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: 384
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
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

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: 519
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

Confluence of New Fork (foreground) and Green Rivers
September 25, 2014

Confluence of New Fork (foreground) and Green Rivers

Confluence of New Fork (foreground) and Green Rivers

 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

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.