Unified Interior Regions

Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin

Map of Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin

Map of Region 7:  Upper Colorado 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: 388
Date published: September 30, 2002
Status: Completed

Arkansas River Water-Quality Data

The Arkansas River Basin drains an area of 24,904 square miles of southeastern Colorado. Like other basins on the Front Range, the Arkansas Basin has experienced growth and is expected to have significant increases in growth in the future. Demands on the limited water resources also will increase as changes in water storage, water releases, and/or transfer of waters within or outside of the...

Date published: September 1, 2002
Status: Completed

Water-Quality Assessment of Wolford Mountain Reservoir on Muddy Creek near Kremmling, Colorado

In March 1985 the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Colorado River Water Conservation District (CRWCD), began a monitoring program on Muddy Creek in anticipation of the construction of a water storage project. A site upstream of the proposed reservoir (Muddy Creek above Antelope Creek, 09041090), and a downstream site (Muddy Creek at Kremmling, 09041500) were chosen to...

Date published: August 1, 2002
Status: Completed

Blue River Water-Quality Data

The Blue River drains approximately 680 square miles west of the Continental Divide in central Colorado before flowing northward into the Colorado River near Kremmling, Colorado. The Blue River watershed (BRW) is almost entirely located in Summit County and includes the towns of Breckenridge, Dillon, Frisco, Montezuma, and Silverthorne. Dillon Reservoir and Green Mountain Reservoir are major...

Contacts: Nancy J Bauch
Date published: May 20, 2002
Status: Completed

Hydrologic assessment of groundwater resources in a foothills watershed in Jefferson County, Colorado

Water quantity, water-quality, and growth issues are of concern to Jefferson County, Colorado, officials who must balance the needs of current (2002) residents and requests for future development with protection and allocation of available water resources.

The current status of groundwater resources in the mountainous parts of Jefferson County must be determined as a basis for...

Contacts: Suzanne Paschke
Date published: May 10, 2002
Status: Completed

Using GIS and Multivariate Regressions to Model Salt and Selenium Loads in Regions of the Upper Colorado River Basin

Elevated loads of salt and selenium can impair the quality of water for both anthropogenic and natural uses. Understanding the environmental processes controlling how salt and selenium are introduced to streams is critical to managing and mitigating the effects of elevated loads. Dominant relations between salt and selenium loads and environmental characteristics can be established by using...

Date published: November 15, 2001
Status: Archived

SAGEMAP

A GIS Database for Sage-grouse and Shrubsteppe Management in the Intermountain West

Contacts: Steven E Hanser
Date published: October 1, 2001
Status: Completed

Water-Quality Sampling at Five Hydrologic Benchmark Stations in the Western United States

The Hydrologic Benchmark Network (HBN) was established in 1963 to provide  Swiftwater Creek, MT long-term measurements of streamflow and water quality in areas of the United States that are minimally affected by human activities. Historically, the HBN has used a fixed-interval sampling strategy, however other more robust sampling strategies are now available. Trend networks, for example, can...

Date published: June 19, 2000
Status: Completed

NAWQA South Platte River Basin Study

The South Platte River Basin study, conducted as part of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment Program, combines information on water chemistry, physical characteristics, stream habitat, and aquatic life to provide science-based insights for current and...

Date published: May 15, 2000
Status: Completed

Water-Quality Monitoring of the Vallecito Reservoir Watershed

The water quality of the Vallecito Reservoir watershed in southwestern Colorado was initially studied by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) during July 1996 to July 1997, in cooperation with the Pine River Irrigation District, to assess the suitability of the reservoir as a potential source of drinking water (Ranalli and Evans, 1999). As a result of this study, in December 1997 a group of...

Contacts: Nancy J Bauch
Date published: October 31, 1998
Status: Completed

Effects of increasing urbanization on ground- and surface-water resources in the Fraser River watershed

The USGS has assessed the effects of increasing urbanization on ground- and surface-water resources in the Fraser River watershed. The population of Grand County increased 93 percent between the years of 1970 and 1990. The majority of the new development in the watershed will rely on ground water and individual septic disposal systems (ISDS's). This study has assessed the potential effects of...

Contacts: Nancy J Bauch
Date published: April 2, 1998
Status: Completed

Effects of Fluvial Tailings Deposits on Receiving Waters in the Upper Arkansas River Basin, Lake County, Colorado

Fluvial tailings deposits stored in the floodplain of the upper Arkansas River represent a potential nonpoint source of contamination to surface and ground waters. The U.S. Geological Survey has been cooperating with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to monitor a lowcost, insitu remediation technique for the deposits. Remediation of selected sites occurred in 1998 through 2000 by...

Date published: May 23, 1997
Status: Active

Groundwater-level data for the Albuquerque Basin and Adjacent Areas

The Albuquerque hydrologic basin extends along the Rio Grande from Cochiti in the north to San Acacia in the south. Increases in groundwater pumping to accommodate population growth in the basin resulted in substantial groundwater-level drawdown in some areas.

Contacts: Joseph E Beman

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: 5,340
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Year Published: 2020

Geometric controls on megathrust earthquakes

The role of subduction zone geometry in the nucleation and propagation of great-sized earthquake ruptures is an important topic for earthquake hazard, since knowing how big an earthquake can be on a given fault is fundamentally important. Past studies have shown subducting bathymetric features (e.g. ridges, fracture zones, seamount chains) may...

Plescia, Steven M.; Hayes, Gavin P.

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Year Published: 2020

Four-dimensional surface motions of the Slumgullion landslide and quantification of hydrometeorological forcing

Landslides modify the natural landscape and cause fatalities and property damage worldwide. Quantifying landslide dynamics is challenging due to the stochastic nature of the environment. With its large area of ~1 km2 and perennial motions at ~10–20 mm per day, the Slumgullion landslide in Colorado, USA, represents an ideal natural laboratory...

Hu, Xie; Bürgmann, Roland; Schulz, William; Fielding, Eric J.

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Year Published: 2020

Installation and performance of the Albuquerque Seismological Laboratory small-aperture posthole array

The Global Seismographic Network (GSN) has been used extensively by seismologists to characterize large earthquakes and image deep earth structure. While some of the networks design goals have been met, the seismological community has suggested that the incorporation of small-aperture seismic arrays at select sites may improve performance of the...

Anthony, Robert E.; Ringler, Adam T.; Wilson, David C.; Maharrey, J. Zebulon; Gyure, Gary; Pepiot, Aaron; Sandoval, Leo D.; Sandoval, Samuel; Telesha, Thomas; Vallo, Gilbert; Voss, Nicholas

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Year Published: 2020

3-D joint geodetic and strong-motion finite fault inversion of the 2008 May 12, Wenchuan, China Earthquake

We present a source inversion of the 2008 Wenchuan, China earthquake, using strong-motion waveforms and geodetic offsets together with three-dimensional synthetic ground motions. We applied the linear multiple time window technique considering geodetic and dynamic Green's functions computed with the finite element method and the reciprocity and...

Ramirez-Guzman, Leonardo; Hartzell, Stephen H.

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Year Published: 2020

Application of the Precipitation-Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) to simulate near-native streamflow in the Upper Rio Grande Basin

The U.S. Geological Survey’s Precipitation-Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) is widely used to simulate the effects of climate, topography, land cover, and soils on landscape-level hydrologic response and streamflow. This study developed, calibrated, and assessed a PRMS model that simulates near-native or naturalized streamflow conditions in the Upper...

Chavarria, Shaleene B.; Moeser, C. David; Douglas-Mankin, Kyle R.
Chavarria, S.B., Moeser, C.D., and Douglas-Mankin, K.R., 2020, Application of the Precipitation-Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) to simulate near-native streamflow in the Upper Rio Grande Basin: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2020–5026, 38 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20205026.

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Year Published: 2020

Data release of reprocessed select National Uranium Resources Evaluation program samples in Wyoming

The U.S. Atomic Energy Commission established the National Uranium Resources Evaluation (NURE) program in 1973 to identify uranium resources throughout the United States. Part of this program focused on the collection of stream-sediment samples and subsequent geochemical analyses of these samples for uranium, in addition to 47 other elements. As...

Lucke, David W.; Smith, Steven M.; Azain, Jaime S.; Ingraham, Andrew David

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Year Published: 2020

Detrital record of the late Oligocene – Early Miocene mafic volcanic arc in the southern Patagonian Andes (~51 °S) from single-clast geochronology and trace element geochemistry

Retroarc foreland basins are important archives of continental arc magmatism and upper plate deformational processes that control the evolution of continental lithosphere. However, resolving source areas in foreland basin infill dominated from mixed mafic and recycled sediment using conventional methods such as detrital zircon geochronology poses...

VanderLeest, Rebecca A; Fosdick, Julie C; Leonard, Joel S; Morgan, Leah E.

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Year Published: 2020

Quantifying uncertainty for remote spectroscopy of surface composition

Remote surface measurements by imaging spectrometers play an important role in planetary and Earth science. To make these measurements, investigators calibrate instrument data to absolute units, invert physical models to estimate atmospheric effects, and then determine surface properties from the spectral reflectance. This study quantifies the...

Thompson, David R.; Braverman, Amy; Brodrick, Philip; Candela, Alberto; Carmon, Nimrod; Clark, Roger N.; Connelly, David; Green, Robert O.; Kokaly, Raymond; Li, Longlei; Mahowald, Natalie; Miller, Ronald L.; Okin, Gregory S.; Painter, Thomas H.; Swayze, Gregg A.; Turmon, Michael; Susilouto, Jouni; Wettergreen, David

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Year Published: 2020

Temporal and spatial variability of shallow soil moisture across four planar hillslopes on a tropical ocean island, San Cristóbal, Galápagos

Study Region: This paper provides a summary of findings from temporal and spatial studies of soil water content on planar hillslopes across the equatorial island of San Cristóbal, Galápagos (Ecuador). Study Focus: Soil water content (SWC) was measured to generate temporal and spatial records to determine seasonal variation and to investigate how...

Percy, Madelyn S.; Riveros-Iregui, Diego A.; Mirus, Benjamin B.; Benninger, Larry K.

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Year Published: 2020

Landslides across the United States: Occurrence, susceptibility, and data limitations

Detailed information about landslide occurrence is the foundation for advancing process understanding, susceptibility mapping, and risk reduction. Despite the recent revolution in digital elevation data and remote sensing technologies, landslide mapping remains resource intensive. Consequently, a modern, comprehensive map of landslide occurrence...

Mirus, Benjamin B.; Jones, Eric S.; Baum, Rex L.; Godt, Jonathan W.; Slaughter, Stephen Lee; Crawford, Matthew; Lancaster, Jeremy T.; Stanley, Thomas; Kirschbaum, Dalia; Burns, William J.; Schmitt, Robert G.; Lindsey, Kassandra O; McCoy, Kevin

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Year Published: 2020

Nontuberculous mycobacterial disease and molybdenum in Colorado watersheds

Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are environmental bacteria that may cause chronic lung disease. Environmental factors that favor NTM growth likely increase the risk of NTM exposure within specific environments. We aimed to identify water-quality constituents (Al, As, Cd, Ca, Cu, Fe, Pb, Mg, Mn, Mo, Ni, K, Se, Na, Zn, and pH) associated with NTM...

Lipner, Ettie M; French, Joshua; Bern, Carleton R.; Walton-Day, Katherine; Knox, David; Strong, Michael; Prevots, D. Rebecca; Crooks, James L

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Year Published: 2020

Hydrothermal activity in the southwest Yellowstone Plateau Volcanic Field

In the past two decades, the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Park Service have studied hydrothermal activity across the Yellowstone Plateau Volcanic Field (YPVF) to improve the understanding of the magmatic-hydrothermal system and to provide a baseline for detecting future anomalous activity. In 2017 and 2018 we sampled water and gas over...

Hurwitz, Shaul; McCleskey, R. Blaine; Bergfeld, Deborah; Peek, Sara; Susong, David; Roth, David A.; Hungerford, Jefferson; White, Erin B; Harrison, Lauren; Hosseini, Behnaz; Vaughan, R. Greg; Hunt, Andrew G.; Paces, James

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: 525
Image: USGS Field Crew On-Site During the Sept 2013 Colorado Flood
September 17, 2013

USGS Field Crew On-Site During the Sept 2013 Colorado Flood

Bob Brandle of the USGS Colorado Water Science Center records streamflow and water level measurements for the flooded St. Vrain River near Longmont, Colo. The river is one of many that flooded during a significant September 2013 rain event along Colorado's Front Range, damaging or destroying several USGS streamgages.

Image: USGS Field Crew On-Site During the Sept 2013 Colorado Flood
September 17, 2013

USGS Field Crew On-Site During the Sept 2013 Colorado Flood

Bob Brandle and Cory Stevens of the USGS Colorado Water Science Center record streamflow and water level measurements for the flooded St. Vrain River near Longmont, Colo. The river is one of many that flooded during a significant September 2013 rain event along Colorado's Front Range, damaging or destroying several USGS streamgages.

Looking northeast along the Bear River Duck Club Canal toward the Wellsville Mountains. 
April 30, 2013

Bear River, Utah

Looking northeast along the Bear River Duck Club Canal toward the Wellsville Mountains. 

A new report illustrates how groundwater pumping can affect the amount of water available in streams within the Malad-Lower Bear River Area in Utah. The product was developed by the USGS, in cooperation with the Utah

...
Image: Wastewater Disposal Facility in Colorado
January 15, 2013

Wastewater Disposal Facility in Colorado

Oilfield waste arrives by tanker truck at a wastewater disposal facility near Platteville, Colo. After removal of solids and oil, the wastewater is injected into a deep well for permanent storage underground. This disposal process has the potential to trigger earthquakes, but very few wastewater disposal wells produce earthquakes. No earthquakes are associated with

...
Image: Wastewater Disposal Facility in Colorado
January 15, 2013

Wastewater Disposal Facility in Colorado

Oilfield waste arrives by tanker truck at a wastewater disposal facility near Platteville, Colo. After removal of solids and oil, the wastewater is injected into a deep well for permanent storage underground. This disposal process has the potential to trigger earthquakes, but very few wastewater disposal wells produce earthquakes. No earthquakes are associated with

...
Bacteria contained in filter chambers placed in downgradient observation wells were exposed to sulfamethoxazole
October 1, 2012

Bacteria contained in filter chambers

Microbial-Contaminant Interactions Laboratory — Boulder, Colorado. Bacteria contained in filter chambers placed in downgradient observation wells were exposed to sulfamethoxazole for 30 days as it traveled past the wells.

Bacteria contained in filter chambers placed in downgradient observation wells were exposed to sulfamethoxazole for 30 days
October 1, 2012

Bacteria contained in filter chambers

Bacteria contained in filter chambers placed in downgradient observation wells were exposed to sulfamethoxazole for 30 days as it traveled past the wells

Prairie dog and SPV bait
August 7, 2012

Prairie dog and SPV bait

In this image, a Gunnison prairie dog eats a bait laden with the sylvatic plague vaccine. Prairie dogs in the wild are less likely to succumb to plague after they ingest peanut-butter-flavored bait that contains a vaccine against the disease.

Image: Utah Tribal Coop
June 6, 2012

Utah Tribal Coop

In the stream is Martel Fisher (USGS) and Bart Powaukee (Coordinator Ute Indian Tribe Water Quality Department) and some of the Ute Tribe Water Quality Department employees.

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.