Unified Interior Regions


The Southwest Region includes California, Nevada, and Arizona. The Regional Office, headquartered in Sacramento, provides Center oversight and support, facilitates internal and external collaborations, and works to further USGS strategic science directions.

States L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 1,108
November 17, 2005

PubTalk 11/2005 — Shifting Shoals and Shattered Rocks


by John Chin and Florence Wong, Geologists


  • San Francisco Bay is one of the world's finest natural harbors and a major center of maritime trade
  • All ships visiting bay ports are funneled through the central bay
  • Bedrock knobs that rise from the central
October 27, 2005

PubTalk 10/2005 – Earthquake Storms

The Very Long Reach of Very Large Earthquakes

by Susan Hough, Seismologist


  • How did the 1992 Landers quake in the remote Mojave Desert change scientists' thinking about earthquake sequences?
  • What is the explanation for "aftershocks" of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake reported in Arizona?
  • How do large
Image: Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus)
October 24, 2005

Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus)

A roadrunner at the base of a old volcanic rock, near a trail in Petroglyph National Monument.

Attribution: Ecosystems
October 21, 2005

PubTalk 10/2005 — A Crack in the Edge of the World

America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906

by Simon Winchester


  • The international bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman and Kra katoa vividly brings to life the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake that leveled a city symbolic of America's relentless western expansion. Simon Winchester
September 29, 2005

PubTalk 9/200 — Toxic Mercury in Aquatic Ecosystems

Why Quality Trumps Quantity

by Mark Marvin-DiPasquale, Microbial Ecologist

  • Different mercury sources generate different forms of mercury with different environmental consequences
  • Learn how mercury is transported and transformed in air and water, and how it ultimately accumulates as toxic methylmercury in wildlife and
August 25, 2005

PubTalk — A Delicate Balance

Salt Ponds, Wetland Restoration, and Wildlife in San Francisco Bay

by A. Keith Miles and John Y. Takekawa, Wildlife Biologists 

  • Nearly 15,000 acres of salt ponds were purchased in 2003 for restoration by a partners hip of Federal, State, and non-profit organizations
  • How important are the salt ponds for migration and
June 30, 2005

PubTalk — Tsunamis

Lessons and Questions from the Indian Ocean Disaster

By Eric L. Geist, geophysicist, Bruce E. Jaffe, oceanographer, and Brian F. Atwater, geologist

  • What do computer animations reveal about transoceanic tsunamis?
  • What varied marks of its force and height did the December 26 tsunami leave in the coa stal environment?
June 14, 2005

PubTalk — Deep Freeze

The Impact of Science on U.S. Climate-Change Policy

By Judy Layzer, MIT Political Scientist, and Herman Karl, USGS Earth Scientist

  • Why have science and scientiests had so little impact on U.S. climate-change policy?
  • Hear about the present implications of past societal collapses resulting from climate change
  • Can
May 26, 2005

PubTalk — Sonoran Desert

Fragile Land of Extremes
A video presentation and discussion

Research Ecologists Cecil Schwalbe and Todd Esque will introduce the 2003 USGS video Sonoran Desert: Fragile Land of Extremes, present an update on recent research, and answer your questions. 

  • Learn about the fantastic biodiversity in North America's
April 28, 2005

PubTalk — Earthquakes at the USGS

Blowing the Lid off Seismic Science for 40 Years

Ross Stein, representing the USGS Earthquake Hazards Team 

The Parkfield earthquake of 1966 launched a torrent of research at the USGS in Menlo Park. With the San Andreas Fault as a backyard lab and global earthquakes as a guide, the USGS has changed the landscape of earthquake science

Photograph shows eroding cliff in Isla Vista, California, with parts of houses hanging over edge.
April 28, 2005

Homes along the edge of the coast in Isla Vista, California

Homes along the edge of the coast in Isla Vista, California, Santa Barbara County, face a short lifespan because of eroding bluffs that support them.

March 31, 2005

PubTalk — Commotions in the Oceans

USGS Shipboard Research Sparked Scientific Advances

By William R. Normark, and
David W. Scholl, Marine Geologists

  • Alaskan work from the Survey's M/V Eider in the 1950's led to visualizing how great earthquakes and tsunamis originate along trenches
  • In the 1970's, researchers discovered deep-sea "black
Filter Total Items: 985
July 28, 1999

A new screening method, based on geology and climatology, has been shown to be a reliable means for predicting where lands in irrigated areas are susceptible to contamination from selenium, according to a report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and Bureau of Indian Affairs.

July 27, 1999

The USGS scientist who intrigued Ted Kennedy Jr., Tuesday, with her foot-and voice-operated computer/microscope, will give interviews and demonstrations again Wednesday, during the second day of the USGS’s seventh annual Conference on Addressing the Employment of People with Disabilities, on the USGS campus in Menlo Park.

July 26, 1999

Some employees at the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park don’t wait for an annual "take your dog to work" day; they do it every day. Like the USGS human roster, some of the dogs are still in training, while others have graduate degrees and are now gainfully and fully employed.

July 19, 1999

A drilling project that is harvesting 1,000 feet of earth and rock cores from the Los Angeles basin will establish a virtual library of information on the geology of the area, according to scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

July 13, 1999

Providing a plan to help resource managers restore the Bering Sea and North Pacific ecosystem is a task research scientist Jim Estes of the U.S. Geological Survey will pursue during the next four years with funding help from a 1999 Pew Marine Conservation fellowship of $150,000.

June 10, 1999

It is well known that fire suppression in forests has led to an increase in catastrophic forest fires. The same has been assumed to be true for fire suppresion in shrublands. However, a recent USGS study has found that urban sprawl -- not fire suppression -- is largely responsible for the wildfires that occur in the shrublands of southern and central-coastal California.

May 12, 1999

Maps and other products of the U.S. Geological Survey will be on display,for sale and as free handouts, at the USGS booth at the Sunset Magazine open house, this weekend, May 15 and 16.

April 30, 1999

The source of tarballs in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, new views of the seafloor of Monterey Bay and new data on the San Gregorio fault are the focus of three presentations by U.S. Geological Survey scientists at the Pacific Section Meeting of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, in Monterey.

April 23, 1999

As United States Geological Survey (USGS) researchers skim the surface of the ocean in a small boat near Long Beach, a new never-before-seen view of Los Angeles is revealed.

March 26, 1999

U.S. Geological Survey scientists of the Western Ecological Research Center will report on the effects of exotic animals on native plants in Channel Islands National Park at the 5th California Islands Symposium, in Santa Barbara, Calif., Mar. 29-Apr. 1.

March 11, 1999

Chemical contamination in San Francisco Bay has decreased since enactment of the Clean Water Act in 1970, but the bay is still suffering from "contaminant stress," according to a a U.S. Geological Survey chemist who has been analyzing the bay’s waters for 30 years.

January 21, 1999

From the Gold Rush of 1849 through the 1960’s, California produced about 3,300 tons of gold, or about one-third of all U.S. gold production, but it left a legacy of detrimental environmental effects whose damage may never be fully determined, according to Roger Ashley of the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, Calif.