Unified Interior Regions

Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin

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: 382
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...

Contacts: Rebecca Travis
Date published: May 16, 2019
Status: Active

Nitrate Contamination in the Albuquerque Basin

Globally, nitrate is the most ubiquitous groundwater contaminate including within the Albuquerque Basin in New Mexico. Ingesting high concentrations of nitrate (> 10 mg/L as N) in drinking water can lead to an increased risk of cancer and in infants, methemoglobinemia. Historical groundwater sampling in Albuquerque and Kirtland Air Force Base have found high (> 10 mg/L as N) and sometime...

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.

Contacts: Chris Wilkowske
Date published: May 10, 2019
Status: Active

Accounting for natural capital: building the numbers to track and sustain the nation’s natural resources

Accounting for ecosystem services - the benefits that nature provides to society and the economy - is gaining increasing traction worldwide as governments and the private sector use them to monitor integrated environmental and economic trends. When they are well understood and managed, ecosystems can provide these long-term benefits to people - such as clean air and water, flood control, crop...

Contacts: Kenneth J Bagstad, Ph.D., Carl D Shapiro, Ph.D., Jane Carter Ingram
Date published: April 26, 2019
Status: Active

World Oil and Gas Resource Assessments

The USGS World Energy Project conducts geologic studies that provide an understanding of the quantity, quality, and geologic distribution of world oil and gas resources. Our geologic studies are conducted in an impartial manner and are performed in collaboration and partnership with energy experts within and outside government. Through synthesis and improved understanding of global oil and gas...

Date published: April 25, 2019
Status: Active

Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) Project

The ERP Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) Project is responsible for developing, implementing, and managing a LIMS architecture that expands the LIMS capabilities to support ERP laboratory needs for capturing, tracking, reporting, and managing sample and analysis data generated in ERP laboratories as well as data for samples submitted to external laboratories.  The LIMS Project ...

Date published: April 23, 2019
Status: Active

Petroleum Geochemistry Research Laboratory

The Petroleum Geochemistry Research Laboratory (PGRL) provides analytical capabilities and technical expertise in support of research and assessment projects within the Energy Resource Program (ERP) with a commitment to the provision of quality petroleum organic geochemistry and mineralogy data. PGRL is active in the development and in the distribution of petroleum organic geochemistry rock...

Contacts: Augusta Warden
Date published: April 23, 2019
Status: Active

Petroleum Geochemistry Research Laboratory

The Petroleum Geochemistry Research Laboratory (PGRL) provides analytical capabilities and technical expertise in support of research and assessment projects within the Energy Resource Program (ERP) with a commitment to the provision of quality petroleum organic geochemistry and mineralogy data.

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: 254
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 19, 2019

Audiomagnetotelluric sounding data in the Silverton Caldera complex, Colorado, 2018

This data release includes audiomagnetotelluric (AMT) sounding data collected in July 2018 in the Silverton Caldera complex, Colorado, in the Southern Rocky Mountain Volcanic Field, by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Along with geologic mapping, airborne magnetics, airborne electromagnetics, and magnetotellurics, the USGS collected AMT data at 24 sites along four profiles

Date published: September 12, 2019

U-Pb detrital zircon data for: lower Paleozoic sedimentary rocks near Silverton, CO USA

This Laser ablation ICPMS U-Pb detrital zircon data set supports mapping and stratigraphic interpretations of the Upper Devonian Ignacio Formation in southwestern Colorado (Silverton area). All samples were collected from a measured stratigraphic section called "Sultan Creek South" located at 37.710010 and -107.67530 (Evans and others, 2019). The Ignacio Formation was previously int

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: July 29, 2019

U-Pb zircon data for: The Poncha Pass and Deadman Creek areas, northern Sangre de Cristo mountains of south-central Colorado

Geologic mapping, characterization of geologic structures, and sampling for geochronology was completed in two areas of the northwestern Sangre de Cristo mountains from 2011 through 2017. This data release provides the raw analytical data, metadata and sample information for 20 zircon U-Pb age analyses from laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICPMS). The two areas...

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 12, 2019

GCMRC GIS Base Map Viewer 2.0

The Geospatial team of the Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center maintains an enterprise GIS system built upon ESRI ArcGIS Server and Portal applications.  This web application provides access to many of the most commonly used GIS layers and base data information used by GCMRC in support of on-going science projects. 

Click here to launch the Base Map Viewer (2.0) in a separate...

Date published: June 12, 2019

GCMRC REST Services Page

The Geospatial team of Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center maintains an enterprise GIS system built upon ESRI ArcGIS Server and Portal applications.  From this platform, geospatial content can be consumed in a variety of forms, from custom-built web applications to content hosted on ESRI's ArcGIS Online to direct access of web map services provided here on our REST services page.

Date published: May 10, 2019

Predicted Shorelines for High Flows on the Colorado River Application

This application highlights modeled flows of the Colorado River for a discharge of 41,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) that is approximate to recent (2012 - 2018) and future anticipated water releases associated with a High Flow Experiments conducted from Glen Canyon Dam near Page, Arizona.  These data are to help visualize the water levels during High Flow Events in relation to other map...

Date published: April 30, 2019

Sandbar Monitoring Sites - Remote Camera Photographs Application

GCMRC and Northern Arizona University have engaged in long-term monitoring of 45 sandbar sites along the Colorado River in Grand Canyon for close to three decades.  Remote cameras have been established to monitor sandbar changes in between site surveys that occur every Fall.   This application provides access to thousands of photos, with an option to view photos around specific high flow...

Date published: April 29, 2019

Geospatial Data Abstraction Library (GDAL)

The Geospatial Data Abstraction Library is a translator library for raster geospatial data formats that is released under an X/MIT style Open Source license by the Open Source Geospatial Foundation. As a library, it presents a single abstract data model for all supported formats. It also comes with a variety of useful...

Date published: April 29, 2019

Astro Web Maps

Our Web Mapping Services (WMS) and Web Feature Services (WFS) are based on Open Geospatial Consortium standards and allow capable mapping clients to view full-resolution planetary mosaicked Basemaps.  Besides being available for community use, these services are critical for many of our others...

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: 4,849
Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

Groundwater age and susceptibility of south Atlantic and Gulf Coast principal aquifers of the contiguous United States

Groundwater susceptibility to contamination was investigated by using environmental tracer-based groundwater age metrics in the south Atlantic and Gulf Coast principal aquifer systems of the Southeastern Coastal Plain, Mississippi embayment–Texas coastal uplands, and the Coastal Lowlands. Samples of dissolved gas, tritium, sulfur hexafluoride,...

Solder, John E.
Solder, J.E., 2020, Groundwater age and susceptibility of south Atlantic and Gulf Coast principal aquifers of the contiguous United States: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2020–5050, 46 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20205050.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

Conditions and timing of high-grade metamorphism and ductile deformation of the southern segment of the Central Anatolian Ophiolite

Ophiolitic fragments scattered over a wide area of Central Anatolia exhibit varying degrees of metamorphism, from unmetamorphosed to upper amphibolite facies, although geochemical similarities suggest they are all part of the Central Anatolian Ophiolite (CAO). Magmatic crystallization of oceanic crust in the CAO at ~ 91 Ma coincided with high-...

Radwany, Molly S.; Morgan, Leah E.; Whitney, Donna L.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

A 36-year record of rock avalanches in the Saint Elias Mountains of Alaska, with implications for future hazards

Glacial retreat and mountain-permafrost degradation resulting from rising global temperatures have the potential to impact the frequency and magnitude of landslides in glaciated environments. Several recent events, including the 2015 Taan Fiord rock avalanche, which triggered a tsunami with one of the highest wave runups ever recorded, have called...

Erin K. Bessette-Kirton; Coe, Jeffrey A.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

Hydrogeologic and geochemical characterization of groundwater resources in Pine and Wah Wah Valleys, Iron, Beaver, and Millard Counties, Utah

Pine and Wah Wah Valleys are neighboring structural basins that encompass about 1,330 square miles in Beaver, Iron, and Millard Counties in Utah, approximately 50 miles northwest of Cedar City, Utah, and 50 miles southeast of Baker, Nevada. Perennial streamflow is limited and only exists in higher-altitude reaches of small mountain streams in both...

Gardner, Philip M.; Marston, Thomas M.; Buto, Susan G.; Brooks, Lynette E.
Gardner, P.M., Marston, T.M., Buto, S.G., and Brooks, L.E., 2020, Hydrogeologic and geochemical characterization of groundwater resources in Pine and Wah Wah Valleys, Iron, Beaver, and Millard Counties, Utah: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2019–5139, 49 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20195139.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

Mapping the 3-D extent of the Stillwater Complex, Montana—Implications for potential platinum group element exploration and development

Geophysical models characterize the exposed and interpreted buried extent of the Stillwater Complex, critical for understanding the origin of the layered mafic intrusion and its associated high-grade platinum group element resources. The 3D models, constrained by gravity, magnetic, xenolith, seismic, borehole, and rock property data indicate that...

Finn, Carol A.; Zientek, Michael L.; Parks, Heather L.; Peterson, Dana Elise

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

Causes of land change in the U.S. Interior Highlands, 2001–2011

The causes of land change from 2001 through 2011 for the Interior Highlands region of the south-central United States were assessed using satellite imagery, historical land-use and land-cover data, and digital orthophotos. The study was designed to develop improved regional land-use and land-cover change information, including identification of...

Drummond, Mark A.; Stier, Michael P.; McBeth, Jamie L.; Auch, Roger F.; Taylor, Janis L.; Riegle, Jodi L.
Drummond, M.A., Stier, M.P., McBeth, J.L., Auch, R.F., Taylor, J.L., and Riegle, J.L., 2020, Causes of land change in the U.S. Interior Highlands, 2001–2011: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1127, 4 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ds1127.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

International geoscience collaboration to support critical mineral discovery

The importance of critical minerals and the need to expand and diversify critical mineral supply chains has been endorsed by the Federal governments of Australia, Canada, and the United States. The geoscience organizations of Geoscience Australia, the Geological Survey of Canada and the U.S. Geological Survey have created the Critical Minerals...

Kelley, K.D., 2020, International geoscience collaboration to support critical mineral discovery: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2020–3035, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20203035.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

The grass is not always greener on the other side: Seasonal reversal of vegetation greenness in aspect-driven semiarid ecosystems

Our current understanding of semiarid ecosystems is that they tend to display higher vegetation greenness on polar-facing slopes (PFS) than on equatorial-facing slopes (EFS). However, recent studies have argued that higher vegetation greenness can occur on EFS during part of the year. To assess whether this seasonal reversal of aspect-driven...

Kumari, Nikul; Saco, Patricia M.; Rodriguez, Jose F.; Johnstone, Samuel A.; Srivastava, Ankur; Chun, Kwok P.; Yetemen, Omer

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

Deep Learning as a tool to forecast hydrologic response for landslide-prone hillslopes

Empirical thresholds for landslide warning systems have benefitted from the incorporation of soil‐hydrologic monitoring data, but the mechanistic basis for their predictive capabilities is limited. Although physically based hydrologic models can accurately simulate changes in soil moisture and pore pressure that promote landslides, their utility...

Orland, Elijah; Roering, Joshua J.; Thomas, Matthew A.; Mirus, Benjamin B.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

Human behavioral response in the Ridgecrest earthquakes: Assessing immediate actions based on data from “Did You Feel It?”

Human behavioral response to earthquake ground motion has long been a subject of multidisciplinary interest and research. In most versions of seismic intensity scales, human perceptions and behavior are one component of the assignment of intensity. Public health research has shown that actions taken during earthquakes have a significant impact on...

Goltz, James D.; Park, Hyejeong; Quitoriano, Vince; Wald, David J.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

Structure contour and overburden maps of the Niobrara interval of the Upper Cretaceous Cody Shale in the Bighorn Basin, Wyoming and Montana

The Bighorn Basin is a large intermontane sedimentary and structural basin that formed during the Laramide orogeny. The first commercial hydrocarbon production in the Bighorn Basin was established in 1906 from Cretaceous reservoirs at Garland field followed by the discovery of Greybull field in 1907.  Since then, many important conventional...

Finn, Thomas M.
Finn, T.M., 2020, Structure contour and overburden maps of the Niobrara interval of the Upper Cretaceous Cody Shale in the Bighorn Basin, Wyoming and Montana: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3457, scale 1:500,000, 2 sheets, 9 p. pamphlet, https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3457.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

Dating silica sinter (geyserite): A cautionary tale

We describe a new effort to date hydrothermal silica sinter deposits (geyserite) from the Upper Geyser Basin of Yellowstone National Park using 14C of co-deposited organic matter, U-series and cosmogenic 10Be methods. A majority of the samples were collected from stratigraphic sections, mainly at Riverside, Giant, and Castle Geysers. Ages obtained...

Churchill, Dakota M.; Manga, Michael; Hurwitz, Shaul; Peek, Sara; Licciardi, Joseph; Paces, James

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: 515
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)

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

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

A RestoreNet garden with plots covered by white cloth.
August 31, 2018

RestoreNet garden testing seedling establishment.

The RestoreNet gardens test seedlings of priority restoration species across the Southwest. This is a recently installed garden located in the juniper woodlands of the Colorado Plateau. The experiemental network will support land managers by providing insight into various restoration techniques, including testing seedlings vs seeds.

July 19, 2018

Drilling an Ice Core

Researchers start drilling an ice core in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

USGS - Roswell Field Office, USGS/BLM
June 27, 2018

USGS - Roswell Field Office, USGS/BLM

USGS - Roswell Field Office, USGS/BLM

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: 329
UAS Vehicle
June 26, 2018

This Thursday, scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey and NASA will test new technologies near Parkdale, Colorado, located west of Cañon City, to better understand how unmanned aerial systems (UAS), or drones, may be used to measure water depth, water levels and velocity from the sky. 

Wind turbines
April 19, 2018

Today, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in partnership with DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the American Wind Energy Association, released the United States Wind Turbine Database (USWTDB) and the USWTDB Viewer to access this new public dataset.

Bear Lake to Receive Water Quality and Weather Monitoring Equipment
March 30, 2018

Bear Lake will house water quality and weather monitoring equipment that will provide near real-time information to the public and water managers beginning in early April and continuing through 2022.

Dry wash in San Rafael Desert with white surface salts
January 25, 2018

Salinity loads that originate from groundwater within the Upper Colorado River Basin have decreased from 1986-2011, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study done in cooperation with the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program.

Prairie dog and SPV bait
December 13, 2017

About 70 percent of wild prairie dogs successfully ingested baits containing an oral sylvatic plague vaccine, or SPV, that were distributed throughout their habitats, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.

Photo of a young girl drinking water, which likely originated from groundwater sources. 
December 7, 2017

A regional assessment of untreated groundwater in the Rio Grande aquifer system, which includes parts of Colorado, New Mexico and Texas, is now available from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Upstream view of Fountain Creek in Colorado
December 1, 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey just added more than 800 fish and macroinvertebrate data samples from Fountain Creek, Colorado, to the USGS BioData Retrieval system.

Lake Fork Creek below Sugarloaf dam near Leadville
November 17, 2017

Bringing together decades of research and mapping, the U.S. Geological Survey just released a geologic map and companion pamphlet featuring the Arkansas River Valley region in north-central Colorado.  

Investigating Lung Disease in Military Veterans
November 10, 2017

Six years ago, veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan had trouble breathing normally. The list of potential causes that soldiers were exposed to seemed endless: smoke from burn pits used for trash disposal, desert dust, diesel generator exhaust, humidity and temperature extremes, explosives, and city trash and sewage.

Image shows coal being loaded into trucks at a coal mine
October 26, 2017

It is difficult to overstate the importance of energy to the American economy.  Managing this vital sector depends on knowing how many energy resources we have, how many we use and need, and how these resources are transported

View of snow-capped Borah Peak, Idaho
October 24, 2017

A new tool that gives users the most detailed view yet of the world’s mountains is now available from the USGS. And it’s as close as your computer or cellphone.

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