Unified Interior Regions

California

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: 377
Date published: May 8, 2018
Status: Active

Rare Earth Element Deposits in the Southeast Mojave Desert

In an effort to better understand domestic resource potential, the USGS is investigating the genetic relationship between rare earth element deposits at Mountain Pass, California and Music Valley (Pinto Mountains, California) and extend these studies across a 130-km long belt of alkaline Proterozoic rocks in the southeast Mojave Desert. Such a combined study would significantly improve our...

Contacts: David Ponce
Date published: May 1, 2018
Status: Active

Bird Banding Laboratory

The Bird Banding Laboratory (BBL) is an integrated scientific program established in 1920 supporting the collection, archiving, management and dissemination of information from banded and marked birds in North America.  This information is used to monitor the status and trends of resident and migratory bird populations. Because birds are good indicators of the health of the environment, the...

Date published: April 30, 2018
Status: Completed

Untangling Faults at Depth – What Lies Beneath Panamint Valley, California?

Release Date: APRIL 30, 2018

The eastern edge of Panamint Valley,CA has two types of faults that can be seen in the near-surface geology. 150 geophones and a seismic source will help reveal the subsurface picture.

Date published: March 29, 2018
Status: Active

Climate check in our Santa Cruz backyard

For a beach town like Santa Cruz, preserving beaches by mitigating coastal erosion is vital. Surveys conducted now and regularly in the future will help scientists understand the short- and long-term impacts of climate change, El Niño years, and sea-level rise on a populated and vulnerable coastline.

Date published: March 27, 2018
Status: Active

Assessing Deposit Build-up in Corte Madera Flood Control Channel

The Corte Madera Flood Control Channel was designed to prevent waters from overflowing Corte Madera Creek in a highly populated area of Marin County. Since the channel was last dredged in 1990 approximately 5,400 cubic feet of sediment has accumulated. The accumulation of sediment is of concern because the sediment may reduce the effectiveness of the channel, posing a flooding threat to...

Contacts: Daniel Livsey
Date published: March 21, 2018
Status: Active

Studying Threatened Fish Species in Clear Lake, CA

A fish species known as the Clear Lake Hitch, presently listed as threatened under the California Endangered Species Act, is now being considered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for placement on its endangered species list. The hitch population, which once flourished in great abundance, has been decimated by loss of spawning habitat, nursery areas, and the encroachment of non-native...

Date published: March 20, 2018
Status: Active

Tsunamis

The 2004 Indian Ocean, 2010 Chilean, and 2011 Tohoku disasters have shown how tsunamis are significant threats to coastal communities. To help U.S. coastal communities prepare for future tsunamis, the Hazards Vulnerability Team completed projects related to population exposure and sensitivity, pedestrian...

Date published: March 16, 2018
Status: Active

Chiricahua Mountains - Reduction of Channel Gradients

Drainages in the Chiricahua Mountains are impacted by large rain events that cause gullying effects in the headwaters, overflow at road crossings, flooding of campgrounds, and overwhelming sediment loads at outlets (Chiricahua National Monument). Monsoon rains following recent fires cause severe flooding in most drainages and...

Contacts: Laura M Norman
Date published: March 14, 2018
Status: Active

Babocomari - Managed Aquifer Recharge

We are working to investigate the most cost-efficient way to recharge the Sierra Vista sub-basin aquifer using rainwater harvesting in the tributaries of the San Pedro River using low-technology methods. Research is being conducted on the Babacomari Ranch, property of the Brophy family. The ...

Contacts: Laura M Norman
Date published: March 14, 2018
Status: Active

Aridland Water Harvesting Study

Most of western North America has been severely grazed by cattle, causing grasslands to deteriorate and desert scrub expansion. Climate in arid and semi-arid regions is often typified by short, intense rainfall events which contribute to short-term flooding and erosion. Associated arroyo cutting occurs when ephemeral creek beds are carved into the floodplain when erratic overland flow occurs;...

Date published: January 18, 2018
Status: Active

National Assessment of Coastal Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise

The original national coastal vulnerability index (CVI) assessment was motivated by expected accelerated sea-level rise (SLR) and the uncertainty in the response of the coastline to SLR. This research was conducted between 1999 and 2001, and is currently being updated using new data sources and methodology. This original study was part of the ...

Date published: January 18, 2018
Status: Active

Long-Term Coastal Change

Goals of this task include developing and improving coastal-change assessments and supporting long-term planning and decision making to ensure sustainable coastal economies, infrastructure, and ecosystems.

Filter Total Items: 501
Date published: November 30, 2018

Downloadable Data for Los Angeles Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

GIS Data for Los Angeles Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Date published: November 30, 2018

Downloadable Data for Santa Maria Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

GIS Data for Santa Maria Basin Oil and Gas Assessments 

Date published: November 30, 2018

Downloadable Data for Ventura Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Downloadable Data for Ventura Basin Oil and Gas Assessments 

Date published: November 30, 2018

Downloadable Data for Central Coastal Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

GIS Data for Central Coastal Basin Oil and Gas Assessments 

Date published: November 30, 2018

Downloadable Data for Sonoma-Livermore Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

GIS Data Sonoma-Livermore Basin Oil and Gas Assessments 

Date published: November 30, 2018

Downloadable Data for Northern Coastal Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Northern Coastal Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Date published: November 29, 2018

Downloadable Data for San Joaquin Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Downloadable Data for San Joaquin Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Date published: November 29, 2018

Downloadable Data for Sacramento Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Downloadable Data for Sacramento Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Date published: November 8, 2018

2010 Estimated California Water Use

Withdrawal estimates for each category represent the total amount of water removed from the water source, regardless of how much of that total is consumptively used. In most cases, some fraction of the total withdrawal will be returned to the same or a different water source after use and is available for other withdrawals.

Date published: October 31, 2018

California Seafloor Mapping Program video and photograph portal

The USGS presents video and photographs of seafloor segments off California, from the U.S.-Mexico border to the Oregon State line. The USGS collected this imagery as part of the California Seafloor Mapping Program, a large collaborative effort supported by the ...

Date published: October 29, 2018

California Seafloor Mapping Program progress

Table showing California Seafloor Mapping Program map block mapping progress by block number, as of April 2018.

Date published: October 25, 2018

Beach topography and nearshore bathymetry of northern Monterey Bay, California

This data release presents beach topography and nearshore bathymetry data from repeated surveys in northern Monterey Bay, California to document changes in shoreline position and coastal morphology as they relate to episodic (storms), seasonal, and interannual and longer processes. Since October 2014, semi-annual surveys have been performed in late summer (September or October...

Filter Total Items: 351
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Year Published: 2006

Trophic structure and avian communities across a salinity gradient in evaporation ponds of the San Francisco Bay estuary

Commercial salt evaporation ponds comprise a large proportion of baylands adjacent to the San Francisco Bay, a highly urbanized estuary. In the past two centuries, more than 79% of the historic tidal wetlands in this estuary have been lost. Resource management agencies have acquired more than 10 000 ha of commercial salt ponds with plans to...

Takekawa, John Y.; Miles, A.K.; Schoellhamer, D.H.; Athearn, N.D.; Saiki, M.K.; Duffy, W.D.; Kleinschmidt, S.; Shellenbarger, G.G.; Jannusch, C.A.
Trophic structure and avian communities across a salinity gradient in evaporation ponds of the San Francisco Bay estuary; 2006; Conference Paper; Hydrobiologia; Takekawa, J. Y.; Miles, A. K.; Schoellhamer, D. H.; Athearn, N. D.; Saiki, M. K.; Duffy, W. D.; Kleinschmidt, S.; Shellenbarger, G. G.; Jannusch, C. A.

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Year Published: 2006

Trophic structure and avian communities across a salinity gradient in evaporation ponds of the San Francisco Bay estuary

Commercial salt evaporation ponds comprise a large proportion of baylands adjacent to the San Francisco Bay, a highly urbanized estuary. In the past two centuries, more than 79% of the historic tidal wetlands in this estuary have been lost. Resource management agencies have acquired more than 10 000 ha of commercial salt ponds with plans...

Takekawa, John Y.; Miles, A.K.; Schoellhamer, D.H.; Athearn, N.D.; Saiki, M. K.; Duffy, W.D.; Kleinschmidt, S.; Shellenbarger, G.G.; Jannusch, C.A.

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Year Published: 2005

Decadal-scale analysis of coastal landslides along the Big Sur coast: rates and processes

Hapke, Cheryl J.; Green, Krystal R.
Decadal-scale analysis of coastal landslides along the Big Sur coast: rates and processes; 2005; OFR; 2005-1434; Hapke, Cheryl J.; Green, Krystal R.

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Year Published: 2005

Log of Trench 04A across the Hayward Fault at Tyson's Lagoon (Tule Pond), Fremont, Alameda County, California

This publication makes available a detailed trench log (sheets 1 and 2) of a 110-m trench we excavated in 2004 across a tectonic sag pond in the Hayward fault zone. Also included are revised stratigraphic unit descriptions from this fifth field season of subsurface investigation of the Hayward fault at Tyson's Lagoon (Tule Pond). Preliminary...

Lienkaemper, James J.; Williams, Patrick L.; Sickler, Robert R.; Fumal, Thomas E.
Log of Trench 04A Across the Hayward Fault at Tyson's Lagoon (Tule Pond), Fremont, Alameda County, California; 2005; OFR; 2005-1350; Lienkaemper, James J.; Williams, Patrick L.; Sickler, Robert R.; Fumal, Thomas E.

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Year Published: 2005

Rates of landsliding and cliff retreat along the Big Sur Coast, California--measuring a crucial baseline

Hapke, Cheryl J.; Green, Krystal R.
Rates of landsliding and cliff retreat along the Big Sur Coast, California--measuring a crucial baseline; 2005; FS; 2004-3099; Hapke, Cheryl J.; Green, Krystal R.

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Year Published: 2005

Blind comparisons of shear-wave velocities at closely-spaced sites in San Jose, California: Proceedings of a Workshop held at the US Geological Survey, Menlo Park, May 3, 2004

Shear-wave velocities within several hundred meters of Earth's surface are important in specifying earthquake ground motions for engineering design. Not only are the shearwave velocities used in classifying sites for use of modern building codes, but they are also used in site-specific studies of particularly significant structures. Many are the...

Asten, Michael W.; Boore, David M.
Blind comparisons of shear-wave velocities at closely-spaced sites in San Jose, California: Proceedings of a Workshop held at the US Geological Survey, Menlo Park, May 3, 2004; 2005; OFR; 2005-1169; edited by Asten, Michael W.; Boore, David M.

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Year Published: 2005

Elevated mercury concentrations in failed eggs of Snowy Plovers at Point Reyes National Seashore

[No abstract available]

Schwarzbach, S.E.; Stephenson, M.; Ruhlen, T.; Abbott, S.; Page, G.W.; Adams, D.
Elevated mercury concentrations in failed eggs of Snowy Plovers at Point Reyes National Seashore; 2005; Article; Journal; Marine Pollution Bulletin; Schwarzbach, S. E.; Stephenson, M.; Ruhlen, T.; Abbott, S.; Page, G. W.; Adams, D.

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Year Published: 2005

Habitat restoration as a means of controlling non-native fish in a Mojave desert Oasis

Non-native fish generally cause native fish decline, and once non-natives are established, control or elimination is usually problematic. Because non-native fish colonization has been greatest in anthropogenically altered habitats, restoring habitat similar to predisturbance conditions may offer a viable means of non-native fish control. In this...

Scoppettone, G.G.; Rissler, P.H.; Gourley, C.; Martinez, C.
Habitat restoration as a means of controlling non-native fish in a Mojave desert Oasis; 2005; Article; Journal; Restoration Ecology; Scoppettone, G. G.; Rissler, P. H.; Gourley, C.; Martinez, C.

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Year Published: 2005

Relation of desert pupfish abundance to selected environmental variables in natural and manmade habitats in the Salton Sea basin

We assessed the relation between abundance of desert pupfish, Cyprinodon macularius, and selected biological and physicochemical variables in natural and manmade habitats within the Salton Sea Basin. Field sampling in a natural tributary, Salt Creek, and three agricultural drains captured eight species including pupfish (1.1% of the total catch),...

Martin, B.A.; Saiki, M. K.
Relation of desert pupfish abundance to selected environmental variables in natural and manmade habitats in the Salton Sea basin; 2005; Article; Journal; Environmental Biology of Fishes; Martin, B. A.; Saiki, M. K.

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Year Published: 2005

The composition of coexisting jarosite-group minerals and water from the Richmond mine, Iron Mountain, California

Jarosite-group minerals accumulate in the form of stalactites and fine-grained mud on massive pyrite in the D drift of the Richmond mine, Iron Mountain, California. Water samples were collected by placing beakers under the dripping stalactites and by extracting pore water from the mud using a centrifuge. The water is rich in Fe3+ and SO4...

Jamieson, Heather E.; Robinson, Clare; Alpers, Charles N.; Nordstrom, D. Kirk; Poustovetov, Alexei; Lowers, Heather A.
The composition of coexisting jarosite-group minerals and water from the Richmond mine, Iron Mountain, California; 2005; Article; Journal; Canadian Mineralogist; Jamieson, H. E.; Robinson, C.; Alpers, C. N.; Nordstrom, D. K.; Poustovetov, A.; Lowers, H. A.

Filter Total Items: 962
February 16, 2018

Scientific Innovation Helps Pacific Wetlands Adapt to Sea Level Rise

U.S. Geological Survey scientists collaborated with partners to develop an innovative new tool to help resource managers prepare Pacific coastal wetlands for rising sea levels. 
 

February 13, 2018

Dr. Rufus Catchings, USGS Geophysicist

USGS geophysicist Dr. Rufus Catchings, brings insights to the importance of diversity and perseverance in the earth science field. 
 

Attribution: Natural Hazards
marsh
February 13, 2018

Egret Flyover, Petaluma River

While heading out to a survey plot off of San Pablo Bay, an egret flies over the Petaluma River in the early morning.

Female northern harrier gaze
February 9, 2018

Female Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) Gaze

A female northern harrier (Circus cyaneus) gazes into the camera at Suisun Marsh, CA.

In a pasture a white horse is standing in the foreground, in background is an apparatus that pumps oil from the ground.
February 2, 2018

Oil well pumping unit, Half Moon Bay oil field, California

The Half Moon Bay oil field is one of the oldest oil fields in California and was first developed during the 1880s. Since then, the field has produced an estimated 60,000 barrels of oil from about 19 wells. Most of the old wells have been plugged and abandoned, but this well was reworked in 1980 and produces small volumes of oil from thin sandstone layers of the Miocene

...
January 29, 2018

USGS Joins Efforts in Montecito to Assess Debris-Flow Aftermath

A team of USGS geologists provide science support following Montecito post-fire debris-flow event.
 

January 25, 2018

PubTalk 1/2018 — ShakeAlert: Path to West Coast EQ Early Warning

Title: ShakeAlert: The Path to West Coast Earthquake Early Warning ... how a few seconds can save lives and property

  • The ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system will begin limited operations this year.
  • Alerts could save lives and properties but several challenges remain.
  • With millions at risk, why isn't full public alerting happening yet?
Photo of Staten Island in the Sacramento Delta
January 25, 2018

Staten Island, Sacramento Delta, CA.

Staten Island in the Sacramento Delta, CA.

Montecito after debris flow
January 14, 2018

Montecito after debris flow

The Dec. 4, 2017 Thomas fire, Southern California's largest wildfire on record, burned more than 280,000 acres across Ventura and Santa Barbara counties for nearly a month.

Boulder in debris flow
January 14, 2018

Geologists assess scene after debris flow

Geologists assess boulders displaced during the Montecito debris flow event on Jan. 9, 2018.  

Pool warning sign
January 14, 2018

Pool sign warns first responders

Swimming pool sign spray-painted to warn first responders and others to be careful around the potentially dangerous area. 

January 4, 2018

Image of the Week - Southern California Wildfires Update

After a month, the wildfires of Southern California are nearly contained. Landsat 8 imagery shows the dramatic burn scars left behind.

At the USGS EROS Center, we study land change, operate the Landsat satellites, and maintain the longest, continuously acquired collection of images of the Earth's land surface.

USGS EROS Center (

Filter Total Items: 927
2014 South Napa Earthquake in California
January 28, 2015

Channel 7 News

MENLO PARK, Calif. (KGO) -- 

Five months after the South Napa earthquake, scientists gathered on Wednesday at the U.S. Geological Survey to talk about what they're learning from it and what it means for the next big one here in the Bay Area.

A screenshot of the Walker Basin Hydro Mapper homepage shows current Walker River Basin conditions.
January 14, 2015

The newly released web-based Walker Basin Hydro Mapper aims to provide real-time visualization of streamflow, and waterbody stage and volume in the Walker River Basin.

Image: Steve Hickman Earthquake Science Center Director
January 12, 2015

The U.S. Geological Survey is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Stephen Hickman to serve as the new director of the USGS Earthquake Science Center, headquartered in Menlo Park, California.

USGS
December 18, 2014

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced today that Interior’s Southwest Climate Science Center is awarding nearly a million dollars to universities and other partners for research to guide managers of parks, refuges and other cultural and natural resources in planning how to help species and ecosystems adapt to climate change.

USGS
December 11, 2014

The U.S. Geological Survey is hosting three media availabilities on Friday, Dec. 12 at high-water areas on the Russian River near Geyserville, Calif.; the Sacramento River at Delta, Calif; and Cache Creek near Yolo, Calif. A hydrologist will be available for interviews as field crews collect data.

Historical photo of a flood on Willamette River in Oregon from 1964
December 11, 2014

The Christmas flood of 1964 encompassed about 200,000 square miles, or roughly the size of France, resulted in 47 deaths, left thousands homeless and caused more than $540 million ($3.9 billion today) worth of damage.

Map showing drought coverage of California
December 8, 2014

A newly released interactive California Drought visualization website aims to provide the public with atlas-like, state-wide coverage of the drought and a timeline of its impacts on water resources.

Earthquake swarm near Lassen Volcanic Center Nov 6 to Nov 12, 2014...
November 12, 2014

CalVO is tracking an earthquake swarm that began on November 9 located at the Tehama County-Plumas County border within Lassen National Forest.

Seismicity in the Long Valley Volcanic Region between 2004 and 2014...
October 31, 2014

A cataclysmic eruption of 600 km3 of rhyolite magma (Bishop Tuff) about 760,000 years ago resulted in the collapse of the partially evacuated magma chamber to form the present 17 by 32 km (10 by 20 mi) Long Valley Caldera.

thumbnail image of flyer for Wolf and Elk Diseases in Yellowstone presentation
October 30, 2014

What can wildlife diseases tell us about the emergence of human pandemics? 

Image: Coastal Survey Vessel in Use at Santa Cruz, California
October 20, 2014

During the week of Oct 20 - 24 scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey will be working along the coastline from Santa Cruz to Moss Landing. Either by all-terrain vehicle, personal watercraft, or on foot, they will be surveying local beaches and the nearby ocean bottom to compile a three-dimensional map of how beaches change in northern Monterey Bay.