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: 386
Date published: May 16, 2019
Status: Active

Nitrate Contamination in the Albuquerque Basin

Globally, nitrate is the most ubiquitous groundwater contaminate including within the Albuquerque Basin in New Mexico. Ingesting high concentrations of nitrate (> 10 mg/L as N) in drinking water can lead to an increased risk of cancer and in infants, methemoglobinemia. Historical groundwater sampling in Albuquerque and Kirtland Air Force Base have found high (> 10 mg/L as N) and sometime...

Date published: May 14, 2019
Status: Active

Upper Colorado River Data Reports

These reports summarize monthly data for selected rivers and reservoirs in the the Upper Colorado River Basin.

Date published: May 10, 2019
Status: Active

Accounting for natural capital: building the numbers to track and sustain the nation’s natural resources

Accounting for ecosystem services - the benefits that nature provides to society and the economy - is gaining increasing traction worldwide as governments and the private sector use them to monitor integrated environmental and economic trends. When they are well understood and managed, ecosystems can provide these long-term benefits to people - such as clean air and water, flood control, crop...

Contacts: Kenneth J Bagstad, Ph.D., Carl D Shapiro, Ph.D., Jane Carter Ingram
Date published: April 26, 2019
Status: Active

World Oil and Gas Resource Assessments

The USGS World Energy Project conducts geologic studies that provide an understanding of the quantity, quality, and geologic distribution of world oil and gas resources. Our geologic studies are conducted in an impartial manner and are performed in collaboration and partnership with energy experts within and outside government. Through synthesis and improved understanding of global oil and gas...

Date published: April 25, 2019
Status: Active

Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) Project

The ERP Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) Project is responsible for developing, implementing, and managing a LIMS architecture that expands the LIMS capabilities to support ERP laboratory needs for capturing, tracking, reporting, and managing sample and analysis data generated in ERP laboratories as well as data for samples submitted to external laboratories.  The LIMS Project ...

Date published: April 23, 2019
Status: Active

Petroleum Geochemistry Research Laboratory

The Petroleum Geochemistry Research Laboratory (PGRL) provides analytical capabilities and technical expertise in support of research and assessment projects within the Energy Resource Program (ERP) with a commitment to the provision of quality petroleum organic geochemistry and mineralogy data.

Date published: April 20, 2019
Status: Active

Geophysical Analysis of Energy Resources

The Geophysical Analysis of Energy Resources Project (also called the Geophysical Analysis Project) meets the need within the USGS and the Energy Resources Program to conduct advanced theoretical and applied research in reflection seismology to improve the delineation and characterization of both conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon resources. The scientists of the project fulfill these...

Date published: March 26, 2019
Status: Active

Defining Native Ranges of U.S. Inland Fishes

Understanding the native versus non-native range of a species can provide useful information about dispersal, population distribution patterns, and human mediated movement across hydrologic barriers. The USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species (NAS) Program is working with partners to define native ranges of inland fishes in the United States to help identify which species should be included in the...

Date published: March 5, 2019
Status: Active

The Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Flood and Storm Tracker (FaST)

Storm-related flooding can lead to the potential spread of nonindigenous (or non-native) aquatic species into waterways they have not been seen in before. The USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species program has developed an innovative mapping tool to help natural resource managers with post-storm nonindigenous aquatic species detection and assessment efforts. 

Date published: February 26, 2019
Status: Completed

August-September 2014 Southwest Floods

Learn more about USGS flood activities related to the August-September 2014 Floods, caused by heavy rains followed by remnants of Hurricane Odile which brought major flooding to parts of Arizona.

USGS Science Centers in Region 7-Upper Colorado Basin collect a wide variety of natural resource data types including spatial, geologic, hydrologic, and biologic data. Data included in USGS-series publications that are not publically available in USGS databases are published in Data Releases. Tools are USGS products that can be used to analyze those types of data.

Filter Total Items: 272
Date published: October 18, 2019

Database Associated with the Assessment of Soil and Water Resources in The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, New Mexico

This U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) data release presents the geospatial data used to assess the hydrologic and soil resources of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Doña Ana County, New Mexico. The USGS, in cooperation with the BLM, conducted a study to assess the hydrologic and soil resources and potential e

Date published: October 18, 2019

Geodatabase of files associated with the Assessment of Soil and Water Resources in The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, New Mexico

This U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) data release presents the geospatial data used to assess the hydrologic and soil resources of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Doña Ana County, New Mexico. The USGS, in cooperation with the BLM, conducted a study to assess the hydrologic and soil resources and potential e

Date published: October 16, 2019

Data Dictionary for Electron Microprobe Data Collected with Probe for EPMA Software Package Developed by Probe Software

This data dictionary describes most of the possible output options given in the Probe for EPMA software package developed by Probe Software. Examples of the data output options include sample identification, analytical conditions, elemental weight percents, atomic percents, detection limits, and stage coordinates. Many more options are available and the data that is output will depen

Date published: October 15, 2019

Data Release: The effects of wildfire on snow water resources estimated from canopy disturbance patterns and meteorological conditions

This data release contains model input and output data associated with a published report (The effects of wildfire on snow water resources estimated from canopy disturbance patterns and meteorological conditions [Moeser, Broxton and Harpold, 2019]) where specific descriptions of the data can be found. The input data are derived from pre- and post-fire aerial LiDAR acquired in June 201

Date published: October 11, 2019

Digital subsurface data from USGS Evolution of Sedimentary Basin studies of the San Juan basin and adjacent areas, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico

The San Juan basin is a significant physical and structural element in the southeastern part of the Colorado Plateau physiographic province. The San Juan basin is in New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and Utah and has an area of about 21,600 square miles. The basin is about 140 miles wide and about 200 miles long. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, the U.S. Geological Survey's Evol

Date published: October 1, 2019

U-Pb detrital zircon data for: Select Pennsylvanian-Triassic sedimentary rocks from Colorado

This dataset includes U-Pb detrital zircon age data for samples from the Ingleside and Lyons formations in north-central Colorado collected from Owl Canyon and Park Creek Reservoir, from the Molas and Hermosa formations in southwestern Colorado collected from Molas Pass, and from the Lykins formation and its equivalents along the Front Range and in southeastern Colorado. It accompanies public...

Date published: September 26, 2019

Data for assessing the susceptibility of groundwater used for drinking water supply from selected principal aquifers of the Western United States, 2004-2018

Groundwater age distribution and susceptibility to natural and anthropogenic contaminants were assessed for selected principal aquifers of the Western United States: the Central Valley aquifer system (CVAL), the Basin and Range basin-fill aquifers (BNRF), the Rio Grande aquifer system (RIOG), the High Plains aquifer (HPAQ), the Columbia Plateau basaltic-rock aquifers (

Date published: September 19, 2019

Audiomagnetotelluric sounding data in the Silverton Caldera complex, Colorado, 2018

This data release includes audiomagnetotelluric (AMT) sounding data collected in July 2018 in the Silverton Caldera complex, Colorado, in the Southern Rocky Mountain Volcanic Field, by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Along with geologic mapping, airborne magnetics, airborne electromagnetics, and magnetotellurics, the USGS collected AMT data at 24 sites along four profiles

Date published: September 12, 2019

U-Pb detrital zircon data for: lower Paleozoic sedimentary rocks near Silverton, CO USA

This Laser ablation ICPMS U-Pb detrital zircon data set supports mapping and stratigraphic interpretations of the Upper Devonian Ignacio Formation in southwestern Colorado (Silverton area). All samples were collected from a measured stratigraphic section called "Sultan Creek South" located at 37.710010 and -107.67530 (Evans and others, 2019). The Ignacio Formation was previously int

Date published: September 6, 2019

Drainage basins and characteristics for selected streamgages within the Southern Rockies Landscape Conservation Cooperative domain

Streamflow and basin-characteristic data are needed for a variety of scientific applications including estimation of flow in ungaged basins and hydro-ecological classification of rivers. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Bureau of Reclamation and the Southern Rockies Landscape Conservation Cooperative (SRLCC), selected a subset of streamgages across the SRLC

Date published: August 20, 2019

High Resolution Aeromagnetic Survey, Villa Grove, Colorado, USA, 2011

This data release includes data collected from the Villa Grove helicopter magnetic survey in northern San Luis Valley and Poncha Pass region in south-central Colorado, USA. The survey area extends over the northern part of Great Sand Dunes National Park, Poncha Pass and vicinity, and into the southern end of the Upper Arkansas Valley. It includes the communities of Crestone, Villa Grove

Date published: July 29, 2019

U-Pb zircon data for: The Poncha Pass and Deadman Creek areas, northern Sangre de Cristo mountains of south-central Colorado

Geologic mapping, characterization of geologic structures, and sampling for geochronology was completed in two areas of the northwestern Sangre de Cristo mountains from 2011 through 2017. This data release provides the raw analytical data, metadata and sample information for 20 zircon U-Pb age analyses from laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICPMS). The two areas...

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: 5,094
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Year Published: 2021

Influence of pre-existing structure on pluton emplacement and geomorphology: The Merrimac plutons, northern Sierra Nevada, California (USA)

In much of the western Cordillera of North America, the geologic framework of crustal structure generated in the Mesozoic leaves an imprint on later plutonic emplacement, subsequent structural setting, and present landscape morphology. The Merrimac plutons in the northern Sierra Nevada (California, USA) are a good example of the influence of pre-...

Langenheim, Victoria; Vazquez, Jorge A.; Schmidt, Kevin; Guglielmo, Giovanni Jr.; Sweetkind, Donald

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Year Published: 2021

An integrated geochemical approach for defining sources of groundwater salinity in the southern Rio Grande Valley of the Mesilla Basin, New Mexico and west Texas, USA

A significantly elevated groundwater salinity zone was identified in the southern part of the Mesilla Valley. This investigation characterized the occurrence, spatial extent, and source of the plume of elevated groundwater salinity using a wide range of geochemical and geophysical data and methods.

Kubicki, Christopher; Carroll, Kenneth C.; Witcher, James C.; Robertson, Andrew J.

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Year Published: 2021

An assessment of the economic potential of lignite and leonardite resources in the Williston Basin, North Dakota

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) requested assistance from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to conduct an assessment study to identify areas that may have economic potential for the future extraction of lignite and leonardite resources in the Williston Basin in North Dakota. The study will be used by the BLM to assist with the preparation of a...

Shaffer, Brian N.
Shaffer, B.N., 2021, An assessment of the economic potential of lignite and leonardite resources in the Williston Basin, North Dakota: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020–1135, 14 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20201135.

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Year Published: 2021

Gondwanic inheritance on the building of the western Central Andes (Domeyko Range, Chile): Structural and thermochronological approach (U-Pb and 40Ar-39Ar)

Tectonics inheritance controls the evolution of many orogens. To unravel the role of the Gondwanan heritage (late Paleozoic to Triassic) over the building of the Central Andes in northern Chile (Domeyko Range), we performed detrital U‐Pb zircon and 40Ar/39Ar muscovite geochronology along with structural analyses (kinematics and structural...

Espinoza, Mauricio; Oliveros, Veronica; Vasquez, Paulina; Giambiagi, Laura; Morgan, Leah E.; Gonzalez, Rodrigo; Solari, Luigi; Bechis, Florencia

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Year Published: 2021

Uranium(VI) attenuation in a carbonate-bearing oxic alluvial aquifer

Uranium minerals are commonly found in soils and sediment across the United States at an average concentration of 2–4 mg/kg. Uranium occurs in the environment primarily in two forms, the oxidized, mostly soluble uranium(VI) form, or the reduced, sparingly soluble reduced uranium(IV) form. Here we describe subsurface geochemical conditions...

Nolan, PJ; Bone, S; Campbell, Kate M.; Pannell, David; Healy, O; Stange, M; Bargar, J; Weber, KA

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Year Published: 2021

LA-ICPMS U-Pb dating reveals cassiterite inheritance in the Yazov granite, Eastern Siberia: Implications for tin mineralization

U-Pb dating of cassiterite and zircon from the Yazov granite (Transbaikalia region, Eastern Siberia, Russia) and cassiterite from spatially associated tin mineralization in the Tuyukan ore district in the Tonod uplift was conducted using in situ laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. These analyses allow comparison of...

Neymark, Leonid A.; Holm-Denoma, Christopher S.; Larin, Anatoly; Moscati, Richard J.; Plotkina, Yulia

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Year Published: 2021

Modeling hydrologic processes associated with soil saturation and debris flow initiation during the September 2013 storm, Colorado Front Range

Seven days of extreme rainfall during September 2013 produced more than 1100 debris flows in the Colorado Front Range, about 78% of which occurred on south-facing slopes (SFS). Previously published soil moisture (volumetric water content) observations suggest that SFS were wetter than north-facing slopes (NFS) during the event, which contrasts...

Timilsina, Sujana; Niemann, Jeffrey D.; Rathburn, Sara L.; Rengers, Francis K.; Nelson, Peter A.

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Year Published: 2021

Geology and genesis of the Shalipayco evaporite-related Mississippi Valley-type Zn–Pb deposit, Central Peru: 3D geological modeling and C–O–S–Sr isotope constraints

The Shalipayco Zn–Pb deposit, in central Peru, is composed of several stratabound orebodies, the largest of which are the Resurgidora and Intermedios, contained in carbonate rocks of the Upper Triassic Chambará Formation, Pucará group. Petrography suggests that a single ore-forming episode formed sphalerite and galena within vugs, open spaces, and...

de Oliveira, Saulo B; Johnson, Craig A.; Juliani, Caetano; Monteiro, Lena VS; Leach, David L; Caran, Marianna G.N.

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Year Published: 2021

Toward physics-based nonergodic PSHA: A prototype fully-deterministic seismic hazard model for southern California

We present a nonergodic framework for probabilistic seismic‐hazard analysis (PSHA) that is constructed entirely of deterministic, physical models. The use of deterministic ground‐motion simulations in PSHA calculations is not new (e.g., CyberShake), but prior studies relied on kinematic rupture generators to extend empirical earthquake rupture...

Milner, Kevin R.; Shaw, Bruce E.; Goulet, Christine A.; Richards-Dinger, Keith B.; Callaghan, Scott; Jordan, Thomas H.; Dieterich, James H.; Field, Edward H.

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Year Published: 2021

A subset of CyberShake ground-motion time series for response-history analysis

This manuscript describes a subset of CyberShake numerically simulated ground motions that were selected and vetted for use in engineering response-history analyses. Ground motions were selected that have seismological properties and response spectra representative of conditions in the Los Angeles area, based on disaggregation of seismic hazard....

Baker, Jack W.; Rezaeian, Sanaz; Goulet, Christine A.; Luco, Nicolas; Teng, Ganyu

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Year Published: 2021

River terrace evidence of tectonic processes in the eastern North American plate interior, South Anna River, Virginia

We show that long-recognized seismicity in the central Virginia seismic zone (CVSZ) of the eastern North American (ENAM) intraplate setting arises primarily from tectonic processes predicted by new, fully coupled plate tectonic geodynamic models. The study leverages much new geophysical and geologic data following the 2011 Mineral, VA earthquake...

Pazzaglia, Frank J.; Malenda, Helen F.; McGavick, Matthew L.; Raup, Cody; Carter, Mark W.; Berti, Claudio; Mahan, Shannon A.; Nelson, Michelle S.; Rittenour, Tammy M.; Counts, Ron; Willenbring, Jane K; Germanoski, Dru; Peters, Stephen C.; Holt, William D.

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Year Published: 2021

Atmospheric processing of iron-bearing mineral dust aerosol and its effect on growth of a marine diatom, Cyclotella meneghiniana

Iron (Fe) is a growth-limiting micronutrient for phytoplankton in major areas of oceans and deposited wind-blown desert dust is a primary Fe source to these regions. Simulated atmospheric processing of four mineral dust proxies and two natural dust samples followed by subsequent growth studies of the marine planktic diatom Cyclotella...

Hettiarachchi, Eshani; Ivanov, Sergei; Kieft, Thomas L.; Goldstein, Harland L.; Moskowitz, Bruce M.; Reynolds, Richard L.; Rubasinghege, Gayan

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
A RestoreNet garden with plots covered by white cloth.
August 31, 2018

RestoreNet garden testing seedling establishment.

The RestoreNet gardens test seedlings of priority restoration species across the Southwest. This is a recently installed garden located in the juniper woodlands of the Colorado Plateau. The experiemental network will support land managers by providing insight into various restoration techniques, including testing seedlings vs seeds.

July 19, 2018

Drilling an Ice Core

Researchers start drilling an ice core in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

USGS - Roswell Field Office, USGS/BLM
June 27, 2018

USGS - Roswell Field Office, USGS/BLM

USGS - Roswell Field Office, USGS/BLM

Technicians deploy water-quality instrumentation on Bear Lake platforms
May 17, 2018

Bear Lake QW Platforms

Technicians deploy water-quality instrumentation on Bear Lake platforms

Photo of a met station at Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, USGS
May 16, 2018

Met Station at Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge

Image of a Met Station at Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico, USGS - New Mexico Water Science Center (NMWSC)

NASA image of Bear Lake with beautiful swirls in blue water showing mixing
May 1, 2018

Bear Lake Mixing

NASA image of Bear Lake with beautiful swirls in blue water showing mixing

Discussion on Complexities of the Rio Grande Watershed
April 30, 2018

Discussion on Complexities of the Rio Grande Watershed

Streamside talk about a water managers perspectives on the complexities of the Rio Grande Watershed and the history / need for runoff forecasts for downstream water users. The talk led by Dagmar Llewelly (BOR), Carolyn Donnelly (BOR), Andy Wood (UCAR), and Flaivo Lehner (UCAR) focused on how stream forecasts are developed from snow information and how the forecasts are

...
Rio Grande Gaging Station Sign
April 30, 2018

Rio Grande Gaging Station Sign

Attendees of the 86th Annual Western Snow Conference held in Albuquerque, New Mexico gather at the first streamgaging station established by the United States Geological Survey in 1889 to learn about USGS streamgaging techniques. 

Jeb Brown discusses sediment sampling techniques
April 30, 2018

Jeb Brown Discusses Sediment Sampling Techniques

Attendees of the 86th Annual Western Snow Conference listen as Jeb Brown of the New Mexico Water Science Center discusses current and past sediment gaging techniques. 

Hydro tech teaches sediment sampling techniques
April 30, 2018

Sediment Sampling Techniques

Attendees of the 86th Annual Western Snow Conference listen as Tyson Hatch of the New Mexico Water Science Center discusses current and past sediment gaging techniques. 

USGS Staff pose next to "First Gaging Station" sign
April 30, 2018

Rio Grande at Embudo, NM - First Gaging Station

Staff from the New Mexico Water Science Center pose next to the "First Gaging Station" sign after hosting a technical tour of the site as part of the 86th annual Western Snow Conference.

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: 344
Big Thompson Floods of 1976 and 2013 - A Visual Comparison of Flood Events
September 14, 2018

The Big Thompson Floods of 1976 and 2013 shown visually. The inundation images reflect the location and peak streamflows at certain points between Estes Park and Loveland, Colorado.

Bandelier Postwildfire, New Mexico Water Science Center
August 6, 2018

The U.S. Geological Survey is celebrating the achievements of Dr. Craig D. Allen, who was recently named an Ecological Society of America (ESA) fellow for making exceptional contributions to a broad array of ecology. Dr. Allen, a research ecologist with the USGS Fort Collins Science Center, joins 27 other newly-initiated ESA fellows from academia, public and private sectors. Fellows are elected fo

UAS Vehicle
June 26, 2018

This Thursday, scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey and NASA will test new technologies near Parkdale, Colorado, located west of Cañon City, to better understand how drones may be used to measure water depth, water levels and velocity from the sky. 

Bear Lake to Receive Water Quality and Weather Monitoring Equipment
March 30, 2018

Bear Lake will house water quality and weather monitoring equipment that will provide near real-time information to the public and water managers beginning in early April and continuing through 2022.

Dry wash in San Rafael Desert with white surface salts
January 25, 2018

Salinity loads that originate from groundwater within the Upper Colorado River Basin have decreased from 1986-2011, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study done in cooperation with the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program.

Prairie dog and SPV bait
December 13, 2017

About 70 percent of wild prairie dogs successfully ingested baits containing an oral sylvatic plague vaccine, or SPV, that were distributed throughout their habitats, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.

Photo of a young girl drinking water, which likely originated from groundwater sources. 
December 7, 2017

A regional assessment of untreated groundwater in the Rio Grande aquifer system, which includes parts of Colorado, New Mexico and Texas, is now available from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Upstream view of Fountain Creek in Colorado
December 1, 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey just added more than 800 fish and macroinvertebrate data samples from Fountain Creek, Colorado, to the USGS BioData Retrieval system.

Lake Fork Creek below Sugarloaf dam near Leadville
November 17, 2017

Bringing together decades of research and mapping, the U.S. Geological Survey just released a geologic map and companion pamphlet featuring the Arkansas River Valley region in north-central Colorado.  

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.

USGS Science Centers in Region 7-Upper Colorado Basin conduct a large number of cooperative, co-funded science and monitoring projects with many other Federal, Tribal, State, and local agencies. Please scroll below to see the agencies with which those Science Centers currently have cooperative agreements.

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