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

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Image of the front page of Sound Waves, June 2011
March 22, 2019

Sound Waves, June 2011

The stories in the June 2011 issue of Sound Waves:


International Team Studies Tsunami Deposits in Japan to Improve Understanding and Mitigation of Tsunami Hazards 

USGS Scuba

Image of the front page of Sound Waves, April - May 2011
March 22, 2019

Sound Waves, April - May 2011

The stories in the April - May 2011 issue of Sound Waves:


Connecting Marshes to the Sea—Sediment in the Shallows of San Francisco Bay 

Birders Urged to Help Track the California

Image of a beach made by stacking many video frames together, to give a sense of change in a static image.

Santa Cruz Main Beach video camera dark image

Video camera dark image at Main Beach in Santa Cruz, California, looking eastward. Learn more about the cameras and how we're using them to study coastal change.


Santa Cruz Main Beach, El Nino

Photographs are of the Santa Cruz Main Beach before and after the December 11, 2014, “Super Soaker” storm that brought 2.5 inches of rain in just a few hours to Santa Cruz and 9 inches to Boulder Creek, along with big waves and swell. While the human eye may notice changes to the beach, ground-based lidar can create surface maps of precise elevation changes over time.

Image of the front page of Sound Waves, Sept. - Oct. 2012
March 22, 2019

Sound Waves, Sept. - Oct. 2012

The stories in the Sept. - Oct. 2012 issue of Sound Waves:


USGS Scientists Exploring Mars as Part of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory 

“Where Am I?”—High-Resolution Digital

Image of the front page of Sound Waves, March 2011
March 22, 2019

Sound Waves, March 2011

The stories in the March 2011 issue of Sound Waves:


Japan Lashed by Powerful Earthquake, Devastating Tsunami

Long-Lived, Slow-Growing Corals in Deep Waters of the Gulf of Mexico

Mount Konocti, a 1,312 m (4,305 ft) mountain on the eastern shore o...

Mount Konocti, a 1,312 m (4,305 ft) mountain on the eastern shore o...

Mt. Konocti erupted during the most recent stage of volcanism (01. Ma to 10,000 years ago), and a future eruption from the same site would be devastating to the nearby inhabitants.

Filter Total Items: 934
April 15, 1998

A news conference to explain the post-El Nino aerial survey that is being conducted along the Pacific coast is scheduled for 1 p.m., Thursday, April 16, at the Delmonte Jet Center, adjacent to the Monterey Peninsula Airport, on the east side of Monterey.

April 10, 1998

Properly assessing the impacts of powerful storms associated with El Nino which have brought unprecedented erosion to the United States’ west coast is an enormous task. NASA , the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are combining efforts to provide public officials with the tools they need to accurately assess coastal erosion.

March 19, 1998

Dr. Milton Friend, director of the USGS National Wildlife Health Center, has been named by Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt to serve as chairman of the Salton Sea Science Subcommittee.

March 18, 1998

Southern California is not likely to experience a "huge earthquake,"according to two scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey.

March 16, 1998

Although the San Andreas fault near Parkfield, Calif., has not yet produced a predicted magnitude-6 earthquake, geodetic measurements now indicate that fault movements near Parkfield sped up in 1993, according to U.S. Geological Survey scientist Evelyn Roeloffs.

March 16, 1998

Earthquakes, as well as heavy rains, can cause landslides, but with the completion of a new U.S. Geological Survey mapping project, scientists and planners can see where those landslides might be triggered by southern California’s next large earthquake.

March 2, 1998

Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt today was joined by Congresswoman Anna Eshoo in announcing a long-term lease that will keep the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in its historic Menlo Park, Calif., location. USGS Acting Director Tom Casadevall joined Babbitt and Eshoo for the announcement at an all-employees meeting at the Menlo Park campus.

February 11, 1998

Many of the tarballs washing up on the shores of Monterey Bay are most likely from natural seeps from the floor of Monterey Bay and the continental shelf, rather than from ruptured oil tankers and other man-made occurrences, according to scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, Calif.

February 6, 1998

PUBLIC LECTURE: "Natural History of Coastal Redwoods -- Fire, Floods and Fog," is the subject of the U.S. Geological Survey’s FREE Public Lecture on THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 1998. 

February 3, 1998

As heavy rains continue to pound northern and central California, hydrologists with the U.S. Geological Survey are reporting small stream flooding from Ventura County on the south to Eureka on the north.

December 29, 1997

A light earthquake, preliminary magnitude 4.1 according to the U.S. Geological Survey, occurred at 3:02 PM EST (12:02 PM local time) Monday, Dec 29, 1997. The epicenter is located 5 miles SE of Mammoth Lakes, or 33 miles WNW of Bishop, CA. 

December 10, 1997

A striking full-color map showing permafrost and ground ice over the Arctic and surrounding continental land masses has been released by the U.S. Geological Survey and will be displayed at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco this week.