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: 417
Date published: June 17, 2019
Status: Active

Salton Seismic Imaging

Studying Earthquake Hazards and Rifting Processes in the Imperial and Coachella Valleys

Date published: June 17, 2019
Status: Active

San Francisco Bay Area Arrays and the East Bay Seismic Experiment

Portable Seismograph Deployments to Research the Effects of Basins, Topography, and Fault Zones on Seismic Waves.

The implosion of the Warren Hall building on California State University East Bay (CSU-EB) campus in August of 2013 provided an excellent opportunity to use a “free” seismic source that was practically located on the Hayward Fault.

Date published: June 13, 2019
Status: Active

Improving Forecasting for California's Snow Melt Water Supply

California's Sierra Nevada snowpack accounts for much of the water supply in many parts of the state. The snowpack retains large amounts of water in the winter that is then released as temperatures rise in the spring and summer. The snowpack also keeps the Sierra soil moist by covering it longer into spring and summer. Soil moisture influences the onset of wildfires, as well as wildfire...

Date published: June 12, 2019
Status: Completed

Basin Characterization Model - Simulating Effects of Iowa Soil Management on Water Availability

As a result of climate change, heavy rainfall, as well as extended dry periods, are becoming more common in the Midwestern United States. These trends are only expected to continue. So, increasing the capacity of soil to store water has become more critical. Storing water increases availability in dry conditions. And the absorption of additional water in wet conditions reduces potential...

Date published: June 12, 2019
Status: Active

Land Subsidence in California

Extensive groundwater withdrawals from aquifer systems have caused land subsidence in many California basins. Land subsidence can cause infrastructure damage, not only to buildings and roads but also to water conveyence systems. Groundwater-level and land-subsidence monitoring provide the information needed to guide mitigation efforts and management of future effects.

Date published: June 11, 2019
Status: Completed

Characterizing the Influence of Fire on Hydrology in Southern California

The frequency of fire in southern California forests has steadily increased over time as a result of ignitions at the growing wildland-urban interface, as well as a result of warming due to climate change. Understanding the implications of increased wildfire on hydrologic conditions and water supply is particularly important given the increasing demands for water resources to satisfy growing...

Date published: May 23, 2019
Status: Active

Cheatgrass and Medusahead

Invasive annual grasses, such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae), are one of the most significant stressors to rangeland ecosystems in the western U.S. Their expansion and dominance across this area are the most damaging ecosystem agents on this iconic landscape.

Date published: May 16, 2019
Status: Active

San Diego Hydrogeology

This is the first comprehensive geologic and hydrologic study for the San Diego area. This study will provide the integrated hydrogeologic knowledge necessary in this important and highly visible area of the United States and will serve as a role model for similar coastal settings throughout the world that have modest rainfall and small aquifers. Locally, results will help...

Contacts: Wesley Danskin
Date published: May 6, 2019
Status: Active

Using Drone Imagery to Assess Impacts of the 2018 Carr Fire

USGS WERC’s Dr. Karen Thorne and her research team are using drone imagery to understand how the 2018 Carr Fire affected ecosystems and cultural resources. The study, a collaboration with the National Park Service (NPS), focuses on Whiskeytown National Recreation Area in northern California. The drone images will help the WERC researchers identify changes in topography, cultural sites, debris...

Date published: May 2, 2019
Status: Active

Groundwater Ambient Monitoring & Assessment (GAMA)

The Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment Program’s Priority Basin Project (GAMA-PBP) was established by the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) in response to the Ground-Water Quality Monitoring Act of 2001 (Sections 10780-10782.3 of the California Water Code). The USGS is the technical lead for the GAMA-PBP and between 2004-2012 focused on characterizing the...

Contacts: Miranda Fram
Date published: April 26, 2019
Status: Active

Occurrence of natural and anthropogenic hexavalent chromium (Cr VI) in groundwater near a mapped plume, Hinkley, CA

Between 1952 and 1964, cooling water was treated with a compound containing chromium to prevent corrosion within the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) Hinkley Compressor Station. This water was discharged to unlined ponds, resulting in contamination of soil and groundwater within the underlying alluvial aquifer. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the occurrence of natural and...

Contacts: John Izbicki
Date published: April 26, 2019
Status: Active

Regional Groundwater Availability Study of the California Coastal Basins

This study seeks to quantify water availability in the California Coastal Basins (CCBs). The CCBs vary greatly in their geologic, hydrologic, and climatic conditions; predominant water uses (agricultural, urban, or environmental); and how water availability changes in response to natural and anthropogenic stresses. Considering the complex dynamics of the CCBs and the history of managing water...

Filter Total Items: 562
Date published: April 23, 2020

Groundwater-quality data in the Redding-Red Bluff Shallow Aquifer Study Unit, 2018-2019: Results from the California GAMA Priority Basin Project

The U.S. Geological Survey collected groundwater samples from 50 wells used for domestic and small system drinking water supplies in Shasta and Tehama Counties, California in 2018-2019. The wells were sampled for the Redding-Red Bluff Shallow Aquifer Study Unit of the California State Water Resources Control Board Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) Program Priority Basin P...

Date published: April 23, 2020

2019 Santa Ana Reach Habitat Data

This dataset includes 2019 reach habitat data for the Santa Ana Sucker (Catostomus santaanae) and the Arroyo Chub (Gila orcutti) in the Santa Ana River.

Date published: April 23, 2020

SAR 2019 Santa Ana River Reach Fish Data

This dataset contains the 2019 reach fish data for the Santa Ana Sucker (Catostomus santaanae) and the Arroyo Chub (Gila orcutti) in the Santa Ana River, California.

Date published: April 16, 2020

Blank results for trace-element data collected for the California Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) Program Priority Basin Project, October 2009–October 2018

Groundwater samples have been collected in California as part of statewide investigations of groundwater quality conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey for the Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) Priority Basin Project (PBP). Quality-control samples are routinely collected as part of the GAMA-PBP quality assurance plan. Olsen and others (2010) and Davis and others %2

Date published: March 31, 2020

Minisparker and chirp seismic-reflection data of field activity 2014-645-FA; offshore Santa Barbara, southern California from 2014-11-12 to 2014-11-25

USGS collected high-resolution multichannel minisparker and single-channel chirp seismic-reflection data in November 2014, in the offshore Catalina and Santa Cruz basins, which are surrounded by several of the southern California Channel Islands. The survey was designed to image areas of the seafloor associated with movement on the numerous faults offshore of southern California.

Date published: March 31, 2020

2016 Zooplankton sampling in San Joaquin River and False River near Jersey Island in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta of Contra Costa County, California, USA (ver. 2.0, April 2020)

This data set contains information on zooplankton and associated environmental parameters for sampling conducted in the San Joaquin River and False River near their confluence at Jersey Point (Contra Costa County, California), during February-March, 2016. Macrozooplankton were sampled with vertical tows (bottom to surface) of a 50 cm-diameter conical plankton net that was 150cm lon

Date published: March 30, 2020

Historical produced water chemistry data compiled for selected oil fields in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, southern California

This digital dataset contains historical geochemical and other information for 200 samples of produced water from 182 sites in 25 oil fields in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, southern California. Produced water is a term used in the oil industry to describe water that is produced as a byproduct along with the oil and gas. The locations from which these historical samples have been collected...

Date published: March 27, 2020

Multichannel minisparker and chirp seismic reflection data of USGS field activity 2016-616-FA collected in the Catalina Basin offshore southern California in February 2016

This data release contains 25 multichannel minisparker seismic reflection (MCS) profiles and 41 chirp sub-bottom profiles collected in February of 2016 from the Catalina Basin offshore southern California by PCMSC  in cooperation with the University of Washington. We collected data on R/V Thompson on USGS cruise 2016-616-FA. We collected MCS profiles to image the fault and channel...

Date published: March 27, 2020

Multichannel minisparker seismic-reflection data of USGS field activity 2016-616-FA collected in the Catalina Basin offshore southern California in February 2016

This data release contains 25 multichannel minisparker seismic reflection (MCS) profiles that were collected in February of 2016 from the Catalina Basin offshore southern California by the U.S. Geological Survey Pacific and Coastal Marine Science Center in cooperation with the University of Washington. Data were collected aboard the University of Washington’s R/V Thomas G. Thompson

Date published: March 27, 2020

Chirp seismic-reflection data of USGS field activity 2016-616-FA collected in the Catalina Basin offshore southern California in February 2016

This data release contains 41 chirp sub-bottom profiles that were collected in February of 2016 from the Catalina Basin offshore southern California by the U.S. Geological Survey Pacific and Coastal Marine Science Center in cooperation with the University of Washington. Data were collected aboard the University of Washington’s R/V Thomas G. Thompson on USGS cruise 2016-616-FA. Chirp pro

Date published: March 25, 2020

Public-Supply Well Water Quality Results: Inorganic Data and Trends, 1974 - 2014 (California GAMA-PBP)

The GAMA-PBP Public-Supply Well Results data viewer allows the user to visualize and download California water-quality data and trends for1974 - 2014. Groundwater-quality data for 38 inorganic constituents are captured and can be downloaded for individual sites or by grid cell. 

Date published: March 25, 2020

Electrical Resistivity Tomography in the Anza-Terwilliger Valley, Riverside County, California 2018

The Cahuilla Valley and Terwilliger Valley groundwater basins, 9-006 and 7-026 respectively (California Department of Water Resources 2016) located approximately 25 miles southwest of Palm Springs, are the sole-source for groundwater supply for the rural disadvantaged community and two Native American Tribes, the Ramona Band of Cahuilla and the Cahuilla. The characteristics and sustaina

Filter Total Items: 438
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Year Published: 2018

Estimating fluvial discharges coincident with 21st century coastal storms modeled with CoSMoS

On the open coast, flooding is largely driven by tides, storm surge, waves, and in areas near coastal inlets, the magnitude and co-occurrence of high fluvial discharges. Statistical methods are typically used to estimate the individual probability of coastal storm and fluvial discharge occurrences for use in sophisticated flood hazard models. A...

Erikson, Li H.; O'Neill, Andrea C.; Barnard, Patrick L.
Erikson, L.H., O’Neill, A.C., and Barnard, P.L., 2018. Estimating fluvial discharges coincident with 21st century coastal storms modeled with CoSMoS. In: Shim, J.S.; Chun, I., and Lim, H.S. (eds.), Proceedings from the International Coastal Symposium (ICS) 2018 (Busan, Republic of Korea). J. of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 85, pp. 1–5. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.

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Year Published: 2018

Juvenile Lost River and shortnose sucker year class strength, survival, and growth in Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon, and Clear Lake Reservoir, California—2016 Monitoring Report

Executive SummaryThe largest populations of federally endangered Lost River (Deltistes luxatus) and shortnose suckers (Chasmistes brevirostris) exist in Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon, and Clear Lake Reservoir, California. Upper Klamath Lake populations are decreasing because adult mortality, which is relatively low, is not being balanced by...

Burdick, Summer M.; Ostberg, Carl O.; Hoy, Marshal S.
Burdick, S.M., Ostberg, C.O., and Hoy, M.S., 2018, Juvenile Lost River and shortnose sucker year class strength, survival, and growth in Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon, and Clear Lake Reservoir, California—2016 Monitoring Report: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1066, 43 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181066.

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Year Published: 2018

N-mix for fish: estimating riverine salmonid habitat selection via N-mixture models

Models that formulate mathematical linkages between fish use and habitat characteristics are applied for many purposes. For riverine fish, these linkages are often cast as resource selection functions with variables including depth and velocity of water and distance to nearest cover. Ecologists are now recognizing the role that detection plays in...

Som, Nicholas A.; Perry, Russell W.; Jones, Edward C.; De Juilio, Kyle; Petros, Paul; Pinnix, William D.; Rupert, Derek L.
Som, N.A., R.W. Perry, E.C. Jones, K. De Juilio, P. Petros, W.D. Pinnix, and D.L. Rupert. 2017. N-mix for fish: estimating riverine salmonid habitat selection via N-mixture models. Can. J. Fish and Aquat. Sci., Published on the web 07 September 2017.

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Year Published: 2018

Effects of the proposed California WaterFix North Delta Diversion on flow reversals and entrainment of juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) into Georgiana Slough and the Delta Cross Channel, northern California

The California Department of Water Resources and Bureau of Reclamation propose new water intake facilities on the Sacramento River in northern California that would convey some of the water for export to areas south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta (hereinafter referred to as the Delta) through tunnels rather than through the Delta. The...

Perry, Russell W.; Romine, Jason G.; Pope, Adam C.; Evans, Scott D.
Perry, R.W., Romine, J.G., Pope, A.C., and Evans, S.D., 2018, Effects of the proposed California WaterFix North Delta Diversion on flow reversals and entrainment of juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) into Georgiana Slough and the Delta Cross Channel, northern California: U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 2018-1028, 46 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181028.

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Year Published: 2018

Clayey landslide initiation and acceleration strongly modulated by soil swelling

Largely unknown mechanisms restrain motion of clay-rich, slow-moving landslides that are widespread worldwide and rarely accelerate catastrophically. We studied a clayey, slow-moving landslide typical of thousands in northern California, USA, to decipher hydrologic-mechanical interactions that modulate landslide dynamics. Similar to some other...

Schulz, William; Smith, Joel B.; Wang, Gonghui; Jiang, Yao; Roering, Joshua J.

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Year Published: 2018

Variability in soil-water retention properties and implications for physics-based simulation of landslide early warning criteria

Rainfall-induced shallow landsliding is a persistent hazard to human life and property. Despite the observed connection between infiltration through the unsaturated zone and shallow landslide initiation, there is considerable uncertainty in how estimates of unsaturated soil-water retention properties affect slope stability assessment. This source...

Thomas, Matthew A.; Mirus, Benjamin B.; Collins, Brian D.; Lu, Ning; Godt, Jonathan W.
Thomas MA, Mirus BB, Collins BD, Lu N, and Godt JW (2018) Variability in soil-water retention properties and implications for physics-based simulation of landslide early warning criteria, Landslides. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10346-018-0950-z

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Year Published: 2018

Earthquake potential in California-Nevada implied by correlation of strain rate and seismicity

Rock mechanics studies and dynamic earthquake simulations show that patterns of seismicity evolve with time through (1) accumulation phase, (2) localization phase, and (3) rupture phase. We observe a similar pattern of changes in seismicity during the past century across California and Nevada. To quantify these changes, we correlate GPS strain...

Zeng, Yuehua; Petersen, Mark D.; Shen, Zheng-Kang
Zeng, Y., Petersen, M. D., & Shen, Z.-K.(2018). Earthquake potential in California-Nevada implied by correlation of strain rate and seismicity. Geophysical Research Letters, 45. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017GL075967

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Year Published: 2018

Seafloor fluid seeps on Kimki Ridge, offshore southern California: Links to active strike-slip faulting

The Kimki Ridge fluid seeps are located in western Catalina Basin about 60 km southwest of the southern California mainland and at a water depth of approximately 1100 m. Multichannel seismic reflection profiles collected by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in 2014 show acoustic transparency within the Kimki...

Conrad, James E.; Prouty, Nancy G.; Walton, Maureen A. L.; Kluesner, Jared W.; Maier, Katherine L.; McGann, Mary; Brothers, Daniel; Roland, Emily C.; Dartnell, Peter

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Year Published: 2017

A prototype operational earthquake loss model for California based on UCERF3-ETAS – A first look at valuation

We present a prototype operational loss model based on UCERF3-ETAS, which is the third Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast with an Epidemic Type Aftershock Sequence (ETAS) component. As such, UCERF3-ETAS represents the first earthquake forecast to relax fault segmentation assumptions and to include multi-fault ruptures, elastic-rebound...

Field, Edward H.; Porter, Keith; Milner, Kevn
Field, E. H., K. Porter, and K. Milner (2017). A Prototype Operational Earthquake Loss Model for California Based on UCERF3-ETAS – A First Look at Valuation, Earthquake Spectra, Volume 33, No. 4, pages 1–21, DOI: 10.1193/011817EQS017M

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Year Published: 2017

Reconstructing the evolution of the submarine Monterey Canyon System from Os, Nd, and Pb isotopes in hydrogenetic Fe-Mn crusts

The sources of terrestrial material delivered to the California margin over the past 7 Myr were assessed using 187Os/188Os, Nd, and Pb isotopes in hydrogenetic ferromanganese crusts from three seamounts along the central and southern California margin. From 6.8 to 4.5 (± 0.5) Ma, all three isotope systems show more radiogenic values at...

Conrad, T.A.; Nielsen, S.G.; Peucker-Ehrenbrink, Bernhard; Blusztajn, J.; Winslow, D.; Hein, James R.; Paytan, A.
T.A. Conrad, S.G. Nielsen, B. Peucker-Ehrenbrink, J. Blusztajn, D. Winslow, J.R. Hein, A. Paytan, 2017, Reconstructing the evolution of the submarine Monterey Canyon System from Os, Nd, and Pb isotopes in hydrogenetic Fe-Mn crusts: Geochemstry, Geophysics, Geosystems, https://doi.org/10.1002/2017GC007071.

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Year Published: 2017

Seismic response of soft deposits due to landslide: The Mission Peak, California, landslide

The seismic response of active and intermittently active landslides is an important issue to resolve to determine if such landslides present an elevated hazard in future earthquakes. To study the response of landslide deposits, seismographs were placed on the Mission Peak landslide in the eastern San Francisco Bay region for a period of one year....

Hartzell, Stephen H.; Leeds, Alena L.; Jibson, Randall W.
Stephen Hartzell, Alena L. Leeds, Randall W. Jibson; Seismic Response of Soft Deposits due to Landslide: The Mission Peak, California, Landslide. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America ; 107 (5): 2008–2020. doi: https://doi.org/10.1785/0120170033

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Year Published: 2017

Science advancements key to increasing management value of life stage monitoring networks for endangered Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon in California

A robust monitoring network that provides quantitative information about the status of imperiled species at key life stages and geographic locations over time is fundamental for sustainable management of fisheries resources. For anadromous species, management actions in one geographic domain can substantially affect abundance of subsequent life...

Johnson, Rachel C.; Windell, Sean; Brandes, Patricia L.; Conrad, J. Louise; Ferguson, John; Goertler, Pascale A. L.; Harvey, Brett N.; Heublein, Joseph; Isreal, Joshua A.; Kratville, Daniel W.; Kirsch, Joseph E.; Perry, Russell W.; Pisciotto, Joseph; Poytress, William R.; Reece, Kevin; Swart, Brycen G.
Johnson, R.C., S. Windell, P.L. Brandes, J. L. Conrad, J. Ferguson, P.A.L. Goertler, B.N. Harvey, J. Houblein, J.A. Isreal, D.W. Kratville, J.E. Kirsch, R.W. Perry, J. Pisciotto, W.R. Poytress, K. Reece, and B.G. Swart. 2017. Science advancements key to increasing management value of life stage monitoring networks for endangered Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon in California. San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science, 15(3): Article 1, 41 p.

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October 10, 2019

PubTalk 10/2019 — Remembering Loma Prieta Earthquake 30 Years Later

Remembering the Loma Prieta Earthquake 30 Years Late: Looking back to see how far we've come.
By: Tom Holzer, David Schwartz, Jessica Murray, and Annemarie Baltay

  • The Loma Prieta earthquake ended decades of seismic tranquility in the Bay Area - Is the earthquake threat in the Bay Area real and imminent?
  • Up to $80 billion in earthquake mitigation
Four people stand around a coring device on the deck of a ship.
October 5, 2019

Removal of sediment-filled core liner

USGS scientists Brandon Nasr, Jenna Hill, Nora Nieminski, and Jenny McKee removing a sediment-filled core liner from the jumbo piston core barrel with the picturesque northern California coastline in the background.

A group of people help guide a yellow instrument, suspended from a cabling system, off a boat and into the ocean.
October 2, 2019

Lowering Chirp from R/V Bold Horizon

The crew of research vessel Bold Horizon with USGS science crew prepare to launch the Chirp sub-bottom profiler off the west coast near northern California and southern Oregon.

Photo looks at the very end of a metal coring device with mud in it, sitting on the deck of a ship in its metal launch.
October 1, 2019

Jumbo piston corer with mud from the seafloor

After recovery, the jumbo piston corer sits on the deck of research vessel Bold Horizon in its launch and recovery system. This muddy collar is removed to reveal the removable length of the core, which sits within a stiff plastic tube inside the metal tube.

September 30, 2019

Prototype Earthquake Early Warning System (Interview)

Retired seismologist David Oppenheimer reflects on the first prototype earthquake early warning system used during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Scientists deployed an analog system to notify first responders of impending earthquake activity as they worked on rescue efforts at the Cypress Viaduct collapse in Oakland, CA.
 

A small device sits on a tripod which rests on a square tarp pinned down on a flat area of grass.
September 30, 2019

GPS target

A global positioning system (GPS) sits on a tripod and is used to accurately pinpoint the center of a target that itself is used for photo rectification with aerial photos. 

A person on a personal watercraft navigates through waters near a coast with low cliffs and hills way off in background.
September 30, 2019

Santa Barbara survey

Goleta Beach in Santa Barbara experienced an unusual storm and large wave event in the Spring of 2014. Gaviota Pier, seen far off in the background, sustained heavy damage as did the restaurants on the pier and nearby. The USGS conducts seasonal surveys throught the year to see how the beaches are changing through time. Here, a USGS scientist navigates a personal

...
September 26, 2019

PubTalk 09/2019 — Bats in the West

Title: Bats in the West: Discoveries, Questions, and Future Research
By Gabriel A. Reyes, USGS Biologist

  • Learn about bat ecology, diversity, and the role they play in our ecosystem.
  • See how scientists are using a variety of methods including capture, acoustic monitoring, and tracking, to learn more about local bat species.
  • Find out how
person with yellow top and red hardhat
September 11, 2019

Scott Lydeen at Strawberry Peak Seismic Station Tower

USGS technicial Scott Lydeen climbing the tower at the Strawberry Peak seismic station tower, part of the Southern California Seismic Network.

man in the background of a view between clear tubing
September 11, 2019

High-resolution Water Quality Mapping on California's Bay-Delta

Hydrologist Brian Bergamaschi is seen through the USGS California Water Science Center Biogeochemistry Group's underwater water quality mapping manifold. This maze of tygon tubing allows water to be pumped onto a boat while underway, splits the water into multiple flowpaths, and passes the water to various flow-through water quality instruments through a manifold that

...
Horiba Aqaulog - simultaneously measures absorbance spectra and fluorescence Excitation-Emission Matrices
September 6, 2019

Horiba Aqaulog

Horiba Aqaulog - simultaneously measures absorbance spectra and fluorescence

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Underwater photo of a rocky outcrop with many multicolored corals growing on it.
November 29, 2018

Researchers from the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (PCMSC) participated in a research cruise to survey deep-water coral, sponge, and fish habitats off U.S. West Coast.

A low-flying helicopter towing a geophysical device collects scientific data for salinity and aquifer mapping.
November 20, 2018

A low-flying helicopter under contract to the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the California State Water Resources Control Board, has begun collecting and recording geophysical measurements for purpose of groundwater salinity and aquifer mapping.

A man crouches next to an instrument as he prepares and secures it on board a ship.
November 1, 2018

Turbidity currents have historically been described as fast-moving currents that sweep down submarine canyons, carrying sand and mud into the deep sea. But a new paper in Nature Communications shows that, rather than just consisting of sediment-laden seawater flowing over the seafloor, turbidity currents also involve large-scale movements of the seafloor itself.

A man walks across low sand dunes wearing a backpack and carrying a hand-held computer, near water, smoke stacks in distance.
November 1, 2018

From October 9–15, USGS personnel surveyed beaches and the adjacent ocean floor along Monterey Bay’s northern coast.

People stand around a table with posters laid on top, listening thoughtfully to a man who is talking.
November 1, 2018

On October 17, 2018, 17 staff members from the City of Santa Cruz, California toured USGS facilities in the city.

city skyline at night with tall buildings and bridge in left foreground lit up
October 17, 2018

By Thomas M. Brocher, Jack Boatwright, James J. Lienkaemper, Carol S. Prentice, David P. Schwartz, and Howard Bundock

Drawn from: USGS Fact Sheet 2018-3052

Men stand on a boat wearing safety gear and they are recovering damaged instrumentation from the water using cables and ropes.
October 5, 2018

Large underwater experiment in California’s Monterey Canyon shows that “turbidity currents” are not just currents, but involve movement of the seafloor itself.

Three men stand together, man at left is pointing to a map and talking, man in middle looks on, man at right takes notes.
September 21, 2018

On September 18, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (20th district, California) and staffer Emmanuel Garcia visited the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz.

adult male harrier
September 13, 2018

Did you know that the USGS is studying raptors in California? Biologists with the USGS Western Ecological Research Center are hard at work in the field, learning more about the ecology of Northern Harriers and their interactions with migratory waterfowl of concern to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

View from the top deck of a ship on water, looking down on the bow with three people standing, with a bridge in the background.
September 7, 2018

From July 31 to August 23, a joint USGS-NOAA cruise mapped seafloor depths, texture, and gas seeps in the Cascadia subduction zone offshore of Washington, Oregon, and northern California.

Two women stand on a stage near a wall illuminated with the jet propulsion lab's banner, and at the far end are three flags.
September 7, 2018

USGS and NASA researchers met July 16 at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to discuss Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery of the Southern California coast collected during higher-than-normal tides (“king tides”) in fall 2016.

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