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 5, 2018
Status: Active

Post-Fire Flooding and Debris Flow

Fast-moving, highly destructive debris flows triggered by intense rainfall are one of the most dangerous post-fire hazards. The risk of floods and debris flows after fires increases due to vegetation loss and soil exposure. Cases of sudden and deadly debris flow are well documented along the western United States, particularly in ...

Date published: June 5, 2018
Status: Active

Water Quality after a Wildfire

About half of the water supply in the southwestern United States is supplied by water from forests, which generally yield higher quality water than any other source. Approximately 80 percent of the freshwater resources in the U.S. originate on forested land, and more than 3,400 public drinking-water systems are located in watersheds containing national forest lands (USDA, 2006). More than 12...

Date published: May 23, 2018
Status: Active

Rangeland Ecosystem Services

The Rangeland Ecosystem Services research described below is conducted and managed under the USGS Applied Landscape Ecology and Remote Sensing project and partners.

Date published: May 23, 2018
Status: Active

Applied Landscape Ecology and Remote Sensing

We focus on landscape studies of natural and working lands, in particular coastal and inland wetlands and rangelands. We quantify ecosystem benefits, find areas vulnerable to future change, and identify potential for climate mitigation and resilience. We conduct research by scaling field measurements to the regional, state and national scale with remote sensing, geospatial analysis, and...

Date published: May 10, 2018
Status: Active

Land Treatment Exploration Tool

The Land Treatment Exploration Tool provides a practical resource for managers who are planning restoration and rehabilitation actions on public lands. The tool generates a variety of spatial products while being user friendly for all levels of GIS expertise, even to those with little or no experience.

Date published: May 8, 2018
Status: Active

Rare Earth Element Deposits in the Southeast Mojave Desert

In an effort to better understand domestic resource potential, the USGS is investigating the genetic relationship between rare earth element deposits at Mountain Pass, California and Music Valley (Pinto Mountains, California) and extend these studies across a 130-km long belt of alkaline Proterozoic rocks in the southeast Mojave Desert. Such a combined study would significantly improve our...

Contacts: David Ponce
Date published: May 1, 2018
Status: Active

Bird Banding Laboratory

The Bird Banding Laboratory (BBL) is an integrated scientific program established in 1920 supporting the collection, archiving, management and dissemination of information from banded and marked birds in North America.  This information is used to monitor the status and trends of resident and migratory bird populations. Because birds are good indicators of the health of the environment, the...

Date published: April 30, 2018
Status: Completed

Untangling Faults at Depth – What Lies Beneath Panamint Valley, California?

Release Date: APRIL 30, 2018

The eastern edge of Panamint Valley,CA has two types of faults that can be seen in the near-surface geology. 150 geophones and a seismic source will help reveal the subsurface picture.

Date published: March 27, 2018
Status: Active

Assessing Deposit Build-up in Corte Madera Flood Control Channel

The Corte Madera Flood Control Channel was designed to prevent waters from overflowing Corte Madera Creek in a highly populated area of Marin County. Since the channel was last dredged in 1990 approximately 5,400 cubic feet of sediment has accumulated. The accumulation of sediment is of concern because the sediment may reduce the effectiveness of the channel, posing a flooding threat to...

Contacts: Daniel Livsey
Date published: March 21, 2018
Status: Active

Studying Threatened Fish Species in Clear Lake, CA

A fish species known as the Clear Lake Hitch, presently listed as threatened under the California Endangered Species Act, is now being considered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for placement on its endangered species list. The hitch population, which once flourished in great abundance, has been decimated by loss of spawning habitat, nursery areas, and the encroachment of non-native...

Date published: March 20, 2018
Status: Active

Tsunamis

The 2004 Indian Ocean, 2010 Chilean, and 2011 Tohoku disasters have shown how tsunamis are significant threats to coastal communities. To help U.S. coastal communities prepare for future tsunamis, the Hazards Vulnerability Team completed projects related to population exposure and sensitivity, pedestrian evacuation modeling, and vertical-evacuation decision support.

A recent article of...

Date published: March 16, 2018
Status: Active

Chiricahua Mountains - Reduction of Channel Gradients

Drainages in the Chiricahua Mountains are impacted by large rain events that cause gullying effects in the headwaters, overflow at road crossings, flooding of campgrounds, and overwhelming sediment loads at outlets (Chiricahua National Monument). Monsoon rains following recent fires cause severe flooding in most drainages and debris flows in many others (Youberg et al. 2013). Watershed...

Contacts: Laura M Norman
Filter Total Items: 550
Date published: December 17, 2018

Compaction | Data from Central Valley, CA Extensometers

Aquifer-system compaction has been monitored at selected locations for various periods with borehole extensometers by different agencies, including the USGS, DWR, SLDMWA, and CCID, and by Luhdorff and Scalmanini Consulting Engineers.  This dataset contains compaction data for 23 extensometers across California's Central Valley.

Date published: December 17, 2018

Continuous Global Positioning System (CGPS) Stations

The CGPS data were obtained from the UNAVCO Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO) network of continuously operating GPS stations. The PBO is the geodetic component of UNAVCO, a consortium of research institutions whose focus is measuring vertical and horizontal plate boundary deformation across the North American and Pacific Plates in the western U.S. using high-precision measurement techniques....

Date published: December 17, 2018

InSAR | Central Valley Areas of Interest

The InSAR technique uses two SAR scenes of the same area taken at different times which are then processed together to produce maps called interferograms that show relative land-surface-elevation change between the two SAR acquisition dates. This Areas of Interest dataset is where InSAR data has been interpreted to produce a time-history of subsidence in the Central Valley, CA.

Date published: December 14, 2018

Water Quality Sites, San Bernardino County, CA

List of USGS sites in San Bernardino County, CA that have water quality data samples.  Data is on the USGS National Water Information System database.

Date published: December 14, 2018

NWIS Real-time Groundwater and Surface Water Data for San Bernardino County, CA

Links to real-time groundwater and surface water data for USGS sites in San Bernardino County.  All data links are to the USGS National Water Information System online database.

Date published: December 13, 2018

Lower Colorado River Hydrologic Monitoring Network

The Lower Colorado Monitoring Network, located along the All-American Canal in Imperial County, California, is a series of groundwater-level and water-quality wells, as well as streamgages and micro-gravity sites. This interactive map displays the sites and provides links to the most current data.

Date published: December 6, 2018

Downloadable Data for Western Great Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

GIS Data for Western Great Basin Oil and Gas Assessments 

Date published: November 30, 2018

Downloadable Data for Los Angeles Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

GIS Data for Los Angeles Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Date published: November 30, 2018

Downloadable Data for Santa Maria Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

GIS Data for Santa Maria Basin Oil and Gas Assessments 

Date published: November 30, 2018

Downloadable Data for Ventura Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Downloadable Data for Ventura Basin Oil and Gas Assessments 

Date published: November 30, 2018

Downloadable Data for Central Coastal Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

GIS Data for Central Coastal Basin Oil and Gas Assessments 

Date published: November 30, 2018

Downloadable Data for Northern Coastal Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Northern Coastal Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Filter Total Items: 416
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Year Published: 2008

Relation between species assemblages of fishes and water quality in salt ponds and sloughs in South San Francisco Bay

This study was conducted to characterize fishery resources inhabiting salt-evaporation ponds and sloughs in South San Francisco Bay, and to identify key environmental variables that influence distribution of fishes. The ponds, which were originally constructed and operated for commercial production of salt, have undergone preliminary modifications...

Mejia, F.; Saiki, M. K.; Takekawa, John Y.
Relation between species assemblages of fishes and water quality in salt ponds and sloughs in South San Francisco Bay; 2008; Article; Journal; Southwestern Naturalist; Mejia, F.; Saiki, M. K.; Takekawa, J. Y.

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Year Published: 2007

Total selenium and selenium species in irrigation drain inflows to the Salton Sea, California, April and July 2007

This report presents the results for two sampling periods during a 4-year monitoring survey to provide a characterization of selenium concentrations in selected irrigation drains flowing into the Salton Sea, California. Total selenium, selenium species, and total suspended solids were determined in water samples, and total selenium was determined...

May, Thomas W.; Walther, Michael J.; Saiki, Michael K.; Brumbaugh, William G.
Total Selenium and Selenium Species in Irrigation Drain Inflows to the Salton Sea, California, April and July 2007; 2007; OFR; 2007-1347; May, Thomas W.; Walther, Michael J.; Saiki, Michael K.; Brumbaugh, William G.

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Year Published: 2007

Preliminary analytical results for ash and burned soils from the October 2007 southern California wildfires

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) collected ash and burned soils from about 28 sites in southern California wildfire areas (Harris, Witch, Ammo, Santiago, Canyon and Grass Valley) from Nov. 2 through 9, 2007 (table 1). USGS researchers are applying a wide variety of analytical methods to these samples, with the goal of helping identify...

Plumlee, Geoffrey S.; Martin, Deborah A.; Hoefen, Todd; Kokaly, Raymond F.; Hageman, Philip; Eckberg, Alison; Meeker, Gregory P.; Adams, Monique; Anthony, Michael; Lamothe, Paul J.
Preliminary Analytical Results for Ash and Burned Soils from the October 2007 Southern California Wildfires; 2007; OFR; 2007-1407; Plumlee, Geoffrey S.; Martin, Deborah A.; Hoefen, Todd; Kokaly, Raymond; Hageman, Philip; Eckberg, Alison; Meeker, Gregory P.; Adams, Monique; Anthony, Michael; Lamothe, Paul J.

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Year Published: 2007

Data from theodolite measurements of creep rates on San Francisco Bay region faults, California: 1979-2007

Introduction Our purpose is to update with six additional years of data, our creep data archive on San Francisco Bay region active faults for use by the scientific research community. Earlier data (1979-2001) were reported in Galehouse (2002) and were analyzed and described in detail in a summary report (Galehouse and Lienkaemper, 2003). A...

McFarland, Forrest S.; Lienkaemper, James J.; Caskey, S. John; Grove, Karen
Data from Theodolite Measurements of Creep Rates on San Francisco Bay Region Faults, California: 1979-2007; 2007; OFR; 2007-1367; McFarland, Forrest S.; Lienkaemper, James J.; Caskey, S. John; Grove, Karen

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Year Published: 2007

Simulations of potential runout and deposition of the Ferguson rockslide, Merced River Canyon, California

INTRODUCTION An active rockslide in Merced River Canyon was first noticed on April 29, 2006 when a few rocks rolled onto Highway 140 between mileposts 103 and 104, compromising traffic on this highway and signaling the onset of renewed activity of the Ferguson rockslide. State highway 140 is one of the main entrances to Yosemite National Park...

Denlinger, Roger P.
Simulations of Potential Runout and Deposition of the Ferguson Rockslide, Merced River Canyon, California; 2007; OFR; 2007-1275; Denlinger, Roger P.

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Year Published: 2007

Dissolved solids in basin-fill aquifers and streams in the southwestern United States

The U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Assessment Program performed a regional study in the Southwestern United States (Southwest) to describe the status and trends of dissolved solids in basin-fill aquifers and streams and to determine the natural and human factors that affect dissolved solids. Basin-fill aquifers, which include the...

Anning, David W.; Bauch, Nancy J.; Gerner, Steven J.; Flynn, Marilyn E.; Hamlin, Scott N.; Moore, Stephanie J.; Schaefer, Donald H.; Anderholm, Scott K.; Spangler, Lawrence E.
Dissolved Solids in Basin-Fill Aquifers and Streams in the Southwestern United States; 2007; SIR; 2006-5315; Anning, David W.; Bauch, Nancy J.; Gerner, Steven J.; Flynn, Marilyn E.; Hamlin, Scott N.; Moore, Stephanie J.; Schaefer, Donald H.; Anderholm, Scott K.; Spangler, Lawrence E.

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Year Published: 2007

Earthquake Rate Model 2.2 of the 2007 Working Group for California Earthquake Probabilities, Appendix D: Magnitude-Area Relationships

Summary To estimate the down-dip coseismic fault dimension, W, the Executive Committee has chosen the Nazareth and Hauksson (2004) method, which uses the 99% depth of background seismicity to assign W. For the predicted earthquake magnitude-fault area scaling used to estimate the maximum magnitude of an earthquake rupture from a fault's length...

Stein, Ross S.
Earthquake Rate Model 2.2 of the 2007 Working Group for California Earthquake Probabilities, Appendix D: Magnitude-Area Relationships; 2007; OFR; 2007-1162; Stein, Ross S.

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Year Published: 2007

National assessment of shoreline change part 4: historical coastal cliff retreat along the California coast

Coastal cliff retreat, the landward migration of the cliff face, is a chronic problem along many rocky coastlines in the United States. As coastal populations continue to grow and community infrastructures are threatened by erosion, there is increased demand for accurate information regarding trends and rates of coastal cliff retreat. There is...

Hapke, Cheryl J.; Reid, David
National assessment of shoreline change part 4: historical coastal cliff retreat along the California coast; 2007; OFR; 2007-1133; Hapke, Cheryl J.; Reid, David

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Year Published: 2007

Near-Surface Structure and Velocities of the Northeastern Santa Cruz Mountains and the Western Santa Clara Valley, California, From Seismic Imaging

Introduction The Santa Clara Valley (SCV) is located in the southern San Francisco Bay area of California and is bounded by the Santa Cruz Mountains to the southwest, the Diablo Ranges to the northeast, and the San Francisco Bay to the north (Fig. 1). The SCV, which includes the City of San Jose, numerous smaller cities, and much of the high-...

Catchings, R.D.; Gandhok, G.; Goldman, M.R.; Steedman, Clare
Near-Surface Structure and Velocities of the Northeastern Santa Cruz Mountains and the Western Santa Clara Valley, California, From Seismic Imaging; 2007; OFR; 2007-1039; Catchings, R. D.; Gandhok, G.; Goldman, M. R.; Steedman, Clare

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Year Published: 2007

Riding the storm--landslide danger in the San Francisco Bay Area

Movie Synopsis: --A catastrophic 1982 rainstorm triggered 18,000 landslides in the Bay Area, claiming 25 lives and causing $66 million in property damage. --The combination of steep slopes, weak rocks, and intense winter storms make Bay Area uplands an ideal setting for landslides. --Landslides include both swift, potentially deadly...

Adams, Karen
Riding the storm--landslide danger in the San Francisco Bay Area; 2007; GIP; 48; Producer/Director/Editor Adams, Karen

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Year Published: 2007

Summary of Survival Data from Juvenile Coho Salmon in the Klamath River, Northern California, 2006

Little is known about the survival of ESA-listed juvenile coho salmon during their seaward migration in the lower Klamath River. In 2006, the Bureau of Reclamation funded a study to estimate the survival of radio-tagged juvenile coho salmon in the Klamath River downstream of Iron Gate Dam. A series of models were evaluated to determine if survival...

Beeman, John W.
Summary of Survival Data from Juvenile Coho Salmon in the Klamath River, Northern California, 2006; 2007; OFR; 2007-1023; Beeman, John W.

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Year Published: 2007

Genetic diversity of infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus from Feather River and Lake Oroville, California, and virulence of selected isolates for Chinook salmon and rainbow trout

Infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) is a significant pathogen of young salmonid fishes worldwide but particularly within the historical range of the Pacific Northwest and California. In the Sacramento and San Joaquin River drainages of California, IHNV outbreaks in juvenile Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha have been observed...

Bendorf, C.M.; Kelley, G.O.; Yun, S.C.; Kurath, Gael; Andree, K.B.; Hedrick, R.P.
Genetic diversity of infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus from Feather River and Lake Oroville, California, and virulence of selected isolates for Chinook salmon and rainbow trout; 2007; Article; Journal; Journal of Aquatic Animal Health; Bendorf, C. M.; Kelley, G. O.; Yun, S. C.; Kurath, G.; Andree, K. B.; Hedrick, R. P.

Filter Total Items: 1,121
Vegetation in foreground up on a beach bluff above flat beach with waves.
May 23, 2018

Sunset State Beach Video Camera 2 snapshot

Two video cameras overlook the coast at Sunset State Beach in Watsonville, California. Camera 1 looks northwest while Camera 2 looks north. Every half hour during daylight hours, the cameras collect snapshots and video for 10 minutes. The various imagery collected:

  • Snapshot: first frame of the video, just like a standard photo
  • Timex (time-exposure):
...
Vegetation in foreground up on a beach bluff above flat beach with waves.
May 23, 2018

Sunset State Beach Video Camera 2 time-exposure

Two video cameras overlook the coast at Sunset State Beach in Watsonville, California. Camera 1 looks northwest while Camera 2 looks north. Every half hour during daylight hours, the cameras collect snapshots and video for 10 minutes. The various imagery collected:

  • Snapshot: first frame of the video, just like a standard photo
  • Timex (time-exposure):
...
Photo of the stern of a ship at a dock with people standing together, and a bridge is in the far distance.
May 21, 2018

Ready for data collection

USGS scientists aboard R/V Bold Horizon at the dock in San Diego, CA, preparing for a sampling and data collection research cruise offshore of Oceanside.

Giant gartersnake (Thamnophis gigas)
May 14, 2018

Threatened Giant Gartersnake (Thamnophis gigas)

Threatened giant gartersnake (Thamnophis gigas). This semi-aquatic snake lives in rice fields and the remaining wetlands of California's Central Valley.

Vista of Buda, Eagle Ford, and Austin Formations, Terrell County, Texas (March 10, 2015)
May 8, 2018

Vista of Buda, Eagle Ford, and Austin Formations, Terrell County

One charge of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Energy Resources Science Center is conducting field work to
better understand the distribution of hydrocarbon source rocks as input to USGS oil and gas
assessments. This 2015 image is a view to the south-southeast of rocks exposed along an unnamed
draw near Antonio Creek, Terrell County, Texas. The Buda Limestone is

...
a lone Joshua tree stands out amongs desert scrub and fluffy clouds in a blue sky
May 2, 2018

Joshua Tree, Edwards Air Force Base, Antelope Valley, CA

Joshua trees dot the desert landscape on Edwards Air Force Base in Antelope Valley, CA.  

Cover of The HayWired Earthquake Scenario—We Can Outsmart Disaster
April 30, 2018

Cover of The HayWired Earthquake Scenario—We Can Outsmart Disaster

Cover of The HayWired Earthquake Scenario—We Can Outsmart Disaster, USGS Fact Sheet 2018-3016

Attribution: Natural Hazards
April 26, 2018

PubTalk 4/2018 - Coral Reefs

Title: The Role of U.S. Coral Reefs in Coastal Protection - Rigorously valuing flood reduction benefits to inform coastal zone management decisions

  • Coral reefs are a first line of coastal defense
  • We can account for the physical defense that reefs provide
  • We can provide value-based information to guide restoration efforts at management-relevant
Photo of absolute-gravity meter next to a groundwater well in the field
April 25, 2018

Changes in Earth's Gravity Reveal Changes in Groundwater Storage

Did you know that changes in the amount of water in aquifers cause small changes in Earth’s gravitational field? When the amount of groundwater in an aquifer changes, either by recharge or by discharge to surface water or wells, the gravitational acceleration at the land surface also changes. In this photo, USGS Research Hydrologist Jeff Kennedy is making measurements of

...
Attribution: Water Resources
April 20, 2018

MODIS and VIIRS Observe Snowpack in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor is located onboard NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites. The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) sensor is located onboard the joint NASA/NOAA Suomi National Polar-Orbiting Partnership (S-NPP) and data products created by NASA provide a continuation of the MODIS data heritage. These data are crucial

View from a rooftop looking down into a cove with gentle ocean waves, coastal bluffs, surfers and anchored boat in distance.
April 19, 2018

Cowells Beach Snapshot

Snapshot, or first frame of from a 10-minute video taken on April 19, 2018, in Santa Cruz, California. View is from atop a hotel looking down on Cowells Beach, a popular surf spot. Researchers at the USGS are using these and other video images to improve understanding and computer modeling of beach processes, especially those that change the coast. 

...
April 18, 2018

HayWired Scenario - Movie

The HayWired earthquake scenario, led by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), anticipates the impacts of a hypothetical magnitude-7.0 earthquake on the Hayward Fault. The fault is along the east side of California’s San Francisco Bay and is among the most active and dangerous in the United States, because it runs through a densely urbanized and interconnected region. 

Filter Total Items: 973
Image: Tsunami Evacuation Sign
April 13, 2015

Tens of thousands of people along the U.S. Pacific Northwest coastline may not have enough time to evacuate low-lying areas before tsunami waves arrive, according to a new publication by researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey, University of Colorado Boulder, and California State University, Sacramento.

Image: Female Golden Eagle with GPS-GSM Transmitter
April 8, 2015

Golden eagles in the Mojave Desert travel farther, to different areas, and at different times of the year than previously understood, according to research by the U.S. Geological Survey and partners from other federal agencies, academia and the private sector. 

Screenshot of the Upper Klamath Basin Collaborative Groundwater Monitoring website.
April 3, 2015

The U.S. Geological Survey recently launched the Upper Klamath Basin Collaborative Groundwater Monitoring  website to provide information on groundwater conditions in the upper Klamath Basin.

Plot of earthquakes in Mount Shasta region greater than M1.0 from A...
April 3, 2015

Since February 19, 2015 an ongoing series of small earthquakes has been occurring approximately 5 miles southeast of the summit of Mount Shasta, near the Clear Creek Trailhead on a regional, unnamed fault at about 3-5 miles depth.

Updated 2015 version of the El Capitan, California quadrangle with orthoimage turned off
April 1, 2015

Several of the 2,798 new US Topo quadrangles for California now display public trails along with segments of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. Also the new maps now show improved data layers such as public land survey information, map symbol redesign, enhanced railroad information and new road source data.

Image: Happy Cows in Happy Flowers
March 25, 2015

Grassland habitats on rangelands in California’s Central Valley and surrounding foothills could decline by as much as 37 percent by 2100 due to changes in land use and climate, according to new scientific projections by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Image: San Jose Earthquakes' Avaya Stadium
March 20, 2015

Where better to install a new earthquake sensor than in the new home of the San Jose Earthquakes Major League Soccer team? 

3D perspective view of the likelihood that each region of California will experience a magnitude 6.7 within 30 years
March 10, 2015

A new California earthquake forecast by the U.S. Geological Survey and partners revises scientific estimates for the chances of having large earthquakes over the next several decades. 

USGS
March 5, 2015

U.S. Geological Survey scientists who study trends in climate change will be presenting the results from new studies at a workshop held in Pacific Grove, Calif., March 8 – 11, 2015. 

USGS science for a changing world logo
February 19, 2015

MENLO PARK, Calif.— A paper published today in Science provides a case for increasing transparency and data collection to enable strategies for mitigating the effects of human-induced earthquakes caused by wastewater injection associated with oil and gas production in the United States.