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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.

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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.

News

Date published: August 10, 2020

RAMPS Newsletter - Summer 2020 Edition

This season's edition of the Restoration Assessment and Monitoring Program for the Southwest Newsletter contains recent program highlights including research updates, new projects, field updates and more.

To subscribe to our newsletter, please visit: ...

Date published: July 21, 2020

Assessment of Mercury Bioaccumulation in US National Parks Using Citizen Science

A team of federal, academic, and NGO researchers conducted a national-scale assessment of mercury bioaccumulation in aquatic ecosystems using dragonfly larvae as biosentinels.

Date published: March 20, 2020

M5.7 Earthquake Felt near Salt Lake City, UT

Updated Forecast Shows 1% Chance of Aftershock Above 5.7

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Date published: September 3, 2020
Status: Active

Southwestern Willow Flycatcher Habitat Viewer

For planning and management purposes, agencies require a web application that can locate, map, and monitor Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (flycatcher) breeding habitat across its range. The Habitat Viewer can identify potential flycatcher habitat and monitor changes caused by stressors, such as beetles, fire or drought.

Contacts: James Hatten, Kai Caraher
Date published: July 6, 2020
Status: Active

Quantifying Nutrient Mass and Internal Cycling in Great Salt Lake

The Great Salt Lake (GSL) is an indispensable economic and ecological resource.  It provides critical habitat and food for millions of migratory birds, and generates nearly $200 million per year from recreational activities and the brine shrimp harvest industry (Bioeconomics, 2012).  These uses, habitat and aquaculture, rely on a balanced supply of nutrients in the Great Salt Lake to support...

Date published: March 25, 2020
Status: Active

Past Perspectives of Water in the West

In the intermountain west, seasonal precipitation extremes, combined with population growth, are creating new challenges for the management of water resources, ecosystems, and geologic hazards. This research contributes a comprehensive long-term context for a deeper understanding of past hydrologic variability, including the magnitude and frequency of drought and flood extremes and ecosystem...

Date published: August 15, 2019
Status: Active

Bear Lake Water Quality

Bear Lake, located approximately 50 kilometers (km) northeast of Logan, Utah, straddles the Utah-Idaho border and is nestled in a graben valley between the Bear Lake Plateau on the east and the Bear River Range on the west (Reheis and others, 2009). Its calcium carbonate type water is a brilliant green-blue color that, in combination with sandy beaches and easy access, draws thousands of...

Contacts: Ryan C Rowland
Date published: August 14, 2019
Status: Active

Groundwater Conditions in Utah

Small amounts of groundwater can be obtained from wells throughout most of Utah, but large amounts that are of suitable chemical quality for irrigation, public supply, or industrial use generally can be obtained only in specific ares. Most wells in Utah yield water from unconsolidated basin-fill deposits, and most are in intermountain basins that have been partly filled with rock materials...

Contacts: Lincoln R Smith
Date published: August 14, 2019
Status: Active

Streamflow Information Program

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) operates and maintains a national network of about 8,000 streamgages (2018) to provide long-term, accurate, and unbiased streamflow information (often called discharge) to meet the multiple needs of many diverse users. Streamflow information is fundamental to national and local economic well-being, protection of life and property, and efficient and effective...

Date published: July 2, 2019
Status: Active

Volcanic-related Beryllium Deposits of the US: Geologic Setting, Genesis, and the Potential for Post-Extraction Recovery of By-Product Critical Minerals

Project objectives are: 1) to fully establish a comprehensive and robust geologic and geochemical framework for the occurrence of volcanic-related beryllium (Be) deposits; 2) further our understanding of the fundamental ore processes that lead to formation of volcanogenic beryllium (Be)-boron (B)-lithium (Li)-phosphorus (P) group deposits, by investigating processes favorable for enhanced...

Contacts: Nora Foley
Date published: May 23, 2019
Status: Active

Cheatgrass and Medusahead

Invasive annual grasses, such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae), are one of the most significant stressors to rangeland ecosystems in the western U.S. Their expansion and dominance across this area are the most damaging ecosystem agents on this iconic landscape.

Date published: May 14, 2019
Status: Active

Upper Colorado River Data Reports

These reports summarize monthly data for selected rivers and reservoirs in the the Upper Colorado River Basin.

Date published: February 26, 2019
Status: Completed

August-September 2014 Southwest Floods

Learn more about USGS flood activities related to the August-September 2014 Floods, caused by heavy rains followed by remnants of Hurricane Odile which brought major flooding to parts of Arizona.

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Date published: September 4, 2020

Data for Groundwater-Quality and Select Quality-Control Data for the Colorado Plateaus Principal Aquifer

Groundwater samples were collected from 60 public supply wells in the Colorado Plateaus principal aquifer. Water quality evaluations of groundwater for drinking water at public supply depths were made with the purpose of summarizing the current quality of source water (that is, untreated water) from public supply wells using two types of assessments; (1) status: an assessment that

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: June 23, 2020

Global Geochemical Database for Critical Minerals in Archived Mine Samples

The Critical Minerals in Archived Mine Samples Database (CMDB) contains chemistry and geologic information for historic ore and ore-related rock samples from mineral deposits in the United States. In addition, the database contains samples from archetypal deposits from 27 other countries in North America, South America, Asia, Africa and Europe. Samples were obtained from archived ore

Date published: June 3, 2020

One Meter Topobathymetric Digital Elevation Model for Lake Powell, Arizona-Utah, 1947-2018

The USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center has created an integrated 1-meter topobathymetric digital elevation model (TBDEM) for Lake Powell, the second largest man-made reservoir in the United States.

Date published: April 23, 2020

Domestic Wells in the United States

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. 

Date published: September 26, 2019

Data for assessing the susceptibility of groundwater used for drinking water supply from selected principal aquifers of the Western United States, 2004-2018

Groundwater age distribution and susceptibility to natural and anthropogenic contaminants were assessed for selected principal aquifers of the Western United States: the Central Valley aquifer system (CVAL), the Basin and Range basin-fill aquifers (BNRF), the Rio Grande aquifer system (RIOG), the High Plains aquifer (HPAQ), the Columbia Plateau basaltic-rock aquifers (

Date published: September 6, 2019

Drainage basins and characteristics for selected streamgages within the Southern Rockies Landscape Conservation Cooperative domain

Streamflow and basin-characteristic data are needed for a variety of scientific applications including estimation of flow in ungaged basins and hydro-ecological classification of rivers. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Bureau of Reclamation and the Southern Rockies Landscape Conservation Cooperative (SRLCC), selected a subset of streamgages across the SRLC

Date published: November 29, 2018

Downloadable Data for Wyoming Thrust Belt Oil and Gas Assessments

Downloadable Data for Wyoming Thrust Belt 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 Eastern Great Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Downloadable Data for Eastern Great Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

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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. 

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.

Screenshot of San Juan River Basin Sites
March 4, 2019

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.

USGS
February 23, 2018

Topographic maps are a signature product of the USGS. They were essential for integrating and analyzing place-based information, and were widely used by receationalists. After 125-year legacy of topographic mapping (1884-2009), the USGS embarked on an innovative future of integrating historical maps with computer-generated maps from a national geographical information system (GIS) database.

Figure 3 for Southwestern Willow Flycatcher Habitat Viewer webpage
August 8, 2016

Map showing relative changes in predicted flycatcher habitat, as determined from a satellite model at a 40-percent probability threshold, Southwestern United States, 2013–15.

Figure 2 for Southwestern Willow Flycatcher Habitat Viewer webpage
August 8, 2016

Map showing area of predicted flycatcher breeding habitat (averaged across 2013–15) at all elevations in 6,521 U.S. Geological Survey 7.5-minute quadrangles, Southwestern United States. Only areas within a prescribed distance of streams and greater than stream-order 3, or within 1 kilometer of a lake or reservoir, were included in this analysis.

Figure 1 for Southwestern Willow Flycatcher Habitat Viewer webpage
August 8, 2016

Figure 1. Maps showing location of the project area and the 35 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southwestern Willow Flycatcher management unit boundaries, designated critical-habitat reaches, and waterbodies considered by the satellite model for regionwide modeling, Southwestern United States.

Digital Elevation Model in the Atchafalaya Basin, LA
April 19, 2016

The 3DEP products and services available through The National Map consist of standard digital elevation models (DEMs) at various horizontal resolutions, elevation source and associated datasets, an elevation point query service and bulk point query service. All 3DEP products are available, free of charge and without use restrictions.

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July 29, 2020

Lake Powell - Topobathymetric Digital Elevation Model

This video is a three-dimensional (3D) view of Lake Powell topobathymetric digital elevation model, which consists of topography (land elevation) and bathymetry (water depth). The 3D topobathymetric model was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center to support generation of the Colorado River water storage area

Graphic of wells pads in the Colorado Plateau ecoregion
June 12, 2020

Well Pads in the Colorado Plateau

Density of oil and gas well pads per km2 in the Colorado Plateau ecoregion (including parts of Utah, Colorado and New Mexico) as counted in 2016. Oil/gas wells are particularly concentrated in this region with ~100,000 abandoned and current wells spanning 60 years of activity. These numbers are dramatically increasing with time.

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 4: Prop. Treatment Area & Report

This video describes Step 4 and the developing report of the Land Treatment Exploration Tool. In Step 4 the used selects layers to generate spatial overlap statistics with their planned treatment boundary. Summary tables are generated and displayed in the Report tab, where a user can create a PDF Site Characterization Report for their planned treatment boundary. Optionally

June 11, 2020

Land Treatment Exploration Tool — Step 5: Select Search Parameters

This video describes Step 5 of the Land Treatment Exploration Tool. In Step 5 the user determines a distance or boundary to search for legacy Land Treatment Digital Library records. The user also indicates if the returned LTDL treatments are statistically evaluated against the planned treatment boundary using a Bray-Curtis Dissimilarity calculation.

These tutorial

June 11, 2020

Land Treatment Exploration Tool — Step 6: Compare the LTDL Treatments

This video describes Step 6 of the Land Treatment Exploration Tool. In Step 6 the user filters through the returned list of legacy LTDL treatments to identify records that contain useful information or context for the current planned treatment boundary. Selected treatments are added to the developing report and subsequent exported Site Characterization PDFs.  

These

A photo of pilots planning flight paths
May 20, 2020

USGS UAS pilots plan a flight near

USGS and Department of Interior UAS pilots plan a flight near Canyonland, Utah. 

April 1, 2020

Yellowstone Volcano Observatory Monthly Update: April 1, 2020

Mike Poland, Scientist-in-Charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, gives an overview of activity at Yellowstone during March 2020.
 

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

Figure 4 for Southwestern Willow Flycatcher Habitat Viewer webpage

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.

A group of people gather around a list of climate adaptation strategies inside of a conference room.
December 5, 2019

Collaborating on Climate Adaptation

RAMPS expands drought adaptation project with national parks in the 4-Corners area. National parks across the desert Southwest are experiencing ecological impacts due to climate change. Since late 2018, USGS RAMPS scientists have been working with Southeast Utah Group of national parks to better understand climate change impacts and build a suite of science-driven

...
Photo showing close ups of hemorrhage and necrosis in pink in purple colors.
November 29, 2019

Photomicrographs from a Great-Horned Owl

Photomicrographs from a Great-Horned Owl showing (A) moderate acute hemorrhage in the right atrial epicardium extending into the myocardium and (B) a focally extensive area of coagulative necrosis of the epidermis and dermis (arrow) consistent with an electrical burn.

August 31, 2019

Powell150 1869-2019: John Wesley Powell's Legacy of USGS Exploration

In 2019, the USGS Youth & Education in Science (YES) team marked the 150th anniversary of the first John Wesley Powell expedition down ~1000 miles of the Green & Colorado rivers with a national-scale educational project known as "Powell150." Educational resources about the science along the rivers and a social media campaign around the theme of exploration were

Attribution: Science Support
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An infographic summarizing activities of the RAMPS program.
August 10, 2020

This season's edition of the Restoration Assessment and Monitoring Program for the Southwest Newsletter contains recent program highlights including research updates, new projects, field updates and more.

To subscribe to our newsletter, please visit: https://listserv.usgs.gov/mailman/listinfo/ramps

Read more about how the network or RAMPS is enhancing restoration in drylands.

Dragonfly larvae being held in an open hand
July 21, 2020

A team of federal, academic, and NGO researchers conducted a national-scale assessment of mercury bioaccumulation in aquatic ecosystems using dragonfly larvae as biosentinels.

TNMCorps Mapping Challenge: City/Town Halls in AZ, NM and UT w/ Incorporated Places
January 16, 2020

Calling all Peer Reviewers and Advanced Editors! This challenge is SO CLOSE to being finished!! 

TNMCorps Mapping Challenge: City/Town Halls in AZ, NM and UT
January 6, 2020

This challenge is close to being finished with over 100 points added since our last update - nice work!  However, there are still several green points that we need our Peer Reviewers and Advanced Editors to help review.

TNMCorps Mapping Challenge: City/Town Halls in AZ, NM and UT
December 18, 2019

Here is the weekly update for this challenge!  If you're looking for a break from the snow and the cold, come take a virtual tour of the southwest while helping us to collect city/town hall structures! 

TNMCorps Mapping Challenge: City/Town Halls in AZ, NM and UT
December 12, 2019

Topo maps in the West will soon be updated, so we've opened a new challenge for city/town halls in Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona!  

Photo showing close ups of hemorrhage and necrosis in pink in purple colors.
December 4, 2019

Case History: An adult female Great-Horned Owl (Bobo virginianus) was found dead in a residential yard in Utah, U.S. with an immature male Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) clutched in its left foot.

Moab_Utah.jpg
August 16, 2019

A new assessment of groundwater resources in the Spanish Valley watershed in southern Utah shows an amount that is about 30–40% lower than previously reported, according to a U.S. Geological Survey report.

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