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: 416
Date published: November 24, 2020
Status: Active

2009 Station Fire, Dunsmore Canyon, Glendale, California

Recent Monitoring Data

Date published: November 24, 2020
Status: Active

2009 Station Fire, Arroyo Seco, Pasadena, CA Landslide Monitoring Site

Recent Monitoring Data

Date published: November 23, 2020
Status: Active

San Francisco Bay Area - Santa Cruz Mountains, CA (BALT-CZU)

Landslides in the San Francisco Bay Area of California impact people, infrastructure, and the environmnent, and are commonly induced by intense or prolonged rainfall associated with strong winter storms.

Contacts: Brian Collins
Date published: November 23, 2020
Status: Active

San Francisco Bay Area – Santa Cruz Mountains, CA (BALT-CZU) - Recent Conditions

Recent Monitoring Data

Date published: November 18, 2020
Status: Active

Marine Minerals Laboratory

In the Marine Minerals Laboratory Suite at the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California, we have an X-ray diffractometer (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectrophotometer, rock saw, shatterbox, and petrographic microscopes. Here we do mineral identification and classification, molecular identification

Date published: November 17, 2020
Status: Active

Multi-Sensor Core Logger Laboratory

The MSCL at the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (PCMSC) in Santa Cruz, California automatically measures P-wave velocity, magnetic susceptibility, electrical resistivity, and gamma density at intervals from 1 millimeter to 1 centimeter along cores up to 1.5 meters long. The device can also automatically line-scan photograph cores that have been split, at a resolution of 10...

Date published: November 17, 2020
Status: Active

Radiochemistry Laboratory

In the radiochemistry lab at the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California, we process samples for natural radioisotope detection to age-date geologic materials. We have two HPGe gamma well detectors, four RADDEC delayed coincidence counters, 16 alpha spec counters, and 10 RAD7 field portable radon 222Rn monitors.

Date published: November 17, 2020
Status: Active

Organic Geochemistry Laboratory

The geochemical laboratory suite at the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California, includes a cold storage room, preparation lab, extraction lab, and instrumentation lab. Analyses in the extraction and instrumentation labs include extraction, identification, and quantification of biomarkers and contaminants of sediments, oils, tars, and other organic rich...

Date published: November 17, 2020
Status: Active

Trace Inorganic Geochemistry Laboratory

In the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center’s Trace Inorganic Geochemistry Laboratory in Santa Cruz, California, we have an ultrapurification water system, CEM MarsX, and two Class-100 laminar air flow benches for sediment-geochemical provenance studies and organic matter sourcing.

Date published: November 16, 2020
Status: Active

Using Video Imagery to Study Coastal Change: Sunset State Beach

Two video cameras overlook the coast at Sunset State Beach in Watsonville, California. Camera 1 looks northwest while Camera 2 looks north. The cameras are part of the Remote Sensing Coastal Change project.

Date published: November 12, 2020
Status: Active

Sediment Lab Suite and Carbon Analysis Lab

At our Science Center, we have a suite of laboratories that we affectionately call the "sed lab." The sed lab really consists of 5 labs, arranged next to each other to allow our lab technicians to easily move back and forth between them while processing sediment samples: Sediment Preparation Lab, Fine Particle Analysis Lab, Settling Tubes Lab, Fume Hood Lab, and Carbon Analysis Lab.

Date published: November 10, 2020
Status: Active

Quaternary Hydroclimate Records of Spring Ecosystems

Desert springs and wetlands are among the most biologically productive, diverse, and fragile ecosystems on Earth. They are home to thousands of rare, endemic, and endangered plants and animals and reflect the availability and health of emergent groundwater. Despite the ecological importance of these wetlands, our knowledge of how they might respond to predicted future climate change is limited...

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Date published: December 28, 2020

California Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) Program Shallow Aquifer Assessment Study Unit Boundaries and Grid Cells for Assessment of Groundwater Resources

The California Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment Program (GAMA) is a statewide assessment of groundwater quality designed to help better understand and identify risks to groundwater resources. GAMA is implemented by the California State Water Resources Control Board. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is the technical lead for the Priority Basin Project (PBP), one of the

Date published: December 28, 2020

Zooplankton Survey of the Northern Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California, 2016-2018

This data set contains information on zooplankton and associated environmental parameters for sampling conducted in California's northern Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta between May 2016 and April 2018. Macrozooplankton were sampled with horizontal tows (water surface) of a 50 cm-diameter conical plankton net that was 150cm long with 102µm mesh. Samples were preserved in the field in 10%

Date published: December 22, 2020

Potential Explanatory Factors for Groundwater Quality in the Northern Sierra Nevada Foothills Domestic-Aquifer Assessment Study Units, 2015-2017: California GAMA Priority Basin Project

This data release codifies and attributes explanatory factors that could potentially impact groundwater quality at 142 groundwater sites (wells or developed springs) used for domestic water supply and 310 groundwater sites used for public water supply in the northern Sierra Nevada foothills. Water quality from domestic groundwater sites was assessed as part of the California State Water Resou...

Date published: November 25, 2020

Aquifer test data for the Belridge multiple-well monitoring site (BWSD), Kern County, California

To determine aquifer characteristics, pneumatic slug tests were performed on selected zones and aquifers at a monitoring site near the North and South Belridge oil fields in the Southern San Joaquin Valley in Kern County. On November 19th and 20th, 2018, pneumatic slug tests were performed at five monitoring wells located at the multiple-well groundwater-monitoring site BWSD (28S/21E-08

Date published: November 4, 2020

Bathymetry and acoustic backscatter data collected in 2008 offshore Tijuana River Estuary, California during USGS Field Activity S-5-08-SC

In 2008 the USGS collected bathymetry and acoustic-backscatter data offshore the Tijuana River Estuary, California. Mapping was conducted as part of the Tijuana Estuary Fine Sediment Fate and Transport Demonstration Project, which was developed by a number of State of California, federal, and private industry partners to provide information about the directions, rates, and processes of fine...

Date published: October 27, 2020

Electron microprobe analyses of hydrothermal muscovite crystals from gold-bearing quartz veins of the Klamath Mountains, California, 2014 and 2019

This data release provides geochemical results of in situ electron probe microanalyses of hydrothermal muscovite associated with gold-bearing quartz veins from the Klamath Mountains, California. Samples were collected from eight different mines in the summer of 2013 and electron probe microanalyses were carried out May 27, 2014 and November 12, 2019.

Date published: September 8, 2020

Assessment of water-quality in the California Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta during a North Delta directed flow action: August - October 2018

This report documents the spatial and temporal variability of nutrients and related water quality parameters at high spatial resolution in the North Delta in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta of California, USA. The data set includes nitrate, ammonium, phosphate, dissolved organic carbon, temperature, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, and chlorophyll . Data-collect

Date published: September 3, 2020

Southwestern Willow Flycatcher Habitat Viewer

The Flycatcher Habitat Viewer was developed to meet the needs of organizations by providing maps of predicted flycatcher breeding habitat throughout its range. Maps are provided from 2013 to present and cover 57 satellite scenes. Maps identify predicted flycatcher habitat based upon the amount of green vegetation within a 120-m radius of each cell, and the size of floodplain within a 360-m...

Date published: September 1, 2020

Discharge, nutrient, and suspended sediment data for selected streams in the Lake Tahoe watershed

A time series of nutrient and mean daily discharge data were used to create models of daily concentration and loads for selected streams of the Lake Tahoe watershed. A total of 15 sites have records ranging from as early as 1972 to 2017. Nutrients in the data set include nitrate, ammonium, Kjeldahl Nitrogen, orthophosphate, and total phosphorus. Total suspended sediment concentrations a

Date published: August 31, 2020

Scientific observations of fishes in tidal wetlands of the upper Sacramento San Joaquin Delta using imaging sonar devices, derived from 2018 field data

Major tidal wetland habitat restoration efforts are planned to benefit Delta Smelt and other imperiled species in the Sacramento-San-Joaquin Delta. However, successful implementation of habitat restoration is constrained by a paucity of information on the services and functions tidal wetlands provide for fishes. This knowledge gap is largely due to the difficulties of collecting ecological...

Date published: August 26, 2020

Geochemical data used in the tungsten skarn mineral resource assessment of the Great Basin region of western Nevada and eastern California

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has undertaken a mineral resources assessment for tungsten for a portion of the Great Basin in parts of western Nevada and east-central California. This data release provides the Great Basin Tungsten Database: the geospatial and geologic data, and results of chemical analyses for 46,955 samples collected in the assessment area, extracted from the USGS

Date published: August 25, 2020

Daily Basin Characterization Model (BCM) archive for Humboldt Bay/Eel River

This data set includes: 1) A shapefile of the Humboldt Bay Eel River (HBER) 13 sub watersheds, 2) A shape file of the streamflow gages used in calibration, and 3) Daily Basin Characterization Model (BCM) model climate inputs (minimum and maximum air temperature, precipitation, and potential evapotranspiration) and outputs of recharge and runoff for the year 2010 used t

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screenshot of an interactive map of groundwater data in the Mojave region.  Well sites and water-level contours are displayed.
November 7, 2018

Interactive map of the Mojave and Morongo groundwater basins.  Data layers include sites and data for groundwater levels, water quality, and land subsidence.  Groundwater data spans 1994 to the present.

Map displaying areas in California where the USGS has built groundwater models
August 30, 2018

The USGS models shown on this site are in the public domain, and are freely available. They are based on MODFLOW and other public-domain USGS software. Links to publications and web resources associated with each model are shown in the table next to the model map. The associated model files for some of these models are currently available via download.

Thumbnail image of the cover of USGS Fact Sheet 2016-3020
April 16, 2018

Using information from recent earthquakes, improved mapping of active faults, and a new model for estimating earthquake probabilities, the 2014 Working Group on California Earthquake Probabilities updated the 30-year earthquake forecast for California. They concluded that there is a 72 percent probability (or likelihood) of at least one earthquake of magnitude 6.7 or greater striking somewhere in

 location of and evidence for recent movement on active fault traces within the Hayward Fault Zone, California
April 11, 2018

This map shows the location of and evidence for recent movement on active fault traces within the Hayward Fault Zone, California.

Shake map for At511 Scenario
April 11, 2018

The maps in this archive display estimated intensities and ground motions for the largest earthquakes in the HayWired aftershock sequence. The aftershock sequence follows the HayWired M7.0 mainshock that is imagined to occur on April 18, 2018 along the Hayward Fault.These maps have been used in analyses of the HayWired scenario.

Interactive map showing earthquake scenario data
April 11, 2018

The HayWired scenario depicts a hypothetical M7.0 earthquake on California’s Hayward Fault. This site includes an interactive map showing fault traces and ShakeMap contours, information on the tectonic setting of the Hayward Fault and fault rupture history; and a USGS ShakeMap, which provides ground motion information for the HayWired scenario mainshock.

screen shot of home page of story map
March 23, 2018

What might it be like the next time the Hayward Fault has a large earthquake? A geonarrative and related imagery examines a hypothetical earthquake, the magnitude 7.0 HayWired earthquake scenario.

CITE
January 30, 2018

Scientists at WERC's Dixon Field station have fitted Cinnamon Teal with GPS backpacks. Using R, the telemetry locations are displayed on an image every two weeks.

CITE
January 10, 2018

Scientists at WERC's Dixon Field station have fitted Cinnamon Teal with GPS backpacks. Using R, the telemetry locations are displayed on an image every two weeks.

CITE
January 10, 2018

Scientists at WERC's Dixon Field station have fitted Cinnamon Teal with GPS backpacks. Using R, the telemetry locations are displayed on an image every two weeks.

 location of and evidence for recent movement on active fault traces within the Hayward Fault Zone, California
January 1, 2018

An interactive geonarrative (Esri Story Map) showing 62 field trip stops for exploring the Hayward Fault in the East San Francisco Bay Region of California.

Fog over Point Reyes, CA
November 2, 2017

Network with us to study fog. Add your research site. Add your fog water collecting site. Add information about your research or studies. Help create a vibrant place to learn about fog, stratus, low clouds, and the ecosystems alive with fog.

Filter Total Items: 416
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Year Published: 2020

Surface displacement distributions for the July 2019 Ridgecrest, California earthquake ruptures

Surface rupture in the 2019 Ridgecrest, California, earthquake sequence occurred along two orthogonal cross faults and includes dominantly left‐lateral and northeast‐striking rupture in the Mw">Mw 6.4 foreshock and dominantly right‐lateral and northwest‐striking rupture in the Mw">Mw 7.1 mainshock. We present &gt...

Duross, Christopher; Gold, Ryan D.; Dawson, Timothy E.; Scharer, Katherine; Kendrick, Katherine; Akciz, Sinan; Angster, Stephen J.; Bachhuber, Jeffery; Bacon, Steven; Bennett, Scott E. K.; Blair, Luke; Brooks, Benjamin A.; Bullard, Thomas; Burgess, W. Paul; Chupik, Colin; DeFrisco, Michael; Delano, Jaime; Dolan, James D.; Frost, Erik; Graehl, Nick; Haddon, Elizabeth; Hatem, Alexandra Elise; Hernandez, Janis; Hitchcock, Christopher S.; Hudnut, Kennth; Thompson Jobe, Jessica; Koehler, Richard D; Kozaci, Ozgur; Ladinsky, Tyler C.; Madugo, Christopher; McPhillips, Devin; Milliner, Christopher; Morelan, Alexander; Olson, Brian; Patton, Jason; Philibosian, Belle; Pickering, Alexandra J.; Pierce, Ian; Ponti, Daniel J.; Seitz, Gordon G.; Spangler, Eleanor; Swanson, Brian J.; Thomas, Kate; Treiman, Jerome; Valencia, Francesca; Williams, Alana; Zinke, Robert

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Year Published: 2020

Peak ground velocity spatial variability revealed by dense seismic array in southern California

Understanding and modeling variability of ground motion is essential for building accurate and precise ground motion prediction equations, which can net site‐specific characterization and reduced hazard levels. Here, we explore the spatial variability in peak ground velocity (PGV) at Sage Brush Flats along the San Jacinto Fault in southern...

Johnson, Christopher E; Kilb, Debi; Baltay, Annemarie S.; Vernon, Frank

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Year Published: 2020

Submarine canyons, slope failures and mass transport processes in southern Cascadia

The marine turbidite record along the southern Cascadia Subduction Zone has been used to interpret paleoseismicity and suggest a shorter recurrence interval for large (>M7) earthquakes along this portion of the margin; however, the sources and pathways of these turbidity flows are poorly constrained. We examine the spatial distribution of...

Hill, Jenna C.; Watt, Janet; Brothers, Daniel; Kluesner, Jared

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Year Published: 2020

2018 U.S. Geological Survey–California Geological Survey fault-imaging surveys across the Hollywood and Santa Monica Faults, Los Angeles County, California

We acquired multiple types of seismic data across the Hollywood Fault in Hollywood, Calif., and the Santa Monica Fault in Beverly Hills, Calif., in May and June 2018. On the basis of our data, we infer near-surface locations of various traces of these faults.From two separate profiles across the Hollywood Fault, we evaluated multiple seismic...

Catchings, Rufus D.; Hernandez, Janis; Goldman, Mark R.; Chan, Joanne H.; Sickler, Robert R.; Olson, Brian; Criley, Coyn J.
Catchings, R.D., Hernandez, J., Goldman, M.R., Chan, J.H., Sickler, R.R., Olson, B., and Criley, C.J., 2020, 2018 U.S. Geological Survey–California Geological Survey fault-imaging surveys across the Hollywood and Santa Monica Faults, Los Angeles County, California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020–1049, 42 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20201049.

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Year Published: 2020

Airborne lidar and electro-optical imagery along surface ruptures of the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake sequence, Southern California

Surface rupture from the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake sequence, initially associated with the M 6.4 foreshock, occurred on July 4 on a ~17 km long, northeast-southwest oriented, left-lateral zone of faulting. Following the M 7.1 mainshock on July 5 (local time), extensive northwest-southeast-oriented, right-lateral faulting was then also mapped...

Brooks, Benjamin A.; Scharer, Katherine; Hernandez, Janis; Dawson, Timothy E.; Oskin, Mike; Arrowsmith, Ramon; Goulet, Christine A.; Blake, Kelly; Boggs, Matt; Bork, Stephan; Glennie, Craig; Fernandez-Diaz, J.C.; Singhania, Abhinav; Hauser, Darren L.; Sorhus, Sven; Hudnut, Kenneth W.; Brooks, Benjamin A.; Scharer, Katherine M.; Hernandez, Janis L.; Dawson, Timothy E.; Oskin, Michael E.; Arrowsmith, J. Ramon; Goulet, Christine A.; Blake, Kelly; Boggie, Matthew A.; Bork, Stephan; Craig L. Glennie; Fernandez-Diaz, J.C.; Singhania, Abhinav; Hauser, Darren; Sorhus, Sven

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Year Published: 2020

Science plan for improving three-dimensional seismic velocity models in the San Francisco Bay region, 2019–24

This five-year science plan outlines short-term and long-term goals for improving three-dimensional seismic velocity models in the greater San Francisco Bay region as well as how to foster a community effort in reaching those goals. The short-term goals focus on improving the current U.S. Geological Survey San Francisco Bay region geologic and...

Aagaard, Brad T.; Graymer, Russell W.; Thurber, Clifford H.; Rodgers, Arthur J.; Taira, Taka'aki; Catchings, Rufus D.; Goulet, Christine A.; Plesch, Andreas
Aagaard, B.T., Graymer, R.W., Thurber, C.H., Rodgers, A.J., Taira, T., Catchings, R.D., Goulet, C.A., and Plesch, A., 2020, Science plan for improving three-dimensional seismic velocity models in the San Francisco Bay region, 2019–24: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020–1019, 37 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20201019.

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Year Published: 2020

Operational earthquake forecasting during the 2019 Ridgecrest, California, earthquake sequence with the UCERF3-ETAS model

The first Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast, Version 3–epidemic‐type aftershock sequence (UCERF3‐ETAS) aftershock simulations were running on a high‐performance computing cluster within 33 min of the 4 July 2019 M 6.4 Searles Valley earthquake. UCERF3‐ETAS, an extension of the third Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast (...

Milner, Kevin R.; Field, Edward H.; Savran, William H; Page, Morgan T.; Jordan, Thomas H

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Year Published: 2020

Climate change vulnerability assessment for Pacific Lamprey in rivers of the Western United States

Pacific Lamprey (Entosphenus tridentatus) are a native anadromous species that, like salmon, historically returned to spawn in large numbers in watersheds along the west coast of the United States (U.S.). Lamprey play a vital role in river ecosystems and are one of the oldest vertebrates that have persisted over time likely influencing the...

Wang, Christina J; Shaller, Howard A; Coates, Kelly C.; Hayes, Michael C.; Rose, Robert K

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Year Published: 2020

A high-resolution seismic catalog for the initial 2019 Ridgecrest Earthquake sequence: Foreshocks, aftershocks, and faulting complexity

I use template matching and precise relative relocation techniques to develop a high-resolution earthquake catalog for the initial portion of the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake sequence, from July 4-16, encompassing the foreshock sequence and the first 10+ days of aftershocks following the Mw 7.1 mainshock. Using 13,525 routinely cataloged events as...

Shelly, David R.

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Year Published: 2020

Caltech/USGS Southern California Seismic Network (SCSN) and Southern California Earthquake Data Center (SCEDC): Data availability for the 2019 Ridgecrest sequence

The 2019 M6.4 and M7.1 Ridgecrest earthquake sequence occurred in the eastern California shear zone (ECSZ). The mainshock ruptured the Little Lake fault zone and aftershocks extended from the Garlock fault in the south, to the southern end of the 1872 M7.5 Owens Valley earthquake rupture in the north. We present data from the Southern California...

Hauksson, Egill; Yoon, Clara; Yu, Ellen; Andrews, Jennifer; Alvarez, Mark; Bhadha, Rayo; Thomas, Valerie

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Year Published: 2020

Using a dense seismic array to determine structure and site effects of the Two Towers earthflow in northern California

We deployed a network of 68 three-component geophones on the slow moving Two Towers earthflow in northern California. We compute horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratios (HVSRs) from the ambient seismic field. The HVSRs have two prominent peaks, one near 1.23 Hz and another between 4 and 8 Hz at most stations. The 1.23 Hz resonance is a property...

Thomas, Amanda M.; Spica, Zack; Bodmer, Miles; Schulz, William; Roering, Joshua J.

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Year Published: 2020

U.S. Geological Survey Earthquake Science Center

The mission of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Earthquake Science Center is to collect a wide range of data on earthquakes, faults, and crustal deformation; conduct research to increase our understanding of earthquake source processes, occurrence, and effects; and synthesize this knowledge into probabilistic seismic hazard assessments,...

Hickman, Stephen H.
This publication is available at https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/fs20193067. After the Digital Object Identifier and product metadata have been registered by Crossref, the official URL will be https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20193067.

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A view from the sky of a winding coastal road that runs along steep, rocky cliffs, with a section washed out and collapsed.
January 29, 2021

Highway 1 washout at Rat Creek

The atmospheric river, a narrow, powerful track of water vapor that can deliver tremendous volumes of rain, hit the central California coast and stalled there between January 26 and 28, 2021 — with catastrophic consequences. The area around Rat Creek, about 20 miles south of Big Sur's town center, 

...
View from the sky looking down on a road close to the ocean along a steep and rocky cliff, and the road is washed out.
January 29, 2021

View of Rat Creek debris flow from above

The atmospheric river, a narrow, powerful track of water vapor that can deliver tremendous volumes of rain, hit the central California coast and stalled there between January 26 and 28, 2021 — with catastrophic consequences. The area around Rat Creek, about 20 miles south of Big Sur's town center, 

...
View from a plane over the ocean looking at a coastal cliff region with a newly engineered roadway cut along it.
January 29, 2021

Repaired section of California Highway 1 at Mud Creek

On May 20, 2017, this section of the Big Sur coastline experienced a huge landslide that wiped out scenic coastal Highway 1. By July 2018 the roadway was reopened.

Steam vents along the Yellowstone River near Mud Volcano thermal area
January 12, 2021

Steam vents along the Yellowstone River near Mud Volcano thermal area

Steam vents along the Yellowstone River near Mud Volcano thermal area, Yellowstone National Park.

donut charts comparing irrigated land use in the Adelaida Area of San Luis Obisbo County, CA for 1984, 1996, 2004, 2014 and 2016
January 8, 2021

Irrigated Land Use, Adelaida Area, San Luis Obispo County, CA

Irrigated land-use in the Adelaida Area of San Luis Obisbo County, CA for 1984, 1996, 2004, 2014, and 2016. Numbers indicate acres and percent of total acres. Source: California Department of  Conservation Farmland Mapping and Monitoring Program, 

...
An illustration of a coastal cliff looking from the sky at an angle.
December 31, 2020

Fort Funston Structure-from-Motion point cloud, unmasked

Perspective view of large SfM point cloud of region of Fort Funston, CA., without automated data cleaning (masking).

An illustration of a coastal cliff looking from the sky at an angle.
December 31, 2020

Fort Funston Structure-from-Motion point cloud, masked

Perspective view of large SfM point cloud of region of Fort Funston, CA., with automated data cleaning (masking). This cleaned data has 50% fewer points.

December 28, 2020

Earth Observation Case Study: Landsat to Map Ag. Yields and Irrigation

Social scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Fort Collins Science Center – in collaboration with the USGS National Land Imaging Program – conduct Earth observation user case studies using qualitative research methods. Using standard scientific methods, they are better able to understand the variety of Earth observation users, including how they use and value

A dark image looking down from a vegetated coastal bluff at a sandy beach and the ocean.
November 19, 2020

Sunset State Beach Variance Image

Far out, man... where science meets art

This is an image produced from one of two video cameras, which were installed to overlook the coast at Sunset State Beach in Watsonville, California. The cameras are part of the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center’s 

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wind turbines in a dessert landscape
October 27, 2020

Wind turbines in California

Wind turbines at the San Gorgonio Pass Wind Resource Area north of Palm Springs in California.

A man wearing safety gear and a warm hat sits in a pontoon boat in very calm water setting up equipment, bridge in background.
September 29, 2020

Portable single-beam echo sounder set-up

Marine engineering technician Pete Dal Ferro sets up a newly acquired, portable, single-beam echo sounder on the San Lorenzo River in Santa Cruz, California. The new device, called CEESCOPE, collects bathymetric (depth) data and also records features of the subsurface. All the components are easy for one person to set up and operate, with GPS and an LCD touch screen. This

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Flight path of northern California
February 4, 2021

Residents should not be alarmed if they see a low-flying airplane over parts of northeastern California starting February 6, 2021.

TNMCorps Mapping Challenge: FireStations in CA NV AZ
February 4, 2021

Volunteers have already contributed over 400 edits to this challenge since it was launched last week - IMPRESSIVE!

View from the sky looks down on a roadway that runs along a coastal cliff, part of the road has washed away.
February 2, 2021

USGS researchers respond to coastal hazards and wildfires: The intense storm that hit California’s coast between January 26 and 28, 2021, blew out a portion of Highway 1 near Big Sur. USGS works diligently to provide officials with science to help inform their decision making before, during, and after such events. Here, we present photos that describe this work.

TNMCorps Mapping Challenge: City/Town Halls in CA & NV FINISHED
January 28, 2021

This challenge is now complete! Thank you to everyone who contributed!

TNMCorps Mapping Challenge: FireStations in CA NV AZ NEW
January 28, 2021

TNMCorps Mapping Challenges continue along the Pacific Coast with a challenge for fire stations in California, Nevada, and Arizona!

TNMCorps Mapping Challenge: City/Town Halls in CA & NV
January 21, 2021

Volunteers continue to make headway on this challenge with another 40 points added since last week.  However, there are a handful of communities in the metropolitan areas that still need a point. See our spatial analyses for tips on which communities these may be. 

TNMCorps Mapping Challenge: City/Town Halls in CA & NV
January 14, 2021

Volunteers jumped in feet first with almost 30 new points added since last week. That's pretty good, considering volunteers need to sift through what's already on the map versus what still needs to be collected.  Keep up the good work!!  

TNMCorps Mapping Challenge: City/Town Halls in CA & NV NEW
January 7, 2021

TNMCorps Mapping Challenges shift to the Pacific Coast with a new challenge for city/town halls in California and Nevada. Just in time to help fend off those winter blues, too!

nightly view of highway with large cracks from earthquake and car in the distance.
December 4, 2020

A new geonarrative (Esri Story Map) summarizes the USGS response and findings after the M6.4 on July 4 and M7.1 on July 6, 2019 in Searles Valley, Southern California.

Dots on map of United States show general locations where scientists recently conducted fieldwork.
November 30, 2020

Learn more about the recent field activities completed by scientists in the Coastal and Marine Hazards and Resources Program at the USGS, and explore the Science Projects that guide this fieldwork.

color photo of helicopter over fire
November 27, 2020

In his regular job, EROS Scientist Kurtis Nelson manages post-fire mapping activities at EROS—the largest being Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity, and the Department of Interior’s (DOI) Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) support. But for 21 days this past August and September, he did something more.

Colored, shaded-relief terrain map of Brushy Butte Volcano
November 12, 2020

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has 5 volcano observatories tasked with monitoring low to high threat volcanoes throughout the United States. 

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