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

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Mount Konocti on the western shore of Clear Lake, California
December 31, 1975

Mount Konocti on the western shore of Clear Lake, California

Mount Konocti, a mostly dacitic composite cone, on the western shore of Clear Lake, California. Thurston Lake is in the foreground.

December 31, 1969

Tremolite Asbestos

Tremolite asbestos, Death Valley, California.

A building after an earthquake has crumbled the roof and brick walls, the interior is now visible.
March 26, 1933

Long Beach Earthquake Damage

View of John Muir School on Pacific Avenue in Long Beach, California, showing damage from the March 10, 1933 Long Beach earthquake. Photo taken 8 days after the earthquake, on March 18, 1933. Photo by W.L. Huber, USGS.

Coso hot springs, black and white image
February 4, 1920

Coso Hot Springs located at Coso Volcanic Field, CA

Coso Hot Springs in Coso volanic fields, Feb 4, 1920.

View from the sky of a city and its waterfront with various ships docked, and most buildings on land are ruined.
May 28, 1906

San Francisco in ruins, 1906

One of the most well-known photographs by George R. Lawrence, taken May 28, 1906, about 6 weeks after the Great San Francisco earthquake which occurred on April 18. The 160-degree panorama was taken from a camera suspended from a kite 2,000 feet in the air. The view looks up Market Street with the waterfront and Union Ferry Building in the foreground.

This media

Mount Konocti viewed from Cinder Cone, Clear Lake Volcanic Field.
December 31, 1905

Mount Konocti viewed from Cinder Cone, Clear Lake Volcanic Field.

Mount Konocti, the most distinct volcanic feature of the Clear Lake Volcanics as viewed to the west from Cinder Cone.

old black and white photo of collapsed building, with inset image of the building before collapse
December 31, 1868

Alameda County Courthouse (Calif.) before and after 1868 Earthquake

Strong shaking during the 1868 Hayward Fault earthquake caused the second story of the Alameda County Courthouse in San Leandro to collapse (photo courtesy of the Bancroft Library, University of California). The inset photo shows the courthouse before the quake

Delta Smelt being held in hand
January 1, 0000

Delta Smelt

Delta Smelt being held in hand

A view from atop a coastal bluff looking at a sandy beach, waves, and ocean.

Sunset Beach Camera 1 Timex

Video camera timex (time-exposure) image at Sunset State Beach in Watsonville, California, looking northwest. Learn more about the cameras and how we're using them to study coastal change.

Image of the front page of Sound Waves, June 2011
March 22, 2019

Sound Waves, June 2011

The stories in the June 2011 issue of Sound Waves:


International Team Studies Tsunami Deposits in Japan to Improve Understanding and Mitigation of Tsunami Hazards 

USGS Scuba

This image shows the brightest pixel values captured during 10 minutes of video.

Santa Cruz Cowells Beach video camera bright image

Video camera bright image at Cowells Beach in Santa Cruz, California, looking southward. Learn more about the cameras and how we're using them to study coastal change.

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July 16, 1997

Experience over the last several years with the current system for describing the level of geologic unrest, such as earthquake swarms, ground deformation and gas emissions in the Long Valley caldera of eastern California, has shown it to be awkward and susceptible to misinterpretation by both the news media and the public.

July 8, 1997

A team of Bay Area earthquake scientists will be looking for more than old golf balls when they open an exploratory trench on the second fairway of the Mira Vista golf course in El Cerrito, this week. Golf course officials have rerouted the sedonc hole in order to give the geologists a 10-day window for the study.

May 29, 1997

Selected, local editions of U.S. Geological Survey topographic maps will be available for purchase at the USGS exhibit that will be part of the San Francisco Bay Trail Project’s National Trails Day Festival, Saturday, June 7, at Robert Crown Memorial State Beach and Crab Cove Visitor’s Center in Alameda.

April 15, 1997

Peat soils in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and their relationship to water quality; the history and consequences of long-term groundwater use in the Mojave Desert; the hydrology, biology and geology of San Francisco Bay; 

April 15, 1997

Dr. Gordon Eaton, the national director of the U.S. Geological Survey in Reston, Va., will be one of the speakers at the Friday, April 18, 1997 dedication of Placer Hall on the California State University at Sacramento campus.

April 15, 1997

The presence of the U.S. Geological Survey in Placer Hall on the campus of California State University at Sacramento marks the latest chapter in the USGS’s long association with the study of earth sciences in California and cooperation with the state’s Division of Mines and Geology and its higher education system.

April 15, 1997

Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) and its potential effects on air and water quality were the focus of a session Wed. and Thurs, April 16-17, 1997, at the American Chemical Society annual meeting in San Francisco, California. U.S. Geological Survey scientists will report on several studies of the occurrence and distribution of this compound in surface water and ground water during the session.

April 15, 1997

Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) in the nation’s ground waters and surface waters will be the subject of papers and poster presentations by U.S. Geological Survey scientists at the American Chemical Society annual meeting, April 16-17, in San Francisco, Calif.

April 10, 1997

U.S. Geological Survey scientists are encouraged because they now know that they have the capability to explain the blind thrust faults of the Los Angeles region with seismic reflection methods, according to USGS researcher Dr. Rufus Catchings. 

March 17, 1997

A cooperative agreement with the University of Southern California (USC) for the operation of the Southern California Earthquake Center has been renewed by the U.S. Geological Survey.

February 18, 1997


February 13, 1997

"There is mounting evidence that Mars is a water-rich planet that may have experienced warmer climates, and therefore, life, in the past,"according to Michael Carr, an astrogeologist with the U.S.Geological Survey in Menlo Park, Calif.