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: 421
Date published: January 1, 1999
Status: Completed

Mapping Shipping Hazards in San Francisco Bay

Information about the 1997-1998 study by USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, to map the floor of San Francisco Bay in order to reveal the bay's shipping hazards.

Contacts: Peter Dartnell
Filter Total Items: 583
Date published: January 1, 2017

CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System) Southern California v3.0 Phase 2 wave-hazard projections: average conditions 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 wave-hazard projections: 1-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: 20-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

CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System) Southern California v3.0 Phase 2 flood-hazard depth and duration projections: average conditions 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) ove

Date published: January 1, 2017

CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System) Southern California v3.0 Phase 2 wave-hazard projections: 1-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

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

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

Folds--Offshore of Gaviota Map Area, California

This part of DS 781 presents fold data for the geologic and geomorphic map of the Offshore of Gaviota map area, California. The vector data file is included in "Folds_OffshoreGaviota.zip," which is accessible from https://doi.org/10.5066/F7TH8JWJ.

In the offshore part of the map area, closely-spaced seismic-reflection profiles image many...

Date published: January 1, 2017

Backscatter [USGS08]--Offshore of Gaviota Map Area, California

This part of DS 781 presents 2-m-resolution data collected by the U.S. Geological Survey in 2008 for the acoustic-backscatter map of the Offshore of Gaviota Map Area, California. The GeoTiff is included in "Backscatter_[USGS08]_OffshoreGaviota.zip," which is accessible from https://doi.org/10.5066/F7TH8JWJ. These data accompany the pamphlet and...

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 projections: 20-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

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...

Filter Total Items: 481
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Year Published: 1998

Chapter D. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Earth Structures and Engineering Characterization of Ground Motion

This chapter contains two papers that summarize the performance of engineered earth structures, dams and stabilized excavations in soil, and two papers that characterize for engineering purposes the attenuation of ground motion with distance during the Loma Prieta earthquake. Documenting the field performance of engineered structures and...

Holzer, Thomas L.
Chapter D. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Earth Structures and Engineering Characterization of Ground Motion; 1998; PP; 1552-D; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Performance of the Built Environment; Edited by Holzer, Thomas L.

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Year Published: 1998

Chapter D. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Recovery, Mitigation, and Reconstruction

The papers in this chapter reflect the broad spectrum of issues that arise following a major damaging urban earthquake-the regional economic consequences, rehousing problems, reconstruction strategies and policies, and opportunities for mitigation before the next major seismic event. While some of these papers deal with structural or physical...

Nigg, Joanne M.
Chapter D. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Recovery, Mitigation, and Reconstruction; 1998; PP; 1553-D; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Societal Response; Edited by Nigg, Joanne M.

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Year Published: 1998

Chapter B. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Forecasts

The magnitude (Mw) 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake struck the San Francisco Bay region of central California at 5:04 p.m. P.d.t. on October 17, 1989, killing 62 people and generating billions of dollars in property damage. Scientists were not surprised by the occurrence of a destructive earthquake in this region and had, in fact, been attempting to...

Harris, Ruth A.
Chapter B. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Forecasts; 1998; PP; 1550-B; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Earthquake Occurrence; Edited by Harris, Ruth A.

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Year Published: 1998

Chapter C. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Building Structures

Several approaches are used to assess the performance of the built environment following an earthquake -- preliminary damage surveys conducted by professionals, detailed studies of individual structures, and statistical analyses of groups of structures. Reports of damage that are issued by many organizations immediately following an earthquake...

Çelebi, Mehmet
Chapter C. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Building Structures; 1998; PP; 1552-C; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Performance of the Built Environment; Edited by Celebi, Mehmet

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Year Published: 1998

Chapter C. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Landslides

Central California, in the vicinity of San Francisco and Monterey Bays, has a history of fatal and damaging landslides, triggered by heavy rainfall, coastal and stream erosion, construction activity, and earthquakes. The great 1906 San Francisco earthquake (MS=8.2-8.3) generated more than 10,000 landslides throughout an area of 32,000 km2; these...

Keefer, David K.
Chapter C. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Landslides; 1998; PP; 1551-C; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Strong Ground Motion and Ground Failure; Edited by Keefer, David K.

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Year Published: 1998

Chapter B. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Highway Systems

This paper summarizes the impact of the Loma Prieta earthquake on highway systems. City streets, urban freeways, county roads, state routes, and the national highway system were all affected. There was damage to bridges, roads, tunnels, and other highway structures. The most serious damage occurred in the cities of San Francisco and Oakland, 60...

Yashinsky, Mark
Chapter B. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Highway Systems; 1998; PP; 1552-B; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Performance of the Built Environment; Yashinsky, Mark

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Year Published: 1998

Chapter B. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Liquefaction

The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake both reconfirmed the vulnerability of areas in the San Francisco-Monterey Bay region to liquefaction and provided an opportunity to test methodologies for predicting liquefaction that have been developed since the mid-1970's. This vulnerability is documented in the chapter edited by O'Rourke and by the investigators...

Holzer, Thomas L.
Chapter B. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Liquefaction; 1998; PP; 1551-B; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Strong Ground Motion and Ground Failure; Edited by Holzer, Thomas L.

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Year Published: 1998

The influence of the San Gregorio fault on the morphology of Monterey Canyon

A side-scan sonar survey was conducted of Monterey Canyon and the San Gregorio fault zone, off shore of Monterey Bay. The acoustic character and morphology of the sonar images, enhanced by SeaBeam bathymetry, show the path of the San Gregorio fault zone across the shelf, upper slope, and Monterey Canyon. High backscatter linear features a few...

McHugh, C.M.G.; Ryan, William B. F.; Eittreim, S.; Donald, Reed
The influence of the San Gregorio fault on the morphology of Monterey Canyon; 1998; Article; Journal; Marine Geology; McHugh, C. M. G.; B. f. , Ryan, W.; Eittreim, S.; Donald, Reed

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Year Published: 1998

The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Performance of the built environment

Professional Paper 1552 focuses on the response of buildings, lifelines, highway systems, and earth structures to the earthquake. Losses to these systems totaled approximated $5.9 billion. The earthquake displaced many residents from their homes and severely disrupted transportation systems. Some significant findings were: * Approximately 16,...

Coordinated by Holzer, Thomas L.
The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Performance of the Built Environment; 1998; PP; 1552; Coordinated by Holzer, Thomas L.

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Year Published: 1997

Drainage-return, surface-water withdrawal, and land-use data for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, with emphasis on Twitchell Island, California

Partial data on drainage returns and surface-water withdrawals are presented for areas of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California, for March 1994 through February 1996. These areas cover most of the delta. Data are also presented for all drainage returns and some surface-water withdrawals for Twitchell Island, which is in the western part of...

Templin, William E.; Cherry, Daniel E.
Drainage-return, surface-water withdrawal, and land-use data for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, with emphasis on Twitchell Island, California; 1997; OFR; 97-350; Templin, William E.; Cherry, Daniel E.

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Year Published: 1997

Chapter D. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Aftershocks and postseismic effects

While the damaging effects of the earthquake represent a significant social setback and economic loss, the geophysical effects have produced a wealth of data that have provided important insights into the structure and mechanics of the San Andreas Fault system. Generally, the period after a large earthquake is vitally important to monitor. During...

Reasenberg, Paul A.
Chapter D. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Aftershocks and Postseismic Effects; 1997; PP; 1550-D; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Earthquake Occurrence; Edited by Reasenberg, Paul A.

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Year Published: 1996

Chapter A. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Main shock characteristics

The October 17, 1989, Loma Prieta, Calif., earthquake (0004:15.2 G.m.t. October 18; lat 37.036? N., long 121.883? W.; 19-km depth) had a local magnitude (ML) of about 6.7, a surface-wave magnitude (MS) of 7.1, a seismic moment of 2.2x1019 N-m to 3.5x1019 N-m, a source duration of 6 to 15 s, and an average stress drop of at least 50 bars. Slip...

Spudich, Paul
Chapter A. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Main Shock Characteristics; 1996; PP; 1550-A; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Earthquake Occurrence; Edited by Spudich, Paul

Filter Total Items: 1,116
July 19, 2017

UAS Video, July 19, 2017, of the Mud Creek Landslide in Big Sur

The Mud Creek landslide on Big Sur coast, California, occurred on May 20, 2017. USGS Mendenhall researcher Shawn Harrison took this video from an unmanned aerial system (UAS) on July 19, 2017. USGS drone footage shows the slide from many angles. It points out buried and unburied parts of Highway 1, as well as new roads built across the slide for monitoring purposes.

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).

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Ashy storm-petrel (Oceanodroma homochroa) with metal identification band being held by a USGS researcher
July 14, 2017

Ashy Storm-Petrel Call

This is the call of the elusive Ashy Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma homochroa). Ashy Storm-Petrels nest in burrows and crevices on offshore rocks and islands. To avoid predators, they only arrive and depart their island nests under the cover of darkness. That makes studying them pretty difficult. But scientists have come up with a clever solution: they set up acoustic recorders

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.

Two photographs taken from the sky looking down on a landslide into the ocean water with a plume of murky water along the coast.
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.

Preliminary seafloor bathymetry (in rainbow colors) collected by the USGS research vessel Parke Snavely on July 11, 2017
July 11, 2017

Preliminary seafloor bathymetry collected by the USGS on July 11, 2017

Preliminary seafloor bathymetry (shown in colors) collected by the USGS research vessel Parke Snavely on July 11, 2017. Relative depths shown in color, superimposed on a shaded-relief map from the June 26 USGS air-photo survey. Note white data gap next to the shore where water was too shallow for the Snavely to map. Shawn Harrison hopes to fill this gap

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Photo of USGS employee building a decoy waterfowl nest for outreach demonstration.
July 11, 2017

WERC Scientist Building Decoy Waterfowl Nest

Taken 7/11/2017 at Grizzly Ranch, Suisun City, CA. USGS biological science technician Breanne Cooney builds a decoy waterfowl nest for an outreach demonstration. 

USGS employee building a decoy waterfowl nest for outreach demonstration.
July 11, 2017

WERC Scientist Building Decoy Waterfowl Nest 2

Taken 7/11/2017 at Grizzly Ranch, Suisun City, CA. USGS biological science technician Breanne Cooney builds a decoy waterfowl nest for an outreach demonstration.

USGS employee showing kids how to measure vegetation around waterfowl nests.
July 11, 2017

Kids Learning to Measure Vegetation with WERC Scientist

Taken 7/11/2017 at Grizzly Ranch, Suisun City, CA. USGS biological science technician Breanne Cooney shows kids how to measure the vegetation surrounding waterfowl nests. Density and height of vegetation can influence the survival of waterfowl eggs and chicks and affect their risk of falling prey to ravens, skunks, and other predators.

Aerial photograph looking from an airplane down on the Big Sur Landslide in California.
July 7, 2017

Big Sur Landslide, July 7, 2017

USGS scientists continue to monitor the slide by collecting imagery every couple of weeks, weather permitting. Pilot Bob Van Wagenen, contracted through the Department of the Interior’s Office of Aviation Services, takes air photos for Jon Warrick’s Big Sur Landslide team, flying out of the Watsonville Municipal Airport in a Cessna 182R. He uses a camera-plus-GPS system

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Filter Total Items: 986
USGS
August 16, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Residents should not be alarmed to witness a low-flying airplane over the northern Sacramento Valley and surrounding hills starting around August 17. 

USGS
August 15, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. —The U.S. Geological Survey is reducing its footprint in Menlo Park to lower rent costs. The move is part of a larger consolidation plan motivated by the Presidential directive to reduce government space utilization. There is not a plan to reduce staff, and the USGS will continue to maintain all operations currently housed in Menlo Park.

Taking GPS coordinates at the Amargosa Desert Research Site
July 24, 2012

Summer is the time when most CalVO scientists get out into the field to conduct geologic and ground-based monitoring investigations of our regional volcanoes.

USGS
July 23, 2012

Dr. Joseph Colgan, a research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, was named one of President Obama's recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.

USGS
July 23, 2012

Dr. Karen Felzer, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey, was named one of President Obama's recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. 

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.