Unified Interior Regions

Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin

Regions L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 336
View of three USGS Visual Identity items
Date Published: August 17, 2018
Status: Active

Peak-streamflow , Mean-streamflow , and Low-streamflow Equations for Western Colorado

Reliable peak-streamflow data are critical to design transportation infrastructure, such as bridges, culverts, dams, and floodplain inundation maps. At gaged sites, where sufficient long-term streamflow data have been collected, statistics can be obtained from available publications, by an analysis of available data in the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water Information System (NWIS)...

Ross Basin, Colorado
Date Published: August 7, 2018
Status: Completed

Upper Arkansas River Basin Toxics and Synoptic Studies

From 1986 to 2001, the Upper Arkansas Toxics Project focused on metal transport in streams affected by mining. Studies were conducted to quantify the physical, chemical, and biological processes affecting trace metal fate and transport.

Map of Crested Butte Low-Level Flight Study Area
Date Published: July 31, 2018
Status: Active

Metal Transport in Mineralized Mountain Watersheds

The central objective of this project is to develop a greater understanding of deep bedrock groundwater circulation and its contribution to surface water metal loads in mineralized mountain blocks composed of sedimentary rocks. This work is being performed in cooperation with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory as part of a broader research program aimed at understanding processes...

geothermal springs
Date Published: July 31, 2018
Status: Active

Integrated Hyperspectral, Geophysical and Geochemical Studies of Yellowstone National Park Hydrothermal Systems

We are researching the subsurface groundwater flow systems in Yellowstone and the relation of these systems to understanding the regional movement of water in a volcanic center. New geophysical data will be integrated with existing data sets from hyperspectral data from Yellowstone's thermal areas and thermal water geochemistry to help define regionally extensive mineral assemblages, the...

Contacts: JoAnn Holloway
Collecting sediment traps on Lake Powell that were deployed after Gold King Mine release.
Date Published: July 29, 2018
Status: Active

Lake Powell Coring

In response to the August 5, 2015, Gold King Mine Spill from the Bonita Peak Mining District that resulted in the release of three-million gallons of mine-impacted waters, the Utah Water Science Center, in partnership with the Utah Division of Water Quality, National Park Service, and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, cored the San Juan and Colorado River deltas in multiple locations in Lake Powell...

Contacts: Scott Hynek
Map of the Colorado Plateau, including the San Juan River pilot study area.
Date Published: July 28, 2018
Status: Active

Colorado Plateau Regional Groundwater Availability

Study goals

This project seeks to quantify the status of groundwater as an integrated resource with surface water in the arid and semiarid region of the Colorado Plateau principal aquifer system. Surface-water resources that originate in this region are over allocated and serve 35 million people, 4.5 million acres of farmland, and are used to generate 12 billion...

Salt Wash in the San Rafael Swell with white surface salts
Date Published: July 25, 2018
Status: Active


Studies of Sources and Transport of Dissolved Solids (Salt) in the Colorado River Basin using the Spatially Referenced Regressions on Watershed Attributes (SPARROW) Model

The Upper Colorado River Basin (UCRB) encompasses about 112,000 mi2 and discharges more than 6 million tons of dissolved solids (salt) annually to the lower Colorado River Basin. It has been estimated that between 32...

UAS discharge measurement Tanana River Train Bridge AK
Date Published: July 10, 2018
Status: Active

Remotely Sensed Discharge

River discharge is an important component of the water cycle, and an accurate accounting of streamflow can be accomplished by monitoring the spatial and temporal variations in river discharge. The U.S. Geological Survey is actively pursuing remote-sensing platforms to compute river discharge using a combination of satellite-, high altitude-, drone-, and fixed-based platforms to directly...

Upper Colorado River near Moab, Utah
Date Published: June 25, 2018
Status: Completed

NAWQA Upper Colorado River Basin Study

The USGS implemented the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program in 1991 to support national, regional, and local information needs and decisions related to water-quality management and policy. Shaped by and coordinated with ongoing efforts of other Federal, State, and...

Sand Hollow Reservoir in early morning light
Date Published: June 20, 2018
Status: Active

Managed Aquifer Recharge

Sand Hollow Reservoir in Washington County, Utah, was completed in March 2002 and is operated for both surface-water storage and managed aquifer recharge via infiltration from surface basin spreading to the underlying Navajo Sandstone. From 2002 through 2014, about 216,000 acre-feet were diverted from the Virgin River to Sand Hollow Reservoir, and about 127,000 acre-feet of water seeped...

Contacts: Thomas Marston
Sediment Field_5, USGS, New Mexico Water Science Center
Date Published: June 18, 2018
Status: Active

New Mexico Water Science Center Sediment Field Program

Sediment is fragmental material transported by, suspended in, or deposited by water or air, or accumulated in beds by other natural agents. Sediment particles range in size from large boulders to colloidal-size fragments and vary in shape from rounded to angular. They also vary in mineral composition and specific gravity. Sediment is derived from a parent material subjected to erosional...

View of monitoring basin from the debris-flow fan near Chaffee County Road 162.
Date Published: June 7, 2018
Status: Active

Chalk Cliffs, Colorado

Recent Conditions

The instrumentation was installed in the summer of 2008 and includes a series of three monitoring stations located along the main channel. Data from one of these stations (Station 1) is transmitted from the site and displayed here.

Contacts: Jason Kean, Jeffrey Coe, Joel Smith, University of Colorado, East Carolina University
Filter Total Items: 228
September 21, 2018

Welcome to the new Map-A-Planet 2

MAP2 allows users to select global image mosaics, which can then be map projected, clipped to extents, have algebra functions against the image bands, and then converted to the user’s desired file format. Quickly browse ALL available products

September 19, 2018

Interactive web app that takes you through the history of Dwarf Planets in our Solar System from the 1700's to 2015.

September 18, 2018

Digital hydrologic and geospatial data for the Rio Grande transboundary integrated hydrologic model and water-availability analysis, New Mexico and Texas, United States, and Northern Chihuahua, Mexico

September 10, 2018

Planetary nomenclature, like terrestrial nomenclature, is used to uniquely identify a feature on the surface of a planet or satellite so that the feature can be easily located, described, and discussed. This gazetteer contains detailed information about all names of topographic and albedo features on planets and satellites (and some planetary ring and ring-gap systems) that the International Astro

September 10, 2018

PILOT (Planetary Image Locator Tool) is an online data portal used by planetary scientists and cartographers to search through the raw archives of the PDS Cartography and Imaging Science Node. It searches through a large catalog of visual, infrared and spectrometer camera images taken of planetary bodies in our solar system. For information on specific missions, please visit the Data Portal

Interactive map and chart highlighting USGS Domestic Continuous (Unconventional) Oil & Gas Assessments, 2000-Present
August 28, 2018

Interactively explore assessment summary information for continuous (unconventional) assessments conducted at the USGS from 2000-2018. The assessment results data used to generate this visualization can be downloaded here in Excel Format.  These data represent all assessment results for Continuous Assessments only from 2000-2018.

August 9, 2018

The U.S. Geological Survey conducted an assessment of coal resources and reserves in the Little Snake River coal field and Red Desert area of the Greater Green River Basin in Southwest Wyoming. A comprehensive database was compiled to support this assessment that includes data points for drill-holes and measured sections. Associated with these resources are lithology descriptors, (focusin

July 31, 2018

The development and generation of the datasets that are published in this data release, were based on the methods and findings of the report: Kohn, M.S. and Patton, T.T., 2018, Flood-Inundation Maps for the South Platte River at Fort Morgan, Colorado, 2018: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2018-5114, 14 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20185114

Blacks Fork synoptic sites
July 17, 2018

Streamflow and water-quality samples collected during 2018 and 2019

July 11, 2018

Link to USGS web portal for all Annual Water Data Reports and site summaries.

Screenshot of the Land Treatment Exploration Tool with proposed treatment drawn on screen.
May 3, 2018

The Land Treatment Exploration Tool is designed for resource managers to use when planning land treatments. The tool provides useful summaries of environmental characteristics of planned treatment areas and facilitates adaptive management practices by comparing those characteristics to other similar treatments within a specified distance or area of interest.  Provisional Software.

Snowpack-sampling pit at Berthoud Pass, Colorado.
April 24, 2018

Rocky Mountain Regional Snowpack Chemistry Monitoring Study.  Links to collected snowpack chemistry data.

Filter Total Items: 4,449
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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Year Published: 2019

Variability in results from mineralogical and organic geochemical interlaboratory testing of U. S. Geological Survey shale reference materials

The expansion of unconventional petroleum resource exploration and production in the United States has led to an increase in source rock characterization efforts, particularly related to bulk organic and mineralogical properties. To support the analytical and research needs of industry and academia, as well as internal work, the U.S. Geological...

Birdwell, Justin E.; Wilson, Stephen A.

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Year Published: 2019

Plant and insect herbivore community variation across the Paleocene–Eocene boundary in the Hanna Basin, southeastern Wyoming

Ecosystem function and stability are highly affected by internal and external stressors. Utilizing paleobotanical data gives insight into the evolutionary processes an ecosystem undergoes across long periods of time, allowing for a more complete understanding of how plant and insect herbivore communities are affected by ecosystem imbalance. To...

Schmidt, Lauren E; Dunn, Regan E; Mercer, Jason J; Dechesne, Marieke; Currano, Ellen D

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Year Published: 2019

Quantifying source and sink habitats and pathways in spatially structured populations: A generalized modelling approach

The ability to classify habitats and movement pathways as sources or sinks is an important part of the decision making process for the conservation of spatially structured populations. Diverse approaches have been used to quantify the importance of habitats and pathways in a spatial network, however these approaches have been limited by a lack of...

Diffendorfer, James E.; Sample, Christine; Beiri, Joanna A; Allen, Benjamin L. ; Dementieva, Yulia; Carson, Alyssa; Higgins, Connar; Piatt, Sadie; Qiu, Shirley; Stafford, Summer; Mattsson, Brady J.; Semmens, Darius J.; Thogmartin, Wayne E.

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Year Published: 2019

Mountain-block recharge: A review of current understanding

Mountain-block recharge (MBR) is the subsurface inflow of groundwater to lowland aquifers from adjacent mountains. MBR can be a major component of recharge but remains difficult to characterize and quantify due to limited hydrogeologic, climatic, and other data in the mountain block and at the mountain front. The number of MBR-related studies has...

Katherine Markovich; Manning, Andrew H.; Laura Condon; Jennifer McIntosh

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Year Published: 2019

Assessing the feasibility of satellite-based thresholds for hydrologically driven landsliding

Elevated soil moisture and heavy precipitation contribute to landslides worldwide. These environmental variables are now being resolved with satellites at spatiotemporal scales that could offer new perspectives on the development of landslide warning systems. However, the application of these data to hydro-meteorological thresholds (which account...

Thomas, Matthew A.; Collins, Brian D.; Mirus, Benjamin B.

Filter Total Items: 592
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.

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.

Filter Total Items: 315
Permafrost area, Beaver Creek, Alaska.
June 20, 2016

The thawing of the planet’s permafrost is replumbing arctic environments, creating several hydrologic consequences and possibly some opportunities according to a new study published in Vadose Zone.

USGS: Science for a changing world
June 17, 2016

Science diplomacy is the use of collaborations among nations to address common scientific problems and to build constructive international partnerships. Researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey in Denver, Colorado recently used the science diplomacy tactic to initiate a ground-breaking international collaboration with the Nation of Cuba. 

Photo of the National Water Quality Lab building
May 16, 2016

Forty years ago, water samples from around the country started flowing into the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Water Quality Laboratory in Colorado.

Image: Warmth From the Sun
March 29, 2016

During winter, wolves infected with mange can suffer a substantial amount of heat loss compared to those without the disease, according to a study by the U.S. Geological Survey and its partners.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 22, 2016

New research can help water managers along the Rio Grande make wise decisions about how to best use the flow of a river vital for drinking water, agriculture and aquatic habitat. These studies also show how conditions from the prolonged drought in the West have affected the Rio Grande watershed.

USGS science for a changing world logo
February 1, 2016

Globally there were 14,588 earthquakes of magnitude 4.0 or greater in 2015. This worldwide number is on par with prior year averages of about 40 earthquakes per day of magnitude 4.0, or about 14,500 annually. The 2015 number may change slightly as the final results are completed by seismic analysts at the NEIC in Golden, Colorado.

Filter Total Items: 324