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: 580
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 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

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 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

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

Seasonal vegetation characteristics in a Spartina foliosa- and Salicornia pacifica-dominated salt marsh at China Camp State Park

As part of the San Francisco Bay Marsh Sediment Experiments and hydrodynamic investigations in San Pablo Bay and China Camp Marsh, California, vegetation sampling measurements were taken over several periods at numerous locations. This portion of the data release presents physical characteristics and percent cover data from vegetation plots sampled in China Camp State Park salt marsh (north...

Date published: January 1, 2017

Reprocessed boomer 3D seismic-reflection data of field activity P-04-11-CC, in San Luis Obispo Bay, offshore of Pismo Beach, central California, 2011-12-06 to 2012-10-05

This dataset includes reprocessed boomer 3D seismic data collected by the Fugro Consultants Inc. in 2012, in San Luis Obispo Bay, offshore of Pismo Beach, central California.

Date published: January 1, 2017

Faults--Offshore of Gaviota Map Area, California

This part of DS 781 presents fault data for the geologic and geomorphic map of the Offshore of Gaviota map area, California. The vector data file is included in "Faults_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

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

Bathymetry hillshade--Offshore of Point Conception Map Area, California

This part of DS 781 presents data for bathymetry for several seafloor maps of the Offshore of Point Conception Map Area, California. The vector data file is included in "Bathymetry_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

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

Bathymetry hillshade--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 vector data file is included in "BathymetryHS_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: 470
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Year Published: 1994

Irrigation water supply and demand data for 1976, 1980, and 1984 for the western San Joaquin Valley, California

This report presents the irrigation water supply and demand data for 1976, 1980, and 1984 for 32 water districts in the western San Joaquin Valley, California. Data are provided for each water district or each of the three years if the data were available. The complete data base is given by water district or each township, range, and section in...

Templin, W.E.; Haltom, T.C.
Attribution: Water Resources
Irrigation water supply and demand data for 1976, 1980, and 1984 for the western San Joaquin Valley, California; 1994; OFR; 94-335; Templin, W. E.; Haltom, T. C.

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Year Published: 1994

Method to identify wells that yield water that will be replaced by Colorado River water in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah

Accounting for the use of Colorado River water is required by the U.S. Supreme Court decree, 1964, Arizona v. California. Water pumped from wells on the flood plain and from certain wells on alluvial slopes outside the flood plain is presumed to be river water and is accounted for as Colorado River water. A method was developed to identify wells...

Wilson, Richard P.; Owen-Joyce, Sandra J.
Method to identify wells that yield water that will be replaced by Colorado River water in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah; 1994; WRI; 94-4005; Wilson, Richard P.; Owen-Joyce, Sandra J.

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Year Published: 1993

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

The October 17, 1989, Loma Prieta, Calif., Ms=7.1 earthquake provided the first opportunity in the history of fault monitoring in the United States to gather multidisciplinary preearthquake data in the near field of an M=7 earthquake. The data obtained include observations on seismicity, continuous strain, long-term ground displacement, magnetic...

Johnston, Malcolm J. S.
Chapter C. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Preseismic Observations; 1993; PP; 1550-C; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Earthquake Occurrence; Edited by Johnston, Malcolm J. S.

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Year Published: 1993

The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Earthquake occurrence

Professional Paper 1550 seeks to understand the M6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake itself. It examines how the fault that generated the earthquake ruptured, searches for and evaluates precursors that may have indicated an earthquake was coming, reviews forecasts of the earthquake, and describes the geology of the earthquake area and the crustal forces...

Coordinated by Bakun, William H.; Prescott, William H.
The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Earthquake Occurrence; 1993; PP; 1550; Coordinated by Bakun, William H.; Prescott, William H.

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Year Published: 1993

The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Societal response

Professional Paper 1553 describes how people and organizations responded to the earthquake and how the earthquake impacted people and society. The investigations evaluate the tools available to the research community to measure the nature, extent, and causes of damage and losses. They describe human behavior during and immediately after the...

Coordinated by Mileti, Dennis S.
The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Societal Response; 1993; PP; 1553; Coordinated by Mileti, Dennis S.

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Year Published: 1993

The Loma Prieta, California, earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Public response: Chapter B in The Loma Prieta, California, earthquake of October 17, 1989: Societal Response (Professional Paper 1553)

Major earthquakes provide seismologists and engineers an opportunity to examine the performance of the Earth and the man-made structures in response to the forces of the quake. So, too, do they provide social scientists an opportunity to delve into human responses evoked by the ground shaking and its physical consequences. The findings from such...

Bolton, Patricia A.
Chapter B. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Public Response; 1993; PP; 1553-B; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Societal Response; Edited by Bolton, Patricia A.

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Year Published: 1992

Accounting System for Water Use by Vegetation in the Lower Colorado River Valley

The Colorado River is the principal source of water in the valley of the Colorado River between Hoover Dam and the international boundary with Mexico (fig. 1). Agricultural, domestic, municipal, industrial, hydroelectric-power genera-tion, and recreation are the primary uses of river water in the valley. Most of the consumptive use of water from...

Owen-Joyce, Sandra J.
Accounting System for Water Use by Vegetation in the Lower Colorado River Valley; 1992; OFR; 92-83; Owen-Joyce, Sandra J.

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Year Published: 1992

Chapter F. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Marina district

During the earthquake, a total land area of about 4,300 km2 was shaken with seismic intensities that can cause significant damage to structures. The area of the Marina District of San Francisco is only 4.0 km2--less than 0.1 percent of the area most strongly affected by the earthquake--but its significance with respect to engineering, seismology,...

O'Rourke, Thomas D.
Chapter F. The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Marina District; 1992; PP; 1551-F; The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Strong Ground Motion and Ground Failure; Edited by O'Rourke, Thomas D.

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Year Published: 1992

The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Strong ground motion and ground failure

Professional Paper 1551 describes the effects at the land surface caused by the Loma Prieta earthquake. These effects: include the pattern and characteristics of strong ground shaking, liquefaction of both floodplain deposits along the Pajaro and Salinas Rivers in the Monterey Bay region and sandy artificial fills along the margins of San...

Coordinated by Holzer, Thomas L.
The Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake of October 17, 1989: Strong Ground Motion and Ground Failure; 1992; PP; 1551; Coordinated by Holzer, Thomas L.

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Year Published: 1991

The Loma Prieta earthquake, ground motion, and damage in Oakland, Treasure Island, and San Francisco

The basis of this study is the acceleration, velocity, and displacement wave-forms of the Loma Prieta earthquake (18 October 1989; M = 7.0) at two rock sites in San Francisco, a rock site on Yerba Buena Island, an artificial-fill site on Treasure Island, and three sites in Oakland underlain by thick sections of poorly consolidated Pleistocene...

Hanks, Thomas C.; Brady, A. Gerald

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Year Published: 1990

Ascension-Monterey Canyon system: history and development

No abstract available.

Greene, H. Gary; Hicks, Karen R.
Ascension-Monterey Canyon system: history and development; 1990; Book chapter; Book; Geology and tectonics of the central California coastal region; Greene, H. Gary; Hicks, Karen R.

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Year Published: 1990

National water summary 1987: Hydrologic events and water supply and use

Water use in the United States, as measured by freshwater withdrawals in 1985, averaged 338,000 Mgal/d (million gallons per day), which is enough water to cover the 48 conterminous States to a depth of about 2.4 inches. Only 92,300 Mgal/d, or 27.3 percent of the water withdrawn, was consumptive use and thus lost to immediate further use; the...

Carr, Jerry E.; Chase, Edith B.; Paulson, Richard W.; Moody, David W.
National water summary 1987: hydrologic events and water supply and use; 1990; WSP; 2350; Carr, Jerry E.; Chase, Edith B.; Paulson, Richard W.; Moody, David W.

Filter Total Items: 1,109
A series of images showing a steep cliff along the coast from two different dates and the change between them.
June 14, 2017

Mud Creek 2017 May 27-June 13 Erosion View 1

In 2017, the massive Mud Creek landslide buried a quarter-mile of the famous coastal route, California’s Highway 1, with rocks and dirt more than 65 feet deep. USGS monitors erosion along the landslide-prone cliffs of Big Sur, collecting aerial photos frequently throughout the year. By analyzing overlapping photos, they made precise maps of the slopes and calculated

...
Illustration shows how photos over a landslide are used to create a digital model for comparison over time.
May 31, 2017

Measuring topographic change with 4D photogrammetry

Provisional data subject to revision. From the USGS Remote Sensing Coastal Change Project, illustration describes how the USGS measures topographic change with 4D photogrammetry utilizing the techniques of Warrick et al., 2017. A digital terrain model of a coastal cliff is shown with its ground control points. The figure shows the locations in space where aerial

...
A series of images takes a tour of the area of a large catastrophic landslide and shows the unstable slope before the event.
May 31, 2017

Mud Creek topographic point clouds

Imagery shows topographic point clouds from photos, first from September 11, 2015 courtesy of California Coastal Records Project, second from March 8, 2017 (USGS photo), third from May 19, 2017 (USGS photo), and fourth from May 27, 2017 (USGS photo) 7 days following the catastrophic Highway 1 landslide. Last image shows the change in topography from the 2015 photo

...
3D maps created by computer processing of air photos show what the Mud Creek area looked like before and after the landslide
May 27, 2017

3D maps of air photos show views from before and after the landslide

Topographic “point clouds” (or 3D maps) created by computer processing of air photos show what the Mud Creek area looked like on March 8, 2017 (top), May 19 (center), and May 27 (bottom).

View from the sky of a steep mountainous coastline with a massive landslide that's taken out the road.
May 27, 2017

Mud Creek landslide May 27 2017

View from an airplane looking at the Mud Creek landslide on the Big Sur coast that occurred May 20, 2017.

May 25, 2017

PubTalk 5/2017 — Underwater secrets of the Hayward fault zone

Title: Underwater Secrets of the Hayward Fault Zone: Integrated 3D imaging to understand earthquake hazards 

  • Underwater imaging provides a unique opportunity to study urban fault hazards.
  • How do we link surface structures to depths where earthquakes occur?
  • How does "acoustic trenching" help us understand earthquake history?
View of a beach from up high on a roof with a pier, gentle waves, lots of people on the sand, amusement park in background.
May 18, 2017

Santa Cruz Main Beach

Still-image from video camera atop the Dream Inn looks eastward over Main Beach and boardwalk in Santa Cruz, CA.

Man in orange vest stands knee-deep in stream with a net
May 15, 2017

An ecologist uses a net to collect a sample of aquatic invertebrates

As part of the Regional Stream Quality Assessments (RSQA), hydrologists, ecologists, and technicians did ecological surveys of aquatic biota and stream habitat.  Here, an ecologist uses a net to collect a sample of aquatic invertebrates for ennumeration and identification.

Stormwater flows from a graffiti-decorated outfall into urban Sausal Creek
May 14, 2017

Urban outfall to Sausal Creek

Graffiti adorns an outfall pipe discharging stormwater into Sausal Creek. Sausal Creek was one of the many urban creeks sampled by the Regional Stream Quality Assessment (RSQA).

Hydrologic technician holds up tile colonized by biofilm
May 13, 2017

Biofilms colonize a deployed tile

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

Attribution: Water Resources
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.

Filter Total Items: 985
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. 

USGS
May 9, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. – Many Bay Area residents know what it’s like to experience an earthquake, but fewer of them know why earthquakes happen. The concepts behind earthquakes and living safely in earthquake country are as simple as a fishing line hooked to a stack of bricks, explains USGS geophysicist Ross Stein, whose family-friendly seismic demos and models are part of the...

USGS
May 7, 2012

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, Calif. -- For the first time, scientists have measured the amounts of mercury flowing into the San Francisco estuary from tidal wetlands using a new technique that can measure concentrations of mercury in water every few minutes, which is essential for understanding mercury flows in a complex tidal estuarine environment. 

USGS
May 3, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. – Education and entertainment await visitors of all ages at the U.S. Geological Survey's Menlo Park Campus Open House on Saturday, May 19 and Sunday, May 20, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

USGS
April 16, 2012

Building an Earthquake Early Warning System for California

USGS
March 22, 2012

SAN DIEGO —Organic solvents were detected at high concentrations in 18 percent of the aquifer system used for public supply in the San Fernando and San Gabriel basins. However, groundwater is not directly used as drinking water; water purveyors may treat groundwater before delivering it to customers to ensure compliance with water quality standards.

USGS
March 20, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. Decisions made by the global community about emissions will directly impact the future of the western United States.  On March 22nd, Tom Suchanek, U.S. Geological Survey climate change coordinator, will discuss how increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide might affect human land-use and environmental systems in California and the Bay Area. 

USGS
March 8, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif.— The El Mayor-Cucapah earthquake in northern Baja California, Mexico on April 4, 2010 triggered surface movement on several Southern California faults. Detailed mapping of these small movements by the U.S. Geological Survey, California Geological Survey, and other institutions, revealed previously unknown faults in the greater Salton Sea area...

USGS
February 29, 2012

SACRAMENTO, Calif.— Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey have, for the first time, demonstrated how aquifer composition can affect how excessive levels of phosphorous (an essential nutrient contained in fertilizers) can be carried from fertilized agricultural fields via groundwater to streams and waterways.