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: 406
Date published: December 29, 2016
Status: Completed

Ground-Water Nitrate and Organic Carbon Inputs to the Lower San Joaquin River

This proposal addresses drinking water and aquatic habitat issues associated with nitrate and organic carbon in the lower San Joaquin River (SJR).

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...

Filter Total Items: 520
Date published: January 1, 2017

CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System) Southern California v3.0 Phase 2 ocean-currents projections: 100-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

Date published: January 1, 2017

Water pressure/depth, velocity, and turbidity time-series data from CHC14 Bay channel station 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 flood-hazard projections: 1-year storm in Ventura County

Geographic extent of projected coastal flooding, low-lying vulnerable areas, and maxium/minimum flood potential (flood uncertainty) associated with the sea-level rise and storm condition indicated.
The Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) makes detailed predictions (meter-scale) over large geographic scales (100s of kilometers) of storm-induced coastal flooding and erosi

Date published: January 1, 2017

Groundwater-Quality Data in the Tulare Shallow Aquifer Study Unit, 2014-2015_Tables

The U.S. Geological Survey collected groundwater samples from 95 domestic wells in Tulare and Kings Counties, California in 2014-2015. The wells were sampled for the Tulare Shallow Aquifer Study Unit of the California State Water Resources Control Board Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) Program Priority Basin Project’s assessment of the quality of groundwater reso

Date published: January 1, 2017

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

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

Projected Hazard: Model-derived significant wave height (in meters) for the given storm condition and sea-level rise (SLR) scenario.
Model Summary: 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 %2

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

Backscatter [USGS07]--Offshore of Gaviota Map Area, California

This part of DS 781 presents 2-m-resolution data collected by the U.S. Geological Survey in 2007 for the acoustic-backscatter map of the Offshore of Gaviota Map Area, California. The GeoTiff is included in "Backscatter_[USGS07]_OffshoreGaviota.zip," which is accessible from https://doi.org/10.5066/F7TH8JWJ. These data accompany the pamphlet and...

Date published: January 1, 2017

Water pressure/depth, velocity, and turbidity time-series data from CHC16 Bay shallows 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 wave-hazard projections: 1-year storm in Orange 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: 1,043
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.

Two same-size items: Pack of playing cards (top) and circuit board with fan and electronic components (bottom).
July 18, 2017

Small computer that controls video cameras above beach in Santa Cruz

The small computer, or “micro-controller,” at the bottom of this photo controls the operation of two video cameras mounted on the 10-story Dream Inn hotel in Santa Cruz, California. The cameras take 10-minute videos of Santa Cruz Main Beach and Cowells Beach every half hour during daylight hours (view the most recent images).

...
Photograph of California coastal Highway 1 looking north toward Big Sur.
July 12, 2017

Big Sur Coast

Near San Simeon, view looks north up Highway 1 along the California coast toward Big Sur.

Drone’s-eye views of the toe of the Mud Creek landslide, from videos shot by Shawn Harrison on July 12, 2017
July 12, 2017

Drone’s-eye views of the toe of the Mud Creek landslide

Drone’s-eye views of the toe of the Mud Creek landslide, from videos shot by Shawn Harrison on July 12, 2017

Photo of child and USGS employee studying an egg.
July 11, 2017

Child Looking at Egg

Taken 7/11/2017 in Suisun City. The California Waterfowl Association hosts a "Youth Hunter Camp" for children at the Grizzly Ranch in Suisun City, CA. Here, a USGS employee and a child look through a tube at an egg to observe its contents.

Photo of USGS employee teaching children how to monitor vegetation density and height for waterfowl studies.
July 11, 2017

WERC Measuring Vegetation around Waterfowl Nests

Taken 7/11/2017 in Suisun City, CA. A USGS employee teaches children at the California Waterfowl Association's "Youth Hunter Camp" to measure the vegetation surrounding waterfowl nests.

Filter Total Items: 940
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. 

USGS
January 18, 2013

A century of scientific creativity and innovation has allowed seismologists to "see" into the outer layers of our planet, revealing the deep properties of the Earth's crust.

USGS
January 9, 2013

Inorganic elements - arsenic, boron, fluoride, and five other inorganic elements - were detected at high concentrations in 35 percent of untreated groundwater used for public water supply in the desert region of southern California. In contrast, human-made organic chemical constituents and nitrate were found at high concentrations in less than 1 percent of the desert region’s aquifers.

USGS
December 10, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Exciting discoveries are spurring research to uncover hidden secrets deep within South Pacific tropical forests.

USGS
November 30, 2012

USGS Science at AGU

SAN FRANCISCO — From over well over 500 abstracts by USGS presenters at this year’s American Geophysical Union conference, we’ve selected some of the newest, most exciting topics that USGS scientists will explore at AGU. Tips are presented in topic areas, chronologically with room numbers, session numbers and a summary.

USGS
November 28, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. —New insights into the differences between fire ecologies of the Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts in the southwestern United States are coming through the use of terrestrial Light Detection and Ranging, or lidar, technology. Studies by the U.S. Geological Survey show that while fire is detrimental to some areas of the desert, it is beneficial to others. 

USGS
November 23, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Holiday shoppers can pick up free gift wrap now from the U.S. Geological Survey and California Geological Survey’s Maps and Publications Sales Office at our new location on the Menlo Park campus.

USGS
November 9, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Mountain environments are cauldrons of climatic harshness, exhibiting sharp topographic, vegetative, and climatic gradients, providing scientists with a natural laboratory for studying pikas to use as a model for assessing species vulnerability to warming temperatures. 

USGS
October 22, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. — In early August, the Mars Science Laboratory rover known as "Curiosity" landed successfully to begin its 23 month mission of searching the Martian surface for evidence of environmental conditions capable of supporting microbial life.

USGS
October 19, 2012

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Experts in volcano hazards and public safety have started a conversation about volcanoes in the southwestern United States, and how best to prepare for future activity. Prior to this meeting, emergency response planning for volcanic unrest in the region had received little attention by federal or state agencies.

USGS
October 12, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. — U.S. Geological Survey volcanologists and geophysicists plan to conduct the first comprehensive, high-resolution airborne magnetic survey of the rock layers under Mono Basin and Long Valley, on the east side of the Sierra Nevada in Calif. next week.