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: 209
Date published: September 30, 2017
Status: Completed

Water-Budget Analysis of the Upper Big Sandy Alluvial Aquifer

The Upper Big Sandy Groundwater Management District is concerned with potentially declining groundwater levels and thus available groundwater in storage for the Upper Big Sandy alluvial aquifer in eastern Colorado

This project evaluated changes in groundwater storage within the Upper Big Sandy Designated Groundwater Basin by updating water-budget results for the alluvial aquifer from...

Contacts: Suzanne Paschke
Date published: September 30, 2017
Status: Completed

Paradox Valley Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Regression Equations

The primary objective of the project is to evaluate and update previous regression equations, developed for the USGS streamgages and continuous water-quality records,that describe the relation between specific conductance measured in the Dolores River and calculated total dissolved solids TDS. A secondary objective is to evaluate brine discharge to the river using a previously developed...

Contacts: M. Alisa Mast
Date published: September 20, 2017
Status: Active

Land Treatment Digital Library

The LTDL was created by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to catalog information about land treatments on Federal lands in the western United States for all interested parties. The flexible framework of the library allows for the storage of a wide variety of data in different formats. The LTDL currently stores previously established land treatments or what often are called legacy data. The...

Date published: August 30, 2017
Status: Active

Reconstructing Flow History From Riparian Tree Rings

Aquatic Systems Branch scientists analyze rings of riparian trees relating tree growth and establishment to historical flow. We then use the tree rings to reconstruct the flow in past centuries. Flow reconstructions discover the frequency and magnitude of past droughts and floods—information that is essential for management of rivers and water supplies. We also use downscaled climate...

Date published: May 16, 2017
Status: Completed

Watershed Contamination from Hard Rock Mining

Since 1986, the USGS Hard-Rock Mining Toxic-Substances Hydrology Project has focused on metal transport in streams affected by mining. Tracer-injection studies in St. Kevin Gulch, near Leadville, Colorado, helped the USGS design methods to characterize loading from mining activities on a watershed scale. Tracer-injection studies were done in 1995, in support of the planning needs of ederal...

Date published: May 10, 2017
Status: Active

Transit-loss accounting program for Monument and Fountain Creeks, El Paso and Pueblo Counties, Colorado

Since the 1980s, a transit-loss accounting program has been used for daily accounting of native and transmountain water by the Colorado Division of Water Resources (CDWR) to determine transit losses and water allocations along Fountain Creek and Monument Creek, Colorado. The Colorado Water Science Center has been involved in developing, modifying, and supporting the program over the course of...

Contacts: Lisa D Miller
Date published: April 19, 2017
Status: Completed

Fountain Creek Watershed Flood and Sediment Transport Study

The Fountain Creek watershed, Colorado, is characterized by steep channel slopes and varied land use. Spatially distributed precipitation events result in varying rates of direct runoff. These dynamics contribute to large streamflows and sediment transport, which has caused periodic flooding, and sediment aggradation and deposition in Fountain Creek and its tributary streams. The U.S....

Date published: February 28, 2017
Status: Active

USGS Data at Risk: Expanding Legacy Data Inventory and Preservation Strategies

As one of the largest and oldest science organizations in the world, USGS has produced more than a century of earth science data, much of which is currently unavailable to the greater scientific community due to inaccessible or obsolescent media, formats, and technology. Tapping this vast wealth of “dark data” requires 1) a complete inventory of legacy data and 2) methods and tools to...

Contacts: Lance Everette, Tara M Bell, Cristiana Falvo
Date published: February 2, 2017
Status: Active

Aquatic Experimental Laboratory (AXL)

Aquatic invertebrates are a key component of freshwater ecosystems, and an understanding of aquatic invertebrate taxonomy is central to freshwater science. The U.S. Geological Survey Aquatic Experimental Lab (AXL) at the Fort Collins Science Center has developed the North American Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Digital Reference Collection (NAAMDRC) to provide users with a graphic tool to aid in...

Contacts: David Walters, Ph.D., Robert E Zuellig, Ph.D., Boris Kondratieff
Date published: January 25, 2017
Status: Active

Rocky Mountain Regional Snowpack Chemistry Monitoring Study

Snowpacks collect atmospheric deposition throughout the snowfall season and offer a unique opportunity to obtain a composite sample of the chemistry of most of the annual precipitation at high elevations [> 1,800 meters]. The purpose of the snowpack network is to determine annual concentrations and depositional amounts of selected nutrients and other constituents in snow resulting from...

Contacts: Graham Sexstone
Date published: January 17, 2017
Status: Active

Ecological Drought in Riparian Ecosystems

Drought is killing riparian trees along many rivers in the western United States. The cause can be increasing temperature or decreasing precipitation, flow or water-table elevation. At multiple locations we are relating water availability to physiological measurements of tree survival and water stress, such as ring width, carbon stable isotope ratio and branch hydraulic conductivity. These...

Date published: December 12, 2016
Status: Archived

Human Dimensions of Climate Change

Natural resource agencies are challenged not only by climate change impacts on terrestrial and marine resources, but also by related effects on human communities that depend on these lands and waters. These effects include changes in economic activity, subsistence practices, demographic trends, human health, recreation, infrastructure, and community resilience. While there are many policy...

Contacts: Rudy Schuster, Ph.D., Rob Winthrop
Filter Total Items: 143
Date published: June 26, 2019

Groundwater Watch - Colorado Active Water Level Network

The Active Groundwater Level Network contains water levels and well information from wells in Colorado

Date published: June 21, 2019

Structural geologic orientation data for primarily Proterozoic aged rocks, eastern-central Rocky Mountain Front Range, Colorado

This data release consists of point data digitized from structural geologic orientation symbols consisting of mostly foliations and lineations. The data comes from primarily Proterozoic aged rocks in the eastern-central Rocky Mountain Front Range of Colorado. Compilation of the data is from twenty-three geologic maps published by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Colorado Geological Survey...

Date published: June 10, 2019

Low biomass microbiology samples collected from a hydraulically fractured well producing from the Niobrara Shale in Colorado

Low biomass waters provide a unique challenge in the field of microbial ecology. It is difficult to determine, when biomass concentrations are extremely low, whether or not the sequencing data received are of good quality and representative of the waters sampled. Fifty-nine samples including 8 blanks were collected from a low biomass hydraulically fractured well producing from the Niobrara Sh...

Date published: February 23, 2019

Fortran Program for Estimating Stream Transit Losses of Reusable Water, El Paso and Pueblo Counties, Colorado

The transit-loss accounting program, which has been in continuous daily use in some form since April 1989, has provided water-rights administrators with a tool to effectively manage RRFs and administer water diversion priorities along Fountain Creek on a daily basis.

Overview:

...

Date published: January 31, 2019

Argon geochronology data for La Garita caldera

This dataset accompanies publication 'A supervolcano and its sidekicks: A 100 ka eruptive chronology of the Fish Canyon Tuff and associated units of the La Garita magmatic system', in review in Geology, which analyzed eruptive products from the La Garita caldera.

Date published: January 1, 2019

Hydrogeochemical data for the characterization of stream, groundwater, and beaver-induced floodplain exchange in the East River Science Focus Area, Crested Butte, CO

The U.S. Geological Survey, along with scientists from Rutgers University, collected water chemistry, electromagnetic, redox-potential, dissolved oxygen, water flow rate, and water temperature data along stream and river corridors in multiple sub-watersheds of the East River Science Focus Area (SFA) near Crested Butte, CO. The concept of ‘river corridor’ scienc

Attribution: Water Resources
Date published: December 6, 2018

Downloadable Data for Las Animas Arch Oil and Gas Assessments

GIS Data for Las Animas Arch Oil and Gas Assessments 

Date published: December 6, 2018

Downloadable Data for Park Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

GIS Data for Park Basin Oil and Gas Assessments 

Date published: December 6, 2018

Downloadable Data for Albuquerque-Santa Fe Rift Oil and Gas Assessments

GIS Data for Albuquerque-Santa Fe Rift Oil and Gas Assessments 

Date published: November 29, 2018

Downloadable Data for Raton Basin-Sierra Grande Uplift Oil and Gas Assessments

Downloadable Data for Raton Basin-Sierra Grande Uplift Oil and Gas Assessments 

Filter Total Items: 409
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Year Published: 2016

Macroinvertebrate community sample collection methods and data collected from Sand Creek and Medano Creek, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Colorado, 2005–07

This report provides a table of site descriptions, sample information, and semiquantitative aquatic macroinvertebrate data from 105 samples collected between 2005 and 2007 from 7 stream sites within the Sand Creek and Medano Creek watersheds in Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Saguache County, Colorado. Additionally, a short...

Ford, Morgan A.; Zuellig, Robert E.; Walters, David M.; Bruce, James F.
Ford, M.A., Zuellig, R.E., Walters, D.M., and Bruce, J.F., 2016, Macroinvertebrate community sample collection methods and data collected from Sand Creek and Medano Creek, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Colorado, 2005–07: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1012, 3 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ds1012.

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Year Published: 2016

2014 annual summary of the lower Gunnison River Basin Selenium Management Program water-quality monitoring, Colorado

Dissolved-selenium loading analyses of data collected at 18 water-quality sites in the lower Gunnison River Basin in Colorado were completed through water year (WY) 2014. A WY is defined as October 1–September 30. Selenium is a trace element that bioaccumulates in aquatic food chains and can cause reproductive failure, deformities, and other...

Henneberg, Mark F.
Henneberg, M.F., 2016, 2014 annual summary of the lower Gunnison River Basin Selenium Management Program water-quality monitoring, Colorado: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016–1129, 25 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161129.

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Year Published: 2016

A satellite model of Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus) breeding habitat and a simulation of potential effects of tamarisk leaf beetles (Diorhabda spp.), southwestern United States

Executive Summary The study described in this report represents the first time that a satellite model has been used to identify potential Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus) (hereinafter referred to as “flycatcher”) breeding habitat rangewide for 2013–15. Fifty-seven Landsat scenes were required to map the...

Hatten, James R.
Hatten, J.R., 2016, A satellite model of Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus) breeding habitat and a simulation of potential effects of tamarisk leaf beetles (Diorhabda spp.), Southwestern United States: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016–1120, 88 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161120.

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Year Published: 2016

The influence of vegetation cover on debris-flow density during an extreme rainfall in the northern Colorado Front Range

We explored regional influences on debris-flow initiation throughout the Colorado Front Range (Colorado, USA) by exploiting a unique data set of more than 1100 debris flows that initiated during a 5 day rainstorm in 2013. Using geospatial data, we examined the influence of rain, hillslope angle, hillslope aspect, and vegetation density on debris-...

Rengers, Francis K.; McGuire, Luke; Coe, Jeffrey A.; Kean, Jason W.; Baum, Rex L.; Staley, Dennis M.; Godt, Jonathan W.

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Year Published: 2016

Screening for contaminants of emerging concern in Northern Colorado Plateau Network waters: 2015 surface-water data

In 2015, as part of an on-going screening program for contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 8, surface waters at 18 locations in or near seven national park units within the Northern Colorado Plateau Network (NCPN) were sampled for pesticides and pesticide degradation products...

Weissinger, R; Battaglin, William A.; Bradley, Paul M.
Weissinger, R., W.A. Battaglin, and P.M. Bradley. 2016. Screening for contaminants of emerging concern in waters of the Northern Colorado Plateau Network: 2015 surface water data. Natural Resource Report NPS/NCPN/NRR—2016/1239. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado. https://irma.nps.gov/DataStore/DownloadFile/551578

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Year Published: 2016

Rapid response, monitoring, and mitigation of induced seismicity near Greeley, Colorado

On 1 June 2014 (03:35 UTC), an Mw 3.2 earthquake occurred in Weld County, Colorado, a historically aseismic area of the Denver–Julesburg basin. Weld County is a prominent area of oil and gas development, including many high‐rate class II wastewater injection wells. In the days following the earthquake, the University of Colorado, with support...

Yeck, William L.; Sheehan, A.F; Benz, Harley M.; Weingarten, Matthew; Nakai, J

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Year Published: 2016

Episodic bedrock erosion by gully-head migration, Colorado High Plains, USA

This study explores the frequency of bedrock exposure in a soil-mantled low-relief (i.e. non-mountainous) landscape. In the High Plains of eastern Colorado, gully headcuts are among the few erosional features that will incise through the soil mantle to expose bedrock. We measured the last time of bedrock exposure using optically stimulated...

Rengers, Francis K.; Tucker, G.E.; Mahan, Shannon

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Year Published: 2016

New perspectives on a 140-year legacy of mining and abandoned mine cleanup in the San Juan Mountains, Colorado

The Gold King mine water release that occurred on 5 August 2015 near the historical mining community of Silverton, Colorado, highlights the environmental legacy that abandoned mines have on the environment. During reclamation efforts, a breach of collapsed workings at the Gold King mine sent 3 million gallons of acidic and metal-rich mine water...

Yager, Douglas B.; Fey, David L.; Chapin, Thomas; Johnson, Raymond H.

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Year Published: 2016

Historical files from Federal Government mineral exploration-assistance programs, 1950 to 1974

The Defense Minerals Administration (DMA), Defense Minerals Exploration Administration (DMEA), and Office of Minerals Exploration (OME) mineral exploration programs were active over the period 1950–1974. Under these programs, the Federal Government contributed financial assistance in the exploration for certain strategic and critical minerals. The...

Frank, David G.
Frank, D.G., 2016, Historical files from Federal Government mineral exploration-assistance programs, 1950 to 1974: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1004, http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ds1004.

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Year Published: 2016

Three-dimensional surface deformation derived from airborne interferometric UAVSAR: Application to the Slumgullion Landslide

In order to provide surface geodetic measurements with “landslide-wide” spatial coverage, we develop and validate a method for the characterization of 3-D surface deformation using the unique capabilities of the Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR) airborne repeat-pass radar interferometry system. We apply our method at the...

Delbridge, Brent G.; Burgmann, Roland; Fielding, Eric; Hensley, Scott; Schulz, William
Delbridge, B.G., Bürgmann, R., Fielding, E., Hensley, S., and Schulz, W.H., 2016, Three-dimensional surface deformation derived from airborne interferometric UAVSAR: Application to the Slumgullion Landslide: Journal of Geophysical Research, Solid Earth, doi:10.1002/2015JB012559

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Year Published: 2016

Numerical experiments to explain multiscale hydrological responses to mountain pine beetle tree mortality in a headwater watershed

The effects of mountain pine beetle (MPB)-induced tree mortality on a headwater hydrologic system were investigated using an integrated physical modeling framework with a high-resolution computational grid. Simulations of MPB-affected and unaffected conditions, each with identical atmospheric forcing for a normal water year, were compared at...

Penn, Colin A.; Bearup, Lindsay A.; Maxwell, Reed M.; Clow, David W.
Penn, C. A., Bearup, L.A., Maxwell, R.M., and Clow, D.W., 2016, Numerical experiments to explain multiscale hydrological responses to mountain pine beetle tree mortality in a headwater watershed: Water Resources Research, v. 52, doi:10.1002/2015WR018300.

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Year Published: 2016

Estimates of peak flood discharge for 21 sites in the Front Range in Colorado in response to extreme rainfall in September 2013

Extreme rainfall in September 2013 caused destructive floods in part of the Front Range in Boulder County, Colorado. Erosion from these floods cut roads and isolated mountain communities for several weeks, and large volumes of eroded sediment were deposited downstream, which caused further damage of property and infrastructures. Estimates of peak...

Moody, John A.
Moody, J.A., 2016, Estimates of peak flood discharge for 21 sites in the Front Range in Colorado in response to extreme rainfall in September 2013: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2016–5003, 64 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20165003.

Filter Total Items: 198
August 18, 2016

Debris flow monitoring at Chalk Cliffs, CO (2016)

The USGS and its cooperators have installed debris-flow monitoring equipment in the largest drainage basin at Chalk Cliffs, CO. Data collection at this site supports research on the hydrologic factors that control debris-flow initiation, entrainment, and flow dynamics.

This debris flow took place August 18, 2016. The video includes two different views of an

A white-tailed ptarmigan on Mt. Evans, Colorado
August 9, 2016

A white-tailed ptarmigan on Mt. Evans, Colorado

A white-tailed ptarmigan on Mt. Evans, a fourteener in Northern Colorado.

A white-tailed ptarmigan on Mt. Evans, Colorado
August 9, 2016

A white-tailed ptarmigan on Mt. Evans, Colorado

A white-tailed ptarmigan sits on the side of Mt. Evans in northern Colorado.  

Organics analytical section, USGS National Water Quality Laboratory, Lakewood Colorado, 2016.
August 1, 2016

USGS National Water Quality Laboratory, Lakewood, Colorado, 2016

Organics analytical section, USGS National Water Quality Laboratory, Lakewood Colorado, 2016. Photograph by Mark Nilles, U.S. Geological Survey

Photo of USGS scientist collecting noble gas sample from spring site near Roaring Judy, Colorado. 
July 20, 2016

USGS scientist collects noble gas sample from spring site

USGS scientist collects noble gas sample from spring site near Roaring Judy, Colorado. Groundwater discharge that flows into the Upper Colorado River Basin varies in response to drought, which is likely due to aquifer systems that contain relatively young groundwater, according to a new U.S. Geological

...
Photo of water quality and sampling equipment deployed at spring site near Roaring Judy, Colorado.
July 20, 2016

Water quality and sampling at spring site

Water quality and sampling equipment deployed at spring site near Roaring Judy, Colorado. Groundwater discharge that flows into the Upper Colorado River Basin varies in response to drought, which is likely due to aquifer systems that contain relatively young groundwater, according to a new U.S. Geological

...
USGS research vessel collecting bathymetry data at Clear Creek Reservoir.
June 30, 2016

CWSC Bathymetry at Clear Creek Reservoir

USGS research vessel collecting bathymetry data at Clear Creek Reservoir.

USGS personnel collecting bathymetry data.
June 8, 2016

USGS personnel collecting bathymetry data.

USGS research vessel with Teledyne Odom Hydrographic ES3PT–M integrated multibeam echo sounder and motion sensor submerged on the port side, and Trimble SPS461 GPS receivers mounted on each side of vessel.

Image shows a woman in a green coat working with a drill core
June 3, 2016

Sarah Hawkins Receives the Core

USGS scientist Sarah Hawkins, lead scientist for the Mancos Shale assessment, examining a core drilled by the USGS Core Research Center. This core provided valuable data for the assessment. Image credit: Joshua Hicks, USGS.

Image shows a drill rig against blue mountains
June 3, 2016

Research Drilling Rig and Landscape

The USGS Core Research Center collaborated with the USGS Energy Resources Program to drill a core from the Mancos Shale to aid in the oil and gas assessment. Image Credit: Joshua Hicks, USGS.

Image: Canyonlands and the Colorado Plateau
May 9, 2016

Canyonlands and the Colorado Plateau

The Needles district of Canyonlands serves as a stunning backdrop to our study site in the high desert grassland of the Colorado Plateau. Researchers at Canyonlands Research Station are testing the effect of experimentally imposed altered precipitation regimes on plant reproductive success, mortality, and biomass.

Red Mountain, Colorado
April 19, 2016

Red Mountain near Silverton, Colorado

Intensely altered propylitic rocks (red and yellow) in the Red Mountain mining district, overprinting the regional, propylitically altered igneous rocks (grayish-green), peaks at top of image. View to west.

Filter Total Items: 216
Photo of an active oil and gas pad on Bureau of Land Management lands near Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
February 7, 2017

A new scientific approach can now provide regional assessments of land recovery following oil and gas drilling activities, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study published in the journal Science of the Total Environment.

Dubois Badlands Wilderness Study Area, Wyoming
January 19, 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey and the Bureau of Land Management today released a collaborative report with new information and tools to support effective management of millions of acres of BLM public lands.  The report underscores the value of a landscape approach to management, and shows that the BLM manages some of the largest areas of intact public lands in the west. 

Map of Northern High Plains Aquifer
December 13, 2016

A new U.S. Geological Survey publication and model can be applied by multiple entities to better understand flow, quantity, sources and sinks of groundwater in the Northern High Plains Aquifer, which covers approximately 100,000 square miles across Nebraska, South Dakota, Kansas, Colorado and Wyoming.

Photo showing the Great Basin area
October 11, 2016

Large precipitation events that occur about every 10 years are a critical source of recharge for replenishing groundwater resources, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Bureau of Reclamation.

Southwestern Willow Flycatcher
September 6, 2016

A new report by the U.S. Geological Survey shows, for the first time ever, detailed habitat information on the entire range of a federally listed endangered bird allowing officials to take a scientific approach to helping protect the species.

Seismometer
August 25, 2016

New research from the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Colorado shows actions taken by drillers and regulators can lessen risk in the case of earthquakes likely caused by the injection of industrial wastewater deep underground.

Photo of the Colorado River near Moab, Utah
August 15, 2016

Future groundwater replenishment in the Upper Colorado River Basin may benefit from projected increases in future basin-wide precipitation under current climate projections, according to a recent study by the U.S. Geological Survey and Bureau of Reclamation.

3-D map of Big Thompson Watershed
July 25, 2016

 

Forty years ago on July 31, as Coloradoans and tourists celebrated the state’s centennial, between 12 and 14 inches of rain fell over a four-hour period in the mountains below the resort town of Estes Park, killing 143 people. The 1976 Big Thompson flood stands as the worst natural disaster in Colorado’s recorded history.

Permafrost area, Beaver Creek, Alaska.
June 20, 2016

The thawing of the planet’s permafrost is replumbing arctic environments, creating several hydrologic consequences and possibly some opportunities according to a new study published in Vadose Zone.

USGS: Science for a changing world
June 17, 2016

Science diplomacy is the use of collaborations among nations to address common scientific problems and to build constructive international partnerships. Researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey in Denver, Colorado recently used the science diplomacy tactic to initiate a ground-breaking international collaboration with the Nation of Cuba. 

Filter Total Items: 213