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: 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
    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....

    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: 5,072
    Publication Thumbnail
    Year Published: 2019

    Earthquakes, PAGER

    PAGER, short for Prompt Assessment of Global Earthquakes for Response, is an automated system developed and run by the US Geological Survey (USGS) that produces information concerning the impact of significant earthquakes around the world within approximately 20 min of any magnitude 5.5 or larger event. PAGER rapidly assesses earthquake impacts by...

    Wald, David J.; Jaiswal, Kishor; Marano, Kristin; Hearne, Mike

    Publication Thumbnail
    Year Published: 2019

    2017 Monitoring and tracking wet nitrogen deposition at Rocky Mountain National Park

    The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), the National Park Service (NPS), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the Nitrogen Deposition Reduction Plan (NDRP) in 2007 to address the effects and trends of nitrogen deposition at Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). The agencies chose a glidepath approach...

    Kristi Morris; Mast, M. Alisa; Wetherbee, Gregory; Baron, Jill; Cheatham, Jim; Bromberg, Jim; Devore, Lisa; Hou, James; Gebhart, Kristi; Bell, Mike; Gay, David; Olson, Michael; Weinmann, Timothy; Bowker, Daniel

    Publication Thumbnail
    Year Published: 2019

    Status of three-dimensional geological mapping and modeling activities in the U.S. Geological Survey

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), created in 1879, is the national geological survey for the United States and the sole science agency within its cabinet-level bureau, the Department of the Interior. The USGS has a broad mission, including: serving the Nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth;...

    Sweetkind, Donald; Graymer, Russell; Higley, D.K.; Boyd, Oliver S.

    Publication Thumbnail
    Year Published: 2019

    Influence of multi-decadal land use, irrigation practices and climate on riparian corridors across the Upper Missouri River Headwaters Basin, Montana

    The Upper Missouri River Headwaters Basin (36,400 km2) depends on its river corridors to support irrigated agriculture and world-class trout fisheries. We evaluated trends (1984-2016) in riparian wetness, an indicator of riparian condition, in peak irrigation months (June, July, August) for 158 km2 of riparian area across the basin using the...

    Vanderhoof, Melanie K.; Christensen, J.R.; Alexander, Laurie C.

    Publication Thumbnail
    Year Published: 2019

    Ground failure from the Anchorage, Alaska, earthquake of 30 November 2018

    Investigation of ground failure triggered by the 2018 Mw">MwMw 7.1 Anchorage earthquake showed that landslides, liquefaction, and ground cracking all occurred and caused significant damage. Shallow rock falls and rock slides were the most abundant types of landslides, but they occurred in smaller numbers than global models that are...

    Jibson, Randall W.; Grant, Alex R. R. ; Witter, Robert C.; Allstadt, Kate; Thompson, Eric M.; Bender, Adrian

    Publication Thumbnail
    Year Published: 2019

    Groundwater and surface-water resources near Red Fleet Reservoir, Uintah County, Utah

    Red Fleet Reservoir in Uintah County, Utah, is an approximately 26,000 acre-foot (acre-ft) on-channel reservoir in the Big Brush Creek drainage on the south slopes of the Uinta Mountains. It is operated primarily for irrigation needs while providing a supplemental drinking-water supply to the Vernal, Utah area. Red Fleet Reservoir, which was...

    Marston, Thomas M.; Solder, John E.; Jones, Katherine K.
    Marston, T.M., Solder, J.E., and Jones, K.K., 2019, Groundwater and surface-water resources near Red Fleet Reservoir, Uintah County, Utah: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2019–5101, 40 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20195101.

    Publication Thumbnail
    Year Published: 2019

    Improvements in seismic resolution and current limitations in the Global Seismographic Network

    Station noise levels play a fundamental limitation in our ability to detect seismic signals. These noise levels are frequency-dependent and arise from a number of physically different drivers. At periods greater than 100 s, station noise levels are often limited by the self-noise of the instrument as well as the sensitivity of the instrument to...

    Ringler, Adam T.; Steim, J.; Wilson, David C.; Widmer-Schnidrig, R.; Anthony, Robert E.

    Publication Thumbnail
    Year Published: 2019

    Challenges for monitoring the extent and land use/cover changes in monarch butterflies’ migratory habitat across the United States and Mexico

    This paper presents a synopsis of the challenges and limitations presented by existing and emerging land use/ land cover (LULC) digital data sets when used to analyze the extent, habitat quality, and LULC changes of the monarch (Danaus plexippus) migratory habitat across the United States of America (US) and Mexico. First, the characteristics,...

    Rafael Moreno-Sanchez; James Raines; Diffendorfer, James E.; Drummond, Mark A.; Jessica Manko

    Publication Thumbnail
    Year Published: 2019

    Assessment of continuous gas resources in the Permian Phosphoria Formation of the Southwestern Wyoming Province, Wyoming, 2019

    Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated undiscovered, technically recoverable mean resources of 1.4 trillion cubic feet of continuous gas in the Phosphoria Formation of the Southwestern Wyoming Province, Wyoming.

    Schenk, Christopher J.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Finn, Thomas M.; Marra, Kristen R.; Le, Phuong A.; Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.; Pitman, Janet K.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Drake, Ronald M.
    Schenk, C.J., Mercier, T.J., Finn, T.M.,Marra, K.R.,Le, P.A., Leathers-Miller, H.M., Pitman, J.K., Brownfield, M.E., and Drake, R.M., II, 2019, Assessment of continuous gas resources in the Permian Phosphoria Formation of the Southwestern Wyoming Province, Wyoming, 2019: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2019–3047, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20193047.

    Publication Thumbnail
    Year Published: 2019

    Debris-flow monitoring and warning: Review and examples

    Debris flows represent one of the most dangerous types of mass movements, because of their high velocities, large impact forces and long runout distances. This review describes the available debris-flow monitoring techniques and proposes recommendations to inform the design of future monitoring and warning/alarm systems. The selection and...

    Hürlimann, Marcel; Coviello, Velio; Bel, Coraline; Guo, Xiaojun; Berti, Matteo; Graf, Christoph; Hübl, Johannes; Miyata, Shusuke; Smith, Joel B.; Yin, Hsiao-Yuan

    Publication Thumbnail
    Year Published: 2019

    Historical land use and land cover for assessing the northern Colorado Front Range urban landscape

    We describe historical land-use and land-cover (LULC) maps for the northern Colorado urban Front Range. The Front Range urban landscape is diverse and interspersed with highly productive agriculture as well as natural land cover types including evergreen forest in the Rocky Mountain foothills and Great Plains grassland. To understand the dynamics...

    Drummond, Mark A.; Stier, Michael P.; Diffendorfer, James E.

    Publication Thumbnail
    Year Published: 2019

    Review of indicators for comparing environmental effects across energy sources

    Robust, quantitative comparisons of environmental effects across energy sources can support development of energy planning strategies that meet growing demand while managing and minimizing undesirable effects on environmental resources. Multicriteria analyses of energy systems often use a suite of indicators to make such comparisons, but those...

    Dorning, Monica; Diffendorfer, James E.; Scott R Loss; Bagstad, Kenneth J.

    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
    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

    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

    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: 341
    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.