Unified Interior Regions


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: 974
November 20, 2003

PubTalk 11/2003 — Clean Power from the Earth's Heat

The Present and Future of Geothermal Energy

by John Sass, Geophysicist


  • Since ancient times, people have sought out geothermal hot springs for bathing, cooking, and supposed healing effects
  • In Iceland, nearly half the electrical power and all space heating are derived from geothermal sources
  • For Iceland
Image: Endangered California Condor
October 18, 2003

Endangered California Condor

An endangered California condor flies over the Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge, California. USGS scientists are helping managers understand how California condors use their habitat, gaining valuable information that will help inform not only which potential energy development sites are likely to have the least impact on condors but also which areas of Oregon might be

Attribution: Ecosystems
September 25, 2003

PubTalk 9/2003 — Beneath Crater Lake

An underwater volcanic landscape tells a complex tale

by Charles R. Bacon, Geologist
Visualizations presented by David W. Ramsey, Geologist


  • Crater Lake, a jewel of the National Park system, partly fills a caldera basin formed during a giant volcanic eruption 7,700 years ago
  • Deepest of all U.S.
August 28, 2003

PubTalk 8/2003 — Human Footprints on the Web of Life

Biodiversity and Increasing Population and Development in California

by Robert N.Fisher, Research Zoologist

  • Why does California lead the country in endangered species--why are so many reptiles and amphibians in decline?
  • Learn about the California lizard that keeps Lyme disease in check and the butterflies that prevented
July 31, 2003

PubTalk 7/2003 — Molten Paradise

Video Presentation and Discussion

Featuring the award-winning USGS video Molten Paradise-Kilaea Volcano by Stephen Wessells, introduced and discussed by Robert I. Tilling, Volcanologist


  • The dramatic nonstop Pu'u O'o eruption, now entering its 21st year
  • Rivers of glowing lava flow through underground
June 26, 2003

PubTalk 6/2003 — The Quakes, They Are A-comin'

New Estimates of Earthquake Hazard and Risk Across the Bay Region

By Michael Blanpied, Geophysicist


  • A USGS-led Working Group has used new ideas about Bay Area faults and earthquakes to revise the probabilities for future quakes
  • The slow movement of the Earth.s plates builds up stress that is relieved in violent
May 22, 2003

PubTalk 5/2003 — The National Map—Coming to Your Neighborhood!

Integrating and Sharing Geographic Information in the Public Domain

By Ken Osborn, Cartographer 


  • Begun by the USGS in 2001, The National Map is a 10-year vision for a seamless, constantly updated, national geospatial database
  • This vast public database will be continually updated through local
April 24, 2003

PubTalk 4/2003 — Gaia's Breath

Methane and the Future of Natural Gas

By Keith A. Kvenvolden, Geochemist 


  • The Earth--or "Gaia," the Earth Goddess of Ancient Greece-- exhales more than 1 million tons of methane each day
  • Mud volcanoes around the world emit about 5 million tons of methane each year as part of Gaia's breath
  • Energy
map of western U.S.showing sagebrush-dominated ecoregions
March 15, 2003

Sagebrush-dominated ecoregions

Sagebrush-dominated ecoregions in the western United States (sagebrush cover types shown in various shades of yellow, pink, and blue-grey).

January 30, 2003

PubTalk 1/2003 — Exploring Mars

Recent Discoveries and Upcoming Missions

By Michael H. Carr, Planetary Geologist


  • Thirty years of Mars exploration have revealed a spectacularly diverse planet
  • Dry river valleys and layered sediments suggest a warm, wet past
  • Huge floods may have created transient oceans
  • Towering volcanoes, deep
Illustration looking at the land from out over the ocean, as if the water were drained away, to show seafloor features.
December 31, 2002

Los Angeles Margin and Basin

Overall perspective view of the Los Angeles Margin and Basin looking northeast. The distance across the bottom of the image is about 100 kilometers with a vertical exaggeration of 6 times. The margin is bisected by a series of large underwater canyons, channels, and gullies. Underwater landslides occur along the steep slope off the Palos Verdes Peninsula (far right)

December 12, 2002

PubTalk 12/2002 — Hawai`i's Volcanoes—Never a Dull Moment

20 Years of Eruption at Kilauea and Waiting for Mauna Loa

by Don Swanson,Volcanologist, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory


  • Kilauea's Pu'u O'o-Kupaianaha eruption, which began on January 3, 1983, is already the volcano's longest rift eruption in at least 600 years
  • Lava has destroyed 8 miles of highway and 189
Filter Total Items: 932
September 8, 2000

Drilling of a 1000-foot-deep ground-water monitoring well will get underway in San Jose, Thursday, September 14. 

August 2, 2000

Hailed as the world’s largest water management effort, the CALFED Bay-Delta Program, a partnership between the state of California and the federal government, has announced the assignment of Dr. Samuel N. Luoma, a scientist with U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), as the Interim Science Leader of the CALFED Science Program.

July 9, 2000

Drilling of a 1400-foot-deep, multi-port ground-water monitoring well will get underway in west Long Beach, Monday, July 10.

June 25, 2000

U.S. Geological Survey Director, Dr. Charles ’Chip’ Groat, will deliver the keynote address at Monday’s opening session of the 20th annual user conference of the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), at the San Diego Convention Center.

June 21, 2000

In response to the Cerro Grande/Los Alamos wildfire, the U.S. Geological Survey has entered into an agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to establish a streamflow gage and collect water-quality data from the Rio Grande upstream from Cochiti Reservoir to determine the effects of the fire upon the water system.

June 9, 2000

The spring 2000 survey of 2,317 California sea otters indicates an overall increase by 10.9 percent since the 1999 spring survey of 2,090 individuals.

May 2, 2000

By combining techniques developed by Leonardo da Vinci with today’s computer applications, an artist and two scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, Calif., have produced one of the most dramatic and beautiful maps of the United States, ever published.

April 24, 2000

A report summarizing suspended-solids concentrations in San Francisco Bay from October 1997 through September 1998 has been published by the U.S. Geological Survey.

April 21, 2000

A rare opportunity to watch as waterfowl biologists track northern pintail ducks is available by visiting a U.S. Geological Survey website called "Discovery for Recovery." 

April 14, 2000

Workshop on "Restoring Pacific Rivers: Evaluating the Progress of Watershed Restoration for Salmon."

April 7, 2000

The Hector Mine earthquake that occurred Oct. 16, 1999, in the Mojave Desert east of Los Angeles, woke a lot of people up but injured no one and caused a minimal amount of property damage.

April 5, 2000

The rhododendrons and azaleas that create a spectacular display of color each year at the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, will be at their peak for the next few weeks, and many of the exotic plants will be at their best when the USGS holds its triennial Open House, May 13 and 14, at the center at 345 Middlefield Road in Menlo Park.