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: 387
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.

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

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: 5,264
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Year Published: 2020

Surface displacement distributions for the July 2019 Ridgecrest, California earthquake ruptures

Surface rupture in the 2019 Ridgecrest, California, earthquake sequence occurred along two orthogonal cross faults and includes dominantly left‐lateral and northeast‐striking rupture in the Mw">Mw 6.4 foreshock and dominantly right‐lateral and northwest‐striking rupture in the Mw">Mw 7.1 mainshock. We present &gt...

Duross, Christopher; Gold, Ryan D.; Dawson, Timothy E.; Scharer, Katherine; Kendrick, Katherine; Akciz, Sinan; Angster, Stephen J.; Bachhuber, Jeffery; Bacon, Steven; Bennett, Scott E. K.; Blair, Luke; Brooks, Benjamin A.; Bullard, Thomas; Burgess, W. Paul; Chupik, Colin; DeFrisco, Michael; Delano, Jaime; Dolan, James D.; Frost, Erik; Graehl, Nick; Haddon, Elizabeth; Hatem, Alexandra Elise; Hernandez, Janis; Hitchcock, Christopher S.; Hudnut, Kennth; Thompson Jobe, Jessica; Koehler, Richard D; Kozaci, Ozgur; Ladinsky, Tyler C.; Madugo, Christopher; McPhillips, Devin; Milliner, Christopher; Morelan, Alexander; Olson, Brian; Patton, Jason; Philibosian, Belle; Pickering, Alexandra J.; Pierce, Ian; Ponti, Daniel J.; Seitz, Gordon G.; Spangler, Eleanor; Swanson, Brian J.; Thomas, Kate; Treiman, Jerome; Valencia, Francesca; Williams, Alana; Zinke, Robert

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Year Published: 2020

Assessment of continuous oil and gas resources in the Ordovician Collingwood Formation and Utica Shale of the Michigan Basin Province, 2019

Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated undiscovered, technically recoverable mean resources of 290 milllion barrels of shale oil and 7.9 trillion cubic feet of shale gas in the Ordovician Collingwood-Utica Shale Total Petroleum System of the Michigan Basin Province.

Schenk, Christopher J.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Woodall, Cheryl A.; Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.; Finn, Thomas M.; Le, Phuong A.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Marra, Kristen R.; Ellis, Geoffrey S.
Schenk, C.J., Mercier, T.J., Woodall, C.A., Leathers-Miller, H.M., Finn, T.M., Le, P.A., Brownfield, M.E., Marra, K.R., and Ellis, G.S., 2020, Assessment of continuous oil and gas resources in the Ordovician Collingwood Formation and Utica Shale of the Michigan Basin Province, 2019: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2020–3027, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20203027.

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Year Published: 2020

Geochemical characterization of groundwater evolution south of Grand Canyon, Arizona (USA)

Better characterization of the geochemical evolution of groundwater south of Grand Canyon, Arizona (USA), is needed to understand natural conditions and assess potential effects from breccia-pipe uranium mining in the region. Geochemical signatures of groundwater at 28 sampling locations were evaluated; baseline concentrations for select trace...

Beisner, Kimberly R.; Solder, John E.; Tillman, Fred; Anderson, Jessica; Antweiler, Ronald C.
Beisner, K.R., Solder, J.E., Tillman, F.D, Anderson, J., and Antweiler, R.C., 2020, Geochemical characterization of groundwater evolution south of Grand Canyon, Arizona (USA). Hydrogeology Journal, 28, p. 1615–1633.

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Year Published: 2020

Assessing the value of removing earthquake-hazard-related epistemic uncertainties, exemplified using average annual loss in California

To aid in setting scientific research priorities, we assess the potential value of removing each of the epistemic uncertainties currently represented in the US Geological Survey California seismic-hazard model, using average annual loss (AAL) as the risk metric of interest. Given all the uncertainties, represented with logic-tree branches, we find...

Field, Edward H.; Milner, Kevin R.; Porter, Keith

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Year Published: 2020

Origin and geochemistry of formation waters from the lower Eagle Ford Group, Gulf Coast Basin, south central Texas

The lower Eagle Ford Group (LEFG) is one of the most productive continuous hydrocarbon plays in the United States but few associated produced waters data and minimal interpretation have been published. This effort focuses on results from compositional and isotopic data from 39 produced water samples collected from horizontal wells producing from...

Engle, Mark A; Doolan, Colin A.; Pitman, Janet K.; Varonka, Matthew S.; Chenault, Jessica; Orem, William H.; McMahon, Peter B.; Jubb, Aaron M.

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Year Published: 2020

Conceptual framework and approach for conducting a geoenvironmental assessment of undiscovered uranium resources

This report presents a novel conceptual framework and approach for conducting a geologically based environmental assessment, or geoenvironmental assessment, of undiscovered uranium resources within an area likely to contain uranium deposits. The framework is based on a source-to-receptor model that prioritizes the most likely contaminant sources,...

Gallegos, Tanya J.; Walton-Day, Katherine; Seal, Robert R.
Gallegos, T.J., Walton-Day, K., and Seal, R.R., II, 2020, Conceptual framework and approach for conducting a geoenvironmental assessment of undiscovered uranium resources: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2018–5104, 28 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20185104.

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Year Published: 2020

Snow processes in mountain forests: Interception modeling for coarse-scale applications

Snow interception by the forest canopy controls the spatial heterogeneity of subcanopy snow accumulation leading to significant differences between forested and nonforested areas at a variety of scales. Snow intercepted by the forest canopy can also drastically change the surface albedo. As such, accurately modeling snow interception is of...

Helbig, N.; Moeser, C. David; Teich, M.; Vincent, L.; Lejeune, Y.; Sicart, J.-E.; Monnet, J.-M.

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Year Published: 2020

Baseline conditions and projected future hydro-climatic change in National Parks in the conterminous United States

The National Park Service (NPS) manages hundreds of parks in the United States, and many contain important aquatic ecosystems and/or threatened and endangered aquatic species vulnerable to hydro-climatic change. Effective management of park resources under future hydro-climatic uncertainty requires information on both baseline conditions and the...

Battaglin, William A.; Hay, Lauren; Lawrence, David J.; McCabe, Gregory J.; Norton, Parker A.

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Year Published: 2020

Influence of hydropower outflow characteristics affecting riverbank stability: The lower Osage River case (Missouri, USA)

This research examined the influences of outflow characteristics affecting riverbank stability. The 130 km stretch of the lower Osage River downstream from Bagnell Dam (Missouri, USA) provided an excellent case study for this purpose. The integrated BSTEM model with the HEC-RAS model was accurately calibrated and validated with data from the U.S....

Mohammed-Ali, Wesam; Mendoza, Cesar; Holmes, Robert R.

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Year Published: 2020

Quantifying the contribution of habitats and pathways to a spatially structured population facing environmental change

The consequences of environmental disturbance and management are difficult to quantify for spatially structured populations because changes in one location carry through to other areas as a result of species movement. We develop a metric, G, for measuring the contribution of a habitat or pathway to network-wide population growth rate in the...

Sample, Christine; Bieri, Joanna A.; Allen, Benjamin L. ; Dementieva, Yulia; Carson, Alyssa; Higgins, Connor; Piatt, Sadie; Qiu, Shirley; Stafford, Summer; Mattsson, Brady J.; Semmens, Darius J.; Diffendorfer, James E.; Thogmartin, Wayne E.

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Year Published: 2020

Modified GIC estimation using 3-D Earth conductivity

Geomagnetically induced currents (GICs) are quasi-direct current (DC) electric currents that flow in technological conductors during geomagnetic storms. Extreme GICs are hazardous to man-made infrastructure. GICs enter and exit the technological systems, such as the electric power grid, at grounding points, and their magnitudes depend on the...

Kelbert, Anna; Lucas, Greg M.

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Year Published: 2020

A global hybrid VS30 map with a topographic slope–based default and regional map insets

Time-averaged shear wave velocity over the upper 30 m of the earth’s surface (VS30) is a key parameter for estimating ground motion amplification as both a predictive and a diagnostic tool for earthquake hazards. The first-order approximation of VS30 is commonly obtained through a topographic slope–based or terrain proxy due to the...

Heath, David C.; Wald, David J.; Worden, C. Bruce; Thompson, Eric M.; Smoczyk, Gregory M.

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: 523
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.

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.

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: 360
USGS
May 14, 2004

America’s rivers and streams are generally suitable for irrigation, supplying drinking water, and home and recreational uses. However, in areas with significant agricultural and urban development, the quality of our nation’s water resources has been degraded by contaminants such as pesticides, nutrients, and gasoline-related compounds.

USGS science for a changing world logo
April 26, 2004

Farmlands, wetlands, forests and deserts that composed the American landscape in the early 20th century have frequently been transformed during the past 30 years into mushrooming metropolitan areas as urbanization spreads across the country.

USGS
April 26, 2004

Farmlands, wetlands, forests and deserts that composed the American landscape in the early 20th century have frequently been transformed during the past 30 years into mushrooming metropolitan areas as urbanization spreads across the country.

USGS science for a changing world logo
February 9, 2004

A new report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) describes changes that have taken place in the High Plains aquifer from the time that significant ground-water pumping began in the 1940’s to the year 2000. 

USGS
February 9, 2004

A new report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) describes changes that have taken place in the High Plains aquifer from the time that significant ground-water pumping began in the 1940’s to the year 2000. The results show a six percent decrease in the volume of water stored in the High Plains (or Ogallala) aquifer.

USGS science for a changing world logo
October 28, 2003

The Department of the Interior will hold a national workshop on Nov. 4, 2003 to develop science and technology recommendations for Interior’s Water 2025 initiative that can help Western communities develop practical solutions to chronic water shortages.

USGS
October 28, 2003

The Department of the Interior will hold a national workshop on Nov. 4, 2003 to develop science and technology recommendations for Interior’s Water 2025 initiative that can help Western communities develop practical solutions to chronic water shortages.

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.

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: 324