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: 382
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
Date published: September 30, 2007
Status: Completed

USGS Abandoned Mine Lands Initiative

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) conducted an Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) Initiative during the fiscal years 1997 through 2001 to provide technical assistance in support of Federal Land Management Agency (FLMA) actions to remediate contamination associated with abandoned hard rock mining activities. This initiative was part of a larger strategy by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U....

Date published: September 30, 2007
Status: Completed

Simulated Effects of Proposed Southern Delivery System Alternatives on Hydrodynamics and Water Quality of Pueblo Reservoir Using a Two-Dimensional Hydrodynamic and Water-Quality Model, Pueblo, Colorado

Pueblo Reservoir is one of southeastern Colorado's most valuable water resources. The reservoir provides irrigation, municipal, and industrial water to various entities throughout the region. The reservoir also provides flood control, recreational activities, sport fishing, and wildlife enhancement to the region.

The Bureau of Reclamation is working to meet its goal to issue a Final...

Contacts: David P Mau
Date published: August 8, 2007
Status: Completed

Groundwater Availability Analysis of the Denver Groundwater Basin

The Denver Basin aquifer system is a critical water resource for growing municipal, industrial, and domestic uses along the semiarid Front Range urban corridor of Colorado. The confined bedrock aquifer system is located along the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountain Front Range where the mountains meet the Great Plains physiographic province. Mining, transportation, agricultural,
and urban...

Contacts: Suzanne Paschke
Date published: August 2, 2007
Status: Completed

Prediction of suspended-sediment transport and identification of sediment source areas in the Fountain Creek watershed

 The Fountain Creek drainage network currently is in a precarious geomorphic situation. This situation arises because:

  1. the Palmer Divide and the Rampart Range have the potential to cause very high orographically induced rainfall rates
  2. east of the foothills, streams within the watershed flow through valley bottoms filled with easily eroded alluvial sediments
  3. there
  4. ...
Date published: June 25, 2007
Status: Completed

Eagle Creek Basin Water Budget and Effects of Groundwater Pumping on Streamflow in North Fork Eagle Creek, Lincoln County, New Mexico

North Fork Eagle Creek is located in the Sacramento Mountains of south-central New Mexico. Urban and resort development have placed increasing demands on surface- and ground-water resources of the area. The Village of Ruidoso obtains 60 to 70 percent of its water supply from the Eagle Creek basin, including 4 wells (the North Fork wells) on U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service land....

Date published: June 20, 2007
Status: Active

Chemical Modeling of Acid Waters Questa Baseline and Pre-Mining Ground-Water Quality Investigation, Red River Valley Basin, New Mexico

The US Geological Survey and the New Mexico Environment Department entered into a Joint Powers Agreement as of April 30, 2001 to execute an investigation of baseline and pre-mining ground-water quality in the Red River Basin, New Mexico. The main objective is to infer the pre-mining ground-water quality at the Questa Molycorp mine site. This study was formulated because New Mexico law states...

Contacts: Nathan C Myers
Date published: May 17, 2007
Status: Active

Comprehensive Water-Quality Study for the Arkansas River Basin, Colorado

Changes in land and water use associated with population growth and agricultural practices within the Arkansas River Basin are likely to affect water-quality on a local and, possibly, a basin-wide scale. To manage the limited water resources in the basin most effectively it is important to understand the processes that affect water quality within the basin and how future changes in land and...

Date published: March 7, 2007
Status: Completed

Chemical Modeling of Consequences of Surface-Water Delivery Through Existing City of Albuquerque Infrastructure

The City of Albuquerque has historically obtained all of its municipal-supply water from production wells completed in sediment of the Santa Fe Group aquifer system. Like several communities in the Rio Grande Valley and various parts of the arid Southwest, Albuquerque has evaluated the use of surface water as a means to improve sustainability of its municipal water supply. The City currently...

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

A physical model of the high-frequency seismic signal generated by debris flows

We propose a physical model for the high‐frequency (>1 Hz) spectral distribution of seismic power generated by debris flows. The modeled debris flow is assumed to have four regions where the impact rate and impulses are controlled by different mechanisms: the flow body, a coarser‐grained snout, a snout lip where particles fall from the snout on...

Farin, Maxime; Tsai, Victor C.; Lamb, Michael P.; Allstadt, Kate

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Year Published: 2019

Petrology of volcanic rocks associated with silver-gold (Ag-Au) epithermal deposits in the Tonopah, Divide, and Goldfield Mining Districts, Nevada

Miocene calc-alkaline volcanic rocks, part of the southern segment of the ancestral Cascades magmatic arc, are spatially, temporally, and likely genetically associated with precious metal epithermal deposits in the Tonopah, Divide, and Goldfield Districts of west-central Nevada. In the Tonopah mining district, volcanic rocks include the Mizpah...

du Bray, Edward A.; John, David A.; Colgan, Joseph P.; Vikre, Peter G.; Cosca, Michael A.; Morgan, Leah E.
du Bray, E.A., John, D.A., Colgan, J.P., Vikre, P.G., Cosca, M.A., and Morgan, L.E., 2019, Petrology of volcanic rocks associated with silver-gold (Ag-Au) epithermal deposits in the Tonopah, Divide, and Goldfield mining districts, Nevada: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2019–5024, 22 p., https://doi.gov/10.3133/sir20195024.

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Year Published: 2019

Variability of estimated ultimate recovery in shale oil and shale gas accumulations in the U.S.

Variability of mean EURs within and between unconventional reservoirs is becoming more apparent as thousands of wells are drilled and oil and gas is produced from unconventional low-permeability reservoirs. Production from many of these reservoirs shows that there is spatial heterogeneity of EURs, which is mainly related to geologic...

Schenk, Christopher J.; Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.

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Year Published: 2019

Constraining parameter uncertainty in modeling debris-flow initiation during the September 2013 Colorado Front Range storm

The occurrence of debris flows during the September 2013 northern Colorado floods took the emergency management community by surprise. The September 2013 debris flows in the Colorado Front Range initiated from shallow landslides in colluvium. Most occurred on south- and east-facing slopes on the walls of steep canyons in crystalline rocks and on...

Baum, Rex L.; Scheevel, C.R.; Jones, Eric S.

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Year Published: 2019

Bayesian analysis of the impact of rainfall data product on simulated slope failure for North Carolina locations

In the past decades, many different approaches have been developed in the literature to quantify the load-carrying capacity and geotechnical stability (or the Factor of Safety, F_s) of variably saturated hillslopes. Much of this work has focused on a deterministic characterization of hillslope stability. Yet, simulated F_s values are subject to...

Yatheendradas, Soni; Kirschbaum, Dalia; Nearing, Grey; Vrugt, Jasper A.; Baum, Rex L.; Wooten, Rick; Lu, Ning; Godt, Jonathan W.
Yatheendradas, S., Kirschbaum, D., Nearing, G., Vrugt, J.A., Baum, R.L., Wooten, Rick, Lu, Ning, Godt, J.W., 2019, Bayesian analysis of the impact of rainfall data product on simulated slope failure for North Carolina locations: Computational Geosciences, v. 23, no. 3, p. 495–522. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10596-018-9804-y

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Year Published: 2019

Earthquake-induced chains of geologic hazards: Patterns, mechanisms, and impacts

Large earthquakes initiate chains of surface processes that last much longer than the brief moments of strong shaking. Most moderate- and large-magnitude earthquakes trigger landslides, ranging from small failures in the soil cover to massive, devastating rock avalanches. Some landslides dam rivers and impound lakes, which can collapse days to...

Fan, Xuanmei; Scaringi, Gianvito; Korup, Oliver; West, A. Joshua; Westen, Cees J. van; Tanyas, Hakan; Hovius, Niels; Hales, Tristram C; Jibson, Randall W.; Allstadt, Kate E.; Zhang, Limin; Evans, Stephen G.; Xu, Chong; Li, Gen; Pei, Xiangjun; Xu, Qiang; Huang, Runqiu
Fan, X., Scaringi, G. Korup, O., West, A.J., van Westen, C.J., Tanyaş, H., Hovius, N., Hales, T.C., Jibson, R.W., Allstadt, K.E., Zhang, L., Evans, S.G., Xu, C., Li, G., Pei, X., Xu, Q., Huang, R., 2019, Earthquake-induced chains of geologic hazards—Patterns, mechanisms, and impacts: Reviews of Geophysics, v. 57, p. 421-503

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Year Published: 2019

Late Quaternary vegetation development following deglaciation of northwestern Alexander Archipelago, Alaska

The Cordilleran Ice sheet covered most of southeastern Alaska during the Last Glacial Interval (LGI: Marine Isotope Stage 2). Ice began to recede from western Alexander Archipelago ~17,000 + 700 yr BP. In this study pollen analysis and radiocarbon dating of three sediment cores were used to reconstruct, for the first time, the postglacial...

Thomas A. Ager
Ager, T. (2019). Late Quaternary vegetation development following deglaciation of northwestern Alexander Archipelago, Alaska

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Year Published: 2019

Guidance for assessing interregional ecoystem service flows

Ecosystem services (ES) assessments commonly focus on a specific biophysical region or nation and take its geographic borders as the system boundary. Most geographical regions are, however, not closed systems but are open and telecoupled with other regions through ES imports and exports, which are mediated by fluxes of matter, energy and...

Koellner, Thomas; Bonn, Aletta; Arnhold, Sebastian; Bagstad, Kenneth J.; Friedman, Dor; Guerra, Carlos; Kastner, Thomas; Kissinger, Meidad; Kleeman, Janina; Kuhlicke, Christian; Liu, Jianguo; Lopez-Hoffman, Laura; Marques, Alexandra; Martin-Lopez, Berta; Schulp, Catharina J. E.; Wolff, Sarah; Schröter, Matthias

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Year Published: 2019

Explosive summit collapse of Kīlauea Volcano in 1924 preceded by a decade of crustal contamination and anomalous Pb isotope ratios

A geochemical time-series analysis of lavas from frequently active basaltic volcanoes has the potential to reveal the enigmatic mantle controls on volcanic behavior and hazards. In May 1924, the century-long lava lake within Halemaʻumaʻu pit crater at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano drained and the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu collapsed, triggering ∼3 ...

Pietruszka, Aaron; Heaton, Daniel E.; Garcia, Michael O; Marske, Jared P.

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Year Published: 2019

Ross Ice Shelf response to climate driven by the tectonic imprint on seafloor bathymetry

Ocean melting has thinned Antarctica's ice shelves at an increasing rate over the past two decades, leading to loss of grounded ice. The Ross Ice Shelf is currently close to steady state but geological records indicate that it can disintegrate rapidly, which would accelerate grounded ice loss from catchments equivalent to 11.6 m of global sea...

Tinto, K J; Padman, L; Siddoway, C S; Springer, M.R.; Fricker, H.A.; Das, I.; Caratori Tontini, F.; Porter, D.F.; Frearson, N.P.; Howard, S. J.; Siegfried, M.R.; Mosbeux, C.; Becker, M.K.; Bertinato, C.; Boghosian, A.; Brady, N.; Burton, Bethany L.; Chu, W.; Cordero, S.I.; Dhakal, T.; Dong, L.; Gustafson, C.D.; Keeshin, S.; Locke, C.; Lockett, A.; O'Brien, G.; Spergel, J.J.; Starke, S.E.; Tankersley, M.; Wearing, M.; Bell, R.E.

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Year Published: 2019

Estimation of ground motion variability in the CEUS using simulations

We estimate earthquake ground-motion variability in the central and eastern U.S. (CEUS) by varying the model parameters of a deterministic physics-based and a stochastic site-based simulation method. Utilizing a moderate-magnitude database of recordings, we simulate ground motions for larger-magnitude scenarios M6.0, 6.5, 7.0, 7.5, and 8.0. For...

Hartzell, Stephen H.; Sun, Xiaodan; Rezaeian, Sanaz; Clayton, Brandon; Hartzell, Stephen H.

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
 Confluence of Cement Creek and the Animas River in Colorado
August 30, 2014

Confluence of Cement Creek and the Animas River in Colorado

Although the visual picture of mixing zones at stream confluences appears straightforward, such as this one at the confluence of Cement Creek and the Animas River in Colorado, the chemical reactions that occur make them extremely complex from a water-quality perspective.

A managed wildfire in New Mexico demonstrates application of wildland fire science for forest restoration and risk reduction
August 8, 2014

A managed wildfire in New Mexico

A managed wildfire in New Mexico demonstrates application of wildland fire
science for forest restoration and risk reduction

Flames consume woody fuels in a managed wildfire, New Mexico
August 2, 2014

Flames consume woody fuels in a managed wildfire, New Mexico

Flames consume woody fuels in a managed wildfire, New Mexico

Flames from a managed wildfire consume surface fuels, New Mexico
August 2, 2014

Flames from a managed wildfire consume surface fuels, New Mexico

Flames from a managed wildfire consume surface fuels, New Mexico

A convective smoke plume from a managed wildfire rises above Ponderosa pine trees, New Mexico
August 2, 2014

A convective smoke plume from a managed wildfire

A convective smoke plume from a managed wildfire rises above Ponderosa pine trees, New Mexico

August 1, 2014

Debris Flow Monitoring at Chalk Cliffs, CO (2014)

The USGS and its cooperators have installed debris-flow monitoring equipment in the largest drainage basin at Chalk Cliffs, CO. Data collection at this site supports research on the hydrologic factors that control debris-flow initiation, entrainment, and flow dynamics.

This debris flow took place August 1, 2014. The video includes two different views of an

Little Powder River above Dry Week, near Weston, Wyoming
July 14, 2014

Little Powder River above Dry Week, near Weston, Wyoming

Little Powder River above Dry Week, near Weston, Wyoming

Flowing well used for stock water, Green River Basin
July 10, 2014

Flowing well used for stock water, Green River Basin

Flowing well used for stock water, Green River Basin

Wind turbines in Wyoming.
June 10, 2014

Wind turbines in Wyoming.

Wind turbines working in Wyoming. 

Looking upstream from bridge, Tongue river, Monarch
June 4, 2014

Looking upstream from bridge, Tongue river, Monarch

Looking upstream from bridge, Tongue river, Monarch

truck and camper trailer Onaqui SageStep field site
April 28, 2014

Onaqui SageStep field site, field camp

Field site truck and trailer at the Onaqui SageStep field site, field camp

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.