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: 385
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
Date published: September 13, 2011
Status: Completed

Natural Resources Conservation Service Deep Percolation

The conversion of agricultural land to urban residential land is associated with rapid population growth in the Grand Valley of western Colorado. Information regarding the effects of this land-use conversion on deep percolation, irrigation-water application, and associated salt loading to the Colorado River is needed to support water-resource planning and conservation efforts.

 

Contacts: Kenneth J Leib

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: 5,065
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Year Published: 2019

Pyritization history in the middle to upper Cambrian Alum Shale, Scania Sweden: Evidence for ongoing diagenetic processes

Detailed diagenetic studies of the late Cambrian Alum Shale in southern Sweden were undertaken across an interval that includes the peak Steptoean Positive Carbon Isotope Excursion (SPICE) event to evaluate the pyrite mineralization history in the formation. Samples were collected from the Andrarum-3 core (Scania, Sweden); here the Alum was...

Fishman, Neil S.; Egenhoff, Sven O.; Lowers, Heather A.; Boehlke, Adam; Ahlberg, Per

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Year Published: 2019

A shallow rift basin segmented in space and time: The southern San Luis Basin, Rio Grande rift, northern New Mexico, U.S.A.

Interpretation of gravity, magnetotelluric, and aeromagnetic data in conjunction with geologic constraints reveals details of basin geometry, thickness, and spatiotemporal evolution of the southern San Luis Basin, one of the major basins of the northern Rio Grande rift. Spatial variations of low-density basin-fill thickness are estimated primarily...

Drenth, Benjamin J.; Grauch, V. J.; Turner, Kenzie J.; Rodriguez, Brian D.; Thompson, Ren A.; Bauer, Paul W.

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Year Published: 2019

The 2018 update of the US National Seismic Hazard Model: Overview of model and implications

During 2017–2018, the National Seismic Hazard Model for the conterminous United States was updated as follows: (1) an updated seismicity catalog was incorporated, which includes new earthquakes that occurred from 2013 to 2017; (2) in the central and eastern United States (CEUS), new ground motion models were updated that incorporate updated median...

Petersen, Mark D.; Shumway, Allison; Powers, Peter M.; Mueller, Charles; Moschetti, Morgan P.; Frankel, Arthur; Rezaeian, Sanaz; McNamara, Daniel E.; Luco, Nicolas; Boyd, Oliver S.; Rukstales, Kenneth S.; Jaiswal, Kishor; Thompson, Eric M.; Hoover, Susan M.; Clayton, Brandon; Field, Edward H.; Zeng, Yuehua

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Year Published: 2019

Increases in life-safety risks to building occupants from induced earthquakes in the central United States

Earthquake occurrence rates in some parts of the central United States have been elevated for a number of years; this increase has been widely attributed to deep wastewater injection associated with oil and gas activities. This induced seismicity has caused damage to buildings and infrastructure and substantial public concern. In March 2016, the U...

Liu, Taojun; Luco, Nicolas; Liel, Abbie B.

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Year Published: 2019

Orogenic recycling of detrital zircons characterizes age distributions of North American Cordilleran strata

Detrital zircon (DZ) analysis has become the standard tool for source‐to‐sink sediment routing studies at many spatial and temporal scales. In North American source‐to‐sink studies, DZ distributions are commonly classified according to the presence/absence and proportions of DZ age groups associated with North American crustal provinces as well as...

Schwartz, Theresa Maude; Schwartz, Robert K.; Weislogel, A.L.

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Year Published: 2019

3D geologic framework for use with the U.S. Geological Survey National Crustal Model, Phase 1—Western United States

A 3D geologic framework is presented here as part of the U.S. Geological Survey National Crustal Model for the western United States, which will be used to improve seismic hazard assessment. The framework is based on 1:250,000 to 1:1,000,000-scale state geologic maps and depths of multiple subsurface unit boundaries. The geology at or near the...

Boyd, Oliver S.
Boyd, O.S., 2019, 3D Geologic framework for use with the U.S. Geological Survey National Crustal Model, Phase 1—Western United States: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1081, 36 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191081.

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Year Published: 2019

Holocene earthquake history and slip rate of the southern Teton fault, Wyoming, USA

The 72-km-long Teton normal fault bounds the eastern base of the Teton Range in northwestern Wyoming, USA. Although geomorphic surfaces along the fault record latest Pleistocene to Holocene fault movement, the postglacial earthquake history of the fault has remained enigmatic. We excavated a paleoseismic trench at the Buffalo Bowl site along the...

Duross, Christopher; Gold, Ryan D.; Briggs, Richard W.; Delano, Jaime E.; Ostenaa, Dean A.; Zellman, Mark; Cholewinski, Nicole; Wittke, Seth; Mahan, Shannon A.

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Year Published: 2019

Using component ratios to detect metadata and instrument problems of seismic stations: Examples from 18 years of GEOSCOPE data

Replacement or deterioration of seismic instruments and the evolution of the installation conditions and sites can alter the seismic signal in very subtle ways, so it is notoriously difficult to monitor the signal quality of permanent seismic stations. We present a simple tool, energy ratios between each pair of the three recorded components,...

Pedersen, Helle A.; Leroy, Nicolas; Zigone, Dimitri; Vallée, Martin; Ringler, Adam T.; Wilson, David C.

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Year Published: 2019

The (mythical) M8.2 off coast of Peru earthquake of 12 December 1908

Global earthquake catalogs covering the early twentieth century differ in their listings of a large earthquake, or earthquakes, on 12 December 1908. Some catalogs list an M∼7">M∼7M∼7 earthquake originating in northern Myanmar (Burma) at ∼12:55">∼12:55∼12:55 UTC on that date. Other catalogs do not...

Di Giacomo, Domenico; Dewey, James W.

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Year Published: 2019

Remote sensing of tracer dye concentrations to support dispersion studies in river channels

In river channels the flow field influences the dispersion of biota, contaminants, and other suspended or dissolved materials. Insight on patterns and rates of dispersion can be gained by injecting a pulse of visible dye and observing spatial and temporal variations in dye concentration as the pulse moves downstream. We evaluated the potential of...

Legleiter, Carl J.; McDonald, Richard R.; Nelson, Jonathan M.; Kinzel, Paul J.; Perroy, Ryan L. ; Baek, Donghae; Seo, Il Won

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Year Published: 2019

Geospatial scaling of runoff and erosion modeling in the Chihuahuan Desert

Large-scale assessments of rangeland runoff and erosion require methods to extend plot-scale parameterizations to large areas. In this study, Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model (RHEM) parameters were developed from plot-scale foliar and ground-cover transect data for an arid, grass-shrub rangeland in southern New Mexico, and a method was...

Ball, Grady; Douglas-Mankin, Kyle

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Year Published: 2019

The Zn–Pb mineralization of Florida Canyon, an evaporite-related Mississippi Valley-type deposit in Bongará district, northern Peru

The Florida Canyon evaporite-related Zn–Pb sulfide deposit, in northern Peru, is one of the largest Mississippi Valley-type (MVT) deposits in South America. Triassic carbonate and former evaporite-bearing rocks of the Pucará Group host the ore bodies that comprise two different styles: (i) predominantly stratabound ore associated with hydrocarbon-...

de Oliveira, Saulo B; Leach, David L; Juliani, Caetano; Monteiro, Lena VS; Johnson, Craig 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
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: 340
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.

USGS
April 6, 1999

Even the most complex household move would pale in comparison to the daunting task that faced the U.S. Geological Survey last week. Its National Water Quality Laboratory moved from Arvada, Colo. to the Denver Federal Center and a new facility which is leased by the USGS from the General Services Administration.

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