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: 580
Date published: September 20, 2011

1:1,000,000-scale potentiometric contours and control points for the Great Basin carbonate and alluvial aquifer system of Nevada, Utah, and parts of adjacent states

This dataset consists of potentiometric contours, control points used to guide the creation of the contours, and a grid of 2 square-mile cells used to average the water-level value of selected control points. Control points are based on water-level measurements at well and spring locations from the USGS National Water Information System (NWIS).

Date published: September 20, 2011

Three-dimensional hydrogeologic framework for the Great Basin carbonate and alluvial aquifer system of Nevada, Utah, and parts of adjacent states

This dataset was created in support of a study focusing on groundwater resources in the Great Basin carbonate and alluvial aquifer system (GBCAAS). The GBCAAS is a complex aquifer system comprised of both unconsolidated and bedrock formations covering an area of approximately 110,000 square miles. The aquifer system is situated in the eastern portion of the Great Basin Province of the western...

Date published: January 1, 2009

1:1,000,000-scale Hydrographic Areas of the Great Basin

This data set consists of hydrographic area and major flow system boundaries and polygons delineated at 1:1,000,000-scale for the Great Basin.

Date published: November 8, 2004

1:250,000-scale geology of the Dry Valley Hydrographic Area, Nevada and California

This dataset consists of digital geologic data for the Dry Valley Hydrographic area, Nevada and California. It was compiled from individual 1:250,000-scale geologic data for Washoe County, Nevada, 1:62,500-scale geologic data for the Chilcoot and Doyle 15' quadrangles in California and the results of field mapping within the study area in 2004. 

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USGS technician releases a male pintail as part of a study.
February 19, 2016

USGS WERC Scientist Releasing Tagged Male Pintail

A photo of USGS biological science technician releasing a male pintail in Suisun Marsh, CA. USGS Western Ecological Research Center scientists based out of Dixon, CA are marking and tagging waterfowl with GPS transmitters as part of an ongoing study.

Winter at Ward Creek, CA
February 2, 2016

Winter at Ward Creek, CA

Winter at Ward Creek, CA

Winter squall at Lake Tahoe
February 2, 2016

Winter squall at Lake Tahoe

Winter squall at Lake Tahoe

Winter sunset at Lake Tahoe
February 2, 2016

Winter sunset at Lake Tahoe

Winter sunset at Lake Tahoe

Long Valley Caldera Range Front Fault Diagram...
January 22, 2016

Long Valley Caldera range-front faults terminate at the caldera bou...

This is a simplified diagram of regional range front faults as they intersect the Long Valley Caldera. The Hartley Springs Fault and Hilton Creek Fault are range-front faults caused by regional Basin and Range extension (Earth's crust is pulling apart, and the Sierra Nevada mountains are lifting up and moving to the west as the Basin and Range drops down to the east).

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Cars, pedestrians, and homes alongside a coast with big waves hitting the cliffs and sections of the cliff have collapsed.
January 8, 2016

Santa Cruz coastal erosion

The coastal bluff along East Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz, California are especially vulnerable to rising sea level during big storms. Sometimes even the rip-rap, put in place to protect roadways and homes, cannot protect the bluffs from erosion.

Photograph of Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and Main Beach in winter of 2016 when big storms hit the California coast.
January 7, 2016

Santa Cruz, California's Main Beach in winter

View of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk amusement park in Santa Cruz, California. Photo was taken from the bluff on East Cliff Drive, east of the San Lorenzo River mouth. Sand on the beach gets eroded, redistributed, and deposited due to the dynamic conditions brought about by storms and changing river flow.

Geologic field-trip guide to Lassen Volcanic National Park and vici...
December 31, 2015

Geologic field-trip guide to Lassen Volcanic National Park

Geologic field-trip guide to Lassen Volcanic National Park and vicinity, California

A man navigates a personal watercraft with equipment mounted on it through choppy waves, he's looking over his left shoulder.
December 31, 2015

PWC bathymetric survey

Engineering technician Tim Elfers of the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center navigates a personal watercraft (PWC) through waves offshore of central California. The PWC is equipped with sonar and GPS in order to map the nearshore seafloor.

Photo of a coastal cliff with an apartment building right at the edge of the cliff.
December 31, 2015

Cliff erosion

Cliff erosion is a common storm-induced hazard along the West Coast. Two condemned apartment buildings along Esplanade Avenue in Pacifica, California are shown here before their demolition in 2016 and 2017.

Two photos showing people standing near some kind of pole, collecting data up on top of a cliff overlooking the ocean.
December 31, 2015

GPS data collection along the Big Sur coast in 2007 (L), and 2015 (R)

Left: USGS research hydrologist Mark Reid (left) and USGS research geologist Kevin Schmidt collect GPS data along the Big Sur coast on September 19, 2007. Photo credit: Maiana Hanshaw, USGS (now with swisstopo).

Right: Kevin Schmidt collects GPS data near Harlan Rock on the Big Sur coast on March 19, 2015. Rain Rocks Rock Shed, near Pitkins Curve Bridge, can be seen

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USGS
October 21, 2008

Conference on Earthquake Hazards in the East San Francisco Bay Over 200 earthquake professionals are expected to attend this three day technical conference on earthquake hazard and risk in the East Bay. A full program including presentations, posters, and field trips is online.

USGS
October 17, 2008

Bay Area Schools, Businesses, Governments Practice Readiness for Next Big Quake

A special ceremony will be held at Mission San Jose on Tuesday, October 21st, to commemorate the moment a magnitude 7 earthquake struck on the Hayward Fault in 1868.  This 140th Anniversary is especially significant since the last five major earthquakes on the Hayward Fault have occurred at approximately 140-year interv

USGS
October 16, 2008

In celebration of Earth Science Week, approximately 1000 students from more than 30 local schools are signed up to visit the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Menlo Park on Thursday, Oct. 16, from 9:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., to meet with scientists for hands-on activities, workshops, and demonstrations.

USGS
October 15, 2008

A new art project in Parkfield, CA merges California earthquakes with movement on a hydraulic shake table. This innovative, animated display demonstrates the large number of small earthquakes that occur in California every day.

USGS
October 15, 2008

In celebration of Earth Science Week, 1000 students from more than 30 local schools will visit the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Menlo Park to meet with scientists for hands-on activities, workshops, and demonstrations.

USGS
October 14, 2008

Anticipated shaking from Hayward Fault earthquakes can now be visualized, thanks to new USGS computer simulations created using three-dimensional geologic and seismic models. The simulations have great potential for research, education, emergency planning, and response preparation.

USGS
October 9, 2008

New 3-D animations of the way ground in the Bay Area will shake during large earthquakes on the Hayward Fault are being unveiled for the media on October 14th.

USGS
October 9, 2008

Local planetary geologist Chris Okubo is on a mission to understand the past roles of groundwater and faulting on Mars by studying similar locations on Earth.  Okubo works in the Astrogeology Research Program for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Flagstaff.

USGS
October 2, 2008

Some residents were shaken awake today by the magnitude 4.1 earthquake in the San Bernardino Mountains. But all of Southern California would experience the effects of the magnitude 7.8 earthquake on the San Andreas Fault - 500,000 times bigger than today's event - depicted in the "ShakeOut Earthquake Scenario."

USGS
September 12, 2008

Recent research has revealed that beach sand contains high concentrations of E. coli and other fecal indicator bacteria, often greatly exceeding the concentration in beach water.  Further, there is evidence that beach closings due to elevated fecal indicator bacteria may be linked to these sand populations.

USGS
August 13, 2008

Three months from today, at 10 a.m. on November 13, millions of southern Californians will drop to the ground, take cover under a table or desk, and hold on. An earthquake prediction? No. But it is certain that the Great Southern California ShakeOut is on track to being the largest earthquake drill in United States history.

USGS
July 30, 2008

The magnitude 5.4 earthquake that rocked southern California on July 29, 2008, is about 5,000 times smaller than the magnitude 7.8 earthquake depicted in the "ShakeOut Earthquake Scenario." This new report is a portrayal of what could happen in a major earthquake on the southern end of the San Andreas Fault.