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: 393
Date published: December 29, 2016
Status: Completed

Assessing system-wide riverine geomorphic change in support of science-based restoration on the mainstem Trinity River, northern California

Historic landuse, dam construction, water storage and flow diversion within the Trinity River watershed resulted in downstream geomorphic changes that simplified the river planform and lead to dramatic losses of salmonid habitat and significant population declines. The Trinity River Restoration Program (TRRP) requested the USGS complete an assessment of geomorphic change that could be used to...

Date published: December 9, 2016
Status: Active

RAMPS: Restoration Assessment & Monitoring Program for the Southwest

The Restoration Assessment and Monitoring Program for the Southwest (RAMPS) seeks to assist U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and other land management agencies in developing successful techniques for improving land condition in dryland ecosystems of the southwestern United States. Invasion by non-native species, wildfire, drought, and other disturbances are growing...

Date published: December 1, 2016
Status: Active

Riparian Ecology

Riparian ecologists in the AS Branch study interactions among flow, channel change, and vegetation along rivers across the western United States and worldwide. Our work focuses on issues relevant to the management of water and public lands, including dam operation, climate change, invasive species, and ecological restoration. Investigations take place on a range of scales. For example,...

Date published: November 3, 2016

California's Central Valley

Competition for water resources is growing throughout California, particularly in the Central Valley. Statewide population growth, anticipated reductions in Colorado River water deliveries, drought, and the ecological crisis in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta have created an intense demand for water. USGS Tools and information can be used to help manage the Central Valley aquifer system, an...

Attribution:
Date published: November 2, 2016

Western Drought Resilience Assessment

We collected streamflow, water temperature, and other data from more than 2,500 gaging stations on rivers and streams across California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington to document the severity of the 2015 drought. We are using the data collected to assess how warmer winter temperatures, reduced mountain snowpack, and a shift in precipitation from snow to rain may affect future...

Date published: October 28, 2016
Status: Active

WERC Newsletters

USGS Western Ecological Research Center newsletters ran from 2012 to early 2016. Explore the archives for exciting information on projects, events, and news interviews involving our scientists.

Date published: October 28, 2016
Status: Active

Research Handouts

USGS Western Ecological Research Center compiles one-page handouts on WERC scientists' projects involving high-profile topics like renewable energy, drought, climate change, and more. These handouts are perfect for conferences and meetings with partners and resource managers. 

Date published: October 24, 2016
Status: Active

Kelp Forest Community Ecology

The near shore waters along the coast of southern California host one of the most productive marine ecosystems on earth: giant kelp forests. These complex environments provide habitat, food, and hiding places for more than 1,000 species of plants and animals, but are easily disturbed by both natural events and human activities. Strong storms, fluctuating water temperatures, coastal development...

Contacts: Kevin Lafferty
Date published: October 21, 2016

USGS WERC Ecology Research Update: March 2016

USGS Western Ecological Research Center newsletters are posted on our blog. Check back for a rundown of new research and events on ecology and wildlife science in California and Nevada. 

Date published: August 1, 2016
Status: Active

Ecology of Insect-eating Bats

Bats are the only flying mammals that are active mostly at night and occur on all continents except Antarctica. Bats are ecologically diverse, with a range of species that specialize in feeding on fruit, nectar, blood, fish, small mammals, and insects. However, of the more than 1,100 known species of bats on Earth, the majority specialize in feeding on insects. In the United States for example...

Date published: July 26, 2016
Status: Active

HDgov: Multi-agency Website for Human Dimensions of Natural Resources

HDgov is an interactive and mobile-responsive online portal to interagency, academic, and non-government resources focused on the human dimensions of natural resource management. The web portal provides easy access to tools, publications, data, and methods that help ensure that the people side of natural resources is considered throughout the entire natural resource management process. The...

Date published: July 26, 2016
Status: Active

National Park Service Visitor Spending Effects

The National Park Service (NPS) manages the Nation’s most iconic destinations that attract millions of visitors from across the Nation and around the world. Trip-related spending by NPS visitors generates and supports a considerable amount of economic activity within park gateway communities. USGS economists collaborate with the National Park Service social science program to estimate NPS...

Filter Total Items: 518
Date published: April 18, 2017

Liquefaction potential as a result of HayWired earthquake scenario mainshock (April 18, 2018) shaking in Alameda and Santa Clara Counties, San Francisco Bay area, California

These data are a geospatial representation of liquefaction potential for the HayWired earthquake scenario, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake occurring on the Hayward Fault on April 18, 2018, with an epicenter in the city of Oakland, CA. These data are the product of an analysis that created a detailed liquefaction probability map covering the northern Santa Clara County and western Alameda County...

Attribution: Natural Hazards
Date published: April 12, 2017

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.

Date published: April 12, 2017

Community exposure in California to coastal flooding hazards enhanced by climate change, reference year 2010

The data set contains information on potential population, economic, land cover, and infrastructure flooding exposure for San Francisco Bay and coastal communities of the state of California, USA. This data is viewable on HERA.

Date published: April 12, 2017

Summary of total mercury concentrations in dragonfly larvae, western mosquitofish, and tree swallow eggs collected from Cosumnes River Preserve 2011 – 2013

In order to document potential environmental health risk in Cosumnes River Preserve wetlands due to mercury, we analyzed dragonfly larvae, western mosquitofish, and tree swallow eggs collected from wetlands and rice fields of the Preserve from 2011 to 2013.

Date published: January 3, 2017

Offshore of Point Conception Map Area

Each GIS data file for the Offshore Of Point Conception map area is listed below with a brief description, a small image, and links to the metadata files and the downloadable data files. The data were compiled in ArcMap (version 10.2.2, ESRI, 2014). Raster data layers are registered TIFF images and are in the UTM Zone 10 coordinate system. Point, line, and polygon features are in shapefile...

Date published: January 1, 2017

Water pressure/depth, velocity, and turbidity time-series data from CHC14 Tidal creek stations in San Pablo Bay and China Camp Marsh, California

Files contain hydrodynamic and sediment transport data for the location and deployment indicated. Time-series data of water depth, velocity, turbidity, and temperature were collected in San Pablo Bay and China Camp Marsh as part of the San Francisco Bay Marsh Sediment Experiments. Several instruments were deployed in tidal creek, marsh, mudflat, and Bay locations, gathering data on

Date published: January 1, 2017

CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System) Southern California v3.0 Phase 2 water-level projections: 1-year storm in Ventura County

Model-derived total water levels (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 Souther

Date published: January 1, 2017

CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System) Southern California v3.0 Phase 2 ocean-currents projections: average conditions in Ventura County

Model-derived ocean current velocities (in meters per second) 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

Date published: January 1, 2017

Geology and geomorphology--Offshore of Gaviota Map Area, California

This part of DS 781 presents data for the geologic and geomorphic map of the Offshore of Gaviota map area, California. The vector data file is included in "Geology_OffshoreGaviota.zip," which is accessible from https://doi.org/10.5066/F7TH8JWJ. These data accompany the pamphlet and map sheets of Johnson, S.Y., Dartnell, P., Cochrane, G.R.,...

Date published: January 1, 2017

CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System) Southern California v3.0 Phase 2 flood-hazard depth and duration projections: 20-year storm in Orange County

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, 2017

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

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

Date published: January 1, 2017

CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System) Southern California v3.0 Phase 2 ocean-currents projections: 1-year storm in Orange County

Model-derived ocean current velocities (in meters per second) 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

Filter Total Items: 355
Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 1988

Preliminary paleolimnologic data for the Walker Lake subbasin, California and Nevada

Benson, Larry V.
Preliminary paleolimnologic data for the Walker Lake subbasin, California and Nevada; 1988; WRI; 87-4258; Benson, Larry V.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 1987

Comparison of estimates of evapotranspiration and consumptive use in Palo Verde Valley, California

Estimates of evapotranspiration and consumptive use by vegetation in Palo Verde Valley, California, were compared for calendar years 1981 to 1984. Vegetation types were classified, and the areas covered by each type were computed from Landsat satellite digital-image analysis. Evapotranspiration was calculated by multiplying the area of each...

Raymond, Lee H.; Owen-Joyce, Sandra J.
Comparison of estimates of evapotranspiration and consumptive use in Palo Verde Valley, California; 1987; WRI; 87-4071; Raymond, Lee H.; Owen-Joyce, Sandra J.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 1987

Estimates of consumptive use and ground-water return flow using water budgets in Palo Verde Valley, California

Palo Verde Valley, California, is an agricultural area in the flood plain of the Colorado River where irrigation water is diverted from the river and groundwater is discharged to a network of drainage ditches and (or) the river. Consumptive use by vegetation and groundwater return flow were calculated using water budgets. Consumptive use by...

Owen-Joyce, Sandra J.; Kimsey, Steven L.
Estimates of consumptive use and ground-water return flow using water budgets in Palo Verde Valley, California; 1987; WRI; 87-4070; Owen-Joyce, Sandra J.; Kimsey, Steven L.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 1986

Evapotranspiration estimates using remote-sensing data, Parker and Palo Verde valleys, Arizona and California

In 1981 the U.S. Geological Survey established an experimental project to assess the possible and practical use of remote sensing data to estimate evapotranspiration as an approximation of consumptive use in the lower Colorado River flood plain. The project area was in Parker Valley, Arizona. The approach selected was to measure the areas covered...

Raymond, L.H.; Rezin, K.V.
Evapotranspiration estimates using remote-sensing data, Parker and Palo Verde valleys, Arizona and California; 1986; OFR; 86-67; Raymond, L. H.; Rezin, K. V.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 1986

Reconnaissance bathymetry of basins occupied by Pleistocene Lake Lahontan, Nevada and California

No abstract available. 

Benson, Larry V.; Mifflin, Martin D.
Reconnaissance bathymetry of basins occupied by Pleistocene Lake Lahontan, Nevada and California; 1986; WRI; 85-4262; Benson, Larry V.; Mifflin, Martin D.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 1986

Water-use information for California

This pamphlet reports on the availability of water use information to and for the state of California, through the development of the State Water-Use Data System (SWUDS). SWUDS is currently organized into 12 water use categories: Agricultural non-irrigation; Commercial; Domestic; Industrial; Irrigation; Mining; Power generation--fossil fuel,...

Templin, W.E.
Attribution: Water Resources
Water-use information for California; 1986; OFR; 86-483; Templin, W. E.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 1984

A method for estimating ground-water return flow to the Colorado River in the Palo Verde-Cibola area, California and Arizona

Owen-Joyce, Sandra J.
A method for estimating ground-water return flow to the Colorado River in the Palo Verde-Cibola area, California and Arizona; 1984; WRI; 84-4236; Owen-Joyce, Sandra J.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 1984

A method for estimating ground-water return flow to the Colorado River in the Parker area, Arizona and California

Leake, S.A.
A method for estimating ground-water return flow to the Colorado River in the Parker area, Arizona and California; 1984; WRI; 84-4229; Leake, S. A.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 1984

Hydrochemical data for the Truckee River drainage system, California and Nevada

Benson, Larry V.
Hydrochemical data for the Truckee River drainage system, California and Nevada; 1984; OFR; 84-440; Benson, Larry V.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 1983

A hydrochemical reconnaissance study of the Walker River basin, California and Nevada

During 1975 and 1976, a large number of water and sediment samples were collected from the Walker River Basin. Additional surface water samples were collected during 1980 and 1981. Data are given herein for chemical analyses of snowmelt, tributary, river, spring, well, lake, reservoir, lake sediment pore fluid, tufa, lake and river sediment...

Benson, L.V.; Spencer, R.J.
A hydrochemical reconnaissance study of the Walker River basin, California and Nevada; 1983; OFR; 83-740; Benson, L. V.; Spencer, R. J.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 1983

A method for estimating ground-water return flow to the lower Colorado River in the Yuma area, Arizona and California

Loeltz, Omar J.; Leake, S.A.
A method for estimating ground-water return flow to the lower Colorado River in the Yuma area, Arizona and California; 1983; WRI; 83-4220; Loeltz, O. J.; Leake, S. A.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 1983

A method for estimating ground-water return flow to the lower Colorado River in the Yuma area, Arizona and California; executive summary

Loeltz, Omar J.; Leake, S.A.
A method for estimating ground-water return flow to the lower Colorado River in the Yuma area, Arizona and California; executive summary; 1983; WRI; 83-4221; Loeltz, O. J.; Leake, S. A.

Filter Total Items: 994
Aerial view of coastal bluffs, marine terrace with farmland, beach in distance with lagoon, highway runs along coast.
August 18, 2017

Scott Creek area of California coast

Aerial photograph looking north, Scott Creek Beach in distance, along the California coast near Davenport.

murky water body surrounded by green trees
August 8, 2017

Turbid Waters, Little Holland Tract, Bay-Delta

Turbid waters in the Little Holland Tract area of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta, California. Turbidity affects light penetration and  ecological productivity, recreational values, and habitat quality, and causes lakes to fill in faster. In streams, increased sedimentation and siltation can occur, which can result in harm to habitat areas for fish and other

...
Photo of driftwood and sand dunes at Point Reyes National Seashore
August 7, 2017

Driftwood and Dunes - Point Reyes

Photo of driftwood, and invasive grasses and iceplant at Point Reyes National Seashore, CA. Such "dune drainages" make surprising habitat for a threatened species of amphibian: the California red-legged frog.

Photo of dead trees and forest at Point Reyes National Seashore
August 7, 2017

Trees at Point Reyes National Seashore

Dead trees like the ones featured in this photo still provide valuable habitat for wildlife, including birds.

View from sky of a river mouth where it meets the ocean but it's blocked by a natural sand levee; with a bridge over the river.
August 4, 2017

San Gregorio Beach and Creek

Flow from San Gregorio Creek in San Gregorio, California is often blocked by a natural sand levee when the flow is not strong enough to push through to the Pacific Ocean.

chart of vegetation change in the bird's foot delta
July 31, 2017

Changing vegetation in the Delta 2016-2017

Chart showing changes in vegetation density in the Mississippi River delta in Louisiana, May 2015-May 2016. From a USGS Open File Report published in July 2017 by co-authors Elijah Ramsey III and Amina Rangoonwala,

WERC researcher conducting elevation surveys in San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge
July 31, 2017

WERC Elevation surveys in San Pablo Bay NWR

WERC researcher conducting elevation surveys in San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge

WERC Coastal ecosystem
July 31, 2017

WERC Coastal Ecosystem Studies

Coastal ecosystem studies at Trinidad coast, California. 

July 31, 2017

A Current Immersion

Curt Storlazzi of the USGS explains how the water cycle pulled him into oceanography, and how his personal interests parallel his profession.
 

July 27, 2017

USGS Public Lecture: Warm Ice—Dynamics of Rapidly Changing Glaciers

  • Glacier Numerology – The how big, how long, how thick, how much, how often, of glacier science.
  • Glacier Photography – While a picture may be worth a thousand words, a collection of images may tell a complete forensic story.
  • Glacier Geophysics – How new technologies are being introduced to reexamine and refine decades old glacier analyses.
Southwest view of Soda-Avawatz Fault
July 26, 2017

Soda-Avawatz Fault, eastern Avawatz Mountains

This is a view to the southwest from the top of the piedmont on the eastern side of the Avawatz Mountains, ~25 km northwest of Baker, CA. In the foreground, from right to left, are the Avawatz Mountain Front, composed of Precambrian crystalline metamorphic rocks, a narrow pediment developed on these metamorphic rocks, a sliver of marble juxtaposed against the pediment, and

...
View from the sky looking at a steep oceanfront cliff with a road running along it close to the water, with lettering on top.
July 19, 2017

Location of Mud Creek slide

Lead-in to the Mud Creek slide UAS (drone) footage, Big Sur, California, July 19. 2017.

Filter Total Items: 938
USGS
May 28, 2013

North America's largest vulture, the California condor, once graced the skies of the Pacific Northwest from northern California to British Columbia and was deeply woven into the fabric of many Native American cultures. A new book by two federal scientists documents the condors history in the region, from prehistoric times to the early 20th century.

USGS
May 23, 2013

Urban Seismic Studies to Begin in East San Francisco Bay Area — About 30 seismic sensors are seeking a place to hang out for up to three years in the greater Pleasanton/Dublin/San Ramon, Calif., area. 

USGS
April 3, 2013

New scientific findings published in Ecology reveal that interactions of climate, soils, shrubs, and a natural nitrogen fertilization process affect regrowth of forests following wildfire in southern Oregon and northern California. Managers can use this information to consider post-fire management practices, including fertilization and shrub-removal.

USGS
March 29, 2013

Barium and nitrate were detected at high concentrations in 5 percent of untreated groundwater used for public-water supply in the San Francisco Bay region, while human-made organic chemical constituents were found at high concentrations in less than 1 percent. 

USGS
March 25, 2013

Two years after the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan and caused millions of dollars in damage to California coastal communities, the state's Emergency Management Agency and the California Geological Survey continue to work with their local, state and federal partners to reduce the impacts of future tsunamis in California. 

USGS
March 13, 2013

Climate factors such as snowpack and precipitation are playing an increasingly important role in the abundance of American pikas in the Great Basin, according to a continuing ecological study by the U.S. Geological Survey, University of Montana and Montana State University.

USGS
March 13, 2013

The U.S. Geological Survey is cancelling its March 28th Evening Public Lecture "Preparing for California Climate Change," due to travel restrictions the agency has implemented because of the federal budget sequestration.

USGS
March 12, 2013

February 2013 marked the first year of successful volcano monitoring and preparing for possible volcanic eruption for the California Volcano Observatory (CalVO).

USGS
February 25, 2013

The movie "The Impossible" graphically depicts destruction caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami which resulted in catastrophic loss of life and property – are similar, equally destructive events likely to occur in the Pacific Northwest?

Meeting between California Emergency Management Agency, CalVO, and ...
February 21, 2013

Many of California's young volcanoes pose a threat to people and property.

USGS
February 11, 2013

Arsenic, uranium, fumigants and nitrate were detected at high concentrations in untreated groundwater at depths in the aquifer system typically used for public water supply in the Madera County region of California’s San Joaquin Valley.

USGS
January 29, 2013

Lake Mead National Recreation Area's water quality is good, the sport fish populations are sufficient, and the lakes provide important habitat for an increasing number of birds.