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

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.

News

Date published: November 30, 2020

Recent Coastal and Marine Fieldwork - October-November 2020

Learn more about the recent field activities completed by scientists in the Coastal and Marine Hazards and Resources Program at the USGS, and explore the Science Projects that guide this fieldwork.

Date published: November 27, 2020

EROS’ Kurtis Nelson Deploys to California to Help Battle Woodward Fire

In his regular job, EROS Scientist Kurtis Nelson manages post-fire mapping activities at EROS—the largest being Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity, and the Department of Interior’s (DOI) Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) support. But for 21 days this past August and September, he did something more.

Date published: November 12, 2020

Volcano Watch — Kīlauea’s key—Using Hawaiian eruptions to understand volcanism in northern California

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has 5 volcano observatories tasked with monitoring low to high threat volcanoes throughout the United States. 

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Date published: November 24, 2020
Status: Active

2009 Station Fire, Dunsmore Canyon, Glendale, California

Recent Monitoring Data

Date published: November 24, 2020
Status: Active

2009 Station Fire, Arroyo Seco, Pasadena, CA Landslide Monitoring Site

Recent Monitoring Data

Date published: November 23, 2020
Status: Active

San Francisco Bay Area - Santa Cruz Mountains, CA (BALT-CZU)

Landslides in the San Francisco Bay Area of California impact people, infrastructure, and the environmnent, and are commonly induced by intense or prolonged rainfall associated with strong winter storms.

Contacts: Brian Collins
Date published: November 23, 2020
Status: Active

San Francisco Bay Area – Santa Cruz Mountains, CA (BALT-CZU) - Recent Conditions

Recent Monitoring Data

Date published: November 18, 2020
Status: Active

Marine Minerals Laboratory

In the Marine Minerals Laboratory Suite at the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California, we have an X-ray diffractometer (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectrophotometer, rock saw, shatterbox, and petrographic microscopes. Here we do mineral identification and classification, molecular identification

Date published: November 17, 2020
Status: Active

Multi-Sensor Core Logger Laboratory

The MSCL at the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (PCMSC) in Santa Cruz, California automatically measures P-wave velocity, magnetic susceptibility, electrical resistivity, and gamma density at intervals from 1 millimeter to 1 centimeter along cores up to 1.5 meters long. The device can also automatically line-scan photograph cores that have been split, at a resolution of 10...

Date published: November 17, 2020
Status: Active

Radiochemistry Laboratory

In the radiochemistry lab at the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California, we process samples for natural radioisotope detection to age-date geologic materials. We have two HPGe gamma well detectors, four RADDEC delayed coincidence counters, 16 alpha spec counters, and 10 RAD7 field portable radon 222Rn monitors.

Date published: November 17, 2020
Status: Active

Organic Geochemistry Laboratory

The geochemical laboratory suite at the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California, includes a cold storage room, preparation lab, extraction lab, and instrumentation lab. Analyses in the extraction and instrumentation labs include extraction, identification, and quantification of biomarkers and contaminants of sediments, oils, tars, and other organic rich...

Date published: November 17, 2020
Status: Active

Trace Inorganic Geochemistry Laboratory

In the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center’s Trace Inorganic Geochemistry Laboratory in Santa Cruz, California, we have an ultrapurification water system, CEM MarsX, and two Class-100 laminar air flow benches for sediment-geochemical provenance studies and organic matter sourcing.

Date published: November 16, 2020
Status: Active

Using Video Imagery to Study Coastal Change: Sunset State Beach

Two video cameras overlook the coast at Sunset State Beach in Watsonville, California. Camera 1 looks northwest while Camera 2 looks north. The cameras are part of the Remote Sensing Coastal Change project.

Date published: November 12, 2020
Status: Active

Sediment Lab Suite and Carbon Analysis Lab

At our Science Center, we have a suite of laboratories that we affectionately call the "sed lab." The sed lab really consists of 5 labs, arranged next to each other to allow our lab technicians to easily move back and forth between them while processing sediment samples: Sediment Preparation Lab, Fine Particle Analysis Lab, Settling Tubes Lab, Fume Hood Lab, and Carbon Analysis Lab.

Date published: November 10, 2020
Status: Active

Quaternary Hydroclimate Records of Spring Ecosystems

Desert springs and wetlands are among the most biologically productive, diverse, and fragile ecosystems on Earth. They are home to thousands of rare, endemic, and endangered plants and animals and reflect the availability and health of emergent groundwater. Despite the ecological importance of these wetlands, our knowledge of how they might respond to predicted future climate change is limited...

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Date published: October 27, 2020

Electron microprobe analyses of hydrothermal muscovite crystals from gold-bearing quartz veins of the Klamath Mountains, California, 2014 and 2019

This data release provides geochemical results of in situ electron probe microanalyses of hydrothermal muscovite associated with gold-bearing quartz veins from the Klamath Mountains, California. Samples were collected from eight different mines in the summer of 2013 and electron probe microanalyses were carried out May 27, 2014 and November 12, 2019.

Date published: September 8, 2020

Assessment of water-quality in the California Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta during a North Delta directed flow action: August - October 2018

This report documents the spatial and temporal variability of nutrients and related water quality parameters at high spatial resolution in the North Delta in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta of California, USA. The data set includes nitrate, ammonium, phosphate, dissolved organic carbon, temperature, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, and chlorophyll . Data-collect

Date published: September 3, 2020

Southwestern Willow Flycatcher Habitat Viewer

The Flycatcher Habitat Viewer was developed to meet the needs of organizations by providing maps of predicted flycatcher breeding habitat throughout its range. Maps are provided from 2013 to present and cover 57 satellite scenes. Maps identify predicted flycatcher habitat based upon the amount of green vegetation within a 120-m radius of each cell, and the size of floodplain within a 360-m...

Date published: September 1, 2020

Discharge, nutrient, and suspended sediment data for selected streams in the Lake Tahoe watershed

A time series of nutrient and mean daily discharge data were used to create models of daily concentration and loads for selected streams of the Lake Tahoe watershed. A total of 15 sites have records ranging from as early as 1972 to 2017. Nutrients in the data set include nitrate, ammonium, Kjeldahl Nitrogen, orthophosphate, and total phosphorus. Total suspended sediment concentrations a

Date published: August 31, 2020

Scientific observations of fishes in tidal wetlands of the upper Sacramento San Joaquin Delta using imaging sonar devices, derived from 2018 field data

Major tidal wetland habitat restoration efforts are planned to benefit Delta Smelt and other imperiled species in the Sacramento-San-Joaquin Delta. However, successful implementation of habitat restoration is constrained by a paucity of information on the services and functions tidal wetlands provide for fishes. This knowledge gap is largely due to the difficulties of collecting ecological...

Date published: August 26, 2020

Geochemical data used in the tungsten skarn mineral resource assessment of the Great Basin region of western Nevada and eastern California

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has undertaken a mineral resources assessment for tungsten for a portion of the Great Basin in parts of western Nevada and east-central California. This data release provides the Great Basin Tungsten Database: the geospatial and geologic data, and results of chemical analyses for 46,955 samples collected in the assessment area, extracted from the USGS

Date published: August 25, 2020

Daily Basin Characterization Model (BCM) archive for Humboldt Bay/Eel River

This data set includes: 1) A shapefile of the Humboldt Bay Eel River (HBER) 13 sub watersheds, 2) A shape file of the streamflow gages used in calibration, and 3) Daily Basin Characterization Model (BCM) model climate inputs (minimum and maximum air temperature, precipitation, and potential evapotranspiration) and outputs of recharge and runoff for the year 2010 used t

Date published: August 25, 2020

Underwater Videographic Observations of Cultured Delta Smelt in Field Enclosures: Video clips and Summary data

All data is part of a pilot study aimed to observe Delta Smelt behavior within enclosures deployed in the wild. The enclosures used were designed by The California Department of Water Resources and UC Davis as part of their ongoing Delta Smelt enclosure deployment studies. Study 1: This data includes 16 17:43 minute videos of observations of Delta Smelt behavior in a floating field enclosu...

Date published: August 20, 2020

Pesticide constituent data from the California Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment Program Priority Basin Project (GAMA-PBP), August 2013 - May 2018, schedule 2437 constituents

This Data release presents results for pesticide constituents in 460 samples collected from domestic and public-supply wells in August 2013-May 2018 for the California Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment Program Priority Basin Project (GAMA-PBP). The samples were analyzed for 225 pesticide constituents on USGS National Water Quality Laboratory analytical schedule 2437. Results from...

Date published: August 17, 2020

Aerial imagery and structure-from-motion derived data products from UAS survey of the Liberty Island Conservation Bank Wildlands restoration site, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California, October 2018

Unmanned aerial systems were used to acquire high-resolution imagery of the Liberty Island Conservation Bank Wildlands restoration site in the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta in California, with the goal of using structure-from-motion photogrammetric techniques to derive a digital surface model, orthomosaic imagery, and a topographic point cloud. The survey was conducted using two Department of...

Date published: August 14, 2020

Bay-Delta Regional Monitoring Program | Nutrient Mapping

Data visualization tool created for California's Bay-Delta Regional Monitoring Program.  This web applicaton visualizes nutrients and phytoplankton spatially and temporally.

Date published: August 11, 2020

Projected responses of the coastal water table for California using present-day and future sea-level rise scenarios

Coastal groundwater levels (heads) can increase with sea level rise (SLR) where shallow groundwater floats on underlying seawater. In some areas coastal groundwater could rise almost as much as SLR, but where rising groundwater intersects surface drainage features, the increase will be less. Numerical modeling can provide insight into coastal areas that may be more or less vulnerable to...

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nightly view of highway with large cracks from earthquake and car in the distance.
December 4, 2020

This USGS geonarrative (Esri Story Map) summarizes the USGS response and findings after the M6.4 on July 4 and M7.1 on July 6, 2019 in Searles Valley, Southern California, and includes links to USGS research publications and data releases.

bluegreen algae distribution map
August 7, 2020

A data visualization exploring the relationship between nutrient distribution and phytoplankton under different conditions across the San Francisco Delta and Estuary. Assessing distribution and abundance aids understanding of how managing nutrient supplies affects aquatic food webs, helping managers evaluate the potential environmental benefits of future nutrient reduction efforts against costs.

screen shot of Bay-Delta web app that visualizes water quality data
August 6, 2020

Data visualization tool created for California's Bay-Delta Regional Monitoring Program.  This web application visualizes nutrients and phytoplankton spatially and temporally for data collected in 2018.

This is a map of the Southwest US with RestoreNet sites in six ecoregions.
May 14, 2020

RestoreNet is a networked ecological experiment on the cutting-edge of restoration science. The experiment sites span dryland ecoystems of the southwest U.S.

Black and grey map of the contiguous 48 states shaded by the number of people using domestic wells per square kilometer (2010)
April 23, 2020

Domestic wells provide drinking water supply for approximately 40 million people in the United States. Knowing the location of these wells, and the populations they serve, is important for identifying heavily used aquifers, locations susceptible to contamination, and populations potentially impacted by poor-quality groundwater. 

volcano exposure storymap
April 1, 2020

A geonarrative summary of the USGS report that provides a broad perspective on California’s exposure to volcanic hazards. By integrating volcanic hazard information with geospatial data on populations, infrastructure, and resources, the results provide estimates of impacts to people and our environment if an eruption were to occur.

screenshot of the user interface for the groundwater quality mapper
March 25, 2020

The GAMA-PBP Public-Supply Well Results data viewer allows the user to visualize and download California water-quality data and trends for1974 - 2014. Groundwater-quality data for 38 inorganic constituents are captured and can be downloaded for individual sites or by grid cell. 

Figure 4 for Southwestern Willow Flycatcher Habitat Viewer webpage
March 12, 2020

Figure 4. Yearly Distribution (2007-2019) of Tamarisk Beetle (Diorhabda spp.). Annual tamarisk beetle distribution map. Provided by RiversEdge West. 2020. Used with permission from Ben Bloodgood, Program Coordinator.

Bathymetry of Monterey Canyon and the Soquel Canyon tributary
February 28, 2020

The California Seafloor Mapping Program (CSMP) is a cooperative program to create a comprehensive coastal and marine geologic and habitat base map series for California's State waters. Initiated in 2008, the CSMP has collected bathymetry and backscatter data that are being turned into habitat and geologic base maps.

Map of California showing the sections of the coast where the USGS has generated computer models of storm impacts.
February 28, 2020

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 SLR scenarios, as well as long-term shoreline change and cliff retreat. Several versions of CoSMoS have been implemented for areas of the California coast.

scrublands with hills in the background
February 21, 2020

A portal for easy access to USGS data collected during hydrogeologic research projects in Anza Valley, CA

maps of Anza Valley, CA comparing land use in 1934 to 2005
February 21, 2020

Compares Anza Valley, CA land use data within the USGS study boundaries for 5 time periods between 1934 and 2005.

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Year Published: 2020

Localized fault-zone dilatancy and surface inelasticity of the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquakes

Earthquakes produce a spectrum of elastic and inelastic deformation processes that are reflected across various length and time scales. While elasticity has long dominated research assumptions in active tectonics, increasing interest has focused on the inelastic characteristics of earthquakes, particularly those of the surface fault rupture zone...

Barnhart, William D.; Gold, Ryan D.; Hollingsworth, James

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Year Published: 2020

Developing post-alert messaging for ShakeAlert, the earthquake early warning system for the West Coast of the United States of America

As ShakeAlert, the earthquake early warning system for the West Coast of the U.S., begins its transition to operational public alerting, we explore how post-alert messaging might represent system performance. Planned post-alert messaging can provide timely, crucial information to both emergency managers and ShakeAlert operators as well as...

McBride, Sara; Bostrom, Ann; Sutton, Jeannette; deGroot, Robert Michael; Baltay, Annemarie S.; Terbush, Brian; Bodin, Paul; Dixon, Maximilian; Holland, Emily; Arba, Ryan; Laustsen, Paul C.; Liu, Sophia; Vinci, Margaret

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Year Published: 2020

Increasing threat of coastal groundwater hazards from sea-level rise in California

Projected sea-level rise will raise coastal water tables, resulting in groundwater hazards that threaten shallow infrastructure and coastal ecosystem resilience. Here we model a range of sea-level rise scenarios to assess the responses of water tables across the diverse topography and climates of the California coast. With 1 m of sea-level rise,...

Befus, K.M.; Barnard, Patrick L.; Hoover, Daniel J.; Finzi Hart, Juliette; Voss, Clifford I.

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Year Published: 2020

A stress-similarity triggering model for aftershocks of the MW6.4 and MW7.1 Ridgecrest earthquakes

The July 2019 Mw">Mw 6.4 and 7.1 Ridgecrest earthquakes triggered numerous aftershocks, including clusters of off‐fault aftershocks in an extensional stepover of the Garlock fault, near the town of Olancha, and near Panamint Valley. The locations of the off‐fault aftershocks are consistent with the stress‐similarity model of triggering,...

Hardebeck, Jeanne L.

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Year Published: 2020

Evidence of previous faulting along the 2019 Ridgecrest, California earthquake ruptures

The July 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake sequence in southeastern California was characterized as surprising because only ~35% of the rupture occurred on previously mapped faults. Employing more detailed inspection of pre-event high-resolution topography and imagery in combination with field observations, we document evidence of active faulting in the...

Thompson Jobe, Jessica; Philibosian, Belle; Chupik, Colin; Dawson, Timothy E.; Bennett, Scott E. K.; Gold, Ryan D.; Duross, Christopher; Ladinsky, Tyler C.; Kendrick, Katherine; Haddon, Elizabeth; Pierce, Ian; Swanson, Brian J.; Seitz, Gordon G.

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Year Published: 2020

Human behavioral response in the Ridgecrest earthquakes: Assessing immediate actions based on data from “Did You Feel It?”

Human behavioral response to earthquake ground motion has long been a subject of multidisciplinary interest and research. In most versions of seismic intensity scales, human perceptions and behavior are one component of the assignment of intensity. Public health research has shown that actions taken during earthquakes have a significant impact on...

Goltz, James D.; Park, Hyejeong; Quitoriano, Vince; Wald, David J.

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Year Published: 2020

The predictive skills of elastic Coulomb rate-and-state aftershock forecasts during the 2019 Ridgecrest, California, earthquake sequence

Operational earthquake forecasting protocols commonly use statistical models for their recognized ease of implementation and robustness in describing the short-term spatiotemporal patterns of triggered seismicity. However, recent advances on physics-based aftershock forecasting reveal comparable performance to the standard statistical counterparts...

Mancini, Simone; Segou, Margarita; Werner, Maximillian J; Parsons, Thomas E.

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Year Published: 2020

Surface displacement distributions for the July 2019 Ridgecrest, California earthquake ruptures

Surface rupture in the 2019 Ridgecrest, California, earthquake sequence occurred along two orthogonal cross faults and includes dominantly left‐lateral and northeast‐striking rupture in the Mw">Mw 6.4 foreshock and dominantly right‐lateral and northwest‐striking rupture in the Mw">Mw 7.1 mainshock. We present &gt...

Duross, Christopher; Gold, Ryan D.; Dawson, Timothy E.; Scharer, Katherine; Kendrick, Katherine; Akciz, Sinan; Angster, Stephen J.; Bachhuber, Jeffery; Bacon, Steven; Bennett, Scott E. K.; Blair, Luke; Brooks, Benjamin A.; Bullard, Thomas; Burgess, W. Paul; Chupik, Colin; DeFrisco, Michael; Delano, Jaime; Dolan, James D.; Frost, Erik; Graehl, Nick; Haddon, Elizabeth; Hatem, Alexandra Elise; Hernandez, Janis; Hitchcock, Christopher S.; Hudnut, Kennth; Thompson Jobe, Jessica; Koehler, Richard D; Kozaci, Ozgur; Ladinsky, Tyler C.; Madugo, Christopher; McPhillips, Devin; Milliner, Christopher; Morelan, Alexander; Olson, Brian; Patton, Jason; Philibosian, Belle; Pickering, Alexandra J.; Pierce, Ian; Ponti, Daniel J.; Seitz, Gordon G.; Spangler, Eleanor; Swanson, Brian J.; Thomas, Kate; Treiman, Jerome; Valencia, Francesca; Williams, Alana; Zinke, Robert

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Year Published: 2020

Peak ground velocity spatial variability revealed by dense seismic array in southern California

Understanding and modeling variability of ground motion is essential for building accurate and precise ground motion prediction equations, which can net site‐specific characterization and reduced hazard levels. Here, we explore the spatial variability in peak ground velocity (PGV) at Sage Brush Flats along the San Jacinto Fault in southern...

Johnson, Christopher E; Kilb, Debi; Baltay, Annemarie S.; Vernon, Frank

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Year Published: 2020

Submarine canyons, slope failures and mass transport processes in southern Cascadia

The marine turbidite record along the southern Cascadia Subduction Zone has been used to interpret paleoseismicity and suggest a shorter recurrence interval for large (>M7) earthquakes along this portion of the margin; however, the sources and pathways of these turbidity flows are poorly constrained. We examine the spatial distribution of...

Hill, Jenna C.; Watt, Janet; Brothers, Daniel; Kluesner, Jared

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Year Published: 2020

2018 U.S. Geological Survey–California Geological Survey fault-imaging surveys across the Hollywood and Santa Monica Faults, Los Angeles County, California

We acquired multiple types of seismic data across the Hollywood Fault in Hollywood, Calif., and the Santa Monica Fault in Beverly Hills, Calif., in May and June 2018. On the basis of our data, we infer near-surface locations of various traces of these faults.From two separate profiles across the Hollywood Fault, we evaluated multiple seismic...

Catchings, Rufus D.; Hernandez, Janis; Goldman, Mark R.; Chan, Joanne H.; Sickler, Robert R.; Olson, Brian; Criley, Coyn J.
Catchings, R.D., Hernandez, J., Goldman, M.R., Chan, J.H., Sickler, R.R., Olson, B., and Criley, C.J., 2020, 2018 U.S. Geological Survey–California Geological Survey fault-imaging surveys across the Hollywood and Santa Monica Faults, Los Angeles County, California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020–1049, 42 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20201049.

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Year Published: 2020

Airborne lidar and electro-optical imagery along surface ruptures of the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake sequence, Southern California

Surface rupture from the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake sequence, initially associated with the M 6.4 foreshock, occurred on July 4 on a ~17 km long, northeast-southwest oriented, left-lateral zone of faulting. Following the M 7.1 mainshock on July 5 (local time), extensive northwest-southeast-oriented, right-lateral faulting was then also mapped...

Brooks, Benjamin A.; Scharer, Katherine; Hernandez, Janis; Dawson, Timothy E.; Oskin, Mike; Arrowsmith, Ramon; Goulet, Christine A.; Blake, Kelly; Boggs, Matt; Bork, Stephan; Glennie, Craig; Fernandez-Diaz, J.C.; Singhania, Abhinav; Hauser, Darren L.; Sorhus, Sven; Hudnut, Kenneth W.; Brooks, Benjamin A.; Scharer, Katherine M.; Hernandez, Janis L.; Dawson, Timothy E.; Oskin, Michael E.; Arrowsmith, J. Ramon; Goulet, Christine A.; Blake, Kelly; Boggie, Matthew A.; Bork, Stephan; Craig L. Glennie; Fernandez-Diaz, J.C.; Singhania, Abhinav; Hauser, Darren; Sorhus, Sven

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Image of a coastal cliff with lines drawn on it, that help to define the shape and areas of weakness.
August 19, 2020

The Cliff Feature Delineation Tool scans digital elevation models (DEM) to delineate features on seacliffs like the cliff top, midline, toe, and convexities/concavities on the cliff face, outputting linear features as polylines and point shapefiles. 

One-Water Hydrologic Flow Model cross section
April 7, 2020

The MODLFOW One-Water Hydrologic Flow Model (MF-OWHM) (MF-OWHM; Boyce and others, 2020Hanson and others, 2014) is a MODFLOW-2005-based integrated hydrologic flow model (IHM) that is the most complete version, to date, of the MODFLOW family of hydrologic simulators needed for the analysis of a broad range of conjunctive-use issues. 

Screenshot of GAMACTT web application.
January 24, 2020

Use this Groundwater Age Mixtures and Contaminant Trends Tool (GAMACTT) to explore the effects of basic aquifer properties and well configurations on groundwater age mixtures in groundwater discharge and on contaminant trends from varying nonpoint-source contaminant input scenarios.

4 graphs displaying example output from the TracerLPM software
January 15, 2020

An Excel® Workbook for Interpreting Groundwater Age Distributions from Environmental Tracer Data

multicolored map of Ocean Shores, Washington
April 13, 2017

The Pedestrian Evacuation Analyst is an ArcGIS extension that estimates how long it would take for someone to travel on foot out of a hazardous area that was threatened by a sudden event such as a tsunami, flash flood, or volcanic lahar. It takes into account the elevation changes and the different types of landcover that a person would encounter along the way.

MODPATH-OBS_distance-direction-observations_USGS-hydrologic-modelling
April 26, 2013

The MODPATH-OBS (Hanson and others, 2013) computer program is designed to calculate simulated equivalents for observations related to advective groundwater transport that can be represented in a quantitative way by using simulated particle-tracking data. 

map of the central valley with the CVHM grid cells overlaid, and a cross section of the subsurface
August 27, 2012

The Central Valley Hydrologic Model (CVHM) is an extensive, detailed three-dimensional (3D) computer model of the hydrologic system of the Central Valley (Faunt, 2009). The Central Valley Hydrologic Model (CVHM) simultaneously accounts for changing water supply and demand across the landscape, and simulates surface water and groundwater flow across the entire Central Valley.

subsurface grid showing relationship surface water and groundwater recharge
June 19, 2008

A Grid-Based, Distributed-Parameter Watershed Model to Estimate Net Infiltration Below the Root Zone

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A dark image looking down from a vegetated coastal bluff at a sandy beach and the ocean.
November 19, 2020

Sunset State Beach Variance Image

Far out, man... where science meets art

This is an image produced from one of two video cameras, which were installed to overlook the coast at Sunset State Beach in Watsonville, California. The cameras are part of the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center’s 

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A man wearing safety gear and a warm hat sits in a pontoon boat in very calm water setting up equipment, bridge in background.
September 29, 2020

Portable single-beam echo sounder set-up

Marine engineering technician Pete Dal Ferro sets up a newly acquired, portable, single-beam echo sounder on the San Lorenzo River in Santa Cruz, California. The new device, called CEESCOPE, collects bathymetric (depth) data and also records features of the subsurface. All the components are easy for one person to set up and operate, with GPS and an LCD touch screen. This

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A small inflatable boat sits on a towing platform with big wheels, on sand in front of an elevated amusement park ride.
September 29, 2020

Ready for nearshore survey

The USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center's new inflatable boat equipped with a portable, single beam, shallow-water echo sounder used for nearshore surveys. USGS scientists collect such data seasonally, to study sediment input and movement in and around Monterey Bay area beaches.

Click on image for full description.
September 16, 2020

GeoDAWN: Geoscience Data Acquisition for Western Nevada

The USGS Earth Mapping Resources Initiative and USGS 3D Elevation Program (3DEP), Department of Energy Geothermal Technologies Office, Natural Resources Conservation Services, and Bureau of Land Management have partnered to conduct airborne geophysical and 3DEP lidar surveys over parts of Nevada and California to collect information on undiscovered geothermal, critical

...
September 11, 2020

Image of the Week - Summer Fires Rage in California

As fire season continues in the western United States let's look back at a number of incidents tracked by officials across California in August. These fires were captured during the day by Landsats 7 and 8, in natural color bands of the visible spectrum. Landsat sensors also record infrared wavelengths revealing burn scars and active fires. Natural color images show smoke

A map illustration of the seafloor off of a coastal area, that shows the features like submarine canyons and depth.
August 14, 2020

Offshore northern California bathymetric map

Bathymetric map of offshore northern California reveals seafloor features and submarine canyons.

A map shows relief of a long stretch of continental margin with features on land and in the ocean labeled with lines and words.
August 14, 2020

Cascadia megathrust fault map

Topo-bathymetric map of the Cascadia subduction zone. Cascadia megathrust fault (white line); approximate shelf break along 200-m isobath (yellow line); MTJ, Mendocino triple junction.

Map illustration of the seafloor off the continental coastline shows all of the regions and tracklines of recent fieldwork.
August 14, 2020

Cascadia fieldwork map

Index map of U.S. Cascadia margin showing where data have been collected since 2018 as part of the Subduction Zone Marine Geohazards Project. Details of each survey effort are provided on the Cascadia Subduction Zone Marine Geohazards project web site.

June 19, 2020

Remembering Ridgecrest

Reflections on the Ridgecrest earthquake sequence one year after from a few USGS employees. Employees discuss when they first heard about the magnitude 6.4 and notable professional experiences that happened afterwards.
 

June 11, 2020

Land Treatment Exploration Tool: A Quick Introduction

This is a quick introduction video to the Land Treatment Exploration Tool. This short video includes a summary of the tool with screen clips of the fact sheet, web tool, and an example Site Characterization Report.

These tutorial videos were created to aid in the use of the Land Treatment Exploration Tool (LTET). These videos

June 11, 2020

Land Treatment Exploration Tool—Step 1: Describe Proposed Treatment

This video describes Step 1 of the Land Treatment Exploration Tool. In Step 1 the user defines a name, the planned treatment/s, and a file name for exported items.

These tutorial videos were created to aid in the use of the Land Treatment Exploration Tool (LTET). These videos guide a user through the main steps of the tool.

June 11, 2020

Land Treatment Exploration Tool — Step 2: Select Treatment Boundary

This video describes Step 2 of the Land Treatment Exploration Tool. In Step 2 the user defines their planned treatment boundary. The user can load a zipped shapefile or on-screen digitize their boundary.  

These tutorial videos were created to aid in the use of the Land Treatment Exploration Tool (LTET). These videos guide a

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Dots on map of United States show general locations where scientists recently conducted fieldwork.
November 30, 2020

Learn more about the recent field activities completed by scientists in the Coastal and Marine Hazards and Resources Program at the USGS, and explore the Science Projects that guide this fieldwork.

color photo of helicopter over fire
November 27, 2020

In his regular job, EROS Scientist Kurtis Nelson manages post-fire mapping activities at EROS—the largest being Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity, and the Department of Interior’s (DOI) Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) support. But for 21 days this past August and September, he did something more.

Colored, shaded-relief terrain map of Brushy Butte Volcano
November 12, 2020

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has 5 volcano observatories tasked with monitoring low to high threat volcanoes throughout the United States. 

Newly formed wetland that formed as the Salton Sea level lowers
November 5, 2020

In the past decade, Salton Sea water elevation has declined due to drought, lining of canals, and changes to management of the Colorado River. This has resulted in the creation of new wetlands caused by drains and rivers no longer reaching the Salton Sea.

map of swarm area showing earthquakes as circles
September 30, 2020

A swarm of earthquakes southeast of the Salton Sea, in the Brawley seismic zone, began on Sept. 30, 2020.

Forecast last updated October 7, 2020 at 8:00am PDT.

Two maps illustrate two states of computer modeling scenarios around a large bay and coastal area.
September 30, 2020

A new model that combines sea-level rise scenarios and information about associated groundwater level responses shows that coastal water tables will rise as groundwater levels are pushed up by landward intrusions of seawater due to sea-level rise.

Hells Canyon on the Snake River
September 28, 2020

SPARROW mappers are interactive tools that allow users to evaluate streamflow and nutrient and sediment conditions as well as the importance of different sources of contaminants in a selected river basin. Data can be visualized at different scales using maps and interactive graphs and tables.

USGS scientist conducting research on the San Francisco Bay‐Delta
September 18, 2020

The health of the San Francisco Bay‐Delta depends on a sediment supply that has been recently declining due to sediment trapping in upstream reservoirs. Reduced sediment supply increases water clarity in the Bay-Delta, which in turn influences ecological processes and aquatic life.

Image shows a photograph of Walker Lane, a region in Western Nevada
September 17, 2020

A multiagency partnership led by the USGS and the Department of Energy seeks to shed light on lithium and other critical mineral resource potential as well as geothermal energy potential in western Nevada

Image shows a geologic map of Nevada
September 16, 2020

In a joint blog post hosted by the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Rewenable Energy, DOE EERE Assistant Secretary Dan Simmons and Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Tim Petty announce a new partnership for geothermal energy and critical mineral research in western Nevada.

Animation of Growth to Pine Gulch Fire
September 3, 2020

The accumulated wildfires engulfing miles of California countryside in the late summer of 2020 are historic in their collective size: more than 500 fires burning across hundreds of thousands of acres.

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