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California

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Filter Total Items: 363
Irrigation groundwater well
Date Published: December 20, 2018
Status: Active

Sustainable Groundwater Management

In 2014, the State of California adopted historic legislation to help manage its groundwater, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) . According to the act, local Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) must be formed for all...

WAUSP Central Valley Aquifer photo 18
Date Published: December 20, 2018
Status: Active

California's Central Valley

Competition for water resources is growing throughout California, particularly in the Central Valley. The Central Valley's population is expected to increase to 6 million by 2020. This population growth, along with 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. The...

Contacts: Claudia C Faunt
boat docks sitting on dry lake bed due to severe drought
Date Published: December 19, 2018
Status: Active

California Drought

The USGS closely monitors the effects of drought through data collection and research. USGS science supports water managers in preparing for possible future drought by providing information that takes into account long-term hydrologic, climatic, and environmental changes. These studies support successful planning and science-based decision-making by water managers who must address complex...

Satellite view showing locations of sites sampled during study.
Date Published: December 19, 2018
Status: Completed

Occurrence of Current-use Pesticides in Suisun Bay and Potential Effects on Phytoplankton

Suisun Bay is an area identified as critical habitat for the threatened Delta Smelt. Several important changes in the pelagic food web of this area have been documented over the last two decades indicating that food for Delta Smelt and other threatened fishes is in short. 

Contacts: James Orlando
USGS
Date Published: December 19, 2018
Status: Completed

Evaluation of the groundwater resources of the Petaluma Valley

The city of Petaluma, located in the Petaluma Valley and home to about 12 percent of the population of Sonoma County, faces growth in population and demand for water. Water supply is provided primarily by water delivered via aqueduct from the Russian River; however, groundwater is a vital supplemental source of water for the city of Petaluma and is the primary source of supply for domestic and...

Contacts: Tracy Nishikawa
Longfin Smelt
Date Published: December 19, 2018
Status: Completed

Development of a spatially explicit ecosystem model to explore physiochemical drivers of step changes in POD species abundance and distribution in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Suisun Bay

Prior to 2000, the four most abundant resident pelagic fishes in the study area included two native species, delta smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus) a federal listed endangered species, and longfin smelt (Spirinchus thaleicthys) a state listed endangered species, and two introduced species, threadfin shad (Dorosoma petenense) and age-0 striped bass (Morone saxatilis). 

Contacts: Larry Brown
Map of Modoc Regional Wildlife Refuge.
Date Published: December 19, 2018
Status: Completed

Evaluation of Exposure and Vulnerability of Selected Inland National Wildlife Refuges in the Pacific Southwest to Water Resources Constraints in the Face of Climate Change using Downscaled Climate Change Modeling

As competition for water is growing, a major challenge is to ensure that sufficient quantities of good quality water are available for fish, wildlife, and plants. Competition for a limited supply of water with adequate water quality to support National Wildlife Refuges are a dominant threat for many National Wildlife Refuges across the U.S. and is only heightened during times of drought and in...

Air photo showing location drill sites in Cache Creek Settling Basin.
Date Published: December 19, 2018
Status: Active

Add-on to: Determination of Mercury Loads for Cache Creek Settling Basin Inflow and Outflows and Related Investigations

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the Cache Creek Settling Basin (CCSB) in Yolo County.

Map showing Location of study area and perchlorate plumes.
Date Published: December 19, 2018
Status: Completed

Depth-dependent Sample Collection for Perchlorate Isotopes

Chlorine and oxygen isotopic analyses of perchlorate have shown that perchlorate from agricultural and industrial (synthetic) sources is present in the Bunker Hill Groundwater Basin downgradient of the former Lockheed Propulsion Company (LPC) Site near Redlands, Calif., about 60 miles east of Los Angeles. Although agricultural and synthetic plumes merge in the central portion of the Bunker...

Contacts: John Izbicki
Map showing location of field sites
Date Published: December 19, 2018
Status: Completed

Quantification of Mercury Flux in Eroding Mining Debris, Yuba River Watershed, California

At two priority locations on BLM-administered land in the Yuba River watershed, the USGS has documented relatively rapid erosion of river bank material that consists of mercury (Hg)-laden sediment with a significant component of mining debris. 

Map of Salinas Valley Study Area and target wells
Date Published: December 19, 2018
Status: Completed

Shallow Aquifer Assessment Study for the Monterey Bay and Salinas Valley

High nitrate and trace element concentrations in groundwater represent a health threat to domestic well users. The concentrations and distributions of these constituents in shallow groundwater in the Salinas Valley of the central coast of California are poorly understood, and communities are concerned about the quality of their drinking water. 

Map of study area showing classified crops
Date Published: December 19, 2018
Status: Completed

Relation of Groundwater Age to Herbicide Concentration Trends in Fresno and Tulare Counties, California

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) has been monitoring pesticide concentrations in about 70 domestic drinking water wells located in vulnerable areas of Fresno and Tulare Counties for approximately 15 years. A recent analysis of the monitoring data indicated that there were decreases in simazine, diuron, and bromacil concentrations in many wells during 2000-2010.

Contacts: Matthew Landon
Filter Total Items: 317
USGS
January 1, 2019

This data contains maximum depth of flooding (cm) in the region landward of the present-day shoreline for the sea-level rise (SLR) 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 erosion for both current and future sea-level rise (SLR) scenari

USGS
January 1, 2019

This data contains maximum depth of flooding (cm) in the region landward of the present-day shoreline for the sea-level rise (SLR) 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 erosion for both current and future sea-level rise (SLR) scenari

USGS
January 1, 2019

X-Ray diffraction (XRD) data for bulk sediment and clay separations taken from cores from Bristol Dry Lake, California and geothermal springs from Paoha Island (Mono Lake), California. The data were collected for two separate projects: (1) determining the source of lithium in Bristol Dry Lake (BDL), and (2) determining the mechanism of sinter formation on Paoha Island, Mono Lake. The data from

Map of a coastline with an outline drawn around a portion of the coast land to show where the study area is.
January 1, 2019

This data contains geographic extents of projected coastal flooding, low-lying vulnerable areas, and maximum/minimum flood potential (flood uncertainty) associated with the sea-level rise (SLR) 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 er

USGS
January 1, 2019

Whole-rock and calcite geochemical data are reported for twelve carbonatite samples collected from the Bear Lodge alkaline complex, Wyoming and from the Mountain Pass mine, California. Calcite geochemical data was collected using electron microprobe and laser ablation inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) analyses. Reported whole-rock data was measured by inductively coupled pl

USGS
January 1, 2019

This data contains model-derived total water levels (in meters) for the sea-level rise (SLR) 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 erosion for both current and future sea-level rise (SLR) scenarios. Projections for CoSMoS v3.1 in Cen

USGS
January 1, 2019

This data contains maximum model-derived significant wave height (in meters) for the sea-level rise (SLR) 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 erosion for both current and future sea-level rise (SLR) scenarios. Projections for CoSMo

USGS
January 1, 2019

Presented here is a point cloud collected by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) using an oblique plane-mounted camera system, covering the area of the Mud Creek landslide on California State Route 1 (SR1), Mud Creek, Big Sur, California. The point cloud is referenced to previously published lidar data and contains RGB information as well as XYZ. Point cloud coordinates are in NAD83 UTM Zone 10 met

Map of a coastline with an outline drawn around a portion of the coast land to show where the study area is.
January 1, 2019

This data contains maximum model-derived ocean currents (in meters per second) for the sea-level rise (SLR) 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 erosion for both current and future sea-level rise (SLR) scenarios. Projections for CoS

USGS
January 1, 2019

High concentrations of uranium were detected in samples from wells used for domestic drinking water supplies in the San Joaquin Valley. Of 163 domestic wells sampled by the California Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment Program Priority Basin Project (GAMA-PBP) and the National Water Quality Program (NWQP) in 2008-2015, 26 percent had uranium concentrations greater than the U.S. Environ

USGS
January 1, 2019

This data contains maximum model-derived ocean currents (in meters per second) for the sea-level rise (SLR) 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 erosion for both current and future sea-level rise (SLR) scenarios. Projections for CoS

USGS
January 1, 2019

This data contains maximum model-derived significant wave height (in meters) for the sea-level rise (SLR) 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 erosion for both current and future sea-level rise (SLR) scenarios. Projections for CoSMo

Filter Total Items: 313
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Year Published: 2016

Construction, calibration, and validation of the RBM10 water temperature model for the Trinity River, northern California

We constructed a one-dimensional daily averaged water-temperature model to simulate Trinity River temperatures for 1980–2013. The purpose of this model is to assess effects of water-management actions on water temperature and to provide water temperature inputs for a salmon population dynamics model. Simulated meteorological data, observed...

Jones, Edward C.; Perry, Russell W.; Risley, John C.; Som, Nicholas A.; Hetrick, Nicholas J.
Jones, E.C., Perry, R.W., Risley, J.C., Som, N.A., and Hetrick, N.J., 2016, Construction, calibration, and validation of the RBM10 water temperature model for the Trinity River, northern California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016–1056, 46 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161056.

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Year Published: 2016

Water availability and land subsidence in the Central Valley, California, USA

The Central Valley in California (USA) covers about 52,000 km2 and is one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world. This agriculture relies heavily on surface-water diversions and groundwater pumpage to meet irrigation water demand. Because the valley is semi-arid and surface-water availability varies substantially,...

Faunt, Claudia C.; Sneed, Michelle; Traum, Jonathan A.; Brandt, Justin T.
Faunt, C.C., and others, 2015, Hydrogeology Journal, 10.1007/s10040-015-1339-x

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Year Published: 2016

Diel activity patterns of juvenile late fall-run Chinook salmon with implications for operation of a gated water diversion in the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta

In the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, California, tidal forces that reverse river flows increase the proportion of water and juvenile late fall-run Chinook salmon diverted into a network of channels that were constructed to support agriculture and human consumption. This area is known as the interior delta, and it has been associated with...

Plumb, John M.; Adams, Noah S.; Perry, Russell W.; Holbrook, Christopher; Romine, Jason G.; Blake, Aaron R.; Burau, Jon R.
Plumb, J.M., N.S. Adams, R.W. Perry, C.M. Holbrook, J.G. Romine, A.R. Blake, and J.R. Burau. 2015. Diel activity patterns of juvenile late fall-run Chinook salmon with implications for operation of a gated water diversion in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. River Research and Applications. (Early View). DOI: 10.1002/rra.2885.

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Year Published: 2015

The 2014 update to the National Seismic Hazard Model in California

The 2014 update to the U. S. Geological Survey National Seismic Hazard Model in California introduces a new earthquake rate model and new ground motion models (GMMs) that give rise to numerous changes to seismic hazard throughout the state. The updated earthquake rate model is the third version of the Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast...

Powers, Peter M.; Field, Edward H.

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Year Published: 2015

Validation of simulated earthquake ground motions based on evolution of intensity and frequency content

Simulated earthquake ground motions can be used in many recent engineering applications that require time series as input excitations. However, applicability and validation of simulations are subjects of debate in the seismological and engineering communities. We propose a validation methodology at the waveform level and directly based on...

Rezaeian, Sanaz; Zhong, Peng; Hartzell, Stephen H.; Zareian, Farzin

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Year Published: 2015

Health and condition of endangered juvenile Lost River and shortnose suckers relative to water quality and fish assemblages in Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon, and Clear Lake Reservoir, California

Executive Summary Most mortality of endangered Lost River (Deltistes luxatus) and shortnose (Chasmistes brevirostris) suckers in Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon, appears to occur within the first year of life. However, juvenile suckers in Clear Lake Reservoir, California, appear to survive longer and may even recruit to the spawning populations. Our...

Burdick, Summer M.; Elliott, Diane G.; Ostberg, Carl O.; Conway, Carla M.; Dolan-Caret, Amari; Hoy, Marshal S.; Feltz, Kevin P.; Echols, Kathy R.
Burdick, S.M., Elliott, D.G., Ostberg, C.O., Conway, C.M., Dolan-Caret, A., Hoy, M.S., Feltz, K.P., and Echols, K.R., 2015, Health and condition of endangered juvenile Lost River and shortnose suckers relative to water quality and fish assemblages in Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon, and Clear Lake Reservoir, California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2015-1217, 56 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20151217.

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Year Published: 2015

Lithostratigraphic, borehole-geophysical, hydrogeologic, and hydrochemical data from the East Bay Plain, Alameda County, California

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the East Bay Municipal Utility District, carried out an investigation of aquifer-system deformation associated with groundwater-level changes at the Bayside Groundwater Project near the modern San Francisco Bay shore in San Lorenzo, California. As a part of the Bayside Groundwater Project, East Bay...

Sneed, Michelle; Orlando, Patricia v.P.; Borchers, James W.; Everett, Rhett R.; Solt, Michael; McGann, Mary; Lowers, Heather; Mahan, Shannon
Sneed, Michelle, Orlando, P.v.P., Borchers, J.W., Everett, Rhett, Solt, Mike, McGann, Mary, Lowers, Heather, and Mahan, Shannon, 2015, Lithostratigraphic, borehole-geophysical, hydrogeologic, and hydrochemical data from the East Bay Plain, Alameda County, California: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 890, 56 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ds890.

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Year Published: 2015

Effect of tides, river flow, and gate operations on entrainment of juvenile salmon into the interior Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta

Juvenile Chinook Salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha emigrating from natal tributaries of the Sacramento River, California, must negotiate the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta (hereafter, the Delta), a complex network of natural and man-made channels linking the Sacramento River with San Francisco Bay. Fish that enter the interior and southern Delta...

Perry, Russell W.; Brandes, Patricia L.; Burau, Jon R.; Sandstrom, Philip T.; Skalski, John R.
Perry, R.W., P.L. Brandes, J.R. Burau, P.T. Sandstrom, and J.R. Skalski. 2015. Effects of tides, river flow, and gate operations on entrainment of juvenile salmon into the interior Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. Trans. Am. Fish. Soc. 144(3): 445-455.

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Year Published: 2015

UCERF3: A new earthquake forecast for California's complex fault system

With innovations, fresh data, and lessons learned from recent earthquakes, scientists have developed a new earthquake forecast model for California, a region under constant threat from potentially damaging events. The new model, referred to as the third Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast, or "UCERF" (http://www.WGCEP.org/UCERF3),...

Field, Edward H.
Field, E.H., and 2014 Working Group on California Earthquake Probabilities, 2015, UCERF3: A new earthquake forecast for California’s complex fault system: U.S. Geological Survey 2015–3009, 6 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/fs20153009.

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Year Published: 2015

Geochronology of Cenozoic rocks in the Bodie Hills, California and Nevada

The purpose of this report is to present geochronologic data for unaltered volcanic rocks, hydrothermally altered volcanic rocks, and mineral deposits of the Miocene Bodie Hills and Pliocene to Pleistocene Aurora volcanic fields of east-central California and west-central Nevada. Most of the data presented here were derived from samples collected...

Fleck, Robert J.; du Bray, Edward A.; John, David A.; Vikre, Peter G.; Cosca, Michael A.; Snee, Lawrence W.; Box, Stephen E.
Fleck, R.J., du Bray, E.A., John, D.A., Vikre, P.G., Cosca, M.A., Snee, L.W., and Box, S.E., 2015, Geochronology of Cenozoic rocks in the Bodie Hills, California and Nevada: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 916, 26 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ds916.

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Year Published: 2015

Long‐term time‐dependent probabilities for the third Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast (UCERF3)

The 2014 Working Group on California Earthquake Probabilities (WGCEP 2014) presents time-dependent earthquake probabilities for the third Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast (UCERF3). Building on the UCERF3 time-independent model, published previously, renewal models are utilized to represent elastic-rebound-implied probabilities. A new...

Field, Edward H.; Biasi, Glenn P.; Bird, Peter; Dawson, Timothy E.; Felzer, Karen R.; Jackson, David A.; Johnson, Kaj M.; Jordan, Thomas H.; Madden, Christopher; Michael, Andrew J.; Milner, Kevin; Page, Morgan T.; Parsons, Thomas E.; Powers, Peter; Shaw, Bruce E.; Thatcher, Wayne R.; Weldon, Ray J.; Zeng, Yuehua
Field et al. (2015). Long-Term Time-Dependent Probabilities for the Third Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast (UCERF3), Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, Vol. 105, No. 2A, pp. 511–543, April 2015, doi: 10.1785/0120140093

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Year Published: 2015

Predicting locations of post-fire debris-flow erosionin the San Gabriel Mountains of southern California

Timely hazard assessments are needed to assess post-fire debris flows that may impact communities located within and adjacent to recently burned areas. Implementing existing models for debris-flow probability and magnitude can be time-consuming because the geographic extent for applying the models is manually defined. In this study, a model is...

Gartner, Joseph E.; Santi, P.M; Cannon, Susan H.
Gartner, J.E., Santi, P.M., and Cannon, S.H. (2015), Predicting locations of post-fire debris-flow erosion in the San Gabriel Mountains of southern California, Natural Hazards, 77:1305–1321, DOI 10.1007/s11069-015-1656-3.

Filter Total Items: 1,141
nightly view of highway with large cracks from earthquake and car in the distance.
July 6, 2019

2019 Ridgecrest Earthquake Sequence - M7.1 Highway 178

Highway 178 SW of Trona. Taken earlier in the morning July 6, 2019 after the M7.1 earthquake which struck eastern California, southwest of Searles Valley, near Ridgecrest, CA.

fault scarp
July 6, 2019

Fault scarp near epicenter of Searles Valley earthquake

Fault scarp close to the epicenter. In this location the fault has a main strand where much of the slip occurred, as well as distributed fractures.

Image shows a side view of a roadway with a large crack in it
July 4, 2019

Earthquake Damage on California Hwy. 178

California State Route 178, showing cracks due to fault offsets following the Magnitude 6.4 earthquake that struck Searles Valley on July 4, 2019.

Image shows a crack in the ground with a tape measure over it
July 4, 2019

Surface Rupture from Fault

On July 4, 2019, a Magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck Searles Valley, CA. This photo provides likely evidence that the fault that hosted the earthquake ruptured to the ground surface.

Image shows a crack in the ground with a truck in the background
July 4, 2019

Surface Rupture from Fault

On July 4, 2019, a Magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck Searles Valley, CA. This photo provides likely evidence that the fault that hosted the earthquake ruptured to the ground surface.

Image shows a crack in a road with a pen for scale
July 4, 2019

Earthquake Damage on California Hwy. 178

A fault offset on California State Route 178 following the Magnitude 6.4 earthquake that struck Searles Valley on July 4, 2019.

Image shows a woman measuring a crack in the roadway
July 4, 2019

Measuring Earthquake Damage on California Hwy. 178

Janis Hernandez (California Geological Survey) measures 18 centimeters of offset across one strand of the fault rupture zone. This measurement was conducted following the Magnitude 6.4 earthquake that struck Searles Valley on July 4, 2019.

Image shows people in the distance measuring cracks in the roadway
July 4, 2019

Measuring Earthquake Damage on California Hwy. 178

Measurement of fault offset being done by USGS scientist Ken Hudnut, using the offset of a painted road stripe. This measurement was conducted following the Magnitude 6.4 earthquake that struck Searles Valley on July 4, 2019.

Image shows people and trucks in the distance, measuring cracks in the roadway
July 4, 2019

Measuring Earthquake Damage on California Hwy. 178

Measurement of fault offset being done by USGS scientist Ken Hudnut, using the offset of a painted road stripe on California State Route 178. This measurement was conducted following the Magnitude 6.4 earthquake that struck Searles Valley on July 4, 2019.

Image shows hands and a tape measure around a crack in the roadway
July 4, 2019

Measuring Earthquake Damage on California Hwy. 178

Measuring a fault offset on California State Route 178. This measurement was conducted following the Magnitude 6.4 earthquake that struck Searles Valley on July 4, 2019.

Image shows a crack in the road with a pen for scale
July 4, 2019

Earthquake Damage on California Hwy. 178

A fault offset on California State Route 178 with a pen for scale. This measurement was conducted following the Magnitude 6.4 earthquake that struck Searles Valley on July 4, 2019.

Mt. Diablo as seen from Twitchell Island
July 2, 2019

Mt. Diablo as seen from Twitchell Island

Mt. Diablo as seen from Twitchell Island

Filter Total Items: 908
Wet sand on a beach.
February 5, 2018

Acting deputy director of the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center Nadine Golden attended a workshop on restoring a sand-mining operation on California’s Monterey Bay.

Kate Scharer
January 26, 2018

Days after fatal debris flows devastated Southern California’s Montecito community,  a team of U.S. Geological Survey geologists joined county, state, and federal partners to survey and  evaluate the aftermath.

 

Screenshot from interactive mapping tool that displays projections of flooding given sea level rise and other factors.
January 17, 2018

USGS geologist Patrick Barnard spoke to the public at a “Coffee and King Tides” gathering held in Half Moon Bay, California, on December 4.

young man working at a desk with computer and printer
January 12, 2018

News reporters are invited to attend a reception to kick off the U.S. Geological Survey’s STEP-UP Program in Menlo Park. STEP-UP (Secondary Transition to Employment Program – USGS Partnership) provides young adults (ages 18-22) with disabilities a variety of life and job skills to enable them to transition from school to work and to live independently.

USGS volcanologist Jessica Ball leads a discussion during a FEMA Vo...
December 18, 2017

It isn't often that scientists and land managers spend two entire days together talking about volcanoes outside of an eruptive crisis, but a special FEMA training course allows them to do just that.

Distant view of sandy yellow beach stretching from bottom left to upper right of photo.
November 8, 2017

Coastal communities count on beaches for recreation and for protection from large waves, but beaches are vulnerable to threats such as erosion by storms and flooding. Whether beaches grow, shrink, or even disappear depends in part on what happens just offshore. How do features like shifting sandbars affect waves, currents, and the movement of sand from the beach to offshore and back?

3D map of Mud Creek slide derived from video footage collected by drone on October 12, 2017.
November 6, 2017

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 air photo of the Mud Creek landslide, taken on May 27, 2017
November 1, 2017

On May 20, 2017, more than 2 million cubic meters of rock and dirt—enough to fill a line of dump trucks nearly a thousand miles long—collapsed down the steep slopes at Mud Creek on California’s Big Sur coast, about 140 miles south of San Francisco. A pile of rubble almost a third of a mile wide buried California State Highway 1 over 65 feet deep and added about 13 acres of new land to the coast.

charred, bare trees on a mountain side
October 19, 2017

California's landscape is prone to drought and warmer climates. The recent drought lasted five years (2011 – early 2017), bringing with it many environmental issues including the increased prevalence, severity, and duration of wildfires. While there used to be a distinct "wildfire season" in California, the threat of wildfire is no longer restricted to a single season.

Photo of a plane dropping flame retardant on a wildfire
October 12, 2017

NAPA, SONOMA COUNTIES — As the Tubbs, Atlas, and Nuns fires raged across northern California, WERC's Jon Keeley appeared on NPR to provide insight into fire ecology across the state.

WERC surveying sea otters
September 29, 2017

According to data released Friday by the U.S. Geological Survey and partners, the three-year average of the total counts of southern sea otters was down from last year’s high, although it still exceeded the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s delisting threshold for a second straight year.

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