Unified Interior Regions

Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin

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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: July 1, 2015
Status: Active

Selenium on Sediment in Lower Gunnison River Basin Critical Habitat

The Gunnison Basin Selenium Management Program (SMP) implemented a water-quality monitoring network in 2011 in the lower Gunnison River Basin in Colorado. Selenium (Se) is a trace element that bioaccumulates in aquatic food chains and can cause reproductive failure, deformities, and other harmful effects.

The dissolved concentration of selenium in the water column is not necessarily a...

Date published: June 25, 2015
Status: Completed

Potentiometric Surfaces and Groundwater-Level Changes

In the past, groundwater pumped from the Santa Fe Group aquifer system was the principal source of water for the Albuquerque metropolitan area of central New Mexico. The large quantity of groundwater pumping relative to recharge resulted in substantial drawdown in the aquifer system. In 2008 the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority began diverting water from the San Juan-Chama...

Date published: June 25, 2015
Status: Active

Changes in Watershed Hydrologic Response Time with Post-wildfire Changes in Vegetation and Surface Fuels Along a Severely-burned, High-desert Canyon, Bandelier National Monument, NM

Flash flooding can be a destructive and life-threatening response of watersheds to intense rainfall events, particularly in sparsely­ vegetated, or burned watersheds. Studies have been conducted to estimate the magnitude of hydrologic responses of burned watersheds to rainfall events, however the time that it takes a flood to travel through a burned watershed and reach a critical or populated...

Contacts: Anne C Tillery
Date published: June 23, 2015
Status: Active

NMWSC Groundwater Data Program

Historic and current groundwater data may be used to help guide water management in New Mexico. Groundwater levels measured by the USGS provide the public, State, and Federal agencies, and cooperators with reliable and impartial information. 

Date published: June 23, 2015
Status: Completed

Post-Wildfire Investigation: Analysis of Soil Properties Based on Burn Severity

The Las Conchas fire started on June 26, 2011, near the small community of Las Conchas in the Jemez Mountains of north-central New Mexico. When the fire was contained on August 3, 2011, it had burned 156,593 acres of mixed conifer, pinyon/juniper and ponderosa forest and at the time was the largest wildfire in New Mexico history. Peak burn severity was extreme; over 60,000 acres of the total...

Contacts: For contact information, please reach out to:
Date published: June 13, 2015
Status: Active

Transboundary Aquifer Assessment Program (TAAP)

Transboundary aquifers are an essential source of water for United States – Mexico border communities. Declining water levels, deteriorating water quality, and increasing use of groundwater resources on both sides of the border raise concerns about the long-term availability of this supply.

The U.S. – Mexico Transboundary Aquifer Assessment Act (Public Law 109-448) of 2006 was enacted...

Date published: June 6, 2015
Status: Active

Water Resource Assessment of the Rio San Jose Basin, West-Central New Mexico

Water resources in the Rio San Jose Basin are limited, and development for public supply, mining, agriculture, and commercial activities have the potential to affect the water availability and quality at a basin-wide scale. This study is designed to provide water-resource managers with better information to plan for potential effects of increased or shifting demands and changes of climatic...

Date published: June 5, 2015
Status: Active

Streamgaging: Silent Sentinels

Streamflow data are needed at many sites on a daily basis for forecasting flow extremes, making water-management decisions, assessing current water availability, managing water quality, and meeting legal requirements. These activities require streamflow information at a given location for a specified time. These needs generally are best satisfied by operating a station to produce a continuous...

Contacts: Mark A Gunn
Date published: June 4, 2015
Status: Active

URGWOM: Upper Rio Grande Water Operations Model

The Upper Rio Grande (URG) River Basin extends from the headwaters in Colorado to the USGS streamflow gage Rio Grande near Fort Quitman, Texas, and includes both native water and transmountain water from the Colorado River Basin. Because of surface-water allotment issues, input from various sources of water (native and transmountain), numerous reservoirs, and complex stream-aquifer relations,...

Contacts: For contact information, please reach out to:
Date published: May 25, 2015
Status: Active

Rio Grande Compact and Pecos River Commission

Rio Grande Compact and Pecos River Commission

Date published: May 23, 2015
Status: Active

City of Santa Fe Groundwater Level Monitoring

In 1986, the USGS, in cooperation with the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer and the City of Santa Fe, drilled two well nests (Santa Fe nest 1 and Santa Fe nest 2) to monitor hydraulic head in the local aquifer systems. In 1987, three more well nests (Santa Fe nests 3, 4, and 5) were installed in the Buckman well field. In 1997, the City of Santa Fe partnered with the USGS to more...

Contacts: Joseph E Beman
Date published: May 23, 2015
Status: Active

Office of State Engineers (OSE) Deep Piezometers

In 1996, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer (OSE), began a drilling program to install specialized monitoring wells in the Middle Rio Grande Basin and the Espanola Basin.

Contacts: Joseph E Beman

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
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Year Published: 2019

Evaluation of groundwater resources in the Spanish Valley Watershed, Grand and San Juan Counties, Utah

Groundwater resources in the Spanish Valley watershed in southern Utah were quantified for the first time since the early 1970s. The primary objectives of this study were (1) to better understand sources of recharge to, groundwater flow directions within, and discharge points for both the valley-fill and Glen Canyon Group aquifers (VFA and GCGA),...

Masbruch, Melissa D.; Gardner, Philip M.; Nelson, Nora C.; Heilweil, Victor M.; Solder, John E.; Hess, Michael D.; McKinney, Tim S.; Briggs, Martin A.; Solomon, D. Kip
Masbruch, M.D., Gardner, P.M., Nelson, N.C., Heilweil, V.M., Solder, J.E., Hess, M.D., McKinney, T.S., Briggs, M.A., and Solomon, D.K., 2019, Evaluation of groundwater resources in the Spanish Valley Watershed, Grand and San Juan Counties, Utah: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2019–5062, 86 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20195062.

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Year Published: 2019

Recognition and significance of Late Devonian fluvial, estuarine, and mixed siliciclastic-carbonate nearshore marine environments in the San Juan Mountains (southwestern Colorado, U.S.A.): Multiple incised valleys backfilled by lowstand and transgressive system tracts

The Upper Devonian Ignacio Formation (as stratigraphically revised) comprises a transgressive, tide-dominated estuarine depositional system in the San Juan Mountains (Colorado, USA). The unit backfills at least three bedrock paleovalleys (10–30 km wide and ≥42 m deep) with a consistent stratigraphy of tidally influenced fluvial, bayhead-delta,...

Evans, James E.; Maurer, Joshua T; Holm-Denoma, Christopher S.

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Year Published: 2019

Use of Set Blanks in Reporting Pesticide Results at the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Quality Laboratory, 2001–15

Executive SummaryBackground.—Pesticide results from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water Quality Laboratory (NWQL) are used for water-quality assessments by many agencies and organizations. The USGS is committed to providing data of the highest possible quality to the consumers of its data. A cooperator’s inquiries about specific...

Medalie, Laura; Sandstrom, Mark W.; Toccalino, Patricia L.; Foreman, William T.; ReVello, Rhiannon C.; Bexfield, Laura M.; Riskin, Melissa L.
Medalie, L., Sandstrom, M.W., Toccalino, P.L., Foreman, W.T., ReVello, R.C., Bexfield, L.M., and Riskin, M.L., 2019, Use of set blanks in reporting pesticide results at the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Quality Laboratory, 2001–15: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2019–5055, 147 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20195055.

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Year Published: 2019

Occurrence and sources of radium in groundwater associated with oil fields in the southern San Joaquin Valley, California

Geochemical data from 40 water wells were used to examine the occurrence and sources of radium (Ra) in groundwater associated with three oil fields in California (Fruitvale, Lost Hills, South Belridge). 226Ra+228Ra activities (range=0.010-0.51 Bq/L) exceeded the 0.185 Bq/L drinking-water standard in 18% of the wells (not drinking-water wells)....

McMahon, Peter B.; Avner Vengosh; Davis, Tracy; Landon, Matthew K.; Rebecca L. Tyne; Wright, Michael; Kulongoski, Justin T.; Hunt, Andrew G.; Peter H. Barry; A.J. Kondash; Z. Wang; Christopher J. Ballentine
McMahon, P.B., A. Vengosh, T.A. Davis, M.K. Landon, R.L. Tyne, M.T. Wright, J.T. Kulongoski, A.G. Hunt, P.H. Barry, A.J. Kondash, Z. Wang, C.J. Ballentine, 2019. Occurrence and sources of radium in groundwater associated with oil fields in the southern San Joaquin Valley, California. Environmental Science & Technology, 53, 9398-9406.

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Year Published: 2019

An initial assessment of areas where landslides could enter the West Arm of Glacier Bay, Alaska and implications for tsunami hazards

Tsunamis generated by landslides in Glacier Bay are uncommon, but have potential to be extraordinarily destructive when they occur. This article identifies areas that are susceptible to landslides that could generate tsunamis and discusses approaches to characterize hazard and risk from these events.

Coe, Jeffrey A.; Schmitt, Robert G.; Bessette-Kirton, Erin

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Year Published: 2019

Estimation of base flow by optimal hydrograph separation for the conterminous United States and implications for national-extent hydrologic models

Optimal hydrograph separation (OHS) uses a two-parameter recursive digital filter that applies specific conductance mass-balance constraints to estimate the base flow contribution to total streamflow at stream gages where discharge and specific conductance are measured. OHS was applied to U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) stream gages across the...

Foks, Sydney; Raffensperger, Jeff P.; Penn, Colin A.; Driscoll, Jessica M.

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Year Published: 2019

Timescales of water-quality change in a karst aquifer, south-central Texas

Understanding the drivers and timescales over which groundwater quality changes informs groundwater management, use, and protection. To better understand timescales of water-quality change over short (daily to monthly) and long (seasonal to decadal) timescales, the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Enhanced Trends...

Musgrove, MaryLynn; Solder, John E.; Opsahl, Stephen P.; Wilson, Jennifer T.

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Year Published: 2019

Hydrogeologic framework and delineation of transient areas contributing recharge and zones of contribution to selected wells in the upper Santa Fe Group aquifer, southeastern Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1900–2050

The Santa Fe Group aquifer is an important source of water to communities within the Middle Rio Grande Basin, including the Albuquerque-Rio Rancho metropolitan area and Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. In November 1999, Kirtland Air Force Base personnel observed fuel-stained soils at the Bulk Fuels Facility on the base. Subsequent pressure...

Myers, Nathan C.; Friesz, Paul J.
Myers, N.C., and Friesz, P.J., 2019, Hydrogeologic framework and delineation of transient areas contributing recharge and zones of contribution to selected wells in the upper Santa Fe Group aquifer, southeastern Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1900–2050: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2019–5052, 73 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20195052.

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Year Published: 2019

Baseline groundwater hydrology and water quality in and around Bluff, Utah

Southeastern Utah has a long history of oil and gas production. Two new hydrocarbon extraction wells have been proposed several miles northeast of the town of Bluff, Utah. In response to concern about the impacts of oil and gas extraction in the area on drinking-water quality, this study provides groundwater quality and hydrologic baseline data...

Miller, Olivia L.
Miller, O.L., 2019, Baseline groundwater hydrology and water quality in and around Bluff, Utah: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1076, 24 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191076.

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Year Published: 2019

Luminescence as a sediment tracer and provenance tool

Luminescence holds unique potential as a sediment tracer and provenance method. The tracer application of luminescence has key advantages including ease of measurement, relatively low cost, and applicability to geologically ubiquitous quartz and feldspar sand and silt. These advantages can help answer fundamental questions about geomorphology,...

Gray, Harrison J.; Jain, Mayank; Sawakuchi, Andre; Mahan, Shannon A.; Tucker, Gregory E.

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Year Published: 2019

The 2016 Lamplugh rock avalanche, Alaska: Deposit structures and emplacement dynamics

Supraglacial landslides result from the catastrophic failure of periglacial rock slopes and deposit large volumes of rock and ice onto the glacier surface. The most remarkable features of these landslides are their prominent long flowbands and a high mobility that exceeds that of their counterparts in other environments. Based on field surveys,...

Dufresne, A.; Wolken, G.; Hibert, C; Bessette-Kirton, Erin; Coe, Jeffrey A.; Geertsema, M.; Ekström, G

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Year Published: 2019

The effect of stress changes on time-dependent earthquake probabilities for the central Wasatch Fault Zone, Utah, USA

Static and quasi-static Coulomb stress changes produced by large earthquakes can modify the probability of occurrence of subsequent events on neighboring faults. This approach is based on physical (Coulomb stress changes) and statistical (probability calculations) models, which are influenced by the quality and quantity of data available in the...

Verdecchia, A.; Carena, S.; Pace, B.; Duross, Christopher

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
Great Salt Lake, declining water level
September 28, 2015

Great Salt Lake, declining water level

Great Salt Lake, declining water level

USGS gage house (stilling well) on Lake Fork above Moon Lake
September 23, 2015

Lake Fork above Moon Lake

Stilling well on Lake Fork above Moon Lake that is used to measure stream stage, and ultimately amount of water entering Moon Lake, on the south slope of the Uintas.

Measuring discharge at 06324970
September 18, 2015

Measuring discharge at 06324970

Measuring discharge at 06324970

Photo of the Animas River pointing at sediment sampling areas
September 13, 2015

Sediment Sampling at A72

Animas River downstream from Silverton, Colorado, showing right and left bank areas where streambed sediment sample was collected near USGS stream gage at site A72 (USGS site ID 09359020). Latitude 37.789964, Longitude -107.667394.

Photo of USGS soil scientist Travis Nauman records vegetation data on decommissioned well pad.
August 31, 2015

USGS scientist records vegetation data on decommissioned well pad

USGS soil scientist Travis Nauman records vegetation data on decommissioned well pad.

Photo of USGS soil scientist Travis Nauman records vegetation data on decommissioned well pad.
August 31, 2015

USGS scientist records vegetation data on decommissioned well pad

USGS soil scientist Travis Nauman records vegetation data on decommissioned well pad.

Photo of USGS scientist Jessica Mikenas collects surface soil pH data on decommissioned well pad.
August 31, 2015

USGS scientist collects data on decommissioned well pad

USGS scientist Jessica Mikenas collects surface soil pH data on decommissioned well pad.

Photo of USGS soil scientist Travis Nauman examines biological soil crust communities near an abandoned well pad during field wo
August 31, 2015

Examining biological soil crust near an abandoned well pad

USGS soil scientist Travis Nauman examines biological soil crust communities near an abandoned well pad during field work.

Sagebrush, grasses, and forbs in a shrub-steppe ecosystem
August 28, 2015

Sagebrush, grasses, and forbs in a shrub-steppe ecosystem

Determining aboveground biomass of sagebrush, grasses, and forbs is important for estimating fuel loads, measuring carbon storage, and assessing habitat quality in shrublands. Remote sensing may offer a more efficient alternative to common, labor intensive methods of measuring aboveground biomass that are difficult to apply across large areas. Researchers from the USGS are

...
Core from 2" well drilled into Wasatch Formation, Big Piney, WY
August 16, 2015

Core from 2" well drilled into Wasatch Formation, Big Piney, WY

Core from 2" well drilled into Wasatch Formation, Big Piney, WY

USGS Gage under bridge
August 13, 2015

USGS Gage 09358000

USGS stream Gage (USGS site ID 09358000) on Animas River upstream from Silverton and Cement Creek. Latitude 37.811131, Longitude -107.659213.

Animas river running near town
August 13, 2015

Animas River Downstream

Animas River downstream from Silverton Colorado, looking upstream toward town of Silverton.  Confluence of Animas River and Mineral Creek near center of photograph. Confluence of Cement Creek and Animas River near upstream area of the town of Silverton. Photo taken from Highway 550 heading to Durango.

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
USGS science for a changing world logo
October 8, 2003

Included this month:

Hurricane Isabel Makes Her Mark on the North Carolina Coast

Mayans in the Everglades?

Submerged Ice Bridge Reveals Ancient Secrets About Alaska

America’s Deepest Coral Reef

Young Tortises on Mojave’s Menu

Measuring Floods From A Distance

Is the World’s Fuel Tank on Empty?

USGS science for a changing world logo
August 8, 2003

Wesley Ward has been named Regional Executive for Geology for the Western Region of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The announcement of Ward’s new appointment was made by John D. Buffington, Western Regional Director, effective Aug. 11, 2003.

USGS science for a changing world logo
May 6, 2003

Streamflows in Utah are the lowest recorded in nearly 100 years, confirming what most Utahans have known for the past 4 years: the state is in a drought. According to a new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) fact sheet on present and historical droughts in the state, however, the unusual aspect of this drought is not its length but its severity.

USGS
May 6, 2003

Streamflows in Utah are the lowest recorded in nearly 100 years, confirming what most Utahans have known for the past 4 years: the state is in a drought. According to a new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) fact sheet on present and historical droughts in the state, however, the unusual aspect of this drought is not its length but its severity.

USGS
February 14, 2003

Not long ago, conventional wisdom was that you couldn’t predict the climate for more than a few days in advance. Then came the awareness of El Niño and La Niña and the forecast window increased to as much as 6 to 9 months, depending on the region and season.

USGS science for a changing world logo
December 16, 2002

The USGS has just completed an assessment of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and natural gas resources in five geologic basins in the Rocky Mountain region. The assessed basins are: Uinta-Piceance of Colorado and Utah, Southwestern Wyoming (Greater Green River Basin), San Juan Basin of New Mexico and Colorado, Montana Thrust Belt, and the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana.

USGS
December 16, 2002

The USGS has just completed an assessment of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and natural gas resources in five geologic basins in the Rocky Mountain region.

USGS science for a changing world logo
December 3, 2002

Two reports published in a leading science journal cast doubt on the importance of ultraviolet-b radiation (UV-B) as a factor driving amphibian population declines. Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the University of Washington, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency just released their research findings in the journal Ecology.

USGS
October 28, 2002

Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will present new research on a variety of topics at the annual GSA meeting at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, October 27-30. A few highlights include:

USGS
April 26, 2002

Unexploded shells. Contaminated soils. Polluted groundwater. Military bases across the country are working to restore and protect the environment.

USGS science for a changing world logo
January 30, 2002

University of Utah seismologists will be on duty around-the-clock during the Olympics, armed with a new $1.2 million system so they can quickly supply public safety information if any disruptive earthquakes shake the 2002 Winter Games.

USGS
January 30, 2002

University of Utah seismologists will be on duty around-the-clock during the Olympics, armed with a new $1.2 million system so they can quickly supply public safety information if any disruptive earthquakes shake the 2002 Winter Games.

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