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USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: March 9, 2016
Status: Active

Western Geographic Science Center (WGSC)

WGSC scientists conduct geographic research on the environmental and societal consequences of a changing landscape. We develop tools and models to help decision makers better understand complex scientific information so that alternative options/scenarios can be assessed.

Attribution: Southwest
USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: March 9, 2016
Status: Active

Western Ecological Research Center

The Pacific Region contains a dazzling array of habitats from below-sea-level deserts to alpine tundra to coastal mountains, seashores, and marine ecosystems. The Western Ecological Research Center reflects the qualities of this region with equally diverse expertise. Our scientists are trained in research, monitoring, and technology development to basic biology and modeling.

Attribution: Southwest
Get your science used Circular
Date Published: March 3, 2016

"Get your science used--Six guidelines to improve your products"

This USGS Circular addresses the challenges natural scientists face when communicating their science to people outside their fields and, based on the expertise of social scientists and other risk communicators, provides guidelines to those seeking to improve their products.

Image of the contents of a repeat photo stake folder.
Date Published: March 3, 2016
Status: Completed

Developing a USGS Legacy Data Inventory to Preserve and Release Historical USGS Data

Legacy data (n) - Information stored in an old or obsolete format or computer system that is, therefore, difficult to access or process. (Business Dictionary, 2016) For over 135 years, the U.S. Geological Survey has collected diverse information about the natural world and how it interacts with society. Much of this legacy information is one-of-a-kind and in danger of being lost forever...

California Volcano Observatory emblem
Date Published: March 2, 2016

USGS California Volcano Observatory (CalVO)

CalVO operates real-time volcano monitoring networks, disseminates forecasts and notifications of significant activity, assesses volcano hazards, researches volcano processes, and works with communities to prepare for volcanic eruptions in California and Nevada. The Observatory is located at USGS offices in Menlo Park, California.

The general study area
Date Published: December 23, 2015
Status: Active

Estimating Natural Flows for Hydrologic Reference Streams

Scientists develop metrics of expected hydrological conditions at ungaged sites throughout Callifornia 

Temporary seismometer array in New York City to record ambient noise.
Date Published: May 1, 2015
Status: Completed

Seismology in the City

Release Date: May 1, 2015

How seismologists can use noise to see under the ground.

Contacts: William J Stephenson, Lisa A Wald, Steve Hartzell, Morgan Moschetti, Jack Odum, Robert Williams, David Worley
Fish sampling sites in the San Joaquin River
Date Published: February 23, 2015
Status: Active

Application of the SmeltCam to Describe Processes Influencing Delta Smelt Distribution and Movements

The California Water Science Center's "SmeltCam" helps describe processes influencing Delta Smelt distribution and movement.

Tule Perch
Date Published: January 1, 2015
Status: Active

Understanding Influences on Habitat Quality for Delta Smelt and Other Imperiled Fish Populations

USGS scientists work to provide information needed to evaluate the efficacy of ongoing U.S. Burueau of Reclamation water management efforts in Bay-Delta.

Informational graphic showing data in pie graphs, text, and maps
Date Published: August 4, 2014
Status: Completed

California Water Use, 2010

In 2010, Californians withdrew an estimated total of 38 billion gallons of water per day, compared with 46 billion gallons per day in 2005.

Contacts: Justin Brandt
Longfin Smelt
Date Published: May 15, 2014
Status: Active

Physical and Biological Drivers of Longfin Smelt Vertical Distribution

Research scientists study conditions that affect abundance and distributions Longfin Smelt fish population.

Filter Total Items: 472
USGS
January 1, 2017

This part of DS 781 presents fold data for the geologic and geomorphic map of the Offshore of Gaviota map area, California. The vector data file is included in "Folds_OffshoreGaviota.zip," which is accessible from https://doi.org/10.5066/F7TH8JWJ.

In the offshore part of the map area, closely-spaced seismic-reflection profiles image many shallow, west-northwest striking

USGS
January 1, 2017

Files contain hydrodynamic and sediment transport data for the location and deployment indicated. Time-series data of water depth, velocity, turbidity, and temperature were collected in San Pablo Bay and China Camp Marsh as part of the San Francisco Bay Marsh Sediment Experiments. Several instruments were deployed in tidal creek, marsh, mudflat, and Bay locations, gathering data on

USGS
January 1, 2017

Maximum depth of flooding surface (in cm) in the region landward of the present day shoreline that is inundated for the storm condition and sea-level rise (SLR) scenario indicated. Note: Duration datasets may have occasional gaps in open-coast sections.
The Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) makes detailed predictions (meter-scale) over large geographic scales (100s of k

USGS
January 1, 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey collected groundwater samples from 95 domestic wells in Tulare and Kings Counties, California in 2014-2015. The wells were sampled for the Tulare Shallow Aquifer Study Unit of the California State Water Resources Control Board Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) Program Priority Basin Project’s assessment of the quality of groundwater reso

USGS
January 1, 2017

Model-derived significant wave height (in meters) for the given storm condition and sea-level rise (SLR) scenario.
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. CoSMoS v3.0 for So

USGS
January 1, 2017

Model-derived ocean current velocities (in meters per second) for the given storm condition and sea-level rise (SLR) scenario.
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. CoSMoS

USGS
January 1, 2017

Geographic extent of projected coastal flooding, low-lying vulnerable areas, and maxium/minimum flood potential (flood uncertainty) associated with the sea-level rise 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 erosi

USGS
January 1, 2017

Geographic extent of projected coastal flooding, low-lying vulnerable areas, and maxium/minimum flood potential (flood uncertainty) associated with the sea-level rise 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 erosi

USGS
January 1, 2017

As part of the hydrodynamic and sediment transport investigations in San Pablo Bay and China Camp Marsh, California, particle size distributions of bed sediments were measured at most instrumented stations and are presented in a comma-delimited values spreadsheet. This portion of the data release presents San Pablo Bay and China Camp Marsh sediment particle size distributions from samples col

USGS
January 1, 2017

One of the largest hydraulic mines (1.6 km2) is located in California’s Sierra Nevada within the Humbug Creek watershed and Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park (MDSHP). MDSHP’s denuded and dissected landscape is composed of weathered Eocene auriferous sediments susceptible to chronic rill and gully erosion whereas block failures and debris flows occur in more cohesive ter

USGS
January 1, 2017

Files contain hydrodynamic and sediment transport data for the location and deployment indicated. Time-series data of water depth, velocity, turbidity, and temperature were collected in San Pablo Bay and China Camp Marsh as part of the San Francisco Bay Marsh Sediment Experiments. Several instruments were deployed in tidal creek, marsh, mudflat, and Bay locations, gathering data on

USGS
January 1, 2017

To support Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) in the San Francisco Bay (v2.1), time series of historical and 21st-century near-surface wind fields (eastward and northward wind arrays) were simulated throughout the Bay.
While global climate models (GCMs) provide useful projections of near-surface wind vectors into the 21st century, resolution is not sufficient enoug

Filter Total Items: 1,171
March 31, 2017

Establishing Forster's Tern Nesting Colonies

Scientists from the USGS Western Ecological Research Center (WERC) are conducting a "social attraction" study for seabirds in the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Historically, this region offered wetland habitats to local wildlife. With the introduction of industrial salt ponds and human development, however, much of this habitat was lost. Now,

Satellite image showing wildflower blooming in California.
March 28, 2017

The Wildflower Superbloom in California from Landsat’s Perspective

After 5 years of drought, California finally got relief during the winter of 2016–2017 with much needed precipitation. One result of this additional moisture was a springtime abundance of wildflowers.

There were many places to see this wildflower “superbloom” in southern California. This pair of images from Landsat

...
California Wildflower Superbloom, Spring 2017, Landsat 8
March 28, 2017

California Wildflower Superbloom, Spring 2017, Landsat 8

After 5 years of drought, California finally got relief during the winter of 2016–2017 with much needed precipitation. One result of this additional moisture was a springtime abundance of wildflowers in 2017. This Landsat 8 image shows a large area of wildflower "superbloom" just north of Los Padres National Forest in southern California.

 

Men stand on a boat wearing safety gear and they are recovering damaged instrumentation from the water using cables and ropes.
March 21, 2017

Recovering instrument package from Monterey Canyon

On March 21, 2017, the sediment trap from this instrument package (deployed the previous October into Monterey Canyon) is gone and the mounting frame is mangled, having been exposed to several significant turbidity currents in one deployment. 

Photo of scientist climbing an island off the coast of Big Sur
March 15, 2017

WERC Big Sur Deployment

Scientists from the USGS Western Ecological Research Center deploy to Big Sur to study seabird populations.

USGS hydrologic technician stands in waist-high waters of a flooded Santa Maria River while taking streamflow measurements
March 1, 2017

Santa Maria River Flooding

A USGS hydrologic technician takes streamflow measurements during flooding of the Sisquoc River, a tributary of the Santa Maria River, near the town of Garey in Santa Barbara County. 

Photo of shoreline with very little sandy beach. Heavy equipment is  piling up large boulders (rip rap) along the eroded shore
February 28, 2017

Armoring the shore at Goleta Beach

Installing large boulders as rip rap to armor the shore against further erosion at Goleta Beach in Southern California. The tide is very low (negative).

photo of bare rocks exposed below cliffs at low tide along a shoreline.
February 28, 2017

Exposed bedrock at low tide

Exposed bedrock on the beach, below the University of California, Santa Barbara.

row of palm trees along a low cliff behind a narrow beach with very little sand
February 28, 2017

Beach loss and armoring at Goleta Beach

Beach loss and armoring at Goleta Beach, very low (negative) tide

long stretch of beach, with row of houses teetering on the edge of the cliff above beach. Bare rocks exposed & no sand on beach
February 28, 2017

Exposed bedrock at Isla Vista beach

Bedrock exposed at low tide along the beach at Isla Vista, California

house perched at the top of cliff edge above beach.
February 28, 2017

Exposed bedrock at Isla Vista

Exposed bedrock on the beach during very low (negative) tide at Isla Vista, California

Map showing depth of a very intricate bay and delta system color-coded to enhance central bay channels and tidal channels.
February 27, 2017

San Francisco Bay and Delta DEM

High-resolution (10-meter per pixel) digital elevation model (DEM) of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, using both bathymetry and topography data relative to current modern datum of North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD88). This DEM is the result of collaborative efforts of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the California Department of Water Resources (DWR).

Filter Total Items: 918
USGS
October 19, 2012

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Experts in volcano hazards and public safety have started a conversation about volcanoes in the southwestern United States, and how best to prepare for future activity. Prior to this meeting, emergency response planning for volcanic unrest in the region had received little attention by federal or state agencies.

USGS
October 12, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. — U.S. Geological Survey volcanologists and geophysicists plan to conduct the first comprehensive, high-resolution airborne magnetic survey of the rock layers under Mono Basin and Long Valley, on the east side of the Sierra Nevada in Calif. next week.

Lassen Volcanic National Park, California. Northeast side of Lassen Peak, showing the area devastated by mudflows and a lateral
October 12, 2012

A hazards assessment for Lassen Volcanic Center, California, is now available for download from the USGS Publications Warehouse.

Screenshot Location of Long Valley caldera
October 12, 2012

In mid-October, U.S. Geological Survey volcanologists and geophysicists plan to conduct the first comprehensive, high-resolution airborne magnetic survey of the rock layers under Mono Basin and Long Valley, on the east side of the California Sierra Nevada mountains.

USGS
October 9, 2012

PORTLAND, Ore. — The United States Geological Survey, in cooperation with several Klamath Basin stakeholders, has developed hydrologic datasets for the upper Klamath Basin of south-central Oregon that can help water managers identify and prioritize water uses that could be voluntarily set aside and reallocated to yield an additional 30,000 acre feet of water to Upper Klamath Lake.

USGS
September 25, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. — During the last week of September, Sea Otter Awareness Week focuses public attention on sea otters, while serving to promote various conservation programs and research activities.

USGS
September 18, 2012

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Solvents and other constituents - arsenic, uranium, and nitrate - were detected at high concentrations in up to four percent of untreated groundwater used for public water supply in the coastal region of Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

USGS
September 10, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. — The California Geological Survey is giving away free maps in preparation for the move of their Maps and Publications Sales office at the end of the month. Spurred by a U.S. Geological Survey initiative to reduce rent costs and the total amount of federal space occupied, CGS will move their map store to the second floor of the same building they currently occupy.

USGS
August 29, 2012

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Benzene occurs infrequently in California public supply wells and comes predominantly from naturally occurring petroleum deposits deep in the ground, according to a study by the U.S. Geological Survey. Spills associated with underground fuel storage and above ground distribution systems have long been considered the main source of benzene in groundwater.

USGS
August 27, 2012

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The U.S. Geological Survey has released updated flood frequency estimates for select rural "natural flow" California streams throughout the state. The estimates are based on greatly expanded data and documented in three reports available online. These reports from the USGS and its partners represent an important resource for emergency officials, water

Salton Sea sunset
August 27, 2012

An energetic earthquake swarm (largest event magnitude 5.5) is ongoing in the Brawley Seismic Zone south of the Salton Sea in Southern California.

USGS
August 21, 2012

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — The southern sea otter population continues its pattern of tepid recovery, according to the latest population survey led by U.S. Geological Survey, California Department of Fish and Game Office of Spill Prevention and Response and Monterey Bay Aquarium scientists.