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: 389
Date published: February 21, 2017
Status: Active

Temecula Hydrogeology

This site provides hydrologic data collected or compiled by the USGS for the Temecula area; some additional data may be available from the USGS database National Water Information System (NWIS).

Contacts: Wesley Danskin
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:
Filter Total Items: 517
Date published: December 12, 2017

River-channel topography, grain size, and turbidity records from the Carmel River, California, before, during, and after removal of San Clemente Dam

The San Clemente Dam, built in the 1920s on the Carmel River in Monterey County, California, was removed during 2014 and 2015. The dam-removal project was the largest in California to date, and one of the largest in the U.S. The USGS collected data before, during, and after the removal of the dam to study how the river channel's topographic profiles and sediment distributions changed...

Date published: November 16, 2017

Multibeam bathymetry and acoustic-backscatter data collected in 2016 in Catalina Basin, southern California and merged multibeam bathymetry datasets of the northern portion of the Southern California Continental Borderland

In February 2016 the University of Washington in cooperation with USGS PCMSC collected multibeam bathymetry and acoustic-backscatter data in and near the Catalina Basin, southern California aboard the University of Washington's Research Vessel Thomas G. Thompson. Data was collected using a hull-mounted Kongsberg EM300 multibeam...

Date published: October 30, 2017

Hydrogen stable isotope data for: 'Mechanisms associated with an advance in the timing of seasonal reproduction in an urban songbird'

This dataset includes stable hydrogen isotope values of the nonexchangeable hydrogen contained in the outer most secondary feathers of dark-eyed juncos (Junco hyemalis thurberi) collected from the University of California San Diego campus in La Jolla, California in 2014.

Date published: September 1, 2017

National Water Information System web interface (NWISweb)

The National Water Information System (NWIS) web application provides access to real-time and historical surface-water, groundwater, water-quality, and water-use data collected at approximately 1.5 million sites across all 50 states.

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
Filter Total Items: 354
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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.

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Year Published: 1990

National water summary 1987: Hydrologic events and water supply and use

Water use in the United States, as measured by freshwater withdrawals in 1985, averaged 338,000 Mgal/d (million gallons per day), which is enough water to cover the 48 conterminous States to a depth of about 2.4 inches. Only 92,300 Mgal/d, or 27.3 percent of the water withdrawn, was consumptive use and thus lost to immediate further use; the...

Carr, Jerry E.; Chase, Edith B.; Paulson, Richard W.; Moody, David W.
Attribution: Water, Central Midwest Water Science Center, Dakota Water Science Center, , , Kansas Water Science Center, Minnesota Water Science Center, Pennsylvania Water Science Center, Texas Water Science Center, Utah Water Science Center, , Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, Upper Midwest Water Science Center, Water Resources, Water Availability and Use Science Program, , , Region 4: Mississippi Basin, Region 6: Arkansas-Rio Grande-Texas-Gulf, , Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin, Region 1: North Atlantic-Appalachian, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, United States of America
National water summary 1987: hydrologic events and water supply and use; 1990; WSP; 2350; Carr, Jerry E.; Chase, Edith B.; Paulson, Richard W.; Moody, David W.

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Year Published: 1990

A water-resources data-network evaluation for Monterey County, California; Phase 3, Northern Salinas River drainage basin

This report evaluates existing data collection networks and possible additional data collection to monitor quantity and quality of precipitation, surface water, and groundwater in the northern Salinas River drainage basin, California. Of the 34 precipitation stations identified, 20 were active and are concentrated in the northwestern part of the...

Templin, W.E.; Schluter, R.C.
A water-resources data-network evaluation for Monterey County, California; Phase 3, Northern Salinas River drainage basin; 1990; WRI; 89-4123; Templin, W. E.; Schluter, R. C.

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Year Published: 1990

Estimates of consumptive use and ground-water return flow and the effect of rising and sustained high river stage on the method of estimation in Cibola Valley, Arizona and California, 1983 and 1984

In Cibola Valley, Arizona, water is pumped from the Colorado River to irrigate crops and to maintain wildlife habitat. Unused water percolates to the water table and, as groundwater, moves downgradient into areas of phreatophytes, into a drainage ditch, out of the flood plain, and back to the river. In 1983 and 1984, groundwater return flow was...

Owen-Joyce, Sandra J.
Estimates of consumptive use and ground-water return flow and the effect of rising and sustained high river stage on the method of estimation in Cibola Valley, Arizona and California, 1983 and 1984; 1990; WRI; 89-4194; Owen-Joyce, Sandra J.

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Year Published: 1990

The San Andreas Fault System, California

Maps of northern and southern California printed on flyleaf inside front cover and on adjacent pages show faults that have had displacement within the past 2 million years. Those that have had displacement within historical time are shown in red. Bands of red tint emphasize zones of historical displacement; bands of orange tint emphasize major...

Wallace, Robert E.
The San Andreas Fault System, California; 1990; PP; 1515; Edited by Wallace, Robert E.

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Year Published: 1989

Observations in Monterey Canyon and Fan Valley using the submersible Alvin and a photographic sled

Eittreim, Stephen L.; Embley, R.W.; Normark, W.R.; Greene, H. Gary; McHugh, C.M.; Ryan, W.B.
Observations in Monterey Canyon and Fan Valley using the submersible Alvin and a photographic sled; 1989; OFR; 89-291; Eittreim, Stephen L.; Embley, R. W.; Normark, W. R.; Greene, H. G.; McHugh, C. M.; Ryan, W. B.

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Year Published: 1988

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

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

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

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Year Published: 1988

Landslides, Floods, and Marine Effects of the Storm of January 3-5, 1982, in the San Francisco Bay Region, California

A catastrophic rainstorm in central California on January 3-5,1982, dropped as much as half the mean annual precipitation within a period of about 32 hours, triggering landslides and floods throughout 10 counties in the vicinity of the San Francisco Bay. More than 18,000 of the slides induced by the storm transformed into debris flows that swept...

Ellen, Stephen D.; Wieczorek, Gerald F.
Landslides, Floods, and Marine Effects of the Storm of January 3-5, 1982, in the San Francisco Bay Region, California; 1988; PP; 1434; Edited by Ellen, Stephen D.; Wieczorek, Gerald F.

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Year Published: 1988

Preliminary paleolimnologic data for the Walker Lake subbasin, California and Nevada

Benson, Larry V.
Preliminary paleolimnologic data for the Walker Lake subbasin, California and Nevada; 1988; WRI; 87-4258; Benson, Larry V.

Filter Total Items: 974
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

 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

Aerial view of coastal bluffs, marine terrace with farmland, beach in distance with lagoon, highway runs along coast.
August 18, 2017

Scott Creek area of California coast

Aerial photograph looking north, Scott Creek Beach in distance, along the California coast near Davenport.

Photo of driftwood and sand dunes at Point Reyes National Seashore
August 7, 2017

Driftwood and Dunes - Point Reyes

Photo of driftwood, and invasive grasses and iceplant at Point Reyes National Seashore, CA. Such "dune drainages" make surprising habitat for a threatened species of amphibian: the California red-legged frog.

Photo of dead trees and forest at Point Reyes National Seashore
August 7, 2017

Trees at Point Reyes National Seashore

Dead trees like the ones featured in this photo still provide valuable habitat for wildlife, including birds.

View from sky of a river mouth where it meets the ocean but it's blocked by a natural sand levee; with a bridge over the river.
August 4, 2017

San Gregorio Beach and Creek

Flow from San Gregorio Creek in San Gregorio, California is often blocked by a natural sand levee when the flow is not strong enough to push through to the Pacific Ocean.

chart of vegetation change in the bird's foot delta
July 31, 2017

Changing vegetation in the Delta 2016-2017

Chart showing changes in vegetation density in the Mississippi River delta in Louisiana, May 2015-May 2016. From a USGS Open File Report published in July 2017 by co-authors Elijah Ramsey III and Amina Rangoonwala,

WERC researcher conducting elevation surveys in San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge
July 31, 2017

WERC Elevation surveys in San Pablo Bay NWR

WERC researcher conducting elevation surveys in San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge

WERC Coastal ecosystem
July 31, 2017

WERC Coastal Ecosystem Studies

Coastal ecosystem studies at Trinidad coast, California. 

Filter Total Items: 932
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.

USGS
May 23, 2013

Urban Seismic Studies to Begin in East San Francisco Bay Area — About 30 seismic sensors are seeking a place to hang out for up to three years in the greater Pleasanton/Dublin/San Ramon, Calif., area. 

USGS
April 3, 2013

New scientific findings published in Ecology reveal that interactions of climate, soils, shrubs, and a natural nitrogen fertilization process affect regrowth of forests following wildfire in southern Oregon and northern California. Managers can use this information to consider post-fire management practices, including fertilization and shrub-removal.

USGS
March 29, 2013

Barium and nitrate were detected at high concentrations in 5 percent of untreated groundwater used for public-water supply in the San Francisco Bay region, while human-made organic chemical constituents were found at high concentrations in less than 1 percent. 

USGS
March 25, 2013

Two years after the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan and caused millions of dollars in damage to California coastal communities, the state's Emergency Management Agency and the California Geological Survey continue to work with their local, state and federal partners to reduce the impacts of future tsunamis in California. 

USGS
March 13, 2013

Climate factors such as snowpack and precipitation are playing an increasingly important role in the abundance of American pikas in the Great Basin, according to a continuing ecological study by the U.S. Geological Survey, University of Montana and Montana State University.