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: 389
Date published: May 8, 2018
Status: Active

Rare Earth Element Deposits in the Southeast Mojave Desert

In an effort to better understand domestic resource potential, the USGS is investigating the genetic relationship between rare earth element deposits at Mountain Pass, California and Music Valley (Pinto Mountains, California) and extend these studies across a 130-km long belt of alkaline Proterozoic rocks in the southeast Mojave Desert. Such a combined study would significantly improve our...

Contacts: David Ponce
Date published: May 1, 2018
Status: Active

Bird Banding Laboratory

The Bird Banding Laboratory (BBL) is an integrated scientific program established in 1920 supporting the collection, archiving, management and dissemination of information from banded and marked birds in North America.  This information is used to monitor the status and trends of resident and migratory bird populations. Because birds are good indicators of the health of the environment, the...

Date published: April 30, 2018
Status: Completed

Untangling Faults at Depth – What Lies Beneath Panamint Valley, California?

Release Date: APRIL 30, 2018

The eastern edge of Panamint Valley,CA has two types of faults that can be seen in the near-surface geology. 150 geophones and a seismic source will help reveal the subsurface picture.

Date published: March 29, 2018
Status: Active

Climate check in our Santa Cruz backyard

For a beach town like Santa Cruz, preserving beaches by mitigating coastal erosion is vital. Surveys conducted now and regularly in the future will help scientists understand the short- and long-term impacts of climate change, El Niño years, and sea-level rise on a populated and vulnerable coastline.

Date published: March 27, 2018
Status: Active

Assessing Deposit Build-up in Corte Madera Flood Control Channel

The Corte Madera Flood Control Channel was designed to prevent waters from overflowing Corte Madera Creek in a highly populated area of Marin County. Since the channel was last dredged in 1990 approximately 5,400 cubic feet of sediment has accumulated. The accumulation of sediment is of concern because the sediment may reduce the effectiveness of the channel, posing a flooding threat to...

Contacts: Daniel Livsey
Date published: March 21, 2018
Status: Active

Studying Threatened Fish Species in Clear Lake, CA

A fish species known as the Clear Lake Hitch, presently listed as threatened under the California Endangered Species Act, is now being considered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for placement on its endangered species list. The hitch population, which once flourished in great abundance, has been decimated by loss of spawning habitat, nursery areas, and the encroachment of non-native...

Date published: March 20, 2018
Status: Active

Tsunamis

The 2004 Indian Ocean, 2010 Chilean, and 2011 Tohoku disasters have shown how tsunamis are significant threats to coastal communities. To help U.S. coastal communities prepare for future tsunamis, the Hazards Vulnerability Team completed projects related to population exposure and sensitivity, pedestrian...

Date published: March 16, 2018
Status: Active

Chiricahua Mountains - Reduction of Channel Gradients

Drainages in the Chiricahua Mountains are impacted by large rain events that cause gullying effects in the headwaters, overflow at road crossings, flooding of campgrounds, and overwhelming sediment loads at outlets (Chiricahua National Monument). Monsoon rains following recent fires cause severe flooding in most drainages and...

Contacts: Laura M Norman
Date published: March 14, 2018
Status: Active

Babocomari - Managed Aquifer Recharge

We are working to investigate the most cost-efficient way to recharge the Sierra Vista sub-basin aquifer using rainwater harvesting in the tributaries of the San Pedro River using low-technology methods. Research is being conducted on the Babacomari Ranch, property of the Brophy family. The ...

Contacts: Laura M Norman
Date published: March 14, 2018
Status: Active

Aridland Water Harvesting Study

Most of western North America has been severely grazed by cattle, causing grasslands to deteriorate and desert scrub expansion. Climate in arid and semi-arid regions is often typified by short, intense rainfall events which contribute to short-term flooding and erosion. Associated arroyo cutting occurs when ephemeral creek beds are carved into the floodplain when erratic overland flow occurs;...

Date published: January 18, 2018
Status: Active

National Assessment of Coastal Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise

The original national coastal vulnerability index (CVI) assessment was motivated by expected accelerated sea-level rise (SLR) and the uncertainty in the response of the coastline to SLR. This research was conducted between 1999 and 2001, and is currently being updated using new data sources and methodology. This original study was part of the ...

Date published: January 18, 2018
Status: Active

Long-Term Coastal Change

Goals of this task include developing and improving coastal-change assessments and supporting long-term planning and decision making to ensure sustainable coastal economies, infrastructure, and ecosystems.

Filter Total Items: 517
Date published: December 13, 2018

Lower Colorado River Hydrologic Monitoring Network

The Lower Colorado Monitoring Network, located along the All-American Canal in Imperial County, California, is a series of groundwater-level and water-quality wells, as well as streamgages and micro-gravity sites. This interactive map displays the sites and provides links to the most current data.

Date published: December 6, 2018

Downloadable Data for Western Great Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

GIS Data for Western Great Basin Oil and Gas Assessments 

Date published: November 30, 2018

Downloadable Data for Los Angeles Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

GIS Data for Los Angeles Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Date published: November 30, 2018

Downloadable Data for Santa Maria Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

GIS Data for Santa Maria Basin Oil and Gas Assessments 

Date published: November 30, 2018

Downloadable Data for Ventura Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Downloadable Data for Ventura Basin Oil and Gas Assessments 

Date published: November 30, 2018

Downloadable Data for Central Coastal Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

GIS Data for Central Coastal Basin Oil and Gas Assessments 

Date published: November 30, 2018

Downloadable Data for Northern Coastal Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Northern Coastal Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Date published: November 30, 2018

Downloadable Data for Sonoma-Livermore Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

GIS Data Sonoma-Livermore Basin Oil and Gas Assessments 

Date published: November 29, 2018

Downloadable Data for San Joaquin Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Downloadable Data for San Joaquin Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Date published: November 29, 2018

Downloadable Data for Sacramento Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Downloadable Data for Sacramento Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Date published: November 8, 2018

2010 Estimated California Water Use

Withdrawal estimates for each category represent the total amount of water removed from the water source, regardless of how much of that total is consumptively used. In most cases, some fraction of the total withdrawal will be returned to the same or a different water source after use and is available for other withdrawals.

Date published: October 31, 2018

California Seafloor Mapping Program video and photograph portal

The USGS presents video and photographs of seafloor segments off California, from the U.S.-Mexico border to the Oregon State line. The USGS collected this imagery as part of the California Seafloor Mapping Program, a large collaborative effort supported by the ...

Filter Total Items: 354
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Year Published: 2005

Habitat restoration as a means of controlling non-native fish in a Mojave desert Oasis

Non-native fish generally cause native fish decline, and once non-natives are established, control or elimination is usually problematic. Because non-native fish colonization has been greatest in anthropogenically altered habitats, restoring habitat similar to predisturbance conditions may offer a viable means of non-native fish control. In this...

Scoppettone, G.G.; Rissler, P.H.; Gourley, C.; Martinez, C.
Habitat restoration as a means of controlling non-native fish in a Mojave desert Oasis; 2005; Article; Journal; Restoration Ecology; Scoppettone, G. G.; Rissler, P. H.; Gourley, C.; Martinez, C.

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Year Published: 2005

Relation of desert pupfish abundance to selected environmental variables in natural and manmade habitats in the Salton Sea basin

We assessed the relation between abundance of desert pupfish, Cyprinodon macularius, and selected biological and physicochemical variables in natural and manmade habitats within the Salton Sea Basin. Field sampling in a natural tributary, Salt Creek, and three agricultural drains captured eight species including pupfish (1.1% of the total catch),...

Martin, B.A.; Saiki, M. K.
Relation of desert pupfish abundance to selected environmental variables in natural and manmade habitats in the Salton Sea basin; 2005; Article; Journal; Environmental Biology of Fishes; Martin, B. A.; Saiki, M. K.

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Year Published: 2005

The composition of coexisting jarosite-group minerals and water from the Richmond mine, Iron Mountain, California

Jarosite-group minerals accumulate in the form of stalactites and fine-grained mud on massive pyrite in the D drift of the Richmond mine, Iron Mountain, California. Water samples were collected by placing beakers under the dripping stalactites and by extracting pore water from the mud using a centrifuge. The water is rich in Fe3+ and SO4...

Jamieson, Heather E.; Robinson, Clare; Alpers, Charles N.; Nordstrom, D. Kirk; Poustovetov, Alexei; Lowers, Heather A.
The composition of coexisting jarosite-group minerals and water from the Richmond mine, Iron Mountain, California; 2005; Article; Journal; Canadian Mineralogist; Jamieson, H. E.; Robinson, C.; Alpers, C. N.; Nordstrom, D. K.; Poustovetov, A.; Lowers, H. A.

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Year Published: 2005

Total mercury concentrations in fillets of bluegill, redear sunfish, largemouth bass, and other fishes from Lake Natoma, Sacramento County, California

This study was conducted during September-October 2002 to verify preliminary findings of elevated total mercury concentrations in skinless fillets of sportfishes inhabiting Lake Natoma. Although we measured total mercury concentrations, most mercury in fish flesh occurs in the methylated form. In August 2000, other investigators collected a small...

Saiki, M. K.; Martin, B.A.; May, T.W.; Alpers, Charles N.
Total mercury concentrations in fillets of bluegill, redear sunfish, largemouth bass, and other fishes from Lake Natoma, Sacramento County, California; 2005; Article; Journal; California Fish and Game; Saiki, M. K.; Martin, B. A.; May, T. W.; Alpers, C. N.

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Year Published: 2004

Science support for salt pond restoration and management in south San Francisco Bay

Swanson, Kathleen M.; Shellenbarger, Gregory; Henderson, Kathleen D.; DiLeo, Jeanne S.; Schoellhamer, David H.
Science support for salt pond restoration and management in south San Francisco Bay; 2004; FS; 2004-3135; Swanson, Kathleen M.; Shellenbarger, Gregory G.; Henderson, Kathleen D.; DiLeo, Jeanne S.; Schoellhamer, David H.

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Year Published: 2004

Chapter E. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Geologic setting and crustal structure

Although some scientists considered the Ms=7.1 Loma Prieta, Calif., earthquake of 1989 to be an anticipated event, some aspects of the earthquake were surprising. It occurred 17 km beneath the Santa Cruz Mountains along a left-stepping restraining bend in the San Andreas fault system. Rupture on the southwest-dipping fault plane consisted of...

Wells, Ray E.
Chapter E. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Geologic Setting and Crustal Structure; 2004; PP; 1550-E; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Earthquake Occurrence; Edited by Wells, Ray E.

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Year Published: 2004

Map showing coastal cliff retreat rates along the Big Sur coast, Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties, California

The average coastal cliff retreat rate along the Big Sur coast is 18 ? 6 cm/yr as measured over a 52-year time period. The erosion reference features measured as the cliff edge include the well-defined cliff edges common to marine terraces, slight breaks in the slope defining the upper edge of the active lower slope, and the road grade. Cliff...

Hapke, Cheryl J.; Green, Krystal R.
Map showing coastal cliff retreat rates along the Big Sur coast, Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties, California; 2004; SIM; 2853; Hapke, Cheryl J.; Green Krystal R.

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Year Published: 2004

Maps showing estimated sediment yield from coastal landslides and active slope distribution along the Big Sur coast, Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties, California

The 1982-83 and 1997-98 El Ni?os brought very high precipitation to California?s central coast; this precipitation resulted in raised groundwater levels, coastal flooding, and destabilized slopes throughout the region. Large landslides in the coastal mountains of Big Sur in Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties blocked sections of California State...

Hapke, Cheryl J.; Green, Krystal R.; Dallas, Kate
Maps showing estimated sediment yield from coastal landslides and active slope distribution along the Big Sur coast, Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties, California; 2004; SIM; 2852; Hapke, Cheryl J.; Green, Krystal R.; Dallas, Kate

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Year Published: 2004

Preliminary report on using imaging spectroscopy to map ultramafic rocks, serpentinites, and tremolite-actinolite-bearing rocks in California

Swayze, Gregg A.; Higgins, Chris T.; Clinkenbeard, John P.; Kokaly, Raymond F.; Clark, Roger N.; Meeker, Gregory P.; Sutley, Stephen J.
Preliminary report on using imaging spectroscopy to map ultramafic rocks, serpentinites, and tremolite-actinolite-bearing rocks in California; 2004; OFR; 2004-1304; Swayze, Gregg A.; Higgins, Chris T.; Clinkenbeard, John P.; Kokaly, Raymond F.; Clark, Roger N.; Meeker, Gregory P.; Sutley, Stephen J.

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Year Published: 2004

A USGS Study of Talc Deposits and Associated Amphibole Asbestos Within Mined Deposits of the Southern Death Valley Region, California

Van Gosen, Bradley S.; Lowers, Heather; Sutley, Stephen J.
A USGS Study of Talc Deposits and Associated Amphibole Asbestos Within Mined Deposits of the Southern Death Valley Region, California; 2004; OFR; 2004-1092; Van Gosen, Bradley S.; Lowers, Heather A.; Sutley, Stephen J.

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Year Published: 2004

Ecological and political issues surrounding decommissioning of offshore oil facilities in the Southern California Bight

To aid legislators, resource managers, and the general public, this paper summarizes and clarifies some of the issues and options that the federal government and the state of California face in decommissioning offshore oil and gas production platforms, particularly as these relate to platform ecology. Both local marine ecology and political...

Schroeder, Donna M.; Love, Milton S.

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Year Published: 2004

Reproductive status of western mosquitofish inhabiting selenium- contaminated waters in the Grassland Water District, Merced County, California

This study was implemented to determine if western mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) populations in the Grassland Water District suffer from impaired reproduction because of seleniferous inflows of agricultural drainwater from the Grassland Bypass Project. During June to July 2001, laboratory trials with pregnant female fish collected from two...

Saiki, M. K.; Martin, B.A.; May, T.W.
Reproductive status of western mosquitofish inhabiting selenium- contaminated waters in the Grassland Water District, Merced County, California; 2004; Article; Journal; Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology; Saiki, M. K.; Martin, B. A.; May, T. W.

Filter Total Items: 974
February 13, 2018

Dr. Rufus Catchings, USGS Geophysicist

USGS geophysicist Dr. Rufus Catchings, brings insights to the importance of diversity and perseverance in the earth science field. 
 

Attribution: Natural Hazards
marsh
February 13, 2018

Egret Flyover, Petaluma River

While heading out to a survey plot off of San Pablo Bay, an egret flies over the Petaluma River in the early morning.

Female northern harrier gaze
February 9, 2018

Female Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) Gaze

A female northern harrier (Circus cyaneus) gazes into the camera at Suisun Marsh, CA.

In a pasture a white horse is standing in the foreground, in background is an apparatus that pumps oil from the ground.
February 2, 2018

Oil well pumping unit, Half Moon Bay oil field, California

The Half Moon Bay oil field is one of the oldest oil fields in California and was first developed during the 1880s. Since then, the field has produced an estimated 60,000 barrels of oil from about 19 wells. Most of the old wells have been plugged and abandoned, but this well was reworked in 1980 and produces small volumes of oil from thin sandstone layers of the Miocene

...
January 29, 2018

USGS Joins Efforts in Montecito to Assess Debris-Flow Aftermath

A team of USGS geologists provide science support following Montecito post-fire debris-flow event.
 

January 25, 2018

PubTalk 1/2018 — ShakeAlert: Path to West Coast EQ Early Warning

Title: ShakeAlert: The Path to West Coast Earthquake Early Warning ... how a few seconds can save lives and property

  • The ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system will begin limited operations this year.
  • Alerts could save lives and properties but several challenges remain.
  • With millions at risk, why isn't full public alerting happening yet?
Photo of Staten Island in the Sacramento Delta
January 25, 2018

Staten Island, Sacramento Delta, CA.

Staten Island in the Sacramento Delta, CA.

Montecito after debris flow
January 14, 2018

Montecito after debris flow

The Dec. 4, 2017 Thomas fire, Southern California's largest wildfire on record, burned more than 280,000 acres across Ventura and Santa Barbara counties for nearly a month.

Boulder in debris flow
January 14, 2018

Geologists assess scene after debris flow

Geologists assess boulders displaced during the Montecito debris flow event on Jan. 9, 2018.  

Pool warning sign
January 14, 2018

Pool sign warns first responders

Swimming pool sign spray-painted to warn first responders and others to be careful around the potentially dangerous area. 

January 4, 2018

Image of the Week - Southern California Wildfires Update

After a month, the wildfires of Southern California are nearly contained. Landsat 8 imagery shows the dramatic burn scars left behind.

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 (

USGS
December 31, 2017

Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus) Call

Bats produce a variety of vocalizations that are used for navigation, feeding, and social communication. Most vocalizations are pitched well above the range of human hearing and are referred to as ultrasonic. These calls are often known as echolocation calls since bats use the echoes produced when a sound bounces off a bug or a building to determine what is in the area. 

Filter Total Items: 932
Earthquake swarm near Lassen Volcanic Center Nov 6 to Nov 12, 2014...
November 12, 2014

CalVO is tracking an earthquake swarm that began on November 9 located at the Tehama County-Plumas County border within Lassen National Forest.

Seismicity in the Long Valley Volcanic Region between 2004 and 2014...
October 31, 2014

A cataclysmic eruption of 600 km3 of rhyolite magma (Bishop Tuff) about 760,000 years ago resulted in the collapse of the partially evacuated magma chamber to form the present 17 by 32 km (10 by 20 mi) Long Valley Caldera.

thumbnail image of flyer for Wolf and Elk Diseases in Yellowstone presentation
October 30, 2014

What can wildlife diseases tell us about the emergence of human pandemics? 

Image: Coastal Survey Vessel in Use at Santa Cruz, California
October 20, 2014

During the week of Oct 20 - 24 scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey will be working along the coastline from Santa Cruz to Moss Landing. Either by all-terrain vehicle, personal watercraft, or on foot, they will be surveying local beaches and the nearby ocean bottom to compile a three-dimensional map of how beaches change in northern Monterey Bay.

USGS
October 14, 2014

The Downtown Association of Santa Cruz will host a 25th anniversary commemoration of the Loma Prieta Earthquake.

WERC Sierra Nevadas
October 13, 2014

The USGS California Volcano Observatory (CalVO) is tracking an earthquake swarm in the Sierra Nevada range south of Long Valley Caldera, about 8 miles SW of Toms Place and 15 miles SE of the town of Mammoth Lakes.

Long Valley Caldera Earthquakes greater than M1.0 from 09/22 to 09/...
September 28, 2014

Over the past 42 hours, the earthquake swarm in California's Long Valley Caldera, which began last Friday (see September 26 post), has gradually diminished in terms of numbers of earthquakes and in earthquake magnitude.

Long Valley Caldera Earthquakes greater than M1.0 from 09/22 to 09/...
September 26, 2014

We have been closely tracking an earthquake swarm in California's Long Valley Caldera, which started yesterday at around 4AM PDT (September 25, 2014).

Mount Shasta looming over the town of Weed in the evening....
September 25, 2014

On the afternoon of September 20, a large volume of water surged down Mount Shasta's south flank into Mud Creek, entraining debris and inundating the drainage and roads near McCloud, California.

Image: Sea Otter Ready for a Nap
September 22, 2014

When sea otters want to rest, they wrap a piece of kelp around their body to hold themselves steady among the rolling waves. Likewise, California’s sea otter numbers are holding steady against the many forces pushing against their population recovery, according to the latest field survey led by federal, state, aquarium, and university scientists.

USGS
September 18, 2014

The U.S. Geological Survey will host an educational event for the news media focused on earthquakes on Wednesday September 24, 2014.