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

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Photograph showing bluff erosion during the 2009-10 El Nino, undermining the Great Hwy guardrail at Ocean Beach, San Francisco.
January 20, 2010

Bluff Erosion From El Nino (2009-2010)

Bluff erosion during the 2009–10 El Niño undermined the Great Highway guardrail at Ocean Beach, San Francisco, California. The shoreline eroded, on average, 55 meters that winter, leading to lane closures on the highway and an emergency $5-million revetment along the base of this bluff.

Photograph of bluff erosion in 2010 undermining the Great Highway at the southern end of Ocean Beach, San Francisco.
January 20, 2010

Bluff Erosion From El Nino 2010

Bluff erosion during the 2009–10 El Niño undermined the Great Highway guardrail at the southern end of Ocean Beach, San Francisco, California. The shoreline eroded, on average, 55 meters that winter, leading to lane closures on the highway and an emergency $5-million revetment along the base of this bluff. Photo taken by Jeff Hansen, USGS, 20 January 2010.

Image: Severe Coastal Erosion During an El Niño Storm
January 19, 2010

Severe Coastal Erosion During an El Niño Storm

Severe bluff erosion, along the southern end of Ocean Beach, San Francisco, California, including damage to the guard rail of the Great Highway (Calif. Hwy.1). The severe winter erosion led to lane closures of the highway and an emergency, $5 million revetment along the base of this bluff. This storm damage occurred during the 2009-2010 El Niño, which, on average, eroded

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map of the central valley with the CVHM grid cells overlaid, and a cross section of the subsurface
December 31, 2009

Central Valley Hydrologic Model (CVHM)

The Central Valley Hydrologic Model (CVHM) is built on knowledge from USGS and other Federal, State, and local studies. The CVHM was constrained by comparing simulated and historically observed groundwater levels, streamflows, and subsidence. The detail and breadth of this hydrologic modeling tool provides a better understanding of valleywide hydrologic processes. This

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December 10, 2009

PubTalk 12/2009 — A New Generation of Maps

Topographic Maps for the 21st Century

by Mark DeMulder, Director of the National Geospatial Program

 

  • December 5 marks the 125th Anniversary of the popular USGS topographic map, used by engineers and surveyors, industry, academia, and outdoor enthusiasts for reliably accurate information
  • Starting December 3 the
December 8, 2009

Inside USGS No. 1, Robert Christiansen, Yellowstone

USGS emeritus geologist Robert Christiansen describes his career working on Yellowstone geology from the 1960's through 2014. Bob's work along with his USGS colleagues revealed the details of Yellowstone's explosive volcanic past including mapping and dating of past super eruptions 2.1 million years ago, 1.3 million years ago and 640,000 years ago.

Attribution: Yellowstone
December 8, 2009

Inside USGS, No. 3, Robert Fournier, Yellowstone

USGS emeritus geologist RobertFournier describes his career working on Yellowstone geysers and hydrothermal systems from the 1960's through 2014. Bob's work along with his USGS colleagues revealed the details of Yellowstone's explosive volcanic past and how its spectacular geysers and other hydrothermal features work.

Attribution: Yellowstone
November 19, 2009

PubTalk 11/2009 — Geohazards in the Aleutian Islands

Great Earthquakes, Great Waves, and Great Volcanic Explosions!

by Steve Kirby, Geophsicist, and Dave Scholl, Scientist Emeritus

 

  • The Aleutian Islands are discussed with respect to geology, climate change, and the fates of sediments produced by mountain building and glaciation
  • These islands, occupied by maritime
Attribution: Region 11: Alaska
Small silver metal boat with USGS lettering on the side, water is splashing up on the side and a small wake is formed.
November 18, 2009

PCMSC research vessel Parke Snavely

The USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, located in Santa Cruz, California, owns and operates the research vessel R/V Parke Snavely to collect data and run surveys.

October 29, 2009

PubTalk 10/2009 — Paddling for a Purpose in a Troubled Sea

Sampling the Salish Sea During Tribal Canoe Journeys

by Eric Grossman, USGS Tribal Journey Science Advisor

 

  • Deteriorating water quality in Puget Sound and the Strait of Georgia is causing population declines in valued species such as salmon, orcas, and a number of sea birds
  • USGS scientists and the Coast Salish
September 24, 2009

PubTalk 9/2009 — Meeting the Challenge of the Loma Prieta Earthquake

by Jack Boatwright, USGS Seismologist

The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake ended decades of seismic tranquility in the San Francisco Bay region. It was considered then . as well as now . to be a wake-up call for the region to prepare for potentially even more devastating earthquakes. How well is the Bay Area prepared for the next large earthquake?

August 27, 2009

PubTalk 8/2009 — The Future of Geothermal Energy

a discussion of present opportunities and future challenges

by Colin F. Williams, USGS Geophysicist 

  • A new USGS assessment of our Nation.s geothermal resources identifies favorable areas for energy development
  • Can geothermal energy help satisfy the growing need for .clean. energy sources?
  • Seven western states
Filter Total Items: 970
USGS science for a changing world logo
August 15, 2003

Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will be "eavesdropping" on the echoes of the earth in the West San Jose area from Aug. 19-30 to help researchers better estimate how and when the ground will shake in regional earthquakes.

USGS
August 15, 2003

Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will be "eavesdropping" on the echoes of the earth in the West San Jose area from Aug. 19-30 to help researchers better estimate how and when the ground will shake in regional earthquakes.

USGS science for a changing world logo
August 8, 2003

Wesley Ward has been named Regional Executive for Geology for the Western Region of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The announcement of Ward’s new appointment was made by John D. Buffington, Western Regional Director, effective Aug. 11, 2003.

USGS science for a changing world logo
July 15, 2003

A recent report published by the U.S. Geological Survey documents nonnative plants in Sequoia-Kings Canyon and Yosemite national parks, and provides a useful template for ranking alien species problems for management actions in these and other national parks and reserves. 

USGS
July 15, 2003

A recent report published by the U.S. Geological Survey documents nonnative plants in Sequoia-Kings Canyon and Yosemite national parks, and provides a useful template for ranking alien species problems for management actions in these and other national parks and reserves.

USGS science for a changing world logo
June 21, 2003

Frogs, salamanders and fishes are not exactly the first species one thinks about as wildlife affected by fire – after all, they live in water – but a special June issue of Forest Ecology and Management points out that the response of these species to habitat changes induced by fire and fuels reduction practices is highly variable.

USGS science for a changing world logo
June 6, 2003

Counters tallied a total of 2,505 California sea otters in 2003, 17 percent more sea otters than the total of 2,139 otters in 2002, according to a survey led by the U.S. Geological Survey. Excellent to good counting conditions sped the 2003 census to a near-record time, running May 10-15.

USGS
June 6, 2003

Counters tallied a total of 2,505 California sea otters in 2003, 17 percent more sea otters than the total of 2,139 otters in 2002, according to a survey led by the U.S. Geological Survey. Excellent to good counting conditions sped the 2003 census to a near-record time, running May 10-15.

USGS science for a changing world logo
May 15, 2003

Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and their partners studying the largest on-land earthquake in North America in almost 150 years report new information that will help further safety-planning efforts for future large quakes, according to an article published in the May 16, 2003, edition of the journal Science.

USGS science for a changing world logo
February 24, 2003

The earth has subsided as much as four inches in parts of the Mojave Desert in southern California, according to U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists. 

USGS
February 24, 2003

The earth has subsided as much as four inches in parts of the Mojave Desert in southern California, according to U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists. 

USGS science for a changing world logo
December 19, 2002

 

Following a series of intense rainstorms over the past weekend (Dec.13-17), the annual winter landslide season has begun once again in the San Francisco Bay region. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) advises that moisture levels in local soils have now reached the point (soil saturation) that is considered a precondition for future landslide activity in most of the region