Unified Interior Regions

Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin

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: 378
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
    Date published: January 1, 2009
    Status: Active

    Characterization of Selenium Sources in the Lower Gunnison River Basin

    High concentrations of dissolved selenium have been detected in the lower Gunnison River basin including the Uncompahgre River basin. Butler and others (1991 and 1996) identified the highest concentrations of selenium in surface waters in areas that are irrigated on soils derived from Mancos Shale. In July 1997, the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission amended the classifications and...

    Contacts: Kenneth J Leib
    Date published: October 11, 2008
    Status: Completed

    RCMAP - Roaring Fork River at Basalt, 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 Roaring Fork...

    Contacts: Cory A Williams
    Date published: October 1, 2008
    Status: Completed

    Upper Gunnison River Water-Quality Data

    The Upper Gunnison River Watershed, located in the Rocky Mountains 150 miles southwest of Denver, Colorado, drains approximately 3,965 square miles. Forest and rangeland comprise 89 percent of land within the watershed, but the traditional western ranching economy is increasingly supplemented through a tourism economy centered around Crested Butte Mountain Resort and the Curecanti National...

    Contacts: Kenneth J Leib
    Date published: July 1, 2008
    Status: Active

    Upper Arkansas Toxic-Substances Hydrology

    Since 1986, the USGS Hard-Rock Mining Toxic-Substances Hydrology Project has focused on metal transport in streams affected by mining.

    The approach is to study chemical processes within a hydrologic context, using a two-step approach:

    • First, the USGS used instream experimentation to provide data about the processes affecting metals.
    • Second, the USGS used the
    • ...
    Date published: March 1, 2008
    Status: Completed

    Effects of Urbanization on Salinity and Selenium Loading in Montrose Arroyo, Western Colorado

    Salinity and dissolved selenium are known water-quality impairments in the lower Gunnison River watershed of western Colorado. Salinity is a concern because of its adverse effects on agricultural land and equipment, and on municipal and industrial users. The Montrose Arroyo watershed in Montrose, Colorado, contains agricultural and residential areas as well as undeveloped land and has...

    Date published: October 1, 2007
    Status: Completed

    Southwest Study Area Water-Quality Data

    In southwest Colorado, drought, wildfires, mining activities, agriculture, and population growth have altered the landscape from its natural condition. These changes have potentially degraded the water-quality of streams, rivers, reservoirs, and groundwater by introducing or increasing levels of metals, nutrients, synthetic organic chemicals, and sediment. Recognizing the need to understand...

    Contacts: Kenneth J Leib
    Filter Total Items: 4,798
    Publication Thumbnail
    Year Published: 2019

    The USGS National crustal model for seismic hazard studies: 2019 update

    The United States Geological Survey (USGS) National Crustal Model (NCM) is being developed to assist in the modeling of seismic hazards across the conterminous United States, specifically by improving estimates of site response. The NCM is composed of geophysical profiles, extending from the Earth’s surface into the upper mantle, constructed from...

    Boyd, Oliver S.

    Publication Thumbnail
    Year Published: 2019

    New geochemical evidence for the origin of North America's largest dune field, the Nebraska Sand Hills, central Great Plains, USA

    The Nebraska Sand Hills region is the largest dune field in North America and has diverse aeolian landforms. It has been active during both the late Pleistocene and late Holocene. Despite decades of study, the source of sediment for this large sand sea is still controversial. Here we...

    Muhs, Daniel R.; Budahn, James R.

    Publication Thumbnail
    Year Published: 2019

    Revisiting Herto: New evidence of Homo sapiens from Ethiopia

    Localities in the radiometrically dated Upper Herto Member of Ethiopia’s Bouri Formation continue to produce new data that complement and extend initial reports of fossils and artifacts published in 2003. Results of these revisits are reported here and include the in situ recovery of artifacts from the same sediments containing hominid fossils. We...

    Sahle, Yonatan; Beyene, Yonas; Defleur, Alban; Asfaw, Berhane; WoldeGabriel, Giday; Hart, William K; Morgan, Leah E.; Renne, Paul R.; Carlson, Joshua; White, Tim D

    Publication Thumbnail
    Year Published: 2019

    Evaluation of ground motion models for USGS seismic hazard forecasts: Induced and tectonic earthquakes in the Central and Eastern U.S.

    Ground motion model (GMM) selection and weighting introduces a significant source of uncertainty in United States Geological Survey (USGS) seismic hazard models. The increase in moderate moment magnitude induced earthquakes (Mw 4 to 5.8) in Oklahoma and Kansas since 2009, due to increased wastewater injection related to oil and gas production (...

    McNamara, Daniel E.; Petersen, Mark D.; Thompson, Eric M.; Powers, Peter M.; Shumway, Allison; Hoover, Susan M.; Moschetti, Morgan P.; Wolin, Emily

    Publication Thumbnail
    Year Published: 2019

    Estimated 2016 groundwater level and drawdown from predevelopment to 2016 in the Santa Fe Group Aquifer System in the Albuquerque Area, Central New Mexico

    The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority (ABCWUA), has developed a series of maps and associated reports to document changes in the groundwater level in the production zone of the Santa Fe Group aquifer system in the Albuquerque, New Mexico, area. The current map and associated...

    Galanter, Amy E.; Curry, Lucas T.S.
    Galanter, A.E., Curry, L.T.S., 2019, Estimated 2016 groundwater level and drawdown from predevelopment to 2016 in the Santa Fe Group aquifer system in the Albuquerque area, central New Mexico: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3433, 1 sheet, 13-p. pamphlet, https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3433.

    Publication Thumbnail
    Year Published: 2019

    Gas hydrate production testing – Knowledge gained

    Since their initial discovery in the 1960’s, gas hydrates have been considered to be an important potential source of unconventional natural gas. Significant progress has been made relative to our understanding of the geologic and engineering controls on the ultimate energy potential of gas hydrate; however, more work is required to realize the...

    Collett, Timothy S.

    Publication Thumbnail
    Year Published: 2019

    Development of deepwater natural gas hydrates

    Deepwater natural gas hydrate resources potentially exceed all other conventional and non-conventional hydrocarbon resources on a world-wide basis. However, before these offshore gas hydrate resources can be classified as reserves, it must be demonstrated that gas hydrates can be produced under conditions that make economic sense. The purpose of...

    Steve Hancock; Ray Boswell; Collett, Timothy S.
    Hancock, S., Boswell, R., and Collet, T.S., 2019, Development of Deepwater Natural Gas Hydrates: Proceedings of the 2019 Offshore Technology Conference. Available at: https://doi.org/10.4043/29374-MS

    Publication Thumbnail
    Year Published: 2019

    The dependence of hydroclimate projections in snow‐dominated regions of the western United States on the choice of statistically downscaled climate data

    We assess monthly temperature and precipitation data produced by four statistically based techniques that were used to downscale general circulation models (GCMs) in the Climate Model Intercomparison Program Phase 5 (CMIP5) (Taylor et al., 2012). We drive a simple water-balance model with the downscaled data to demonstrate the effect of the...

    Alder, Jay R.; Hostetler, Steven W.

    Publication Thumbnail
    Year Published: 2019

    Geochemical and mineralogical maps, with interpretation, for soils of the conterminous United States

    Between 2007 and 2013, the U.S. Geological Survey conducted a low-density (1 site per 1,600 square kilometers, 4,857 sites) geochemical and mineralogical survey of soils in the conterminous United States. The sampling protocol for the national-scale survey included, at each site, a sample from a depth of 0 to 5 centimeters, a composite of the soil...

    Smith, David B.; Solano, Federico; Woodruff, Laurel G.; Cannon, William F.; Ellefsen, Karl J.
    Smith, D.B., Solano, Federico, Woodruff, L.G., Cannon, W.F., and Ellefsen, K.J., 2019, Geochemical and mineralogical maps, with interpretation, for soils of the conterminous United States: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2017-5118, https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20175118. [Available as HTML.]

    Publication Thumbnail
    Year Published: 2019

    Comment on “Particle fluxes in groundwater change subsurface rock chemistry over geologic time”

    Over the last decade, studies at the Shale Hills Critical Zone Observatory (Shale Hills) have greatly expanded knowledge of weathering in previously understudied, shale-mantled terrains, as well as Earth's Critical Zone as a whole. Among the many discoveries made was the importance of redistribution and losses of micron-sized...

    Bern, Carleton R.; Tiffany Yesavage

    Publication Thumbnail
    Year Published: 2019

    Calcrete uranium deposits in the Southern High Plains, USA

    The Southern High Plains (SHP) is a new and emerging U.S. uranium province. Here, uranyl vanadates form deposits in Pliocene to Pleistocene sandstone, dolomite, and limestone. Fifteen calcrete uranium occurrences are identified; two of these, the Buzzard Draw and Sulfur Springs Draw deposits, have combined in-place resources estimated at about 4...

    Hall, Susan; Van Gosen, Bradley S.; Paces, James B.; Zielinski, Robert A.

    Publication Thumbnail
    Year Published: 2019

    Calibration of Precipitation-Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) to simulate prefire and postfire hydrologic response in the upper Rio Hondo Basin, New Mexico

    The Precipitation-Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) is widely used to simulate the effects of climate, topography, land cover, and soils on landscape-level hydrologic responses and streamflow. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, developed procedures to apply...

    Douglas-Mankin, Kyle R.; Moeser, C. David
    Douglas-Mankin, K.R., and Moeser, C.D., 2019, Calibration of Precipitation-Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) to simulate prefire and postfire hydrologic response in the upper Rio Hondo Basin, New Mexico: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2019–5022, 25 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20195022.

    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: 600
    Looking down and across the Great Salt Lake
    November 23, 2015

    Great Salt Lake

    Looking down and across the Great Salt Lake.

    Receding Great Salt Lake as seen from causeway
    November 23, 2015

    Great Salt Lake Receding

    Receding Great Salt Lake as seen from causeway

    Collecting water sample in tall grass at Kane Springs, Utah on beautiful fall day.
    November 19, 2015

    Kane Springs, San Juan County, Utah Fall 2015

    Collecting sample in tall grass at Kane Springs, San Juan County, Utah, Fall 2015.

    South Salt Wash, Emery County, Utah, Fall 2015
    November 18, 2015

    South Salt Wash, Emery County, Utah, Fall 2015

    South Salt Wash, Emery County, Utah.

    Collecting sediment traps on Lake Powell that were deployed after Gold King Mine release.
    November 15, 2015

    Lake Powell, Kane County, Utah, Fall 2015

    Collecting sediment traps on Lake Powell.

    Using a portable flume to measure streamflow on a small stream
    November 10, 2015

    Using a portable flume to measure streamflow on a small stream

    Using a portable flume to measure streamflow on a small stream

    Preparing to measure water level at Groundwater Streamgage
    November 10, 2015

    Preparing to measure water level at Groundwater Streamgage

    Preparing to measure water level at Groundwater Streamgage

    Image: 2015 Great Salt Lake Breach at Lakeside, Utah
    November 9, 2015

    2015 Great Salt Lake Breach at Lakeside, Utah

    For the first time since it was opened in 1984, water has stopped flowing through the Great Salt Lake causeway breach, an area that allows water to travel between the southern and northern parts of the lake.

    Image: Great Salt Lake Breach at Lakeside, Utah
    November 9, 2015

    Great Salt Lake Breach at Lakeside, Utah

    A gage to measure lake water levels stands dry in the lake bed of the Great Salt Lake. For the first time since it was opened in 1984, water has stopped flowing through the Great Salt Lake causeway breach, an area that allows water to travel between the southern and northern parts of the lake.

    Measuring streamflow of the Green River near LaBarge
    October 30, 2015

    Measuring streamflow of the Green River near LaBarge

    Measuring streamflow of the Green River near LaBarge

    Collecting a QW sample on Muddy Creek near Tomsich Butte, eastern Utah.
    October 28, 2015

    Sampling on Muddy Creek

    Collecting a QW sample on Muddy Creek near Tomsich Butte, eastern Utah.

    Measuring streamflow of New Fork River
    October 22, 2015

    Measuring streamflow of New Fork River

    Measuring streamflow of New Fork River

    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: 328
    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.