Unified Interior Regions

Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin

Map of Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin

Map of Region 7:  Upper Colorado Basin

Map Showing USGS/DOI Unified Region 7 and parts of adjoining Regions

Regions L2 Landing Page Tabs

USGS Science Centers in Region 7-Upper Colorado Basin conduct a large number of cooperative and collaborative projects with other agencies and partners. A sampling of those projects are shown below on this web page.

Filter Total Items: 386
Date published: July 19, 2019
Status: Active

Using Robots in the River: Biosurveillance at USGS streamgages

For more than a decade, researchers around the world have shown that sampling a water body and analyzing for DNA (a method known as eDNA) is an effective method to detect an organism in the water. The challenge is that finding organisms that are not very abundant requires a lot of samples to locate this needle in a haystack.  Enter the "lab in a can", the water quality sampling and processing...

Date published: July 11, 2019
Status: Completed

Digging Into the Past on the Teton Fault

- by Jaime Delano (on site) and Lisa Wald (back in the office)

This was originally posted as a blog on the USGS Natural Hazards Mission Area Facebook page during the paleoseismology fieldwork on the Teton Fault outside of Jackson, Wyoming from September 5-21, 2017.

Date published: July 8, 2019
Status: Active

Concealed Rare Earth Element (REE) Terranes in the Southern Basin and Range Geologic Province

We are working to develop an understanding of the types, sizes, and spatial distribution of rare-earth element (REE) related deposits in the Southern Basin and Range geologic province to help ensure the availability of REEs to industry in the United States. Geologic, geophysical, and geochemical data acquired will be used to develop permissive tracts for REE related deposits and to define...

Contacts: Mark Bultman
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: June 28, 2019
Status: Active

Seismic Seiches

Definition of seismic seiches and examples dating back to their first public mention in 1755.

Date published: May 31, 2019
Status: Active

Remote Sensing of Ecosystem Condition and Resilience

Ecosystem condition tends to be highly dynamic in response to natural variability in climate, extreme climate events, disturbance events, and human land use activities. Satellite imagery provides a powerful tool to enhance our understanding of ecosystem change at a landscape scale. This research integrates diverse sources of satellite imagery with ancillary datasets to explore how ecosystems...

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 16, 2019
Status: Active

Ecohydrologic and Water Quality Data Collection at Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge and the Albuquerque South Valley Community Commons

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) New Mexico Water Science Center (NM WSC), in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority (AMAFCA), and Bernalillo County (BERNCO), will measure and...

USGS Science Centers in Region 7-Upper Colorado Basin collect a wide variety of natural resource data types including spatial, geologic, hydrologic, and biologic data. Data included in USGS-series publications that are not publically available in USGS databases are published in Data Releases. Tools are USGS products that can be used to analyze those types of data.

Filter Total Items: 273
Date published: April 10, 2020

Total ecosystem carbon storage in the Southeast United States

Carbon storage by ecosystem type and protection status was derived from total ecosystem carbon estimates provided by Sleeter et al. 2018 and used to estimate terrestrial carbon storage in developed, forested, shrub/scrub, grassland/herbaceous, and agricultural land in the Southeast United States. It does not include estimates for wetland carbon storage.

Date published: March 23, 2020

Data release for Geologic Map of the Homestake Reservoir 7.5' quadrangle, Lake, Pitkin, and Eagle Counties, Colorado

The Homestake Reservoir 7.5' quadrangle lies at the northwestern end of the Upper Arkansas Valley, and headwaters of the Arkansas River, and the Roaring Fork, Fryingpan, and Eagle Rivers of the Colorado River system. The quadrangle lies within tectonic provinces of the 1.4 Ga Picuris Orogeny, the late Paleozoic Ancestral Rockies, Late Cretaceous-Paleocene Laramide orogeny, Oligo

Date published: March 19, 2020

Uranium-, thorium-, strontium-, carbon- and oxygen-isotope data used to evaluate a 300,000-year history of water-table fluctuations at Wind Cave, South Dakota, USA — scale, timing, and groundwater mixing in the Madison Aquifer

Tables of U- and Th-isotopic data used to calculate uranium-series age estimates and initial 234U/238U activity ratios as well as 87Sr/86Sr, δ13C, and δ18O for samples of phreatic speleothems from Wind Cave National Park and U- and Sr-isotopic compositions of waters from the southern Black Hills of South Dakota, USA

Date published: March 11, 2020

Data Release for Geologic Map of Petroglyph National Monument and Vicinity, Bernalillo County, New Mexico

This geologic map depicts and briefly describes geologic units underlying Petroglyph National Monument and immediately adjacent areas in Bernalillo County, New Mexico. The Monument is underlain dominantly by Quaternary basalts of the Albuquerque Volcanoes volcanic field, a series of basin-filling volcanic flows and associated vents from a monogenetic volcanic highland along the eastern margin...

Date published: March 4, 2020

Pre-fire biomass, burn severity, biomass consumption, and fire perimeter data for the 1987 Black Dragon Fire in China

Geospatial data were developed to characterize pre-fire biomass, burn severity, and biomass consumed for the Black Dragon Fire that burned in northern China in 1987. Pre-fire aboveground tree biomass (Mh/ha) raster data were derived by relating plot-level forest inventory data with pre-fire Landsat imagery from 1986 and 1987. Biomass data were generated for individual species: Dahuri

Date published: February 28, 2020

A national dataset of rasterized building footprints for the U.S.

The Bing Maps team at Microsoft released a U.S.-wide vector building dataset in 2018, which includes over 125 million building footprints for all 50 states in GeoJSON format. This dataset is extracted from aerial images using deep learning object classification methods. Large-extent modelling (e.g., urban morphological analysis or ecosystem assessment models) or accuracy assessment with v

Date published: February 28, 2020

Data for Dust deposited on snow cover in the San Juan Mountains, Colorado, 2011-2016: Compositional variability bearing on snow-melt effects

Light-absorbing particles in atmospheric dust deposited on snow cover (dust-on-snow, DOS) diminish albedo and accelerate the timing and rate of snow melt. Identification of these particles and their effects are relevant to snow-radiation modeling and water-resource management. Laboratory-measured reflectance of DOS samples from the San Juan Mountains (USA) were compared with DOS mass lo

Date published: February 28, 2020

A national dataset of rasterized building footprints for the U.S.

The Bing Maps team at Microsoft released a U.S.-wide vector building dataset in 2018, which includes over 125 million building footprints for all 50 states in GeoJSON format. This dataset is extracted from aerial images using deep learning object classification methods. Large-extent modelling (e.g., urban morphological analysis or ecosystem assessment models) or accuracy assessment with v

Date published: February 4, 2020

Thermochronologic data from the southern Stillwater Range, Nevada

This dataset contains apatite and zircon U-Th(He)data, 4He/3He thermochronologic data, and apatite fission-track data from the southern Stillwater Range, Nevada

Date published: January 1, 2020

Digital data for three-dimensional geologic framework model of the Rio San Jose groundwater basin, New Mexico

This data release contains a geospatial database related to a digital 3D geologic framework of the Rio San Jose watershed, New Mexico. The geospatial database contains two main data elements: (1) input data to the 3D framework model; (2) interpolated elevations and thicknesses of stratigraphic units as a cellular array. Input surface and subsurface data for 18 stratigraphic units ha

Date published: November 12, 2019

Post-wildfire debris flow and rainfall data, Whitewater-Baldy complex fire, southwestern New Mexico

During the spring and early summer of 2012, approximately 1,200 square kilometers of Gila National Forest in southwestern New Mexico, including the upper portions of the Whitewater Creek watershed, were burned by the Whitewater-Baldy Complex Fire. The following September 12-17, 2013, a near-record, one-week long storm event produced widespread, historic rainfall amounts throughout

Date published: October 22, 2019

Geochemistry and Environmental Tracer Data for Groundwater, Stream Water, and Ferricrete Samples from Handcart Gulch, Colorado

This data release is part of a study examining the use of near-stream groundwater discharge as a tool for Geochemical Exploration. Handcart Gulch is an unmined alpine watershed in Montezuma Mining District in the Colorado Front Range. The streambed is cemented by deep ferricrete deposits. Stream water, groundwater, and ferricrete samples were collected and analyzed to constrain the location o...

USGS Science Centers in Region 7-Upper Colorado Basin produce hundreds of USGS-series publications, journal papers, and books each year that are subject to rigorous review by USGS specialists. The publications shown below on this page are related to study areas and staff members of USGS Science Centers in Region 7 compiled from the USGS Publications Warehouse.

Filter Total Items: 5,131
Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2021

Assessment of continuous oil and gas resources in the Mowry Shale, Wind River Basin Province, Wyoming, 2020

Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated undiscovered, technically recoverable mean resources of 288 million barrels of oil and 2.6 trillion cubic feet of gas in the Mowry Shale in the Wind River Basin Province, Wyoming.

Finn, Thomas M.; Schenk, Christopher J.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Woodall, Cheryl A.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.; Marra, Kristen R.; Le, Phuong A.; Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.; Ellis, Geoffrey S.
Finn, T.M., Schenk, C.J., Mercier, T.J., Tennyson, M.E., Woodall, C.A., Marra, K.R., Le, P.A., Leathers-Miller, H.M., and Ellis, G.S., 2021, Assessment of continuous oil and gas resources in the Mowry Shale, Wind River Basin Province, Wyoming, 2020: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2021-3006, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20213006.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2021

Temporal seismic velocity variations: Recovery following from the 2019 Mw 7.1 Ridgecrest, California earthquake

We investigated seismic velocity changes (dv/v) associated with the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake sequence with high‐frequency autocorrelations of ambient seismic noise data. Daily autocorrelation functions were computed for the entirety of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020 for broadband stations within the region, including the temporary broadband...

Boschelli, Joshua Dakota; Moschetti, Morgan P.; Sens-Schonfelder, C

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2021

Numerical analysis of the effect of subgrid variability in a physically based hydrological model on runoff, soil moisture, and slope stability

In coarse resolution hydrological modeling we face the problem of subgrid variability, the effects of which are difficult to express and are often hidden in the parameterization and calibration. We present a numerical experiment with the physically based hydrological model ParFlow‐CLM with which we quantify the effect of subgrid heterogeneities in...

Leonarduzzi, E.; Maxwell, R. M.; Mirus, Benjamin B.; Molnar, P.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2021

Incorporating the effects of complex soil layering and thickness local variability into distributed landslide susceptibility assessments

Incorporating the influence of soil layering and local variability into the parameterizations of physics-based numerical models for distributed landslide susceptibility assessments remains a challenge. Typical applications employ substantial simplifications including homogeneous soil units and soil-hydraulic properties assigned based only on...

Fusco, F.; Mirus, Benjamin B.; Baum, Rex L.; Calcaterra, D.; De Vita, P.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2021

Continental-scale analysis of shallow and deep groundwater contributions to streams

Groundwater discharge generates streamflow and influences stream thermal regimes. However, the water quality and thermal buffering capacity of groundwater depends on the aquifer source-depth. Here, we pair multi-year air and stream temperature signals to categorize 1729 sites across the continental United States as having major dam influence,...

Hare, D.; Helton, A. M.; Johnson, Zachary C.; Lane, Jr., John W.; Briggs, Martin A.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2021

Groundwater management process simulations using an updated version of the three-dimensional numerical model of groundwater flow in northern Utah Valley, Utah County, Utah

Groundwater is a primary source of drinking water in northern Utah County. The groundwater system is recharged mainly from precipitation in the adjacent Wasatch Mountains and infiltration of streamflow. In 2004, groundwater withdrawals were estimated to be roughly 44,500 acre-feet per year. In 2016, groundwater withdrawals were estimated to be...

Stolp, Bernard J.; Brooks, Lynette E.
Stolp, B.J., and Brooks, L.E., 2021, Groundwater management process simulations using an updated version of the three-dimensional numerical model of groundwater flow in northern Utah Valley, Utah County, Utah: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2021–5010, 28 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20215010.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2021

Geomagnetic monitoring in the mid-Atlantic United States

Near historic battlegrounds of the American Civil War, southeast of Fredericksburg, Virginia, on a secluded grassy glade surrounded by forest, a specially designed observatory records the Earth’s changing magnetic field. This facility, the Fredericksburg Magnetic Observatory, is 1 of 14 observatories the U.S. Geological Survey Geomagnetism Program...

Love, Jeffrey J.; Lewis, Kristen A.
Love, J.J., and Lewis, K.A., 2021, Geomagnetic monitoring in the mid-Atlantic United States: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet, 2 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/fs3001.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2021

Paragenesis of an orogenic gold deposit: New insights on mineralizing processes at the Grass Valley District, California

The Grass Valley orogenic gold district in the Sierra Nevada foothills province, central California, is the largest historical gold producer of the North American Cordillera. Gold mineralization is associated with shallowly dipping north-south veins hosted by the 160 Ma Grass Valley granodiorite to the southwest of the Grass Valley fault and...

Taylor, Ryan; Monecke, Thomas; Reynolds, T. James; Monecke, Jochen

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2021

Comparing tree-ring based reconstructions of snowpack variability at different scales for the Navajo Nation

Snowpack in the western U.S. is on the decline, largely attributed to increasing temperatures in the region. This is a critical issue for many Native American communities who disproportionately rely on local snow-fed water supplies. In light of a combined ongoing drought and limited climate information for the Navajo Nation, Navajo water...

Brice, Rebecca Lynn; Guiterman, Christopher H.; Woodhouse, Connie A.; McClellan, Carlee; Sheppard, Paul

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2021

Preface to the Focus Section on the 2020 Intermountain West earthquakes

The Intermountain West region of the United States extends from the eastern margin of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mountains in the west to the Rocky Mountains in the east. The region is characterized by dextral shear along the eastern margin of the Sierra Nevada and nearly east-west extension in the Basin and Range. This region experienced four...

Gold, Ryan D.; Bormann, Jayne; Koper, Keith D.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2021

Improved Automated Identification and Mapping of Iron Sulfate Minerals, Other Mineral Groups, and Vegetation using Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager Data, San Juan Mountains, Colorado, and Four Corners Region

Multispectral remote sensing data acquired by the Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) sensor were analyzed using a new, automated technique to generate a map of exposed mineral and vegetation groups in the western San Juan Mountains, Colo., and the Four Corners Region of the United States. Band ratio results were combined into displayed...

Rockwell, Barnaby W.; Gnesda, William R.; Hofstra, Albert H.
Rockwell, B.W., Gnesda, W.R., and Hofstra, A.H., 2021, Improved automated identification and mapping of iron sulfate minerals, other mineral groups, and vegetation using Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager data, San Juan Mountains, Colorado, and Four Corners Region: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3466, 1 sheet, scale 1:325,000, 37-p. pamphlet, https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3466.

Photos and videos described and linked on this webpage come from a wide variety of USGS science activities and presentations performed by USGS Science Center staff members in the Region 7-Upper Colorado Basin.

Filter Total Items: 517
large boulder with trees growing near it
May 21, 2019

boulder dropped by retreating glacier in Yellowstone National Park

This huge boulder was dropped by a retreating glacier on the north rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone in Yellowstone National Park, and it is a testament to Yellowstone's icy past.

May 10, 2019

Image of the Week - A New Yellowstone Hot Spot

Scientists with the USGS Yellowstone Volcano Observatory use satellite and aerial imagery to map hot springs, geothermal vents, and geysers at Yellowstone National Park. They recently found an entirely new thermal area miles from the nearest trailhead. Landsat 8's thermal infrared sensors captured the change in a nighttime image from April of 2017. Aerial images reveal a

USGS - Water quality sampling in the western Plains of San Agustin
April 10, 2019

Water quality sampling in the western Plains of San Agustin

USGS scientist Mike Carlson works to collect a water quality sample from a windmill in the western Plains of San Agustin. Photo taken by Jeff Pepin on April 10th, 2019.

USGS - stock tank in the western Plains of San Agustin
April 4, 2019

Stock tank in the western Plains of San Agustin

USGS scientist Hal Nelson wades in a stock tank to install a fitting on the discharge pipe of a groundwater well to facilitate water quality sampling in the western Plains of San Agustin. Photo taken by Jeff Pepin on April 4th, 2019. 

Stormwater runoff in the Albuquerque urban area, NMWSC
December 31, 2018

Stormwater runoff in the Albuquerque urban area, NMWSC

Stormwater runoff in the Albuquerque urban area, NMWSC

USGS, NM Water Science Center, Gallinas Creek discharge measurement
December 31, 2018

Gallinas Creek discharge measurement, USGS

Hydrologic Technician Chris Peskuski making a discharge measurement above Gallinas Creek near Montezuma, NM (site data available at: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nm/nwis/uv?site_no=08380500)

A USGS scientist prepares a sample to test the effect of antibiotics on denitrifying bacteria within a glove box
September 24, 2018

A USGS scientist prepares a sample to test the effect of antibiotics

A USGS scientist prepares a sample to test the effect of antibiotics on denitrifying bacteria within a glove box. A glove box allows scientists to work with samples in an anaerobic (no oxygen) atmosphere, the conditions under which denitrification occurs.

Leidy Creek near Moran (13012465) streamgage
September 23, 2018

Leidy Creek near Moran (13012465) streamgage

Leidy Creek near Moran (13012465) streamgage

South Fork Spread Creek near Moran (13012475) streamgage
September 23, 2018

South Fork Spread Creek near Moran (13012475) streamgage

South Fork Spread Creek near Moran (13012475) streamgage

Drainage area contributing to Big Creek below Lookout Creek, near Apgar
September 11, 2018

Drainage area contributing to Big Creek below Lookout Creek, nr Apgar

Drainage area contributing to Big Creek below Lookout Creek, near Apgar

News items shown on this page are highlights of selected studies conducted and publications produced by USGS Science Center staff members in Region 7-Upper Colorado Basin.

Filter Total Items: 345
dark space with golden solar flare
March 16, 2020

The U.S. Geological Survey released a new report on geoelectric hazards for two-thirds of the contiguous U.S., spanning from the northeast to the west coast of the Nation. 

EON Geosciences Piper Navajo Airplane with Tail Stinger Magnetometer
October 21, 2019

Editor: In the public interest and in accordance with the Federal Aviation Administration regulations, the USGS is announcing this low-level airborne project. Your assistance in informing the local communities is appreciated.

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.

A huge canyon surrounded by deep-set cliffs opens to reveal a sunny gorge and part of the Colorado River.
April 11, 2019

A new study shows that mysterious cycles in salinity in the lower Colorado River are a result of precipitation patterns in the headwaters of the upper basin more than a thousand river miles away. The salinity levels generally repeat about every 10 years.

Airborne electromagnetic system similar to that which will be used for the Silverton, Colorado survey.
March 25, 2019

In the public interest, and in accordance with FAA regulations, the USGS is announcing this low-level airborne project. Your assistance in informing the local communities is appreciated.

This is a photo of a view of Lake Powell's south shore.
March 18, 2019

Mercury concentrations within Lake Powell are highest in side canyons within the lower portion of the reservoir, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey report. This finding is part of a study to better understand why mercury concentrations in striped bass are higher in the lower part of the reservoir.

Photo of an active oil and gas pad on Bureau of Land Management lands near Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
February 12, 2019

Recovery of vegetation on plugged and abandoned oil and gas well sites on the Colorado Plateau is influenced by time, moisture, nonnative plants and the type of plant community that was originally in place before well sites were constructed, according to a recently published study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Image shows a map of the assessment units of the 2018 Delaware Basin oil and gas assessment
November 28, 2018

Estimates Include 46.3 Billion Barrels of Oil, 281 Trillion Cubic feet of Natural Gas, and 20 Billion Barrels of Natural Gas Liquids in Texas and New Mexico’s Wolfcamp Shale and Bone Spring Formation.

This page includes links to Social Media accounts (top of page), Science Centers (middle of page), and Regional Office staff members (bottom of page) of the USGS Region 7--Upper Colorado Basin.

USGS Science Centers in Region 7-Upper Colorado Basin conduct a large number of cooperative, co-funded science and monitoring projects with many other Federal, Tribal, State, and local agencies. Please scroll below to see the agencies with which those Science Centers currently have cooperative agreements.

Filter Total Items: 323