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: 421
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...

Date published: July 26, 2016
Status: Active

HDgov: Multi-agency Website for Human Dimensions of Natural Resources

HDgov is an interactive and mobile-responsive online portal to interagency, academic, and non-government resources focused on the human dimensions of natural resource management. The web portal provides easy access to tools, publications, data, and methods that help ensure that the people side of natural resources is considered throughout the entire natural resource management process. The...

Date published: July 26, 2016
Status: Active

National Park Service Visitor Spending Effects

The National Park Service (NPS) manages the Nation’s most iconic destinations that attract millions of visitors from across the Nation and around the world. Trip-related spending by NPS visitors generates and supports a considerable amount of economic activity within park gateway communities. USGS economists collaborate with the National Park Service social science program to estimate NPS...

Date published: July 21, 2016
Status: Active

Using Quantile Regression to Investigate Ecological Limiting Factors

Unexplained heterogeneity in statistical models of animal responses to their physical environment is reasonable to expect because the measured habitat resources are a constraint on—but not the sole determinant of—abundance, survival, fecundity, or fitness. The ecological understanding and reliability of management predictions based on animal habitat models can be improved by shifting focus ...

Date published: July 21, 2016
Status: Active

North American Waterfowl Management Plan

The ultimate success of North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) depends on maintaining relevance to stakeholders and society. In order to be relevant, a first step is to better understand what people value in regard to waterfowl and their habitats. 

Date published: July 19, 2016
Status: Completed

Quantitative and Statistical Research Collaboration

Mathematical and statistical models are powerful research tools that play several important roles in conceptualizing and understanding the structure and dynamics of complicated ecological systems, including developing mechanistic hypotheses pertaining to ecological systems, designing studies that elucidate ecosystem structure and function, and extracting information from data.

Date published: June 27, 2016
Status: Active

Using Cell Technology to Track Species Movement

The Information Science Branch explored and developed ways to track species locations using a standard cellular phone network. This technology provides more tracking data at a faster rate and lower cost than traditional satellite tracking systems. The initial implementation of this approach currently provides support for the California Condor recovery program and is being extended to include...

Contacts: Gail Montgomery
Date published: April 13, 2016

Understanding Coastal Change

Scientists perform a range of studies that document, assess, and model coastal change, risk, and vulnerability. Studies include historical shoreline change, the geologic structure and history of coastal regions, sediment supply and transport, sea-level rise, and how extreme storm events affect rates and impacts of coastal change.

Date published: April 13, 2016

Geologic Hazards and Catastrophic Events

We study the distribution and hazard potential of coastal and submarine events such as earthquakes and submarine landslides and associated tsunami potential, hurricane induced coastal inundation, extreme storms, sea-level rise and oil and gas spills. We also model development to help evaluate and forecast coastal hazard probability and occurrence.

Date published: April 13, 2016

Ocean Resources for America's Needs

Our scientists conduct research studies focused on geologic mapping, sampling and understanding of mineral and energy resources and studies of the geologic setting and processes to inform renewable energy development offshore.

Date published: April 12, 2016
Status: Active

USGS Library

The USGS Library, managed by CSAS&L, supports all fundamental scientific research conducted within USGS. It serves both internal and external customers with comprehensive access to literature, data, and information necessary understand USGS mission areas and make critical decisions about how to proceed with research initiatives and investigations in the earth and natural sciences.

Filter Total Items: 583
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

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.

Date published: December 12, 2017

River-channel topography, grain size, and turbidity records from the Carmel River, California, before, during, and after removal of San Clemente Dam

The San Clemente Dam, built in the 1920s on the Carmel River in Monterey County, California, was removed during 2014 and 2015. The dam-removal project was the largest in California to date, and one of the largest in the U.S. The USGS collected data before, during, and after the removal of the dam to study how the river channel's topographic profiles and sediment distributions changed...

Date published: November 16, 2017

Multibeam bathymetry and acoustic-backscatter data collected in 2016 in Catalina Basin, southern California and merged multibeam bathymetry datasets of the northern portion of the Southern California Continental Borderland

In February 2016 the University of Washington in cooperation with USGS PCMSC collected multibeam bathymetry and acoustic-backscatter data in and near the Catalina Basin, southern California aboard the University of Washington's Research Vessel Thomas G. Thompson. Data was collected using a hull-mounted Kongsberg EM300 multibeam...

Date published: October 30, 2017

Hydrogen stable isotope data for: 'Mechanisms associated with an advance in the timing of seasonal reproduction in an urban songbird'

This dataset includes stable hydrogen isotope values of the nonexchangeable hydrogen contained in the outer most secondary feathers of dark-eyed juncos (Junco hyemalis thurberi) collected from the University of California San Diego campus in La Jolla, California in 2014.

Date published: September 20, 2017

Near-surface wind fields for San Francisco Bay--historical and 21st-century projected time series

To support CoSMoS in the San Francisco Bay, time series of historical and 21st-century near-surface wind fields (eastward and northward wind arrays) were simulated throughout the Bay. While global climate models provide useful projections of near-surface wind vectors into the 21st century, resolution is not sufficient enough for use in regional wave modeling projects, such as CoSMoS. Short-...

Date published: September 1, 2017

National Water Information System web interface (NWISweb)

The National Water Information System (NWIS) web application provides access to real-time and historical surface-water, groundwater, water-quality, and water-use data collected at approximately 1.5 million sites across all 50 states.

Date published: August 30, 2017

California spotted owl fledgling counts, climate, and landscape habitat at territories on the Lassen National Forest, CA 1991-2010

This is a comma separated values (CSV) file used to conduct the logistic quantile regression analyses in R provided by Cade et al. (2017). The data set consists of records of California spotted owl fledgling counts on 88 territories on the Lassen National Forest, CA from 1991-2010. Climatic condition data were obtained from PRISM and landscape habitat data were obtained from LANDFIRE.

Date published: August 24, 2017

Coastal Change Hazards Portal

Interactive access to coastal change science and data for our Nation’s coasts. Information and products are organized within three coastal change hazard themes: 1) extreme storms, 2) shoreline change, and 3) sea-level rise. Displays probabilities of coastal erosion.

Date published: August 4, 2017

San Diego Hydrogeology Data Map

Map of the San Diego Hydrogeology project study area with links to groundwater and surface water data for each of the monitoring sties. 

Filter Total Items: 481
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Year Published: 2006

Maps of quaternary deposits and liquefaction susceptibility in the Central San Francisco Bay Region, California

This report presents a map and database of Quaternary deposits and liquefaction susceptibility for the urban core of the San Francisco Bay region. It supercedes the equivalent area of U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 00-444 (Knudsen and others, 2000), which covers the larger 9-county San Francisco Bay region. The report consists of (1) a...

Witter, Robert C.; Knudsen, Keith L.; Sowers, Janet M.; Wentworth, Carl M.; Koehler, Richard D.; Randolph, Carolyn E.; Brooks, Suzanna K.; Gans, Kathleen D.
Maps of Quaternary Deposits and Liquefaction Susceptibility in the Central San Francisco Bay Region, California; 2006; OFR; 2006-1037; Witter, Robert C.; Knudsen, Keith L.; Sowers, Janet M.; Wentworth, Carl M.; Koehler, Richard D.; Randolph, Carolyn E.; Brooks, Suzanna K.; Gans, Kathleen D.

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Year Published: 2006

USGS science in Menlo Park -- a science strategy for the U.S. Geological Survey Menlo Park Science Center, 2005-2015

In the spring of 2004, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Menlo Park Center Council commissioned an interdisciplinary working group to develop a forward-looking science strategy for the USGS Menlo Park Science Center in California (hereafter also referred to as "the Center"). The Center has been the flagship research center for the USGS in the...

Brocher, Thomas M.; Carr, Michael D.; Halsing, David L.; John, David A.; Langenheim, Victoria E.; Mangan, Margaret T.; Marvin-DiPasquale, Mark C.; Takekawa, John Y.; Tiedeman, Claire

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Year Published: 2006

Coastal landslide material loss rates associated with severe climatic events

Deep-seated landslides along the California coast deliver large amounts of material to the nearshore littoral environment. Landslide movement, a combined result of slope base undercutting by waves and ground saturation, is highly episodic. Movement occurs primarily during periods of high rainfall and large waves, such as those associated with El...

Hapke, C.J.; Green, K.R.
Coastal landslide material loss rates associated with severe climatic events; 2006; Article; Journal; Geology; Hapke, C. J.; Green, K. R.

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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.

Filter Total Items: 1,116
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. 

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.

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.

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. 

Map of Active Faults and Historic Earthquakes in California
December 31, 2017

California Seismicity

Map of historic seismicity, major faults, and paleoseismic summary of San Andreas Fault system.

Map shows a coastal city with an airport and how, during a large storm, ocean water would flood around city features.
December 31, 2017

CoSMoS projection for San Diego

Example of CoSMoS projected flooding extents for a 1.5 meter sea level rise in combination with possible 100 year return period coastal storms.

USGS
December 31, 2017

Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus) Call

Bats produce a variety of vocalizations that are used for navigation, feeding, and social communication. Most vocalizations are pitched well above the range of human hearing and are referred to as ultrasonic. These calls are often known as echolocation calls since bats use the echoes produced when a sound bounces off a bug or a building to determine what is in the area. 

Satellite showing the burn scars from the Thomas fire in California
December 25, 2017

Southern California Wildfires Update

In the Landsat 8 image acquired on December 9, smoke is carried west by strong winds, which also continued to spread fire through the dry terrain, mountain passes, and canyons. The diagonal lines are an airplane contrail and its shadow cast on the ground. Landsat 8’s December 25 image reveals the burn scar and shows

...
December 15, 2017

Image of the Week - Southern California Wildfires, December 2017

The Thomas fire has burned more than 230,000 acres and continues to blaze across souther California. These images show some of the burn scar left behind.

At the USGS EROS Center, we study land change, operate the Landsat satellites, and maintain the longest, continuously acquired collection of images of the Earth's land surface.

USGS EROS Center (

A man at right talks about and gestures at a rock on a table to another man who is squatting in front of the rock.
December 9, 2017

Talking about seafloor mineral deposits

Research geologist Jim Hein (right) gave a hands-on explanation of seafloor mineral deposits.

Filter Total Items: 986
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.

USGS
September 26, 2013

Nitrate was detected at high concentrations in 10 percent of the aquifer system used for public supply in coastal areas of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey report.

USGS
September 12, 2013

California’s Sea Otter Numbers Continue Slow Climb

Tsunami Messaging Image
September 5, 2013

The fearsome aftermath of a tsunami striking California might cost at least $3.4 billion to repair, but neither of the state's nuclear power plants would be damaged, suggests a new analysis that could help officials and the public prepare for a tsunami and reduce risks before any such disasters happen.

USGS
September 4, 2013

While scientists can't predict when a great earthquake producing a pan-Pacific tsunami will occur, thanks to new tools being developed by federal and state officials, scientists can now offer more accurate insight into the likely impacts when tsunamis occur. This knowledge can lead officials and the public to reduce the risk of the future tsunamis that will impact California.

USGS
August 20, 2013

A new interagency report provides a plan for long-term scientific monitoring and assessment for California's Salton Sea. Monitoring of the Salton Sea ecosystem is critical for informed decision making and the success of restoration efforts. 

USGS
August 13, 2013

When California State University, East Bay demolishes its seismically unsafe Warren Hall on Aug. 17 on its Hayward campus, the landmark building's implosion will produce energy similar to a small earthquake that can be used to study and map the nearby Hayward Fault. 

USGS
August 9, 2013

Science and technology have peeled back a veil of water just offshore of California, revealing the hidden seafloor in unprecedented detail. New imagery, specialized undersea maps, and a wealth of data from along the California coast are now available.

USGS
July 26, 2013

A study on frogs in remote Sierra Nevada mountain habitats including Yosemite National Park and Giant Sequoia National Monument, detected concentrations of pesticides in frog tissue that potentially came from California's Central Valley sources. 

USGS
July 11, 2013

Initial findings will support a USGS hydrologic model to better understand area water-supply issues