Unified Interior Regions

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: 384
Date published: June 19, 2011
Status: Completed

Characterization of the Hydrologic Resources of San Miguel County, New Mexico, and Identification of Critical Data Gaps in Characterizing the Hydrologic Resources, 2011

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with San Miguel County, New Mexico, conducted a study to assess publicly available information regarding the hydrologic resources of San Miguel County and to identify data gaps in that information and hydrologic information that could aid in the management of available water resources. The USGS operates four continuous annual streamgages in San...

Date published: June 5, 2011
Status: Active

Continuous Water Quality Monitoring on the Pecos River in Southern New Mexico

High levels of salinity in the Pecos River render it less useful for various purposes. It is believed that underground salt deposits in the Malaga area contribute to the increase in the salinity in the Pecos River as it flows through this area.

Contacts: Kyle C Davis
Date published: May 1, 2011
Status: Completed

Bathymetry of Groundhog and Totten Reservoirs

In order to better characterize the water supply capacity of Groundhog Reservoir, Dolores County, Colorado, and Totten Reservoir, Montezuma County, Colorado, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Dolores Water Conservancy District, conducted a bathymetric survey of Groundhog and Totten Reservoir. The study was performed in June 2011 using a man-operated boat-mounted multibeam...

Date published: January 10, 2011
Status: Completed

Rural Douglas County Groundwater Network

More than 70 percent of the municipal water supply in the south Denver metropolitan area is provided by groundwater, and homeowners in rural areas depend solely on self-supplied groundwater for water supply. Increased groundwater withdrawal to meet the demand of the rapidly growing population is causing water levels to decline. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Rural Water...

Contacts: Rhett R Everett
Date published: December 19, 2010
Status: Completed

RCMAP - Gunnison River at Spann Diversion at Gunnison, 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.
 

Gunnison...

Date published: October 1, 2010
Status: Active

Flood Database for Colorado

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Colorado Department of Transportation, created a Web-based geodatabase for information on floods from 1867 through water year 2015 and information on paleofloods occurring in the past 5,000 to 10,000 years.  The geodatabase was created using Environmental Systems Research Institute ArcGIS JavaScript Application Programing Interface. Engineers...

Date published: November 21, 2009
Status: Completed

RCMAP - Uncompahgre River at Ridgway, 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 Uncompahgre...

Contacts: Cory A Williams
Date published: October 1, 2009
Status: Completed

Eagle River Water-Quality Data

The Eagle River drains approximately 970 square miles (sq mi) west of the Continental Divide in central Colorado before flowing into the Colorado River. The Eagle River watershed (ERW) is located primarily within Eagle County and includes the towns of Vail, Minturn, Avon, Edwards, Eagle, and Gypsum. The eastern boundary of the Eagle River watershed is drained by Gore Creek, located at Vail...

Contacts: Kenneth J Leib
Date published: September 30, 2009
Status: Completed

Development of a fecal contamination monitoring and control strategy in upper Fountain Creek, Colorado

Fountain Creek is a high-gradient stream on the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. The headwaters of Fountain Creek drain Pikes Peak, a major destination for tourism. Fountain Creek is a drinking-water source for the City of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and is used for irrigation, recreation, and other purposes between Colorado Springs and the confluence with the Arkansas River at...

Contacts: David P Mau
Date published: June 21, 2009
Status: Completed

NAWQA High Plains Regional Groundwater Study

As part of the National Water Quality Assessment Program (NAWQA), the USGS has evaluated ground-water quality in the High Plains aquifer system. Beginning in 1999 and continuing for a period of 6 years, the High Plains Regional Groundwater Study intensively investigated the...

Date published: April 1, 2009
Status: Active

Snowpack Sublimation - Measurements and Modeling in the Colorado River Basin

Snow is an essential resource in the western United States (U.S.), providing water for drinking, irrigation, industry, energy production, and ecosystems across much of the region.  In the mountains of the western U.S., most precipitation falls as snow, which accumulates in seasonal snowpacks that serve as a large natural reservoir.

Snowpack sublimation, which is analogous to evaporation...

Date published: January 1, 2009
Status: Completed

Loutzenhizer Arroyo Water Quality Monitoring activities in the Lower Gunnison Basin

Emerging water-quality issues within Delta, Montrose, and Mesa counties reflect changing land use practices, housing development and related pressures due to growth. Significant amounts of data have been collected by members of the Gunnison Basin Selenium Task Force as it relates to selenium related water-quality problems.  

    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: 4,890
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    Year Published: 2019

    Root-driven weathering impacts on mineral-organic associations in deep soils over pedogenic time scales

    Plant roots are critical weathering agents in deep soils, yet the impact of resulting mineral transformations on the vast deep soil carbon (C) reservoir are largely unknown. Root-driven weathering of primary minerals may cause the formation of reactive secondary minerals, which protect mineral-organic associations (MOAs) for centuries or millennia...

    Arredondo, Mariela Garcia; Lawrence, Corey; Schulz, Marjorie S.; Tfaily, Malak M.; Kukkadapu, Ravi K.; Jones, Morris E.; Boye, Kristin; Keiluweit, Marco

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    Year Published: 2019

    Water-budget analysis of the Upper Big Sandy Designated Ground-water Basin alluvial aquifer, Elbert, El Paso, and Lincoln Counties, Colorado, 2016

    The U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the Colorado Water Conservation Board and the Upper Big Sandy Groundwater Management District carried out a study in 2016 to evaluate potential groundwater storage changes within the Upper Big Sandy Designated Groundwater Basin (UBSDGB) alluvial aquifer, including groundwater flow between the UBSDGB...

    Kohn, Michael S.; Oden, Jeannette H.; Arnold, L. R.
    Kohn, M.S., Oden, J.H., and Arnold, L.R., 2019, Water-budget analysis of the Upper Big Sandy Designated Ground-water Basin alluvial aquifer, Elbert, El Paso, and Lincoln Counties, Colorado, 2016: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2019-5049, 25 p., https://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20195049.

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    Year Published: 2019

    Reactivity of As and U co-occurring in mine wastes in northeastern Arizona

    The reactivity of co-occurring arsenic (As) and uranium (U) in mine wastes was investigated using batch reactors, microscopy, spectroscopy, and aqueous chemistry. Analyses of field samples collected in proximity to mine wastes in northeastern Arizona confirm the presence of As and U in soils and surrounding waters, as reported in a previous study...

    Blake, Johanna; Avasarala, Sumant; Ali, Abdul-Mehdi; Spilde, Michael; Lezama-Pacheco, Juan S; Latta, Drew; Artyushkova, Kateryna; Ilgen, Anastasia G; Christopher Shuey; Christopher Nez; Cerrato, Jose M

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    Year Published: 2019

    Seismic loss and damage in light-frame wood buildings from sequences of induced earthquakes

    Activities related to oil and gas production, especially deep disposal of wastewater, have led to sequences of induced earthquakes in the central U.S. This study aims to quantify damage to and seismic losses for light-frame wood buildings when subjected to sequences of induced, small to moderate magnitude, events. To conduct this investigation,...

    Chase, Robert E; Liel, Abbie B.; Luco, Nicolas; Baird, Bridger W

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    Year Published: 2019

    Developing and testing physically based triggering thresholds for runoff‐generated debris flows

    Runoff in steep channels is capable of transitioning into debris flows with hazardous implications for downstream communities and infrastructure, particularly in alpine landscapes with minimal vegetation and areas recently disturbed by wildfire. Here, we derive thresholds for the initiation of runoff‐generated debris flows based on critical values...

    Tang, Hui; McGuire, Luke A.; Rengers, Francis K.; Kean, Jason W.; Staley, Dennis M.; Smith, Joel B.

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    Year Published: 2019

    Intensity and impact of the New York Railroad superstorm of May 1921

    Analysis is made of low‐latitude ground‐based magnetometer data recording the magnetic superstorm of May 1921. By inference, the storm was driven by a series of interplanetary coronal mass ejections, one of which produced a maximum pressure on the magnetopause of ~64.5 nPa, sufficient to compress the subsolar magnetopause radius to ~5.3 Earth...

    Love, Jeffrey J.; Hayakawa, Hisashi; Cliver, Edward W.

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    Year Published: 2019

    Geographic context affects the landscape change and fragmentation caused by wind energy facilities

    Wind energy generation causes transformation of landscapes as new roads, pads, and transmission lines are constructed. Limiting the landscape change and fragmentation caused by these facilities likely minimizes impacts to biodiversity and sensitive wildlife species. We examined the effects of wind energy facilities’ geographic context on changes...

    Diffendorfer, James E.; Dorning, Monica; Jolene Keen; Kramer, Louisa; Taylor, Robert

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    Year Published: 2019

    Assessment of continuous oil resources in the Eastern Great Basin Province of Nevada, Utah, and Idaho, 2018

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) quantitatively assessed the potential for undiscovered, technically recoverable continuous oil and gas resources in the Eastern Great Basin Province (Anna and others, 2007) of Nevada, Utah, and Idaho (fig. 1). The assessment focused on the area of the province between the Roberts Mountains and...

    Schenk, Christopher J.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Woodall, Cheryl A.; Finn, Thomas M.; Gaswirth, Stephanie B.; Marra, Kristen R.; Le, Phuong A.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.; Drake, Ronald M.; Kinney, Scott A.
    Schenk, C.J., Mercier, T.J., Woodall, C.A., Finn, T.M., Gaswirth, S.B., Marra, K.R., Le, P.A., Brownfield, M.E., Leathers-Miller, H.M., Drake, R.M., II, and Kinney, S.A., 2019, Assessment of continuous oil resources in the Eastern Great Basin Province of Nevada, Utah, and Idaho, 2018: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2019–3002, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20193002.

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    Year Published: 2019

    Crustal architecture beneath the southern Midcontinent (USA) and controls on Mesoproterozoic iron-oxide mineralization from 3D geophysical models

    Several types of critical mineral-bearing ore deposits in the southern Midcontinent region of the U.S. are hosted in Mesoproterozoic igneous rocks largely concealed beneath Paleozoic cover. Discerning the architecture of igneous intrusions and volcanic centers in the crust is fundamental to understanding the geologic evolution of this vast region...

    McCafferty, Anne E.; Phillips, Jeffrey D.; Hofstra, Albert H.; Day, Warren C.
    McCafferty, A.E., Phillips, J.D., Hofstra, A.H., and Day, W.C., 2019, Crustal architecture beneath the southern Midcontinent (USA) and controls on Mesoproterozoic iron-oxide mineralization from 3D geophysical models: Ore Geology Reviews, v. 111, 21 p.

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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.

    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
    A field of wind turbines in Wyoming with a storm rolling in.
    December 31, 2014

    Wind Turbines During Approaching Storm

    A field of wind turbines in Wyoming with a storm rolling in.

    Wheat field wind turbines in Wyoming.
    December 31, 2014

    Wheat Field Wind Turbines in Wyoming

    Wheat field wind turbines in Wyoming.

    Image: Colorado River near Moab
    December 24, 2014

    Colorado River near Moab

    The Colorado River as it runs near Moab, UT, surrounded by sandstone cliffs.

    Image: Colorado River near Moab
    December 24, 2014

    Colorado River near Moab

    The Colorado River as it runs near Moab, UT, surrounded by sandstone cliffs.

    Photo of an active oil and gas pad on Bureau of Land Management lands near Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
    November 30, 2014

    Active oil and gas pad near Canyonlands National Park

    Active oil and gas pad on Bureau of Land Management lands near Canyonlands National Park, Utah.

    View into Green River Basin from Wyoming Range, Dry Piney Basin
    November 11, 2014

    View into Green River Basin from Wyoming Range, Dry Piney Basin

    View into Green River Basin from Wyoming Range, Dry Piney Basin

    A managed wildfire burns in a Ponderosa pine stand, New Mexico
    October 8, 2014

    A managed wildfire burns in a Ponderosa pine stand, New Mexico

    A managed wildfire burns in a Ponderosa pine stand, New Mexico

    Earth As Art image of Utah, Arizona
    October 4, 2014

    Cloud Lightning

    What looks like lightning arcing through an ominous cloud is actually a dry landscape of rocky buttes in southern Utah and northeastern Arizona. River channels flow north from Arizona into the San Juan River. The light vertical feature at the top of the image is referred to as Comb Ridge, a jagged fold in the Earth's crust called a monocline.

    • Collection: Earth
    ...
    An archaeologist and fire scientist looking at the burned ground of a forest to assess impacts of wildfires on archaeological si
    September 30, 2014

    Assessing impacts to archaeological sites through collaboration

    Archaeologists and fire scientists collaborate to assess impacts of wildfires on archaeological sites in the Jemez Mountains, New Mexico

    hand holding a sherd, a fragment of an ancient vessel
    September 30, 2014

    How fire research can help reduce cultural resource fire damage

    Pre- and post-fire measurements of fire effects can help archaeologists and fire scientists determine how wildfires and prescribed fires impact cultural resources, and how management actions may reduce likelihood of damage

    Installing piezometer on the bank of the New Fork River
    September 28, 2014

    Installing piezometer on the bank of the New Fork River

    Installing piezometer on the bank of the New Fork River

    Installing stream thermistor at New Fork Groundwater Streamgage
    September 25, 2014

    Installing stream thermistor at New Fork Groundwater Streamgage

    Installing stream thermistor at New Fork Groundwater Streamgage

    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: 332
    USGS
    March 17, 1998

    The potential for earthquakes in many parts of the United States, a review of the more than 10,000 earthquakes that have occurred near Mammoth Lakes, Calif., during the past year, and updates on the monitoring of earthquakes, mine explosions and earthquake-induced landslides are part of 32 presentations by scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey at the annual meeting of the Seismological...

    USGS
    February 13, 1998

    From Seafloor Mapping to Hammer Awards and AAAS Fellowships........

    USGS
    October 16, 1997

    The asteroid impact that occurred 65 million years ago comes to life on the computer screen, Tuesday, Oct. 21, as a research cartographer with the U.S. Geological Survey demonstrates his latest HyperCard animation at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America (GSA) in Salt Lake City.

    USGS
    October 16, 1997

    When Henry J. Moore was growing up on Third Avenue during the 1930s, he says he didn’t pay much attention to the comic-book space dust being kickedup by Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon. Twenty years later, however, Moore’s interest in the dust and landforms of Planet Earth set him on a course that would eventually land in the dust on Mars; in a matter of speaking.

    USGS
    September 26, 1997

    High concentrations of dissolved salts in the lower Colorado River basin have been linked to regional geologic collapse near Glenwood Springs, Colo., according to scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey and the Colorado Geological Survey.

    USGS
    June 9, 1997

    The 1996/97 austral summer season marked the beginning of the newest deep ice core drilling project sponsored by the National Science Foundation, Office of Polar Programs.

    USGS
    June 2, 1997

    The U. S. Geological Survey has released Open-File Report 97-59 entitled: Geology and Structure of the Pine River, Florida River, Carbon Junction, and Basin Creek Gas Seeps, La Plata County, Colorado.

    USGS
    November 21, 1996

    The gasoline additive MTBE (methyl tert-butyl ether) was detected in some urban stormwater samples collected in 16 cities and metropolitan areas by the U.S. Geological Survey, but all detections of MTBE were less than the lower limit of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s draft lifetime health advisory for drinking water.

    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.