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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: 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
Date published: January 1, 2014
Status: Active

DEFEnS DEbris and Flood Early warNing System

The Waldo Canyon wildfire burned more than 18,000 acres within a perimeter of more than 19,000 acres. In response to the July and August 2013 floods in the Waldo Canyon watershed and in collaboration with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the U.S. Geological Survey developed a warning system for Waldo Canyon associated with a wildfire burn scar, which are at risk to debris...

Contacts: John W Fulton
Date published: December 3, 2013
Status: Completed

South Platte Groundwater Analysis

The South Platte River and underlying alluvial aquifer form an important hydrologic resource in northeastern Colorado that provides water to population centers along the Front Range and to agricultural communities across the rural plains. Water is regulated based on seniority of water rights and delivered using a network of administration structures that includes ditches, reservoirs, wells,...

Contacts: Suzanne Paschke
Date published: March 1, 2013
Status: Active

SWOT - Surface Water and Ocean Topography

Satellite altimetry associated with the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission offers a solution for measuring (1) river stage and slope, (2) water surface area including mean channel width and (3) derivatives such as river discharge. The measurements can be used to track changes in these variables and provide an accounting of the Earth's fresh-water bodies from space at the reach...

Contacts: John W Fulton
Date published: December 31, 2012
Status: Completed

Lower Yampa Streamflow and Sediment Modeling

Water from the Yampa River basin continues to be sought for a number of municipal, industrial, and energy uses.  Water development in the Yampa River basin will alter the streamflow regime and, consequently, will lead to changes in the transport and storage of suspended and bedload sediment.  Changes in the Yampa River sediment budget could lead to changes in channel geometry, riparian...

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

Thermotectonic history of the Kluane Ranges and evolution of the eastern Denali Fault Zone in southwestern Yukon, Canada

Exhumation and landscape evolution along strike‐slip fault systems reflect tectonic processes that accommodate and partition deformation in orogenic settings. We present 17 new apatite (U‐Th)/He (He), zircon He, apatite fission‐track (FT), and zircon FT dates from the eastern Denali fault zone (EDFZ) that bounds the Kluane Ranges in Yukon, Canada...

McDermott, Robert G.; Ault, Alexis K.; Caine, Jonathan S.; Thomson, Stuart N.

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Year Published: 2019

Effects of infiltration characteristics on the spatial-temporal evolution of stability of an interstate highway embankment

Infiltration-induced landslides are among the most common natural disasters threatening modern civilization, but conventional methods for studying the triggering mechanisms and predicting the occurrence of these slides are limited by incomplete consideration of underlying physical processes and the lack of precision inherent in limit-equilibrium...

Hinds, Eric; Lu, Ning; Mirus, Benjamin B.; Wayllace, Alexandra

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Year Published: 2019

The influence of foreland structures on hinterland cooling: evaluating the drivers of exhumation in the eastern Bhutan Himalaya

Understanding, and ideally quantifying, the relative roles of climatic and tectonic processes during orogenic exhumation is critical to resolving the dynamics of mountain building. However, vastly differing opinions regarding proposed drivers often complicate how thermochronometric ages are interpreted, particularly from the hinterland portions of...

McQuarrie, Nadine; Eizenhofer, Paul R.; Long, Sean P.; Tobgay, Tobgay; Ehlers, Todd A.; Blythe, Ann; Morgan, Leah E.; Gilmore, Michelle; Dering, Gregory M.

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Year Published: 2019

Long-term (1986–2015) crop water use characterization over the Upper Rio Grande Basin of United States and Mexico using Landsat-based evapotranspiration

The evaluation of historical water use in the Upper Rio Grande Basin (URGB), United States and Mexico, using Landsat-derived actual evapotranspiration (ETa) from 1986 to 2015 is presented here as the first study of its kind to apply satellite observations to quantify long-term, basin-wide crop consumptive use in a large basin. The rich archive of...

Senay, Gabriel; Schauer, Matthew ; Velpuri, Naga Manohar ; Singh, Ramesh ; Kagone, Stefanie (Contractor); Friedrichs, MacKenzie; Litvak, Marcy; Douglas-Mankin, Kyle R.

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Year Published: 2019

Modeling transient soil moisture limitations on microbial carbon respiration: A cost-performance comparison

Soil microorganisms are known to survive periods of aridity and to recover rapidly after wetting events, with the ability to transition between a dormant state in dry conditions and an active state in wet conditions. Though this dynamic behavior has been previously incorporated into soil carbon respiration modeling frameworks, a direct comparison...

Yuchen Liu; Lawrence, Corey R.; Mathew Winnick; Hsiao-Tieh Hsu; Katherine Maher; Jennifer Druhan

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Year Published: 2019

The Teton fault

No abstract available.

Zellman, M. S.; Duross, Christopher; Thackray, Glenn R.

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Year Published: 2019

Near-field remote sensing of Alaskan Rivers

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Geomorphology and Sediment Transport Laboratory (GSTL), in collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL), acquired remotely sensed data from several Alaskan rivers in 2017 and 2018 with the goal of developing a methodology for measuring streamflow from...

Kinzel, Paul J.; Legleiter, Carl J.; Nelson, Jonathan M.; Conaway, Jeff; LeWinter, Adam; Gadomski, Peter; Filiano, Dominic

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Year Published: 2019

Seismic design and hazard maps: Before and after

The 1994 Northridge earthquake generated world-record ground motions. At the time, the horizontal peak ground acceleration of 1.8 g measured by a seismometer in Tarzana was the largest ever. The same is true of the peak ground velocity of 148 cm/s measured in Granada Hills. Both measurements were within approximately 15 km of the source...

Luco, Nicolas

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Year Published: 2019

Differentiating anthropogenic and natural sources of uranium by geochemical fingerprinting of groundwater at the Homestake Uranium Mill, Milan, New Mexico, USA

A multiparameter geochemical-isotopic fingerprinting approach was used to differentiate natural and anthropogenic signatures of uranium contamination near the Homestake uranium mill site (Site), near Milan, New Mexico, USA. The Site consists of two tailings piles from milling operations and groundwater contamination from these tailings have been...

Blake, Johanna; Harte, Philip; Becher, Kent

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Year Published: 2019

Groundwater quality and hydrology with emphasis on selenium mobilization and transport in the Lower Gunnison River Basin, Colorado, 2012–16

Dissolved selenium is a contaminant of concern in the lower Gunnison River Basin, Colorado. Selenium is naturally present in the Cretaceous Mancos Shale and is leached to groundwater and surface water by irrigation. The groundwater on the east side of the Uncompahgre River in Delta and Montrose Counties is one of the primary sources of selenium...

Thomas, Judith C.; McMahon, Peter B.; Arnold, L. R.
Thomas, J.C., McMahon, P.B., and Arnold, L.R., 2019, Groundwater quality and hydrology with emphasis on selenium mobilization and transport in the lower Gunnison River Basin, Colorado, 2012–16: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2019–5029, 69 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20195029.

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Year Published: 2019

The presence of antibiotic resistance genes in coastal soil and sediment samples from the eastern seaboard of the USA

Infections from antibiotic resistant microorganisms are considered to be one of the greatest global public health challenges that result in huge annual economic losses. While genes that impart resistance to antibiotics (AbR) existed long before the discovery and use of antibiotics, anthropogenic uses of antibiotics in agriculture, domesticated...

Griffin, Dale W.; Benzel, William M.; Fisher, Shawn C.; Focazio, Michael J.; Iwanowicz, Luke R.; Loftin, Keith A.; Reilly, Timothy J.; Jones, Daniel K.

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Year Published: 2019

Sand Creek characterization study for Oncorhynchus clarkii virginalis (Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout), Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Colorado

The Oncorhynchus clarkii virginalis (Rio Grande cutthroat trout, RGCT) has undergone extensive declines in distribution and population. The RGCT is the southernmost distributed subspecies of cutthroat trout. Native to the Rio Grande Basin in Colorado and New Mexico, the subspecies is also found in the headwaters of the Pecos River and Canadian...

Mcgee, Ben N.; Todd, Andrew S.; Kevin K. Terry
McGee, B.N., Todd, A.S., and Terry, K.A., 2019, Sand Creek characterization study for Oncorhynchus clarkii virginalis (Rio Grande cutthroat trout), Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Colorado: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2019–5061, 38 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20195061.

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
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.

...
Image: Pitchfork Ranch, Wyoming
July 7, 2015

Pitchfork Ranch, Wyoming

Over 30 organizations and agencies are testing a USGS-developed oral sylvatic plague vaccine (SPV) at sites such as the Pitchfork Ranch in Wyoming, pictured here. If successful, the SPV could help protect endangered black-footed ferret populations in the western U.S. because the

...
Using a bridge crane to measure streamflow, Powder River at Arvada
May 27, 2015

Using a bridge crane to measure streamflow, Powder River at Arvada

Using a bridge crane to measure streamflow, Powder River at Arvada

May 22, 2015

Fumaroles in Norris Geyser Basin

Fumaroles (venting gas and steam) at the base of Porcelain Terrace in the Norris Geyser Basin, Yellowstone.

Water-quality sampling for pesticides, Shoshone River near Lovell
May 14, 2015

Water-quality sampling for pesticides, Shoshone River near Lovell

Water-quality sampling for pesticides, Shoshone River near Lovell

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
January 2, 2001

Nitrous oxide is an important atmospheric trace gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect and the destruction of ozone. Researchers hypothesize that one important source of atmospheric nitrous oxide is ground water, yet few studies have tested this hypothesis.

USGS
January 2, 2001

Nitrous oxide is an important atmospheric trace gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect and the destruction of ozone. Researchers hypothesize that one important source of atmospheric nitrous oxide is ground water, yet few studies have tested this hypothesis. 

USGS science for a changing world logo
December 7, 2000

Neither a tree-dweller nor a night bird, and roughly the size of a chicken, the Gunnison sage-grouse is not a particularly secretive bird yet just recently has it been identified as a new species of bird. 

USGS
December 7, 2000

Neither a tree-dweller nor a night bird, and roughly the size of a chicken, the Gunnison sage-grouse is not a particularly secretive bird yet just recently has it been identified as a new species of bird.

USGS
November 1, 2000

Native resident fish species, such as the Sacramento sucker and tule perch, are still commonly found in streams of the Sacramento River Basin in Northern California according to a recent U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) report. 

USGS
May 26, 2000

New maps that combine the image characteristics of an aerial photograph with the geometric qualities of a map got a workout during recent efforts to contain wildfires in New Mexico.

USGS
March 29, 2000

Recent deaths of endangered boreal toads in Rocky Mountain National Park have been linked to a chytrid fungus and are the second such diagnosis in Colorado, according to scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey.

USGS
October 27, 1999

Dr. Mary Lou Zoback, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey and chief of that agency’s earthquake hazards program in Menlo Park, Calif., became the new president of the Geological Society of America (GSA), Wednesday, October 27, during the organization’s annual meeting at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colo.

USGS
September 10, 1999

Recent deaths of endangered boreal toads in one of the largest remaining populations in the southern Rocky Mountains have been linked to a chytrid fungus identified last year as being responsible for amphibian die-offs in Central America and Australia, according to pathologists at the USGS National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wis.

USGS
August 18, 1999

Have you ever wondered about those rocks in your yard? Have you been curious about the dinosaurs that used to roam Colorado? Are you curious about how maps are made, what grizzly bears eat or how water is tested? 

USGS
July 28, 1999

A new screening method, based on geology and climatology, has been shown to be a reliable means for predicting where lands in irrigated areas are susceptible to contamination from selenium, according to a report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and Bureau of Indian Affairs.

USGS
May 3, 1999

Retired U.S. Geological Survey geologist E. Bartlett "Bart" Ekren of Ft. Collins, Colo. was awarded the Dibblee Medal by the Dibblee Geological Foundation, on Friday, April 30 at the annual Pacific Section Meeting of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists for his innovative, high quality, and societally important contributions to understanding the geology of the Western United States.

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