Unified Interior Regions

California

The Southwest Region includes California, Nevada, and Arizona. The Regional Office, headquartered in Sacramento, provides Center oversight and support, facilitates internal and external collaborations, and works to further USGS strategic science directions.

States L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 393
Date published: May 14, 2008
Status: Completed

ShakeOut

The ShakeOut Scenario was located in southern California where earthquake risk is high compared to the rest of the country. This scenario is a hypothetical, but plausible 7.8 magnitude earthquake on the southern San Andreas Fault. This scenario was completed in May 2008. The ShakeOut Scenario is described in two publications: The Scenario (Jones and others) and The Narrative (Perry and others...

Date published: January 1, 2008
Status: Completed

Does Pleasure Point Need A Seawall?

Information about the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center's study of Pleasure Point in Santa Cruz, California, from 2005-2007.

Date published: January 1, 2005
Status: Completed

Should Englebright Dam Be Removed?

Information about the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center's study from 2001-2004, on Englebright Dam and the science behind its removal.

Date published: January 1, 2004
Status: Completed

Tsunami Hazards in the Santa Barbara Channel

Information about the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center's study of tsunami hazards in the Santa Barbara Channel from 1993-2003.

Contacts: Ray Sliter
Date published: January 1, 2004
Status: Completed

Big Sur Coastal Landslides

Information about USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center studies on coastal landslides in the Big Sur area

Date published: January 1, 2004
Status: Completed

Oceanography Beyond the Golden Gate

Information about the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center's oceanographic studies offshore of San Francisco Bay, from 1989-2003.

Date published: November 15, 2001
Status: Archived

SAGEMAP

A GIS Database for Sage-grouse and Shrubsteppe Management in the Intermountain West

Contacts: Steven E Hanser
Date published: October 1, 2001
Status: Completed

Water-Quality Sampling at Five Hydrologic Benchmark Stations in the Western United States

The Hydrologic Benchmark Network (HBN) was established in 1963 to provide  Swiftwater Creek, MT long-term measurements of streamflow and water quality in areas of the United States that are minimally affected by human activities. Historically, the HBN has used a fixed-interval sampling strategy, however other more robust sampling strategies are now available. Trend networks, for example, can...

Date published: January 1, 1999
Status: Completed

Mapping Shipping Hazards in San Francisco Bay

Information about the 1997-1998 study by USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, to map the floor of San Francisco Bay in order to reveal the bay's shipping hazards.

Contacts: Peter Dartnell
Filter Total Items: 519
Date published: January 1, 2017

CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System) Southern California v3.0 Phase 2 wave-hazard projections: 20-year storm in Santa Barbara County

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, 2017

Seafloor character--Offshore of Gaviota Map Area, California

This part of DS 781 presents data for the Seafloor character map of the Offshore of Gaviota map area, California. The vector data file is included in "SeafloorCharacter_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 wave-hazard projections: 1-year storm in Los Angeles County

Projected Hazard: Model-derived significant wave height (in meters) for the given storm condition and sea-level rise (SLR) scenario.
Model Summary: 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 %2

Date published: January 1, 2017

Water pressure/depth, velocity, and turbidity time-series data from CHC13 Tidal creek 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

Backscatter--Offshore of Point Conception Map Area, California

This part of DS 781 presents 2-m-resolution data for the acoustic-backscatter map of the Offshore of Point Conception Map Area, California. The GeoTiff is included in "Backscatter_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

CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System) Southern California v3.0 Phase 2 water-level projections: 100-year storm in Orange County

Model-derived total water levels (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 Souther

Date published: January 1, 2017

Water pressure/depth, velocity, and turbidity time-series data from CHC16 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

Gravity cores from San Pablo Bay and Carquinez Strait, San Francisco Bay, California

This data release contains information on gravity cores that were collected by the U.S. Geological Survey in the area of San Pablo Bay and Carquinez Strait, California in 1990, 1991, and 2000. Ten (10) pdf files describe gravity cores that were split, photographed, and imaged by X-rays, and another pdf file contains a core-log legend. In addition, a shapefile provides sample col

Date published: January 1, 2017

Water pressure/depth, velocity, and turbidity time-series data from SPA14 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

CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System) Southern California v3.0 Phase 2 flood-hazard depth and duration projections: 100-year storm in Ventura 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

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

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, 2017

CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System) Southern California v3.0 Phase 2 ocean-currents projections: 1-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

Filter Total Items: 1,005
View from a boat of a man snorkeling in a marshy waterway with thick vegetation along the edge of and in the water.
April 5, 2017

Brazilian waterweed

Tips of Brazilian waterweed (Egeria densa) break the surface at low tide in Lindsey Slough in the northern Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. More commonly, this invasive plant is completely submerged.

March 31, 2017

Establishing Forster's Tern Nesting Colonies

Scientists from the USGS Western Ecological Research Center (WERC) are conducting a "social attraction" study for seabirds in the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Historically, this region offered wetland habitats to local wildlife. With the introduction of industrial salt ponds and human development, however, much of this habitat was lost. Now,

California Wildflower Superbloom, Spring 2017, Landsat 8
March 28, 2017

California Wildflower Superbloom, Spring 2017, Landsat 8

After 5 years of drought, California finally got relief during the winter of 2016–2017 with much needed precipitation. One result of this additional moisture was a springtime abundance of wildflowers in 2017. This Landsat 8 image shows a large area of wildflower "superbloom" just north of Los Padres National Forest in southern California.

 

Satellite image showing wildflower blooming in California.
March 28, 2017

The Wildflower Superbloom in California from Landsat’s Perspective

After 5 years of drought, California finally got relief during the winter of 2016–2017 with much needed precipitation. One result of this additional moisture was a springtime abundance of wildflowers.

There were many places to see this wildflower “superbloom” in southern California. This pair of images from Landsat

...
Men stand on a boat wearing safety gear and they are recovering damaged instrumentation from the water using cables and ropes.
March 21, 2017

Recovering instrument package from Monterey Canyon

On March 21, 2017, the sediment trap from this instrument package (deployed the previous October into Monterey Canyon) is gone and the mounting frame is mangled, having been exposed to several significant turbidity currents in one deployment. 

A woman wearing a lab coat pushes a cart with a tube of sediment through a large metal door.
March 16, 2017

Refrigerated sample storage

We take most cores and samples straight from the loading dock into a large walk-in refrigerator (about 780 square feet), kept at the international core curation standard of 4° C plus or minus 2° C. Each core and sample must be labeled with an identifier and metadata, which follows the material through processing and analysis.

A woman, wearing a lab coat and protective equipment in a laboratory, holds a core in a device that will split the core in half.
March 16, 2017

Geotek core splitter

In the core lab, the Geotek core splitter cuts sediment cores in half lengthwise using oscillating saws and a wire cutter.

A woman wearing a lab coat lifts a long thin sediment core from a shelf.
March 16, 2017

Core racks for storage

In the cold storage room at the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, we store cores on large racks that can hold about 4,500 full sized cores or D-tubes with split cores, up to 1.5 meters long.

A woman wearing a lab coat and rubber gloves holds a rotating handle on the wall of a rack that runs on a track.
March 16, 2017

Rolling core storage racks

These track-mounted racks pack together to save space. Cranking a handle moves the aisle between racks for core access.

A woman wearing a lab coat wheels a tray, with a sediment core resting on top, out through a big metal door.
March 16, 2017

Exiting the cold sample storage room

The back door of the refrigerator connects to our core and sample processing labs.

A woman wearing a lab coast and rubber gloves stretches a piece of plastic wrap over an exposed sediment core on a lab table.
March 16, 2017

Wrapping a sediment core half

Each half of a split sediment core is wrapped in plastic to prevent drying and contamination. For long-term storage, we can shrink-wrap one half with a thick film that prevents moisture loss.

A woman wearing a lab coat and rubber gloves places a long plastic tube on a narrow storage shelving unit.
March 16, 2017

Storing sediment core D-tubes

We slip split cores into a labeled D-tube, and both are stored on specialized core racks in a walk-in sample refrigerator. USGS and non-USGS scientists often use our core and sample archives for new research. Contact the lab manager for access policies and other details.

Filter Total Items: 938
USGS
May 18, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. – Members of the news media are invited to attend the U.S. Geological Survey Open House in Menlo Park this weekend.  This event includes over 80 exhibits that highlight the work USGS scientists do. Join them in action as they share the excitement of their scientific work and discoveries with the general public. 

USGS
May 16, 2012

PORTLAND, Ore.­– The U.S. Geological Survey has developed models to help water managers identify strategies to use groundwater for meeting competing water demands in the semi-arid upper Klamath Basin. 

USGS
May 9, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. – Many Bay Area residents know what it’s like to experience an earthquake, but fewer of them know why earthquakes happen. The concepts behind earthquakes and living safely in earthquake country are as simple as a fishing line hooked to a stack of bricks, explains USGS geophysicist Ross Stein, whose family-friendly seismic demos and models are part of the...

USGS
May 7, 2012

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, Calif. -- For the first time, scientists have measured the amounts of mercury flowing into the San Francisco estuary from tidal wetlands using a new technique that can measure concentrations of mercury in water every few minutes, which is essential for understanding mercury flows in a complex tidal estuarine environment. 

USGS
May 3, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. – Education and entertainment await visitors of all ages at the U.S. Geological Survey's Menlo Park Campus Open House on Saturday, May 19 and Sunday, May 20, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

USGS
April 16, 2012

Building an Earthquake Early Warning System for California

USGS
March 22, 2012

SAN DIEGO —Organic solvents were detected at high concentrations in 18 percent of the aquifer system used for public supply in the San Fernando and San Gabriel basins. However, groundwater is not directly used as drinking water; water purveyors may treat groundwater before delivering it to customers to ensure compliance with water quality standards.

USGS
March 20, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. Decisions made by the global community about emissions will directly impact the future of the western United States.  On March 22nd, Tom Suchanek, U.S. Geological Survey climate change coordinator, will discuss how increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide might affect human land-use and environmental systems in California and the Bay Area. 

USGS
March 8, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif.— The El Mayor-Cucapah earthquake in northern Baja California, Mexico on April 4, 2010 triggered surface movement on several Southern California faults. Detailed mapping of these small movements by the U.S. Geological Survey, California Geological Survey, and other institutions, revealed previously unknown faults in the greater Salton Sea area...

USGS
February 29, 2012

SACRAMENTO, Calif.— Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey have, for the first time, demonstrated how aquifer composition can affect how excessive levels of phosphorous (an essential nutrient contained in fertilizers) can be carried from fertilized agricultural fields via groundwater to streams and waterways. 

USGS
February 27, 2012

Waterfowl in California can spread low pathogenic avian influenza viruses during summertime when wetland temperatures are warm and waterfowl densities are low, according to a recent U.S. Geological Survey study.

USGS
February 21, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. — The U.S. Geological Survey and National Weather Service have developed the new FloodPath mapping system which allows scientists to produce maps of tomorrow's floods today – up to 3 days in advance of rising floodwaters.