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: 387
Date published: June 5, 2014
Status: Active

Aquifer Compaction, Recovery, and Land-surface Elevation Change in the Albuquerque Basin

In many groundwater basins in the arid to semiarid western United States, permanent regional-scale land-surface elevation change has resulted from substantial drawdown of groundwater levels. By the end of 2008, groundwater drawdown from municipal pumping in the Albuquerque area had reached as much as 120 feet below predevelopment (~1950s) water levels. In 2014 the USGS, in cooperation with the...

Contacts: Andre Ritchie
Date published: January 1, 2014
Status: Active

DEFEnS DEbris and Flood Early warNing System

The Waldo Canyon wildfire burned more than 18,000 acres within a perimeter of more than 19,000 acres. In response to the July and August 2013 floods in the Waldo Canyon watershed and in collaboration with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the U.S. Geological Survey developed a warning system for Waldo Canyon associated with a wildfire burn scar, which are at risk to debris...

Contacts: John W Fulton
Date published: December 3, 2013
Status: Completed

South Platte Groundwater Analysis

The South Platte River and underlying alluvial aquifer form an important hydrologic resource in northeastern Colorado that provides water to population centers along the Front Range and to agricultural communities across the rural plains. Water is regulated based on seniority of water rights and delivered using a network of administration structures that includes ditches, reservoirs, wells,...

Contacts: Suzanne Paschke
Date published: March 1, 2013
Status: Active

SWOT - Surface Water and Ocean Topography

Satellite altimetry associated with the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission offers a solution for measuring (1) river stage and slope, (2) water surface area including mean channel width and (3) derivatives such as river discharge. The measurements can be used to track changes in these variables and provide an accounting of the Earth's fresh-water bodies from space at the reach...

Contacts: John W Fulton
Date published: December 31, 2012
Status: Completed

Lower Yampa Streamflow and Sediment Modeling

Water from the Yampa River basin continues to be sought for a number of municipal, industrial, and energy uses.  Water development in the Yampa River basin will alter the streamflow regime and, consequently, will lead to changes in the transport and storage of suspended and bedload sediment.  Changes in the Yampa River sediment budget could lead to changes in channel geometry, riparian...

Date published: December 31, 2012
Status: Completed

Numerical simulation of groundwater flow in the Lost Creek Designated Groundwater Basin, Weld and Adams Counties, Colorado

The Lost Creek Designated Ground Water Basin (LCDGWB) is an important alluvial aquifer for water supply in northeastern Colorado. Increased demand for withdrawals from the LCDGWB has led to a concern about the long-term sustainability of the basin’s ground-water resources.

A numerical ground-water flow model developed using an early version of MODFLOW exists for the LCDGWB. A review and...

Contacts: Suzanne Paschke
Date published: September 30, 2012
Status: Completed

Water budget and potential for underground storage in the Buena Vista-Salida Basin in Chaffee and parts of Fremont, Lake, and Saguache Counties, Colorado, 2009-2012

Population increases in the Upper Arkansas Headwaters Region, which includes Chaffee, Custer, Fremont, and Lake Counties, Colorado, are forecast to increase about 75 percent by 2030.  An annual deficit gap between supply and demand of about 5,950 acre-feet is anticipated.  Groundwater in the area is tributary to the Arkansas River but the effects of additional groundwater use are poorly...

Date published: September 30, 2012
Status: Completed

Use of multivariate associations among species for detecting changes in native plains fish community structure in Colorado

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is responsible for monitoring the status of fishes in Colorado and currently seeks to establish a rigorous, efficient monitoring program for fishes that occur in stream habitats from the mountain-plains interface east to the Colorado state line. The primary goals of this program are to: 

  1. monitor the status of species of concern designated
  2. ...
Date published: June 25, 2012
Status: Active

Bandelier National Monument Postwildfire Flood Support

In the summer of 2011, the Las Conchas Fire burned 156,593 acres in the Jemez Mountains in northern NM including the upper watersheds of Frijoles and Capulin Canyons in Bandelier National Monument. The drastic removal of vegetation in the upper watersheds of these popular tourist destinations left them susceptible to dangerous and record breaking floods. As long as the threat of large post-...

Contacts: Anne C Tillery
Date published: June 1, 2012
Status: Active

South Platte Alluvial Aquifer Water-Level Monitoring

Reports indicate that groundwater levels are rising in parts of the South Platte alluvial aquifer.  The Colorado Division of  Water Resources and the Colorado Water Conservation Board are establishing a groundwater-level monitoring network in the South Platte basin.  The USGS National Water Quality Assessment Program (NAWQA) monitoring wells are uniquely located so as to be included in the...

Contacts: Suzanne Paschke
Date published: May 18, 2012
Status: Active

USGS Post-Wildfire Hydrologic Monitoring in New Mexico

USGS Gages in New Mexico Wildfire Areas
 

Contacts: Mark A Gunn
Date published: April 1, 2012
Status: Completed

Selenium Mobilization from Shales

Selenium (Se) and salinity (total dissolved solids) are water-quality concerns in much of the arid western US where agricultural and urban irrigation overlie Cretaceous-age shale.  Leaching of Se and salinity from shale can degrade water quality and negatively affect aquatic biota in receiving water bodies. In the upper Colorado River Basin, programs since 1985 have worked to reduce Se and...

Contacts: M. Alisa Mast

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: 5,264
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Year Published: 2020

Characterizing the diverse hydrogeology underlying rivers and estuaries using new floating transient electromagnetic methodology

The hydrogeology below large surface water features such as rivers and estuaries is universally under-informed at the long reach to basin scales (tens of km+). This challenge inhibits the accurate modeling of fresh/saline groundwater interfaces and groundwater/surface water exchange patterns at management-relevant spatial extents. Here we...

Lane, John W.; Briggs, Martin; Maurya, PK; White, Eric A.; Pedersen, JB; Auken, Esben; Terry, Neil; Minsley, Burke J; Kress, Wade; LeBlanc, Denis R.; Adams, Ryan F.; Johnson, Carole D.

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Year Published: 2020

Changes in climate and land cover affect seasonal streamflow forecasts in the Rio Grande headwaters

Seasonal streamflow forecast bias, changes in climate, snowpack, and land cover, and the effects of these changes on relations between basin‐wide snowpack, SNOw TELemetry (SNOTEL) station snowpack, and seasonal streamflow were evaluated in the headwaters of the Rio Grande, Colorado. Results indicate that shifts in the seasonality of precipitation...

Penn, Colin A.; Clow, David W.; Sexstone, Graham A.; Murphy, Sheila F.

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Year Published: 2020

The impact of sediment supply on the initiation and magnitude of runoff-generated debris flows

Rainfall intensity‐duration (ID) thresholds are commonly used to assess the potential for runoff‐generated debris flows, but the sensitivity of these thresholds to sediment supply, which can change rapidly with time, is relatively unexplored. Furthermore, debris flows often self‐organize into distinct surges, but the factors controlling the...

Tang, Hui; McGuire, Luke A.; Kean, Jason W.; Smith, Joel B.

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Year Published: 2020

Repeatable source, path, and site effects from the 2019 Ridgecrest M7.1 earthquake sequence

We use a large instrumental dataset from the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake sequence (Rekoske et al., 2019, 2020) to examine repeatable source‐, path‐, and site‐specific ground motions. A mixed‐effects analysis is used to partition total residuals relative to the Boore et al. (2014; hereafter, BSSA14) ground‐motion...

Parker, Grace Alexandra; Baltay, Annemarie S.; Rekoske, John; Thompson, Eric M.

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Year Published: 2020

Geometric controls on megathrust earthquakes

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

Plescia, Steven M.; Hayes, Gavin P.

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Year Published: 2020

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

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

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

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Year Published: 2020

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

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

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

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Year Published: 2020

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

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

Ramirez-Guzman, Leonardo; Hartzell, Stephen H.

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Year Published: 2020

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

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

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

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Year Published: 2020

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

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

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

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Year Published: 2020

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

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

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

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Year Published: 2020

Quantifying uncertainty for remote spectroscopy of surface composition

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

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

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: 523
Close up of Minisipper
August 11, 2015

Minisipper

Photo of submersible Minisipper sampling device used to collect multiple water-quality samples during multiple-day deployment. At several locations downstream from the Gold King Mine following the Gold King Mine release on August 5, 2015.

Island near Durango, Colorado
August 11, 2015

Island Streambed Sampling

Island upstream from City of Durango, Colorado's water intake structure where streambed sediments were sampled.  Latitude 37.26428, Longitude -107.8812.

Minisipper at water intake
August 11, 2015

Minisipper at Durango

Minisipper location at City of Durango water intake structure.  Minisipper installed by USGS to collect multiple water-quality samples. Latitude 37.26428, Longitude -107.8812.

Stagecoach Lake, Steamboat, Colorado
July 31, 2015

Stagecoach Lake, Steamboat, Colorado

Sunset at Stagecoach Lake, Steamboat, Colorado

USGS Researchers on a glacial moraine boulder collecting a sample for cosmogenic beryllium-10 exposure dating.
July 16, 2015

Collecting glacial moraine boulder samples

This is an example of a boulder that is part of a glacial deposit in the southern Sawatch Mountains of Colorado. The moraine slopes down to the left side of the frame; this slope is modified from teh original depositional shape of the moraine deposit. A NAGT student intern is using a Brunton compass clinometer to measure the inclination of hte horizon above horizontal.

...
Image: Pitchfork Ranch, Wyoming
July 7, 2015

Pitchfork Ranch, Wyoming

Over 30 organizations and agencies are testing a USGS-developed oral sylvatic plague vaccine (SPV) at sites such as the Pitchfork Ranch in Wyoming, pictured here. If successful, the SPV could help protect endangered black-footed ferret populations in the western U.S. because the

...
Using a bridge crane to measure streamflow, Powder River at Arvada
May 27, 2015

Using a bridge crane to measure streamflow, Powder River at Arvada

Using a bridge crane to measure streamflow, Powder River at Arvada

May 22, 2015

Fumaroles in Norris Geyser Basin

Fumaroles (venting gas and steam) at the base of Porcelain Terrace in the Norris Geyser Basin, Yellowstone.

Water-quality sampling for pesticides, Shoshone River near Lovell
May 14, 2015

Water-quality sampling for pesticides, Shoshone River near Lovell

Water-quality sampling for pesticides, Shoshone River near Lovell

Lowering pump down monitoring well to sample for pesticides
May 14, 2015

Lowering pump down monitoring well to sample for pesticides

Lowering pump down monitoring well to sample for pesticides

Water-quality sampling from Salt River cableway
May 13, 2015

Water-quality sampling from Salt River cableway

Water-quality sampling from Salt River cableway

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: 359
USGS
December 16, 2002

The USGS has just completed an assessment of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and natural gas resources in five geologic basins in the Rocky Mountain region.

USGS science for a changing world logo
December 3, 2002

Two reports published in a leading science journal cast doubt on the importance of ultraviolet-b radiation (UV-B) as a factor driving amphibian population declines. Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the University of Washington, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency just released their research findings in the journal Ecology.

USGS
October 28, 2002

Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will present new research on a variety of topics at the annual GSA meeting at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, October 27-30. A few highlights include:

USGS
April 26, 2002

Unexploded shells. Contaminated soils. Polluted groundwater. Military bases across the country are working to restore and protect the environment.

USGS science for a changing world logo
January 30, 2002

University of Utah seismologists will be on duty around-the-clock during the Olympics, armed with a new $1.2 million system so they can quickly supply public safety information if any disruptive earthquakes shake the 2002 Winter Games.

USGS
January 30, 2002

University of Utah seismologists will be on duty around-the-clock during the Olympics, armed with a new $1.2 million system so they can quickly supply public safety information if any disruptive earthquakes shake the 2002 Winter Games.

USGS science for a changing world logo
December 28, 2001

New GPS users, or people considering buying a GPS receiver, as well as, hikers, hunters, and other outdoor enthusiasts will benefit from the free workshops offered by the USGS on map reading, compass reading, and using GPS.

USGS
December 28, 2001

New GPS users, or people considering buying a GPS receiver, as well as, hikers, hunters, and other outdoor enthusiasts will benefit from the free workshops offered by the USGS on map reading, compass reading, and using GPS.

USGS science for a changing world logo
September 24, 2001

Geochemical analyses using strontium isotopes show that many of the timbers used to build the prehistoric great houses of Chaco Canyon, N.M., between A.D. 900 and 1150, were hand-carried to the building site from isolated mountaintops 50 to 60 miles away, according to four Arizona scientists.

USGS science for a changing world logo
August 23, 2001

Today, August 23, all 185 Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Native American schools are connected to the Internet, marking the completion of the Access Native America (ANA) project. Interior Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Neal A. McCaleb will today bring the last school online, the Chichiltah/Jones Ranch Community School located on the Navajo reservation in Chichiltah, N.M.

USGS
August 23, 2001

Today, August 23, all 185 Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Native American schools are connected to the Internet, marking the completion of the Access Native America (ANA) project.

USGS science for a changing world logo
June 12, 2001

The geology of Colorado National Monument and surrounding areas is presented in a new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) map that is designed to serve visitors as well as students and the most ardent scientist.

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