Unified Interior Regions

Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin

Map of Region 7 Upper Colorado River Basin

Map of Region 7 Upper Colorado River 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: 385
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

The project is developing 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 rare earth elements to the U.S.

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...

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...

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: 272
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...

Date published: October 18, 2019

Rangeland Hydrology Erosion Model Input file for the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument (2016)

Input dataset for the Rangeland Hydrology Erosion Model (RHEM) for the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument.

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: 5,063
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Year Published: 2021

A subset of CyberShake ground-motion time series for response-history analysis

This manuscript describes a subset of CyberShake numerically simulated ground motions that were selected and vetted for use in engineering response-history analyses. Ground motions were selected that have seismological properties and response spectra representative of conditions in the Los Angeles area, based on disaggregation of seismic hazard....

Baker, Jack W.; Rezaeian, Sanaz; Goulet, Christine A.; Luco, Nicolas; Teng, Ganyu

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Year Published: 2021

River terrace evidence of tectonic processes in the eastern North American plate interior, South Anna River, Virginia

We show that long-recognized seismicity in the central Virginia seismic zone (CVSZ) of the eastern North American (ENAM) intraplate setting arises primarily from tectonic processes predicted by new, fully coupled plate tectonic geodynamic models. The study leverages much new geophysical and geologic data following the 2011 Mineral, VA earthquake...

Pazzaglia, Frank J.; Malenda, Helen F.; McGavick, Matthew L.; Raup, Cody; Carter, Mark W.; Berti, Claudio; Mahan, Shannon A.; Nelson, Michelle S.; Rittenour, Tammy M.; Counts, Ron; Willenbring, Jane K; Germanoski, Dru; Peters, Stephen C.; Holt, William D.

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Year Published: 2021

Atmospheric processing of iron-bearing mineral dust aerosol and its effect on growth of a marine diatom, Cyclotella meneghiniana

Iron (Fe) is a growth-limiting micronutrient for phytoplankton in major areas of oceans and deposited wind-blown desert dust is a primary Fe source to these regions. Simulated atmospheric processing of four mineral dust proxies and two natural dust samples followed by subsequent growth studies of the marine planktic diatom Cyclotella...

Hettiarachchi, Eshani; Ivanov, Sergei; Kieft, Thomas L.; Goldstein, Harland L.; Moskowitz, Bruce M.; Reynolds, Richard L.; Rubasinghege, Gayan

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Year Published: 2021

Evaluation of simulated ground motions using probabilistic seismic demand analysis: CyberShake (ver. 15.12) simulations for Ordinary Standard Bridges

There is a need for benchmarking and validating simulated ground motions in order for them to be utilized by the engineering community. Such validation may be geared towards a specific ground motion simulation method, a target engineering application, and a specific location; the validation presented herein focuses on a bridge engineering...

Fayaz, Jawad; Rezaeian, Sanaz; Zareian, Farzin

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Year Published: 2021

Rapid sensitivity analysis for reducing uncertainty in landslide hazard assessments

One of the challenges in assessing temporal and spatial aspects of landslide hazard using process-based models is estimating model input parameters, especially in areas where limited measurements of soil and rock properties are available. In an effort to simplify and streamline parameter estimation, development of a simple, rapid approach to...

Baum, Rex L.

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Year Published: 2021

Effect of organic matter concentration and characteristics on mercury mobilization and methylmercury production at an abandoned mine site

Thousands of abandoned mines throughout the western region of North America contain elevated total-mercury (THg) concentrations. Mercury is mobilized from these sites primarily due to erosion of particulate-bound Hg (THg-P). Organic matter-based soil amendments can promote vegetation growth on mine tailings, reducing erosion and subsequent loading...

Eckley, Chris S.; Luxton, Todd P.; Stanfield, Brooks; Baldwin, Austin K.; Holloway, JoAnn; McKernan, John; Johnson, Mark

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Year Published: 2021

Age and mantle sources of Quaternary basalts associated with “leaky” transform faults of the migrating Anatolia-Arabia-Africa triple junction

The Anatolia (Eurasia), Arabia, and Africa tec­tonic plates intersect in southeast Turkey, near the Gulf of İskenderun, forming a tectonically active and unstable triple junction (the A3 triple junction). The plate boundaries are marked by broad zones of major, dominantly left-lateral transform faults including the East Anatolian fault zone (...

Cosca, Michael; Reid, Mary; Delph, Jonathan; Gençalioğlu Kuşcu, Gonca; Blichert-Toft, Janne; Premo, Wayne R.; Whitney, Donna; Teyssier, Christian; Rojay, Bora

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Year Published: 2021

Climate and Ecological Disturbance Analysis of Engelmann spruce and Douglas fir in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

The effects of anthropogenic climate change are apparent in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE), USA, with forest die-off, insect outbreaks, and wildfires impacting forest ecosystems. A long-term perspective would enable assessment of the historical range of variability in forest ecosystems and better determination of recent forest dynamics...

Rinaldi, Brittany; Maxwell, R. Stockton; Callahan, Thomas; Brice, Rebecca Lynn; Heeter, Karen; Harley, Grant L.

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Year Published: 2021

Spectral inversion for seismic site response in central Oklahoma: Low-frequency resonances from the Great Unconformity

We investigate seismic site response by inverting seismic ground‐motion spectra for site and source spectral properties, in a region of central Oklahoma, where previous ground‐motion studies have indicated discrepancies between observations and ground‐motion models (GMMs). The inversion is constrained by a source spectral model, which we computed...

Moschetti, Morgan P.; Hartzell, Stephen H.

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Year Published: 2021

Hydrogeochemistry in the Yukon-Tanana Upland region of east-central Alaska: Possible exploration tool for porphyry-style deposits

A hydrogeochemical study using high resolution ICP-MS was undertaken at the Taurus and other porphyry Cu-Mo(-Au) occurrences and Ag-Au-Cu (+/- Pb, Zn) occurrences with epithermal-style characteristics in the Yukon-Tanana upland region of eastern Alaska. Surface water samples were collected from 30 sites on creeks that drain known deposits and...

Kelley, Karen D.; Graham, Garth E.

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Year Published: 2021

Transport and speciation of uranium in groundwater-surface water systems impacted by legacy milling operations

Growing worldwide concern over uranium contamination of groundwater resources has placed an emphasis on understanding uranium transport dynamics and potential toxicity in groundwater-surface water systems. In this study, we utilized novel in-situ sampling methods to establish the location and magnitude of contaminated groundwater entry into a...

Byrne, Patrick; Fuller, Christopher C.; Naftz, David L.; Runkel, Robert L.; Lehto, Niklas J; Dam, William L

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Year Published: 2021

Multiple physical properties of gas hydrate-bearing sediments recovered from Alaska North Slope 2018 Hydrate-01 Stratigraphic Test Well

Knowledge of the petrophysical and geomechanical properties of gas hydrate-bearing sediments is essential for predicting reservoir responses to gas production from gas hydrate reservoirs. In December 2018, Stratigraphic Test Well Hydrate-01 was drilled in the western part of the Prudhoe Bay Unit, Alaska North Slope, as part of the technical...

Yoneda, Jun; Jin, Yusuke; Muraoka, Michihiro; Oshima, Motoi; Suzuki, Kiyofumi; Walker, Mike; Donald Westacott; Otsuki, Satoshi; Kumagai, Kenichi; Collett, Timothy; Boswell, Ray; Okinaka, Norihiro

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: 520
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. 

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

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: 341
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.

Big Thompson Floods of 1976 and 2013 - A Visual Comparison of Flood Events
September 14, 2018

The Big Thompson Floods of 1976 and 2013 shown visually. The inundation images reflect the location and peak streamflows at certain points between Estes Park and Loveland, Colorado.

Bandelier Postwildfire, New Mexico Water Science Center
August 6, 2018

The U.S. Geological Survey is celebrating the achievements of Dr. Craig D. Allen, who was recently named an Ecological Society of America (ESA) fellow for making exceptional contributions to a broad array of ecology. Dr. Allen, a research ecologist with the USGS Fort Collins Science Center, joins 27 other newly-initiated ESA fellows from academia, public and private sectors. Fellows are elected fo

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