Unified Interior Regions

Region 10: California-Great Basin

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The California-Great Basin includes California, Nevada, and part of Oregon. The Regional Office, headquartered in Sacramento, provides Center oversight and support, facilitates internal and external collaborations, and works to further USGS strategic science directions. Our scientists do a broad array of research and technical assistance throughout the U.S. and across the globe.

News

Date published: September 9, 2021

Helicopter Making Low-Level Flights over North-Central Idaho

Residents and visitors should not be alarmed to see a low-flying helicopter over Lemhi and Custer Counties west of Salmon, Idaho from September 6 to October 18, 2021. 

Date published: September 9, 2021

Nevada Becomes 39th State to Create Multi-Agency Cooperative Research Unit

The newly formed Nevada Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit brings state and federal wildlife-management resources together, providing for a cooperative partnership that ensures resources are best serving Nevada’s wildlife and wild places.

Date published: September 7, 2021

A Whole New (Fiery) World

As a wildfire approached Tonto National Monument in Arizona, archaeologists and firefighters rushed to cover the park’s 700-year-old cliff dwellings with fire resistant aluminum wrapping.  

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Date published: June 16, 2020
Status: Active

Coastal Change Hazards

Natural processes such as waves, tides, and weather, continually change coastal landscapes. The integrity of coastal homes, businesses, and infrastructure can be threatened by hazards associated with event-driven changes, such as extreme storms and their impacts on beach and dune erosion, or longer-term, cumulative...

Date published: March 6, 2020
Status: Active

Fourth Federal UAS Workshop

November 17 - 19, 2020 Virtual Workshop

Contacts: Jonathan Stock, Bruce Quirk, Matthew Fladeland
Date published: March 26, 2019
Status: Active

Defining Native Ranges of U.S. Inland Fishes

Understanding the native versus non-native range of a species can provide useful information about dispersal, population distribution patterns, and human mediated movement across hydrologic barriers. The USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species (NAS) Program is working with partners to define native ranges of inland fishes in the United States to help identify which species should be included in the...

Date published: March 5, 2019
Status: Active

The Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Flood and Storm Tracker (FaST)

Storm-related flooding can lead to the potential spread of nonindigenous (or non-native) aquatic species into waterways they have not been seen in before. The USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species program has developed an innovative mapping tool to help natural resource managers with post-storm nonindigenous aquatic species detection and assessment efforts. 

Date published: April 11, 2016
Status: Active

Nonindigenous Aquatic Species (NAS) Program

Welcome to the Nonindigenous Aquatic Species (NAS) information resource for the United States Geological Survey. Located at Gainesville, Florida, this site has been established as a central repository for spatially referenced biogeographic accounts of introduced aquatic species. The program provides scientific reports, online/realtime queries, spatial data sets, distribution maps, and general...

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Date published: May 25, 2021

Modeled extreme total water levels along the U.S. west coast

This dataset contains information on the probabilities of storm-induced erosion (collision, inundation and overwash) for each 100-meter (m) section of the United States Pacific coast for return period storm scenarios. The analysis is based on a storm-impact scaling model that uses observations of beach morphology combined with sophisticated hydrodynamic models to predict how the coast will...

Date published: December 14, 2020

Model archive for analysis of long-term annual yields of highway and urban runoff in selected areas of California with the Stochastic Empirical Loading and Dilution Model (SELDM)

This model archive describes approaches used by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with CalTrans for assessing long-term annual yields of highway and urban runoff in selected areas of California with version 1.1.0 of the Stochastic Empirical Loading and Dilution Model (SELDM). 

Date published: June 9, 2020

SPARROW Mappers for the 2012 SPARROW Models for the Pacific region

SPARROW mappers are interactive tools that allow users to explore river streamflow and nutrient and sediment loads and yields and the importance of different sources of contaminants in a particular river basin. Data can be visualized using maps and interactive graphs and tables, and rankings can be shown by state, major watershed, hydrologic unit (HUC), and catchment.

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Year Published: 2021

Approaches for assessing long-term annual yields of highway and urban runoff in selected areas of California with the Stochastic Empirical Loading and Dilution Model (SELDM)

The California Department of Transportation, commonly known as CalTrans, and other municipal separate storm sewer system permittees in California as well as other State departments of transportation nationwide need information about potential loads and yields (loads per unit area) of constituents of concern in stormwater runoff and discharges from...

Granato, Gregory E.; Friesz, Paul J.
Granato, G.E., and Friesz, P.J., 2021, Approaches for assessing long-term annual yields of highway and urban runoff in selected areas of California with the Stochastic Empirical Loading and Dilution Model (SELDM): U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2021–5043, 37 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20215043.

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Year Published: 2021

USGS National Water Quality Monitoring Network

What is the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Quality Monitoring Network?Understanding the water quality of U.S. streams and rivers requires consistent data collection and analysis over decades. The U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) National Water Quality Network (NWQN) was established to facilitate national-scale understanding of surface-water...

Riskin, Melissa L.; Lee, Casey J.
Lee, C.J., and Riskin, M.L., 2021, USGS National Water Quality Monitoring Network: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2021–3019, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20213019.

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Year Published: 2021

Evaluation and application of the Purge Analyzer Tool (PAT) to determine in-well flow and purge criteria for sampling monitoring wells at the Stringfellow Superfund site in Jurupa Valley, California, in 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are developing analytical tools to assess the representativeness of groundwater samples from fractured-rock aquifers. As part of this effort, monitoring wells from the Stringfellow Superfund site in Jurupa Valley in Riverside County, California, approximately 50 miles east of Los...

Harte, Philip T.; Perina, Tomas; Becher, Kent; Levine, Herb; Rojas-Mickelson, Daewon; Walther, Lesley; Brown, Anthony
Harte, P.T., Perina, T., Becher, K., Levine, H., Rojas-Mickelson, D., Walther, L., and Brown, A., 2021, Evaluation and application of the Purge Analyzer Tool (PAT) to determine in-well flow and purge criteria for sampling monitoring wells at the Stringfellow Superfund site in Jurupa Valley, California, in 2017: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2020–5140, 54 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20205140.

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Year Published: 2021

Multi-region assessment of chemical mixture exposures and predicted cumulative effects in USA wadeable urban/agriculture-gradient streams

Chemical-contaminant mixtures are widely reported in large stream reaches in urban/agriculture-developed watersheds, but mixture compositions and aggregate biological effects are less well understood in corresponding smaller headwaters, which comprise most of stream length, riparian connectivity, and spatial biodiversity. During 2014–2017,...

Bradley, Paul; Journey, Celeste A.; Romanok, Kristin; Breitmeyer, Sara; Button, Daniel T.; Carlisle, Daren; Huffman, Bradley; Mahler, Barbara; Nowell, Lisa H.; Qi, Sharon L.; Smalling, Kelly; Waite, Ian R.; Van Metre, Peter C.
Attribution: California Water Science Center, Colorado Water Science Center, Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Water Science Center, New Jersey Water Science Center, Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Water Science Center, Oklahoma-Texas Water Science Center, Oregon Water Science Center, South Atlantic Water Science Center (SAWSC), Water Resources, Region 1: North Atlantic-Appalachian, Region 2: South Atlantic-Gulf (Includes Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), Region 3: Great Lakes, Region 4: Mississippi Basin, Region 5: Missouri Basin, Region 6: Arkansas-Rio Grande-Texas-Gulf, Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin, Region 8: Lower Colorado Basin, Region 9: Columbia-Pacific Northwest, Region 10: California-Great Basin, Region 11: Alaska, Region 12: Pacific Islands (American Samoa, Hawaii, Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands)

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Year Published: 2021

The weight of cities: Urbanization effects on Earth’s subsurface

Across the world, people increasingly choose to live in cities. By 2050, 70% of Earth's population will live in large urban areas. Upon considering a large city, questions arise such as, how much does that weigh? What are its effects on the landscape? Does it cause measurable subsidence? Here I calculate the weight of San Francisco Bay region...

Parsons, Thomas E.

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Year Published: 2021

Assessing the impact of drought on arsenic exposure from private domestic wells in the conterminous United States

This study assesses the potential impact of drought on arsenic exposure from private domestic wells by using a previously developed statistical model that predicts the probability of elevated arsenic concentrations (>10 μg per liter) in water from domestic wells located in the conterminous United States (CONUS). The application of the model to...

Lombard, Melissa; Daniel, Johnni; Jeddy, Zuha; Hay, Lauren; Ayotte, Joseph D.

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Year Published: 2020

Shoreline retreat of the Corte Madera marshes, 1853 to 2016, Marin County, California

The greater San Francisco Bay estuary, prior to human intervention, encompassed about 2,200 km2 of tidal and salt marshes. Over time, these areas became increasingly diked, developed, and altered from their natural state. In addition, natural forces are always driving a continually shifting equilibrium.This study area, the Corte Madera marshes, is...

Carkin, Bradley A.; Kayen, Robert E.; Wong, Florence L.
Carkin, Bradley A., Kayen, Robert E., and Wong, Florence L., 2020, Shoreline retreat of the Corte Madera marshes, 1853 to 2016, Marin County, California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020–1074, 36 p., 6 appendixes, https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20201074.

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Year Published: 2020

Seasonal variation in sediment delivery across the bay-marsh interface of an estuarine salt marsh

Sediment transport across bay–marsh interfaces depends on wave energy, vegetation, and marsh-edge morphology, and varies over a range of timescales. We investigated these dynamics in a tidal salt marsh with a gently-sloped, vegetated edge adjacent to northern San Francisco Bay. Spartina foliosa (cordgrass) inhabits the lower marsh and Salicornia...

Lacy, Jessica R.; Foster-Martinez, Madeline R.; Allen, Rachel (Contractor); Ferner, Matthew C.; Callaway, John C.

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Year Published: 2019

Refining the Baseline Sediment Budget for the Klamath River, California

Four dams in the Klamath River Hydroelectric Project (KHP) in Oregon and California (Figure 1) are currently scheduled to be removed over a period of a few weeks or months, beginning in January 2021. The Klamath dam removal will be the largest in the world by almost all measures, and is an unprecedented opportunity to advance science of river...

Anderson, Chauncey W.; Wright, Scott A.; Schenk, Liam N.; Skalak, Katherine; Curtis, Jennifer A.; East, Amy E.; Benthem, Adam

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Year Published: 2019

Slough evolution and legacy mercury remobilization induced by wetland restoration in South San Francisco Bay

Coastal wetlands have a long history of degradation and destruction due to human development. Now recognized as one of the most productive ecosystems in the world, substantial efforts are being made to restore this critical habitat. While wetland restoration efforts are generally viewed as beneficial in terms of providing wildlife habitat and...

Foxgrover, Amy C.; Marvin-DiPasquale, Mark C.; Jaffe, Bruce E.; Fregoso, Theresa A.

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Year Published: 2016

Anticipating environmental and environmental-health implications of extreme storms: ARkStorm scenario

The ARkStorm Scenario predicts that a prolonged winter storm event across California would cause extreme precipitation, flooding, winds, physical damages, and economic impacts. This study uses a literature review and geographic information system-based analysis of national and state databases to infer how and where ARkStorm could cause...

Plumlee, Geoffrey S.; Alpers, Charles N.; Morman, Suzette A.; San Juan, Carma A.

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Year Published: 2016

Agricultural damages and losses from ARkStorm scenario flooding in California

Scientists designed the ARkStorm scenario to challenge the preparedness of California communities for widespread flooding with a historical precedence and increased likelihood under climate change. California is an important provider of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and other agricultural products to the nation. This study analyzes the agricultural...

Wein, Anne; Mitchell, David; Peters, Jeff; Rowden, John; Tran, Johnny; Corsi, Alessandra; Dinitz, Laura B.
Wein, A., Mitchell, D., Peters, J., Rowden, J., Tran, J., Corsi, A., and Dinitz, L. (2015). "Agricultural Damages and Losses from ARkStorm Scenario Flooding in California." Nat. Hazards Rev. , 10.1061/(ASCE)NH.1527-6996.0000174 , A4015001

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September 1, 2021

Image of the Week - Caldor Fire Expands Toward Lake Tahoe

The Caldor fire in California started on August 14, 2021 and quickly spread in high winds.

The fire continues to expand toward the Lake Tahoe area as residents evacuate.

This image was captured on August 21, the 8th day.

Landsat 8's near infrared and shortwave infrared bands reveal active fire, burn scars, and smoke.

Landsat's thermal and

August 20, 2021

Image of the Week - Dixie Fire Ravages Northern California

The Dixie Fire has become the largest single fire in California's recorded history. State fire officials don't list it at the top, however. The record is held by the massive August Complex fire of 2020 which burned over one million acres. The term "complex" is used when multiple fires in the same area ignite separately. Designating the fires as a complex allows them to be

August 10, 2021

Image of the Week - Dry Spell Depletes Northern California Reservoirs

A prolonged dry spell has sparked woes over water availability and wildfire in the western United States.

This stretch of northern California is heavily reliant on man-made reservoirs. The recent history of a single Landsat scene can serve to illustrate the ripple effects of those severely parched conditions. Water levels have dropped in Folsom Lake, Indian Valley

July 25, 2021

Ferromanganese Nodules—2021 North Atlantic Stepping Stones Exped. (AD)

During a recent dive on the New England Seamount chain off the North Atlantic coast, researchers aboard the NOAA Ocean Exploration Expedition, North Atlantic Stepping Stones, discovered a marine geological feature known as a ferromanganese (Fe-Mn) nodule field in the saddle between two peaks of Gosnold Seamount. These seamount-hosted nodules were an exciting find, since Fe

July 13, 2021

NOAA-USGS Stepping Stones 2021 Expedition - AD

Join USGS researchers Jason Chaytor and Kira Mizell as they virtually participate in a NOAA Ocean Exploration expedition to the depths of the North Atlantic.

The 2021 North Atlantic Stepping Stones: New England and Corner Rise Seamounts expedition runs from June 30 to July 29. At-sea and shore-based science teams will study deep-water habitats in the high seas,

Map of U.S. mainland showing temperate, transitional and tropical temperature patterns
March 16, 2021

U.S. regions in the tropical-to-temperate transition

A map showing North America's tropical-to-temperate transition zone. Red, orange, and yellow depict the more tropical zones, and blues depict the more temperate zones, based on to the coldest recorded temperature for each area between 1980 and 2009. Photos show some cold-sensitive plants and animals with northern range limits governed by winter cold temperature extremes.

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A school of snook, large subtropical game fish, in a Florida spring
March 15, 2021

Subtropical snook gather at a warm Florida springhead in winter

 Winter temperature extremes control the distributions of subtropical fishes. Common snook (Centropomus undecimalis), aggregate at a spring in northern Florida during winter. Snook are warm saltwater game fish, common in Florida, that have been moving further northward as extreme cold spells become less frequent and less intense.

 

A woman stands in a rut eroded by water, on a very steep hill surrounded by burned trees.
February 28, 2021

Burned, denuded hillside in the CZU Lightning Complex

The USGS landslide team monitors and continues to update the hazard map models based on data collected in burn areas. This information improves future models and provides better hazard assessments used by officials for emergency response and decision making. Many of the steep hillsides burned and denuded in California fires repel water rather than soak it in. This

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wind turbines in a dessert landscape
October 27, 2020

Wind turbines in California

Wind turbines at the San Gorgonio Pass Wind Resource Area north of Palm Springs in California.

Home mostly covered by a debris flow in southern California
March 6, 2020

Debris flow after the 2003 Old Gran Prix fire

Damage from a major post-wildfire landslide that occurred on 25 December 2003 near Devore, San Bernardino County as a result of the Old/Grand Prix fires that ran through the San Bernardino Mountains.

Home damaged by post fire debris flow
March 6, 2020

Home damaged by post-wildfire debris flow in Montecito, CA.

Damage from a major post-wildfire landslide that occurred on 9 January 2018 near Montecito, Santa Barbara County as a result of the 2017 Thomas Fire.

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map
September 9, 2021

Residents and visitors should not be alarmed to see a low-flying helicopter over Lemhi and Custer Counties west of Salmon, Idaho from September 6 to October 18, 2021. 

Image shows two scientists in a tall grass field examining something
September 9, 2021

The newly formed Nevada Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit brings state and federal wildlife-management resources together, providing for a cooperative partnership that ensures resources are best serving Nevada’s wildlife and wild places.

A hollowed out base of a sequoia tree
September 7, 2021

As a wildfire approached Tonto National Monument in Arizona, archaeologists and firefighters rushed to cover the park’s 700-year-old cliff dwellings with fire resistant aluminum wrapping.  

USGS
September 7, 2021

The USGS has prepared an Environmental Assessment in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act for a new Laboratory Facility at Moffett Field in Santa Clara County, California. The USGS is requesting your comments on the EA and Section 106 review by September 22, 2021.

polluted groundwater
September 1, 2021

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Intensive pumping of aquifers during drought can speed up deterioration of groundwater quality, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey. The results highlight clean drinking water supply vulnerabilities in California and other western states currently experiencing record drought conditions.

july 8 california earthquake
July 8, 2021

A magnitude 6.0 (M6.0) earthquake struck Little Antelope Valley, California near the Nevada border on July 8, 2021 at 3:49pm local time (July 8 at 22:49 UTC). 

Smartphone for earthquake early warning in Costa Rica
July 8, 2021

A new study led by USGS and Costa Rican researchers demonstrates how Earthquake Early Warning using smartphone technology can be both inexpensive and effective for millions of people.  

2021 May Public Lecture Flyer
May 26, 2021

You are invited to a public lecture about recent surface rupturing earthquakes in the western United States.

Color photograph of person in colorful shirt in front of rock wall
May 12, 2021

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — On May 9, 2021, Christina (Tina) Neal became the new director of the U.S. Geological Survey Volcano Science Center, home of the Alaska, California, Cascades, Hawaiian and Yellowstone volcano observatories.  

Earthquake Early Warning Basics
May 4, 2021

After 15 years of planning and development, the ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system is now available to more than 50 million people in California, Oregon and Washington, the most earthquake-prone region in the conterminous U.S.

Two people kneeling to collect a carcass
March 31, 2021

CORVALLIS, ORE. – Reduction in wildlife mortality rates is sometimes cited as a potential benefit to the replacement of older, smaller turbines by larger, next generation turbines. In contrast, others have expressed concern that newer, larger turbines may actually increase bird and bat deaths.