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: September 30, 2009
Status: Completed

Development of a fecal contamination monitoring and control strategy in upper Fountain Creek, Colorado

Fountain Creek is a high-gradient stream on the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. The headwaters of Fountain Creek drain Pikes Peak, a major destination for tourism. Fountain Creek is a drinking-water source for the City of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and is used for irrigation, recreation, and other purposes between Colorado Springs and the confluence with the Arkansas River at...

Contacts: David P Mau
Date published: June 21, 2009
Status: Completed

NAWQA High Plains Regional Groundwater Study

As part of the National Water Quality Assessment Program (NAWQA), the USGS has evaluated ground-water quality in the High Plains aquifer system. Beginning in 1999 and continuing for a period of 6 years, the High Plains Regional Groundwater Study intensively investigated the...

Date published: April 1, 2009
Status: Active

Snowpack Sublimation - Measurements and Modeling in the Colorado River Basin

Snow is an essential resource in the western United States (U.S.), providing water for drinking, irrigation, industry, energy production, and ecosystems across much of the region.  In the mountains of the western U.S., most precipitation falls as snow, which accumulates in seasonal snowpacks that serve as a large natural reservoir.

Snowpack sublimation, which is analogous to evaporation...

Date published: January 1, 2009
Status: Completed

Loutzenhizer Arroyo Water Quality Monitoring activities in the Lower Gunnison Basin

Emerging water-quality issues within Delta, Montrose, and Mesa counties reflect changing land use practices, housing development and related pressures due to growth. Significant amounts of data have been collected by members of the Gunnison Basin Selenium Task Force as it relates to selenium related water-quality problems.  

    Contacts: Kenneth J Leib
    Date published: January 1, 2009
    Status: Active

    Characterization of Selenium Sources in the Lower Gunnison River Basin

    High concentrations of dissolved selenium have been detected in the lower Gunnison River basin including the Uncompahgre River basin. Butler and others (1991 and 1996) identified the highest concentrations of selenium in surface waters in areas that are irrigated on soils derived from Mancos Shale. In July 1997, the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission amended the classifications and...

    Contacts: Kenneth J Leib
    Date published: October 11, 2008
    Status: Completed

    RCMAP - Roaring Fork River at Basalt, 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 Roaring Fork...

    Contacts: Cory A Williams
    Date published: October 1, 2008
    Status: Completed

    Upper Gunnison River Water-Quality Data

    The Upper Gunnison River Watershed, located in the Rocky Mountains 150 miles southwest of Denver, Colorado, drains approximately 3,965 square miles. Forest and rangeland comprise 89 percent of land within the watershed, but the traditional western ranching economy is increasingly supplemented through a tourism economy centered around Crested Butte Mountain Resort and the Curecanti National...

    Contacts: Kenneth J Leib
    Date published: July 1, 2008
    Status: Active

    Upper Arkansas Toxic-Substances Hydrology

    Since 1986, the USGS Hard-Rock Mining Toxic-Substances Hydrology Project has focused on metal transport in streams affected by mining.

    The approach is to study chemical processes within a hydrologic context, using a two-step approach:

    • First, the USGS used instream experimentation to provide data about the processes affecting metals.
    • Second, the USGS used the
    • ...
    Date published: March 1, 2008
    Status: Completed

    Effects of Urbanization on Salinity and Selenium Loading in Montrose Arroyo, Western Colorado

    Salinity and dissolved selenium are known water-quality impairments in the lower Gunnison River watershed of western Colorado. Salinity is a concern because of its adverse effects on agricultural land and equipment, and on municipal and industrial users. The Montrose Arroyo watershed in Montrose, Colorado, contains agricultural and residential areas as well as undeveloped land and has...

    Date published: October 1, 2007
    Status: Completed

    Southwest Study Area Water-Quality Data

    In southwest Colorado, drought, wildfires, mining activities, agriculture, and population growth have altered the landscape from its natural condition. These changes have potentially degraded the water-quality of streams, rivers, reservoirs, and groundwater by introducing or increasing levels of metals, nutrients, synthetic organic chemicals, and sediment. Recognizing the need to understand...

    Contacts: Kenneth J Leib
    Date published: September 30, 2007
    Status: Completed

    USGS Abandoned Mine Lands Initiative

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) conducted an Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) Initiative during the fiscal years 1997 through 2001 to provide technical assistance in support of Federal Land Management Agency (FLMA) actions to remediate contamination associated with abandoned hard rock mining activities. This initiative was part of a larger strategy by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U....

    Date published: September 30, 2007
    Status: Completed

    Simulated Effects of Proposed Southern Delivery System Alternatives on Hydrodynamics and Water Quality of Pueblo Reservoir Using a Two-Dimensional Hydrodynamic and Water-Quality Model, Pueblo, Colorado

    Pueblo Reservoir is one of southeastern Colorado's most valuable water resources. The reservoir provides irrigation, municipal, and industrial water to various entities throughout the region. The reservoir also provides flood control, recreational activities, sport fishing, and wildlife enhancement to the region.

    The Bureau of Reclamation is working to meet its goal to issue a Final...

    Contacts: David P Mau

    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: 5,333
    Publication Thumbnail
    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.

    Publication Thumbnail
    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.

    Publication Thumbnail
    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

    Publication Thumbnail
    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

    Publication Thumbnail
    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

    Publication Thumbnail
    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

    Publication Thumbnail
    Year Published: 2020

    Rethinking groundwater flow on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, USA: Characterizing recharge sources and flow paths with environmental tracers

    In the arid landscape south of the Grand Canyon, natural springs and seeps are a critical resource for endemic species and Native American tribes. Groundwater is potentially threatened by expanding populations, visitations, and mineral extraction activities. Environmental tracers including noble gases, stable isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen in...

    Solder, John E.; Beisner, Kimberly R.; Anderson, Jessica; Bills, Donald J.

    Publication Thumbnail
    Year Published: 2020

    Mobility characteristics of landslides triggered by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico

    Mobility is an important element of landslide hazard and risk assessments yet has been seldom studied for shallow landslides and debris flows in tropical environments. In September 2017, Hurricane Maria triggered > 70,000 landslides across Puerto Rico. Using aerial imagery and a lidar digital elevation model (DEM), we mapped and characterized...

    Bessette-Kirton, Erin K.; Coe, Jeffrey A.; Schulz, William; Cerovski-Darriau, Corina; Einbund, Mason Muir

    Publication Thumbnail
    Year Published: 2020

    Magnetic field variations in Alaska: Recording space weather events on seismic stations in Alaska

    Seismometers are highly sensitive instruments to not only ground motion but also many other nonseismic noise sources (e.g., temperature, pressure, and magnetic field variations). We show that the Alaska component of the Transportable Array is particularly susceptible to recording magnetic storms and other space weather events because the sensors...

    Ringler, Adam T.; Anthony, Robert E.; Wilson, David C.; Claycomb, Abram E.; Spritzer, John

    Publication Thumbnail
    Year Published: 2020

    Evidence for a concealed Midcontinent Rift-related northeast Iowa intrusive complex

    Large amplitude aeromagnetic and gravity anomalies over a ~9500 km2 area of northeast Iowa and southeast Minnesota have been interpreted to reflect the northeast Iowa intrusive complex (NEIIC), a buried intrusive igneous complex composed of mafic/ultramafic rocks in the Yavapai Province (1.8–1.7 Ga). Hundreds of meters of Paleozoic...

    Drenth, Benjamin J.; Souders, A. Kate; Schulz, Klaus J.; Feinberg, Joshua M.; Anderson, Raymond R.; Chandler, Val W.; Cannon, William F.; Clark, Ryan

    Publication Thumbnail
    Year Published: 2020

    A rasterized building footprint dataset for the United States

    Microsoft released a U.S.-wide vector building dataset in 2018. Although the vector building layers provide relatively accurate geometries, their use in large-extent geospatial analysis comes at a high computational cost. We used High-Performance Computing (HPC) to develop an algorithm that calculates six summary values for each cell in a raster...

    Pourpeikari Heris, Mehdi; Foks, Nathan Leon; Bagstad, Kenneth J.; Troy, Austin; Ancona, Zachary H.

    Publication Thumbnail
    Year Published: 2020

    Design and operations of the Hydrate 01 Stratigraphic test well, Alaska North Slope

    The National Energy Technology Laboratory, the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation, and the U.S. Geological Survey are leading an effort to conduct an extended gas hydrate production test in northern Alaska. The proposed production test required the drilling of an initial stratigraphic test well (STW) to confirm the geologic conditions...

    Collett, Timothy S.; Zyrianova, Margarita V.; Okinaka, Norihiro; Wakatsuki, Motoi; Boswell, Ray; Marsteller, Scott; Minge, David; Crumley, Stephen; Itter, David; Hunter, Robert D.

    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
    Image: Colorado River near Moab
    December 24, 2014

    Colorado River near Moab

    The Colorado River as it runs near Moab, UT, surrounded by sandstone cliffs.

    Photo of an active oil and gas pad on Bureau of Land Management lands near Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
    November 30, 2014

    Active oil and gas pad near Canyonlands National Park

    Active oil and gas pad on Bureau of Land Management lands near Canyonlands National Park, Utah.

    View into Green River Basin from Wyoming Range, Dry Piney Basin
    November 11, 2014

    View into Green River Basin from Wyoming Range, Dry Piney Basin

    View into Green River Basin from Wyoming Range, Dry Piney Basin

    A managed wildfire burns in a Ponderosa pine stand, New Mexico
    October 8, 2014

    A managed wildfire burns in a Ponderosa pine stand, New Mexico

    A managed wildfire burns in a Ponderosa pine stand, New Mexico

    Earth As Art image of Utah, Arizona
    October 4, 2014

    Cloud Lightning

    What looks like lightning arcing through an ominous cloud is actually a dry landscape of rocky buttes in southern Utah and northeastern Arizona. River channels flow north from Arizona into the San Juan River. The light vertical feature at the top of the image is referred to as Comb Ridge, a jagged fold in the Earth's crust called a monocline.

    • Collection: Earth
    ...
    An archaeologist and fire scientist looking at the burned ground of a forest to assess impacts of wildfires on archaeological si
    September 30, 2014

    Assessing impacts to archaeological sites through collaboration

    Archaeologists and fire scientists collaborate to assess impacts of wildfires on archaeological sites in the Jemez Mountains, New Mexico

    hand holding a sherd, a fragment of an ancient vessel
    September 30, 2014

    How fire research can help reduce cultural resource fire damage

    Pre- and post-fire measurements of fire effects can help archaeologists and fire scientists determine how wildfires and prescribed fires impact cultural resources, and how management actions may reduce likelihood of damage

    Installing piezometer on the bank of the New Fork River
    September 28, 2014

    Installing piezometer on the bank of the New Fork River

    Installing piezometer on the bank of the New Fork River

    Installing stream thermistor at New Fork Groundwater Streamgage
    September 25, 2014

    Installing stream thermistor at New Fork Groundwater Streamgage

    Installing stream thermistor at New Fork Groundwater Streamgage

    Confluence of New Fork (foreground) and Green Rivers
    September 25, 2014

    Confluence of New Fork (foreground) and Green Rivers

    Confluence of New Fork (foreground) and Green Rivers

     Confluence of Cement Creek and the Animas River in Colorado
    August 30, 2014

    Confluence of Cement Creek and the Animas River in Colorado

    Although the visual picture of mixing zones at stream confluences appears straightforward, such as this one at the confluence of Cement Creek and the Animas River in Colorado, the chemical reactions that occur make them extremely complex from a water-quality perspective.

    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 science for a changing world logo
    December 7, 2000

    Neither a tree-dweller nor a night bird, and roughly the size of a chicken, the Gunnison sage-grouse is not a particularly secretive bird yet just recently has it been identified as a new species of bird. 

    USGS
    December 7, 2000

    Neither a tree-dweller nor a night bird, and roughly the size of a chicken, the Gunnison sage-grouse is not a particularly secretive bird yet just recently has it been identified as a new species of bird.

    USGS
    November 1, 2000

    Native resident fish species, such as the Sacramento sucker and tule perch, are still commonly found in streams of the Sacramento River Basin in Northern California according to a recent U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) report. 

    USGS
    May 26, 2000

    New maps that combine the image characteristics of an aerial photograph with the geometric qualities of a map got a workout during recent efforts to contain wildfires in New Mexico.

    USGS
    March 29, 2000

    Recent deaths of endangered boreal toads in Rocky Mountain National Park have been linked to a chytrid fungus and are the second such diagnosis in Colorado, according to scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey.

    USGS
    October 27, 1999

    Dr. Mary Lou Zoback, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey and chief of that agency’s earthquake hazards program in Menlo Park, Calif., became the new president of the Geological Society of America (GSA), Wednesday, October 27, during the organization’s annual meeting at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colo.

    USGS
    September 10, 1999

    Recent deaths of endangered boreal toads in one of the largest remaining populations in the southern Rocky Mountains have been linked to a chytrid fungus identified last year as being responsible for amphibian die-offs in Central America and Australia, according to pathologists at the USGS National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wis.

    USGS
    August 18, 1999

    Have you ever wondered about those rocks in your yard? Have you been curious about the dinosaurs that used to roam Colorado? Are you curious about how maps are made, what grizzly bears eat or how water is tested? 

    USGS
    July 28, 1999

    A new screening method, based on geology and climatology, has been shown to be a reliable means for predicting where lands in irrigated areas are susceptible to contamination from selenium, according to a report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and Bureau of Indian Affairs.

    USGS
    May 3, 1999

    Retired U.S. Geological Survey geologist E. Bartlett "Bart" Ekren of Ft. Collins, Colo. was awarded the Dibblee Medal by the Dibblee Geological Foundation, on Friday, April 30 at the annual Pacific Section Meeting of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists for his innovative, high quality, and societally important contributions to understanding the geology of the Western United States.

    USGS
    April 6, 1999

    Even the most complex household move would pale in comparison to the daunting task that faced the U.S. Geological Survey last week. Its National Water Quality Laboratory moved from Arvada, Colo. to the Denver Federal Center and a new facility which is leased by the USGS from the General Services Administration.

    USGS
    March 22, 1999

    Wendy Romney Hassibe, recently retired leader and manager with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Denver, Colo., died suddenly after suffering a stroke on March 11 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

    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.