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: August 8, 2007
Status: Completed

Groundwater Availability Analysis of the Denver Groundwater Basin

The Denver Basin aquifer system is a critical water resource for growing municipal, industrial, and domestic uses along the semiarid Front Range urban corridor of Colorado. The confined bedrock aquifer system is located along the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountain Front Range where the mountains meet the Great Plains physiographic province. Mining, transportation, agricultural,
and urban...

Contacts: Suzanne Paschke
Date published: August 2, 2007
Status: Completed

Prediction of suspended-sediment transport and identification of sediment source areas in the Fountain Creek watershed

 The Fountain Creek drainage network currently is in a precarious geomorphic situation. This situation arises because:

  1. the Palmer Divide and the Rampart Range have the potential to cause very high orographically induced rainfall rates
  2. east of the foothills, streams within the watershed flow through valley bottoms filled with easily eroded alluvial sediments
  3. there
  4. ...
Date published: June 25, 2007
Status: Completed

Eagle Creek Basin Water Budget and Effects of Groundwater Pumping on Streamflow in North Fork Eagle Creek, Lincoln County, New Mexico

North Fork Eagle Creek is located in the Sacramento Mountains of south-central New Mexico. Urban and resort development have placed increasing demands on surface- and ground-water resources of the area. The Village of Ruidoso obtains 60 to 70 percent of its water supply from the Eagle Creek basin, including 4 wells (the North Fork wells) on U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service land....

Date published: June 20, 2007
Status: Active

Chemical Modeling of Acid Waters Questa Baseline and Pre-Mining Ground-Water Quality Investigation, Red River Valley Basin, New Mexico

The US Geological Survey and the New Mexico Environment Department entered into a Joint Powers Agreement as of April 30, 2001 to execute an investigation of baseline and pre-mining ground-water quality in the Red River Basin, New Mexico. The main objective is to infer the pre-mining ground-water quality at the Questa Molycorp mine site. This study was formulated because New Mexico law states...

Contacts: Nathan C Myers
Date published: May 17, 2007
Status: Active

Comprehensive Water-Quality Study for the Arkansas River Basin, Colorado

Changes in land and water use associated with population growth and agricultural practices within the Arkansas River Basin are likely to affect water-quality on a local and, possibly, a basin-wide scale. To manage the limited water resources in the basin most effectively it is important to understand the processes that affect water quality within the basin and how future changes in land and...

Date published: March 7, 2007
Status: Completed

Chemical Modeling of Consequences of Surface-Water Delivery Through Existing City of Albuquerque Infrastructure

The City of Albuquerque has historically obtained all of its municipal-supply water from production wells completed in sediment of the Santa Fe Group aquifer system. Like several communities in the Rio Grande Valley and various parts of the arid Southwest, Albuquerque has evaluated the use of surface water as a means to improve sustainability of its municipal water supply. The City currently...

Date published: December 15, 2006
Status: Completed

Aquatic communities and associated water chemistry in the St. Vrain River near the City of Longmont wastewater-treatment plant

The St. Vrain River watershed in northeastern Colorado has experienced rapid urban growth over the last two decades. Population growth has led to increased volumes being treated at wastewater-treatment plants (WWTPs) in the basin. In the last two decades, in-stream restoration efforts and new treatment technologies have been implemented by the City of Longmont, with the goal of improving water...

Contacts: Nancy J Bauch
Date published: November 21, 2006
Status: Completed

RCMAP - Lake Fork at Gateview, 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.

Land use in the...

Contacts: Cory A Williams
Date published: June 6, 2006
Status: Active

Floods Analysis

Accurate estimations of flood discharges at bridge or culvert sites is required to provide cost-effective design of that structure. Streamflow-gaging stations, for which flood data are available, are usually located in major perennial drainage basins that are not representative of sites where common bridge and culvert designs are needed.

In 1942, the USGS, in cooperation with the New...

Contacts: Anne C Tillery
Date published: June 5, 2006
Status: Completed

Rio Grande Travel Times

The City of Albuquerque will begin accepting delivery of imported San Juan-Chama water to supplement present municipal water supplies as part of the City's Drinking Water Project (DWP). The City's San Juan-Chama water will be diverted from the Rio Grande near Alameda Bridge in Albuquerque, transported to a treatment facility, and eventually distributed to customers.

Water in the Rio...

Contacts: For contact information, please reach out to:
Date published: May 14, 2006
Status: Completed

Analysis of the Magnitude and Frequency of Peak Discharge in the Navajo Nation and Surrounding Region, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico

Estimates of the magnitude and frequency of peak discharges on unregulated streams at gaging stations or ungaged stream sites in the Navajo Nation in Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico are necessary for flood hazard mapping.

Contacts: Anne C Tillery
Date published: October 1, 2005
Status: Completed

Numerical simulation of the cumulative effects of land-use change and aggregate mines on ground-water flow and wetlands along the South Platte River, Brighton to Fort Lupton, Colorado

The South Platte River valley between the City of Brighton in Adams County and the town of Fort Lupton in Weld County, Colorado, contains many wetland areas that provide habitat for wildlife in the Front Range Urban Corridor. The extent of aggregate mining along this reach of the South Platte River valley continues to increase as the demand for aggregate grows in response to urban development...

Contacts: Suzanne Paschke

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: 5,295
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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

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Year Published: 2020

Temporal and spatial variability of shallow soil moisture across four planar hillslopes on a tropical ocean island, San Cristóbal, Galápagos

Study Region: This paper provides a summary of findings from temporal and spatial studies of soil water content on planar hillslopes across the equatorial island of San Cristóbal, Galápagos (Ecuador). Study Focus: Soil water content (SWC) was measured to generate temporal and spatial records to determine seasonal variation and to investigate how...

Percy, Madelyn S.; Riveros-Iregui, Diego A.; Mirus, Benjamin B.; Benninger, Larry K.

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Year Published: 2020

Landslides across the United States: Occurrence, susceptibility, and data limitations

Detailed information about landslide occurrence is the foundation for advancing process understanding, susceptibility mapping, and risk reduction. Despite the recent revolution in digital elevation data and remote sensing technologies, landslide mapping remains resource intensive. Consequently, a modern, comprehensive map of landslide occurrence...

Mirus, Benjamin B.; Jones, Eric S.; Baum, Rex L.; Godt, Jonathan W.; Slaughter, Stephen Lee; Crawford, Matthew; Lancaster, Jeremy T.; Stanley, Thomas; Kirschbaum, Dalia; Burns, William J.; Schmitt, Robert G.; Lindsey, Kassandra O; McCoy, Kevin

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Year Published: 2020

Nontuberculous mycobacterial disease and molybdenum in Colorado watersheds

Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are environmental bacteria that may cause chronic lung disease. Environmental factors that favor NTM growth likely increase the risk of NTM exposure within specific environments. We aimed to identify water-quality constituents (Al, As, Cd, Ca, Cu, Fe, Pb, Mg, Mn, Mo, Ni, K, Se, Na, Zn, and pH) associated with NTM...

Lipner, Ettie M; French, Joshua; Bern, Carleton R.; Walton-Day, Katie; Knox, David; Strong, Michael; Prevots, D. Rebecca; Crooks, James L

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Year Published: 2020

Hydrothermal activity in the southwest Yellowstone Plateau Volcanic Field

In the past two decades, the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Park Service have studied hydrothermal activity across the Yellowstone Plateau Volcanic Field (YPVF) to improve the understanding of the magmatic-hydrothermal system and to provide a baseline for detecting future anomalous activity. In 2017 and 2018 we sampled water and gas over...

Hurwitz, Shaul; McCleskey, R. Blaine; Bergfeld, Deborah; Peek, Sara; Susong, David; Roth, David A.; Hungerford, Jefferson; White, Erin B; Harrison, Lauren; Hosseini, Behnaz; Vaughan, R. Greg; Hunt, Andrew G.; Paces, James

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Year Published: 2020

Quantifying trends in arsenic, nitrate, and dissolved solids from selected wells in Utah

Groundwater makes up a primary portion of the water supply in many parts of Utah, with annual withdrawals estimated at more than 1,000,000 acre-feet per year. Increases to groundwater withdrawal and land use may negatively impact water availability. Ensuring availability of clean water requires understanding how water quality has changed over time...

Miller, Olivia L.
Miller, O.L., 2020, Quantifying trends in arsenic, nitrate, and dissolved solids from selected wells in Utah: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2020–5047, 80 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20205047.

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Year Published: 2020

Evaluating the potential role of bioactive chemicals on the distribution of invasive Asian carp upstream and downstream from river mile 278 in the Illinois waterway

Two non-native carp species have invaded the Illinois Waterway and are a threat to Great Lakes ecosystems. Poor water quality in the upper Illinois Waterway, may be a factor contributing to the stalling of the carp population front near river mile 278. In 2015, the U.S. Geological Survey collected 4 sets of water samples from two sites upstream...

Battaglin, William A.; Duncker, James J.; Terrio, Paul J.; Bradley, Paul; Barber, Larry; DeCicco, Laura A.

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Year Published: 2020

Water-table elevation maps for 2008 and 2016 and water-table elevation changes in the aquifer system underlying eastern Albuquerque, New Mexico

The addition of surface water from the San Juan-Chama Drinking Water Project to the Albuquerque water supply and the reduction in per capita water use has led to decreased groundwater withdrawals. This decrease in withdrawals has resulted in rising groundwater levels since 2008 in portions of the aquifer underlying Albuquerque. The wells used to...

Flickinger, Allison K.; Mitchell, Aurelia C.
Flickinger, A.K., and Mitchell, A.C., 2020, Water-table elevation maps for 2008 and 2016 and water-table elevation changes in the aquifer system underlying eastern Albuquerque, New Mexico: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020–1036, 9 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20201036.

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Year Published: 2020

Geometric and material variability influences stress states relevant to coastal permafrost bluff failure

Scientific knowledge and engineering tools for predicting coastal erosion are largely confined to temperate climate zones that are dominated by non-cohesive sediments. The pattern of erosion exhibited by the ice-bonded permafrost bluffs in Arctic Alaska, however, is not well explained by these tools. Investigation of the oceanographic, thermal,...

Thomas, Matthew A.; Mota, Alejandro; Jones, Benjamin M.; Choens, R. Charles; Frederick, Jennifer M.; Bull, Diana L.

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Year Published: 2020

The influence of frequency and duration of seismic ground motion on the size of triggered landslides—A regional view

Observation, theory, and intuition all suggest that larger earthquakes should trigger larger landslides. Many factors could contribute to this, including depth-dependent shear strength or non-linearity of ground motion in soils and rock, but we hypothesize that the key characteristics of large earthquakes causing this phenomenon are (in addition...

Jibson, Randall W.; Tanyaş, Hakan

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Year Published: 2020

Fluoride occurrence in United States groundwater

Data from 38,105 wells were used to characterize fluoride (F) occurrence in untreated United States (U.S.) groundwater. For domestic wells (n = 11,032), water from which is generally not purposely fluoridated or monitored for quality, 10.9% of the samples have F concentrations >0.7 mg/L (U.S. Public Health Service recommended optimal F...

McMahon, Peter B.; Brown, Craig J.; Johnson, Tyler D.; Belitz, Kenneth; Lindsey, Bruce D.

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Year Published: 2020

Trends in thermal maturity indicators for the organic sulfur-rich Eagle Ford Shale

Thermal maturity is critical to evaluate petroleum systems and to interpret biomarker results for paleoenvironmental and geobiology studies. Many thermal maturity indices were developed for marine source rocks containing type II kerogen, but their behavior in organic sulfur-rich source rocks requires more investigation. Here, we present...

French, Katherine L.; Birdwell, Justin E.; Lewan, Michael

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
Flames consume woody fuels in a managed wildfire, New Mexico
August 2, 2014

Flames consume woody fuels in a managed wildfire, New Mexico

Flames consume woody fuels in a managed wildfire, New Mexico

Flames from a managed wildfire consume surface fuels, New Mexico
August 2, 2014

Flames from a managed wildfire consume surface fuels, New Mexico

Flames from a managed wildfire consume surface fuels, New Mexico

A convective smoke plume from a managed wildfire rises above Ponderosa pine trees, New Mexico
August 2, 2014

A convective smoke plume from a managed wildfire

A convective smoke plume from a managed wildfire rises above Ponderosa pine trees, New Mexico

August 1, 2014

Debris Flow Monitoring at Chalk Cliffs, CO (2014)

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 August 1, 2014. The video includes two different views of an

Little Powder River above Dry Week, near Weston, Wyoming
July 14, 2014

Little Powder River above Dry Week, near Weston, Wyoming

Little Powder River above Dry Week, near Weston, Wyoming

Flowing well used for stock water, Green River Basin
July 10, 2014

Flowing well used for stock water, Green River Basin

Flowing well used for stock water, Green River Basin

Wind turbines in Wyoming.
June 10, 2014

Wind turbines in Wyoming.

Wind turbines working in Wyoming. 

Looking upstream from bridge, Tongue river, Monarch
June 4, 2014

Looking upstream from bridge, Tongue river, Monarch

Looking upstream from bridge, Tongue river, Monarch

truck and camper trailer Onaqui SageStep field site
April 28, 2014

Onaqui SageStep field site, field camp

Field site truck and trailer at the Onaqui SageStep field site, field camp

A landscape view of the drylands of southern Utah
April 28, 2014

Drylands of Southern Utah

USGS Image Drylands of Southern Utah - April 28, 2014

Ice jam, Powder River near Arvada (06317000)
March 8, 2014

Ice jam, Powder River near Arvada (06317000)

Ice jam, Powder River near Arvada (06317000)

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 28, 1998

BOSTON-Cleaning up where the mines left off is where some scientific minds are focused this week. Robert Runkel, a U.S. Geological Survey hydrologist based in Denver, Colo., will present Modeling the Effects of Proposed Remedial Actions on Stream Chemistry in Abandoned Mine Lands...

USGS
April 25, 1998

Blue skies and gentle breezes prevailed for the 5k race and 2k fun run that kicked off Open House at the U.S. Geological Survey, Sat., April 25, 1998.

USGS
April 20, 1998

Water quality in the South Platte River Basin has been adversely affected by agriculture and urban development, according to the results of a 5-year investigation of water quality by the U.S. Geological Survey.

USGS
April 16, 1998

A 5-year study of water quality in the Rio Grande Valley, from its headwaters in Colorado to near El Paso, Texas, has been completed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The study focused on ground water in the flood plain of the Rio Grande and surface water in the Rio Grande and selected tributaries.

USGS
April 16, 1998

Although agriculture and urban activities have substantially affected water quality in several areas of the South Platte River Basin, concentrations of pesticides and volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), such as MTBE, are generally below levels of concern for human health, according to the results of a 5-year investigation of water quality by the U.S. Geological Survey.

USGS
April 14, 1998

An air temperature threshold is a powerful indicator for anticipatingpotentially hazardous landslides during the spring snowmelt season,according to the results of a recent study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

USGS
March 17, 1998

The potential for earthquakes in many parts of the United States, a review of the more than 10,000 earthquakes that have occurred near Mammoth Lakes, Calif., during the past year, and updates on the monitoring of earthquakes, mine explosions and earthquake-induced landslides are part of 32 presentations by scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey at the annual meeting of the Seismological...

USGS
February 13, 1998

From Seafloor Mapping to Hammer Awards and AAAS Fellowships........

USGS
October 16, 1997

The asteroid impact that occurred 65 million years ago comes to life on the computer screen, Tuesday, Oct. 21, as a research cartographer with the U.S. Geological Survey demonstrates his latest HyperCard animation at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America (GSA) in Salt Lake City.

USGS
October 16, 1997

When Henry J. Moore was growing up on Third Avenue during the 1930s, he says he didn’t pay much attention to the comic-book space dust being kickedup by Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon. Twenty years later, however, Moore’s interest in the dust and landforms of Planet Earth set him on a course that would eventually land in the dust on Mars; in a matter of speaking.

USGS
September 26, 1997

High concentrations of dissolved salts in the lower Colorado River basin have been linked to regional geologic collapse near Glenwood Springs, Colo., according to scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey and the Colorado Geological Survey.

USGS
June 9, 1997

The 1996/97 austral summer season marked the beginning of the newest deep ice core drilling project sponsored by the National Science Foundation, Office of Polar Programs.

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.