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: 5,340
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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

Now trending … Earthquake information

The U.S. Geological Survey Earthquake Hazards Program has overall successfully fulfilled its mission of providing timely earthquake information via web applications and other methods. Imagine a single month of earthquake data delivery, serving 3.6 billion total data requests, including 29 million pageviews by 7.1 million users, 606 million...

Leith, William S.; Fee, Jeremy; Martinez, Eric M.; Lastowka, Lynda 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

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Year Published: 2020

Steps taken for calculating estimated ultimate recoveries of wells in the Eagle Ford Group and associated Cenomanian–Turonian strata, U.S. Gulf Coast, Texas, 2018

In 2018, the U.S. Geological Survey published an assessment of technically recoverable continuous oil and gas resources of the Eagle Ford Group and associated Cenomanian–Turonian strata in the U.S. Gulf Coast of Texas. Estimated ultimate recoveries (EURs) were calculated with production data from IHS MarkitTM using DeclinePlus software in the...

Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.
Leathers-Miller, H.M., 2020, Steps taken for calculating estimated ultimate recoveries of wells in the Eagle Ford Group and associated Cenomanian–Turonian strata, U.S. Gulf Coast, Texas, 2018: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2020–5077, 5 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20205077.

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: 525
Soil Sample in Scoop
August 13, 2015

Animas River Sample

Animas River downstream from Silverton, Colorado, showing streambed sediment collected from right bank backwater area in scoop, and from left bank cobble area (in jar) near USGS stream gage at site A72 (USGS site ID 09359020). Latitude 37.789964, Longitude -107.667394.

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. 

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: 363
USGS
June 22, 2004

A 5-year study by the U.S. Geological Survey on the occurrence and distribution of trace elements and synthetic organic compounds in sediment and fish from the Great Salt Lake Basin area of Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming found that trace elements were elevated in areas affected by historic mining, and organic compounds were highest at sites with urban and agricultural land use.

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.

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