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 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...

Date published: December 31, 2012
Status: Completed

Numerical simulation of groundwater flow in the Lost Creek Designated Groundwater Basin, Weld and Adams Counties, Colorado

The Lost Creek Designated Ground Water Basin (LCDGWB) is an important alluvial aquifer for water supply in northeastern Colorado. Increased demand for withdrawals from the LCDGWB has led to a concern about the long-term sustainability of the basin’s ground-water resources.

A numerical ground-water flow model developed using an early version of MODFLOW exists for the LCDGWB. A review and...

Contacts: Suzanne Paschke
Date published: September 30, 2012
Status: Completed

Water budget and potential for underground storage in the Buena Vista-Salida Basin in Chaffee and parts of Fremont, Lake, and Saguache Counties, Colorado, 2009-2012

Population increases in the Upper Arkansas Headwaters Region, which includes Chaffee, Custer, Fremont, and Lake Counties, Colorado, are forecast to increase about 75 percent by 2030.  An annual deficit gap between supply and demand of about 5,950 acre-feet is anticipated.  Groundwater in the area is tributary to the Arkansas River but the effects of additional groundwater use are poorly...

Date published: September 30, 2012
Status: Completed

Use of multivariate associations among species for detecting changes in native plains fish community structure in Colorado

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is responsible for monitoring the status of fishes in Colorado and currently seeks to establish a rigorous, efficient monitoring program for fishes that occur in stream habitats from the mountain-plains interface east to the Colorado state line. The primary goals of this program are to: 

  1. monitor the status of species of concern designated
  2. ...
Date published: June 25, 2012
Status: Active

Bandelier National Monument Postwildfire Flood Support

In the summer of 2011, the Las Conchas Fire burned 156,593 acres in the Jemez Mountains in northern NM including the upper watersheds of Frijoles and Capulin Canyons in Bandelier National Monument. The drastic removal of vegetation in the upper watersheds of these popular tourist destinations left them susceptible to dangerous and record breaking floods. As long as the threat of large post-...

Contacts: Anne C Tillery
Date published: June 1, 2012
Status: Active

South Platte Alluvial Aquifer Water-Level Monitoring

Reports indicate that groundwater levels are rising in parts of the South Platte alluvial aquifer.  The Colorado Division of  Water Resources and the Colorado Water Conservation Board are establishing a groundwater-level monitoring network in the South Platte basin.  The USGS National Water Quality Assessment Program (NAWQA) monitoring wells are uniquely located so as to be included in the...

Contacts: Suzanne Paschke
Date published: May 18, 2012
Status: Active

USGS Post-Wildfire Hydrologic Monitoring in New Mexico

USGS Gages in New Mexico Wildfire Areas
 

Contacts: Mark A Gunn
Date published: April 1, 2012
Status: Completed

Selenium Mobilization from Shales

Selenium (Se) and salinity (total dissolved solids) are water-quality concerns in much of the arid western US where agricultural and urban irrigation overlie Cretaceous-age shale.  Leaching of Se and salinity from shale can degrade water quality and negatively affect aquatic biota in receiving water bodies. In the upper Colorado River Basin, programs since 1985 have worked to reduce Se and...

Contacts: M. Alisa Mast
Date published: December 31, 2011
Status: Completed

Gunnison and Green River Basin Sediment Monitoring and Evaluation Program

Underlying geomorphic processes relevant to the formation and maintenance of backwater habitats are relatively poorly understood, particularly the effects of peak-flow magnitude and duration; sediment deposition and erosion; base-flow magnitude and variability; and antecedent conditions on habitat availability and conditions. Knowledge of sediment dynamics in important river reaches is...

Contacts: Cory A Williams

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: 5,122
Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

Challenges for leveraging citizen science to support statistically robust monitoring programs

Large samples and long time series are often needed for effective broad-scale monitoring of status and trends in wild populations. Obtaining those sample sizes can be more feasible when volunteers contribute to the dataset, but volunteer-selected sites are not always representative of a population. Previous work to account for biased site...

Weiser, Emily L.; Diffendorfer, James E.; Lopez-Hoffman, Laura; Semmens, Darius J.; Thogmartin, Wayne E.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

Spatiotemporal variability of modeled watershed scale surface-depression storage and runoff for the conterminous United States

This study uses the explores the viability of a proxy model calibration strategy through assessment of the spatiotemporal variability of surface-depression storage and runoff generated with the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Hydrologic Model (NHM) infrastructure for hydrologic response units (HRUs; n=109,951) across the conterminous United...

Driscoll, Jessica M.; Hay, Lauren; Vanderhoof, Melanie K.; Viger, Roland J.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

Using a dense seismic array to determine structure and site effects of the Two Towers earthflow in northern California

We deployed a network of 68 three-component geophones on the slow moving Two Towers earthflow in northern California. We compute horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratios (HVSRs) from the ambient seismic field. The HVSRs have two prominent peaks, one near 1.23 Hz and another between 4 and 8 Hz at most stations. The 1.23 Hz resonance is a property...

Thomas, Amanda M.; Spica, Zack; Bodmer, Miles; Schulz, William; Roering, Joshua J.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

Resolving small-scale forest snow patterns using an energy-balance snow model with a 1-layer canopy

Modelling spatiotemporal dynamics of snow in forests is challenging, as involved processes are strongly dependent on small-scale canopy properties. In this study, we explore how local canopy structure information can be integrated in a medium-complexity energy-balance snow model to replicate observed snow patterns at very high spatial resolutions...

Mazzotti, Giulia; Essery, Richard; Moeser, C. David; Jonas, Tobias

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

An open source database for the synthesis of soil radiocarbon data: ISRaD version 1.0

Radiocarbon is a critical constraint on our estimates of the timescales of soil carbon cycling that can aid in identifying mechanisms of carbon stabilization and destabilization and improve the forecast of soil carbon response to management or environmental change. Despite the wealth of soil radiocarbon data that have been reported over the past...

Lawrence, Corey R.; Beem-Miller, Jeffrey; Hoyt, Alison; Monroe, Grey; Sierra, Carlos; Stoner, Shane; Heckman, Katherine; Blankinship, Joseph; Crow, Susan; McNichol, Gavin; Trumbore, Susan; Levine, Paul; Vinduśková, Olga; Todd-Brown, Katherine; Rasmussen, Craig; Hicks Pries, Caitlin; Schadel, Christina; McFarlane, Karis; Doetterl, Sebastian; Hatté, Christine; He, Yujie; Treat, Claire C.; Harden, Jennifer W.; Torn, Margaret S; Estop-Aragonés, Cristian; Berhe, Asmeret A.; Keiluweit, Marco; Kuhnen, Agatha Della Rosa; Marin-Spiotta, Erika; Plante, Alain F.; Thompson, Aaron; Shi, Zheng; Schimel, Joshua P.; Vaughn, Lydia J.S. ; von Fromm, Sophie F.; Wagai, Rota

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

Sustaining Environmental Capital Initiative summary report

Federal agencies need credible scientific information to determine the production and value of ecosystem services in an efficient and timely manner. The U.S. Geological Survey addresses this scientific information need through the Sustaining Environmental Capital Initiative project. The project has relied on U.S. Geological Survey expertise...

Huber, Christopher; Meldrum, James R.; Schuster, Rudy M.; Ancona, Zachary H.; Bagstad, Kenneth J.; Beck, Scott M.; Carlisle, Daren; Claggett, Peter R.; Franco, Fabiano; Galbraith, Heather S.; Haefele, Michelle; Hoelting, Kristin R; Hogan, Dianna M.; Hopkins, Kristina G.; Kern, Tim; Lawrence, Collin B.; Lischka, Stacy; Loomis, John B.; Mueller, Julie M.; Noe, Gregory B.; Pindilli, Emily J.; Quay, Brian; Semmens, Darius J.; Sinclair, Wilson; Spooner, Daniel E.; Voigt, Brian; St. John White, Barabara
Huber, C., Meldrum, J.R., Schuster, R.M., Ancona, Z.H., Bagstad, K.J., Beck, S.M., Carlisle, D.M., Claggett, P.R., Franco, F., Galbraith, H.S., Haefele, M., Hoelting, K.R., Hogan, D.M., Hopkins, K.G., Kern, T., Lawrence, C.B., Lischka, S., Loomis, J.B., Mueller, J.M., Noe, G.B., Pindilli, E.J., Quay, B., Semmens, D.J., Sinclair, W., Spooner, D.E., Voigt, B., and St. John White, B., 2020, Sustaining Environmental Capital Initiative summary report: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1117, 23 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191117.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

Observations on the May 2019 Joffre Peak landslides, British Columbia

Two catastrophic landslides occurred in quick succession on 13 and 16 May 2019, from the north face of Joffre Peak, Cerise Creek, southern Coast Mountains, British Columbia. With headscarps at 2560 m and 2690 m elevation, both began as rock avalanches, rapidly transforming into debris flows along middle Cerise Creek, and finally into debris floods...

Friele, Pierre; Millard, Tom; Mitchell, Andrew; Allstadt, Kate; Menounos, Brian; Geertsema, Marten; Clague, John J.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

Thresholds for post-wildfire debris flows: Insights from the Pinal Fire, Arizona, USA

Wildfire significantly alters the hydrologic properties of a burned area, leading to increases in overland flow, erosion, and the potential for runoff-generated debris flows. The initiation of debris flows in recently burned areas is well-characterized by rainfall intensity-duration (ID) thresholds. However, there is currently a paucity of data...

Raymond, Carissa A; McGuire, Luke A.; Youberg, Ann M.; Staley, Dennis M.; Kean, Jason W.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

Environmental tracer evidence for connection between shallow and bedrock aquifers and high intrinsic susceptibility to contamination of the conterminous U.S. glacial aquifer

Covering a large portion of the northern conterminous United States (1.87 x 106 km2), the glacial aquifer serves as the primary water supply for 39 million public and domestic water users. Mean groundwater age, groundwater age distribution, and susceptibility to land surface contamination, using a new metric (Susceptibility Index; SI) based on the...

Solder, John E.; Jurgens, Bryant; Stackelberg, Paul; Shope, Christopher L.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

Fault fictions: Systematic biases in the conceptualization of fault-zone architecture

Mental models are a human's internal representation of the real world and have an important role in the way we understand and reason about uncertainties, explore potential options and make decisions. Mental models have not yet received much attention in geosciences, yet systematic biases can affect any geological investigation: from how the...

Shipton, Zoe K; Roberts, Jennifer J; Comrie Emma L; Kremer, Yannick; Lunn, Rebecca J; Caine, Jonathan

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

USGS near-real-time products-and their use-for the 2018 Anchorage earthquake

In the minutes to hours after a major earthquake, such as the recent 2018 Mw">Mw 7.1 Anchorage event, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) produces a suite of interconnected earthquake products that provides diverse information ranging from basic earthquake source parameters to loss estimates. The 2018 Anchorage earthquake is the first...

Thompson, Eric M.; McBride, Sara; Hayes, Gavin P.; Allstadt, Kate; Wald, Lisa; Wald, David J.; Knudsen, Keith L.; Worden, Charles; Marano, Kristin; Jibson, Randall W.; Grant, Alex R. R.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

Evaluation of ground‐motion models for U.S. Geological Survey seismic hazard models: 2018 Anchorage, Alaska, Mw 7.1 subduction zone earthquake sequence

Instrumental ground‐motion recordings from the 2018 Anchorage, Alaska (⁠Mw">Mw 7.1), earthquake sequence provide an independent data set allowing us to evaluate the predictive power of ground‐motion models (GMMs) for intraslab earthquakes associated with the Alaska subduction zone. In this study, we evaluate 15 candidate GMMs using...

McNamara, Daniel E.; Wolin, Emily; Powers, Peter M.; Shumway, Allison; Moschetti, Morgan P.; Rekoske, John; Thompson, Eric M.; Mueller, Charles; Petersen, Mark D.

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
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

Lowering pump down monitoring well to sample for pesticides
May 14, 2015

Lowering pump down monitoring well to sample for pesticides

Lowering pump down monitoring well to sample for pesticides

Water-quality sampling from Salt River cableway
May 13, 2015

Water-quality sampling from Salt River cableway

Water-quality sampling from Salt River cableway

Digging trench in which to bury cable transmitting GW data to streamgage
March 20, 2015

Digging trench to bury cable transmitting GW data to streamgage

Digging trench in which to bury cable transmitting groundwater data from well to streamgage

Setting up Groundwater Streamgage on Green River nr LaBarge
March 13, 2015

Setting up Groundwater Streamgage on Green River nr LaBarge

Setting up Groundwater Streamgage on Green River nr LaBarge

Wading White River to determine stream discharge using Flow Tracker on clear fall day.
February 6, 2015

White River near Watson, Utah

Measuring discharge in White River near Watson, Utah using FlowTracker on sunny winter day.

An agricultural barn with farming equipment stored outside in Colorado.
December 31, 2014

An agricultural barn with farming equipment stored outside in Colorado

An agricultural barn with farming equipment stored outside in Colorado.

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
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.

USGS science for a changing world logo
May 8, 2001

Federal, state and local policy makers will gather in Casper, Wyoming, on May 9-10 to examine science issues associated with the development of coalbed methane. The two-day conference and field trip, sponsored by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), will examine a number of topics including: what is coalbed methane, how it forms, where it occurs, how it is developed, and consequences of development.

USGS
May 8, 2001

 Federal, state and local policy makers will gather in Casper, Wyoming, on May 9-10 to examine science issues associated with the development of coalbed methane. 

USGS
February 23, 2001

A new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) assessment of the nation’s coal resources shows abundant high quality, low-sulfur coal on federal and private lands in the Colorado Plateau region of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. The area is also home to vast quantities of coal bed methane gas - natural gas contained in coal.

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.

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