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: March 3, 2017
Status: Active

Sequoia and Kings Canyon Field Station

The Sequoia and Kings Canyon Field Station is home to research programs that focus on wildfire patterns in Southern California, and the effects of drought on Sierra Nevada forests. Select the "Science" tab for a more comprehensive summary.

Date published: March 3, 2017
Status: Active

Santa Monica Mountains Field Station

Update: The Santa Monica Mountains Field Station is no longer an active USGS field station.

Contacts: Erin Boydston
Date published: February 24, 2017
Status: Active

Santa Cruz Field Station

Scientists at the Santa Cruz Field Station study sea otters and seabirds in their environment. The USGS Western Ecological Research Center has two research missions based in the Santa Cruz region:

Date published: February 23, 2017
Status: Active

San Francisco Bay Estuary Field Station

The San Francisco Bay Field Station is the center of studies on recovering tidal wetland ecosystems and ongoing efforts to balance the restoration of local marshes and the needs of seabirds. Click on the "Science" tab for a comprehensive summary of this station and its research.

Date published: February 21, 2017
Status: Active

San Diego Field Station

The San Diego Field Station is the site of research on golden eagles, endangered amphibians and reptiles, and more. Click on the "Science" tab for a comprehensive summary of this study site's projects.

Date published: February 21, 2017
Status: Active

Temecula Hydrogeology

This site provides hydrologic data collected or compiled by the USGS for the Temecula area; some additional data may be available from the USGS database National Water Information System (NWIS).

Contacts: Wesley Danskin
Date published: February 21, 2017
Status: Active

Redwood Field Station

The Redwood Field Station is located in Arcata, CA. Click on the following tab to learn more.

Date published: February 21, 2017
Status: Active

Yosemite Field Station

The Yosemite Field Station is comprised of a main office located on the west side of the Sierra Nevada. 

Contacts: Matthew Brooks
Date published: February 7, 2017
Status: Completed

San Bernardino Optimal Basin Management

The San Bernardino area of southern California has complex water-management issues. As an aid to local water managers, this report provides an integrated analysis of the surface-water and ground-water systems, documents ground-water flow and constrained optimization models, and provides seven examples using the models to better understand and manage water resources of the area. As an aid to...

Contacts: Wesley Danskin
Date published: January 17, 2017
Status: Active

Ecological Drought in Riparian Ecosystems

Drought is killing riparian trees along many rivers in the western United States. The cause can be increasing temperature or decreasing precipitation, flow or water-table elevation. At multiple locations we are relating water availability to physiological measurements of tree survival and water stress, such as ring width, carbon stable isotope ratio and branch hydraulic conductivity. These...

Date published: December 29, 2016
Status: Completed

Injection, storage, and extraction of water, Roseville, California

The purpose of this study is evaluate how vertical variations in aquifer properties and well hydraulics may affect the injection, storage, and extraction of water and the transport of associated disinfection by-products in the Mehrten Formation underlying the City of Roseville.

Date published: December 29, 2016
Status: Completed

Whiskeytown Aquatic Inventory Assessment

The project focuses on the assessment of aquatic biology, habitat, and water quality conditions of the major WHIS watersheds

Filter Total Items: 575
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

Recent historical and projected (years 2006–99) areas (km2) of managed, flooded habitats used by waterbirds overwintering in Central Valley, California basins for 17 climate, urbanization, and water management scenarios.

Matchett and Fleskes (2018) evaluated availability of wetland and agricultural habitats used by waterbirds overwintering in the Central Valley of California under 17 scenarios of projected climate, urbanization, and water supply management (for more information about scenarios see scenario description and Table 1 in Matchett and Fleskes [2018]). Central Valley waterbird habitats investigated...

Date published: January 1, 2018

Repeat high-resolution bathymetry datasets collected between 2014 and 2016 of a field of crescent-shaped rippled scour depressions in northern Monterey Bay, California

Between November 2014 and June 2016 the U.S. Geological Survey, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (PCMSC) conducted eight repeat, high-resolution bathymetry and acoustic-backscatter surveys of a small patch of seafloor offshore Santa Cruz in northern Monterey Bay, California. PCMSC also collected oceanographic time-series data over the same two-year period. This metadata file de

Date published: January 1, 2018

Geophysical and geochemical data for salinity mapping in the Midway-Sunset oil field area

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and California State University-Sacramento, in cooperation with the California State Water Resources Control Board and U.S. Bureau of Land Management, compiled and analyzed data for mapping groundwater salinity in selected oil and gas fields in California. The data for the Midway-Sunset (MWSS) oil field includes digitized borehole geophysical data,

Date published: January 1, 2018

CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System) Southern California v3.0 Phase 2 wave-hazard projections: 20-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

Date published: January 1, 2018

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

This portion of the data release presents bathymetry data from the San Miguel Passage, in the Channel Islands, California. Bathymetry data were collected in the San Miguel Passage, Channel Islands, California in August 2007 by the U.S. Geological Survey, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (USGS, PCMSC). Collection was accomplished using a 234.5 kHz SEA (AP) Ltd. SWATHpl

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

Date published: January 1, 2018

Multichannel minisparker seismic-reflection data of field activity 2015-617-FA; Monterey Bay, offshore central California from 2015-02-23 to 2015-03-06

This data release contains approximately 190 line-kilometers of processed, high-resolution multichannel seismic-reflection (MCS) profiles that were collected aboard the R/V Snavely in 2015 on U.S. Geological Survey cruise 2015-617-FA in Monterey Bay, offshore central California. The majority of MCS profiles collected are oriented north-south across the Monterey Canyon head to address ma

Date published: January 1, 2018

Geochemical and geophysical data for wells in the Rosedale Ranch oil and gas field

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with the California State Water Resources Control Board compiled and analyzed data for the purpose of mapping groundwater salinity in selected oil and gas fields in California. The data for the Rosedale Ranch oil field include well construction data, digitized borehole geophysical data, geochemical analyses of water samples from oil and gas

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

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

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

Filter Total Items: 446
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Year Published: 2005

Landslide hazards at La Conchita, California

Jibson, Randall W.
Landslide hazards at La Conchita, California; 2005; OFR; 2005-1067; Jibson, Randall W.

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Year Published: 2005

Elevated mercury concentrations in failed eggs of Snowy Plovers at Point Reyes National Seashore

[No abstract available]

Schwarzbach, S.E.; Stephenson, M.; Ruhlen, T.; Abbott, S.; Page, G. W.; Adams, D.
Elevated mercury concentrations in failed eggs of Snowy Plovers at Point Reyes National Seashore; 2005; Article; Journal; Marine Pollution Bulletin; Schwarzbach, S. E.; Stephenson, M.; Ruhlen, T.; Abbott, S.; Page, G. W.; Adams, D.

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Year Published: 2005

Estimation of regional material yield from coastal landslides based on historical digital terrain modelling

High-resolution historical (1942) and recent (1994) digital terrain models were derived from aerial photographs along the Big Sur coastline in central California to measure the long-term volume of material that enters the nearshore environment. During the 52-year measurement time period, an average of 21 000 ?? 3100 m3 km-1 a-1 of material was...

Hapke, C.J.
Estimation of regional material yield from coastal landslides based on historical digital terrain modelling; 2005; Article; Journal; Earth Surface Processes and Landforms; Hapke, C. J.

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Year Published: 2005

Habitat restoration as a means of controlling non-native fish in a Mojave desert Oasis

Non-native fish generally cause native fish decline, and once non-natives are established, control or elimination is usually problematic. Because non-native fish colonization has been greatest in anthropogenically altered habitats, restoring habitat similar to predisturbance conditions may offer a viable means of non-native fish control. In this...

Scoppettone, G.G.; Rissler, P.H.; Gourley, C.; Martinez, C.
Habitat restoration as a means of controlling non-native fish in a Mojave desert Oasis; 2005; Article; Journal; Restoration Ecology; Scoppettone, G. G.; Rissler, P. H.; Gourley, C.; Martinez, C.

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Year Published: 2005

Relation of desert pupfish abundance to selected environmental variables in natural and manmade habitats in the Salton Sea basin

We assessed the relation between abundance of desert pupfish, Cyprinodon macularius, and selected biological and physicochemical variables in natural and manmade habitats within the Salton Sea Basin. Field sampling in a natural tributary, Salt Creek, and three agricultural drains captured eight species including pupfish (1.1% of the total catch),...

Martin, B.A.; Saiki, M. K.
Relation of desert pupfish abundance to selected environmental variables in natural and manmade habitats in the Salton Sea basin; 2005; Article; Journal; Environmental Biology of Fishes; Martin, B. A.; Saiki, M. K.

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Year Published: 2005

The composition of coexisting jarosite-group minerals and water from the Richmond mine, Iron Mountain, California

Jarosite-group minerals accumulate in the form of stalactites and fine-grained mud on massive pyrite in the D drift of the Richmond mine, Iron Mountain, California. Water samples were collected by placing beakers under the dripping stalactites and by extracting pore water from the mud using a centrifuge. The water is rich in Fe3+ and SO4...

Jamieson, Heather E.; Robinson, Clare; Alpers, Charles N.; Nordstrom, D. Kirk; Poustovetov, Alexei; Lowers, Heather A.
The composition of coexisting jarosite-group minerals and water from the Richmond mine, Iron Mountain, California; 2005; Article; Journal; Canadian Mineralogist; Jamieson, H. E.; Robinson, C.; Alpers, C. N.; Nordstrom, D. K.; Poustovetov, A.; Lowers, H. A.

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Year Published: 2005

Total mercury concentrations in fillets of bluegill, redear sunfish, largemouth bass, and other fishes from Lake Natoma, Sacramento County, California

This study was conducted during September-October 2002 to verify preliminary findings of elevated total mercury concentrations in skinless fillets of sportfishes inhabiting Lake Natoma. Although we measured total mercury concentrations, most mercury in fish flesh occurs in the methylated form. In August 2000, other investigators collected a small...

Saiki, M. K.; Martin, B.A.; May, T.W.; Alpers, Charles N.
Total mercury concentrations in fillets of bluegill, redear sunfish, largemouth bass, and other fishes from Lake Natoma, Sacramento County, California; 2005; Article; Journal; California Fish and Game; Saiki, M. K.; Martin, B. A.; May, T. W.; Alpers, C. N.

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Year Published: 2004

Science support for salt pond restoration and management in south San Francisco Bay

Swanson, Kathleen M.; Shellenbarger, Gregory; Henderson, Kathleen D.; DiLeo, Jeanne S.; Schoellhamer, David H.
Science support for salt pond restoration and management in south San Francisco Bay; 2004; FS; 2004-3135; Swanson, Kathleen M.; Shellenbarger, Gregory G.; Henderson, Kathleen D.; DiLeo, Jeanne S.; Schoellhamer, David H.

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Year Published: 2004

Chapter E. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Geologic setting and crustal structure

Although some scientists considered the Ms=7.1 Loma Prieta, Calif., earthquake of 1989 to be an anticipated event, some aspects of the earthquake were surprising. It occurred 17 km beneath the Santa Cruz Mountains along a left-stepping restraining bend in the San Andreas fault system. Rupture on the southwest-dipping fault plane consisted of...

Wells, Ray E.
Chapter E. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Geologic Setting and Crustal Structure; 2004; PP; 1550-E; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Earthquake Occurrence; Edited by Wells, Ray E.

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Year Published: 2004

Map showing coastal cliff retreat rates along the Big Sur coast, Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties, California

The average coastal cliff retreat rate along the Big Sur coast is 18 ? 6 cm/yr as measured over a 52-year time period. The erosion reference features measured as the cliff edge include the well-defined cliff edges common to marine terraces, slight breaks in the slope defining the upper edge of the active lower slope, and the road grade. Cliff...

Hapke, Cheryl J.; Green, Krystal R.
Map showing coastal cliff retreat rates along the Big Sur coast, Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties, California; 2004; SIM; 2853; Hapke, Cheryl J.; Green Krystal R.

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Year Published: 2004

Maps showing estimated sediment yield from coastal landslides and active slope distribution along the Big Sur coast, Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties, California

The 1982-83 and 1997-98 El Ni?os brought very high precipitation to California?s central coast; this precipitation resulted in raised groundwater levels, coastal flooding, and destabilized slopes throughout the region. Large landslides in the coastal mountains of Big Sur in Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties blocked sections of California State...

Hapke, Cheryl J.; Green, Krystal R.; Dallas, Kate
Maps showing estimated sediment yield from coastal landslides and active slope distribution along the Big Sur coast, Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties, California; 2004; SIM; 2852; Hapke, Cheryl J.; Green, Krystal R.; Dallas, Kate

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Year Published: 2004

Preliminary report on using imaging spectroscopy to map ultramafic rocks, serpentinites, and tremolite-actinolite-bearing rocks in California

Airborne Visible/InfraRed Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) data were collected in approximately 3- kilometer-wide swaths over selected areas in El Dorado and Plumas Counties that contain serpentinite and ultramafic rocks as part of an experiment to determine if potentially asbestos-bearing rocks could be identified spectrally. M ineral maps created...

Swayze, Gregg A.; Higgins, Chris T.; Clinkenbeard, John P.; Kokaly, Raymond F.; Clark, Roger N.; Meeker, Gregory P.; Sutley, Stephen J.
Preliminary report on using imaging spectroscopy to map ultramafic rocks, serpentinites, and tremolite-actinolite-bearing rocks in California; 2004; OFR; 2004-1304; Swayze, Gregg A.; Higgins, Chris T.; Clinkenbeard, John P.; Kokaly, Raymond F.; Clark, Roger N.; Meeker, Gregory P.; Sutley, Stephen J.

Filter Total Items: 1,119
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.

USGS
December 31, 2017

Yuma myotis (Myotis yumanensis) 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. 

Pollen samples from various plants collected from hedgerows
December 31, 2017

Pollen samples from various plants collected from hedgerows

Organic Chemistry Research Laboratory -- Sacramento, California. Small sample bottles with pollen inside

3 close-up views of the toe of the Mud Creek landslide created from air photos after the landslide
December 31, 2017

3 close-up views of the toe of the Mud Creek landslide

Close-up views of the toe of the Mud Creek landslide created from air photos taken May 27 (top), June 13 (middle), and June 26 (bottom). Caltrans built roads on top of the slide for assessment and monitoring activities.

Topographic-change image produced by comparing 3D map derived from May 27 air photos with that derived from June 13 air photos
December 31, 2017

Topographic-change image produced by comparing subsequent 3D maps

Topographic-change image produced by comparing 3D map derived from May 27 air photos with that derived from June 13 air photos. Note that material has eroded from the seaward edge of the toe (yellow and orange tones), and material has built up on beaches to either side of the slide (blue tones).

Photo of a laboratory with various equipment and tables to work on.
December 31, 2017

PCMSC Marine Minerals Laboratory

A look into the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center’s Marine Minerals Laboratory Suite.

Pilot Bob Van Wagenen and the Cessna 182R he flies when taking air photos for the USGS Remote Sensing Coastal Change Project
December 31, 2017

The pilot and plane used to take air photos for the USGS

Pilot Bob Van Wagenen and the Cessna 182R he flies when taking air photos for the USGS Remote Sensing Coastal Change Project.

Photo of a laboratory with various equipment and tables to work on.
December 31, 2017

PCMSC Marine Minerals Laboratory

A look into the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center’s Marine Minerals Laboratory Suite.

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.

Medicine Lake, California simplified hazards map showing potential ...
December 31, 2017

Medicine Lake, CA simplified hazards map

Medicine Lake, California simplified hazards map showing potential impact area for ground-based hazards during a volcanic event.

Photo of a laboratory with various equipment and tables to work on.
December 31, 2017

PCMSC Marine Minerals Laboratory

A look into the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center’s Marine Minerals Laboratory Suite.

man in yellow shirt and camo coveralls standing in thigh-high water with instrument.
December 31, 2017

Measuring streamflow in the Sisquoc River near Garey, California.

USGS technician measuring streamflow in the Sisquoc River near Garey, California, upstream of the Santa Maria Mesa Road Bridge.

Filter Total Items: 979
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.

Image: Gary Scoppettone
January 16, 2014

Today, the Department of Interior honored U.S. Geological Survey biologist Gary Scoppettone and his colleagues for helping land managers save two species of fish from extinction. The species of unique desert fish, Cui-ui and Lahontan cutthroat trout, are considered sacred to the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe of Nevada.

USGS science for a changing world logo
January 15, 2014

Twenty years ago this week an earthquake struck Northridge, Calif., killing 57 people and revealing a serious defect in a common type of mid-rise building. A new study by U.S. Geological Survey and Caltech engineers, shows that these mid-rise buildings with fracture-prone welds in their steel frames are much more dangerous than they would be if they met current standards.

USGS science for a changing world logo
January 15, 2014

Trees do not slow in their growth rate as they get older and larger — instead, their growth keeps accelerating, according to a study published today in the journal Nature.