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: 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...

Date published: December 15, 2006
Status: Completed

Aquatic communities and associated water chemistry in the St. Vrain River near the City of Longmont wastewater-treatment plant

The St. Vrain River watershed in northeastern Colorado has experienced rapid urban growth over the last two decades. Population growth has led to increased volumes being treated at wastewater-treatment plants (WWTPs) in the basin. In the last two decades, in-stream restoration efforts and new treatment technologies have been implemented by the City of Longmont, with the goal of improving water...

Contacts: Nancy J Bauch
Date published: November 21, 2006
Status: Completed

RCMAP - Lake Fork at Gateview, 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.

Land use in the...

Contacts: Cory A Williams
Date published: June 6, 2006
Status: Active

Floods Analysis

Accurate estimations of flood discharges at bridge or culvert sites is required to provide cost-effective design of that structure. Streamflow-gaging stations, for which flood data are available, are usually located in major perennial drainage basins that are not representative of sites where common bridge and culvert designs are needed.

In 1942, the USGS, in cooperation with the New...

Contacts: Anne C Tillery
Date published: June 5, 2006
Status: Completed

Rio Grande Travel Times

The City of Albuquerque will begin accepting delivery of imported San Juan-Chama water to supplement present municipal water supplies as part of the City's Drinking Water Project (DWP). The City's San Juan-Chama water will be diverted from the Rio Grande near Alameda Bridge in Albuquerque, transported to a treatment facility, and eventually distributed to customers.

Water in the Rio...

Contacts: For contact information, please reach out to:
Date published: May 14, 2006
Status: Completed

Analysis of the Magnitude and Frequency of Peak Discharge in the Navajo Nation and Surrounding Region, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico

Estimates of the magnitude and frequency of peak discharges on unregulated streams at gaging stations or ungaged stream sites in the Navajo Nation in Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico are necessary for flood hazard mapping.

Contacts: Anne C Tillery
Date published: October 1, 2005
Status: Completed

Numerical simulation of the cumulative effects of land-use change and aggregate mines on ground-water flow and wetlands along the South Platte River, Brighton to Fort Lupton, Colorado

The South Platte River valley between the City of Brighton in Adams County and the town of Fort Lupton in Weld County, Colorado, contains many wetland areas that provide habitat for wildlife in the Front Range Urban Corridor. The extent of aggregate mining along this reach of the South Platte River valley continues to increase as the demand for aggregate grows in response to urban development...

Contacts: Suzanne Paschke
Date published: June 5, 2005
Status: Completed

Documentation of slug and shut-in test data for wells H-1, H-2A, H-2B, H-2C, and H-3 at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has collected, documented, and published an extensive amount of hydrogeologic data collected from and near the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site in southeastern New Mexico. The objective of the proposed work is to document and publish the data that was used to estimate values of transmissivity and storage coefficients for water-bearing zones open to...

Contacts: For contact information, please reach out to:
Date published: June 5, 2005
Status: Completed

Vertical Extent of Ground-Water Contamination with Organic Solvents in Grants, New Mexico

The City of Grants is located in Cibola County within western central New Mexico and is included within the Bluewater Underground Water Basin. Major aquifers within the Grants area include the Alluvium and basalt flows of Quaternary age and the San Andres Limestone and the Glorietta Sandstone of Permian age. Contamination of shallow ground water with volatile organic carbon compounds including...

Contacts: For contact information, please reach out to:
Date published: January 1, 2005
Status: Completed

Groundwater Resources of the East Mountain Area, Bernalillo, Sandoval, Santa Fe, and Torrance Counties, New Mexico, 2005

The East Mountain area refers to an area east of Albuquerque, New Mexico, on the eastern slopes of the Sandia, Manzanita, and northern Manzano Mountains, and encompasses parts of Bernalillo, Sandoval, Santa Fe, and Torrance Counties.

Contacts: For contact information, please reach out to:
Date published: January 1, 2005
Status: Completed

Middle Rio Grande Basin Study

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Middle Rio Grande Basin Study was a 6-year effort (1995-2001) by the USGS and other agencies to improve the understanding of the hydrology, geology, and land-surface characteristics of the Middle Rio Grande Basin in order to provide the scientific information needed for water-resources management. The Santa Fe Group aquifer system is the main source of...

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: 4,938
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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

Improved implementation of rupture location uncertainty in fault displacement hazard assessment

This short note proposes an improvement to the implementation of uncertainty associated with rupture location from future earthquakes in probabilistic fault displacement hazard analysis. Location uncertainty leads to nonzero primary fault displacement near a mapped fault. With the improved implementation of location uncertainty, estimated fault...

Chen, Rui; Petersen, Mark D.

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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
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.

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Year Published: 2019

Long-term (1986–2015) crop water use characterization over the Upper Rio Grande Basin of United States and Mexico using Landsat-based evapotranspiration

The evaluation of historical water use in the Upper Rio Grande Basin (URGB), United States and Mexico, using Landsat-derived actual evapotranspiration (ETa) from 1986 to 2015 is presented here as the first study of its kind to apply satellite observations to quantify long-term, basin-wide crop consumptive use in a large basin. The rich archive of...

Senay, Gabriel; Schauer, Matthew ; Velpuri, Naga Manohar ; Singh, Ramesh ; Kagone, Stefanie; Friedrichs, MacKenzie; Litvak, Marcy; Douglas-Mankin, Kyle R.

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Year Published: 2019

Modeling transient soil moisture limitations on microbial carbon respiration: A cost-performance comparison

Soil microorganisms are known to survive periods of aridity and to recover rapidly after wetting events, with the ability to transition between a dormant state in dry conditions and an active state in wet conditions. Though this dynamic behavior has been previously incorporated into soil carbon respiration modeling frameworks, a direct comparison...

Yuchen Liu; Lawrence, Corey R.; Mathew Winnick; Hsiao-Tieh Hsu; Katherine Maher; Jennifer Druhan

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
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

A landscape view of the drylands of southern Utah
April 28, 2014

Drylands of Southern Utah

USGS Image Drylands of Southern Utah - April 28, 2014

Ice jam, Powder River near Arvada (06317000)
March 8, 2014

Ice jam, Powder River near Arvada (06317000)

Ice jam, Powder River near Arvada (06317000)

ADCP measurement on Green River at Ouray, Utah from kayack.
February 28, 2014

Green River at Ouray, Utah

ADCP measurement from kayack on Green River at Ouray, Utah.

Rio Grande near Radium Springs, New Mexico
February 4, 2014

Rio Grande near Radium Springs, New Mexico

South-oriented view of the Rio Grande near Radium Springs, New Mexico, February 4, 2014 (photograph by Andrew J. Robertson).

SIR 2016–5010

Jemez Mountains with aspen trees, NM.
December 31, 2013

Jemez Mountains with aspen trees, NM.

Jemez Mountains with aspen trees, NM. 

Debris blocking a gage, tributary to Whitewater Canyon, Gila National Forest, Glenwood, NM, NMWSC
October 23, 2013

Debris blocking a gage, tributary to Whitewater Canyon

Debris blocking a gage, tributary to Whitewater Canyon, Gila National Forest, Glenwood, NM, NMWSC

Apex of large debris flow, tributary to Whitewater Canyon, Gila National Forest, Glenwood, NM
October 23, 2013

Apex of large debris flow, tributary to Whitewater Canyon

Apex of large debris flow, tributary to Whitewater Canyon, Gila National Forest, Glenwood, NM

Debris covering roadway leading to the Catwalk trail head in Whitewater Canyon, Gila National Forest, Glenwood, NM
October 23, 2013

Debris covering roadway leading to the Catwalk trail head

Debris covering roadway leading to the Catwalk trail head in Whitewater Canyon, Gila National Forest, Glenwood, NM

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.