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: 412
Date published: May 24, 2013
Status: Active

Iron Mountain: An Extraordinary and Extreme Environment

At its peak production, Iron Mountain ranked as the tenth largest copper production site in the world, sixth in the U.S. and first in California. During its operation, from 1879 - 1963, ten different mines throughout the site's 4,400 acres were the source of not just copper, but also silver, iron, gold, zinc and pyrite (iron sulfide).

A century of active mining at Iron Mountain took an...

Date published: April 19, 2013
Status: Completed

Serious Games for Science

Serious or pedagogical games are an engaging way to educate decisionmakers and stakeholders about environmental challenges that are usefully informed by natural and social scientific information and knowledge. USGS designed two serious games intended to promote interactive learning and exploration in the face of large uncertainties, divergent values, and complex situations. Delta Skelta...

Date published: March 1, 2013
Status: Active

SWOT - Surface Water and Ocean Topography

Satellite altimetry associated with the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission offers a solution for measuring (1) river stage and slope, (2) water surface area including mean channel width and (3) derivatives such as river discharge. The measurements can be used to track changes in these variables and provide an accounting of the Earth's fresh-water bodies from space at the reach...

Contacts: John W Fulton
Date published: August 27, 2012
Status: Active

Central Valley Hydrologic Model (CVHM)

In an effort to aid water managers in understanding how water moves through the aquifer system, predicting water-supply scenarios, and addressing issues related to water competition, the USGS developed a new hydrologic modeling tool, the Central Valley Hydrologic Model (CVHM). The CVHM is an extensive, detailed three-dimensional (3D) computer model of the hydrologic system of the Central...

Contacts: Claudia C Faunt
Date published: September 28, 2011
Status: Completed

Native Fish Population and Habitat Study - Santa Ana River

California Water Science Center scientists further research on two native fish species.

Contacts: Larry Brown
Date published: September 28, 2011
Status: Completed

Exploring Drivers of Pelagic Fish Population Decline in Bay-Delta

USGS scientists develop spatially explicit ecosystem model to explore changes pelagic fish species population and distribution in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Suisun Bay.

Contacts: Larry Brown
Date published: May 6, 2009
Status: Completed

Sources of Microbial Contamination at Public Beaches, Santa Barbara

The focus of this study is on analysis of existing hydrologic, chemical, and microbiological data; collection of surface-water and shallow ground-water hydrologic, chemical, and microbiological data; and characterization of dissolved organic carbon composition.

Contacts: John Izbicki
Date published: May 14, 2008
Status: Completed

ShakeOut

The ShakeOut Scenario was located in southern California where earthquake risk is high compared to the rest of the country. This scenario is a hypothetical, but plausible 7.8 magnitude earthquake on the southern San Andreas Fault. This scenario was completed in May 2008. The ShakeOut Scenario is described in two publications: The Scenario (Jones and others) and The Narrative (Perry and others...

Date published: January 1, 2008
Status: Completed

Does Pleasure Point Need A Seawall?

Information about the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center's study of Pleasure Point in Santa Cruz, California, from 2005-2007.

Date published: January 1, 2005
Status: Completed

Should Englebright Dam Be Removed?

Information about the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center's study from 2001-2004, on Englebright Dam and the science behind its removal.

Date published: January 1, 2004
Status: Completed

Tsunami Hazards in the Santa Barbara Channel

Information about the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center's study of tsunami hazards in the Santa Barbara Channel from 1993-2003.

Contacts: Ray Sliter
Date published: January 1, 2004
Status: Completed

Big Sur Coastal Landslides

Information about USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center studies on coastal landslides in the Big Sur area

Filter Total Items: 533
Date published: January 1, 2017

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

Bathymetry--Offshore of Gaviota Map Area, California

This part of DS 781 presents data for bathymetry for several seafloor maps of the Offshore of Gaviota Map Area, California. The GeoTiff is included in "Bathymetry_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., Hartwell...

Date published: January 1, 2017

Water pressure/depth, velocity, and turbidity time-series data from CHC13 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

Water pressure/depth, velocity, and turbidity time-series data from CHC14 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

Near-surface wind fields for San Francisco Bay--historical and 21st century projected time series

To support Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) in the San Francisco Bay (v2.1), time series of historical and 21st-century near-surface wind fields (eastward and northward wind arrays) were simulated throughout the Bay.
While global climate models (GCMs) provide useful projections of near-surface wind vectors into the 21st century, resolution is not sufficient enoug

Date published: January 1, 2017

Folds--Offshore of Point Conception Map Area, California

This part of DS 781 presents fold data for the geologic and geomorphic map of the Offshore of Point Conception Map Area, California. The vector data file is included in "Folds_OffshorePointConception.zip," which is accessible from https://doi.org/10.5066/F7QN64XQ. These data accompany the pamphlet and map sheets of Johnson, S.Y., Dartnell, P.,...

Date published: January 1, 2017

Water pressure/depth and turbidity time-series data from CHC16 Marsh and mudflat 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 Orange 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 flood-hazard projections: 20-year storm in Los Angeles County

Projected Hazard: 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.
Model Summary: The Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) makes detailed predictions (meter-scale) over large geographic scales (100s of kilometers) of sto

Date published: January 1, 2017

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

Projected Hazard: 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.
Model Summary: The Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) makes detailed predictions (meter-scale) o

Date published: January 1, 2017

Water pressure/depth, velocity, and turbidity time-series data from SPA14 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

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.,...

Filter Total Items: 1,075
Hydrologic technician collects biofilm from a ceramic tile
May 13, 2017

Biofilms colonize a deployed tile

Biofilms take up pesticides in streams. Here, a hydrologic technician collects a sample of biofilm that has colonized an unglazed ceramic tile over 60-90 days. Learn more about biofilms as integrative samplers of pesticides here.

Superimposed on beach photo: dense grid of blue dots across sandy beach and over ocean. Ditto 3 lines that cross the shore.
May 13, 2017

“Pixel instruments” on photo of beach in Santa Cruz, California

Frame from video of Cowells Beach in Santa Cruz, California, showing “pixel instruments” measured continuously during the video and used to estimate different coastal processes. The blue dots represent an array of pixels used by a computer program called cBathy to estimate seafloor depths (bathymetry). The red, orange, and yellow lines are cross-shore arrays of pixels used

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Nasturtiums hang down over a graffiti-decorated culvert conveying Sausal Creek
May 12, 2017

Urban creek graced by flowers and graffiti

Flowers and graffiti turn urban Sausal Creek into a bizarre wonderland. Water-quality and ecological surveys were done at the creek as part of the USGS Regional Stream Quality Assessment (RSQA) in the summer of 2016.

With gloved hands and tweezers, folding a water filter
May 12, 2017

A hydrologist carefully folds a filter used to collect an eDNA sample

As part of the Regional Stream Quality Assessments (RSQA), hydrologists, ecologists, and technicians did ecological surveys of aquatic biota and stream habitat.  Here, a hydrologist carefully folds a filter used to collect a sample for analysis of eDNA.

Hydro-tech in front of graffiti defacing a wall channelizing a stream
May 12, 2017

Graffiti at Sausal Creek

A hydrotech prepares to collect a water-quality sample at urban Sausal Creek, with its distinctive graffiti. Water-quality and ecological surveys were done at the creek as part of the USGS Regional Stream Quality Assessment (RSQA) in the summer of 2016.

Man standing ankle-deep in creek takes notes
May 12, 2017

A hydrologic technician records stream habitat characteristics

As part of the Regional Stream Quality Assessments (RSQA), hydrologists, ecologists, and technicians did ecological surveys of aquatic biota and stream habitat.  Here, a hydrologic technician records characteristics of the habitat of a highly urbanized stream.

Urban creek with concrete banks
May 12, 2017

Concrete channelization of urban creek

Sausal Creek in central Oakland, California, is an urban creek that has been extensively modified for flood control. The USGS Regional Stream Quality Assessment assessed the water quality and ecological integrity of small streams like Sausal Creek in five major regions of the country. Learn more about flow modification of U.S

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Urban creek with concrete banks
May 12, 2017

Concrete channelization of urban creek

Sausal Creek in central Oakland, California, is an urban creek that has been extensively modified for flood control. The USGS Regional Stream Quality Assessment assessed the water quality and ecological integrity of small streams like Sausal Creek in five major regions of the country. Learn more about flow modification of U.S

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Two adjacent poles holding video cameras near top, one control box near bottom, one man holding small tool near control box.
May 12, 2017

Beach-monitoring video cameras atop hotel in Santa Cruz, California

USGS ocean engineer Gerry Hatcher (left) and USGS postdoctoral oceanographer Shawn Harrison make adjustments to a computer controlling two video cameras on the roof of the Dream Inn, a 10-story hotel overlooking Monterey Bay in Santa Cruz, California. One camera looks eastward over Santa Cruz Main Beach and boardwalk, and the other southward over Cowells Beach. Since May

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A man walks knee-deep in stream next to outfall pipe
May 11, 2017

A geomorphologist walks a stream as part of an ecological survey

As part of the Regional Stream Quality Assessments (RSQA), hydrologists, ecologists, and technicians did ecological surveys of aquatic biota and stream habitat.  Here, a geolomorphologist assesses stream banks.

Distant view of the shore from a flat rooftop that is visible at bottom of image.
May 6, 2017

“Snapshot” or first frame of beach video, Santa Cruz, California

Snapshot, or first frame of from a 10-minute video taken May 6, 2017, in Santa Cruz, California. View is from atop a hotel looking down on Cowells Beach, a popular surf spot. Researchers at the USGS are using these and other video images to improve understanding and computer modeling of beach processes, especially those that change the coast. 

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Distant view of the shore from a flat rooftop that is visible at bottom of image.
May 6, 2017

Time-averaged image from video of beach in Santa Cruz, California

Time-averaged image, or “timex,” created by averaging the intensity of light recorded at each spot, or “pixel,” during a 10-minute video taken at Santa Cruz, California, on May 6, 2017. Blurred white zones show where waves are breaking. Line between wet and dry sand shows the maximum height on the beach reached by the waves (“runup”). Researchers at the USGS are using

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Filter Total Items: 960
USGS
July 17, 2012

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Nitrate was detected at high concentrations in one quarter of the aquifer system used for Inland Empire public water supply. Additionally, high concentrations of perchlorate were found in 11 percent of the aquifer system, and in moderate concentrations in 53 percent. This aquifer system includes the Upper Santa Ana Valley, San Jacinto, and Elsinore groundwater...

USGS
June 26, 2012

Tools, Resources for Earthquake Readiness and Emergency Management To Be Shared, Explained by U.S. Geological Survey Scientists at Conference at Caltech
 

USGS
June 26, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. —Throughout the United States, June is recognized as National Oceans Month.  This Thursday, the U.S. Geological Survey invites the public to a lecture entitled "Scanning the Seafloor with Sound." 

USGS
June 5, 2012

California, Louisiana and Mississippi join the more than 40 states covered by the US Topo
 

USGS
May 30, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. —May is American Wetlands Month. Hear how U.S. Geological Survey scientists are supporting the ongoing restoration efforts to improve South Bay wetlands for endangered species and migratory birds, as well as conducting studies to better understand this wetland ecosystem, and how adaptive management practices will be working over the coming decades to restore...

USGS
May 29, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. – 100 years ago, in June 1912, the largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century took place in what is now Alaska's Katmai National Park and Preserve. U.S. Geological Survey geologist Judy Fierstein, co-author of a new landmark study on this huge volcanic event, shares her work with the community in a free public lecture Wednesday, June 6, a century to the...

USGS
May 28, 2012

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — The results of an innovative collaboration that paired artists from California’s central coast and the greater San Francisco Bay Area with scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, will be on display at the R. Blitzer Gallery in Santa Cruz June 1 through July 7. 

USGS
May 23, 2012

CARNELIAN BAY, Calif. — Results of a new U.S. Geological Survey study conclude that faults west of Lake Tahoe, Calif., referred to as the Tahoe-Sierra frontal fault zone, pose a substantial increase in the seismic hazard assessment for the Lake Tahoe region of California and Nevada, and could potentially generate earthquakes with magnitudes ranging from 6.3 to 6.9. 

USGS
May 22, 2012

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — The results of an innovative collaboration that paired artists from California's central coast and the greater San Francisco Bay Area with scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey's Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, will be on display at the R. Blitzer Gallery in Santa Cruz during June. 

Lassen Peak viewed from the south at the summit of Brokeoff Volcano...
May 22, 2012

On May 22, 1915 an explosive volcanic eruption occurred at Lassen Peak, California.

USGS
May 18, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. – Members of the news media are invited to attend the U.S. Geological Survey Open House in Menlo Park this weekend.  This event includes over 80 exhibits that highlight the work USGS scientists do. Join them in action as they share the excitement of their scientific work and discoveries with the general public. 

USGS
May 16, 2012

PORTLAND, Ore.­– The U.S. Geological Survey has developed models to help water managers identify strategies to use groundwater for meeting competing water demands in the semi-arid upper Klamath Basin.