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: 418
Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Waterfowl Ecology in California and the Pacific Flyway

The Suisun Marsh and Central Valley in California offer some of the world’s most important wetland habitats for waterfowl in the Pacific Flyway. Mike Casazza and USGS WERC biologists are providing the science to support and evaluate waterfowl populations and habitat management in North America.

Contacts: Michael Casazza
Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Modeling Sea-Level Rise in San Francisco Bay Estuary

With sea level rise, how will the coastal habitats of the San Francisco Bay Estuary change over the next 100 years? Mapping and modeling studies by Dr. Karen Thorne, WERC scientists, and partners have produced scenarios for this important coastal ecosystem.

Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Ecology and Population Dynamics of Ridgway's Rails along the West Coast of the U.S.

The Ridgway’s rail is a federal and state listed endangered species that occurs in wetlands along the Pacific Coast and from the Lower Colorado River drainage to southern Baja California. Three subspecies of Ridgway’s rail are found within the United States: the California Ridgway’s Rail, Yuma Ridgway’s rail, and Light-footed Ridgway’s rail.  All three subspecies have declined since 1900 as a...

Contacts: Michael Casazza
Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Wildland Fire Science in Forests and Deserts

Fuel conditions and fire regimes in western forests and deserts have been altered due to past land management, biological invasions, and recent extreme weather events and climate shifts. These changes have created extreme fire risk to local and regional communities, threatening their economic health related to wildland recreation, forest production, livestock operations, and other uses of...

Contacts: Matthew Brooks
Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Breeding and Wintering Ecology of Waterfowl

Western U.S. wetlands provide critical habitat for wintering and breeding waterfowl in California. WERC's Dr. Josh Ackerman is working toward collecting data to understand factors influencing duck nest success, to improve and restore breeding habitat for resident duck populations in California, and understand composition of predator communities. To learn more about how USGS WERC is...

Contacts: Josh T Ackerman
Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Coastal Ecosystem Response to Sea-level Rise

USGS WERC’s Dr. Karen Thorne, her team of reseachers, and her partners are currently taking a local site network approach to describe current and future conditions and projected responses of coastal ecosystems to sea-level rise and other stressors. The Coastal Ecosystem Response to Climate Change (CERCC) program’s goal is to understand how ecosystems vary in their ability to keep up with sea-...

Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Aridlands Disturbances and Restoration Ecology

Desert landscapes are rapidly changing due to increases in invasive plant species, frequency of wildfires, urban and energy development, recreational use, military training, and climate variation. Dr. Todd Esque, USGS researchers, and collaborators are working together to investigate these changes and provide managers with key information that can be used to manage natural resources more...

Contacts: Todd Esque
Date published: September 20, 2017
Status: Active

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, Christopher Lortie, 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...

Filter Total Items: 577
Date published: August 28, 2018

USGS Domestic Continuous (Unconventional) Oil & Gas Assessments, 2000-Present

Interactively explore assessment summary information for continuous (unconventional) assessments conducted at the USGS from 2000-2018. The assessment results data used to generate this visualization can be downloaded here in Excel Format.  These data represent all assessment results...

Date published: August 24, 2018

GAMA-Priority Basin Project Groundwater-Quality Results: Assessment and Trends

This interactive webmap plots water-quality data from domestic and public-supply wells sampled by the USGS for the California Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment Program (GAMA) Priority Basin Project, and allows users to download datasets.

Date published: July 5, 2018

In situ geochemical data related to the gold-quartz veins of Grass Valley, California, 2014-2015

In situ geochemical data were obtained for pyrite crystals and native gold from two distinct vein sets in the Grass Valley gold district, California. Samples of the N-S (north-south-trending) veins were collected underground at the Empire Mine State Historic Park and samples of the E-W (east-west-trending) veins were collected from drill core provided by the Idaho-Maryland Mining Corpor

Date published: June 19, 2018

Water Use Data for California

State water-use data are reported by source (surface water or groundwater, fresh and saline, and total), category, and area type (county). The water-use data presented here are the current best estimates, and may have been revised from previous publications. Data collection varied between the different compilations. Pre-1995 datasets have more data available than 2000 and later.

Date published: June 1, 2018

Groundwater-quality data and ancillary data for selected wells in the San Joaquin Valley, California, 1900-2015

This report provides a full digitization of historic groundwater-quality and depth-to-water data from Mendenhall and others (1916) Water Supply Paper 398, “Ground Water in San Joaquin Valley, California” in a modern format suitable for further analysis of California’s water supply resources. Included are geochemical data for over 400 wells collected by Mendenhall i

Date published: June 1, 2018

Historic Depth-to-Water, San Joaquin Valley, California, 1910

Mendenhall and others (1916) published depth-to-water data compiled in 1910 for all known wells in the San Joaquin Valley, California. Data for the 3,429 wells having depth-to-water of greater than zero feet were used to construct an interpolated depth-to-water surface for the entire SJV. This map represents groundwater levels in approximately 1910, prior to extensive development of the

Date published: May 13, 2018

Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) for Southern California, v3.0, Phase 2

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 Southern California shows projections for future climate scenarios (sea-level rise and storms) to provide emergency responders and...

Date published: May 3, 2018

Land Treatment Exploration Tool

The Land Treatment Exploration Tool is designed for resource managers to use when planning land treatments. The tool provides useful summaries of environmental characteristics of planned treatment areas and facilitates adaptive management practices by comparing those characteristics to other similar treatments within a specified distance or area of interest. ...

Date published: April 12, 2018

HayWired aftershock (M> 5) ShakeMaps

The maps in this archive display estimated intensities and ground motions for the earthquake scenarios - events on faults that have ruptured in the past or have a likelihood of rupturing in the future. These maps are typically used for emergency response exercises and planning as well as for understanding the potential consequences of future large earthquakes.

Attribution: Natural Hazards
Date published: April 12, 2018

The HayWired Scenario: An Urban Earthquake in a Connected World - A Geonarrative

What might it be like the next time the Hayward Fault has a large earthquake? A geonarrative and related imagery examines a hypothetical earthquake, the magnitude 7.0 HayWired earthquake scenario.”

Attribution: Natural Hazards
Date published: February 1, 2018

Electron microprobe data for monazite and xenotime used in consideration of gold deposit formation models

The genetic origin of many gold deposits, including Pogo in Alaska, remains controversial with questions as to whether they formed due to magmatic-hydrothermal or metamorphic-hydrothermal fluids. Gaining a better understanding of the formation mechanisms for these deposits is critical for defining proper exploration criteria in gold-bearing regions and production within these deposits. Monaz...

Filter Total Items: 450
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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.

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Year Published: 2007

Life history and ecological characteristics of the Santa Ana sucker, Catostomus santaanae

This study was conducted to document the life history and ecological characteristics of the Santa Ana sucker, Catostomus santaanae, within its native range in southern California. Electrofishing surveys were conducted at 3-month intervals from December 1998 to December 1999 at one site on the San Gabriel River and two sites on...

Saiki, Michael K.; Martin, Barbara A.; Knowles, Glen W.; Tennant, Patrick W.

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Year Published: 2007

Relation between mortality of prickly sculpin and diurnal extremes in water quality at Rodeo Lagoon, Marin County, California

[No abstract available]

Martin, B.A.; Saiki, M. K.; Fong, D.
Relation between mortality of prickly sculpin and diurnal extremes in water quality at Rodeo Lagoon, Marin County, California; 2007; Article; Journal; California Fish and Game; Martin, B. A.; Saiki, M. K.; Fong, D.

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Year Published: 2006

Mineralogy and Morphology of Amphiboles Observed in Soils and Rocks in El Dorado Hills, California

From the Executive Summary: At the request of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has conducted an independent study of amphiboles in rocks and soils in the El Dorado Hills, California, area. The purpose of this study is to investigate specific issues regarding the presence of 'naturally occurring...

Meeker, G.P.; Lowers, H.A.; Swayze, G.A.; Van Gosen, B. S.; Sutley, S.J.; Brownfield, I.K.
Mineralogy and Morphology of Amphiboles Observed in Soils and Rocks in El Dorado Hills, California; 2006; OFR; 2006-1362; Meeker, G. P.; Lowers, H. A.; Swayze, G. A.; Van Gosen, B. S.; Sutley, S. J.; Brownfield, I. K.

Filter Total Items: 1,107
Southern Sea Otters Floating in Morro Bay, CA
March 6, 2018

Southern Sea Otters Floating in Morro Bay, CA

Southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) float in Morro Bay, CA.

Adjustment of tension in infiltrometer to measure post-fire recovery.
March 1, 2018

Research Geologist Jonathan Perkins measuring post-fire infiltration

Research Geologist Jonathan Perkins adjusting tension in infiltrometer to evaluate post-fire recovery conditions in the Pepperwood Preserve, Santa Rosa, CA following the October 2017 Tubbs Fire to better understand how landscapes heal after wildfire. 

February 22, 2018

PubTalk 2/2018 — USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory

Title: The USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory - Research, monitoring, and the science of preparing society for low-probability, high-consequence events

  • Volcanoes in the Cascade Range erupt twice per century on average, with eruptions often lasting for years.
  • Although eruptions are generally not as high-consequence as large earthquakes, they are still
Attribution: Natural Hazards
Oil with a taffy-like consistency in a natural seep along a small creek, being poked with a stick to show its gooey nature.
February 19, 2018

Natural oil seep along Tarwater Creek, San Mateo County, California

The natural oil seep in this photo is located in Pescadero Creek County Park, where the Canyon Trail crosses Tarwater Creek. The oil is black, has a taffy-like consistency, and smells like motor oil.

February 16, 2018

Scientific Innovation Helps Pacific Wetlands Adapt to Sea Level Rise

U.S. Geological Survey scientists collaborated with partners to develop an innovative new tool to help resource managers prepare Pacific coastal wetlands for rising sea levels. 
 

February 13, 2018

Dr. Rufus Catchings, USGS Geophysicist

USGS geophysicist Dr. Rufus Catchings, brings insights to the importance of diversity and perseverance in the earth science field. 
 

Attribution: Natural Hazards
marsh
February 13, 2018

Egret Flyover, Petaluma River

While heading out to a survey plot off of San Pablo Bay, an egret flies over the Petaluma River in the early morning.

Female northern harrier gaze
February 9, 2018

Female Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) Gaze

A female northern harrier (Circus cyaneus) gazes into the camera at Suisun Marsh, CA.

In a pasture a white horse is standing in the foreground, in background is an apparatus that pumps oil from the ground.
February 2, 2018

Oil well pumping unit, Half Moon Bay oil field, California

The Half Moon Bay oil field is one of the oldest oil fields in California and was first developed during the 1880s. Since then, the field has produced an estimated 60,000 barrels of oil from about 19 wells. Most of the old wells have been plugged and abandoned, but this well was reworked in 1980 and produces small volumes of oil from thin sandstone layers of the Miocene

...
January 29, 2018

USGS Joins Efforts in Montecito to Assess Debris-Flow Aftermath

A team of USGS geologists provide science support following Montecito post-fire debris-flow event.
 

January 25, 2018

PubTalk 1/2018 — ShakeAlert: Path to West Coast EQ Early Warning

Title: ShakeAlert: The Path to West Coast Earthquake Early Warning ... how a few seconds can save lives and property

  • The ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system will begin limited operations this year.
  • Alerts could save lives and properties but several challenges remain.
  • With millions at risk, why isn't full public alerting happening yet?
Photo of Staten Island in the Sacramento Delta
January 25, 2018

Staten Island, Sacramento Delta, CA.

Staten Island in the Sacramento Delta, CA.

Filter Total Items: 980
Mount Shasta looming over the town of Weed in the evening....
September 25, 2014

On the afternoon of September 20, a large volume of water surged down Mount Shasta's south flank into Mud Creek, entraining debris and inundating the drainage and roads near McCloud, California.

Image: Sea Otter Ready for a Nap
September 22, 2014

When sea otters want to rest, they wrap a piece of kelp around their body to hold themselves steady among the rolling waves. Likewise, California’s sea otter numbers are holding steady against the many forces pushing against their population recovery, according to the latest field survey led by federal, state, aquarium, and university scientists.

USGS
September 18, 2014

The U.S. Geological Survey will host an educational event for the news media focused on earthquakes on Wednesday September 24, 2014.

Landcover map (left) and pedestrian evacuation time estimate map (right) Ocean Shores, Washington.
September 16, 2014

Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey have developed a new mapping tool, the Pedestrian Evacuation Analyst, for use by researchers and emergency managers to estimate how long it would take for someone to travel on foot out of a tsunami-hazard zone.

New 2014 US Topo quadrangle of the Three Fingered Jack, Oregon, area
September 15, 2014

Newly released US Topo maps for Oregon now feature segments of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. Several of the 1,835 new US Topo quadrangles for the state now display parts of the Trail along with other improved data layers.

Overview of Klamath Mountains groundwater quality with pie charts showing concentrations of organic and inorganic constituents i
September 5, 2014

Naturally occurring trace elements were detected at high concentrations in less than 3 percent of raw groundwater sources used for public water supply in the Klamath Mountain area, according to the ongoing U.S. Geological Survey study of California groundwater quality.

USGS
September 3, 2014

Members of the news media are invited to attend a scientific briefing at the U.S. Geological Survey to summarize what has been learned about and from the August 24 magnitude 6 South Napa Earthquake

collage of scientists conducting science related to each mission are
August 25, 2014

Yesterday at 3:20 AM local time, the northern San Francisco Bay Area was struck by the largest earthquake to impact the Bay Area since the 1989 M6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake.

Thumbnail of report cover for water withdrawal by category in california
August 20, 2014

About 38 billion gallons per day (42,000,000 acre-feet per year) of water were withdrawn from groundwater and surface-water sources in California in 2010, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey dataset.

Map showing outline of Cuyama Valley groundwater basin and sub-basins.
August 14, 2014

Groundwater is the sole source for agricultural, domestic and municipal water use in California’s Cuyama Valley, located primarily in Santa Barbara County.

Volcanic-gas "sniffer" installed at Mammoth Mountain, California me...
August 12, 2014

In July 2014, USGS Scientists Peter Kelly (Cascades Volcano Observatory) and Stuart Wilkinson (California Volcano Observatory) installed an automated volcanic-gas monitoring station on Mammoth Mountain, located on the SW rim of Long Valley Caldera (CA).

Public lecture flyer for The Ecological Value of Coastal Fog
July 29, 2014

Fog is more than just nature’s air conditioning keeping Bay Area residents cool while others in California bake in the summer’s heat; it is also extremely valuable for the local economy for everything from wine production to tourism.