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: 385
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.

Date published: February 25, 2019
Status: Completed

September 2013 Southwest Floods

Learn more about USGS flood activities related to the September 2013 Southwest Floods that occurred when rains brought major flooding to parts of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah.

Date published: February 25, 2019
Status: Completed

Summer 2011 Missouri River Basin flood

Learn more about USGS flood activities related to the 2011 Missouri River Basin Flood resulting from higher-than-average snowmelt runoff combined with heavy spring rains.

Date published: February 25, 2019
Status: Active

Urban Waters Federal Partnership—Middle Rio Grande (Albuquerque, N. Mex.)

The Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, just 7 miles south of downtown Albuquerque on the Rio Grande, will reconnect people, especially young people, with nature in this highly populated area. The USGS is gathering data that will help gauge the success of habitat restoration efforts.

Date published: February 22, 2019
Status: Active

Yellowstone River Compact Commission: Technical Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes

The Yellowstone River Compact Commission Technical Advisory committee meets periodically. The official minutes of each meeting  can be accessed below by clicking on the appropriate link.

Date published: February 22, 2019
Status: Active

Yellowstone River Compact Commission: Annual Reports

The Yellowstone River Compact Commission was established in 1951 and meets annually.

The Commission's formational meeting minutes and annual reports can be accessed below by clicking on the appropriate link. The official minutes of each meeting are incorporated into the Commission's annual reports.

Date published: February 19, 2019
Status: Active

Topographic Survey Data of Fountain Creek between Colorado Springs and the Confluence of Fountain Creek at the Arkansas River

Starting in 2012, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with Colorado Springs Utilities selected 10 reaches or study areas along Fountain Creek between Colorado Springs and the confluence of Fountain Creek at the Arkansas River for annual bed and bank characterization and topographic surveys.  

The selected 10 study areas are approximately 5 to 20 bank-full channel widths in...

Contacts: Laura Hempel
Date published: December 13, 2018
Status: Active

Connections between Forested and Urban Landscapes and Implications for Water Supply

Interactions between forested and urban landscapes can lead to reciprocal effects that have substantial impacts on water supply and ecology. Air pollution from urban and forested landscapes can be deposited on adjacent forests, while forest disturbance, such as wildfires and floods, can remobilize those contaminants. Additionally, pollutants from legacy land use (e.g., mining) can also be...

Date published: December 11, 2018
Status: Active

National Unmanned Aircraft Systems Project Office

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Unmanned* Aircraft Systems (UAS) Project Office (NUPO) leads the research activities needed to make UAS data collection an efficient, safe, and cost-effective remote sensing tool for Department of the Interior (DOI) and USGS scientists.

DOI manages over 20 percent of the Nation’s public lands and is responsible for migratory bird and wildlife...

Date published: December 11, 2018
Status: Active

Oil and Gas Waters Project

The primary objective of this project is to provide information on the volume, quality, impacts, and possible uses of water produced during generation and development of energy resources (particularly hydrocarbons) as well as related fluids injected into reservoirs for energy development and associated waste disposal.  The purpose of this work is to address scientific and societal questions...

Date published: December 7, 2018
Status: Completed

Oil Shale

The USGS Energy Resources Program has studied oil shale resources of the United States, with a significant effort on the Eocene Green River Formation of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming.  This formation contains the largest oil shale deposits in the world. Oil shale, despite the name, does not actually contain oil, but is a precursor of oil that is converted to crude oil when heated.  

Date published: December 6, 2018
Status: Active

Palo Duro Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

The U.S. Geological Survey completed the following assessments of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the Palo Duro Basin Province 5043 in Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.

     

    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: 278
    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...

    Date published: June 21, 2019

    Structural geologic orientation data for primarily Proterozoic aged rocks, eastern-central Rocky Mountain Front Range, Colorado

    This data release consists of point data digitized from structural geologic orientation symbols consisting of mostly foliations and lineations. The data comes from primarily Proterozoic aged rocks in the eastern-central Rocky Mountain Front Range of Colorado. Compilation of the data is from twenty-three geologic maps published by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Colorado Geological Survey...

    Date published: June 12, 2019

    GCMRC GIS Base Map Viewer 2.0

    The Geospatial team of the Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center maintains an enterprise GIS system built upon ESRI ArcGIS Server and Portal applications.  This web application provides access to many of the most commonly used GIS layers and base data information used by GCMRC in support of on-going science projects. 

    Click here to launch the Base Map Viewer (2.0) in a separate...

    Date published: June 12, 2019

    GCMRC REST Services Page

    The Geospatial team of Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center maintains an enterprise GIS system built upon ESRI ArcGIS Server and Portal applications.  From this platform, geospatial content can be consumed in a variety of forms, from custom-built web applications to content hosted on ESRI's ArcGIS Online to direct access of web map services provided here on our REST services page.

    Date published: May 10, 2019

    Predicted Shorelines for High Flows on the Colorado River Application

    This application highlights modeled flows of the Colorado River for a discharge of 41,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) that is approximate to recent (2012 - 2018) and future anticipated water releases associated with a High Flow Experiments conducted from Glen Canyon Dam near Page, Arizona.  These data are to help visualize the water levels during High Flow Events in relation to other map...

    Date published: April 30, 2019

    Sandbar Monitoring Sites - Remote Camera Photographs Application

    GCMRC and Northern Arizona University have engaged in long-term monitoring of 45 sandbar sites along the Colorado River in Grand Canyon for close to three decades.  Remote cameras have been established to monitor sandbar changes in between site surveys that occur every Fall.   This application provides access to thousands of photos, with an option to view photos around specific high flow...

    Date published: April 29, 2019

    Geospatial Data Abstraction Library (GDAL)

    The Geospatial Data Abstraction Library is a translator library for raster geospatial data formats that is released under an X/MIT style Open Source license by the Open Source Geospatial Foundation. As a library, it presents a single abstract data model for all supported formats. It also comes with a variety of useful...

    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: 5,151
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    Year Published: 2021

    Comparing tree-ring based reconstructions of snowpack variability at different scales for the Navajo Nation

    Snowpack in the western U.S. is on the decline, largely attributed to increasing temperatures in the region. This is a critical issue for many Native American communities who disproportionately rely on local snow-fed water supplies. In light of a combined ongoing drought and limited climate information for the Navajo Nation, Navajo water...

    Brice, Rebecca Lynn; Guiterman, Christopher H.; Woodhouse, Connie A.; McClellan, Carlee; Sheppard, Paul

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    Year Published: 2021

    Preface to the Focus Section on the 2020 Intermountain West earthquakes

    The Intermountain West region of the United States extends from the eastern margin of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mountains in the west to the Rocky Mountains in the east. The region is characterized by dextral shear along the eastern margin of the Sierra Nevada and nearly east-west extension in the Basin and Range. This region experienced four...

    Gold, Ryan D.; Bormann, Jayne; Koper, Keith D.

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    Year Published: 2021

    Improved Automated Identification and Mapping of Iron Sulfate Minerals, Other Mineral Groups, and Vegetation using Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager Data, San Juan Mountains, Colorado, and Four Corners Region

    Multispectral remote sensing data acquired by the Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) sensor were analyzed using a new, automated technique to generate a map of exposed mineral and vegetation groups in the western San Juan Mountains, Colo., and the Four Corners Region of the United States. Band ratio results were combined into displayed...

    Rockwell, Barnaby W.; Gnesda, William R.; Hofstra, Albert H.
    Rockwell, B.W., Gnesda, W.R., and Hofstra, A.H., 2021, Improved automated identification and mapping of iron sulfate minerals, other mineral groups, and vegetation using Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager data, San Juan Mountains, Colorado, and Four Corners Region: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3466, 1 sheet, scale 1:325,000, 37-p. pamphlet, https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3466.

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    Year Published: 2021

    Geochemical advances in Arctic Alaska oil typing - North Slope oil correlation and charge history

    The Arctic Alaska petroleum province is geologically and geochemically complex. Mixed hydrocarbon charge from multiple source rocks and/or levels of thermal maturity is common within an individual oil pool. Biomarker and chemometric statistical analyses were used to correlate twenty-nine oils to five oil families derived from: (1) Triassic...

    Botterell, Palma J.; Houseknecht, David W.; Lillis, Paul G.; Barbanti, Silvana M.; Dahl, Jeremy E.; Moldowan, J. Michael

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    Year Published: 2021

    Discovery of a large subsoil nitrate reservoir in an arroyo floodplain and associated aquifer contamination

    In an area of elevated nitrate (NO3) groundwater concentrations in the northern Chihuahuan Desert in central New Mexico (United States), a large reservoir of nitrate was found in the subsoil of an arroyo floodplain. Nitrate inventories in the floodplain subsoils ranged from 10,000 to 38,000 kg NO3-N/ha—over twice as high as any previously measured...

    Linhoff, Benjamin Shawn; Lunzer, John Joseph

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    Year Published: 2021

    Amateur radio operators help fill earthquake donut holes

    If you’ve ever seen tall antennas rising from everyday residences in your community and wondered what they are for, it could be that those homes belong to ham radio enthusiasts who enjoy communicating with each other over the airwaves. In addition to having fun with their radios and finding camaraderie, many ham radio operators are also...

    Wald, David J.; Quitoriano, Vince; Dully, Oliver

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    Year Published: 2021

    Petrology and geochronology of 1.48 to 1.45 Ga igneous rocks in the St. Francois Mountains terrane, southeast Missouri

    The igneous geology of the St. Francois Mountains terrane in southeast Missouri is dominated by the products of 1.48 to 1.45 billion year old volcanic and plutonic magmatism but also includes volumetrically minor, compositionally bimodal contributions added during plutonism between 1.34 and 1.27 billion years ago. The 1.48 to 1.45 billion year old...

    du Bray, Edward A.; Aleinikoff, John N.; Day, Warren C.; Neymark, Leonid A.; Burgess, Seth D.
    du Bray, E.A., Aleinikoff, J.N., Day, W.C., Neymark, L.A., Burgess, S.D., 2021, Petrology and geochronology of 1.48 to 1.45 Ga igneous rocks in the St. Francois Mountains terrane, southeast Missouri: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1866, 88 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/pp1866.

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    Year Published: 2021

    National-scale reservoir thermal energy storage pre-assessment for the United States

    The U.S. Geological Survey is performing a pre-assessment of the cooling potential for reservoir thermal energy storage (RTES) in five generalized geologic regions (Basin and Range, Coastal Plains, Illinois Basin, Michigan Basin, Pacific Northwest) across the United States. Reservoir models are developed for the metropolitan areas of eight cities...

    Pepin, Jeff D.; Burns, Erick; Dickinson, Jesse E.; Duncan, Leslie L.; Kuniansky, Eve L.; Reeves, Howard W.

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    Year Published: 2021

    Geologic assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources in the Cherokee Platform area of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri

    In 2015, the U.S. Geological Survey completed a geology-based assessment to estimate the volumes of undiscovered, technically recoverable petroleum resources in the Cherokee Platform Province area of southeastern Kansas, northeastern Oklahoma, and southwestern Missouri. The U.S. Geological Survey identified four stratigraphic intervals that...

    Drake, Ronald M.; Hatch, Joseph R.
    Drake, R.M., II, and Hatch, J.R., 2021, Geologic assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources in the Cherokee Platform area of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2020–5110, 39 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20205110.

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    Year Published: 2021

    Electrical conductivity of the lithosphere-asthenosphere system

    Electromagnetic geophysical methods image the electrical conductivity of the subsurface. Electrical conductivity is an intrinsic material property that is sensitive to temperature, composition, porosity, volatile and/or melt content, and other physical properties relevant to the solid Earth. Therefore, imaging the electrical structure of...

    Naif, Samer; Selway, Kate; Murphy, Benjamin Scott; Egbert, Gary D.; Pommier, Anne

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    Year Published: 2021

    Airborne geophysical imaging of weak zones on Iliamna Volcano, Alaska: Implications for slope stability

    Water‐saturated, hydrothermally altered rocks reduce the strength of volcanic edifices and increase the potential for sector collapses and far‐traveled mass flows of unconsolidated debris. Iliamna Volcano is an andesitic stratovolcano located on the western side of the Cook Inlet, ∼225 km southwest of Anchorage and is a source of repeated...

    Peterson, Dana Elise; Finn, Carol A.; Bedrosian, Paul A.

    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
    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.

    Attribution of storm-weighted potential contaminant hazard ranks to sampling locations
    April 12, 2018

    Attribution of storm-weighted potential contaminant hazard ranks

    Geospatial Analyses and Applications — Salt Lake City, Utah. Attribution of storm-weighted potential contaminant hazard ranks to sampling locations in the Sediment-Bound Contaminant Resiliency and Response (SCoRR) network.

    Fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) swimming in an experimental aquarium
    April 3, 2018

    Fathead minnows swimming in an experimental aquarium

    Fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) swimming in an expermental aquaium. The aquarium is part of an experiment to assess endocrine disruption in fish.

    Bioactive Chemicals Research Laboratory -- Boulder, Colorado
    April 3, 2018

    Bioactive Chemicals Research Laboratory -- Boulder, Colorado

    Bioactive Chemicals Research Laboratory -- Boulder, Colorado. Fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) swimming in an expermental aquaium

    Processing a sample for detection of N. fowleri
    March 21, 2018

    Processing a sample for detection of N. fowleri

    Processing a sample for detection of N. fowleri

    Equipment used to process a water sample to be analyzed for Naegleria fowleri
    March 21, 2018

    Equipment used to process a sample analyzed for Naegleria fowleri

    Equipment used to process a water sample to be analyzed for Naegleria fowleri

    Processing sample from Granite Hot Springs
    March 20, 2018

    Processing sample from Granite Hot Springs

    Processing sample from Granite Hot Springs

    March 7, 2018

    Yellowstone Volcano Observatory Scientists Host Facebook Live Event

    USGS–Yellowstone Volcano Observatory Scientist-in-Charge Mike Poland, Deputy Scientist-in-Charge Wendy Stovall, and Chief Seismologist Jamie Farrell answer questions from the public about Yellowstone earthquakes, deformation, eruptive history, the magmatic plumbing system, and more, during a USGS Volcanoes Facebook Live event recorded on March 7, 2018, at the USGS–Cascades

    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: 350
    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.  

    Investigating Lung Disease in Military Veterans
    November 10, 2017

    Six years ago, veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan had trouble breathing normally. The list of potential causes that soldiers were exposed to seemed endless: smoke from burn pits used for trash disposal, desert dust, diesel generator exhaust, humidity and temperature extremes, explosives, and city trash and sewage.

    Image shows coal being loaded into trucks at a coal mine
    October 26, 2017

    It is difficult to overstate the importance of energy to the American economy.  Managing this vital sector depends on knowing how many energy resources we have, how many we use and need, and how these resources are transported

    View of snow-capped Borah Peak, Idaho
    October 24, 2017

    A new tool that gives users the most detailed view yet of the world’s mountains is now available from the USGS. And it’s as close as your computer or cellphone.

    Map of Crested Butte Low-Level Flight Study Area
    September 25, 2017

    Editor:  In the public interest and in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration regulations, the USGS is announcing this low-level airborne project. Your assistance in informing the local communities is appreciated.

    USGS
    September 18, 2017

    Just after Labor Day, U.S. Geological Survey field crews began digging a trench within the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort ski area, on the lower reaches of Buffalo Bowl. 

    Image: Rio Grande and Cliffs in Boquillas Canyon, Big Bend National Park
    September 14, 2017

    A new U.S. Geological Survey report describes the below ground geology of the Rio Grande transboundary region of New Mexico and Texas, United States, and northern Chihuahua, Mexico.

    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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