Science Center collects water-quality data from stream and aquifer sites in networks that are part of the National Water-Quality Program (NWQP) and the National Stream Quality Accounting Network (NASQAN).

Filter Total Items: 130
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Year Published: 1988

Aggradation and degradation of alluvial sand deposits, 1965 to 1986, Colorado River, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona; executive summary

High discharges that occurred in 1983-85 resulted in redistribution of sand stored in zones of recirculating current in the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park. Redistribution resulted in net loss in the number of reattachment deposits in narrow reaches and aggradation of some separation deposits. Separation deposits were more stable than...

Schmidt, J.C.; Graf, J.B.
Aggradation and degradation of alluvial sand deposits, 1965 to 1986, Colorado River, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona; executive summary; 1988; OFR; 87-561; Schmidt, J. C.; Graf, J. B.

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Year Published: 1988

Estimates of consumptive use and ground-water return flow using water budgets in Parker Valley, Arizona and California, 1981-84

Annual water budgets were used to estimate consumptive use by vegetation and groundwater return flow in Parker Valley, Arizona and California. Consumptive use by vegetation was estimated to be 482,800 acre-ft in 1981, 432,000 acre-ft in 1982, 413,500 acre-ft in 1983, and 420,900 acre-ft in 1984 on the Arizona side of the Colorado River, and 45,400...

Owen-Joyce, Sandra J.
Estimates of consumptive use and ground-water return flow using water budgets in Parker Valley, Arizona and California, 1981-84; 1988; WRI; 88-4063; Owen-Joyce, Sandra J.

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Year Published: 1988

Progress report on the ground-water, surface-water, and quality- of-water monitoring program, Black Mesa Area, northeastern Arizona; 1987-88

The Black Mesa, Arizona, monitoring program is designed to determine long-term effects on the water resources of the area resulting from withdrawals of groundwater from the N aquifer by the strip-mining operation of Peabody Coal Company. Withdrawals by Peabody Coal Company increased from 95 acre-ft in 1968 to 3 ,832 acre-ft in 1987. The N aquifer...

Hart, R.J.; Sottilare, J.P.
Progress report on the ground-water, surface-water, and quality- of-water monitoring program, Black Mesa Area, northeastern Arizona; 1987-88; 1988; OFR; 88-467; Hart, R. J.; Sottilare, J. P.

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Year Published: 1988

Simulation of five ground-water withdrawal projections for the Black Mesa area, Navajo and Hopi Indian Reservations, Arizona

The N Aquifer is the main source of water in the 5,400 sq mi Black Mesa area in the Navajo and Hopi Indian Reservations in northeastern Arizona. Water in the aquifer is under confined conditions in the central 3,300 sq mi of the area. Maximum saturated thickness is about 1,050 ft. Annual groundwater withdrawals from 1972 through 1986 averaged 5,...

Brown, J.G.; Eychaner, J.H.
Simulation of five ground-water withdrawal projections for the Black Mesa area, Navajo and Hopi Indian Reservations, Arizona; 1988; WRI; 88-4000; Brown, J. G.; Eychaner, J. H.

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Year Published: 1987

Estimates of average annual tributary inflow to the lower Colorado River, Hoover Dam to Mexico

Estimates of tributary inflow by basin or area and by surface water or groundwater are presented in this report and itemized by subreaches in tabular form. Total estimated average annual tributary inflow to the Colorado River between Hoover Dam and Mexico, excluding the measured tributaries, is 96,000 acre-ft or about 1% of the 7.5 million acre-ft...

Owen-Joyce, Sandra J.
Estimates of average annual tributary inflow to the lower Colorado River, Hoover Dam to Mexico; 1987; WRI; 87-4078; Owen-Joyce, Sandra J.

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Year Published: 1987

Progress report on the ground-water, surface-water, and quality-of-water monitoring program, Black Mesa area, northeastern Arizona, 1987

The N aquifer is an important source of water in the 5,400 sq-mi Black Mesa area on the Navajo and Hopi Indian Reservations. The Black Mesa monitoring program is designed to monitor long-term effects on the groundwater resources of the mesa as a result of withdrawals from the aquifer by the strip-mining operation of Peabody Coal Company....

Hill, G.W.; Sottilare, J.P.
Progress report on the ground-water, surface-water, and quality-of-water monitoring program, Black Mesa area, northeastern Arizona, 1987; 1987; OFR; 87-458; Hill, G. W.; Sottilare, J. P.

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Year Published: 1986

Annual summary of ground-water conditions in Arizona, spring 1984 to spring 1985

In arid and semiarid regions such as Arizona, the availability of adequate water supplies has a significant influence on the type and extent of economic development. About two-thirds of the water used in the State is groundwater. The nature and extent of the groundwater reservoirs must be known for proper management of this valuable resource. The...

Annual summary of ground-water conditions in Arizona, spring 1984 to spring 1985; 1986; OFR; 86-422-W; Geological Survey (U.S.)

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Year Published: 1986

Evapotranspiration estimates using remote-sensing data, Parker and Palo Verde valleys, Arizona and California

In 1981 the U.S. Geological Survey established an experimental project to assess the possible and practical use of remote sensing data to estimate evapotranspiration as an approximation of consumptive use in the lower Colorado River flood plain. The project area was in Parker Valley, Arizona. The approach selected was to measure the areas covered...

Raymond, L.H.; Rezin, K.V.
Evapotranspiration estimates using remote-sensing data, Parker and Palo Verde valleys, Arizona and California; 1986; OFR; 86-67; Raymond, L. H.; Rezin, K. V.

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Year Published: 1986

Progress report on Black Mesa monitoring program; 1985-86

Hill, George W.; Whetten, Marlin I.
Progress report on Black Mesa monitoring program; 1985-86; 1986; OFR; 86-414-W; Hill, George W.; Whetten, Marlin I.

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Year Published: 1985

Annual summary of ground-water conditions in Arizona, Spring 1983 to Spring 1984

A summary map shows various aspects of groundwater availability in Arizona. Potential well production, in increments of 0 to 10 gpm, 10 to 500 gpm, and 50 to 2500 gpm (average 1000 gpm) os the primary emphasis of the map; however, data on changes in water level from spring 1983 to spring 1984, status of groundwater inventory, and estimated...

Annual summary of ground-water conditions in Arizona, Spring 1983 to Spring 1984; 1985; OFR; 85-410; Geological Survey (U.S.)

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Year Published: 1985

Progress report on Black Mesa monitoring program, 1984

The N aquifer is an important source of water in the 5,400 square-mile Black Mesa area on the Navajo and Hopi Indian Reservations. The project is designed to monitor long-term effects on the ground-water resources of the mesa as a result of withdrawals from the aquifer by a strip-mining operation. Withdrawals from the N aquifer by the mine have...

Hill, G.W.
Progress report on Black Mesa monitoring program, 1984; 1985; OFR; 85-483; Hill, G. W.

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Year Published: 1984

A method for estimating ground-water return flow to the Colorado River in the Palo Verde-Cibola area, California and Arizona

Owen-Joyce, Sandra J.
A method for estimating ground-water return flow to the Colorado River in the Palo Verde-Cibola area, California and Arizona; 1984; WRI; 84-4236; Owen-Joyce, Sandra J.

Filter Total Items: 243
December 18, 2014

Grand Canyon High Flow Monitoring

The USGS monitors sediment loads during Grand Canyon's beach-building high flow releases.

December 14, 2014

USGS on Campus

In a documentary style, this video discusses the close relationship between the USGS Arizona Water Science Center and the University of Arizona. Students and Scientists collaborating for the future development of each other.

October 28, 2014

Measuring Water Levels in a Flowing Well

This video demonstrates how to measure low pressure hydraulic head in a flowing well.

Earth As Art image of Utah, Arizona
October 4, 2014

Cloud Lightning

What looks like lightning arcing through an ominous cloud is actually a dry landscape of rocky buttes in southern Utah and northeastern Arizona. River channels flow north from Arizona into the San Juan River. The light vertical feature at the top of the image is referred to as Comb Ridge, a jagged fold in the Earth's crust called a monocline.

  • Collection: Earth
...
September 16, 2014

Hurricane Odile, AZ Flooding September 2014, USGS at Work

This video shows the flooding that occurred in Arizona from the remnants of Hurricane Odile, while explaining the different techniques for high flow measurements.

August 14, 2014

Measuring Groundwater with Steel Tape

This video demonstrates how to measure water levels in wells using a graduated steel tape.

August 14, 2014

Measuring Groundwater with Electric Tape

This video demonstrates how to measure water levels in wells using an electric tape.

August 13, 2014

Redington Stream Flow

This video shows the process of taking a stream flow measurement using a bridge crane and current meter.

https://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2018/3032/fs20183032.pdf
April 1, 2014

Changes in Earth's Gravity Reveal Changes in Groundwater Storage

Did you know that changes in the amount of water in aquifers cause small changes in Earth’s gravitational field? When the amount of groundwater in an aquifer changes, either by recharge or by discharge to surface water or wells, the gravitational acceleration at the land surface also changes. In this photo, USGS Research Hydrologist Jeff Kennedy is making measurements of

...
Attribution: Water Resources
March 19, 2014

Minute 319 Pulse Flow

The minute 319 pulse flow experiment flood in the Lower Colorado River Delta allows scientists the opportunity to study many different aspects of a flood. With the help of CSAs we had the opportunity to actually back calculate the roughness value at the times that our technicians in Yuma measured discharge.

November 30, 2013

Gravity Recharge Monitoring

Time-lapse Microgravity Monitoring of Artificial Recharge
This video shows a series of clips collected in 2013 during the SAVSARP gravity experiment.

October 7, 2013

Animal Interactions at Wind Energy Facilities – Gray Fox

There were two documented gray fox visits at the burrows, making them the third most documented predator. Gray foxes are implicated predators of various life stages of desert tortoises, but it is difficult to catch them in the act. In this case, a gray fox approaches a burrow, and thoroughly investigates the burrow mouth. The fox develops an arch in its tail (slight

Filter Total Items: 201
USGS
April 9, 2013

The streamflow of the Verde River—one of Arizona's largest streams with year-round flow—declined from 1910 to 2005 as the result of human stresses, primarily groundwater pumping, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study. The study's findings suggest that streamflow reductions will continue and may increase in the future.

USGS
January 29, 2013

Lake Mead National Recreation Area's water quality is good, the sport fish populations are sufficient, and the lakes provide important habitat for an increasing number of birds. 

USGS
November 28, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. —New insights into the differences between fire ecologies of the Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts in the southwestern United States are coming through the use of terrestrial Light Detection and Ranging, or lidar, technology. Studies by the U.S. Geological Survey show that while fire is detrimental to some areas of the desert, it is beneficial to others. 

USGS
October 19, 2012

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Experts in volcano hazards and public safety have started a conversation about volcanoes in the southwestern United States, and how best to prepare for future activity. Prior to this meeting, emergency response planning for volcanic unrest in the region had received little attention by federal or state agencies.

USGS
July 23, 2012

Dr. Justin Hagerty, a research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, was named one of President Obama's recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. 

USGS
July 5, 2012

TUCSON, Ariz. —On Wednesday, the U.S. Geological Survey finished installing six early-flood-warning units—rain and stream gages—in the burned areas of New Mexico’s Whitewater-Baldy Fire. The gages transmit data via satellite to the National Weather Service, which provides warnings to communities that may be affected by flooding. The gages can provide up to 60 minutes advanc

USGS
May 21, 2012

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Laszlo Kestay has been named the new director of the U.S. Geological Survey Astrogeology Science Center, based in Flagstaff, Ariz. Kestay will lead the Astrogeology team in working closely with NASA and other planetary science organizations to develop and operate space missions exploring the Solar System, process and analyze data from many types of instruments...

USGS
February 21, 2012

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Coconino National Forest’s Cinder Lake—a natural depression that has been used to store runoff from areas affected by the 2010 Schultz Fire—can store about 4,000 acre-feet of water, or enough to fill about 2,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey report.

USGS
February 15, 2012

TUCSON, Ariz. – Climate change is likely to have strong effects on the abundance of dominant Sonoran Desert plant species, according to a study published recently in Global Change Biology.

USGS science for a changing world logo
December 19, 2011

The U.S. Geological Survey has named ecologist David Lytle the director of its ‪Southwest Biological Science Center, headquartered in Flagstaff.

“Rapid growth, changes in land use, and limited rainfall in the southwest region of the U.S. create challenges for natural resource management,” remarked USGS director Marcia McNutt. 

USGS science for a changing world logo
December 1, 2011

More than 280 million acre-feet of groundwater has been withdrawn from the Mississippi embayment aquifer system between 1870-2007, according to a new water modeling tool developed by the U.S. Geological Survey.

USGS science for a changing world logo
October 25, 2011

The sand dunes among which Navajos have eked out austere livings for generations are growing fast and becoming mobile as the climate changes, says U.S. Geological Survey geologist Dr. Margaret Hiza Redsteer, whose interviews with elders and historical research augment her decade-long research on Navajo Nation land.