Unified Interior Regions

Colorado

The Rocky Mountain Region ranges from the Colorado Rockies to the Western Deserts to the Great Plains. The Rocky Mountain Region conducts multi- and interdisciplinary research and monitoring in locations across the Region, the United States, around the world, and across our solar system.

States L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 207
Date published: December 8, 2016
Status: Completed

Native Pollinators in Agricultural Ecosystems

Beginning in 2012, the USGS collaborated with the USDA to assess the effectiveness of pollinator plantings and how alteration of landscapes has affected native pollinators and potentially contributed to their decline. The 2008 Farm Bill recognized contributions made by pollinators and made conservation of pollinator habitat a priority. The USGS is assessing native bee habitat, diversity, and...

Contacts: Mark Vandever
Date published: December 7, 2016
Status: Active

Uncovering the Ecosystem Service Value of Carbon Sequestration in National Parks

The National Park Service (NPS) preserves and protects more than 84 million acres of important historic, cultural, and natural resources across 401 sites for the enjoyment of present and future generations. Protected resources and landscapes managed by the National Park Service contribute to the societal welfare of the American public, reflected by ecosystem service values derived from their...

Date published: December 7, 2016
Status: Active

Higher and Farther: Patterns of Development within Protected Areas

There is a well-known bias in the location of protected areas both within the US and globally. Lands protected for conservation tend to be located on less productive soils at high elevations far from cities. USGS is exploring whether this ‘high and far’ paradigm applies within protected areas as well. That is, does human modification within lands that already have some degree of protection,...

Date published: December 4, 2016
Status: Active

Biology, Impacts and Control of Invasive Reptiles in the Everglades

Invasive species are considered to be second only to habitat degradation in terms of negative impacts on the Earth’s ecosystems, and our scientists make up a significant proportion of the global expertise in the rapidly-growing problem of invasive reptiles.

Date published: December 3, 2016
Status: Active

Ecology and Management of Invasive Riparian Plants

Due to high rates of disturbance and human activity, streamside or “riparian” areas are prone to colonization and spread of invasive plants. In the western United States, hundreds of thousands of riparian acres are occupied by the invasive shrubs/trees tamarisk and Russian olive, as well as numerous exotic herbaceous plants. Our work focuses on understanding the factors driving the...

Date published: December 3, 2016
Status: Active

Erosion and Invasive Saltcedar

Formation of arroyos in the late 1800s greatly increased erosion across the southwestern United States. Since the 1930s, however, this erosion has decreased, partly because of bank stabilization by introduced saltcedar. With Isleta Pueblo Indian Nation, the Aquatic Systems Branch developed a new sediment dating method using saltcedar tree rings. We applied the method in a landmark study of...

Date published: December 2, 2016
Status: Active

USGS Everglades Research Offices - Florida

The Daniel Beard Center in Everglades National Park provides the base for most of the field work done on the control of invasive reptiles by USGS Fort Collins Science Center staff. The team works in Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge, and other parts of the Greater Everglades Ecosystem focusing on, among other species of concern,...

Date published: December 1, 2016
Status: Active

USGS Brown Treesnake Laboratory and Rapid Response Facility - Guam

USGS scientists and staff associated with the Brown Treesnake Project are co-located at the Guam National Wildlife Refuge at the northern end of Guam in the western Pacific Ocean. Project staff work on developing and testing control tools for invasive brown treesnakes, as well as understanding their impacts on Guam's ecosystems. Project staff also lead the multi-agency Brown Treesnake Rapid...

Date published: December 1, 2016
Status: Active

Riparian Ecology

Riparian ecologists at the Fort Collins Science Center study interactions among flow, channel change, and vegetation along rivers across the western United States and worldwide. Our work focuses on issues relevant to the management of water and public lands, including dam operation, climate change, invasive species, and ecological restoration. Investigations take place on a range of scales. ...

Date published: November 29, 2016
Status: Archived

Riparian Vegetation Response to Dam Removal

Dam removal is an approach to river restoration that is becoming increasingly common. In most cases, dam removal is driven by considerations other than river restoration like dam safety, but how dam removal affects aquatic and riparian systems is of great interest in many dam removals. My work in this area has had two areas of focus thus far: 1) studies of vegetation and geomorphic change...

Date published: November 29, 2016
Status: Active

Science to Inform Riparian Ecosystem Restoration and Management

Throughout the world, riparian habitats have been dramatically modified from their natural condition. Dams, non-native species and climate change are often principal drivers of these changes, via their alteration of water and sediment regimes that determine key resources for riparian plants.

Date published: November 28, 2016
Status: Active

Biological Invasions of Riparian Ecosystems

Beginning in the early twentieth century, non-native trees and shrubs, including tamarisk (also commonly known as saltcedar) and Russian-olive, were introduced to the United States for use as ornamental plants and in erosion-control plantings. These plants spread extensively, becoming the third and fourth most frequently occurring woody riparian plants in the American West.

 

Filter Total Items: 143
Date published: November 29, 2018

Downloadable Data for Denver Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Downloadable Data for Denver Basin Oil and Gas Assessments 

Date published: November 29, 2018

Downloadable Data for Uinta-Piceance Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Downloadable Data for Uinta-Piceance Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Date published: November 29, 2018

Downloadable Data for Paradox Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Downloadable Data for Paradox Basin Oil and Gas Assessments 

Date published: November 29, 2018

Downloadable Data for San Juan Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Downloadable Data for San Juan Basin Oil and Gas Assessments 

Date published: October 30, 2018

Current Streamflow and Water-Quality Monitoring at Select Sites in the Animas and San Juan River Basins, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah

The USGS monitors current streamflow and water-quality conditions at various sites in the Animas and San Juan River Basins in Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah, including areas below the Gold King Mine release area. These streamgages provide continuous data on streamflow and select water-quality constituents including specific conductance, water temperature, pH, and turbidity.

Date published: September 30, 2018

Geospatial Data and Surface-Water Model Archive for a Flood-Inundation Mapping Study of the South Platte River at Fort Morgan, Colorado, 2018

The development and generation of the datasets that are published in this data release, were based on the methods and findings of the report: Kohn, M.S. and Patton, T.T., 2018, Flood-Inundation Maps for the South Platte River at Fort Morgan, Colorado, 2018: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2018-5114, 14 p., https://doi.org/10...

Date published: September 30, 2018

Geospatial Data for a Flood-Inundation Mapping Study of the South Platte River at Fort Morgan, Colorado, 2018

The development and generation of the datasets that are published through this data release, were based on the results and findings of the report: Kohn, M.S. and Patton, T.T., 2018, Flood-Inundation Maps for the South Platte River at Fort Morgan, Colorado, 2018: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2018-5114, 14 p., https://doi.org/10...

Date published: August 28, 2018

USGS Domestic Continuous (Unconventional) Oil & Gas Assessments, 2000-Present

Interactively explore assessment summary information for continuous (unconventional) assessments conducted at the USGS from 2000-2018. The assessment results data used to generate this visualization can be downloaded here in Excel Format.  These data represent all assessment results...

Date published: August 9, 2018

Coal drill hole database for the Little Snake River coal field and Red Desert area, Wyoming.

The U.S. Geological Survey conducted an assessment of coal resources and reserves in the Little Snake River coal field and Red Desert area of the Greater Green River Basin in Southwest Wyoming. A comprehensive database was compiled to support this assessment that includes data points for drill-holes and measured sections. Associated with these resources are lithology descriptors, (focusin...

Date published: July 31, 2018

Surface-Water Model Archive for a Flood-Inundation Mapping Study of the South Platte River at Fort Morgan, Colorado, 2018

The development and generation of the datasets that are published in this data release, were based on the methods and findings of the report: Kohn, M.S. and Patton, T.T., 2018, Flood-Inundation Maps for the South Platte River at Fort Morgan, Colorado, 2018: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2018-5114, 14 p., https://doi.org/10...

Date published: May 3, 2018

Land Treatment Exploration Tool

The Land Treatment Exploration Tool is designed for resource managers to use when planning land treatments. The tool provides useful summaries of environmental characteristics of planned treatment areas and facilitates adaptive management practices by comparing those characteristics to other similar treatments within a specified distance or area of interest. ...

Date published: April 30, 2018

Regional scale magnetotelluric data from the Rio Grande Rift and southern Rocky Mountains

This dataset consists of 102 magnetotelluric (MT) stations collected in 2012-2014 in the Rio Grande Rift and southern Rocky Mountains. The U.S. Geological Survey acquired these data to improve regional conductivity models of the western United States. This work is in support of studies of the effect of lithospheric modification on electrical resistivity structure and tectonic evolution of the...

Filter Total Items: 407
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Year Published: 2016

Rock-avalanche dynamics revealed by large-scale field mapping and seismic signals at a highly mobile avalanche in the West Salt Creek valley, western Colorado

On 25 May 2014, a rain-on-snow–induced rock avalanche occurred in the West Salt Creek valley on the northern flank of Grand Mesa in western Colorado (United States). The avalanche mobilized from a preexisting rock slide in the Green River Formation and traveled 4.6 km down the confined valley, killing three people. The avalanche was rare for the...

Coe, Jeffrey A.; Baum, Rex L.; Allstadt, Kate E.; Kochevar, Bernard; Schmitt, Robert G.; Morgan, Matthew L.; White, Jonathan L.; Stratton, Benjamin T.; Hayashi, Timothy A.; Kean, Jason W.

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Year Published: 2016

Water-quality response to a high-elevation wildfire in the Colorado Front Range

Water quality of the Big Thompson River in the Front Range of Colorado was studied for 2 years following a high‐elevation wildfire that started in October 2012 and burned 15% of the watershed. A combination of fixed‐interval sampling and continuous water‐quality monitors was used to examine the timing and magnitude of water‐quality changes caused...

Mast, Alisa; Murphy, Sheila F.; Clow, David W.; Penn, Colin A.; Sexstone, Graham A.

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Year Published: 2016

Chemical considerations for an updated National assessment of brackish groundwater resources

Brackish groundwater (BGW) is increasingly used for water supplies where fresh water is scarce, but the distribution and availability of such resources have not been characterized at the national scale in the United States since the 1960s. Apart from its distribution and accessibility, BGW usability is a function of the chemical requirements of...

McMahon, Peter B.; Böhlke, John Karl; Dahm, Katharine; Parkhurst, David L.; Anning, David W.; Stanton, Jennifer S.
McMahon, P.B., Böhlke, J.K., Dahm, K.G., Parkhurst, D.L., Anning, D.W. and Stanton, J.S., 2016, Chemical considerations for an updated National assessment of brackish groundwater resources: Groundwater, Issue Paper, 12 p., doi:10.1111/gwat.12367

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Year Published: 2016

New insights into debris-flow hazards from an extraordinary event in the Colorado Front Range

Rainfall on 9–13 September 2013 triggered at least 1,138 debris flows in a 3430 km2 area of the Colorado Front Range. The historical record reveals that the occurrence of these flows over such a large area in the interior of North America is highly unusual. Rainfall that triggered the debris flows began after ~75 mm of antecedent rain had fallen,...

Coe, Jeffrey A.; Kean, Jason W.; Godt, Jonathan W.; Baum, Rex L.; Jones, Eric S.; Gochis, David; Anderson, Gregory S
Coe, J.A., Kean, J.W., Godt, J.W., Baum, R.L., Jones, E.S., Gochis, D.J., and Anderson, G.S., 2014, New insights into debris-flow hazards from an extraordinary event in the Colorado Front Range: GSA Today, v. 24, no. 10, p. 4-10.

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Year Published: 2015

Regional tectonic setting for the Trinidad earthquake swarms (2000-2012) from gravity and magnetic data

Earthquakes in the Raton basin near Trinidad, Colorado, (Figure 1) are located (Rubenstein et. al., 2014) near a major gravity and magnetic boundary. These earthquakes also occur in an area of hydrocarbon production that includes several high-capacity produced water injection wells. This presentation gives a very basic outline of the relation...

Finn, Carol A.; Kass, Mason A.; Smith, Bruce D.
Carol A. Finn, M. Andy Kass, and Bruce D. Smith (2015) REGIONAL TECTONIC SETTING FOR THE TRINIDAD EARTHQUAKE SWARMS (2000-2012) FROM GRAVITY AND MAGNETIC DATA. Symposium on the Application of Geophysics to Engineering and Environmental Problems 2015: pp. 336-342.

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Year Published: 2015

Characterization of hydrology and water quality of Piceance Creek in the Alkali Flat area, Rio Blanco County, Colorado, March 2012

Previous studies by the U.S. Geological Survey identified Alkali Flat as an area of groundwater upwelling, with increases in concentrations of total dissolved solids, and streamflow loss, but additional study was needed to better characterize these observations. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management, White...

Thomas, Judith C.
Thomas, J.C., 2015, Characterization of hydrology and water quality of Piceance Creek in the Alkali Flat area, Rio Blanco County, Colorado, March 2012: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2015–5147, 23 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20155147.

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Year Published: 2015

Hydrogeochemical effects of a bulkhead in the Dinero mine tunnel, Sugar Loaf mining district, near Leadville, Colorado

The Dinero mine drainage tunnel is an abandoned, draining mine adit near Leadville, Colorado, that has an adverse effect on downstream water quality and aquatic life. In 2009, a bulkhead was constructed (creating a mine pool and increasing water-table elevations behind the tunnel) to limit drainage from the tunnel and improve downstream water...

Walton-Day, Katherine; Mills, Taylor J.
Walton-Day, Katherine, and Mills, T.J., 2015, Hydrogeochemical effects of a bulkhead in the Dinero mine tunnel, Sugar Loaf mining district, near Leadville, Colorado: Applied Geochemistry, v. 62, p. 61-74.

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Year Published: 2015

Installation of a groundwater monitoring-well network on the east side of the Uncompahgre River in the Lower Gunnison River Basin, Colorado, 2014

The east side of the Uncompahgre River Basin has been a known contributor of dissolved selenium to recipient streams. Discharge of groundwater containing dissolved selenium contributes to surface-water selenium concentrations and loads; however, the groundwater system on the east side of the Uncompahgre River Basin is not well characterized. The U...

Thomas, Judith C.
Thomas, J.C., 2015, Installation of a groundwater monitoring-well network on the east side of the Uncompahgre River in the Lower Gunnison River Basin, Colorado, 2014: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 955, 44 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ds955.

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Year Published: 2015

The Boulder magnetic observatory

The Boulder magnetic observatory has, since 1963, been operated by the Geomagnetism Program of the U.S. Geological Survey in accordance with Bureau and national priorities. Data from the observatory are used for a wide variety of scientific purposes, both pure and applied. The observatory also supports developmental projects within the...

Love, Jeffrey J.; Finn, Carol A.; Pedrie, Kolby L.; Blum, Cletus C.
Love, J.J., Finn, C.A., Pedrie, K.L., and Blum, C.C., 2015, The Boulder magnetic observatory: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2015–1125, 8 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20151125.

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Year Published: 2015

Estimating rates of debris flow entrainment from ground vibrations

Debris flows generate seismic waves as they travel downslope and can become more dangerous as they entrain sediment along their path. We present field observations that show a systematic relation between the magnitude of seismic waves and the amount of erodible sediment beneath the flow. Specifically, we observe that a debris flow traveling along...

Kean, Jason W.; Coe, Jeffrey A.; Coviello, V.; Smith, Joel B.; McCoy, S.W.; Arattano, M.
Kean, J. W., J. A. Coe, V. Coviello, J. B. Smith, S. W. McCoy, and M. Arattano (2015), Estimating rates of debris flow entrainment from ground vibrations,Geophys. Res. Lett., 42, doi:10.1002/2015GL064811.

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Year Published: 2015

On the use of rhodamine WT for the characterization of stream hydrodynamics and transient storage

Recent advances in fluorometry have led to increased use of rhodamine WT as a tracer in streams and rivers. In light of this increased use, a review of the dye's behavior in freshwater systems is presented. Studies in the groundwater literature indicate that rhodamine WT is transported nonconservatively, with sorption removing substantial amounts...

Runkel, Robert L.
Runkel, R.L., 2015, On the use of rhodamine WT for the characterization of stream hydrodynamics and transient storage: Water Resources Research, v. 51, issue 8, p. 6125–6142, doi:10.1002/2015WR017201

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Year Published: 2015

Installation of a groundwater monitoring-well network on the east side of the Uncompahgre River in the Lower Gunnison River Basin, Colorado, 2012

The east side of the Uncompahgre River Basin has been a known contributor of dissolved selenium to recipient streams. Discharge of groundwater containing dissolved selenium contributes to surface-water selenium concentrations and loads; however, the groundwater system on the east side of the Uncompahgre River Basin is not well characterized. The U...

Thomas, Judith C.; Arnold, L. R.
Thomas, J.C., and Arnold, L.R., 2015, Installation of a groundwater monitoring-well network on the east side of the Uncompahgre River in the Lower Gunnison River Basin, Colorado, 2012: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 923, 29 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ds923.

Filter Total Items: 196
view of Salt Creek rock avalanche in Western Colorado from the top
April 15, 2016

Salt Creek Rock Avalanche in Western Colorado

Photograph taken from a Colorado National Guard helicopter looking north down the West Salt Creek rock avalanche deposit. On May 25, 2014, the central core of the rock avalanche deposit continued to move for 1-2 hours after the main rock avalanche deposit had stopped moving. Shallow landslides on the steep valley flanks continued for at least several days after the

...
Image: Panorama of Silverton, Colorado
March 15, 2016

Panorama of Silverton, Colorado

Panoramic photo of Silverton, Colorado, with Sultan Mountain in the distance.  Silverton is the town most directly affected by the

...
January 29, 2016

Precipitation Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) Summary Modules

Presents descriptions of the USGS Precipitation Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) Summary modules.
 

January 29, 2016

Precipitation Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) Soil Zone Modules

Presents descriptions of the USGS Precipitation Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) Soilzone module.
 

January 29, 2016

Precipitation Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) Streamflow Modules

Presents descriptions of the USGS Precipitation Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) streamflow routing modules.
 

January 29, 2016

Precipitation Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) Cascading Flow Option

Presents descriptions of the USGS Precipitation Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) cascading-flow computation option, which allows for reinfiltration across the land surface, shallow subsurface, and saturated zone
 

Photo of the Animas River pointing at sediment sampling areas
September 13, 2015

Sediment Sampling at A72

Animas River downstream from Silverton, Colorado, showing right and left bank areas where streambed sediment sample was collected near USGS stream gage at site A72 (USGS site ID 09359020). Latitude 37.789964, Longitude -107.667394.

Sagebrush, grasses, and forbs in a shrub-steppe ecosystem
August 28, 2015

Sagebrush, grasses, and forbs in a shrub-steppe ecosystem

Determining aboveground biomass of sagebrush, grasses, and forbs is important for estimating fuel loads, measuring carbon storage, and assessing habitat quality in shrublands. Remote sensing may offer a more efficient alternative to common, labor intensive methods of measuring aboveground biomass that are difficult to apply across large areas. Researchers from the USGS are

...
Creek Close up
August 13, 2015

Cement Creek Close Up

North Fork Cement Creek showing visual results of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) addition which increases the pH causing  precipitation of ferric (orange) and ferrous (green) iron hydroxides.  Latitude 37.89517, Longitude -107.64656.

Device measuring pH
August 13, 2015

Measuring pH

Measuring pH at the outlet of the fourth settling pond downstream from the North Fork Cement Creek. Latitude 37.894451, Longitude -107.64763.

USGS Gage under bridge
August 13, 2015

USGS Gage 09358000

USGS stream Gage (USGS site ID 09358000) on Animas River upstream from Silverton and Cement Creek. Latitude 37.811131, Longitude -107.659213.

Animas river running near town
August 13, 2015

Animas River Downstream

Animas River downstream from Silverton Colorado, looking upstream toward town of Silverton.  Confluence of Animas River and Mineral Creek near center of photograph. Confluence of Cement Creek and Animas River near upstream area of the town of Silverton. Photo taken from Highway 550 heading to Durango.

Filter Total Items: 213
USGS science for a changing world logo
February 1, 2016

Globally there were 14,588 earthquakes of magnitude 4.0 or greater in 2015. This worldwide number is on par with prior year averages of about 40 earthquakes per day of magnitude 4.0, or about 14,500 annually. The 2015 number may change slightly as the final results are completed by seismic analysts at the NEIC in Golden, Colorado.

Image:  Big Sagebrush Re-establishing 15 Years Post-wildfire Along the Boise Front Mountains
December 7, 2015

CORVALLIS, Ore. — Ecosystem restoration is complex and requires an understanding of how the land, plants, and animals all interact with each other over large areas and over time. Today, the U.S. Geological Survey published part two of a three-part handbook addressing restoration of sagebrush ecosystems from the landscape to the site level.

USGS science for a changing world logo
November 4, 2015

According to the first-ever study of pesticide residues on field-caught bees, native bees are exposed to neonicotinoid insecticides and other pesticides. This report was conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey and published in the journal Science of the Total Environment.

Image: Pallid Sturgeon
July 30, 2015

Three tiny fish larvae that were captured by U.S. Geological Survey scientists in May 2014 have just been confirmed to be pallid sturgeon. These new genetic identifications add to mounting evidence that critically endangered pallid sturgeon spawned successfully in the Lower Missouri River downstream of Gavins Point Dam, South Dakota.

USGS
June 15, 2015

Fifty years ago on June 16, a devastating flood swept through the South Platte River Basin of the Front Range and Eastern Plains of Colorado, killing 21 people and causing more than $540 million in damage.

USGS
May 19, 2015

Crews from the U.S. Geological Survey are monitoring high streamflows due to sustained rain in various locations around Denver today.

USGS
March 5, 2015

U.S. Geological Survey scientists who study trends in climate change will be presenting the results from new studies at a workshop held in Pacific Grove, Calif., March 8 – 11, 2015. 

USGS
February 17, 2015

U.S. Geological Survey senior scientist Dr. Jill Baron has been named the new Director of the North American Nitrogen Center, one of five globally distributed centers of the International Nitrogen Initiative (INI).

USGS
December 18, 2014

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced today that Interior’s Southwest Climate Science Center is awarding nearly a million dollars to universities and other partners for research to guide managers of parks, refuges and other cultural and natural resources in planning how to help species and ecosystems adapt to climate change.

Filter Total Items: 213