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: 385
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...

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...

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...

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...

Date published: June 7, 2018
Status: Active

Chalk Cliffs, Colorado

Chalk Cliffs, located 8 miles southwest of Buena Vista, CO, is one of the most active debris-flow areas in the state.

Contacts: Jason Kean, Jeffrey Coe, Joel Smith, University of Colorado, East Carolina University
Date published: June 7, 2018
Status: Active

Geochemical Evidence of Groundwater Flow Paths and the Fate and Transport of Constituents of Concern in the Alluvial Aquifer at Fort Wingate Depot Activity, New Mexico

As part of an environmental investigation at Fort Wingate Depot Activity, New Mexico, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, interpreted aqueous geochemical concentrations to better understand the groundwater flow paths and the fate and transport of constituents of concern in the alluvial aquifer underlying the study area. The fine-grained nature of...

Date published: June 7, 2018
Status: Active

Hydrogeologic and geochemical characterization and evaluation of two arroyos for managed aquifer recharge by surface infiltration in the Pojoaque River Basin

In order to provide long-term storage of diverted surface water from the Rio Grande as part of the Aamodt water rights settlement, managed aquifer recharge by surface infiltration in Pojoaque River Basin arroyos was proposed as an option. The initial hydrogeologic and geochemical characterization of two arroyos located within the Pojoaque River Basin was performed in 2014 and 2015 in...

Date published: June 6, 2018
Status: Active

The Source of Groundwater and Solutes to Many Devils Wash at a Former Uranium Mill Site in Shiprock, New Mexico

The Shiprock Disposal Site is the location of the former Navajo Mill, a uranium ore-processing facility, located on a terrace overlooking the San Juan River in the town of Shiprock, New Mexico.The milling operations, conducted at the site from 1954 to 1968, created radioactive tailings and constituents of concern that are now found in the groundwater beneath the Mill. Elevated concentrations...

Date published: June 4, 2018
Status: Active

New Mexico Water Science Center Sediment Laboratory

The U. S. Geological Survey (USGS), New Mexico Water Science Center (NMWSC), works in cooperation with State and Federal agencies in New Mexico to provide reliable and impartial sediment data and interpretation to resource managers, planners, and other stakeholders, and the general public. The NMWSC has been collecting daily suspended sediment samples and periodic turbidity, bed material,...

Date published: May 25, 2018
Status: Completed

Tellurium in Igneous-related Epithermal Precious Metal Deposits in Colorado and New Mexico

The project aims to improve our understanding of the causes of tellurium enrichment in epithermal precious metal deposits, and strengthen our ability to assess the Nation's tellurium deposits. Tellurium is used in solar panel technologies and is considered a critical mineral. Epithermal deposits of this type represent a prospective future source of tellurium.

Date published: May 15, 2018
Status: Active

StreamStats in Montana and Wyoming

StreamStats is a Web-based geographic information system application that provides users with access to basin and streamflow characteristics for gaged and ungaged streams.

Date published: May 10, 2018
Status: Active

What is a streamgage?

Information on the flow of rivers and streams is a vital national asset that safeguuards lives, protects property, and ensures adequate water supplies for the future. The USGS operates a network of more than 9,000 streamgages nationwide with more than 150 in Utah, but how does a streamgage work? Dee Lurry of the Texas Water Science Center answers that question.

Contacts: Cory E Angeroth

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: September 21, 2018

Map a Planet

Welcome to the new Map-A-Planet

MAP (v2) allows users to select global image mosaics for download, or with an account, one can also request the mosaic be map projected, clipped to extents, run pre-defined algebra functions against multi-band mosaics, and/or then convert it to the user’s desired file format. Quickly browse ...

Date published: September 19, 2018

2015: The Year of the Dwarf Planets

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

Date published: 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

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

Date published: September 12, 2018

Lung Bioassay of Ground Dwelling Mammals from the Grand Canyon Uranium Breccia Pipe Region Using Scanning Electron Microscopy

Small mammal lung tissue sections were examined to help assess the effects of weathering on bioavailability and toxicity from sites in different phases of the mine cycle within the Grand Canyon area. Hematoxylin and eosin slides of lung tissue from brush mouse, deer mice, and pocket gophers were examined by a veterinary pathologist who marked areas of the tissue that showed normal, inflamm...

Date published: September 10, 2018

Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature

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 ...

Date published: September 10, 2018

Planetary Image Locator Tool (PILOT)

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...

Date published: August 28, 2018

USGS Domestic Continuous (Unconventional) Oil & Gas Assessments, 2000-Present

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...

Date published: August 9, 2018

Coal drill hole database for the Little Snake River coal field and Red Desert area, Wyoming.

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...

Date published: July 31, 2018

Surface-Water Model Archive for a Flood-Inundation Mapping Study of the South Platte River at Fort Morgan, Colorado, 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...

Date published: July 17, 2018

Blacks Fork synoptic sampling sites

Streamflow and water-quality samples collected during 2018 and 2019

Date published: July 11, 2018

USGS Annual Water Data Reports

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

Date published: July 2, 2018

Magnetotelluric sounding data, stations 1 to 12, East-Central Tooele County, Utah, 2003

This dataset includes the magnetotelluric (MT) sounding data collected in 2003 along a north-south profile west of Tooele, Utah. It is important to know whether major mining districts in the Northern Nevada Gold Province are underlain by rocks of the Archean Wyoming craton, which are known to contain orogenic gold deposits, or by accreted rocks of the Paleoproterozoic Mojave province. I

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: 5,065
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Year Published: 2020

Reducing water scarcity by improving water productivity in the United States

Nearly one-sixth of U.S. river basins are unable to consistently meet societal water demands while also providing sufficient water for the environment. Water scarcity is expected to intensify and spread as populations increase, new water demands emerge, and climate changes. Improving water productivity by meeting realistic benchmarks for all water...

Marston, Landon; Lamsal, Gambhir; Ancona, Zachary H.; Caldwell, Peter V; Richter, Brian; Ruddell, Benjamin; Rushforth, Richard; Davis, Kyle F.

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Year Published: 2020

Measuring basal force fluctuations of debris flows using seismic recordings and empirical green's functions

We present a novel method for measuring the fluctuating basal normal and shear stresses of debris flows by using along‐channel seismic recordings. Our method couples a simple parameterization of a debris flow as a seismic source with direct measurements of seismic path effects using empirical Green's functions generated with a force hammer. We...

Allstadt, Kate; Farin, Maxime; Iverson, Richard M.; Obryk, Maciej; Kean, Jason W.; Tsai, Victor C.; Rapstine, Thomas D; Logan, Matthew

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Year Published: 2020

Hydrothermal alteration on composite volcanoes: Mineralogy, hyperspectral imaging and aeromagnetic study of Mt Ruapehu, New Zealand

Prolonged volcanic activity can induce surface weathering and hydrothermal alteration that is a primary control on edifice instability, posing a complex hazard with its challenges to accurately forecast and mitigate. This study uses a frequently active composite volcano, Mt Ruapehu, New Zealand, to develop a conceptual model of surface weathering...

Kereszturi, Gabor; Schaefer, Lauren Nicole; Miller, Craig A.; Mead, Stuart

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Year Published: 2020

The recurrence interval of post-fire debris-flow generating rainfall in the southwestern United States

In the southwestern United States, post-fire debris flows commonly initiate during short bursts of intense rainfall. To date, the frequency of the rainfall rates has not been quantified. Here, we combine an existing database of debris-flow occurrences and corresponding peak storm intensities with a geospatial library of rainfall recurrence...

Staley, Dennis M.; Kean, Jason W.; Rengers, Francis K.

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Year Published: 2020

Groundwater levels in the Denver Basin bedrock aquifers of Douglas County, Colorado, 2011–19

Municipal and domestic water users in Douglas County, Colorado, rely on groundwater from the bedrock aquifers in the Denver Basin aquifer system as part of their water supply. The four principal Denver Basin bedrock aquifers are, from shallowest to deepest, the Dawson aquifer (divided administratively into “upper” and “lower” Dawson aquifers in...

Malenda, Helen F.; Penn, Colin A.
Malenda, H.F., and Penn, C.A., 2020, Groundwater levels in the Denver Basin bedrock aquifers of Douglas County, Colorado, 2011–19: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2020–5076, 44 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20205076.

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Year Published: 2020

Hillslopes in humid-tropical climates aren’t always wet: Implications for hydrologic response and landslide initiation in Puerto Rico, USA

The devastating impacts of the widespread flooding and landsliding in Puerto Rico following the September 2017 landfall of Hurricane Maria highlight the increasingly extreme atmospheric disturbances and enhanced hazard potential in mountainous humid‐tropical climate zones. Long‐standing conceptual models for hydrologically driven hazards in Puerto...

Thomas, Matthew A.; Mirus, Benjamin B.; Smith, Joel B.

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Year Published: 2020

EMD Gas Hydrates Committee annual report

Global research on the potential commercial viability of gas extraction from gas hydrates is continuing, predominantly in Asia and in the United States, where recent efforts have focused on the exploration and characterization of gas hydrate petroleum systems and conducting controlled production tests of gas hydrate deposits hosted in mostly sand-...

Collett, Timothy

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Year Published: 2020

Constraining central Himalayan (Nepal) fault geometry through integrated thermochronology and thermokinematic modeling

Constraining the subsurface structural geometry of the central Himalaya continues to prove difficult, even after the 2015 Gorkha earthquake and the resulting insights into the trajectory of the Main Himalayan thrust (MHT). To this end, we apply a thermokinematic model to evaluate four possible balanced cross section geometries based on three...

Ghoshal, Surydoy; McQuarrie, Nadine; Robinson, Delores; Adhikari, D.P.; Morgan, Leah E.; Ehlers, Todd A.

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Year Published: 2020

Financial risk innovation: Development of earthquake parametric triggers for contingent credit instruments

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has developed financial risk management strategies for natural disasters focusing primarily on the emergency phase of the catastrophes where financial support is more cost-efficient and certainly most needed. The main IDB financial instrument to provide liquidity in the aftermath of catastrophic events is...

Collich, Guillermo; Rosillo, Rafael; Martinez, Juan; Wald, David J.; Durante, Juan José

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Year Published: 2020

Landslides after wildfire: Initiation, magnitude, and mobility

In the semiarid Southwestern USA, wildfires are commonly followed by runoff-generated debris flows because wildfires remove vegetation and ground cover, which reduces soil infiltration capacity and increases soil erodibility. At a study site in Southern California, we initially observed runoff-generated debris flows in the first year following...

Rengers, Francis K.; McGuire, Luke; Oakley, Nina S.; Kean, Jason W.; Staley, Dennis M.; Tang, Hui

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Year Published: 2020

Boreal blazes: Biomass burning and vegetation types archived in the Juneau Icefield

The past decade includes some of the most extensive boreal forest fires in the historical record. Warming temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, the desiccation of thick organic soil layers, and increased ignition from lightning all contribute to a combustive combination. Smoke aerosols travel thousands of kilometers, before blanketing the...

Kehrwald, Natalie; Jasmann, Jeramy Roland; Dunham, Melissa E.; Ferris, David G.; Osterburg, Erich C.; Kennedy, Joshua; Havens, Jeremy; Barber, Larry; Fortner, Sarah K.

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Year Published: 2020

Integrating airborne remote sensing and field campaigns for ecology and Earth system science

In recent years, the availability of airborne imaging spectroscopy (hyperspectral) data has expanded dramatically. The high spatial and spectral resolution of these data uniquely enable spatially explicit ecological studies including species mapping, assessment of drought mortality and foliar trait distributions. However, we have barely begun to...

Chadwick, K. Dana; Brodrick, Philip G.; Grant, Kathleen; Goulden, Tristan; Henderson, Amanda; Falco, Nicola; Wainwright, Haruko; Williams, Kenneth; Bill, Markus; Breckheimer, Ian; Brodie, Eoin; Steltzer, Heidi; Williams, C. F. Rick; Blonder, Benjamin; Chen, Jiancong; Dafflon, Baptiste; Damerow, Joan; Hancher, Matt; Khurram, Aizah; Lamb, Jack; Lawrence, Corey R.; McCormick, Maeve; Musinsky, John; Pierce, Samuel; Polussa, Alexander; Hastings Porro, Maceo; Scott, Andea; Wu Singh, Hans; Sorensen, Patrick O.; Varadharajan, Charuleka; Whitney, Bizuayehu; Maher, Katharine

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
Cleaning the trench
September 11, 2017

Teton Fault

Mark, Nicole, Rich, Ryan, Dean taking out the "trash" from the base of the trench.

September 7, 2017

Excavating the Teton Trench September 2017 - Day 2

USGS scientists Rich Briggs, Ryan Gold, Chris DuRoss, and Jaime Delano spent September 5-21, 2017 outside of Jackson, Wyoming doing fieldwork at a site to collect paleoseismology data on a segment of the Teton Fault. This video shows the second day of the site excavation inside the flagged the boundaries set up by the group.

September 6, 2017

Excavating the Teton Trench September 2017 - Day 1

USGS scientists Rich Briggs, Ryan Gold, Chris DuRoss, and Jaime Delano spent September 5-21, 2017 outside of Jackson, Wyoming doing fieldwork at a site to collect paleoseismology data on a segment of the Teton Fault. This video shows the first day of the site excavation inside the flagged the boundaries set up by the group.

Floating the mighty Rio Grande
August 17, 2017

Floating the mighty Rio Grande

Staff float down the Rio Grande in New Mexico as part of their Swiftwater Awareness training. 

Scientist operates small drone over river valley with mountains in the background.
August 16, 2017

USGS uses drone with thermal infrared camera to study water resources

USGS Hydrologist Eric White flies a small unoccupied aircraft system – sUAS or "drone" – equipped with a thermal infrared camera during a groundwater/surface-water exchange study along the East River in Gunnison National Forest near Gothic, Colorado, in August 2017. The study was part of a multi-year project by the USGS Water Resources Mission Area Hydrogeophysics Branch

USGS, Las Cruces Field Office
August 4, 2017

USGS, Las Cruces Field Office

U.S. Geological Survey, New Mexico Water Science Center - Las Cruces Field Office location

Making a discharge measurement below the Eagle Nest Dam near Cimarron, New Mexico
July 31, 2017

Eagle Nest Dam overlooking the Cimarron River

Hydrologic technician Chris Peskuski snapped this picture from Eagle Nest Dam overlooking the Cimarron River where streamflow measurements are made to measure outflow from the dam. Eagle Nest Dam sits at 8,300 feet elevation and is surrounded by two of the highest peaks in New Mexico; Wheeler Peak and Baldy Mountain.

Two researchers aligning a 2 meter by 2 meter PVC square for an experimental restoration plot within a fenced area.
July 31, 2017

Setting up experimental restoration plots.

Field crew install a Restoration Field Trial Network garden in the rangelands of Northern Arizona. Each garden in the network is examining seedlings and seeds in conjunction with restoration treatments to better

July 30, 2017

A Record of Change: Science and Elder Observations on the Navajo N.

A Record of Change—Science and Elder Observations on the Navajo Nation is a 25-minute documentary about collaborative studies using conventional physical sciences, combined with tribal elder observations to show that local knowledge and conventional science partnerships can effectively document ecosystem change and determine the resulting challenges to livelihoods. 

Collecting sample for pesticide analyses, Big Horn River near Kane, WY
July 27, 2017

Collecting sample for pesticide analyses, Big Horn River near Kane, WY

Sample collection from cableway above Big Horn River near Kane, Wyoming as part of project evaluating pesticides in Wyoming.

July 14, 2017

Debris flow monitoring at Chalk Cliffs, CO (2017)

The USGS and its cooperators have installed debris-flow monitoring equipment in the largest drainage basin at Chalk Cliffs, CO. Data collection at this site supports research on the hydrologic factors that control debris-flow initiation, entrainment, and flow dynamics.

This debris flow took place July 19, 2017. The video includes a single view of an instrumented

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: 340
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.

Image: 2011 Great Salt Lake Breach at Lakeside, Utah
December 29, 2015

The north arm of the Great Salt Lake (GSL) has reached a new historic low. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands (FFSL), the lake's water level reached an elevation of 4,191.6 feet last month, one foot lower than the previous record.

Image:  Big Sagebrush Re-establishing 15 Years Post-wildfire Along the Boise Front Mountains
December 7, 2015

CORVALLIS, Ore. — Ecosystem restoration is complex and requires an understanding of how the land, plants, and animals all interact with each other over large areas and over time. Today, the U.S. Geological Survey published part two of a three-part handbook addressing restoration of sagebrush ecosystems from the landscape to the site level.

USGS science for a changing world logo
November 4, 2015

According to the first-ever study of pesticide residues on field-caught bees, native bees are exposed to neonicotinoid insecticides and other pesticides. This report was conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey and published in the journal Science of the Total Environment.

USGS science for a changing world logo
November 3, 2015

On average, streams in the Niobrara-Mowry Play of eastern Wyoming, Fayetteville Play of Arkansas, and Barnett Play of Texas ranked most vulnerable to unconventional oil and gas development, but for different reasons, according to recent U.S. Geological Survey coauthored research.

A female grizzly with a cub.  Adult females are considered the most important segment of the grizzly population and consequently
October 30, 2015

BOZEMAN, Mont. – Genetic data show the grizzly bear population in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem has grown since the 1980s with no loss in genetic diversity, according to a report by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team.

Image: USGS Deploys Crews to Site of Flash Flood
September 16, 2015

U.S. Geological Survey real-time monitoring captured flash flooding in southwest Utah that occurred as a result of intense thunderstorms with rainfall rates estimated as high as three inches per hour. Particularly hard hit was the town of Hildale, Utah and Zion National Park. The flash flood has resulted in 16 deaths.

USGS science for a changing world logo
September 10, 2015

Slowing fire-related population declines in greater sage-grouse in the Great Basin over the next 30 years may depend on the intensity of fire suppression efforts in core breeding areas and long-term patterns of precipitation, according to a just-published USGS-led study.

Map of the Glen Canyon Dam study area
August 19, 2015

Although the Grand Canyon segment of the Colorado River features one of the most remote ecosystems in the United States, it is not immune to exposure from toxic chemicals such as mercury according to newly published research in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

Updated 2015 version of the Green River Lakes quadrangle with orthoimage
August 19, 2015

Newly released US Topo maps for Wyoming now feature more trails using data provided by the U.S. Forest Service such as the recreational trails in the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

Image: Pallid Sturgeon
July 30, 2015

Three tiny fish larvae that were captured by U.S. Geological Survey scientists in May 2014 have just been confirmed to be pallid sturgeon. These new genetic identifications add to mounting evidence that critically endangered pallid sturgeon spawned successfully in the Lower Missouri River downstream of Gavins Point Dam, South Dakota.

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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