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FAQs

This webpage contains a list of selected USGS frequently asked questions (FAQs) and short answers to those questions for topics likely to be of interest in the USGS Region 7: Upper Colorado River Basin area. Left-click on the titles or images below to see answers to these FAQs. Please contact us if you have additional questions.

Filter Total Items: 53

What is a debris flow?

Debris flows are fast-moving landslides that are particularly dangerous to life and property because they move quickly, destroy objects in their paths, and often strike without warning. They occur in a wide variety of environments throughout the world, including all 50 states and U.S. Territories. Debris flows generally occur during periods of intense rainfall or rapid snowmelt and usually start...

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What is a debris flow?

Debris flows are fast-moving landslides that are particularly dangerous to life and property because they move quickly, destroy objects in their paths, and often strike without warning. They occur in a wide variety of environments throughout the world, including all 50 states and U.S. Territories. Debris flows generally occur during periods of intense rainfall or rapid snowmelt and usually start...

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How do I sign up for the ShakeAlert® Earthquake Early Warning System?

The USGS issues ShakeAlert® Messages but alert delivery will come by other public and private means (internet, radio, television, cellular), including Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) -- think of an AMBER Alert -- delivered by FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS). Alert delivery via the WEA system is available in California, Oregon, and Washington. To ensure that you can...

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How do I sign up for the ShakeAlert® Earthquake Early Warning System?

The USGS issues ShakeAlert® Messages but alert delivery will come by other public and private means (internet, radio, television, cellular), including Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) -- think of an AMBER Alert -- delivered by FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS). Alert delivery via the WEA system is available in California, Oregon, and Washington. To ensure that you can...

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Why are pollinating bats, birds, bees, butterflies, and other animals important?

Do you enjoy a hot cup of coffee, a juicy peach, an-apple-a-day, almonds, rich and creamy dates, a handful of plump cashews, or vine-ripened tomatoes? Do you enjoy seeing the native flowers and plants that surround you? If so, you depend on pollinators. Wherever flowering plants flourish, pollinating bees, birds, butterflies, bats and other animals are hard at work, providing vital but often...

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Why are pollinating bats, birds, bees, butterflies, and other animals important?

Do you enjoy a hot cup of coffee, a juicy peach, an-apple-a-day, almonds, rich and creamy dates, a handful of plump cashews, or vine-ripened tomatoes? Do you enjoy seeing the native flowers and plants that surround you? If so, you depend on pollinators. Wherever flowering plants flourish, pollinating bees, birds, butterflies, bats and other animals are hard at work, providing vital but often...

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How do I download layers in The National Map Viewer?

Base map data layers in The National Map Viewer are for viewing only. This application is designed for visualizing data, combining different data layers, and creating (and printing) your own maps. To download data from The National Map, see the link at the top of the Viewer for the Data Downloader.  None of the base map layers in the Viewer are available for download, but some of them can be...

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How do I download layers in The National Map Viewer?

Base map data layers in The National Map Viewer are for viewing only. This application is designed for visualizing data, combining different data layers, and creating (and printing) your own maps. To download data from The National Map, see the link at the top of the Viewer for the Data Downloader.  None of the base map layers in the Viewer are available for download, but some of them can be...

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Where can I get global land cover data?

Access global land cover data using two sources in EarthExplorer: Global Land Cover Characterization (GLCC): In EarthExplorer, select "GLCC" under "Land Cover" in the "Data Sets" tab. Derived from 1-km Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) data collected April 1992-March 1993. Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Land Cover: In EarthExplorer, select "NASA LPDAAC...

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Where can I get global land cover data?

Access global land cover data using two sources in EarthExplorer: Global Land Cover Characterization (GLCC): In EarthExplorer, select "GLCC" under "Land Cover" in the "Data Sets" tab. Derived from 1-km Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) data collected April 1992-March 1993. Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Land Cover: In EarthExplorer, select "NASA LPDAAC...

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Where can I find metadata for USGS products?

Metadata for publications authored by USGS scientists can be found in the USGS Publications Warehouse. Metadata for USGS data can be found in the USGS Science Data Catalog or on the repository serving the data. USGS data that predate 2000 might not have metadata. Learn more: USGS Data Management: Metadata/Documentation

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Where can I find metadata for USGS products?

Metadata for publications authored by USGS scientists can be found in the USGS Publications Warehouse. Metadata for USGS data can be found in the USGS Science Data Catalog or on the repository serving the data. USGS data that predate 2000 might not have metadata. Learn more: USGS Data Management: Metadata/Documentation

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What are the different USGS publication series?

The primary USGS publication series include: Fact Sheet (for general audiences) General Information Product (for general audiences) Circular (for general audiences) Professional Paper Scientific Investigations Report Scientific Investigations Map Data Series Techniques and Methods Open-File Report Learn more: USGS Manual: USGS Publication series

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What are the different USGS publication series?

The primary USGS publication series include: Fact Sheet (for general audiences) General Information Product (for general audiences) Circular (for general audiences) Professional Paper Scientific Investigations Report Scientific Investigations Map Data Series Techniques and Methods Open-File Report Learn more: USGS Manual: USGS Publication series

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What does the USGS (United States Geological Survey) do?

The USGS (United States Geological Survey) is a science bureau within the United States Department of the Interior. The USGS provides science about the natural hazards that threaten lives and livelihoods; the water, energy, minerals, and other natural resources we rely on; the health of our ecosystems and environment; and the impacts of climate and land-use change. Our scientists develop new...

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What does the USGS (United States Geological Survey) do?

The USGS (United States Geological Survey) is a science bureau within the United States Department of the Interior. The USGS provides science about the natural hazards that threaten lives and livelihoods; the water, energy, minerals, and other natural resources we rely on; the health of our ecosystems and environment; and the impacts of climate and land-use change. Our scientists develop new...

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Can you identify my rock or mineral?

Rocks and minerals must be examined in person from all perspectives for accurate identification; they are extremely difficult to identify through photographs. You will get the best results by taking your rock or mineral to a local source where it can be handled and examined closely. Possibilities include:Your state geological surveyA natural science museumA college or university with a geology...

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Can you identify my rock or mineral?

Rocks and minerals must be examined in person from all perspectives for accurate identification; they are extremely difficult to identify through photographs. You will get the best results by taking your rock or mineral to a local source where it can be handled and examined closely. Possibilities include:Your state geological surveyA natural science museumA college or university with a geology...

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How do I find, download, or order topographic maps?

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been the primary civilian mapping agency of the United States since 1879. The best known USGS maps are the 1:24,000-scale topographic maps, also known as 7.5-minute quadrangles. Download all dates and scales of USGS topographic maps free of charge from the following applications or order paper copies of all dates through the USGS Store. This includes both...

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How do I find, download, or order topographic maps?

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been the primary civilian mapping agency of the United States since 1879. The best known USGS maps are the 1:24,000-scale topographic maps, also known as 7.5-minute quadrangles. Download all dates and scales of USGS topographic maps free of charge from the following applications or order paper copies of all dates through the USGS Store. This includes both...

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What Landsat data products are available?

There are several Landsat data products that are useful for science applications and land use/land change studies: Landsat Collections Level 1 - Ensures that the data in the Landsat Level-1 archive are consistent in processing and data quality to support time-series analyses and data stacking. Each Level-1 data product includes individual spectral band files, a metadata file, and additional...

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What Landsat data products are available?

There are several Landsat data products that are useful for science applications and land use/land change studies: Landsat Collections Level 1 - Ensures that the data in the Landsat Level-1 archive are consistent in processing and data quality to support time-series analyses and data stacking. Each Level-1 data product includes individual spectral band files, a metadata file, and additional...

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Can wind turbines harm wildlife?

A key challenge facing the wind industry is the potential for turbines to adversely affect wild animals both directly, via collisions, as well as indirectly due to noise pollution, habitat loss, and reduced survival or reproduction. Among the most impacted wildlife are birds and bats, which by eating destructive insects provide billions of dollars of economic benefits to the country’s agricultural...

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Can wind turbines harm wildlife?

A key challenge facing the wind industry is the potential for turbines to adversely affect wild animals both directly, via collisions, as well as indirectly due to noise pollution, habitat loss, and reduced survival or reproduction. Among the most impacted wildlife are birds and bats, which by eating destructive insects provide billions of dollars of economic benefits to the country’s agricultural...

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