Unified Interior Regions

Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin

Map of Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin

Map of Region 7:  Upper Colorado Basin

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

Regions L2 Landing Page Tabs

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

Filter Total Items: 386
Date published: January 23, 2015
Status: Completed

Reconfigured Channel Monitoring and Assessment Program (RCMAP)

Channel reconfiguration to mitigate a variety of riverine problems has become an important issue in the Western United States. Reasons cited for channel reconfiguration include restoration to more natural or historical conditions, improved water conveyance in flood-prone areas, mitigation of unstable streambed and streambanks, increased sediment transport, and enhancement of riparian habitat...

Contacts: Cory A Williams
Date published: January 23, 2015
Status: Completed

RCMAP - Lake Fork of the Gunnison near Lake City, Colorado

The U.S. Geological Survey was engaged in a program to monitor and assess the long-term geomorphic behavior of selected river and stream reaches that previously had undergone some physical modification.  These modifications included natural channel adjustments to floods as well as intentional channel reconfigurations to alter the function or appearance of a river reach.

In cooperation...

Contacts: Cory A Williams
Date published: January 23, 2015
Status: Completed

RCMAP - Muddy Creek below Wolford Mountain Reservoir near Kremmling, Colorado

The U.S. Geological Survey was engaged in a program to monitor and assess the long-term geomorphic behavior of selected river and stream reaches that previously had undergone some physical modification.  These modifications included natural channel adjustments to floods as well as intentional channel reconfigurations to alter the function or appearance of a river reach. 

Reaches 1 and 2...

Contacts: Cory A Williams
Date published: January 23, 2015
Status: Completed

RCMAP - North Fork Gunnison River at Hotchkiss, Colorado

The U.S. Geological Survey was engaged in a program to monitor and assess the long-term geomorphic behavior of selected river and stream reaches that previously had undergone some physical modification.  These modifications included natural channel adjustments to floods as well as intentional channel reconfigurations to alter the function or appearance of a river reach. 

The...

Contacts: Cory A Williams
Date published: November 21, 2014
Status: Completed

RCMAP - Gunnison River at the Hartland Dam near Delta, Colorado

The U.S. Geological Survey was engaged in a program to monitor and assess the long-term geomorphic behavior of selected river and stream reaches that previously had undergone some physical modification.  These modifications included natural channel adjustments to floods as well as intentional channel reconfigurations to alter the function or appearance of a river reach.

The Hartland...

Contacts: Cory A Williams
Date published: September 30, 2014
Status: Completed

Validation of Monthly-Mean Streamflow Equations

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Colorado Water Conservation Board, evaluated the predictive uncertainty of mean-monthly streamflow-regression equations representative of natural streamflow conditions in Colorado. This study evaluates the predictive uncertainty of mean-monthly streamflow-regression equations developed in a 2009 U.S. Geological Survey study using streamflow...

Date published: June 25, 2014
Status: Active

Debris flows and Floods from Extreme Precipitation in September 2013, Gila National Forest, NM

A record-breaking rainstorm in Glenwood, New Mexico and the surrounding areas occurred in September, 2013 leading to widespread and destructive flooding and debris flows, including watersheds burned the previous year by the Whitewater-Baldy Complex wildfire. In the area of the Whitewater-Baldy burn scar, a highway was overtopped by flash flooding on Whitewater Creek. Many side canyon...

Contacts: Anne C Tillery
Date published: June 25, 2014
Status: Active

Prewildfire Assessments of Postwildfire Debris-Flow Hazards

Debris flows are high-density slurries of water, rock fragments, soil, and mud that can have enormous destructive power. Wildfire can drastically increase the probability of debris flows in landscapes that have otherwise been stable. In 2010, the USGS developed the Cannon model to estimate postwildfire debris-flow probabilities and volumes in burned areas. In 2013, with the help of U.S. Forest...

Contacts: Anne C Tillery
Date published: June 25, 2014
Status: Active

Postwildfire Debris-Flow Hazards

Wildfire is a natural process in forest ecosystems, and occurs with varying frequencies and severities depending on landscape characteristics, climatic conditions, and the historical fire regime. Although attention often is focused on the potential damages from wildfire in the wildland-urban interface, wildfire also presents a threat to critical infrastructure including flood water conveyances...

Contacts: Anne C Tillery
Date published: June 24, 2014
Status: Active

Hydrologic Studies in the East Mountain Area of Bernalillo County, NM

Recent expansion of suburban development and population growth in the Sandia Mountains of eastern Bernalillo County, NM (East Mountain Area, EMA), has led to increased residential and commercial construction and increased demands on available water resources. Information about the spatial and temporal variability of water resources is needed for continued population and economic growth....

Contacts: For contact information, please reach out to:
Date published: June 20, 2014
Status: Completed

Changes in Groundwater Levels in the Albuquerque Metropolitan Area

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority (ABCWUA) has been investigating the effects of groundwater withdrawal on groundwater levels throughout the Albuquerque metropolitan area in the Middle Rio Grande Valley of central New Mexico (fig. 1). Historically, the water supply requirements of the Albuquerque metropolitan area were met...

Contacts: Andre Ritchie
Date published: June 5, 2014
Status: Active

Aquifer Compaction, Recovery, and Land-surface Elevation Change in the Albuquerque Basin

In many groundwater basins in the arid to semiarid western United States, permanent regional-scale land-surface elevation change has resulted from substantial drawdown of groundwater levels. By the end of 2008, groundwater drawdown from municipal pumping in the Albuquerque area had reached as much as 120 feet below predevelopment (~1950s) water levels. In 2014 the USGS, in cooperation with the...

Contacts: Andre Ritchie

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

Filter Total Items: 5,131
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Year Published: 2020

High-resolution mapping of the freshwater-brine interface using deterministic and Bayesian inversion of airborne electromagnetic data at Paradox Valley, USA

Salt loads in the Colorado River Basin are a primary water quality concern. Natural groundwater brine discharge to the Dolores River where it passes through the collapsed salt anticline of the Paradox Valley in western Colorado is a significant source of salt to the Colorado River. An airborne electromagnetic survey of Paradox Valley has...

Ball, Lyndsay B.; Bedrosian, Paul A.; Minsley, Burke J.

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Year Published: 2020

Progress in natural capital accounting for ecosystems

Reversing the ongoing degradation of the planet's ecosystems requires timely and detailed monitoring of ecosystem change and uses. Yet, the System of National Accounts (SNA), first developed in response to the economic crisis of the 1930s and used by statistical offices worldwide to record economic activity (for example, production, consumption,...

Hein, Lars; Bagstad, Kenneth J.; Obst, Carl; Edens, Bram; Schenau, Sjoerd; Castillo, Gem; Soulard, Francois; Brown, Claire; Driver, Amanda; Bordt, Michael; Steurer, Anton; Harris, Rocky; Capparros, Alejandro

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Year Published: 2020

A brief introduction to seismic instrumentation: Where does my data come from?

Modern seismology has been able to take advantage of several technological advances. These include feedback loops in the seismometer, specialized digitizers with absolute timing, and compression formats for storing data. While all of these advances have helped to improve the field, they can also leave newcomers a bit confused. Our goal here is...

Ringler, Adam T.; Bastien, Patrick

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Year Published: 2020

Estimating rupture dimensions of three major earthquakes in Sichuan, China, for early warning and rapid loss estimates

Large earthquakes like in Wenchuan in 2008, MW 7.9, Sichuan, China, provide opportunity for earthquake early warning (EEW) as many heavily shaken areas are far (~50 km) from the epicenter and warning time could be long enough (≥ 5 s) to take effective preventative action. On the other hand, earthquakes with magnitudes larger than ~M 6.5 are...

Li, Jiawei; Böse, Maren; Wyss, Max; Wald, David J.; Hutchinson, Alexandra; Clinton, John F.; Wu, Zhongliang; Jiang, Changsheng; Zhou, Shiyong

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Year Published: 2020

Earthquakes, did you feel it?

The US Geological Survey (USGS) “Did You Feel It?”® (DYFI) system is an automated system for rapidly collecting macroseismic intensity data from Internet users’ shaking and damage reports and generating intensity maps immediately following earthquakes.Although the collection and assignment of DYFI-based Macroseismic Intensity (MI) data depart...

Wald, David J.; Quitoriano, Vince; Dewey, James W.

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Year Published: 2020

The influence of frost weathering on the debris flow sediment supply in an alpine basin

Rocky, alpine mountains are prone to mass wasting from debris flows. The Chalk Cliffs study area (central Colorado, USA) produces debris flows annually. These debris flows are triggered when overland flow driven by intense summer convective storms mobilizes large volumes of sediment within the channel network. Understanding the debris flow...

Rengers, Francis K.; Kean, Jason W.; Reitman, Nadine G.; Smith, Joel B.; Coe, Jeffrey A.; McGuire, Luke

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Year Published: 2020

Natural gas hydrates: Status of potential as an energy resource

Gas hydrate is a widespread naturally-occurring combination of water and natural gases. Gas hydrate is found in shallow sediments of deepwater regions of the continental margins and in areas of continuous permafrost. Where gas supply is sufficient and migration pathways connect gas sources to favorable reservoirs, gas hydrate can accumulate to...

Boswell, Ray; Hancock, Steve; Yamamoto, Koji; Collett, Timothy; Pratap, Mahendra; Lee, Sung-Rock

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Year Published: 2020

Dilution and propagation of provenance trends in sand and mud: Geochemistry and detrital zircon geochronology of modern sediment from central California (U.S.A.)

Integrated, multi-method provenance studies of siliciclastic sedimentary deposits are increasingly used to reconstruct the history of source-to-sink transport, paleogeography, and tectonics. Invariably, analysis of large-scale depositional systems must confront issues regarding how to best sample the system and adequately cope with the details of...

Malkowski, Matthew A.; Sharman, Glenn R.; Johnstone, Samuel A.; Grove, Marty J.; Kimbrough, Dave L.; Graham, Stephen A.

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Year Published: 2020

Effects of John Martin Reservoir on water quality and quantity: Assessment by chemical, isotopic, and mass-balance methods

Water quality and quantity can be influenced by transit through and storage in reservoirs. Assessing such effects can be challenging, however, because of mixing and residence times, and inter-annual net storage and release from both the reservoir itself and surrounding porosity. Here, different methodologies were used to assess the effect of John...

Bern, Carleton R.; Holmberg, Michael; Kisfalusi, Zachary

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Year Published: 2020

A high-resolution seismic catalog for the initial 2019 Ridgecrest Earthquake sequence: Foreshocks, aftershocks, and faulting complexity

I use template matching and precise relative relocation techniques to develop a high-resolution earthquake catalog for the initial portion of the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake sequence, from July 4-16, encompassing the foreshock sequence and the first 10+ days of aftershocks following the Mw 7.1 mainshock. Using 13,525 routinely cataloged events as...

Shelly, David R.

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Year Published: 2020

Estimating burn severity and carbon emissions from a megafire in boreal forests of China

Wildfires, especially those of large size, worsen air quality and alter the carbon cycle through combustion of large quantities of biomass and release of carbon into the atmosphere. The Black Dragon fire, which occurred in 1987 in the boreal forests of China is among the top five of such megafires ever recorded in the world. With over 30 years of...

Xu, Wenru; He, Hong S; Hawbaker, Todd; Zhu, Zhiliang; Henne, Paul

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

Filter Total Items: 517
Cement Creek Downstream View
August 12, 2015

Cement Creek Downstream

Cement Creek downstream from CC48 Gage (USGS  site ID 09358550) and upstream from confluence with the Animas River near Silverton. Latitude 37.81975, Longitude -107.6624.

Pond constructed below GKM discharge
August 12, 2015

Gold King Mine Pond Edge

View of pond in North Fork of Cement Creek that receives the water from the Gold King Mine portal and native flow in North Fork Cement Creek, looking upstream, very little to no native flow is visible. Latitude 37.89401, Longitude -107.63821.

North Fork Cement Creek below Gold King pond.
August 12, 2015

North Fork of Cement Creek

View looking down from the Gold King waste pile showing North Fork Cement Creek downstream from the pond, and the confluence with Cement Creek valley in center, upper, right. Latitude 37.893895, Longitude -107.641154.

North Fork Cement Creek viewing upstream
August 12, 2015

Cement Creek

North Fork Cement Creek just upstream from sodium hydroxide (NaOH) addition (to raise pH), that was conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Looking upstream. Latitude 37.89517, Longitude -107.64656.

Three Water Samples
August 12, 2015

Water Sample Comparison

Photo showing contrast in clarity between water samples collected at sites A68 (USGS site ID 09358000), Animas River at Silverton, Colorado and upstream from Cement Creek; A72 (USGS site ID 09359020), Animas River downstream from Silverton; and CC48 (USGS site ID 09358550), Cement Creek at mouth. 

Constructed Pond
August 12, 2015

First Pond below Gold King Mine

First of four settling ponds located downstream from North Fork Cement Creek to facilitate settling of solids material after addition of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) to the North Fork Cement Creek.  Latitude 37.89451, Longitude -107.64763.

Photo shot of scenery around Gold King Mine.
August 12, 2015

View from Gold King Mine

View from the Gold King Mine showing water flowing toward viewer in culvert that collects water from the draining Gold King mine tunnel and diverts water around the waste pile on which it flows and which falls off to the left of the photo. Latitude 37.894631, Longitude -107.638288.

Close up of Minisipper
August 11, 2015

Minisipper

Photo of submersible Minisipper sampling device used to collect multiple water-quality samples during multiple-day deployment. At several locations downstream from the Gold King Mine following the Gold King Mine release on August 5, 2015.

Island near Durango, Colorado
August 11, 2015

Island Streambed Sampling

Island upstream from City of Durango, Colorado's water intake structure where streambed sediments were sampled.  Latitude 37.26428, Longitude -107.8812.

Minisipper at water intake
August 11, 2015

Minisipper at Durango

Minisipper location at City of Durango water intake structure.  Minisipper installed by USGS to collect multiple water-quality samples. Latitude 37.26428, Longitude -107.8812.

Stagecoach Lake, Steamboat, Colorado
July 31, 2015

Stagecoach Lake, Steamboat, Colorado

Sunset at Stagecoach Lake, Steamboat, Colorado

USGS Researchers on a glacial moraine boulder collecting a sample for cosmogenic beryllium-10 exposure dating.
July 16, 2015

Collecting glacial moraine boulder samples

This is an example of a boulder that is part of a glacial deposit in the southern Sawatch Mountains of Colorado. The moraine slopes down to the left side of the frame; this slope is modified from teh original depositional shape of the moraine deposit. A NAGT student intern is using a Brunton compass clinometer to measure the inclination of hte horizon above horizontal.

...

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

Filter Total Items: 345
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.

USGS
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.

USGS science for a changing world logo
June 12, 2001

The geology of Colorado National Monument and surrounding areas is presented in a new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) map that is designed to serve visitors as well as students and the most ardent scientist.

USGS
June 12, 2001

The geology of Colorado National Monument and surrounding areas is presented in a new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) map that is designed to serve visitors as well as students and the most ardent scientist. 

USGS science for a changing world logo
May 14, 2001

 

May 14, 2001 – The U. S. Geological Survey (USGS), Yellowstone National Park and the University of Utah have signed an agreement to establish the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory to strengthen long-term monitoring of earthquakes and the slumbering volcano beneath Yellowstone National Park. 

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