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.

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Water splashes onto a cement waterfront walkway through chain link fencing.
February 17, 2011

King Tide in San Francisco

Unusually high tides, sometimes called "king tides," offer a preview of coastal flooding likely to result from rising sea level. In this photograph, taken during a king tide on February 17, 2011, waves overtop Pier 14 in San Francisco, California.

Two women stand on the stern of a boat, they are wearing hard hats, life jackets, steel-toed boots, maneuvering an apparatus.
February 2, 2011

Deployment of acoustic doppler current profiler

Jenny White (USGS PCMSC) and Lissa MacVean (USGS PCMSC) deploy an instrumented frame in the shallows of San Pablo Bay (northern San Francisco Bay) from R/V Retriever. The instrument is an ADCP (Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler).

Map illustration with sections expanded to show more detail of the bed of a river.
February 1, 2011

Sacramento River Bathymetry

On February 1, 2011, the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (PCMSC) 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

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January 27, 2011

PubTalk 1/2011 — Capture and Geologic Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide

Is Sequestration Necessary? Can We Do It at an Acceptable Total Cost?

By Yousif Kharaka, USGS National Research Program

 

  • Combustion of fossil fuels currently releases approximately 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere annually
  • Increased anthropogenic emissions have dramatically raised
January 16, 2011

ARkStorm

The ARkStorm scenario led by the USGS and hundreds of scientists and experts from many disciplines details impacts of a scientifically plausible storm similar to the Great California Storm of 1862 in the modern day. The scenario led to several important scientific advancements and will be used by emergency and resource managers to improve partnerships and emergency

December 9, 2010

PubTalk 12/2010 — Forecasting Volcanic Eruptions in Alaska

-- the contrasting stories of two recent spectacular eruptions

by Stephanie Prejean, USGS Alaska Volcano Observatory

 

  • Alaskan volcanoes erupt frequently and violently. However each eruption is preceded by a unique set of geophysical precursors.
  • Eruptions of Redoubt and Kasatochi volcanoes highlight the
Attribution: Region 11: Alaska
November 18, 2010

PubTalk 11/2010 — Silicon, Software, and Science

Monitoring the Earth's Landscape with Low-Cost High-Tech

by Rian Bogle, Remote Sensing Specialist

 

  • The USGS is one of the world's largest providers of remote sensing data, employing the best tools and techniques to expand our knowledge of the Earth.
  • Working with low-cost field and aerial imaging technologies,
While standing next to a dune buggy parked next to a groundwater well in the sand dunes, a hydrologist prepares equipment
November 9, 2010

Water Quality Sampling, Imperial Sand Dunes, California

A USGS Hydrologist purges a groundwater monitoring well in preparation for water-quality sampling in the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation area, Imperial Valley, California.  This sampling was done as part of the Forecasting Total Dissolved Solids Concentrations of Groundwater from the Lower Colorado Water Supply Project study.

Hilly sand dunes with brush dotting a flat area in the middle
November 9, 2010

Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area

The Imperial Sand Dunes Recreational Area, located in Imperial County in the far southeast corner of California. It is home to a groundwater well field that is part of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's Lower Colorado Water Supply Project.

October 28, 2010

PubTalk 10/2010 — Dam Removal in the Pacific Northwest

- a new tool for river restoration

by Jonathan Warrick, Research Geologist

 

  • Dams provide water supply, power generation and flood control, but they have finite life spans and can disrupt river and coastal ecosystems.
  • Removal of two large dams on the Elwha River of Washington in 2011 will be the largest dam
September 30, 2010

PubTalk 9/2010 — Great Missoula & Ice Age Floods Natl. Geologic Trail

- a journey through the landscape of Earth's greatest floods

by Richard Waitt, Geologist

 

  • Glacial Lake Missoula released scores of cataclysmic floods, sculpting the bizarre landscape of Washington's Channeled Scabland
  • New video depicts the enormous 3-day flood releasing 500 cubic miles of water
Pinecone with tightly closed scales attached near the top of a pine tree.
September 17, 2010

Closed lodgepole pinecone

A closed lodgepole pinecone on a tree in the Sierra Nevada.

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USGS science for a changing world logo
April 14, 2004

Infectious disease outbreaks have increased in natural communities in several major groups of marine life during the past 30 years, suggests a new review of scientific literature by Cornell University and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

USGS science for a changing world logo
February 24, 2004

Migrating fall-run Chinook salmon can hit a stretch of the San Joaquin River in Central California with oxygen levels so low, the fish are forced to either wait around until conditions improve or to go elsewhere to spawn, thereby negatively affecting their spawning success.

USGS
February 24, 2004

Migrating fall-run Chinook salmon can hit a stretch of the San Joaquin River in Central California with oxygen levels so low, the fish are forced to either wait around until conditions improve or to go elsewhere to spawn, thereby negatively affecting their spawning success.

USGS science for a changing world logo
February 20, 2004

The devastating Christmas Day mudslides, known to scientists as debris flows, were more widespread than most people realize, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Immediately following the December 25 event, USGS scientists mounted a scientific reconnaissance to trek up 66 canyons impacted by the Old and Grand Prix Fires in Southern California.

USGS
February 20, 2004

The devastating Christmas Day mudslides, known to scientists as debris flows, were more widespread than most people realize, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Immediately following the December 25 event, USGS scientists mounted a scientific reconnaissance to trek up 66 canyons impacted by the Old and Grand Prix Fires in Southern California.

USGS
December 30, 2003

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has posted new maps on the Internet showing basins with the greatest potential for producing mudslides as a result of the devastating October fires in Southern California.

USGS science for a changing world logo
December 8, 2003

The San Andreas and neighboring faults near Los Angeles interact in surprising, and, in some cases, potentially dangerous ways, according to an article by U.S. Geological Survey scientists to be published in the Dec. 12, 2003, issue of the journal Science. The researchers reviewed lessons from past earthquakes and combined that with powerful computer modeling to reach their conclusions.

USGS science for a changing world logo
December 8, 2003

Highlights of USGS presentations at the American Geophysical Union’s Fall Meeting, Dec. 8-12, 2003, in Moscone North, San Francisco, are below.

USGS
December 8, 2003

The San Andreas and neighboring faults near Los Angeles interact in surprising, and, in some cases, potentially dangerous ways, according to an article by U.S. Geological Survey scientists to be published in the Dec. 12, 2003, issue of the journal Science.

USGS
December 8, 2003

Highlights of USGS presentations at the American Geophysical Union’s Fall Meeting, Dec. 8-12, 2003, in Moscone North, San Francisco, are below.

USGS science for a changing world logo
December 4, 2003

In a first of its kind study U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Duke University seismologists have used tiny "microearthquakes" along a section of California’s notorious San Andreas Fault to create unique images of the contorted geology scientists will face as they continue drilling deeper into the fault zone to construct a major earthquake "observatory.

USGS
December 4, 2003

In a first of its kind study U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Duke University seismologists have used tiny "microearthquakes" along a section of California’s notorious San Andreas Fault to create unique images of the contorted geology scientists will face as they continue drilling deeper into the fault zone to construct a major earthquake "observatory."