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: 406
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 debris flows in many others (Youberg et al. 2013). Watershed...

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 Walton Family Foundation (WFF) is supporting our research with partners, Borderlands Restoration (BR), ...

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.

Date published: December 7, 2017
Status: Active

The Mud Creek landslide on California’s Big Sur coast

On May 20, 2017, the steep slopes at Mud Creek on California’s Big Sur coast, about 140 miles south of San Francisco, suffered a catastrophic collapse. USGS Scientists from the Pacific Coastal and Marine and the Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Centers are monitoring this section of the coastline, in collaboration with the California Department of Transportation.

Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Ecology of Infectious Diseases

The public is most familiar with parasites' role in spreading infectious diseases to people and domestic animals. In tropical developing countries, malaria, schistosomiasis, and other infectious diseases cause significant human suffering. While most related studies focus on treating patients, Dr. Kevin Lafferty is studying how ecology of the local environment affects transmission of infectious...

Contacts: Kevin Lafferty
Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Desert Tortoise Ecology, Health, Habitat, and Conservation Biology

The desert tortoise is listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. USGS WERC scientists, along with project partners have been conducting long-term analyses on how changes in the southwestern deserts of the United States can affect desert tortoise populations. Dr. Todd Esque and his team are investigating how habitat disturbances and restoration projects influence tortoise...

Contacts: Todd Esque
Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Southwestern Desert Ecology of At-risk Species and their Habitats

The southwestern desert region is home to many sensitive species. Species are at-risk due to past, present, and future changes to the landscape. WERC’s Dr. Todd Esque, field researchers, and collaborators are using models, monitoring plans, and decision-support tools to provide land managers with the resources they need to answer questions about how environmental change influences plants,...

Contacts: Todd Esque
Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Ecological Stressors - Rocky Coastlines, Mangroves, Marshes, Droughts, and Storms

Coastal estuaries that contain marshes and mangroves are currently being reshaped by changing ocean and atmospheric conditions through prolong drought, sea-level rise and increased extreme storm events. Many projected increases in sea-level are expected to result in loss of tidal wetlands and their component species. In addition, changing sediment loads, extreme tide and storm events, and...

Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Supporting Informed Responses to Sea-Level Rise

To facilitate communication and outreach of sea level rise research results and implications, Dr. Karen Thorne and members of USGS WERC are hosting in-person workshops along the Pacific coast at different sites in Washington, Oregon, and California.

Filter Total Items: 520
Date published: May 13, 2018

Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) for Southern California, v3.0, Phase 2

The Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) makes detailed predictions (meter-scale) over large geographic scales (100s of kilometers) of storm-induced coastal flooding and erosion for both current and future sea-level rise (SLR) scenarios. CoSMoS v3.0 for Southern California shows projections for future climate scenarios (sea-level rise and storms) to provide emergency responders and...

Date published: May 3, 2018

Land Treatment Exploration Tool

The Land Treatment Exploration Tool is designed for resource managers to use when planning land treatments. The tool provides useful summaries of environmental characteristics of planned treatment areas and facilitates adaptive management practices by comparing those characteristics to other similar treatments within a specified distance or area of interest. ...

Date published: April 12, 2018

HayWired aftershock (M> 5) ShakeMaps

The maps in this archive display estimated intensities and ground motions for the earthquake scenarios - events on faults that have ruptured in the past or have a likelihood of rupturing in the future. These maps are typically used for emergency response exercises and planning as well as for understanding the potential consequences of future large earthquakes.

Attribution: Natural Hazards
Date published: April 12, 2018

The HayWired Scenario: An Urban Earthquake in a Connected World - A Geonarrative

What might it be like the next time the Hayward Fault has a large earthquake? A geonarrative and related imagery examines a hypothetical earthquake, the magnitude 7.0 HayWired earthquake scenario.”

Attribution: Natural Hazards
Date published: February 1, 2018

Electron microprobe data for monazite and xenotime used in consideration of gold deposit formation models

The genetic origin of many gold deposits, including Pogo in Alaska, remains controversial with questions as to whether they formed due to magmatic-hydrothermal or metamorphic-hydrothermal fluids. Gaining a better understanding of the formation mechanisms for these deposits is critical for defining proper exploration criteria in gold-bearing regions and production within these deposits. Monaz...

Date published: January 19, 2018

Oblique Aerial Photography Viewer

Obique photos offer a unique perspective of the coast. Features such as beach erosion or accretion, dune erosion and overwash can all be clearly characterized in this imagery. It also documents coastal infrastructure, as well as the damage that infrastructure may incur as the result of an impacting hurricane. 

Date published: January 18, 2018

Reanalysis of Selected Archived NURE-HSSR Sediment and Soil Samples from Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah

Beginning in November of 2015, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) undertook a project to reanalyze approximately 60,000 archived sample splits collected as part of the National Uranium Resource Evaluation (NURE) Hydrogeochemical and Stream Sediment Reconnaissance (HSSR) project from selected areas in Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. A s

Date published: January 1, 2018

CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System) Southern California v3.0 Phase 2 wave-hazard projections: 1-year storm in Channel Islands

Model-derived significant wave height (in meters) for the given storm condition and sea-level rise (SLR) scenario.
The Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) makes detailed predictions (meter-scale) over large geographic scales (100s of kilometers) of storm-induced coastal flooding and erosion for both current and future sea-level rise (SLR) scenarios. CoSMoS v3.0 for So

Date published: January 1, 2018

Geochemical and geophysical data for wells in the Fruitvale oil and gas field

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with the California State Water Resources Control Board compiled and analyzed data for the purpose of mapping groundwater salinity in selected oil and gas fields in California. The data for the Fruitvale and Rosedale Ranch oil fields include well construction data, digitized borehole geophysical data, geochemical analyses of water samples f

Date published: January 1, 2018

Magnetotelluric Data from the San Andreas Fault, Parkfield CA, 1990

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Geology, Geophysics and Geochemistry Science Center (GGGSC) collaborated with the USGS Data at Risk (DaR) team to preserve and release a subset of magnetotelluric data from the San Andreas Fault in Parkfield, California. The San Andreas Fault data were collected by the Branch of Geophysics, a precursor to the now GGGSC, between 1989 and 1994.

Date published: January 1, 2018

River Channel Survey Data, Redwood Creek, California, 1953-2013

Dr. Richard Janda of the USGS began a channel monitoring program in Redwood Creek in northern coastal California in 1973. The USGS continued this work through 2013, when the Research Geologist, Dr. Mary Madej retired. This effort produced 40 years of channel change data in rivers that were disrupted by severe erosion following timber harvest of old-growth redwood forests, a portion of the p...

Filter Total Items: 360
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Year Published: 2000

A seismic landslide susceptibility rating of geologic units based on analysis of characterstics of landslides triggered by the 17 January, 1994 Northridge, California earthquake

One of the most significant effects of the 17 January, 1994 Northridge, California earthquake (M=6.7) was the triggering of thousands of landslides over a broad area. Some of these landslides damaged and destroyed homes and other structures, blocked roads, disrupted pipelines, and caused other serious damage. Analysis of the distribution and...

Parise, M.; Jibson, Randall W.

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Year Published: 1999

Maps Showing Locations of Damaging Landslides Caused by El Nino Rainstorms, Winter Season 1997-98, San Francisco Bay Region, California

Heavy rainfall associated with a strong El Nino caused over $150 million in landslide damage in the 10-county San Francisco Bay region during the winter and spring of 1998. Reports of landsliding began in early January 1998 and continued throughout the winter and spring. On February 9, President Clinton declared all 10 counties eligible for...

Godt, Jonathan W.
Maps Showing Locations of Damaging Landslides Caused by El Nino Rainstorms, Winter Season 1997-98, San Francisco Bay Region, California; 1999; MF; 2325; Godt, Jonathan W.

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Year Published: 1999

Map showing locations of damaging landslides in Alameda County, California, resulting from 1997-98 El Nino rainstorms

Heavy rainfall associated with a strong El Nino caused over $150 million in landslide damage in the 10-county San Francisco Bay region during the winter and spring of 1998. A team of USGS scientists collected information on landslide locations and damage costs. In Alameda County more than $20 million in damages were assessed. Debris flows occurred...

Coe, J.A.; Godt, J.W.; Brian, Dianne; Houdre, Nicolas
Map showing locations of damaging landslides in Alameda County, California, resulting from 1997-98 El Nino rainstorms; 1999; MF; 2325-B; Coe, J. A.; Godt, J. W.; Brian, Dianne; Houdre, Nicolas

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Year Published: 1999

Map showing locations of damaging landslides in Contra Costa County, California, resulting from 1997-98 El Nino rainstorms

Heavy rainfall associated with a strong El Nino caused over $150 million in landslide damage in the 10-county San Francisco Bay region during the winter and spring of 1998. A team of USGS scientists collected information on landslide locations and damage costs. About $27 million in damages were assessed in Contra Costa County.

Graymer, Russell W.; Godt, Jonathan W.
Map showing locations of damaging landslides in Contra Costa County, California, resulting from 1997-98 El Nino rainstorms; 1999; MF; 2325-E; Graymer, Russell W.; Godt, Jonathan W.

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Year Published: 1999

Map showing locations of damaging landslides in Marin County, California, resulting from 1997-98 El Nino rainstorms

Heavy rainfall associated with a strong El Nino caused over $150 million in landslide damage in the 10-county San Francisco Bay region during the winter and spring of 1998. A team of USGS scientists collected information on landslide locations and damage costs. About $2.5 million in damages were assessed in Marin County.

Morrissey, Meghan M.; Wieczorek, Gerald F.; Godt, Jonathan W.
Map showing locations of damaging landslides in Marin County, California, resulting from 1997-98 El Nino rainstorms; 1999; MF; 2325-C; Morrissey, Meghan M.; Wieczorek, Gerald F.; Godt, Jonathan W.

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Year Published: 1999

Map showing locations of damaging landslides in Napa County, California, resulting from 1997-98 El Nino rainstorms

Heavy rainfall associated with a strong El Nino caused over $150 million in landslide damage in the 10-county San Francisco Bay region during the winter and spring of 1998. A team of USGS scientists collected information on landslide locations and damage costs. Napa County was relatively unaffected in comparison to other counties in the region...

Godt, Jonathan W.; Savage, William Z.; Wilson, Raymond C.
Map showing locations of damaging landslides in Napa County, California, resulting from 1997-98 El Nino rainstorms; 1999; MF; 2325-A; Godt, Jonathan W.; Savage, William Z.; Wilson, Raymond C.

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Year Published: 1999

Map showing locations of damaging landslides in San Francisco City and County, California, resulting from 1997-98 El Nino rainstorms

Heavy rainfall associated with a strong El Nino caused over $150 million in landslide damage in the 10-county San Francisco Bay region during the winter and spring of 1998. A team of USGS scientists collected information on landslide locations and damage costs. About $4 million in damages were assessed in San Francisco City and County.

Hillhouse, John W.; Godt, Jonathan W.
Map showing locations of damaging landslides in San Francisco City and County, California, resulting from 1997-98 El Nino rainstorms; 1999; MF; 2325-G; Hillhouse, John W.; Godt, Jonathan W.

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Year Published: 1999

Map showing locations of damaging landslides in San Mateo County, California, resulting from 1997-98 El Nino rainstorms

Heavy rainfall associated with a strong El Nino caused over $150 million in landslide damage in the 10-county San Francisco Bay region during the winter and spring of 1998. A team of USGS scientists collected information on landslide locations and damage costs. About $55 million in damages were assessed in San Mateo County. The only fatality...

Jayko, Angela S.; De Mouthe, Jean; Lajoie, Kenneth R.; Ramsey, David W.; Godt, Jonathan W.
Map showing locations of damaging landslides in San Mateo County, California, resulting from 1997-98 El Nino rainstorms; 1999; MF; 2325-H; Jayko, Angela S.; De Mouthe, Jean; Lajoie, Kenneth R.; Ramsey, David W.; Godt, Jonathan W.

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Year Published: 1999

Map showing locations of damaging landslides in Santa Clara County, California, resulting from 1997-98 El Nino rainstorms

Heavy rainfall associated with a strong El Nino caused over $150 million in landslide damage in the 10-county San Francisco Bay region during the winter and spring of 1998. A team of USGS scientists collected information on landslide locations and damage costs. About $7.6 million in damages were assessed in Santa Clara County.

Ellis, William L.; Harp, Edwin L.; Arnal, Caroline H.; Godt, Jonathan W.
Map showing locations of damaging landslides in Santa Clara County, California, resulting from 1997-98 El Nino rainstorms; 1999; MF; 2325-J; Ellis, William L.; Harp, Edwin L.; Arnal, Caroline H.; Godt, Jonathan W.

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Year Published: 1999

Map showing locations of damaging landslides in Santa Cruz County, California, resulting from 1997-98 El Nino rainstorms

Heavy rainfall associated with a strong El Nino caused over $150 million in landslide damage in the 10-county San Francisco Bay region during the winter and spring of 1998. A team of USGS scientists collected information on landslide locations and damage costs. About $14.5 million in damages were assessed in Santa Cruz County.

Baum, Rex L.; Schuster, Robert L.; Godt, Jonathan W.
Map showing locations of damaging landslides in Santa Cruz County, California, resulting from 1997-98 El Nino rainstorms; 1999; MF; 2325-D; Baum, Rex L.; Schuster, Robert L.; Godt, Jonathan W.

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Year Published: 1999

Map showing locations of damaging landslides in Solano County, California, resulting from 1997-98 El Nino rainstorms

Heavy rainfall associated with a strong El Nino caused over $150 million in landslide damage in the 10-county San Francisco Bay region during the winter and spring of 1998. A team of USGS scientists collected information on landslide locations and damage costs. About $13.5 million in damages were assessed in Solano County.

Howell, David G.; Godt, Jonathan W.
Map showing locations of damaging landslides in Solano County, California, resulting from 1997-98 El Nino rainstorms; 1999; MF; 2325-I; Howell, David G.; Godt, Jonathan W.

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Year Published: 1999

Map showing locations of damaging landslides in Sonoma County, California, resulting from 1997-98 El Nino rainstorms

Heavy rainfall associated with a strong El Nino caused over $150 million in landslide damage in the 10-county San Francisco Bay region during the winter and spring of 1998. A team of USGS scientists collected information on landslide locations and damage costs. About $21 million in damages were assessed in Sonoma County.

Ramsey, David W.; Godt, Jonathan W.
Map showing locations of damaging landslides in Sonoma County, California, resulting from 1997-98 El Nino rainstorms; 1999; MF; 2325-F; Ramsey, David W.; Godt, Jonathan W.

Filter Total Items: 1,043
Photo of a laboratory with various equipment and tables to work on.
December 31, 2017

PCMSC Marine Minerals Laboratory

A look into the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center’s Marine Minerals Laboratory Suite.

USGS
December 31, 2017

California myotis (Myotis californicus) Call

Bats produce a variety of vocalizations that are used for navigation, feeding, and social communication. Most vocalizations are pitched well above the range of human hearing and are referred to as ultrasonic. These calls are often known as echolocation calls since bats use the echoes produced when a sound bounces off a bug or a building to determine what is in the area. 

Photo of a laboratory with various equipment and tables to work on.
December 31, 2017

PCMSC Marine Minerals Laboratory

A look into the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center’s Marine Minerals Laboratory Suite.

USGS
December 31, 2017

Hoary Bat (Lasiurus cinereus) Echo Call

Bats produce a variety of vocalizations that are used for navigation, feeding, and social communication. Most vocalizations are pitched well above the range of human hearing and are referred to as ultrasonic. These calls are often known as echolocation calls since bats use the echoes produced when a sound bounces off a bug or a building to determine what is in the area. 

USGS
December 31, 2017

Hoary Bat (Lasiurus cinereus) Social Call

Bats produce a variety of vocalizations that are used for navigation, feeding, and social communication. Most vocalizations are pitched well above the range of human hearing and are referred to as ultrasonic. These calls are often known as echolocation calls since bats use the echoes produced when a sound bounces off a bug or a building to determine what is in the area. 

USGS
December 31, 2017

Yuma myotis (Myotis yumanensis) Call

Bats produce a variety of vocalizations that are used for navigation, feeding, and social communication. Most vocalizations are pitched well above the range of human hearing and are referred to as ultrasonic. These calls are often known as echolocation calls since bats use the echoes produced when a sound bounces off a bug or a building to determine what is in the area. 

Pollen samples from various plants collected from hedgerows
December 31, 2017

Pollen samples from various plants collected from hedgerows

Organic Chemistry Research Laboratory -- Sacramento, California. Small sample bottles with pollen inside

3 close-up views of the toe of the Mud Creek landslide created from air photos after the landslide
December 31, 2017

3 close-up views of the toe of the Mud Creek landslide

Close-up views of the toe of the Mud Creek landslide created from air photos taken May 27 (top), June 13 (middle), and June 26 (bottom). Caltrans built roads on top of the slide for assessment and monitoring activities.

Topographic-change image produced by comparing 3D map derived from May 27 air photos with that derived from June 13 air photos
December 31, 2017

Topographic-change image produced by comparing subsequent 3D maps

Topographic-change image produced by comparing 3D map derived from May 27 air photos with that derived from June 13 air photos. Note that material has eroded from the seaward edge of the toe (yellow and orange tones), and material has built up on beaches to either side of the slide (blue tones).

Pilot Bob Van Wagenen and the Cessna 182R he flies when taking air photos for the USGS Remote Sensing Coastal Change Project
December 31, 2017

The pilot and plane used to take air photos for the USGS

Pilot Bob Van Wagenen and the Cessna 182R he flies when taking air photos for the USGS Remote Sensing Coastal Change Project.

Medicine Lake, California simplified hazards map showing potential ...
December 31, 2017

Medicine Lake, CA simplified hazards map

Medicine Lake, California simplified hazards map showing potential impact area for ground-based hazards during a volcanic event.

erry Hatcher with the system he designed to record the precise time and geographic location of each air photo Van Wagenen shoots
December 31, 2017

Scientist with the system he designed to record precise photo data

Gerry Hatcher with the system he designed to record the precise time and geographic location of each air photo Van Wagenen shoots.

Filter Total Items: 942
Overview of Klamath Mountains groundwater quality with pie charts showing concentrations of organic and inorganic constituents i
September 5, 2014

Naturally occurring trace elements were detected at high concentrations in less than 3 percent of raw groundwater sources used for public water supply in the Klamath Mountain area, according to the ongoing U.S. Geological Survey study of California groundwater quality.

USGS
September 3, 2014

Members of the news media are invited to attend a scientific briefing at the U.S. Geological Survey to summarize what has been learned about and from the August 24 magnitude 6 South Napa Earthquake

collage of scientists conducting science related to each mission are
August 25, 2014

Yesterday at 3:20 AM local time, the northern San Francisco Bay Area was struck by the largest earthquake to impact the Bay Area since the 1989 M6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake.

Thumbnail of report cover for water withdrawal by category in california
August 20, 2014

About 38 billion gallons per day (42,000,000 acre-feet per year) of water were withdrawn from groundwater and surface-water sources in California in 2010, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey dataset.

Map showing outline of Cuyama Valley groundwater basin and sub-basins.
August 14, 2014

Groundwater is the sole source for agricultural, domestic and municipal water use in California’s Cuyama Valley, located primarily in Santa Barbara County.

Volcanic-gas "sniffer" installed at Mammoth Mountain, California me...
August 12, 2014

In July 2014, USGS Scientists Peter Kelly (Cascades Volcano Observatory) and Stuart Wilkinson (California Volcano Observatory) installed an automated volcanic-gas monitoring station on Mammoth Mountain, located on the SW rim of Long Valley Caldera (CA).

Public lecture flyer for The Ecological Value of Coastal Fog
July 29, 2014

Fog is more than just nature’s air conditioning keeping Bay Area residents cool while others in California bake in the summer’s heat; it is also extremely valuable for the local economy for everything from wine production to tourism.

CalVO geologist Mae Marcaida examines thin layers of volcanic ash s...
July 3, 2014

CalVO geologist Mae Marcaida examines thin layers of volcanic ash sandwiched between thick beds of sediment deposited by ancestral Mono Lake in eastern California.

Mammoth Lakes Basin including the treekill area next to Horseshoe L...
June 27, 2014

A swarm of small earthquakes (magnitudes less than 2) occurred at a depth of 6-7 km (about 4 miles) beneath Highway 203 in Mammoth Lakes, California midway between the water treatment plant and the Highway 395-203 junction, June 27, 2014.

June 2014 flyer
June 24, 2014

June is recognized as National Oceans Month in the United States. Join USGS Oceanographer Dr. Nancy Prouty to hear about scientific studies of deep-sea corals that show how these long-living creatures provide our oceans with a healthy ecosystem.

USGS science for a changing world logo
June 10, 2014

While most of the Coachella Valley was relatively stable, land surfaces declined about nine inches to two feet in some areas of Palm Desert, Indian Wells, and La Quinta, between 1995 and 2010.

USGS science for a changing world logo
June 10, 2014

While most of the Coachella Valley was relatively stable, land surfaces declined about nine inches to two feet in some areas of Palm Desert, Indian Wells, and La Quinta, between 1995 and 2010.