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: May 6, 2009
Status: Completed

Sources of Microbial Contamination at Public Beaches, Santa Barbara

The focus of this study is on analysis of existing hydrologic, chemical, and microbiological data; collection of surface-water and shallow ground-water hydrologic, chemical, and microbiological data; and characterization of dissolved organic carbon composition.

Contacts: John Izbicki
Date published: May 14, 2008
Status: Completed

ShakeOut

The ShakeOut Scenario was located in southern California where earthquake risk is high compared to the rest of the country. This scenario is a hypothetical, but plausible 7.8 magnitude earthquake on the southern San Andreas Fault. This scenario was completed in May 2008. The ShakeOut Scenario is described in two publications: The Scenario (Jones and others) and The Narrative (Perry and others...

Date published: January 1, 2008
Status: Completed

Does Pleasure Point Need A Seawall?

Information about the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center's study of Pleasure Point in Santa Cruz, California, from 2005-2007.

Date published: January 1, 2005
Status: Completed

Should Englebright Dam Be Removed?

Information about the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center's study from 2001-2004, on Englebright Dam and the science behind its removal.

Date published: January 1, 2004
Status: Completed

Tsunami Hazards in the Santa Barbara Channel

Information about the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center's study of tsunami hazards in the Santa Barbara Channel from 1993-2003.

Contacts: Ray Sliter
Date published: January 1, 2004
Status: Completed

Big Sur Coastal Landslides

Information about USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center studies on coastal landslides in the Big Sur area

Date published: January 1, 2004
Status: Completed

Oceanography Beyond the Golden Gate

Information about the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center's oceanographic studies offshore of San Francisco Bay, from 1989-2003.

Date published: November 15, 2001
Status: Archived

SAGEMAP

A GIS Database for Sage-grouse and Shrubsteppe Management in the Intermountain West

Contacts: Steven E Hanser
Date published: October 1, 2001
Status: Completed

Water-Quality Sampling at Five Hydrologic Benchmark Stations in the Western United States

The Hydrologic Benchmark Network (HBN) was established in 1963 to provide  Swiftwater Creek, MT long-term measurements of streamflow and water quality in areas of the United States that are minimally affected by human activities. Historically, the HBN has used a fixed-interval sampling strategy, however other more robust sampling strategies are now available. Trend networks, for example, can...

Date published: January 1, 1999
Status: Completed

Mapping Shipping Hazards in San Francisco Bay

Information about the 1997-1998 study by USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, to map the floor of San Francisco Bay in order to reveal the bay's shipping hazards.

Contacts: Peter Dartnell
Filter Total Items: 575
Date published: January 1, 2017

Backscatter [Fugro]--Offshore of Gaviota Map Area, California

This part of DS 781 presents 2-m-resolution data collected by Fugro Pelagos for the acoustic-backscatter map of the Offshore of Gaviota Map Area, California. The GeoTiff is included in "Backscatter_[Fugro]_OffshoreGaviota.zip," which is accessible from https://doi.org/10.5066/F7TH8JWJ. These data accompany the pamphlet and map sheets of Johnson, S...

Date published: January 1, 2017

CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System) Southern California v3.0 Phase 2 flood-hazard projections: 100-year storm in Los Angeles County

Projected Hazard: Geographic extent of projected coastal flooding, low-lying vulnerable areas, and maxium/minimum flood potential (flood uncertainty) associated with the sea-level rise and storm condition indicated.
Model Summary: The Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) makes detailed predictions (meter-scale) over large geographic scales (100s of kilometers) of sto

Date published: January 1, 2017

Minisparker seismic-reflection data of field activity B-05-11-CC, from Point Sur to Morro Bay, offshore central California, 2011-09-12 to 2011-09-26

This dataset includes raw, and swell-filtered, high-resolution seismic-reflection data, collected by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in 2011, between Point Sur and Morro Bay in central California.

Date published: January 1, 2017

Groundwater-Quality Data in the Yuba and Bear Watersheds Shallow Aquifer Study Unit, 2015-2016: Tables

The U.S. Geological Survey collected groundwater samples from 71 domestic wells and 4 springs in Nevada, Yuba, Sierra, and Placer Counties, California in 2015-2016. The sites were sampled for the Yuba and Bear Watersheds Shallow Aquifer Study Unit of the California State Water Resources Control Board Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) Program Priority Basin Project%E

Date published: January 1, 2017

CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System) Southern California v3.0 Phase 2 wave-hazard projections: 100-year storm in Santa Barbara County

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, 2017

CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System) Southern California v3.0 Phase 2 wave-hazard projections: average conditions in Santa Barbara County

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, 2017

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

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, 2017

CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System) Southern California v3.0 Phase 2 ocean-currents projections: 20-year storm in Orange County

Model-derived ocean current velocities (in meters per second) 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

Date published: January 1, 2017

CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System) Southern California v3.0 Phase 2 flood-hazard depth and duration projections: average conditions in Los Angeles County

Projected Hazard: Maximum depth of flooding surface (in cm) in the region landward of the present day shoreline that is inundated for the storm condition and sea-level rise (SLR) scenario indicated. Note: Duration datasets may have occasional gaps in open-coast sections.
Model Summary: The Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) makes detailed predictions (meter-scale) ove

Date published: January 1, 2017

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

Projected Hazard: Model-derived significant wave height (in meters) for the given storm condition and sea-level rise (SLR) scenario.
Model Summary: 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 %2

Date published: January 1, 2017

Water pressure/depth, velocity, and turbidity time-series data from CHC14 Bay shallows stations in San Pablo Bay and China Camp Marsh, California

Files contain hydrodynamic and sediment transport data for the location and deployment indicated. Time-series data of water depth, velocity, turbidity, and temperature were collected in San Pablo Bay and China Camp Marsh as part of the San Francisco Bay Marsh Sediment Experiments. Several instruments were deployed in tidal creek, marsh, mudflat, and Bay locations, gathering data on

Date published: January 1, 2017

CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System) Southern California v3.0 Phase 2 flood-hazard depth and duration projections: 100-year storm in Ventura County

Maximum depth of flooding surface (in cm) in the region landward of the present day shoreline that is inundated for the storm condition and sea-level rise (SLR) scenario indicated. Note: Duration datasets may have occasional gaps in open-coast sections.
The Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) makes detailed predictions (meter-scale) over large geographic scales (100s of k

Filter Total Items: 446
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Year Published: 1994

Irrigation water supply and demand data for 1976, 1980, and 1984 for the western San Joaquin Valley, California

This report presents the irrigation water supply and demand data for 1976, 1980, and 1984 for 32 water districts in the western San Joaquin Valley, California. Data are provided for each water district or each of the three years if the data were available. The complete data base is given by water district or each township, range, and section in...

Templin, W.E.; Haltom, T.C.
Attribution: Water Resources
Irrigation water supply and demand data for 1976, 1980, and 1984 for the western San Joaquin Valley, California; 1994; OFR; 94-335; Templin, W. E.; Haltom, T. C.

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Year Published: 1994

Method to identify wells that yield water that will be replaced by Colorado River water in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah

Accounting for the use of Colorado River water is required by the U.S. Supreme Court decree, 1964, Arizona v. California. Water pumped from wells on the flood plain and from certain wells on alluvial slopes outside the flood plain is presumed to be river water and is accounted for as Colorado River water. A method was developed to identify wells...

Wilson, Richard P.; Owen-Joyce, Sandra J.
Method to identify wells that yield water that will be replaced by Colorado River water in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah; 1994; WRI; 94-4005; Wilson, Richard P.; Owen-Joyce, Sandra J.

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Year Published: 1993

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

The October 17, 1989, Loma Prieta, Calif., Ms=7.1 earthquake provided the first opportunity in the history of fault monitoring in the United States to gather multidisciplinary preearthquake data in the near field of an M=7 earthquake. The data obtained include observations on seismicity, continuous strain, long-term ground displacement, magnetic...

Johnston, Malcolm J. S.
Chapter C. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Preseismic Observations; 1993; PP; 1550-C; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Earthquake Occurrence; Edited by Johnston, Malcolm J. S.

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Year Published: 1993

The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Earthquake occurrence

Professional Paper 1550 seeks to understand the M6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake itself. It examines how the fault that generated the earthquake ruptured, searches for and evaluates precursors that may have indicated an earthquake was coming, reviews forecasts of the earthquake, and describes the geology of the earthquake area and the crustal forces...

Coordinated by Bakun, William H.; Prescott, William H.
The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Earthquake Occurrence; 1993; PP; 1550; Coordinated by Bakun, William H.; Prescott, William H.

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Year Published: 1993

The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Societal response

Professional Paper 1553 describes how people and organizations responded to the earthquake and how the earthquake impacted people and society. The investigations evaluate the tools available to the research community to measure the nature, extent, and causes of damage and losses. They describe human behavior during and immediately after the...

Coordinated by Mileti, Dennis S.
The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Societal Response; 1993; PP; 1553; Coordinated by Mileti, Dennis S.

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Year Published: 1993

The Loma Prieta, California, earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Public response: Chapter B in The Loma Prieta, California, earthquake of October 17, 1989: Societal Response (Professional Paper 1553)

Major earthquakes provide seismologists and engineers an opportunity to examine the performance of the Earth and the man-made structures in response to the forces of the quake. So, too, do they provide social scientists an opportunity to delve into human responses evoked by the ground shaking and its physical consequences. The findings from such...

Bolton, Patricia A.
Chapter B. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Public Response; 1993; PP; 1553-B; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Societal Response; Edited by Bolton, Patricia A.

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Year Published: 1992

Accounting System for Water Use by Vegetation in the Lower Colorado River Valley

The Colorado River is the principal source of water in the valley of the Colorado River between Hoover Dam and the international boundary with Mexico (fig. 1). Agricultural, domestic, municipal, industrial, hydroelectric-power genera-tion, and recreation are the primary uses of river water in the valley. Most of the consumptive use of water from...

Owen-Joyce, Sandra J.
Accounting System for Water Use by Vegetation in the Lower Colorado River Valley; 1992; OFR; 92-83; Owen-Joyce, Sandra J.

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Year Published: 1992

Chapter F. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Marina district

During the earthquake, a total land area of about 4,300 km2 was shaken with seismic intensities that can cause significant damage to structures. The area of the Marina District of San Francisco is only 4.0 km2--less than 0.1 percent of the area most strongly affected by the earthquake--but its significance with respect to engineering, seismology,...

O'Rourke, Thomas D.
Chapter F. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Marina District; 1992; PP; 1551-F; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Strong Ground Motion and Ground Failure; Edited by O'Rourke, Thomas D.

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Year Published: 1992

The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Strong ground motion and ground failure

Professional Paper 1551 describes the effects at the land surface caused by the Loma Prieta earthquake. These effects: include the pattern and characteristics of strong ground shaking, liquefaction of both floodplain deposits along the Pajaro and Salinas Rivers in the Monterey Bay region and sandy artificial fills along the margins of San...

Coordinated by Holzer, Thomas L.
The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Strong Ground Motion and Ground Failure; 1992; PP; 1551; Coordinated by Holzer, Thomas L.

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Year Published: 1991

The Loma Prieta earthquake, ground motion, and damage in Oakland, Treasure Island, and San Francisco

The basis of this study is the acceleration, velocity, and displacement wave-forms of the Loma Prieta earthquake (18 October 1989; M = 7.0) at two rock sites in San Francisco, a rock site on Yerba Buena Island, an artificial-fill site on Treasure Island, and three sites in Oakland underlain by thick sections of poorly consolidated Pleistocene...

Hanks, Thomas C.; Brady, A. Gerald

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Year Published: 1990

Ascension-Monterey Canyon system: history and development

No abstract available.

Greene, H. Gary; Hicks, Karen R.
Ascension-Monterey Canyon system: history and development; 1990; Book chapter; Book; Geology and tectonics of the central California coastal region; Greene, H. Gary; Hicks, Karen R.

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Year Published: 1990

National water summary 1987: Hydrologic events and water supply and use

Water use in the United States, as measured by freshwater withdrawals in 1985, averaged 338,000 Mgal/d (million gallons per day), which is enough water to cover the 48 conterminous States to a depth of about 2.4 inches. Only 92,300 Mgal/d, or 27.3 percent of the water withdrawn, was consumptive use and thus lost to immediate further use; the...

Carr, Jerry E.; Chase, Edith B.; Paulson, Richard W.; Moody, David W.
National water summary 1987: hydrologic events and water supply and use; 1990; WSP; 2350; Carr, Jerry E.; Chase, Edith B.; Paulson, Richard W.; Moody, David W.

Filter Total Items: 1,119
Photo of driftwood and sand dunes at Point Reyes National Seashore
August 7, 2017

Driftwood and Dunes - Point Reyes

Photo of driftwood, and invasive grasses and iceplant at Point Reyes National Seashore, CA. Such "dune drainages" make surprising habitat for a threatened species of amphibian: the California red-legged frog.

Photo of dead trees and forest at Point Reyes National Seashore
August 7, 2017

Trees at Point Reyes National Seashore

Dead trees like the ones featured in this photo still provide valuable habitat for wildlife, including birds.

View from sky of a river mouth where it meets the ocean but it's blocked by a natural sand levee; with a bridge over the river.
August 4, 2017

San Gregorio Beach and Creek

Flow from San Gregorio Creek in San Gregorio, California is often blocked by a natural sand levee when the flow is not strong enough to push through to the Pacific Ocean.

chart of vegetation change in the bird's foot delta
July 31, 2017

Changing vegetation in the Delta 2016-2017

Chart showing changes in vegetation density in the Mississippi River delta in Louisiana, May 2015-May 2016. From a USGS Open File Report published in July 2017 by co-authors Elijah Ramsey III and Amina Rangoonwala,

WERC researcher conducting elevation surveys in San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge
July 31, 2017

WERC Elevation surveys in San Pablo Bay NWR

WERC researcher conducting elevation surveys in San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge

WERC Coastal ecosystem
July 31, 2017

WERC Coastal Ecosystem Studies

Coastal ecosystem studies at Trinidad coast, California. 

July 31, 2017

A Current Immersion

Curt Storlazzi of the USGS explains how the water cycle pulled him into oceanography, and how his personal interests parallel his profession.
 

July 27, 2017

USGS Public Lecture: Warm Ice—Dynamics of Rapidly Changing Glaciers

  • Glacier Numerology – The how big, how long, how thick, how much, how often, of glacier science.
  • Glacier Photography – While a picture may be worth a thousand words, a collection of images may tell a complete forensic story.
  • Glacier Geophysics – How new technologies are being introduced to reexamine and refine decades old glacier analyses.
Southwest view of Soda-Avawatz Fault
July 26, 2017

Soda-Avawatz Fault, eastern Avawatz Mountains

This is a view to the southwest from the top of the piedmont on the eastern side of the Avawatz Mountains, ~25 km northwest of Baker, CA. In the foreground, from right to left, are the Avawatz Mountain Front, composed of Precambrian crystalline metamorphic rocks, a narrow pediment developed on these metamorphic rocks, a sliver of marble juxtaposed against the pediment, and

...
July 19, 2017

UAS Video, July 19, 2017, of the Mud Creek Landslide in Big Sur

The Mud Creek landslide on Big Sur coast, California, occurred on May 20, 2017. USGS Mendenhall researcher Shawn Harrison took this video from an unmanned aerial system (UAS) on July 19, 2017. USGS drone footage shows the slide from many angles. It points out buried and unburied parts of Highway 1, as well as new roads built across the slide for monitoring purposes.

View from the sky looking at a steep oceanfront cliff with a road running along it close to the water, with lettering on top.
July 19, 2017

Location of Mud Creek slide

Lead-in to the Mud Creek slide UAS (drone) footage, Big Sur, California, July 19. 2017.

Two same-size items: Pack of playing cards (top) and circuit board with fan and electronic components (bottom).
July 18, 2017

Small computer that controls video cameras above beach in Santa Cruz

The small computer, or “micro-controller,” at the bottom of this photo controls the operation of two video cameras mounted on the 10-story Dream Inn hotel in Santa Cruz, California. The cameras take 10-minute videos of Santa Cruz Main Beach and Cowells Beach every half hour during daylight hours (view the most recent images).

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Filter Total Items: 979
A group of men and women stand together smiling for the camera and wearing bicycling gear.
August 31, 2012

“Team MarFac” from the Marine Facility at the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California, completed the Strawberry Fields Forever Bike Ride.

USGS
August 29, 2012

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Benzene occurs infrequently in California public supply wells and comes predominantly from naturally occurring petroleum deposits deep in the ground, according to a study by the U.S. Geological Survey. Spills associated with underground fuel storage and above ground distribution systems have long been considered the main source of benzene in groundwater.

USGS
August 27, 2012

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The U.S. Geological Survey has released updated flood frequency estimates for select rural "natural flow" California streams throughout the state. The estimates are based on greatly expanded data and documented in three reports available online. These reports from the USGS and its partners represent an important resource for emergency officials, water

Salton Sea sunset
August 27, 2012

An energetic earthquake swarm (largest event magnitude 5.5) is ongoing in the Brawley Seismic Zone south of the Salton Sea in Southern California.

USGS
August 21, 2012

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — The southern sea otter population continues its pattern of tepid recovery, according to the latest population survey led by U.S. Geological Survey, California Department of Fish and Game Office of Spill Prevention and Response and Monterey Bay Aquarium scientists. 

USGS
August 16, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Residents should not be alarmed to witness a low-flying airplane over the northern Sacramento Valley and surrounding hills starting around August 17. 

USGS
August 15, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. —The U.S. Geological Survey is reducing its footprint in Menlo Park to lower rent costs. The move is part of a larger consolidation plan motivated by the Presidential directive to reduce government space utilization. There is not a plan to reduce staff, and the USGS will continue to maintain all operations currently housed in Menlo Park.

Taking GPS coordinates at the Amargosa Desert Research Site
July 24, 2012

Summer is the time when most CalVO scientists get out into the field to conduct geologic and ground-based monitoring investigations of our regional volcanoes.

USGS
July 23, 2012

Dr. Joseph Colgan, a research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, was named one of President Obama's recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.

USGS
July 23, 2012

Dr. Karen Felzer, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey, was named one of President Obama's recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. 

USGS
July 17, 2012

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Nitrate was detected at high concentrations in one quarter of the aquifer system used for Inland Empire public water supply. Additionally, high concentrations of perchlorate were found in 11 percent of the aquifer system, and in moderate concentrations in 53 percent. This aquifer system includes the Upper Santa Ana Valley, San Jacinto, and Elsinore groundwater...

USGS
June 26, 2012

Tools, Resources for Earthquake Readiness and Emergency Management To Be Shared, Explained by U.S. Geological Survey Scientists at Conference at Caltech