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: 421
Date published: August 28, 2018
Status: Active

Organic Chemistry Research — Sacramento, California

About the Research

The Environmental Health Program collaborates with chemists and hydrologists at the Organic Chemistry Research Laboratory (OCRL) to develop targeted analytical methods for the quantitation of chemicals that can impact the health of organisms and humans. The scientists have developed methods in a wide variety of environmental media; in addition to...

Date published: August 27, 2018
Status: Completed

Increasing Soil Organic Carbon to Mitigate Greenhouse Gases and Increase Climate Resiliency for California

Rising air temperatures are projected to continue to drive up urban, agricultural, and rangeland water use, straining both surface and groundwater resources. Scientific studies have shown that managing farms, ranches, and public lands to increase soil carbon can increase soil waterholding capacity and increase hydrologic benefits such as increased baseflows and aquifer recharge, reduced...

Contacts: Michelle Stern
Date published: August 24, 2018
Status: Active

Yucaipa Valley Hydrogeology

This study assesses the quality of water in the Yucaipa area, primarily in the Yucaipa plain. This hydrogeology study will aid local water purveyors in understanding and evaluating local resources and using those resources effectively in combination with water imported from northern California and from the adjacent San Bernardino area.

Contacts: Gregory Mendez
Date published: August 5, 2018
Status: Active

Global Hyperspectral Imaging Spectral-library of Agricultural-Crops (GHISA)

This webpage showcases the key research advances made in hyperspectral remote sensing of agricultural crops and vegetation over the last 50 years. There are three focus areas:

Date published: July 16, 2018
Status: Completed

A New Map of Rodgers Creek Fault in Sonoma County, California

Release Date: JULY 16, 2018

A new more detailed and higher resolution map of the Rodgers Creek Fault in Sonoma County, California, has been produced using aerial photography and hillshade imagery derived from LiDAR data.

Date published: July 6, 2018
Status: Active

Pesticide Fate Research Group (PFRG)

Pesticides are applied in agricultural and urban areas to control weeds, insects, fungus, and other pests.  Applied pesticides and their degradates can be transported off-site through a variety of mechanisms; these pesticides can then be found in non-target areas. Pesticide transport can occur through the atmosphere, in the aqueous phase (surface and groundwater) and associated with soil/...

Date published: June 27, 2018
Status: Active

Low Intensity Chemical Dosing (LICD)

Rivers, wetlands, and agricultural operations supply natural organic material to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta) and the San Francisco Estuary. This natural organic matter provides many ecosystem benefits, but it also adversely affects drinking water. During drinking water treatment, chlorine added for purposes of pathogen control reacts with dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in the...

Contacts: Tamara Kraus, Phil Bachand
Date published: June 19, 2018
Status: Active

California Water Use

The U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Use Information Program compiles the nation's water-use data at the county, state, and national levels. USGS five-year reports on national and state water-use estimates between 1950-2015 are posted on the web at: http://water.usgs.gov/watuse/. USGS water-use data for states and counties for...

Contacts: Justin Brandt
Date published: June 14, 2018
Status: Active

Operational CoSMoS model: San Francisco Bay

The San Francisco Bay Coastal Flood Forecast pilot project is an operational CoSMoS model, part of a project funded by the California Department of Water Resources (CA-DWR) and NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL).

Date published: June 11, 2018
Status: Completed

Slow-Motion Landslides

Release Date: JUNE 11, 2018

Sluggishly-moving earthflows can help us learn what controls the starting and stopping of landslides.

Date published: June 7, 2018
Status: Active

U.S. Highway 50, California - Current Landslide Status

Status as of April 3, 2018

General

This slide moves in response to elevated ground-water pore pressures caused by infiltration from rainfall or melting snow. It typically moves during a wet winter and spring and is dormant during dry times. Continued downslope movement of this slide will likely occur in future wet seasons.

Displayed...

Date published: June 7, 2018
Status: Active

U.S. Highway 50, California - Yearly Information

Yearly summaries of past precipitation, movement, and ground water pressures (for the water year beginning October 1). These can be viewed by opening each year's summary graph.

Filter Total Items: 588
Date published: January 1, 2019

Structure-from-motion point cloud of Mud Creek, Big Sur, California, 2017-10-12

Presented here is a point cloud collected by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) using a UAS-mounted camera system, covering the area of the Mud Creek landslide on California State Route 1 (SR1), Mud Creek, Big Sur, California. The point cloud is referenced to previously published lidar data and contains RGB information as well as XYZ. Point cloud coordinates are in NAD83 UTM Zone 1

Date published: January 1, 2019

CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System) Central California v3.1 wave-hazard projections: 20-year storm in San Luis Obispo County

This data contains maximum model-derived significant wave height (in meters) for the sea-level rise (SLR) and storm condition indicated.
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) scenar

Date published: January 1, 2019

CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System) Central California v3.1 wave-hazard projections: average conditions in San Francisco County

This data contains maximum model-derived significant wave height (in meters) for the sea-level rise (SLR) and storm condition indicated.
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) scenar

Date published: January 1, 2019

CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System) Central California v3.1 wave-hazard projections: 20-year storm in Santa Barbara County

This data contains maximum model-derived significant wave height (in meters) for the sea-level rise (SLR) and storm condition indicated.
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) scenar

Date published: January 1, 2019

CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System) Central California v3.1 wave-hazard projections: 100-year storm in San Francisco County

This data contains maximum model-derived significant wave height (in meters) for the sea-level rise (SLR) and storm condition indicated.
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) scenar

Date published: January 1, 2019

CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System) Central California v3.1 flood-hazard projections: 1-year storm in San Mateo County

This data contains geographic extents of projected coastal flooding, low-lying vulnerable areas, and maximum/minimum flood potential (flood uncertainty) associated with the sea-level rise (SLR) and storm condition indicated.
The Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) makes detailed predictions (meter-scale) over large geographic scales (100s of kilometers) of storm-ind

Date published: January 1, 2019

Structure-from-motion point cloud of Mud Creek, Big Sur, California, 2017-12-07

Presented here is a point cloud collected by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) using a UAS-mounted camera system, covering the area of the Mud Creek landslide on California State Route 1 (SR1), Mud Creek, Big Sur, California. Point cloud is referenced to previously published lidar data and contains RGB information as well as XYZ. Point cloud coordinates are in NAD83 UTM Zone 10 me

Date published: January 1, 2019

CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System) Central California v3.1 flood-hazard projections: average conditions in San Mateo County

This data contains geographic extents of projected coastal flooding, low-lying vulnerable areas, and maximum/minimum flood potential (flood uncertainty) associated with the sea-level rise (SLR) and storm condition indicated.
The Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) makes detailed predictions (meter-scale) over large geographic scales (100s of kilometers) of storm-ind

Date published: January 1, 2019

CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System) Central California v3.1 ocean-currents projections: 20-year storm in San Francisco County

This data contains maximum model-derived ocean currents (in meters per second) for the sea-level rise (SLR) and storm condition indicated.
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) scen

Date published: January 1, 2019

CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System) Central California v3.1 water-level projections: average conditions in Santa Barbara County

This data contains model-derived total water levels (in meters) for the sea-level rise (SLR) and storm condition indicated.
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. Projecti

Date published: January 1, 2019

CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System) Central California v3.1 wave-hazard projections: 20-year storm in San Francisco County

This data contains maximum model-derived significant wave height (in meters) for the sea-level rise (SLR) and storm condition indicated.
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) scenar

Date published: January 1, 2019

Water quality and ancillary data for assessment of uranium concentrations in groundwater, San Joaquin Valley, CA

High concentrations of uranium were detected in samples from wells used for domestic drinking water supplies in the San Joaquin Valley. Of 163 domestic wells sampled by the California Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment Program Priority Basin Project (GAMA-PBP) and the National Water Quality Program (NWQP) in 2008-2015, 26 percent had uranium concentrations greater than the U.S....

Filter Total Items: 485
Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2012

Probabilistic Relationships between Ground‐Motion Parameters and Modified Mercalli Intensity in California

We use a database of approximately 200,000 modified Mercalli intensity (MMI) observations of California earthquakes collected from USGS "Did You Feel It?" (DYFI) reports, along with a comparable number of peak ground-motion amplitudes from California seismic networks, to develop probabilistic relationships between MMI and peak ground velocity (PGV...

Worden, C.B.; Wald, David J.; Rhoades, D.A.
Probabilistic Relationships between Ground‐Motion Parameters and Modified Mercalli Intensity in California; 2012; Article; Journal; Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America; Worden, C.B.; Wald, David J.; Rhoades, D.A

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2011

Assessment of topographic and drainage network controls on debris-flow travel distance along the west coast of the United States

To better understand controls on debris-flow entrainment and travel distance, we examined topographic and drainage network characteristics of initiation locations in two separate debris-flow prone areas located 700 km apart along the west coast of the U.S. One area was located in northern California, the other in southern Oregon. In both areas,...

Coe, Jeffrey A.; Reid, Mark E.; Brien, Dainne L.; Michael, John A.
Assessment of topographic and drainage network controls on debris-flow travel distance along the west coast of the United States; 2011; Article; Journal; Italian Journal of Engineering Geology and Environment; 5th International Conference on Debris-Flow Hazards "Mitigation, Mechanics, Prediction and Assessment"; Coe, Jeffrey A.; Reid, Mark E.; Brien, Dainne L.; Michael, John A.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2011

Assessing possible visitor-use impacts on water quality in Yosemite National Park, California

There is concern that visitor-use associated activities, such as bathing, dish washing, wastewater production, and stock animal use near lakes and streams, could cause degradation of water quality in Yosemite National Park. A study was conducted during 2004–2007 to assess patterns in nutrient and Escherichia coli (E. coli) concentrations in...

Clow, David W.; Peavler, Rachael S.; Roche, Jim; Panorska, Anna K.; Thomas, James M.; Smith, Steve
Assessing possible visitor-use impacts on water quality in Yosemite National Park, California; 2011; Article; Journal; Environmental Monitoring and Assessment; Clow, David W.; Peavler, Rachael S.; Roche, Jim ; Panorska, Anna K.; Thomas, James M.; Smith, Steve

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2011

Bathymetry and digital elevation models of Coyote Creek and Alviso Slough, South San Francisco Bay, California

In 2010, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center completed three cruises to map the bathymetry of the main channel and shallow intertidal mudflats in the southernmost part of south San Francisco Bay. The three surveys were merged to generate comprehensive maps of Coyote Creek (from Calaveras Point east to the...

Foxgrover, Amy C.; Finlayson, David P.; Jaffe, Bruce E.; Fregoso, Theresa A.
Foxgrover, A.C., Finlayson, D.P., Jaffe, B.E., and Fregoso, T.A., 2011, Bathymetry and digital elevation models of Coyote Creek and Alviso Slough, South San Francisco Bay, California (ver. 5.0, June 2020): U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2011–1315, 21 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20111315.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2011

Emergency assessment of postwildfire debris-flow hazards for the 2011 Motor Fire, Sierra and Stanislaus National Forests, California

This report presents an emergency assessment of potential debris-flow hazards from basins burned by the 2011 Motor fire in the Sierra and Stanislaus National Forests, Calif. Statistical-empirical models are used to estimate the probability and volume of debris flows that may be produced from burned drainage basins as a function of different...

Cannon, Susan H.; Michael, John A.
Emergency assessment of postwildfire debris-flow hazards for the 2011 Motor Fire, Sierra and Stanislaus National Forests, California; 2011; OFR; 2011-1251; Cannon, Susan H.; Michael, John A.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2011

Relative abundance and distribution of fishes within an established Area of Critical Environmental Concern, of the Amargosa River Canyon and Willow Creek, Inyo and San Bernardino Counties, California

The Amargosa River Canyon of San Bernardino and Inyo County, California, has been designated by the Bureau of Land Management as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern, due in part to its unique flora and fauna. As a task of the Area of Critical Environmental Concern implementation plan, a survey of native fishes was conducted from June 21 to...

Scoppettone, G. Gary; Hereford, Mark E.; Rissler, Peter H.; Johnson, Danielle M.; Salgado, Antonio
Relative abundance and distribution of fishes within an established Area of Critical Environmental Concern, of the Amargosa River Canyon and Willow Creek, Inyo and San Bernardino Counties, California; 2011; OFR; 2011-1161; Scoppettone, G. Gary; Hereford, Mark E.; Rissler, Peter H.; Johnson, Danielle M.; Salgado, Antonio

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2011

Isostatic gravity map of the Point Sur 30 x 60 quadrangle and adjacent areas, California

This isostatic residual gravity map is part of a regional effort to investigate the tectonics and water resources of the central Coast Range. This map serves as a basis for modeling the shape of basins and for determining the location and geometry of faults in the area. Local spatial variations in the Earth's gravity field (after removing...

Watt, J.T.; Morin, R. L.; Langenheim, V. E.
Isostatic gravity map of the Point Sur 30 x 60 quadrangle and adjacent areas, California; 2011; OFR; 2011-1036; Watt, J.T.; Morin, R.L.; Langenheim, V.E.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2011

Overview of the ARkStorm scenario

The U.S. Geological Survey, Multi Hazards Demonstration Project (MHDP) uses hazards science to improve resiliency of communities to natural disasters including earthquakes, tsunamis, wildfires, landslides, floods and coastal erosion. The project engages emergency planners, businesses, universities, government agencies, and others in preparing for...

Porter, Keith; Wein, Anne; Alpers, Charles N.; Baez, Allan; Barnard, Patrick L.; Carter, James; Corsi, Alessandra; Costner, James; Cox, Dale; Das, Tapash; Dettinger, Mike; Done, James; Eadie, Charles; Eymann, Marcia; Ferris, Justin; Gunturi, Prasad; Hughes, Mimi; Jarrett, Robert; Johnson, Laurie; Le-Griffin, Hanh Dam; Mitchell, David; Morman, Suzette; Neiman, Paul; Olsen, Anna; Perry, Suzanne; Plumlee, Geoffrey; Ralph, Martin; Reynolds, David; Rose, Adam; Schaefer, Kathleen; Serakos, Julie; Siembieda, William; Stock, Jonathan D.; Strong, David; Wing, Ian Sue; Tang, Alex; Thomas, Pete; Topping, Ken; Wills, Chris; Jones, Lucile
Overview of the ARkStorm scenario; 2011; OFR; 2010-1312; Porter, Keith; Wein, Anne; Alpers, Charles; Baez, Allan; Barnard, Patrick; Carter, James; Corsi, Alessandra; Costner, James; Cox, Dale; Das, Tapash; Dettinger, Michael; Done, James; Eadie, Charles; Eymann, Marcia; Ferris, Justin; Gunturi, Prasad; Hughes, Mimi; Jarrett, Robert; Johnson, Laurie; Le-Griffin, Hanh Dam; Mitchell, David; Morman, Suzette; Neiman, Paul; Olsen, Anna; Perry, Suzanne; Plumlee, Geoffrey; Ralph, Martin; Reynolds, David; Rose, Adam; Schaefer, Kathleen; Serakos, Julie; Siembieda, William; Stock, Jonathan; Strong, David; Wing, Ian Sue; Tang, Alex; Thomas, Pete; Topping, Ken; Wills, Chris; Jones, Lucile

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2011

A novel member of the family Hepeviridae from cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii)

Beginning in 1988, the Chinook salmon embryo (CHSE-214) cell line was used to isolate a novel virus from spawning adult trout in the state of California, USA. Termed the cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii) virus (CTV), the small, round virus was not associated with disease, but was subsequently found to be present in an increasing number of...

Batts, William; Yun, Susan; Hedrick, Ronald; Winton, James
A novel member of the family Hepeviridae from cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii); 2011; Article; Journal; Virus Research; Batts, William; Yun, Susan; Hedrick, Ronald; Winton, James

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2011

Deep rock damage in the san andreas fault revealed by P- and S-type fault-zone-guided waves

Damage to fault-zone rocks during fault slip results in the formation of a channel of low seismic-wave velocities. Within such channels guided seismic waves, denoted by Fg, can propagate. Here we show with core samples, well logs and Fg-waves that such a channel is crossed by the SAFOD (San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth) borehole at a depth...

Ellsworth, William L.; Malin, Peter E.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2011

Effect of dietary salt on migration and survival of yearling steelhead produced at Iron Gate Hatchery, Klamath River, 2009

We surgically implanted radio transmitters into 30 hatchery yearling steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) released from Iron Gate Hatchery during the spring of 2009 to improve our understanding of the effect of dietary salt on their out-migration and survival. Steelhead yearlings were divided into two feed treatments to test the efficacy of a salt-...

Juhnke, S.; Hansel, H.; Wright; Hetrick

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2011

Soil-geomorphic significance of land surface characteristics in an arid mountain range, Mojave Desert, USA

Mountains comprise an extensive and visually prominent portion of the landscape in the Mojave Desert, California. Landform surface properties influence the role these mountains have in geomorphic processes such as dust flux and surface hydrology across the region. The primary goal of this study was to describe and quantify land surface properties...

Hirmas, D.R.; Graham, R.C.; Kendrick, K.J.
Soil-geomorphic significance of land surface characteristics in an arid mountain range, Mojave Desert, USA; 2011; Article; Journal; Catena; Hirmas, D. R.; Graham, R. C.; Kendrick, K. J.

Filter Total Items: 1,119
The backs of two scientists wearing USGS vests and hard hats, looking out at a drone in the sky, standing in a field, with a bur
October 7, 2018

USGS researchers fly a drone over Whiskeytown National Recreation Area

USGS ecologist and drone pilot Chase Freeman flies a drone for at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area to assess the impacts of the 2018 Carr Fire, while technician Kylie Mosher looks on.

A  small group gathers around a woman who's extracting a sediment core from a marshy area while a man talks.
October 7, 2018

Examining core stratigraphy within Humboldt slough

Humboldt State University Assistant Professor Melanie Michalak (squatting) and California State Geological Survey scientist Jay Patton (standing, center) explaining core stratigraphy within Humboldt slough and evidence for past tsunami inundation. Integrating evidence of past earthquakes and tsunamis from offshore and onshore geologic evidence is key to understanding the

...
A map shows features of the bottom of the ocean off the coast.
October 5, 2018

Backscatter map offshore of Santa Cruz

Between November 2014 and June 2016 the U.S. Geological Survey, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (PCMSC) conducted eight repeat, high-resolution bathymetry and acoustic-backscatter surveys of a small patch of seafloor offshore Santa Cruz in northern Monterey Bay, California. PCMSC also collected oceanographic time-series data over the same two-year period.

September 27, 2018

PubTalk 9/2018 - Hayward Earthquake

Title: The 150th Anniversary of the Damaging 1868 Hayward Earthquake: Why It Matters and How We Can Prepare for Its Repeat

  • The Hayward Fault in the heart of the Bay Area is one of the most urbanized faults in the US.
  • Studies of the fault reveal that it has produced 12 large earthquakes in the past 2000 years spaced 100-220 years apart.
  • There
View along a beach with gentle waves, low dunes, and two sets of tire tracks in the sand, one set winding and one set straight.
September 13, 2018

Southern Monterey Bay beach studies

After USGS scientist Dan Hoover drove a couple of pass with his all-terrain vehicle (ATV), equipped with gear that collects elevations, on a mostly flat beach in southern Monterey Bay, California. Then he turned to take this photo of his tire tracks. The ATV operator will follow beach elevation features (note the curved tire tracks where Hoover traced the high-water mark

...
Two people on personal watercraft maneuver separately and spaced apart in a beach setting near a jetty.
September 12, 2018

Beach survey on personal watercraft

Two personal watercraft operators from the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California, navigate their personal watercraft (PWC) in the shallow nearshore region in Moss Landing near Elkhorn Slough. The PWCs are set up with precision GPS and echosounder systems in order to create detailed bathymetric maps (depth).

An all-terrain vehicle equipped with GPS and other devices sits on the beach and a personal watercraft is in background.
September 12, 2018

PWC and ATV for beach surveys

For typical beach surveys, USGS scientists drive an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) like the one shown here, equpped with precision GPS that collects location and elevation data. Driving along features such as high-water marks, and driving a grid pattern spaced by about 30 meters, enable the collection of a complete 3D representation of the beach surface. Meanwhile, 2 personal

...
A man wearing a hard hat and waders sits on an all-terrain vehicle equipped with instruments that collect data.
September 12, 2018

Equipped and ready to collect data

USGS oceanographer Andrew Stevens, of the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California, sits on an all-terrain vehicle equipped with a precision GPS and other instruments. The GPS collects position data continuously, about 2 points per second, while an operator like Andrew drives the ATV over a beach. The points can then be rendered into a 3D

...
A group stands on the stern of a ship preparing an instrument attached to a cabling system.
September 12, 2018

The chirp 512i on R/V Rainier

Science and ship crew on board NOAA research vessel Rainier prepare the Chirp 512i off south-central California.

looking at laptop on boat
September 11, 2018

Examining data aboard on boat

USGS scientist looking at laptop on boat

A RestoreNet garden with plots covered by white cloth.
August 31, 2018

RestoreNet garden testing seedling establishment.

The RestoreNet gardens test seedlings of priority restoration species across the Southwest. This is a recently installed garden located in the juniper woodlands of the Colorado Plateau. The experiemental network will support land managers by providing insight into various restoration techniques, including testing seedlings vs seeds.

city skyline with tall buildings lit up at night and bridge in left foreground
August 15, 2018

The Bay Bridge and the Oakland city skyline

The nighttime Oakland city skyline as seen from San Francisco with the Bay Bridge in the foreground

Filter Total Items: 992
USGS
October 22, 2015

Joint Venture Silicon Valley and the U.S. Geological Survey today jointly announced a partnership to address regional challenges from natural hazards, climate and land use change, and continued availability of clean air and water resources.

USGS
October 14, 2015

MENLO PARK, Calif. — U.S. Geological Survey employees in Menlo Park, Calif. will participate in an earthquake safety drill, and test their emergency response plan as part of the Great ShakeOut on Oct. 15, an annual day of action to practice how to protect yourself from an earthquake.

Map of San Joaquin Basin Province
October 6, 2015

The Monterey Formation in the deepest parts of California’s San Joaquin Basin contains an estimated mean volumes of 21 million barrels of oil, 27 billion cubic feet of gas, and 1 million barrels of natural gas liquids, according to the first USGS assessment of continuous (unconventional), technically recoverable resources in the Monterey Formation.

USGS
October 1, 2015

This year, groundwater levels in many wells in California’s Central Valley are at or below historical low levels. In addition, from 2007 through 2015, land subsidence that correlates to areas with large groundwater level declines has strongly increased in two large agricultural areas near the towns of El Nido and Pixley, according to a new article by the U.S. Geological Survey.

A picture of low water levels of the American River
September 23, 2015

The rising temperatures in many of California's rivers have become potentially lethal to anadromous fish, and other fish species. Even in rivers controlled by reservoirs, where operators have traditionally been able to help control river temperature by timed releases, the combination of low flows, reduced cold-water pools in reservoirs and high air temps has resulted in elevated river temps.

Image: Severe Coastal Erosion During an El Niño Storm
September 21, 2015

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — The projected upsurge of severe El Niño and La Niña events will cause an increase in storm events leading to extreme coastal flooding and erosion in populated regions across the Pacific Ocean, according to a multi-agency study published today in Nature Geoscience.

Image: Sea Otter Ready for a Nap
September 17, 2015

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — The recovery of southern sea otters appears to have taken an upturn, according to results from the annual California sea otter survey released by the U.S. Geological Survey today. Yet despite an overall increase in sea otter abundance, sharks have been “taking a bite” out of the portion of the population that could fuel expansion into new areas.

Illustration: Study area showing boundaries of each of the seven greater sage-grouse management zones
September 10, 2015

OAKHURST, Calif. -- Overall fire threats to greater sage-grouse habitat are much higher in the western part of the species’ range than in the eastern part, according to a U.S. Geological Survey fire threats assessment study published today.

USGS science for a changing world logo
September 10, 2015

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Some of the inner workings of Earth’s subduction zones and their “megathrust” faults are revealed in a paper published today in the journal “Science.” U.S. Geological Survey scientist Jeanne Hardebeck calculated the frictional strength of subduction zone faults worldwide, and the stresses they are under.

Image: USGS Documents 2015 Drought
September 8, 2015

U.S. Geological Survey hydrologic technicians are currently taking measurements from hundreds of streams and rivers across the western United States as part of a low flow study.

2015 Chile-US Bi-national Exchange participants work together on vo...
September 8, 2015

Scientists, civil authorities, and emergency managers from Chile and the U.S. met in California to discuss the challenges of effective volcanic hazard education, response planning, hazard mitigation, and risk reduction, as part of the second Binational Exchange program for Volcanic Risk Reduction in the Americas.

Image: Moon over Half Dome
September 7, 2015

Despite sounding like something out of Harry Potter, a batholith is a type of igneous rock that forms when magma rises into the earth’s crust, but does not erupt onto the surface. The magma cools beneath the earth’s surface, forming a rock structure that extends at least one hundred square kilometers across (40 square miles), and extends to an unknown depth.