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: April 13, 2016

Geologic Hazards and Catastrophic Events

We study the distribution and hazard potential of coastal and submarine events such as earthquakes and submarine landslides and associated tsunami potential, hurricane induced coastal inundation, extreme storms, sea-level rise and oil and gas spills. We also model development to help evaluate and forecast coastal hazard probability and occurrence.

Date published: April 13, 2016

Ocean Resources for America's Needs

Our scientists conduct research studies focused on geologic mapping, sampling and understanding of mineral and energy resources and studies of the geologic setting and processes to inform renewable energy development offshore.

Date published: April 12, 2016
Status: Active

USGS Library

The USGS Library, managed by CSAS&L, supports all fundamental scientific research conducted within USGS. It serves both internal and external customers with comprehensive access to literature, data, and information necessary understand USGS mission areas and make critical decisions about how to proceed with research initiatives and investigations in the earth and natural sciences.

Date published: March 17, 2016

Volcano Hazards Assessments Help Mitigate Disasters

The Volcano Hazards Program develops long-range volcano hazards assessments. These includes a summary of the specific hazards, their impact areas, and a map showing ground-hazard zones. The assessments are also critical for planning long-term land-use and effective emergency-response measures, especially when a volcano begins to show signs of unrest.

Date published: March 9, 2016
Status: Active

California Water Science Center

The Center's mission is to collect and analyze hydrologic data needed to manage water resources for the State of California. The CAWSC operates local and statewide networks to collect high-quality data that define natural and human hydrologic changes; analyzes hydrologic processes; maintains data bases; and publishes peer-reviewed reports to create unbiased hydrologic information.

Attribution:
Date published: March 9, 2016
Status: Active

Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics (GMEG) Science Center

Scientists at the GMEG Science Center work on issues related to geologic processes and mineral and energy resource potential, primarily in the western United States. The science staff includes geologists, geophysicists, geochemists, biologists, geospatial information specialists, and remote sensing specialists who are located in offices in several western states.

Attribution:
Date published: March 9, 2016

Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center

We work with others to provide scientific understanding and technologies needed to support and implement sound management and conservation of our Nation's biological resources in Hawaii and other Pacific island locations.

Date published: March 9, 2016

Pacific Islands Water Science Center

This center is one of 48 Water Science Centers in the USGS, and its mission is to collect, analyze and disseminate the impartial hydrologic data and information needed to wisely manage water resources for the people of the United States, the State of Hawaii, and other Pacific Islands.

Date published: March 9, 2016

Salton Sea Science Office

USGS Salton Sea Science Office works closely with Federal, State, local, nongovernmental, and tribal partners, providing information for management actions. This USGS office has a unique charter to serve as an independent liaison between resource managers and the scientific community. In that capacity the the office provides scientific information and evaluations to decision makers who are...

Date published: March 9, 2016
Status: Active

Western Geographic Science Center (WGSC)

WGSC scientists conduct geographic research on the environmental and societal consequences of a changing landscape. We develop tools and models to help decision makers better understand complex scientific information so that alternative options/scenarios can be assessed.

Attribution:
Date published: March 9, 2016
Status: Active

Western Ecological Research Center

The Pacific Region contains a dazzling array of habitats from below-sea-level deserts to alpine tundra to coastal mountains, seashores, and marine ecosystems. The Western Ecological Research Center reflects the qualities of this region with equally diverse expertise. Our scientists are trained in research, monitoring, and technology development to basic biology and modeling.

Attribution:
Date published: March 3, 2016

"Get your science used--Six guidelines to improve your products"

This USGS Circular addresses the challenges natural scientists face when communicating their science to people outside their fields and, based on the expertise of social scientists and other risk communicators, provides guidelines to those seeking to improve their products.

Filter Total Items: 500
Date published: January 1, 2017

CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System) Southern California v3.0 Phase 2 ocean-currents projections: average conditions in Ventura County

Model-derived ocean current velocities (in meters per second) 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

Date published: January 1, 2017

Sediment size distributions from San Pablo Bay and China Camp Marsh, California

As part of the hydrodynamic and sediment transport investigations in San Pablo Bay and China Camp Marsh, California, particle size distributions of bed sediments were measured at most instrumented stations and are presented in a comma-delimited values spreadsheet. This portion of the data release presents San Pablo Bay and China Camp Marsh sediment particle size distributions from samples col...

Date published: January 1, 2017

CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System) Southern California v3.0 Phase 2 flood-hazard depth and duration projections: 20-year storm in Orange County

Maximum depth of flooding surface (in cm) in the region landward of the present day shoreline that is inundated for the storm condition and sea-level rise (SLR) scenario indicated. Note: Duration datasets may have occasional gaps in open-coast sections.
The Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) makes detailed predictions (meter-scale) over large geographic scales (100s of k

Date published: January 1, 2017

Water pressure/depth, velocity, and turbidity time-series data from SPD15 Bay shallows stations in San Pablo Bay and China Camp Marsh, California

Files contain hydrodynamic and sediment transport data for the location and deployment indicated. Time-series data of water depth, velocity, turbidity, and temperature were collected in San Pablo Bay and China Camp Marsh as part of the San Francisco Bay Marsh Sediment Experiments. Several instruments were deployed in tidal creek, marsh, mudflat, and Bay locations, gathering data on

Date published: January 1, 2017

Bathymetry hillshade--Offshore of Point Conception Map Area, California

This part of DS 781 presents data for bathymetry for several seafloor maps of the Offshore of Point Conception Map Area, California. The vector data file is included in "Bathymetry_OffshorePointConception.zip," which is accessible from https://doi.org/10.5066/F7QN64XQ. These data accompany the pamphlet and map sheets of Johnson, S.Y., Dartnell, P...

Date published: January 1, 2017

Faults--Offshore of Gaviota Map Area, California

This part of DS 781 presents fault data for the geologic and geomorphic map of the Offshore of Gaviota map area, California. The vector data file is included in "Faults_OffshoreGaviota.zip," which is accessible from https://doi.org/10.5066/F7TH8JWJ. These data accompany the pamphlet and map sheets of Johnson, S.Y., Dartnell, P., Cochrane, G.R.,...

Date published: January 1, 2017

CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System) Southern California v3.0 Phase 2 ocean-currents projections: 100-year storm in Ventura County

Model-derived ocean current velocities (in meters per second) 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

Date published: January 1, 2017

Water pressure/depth, velocity, and turbidity time-series data from SPC14 Bay shallows stations in San Pablo Bay and China Camp Marsh, California

Files contain hydrodynamic and sediment transport data for the location and deployment indicated. Time-series data of water depth, velocity, turbidity, and temperature were collected in San Pablo Bay and China Camp Marsh as part of the San Francisco Bay Marsh Sediment Experiments. Several instruments were deployed in tidal creek, marsh, mudflat, and Bay locations, gathering data on

Date published: January 1, 2017

Seafloor character--Offshore of Point Conception Map Area, California

This part of DS 781 presents data for the Seafloor character map of the Offshore of Point Conception Map Area, California. The vector data file is included in "SeafloorCharacter_OffshorePointConception.zip," which is accessible from https://doi.org/10.5066/F7QN64XQ. These data accompany the pamphlet and map sheets of Johnson, S.Y., Dartnell, P.,...

Date published: January 1, 2017

Seasonal vegetation characteristics in a Spartina foliosa- and Salicornia pacifica-dominated salt marsh at China Camp State Park

As part of the San Francisco Bay Marsh Sediment Experiments and hydrodynamic investigations in San Pablo Bay and China Camp Marsh, California, vegetation sampling measurements were taken over several periods at numerous locations. This portion of the data release presents physical characteristics and percent cover data from vegetation plots sampled in China Camp State Park salt marsh (north...

Date published: January 1, 2017

Contour--Offshore of Gaviota Map Area, California

This part of DS 781 presents data for bathymetric contours for several seafloor maps of the Offshore of Gaviota Map Area, California. The vector data file is included in "Contours_OffshoreGaviota.zip," which is accessible from https://doi.org/10.5066/F7TH8JWJ. These data accompany the pamphlet and map sheets of Johnson, S.Y., Dartnell, P.,...

Date published: January 1, 2017

CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System) Southern California v3.0 Phase 2 flood-hazard projections: average conditions in Ventura County

Geographic extent of projected coastal flooding, low-lying vulnerable areas, and maxium/minimum flood potential (flood uncertainty) associated with the sea-level rise and storm condition indicated.
The Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) makes detailed predictions (meter-scale) over large geographic scales (100s of kilometers) of storm-induced coastal flooding and erosi

Filter Total Items: 349
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Year Published: 1984

A method for estimating ground-water return flow to the Colorado River in the Palo Verde-Cibola area, California and Arizona

Owen-Joyce, Sandra J.
A method for estimating ground-water return flow to the Colorado River in the Palo Verde-Cibola area, California and Arizona; 1984; WRI; 84-4236; Owen-Joyce, Sandra J.

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Year Published: 1984

A method for estimating ground-water return flow to the Colorado River in the Parker area, Arizona and California

Leake, S.A.
A method for estimating ground-water return flow to the Colorado River in the Parker area, Arizona and California; 1984; WRI; 84-4229; Leake, S. A.

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Year Published: 1984

Hydrochemical data for the Truckee River drainage system, California and Nevada

Benson, Larry V.
Hydrochemical data for the Truckee River drainage system, California and Nevada; 1984; OFR; 84-440; Benson, Larry V.

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Year Published: 1983

A hydrochemical reconnaissance study of the Walker River basin, California and Nevada

During 1975 and 1976, a large number of water and sediment samples were collected from the Walker River Basin. Additional surface water samples were collected during 1980 and 1981. Data are given herein for chemical analyses of snowmelt, tributary, river, spring, well, lake, reservoir, lake sediment pore fluid, tufa, lake and river sediment...

Benson, L.V.; Spencer, R.J.
A hydrochemical reconnaissance study of the Walker River basin, California and Nevada; 1983; OFR; 83-740; Benson, L. V.; Spencer, R. J.

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Year Published: 1983

A method for estimating ground-water return flow to the lower Colorado River in the Yuma area, Arizona and California

Loeltz, Omar J.; Leake, S.A.
A method for estimating ground-water return flow to the lower Colorado River in the Yuma area, Arizona and California; 1983; WRI; 83-4220; Loeltz, O. J.; Leake, S. A.

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Year Published: 1983

A method for estimating ground-water return flow to the lower Colorado River in the Yuma area, Arizona and California; executive summary

Loeltz, Omar J.; Leake, S.A.
A method for estimating ground-water return flow to the lower Colorado River in the Yuma area, Arizona and California; executive summary; 1983; WRI; 83-4221; Loeltz, O. J.; Leake, S. A.

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Year Published: 1978

Historic Ground Failures in Northern California Triggered by Earthquakes

A major source of earthquake-related damage and casualties in northern California has been ground failures generated by the seismic shaking, including landslides, lateral spreads, ground settlement, and surface cracks. The historical record shows that, except for offshore shocks, the geographic area affected and the quantity and general severity...

Youd, T. Leslie; Hoose, Seena N.
Historic Ground Failures in Northern California Triggered by Earthquakes; 1978; PP; 993; Youd, T. Leslie; Hoose, Seena N.

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Year Published: 1977

Combined Ice and Water Balances of Maclure Glacier, California, South Cascade Glacier, Washington, and Wolverine and Gulkana Glaciers, Alaska, 1967 Hydrologic Year

Combined ice and water balances were measured in the 1967 hydrologic year (October 1-September 30) on four glaciers in western North America ranging in latitude from 37 deg to 63 deg N. This hydrologic year was characterized by heavier than normal winter precipitation in California and Washington and abnormally dry winter conditions in coastal...

Tangborn, Wendell V.; Mayo, Lawrence R.; Scully, David R.; Krimmel, Robert M.
Combined Ice and Water Balances of Maclure Glacier, California, South Cascade Glacier, Washington, and Wolverine and Gulkana Glaciers, Alaska, 1967 Hydrologic Year; 1977; PP; 715-B; Tangborn, Wendell V.; Mayo, Lawrence R.; Scully, David R.; Krimmel, Robert M.

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Year Published: 1975

Geohydrologic Reconnaissance of the Imperial Valley, California

Loeltz, Omar J.; Irelan, Burdge; Robison, J.H.; Olmsted, F.H.
Geohydrologic Reconnaissance of the Imperial Valley, California; 1975; PP; 486-K; USGS NUMBERED SERIES; Water Resources of Lower Colorado River-Salton Sea Area; Loeltz, O. J.; Irelan, Burdge; Robison, J. H.; Olmsted, F. H.

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Year Published: 1973

Geohydrology of the Needles area, Arizona, California, and Nevada

Metzger, D.G.; Loeltz, Omar J.
Geohydrology of the Needles area, Arizona, California, and Nevada; 1973; PP; 486-J; USGS NUMBERED SERIES; Water resources of Lower Colorado River-Salton Sea area; Metzger, D. G.; Loeltz, O. J.

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Year Published: 1973

Geohydrology of the Parker-Blythe-Cibola area, Arizona and California

Metzger, D.G.; Loeltz, Omar J.; Irelan, Burdge
Geohydrology of the Parker-Blythe-Cibola area, Arizona and California; 1973; PP; 486-G; USGS NUMBERED SERIES; Water resources of Lower Colorado River-Salton Sea area; Metzger, D. G.; Loeltz, O. J.; Irelan, Burdge

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Year Published: 1973

Geohydrology of the Yuma area, Arizona and California

Olmsted, F.H.; Loeltz, Omar J.; Irelan, Burdge
Geohydrology of the Yuma area, Arizona and California; 1973; PP; 486-H; USGS NUMBERED SERIES; Water resources of Lower Colorado River-Salton Sea area; Olmsted, F. H.; Loeltz, O. J.; Irelan, Burdge

Filter Total Items: 1,214
Drone’s-eye views of the toe of the Mud Creek landslide, from videos shot by Shawn Harrison on July 12, 2017
July 12, 2017

Drone’s-eye views of the toe of the Mud Creek landslide

Drone’s-eye views of the toe of the Mud Creek landslide, from videos shot by Shawn Harrison on July 12, 2017

Photograph of California coastal Highway 1 looking north toward Big Sur.
July 12, 2017

Big Sur Coast

Near San Simeon, view looks north up Highway 1 along the California coast toward Big Sur.

Photo of child and USGS employee studying an egg.
July 11, 2017

Child Looking at Egg

Taken 7/11/2017 in Suisun City. The California Waterfowl Association hosts a "Youth Hunter Camp" for children at the Grizzly Ranch in Suisun City, CA. Here, a USGS employee and a child look through a tube at an egg to observe its contents.

Preliminary seafloor bathymetry (in rainbow colors) collected by the USGS research vessel Parke Snavely on July 11, 2017
July 11, 2017

Preliminary seafloor bathymetry collected by the USGS on July 11, 2017

Preliminary seafloor bathymetry (in rainbow colors) collected by the USGS research vessel Parke Snavely on July 11, 2017. Relative depths shown in color, superimposed on a shaded-relief map from the June 26 USGS air-photo survey. Note white data gap next to the shore where water was too shallow for the Snavely to map. Shawn Harrison hopes

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Photo of USGS employee teaching children how to monitor vegetation density and height for waterfowl studies.
July 11, 2017

WERC Measuring Vegetation around Waterfowl Nests

Taken 7/11/2017 in Suisun City, CA. A USGS employee teaches children at the California Waterfowl Association's "Youth Hunter Camp" to measure the vegetation surrounding waterfowl nests.

Photo of USGS employee building a decoy waterfowl nest for outreach demonstration.
July 11, 2017

WERC Scientist Building Decoy Waterfowl Nest

Taken 7/11/2017 at Grizzly Ranch, Suisun City, CA. USGS biological science technician Breanne Cooney builds a decoy waterfowl nest for an outreach demonstration. 

USGS employee building a decoy waterfowl nest for outreach demonstration.
July 11, 2017

WERC Scientist Building Decoy Waterfowl Nest 2

Taken 7/11/2017 at Grizzly Ranch, Suisun City, CA. USGS biological science technician Breanne Cooney builds a decoy waterfowl nest for an outreach demonstration.

USGS employee showing kids how to measure vegetation around waterfowl nests.
July 11, 2017

Kids Learning to Measure Vegetation with WERC Scientist

Taken 7/11/2017 at Grizzly Ranch, Suisun City, CA. USGS biological science technician Breanne Cooney shows kids how to measure the vegetation surrounding waterfowl nests. Density and height of vegetation can influence the survival of waterfowl eggs and chicks and affect their risk of falling prey to ravens, skunks, and other predators.

Aerial photograph looking from an airplane down on the Big Sur Landslide in California.
July 7, 2017

Big Sur Landslide, July 7, 2017

USGS scientists continue to monitor the slide by collecting imagery every couple of weeks, weather permitting. Pilot Bob Van Wagenen, contracted through the Department of the Interior’s Office of Aviation Services, takes air photos for Jon Warrick’s Big Sur Landslide team, flying out of the Watsonville Municipal Airport in a Cessna 182R. He uses a camera-plus-GPS system

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USGS Scientist sampling soil gasses from a grassy hilltop on Santa Rosa Island, CA, with fog draping coast in background.
July 6, 2017

Sampling soil carbon dioxide on Santa Rosa Island

USGS Scientist sampling soil gasses from a grassy hilltop soil on Santa Rosa Island, Channel Islands National Park, California. The composition of soil gasses is indicative of the number and variety of microorganisms in the soil and what type of material they are digesting. Santa Rosa Island was heavily impacted by grazing animals and learning about soil microorganisms

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June 22, 2017

PubTalk 6/2017 — Effects of Climate Change: A Scientific Path Forward

Title: The Effects of Climate Change: A Scientific Pathway Forward

  • The frequency of extreme and unpredictable weather events is increasing.
  • What are the effects of an increase or decrease in carbon emissions?
  • What is scientific research projecting for the future of climate change?
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USGS
January 9, 2013

Inorganic elements - arsenic, boron, fluoride, and five other inorganic elements - were detected at high concentrations in 35 percent of untreated groundwater used for public water supply in the desert region of southern California. In contrast, human-made organic chemical constituents and nitrate were found at high concentrations in less than 1 percent of the desert region’s aquifers.

USGS
December 10, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Exciting discoveries are spurring research to uncover hidden secrets deep within South Pacific tropical forests.

USGS
November 30, 2012

USGS Science at AGU

SAN FRANCISCO — From over well over 500 abstracts by USGS presenters at this year’s American Geophysical Union conference, we’ve selected some of the newest, most exciting topics that USGS scientists will explore at AGU. Tips are presented in topic areas, chronologically with room numbers, session numbers and a summary.

USGS
November 28, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. —New insights into the differences between fire ecologies of the Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts in the southwestern United States are coming through the use of terrestrial Light Detection and Ranging, or lidar, technology. Studies by the U.S. Geological Survey show that while fire is detrimental to some areas of the desert, it is beneficial to others. 

USGS
November 23, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Holiday shoppers can pick up free gift wrap now from the U.S. Geological Survey and California Geological Survey’s Maps and Publications Sales Office at our new location on the Menlo Park campus.

USGS
November 9, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Mountain environments are cauldrons of climatic harshness, exhibiting sharp topographic, vegetative, and climatic gradients, providing scientists with a natural laboratory for studying pikas to use as a model for assessing species vulnerability to warming temperatures. 

USGS
October 22, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. — In early August, the Mars Science Laboratory rover known as "Curiosity" landed successfully to begin its 23 month mission of searching the Martian surface for evidence of environmental conditions capable of supporting microbial life.

USGS
October 19, 2012

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Experts in volcano hazards and public safety have started a conversation about volcanoes in the southwestern United States, and how best to prepare for future activity. Prior to this meeting, emergency response planning for volcanic unrest in the region had received little attention by federal or state agencies.

USGS
October 12, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. — U.S. Geological Survey volcanologists and geophysicists plan to conduct the first comprehensive, high-resolution airborne magnetic survey of the rock layers under Mono Basin and Long Valley, on the east side of the Sierra Nevada in Calif. next week.

Lassen Volcanic National Park, California. Northeast side of Lassen Peak, showing the area devastated by mudflows and a lateral
October 12, 2012

A hazards assessment for Lassen Volcanic Center, California, is now available for download from the USGS Publications Warehouse.

Screenshot Location of Long Valley caldera
October 12, 2012

In mid-October, U.S. Geological Survey volcanologists and geophysicists plan to conduct the first comprehensive, high-resolution airborne magnetic survey of the rock layers under Mono Basin and Long Valley, on the east side of the California Sierra Nevada mountains.

USGS
October 9, 2012

PORTLAND, Ore. — The United States Geological Survey, in cooperation with several Klamath Basin stakeholders, has developed hydrologic datasets for the upper Klamath Basin of south-central Oregon that can help water managers identify and prioritize water uses that could be voluntarily set aside and reallocated to yield an additional 30,000 acre feet of water to Upper Klamath Lake.