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: 1,107
September 26, 2002

PubTalk 9/2002 — Healing the Redwood Creek Watershed

Successes and Failures in a Large-scale Watershed Restoration Program

by Mary Ann Madej, Geologist


  • Can we undo the effects of decades of logging and road-building on salmon habitat and redwood forest?
  • The Redwood Creek restoration program in California--one of the Nation.s largest and longest-running watershed
August 29, 2002

PubTalk 8/2002 — Revealing the Hidden World Beneath Monterey Bay

Explore the diverse features on and below the sea floor in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

by Steve Eittreim, Marine Geologist


  • See---
    • Drowned bedrock pinnacles that provide shelter for rockfish
    • Earthquake faults that slice through the sea floor
    • New, highly detailed views of the
July 25, 2002

PubTalk 7/2002 — Beyond the Golden Gate

Oceanography, Geology, Biology, and Environmental Issues In The Gulf of the Farallones

by Herman A. Karl, Marine Geologist, and Edward Ueber, Director, Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary


  • Learn about the complex marine geology offshore from the San Francisco Bay region
  • Hear the story of the 47,000
June 27, 2002

PubTalk 6/2002 — Finding Elusive Earthquake Faults

New Mapping Techniques Reveal Potential Seismic Sources Beneath Seattle

By Richard J. Blakely, Geophysicist and Ralph A. Haugerud, Geologist


  • Geophysical methods reveal "the landscape beneath the landscape"
  • Why does the Seattle Fault exist, and why is it so hard to locate and map?
  • LIDAR imagery can
March 28, 2002

PubTalk 3/2002 — Losing the Race for Survival?

The catastrophic decline of the desert tortoise in California

Kristin H. Berry, Desert Ecologist

  • Learn about the unique social behavior and fragile ecology of the desert tortoise, some of whose populations have declined by 70-90% in the past 20 years
  • Why is this fabled creature sometimes referred to as the "Methuselah
Irrigation ditch alongside an agricultural field.
December 31, 2000

Irrigation ditch alongside an agricultural field in California's Central Valley

Irrigation systems in Central California Valley Ecoregion: Single-field irrigation ditch.

Grasslands and agricultural fields in the flat foreground, with housing development on the hills beyond.
December 31, 2000

Grasslands and agricultural fields, with housing development on the hills beyond.

Conversions of grassland/shrubland and agriculture to developed land were two common land-cover changes in Southern and Central California Chaparral and Oak Woodlands Ecoregion.

Sea Otter Catpure and Tagging at Sunrise
November 30, 2000

Sea Otter Capture and Tagging at Sunrise

USGS marine biologists set sail on a crisp September morning to capture and tag wild sea otters to monitor the health of this threatened species.

Map of study area, Yucca Valley, California.
December 31, 1999

Map of study area, Yucca Valley, California.

Map of study area, Yucca Valley, California.

Two men stand by an oil well pumping unit, one man is crouched over the well, all in a forested location.
August 12, 1999

Oil well pumping unit, south area of the La Honda oil field, CA

The south area of the La Honda oil field, California, was discovered during the late 1950s and produced an estimated 595,000 barrels of oil from about 12 wells, including the well in this photo. Most of the oil was produced from an unusual fossiliferous limestone of Miocene age, informally named the Burns sand, that overlies a thick sequence of Oligocene and Miocene

Researcher in Mojave Desert
December 31, 1998

Researcher in Mojave Desert

One of 1,695 repeat photographs taken to provide context for the classification of the Central Mojave Desert into various vegetation classes.

Poster with illustrations of the underwater part of a bay, with text about the work done in the area.
December 31, 1998

Mapping Shipping Hazards in San Francisco Bay, 1997-1998

Large-scale poster describing USGS work.

The USGS mapped western San Francisco Bay using sonar, in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and C&C Technologies. Some parts of the Bay floor are so shallow that a large tanker or container ship could run aground at low tide and create a massive oil spill.

The maps show how

Filter Total Items: 984
April 15, 1997

Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) in the nation’s ground waters and surface waters will be the subject of papers and poster presentations by U.S. Geological Survey scientists at the American Chemical Society annual meeting, April 16-17, in San Francisco, Calif.

April 10, 1997

U.S. Geological Survey scientists are encouraged because they now know that they have the capability to explain the blind thrust faults of the Los Angeles region with seismic reflection methods, according to USGS researcher Dr. Rufus Catchings. 

March 17, 1997

A cooperative agreement with the University of Southern California (USC) for the operation of the Southern California Earthquake Center has been renewed by the U.S. Geological Survey.

February 18, 1997


February 13, 1997

"There is mounting evidence that Mars is a water-rich planet that may have experienced warmer climates, and therefore, life, in the past,"according to Michael Carr, an astrogeologist with the U.S.Geological Survey in Menlo Park, Calif.

January 19, 1997


January 8, 1997

Hydrologists and chemists from the U.S. Geological Survey will be on Mallard Island, near Pittsburg today, Jan. 8, collecting water and sediment samples from Bay-Delta waters to determine the amount of pesticides that are being washed into the Bay by this year’s floods on Bay-Delta rivers.

January 3, 1997

The floods have crested and are beginning to recede in most places in the Pacific Northwest. Nevertheless dozens of U.S. Geological Survey personnel, who were busy over the holidays measuring the high streamflows and keeping river stage monitors operating, are still busy in the field and in their offices. Field crews have been hampered by mudslides, road closures, and extremely dangerous condition

December 18, 1996

The good news is that sea water and wave action aren’t being too rough on some sections of the beach cliffs of the San Mateo County, Calif., coast; the bad news is that slumping caused by fresh water erosion is destroying some of the beach cliffs at rates of up to two meters per year, according to scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, Calif.

December 16, 1996

A new method of assessing the danger of ground failure due to soil liquefaction during an earthquake made its debut in San Francisco, Tuesday afternoon, December 17.

December 13, 1996

"Secrets in Stone," a video that chronicles the series of scientific discoveries in the early 1960s that led to broad acceptance of the theory of plate tectonics, will be shown for the first time on Tuesday, December 17, 1996, at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco. The premiere showing will be held at 4:30 p.m., in Room 122 of the Moscone Center.

September 27, 1996

Dr. Crofton B. Farmer of Pasadena, California, and Dr. M. Patrick McCormick of Hampton, Virginia, have received the 1996 Pecora Award, one of the top federal awards for contributions in remote sensing.