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

Filter Total Items: 419
Date published: December 29, 2016
Status: Completed

Whiskeytown Aquatic Inventory Assessment

The project focuses on the assessment of aquatic biology, habitat, and water quality conditions of the major WHIS watersheds

Date published: December 29, 2016
Status: Completed

Ground-Water Nitrate and Organic Carbon Inputs to the Lower San Joaquin River

This proposal addresses drinking water and aquatic habitat issues associated with nitrate and organic carbon in the lower San Joaquin River (SJR).

Date published: December 29, 2016
Status: Completed

Assessing system-wide riverine geomorphic change in support of science-based restoration on the mainstem Trinity River, northern California

Historic landuse, dam construction, water storage and flow diversion within the Trinity River watershed resulted in downstream geomorphic changes that simplified the river planform and lead to dramatic losses of salmonid habitat and significant population declines. The Trinity River Restoration Program (TRRP) requested the USGS complete an assessment of geomorphic change that could be used to...

Date published: December 9, 2016
Status: Active

RAMPS: Restoration Assessment & Monitoring Program for the Southwest

The Restoration Assessment and Monitoring Program for the Southwest (RAMPS) seeks to assist U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and other land management agencies in developing successful techniques for improving land condition in dryland ecosystems of the southwestern United States. Invasion by non-native species, wildfire, drought, and other disturbances are growing...

Date published: December 1, 2016
Status: Active

Riparian Ecology

Riparian ecologists at the Fort Collins Science Center study interactions among flow, channel change, and vegetation along rivers across the western United States and worldwide. Our work focuses on issues relevant to the management of water and public lands, including dam operation, climate change, invasive species, and ecological restoration. Investigations take place on a range of scales. ...

Date published: November 3, 2016

California's Central Valley

Competition for water resources is growing throughout California, particularly in the Central Valley. Statewide population growth, anticipated reductions in Colorado River water deliveries, drought, and the ecological crisis in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta have created an intense demand for water. USGS Tools and information can be used to help manage the Central Valley aquifer system, an...

Attribution:
Date published: November 2, 2016

Western Drought Resilience Assessment

We collected streamflow, water temperature, and other data from more than 2,500 gaging stations on rivers and streams across California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington to document the severity of the 2015 drought. We are using the data collected to assess how warmer winter temperatures, reduced mountain snowpack, and a shift in precipitation from snow to rain may affect future...

Date published: October 28, 2016
Status: Active

WERC Newsletters

USGS Western Ecological Research Center newsletters ran from 2012 to early 2016. Explore the archives for exciting information on projects, events, and news interviews involving our scientists.

Date published: October 28, 2016
Status: Active

Research Handouts

USGS Western Ecological Research Center compiles one-page handouts on WERC scientists' projects involving high-profile topics like renewable energy, drought, climate change, and more. These handouts are perfect for conferences and meetings with partners and resource managers. 

Date published: October 24, 2016
Status: Active

Kelp Forest Community Ecology

The near shore waters along the coast of southern California host one of the most productive marine ecosystems on earth: giant kelp forests. These complex environments provide habitat, food, and hiding places for more than 1,000 species of plants and animals, but are easily disturbed by both natural events and human activities. Strong storms, fluctuating water temperatures, coastal development...

Contacts: Kevin Lafferty
Date published: October 21, 2016

USGS WERC Ecology Research Update: March 2016

USGS Western Ecological Research Center newsletters are posted on our blog. Check back for a rundown of new research and events on ecology and wildlife science in California and Nevada. 

Date published: August 1, 2016
Status: Active

Ecology of Insect-eating Bats

Bats are the only flying mammals that are active mostly at night and occur on all continents except Antarctica. Bats are ecologically diverse, with a range of species that specialize in feeding on fruit, nectar, blood, fish, small mammals, and insects. However, of the more than 1,100 known species of bats on Earth, the majority specialize in feeding on insects. In the United States for example...

Filter Total Items: 579
Date published: January 1, 2018

Acoustic backscatter data collected in 2007 from the San Miguel Passage in the Channel Islands, California

This portion of the data release presents acoustic backscatter data from the San Miguel Passage, in the Channel Islands, California. The data were collected in August 2007 by the U.S. Geological Survey, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (USGS, PCMSC) using a 234.5 kHz SEA (AP) Ltd. SWATHplus-M phase-differencing sidescan sonar mounted on the NOAA, Channel Islands Nationa

Date published: January 1, 2018

All Wells, District Boundaries, and Field Boundaries from the California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR)

There are 487 onshore oil and gas fields in California encompassing 3,392 square miles of aggregated area. The California State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) initiated a Regional Monitoring Program (RMP) in July 2015, intended to determine where and to what degree groundwater quality may be at potential risk to contamination related to oil and gas development activ

Date published: January 1, 2018

Water chemistry data for samples collected at groundwater sites near the Fruitvale oil field, September 2016–February 2017, Kern County, California

As part of the California State Water Resources Control Board’s Regional Groundwater Monitoring Program of Water Quality in Areas of Oil and Gas Production, during September 2016–February 2017, the U.S. Geological Survey collected and analyzed groundwater and associated quality-control (QC) samples from 14 water-production wells located within a three mile buffer zone of a

Date published: January 1, 2018

Water chemistry data for samples collected at groundwater and surface-water sites near the Lost Hills and Belridge oil fields, November 2016-September 2017, Kern County, California

An investigation was done by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the California State Water Resources Control Board's Program of Regional Groundwater Monitoring of Water Quality in Areas of Oil and Gas Production, to assess the effects of oil and gas production activities on nearby groundwater resources. During November 2016–September 2017, 30 samples were collected at

Date published: January 1, 2018

Structure-from-Motion (SfM) surface models derived from seafloor video from the Channel Islands, California

Structure-from-Motion (SfM) surface models were created using seafloor video collected over a visible fault scarp in the Channel Islands, California, during a 2016 U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) field activity. Four SfM surface models were created, each with a different combination of locating, scaling, and optimizing methods. Video imagery was collected using the USGS Pacific Co

Date published: January 1, 2018

Grain size and bulk density of sediment cores from Little Holland Tract and Liberty Island, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California, 2014

Grain size distribution and bulk density are reported for sediment push cores from two flooded agricultural tracts, Little Holland Tract and Liberty Island, in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California. Push core samples were collected from 14 sites by the U.S Geological Survey in August, 2014. Each core was analyzed at multiple depths to investigate variations in particle sizes with d

Date published: January 1, 2018

Photographs and video clips of Clear Lake Hitch (Lavinia exilicauda chi)

This data release includes a collection of photographs and video clips. Above water observations were taken with with a Nikon D5300 digital camera and underwater observations were taken with a SOOCOO S100Pro digital camera. All observations were made on April 1, 2018 in Kelsey, Creek, Lake County, California. Further details can be found in: Feyrer, F. 2018. Rapid potamodromy int

Date published: January 1, 2018

California Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) Program Priority Basin Project Study Areas and grid cells for assessment of groundwater resources used for public drinking-water supply.

The California Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment Program (GAMA) is a statewide, comprehensive assessment of groundwater quality designed to help better understand and identify risks to groundwater resources. GAMA is being implemented by the California State Water Resources Control Board. The USGS is the technical lead for the Priority Basin Project (PBP), one of the compon

Date published: January 1, 2018

Central Mojave Desert Vegetation Mapping Project, California, 1997-1999

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Data at Risk (DaR) team partnered with the USGS Southwest Biological Science Center (SBSC) to preserve and release tabular data, shapefiles and field photographs of the Central Mojave Desert from 1997-1999. The data were originally collected as part of an effort through the Desert Managers Group (DMG) to develop scientific information on the dis

Date published: January 1, 2018

CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System) Southern California v3.0 Phase 2 wave-hazard projections: 1-year storm in Channel Islands

Model-derived significant wave height (in meters) for the given storm condition and sea-level rise (SLR) scenario.
The Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) makes detailed predictions (meter-scale) over large geographic scales (100s of kilometers) of storm-induced coastal flooding and erosion for both current and future sea-level rise (SLR) scenarios. CoSMoS v3.0 for So

Date published: January 1, 2018

Geochemical and geophysical data for wells in the Fruitvale oil and gas field

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with the California State Water Resources Control Board compiled and analyzed data for the purpose of mapping groundwater salinity in selected oil and gas fields in California. The data for the Fruitvale and Rosedale Ranch oil fields include well construction data, digitized borehole geophysical data, geochemical analyses of water samples f

Date published: December 26, 2017

Hydrodynamic and sediment transport data from San Pablo Bay and China Camp marsh (northern San Francisco Bay), 2013-2016

The USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center collected data to investigate sediment dynamics in the shallows of San Pablo Bay (SP) and sediment exchange between bay shallows and the tidal salt marsh in China Camp State Park (CMC) in a series of deployments between December 2013 and June 2016. This data release includes two related groups of data sets, one for SP and one for CMC.

Filter Total Items: 466
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Year Published: 2006

Trophic structure and avian communities across a salinity gradient in evaporation ponds of the San Francisco Bay estuary

Commercial salt evaporation ponds comprise a large proportion of baylands adjacent to the San Francisco Bay, a highly urbanized estuary. In the past two centuries, more than 79% of the historic tidal wetlands in this estuary have been lost. Resource management agencies have acquired more than 10 000 ha of commercial salt ponds with plans to...

Takekawa, John Y.; Miles, A.K.; Schoellhamer, D.H.; Athearn, N.D.; Saiki, M.K.; Duffy, W.D.; Kleinschmidt, S.; Shellenbarger, G.G.; Jannusch, C.A.
Trophic structure and avian communities across a salinity gradient in evaporation ponds of the San Francisco Bay estuary; 2006; Conference Paper; Hydrobiologia; Takekawa, J. Y.; Miles, A. K.; Schoellhamer, D. H.; Athearn, N. D.; Saiki, M. K.; Duffy, W. D.; Kleinschmidt, S.; Shellenbarger, G. G.; Jannusch, C. A.

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Year Published: 2006

Trophic structure and avian communities across a salinity gradient in evaporation ponds of the San Francisco Bay estuary

Commercial salt evaporation ponds comprise a large proportion of baylands adjacent to the San Francisco Bay, a highly urbanized estuary. In the past two centuries, more than 79% of the historic tidal wetlands in this estuary have been lost. Resource management agencies have acquired more than 10 000 ha of commercial salt ponds with plans...

Takekawa, John Y.; Miles, A.K.; Schoellhamer, D.H.; Athearn, N.D.; Saiki, M. K.; Duffy, W.D.; Kleinschmidt, S.; Shellenbarger, G.G.; Jannusch, C.A.

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Year Published: 2005

Decadal-scale analysis of coastal landslides along the Big Sur coast: rates and processes

Hapke, Cheryl J.; Green, Krystal R.
Decadal-scale analysis of coastal landslides along the Big Sur coast: rates and processes; 2005; OFR; 2005-1434; Hapke, Cheryl J.; Green, Krystal R.

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Year Published: 2005

Log of Trench 04A across the Hayward Fault at Tyson's Lagoon (Tule Pond), Fremont, Alameda County, California

This publication makes available a detailed trench log (sheets 1 and 2) of a 110-m trench we excavated in 2004 across a tectonic sag pond in the Hayward fault zone. Also included are revised stratigraphic unit descriptions from this fifth field season of subsurface investigation of the Hayward fault at Tyson's Lagoon (Tule Pond). Preliminary...

Lienkaemper, James J.; Williams, Patrick L.; Sickler, Robert R.; Fumal, Thomas E.
Log of Trench 04A Across the Hayward Fault at Tyson's Lagoon (Tule Pond), Fremont, Alameda County, California; 2005; OFR; 2005-1350; Lienkaemper, James J.; Williams, Patrick L.; Sickler, Robert R.; Fumal, Thomas E.

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Year Published: 2005

Rates of landsliding and cliff retreat along the Big Sur Coast, California--measuring a crucial baseline

Hapke, Cheryl J.; Green, Krystal R.
Rates of landsliding and cliff retreat along the Big Sur Coast, California--measuring a crucial baseline; 2005; FS; 2004-3099; Hapke, Cheryl J.; Green, Krystal R.

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Year Published: 2005

Blind comparisons of shear-wave velocities at closely-spaced sites in San Jose, California: Proceedings of a Workshop held at the US Geological Survey, Menlo Park, May 3, 2004

Shear-wave velocities within several hundred meters of Earth's surface are important in specifying earthquake ground motions for engineering design. Not only are the shearwave velocities used in classifying sites for use of modern building codes, but they are also used in site-specific studies of particularly significant structures. Many are the...

Asten, Michael W.; Boore, David M.
Blind comparisons of shear-wave velocities at closely-spaced sites in San Jose, California: Proceedings of a Workshop held at the US Geological Survey, Menlo Park, May 3, 2004; 2005; OFR; 2005-1169; edited by Asten, Michael W.; Boore, David M.

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Year Published: 2005

Landslide hazards at La Conchita, California

Jibson, Randall W.
Landslide hazards at La Conchita, California; 2005; OFR; 2005-1067; Jibson, Randall W.

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Year Published: 2005

Elevated mercury concentrations in failed eggs of Snowy Plovers at Point Reyes National Seashore

[No abstract available]

Schwarzbach, S.E.; Stephenson, M.; Ruhlen, T.; Abbott, S.; Page, G. W.; Adams, D.
Elevated mercury concentrations in failed eggs of Snowy Plovers at Point Reyes National Seashore; 2005; Article; Journal; Marine Pollution Bulletin; Schwarzbach, S. E.; Stephenson, M.; Ruhlen, T.; Abbott, S.; Page, G. W.; Adams, D.

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Year Published: 2005

Estimation of regional material yield from coastal landslides based on historical digital terrain modelling

High-resolution historical (1942) and recent (1994) digital terrain models were derived from aerial photographs along the Big Sur coastline in central California to measure the long-term volume of material that enters the nearshore environment. During the 52-year measurement time period, an average of 21 000 ?? 3100 m3 km-1 a-1 of material was...

Hapke, C.J.
Estimation of regional material yield from coastal landslides based on historical digital terrain modelling; 2005; Article; Journal; Earth Surface Processes and Landforms; Hapke, C. J.

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Year Published: 2005

Habitat restoration as a means of controlling non-native fish in a Mojave desert Oasis

Non-native fish generally cause native fish decline, and once non-natives are established, control or elimination is usually problematic. Because non-native fish colonization has been greatest in anthropogenically altered habitats, restoring habitat similar to predisturbance conditions may offer a viable means of non-native fish control. In this...

Scoppettone, G.G.; Rissler, P.H.; Gourley, C.; Martinez, C.
Habitat restoration as a means of controlling non-native fish in a Mojave desert Oasis; 2005; Article; Journal; Restoration Ecology; Scoppettone, G. G.; Rissler, P. H.; Gourley, C.; Martinez, C.

Filter Total Items: 1,110
man in yellow shirt and camo coveralls standing in thigh-high water with instrument.
December 31, 2017

Measuring streamflow in the Sisquoc River near Garey, California.

USGS technician measuring streamflow in the Sisquoc River near Garey, California, upstream of the Santa Maria Mesa Road Bridge.

Big Sur coast. Red squares mark some of the sites damaged by 2016–17 winter storms, including Mud Creek and Paul’s Slide areas
December 31, 2017

Map of Big Sur coast with labels

Big Sur coast. Red squares mark some of the sites damaged by 2016–17 winter storms, including Mud Creek and Paul’s Slide areas.

Photo of a laboratory with various equipment and tables to work on.
December 31, 2017

PCMSC Marine Minerals Laboratory

A look into the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center’s Marine Minerals Laboratory Suite.

scientific instruments and platform next to river surrounded by snow
December 31, 2017

USGS Streamgaging on the Pit River operates year round.

 USGS Streamgaging equipment and cableway on the Pit River near Canby, California operates year round.

Air photo of Paul's slide (left); photo of repair equipment/construction (right)
December 31, 2017

Air photo, Paul's slide (left); repair equipment/construction (right)

Paul’s Slide. Left: Air photo taken May 27, 2017, one of many that Beth Haddon will analyze with structure-from-motion software to measure changes in ground elevation. Right: Caltrans employees and contractors use an excavator and bulldozer to remove Paul’s Slide debris from California State Highway 1. Note recent construction of concrete and a line of grouted reinforcing

...
Photo of a laboratory with various equipment and tables to work on.
December 31, 2017

PCMSC Marine Minerals Laboratory

A look into the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center’s Marine Minerals Laboratory Suite.

Two technicians in a cablecar over a river, with an instrument hanging below them
December 31, 2017

Lowering an acoustic Doppler current profiler from a cable way.

USGS technicians preparing for a streamflow measurement by lowering an acoustic Doppler current profiler from a cable way on the American River near Fair Oaks, California. 

Photo of a laboratory with various equipment and tables to work on.
December 31, 2017

PCMSC Marine Minerals Laboratory

A look into the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center’s Marine Minerals Laboratory Suite.

two men in camo-patterned overalls standing next to a boat on the shore of a river with an instrument on the ground.
December 31, 2017

Technicians prepare to board a boat to measure water flow.

USGS technicians prepare to board a boat to go out to the center of the channel in the San Joaquin River below Friant Dam to get an accurate measurement of water flow during releases from the Dam for flood control.

 model grid with four rows and four columns showing A, types of cascading hydrologic response units (HRUs) and B, land-surface a
December 31, 2017

Model Grids with Cascading Hydrologic Response Units

Hypothetical model grid showing A, types of cascading hydrologic response units and B, land-surface altitudes and cascading flow directions.

USGS scientist collecting samples of aquatic species from the Pike River, Wis., for later analysis of mercury contamination.
December 31, 2017

Collecting samples of aquatic species from the Pike River, Wisconsin

Microbial Biogeochemistry Laboratory — Menlo Park, California. USGS scientist collecting samples of aquatic species from the Pike River, Wis., for later analysis of mercury contamination.

man in yellow slicker standing in rushing river up to his thighs, holding a stick-like instrument in the water
December 31, 2017

Measuring streamflow in fast moving floodwater.

USGS hydrographer measuring streamflow using a handheld Acoustic Doppler Velocimeter in fast moving floodwater Cajon Creek near Keenbrook, California. 

Filter Total Items: 983
USGS science for a changing world logo
January 21, 2014

What is all the buzz about in the Yellowstone area? Is it really dangerous? On January 23rd Jake Lowenstern, Scientist-in-Charge of Yellowstone Volcano Observatory will explain what is happening now with earthquakes, ground uplift, and steam explosions.

Image: Gary Scoppettone
January 16, 2014

Today, the Department of Interior honored U.S. Geological Survey biologist Gary Scoppettone and his colleagues for helping land managers save two species of fish from extinction. The species of unique desert fish, Cui-ui and Lahontan cutthroat trout, are considered sacred to the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe of Nevada.

USGS science for a changing world logo
January 15, 2014

Twenty years ago this week an earthquake struck Northridge, Calif., killing 57 people and revealing a serious defect in a common type of mid-rise building. A new study by U.S. Geological Survey and Caltech engineers, shows that these mid-rise buildings with fracture-prone welds in their steel frames are much more dangerous than they would be if they met current standards.

USGS science for a changing world logo
January 15, 2014

Trees do not slow in their growth rate as they get older and larger — instead, their growth keeps accelerating, according to a study published today in the journal Nature.

USGS
December 19, 2013

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced today that Interior’s Southwest Climate Science Center is awarding nearly $1.2 million to universities and other partners for research to guide managers of parks, refuges and other cultural and natural resources in planning how to help species and ecosystems adapt to climate change.

USGS
December 13, 2013

Drought conditions are linked to declines in a protected desert tortoise population in part of the Sonoran Desert, according to a U.S. Geological Survey study. 

USGS
December 6, 2013

The U.S. Geological Survey participates in the American Geophysical Union's fall meeting with hundreds of technical presentations.  Below are some highlights of USGS science at AGU this year. Highlights about the technical sessions are presented in chronological order with session numbers, and room numbers in San Francisco's Moscone Convention Center...

USGS
November 18, 2013

Extensive groundwater pumping from San Joaquin Valley aquifers is increasing the rate of land subsidence, or sinking, that could result in serious operational and structural challenges and repairs to water infrastructure, according to a new report by the U.S. Geological Survey.

USGS
November 7, 2013

Although dousing the flames was foremost in people's minds during the recent Rim Fire in Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park, U.S. Geological Survey scientific work continues well after the fire is out. USGS scientists are continuing their critical research characterizing the hidden dangers faced after large wildfires.

USGS
November 4, 2013

A new cooperative study by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Hi-Desert Water District indicates that the artificial replenishment of the groundwater aquifer system in the west hydrogeologic unit of the Warren groundwater basin in San Bernardino County’s Yucca Valley resulted in a decrease of nitrate concentrations in groundwater samples and a rise in water levels.

Volcanic eruptions have a much longer warning phase before the onse...
October 29, 2013

On October 6, 2013 the California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) published its 2013 State of California Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan complete with a chapter from the USGS on volcano hazard mitigation.

Magnitude 3.8 earthquake (large purple dot) located about 18 km SE ...
October 21, 2013

A magnitude 3.8 earthquake occurred on October 21, 2013 at 10:04 PDT 18 km (11 miles) SE of the town of Mammoth Lakes in eastern California.