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: 386
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
Date published: May 21, 2015
Status: Completed

Hydrologic Characterization of the Upper Hondo Basin, Lincoln County, New Mexico

The upper Rio Hondo Basin occupies a drainage area of 585 square miles in south-central New Mexico and comprises three general hydrogeologic terranes: the higher elevation “Mountain Block,” the “Central Basin” piedmont area, and the lower elevation “Hondo Slope.”

Contacts: Lauren R Henson
Date published: May 15, 2015
Status: Completed

Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative: Rocky Mountain Region

Decline of amphibian populations worldwide has prompted an international effort to determine causes of decline in various locations and ecosytems. Some causes which have been suggested include habitat alteration, introduced species, disease, and environmental stressors such as ultraviolet radiation, agricultural chemicals in groundwater, and contaminants in atmospheric deposition. The ...

Date published: May 10, 2015
Status: Active

Lee Acres Landfill Superfund Site, Farmington, NM

Lee Acres Landfill is 40 acres of public land in San Juan County southeast of Farmington, New Mexico. On May 1, 1962 the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) leased land to San Juan County to operate a county landfill. The landfill consists of an undetermined number of solid waste trenches and unlined waste lagoons.

Date published: May 1, 2015
Status: Completed

Seismology in the City

Release Date: May 1, 2015

How seismologists can use noise to see under the ground.

Contacts: William J Stephenson, Lisa A Wald, Steve Hartzell, Morgan Moschetti, Jack Odum, Robert Williams, David Worley
Date published: April 25, 2015
Status: Active

Discrete Water Quality Sampling in New Mexico

The New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) is responsible for managing pesticide usage in New Mexico. The NMED contracted with the New Mexico USGS to assist in setting up a sampling plan to monitor pesticides in selected surface water sites throughout the state.

The Canadian River Municipal Water Authority (CRMWA) wishes to manage the salinity levels on the Canadian River as it...

Date published: March 12, 2015
Status: Active

Monitoring Network of the Groundwater Flow System and Stream-Aquifer Relations in the Mesilla Basin, Doña Ana County, New Mexico and El Paso County, Texas

The Mesilla Basin monitoring program was established in 1987 to document the hydrologic conditions of New Mexico’s southern-most, Rio Grande rift basin. The program’s data collection and reporting is conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with local, state, and federal agencies. Hydrologic data collected as part of the monitoring program provide valuable information to better...

Date published: March 1, 2015
Status: Completed

Real-time Monitoring and Evaluation of Bridge Scour

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is tasked with maintaining roadways crossing over large streams and rivers where sediment transport and channel alignment changes can affect the structural stability of bridges. Streambed scour is the leading cause of bridge failure in the United States. The costs associated with restoring damaged structures are substantial, but are less than...

Date published: February 1, 2015
Status: Completed

How Big and How Frequent Are Earthquakes on the Wasatch Fault?

Release Date: FEBRUARY 1, 2015

Paleoseismology along the Wasatch Fault in Utah is helping to estimate the shaking risk to nearby towns.

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: 4,993
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Year Published: 2019

2017 Monitoring and tracking wet nitrogen deposition at Rocky Mountain National Park

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), the National Park Service (NPS), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the Nitrogen Deposition Reduction Plan (NDRP) in 2007 to address the effects and trends of nitrogen deposition at Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). The agencies chose a glidepath approach...

Kristi Morris; Mast, M. Alisa; Wetherbee, Gregory; Baron, Jill; Cheatham, Jim; Bromberg, Jim; Devore, Lisa; Hou, James; Gebhart, Kristi; Bell, Mike; Gay, David; Olson, Michael; Weinmann, Timothy; Bowker, Daniel

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Year Published: 2019

Status of three-dimensional geological mapping and modeling activities in the U.S. Geological Survey

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), created in 1879, is the national geological survey for the United States and the sole science agency within its cabinet-level bureau, the Department of the Interior. The USGS has a broad mission, including: serving the Nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth;...

Sweetkind, Donald; Graymer, Russell; Higley, D.K.; Boyd, Oliver S.

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Year Published: 2019

Influence of multi-decadal land use, irrigation practices and climate on riparian corridors across the Upper Missouri River Headwaters Basin, Montana

The Upper Missouri River Headwaters Basin (36,400 km2) depends on its river corridors to support irrigated agriculture and world-class trout fisheries. We evaluated trends (1984-2016) in riparian wetness, an indicator of riparian condition, in peak irrigation months (June, July, August) for 158 km2 of riparian area across the basin using the...

Vanderhoof, Melanie K.; Christensen, J.R.; Alexander, Laurie C.

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Year Published: 2019

Ground failure from the Anchorage, Alaska, earthquake of 30 November 2018

Investigation of ground failure triggered by the 2018 Mw">MwMw 7.1 Anchorage earthquake showed that landslides, liquefaction, and ground cracking all occurred and caused significant damage. Shallow rock falls and rock slides were the most abundant types of landslides, but they occurred in smaller numbers than global models that are...

Jibson, Randall W.; Grant, Alex R. R. ; Witter, Robert C.; Allstadt, Kate; Thompson, Eric M.; Bender, Adrian

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Year Published: 2019

Groundwater and surface-water resources near Red Fleet Reservoir, Uintah County, Utah

Red Fleet Reservoir in Uintah County, Utah, is an approximately 26,000 acre-foot (acre-ft) on-channel reservoir in the Big Brush Creek drainage on the south slopes of the Uinta Mountains. It is operated primarily for irrigation needs while providing a supplemental drinking-water supply to the Vernal, Utah area. Red Fleet Reservoir, which was...

Marston, Thomas M.; Solder, John E.; Jones, Katherine K.
Marston, T.M., Solder, J.E., and Jones, K.K., 2019, Groundwater and surface-water resources near Red Fleet Reservoir, Uintah County, Utah: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2019–5101, 40 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20195101.

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Year Published: 2019

Improvements in seismic resolution and current limitations in the Global Seismographic Network

Station noise levels play a fundamental limitation in our ability to detect seismic signals. These noise levels are frequency-dependent and arise from a number of physically different drivers. At periods greater than 100 s, station noise levels are often limited by the self-noise of the instrument as well as the sensitivity of the instrument to...

Ringler, Adam T.; Steim, J.; Wilson, David C.; Widmer-Schnidrig, R.; Anthony, Robert E.

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Year Published: 2019

Challenges for monitoring the extent and land use/cover changes in monarch butterflies’ migratory habitat across the United States and Mexico

This paper presents a synopsis of the challenges and limitations presented by existing and emerging land use/ land cover (LULC) digital data sets when used to analyze the extent, habitat quality, and LULC changes of the monarch (Danaus plexippus) migratory habitat across the United States of America (US) and Mexico. First, the characteristics,...

Rafael Moreno-Sanchez; James Raines; Diffendorfer, James E.; Drummond, Mark A.; Jessica Manko

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Year Published: 2019

Assessment of continuous gas resources in the Permian Phosphoria Formation of the Southwestern Wyoming Province, Wyoming, 2019

Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated undiscovered, technically recoverable mean resources of 1.4 trillion cubic feet of continuous gas in the Phosphoria Formation of the Southwestern Wyoming Province, Wyoming.

Schenk, Christopher J.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Finn, Thomas M.; Marra, Kristen R.; Le, Phuong A.; Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.; Pitman, Janet K.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Drake, Ronald M.
Schenk, C.J., Mercier, T.J., Finn, T.M.,Marra, K.R.,Le, P.A., Leathers-Miller, H.M., Pitman, J.K., Brownfield, M.E., and Drake, R.M., II, 2019, Assessment of continuous gas resources in the Permian Phosphoria Formation of the Southwestern Wyoming Province, Wyoming, 2019: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2019–3047, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20193047.

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Year Published: 2019

Debris-flow monitoring and warning: Review and examples

Debris flows represent one of the most dangerous types of mass movements, because of their high velocities, large impact forces and long runout distances. This review describes the available debris-flow monitoring techniques and proposes recommendations to inform the design of future monitoring and warning/alarm systems. The selection and...

Hürlimann, Marcel; Coviello, Velio; Bel, Coraline; Guo, Xiaojun; Berti, Matteo; Graf, Christoph; Hübl, Johannes; Miyata, Shusuke; Smith, Joel B.; Yin, Hsiao-Yuan

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Year Published: 2019

Historical land use and land cover for assessing the northern Colorado Front Range urban landscape

We describe historical land-use and land-cover (LULC) maps for the northern Colorado urban Front Range. The Front Range urban landscape is diverse and interspersed with highly productive agriculture as well as natural land cover types including evergreen forest in the Rocky Mountain foothills and Great Plains grassland. To understand the dynamics...

Drummond, Mark A.; Stier, Michael P.; Diffendorfer, James E.

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Year Published: 2019

Review of indicators for comparing environmental effects across energy sources

Robust, quantitative comparisons of environmental effects across energy sources can support development of energy planning strategies that meet growing demand while managing and minimizing undesirable effects on environmental resources. Multicriteria analyses of energy systems often use a suite of indicators to make such comparisons, but those...

Dorning, Monica; Diffendorfer, James E.; Scott R Loss; Bagstad, Kenneth J.

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Year Published: 2019

Variability in results from mineralogical and organic geochemical interlaboratory testing of U. S. Geological Survey shale reference materials

The expansion of unconventional petroleum resource exploration and production in the United States has led to an increase in source rock characterization efforts, particularly related to bulk organic and mineralogical properties. To support the analytical and research needs of industry and academia, as well as internal work, the U.S. Geological...

Birdwell, Justin E.; Wilson, Stephen A.

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
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.

USGS gage 09359020
August 13, 2015

Animas River at A72

Animas River downstream from Silverton, Colorado showing cableway for USGS stream gage at site A72 (USGS site ID 09359020). Latitude 37.789964, Longitude -107.667394.

Soil Sample in Scoop
August 13, 2015

Animas River Sample

Animas River downstream from Silverton, Colorado, showing streambed sediment collected from right bank backwater area in scoop, and from left bank cobble area (in jar) near USGS stream gage at site A72 (USGS site ID 09359020). Latitude 37.789964, Longitude -107.667394.

Creek Close up
August 13, 2015

Cement Creek Close Up

North Fork Cement Creek showing visual results of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) addition which increases the pH causing  precipitation of ferric (orange) and ferrous (green) iron hydroxides.  Latitude 37.89517, Longitude -107.64656.

Sediment sample close up.
August 13, 2015

Baker's Bridge Sediment Sample

Animas River samples at Baker's Bridge/Tall Timber Resort (USGS site ID 09359500).  Closeup view showing location of streambed sediment sample collection from right side of left channel where river splits into two channels upstream from the Riverside Resort.  Latitude 37.457297, Longitude -107.799803.

Device measuring pH
August 13, 2015

Measuring pH

Measuring pH at the outlet of the fourth settling pond downstream from the North Fork Cement Creek. Latitude 37.894451, Longitude -107.64763.

Culvert draining
August 12, 2015

GKM culvert draining

View of flume installation to measure discharge/flow in the culvert that collects flow from the Gold King Mine. Latitude 37.894631, Longitude -107.638288.

View of Cement Creek from USGS gage 09358550
August 12, 2015

Cement Creek near CC48

Cement Creek near the mouth at site CC48 (USGS site ID 09358550), location of stream gage whose data allowed calculation of the volume of water released during the Gold King Mine release. Latitude 37.8197222, Longitude -107.663056.

Waste pile
August 12, 2015

GKM Waste Pile

View of the waste pile below the Gold King Mine. Latitude 37.894429, Longitude -107.639135.

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: 337
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.

USGS science for a changing world logo
December 28, 2001

New GPS users, or people considering buying a GPS receiver, as well as, hikers, hunters, and other outdoor enthusiasts will benefit from the free workshops offered by the USGS on map reading, compass reading, and using GPS.

USGS
December 28, 2001

New GPS users, or people considering buying a GPS receiver, as well as, hikers, hunters, and other outdoor enthusiasts will benefit from the free workshops offered by the USGS on map reading, compass reading, and using GPS.

USGS science for a changing world logo
September 24, 2001

Geochemical analyses using strontium isotopes show that many of the timbers used to build the prehistoric great houses of Chaco Canyon, N.M., between A.D. 900 and 1150, were hand-carried to the building site from isolated mountaintops 50 to 60 miles away, according to four Arizona scientists.

USGS science for a changing world logo
August 23, 2001

Today, August 23, all 185 Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Native American schools are connected to the Internet, marking the completion of the Access Native America (ANA) project. Interior Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Neal A. McCaleb will today bring the last school online, the Chichiltah/Jones Ranch Community School located on the Navajo reservation in Chichiltah, N.M.

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