Unified Interior Regions


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: 1,120
November 16, 2006

PubTalk 11/2006 — Drills, Spills, and Chills

The inside story on USGS estimates of Alaskan oil and gas resources

by Ken Bird and Rick Stanley, Geologists


  • See the basic elements of a petroleum system.where the oil comes from and where it goes
  • USGS resource assessments in Alaska have a long history and have changed over time
  • Learn how the newest
October 26, 2006

PubTalk 10/2006 — The Parkfield 2004 Earthquake

Lessons From the Best-Recorded Quake in History

by Andy Michael, Geophysicist


  • To record high-quality measurements close to a large earthquake, the right instruments have to be in the right place at the right time
  • Such a convergence happened, for the fi rst time ever, on September 28, 2004, when a magnitude 6
Image: Salton Sea Sunset
October 1, 2006

Salton Sea Sunset

Sunset on the southeast side of the Salton Sea, CA.

September 28, 2006

PubTalk 9/2006 — Water Odysseys

Surface-water and ground-water flow in the Santa Clara Valley

by Randall T. Hanson, Research Hydrologist


  • What has deep drilling in the valley found about ground-water flow?
  • A new computer model improves our understanding of water-flow patterns
  • Learn how underground water makes the ground rise and fall
August 28, 2006

PubTalk 8/2006 — Hidden Faults Under Silicon Valley

Do new discoveries change our view of Santa Clara Valley earthquake hazards?

by R. D. Catchings, Geophysicist 

  • Seismic profiles have revealed the valley.s deep structure and previously unknown faults
  • Earthquakes and seismic reflection images suggest some reverse faults beneath the valley that are not seen at the surface
July 27, 2006

PubTalk 7/2006 — Uncovering Silicon Valley

Weaving a tale of three sedimentary basins

by Victoria E. Langenheim, Geophysicist


  • Geophysical probing reveals the geology under Santa Clara Valley
  • What does the new 3-D view tell us about the San Andreas fault system?
  • How does this affect earthquake hazards and ground-water resources?
  • Was the
California vineyard
July 3, 2006

California vineyard

A photo of a California (ecoregion 6) grape vine taken during field verifcation of Land Cover Trends project.

June 29, 2006

PubTalk 6/2006 — Geology on Conveyor Belts

New ideas on Bay Area evolution from a decade of geologic mapping

By Russ Graymer, Geologist


  • What was the Bay Area like during the Age of Dinosaurs?
  • Learn about the distant origins of some rocks seen around the bay
  • Hear how the San Andreas fault system has rearranged the region.
  • Volcanoes in
May 25, 2006

PubTalk 5/2006 — What Lies Beneath?

Concealed sedimentary basins and hidden oil under Silicon Valley

By Richard G. Stanley, Geologist 


  • Before computers and cubicles there were orchards-- and a few oil wells, too
  • Learn about the "oil boom" in Los Gatos about 100 years ago
  • See how historical records from old oil wells, together with modern
Image: Killdeer
May 23, 2006


Birds found in and around the Salton Sea, California.

Photo of a fallow field with exurban development in the background
May 1, 2006

Fallow field with exurban development in the background in CA

Fallow field with exurban development in the background in California. This photo was taken for the Trends Landcover project during field work. 

Filter Total Items: 980
April 14, 2000

Workshop on "Restoring Pacific Rivers: Evaluating the Progress of Watershed Restoration for Salmon."

April 7, 2000

The Hector Mine earthquake that occurred Oct. 16, 1999, in the Mojave Desert east of Los Angeles, woke a lot of people up but injured no one and caused a minimal amount of property damage.

April 5, 2000

The rhododendrons and azaleas that create a spectacular display of color each year at the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, will be at their peak for the next few weeks, and many of the exotic plants will be at their best when the USGS holds its triennial Open House, May 13 and 14, at the center at 345 Middlefield Road in Menlo Park.

March 22, 2000

The most acidic waters ever measured are percolating through an underground mine near Redding, Calif., according to scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey.

March 15, 2000

Recent rains may have made things unstable on some parts of San Bruno Mountain, south of San Francisco, but one fault the mountain doesn’t have is a fault; at least none that will cause any problems, according to scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey.

February 29, 2000

If certain employees of the U.S. Geological Survey are begging for used tennis balls, it must mean that something big is brewing. And it is.

January 24, 2000

On January 26, 1700, the largest earthquake known to have occurred in the "lower 48" United States, rocked Cascadia, a region 600 miles long that includes northern California, Oregon, Washington, and southern British Columbia.

December 16, 1999

The U.S. Geological Survey still needs a few good back yards. Beginning in January 2000, the USGS Earthquake Hazards Team, in cooperation the seismographic Station at UC Berkeley, will begin installing 60-70 seismograph stations in the core urban areas of San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley.

December 9, 1999

Holocene muds that cover the Santa Cruz, Calif., continental shelf have enough breaks to reveal traces of the San Gregorio fault, according to scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey, who will present several papers relating to the side-scan sonar images that were obtained earlier this year.

December 8, 1999

The Moscone convention center will be alive with the sound of music, Thursday, Dec. 16, as U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Andrew Michael presents, "The Music of Earthquakes -- Waveforms of Sound and Seismology."

November 22, 1999

All offices of the U.S. Geological Survey, at 345 Middlefield Road in Menlo Park, will close at 2 p.m., Wednesday, November 24, but will be open to serve the public Friday, November 26. This includes the map sales office and the USGS library.

October 22, 1999

Southern California’s deserts have been profoundly altered since the arrival of modern civilization and it may take centuries for the harsh but fragile ecosystem to recover even with vigorous intervention to restore natural habitats, according to an article in the current issue of the journal Environmental Management.