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: 376
Date published: February 21, 2017
Status: Active

Redwood Field Station

The Redwood Field Station is located in Arcata, CA. Click on the following tab to learn more.

Date published: February 21, 2017
Status: Active

Yosemite-Oakhurst Field Station

The Yosemite-Oakhurst Field Station is comprised of a main office located on the west side of the Sierra Nevada. 

Contacts: Matthew Brooks
Date published: February 7, 2017
Status: Completed

San Bernardino Optimal Basin Management

The San Bernardino area of southern California has complex water-management issues. As an aid to local water managers, this report provides an integrated analysis of the surface-water and ground-water systems, documents ground-water flow and constrained optimization models, and provides seven examples using the models to better understand and manage water resources of the area. As an aid to...

Contacts: Wesley Danskin
Date published: January 17, 2017

Ecological Drought in Riparian Ecosystems

Drought is killing riparian trees along many rivers in the western United States. The cause can be increasing temperature or decreasing precipitation, flow or water-table elevation. At multiple locations we are relating water availability to physiological measurements of tree survival and water stress, such as ring width, carbon stable isotope ratio and branch hydraulic conductivity. These...

Date published: December 29, 2016
Status: Completed

Injection, storage, and extraction of water, Roseville, California

The purpose of this study is evaluate how vertical variations in aquifer properties and well hydraulics may affect the injection, storage, and extraction of water and the transport of associated disinfection by-products in the Mehrten Formation underlying the City of Roseville.

Date published: December 29, 2016
Status: Completed

Whiskeytown Aquatic Inventory Assessment

The project focuses on the assessment of aquatic biology, habitat, and water quality conditions of the major WHIS watersheds

Date published: December 29, 2016
Status: Completed

Ground-Water Nitrate and Organic Carbon Inputs to the Lower San Joaquin River

This proposal addresses drinking water and aquatic habitat issues associated with nitrate and organic carbon in the lower San Joaquin River (SJR).

Date published: December 29, 2016
Status: Completed

Assessing system-wide riverine geomorphic change in support of science-based restoration on the mainstem Trinity River, northern California

Historic landuse, dam construction, water storage and flow diversion within the Trinity River watershed resulted in downstream geomorphic changes that simplified the river planform and lead to dramatic losses of salmonid habitat and significant population declines. The Trinity River Restoration Program (TRRP) requested the USGS complete an assessment of geomorphic change that could be used to...

Date published: December 9, 2016
Status: Active

RAMPS: Restoration Assessment & Monitoring Program for the Southwest

The Restoration Assessment and Monitoring Program for the Southwest (RAMPS) seeks to assist U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and other land management agencies in developing successful techniques for improving land condition in dryland ecosystems of the southwestern United States. Invasion by non-native species, wildfire, drought, and other disturbances are growing...

Date published: December 1, 2016
Status: Active

Riparian Ecology

Riparian ecologists in the AS Branch study interactions among flow, channel change, and vegetation along rivers across the western United States and worldwide. Our work focuses on issues relevant to the management of water and public lands, including dam operation, climate change, invasive species, and ecological restoration. Investigations take place on a range of scales. For example,...

Date published: November 3, 2016

California's Central Valley

Competition for water resources is growing throughout California, particularly in the Central Valley. Statewide population growth, anticipated reductions in Colorado River water deliveries, drought, and the ecological crisis in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta have created an intense demand for water. USGS Tools and information can be used to help manage the Central Valley aquifer system, an...

Attribution:
Date published: November 2, 2016

Western Drought Resilience Assessment

We collected streamflow, water temperature, and other data from more than 2,500 gaging stations on rivers and streams across California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington to document the severity of the 2015 drought. We are using the data collected to assess how warmer winter temperatures, reduced mountain snowpack, and a shift in precipitation from snow to rain may affect future...

Filter Total Items: 500
Date published: August 30, 2017

California spotted owl fledgling counts, climate, and landscape habitat at territories on the Lassen National Forest, CA 1991-2010

This is a comma separated values (CSV) file used to conduct the logistic quantile regression analyses in R provided by Cade et al. (2017). The data set consists of records of California spotted owl fledgling counts on 88 territories on the Lassen National Forest, CA from 1991-2010. Climatic condition data were obtained from PRISM and landscape habitat data were obtained from LANDFIRE.

Date published: August 4, 2017

San Diego Hydrogeology Data Map

Map of the San Diego Hydrogeology project study area with links to groundwater and surface water data for each of the monitoring sties. 

Date published: July 17, 2017

Multichannel sparker and minisparker seismic-reflection data of USGS field activity 2014-645-FA collected in the outer Santa Barbara Channel, California, between 2014-11-12 to 2014-11-25 (ver. 2.0, March 2020)

This data release contains 35 multichannel sparker and 24 multichannel minisparker seismic reflection (MCS) profiles that were collected in November of 2014 from the Catalina and Santa Cruz Basins offshore southern California by the U.S. Geological Survey Pacific and Coastal Marine Science Center. Data were collected aboard the University of California’s R/V Robert Gordon Sproul on

Date published: July 17, 2017

Chirp seismic-reflection data of USGS field activity 2014-645-FA collected in the outer Santa Barbara Channel, California, between 2014-11-12 to 2014-11-25 (ver. 2.0, March 2020)

This data release contains 43 chirp sub-bottom profiles that were collected in November of 2014 from the Catalina and Santa Cruz Basins offshore southern California by the U.S. Geological Survey Pacific and Coastal Marine Science Center. Data were collected aboard the University of California’s R/V Robert Gordon Sproul on USGS cruise 2014-645-FA. Chirp profiles were collected to assess

Date published: June 7, 2017

Bathymetry and acoustic backscatter data of the Sacramento River, from the Feather River to Knights Landing, California in February, 2011

On February 1, 2011, the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center team carried out a project using interferometric sidescan sonar to characterize the riverbed and channel banks of a 12 mile reach of the Sacramento River near the town of Knights Landing, California (River Mile 79 through River Mile 91). The project was developed in coordination with the US Army Corps of Engineers as part...

Date published: May 26, 2017

Data from Earthquake-Induced Landslide Hazards for a M7.0 Scenario Earthquake on the Hayward Fault

The seismic-landslide probability map covers the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, and Sonoma. The slope failures are triggered by a hypothetical earthquake with a moment magnitude of 7.0 occurring on April 18, 2018, at 4:18 p.m. on the Hayward Fault in the east bay part of California’s San Francisco Bay region.

Attribution: Natural Hazards
Date published: May 18, 2017

California Basin Characterization Model: A Dataset of Historical and Future Hydrologic Response to Climate Change

Input datasets for the the Basin Characterization Model, including precipitation, temperature, evapotranspiration, soil profile, climatic water deficit, runoff and recharge.

First release: 2014
Second release: 2017, (WY2011-WY2016 Update)

Date published: April 18, 2017

Liquefaction potential as a result of HayWired earthquake scenario mainshock (April 18, 2018) shaking in Alameda and Santa Clara Counties, San Francisco Bay area, California

These data are a geospatial representation of liquefaction potential for the HayWired earthquake scenario, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake occurring on the Hayward Fault on April 18, 2018, with an epicenter in the city of Oakland, CA. These data are the product of an analysis that created a detailed liquefaction probability map covering the northern Santa Clara County and western Alameda County...

Attribution: Natural Hazards
Date published: April 12, 2017

California Land-change Projections

This dataset consists of modeled projections of land use and land cover and population for the State of California for the period 1970-2101. For the 1970-2001 period, we used the USGS's LUCAS model to "backcast" LULC, beginning with the 2001 initial conditions and ending with 1970. For future projections, the model was initialized in 2001 and run forward on an annual time step to 2100.

Date published: April 12, 2017

Community exposure in California to coastal flooding hazards enhanced by climate change, reference year 2010

The data set contains information on potential population, economic, land cover, and infrastructure flooding exposure for San Francisco Bay and coastal communities of the state of California, USA. This data is viewable on HERA.

Date published: April 12, 2017

Summary of total mercury concentrations in dragonfly larvae, western mosquitofish, and tree swallow eggs collected from Cosumnes River Preserve 2011 – 2013

In order to document potential environmental health risk in Cosumnes River Preserve wetlands due to mercury, we analyzed dragonfly larvae, western mosquitofish, and tree swallow eggs collected from wetlands and rice fields of the Preserve from 2011 to 2013.

Date published: April 1, 2017

Digital map of hydrothermal alteration type, key mineral groups, and green vegetation of the northwestern United States derived from automated analysis of ASTER satellite data

Mineral groups identified through automated analysis of remote sensing data acquired by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) were used to generate a map showing the type and spatial distribution of hydrothermal alteration, other exposed mineral groups, and green vegetation across the northwestern conterminous United States. Boolean algebra was used to

Filter Total Items: 350
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Year Published: 1994

Chapter F. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Tectonic processes and models

If there is a single theme that unifies the diverse papers in this chapter, it is the attempt to understand the role of the Loma Prieta earthquake in the context of the earthquake 'machine' in northern California: as the latest event in a long history of shocks in the San Francisco Bay region, as an incremental contributor to the regional...

Simpson, Robert W.
Chapter F. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Tectonic Processes and Models; 1994; PP; 1550-F; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Earthquake Occurrence; Edited by Simpson, Robert W.

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Year Published: 1994

Irrigation water supply and demand data for 1976, 1980, and 1984 for the western San Joaquin Valley, California

This report presents the irrigation water supply and demand data for 1976, 1980, and 1984 for 32 water districts in the western San Joaquin Valley, California. Data are provided for each water district or each of the three years if the data were available. The complete data base is given by water district or each township, range, and section in...

Templin, W.E.; Haltom, T.C.
Irrigation water supply and demand data for 1976, 1980, and 1984 for the western San Joaquin Valley, California; 1994; OFR; 94-335; Templin, W. E.; Haltom, T. C.

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Year Published: 1994

Method to identify wells that yield water that will be replaced by Colorado River water in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah

Accounting for the use of Colorado River water is required by the U.S. Supreme Court decree, 1964, Arizona v. California. Water pumped from wells on the flood plain and from certain wells on alluvial slopes outside the flood plain is presumed to be river water and is accounted for as Colorado River water. A method was developed to identify wells...

Wilson, Richard P.; Owen-Joyce, Sandra J.
Method to identify wells that yield water that will be replaced by Colorado River water in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah; 1994; WRI; 94-4005; Wilson, Richard P.; Owen-Joyce, Sandra J.

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Year Published: 1993

Chapter C. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Preseismic observations

The October 17, 1989, Loma Prieta, Calif., Ms=7.1 earthquake provided the first opportunity in the history of fault monitoring in the United States to gather multidisciplinary preearthquake data in the near field of an M=7 earthquake. The data obtained include observations on seismicity, continuous strain, long-term ground displacement, magnetic...

Johnston, Malcolm J. S.
Chapter C. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Preseismic Observations; 1993; PP; 1550-C; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Earthquake Occurrence; Edited by Johnston, Malcolm J. S.

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Year Published: 1993

The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Earthquake occurrence

Professional Paper 1550 seeks to understand the M6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake itself. It examines how the fault that generated the earthquake ruptured, searches for and evaluates precursors that may have indicated an earthquake was coming, reviews forecasts of the earthquake, and describes the geology of the earthquake area and the crustal forces...

Coordinated by Bakun, William H.; Prescott, William H.
The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Earthquake Occurrence; 1993; PP; 1550; Coordinated by Bakun, William H.; Prescott, William H.

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Year Published: 1993

The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Societal response

Professional Paper 1553 describes how people and organizations responded to the earthquake and how the earthquake impacted people and society. The investigations evaluate the tools available to the research community to measure the nature, extent, and causes of damage and losses. They describe human behavior during and immediately after the...

Coordinated by Mileti, Dennis S.
The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Societal Response; 1993; PP; 1553; Coordinated by Mileti, Dennis S.

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Year Published: 1993

The Loma Prieta, California, earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Public response: Chapter B in The Loma Prieta, California, earthquake of October 17, 1989: Societal Response (Professional Paper 1553)

Major earthquakes provide seismologists and engineers an opportunity to examine the performance of the Earth and the man-made structures in response to the forces of the quake. So, too, do they provide social scientists an opportunity to delve into human responses evoked by the ground shaking and its physical consequences. The findings from such...

Bolton, Patricia A.
Chapter B. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Public Response; 1993; PP; 1553-B; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Societal Response; Edited by Bolton, Patricia A.

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Year Published: 1992

Accounting System for Water Use by Vegetation in the Lower Colorado River Valley

The Colorado River is the principal source of water in the valley of the Colorado River between Hoover Dam and the international boundary with Mexico (fig. 1). Agricultural, domestic, municipal, industrial, hydroelectric-power genera-tion, and recreation are the primary uses of river water in the valley. Most of the consumptive use of water from...

Owen-Joyce, Sandra J.
Accounting System for Water Use by Vegetation in the Lower Colorado River Valley; 1992; OFR; 92-83; Owen-Joyce, Sandra J.

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Year Published: 1992

Chapter F. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Marina district

During the earthquake, a total land area of about 4,300 km2 was shaken with seismic intensities that can cause significant damage to structures. The area of the Marina District of San Francisco is only 4.0 km2--less than 0.1 percent of the area most strongly affected by the earthquake--but its significance with respect to engineering, seismology,...

O'Rourke, Thomas D.
Chapter F. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Marina District; 1992; PP; 1551-F; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Strong Ground Motion and Ground Failure; Edited by O'Rourke, Thomas D.

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Year Published: 1992

The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Strong ground motion and ground failure

Professional Paper 1551 describes the effects at the land surface caused by the Loma Prieta earthquake. These effects: include the pattern and characteristics of strong ground shaking, liquefaction of both floodplain deposits along the Pajaro and Salinas Rivers in the Monterey Bay region and sandy artificial fills along the margins of San...

Coordinated by Holzer, Thomas L.
The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Strong Ground Motion and Ground Failure; 1992; PP; 1551; Coordinated by Holzer, Thomas L.

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Year Published: 1991

The Loma Prieta earthquake, ground motion, and damage in Oakland, Treasure Island, and San Francisco

The basis of this study is the acceleration, velocity, and displacement wave-forms of the Loma Prieta earthquake (18 October 1989; M = 7.0) at two rock sites in San Francisco, a rock site on Yerba Buena Island, an artificial-fill site on Treasure Island, and three sites in Oakland underlain by thick sections of poorly consolidated Pleistocene...

Hanks, Thomas C.; Brady, A. Gerald

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Year Published: 1990

Ascension-Monterey Canyon system: history and development

No abstract available.

Greene, H. Gary; Hicks, Karen R.
Ascension-Monterey Canyon system: history and development; 1990; Book chapter; Book; Geology and tectonics of the central California coastal region; Greene, H. Gary; Hicks, Karen R.

Filter Total Items: 1,214
View of a beach from up high on a roof with a pier, gentle waves, and an amusement park far off in the distance.
November 7, 2017

Santa Cruz Main Beach

Still-image from video camera atop the Dream Inn looks eastward over Main Beach and boardwalk in Santa Cruz, CA.

A series of images from various sources of shaded-relief topography show the progression of the Mud Creek landslide area.
November 6, 2017

Mud Creek Shaded-Relief Topography, 2010-2017

A series of images from various sources of shaded-relief topography show the progression of the Mud Creek landslide area, from 2010 through October 12, 2017.

Sources:

  1. lidar data from 2010
  2. lidar data from 2016
  3. structure-from-motion (SfM), March 8, 2017
  4. SfM, May 19, 2017
  5. SfM, May 27, 2017
  6. SfM, May 31, 2017
...
October 26, 2017

2017 Oct. Public Lecture — Global Trends in Mineral Commodity Supplies

  • The U.S. is increasingly reliant on supply of mineral raw materials from other countries.
  • Advanced technologies are increasingly making use of nearly the entire periodic table of the elements.
  • Dynamic studies of critical and strategic mineral supply and demand can identify emerging potential supply risks.
  • The USGS - National Minerals
October 19, 2017

Can Prescribed Fire Help Forests Survive Drought in the Sierra Nevadas

This webinar was conducted as part of the Climate Change Science and Management Webinar Series, held in partnership by the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center and the FWS National Conservation Training Center. 

Webinar Summary: Prescribed fire is commonly used by managers in the western U.S. to remove potential wildfire fuel, such as small trees

October 16, 2017

Image of the Week - Wildfires Devastate California Wine Country

Strong winds are quickly spreading wildfire across California's wine country, as seen in these two Landsat 8 images.

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 (

3D map of Mud Creek slide derived from video footage collected by drone on October 12, 2017.
October 12, 2017

Mud Creek – 3D Point Cloud – Oblique Perspective

Video shot from drones yields details about changing landslide on California’s Big Sur coast

On October 12, USGS drones collected video footage of the Mud Creek landslide, which buried California State Highway 1 under a third-of-a-mile-wide mass of rock and dirt on May 20. USGS scientists have been monitoring the slide by transforming photos shot

...
Satellite image that shows the fires in California wine country.
October 11, 2017

Wildfires Devastate California Wine Country

Residents had little warning when wildfires that ignited late Sunday night, October 8, 2017, were fanned by wind gusts of 50 miles per hour and blasted across California's wine country. More than 100,000 acres have burned as of October 11, with less than 6 percent of the fires contained.

September 28, 2017

2017 September Evening Public Lecture — What's in a species name?

Title: What's in a species Name?: How wildlife management relies on modern systematics research and museum collections
* What have museum collections taught us about invasive diseases?
* When is an endangered species not a species?
* How can birds in a museum help protect airline passengers?
* How do geology and biology govern what species we find on

Aerial imagery overlain by modeled evapotranspiration from a field
September 27, 2017

Aerial imagery overlain by modeled evapotranspiration from a field

Aerial imagery overlain by modeled evapotranspiration from a field. Image used as cover art for Scientific Investigations Report 2017-5087

 USGS scientist Carol Reiss holding a hydrothermal vent sample; hydrothermal vent poster in the background
September 12, 2017

USGS scientist Carol Reiss holding a hydrothermal vent sample

USGS scientist Carol Reiss holding a hydrothermal vent sample. The poster in the background is a scientific rendering by Véronique Robigou (then at University of Washington) of a hydrothermal vent deposit with the submersible Alvin drawn to scale. This structure stood 45 meters above the seafloor when it was discovered by University of Washington researchers using Alvin

...
Carol Reiss examining hydrothermal vent sample using hand lens
September 12, 2017

USGS geologist Carol Reiss examining hydrothermal vent sample

USGS geologist Carol Reiss examining hydrothermal vent sample using hand lens. Sulfide-silicate minerals precipitate from 330°C mineral laden water venting along volcanically active spreading ridges.

August 31, 2017

2017 August Evening Public Lecture — Roving on Mars

Roving on Mars: Curiosity's exploration of Gale Crater

* Overview of the Mars Science Laboratory Mission
* Highlights from 5 years of exploring sedimentary environments
* Preview of next steps in Curiosity's climb up Aeolis Mons

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USGS
September 12, 2013

California’s Sea Otter Numbers Continue Slow Climb

Tsunami Messaging Image
September 5, 2013

The fearsome aftermath of a tsunami striking California might cost at least $3.4 billion to repair, but neither of the state's nuclear power plants would be damaged, suggests a new analysis that could help officials and the public prepare for a tsunami and reduce risks before any such disasters happen.

USGS
September 4, 2013

While scientists can't predict when a great earthquake producing a pan-Pacific tsunami will occur, thanks to new tools being developed by federal and state officials, scientists can now offer more accurate insight into the likely impacts when tsunamis occur. This knowledge can lead officials and the public to reduce the risk of the future tsunamis that will impact California.

USGS
August 20, 2013

A new interagency report provides a plan for long-term scientific monitoring and assessment for California's Salton Sea. Monitoring of the Salton Sea ecosystem is critical for informed decision making and the success of restoration efforts. 

USGS
August 13, 2013

When California State University, East Bay demolishes its seismically unsafe Warren Hall on Aug. 17 on its Hayward campus, the landmark building's implosion will produce energy similar to a small earthquake that can be used to study and map the nearby Hayward Fault. 

USGS
August 9, 2013

Science and technology have peeled back a veil of water just offshore of California, revealing the hidden seafloor in unprecedented detail. New imagery, specialized undersea maps, and a wealth of data from along the California coast are now available.

USGS
July 26, 2013

A study on frogs in remote Sierra Nevada mountain habitats including Yosemite National Park and Giant Sequoia National Monument, detected concentrations of pesticides in frog tissue that potentially came from California's Central Valley sources. 

USGS
July 11, 2013

Initial findings will support a USGS hydrologic model to better understand area water-supply issues
 

Carbon dioxide gas detection instrument installed at Horseshoe Lake...
July 2, 2013

Since 1990, high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the soil have killed trees within about a 75-acre area adjacent to Horseshoe Lake on the south side of Mammoth Mountain.

USGS
June 27, 2013

When it comes to weekend activities, many people make the tough choice between recreation and spending their time volunteering.  But recently, The Nature Conservancy and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) gave a group of local anglers a chance to do both at once.  

Plots of earthquakes over time in Long Valley, CA. Top is number o...
June 18, 2013

In the late afternoon of 17 June 2013 a flurry of earthquakes started in the Long Valley Caldera east of the town of Mammoth Lakes, California (in an area known to geologists as the south moat).

USGS
May 28, 2013

North America's largest vulture, the California condor, once graced the skies of the Pacific Northwest from northern California to British Columbia and was deeply woven into the fabric of many Native American cultures. A new book by two federal scientists documents the condors history in the region, from prehistoric times to the early 20th century.