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: 418
Date published: March 9, 2016

Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center

We work with others to provide scientific understanding and technologies needed to support and implement sound management and conservation of our Nation's biological resources in Hawaii and other Pacific island locations.

Date published: March 9, 2016

Pacific Islands Water Science Center

This center is one of 48 Water Science Centers in the USGS, and its mission is to collect, analyze and disseminate the impartial hydrologic data and information needed to wisely manage water resources for the people of the United States, the State of Hawaii, and other Pacific Islands.

Date published: March 9, 2016

Salton Sea Science Office

USGS Salton Sea Science Office works closely with Federal, State, local, nongovernmental, and tribal partners, providing information for management actions. This USGS office has a unique charter to serve as an independent liaison between resource managers and the scientific community. In that capacity the the office provides scientific information and evaluations to decision makers who are...

Date published: March 9, 2016
Status: Active

Western Geographic Science Center (WGSC)

WGSC scientists conduct geographic research on the environmental and societal consequences of a changing landscape. We develop tools and models to help decision makers better understand complex scientific information so that alternative options/scenarios can be assessed.

Attribution:
Date published: March 9, 2016
Status: Active

Western Ecological Research Center

The Pacific Region contains a dazzling array of habitats from below-sea-level deserts to alpine tundra to coastal mountains, seashores, and marine ecosystems. The Western Ecological Research Center reflects the qualities of this region with equally diverse expertise. Our scientists are trained in research, monitoring, and technology development to basic biology and modeling.

Attribution:
Date published: March 3, 2016

"Get your science used--Six guidelines to improve your products"

This USGS Circular addresses the challenges natural scientists face when communicating their science to people outside their fields and, based on the expertise of social scientists and other risk communicators, provides guidelines to those seeking to improve their products.

Date published: March 3, 2016
Status: Active

Developing a USGS Legacy Data Inventory to Preserve and Release Historical USGS Data

Legacy data (n) - Information stored in an old or obsolete format or computer system that is, therefore, difficult to access or process. (Business Dictionary, 2016) For over 135 years, the U.S. Geological Survey has collected diverse information about the natural world and how it interacts with society. Much of this legacy information is one-of-a-kind and in danger of being lost forever...

Date published: March 2, 2016

USGS California Volcano Observatory (CalVO)

CalVO operates real-time volcano monitoring networks, disseminates forecasts and notifications of significant activity, assesses volcano hazards, researches volcano processes, and works with communities to prepare for volcanic eruptions in California and Nevada. The Observatory is located at USGS offices in Menlo Park, California.

Date published: December 23, 2015
Status: Active

Estimating Natural Flows for Hydrologic Reference Streams

Scientists develop metrics of expected hydrological conditions at ungaged sites throughout Callifornia 

Date published: May 1, 2015
Status: Completed

Seismology in the City

Release Date: May 1, 2015

How seismologists can use noise to see under the ground.

Contacts: William J Stephenson, Lisa A Wald, Steve Hartzell, Morgan Moschetti, Jack Odum, Robert Williams, David Worley
Date published: February 23, 2015
Status: Active

Application of the SmeltCam to Describe Processes Influencing Delta Smelt Distribution and Movements

The California Water Science Center's "SmeltCam" helps describe processes influencing Delta Smelt distribution and movement.

Filter Total Items: 577
Date published: April 19, 2017

Minisparker seismic-reflection data of field activity S-07-11-SC: offshore San Diego, and Los Angeles Counties, southern California from 2011-06-08 to 2011-06-22

This dataset includes raw and processed, high-resolution seismic-reflection data collected in 2011 to collect information on active offshore faults. The survey area is offshore southern California between Long Beach and San Diego. The data were collected aboard USGS R/V Parke Snavely. The seismic-reflection data were acquired using a SIG 2mille minisparker system. Subbottom acoustic...

Date published: April 19, 2017

Chirp seismic-reflection data of field activity S-12-10-SC: Oceanside to La Jolla, offshore southern California from 2010-06-01 to 2010-06-12

This dataset includes raw and processed, high-resolution seismic-reflection data collected in 2010 to collect information on active offshore faults. The survey is area is offshore southern California between Oceanside and La Jolla. The data were collected aboard USGS R/V Parke Snavely. The seismic-reflection data were acquired using an EdgeTech 512 chirp subbottom profiler. Subbottom acoustic...

Date published: April 19, 2017

Chirp seismic-reflection data of field activity S-07-11-SC: offshore San Diego, and Los Angeles Counties, southern California from 2011-06-08 to 2011-06-22

This dataset includes raw and processed, high-resolution seismic-reflection data collected in 2011 to collect information on active offshore faults. The survey area is offshore southern California between Long Beach and San Diego. The data were collected aboard USGS R/V Parke Snavely. The seismic-reflection data were acquired using an EdgeTech 512 subbottom profiler. Subbottom acoustic 

Date published: April 18, 2017

Minisparker seismic-reflection data of field activity B-1-08-SC: between Huntington Beach and San Diego, offshore southern California from 2008-04-28 to 2008-05-05

This dataset includes raw and processed, high-resolution seismic-reflection data collected in 2008 to collect information on active offshore faults. The survey area is offshore southern California between Huntington Beach and San Diego. The data were collected aboard R/V Bold. The seismic-reflection data were acquired using a SIG 2mille minisparker. Subbottom acoustic penetration spanned tens...

Date published: April 18, 2017

Liquefaction potential as a result of HayWired earthquake scenario mainshock (April 18, 2018) shaking in Alameda and Santa Clara Counties, San Francisco Bay area, California

These data are a geospatial representation of liquefaction potential for the HayWired earthquake scenario, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake occurring on the Hayward Fault on April 18, 2018, with an epicenter in the city of Oakland, CA. These data are the product of an analysis that created a detailed liquefaction probability map covering the northern Santa Clara County and western Alameda County...

Attribution: Natural Hazards
Date published: April 12, 2017

California Land-change Projections

This dataset consists of modeled projections of land use and land cover and population for the State of California for the period 1970-2101. For the 1970-2001 period, we used the USGS's LUCAS model to "backcast" LULC, beginning with the 2001 initial conditions and ending with 1970. For future projections, the model was initialized in 2001 and run forward on an annual time step to 2100.

Date published: April 12, 2017

Community exposure in California to coastal flooding hazards enhanced by climate change, reference year 2010

The data set contains information on potential population, economic, land cover, and infrastructure flooding exposure for San Francisco Bay and coastal communities of the state of California, USA. This data is viewable on HERA.

Date published: April 12, 2017

Summary of total mercury concentrations in dragonfly larvae, western mosquitofish, and tree swallow eggs collected from Cosumnes River Preserve 2011 – 2013

In order to document potential environmental health risk in Cosumnes River Preserve wetlands due to mercury, we analyzed dragonfly larvae, western mosquitofish, and tree swallow eggs collected from wetlands and rice fields of the Preserve from 2011 to 2013.

Date published: March 6, 2017

Minisparker seismic-reflection data of field activity S-5-09-SC: San Pedro Basin, offshore southern California from 2009-07-06 to 2009-07-10

This dataset includes raw and processed, high-resolution seismic-reflection data collected in 2009 to explore a possible connection between the San Diego Trough Fault and the San Pedro Basin Fault. The survey is in the San Pedro Basin between Santa Catalina Island and San Pedro, California. The data were collected aboard USGS R/V Parke Snavely.  The seismic-reflection data were acquired using...

Date published: March 6, 2017

Chirp seismic-reflection data of field activity S-5-09-SC: San Pedro Basin, offshore southern California from 2009-07-06 to 2009-07-10

This dataset includes raw and processed, high-resolution seismic-reflection data collected in 2009 to explore a possible connection between the San Diego Trough Fault and the San Pedro Basin Fault. The survey is in the San Pedro Basin between Santa Catalina Island and San Pedro, California. The data were collected aboard USGS R/V Parke Snavely. The seismic-reflection data were acquired using...

Date published: February 27, 2017

San Francisco Bay-Delta bathymetric/topographic digital elevation model (DEM)

A high-resolution (10-meter per pixel) digital elevation model (DEM) was created for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta using both bathymetry and topography data relative to current modern datum of North American Vertical Datum of 1988. This DEM is the result of collaborative efforts of the USGS and the California Department of Water Resources. The base of the DEM is from a 10-m DEM 

Date published: February 17, 2017

California State Waters Map Series Data Catalog--Offshore of Gaviota, California

Each GIS data file for the Offshore Of Gaviota map area is listed with a brief description, a small image, and links to the metadata files and the downloadable data files.

Filter Total Items: 448
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Year Published: 1999

Map showing locations of damaging landslides in Solano County, California, resulting from 1997-98 El Nino rainstorms

Heavy rainfall associated with a strong El Nino caused over $150 million in landslide damage in the 10-county San Francisco Bay region during the winter and spring of 1998. A team of USGS scientists collected information on landslide locations and damage costs. About $13.5 million in damages were assessed in Solano County.

Howell, David G.; Godt, Jonathan W.
Map showing locations of damaging landslides in Solano County, California, resulting from 1997-98 El Nino rainstorms; 1999; MF; 2325-I; Howell, David G.; Godt, Jonathan W.

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Year Published: 1999

Map showing locations of damaging landslides in Sonoma County, California, resulting from 1997-98 El Nino rainstorms

Heavy rainfall associated with a strong El Nino caused over $150 million in landslide damage in the 10-county San Francisco Bay region during the winter and spring of 1998. A team of USGS scientists collected information on landslide locations and damage costs. About $21 million in damages were assessed in Sonoma County.

Ramsey, David W.; Godt, Jonathan W.
Map showing locations of damaging landslides in Sonoma County, California, resulting from 1997-98 El Nino rainstorms; 1999; MF; 2325-F; Ramsey, David W.; Godt, Jonathan W.

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Year Published: 1998

Chapter A. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Lifelines

To the general public who had their televisions tuned to watch the World Series, the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake was a lifelines earthquake. It was the images seen around the world of the collapsed Cypress Street viaduct, with the frantic and heroic efforts to pull survivors from the structure that was billowing smoke; the collapsed section of the...

Schiff, Anshel J.
Chapter A. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Lifelines; 1998; PP; 1552-A; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Performance of the Built Environment; Edited by Schiff, Anshel J.

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Year Published: 1998

Chapter D. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Earth Structures and Engineering Characterization of Ground Motion

This chapter contains two papers that summarize the performance of engineered earth structures, dams and stabilized excavations in soil, and two papers that characterize for engineering purposes the attenuation of ground motion with distance during the Loma Prieta earthquake. Documenting the field performance of engineered structures and...

Holzer, Thomas L.
Chapter D. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Earth Structures and Engineering Characterization of Ground Motion; 1998; PP; 1552-D; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Performance of the Built Environment; Edited by Holzer, Thomas L.

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Year Published: 1998

Chapter D. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Recovery, Mitigation, and Reconstruction

The papers in this chapter reflect the broad spectrum of issues that arise following a major damaging urban earthquake-the regional economic consequences, rehousing problems, reconstruction strategies and policies, and opportunities for mitigation before the next major seismic event. While some of these papers deal with structural or physical...

Nigg, Joanne M.
Chapter D. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Recovery, Mitigation, and Reconstruction; 1998; PP; 1553-D; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Societal Response; Edited by Nigg, Joanne M.

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Year Published: 1998

Chapter B. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Forecasts

The magnitude (Mw) 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake struck the San Francisco Bay region of central California at 5:04 p.m. P.d.t. on October 17, 1989, killing 62 people and generating billions of dollars in property damage. Scientists were not surprised by the occurrence of a destructive earthquake in this region and had, in fact, been attempting to...

Harris, Ruth A.
Chapter B. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Forecasts; 1998; PP; 1550-B; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Earthquake Occurrence; Edited by Harris, Ruth A.

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Year Published: 1998

Chapter C. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Building Structures

Several approaches are used to assess the performance of the built environment following an earthquake -- preliminary damage surveys conducted by professionals, detailed studies of individual structures, and statistical analyses of groups of structures. Reports of damage that are issued by many organizations immediately following an earthquake...

Çelebi, Mehmet
Chapter C. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Building Structures; 1998; PP; 1552-C; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Performance of the Built Environment; Edited by Celebi, Mehmet

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Year Published: 1998

Chapter C. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Landslides

Central California, in the vicinity of San Francisco and Monterey Bays, has a history of fatal and damaging landslides, triggered by heavy rainfall, coastal and stream erosion, construction activity, and earthquakes. The great 1906 San Francisco earthquake (MS=8.2-8.3) generated more than 10,000 landslides throughout an area of 32,000 km2; these...

Keefer, David K.
Chapter C. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Landslides; 1998; PP; 1551-C; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Strong Ground Motion and Ground Failure; Edited by Keefer, David K.

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Year Published: 1998

Chapter B. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Highway Systems

This paper summarizes the impact of the Loma Prieta earthquake on highway systems. City streets, urban freeways, county roads, state routes, and the national highway system were all affected. There was damage to bridges, roads, tunnels, and other highway structures. The most serious damage occurred in the cities of San Francisco and Oakland, 60...

Yashinsky, Mark
Chapter B. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Highway Systems; 1998; PP; 1552-B; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Performance of the Built Environment; Yashinsky, Mark

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Year Published: 1998

Chapter B. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Liquefaction

The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake both reconfirmed the vulnerability of areas in the San Francisco-Monterey Bay region to liquefaction and provided an opportunity to test methodologies for predicting liquefaction that have been developed since the mid-1970's. This vulnerability is documented in the chapter edited by O'Rourke and by the investigators...

Holzer, Thomas L.
Chapter B. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Liquefaction; 1998; PP; 1551-B; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Strong Ground Motion and Ground Failure; Edited by Holzer, Thomas L.

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Year Published: 1998

The influence of the San Gregorio fault on the morphology of Monterey Canyon

A side-scan sonar survey was conducted of Monterey Canyon and the San Gregorio fault zone, off shore of Monterey Bay. The acoustic character and morphology of the sonar images, enhanced by SeaBeam bathymetry, show the path of the San Gregorio fault zone across the shelf, upper slope, and Monterey Canyon. High backscatter linear features a few...

McHugh, C.M.G.; Ryan, William B. F.; Eittreim, S.; Donald, Reed
The influence of the San Gregorio fault on the morphology of Monterey Canyon; 1998; Article; Journal; Marine Geology; McHugh, C. M. G.; B. f. , Ryan, W.; Eittreim, S.; Donald, Reed

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Year Published: 1998

The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Performance of the built environment

Professional Paper 1552 focuses on the response of buildings, lifelines, highway systems, and earth structures to the earthquake. Losses to these systems totaled approximated $5.9 billion. The earthquake displaced many residents from their homes and severely disrupted transportation systems. Some significant findings were: * Approximately 16,...

Coordinated by Holzer, Thomas L.
The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Performance of the Built Environment; 1998; PP; 1552; Coordinated by Holzer, Thomas L.

Filter Total Items: 1,120
A man at right talks with another man and woman about an image projected on a screen.
December 9, 2017

Drone discussion

The drone on the table helped map a giant Big Sur landslide that closed California’s Highway 1. Josh Logan (right) described the process to visitors.

A man shows a young girl some reading material he picked up from table, other people stand in background looking at other stuff.
December 9, 2017

Colorful handouts from USGS

Our handouts were very popular with both kids and adults.

person bent over on barren ground over looking a lake and mountains. A jute net covers the foreground.
December 8, 2017

Scientist spreading moss fragments

A USGS scientist spreads moss fragments for a study to test the restoration potential of moss, an important component of biological soil crust. A jute net, foreground, helps stabilize the moss fragments as they adhere to the soil.

Coastal view of landslide area with sand, gravel, cobbles, and large rocks of all sizes on a slope.
December 7, 2017

Upper terrace of Mud Creek slide

Mud Creek slide from south side of north upper terrace (above north and south berms). Note tension cracks and offset on the terrace to the north.

November 30, 2017

2017 Nov. Pub. Lecture—Sea Otters: Confessions of a Keystone Carnivore

  • Sea otters are perhaps the best-known example of a "keystone predator".
  • Sea otter behavior -- in particular diet specialization and limited mobility -- can mediate their effects on ecosystem dynamics.
  • Other predators, especially large sea stars, can complement and reinforce the keystone role of sea otters: this became apparent with the loss of all
Attribution: Ecosystems
View of a beach from up high on a roof with a pier, gentle waves, and an amusement park far off in the distance.
November 7, 2017

Santa Cruz Main Beach

Still-image from video camera atop the Dream Inn looks eastward over Main Beach and boardwalk in Santa Cruz, CA.

A series of images from various sources of shaded-relief topography show the progression of the Mud Creek landslide area.
November 6, 2017

Mud Creek Shaded-Relief Topography, 2010-2017

A series of images from various sources of shaded-relief topography show the progression of the Mud Creek landslide area, from 2010 through October 12, 2017.

Sources:

  1. lidar data from 2010
  2. lidar data from 2016
  3. structure-from-motion (SfM), March 8, 2017
  4. SfM, May 19, 2017
  5. SfM, May 27, 2017
  6. SfM, May 31, 2017
...
October 26, 2017

2017 Oct. Public Lecture — Global Trends in Mineral Commodity Supplies

  • The U.S. is increasingly reliant on supply of mineral raw materials from other countries.
  • Advanced technologies are increasingly making use of nearly the entire periodic table of the elements.
  • Dynamic studies of critical and strategic mineral supply and demand can identify emerging potential supply risks.
  • The USGS - National Minerals
October 19, 2017

Can Prescribed Fire Help Forests Survive Drought in the Sierra Nevadas

This webinar was conducted as part of the Climate Change Science and Management Webinar Series, held in partnership by the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center and the FWS National Conservation Training Center. 

Webinar Summary: Prescribed fire is commonly used by managers in the western U.S. to remove potential wildfire fuel, such as small trees

October 16, 2017

Image of the Week - Wildfires Devastate California Wine Country

Strong winds are quickly spreading wildfire across California's wine country, as seen in these two Landsat 8 images.

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 series of images showing a steep cliff along the coast from two different dates and the change between them.
October 15, 2017

Mud Creek Topo Change June 13-October 12 2017 View 1

In 2017, the massive Mud Creek landslide buried a quarter-mile of the famous coastal route, California’s Highway 1, with rocks and dirt more than 65 feet deep. USGS monitors erosion along the landslide-prone cliffs of Big Sur, collecting aerial photos frequently throughout the year. Some photos are taken with a camera mounted on an airplane, others come from unmanned

...
A series of images showing a steep cliff along the coast from two different dates and the change between them.
October 15, 2017

Mud Creek Topo Change June 13-October 12 2017 View 2

In 2017, the massive Mud Creek landslide buried a quarter-mile of the famous coastal route, California’s Highway 1, with rocks and dirt more than 65 feet deep. USGS monitors erosion along the landslide-prone cliffs of Big Sur, collecting aerial photos frequently throughout the year. Some photos are taken with a camera mounted on an airplane, others come from unmanned

...
Filter Total Items: 980
USGS
March 29, 2013

Barium and nitrate were detected at high concentrations in 5 percent of untreated groundwater used for public-water supply in the San Francisco Bay region, while human-made organic chemical constituents were found at high concentrations in less than 1 percent. 

USGS
March 25, 2013

Two years after the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan and caused millions of dollars in damage to California coastal communities, the state's Emergency Management Agency and the California Geological Survey continue to work with their local, state and federal partners to reduce the impacts of future tsunamis in California. 

USGS
March 13, 2013

Climate factors such as snowpack and precipitation are playing an increasingly important role in the abundance of American pikas in the Great Basin, according to a continuing ecological study by the U.S. Geological Survey, University of Montana and Montana State University.

USGS
March 13, 2013

The U.S. Geological Survey is cancelling its March 28th Evening Public Lecture "Preparing for California Climate Change," due to travel restrictions the agency has implemented because of the federal budget sequestration.

USGS
March 12, 2013

February 2013 marked the first year of successful volcano monitoring and preparing for possible volcanic eruption for the California Volcano Observatory (CalVO).

USGS
February 25, 2013

The movie "The Impossible" graphically depicts destruction caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami which resulted in catastrophic loss of life and property – are similar, equally destructive events likely to occur in the Pacific Northwest?

Meeting between California Emergency Management Agency, CalVO, and ...
February 21, 2013

Many of California's young volcanoes pose a threat to people and property.

USGS
February 11, 2013

Arsenic, uranium, fumigants and nitrate were detected at high concentrations in untreated groundwater at depths in the aquifer system typically used for public water supply in the Madera County region of California’s San Joaquin Valley.

USGS
January 29, 2013

Lake Mead National Recreation Area's water quality is good, the sport fish populations are sufficient, and the lakes provide important habitat for an increasing number of birds. 

USGS
January 18, 2013

A century of scientific creativity and innovation has allowed seismologists to "see" into the outer layers of our planet, revealing the deep properties of the Earth's crust.

USGS
January 9, 2013

Inorganic elements - arsenic, boron, fluoride, and five other inorganic elements - were detected at high concentrations in 35 percent of untreated groundwater used for public water supply in the desert region of southern California. In contrast, human-made organic chemical constituents and nitrate were found at high concentrations in less than 1 percent of the desert region’s aquifers.

USGS
December 10, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Exciting discoveries are spurring research to uncover hidden secrets deep within South Pacific tropical forests.