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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May 26, 2011

PubTalk 5/2011 — The Future of Rare Earth Elements

--Will these high-tech industry elements continue in short supply?

by Keith Long, USGS Mineral Resource Analyst

 

  • Rare earth elements provide critical material for flat-panel display screens, cell phones, electric cars, windmills, etc.
  • Although relatively abundant in nature, deposits of rare earth elements that
April 28, 2011

PubTalk 4/2011 - Predictable Earthquakes

Title: Predictable Earthquakes - updating earthquake prediction - fact vs. fiction 

  • Although scientists were optimistic about earthquake prediction in the 1970s, reliable short-term prediction has remained an elusive goal
  • What have seismologists learned from recent earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, and Japan? 
  • Great strides have
April 28, 2011

PubTalk 4/2011 — "Predictable Earthquakes"

--updating earthquake prediction--fact vs. fiction

by Susan Hough, USGS Seismologist 

 

  • Although scientists were optimistic about earthquake prediction in the 1970s, reliable short-term prediction has remained an elusive goal
  • What have seismologists learned from recent earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, and Japan?
A U.S. Geological Survey chemist evaporating sample extracts in laboratory hood to concentrate pesticide residues
April 20, 2011

A U.S. Geological Survey chemist evaporating sample extracts

Organic Chemistry Research Laboratory — Sacramento, California. USGS chemist working with samples in a laboratory hood

U.S. Geological Survey chemist homogenizes a tissue sample
April 18, 2011

U.S. Geological Survey chemist homogenizes a tissue sample

Organic Chemistry Research Laboratory — Sacramento, California. USGS chemist homogenizes a tissue sample into a mortar and pestle

March 31, 2011

PubTalk 3/2011 — Unraveling the Mystery of Avian Navigation

New research indicates that birds are listening to the landscape to find their way

By Jon Hagstrum, Research Geophysicist

  • For nearly 40 years, biologists have been unable to agree on how birds find their way over great distances during homing or migrational flights
  • Do birds use their olfactory senses, the Earth's
A sailboat has washed up onto the base of a bridge buttress and there are onlookers on bridge and sidewalk in background gawking
March 11, 2011

Japan tsunami of 2011 hits Santa Cruz yacht harbor

A sailboat gets stuck under the Murray Street bridge over Santa Cruz Harbor in California, after it was washed free of its dock due to the strength of the tsunami wave from Japan. While the tsunami energy that hit the coast of California was relatively low, the wave energy is concentrated in narrow spaces like harbors. The wave was strong enough to knock many boats free

...
February 24, 2011

PubTalk 2/2011 — Is Our Coast in Jeopardy?

-predicting the impact of extreme storms on the California Coast

By Patrick Barnard, USGS Pacific Coastal & Marine Science Center

 

  • Extreme storms are expected to become more frequent and intense as a result of climate change
  • The USGS has developed the Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) for predicting
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
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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."

USGS science for a changing world logo
November 24, 2003

Despite tremendous technological advances in earthquake seismology, many fundamental mysteries remain. The critical question of whether earthquakes will ever be predictable continues to plague seismologists — in part because there is no way to directly observe what goes on miles below the surface where earthquakes occur.

USGS
November 24, 2003

Despite tremendous technological advances in earthquake seismology, many fundamental mysteries remain. The critical question of whether earthquakes will ever be predictable continues to plague seismologists — in part because there is no way to directly observe what goes on miles below the surface where earthquakes occur.

USGS science for a changing world logo
November 20, 2003

Guided by Japanese writings from an era of shoguns, an international team of scientists today reported new evidence that an earthquake of magnitude 9 struck the northwestern United States and southwestern Canada three centuries ago. The findings are likely to affect the region’s precautions against future earthquakes and tsunamis.