Unified Interior Regions


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: 1,119
November 17, 2005

PubTalk 11/2005 — Shifting Shoals and Shattered Rocks


by John Chin and Florence Wong, Geologists


  • San Francisco Bay is one of the world's finest natural harbors and a major center of maritime trade
  • All ships visiting bay ports are funneled through the central bay
  • Bedrock knobs that rise from the central
October 27, 2005

PubTalk 10/2005 – Earthquake Storms

The Very Long Reach of Very Large Earthquakes

by Susan Hough, Seismologist


  • How did the 1992 Landers quake in the remote Mojave Desert change scientists' thinking about earthquake sequences?
  • What is the explanation for "aftershocks" of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake reported in Arizona?
  • How do large
Image: Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus)
October 24, 2005

Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus)

A roadrunner at the base of a old volcanic rock, near a trail in Petroglyph National Monument.

Attribution: Ecosystems
October 21, 2005

PubTalk 10/2005 — A Crack in the Edge of the World

America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906

by Simon Winchester


  • The international bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman and Kra katoa vividly brings to life the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake that leveled a city symbolic of America's relentless western expansion. Simon Winchester
September 29, 2005

PubTalk 9/200 — Toxic Mercury in Aquatic Ecosystems

Why Quality Trumps Quantity

by Mark Marvin-DiPasquale, Microbial Ecologist

  • Different mercury sources generate different forms of mercury with different environmental consequences
  • Learn how mercury is transported and transformed in air and water, and how it ultimately accumulates as toxic methylmercury in wildlife and
August 25, 2005

PubTalk — A Delicate Balance

Salt Ponds, Wetland Restoration, and Wildlife in San Francisco Bay

by A. Keith Miles and John Y. Takekawa, Wildlife Biologists 

  • Nearly 15,000 acres of salt ponds were purchased in 2003 for restoration by a partners hip of Federal, State, and non-profit organizations
  • How important are the salt ponds for migration and
June 30, 2005

PubTalk — Tsunamis

Lessons and Questions from the Indian Ocean Disaster

By Eric L. Geist, geophysicist, Bruce E. Jaffe, oceanographer, and Brian F. Atwater, geologist

  • What do computer animations reveal about transoceanic tsunamis?
  • What varied marks of its force and height did the December 26 tsunami leave in the coa stal environment?
June 14, 2005

PubTalk — Deep Freeze

The Impact of Science on U.S. Climate-Change Policy

By Judy Layzer, MIT Political Scientist, and Herman Karl, USGS Earth Scientist

  • Why have science and scientiests had so little impact on U.S. climate-change policy?
  • Hear about the present implications of past societal collapses resulting from climate change
  • Can
May 26, 2005

PubTalk — Sonoran Desert

Fragile Land of Extremes
A video presentation and discussion

Research Ecologists Cecil Schwalbe and Todd Esque will introduce the 2003 USGS video Sonoran Desert: Fragile Land of Extremes, present an update on recent research, and answer your questions. 

  • Learn about the fantastic biodiversity in North America's
Photograph shows eroding cliff in Isla Vista, California, with parts of houses hanging over edge.
April 28, 2005

Homes along the edge of the coast in Isla Vista, California

Homes along the edge of the coast in Isla Vista, California, Santa Barbara County, face a short lifespan because of eroding bluffs that support them.

April 28, 2005

PubTalk — Earthquakes at the USGS

Blowing the Lid off Seismic Science for 40 Years

Ross Stein, representing the USGS Earthquake Hazards Team 

The Parkfield earthquake of 1966 launched a torrent of research at the USGS in Menlo Park. With the San Andreas Fault as a backyard lab and global earthquakes as a guide, the USGS has changed the landscape of earthquake science

March 31, 2005

PubTalk — Commotions in the Oceans

USGS Shipboard Research Sparked Scientific Advances

By William R. Normark, and
David W. Scholl, Marine Geologists

  • Alaskan work from the Survey's M/V Eider in the 1950's led to visualizing how great earthquakes and tsunamis originate along trenches
  • In the 1970's, researchers discovered deep-sea "black
Filter Total Items: 992
June 10, 1999

It is well known that fire suppression in forests has led to an increase in catastrophic forest fires. The same has been assumed to be true for fire suppresion in shrublands. However, a recent USGS study has found that urban sprawl -- not fire suppression -- is largely responsible for the wildfires that occur in the shrublands of southern and central-coastal California.

May 12, 1999

Maps and other products of the U.S. Geological Survey will be on display,for sale and as free handouts, at the USGS booth at the Sunset Magazine open house, this weekend, May 15 and 16.

April 30, 1999

The source of tarballs in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, new views of the seafloor of Monterey Bay and new data on the San Gregorio fault are the focus of three presentations by U.S. Geological Survey scientists at the Pacific Section Meeting of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, in Monterey.

April 23, 1999

As United States Geological Survey (USGS) researchers skim the surface of the ocean in a small boat near Long Beach, a new never-before-seen view of Los Angeles is revealed.

March 26, 1999

U.S. Geological Survey scientists of the Western Ecological Research Center will report on the effects of exotic animals on native plants in Channel Islands National Park at the 5th California Islands Symposium, in Santa Barbara, Calif., Mar. 29-Apr. 1.

March 11, 1999

Chemical contamination in San Francisco Bay has decreased since enactment of the Clean Water Act in 1970, but the bay is still suffering from "contaminant stress," according to a a U.S. Geological Survey chemist who has been analyzing the bay’s waters for 30 years.

January 21, 1999

From the Gold Rush of 1849 through the 1960’s, California produced about 3,300 tons of gold, or about one-third of all U.S. gold production, but it left a legacy of detrimental environmental effects whose damage may never be fully determined, according to Roger Ashley of the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, Calif.

January 21, 1999

The environmental effects of the California gold rush and the effects of earthquakes on the urban environment are two of the topics that will be covered by scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey at this week’s annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) at the Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, Calif., Jan. 21-26, 1999.

January 19, 1999

On January 23, 1999, U.S. Geological Survey scientists Gladys Cotter, Charles van Riper III, and Henry J. Moore II will be inducted as Fellows by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) during its annual meeting in Anaheim, California.

December 17, 1998

Sitting in the darkened cab of a pick-up truck on a California Central Valley back road, research biologist Joe Fleskes of the USGS Western Ecological Research Center strained to hear the faint "beep beep beep" from his radio-tracking receiver. Somewhere out in the foggy night, the radio signal was emanating from a small transmitter worn by one of 320 ducks and geese fitted with these monitoring d

December 4, 1998

A thirty-foot-long exhibit, and several presentations will focus on changes along the west coast of the US during the 1997-98 El Nino at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, scheduled for Dec. 6-10 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California.

October 25, 1998

Observers of last winter’s El Nino storms along the Pacific Coast who might have compared the intense rainfall to a monsoon were not far off the mark.