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: March 1, 2015
Status: Completed

Real-time Monitoring and Evaluation of Bridge Scour

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is tasked with maintaining roadways crossing over large streams and rivers where sediment transport and channel alignment changes can affect the structural stability of bridges. Streambed scour is the leading cause of bridge failure in the United States. The costs associated with restoring damaged structures are substantial, but are less than...

Date published: February 1, 2015
Status: Completed

How Big and How Frequent Are Earthquakes on the Wasatch Fault?

Release Date: FEBRUARY 1, 2015

Paleoseismology along the Wasatch Fault in Utah is helping to estimate the shaking risk to nearby towns.

Date published: January 23, 2015
Status: Completed

Reconfigured Channel Monitoring and Assessment Program (RCMAP)

Channel reconfiguration to mitigate a variety of riverine problems has become an important issue in the Western United States. Reasons cited for channel reconfiguration include restoration to more natural or historical conditions, improved water conveyance in flood-prone areas, mitigation of unstable streambed and streambanks, increased sediment transport, and enhancement of riparian habitat...

Contacts: Cory A Williams
Date published: January 23, 2015
Status: Completed

RCMAP - Lake Fork of the Gunnison near Lake City, Colorado

The U.S. Geological Survey was engaged in a program to monitor and assess the long-term geomorphic behavior of selected river and stream reaches that previously had undergone some physical modification.  These modifications included natural channel adjustments to floods as well as intentional channel reconfigurations to alter the function or appearance of a river reach.

In cooperation...

Contacts: Cory A Williams
Date published: January 23, 2015
Status: Completed

RCMAP - Muddy Creek below Wolford Mountain Reservoir near Kremmling, Colorado

The U.S. Geological Survey was engaged in a program to monitor and assess the long-term geomorphic behavior of selected river and stream reaches that previously had undergone some physical modification.  These modifications included natural channel adjustments to floods as well as intentional channel reconfigurations to alter the function or appearance of a river reach. 

Reaches 1 and 2...

Contacts: Cory A Williams
Date published: January 23, 2015
Status: Completed

RCMAP - North Fork Gunnison River at Hotchkiss, Colorado

The U.S. Geological Survey was engaged in a program to monitor and assess the long-term geomorphic behavior of selected river and stream reaches that previously had undergone some physical modification.  These modifications included natural channel adjustments to floods as well as intentional channel reconfigurations to alter the function or appearance of a river reach. 

The...

Contacts: Cory A Williams
Date published: November 21, 2014
Status: Completed

RCMAP - Gunnison River at the Hartland Dam near Delta, Colorado

The U.S. Geological Survey was engaged in a program to monitor and assess the long-term geomorphic behavior of selected river and stream reaches that previously had undergone some physical modification.  These modifications included natural channel adjustments to floods as well as intentional channel reconfigurations to alter the function or appearance of a river reach.

The Hartland...

Contacts: Cory A Williams
Date published: September 30, 2014
Status: Completed

Validation of Monthly-Mean Streamflow Equations

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Colorado Water Conservation Board, evaluated the predictive uncertainty of mean-monthly streamflow-regression equations representative of natural streamflow conditions in Colorado. This study evaluates the predictive uncertainty of mean-monthly streamflow-regression equations developed in a 2009 U.S. Geological Survey study using streamflow...

Date published: June 25, 2014
Status: Active

Debris flows and Floods from Extreme Precipitation in September 2013, Gila National Forest, NM

A record-breaking rainstorm in Glenwood, New Mexico and the surrounding areas occurred in September, 2013 leading to widespread and destructive flooding and debris flows, including watersheds burned the previous year by the Whitewater-Baldy Complex wildfire. In the area of the Whitewater-Baldy burn scar, a highway was overtopped by flash flooding on Whitewater Creek. Many side canyon...

Contacts: Anne C Tillery
Date published: June 25, 2014
Status: Active

Prewildfire Assessments of Postwildfire Debris-Flow Hazards

Debris flows are high-density slurries of water, rock fragments, soil, and mud that can have enormous destructive power. Wildfire can drastically increase the probability of debris flows in landscapes that have otherwise been stable. In 2010, the USGS developed the Cannon model to estimate postwildfire debris-flow probabilities and volumes in burned areas. In 2013, with the help of U.S. Forest...

Contacts: Anne C Tillery
Date published: June 25, 2014
Status: Active

Postwildfire Debris-Flow Hazards

Wildfire is a natural process in forest ecosystems, and occurs with varying frequencies and severities depending on landscape characteristics, climatic conditions, and the historical fire regime. Although attention often is focused on the potential damages from wildfire in the wildland-urban interface, wildfire also presents a threat to critical infrastructure including flood water conveyances...

Contacts: Anne C Tillery
Date published: June 24, 2014
Status: Active

Hydrologic Studies in the East Mountain Area of Bernalillo County, NM

Recent expansion of suburban development and population growth in the Sandia Mountains of eastern Bernalillo County, NM (East Mountain Area, EMA), has led to increased residential and commercial construction and increased demands on available water resources. Information about the spatial and temporal variability of water resources is needed for continued population and economic growth....

Contacts: For contact information, please reach out to:

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: 5,293
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Year Published: 2020

Towards understanding relationships between atmospheric pressure variations and long-period horizontal seismic data: A case study

Variations in atmospheric pressure have long been known to introduce noise in long-period (>10 s) seismic records. This noise can overwhelm signals of interest such as normal modes and surface waves. Generally, this noise is most pronounced on the horizontal components where it arises due to tilting of the seismometer in response to...

Alejandro, Alexis Casondra Bianca; Ringler, Adam T.; Wilson, David C.; Anthony, Robert E.; Moore, S.V.

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Year Published: 2020

Mapping the 3-D extent of the Stillwater Complex, Montana—Implications for potential platinum group element exploration and development

Geophysical models characterize the exposed and interpreted buried extent of the Stillwater Complex, critical for understanding the origin of the layered mafic intrusion and its associated high-grade platinum group element resources. The 3D models, constrained by gravity, magnetic, xenolith, seismic, borehole, and rock property data indicate that...

Finn, Carol A.; Zientek, Michael L.; Parks, Heather L.; Peterson, Dana Elise

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Year Published: 2020

Causes of land change in the U.S. Interior Highlands, 2001–2011

The causes of land change from 2001 through 2011 for the Interior Highlands region of the south-central United States were assessed using satellite imagery, historical land-use and land-cover data, and digital orthophotos. The study was designed to develop improved regional land-use and land-cover change information, including identification of...

Drummond, Mark A.; Stier, Michael P.; McBeth, Jamie L.; Auch, Roger F.; Taylor, Janis L.; Riegle, Jodi L.
Drummond, M.A., Stier, M.P., McBeth, J.L., Auch, R.F., Taylor, J.L., and Riegle, J.L., 2020, Causes of land change in the U.S. Interior Highlands, 2001–2011: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1127, 4 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ds1127.

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Year Published: 2020

International geoscience collaboration to support critical mineral discovery

The importance of critical minerals and the need to expand and diversify critical mineral supply chains has been endorsed by the Federal governments of Australia, Canada, and the United States. The geoscience organizations of Geoscience Australia, the Geological Survey of Canada and the U.S. Geological Survey have created the Critical Minerals...

Kelley, K.D., 2020, International geoscience collaboration to support critical mineral discovery: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2020–3035, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20203035.

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Year Published: 2020

The grass is not always greener on the other side: Seasonal reversal of vegetation greenness in aspect-driven semiarid ecosystems

Our current understanding of semiarid ecosystems is that they tend to display higher vegetation greenness on polar-facing slopes (PFS) than on equatorial-facing slopes (EFS). However, recent studies have argued that higher vegetation greenness can occur on EFS during part of the year. To assess whether this seasonal reversal of aspect-driven...

Kumari, Nikul; Saco, Patricia M.; Rodriguez, Jose F.; Johnstone, Samuel A.; Srivastava, Ankur; Chun, Kwok P.; Yetemen, Omer

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Year Published: 2020

Deep Learning as a tool to forecast hydrologic response for landslide-prone hillslopes

Empirical thresholds for landslide warning systems have benefitted from the incorporation of soil‐hydrologic monitoring data, but the mechanistic basis for their predictive capabilities is limited. Although physically based hydrologic models can accurately simulate changes in soil moisture and pore pressure that promote landslides, their utility...

Orland, Elijah; Roering, Joshua J.; Thomas, Matthew A.; Mirus, Benjamin B.

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Year Published: 2020

Human behavioral response in the Ridgecrest earthquakes: Assessing immediate actions based on data from “Did You Feel It?”

Human behavioral response to earthquake ground motion has long been a subject of multidisciplinary interest and research. In most versions of seismic intensity scales, human perceptions and behavior are one component of the assignment of intensity. Public health research has shown that actions taken during earthquakes have a significant impact on...

Goltz, James D.; Park, Hyejeong; Quitoriano, Vince; Wald, David J.

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Year Published: 2020

Structure contour and overburden maps of the Niobrara interval of the Upper Cretaceous Cody Shale in the Bighorn Basin, Wyoming and Montana

The Bighorn Basin is a large intermontane sedimentary and structural basin that formed during the Laramide orogeny. The first commercial hydrocarbon production in the Bighorn Basin was established in 1906 from Cretaceous reservoirs at Garland field followed by the discovery of Greybull field in 1907.  Since then, many important conventional...

Finn, Thomas M.
Finn, T.M., 2020, Structure contour and overburden maps of the Niobrara interval of the Upper Cretaceous Cody Shale in the Bighorn Basin, Wyoming and Montana: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3457, scale 1:500,000, 2 sheets, 9 p. pamphlet, https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3457.

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Year Published: 2020

Dating silica sinter (geyserite): A cautionary tale

We describe a new effort to date hydrothermal silica sinter deposits (geyserite) from the Upper Geyser Basin of Yellowstone National Park using 14C of co-deposited organic matter, U-series and cosmogenic 10Be methods. A majority of the samples were collected from stratigraphic sections, mainly at Riverside, Giant, and Castle Geysers. Ages obtained...

Churchill, Dakota M.; Manga, Michael; Hurwitz, Shaul; Peek, Sara; Licciardi, Joseph; Paces, James

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Year Published: 2020

U-Pb geochronology of igneous and detrital zircon samples from the Tok River area, eastern Alaska Range, and Talkeetna Mountains, Alaska

This Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys (DGGS) Raw Data File presents U-Pb zircon geochronology results from selected igneous, meta-igneous, and metasedimentary rocks collected during the Tok River and Wrangellia geologic mapping projects in the eastern Alaska Range and the northwestern Talkeetna Mountains, Alaska. The purpose...

Holm-Denoma, Christopher S.; Sicard, Karri R.; Twelker, Evan

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Year Published: 2020

The Great Acceleration of fragrances and PAHs archived in an ice core from Elbrus, Caucasus

The Great Acceleration of the anthropogenic impact on the Earth system is marked by the ubiquitous distribution of anthropogenic materials throughout the global environment, including technofossils, radionuclides and the exponential increases of methane and carbon dioxide concentrations. However, personal care products as direct tracers of human...

Vecchiato, Marco; Gambaro, Andrea; Kehrwald, Natalie; Ginot, Patrick; Kutuzov, Stanislav; Mikhalenko, Vladimir; Barbante, Carlo

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Year Published: 2020

Petrophysical and geomechanical properties of gas hydrate-bearing sediments recovered from Alaska North Slope 2018 Hydrate-01 Stratigraphic Test Well

Knowledge of petrophysical and geomechanical properties of gas hydrate-bearing sediments are essential for predicting reservoir responses to gas production. The same information is also needed for the designing of production well completions such as specifications for artificial lift, test site water storage capacity, and mesh size for the sand...

Yoneda, Jun; Jin, Yusuke; Muraoka, Michihiro; Oshima, Motoi; Suzuki, Kiyofumi; Walker, Mike; Westacott, Donald; Otsuki, Satoshi; Kumagai, Kenichi; Collett, Timothy; Boswell, Ray; Okinaka, Norihiro

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: 524
Creek Close up
August 13, 2015

Cement Creek Close Up

North Fork Cement Creek showing visual results of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) addition which increases the pH causing  precipitation of ferric (orange) and ferrous (green) iron hydroxides.  Latitude 37.89517, Longitude -107.64656.

Sediment sample close up.
August 13, 2015

Baker's Bridge Sediment Sample

Animas River samples at Baker's Bridge/Tall Timber Resort (USGS site ID 09359500).  Closeup view showing location of streambed sediment sample collection from right side of left channel where river splits into two channels upstream from the Riverside Resort.  Latitude 37.457297, Longitude -107.799803.

Device measuring pH
August 13, 2015

Measuring pH

Measuring pH at the outlet of the fourth settling pond downstream from the North Fork Cement Creek. Latitude 37.894451, Longitude -107.64763.

Culvert draining
August 12, 2015

GKM culvert draining

View of flume installation to measure discharge/flow in the culvert that collects flow from the Gold King Mine. Latitude 37.894631, Longitude -107.638288.

View of Cement Creek from USGS gage 09358550
August 12, 2015

Cement Creek near CC48

Cement Creek near the mouth at site CC48 (USGS site ID 09358550), location of stream gage whose data allowed calculation of the volume of water released during the Gold King Mine release. Latitude 37.8197222, Longitude -107.663056.

Waste pile
August 12, 2015

GKM Waste Pile

View of the waste pile below the Gold King Mine. Latitude 37.894429, Longitude -107.639135.

Cement Creek Downstream View
August 12, 2015

Cement Creek Downstream

Cement Creek downstream from CC48 Gage (USGS  site ID 09358550) and upstream from confluence with the Animas River near Silverton. Latitude 37.81975, Longitude -107.6624.

Pond constructed below GKM discharge
August 12, 2015

Gold King Mine Pond Edge

View of pond in North Fork of Cement Creek that receives the water from the Gold King Mine portal and native flow in North Fork Cement Creek, looking upstream, very little to no native flow is visible. Latitude 37.89401, Longitude -107.63821.

North Fork Cement Creek below Gold King pond.
August 12, 2015

North Fork of Cement Creek

View looking down from the Gold King waste pile showing North Fork Cement Creek downstream from the pond, and the confluence with Cement Creek valley in center, upper, right. Latitude 37.893895, Longitude -107.641154.

North Fork Cement Creek viewing upstream
August 12, 2015

Cement Creek

North Fork Cement Creek just upstream from sodium hydroxide (NaOH) addition (to raise pH), that was conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Looking upstream. Latitude 37.89517, Longitude -107.64656.

Three Water Samples
August 12, 2015

Water Sample Comparison

Photo showing contrast in clarity between water samples collected at sites A68 (USGS site ID 09358000), Animas River at Silverton, Colorado and upstream from Cement Creek; A72 (USGS site ID 09359020), Animas River downstream from Silverton; and CC48 (USGS site ID 09358550), Cement Creek at mouth. 

Constructed Pond
August 12, 2015

First Pond below Gold King Mine

First of four settling ponds located downstream from North Fork Cement Creek to facilitate settling of solids material after addition of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) to the North Fork Cement Creek.  Latitude 37.89451, Longitude -107.64763.

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: 362
USGS
May 27, 2004

A group of federal and university scientists today announced the launch of the Western Mountain Initiative, a 5-year effort funded by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to better understand ongoing changes in the mountains of the western United States.

USGS science for a changing world logo
May 14, 2004

America’s rivers and streams are generally suitable for irrigation, supplying drinking water, and home and recreational uses. However, in areas with significant agricultural and urban development, the quality of our nation’s water resources has been degraded by contaminants such as pesticides, nutrients, and gasoline-related compounds.

USGS
May 14, 2004

America’s rivers and streams are generally suitable for irrigation, supplying drinking water, and home and recreational uses. However, in areas with significant agricultural and urban development, the quality of our nation’s water resources has been degraded by contaminants such as pesticides, nutrients, and gasoline-related compounds.

USGS science for a changing world logo
April 26, 2004

Farmlands, wetlands, forests and deserts that composed the American landscape in the early 20th century have frequently been transformed during the past 30 years into mushrooming metropolitan areas as urbanization spreads across the country.

USGS
April 26, 2004

Farmlands, wetlands, forests and deserts that composed the American landscape in the early 20th century have frequently been transformed during the past 30 years into mushrooming metropolitan areas as urbanization spreads across the country.

USGS science for a changing world logo
February 9, 2004

A new report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) describes changes that have taken place in the High Plains aquifer from the time that significant ground-water pumping began in the 1940’s to the year 2000. 

USGS
February 9, 2004

A new report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) describes changes that have taken place in the High Plains aquifer from the time that significant ground-water pumping began in the 1940’s to the year 2000. The results show a six percent decrease in the volume of water stored in the High Plains (or Ogallala) aquifer.

USGS science for a changing world logo
October 28, 2003

The Department of the Interior will hold a national workshop on Nov. 4, 2003 to develop science and technology recommendations for Interior’s Water 2025 initiative that can help Western communities develop practical solutions to chronic water shortages.

USGS
October 28, 2003

The Department of the Interior will hold a national workshop on Nov. 4, 2003 to develop science and technology recommendations for Interior’s Water 2025 initiative that can help Western communities develop practical solutions to chronic water shortages.

USGS science for a changing world logo
October 8, 2003

Included this month:

Hurricane Isabel Makes Her Mark on the North Carolina Coast

Mayans in the Everglades?

Submerged Ice Bridge Reveals Ancient Secrets About Alaska

America’s Deepest Coral Reef

Young Tortises on Mojave’s Menu

Measuring Floods From A Distance

Is the World’s Fuel Tank on Empty?

USGS science for a changing world logo
August 8, 2003

Wesley Ward has been named Regional Executive for Geology for the Western Region of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The announcement of Ward’s new appointment was made by John D. Buffington, Western Regional Director, effective Aug. 11, 2003.

USGS science for a changing world logo
May 6, 2003

Streamflows in Utah are the lowest recorded in nearly 100 years, confirming what most Utahans have known for the past 4 years: the state is in a drought. According to a new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) fact sheet on present and historical droughts in the state, however, the unusual aspect of this drought is not its length but its severity.

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.

Filter Total Items: 324