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: 393
Date published: June 5, 2018
Status: Active

Post-Fire Flooding and Debris Flow

Fast-moving, highly destructive debris flows triggered by intense rainfall are one of the most dangerous post-fire hazards. The risk of floods and debris flows after fires increases due to vegetation loss and soil exposure. Cases of sudden and deadly debris flow are well documented along the western United States, particularly in ...

Date published: June 5, 2018
Status: Active

Water Quality after a Wildfire

About half of the water supply in the southwestern United States is supplied by water from forests, which generally yield higher quality water than any other source. Approximately 80 percent of the freshwater resources in the U.S. originate on forested land, and more than 3,400 public drinking-water systems are located in watersheds containing national forest lands (USDA, 2006). More than 12...

Date published: May 23, 2018
Status: Active

Rangeland Ecosystem Services

The Rangeland Ecosystem Services research described below is conducted and managed under the USGS Applied Landscape Ecology and Remote Sensing project and partners.

Date published: May 23, 2018
Status: Active

Applied Landscape Ecology and Remote Sensing

We focus on landscape studies of natural and working lands, in particular coastal and inland wetlands and rangelands. We quantify ecosystem benefits, find areas vulnerable to future change, and identify potential for climate mitigation and resilience. We conduct research by scaling field measurements to the regional, state and national scale with remote sensing, geospatial analysis, and...

Date published: May 10, 2018
Status: Active

Land Treatment Exploration Tool

The Land Treatment ExplorationTool provides a practical resource for managers who are planning restoration and rehabilitation actions on public lands. The tool generates a variety of spatial products while being user friendly for all levels of GIS expertise, even to those with little or no experience.

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 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
Filter Total Items: 519
Date published: December 13, 2018

Lower Colorado River Hydrologic Monitoring Network

The Lower Colorado Monitoring Network, located along the All-American Canal in Imperial County, California, is a series of groundwater-level and water-quality wells, as well as streamgages and micro-gravity sites. This interactive map displays the sites and provides links to the most current data.

Date published: December 6, 2018

Downloadable Data for Western Great Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

GIS Data for Western Great Basin Oil and Gas Assessments 

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 Northern Coastal Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Northern 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 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 ...

Filter Total Items: 355
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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.

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Year Published: 2005

Total mercury concentrations in fillets of bluegill, redear sunfish, largemouth bass, and other fishes from Lake Natoma, Sacramento County, California

This study was conducted during September-October 2002 to verify preliminary findings of elevated total mercury concentrations in skinless fillets of sportfishes inhabiting Lake Natoma. Although we measured total mercury concentrations, most mercury in fish flesh occurs in the methylated form. In August 2000, other investigators collected a small...

Saiki, M. K.; Martin, B.A.; May, T.W.; Alpers, Charles N.
Total mercury concentrations in fillets of bluegill, redear sunfish, largemouth bass, and other fishes from Lake Natoma, Sacramento County, California; 2005; Article; Journal; California Fish and Game; Saiki, M. K.; Martin, B. A.; May, T. W.; Alpers, C. N.

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Year Published: 2004

Science support for salt pond restoration and management in south San Francisco Bay

Swanson, Kathleen M.; Shellenbarger, Gregory; Henderson, Kathleen D.; DiLeo, Jeanne S.; Schoellhamer, David H.
Science support for salt pond restoration and management in south San Francisco Bay; 2004; FS; 2004-3135; Swanson, Kathleen M.; Shellenbarger, Gregory G.; Henderson, Kathleen D.; DiLeo, Jeanne S.; Schoellhamer, David H.

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Year Published: 2004

Chapter E. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Geologic setting and crustal structure

Although some scientists considered the Ms=7.1 Loma Prieta, Calif., earthquake of 1989 to be an anticipated event, some aspects of the earthquake were surprising. It occurred 17 km beneath the Santa Cruz Mountains along a left-stepping restraining bend in the San Andreas fault system. Rupture on the southwest-dipping fault plane consisted of...

Wells, Ray E.
Chapter E. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Geologic Setting and Crustal Structure; 2004; PP; 1550-E; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Earthquake Occurrence; Edited by Wells, Ray E.

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Year Published: 2004

Map showing coastal cliff retreat rates along the Big Sur coast, Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties, California

The average coastal cliff retreat rate along the Big Sur coast is 18 ? 6 cm/yr as measured over a 52-year time period. The erosion reference features measured as the cliff edge include the well-defined cliff edges common to marine terraces, slight breaks in the slope defining the upper edge of the active lower slope, and the road grade. Cliff...

Hapke, Cheryl J.; Green, Krystal R.
Map showing coastal cliff retreat rates along the Big Sur coast, Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties, California; 2004; SIM; 2853; Hapke, Cheryl J.; Green Krystal R.

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Year Published: 2004

Maps showing estimated sediment yield from coastal landslides and active slope distribution along the Big Sur coast, Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties, California

The 1982-83 and 1997-98 El Ni?os brought very high precipitation to California?s central coast; this precipitation resulted in raised groundwater levels, coastal flooding, and destabilized slopes throughout the region. Large landslides in the coastal mountains of Big Sur in Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties blocked sections of California State...

Hapke, Cheryl J.; Green, Krystal R.; Dallas, Kate
Maps showing estimated sediment yield from coastal landslides and active slope distribution along the Big Sur coast, Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties, California; 2004; SIM; 2852; Hapke, Cheryl J.; Green, Krystal R.; Dallas, Kate

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Year Published: 2004

Preliminary report on using imaging spectroscopy to map ultramafic rocks, serpentinites, and tremolite-actinolite-bearing rocks in California

Swayze, Gregg A.; Higgins, Chris T.; Clinkenbeard, John P.; Kokaly, Raymond F.; Clark, Roger N.; Meeker, Gregory P.; Sutley, Stephen J.
Preliminary report on using imaging spectroscopy to map ultramafic rocks, serpentinites, and tremolite-actinolite-bearing rocks in California; 2004; OFR; 2004-1304; Swayze, Gregg A.; Higgins, Chris T.; Clinkenbeard, John P.; Kokaly, Raymond F.; Clark, Roger N.; Meeker, Gregory P.; Sutley, Stephen J.

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Year Published: 2004

A USGS Study of Talc Deposits and Associated Amphibole Asbestos Within Mined Deposits of the Southern Death Valley Region, California

Van Gosen, Bradley S.; Lowers, Heather; Sutley, Stephen J.
A USGS Study of Talc Deposits and Associated Amphibole Asbestos Within Mined Deposits of the Southern Death Valley Region, California; 2004; OFR; 2004-1092; Van Gosen, Bradley S.; Lowers, Heather A.; Sutley, Stephen J.

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Year Published: 2004

Ecological and political issues surrounding decommissioning of offshore oil facilities in the Southern California Bight

To aid legislators, resource managers, and the general public, this paper summarizes and clarifies some of the issues and options that the federal government and the state of California face in decommissioning offshore oil and gas production platforms, particularly as these relate to platform ecology. Both local marine ecology and political...

Schroeder, Donna M.; Love, Milton S.

Filter Total Items: 994
A small boat sits on calm waters with trees in the distance, and a cloudy sky.
March 14, 2018

Mokelumne River survey

Mokelumne River near confluence with the San Joaquin River in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, CA, looking downstream, with Cordell Johnson (USGS PCMSC) and Rachel Allen (USGS PCMSC) collecting data from the R/V Fast Eddy.

Approximate location of maximum subsidence in the U.S. Signs show approximate altitude of land surface in 1925, 1955, and 1977.
March 8, 2018

Location of maximum land subsidence in U.S. Levels at 1925 and 1977.

Land subsidence in California - Approximate location of maximum subsidence in the United States identified by research efforts of Dr. Joseph F. Poland (pictured). Signs on pole show approximate altitude of land surface in 1925, 1955, and 1977. The site is in the San Joaquin Valley southwest of Mendota, California.

This photo shows the approximate

...
Southern Sea Otters Floating in Morro Bay, CA
March 6, 2018

Southern Sea Otters Floating in Morro Bay, CA

Southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) float in Morro Bay, CA.

Adjustment of tension in infiltrometer to measure post-fire recovery.
March 1, 2018

Research Geologist Jonathan Perkins measuring post-fire infiltration

Research Geologist Jonathan Perkins adjusting tension in infiltrometer to evaluate post-fire recovery conditions in the Pepperwood Preserve, Santa Rosa, CA following the October 2017 Tubbs Fire to better understand how landscapes heal after wildfire. 

February 22, 2018

PubTalk 2/2018 — USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory

Title: The USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory - Research, monitoring, and the science of preparing society for low-probability, high-consequence events

  • Volcanoes in the Cascade Range erupt twice per century on average, with eruptions often lasting for years.
  • Although eruptions are generally not as high-consequence as large earthquakes, they are still
Attribution: Natural Hazards
Oil with a taffy-like consistency in a natural seep along a small creek, being poked with a stick to show its gooey nature.
February 19, 2018

Natural oil seep along Tarwater Creek, San Mateo County, California

The natural oil seep in this photo is located in Pescadero Creek County Park, where the Canyon Trail crosses Tarwater Creek. The oil is black, has a taffy-like consistency, and smells like motor oil.

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.
 

Filter Total Items: 938
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.

A group of people walk together, chatting, along a wide sidewalk elevated above a beach area in the background.
December 18, 2014

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, Acting USGS Director Suzette Kimball, and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee took part in a coastal climate change field trip led by USGS research geologist Patrick Barnard on December 18, 2014.

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.

USGS
October 14, 2014

The Downtown Association of Santa Cruz will host a 25th anniversary commemoration of the Loma Prieta Earthquake.