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: 376
Date published: September 20, 2017

Land Treatment Digital Library

The LTDL was created by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to catalog information about land treatments on Federal lands in the western United States for all interested parties. The flexible framework of the library allows for the storage of a wide variety of data in different formats. The LTDL currently stores previously established land treatments or what often are called legacy data. The...

Date published: August 5, 2017
Status: Active

RestoreNet: Distributed Field Trial Network for Dryland Restoration

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) researchers and land managers are co-producing a network of restoration field trial sites on DOI and surrounding lands in the southwestern U.S. The network systematically tests restoration treatments across a broad range of landscape, soil, and climate conditions. Each site in the network is used to test suitable seed mixes and treatments that promote plant...

Contacts: Seth Munson, Molly McCormick, Katie Laushman, Rebecca Mann, Mike Duniway, Ph.D., Brad Butterfield, Elise Gornish, Loralee Larios, Akasha Faist, Helen Rowe, Caroline A. Havrilla
Date published: August 5, 2017
Status: Active

Hazards Societal Consequences and Risk Communication

The Hazards Societal Consequences and Risk Communication project is led by Anne Wein at the Western Geographic Science Center (WGSC).

The umbrella project is Science Application for Risk Reduction (SAFRR), which estimates consequences of natural hazard disaster scenarios as a strategy to engage decision-makers in increasing a community’s ability to cope with the effects of a disaster....

Date published: June 22, 2017
Status: Active

Land use and tsunami hazards in the Pacific Northwest

Tsunamis have the potential to cause considerable damage to communities along the U.S. Pacific Northwest coastline. As coastal communities expand over time, the potential societal impact of tsunami inundation changes.

To understand how community exposure to tsunami hazards may change in coming decades, we projected future development (i.e. urban, residential, and rural), households, and...

Date published: June 22, 2017
Status: Active

California land-change projections

This dataset consists of modeled projections of land use and land cover and population for the State of California for the period 1970-2101. For the 1970-2001 period, we used the USGS's LUCAS model to "backcast" LULC, beginning with the 2001 initial conditions and ending with 1970. For future projections, the model was initialized in 2001 and run forward on an annual time step to 2100. In...

Date published: June 22, 2017
Status: Active

Land use and carbon modeling in the Sierra Nevada Mountains

The goal of this study was to develop an integrated, regional-scale terrestrial carbon model, which can project changes in ecosystem carbon dynamics resulting from both changing biophysical conditions (e.g. CO2 fertilization, changes in climate) and land-change processes (e.g. urbanization, agricultural intensification, wildfire, harvest).

Our objective was to develop a modeling...

Date published: June 9, 2017
Status: Active

Role Nutrients Play in Fish Death Rates at Rodeo Lagoon

Scientists investigate excessive nutients levels in Rodeo Lagoon that are believed to be cause of dying fish

Date published: June 8, 2017
Status: Active

Delineation of Flood-Inundation Areas in Grapevine Canyon near Scotty’s Castle, Death Valley National Park, California

On October 18, 2015 an intense, nearly stationary, thunderstorm triggered flooding in Grapevine Canyon. Grapevine Canyon Road, power and water infrastructure, and several buildings at Scotty’s Castle were damaged by the flood water, necessitating closure of the area to the public. In response to the flood event, the National Park Service requested the USGS Nevada Water Science Center perform a...

Date published: June 1, 2017
Status: Completed

Back to the Future on the San Andreas Fault

Release Date: JUNE 1, 2017

Investigating Past Earthquakes to Inform the Future

What does the science say? Where does the information come from? And what does it mean? Investigating past earthquakes to inform the future. Maybe you’ve heard that the “Big One is overdue” on the San Andreas Fault. No one can predict earthquakes, so what does the science really say? Where...

Date published: May 31, 2017
Status: Active

Big Sur Landslide

On May 20, 2017, the steep slopes at Mud Creek on California’s Big Sur coast, about 140 miles south of San Francisco, suffered a catastrophic collapse. USGS Scientists from the Pacific Coastal and Marine and the Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Centers are monitoring this section of the coastline, in collaboration with the California Department of Transportation.

Date published: May 26, 2017
Status: Active

Estimating Annual Groundwater Discharge by Evapotranspiration Along the Wild and Scenic Portion of the Amargosa River

The USGS Nevada Water Science Center is refining estimates of annual groundwater discharge along the Wild and Scenic portion of the Amargosa River (AWSR) and adjacent spring discharge areas. Discharge estimates will be based on evapotranspiration (ET) measurements made along the Amargosa River during a 2-year period, previous estimates of evapotranspiration rates, and remote sensing techniques...

Contacts: Michael Pavelko
Date published: April 27, 2017

Evaluation of Groundwater Flow in the Southern Part of the Amargosa Desert, Nevada and California

Since the original publication of the Death Valley regional groundwater flow system (DVRFS) numerical model in 2004, more information on the regional groundwater flow system in the form of new data and interpretations has been compiled. Cooperators such as the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Department of Energy, and Nye County, Nevada,...

Contacts: Wayne Belcher
Filter Total Items: 500
Date published: January 1, 2018

Central California CoSMoS v3.1 projections of shoreline change due to 21st century sea-level rise

This dataset contains projections of shoreline positions and uncertainty bands for future scenarios of sea-level rise. Projections were made using the Coastal Storm Modeling System - Coastal One-line Assimilated Simulation Tool (CoSMoS-COAST), a numerical model forced with global-to-local nested wave models and assimilated with lidar-derived shoreline vectors. Read metadata carefully.
De...

Date published: January 1, 2018

CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System) Southern California v3.0 Phase 2 flood-hazard depth and duration projections: 1-year storm in the Channel Islands

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

Date published: January 1, 2018

Central California CoSMoS v3.1 projections of coastal cliff retreat due to 21st century sea-level rise

This dataset contains spatial projections of coastal cliff retreat (and associated uncertainty) for future scenarios of sea-level rise (SLR) in Central California. Present-day cliff-edge positions used as the baseline for projections are also included. Projections were made using numerical models and field observations such as historical cliff retreat rate, nearshore slope, coastal cl

Date published: January 1, 2018

All Wells, District Boundaries, and Field Boundaries from the California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR)

There are 487 onshore oil and gas fields in California encompassing 3,392 square miles of aggregated area. The California State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) initiated a Regional Monitoring Program (RMP) in July 2015, intended to determine where and to what degree groundwater quality may be at potential risk to contamination related to oil and gas development activ

Date published: January 1, 2018

Central Mojave Desert Vegetation Mapping Project, California, 1997-1999

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Data at Risk (DaR) team partnered with the USGS Southwest Biological Science Center (SBSC) to preserve and release tabular data, shapefiles and field photographs of the Central Mojave Desert from 1997-1999. The data were originally collected as part of an effort through the Desert Managers Group (DMG) to develop scientific information on the dis

Date published: January 1, 2018

Water chemistry data for samples collected at groundwater sites near the Fruitvale oil field, September 2016–February 2017, Kern County, California

As part of the California State Water Resources Control Board’s Regional Groundwater Monitoring Program of Water Quality in Areas of Oil and Gas Production, during September 2016–February 2017, the U.S. Geological Survey collected and analyzed groundwater and associated quality-control (QC) samples from 14 water-production wells located within a three mile buffer zone of a

Date published: January 1, 2018

Acoustic backscatter data collected in 2007 from the San Miguel Passage in the Channel Islands, California

This portion of the data release presents acoustic backscatter data from the San Miguel Passage, in the Channel Islands, California. The data were collected in August 2007 by the U.S. Geological Survey, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (USGS, PCMSC) using a 234.5 kHz SEA (AP) Ltd. SWATHplus-M phase-differencing sidescan sonar mounted on the NOAA, Channel Islands Nationa

Date published: January 1, 2018

Structure-from-Motion (SfM) surface models derived from seafloor video from the Channel Islands, California

Structure-from-Motion (SfM) surface models were created using seafloor video collected over a visible fault scarp in the Channel Islands, California, during a 2016 U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) field activity. Four SfM surface models were created, each with a different combination of locating, scaling, and optimizing methods. Video imagery was collected using the USGS Pacific Co

Date published: January 1, 2018

Water well data used for preliminary regional groundwater salinity mapping near selected oil fields in central and southern California

This digital dataset is comprised of three separate data files that contain total dissolved solids, well construction, and well identifying information for 3,546 water wells used to map salinity in and around 31 southern and central California oil fields. Salinity mapping was done for 27 fields located in the southern San Joaquin Valley of Kern County (North Belridge, South Belridge,

Date published: January 1, 2018

Photographs and video clips of Clear Lake Hitch (Lavinia exilicauda chi)

This data release includes a collection of photographs and video clips. Above water observations were taken with with a Nikon D5300 digital camera and underwater observations were taken with a SOOCOO S100Pro digital camera. All observations were made on April 1, 2018 in Kelsey, Creek, Lake County, California. Further details can be found in: Feyrer, F. 2018. Rapid potamodromy int

Date published: January 1, 2018

Water chemistry data for samples collected at groundwater and surface-water sites near the Lost Hills and Belridge oil fields, November 2016-September 2017, Kern County, California

An investigation was done by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the California State Water Resources Control Board's Program of Regional Groundwater Monitoring of Water Quality in Areas of Oil and Gas Production, to assess the effects of oil and gas production activities on nearby groundwater resources. During November 2016–September 2017, 30 samples were collected at

Date published: January 1, 2018

CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System) Southern California v3.0 Phase 2 wave-hazard projections: 100-year storm in Channel Islands

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

Filter Total Items: 350
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Year Published: 1999

Map showing locations of damaging landslides in Solano County, California, resulting from 1997-98 El Nino rainstorms

Heavy rainfall associated with a strong El Nino caused over $150 million in landslide damage in the 10-county San Francisco Bay region during the winter and spring of 1998. A team of USGS scientists collected information on landslide locations and damage costs. About $13.5 million in damages were assessed in Solano County.

Howell, David G.; Godt, Jonathan W.
Map showing locations of damaging landslides in Solano County, California, resulting from 1997-98 El Nino rainstorms; 1999; MF; 2325-I; Howell, David G.; Godt, Jonathan W.

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Year Published: 1999

Map showing locations of damaging landslides in Sonoma County, California, resulting from 1997-98 El Nino rainstorms

Heavy rainfall associated with a strong El Nino caused over $150 million in landslide damage in the 10-county San Francisco Bay region during the winter and spring of 1998. A team of USGS scientists collected information on landslide locations and damage costs. About $21 million in damages were assessed in Sonoma County.

Ramsey, David W.; Godt, Jonathan W.
Map showing locations of damaging landslides in Sonoma County, California, resulting from 1997-98 El Nino rainstorms; 1999; MF; 2325-F; Ramsey, David W.; Godt, Jonathan W.

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Year Published: 1998

Chapter A. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Lifelines

To the general public who had their televisions tuned to watch the World Series, the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake was a lifelines earthquake. It was the images seen around the world of the collapsed Cypress Street viaduct, with the frantic and heroic efforts to pull survivors from the structure that was billowing smoke; the collapsed section of the...

Schiff, Anshel J.
Chapter A. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Lifelines; 1998; PP; 1552-A; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Performance of the Built Environment; Edited by Schiff, Anshel J.

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Year Published: 1998

Chapter D. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Earth Structures and Engineering Characterization of Ground Motion

This chapter contains two papers that summarize the performance of engineered earth structures, dams and stabilized excavations in soil, and two papers that characterize for engineering purposes the attenuation of ground motion with distance during the Loma Prieta earthquake. Documenting the field performance of engineered structures and...

Holzer, Thomas L.
Chapter D. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Earth Structures and Engineering Characterization of Ground Motion; 1998; PP; 1552-D; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Performance of the Built Environment; Edited by Holzer, Thomas L.

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Year Published: 1998

Chapter D. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Recovery, Mitigation, and Reconstruction

The papers in this chapter reflect the broad spectrum of issues that arise following a major damaging urban earthquake-the regional economic consequences, rehousing problems, reconstruction strategies and policies, and opportunities for mitigation before the next major seismic event. While some of these papers deal with structural or physical...

Nigg, Joanne M.
Chapter D. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Recovery, Mitigation, and Reconstruction; 1998; PP; 1553-D; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Societal Response; Edited by Nigg, Joanne M.

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Year Published: 1998

Chapter B. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Forecasts

The magnitude (Mw) 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake struck the San Francisco Bay region of central California at 5:04 p.m. P.d.t. on October 17, 1989, killing 62 people and generating billions of dollars in property damage. Scientists were not surprised by the occurrence of a destructive earthquake in this region and had, in fact, been attempting to...

Harris, Ruth A.
Chapter B. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Forecasts; 1998; PP; 1550-B; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Earthquake Occurrence; Edited by Harris, Ruth A.

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Year Published: 1998

Chapter C. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Building Structures

Several approaches are used to assess the performance of the built environment following an earthquake -- preliminary damage surveys conducted by professionals, detailed studies of individual structures, and statistical analyses of groups of structures. Reports of damage that are issued by many organizations immediately following an earthquake...

Çelebi, Mehmet
Chapter C. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Building Structures; 1998; PP; 1552-C; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Performance of the Built Environment; Edited by Celebi, Mehmet

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Year Published: 1998

Chapter C. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Landslides

Central California, in the vicinity of San Francisco and Monterey Bays, has a history of fatal and damaging landslides, triggered by heavy rainfall, coastal and stream erosion, construction activity, and earthquakes. The great 1906 San Francisco earthquake (MS=8.2-8.3) generated more than 10,000 landslides throughout an area of 32,000 km2; these...

Keefer, David K.
Chapter C. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Landslides; 1998; PP; 1551-C; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Strong Ground Motion and Ground Failure; Edited by Keefer, David K.

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Year Published: 1998

Chapter B. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Highway Systems

This paper summarizes the impact of the Loma Prieta earthquake on highway systems. City streets, urban freeways, county roads, state routes, and the national highway system were all affected. There was damage to bridges, roads, tunnels, and other highway structures. The most serious damage occurred in the cities of San Francisco and Oakland, 60...

Yashinsky, Mark
Chapter B. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Highway Systems; 1998; PP; 1552-B; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Performance of the Built Environment; Yashinsky, Mark

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Year Published: 1998

Chapter B. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Liquefaction

The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake both reconfirmed the vulnerability of areas in the San Francisco-Monterey Bay region to liquefaction and provided an opportunity to test methodologies for predicting liquefaction that have been developed since the mid-1970's. This vulnerability is documented in the chapter edited by O'Rourke and by the investigators...

Holzer, Thomas L.
Chapter B. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Liquefaction; 1998; PP; 1551-B; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Strong Ground Motion and Ground Failure; Edited by Holzer, Thomas L.

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Year Published: 1998

The influence of the San Gregorio fault on the morphology of Monterey Canyon

A side-scan sonar survey was conducted of Monterey Canyon and the San Gregorio fault zone, off shore of Monterey Bay. The acoustic character and morphology of the sonar images, enhanced by SeaBeam bathymetry, show the path of the San Gregorio fault zone across the shelf, upper slope, and Monterey Canyon. High backscatter linear features a few...

McHugh, C.M.G.; Ryan, William B. F.; Eittreim, S.; Donald, Reed
The influence of the San Gregorio fault on the morphology of Monterey Canyon; 1998; Article; Journal; Marine Geology; McHugh, C. M. G.; B. f. , Ryan, W.; Eittreim, S.; Donald, Reed

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Year Published: 1998

The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Performance of the built environment

Professional Paper 1552 focuses on the response of buildings, lifelines, highway systems, and earth structures to the earthquake. Losses to these systems totaled approximated $5.9 billion. The earthquake displaced many residents from their homes and severely disrupted transportation systems. Some significant findings were: * Approximately 16,...

Coordinated by Holzer, Thomas L.
The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Performance of the Built Environment; 1998; PP; 1552; Coordinated by Holzer, Thomas L.

Filter Total Items: 1,214
erry Hatcher with the system he designed to record the precise time and geographic location of each air photo Van Wagenen shoots
December 31, 2017

Scientist with the system he designed to record precise photo data

Gerry Hatcher with the system he designed to record the precise time and geographic location of each air photo Van Wagenen shoots.

USGS
December 31, 2017

Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus) Call

Bats produce a variety of vocalizations that are used for navigation, feeding, and social communication. Most vocalizations are pitched well above the range of human hearing and are referred to as ultrasonic. These calls are often known as echolocation calls since bats use the echoes produced when a sound bounces off a bug or a building to determine what is in the area. 

Map shows a coastal city with an airport and how, during a large storm, ocean water would flood around city features.
December 31, 2017

CoSMoS projection for San Diego

Example of CoSMoS projected flooding extents for a 1.5 meter sea level rise in combination with possible 100 year return period coastal storms.

Map of Active Faults and Historic Earthquakes in California
December 31, 2017

California Seismicity

Map of historic seismicity, major faults, and paleoseismic summary of San Andreas Fault system.

Satellite showing the burn scars from the Thomas fire in California
December 25, 2017

Southern California Wildfires Update

In the Landsat 8 image acquired on December 9, smoke is carried west by strong winds, which also continued to spread fire through the dry terrain, mountain passes, and canyons. The diagonal lines are an airplane contrail and its shadow cast on the ground. Landsat 8’s December 25 image reveals the burn scar and shows

...
December 15, 2017

Image of the Week - Southern California Wildfires, December 2017

The Thomas fire has burned more than 230,000 acres and continues to blaze across souther California. These images show some of the burn scar left behind.

At the USGS EROS Center, we study land change, operate the Landsat satellites, and maintain the longest, continuously acquired collection of images of the Earth's land surface.

USGS EROS Center (

A woman facing the camera talks to two men with their backs to the camera.
December 9, 2017

USGS Open House discussions

Members of the PCMSC Marine Minerals Team, including physical science technician Kira Mizell (center), took turns describing the importance of seafloor minerals.

A man at right talks about and gestures at a rock on a table to another man who is squatting in front of the rock.
December 9, 2017

Talking about seafloor mineral deposits

Research geologist Jim Hein (right) gave a hands-on explanation of seafloor mineral deposits.

A woman kneeling on the floor helps a young girl try on tall adult-sized rubber boots, for fun.
December 9, 2017

Try these on for size

Li Erikson (right) helped a young visitor try on the tall boots needed for Alaskan coastal research.

A man at right talks with another man and woman about an image projected on a screen.
December 9, 2017

Drone discussion

The drone on the table helped map a giant Big Sur landslide that closed California’s Highway 1. Josh Logan (right) described the process to visitors.

A man shows a young girl some reading material he picked up from table, other people stand in background looking at other stuff.
December 9, 2017

Colorful handouts from USGS

Our handouts were very popular with both kids and adults.

Filter Total Items: 925
USGS science for a changing world logo
May 7, 2014

Results of a new hydrologic model show a decrease in groundwater levels in response to pumping, which in turn causes a reduction in groundwater discharge to streams, a reduction in groundwater evapotranspiration, and a reduction in groundwater storage in the Santa Rosa Plain watershed.

USGS science for a changing world logo
April 30, 2014

The coastal geology of Simeonof Island, the southeastern-most island in the Shumagin archipelago of the Aleutian Islands, suggests the region has not experienced a great megathrust earthquake in at least the past 3,400 years.

Catastrophic Earthquakes – In a Crowded World Public Lecture Flyer
April 22, 2014

Why have there been so many catastrophic earthquakes at the beginning of the 21stcentury? On April 24th, USGS Research Geologist Thomas Holzer will tell us the history and future of earthquake death tolls, and the urbanization of the planet. Find out what makes modern megacities vulnerable to natural hazards.

USGS science for a changing world logo
April 22, 2014

Inorganic trace elements – fluoride, arsenic, molybdenum and boron – were detected at high concentrations in 42 percent of groundwater used for public supply in the Borrego Valley, and southern desert areas of California, according to a recent study by the U.S. Geological Survey. The USGS evaluated the quality of untreated groundwater for this study – not treated tap water.

Image:  Desert Perchlorate Field Work
April 3, 2014

Newly published research is the first to characterize the distribution and interactions of natural perchlorate in a terrestrial ecosystem. The study results are important in assessing risks associated with ecological and human health and with potential movement of natural perchlorate contamination into groundwater.

Lecture flyer thumbnail
March 24, 2014

How much will California's climate warm in future decades and what are the greatest vulnerabilities to climate change? On March 27th, USGS Climate Researcher Dan Cayan will explain about how scientists are investigating the way climate change might impact resources that are crucial to the state, including the Sierra Nevada snowpack, California coastal sea levels and the San Francisco Bay and Delta

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 20, 2014

Why does the 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake Matter 50 Years Later? Scientific experts will talk about a half-century of scientific and monitoring advances triggered by the 1964 events.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 17, 2014

How does drought affect California's water supply? Does it impact the surface water only, or what about groundwater? How does it impact water quality? What about streamflow? How is the water shortage affecting ecosystems? How is the drought related to climate change?

Screenshot Location of Mammoth Mountain
February 18, 2014

The earthquake swarm under Mammoth Mountain which started on February 3, 2014 has declined over the past few days. The daily numbers of earthquakes, however, are not yet at background levels. Most earthquakes were (are) M1.5 and less.

Screenshot Location of Mammoth Mountain
February 6, 2014

An earthquake swarm under Mammoth Mountain (Mono County, CA), which started slowly on February 3, 2014 intensified in the early hours of February 5 with many small-magnitude earthquakes occurring in rapid succession, a phenomenon known as "spasmodic bursts."

USGS science for a changing world logo
January 21, 2014

What is all the buzz about in the Yellowstone area? Is it really dangerous? On January 23rd Jake Lowenstern, Scientist-in-Charge of Yellowstone Volcano Observatory will explain what is happening now with earthquakes, ground uplift, and steam explosions.