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: 1,116
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
Trawling for Delta Smelt
July 31, 2003

Trawling for Delta Smelt aboard the USGS Research Vessel Sentinel

Trawling for Delta Smelt using a Kodiak Trawl in the Sacramento River aboard the USGS Research Vessel Sentinel.

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)

Filter Total Items: 986
December 3, 1997

Free public lecture: U.S. Geological Survey Geologist Henry Moore presents the latest "dirt" on Mars; viewing Mars from Sojourner at 7 P.M. in the City Council Chambers, 701 Laurel Street, Menlo Park, Calif.

November 25, 1997

All offices of the U.S. Geological Survey will be closed Thursday, of course, to observe the Thanksgiving holiday, but will be open as usual on Friday, November 28.

October 29, 1997

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) today joined forces with other federal and state agencies to announce specific efforts to implement recommendations of this summer’s Lake Tahoe Presidential Forum, including creation of an Internet-based clearinghouse of scientific information for the Lake Tahoe area.

October 21, 1997

The presence of 125,000-year-old microfossils in the muds of San Francisco Bay may help engineers decide where and how to rebuild the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, according to a U.S. Geological Survey(USGS)scientist in Menlo Park, Calif.

September 2, 1997

The effects of ground-water development on ground-water levels and ground-water quality in the town of Atherton, Calif., is the focus of a report released by the U.S. Geological Survey , Department of the Interior.

August 8, 1997

More than 200 exhibits dealing with topics from ocean floor photography to the geology of Mars will be highlighted at the U.S. Geological Survey’s open house at its Western Region Center in Menlo Park, Calif., September 13 and 14. 

August 8, 1997

The U.S. Geological Survey needs help to prepare for and assist at its big open house, September 12, 13 and 14, at the USGS Western Region Center in Menlo Park.

July 16, 1997

Experience over the last several years with the current system for describing the level of geologic unrest, such as earthquake swarms, ground deformation and gas emissions in the Long Valley caldera of eastern California, has shown it to be awkward and susceptible to misinterpretation by both the news media and the public.

July 8, 1997

A team of Bay Area earthquake scientists will be looking for more than old golf balls when they open an exploratory trench on the second fairway of the Mira Vista golf course in El Cerrito, this week. Golf course officials have rerouted the sedonc hole in order to give the geologists a 10-day window for the study.

May 29, 1997

Selected, local editions of U.S. Geological Survey topographic maps will be available for purchase at the USGS exhibit that will be part of the San Francisco Bay Trail Project’s National Trails Day Festival, Saturday, June 7, at Robert Crown Memorial State Beach and Crab Cove Visitor’s Center in Alameda.

April 15, 1997

Peat soils in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and their relationship to water quality; the history and consequences of long-term groundwater use in the Mojave Desert; the hydrology, biology and geology of San Francisco Bay; 

April 15, 1997

Dr. Gordon Eaton, the national director of the U.S. Geological Survey in Reston, Va., will be one of the speakers at the Friday, April 18, 1997 dedication of Placer Hall on the California State University at Sacramento campus.