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: May 31, 2019
Status: Active

Remote Sensing of Ecosystem Condition and Resilience

Ecosystem condition tends to be highly dynamic in response to natural variability in climate, extreme climate events, disturbance events, and human land use activities. Satellite imagery provides a powerful tool to enhance our understanding of ecosystem change at a landscape scale. This research integrates diverse sources of satellite imagery with ancillary datasets to explore how ecosystems...

Date published: May 23, 2019
Status: Active

Cheatgrass and Medusahead

Invasive annual grasses, such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae), are one of the most significant stressors to rangeland ecosystems in the western U.S. Their expansion and dominance across this area are the most damaging ecosystem agents on this iconic landscape.

Date published: May 16, 2019
Status: Active

Ecohydrologic and Water Quality Data Collection at Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge and the Albuquerque South Valley Community Commons

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) New Mexico Water Science Center (NM WSC), in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority (AMAFCA), and Bernalillo County (BERNCO), will measure and...

Date published: May 16, 2019
Status: Active

Nitrate Contamination in the Albuquerque Basin

Globally, nitrate is the most ubiquitous groundwater contaminate including within the Albuquerque Basin in New Mexico. Ingesting high concentrations of nitrate (> 10 mg/L as N) in drinking water can lead to an increased risk of cancer and in infants, methemoglobinemia. Historical groundwater sampling in Albuquerque and Kirtland Air Force Base have found high (> 10 mg/L as N) and sometime...

Date published: May 14, 2019
Status: Active

Upper Colorado River Streamflow and Reservoir Contents

These reports summarize monthly data for selected rivers and reservoirs in the the Upper Colorado River Basin.

Date published: May 10, 2019
Status: Active

Accounting for natural capital: building the numbers to track and sustain the nation’s natural resources

Accounting for ecosystem services - the benefits that nature provides to society and the economy - is gaining increasing traction worldwide as governments and the private sector use them to monitor integrated environmental and economic trends. When they are well understood and managed, ecosystems can provide these long-term benefits to people - such as clean air and water, flood control, crop...

Contacts: Kenneth J Bagstad, Ph.D., Carl D Shapiro, Ph.D., Jane Carter Ingram
Date published: April 26, 2019
Status: Active

World Oil and Gas Resource Assessments

The USGS World Energy Project conducts geologic studies that provide an understanding of the quantity, quality, and geologic distribution of world oil and gas resources. Our geologic studies are conducted in an impartial manner and are performed in collaboration and partnership with energy experts within and outside government. Through synthesis and improved understanding of global oil and gas...

Date published: April 25, 2019
Status: Active

Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) Project

The ERP Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) Project is responsible for developing, implementing, and managing a LIMS architecture that expands the LIMS capabilities to support ERP laboratory needs for capturing, tracking, reporting, and managing sample and analysis data generated in ERP laboratories as well as data for samples submitted to external laboratories.  The LIMS Project ...

Date published: April 23, 2019
Status: Active

Petroleum Geochemistry Research Laboratory

The Petroleum Geochemistry Research Laboratory (PGRL) provides analytical capabilities and technical expertise in support of research and assessment projects within the Energy Resource Program (ERP) with a commitment to the provision of quality petroleum organic geochemistry and mineralogy data.

USGS Science Centers in Region 7-Upper Colorado Basin collect a wide variety of natural resource data types including spatial, geologic, hydrologic, and biologic data. Data included in USGS-series publications that are not publically available in USGS databases are published in Data Releases. Tools are USGS products that can be used to analyze those types of data.

Filter Total Items: 279
Date published: March 4, 2020

Pre-fire biomass, burn severity, biomass consumption, and fire perimeter data for the 1987 Black Dragon Fire in China

Geospatial data were developed to characterize pre-fire biomass, burn severity, and biomass consumed for the Black Dragon Fire that burned in northern China in 1987. Pre-fire aboveground tree biomass (Mh/ha) raster data were derived by relating plot-level forest inventory data with pre-fire Landsat imagery from 1986 and 1987. Biomass data were generated for individual species: Dahuri

Date published: February 28, 2020

Data for Dust deposited on snow cover in the San Juan Mountains, Colorado, 2011-2016: Compositional variability bearing on snow-melt effects

Light-absorbing particles in atmospheric dust deposited on snow cover (dust-on-snow, DOS) diminish albedo and accelerate the timing and rate of snow melt. Identification of these particles and their effects are relevant to snow-radiation modeling and water-resource management. Laboratory-measured reflectance of DOS samples from the San Juan Mountains (USA) were compared with DOS mass lo

Date published: February 28, 2020

A national dataset of rasterized building footprints for the U.S.

The Bing Maps team at Microsoft released a U.S.-wide vector building dataset in 2018, which includes over 125 million building footprints for all 50 states in GeoJSON format. This dataset is extracted from aerial images using deep learning object classification methods. Large-extent modelling (e.g., urban morphological analysis or ecosystem assessment models) or accuracy assessment with v

Date published: February 28, 2020

A national dataset of rasterized building footprints for the U.S.

The Bing Maps team at Microsoft released a U.S.-wide vector building dataset in 2018, which includes over 125 million building footprints for all 50 states in GeoJSON format. This dataset is extracted from aerial images using deep learning object classification methods. Large-extent modelling (e.g., urban morphological analysis or ecosystem assessment models) or accuracy assessment with v

Date published: February 4, 2020

Thermochronologic data from the southern Stillwater Range, Nevada

This dataset contains apatite and zircon U-Th(He)data, 4He/3He thermochronologic data, and apatite fission-track data from the southern Stillwater Range, Nevada

Date published: January 1, 2020

Digital data for three-dimensional geologic framework model of the Rio San Jose groundwater basin, New Mexico

This data release contains a geospatial database related to a digital 3D geologic framework of the Rio San Jose watershed, New Mexico. The geospatial database contains two main data elements: (1) input data to the 3D framework model; (2) interpolated elevations and thicknesses of stratigraphic units as a cellular array. Input surface and subsurface data for 18 stratigraphic units ha

Date published: November 12, 2019

Post-wildfire debris flow and rainfall data, Whitewater-Baldy complex fire, southwestern New Mexico

During the spring and early summer of 2012, approximately 1,200 square kilometers of Gila National Forest in southwestern New Mexico, including the upper portions of the Whitewater Creek watershed, were burned by the Whitewater-Baldy Complex Fire. The following September 12-17, 2013, a near-record, one-week long storm event produced widespread, historic rainfall amounts throughout

Date published: October 22, 2019

Geochemistry and Environmental Tracer Data for Groundwater, Stream Water, and Ferricrete Samples from Handcart Gulch, Colorado

This data release is part of a study examining the use of near-stream groundwater discharge as a tool for Geochemical Exploration. Handcart Gulch is an unmined alpine watershed in Montezuma Mining District in the Colorado Front Range. The streambed is cemented by deep ferricrete deposits. Stream water, groundwater, and ferricrete samples were collected and analyzed to constrain the location o...

Date published: October 18, 2019

Rangeland Hydrology Erosion Model Input file for the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument (2016)

Input dataset for the Rangeland Hydrology Erosion Model (RHEM) for the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument.

Date published: October 18, 2019

Database Associated with the Assessment of Soil and Water Resources in The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, New Mexico

This U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) data release presents the geospatial data used to assess the hydrologic and soil resources of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Doña Ana County, New Mexico. The USGS, in cooperation with the BLM, conducted a study to assess the hydrologic and soil resources and potential e

Date published: October 18, 2019

Geodatabase of files associated with the Assessment of Soil and Water Resources in The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, New Mexico

This U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) data release presents the geospatial data used to assess the hydrologic and soil resources of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Doña Ana County, New Mexico. The USGS, in cooperation with the BLM, conducted a study to assess the hydrologic and soil resources and potential e

Date published: October 16, 2019

Data Dictionary for Electron Microprobe Data Collected with Probe for EPMA Software Package Developed by Probe Software

This data dictionary describes most of the possible output options given in the Probe for EPMA software package developed by Probe Software. Examples of the data output options include sample identification, analytical conditions, elemental weight percents, atomic percents, detection limits, and stage coordinates. Many more options are available and the data that is output will depen

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
Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2021

Water–rock interaction and the concentrations of major, trace, and rare earth elements in hydrocarbon-associated produced waters of the United States

Studies of co-produced waters from hydrocarbon extraction across multiple energy-producing basins have generally focused on major ions or a few select tracers, and studies that examine trace elements and involve laboratory experiments have generally been basin specific. Here, new perspective is sought through a broad analysis of concentration data...

Bern, Carleton R.; Birdwell, Justin E.; Jubb, Aaron M.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2021

Hazard analysis of landslides triggered by Typhoon Chata'an on July 2, 2002, in Chuuk State, Federated States of Micronesia

More than 250 landslides were triggered across the eastern volcanic islands of Chuuk State in the Federated States of Micronesia by torrential rainfall from tropical storm Chata’an on July 2, 2002. Landslides triggered during nearly 20 inches of rainfall in less than 24 hours caused 43 fatalities and the destruction or damage of 231 structures,...

Harp, Edwin L.; Reid, Mark E.; Michael, John A.
Harp, E.L., Reid, M.E., and Michael, J.A., 2004, Hazard analysis of landslides triggered by Typhoon Chata'an on July 2, 2002, in Chuuk State, Federated States of Micronesia (ver. 1.1, July 2021): U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2004−1348, 22 p., 2 pls., scale 1:25,000, https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20041348.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2021

Carotenoid biomarkers in Namibian shelf sediments: Anoxygenic photosynthesis during sulfide eruptions in the Benguela Upwelling System

Anoxygenic photosynthesis by phototrophic sulfur bacteria is prevalent in microbial mat ecosystems and in restricted, highly stratified aquatic environments. This limited distribution reflects their simultaneous requirements for an anoxic habitat, reduced sulfur to supply electrons for carbon fixation, and an appropriate light regime. Although...

Ma, Jian; French, Katherine L.; Cui, Xingqian; Bryant, Donald; Summons, Roger

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2021

Using fission-track radiography coupled with scanning electron microscopy for efficient identification of solid-phase uranium mineralogy at a former uranium pilot mill (Grand Junction, Colorado)

At a former uranium pilot mill in Grand Junction, Colorado, mine tailings and some subpile sediments were excavated to various depths to meet surface radiological standards, but residual solid-phase uranium below these excavation depths still occurs at concentrations above background. The combination of fission-track radiography and scanning...

Johnson, Raymond H.; Hall, Susan; Tigar, Aaron

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2021

Down to Earth with nuclear electromagnetic pulse: Realistic surface impedance affects mapping of the E3 geoelectric hazard

An analysis is made of Earth-surface geoelectric fields and voltages on electricity transmission power-grids induced by a late-phase E3 nuclear electromagnetic pulse (EMP). A hypothetical scenario is considered of an explosion of several hundred kilotons set several hundred kilometers above the eastern-midcontinental United States. Ground-level E3...

Love, Jeffrey J.; Lucas, Greg M.; Murphy, Benjamin Scott; Bedrosian, Paul A.; Rigler, E. Joshua; Kelbert, Anna

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2021

A reactive transport approach to modeling cave seepage water chemistry I: Carbon isotope transformations

The majority of Critical Zone research has emphasized silicate lithologies, which are typified by relatively slow rates of reactivity and incongruent weathering. However, the relatively simpler weathering of carbonate-dominated lithology can result in secondary mineral deposits, such as speleothems, which provide a long-term archive for Critical...

Druhan, Jennifer; Lawrence, Corey; Covey, Aaron; Giannetta, Max; Oster, Jessica

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2021

A reactive transport approach to modeling cave seepage water chemistry II: Elemental signatures

Karst systems are useful for examining spatial and temporal variability in Critical Zone processes because they provide a window into the subsurface where waters have interacted with vegetation, soils, regolith, and bedrock across a range of length and timescales. These hydrologic pathways frequently include the precipitation...

Oster, Jessica; Covey, Aaron; Lawrence, Corey; Giannetta, Max; Druhan, Jennifer

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2021

Assessment of undiscovered conventional oil and gas resources in the eastern Mediterranean area, 2020

Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated undiscovered, technically recoverable mean resources of 879 million barrels of conventional oil and 286.2 trillion cubic feet of conventional gas in the eastern Mediterranean area.

Schenk, Christopher J.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Finn, Thomas M.; Woodall, Cheryl A.; Marra, Kristen R.; Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.; Le, Phuong A.; Drake, Ronald M.
Schenk, C.J., Mercier, T.J., Finn, T.M., Woodall, C.A., Marra, K.R., Leathers-Miller, H.M., Le, P.A., and Drake, R.M., II, 2021, Assessment of undiscovered conventional oil and gas resources in the eastern Mediterranean area, 2020 (ver. 1.1): U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2021−3032, 4 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20213032.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2021

Preliminary assessment of the wave generating potential from landslides at Barry Arm, Prince William Sound, Alaska

We simulated the concurrent rapid motion of landslides on an unstable slope at Barry Arm, Alaska. Movement of landslides into the adjacent fjord displaced fjord water and generated a tsunami, which propagated out of Barry Arm. Rather than assuming an initial sea surface height, velocity, and location for the tsunami, we generated the tsunami...

Barnhart, Katherine R.; Jones, Ryan P.; George, David L.; Coe, Jeffrey A.; Staley, Dennis M.
Barnhart, K.R., Jones, R.P., George, D.L., Coe, J.A., and Staley, D.M., 2021, Preliminary assessment of the wave generating potential from landslides at Barry Arm, Prince William Sound, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2021–1071, 28 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20211071.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2021

A bayesian nonparametric approach to unmixing detrital geochronologic data

Sedimentary deposits constitute the primary record of changing environmental conditions that have acted on Earth’s surface over geologic time. Clastic material is eroded from source locations (parents) in sediment routing systems and deposited at sink locations (children). Both parents and children have characteristics that vary across many...

Tipton, John R.; Sharman, Glenn R.; Johnstone, Samuel A.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2021

Detrital zircon record of magmatism and sediment dispersal across the North American Cordilleran arc system (28-48°N)

As zircon U-Pb geochronology has become a leading method in sediment provenance studies and basin analysis over the past 20 years, the volume of detrital zircon data made available in published literature has enabled researchers to go beyond source-to-sink provenance studies to explore increasingly complex...

Schwartz, Theresa Maude; Surpless, Kathleen D.; Colgan, Joseph P.; Johnstone, Samuel A.; Holm-Denoma, Christopher S.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2021

Insights on geochemical, isotopic, and volumetric compositions of produced water from hydraulically fractured Williston Basin oil wells

Tracing produced water origins from wells hydraulically fractured with freshwater-based fluids is sometimes predicated on assumptions that (1) each geological formation contains compositionally unique brine and (2) produced water from recently hydraulically fractured wells resembles fresher meteoric water more so than produced water from older...

Gallegos, Tanya J.; Doolan, Colin A.; Caldwell, Rodney R.; Engle, Mark A; Varonka, Matthew S.; Birdwell, Justin E.; Jolly, Glenn D.; Coplen, Tyler B.; Oliver, Thomas A.

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
USGS, NM Water Science Center, Gallinas Creek discharge measurement
December 31, 2018

Gallinas Creek discharge measurement, USGS

Hydrologic Technician Chris Peskuski making a discharge measurement above Gallinas Creek near Montezuma, NM (site data available at: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nm/nwis/uv?site_no=08380500)

A USGS scientist prepares a sample to test the effect of antibiotics on denitrifying bacteria within a glove box
September 24, 2018

A USGS scientist prepares a sample to test the effect of antibiotics

A USGS scientist prepares a sample to test the effect of antibiotics on denitrifying bacteria within a glove box. A glove box allows scientists to work with samples in an anaerobic (no oxygen) atmosphere, the conditions under which denitrification occurs.

Leidy Creek near Moran (13012465) streamgage
September 23, 2018

Leidy Creek near Moran (13012465) streamgage

Leidy Creek near Moran (13012465) streamgage

South Fork Spread Creek near Moran (13012475) streamgage
September 23, 2018

South Fork Spread Creek near Moran (13012475) streamgage

South Fork Spread Creek near Moran (13012475) streamgage

Drainage area contributing to Big Creek below Lookout Creek, near Apgar
September 11, 2018

Drainage area contributing to Big Creek below Lookout Creek, nr Apgar

Drainage area contributing to Big Creek below Lookout Creek, near Apgar

A RestoreNet garden with plots covered by white cloth.
August 31, 2018

RestoreNet garden testing seedling establishment.

The RestoreNet gardens test seedlings of priority restoration species across the Southwest. This is a recently installed garden located in the juniper woodlands of the Colorado Plateau. The experiemental network will support land managers by providing insight into various restoration techniques, including testing seedlings vs seeds.

July 19, 2018

Drilling an Ice Core

Researchers start drilling an ice core in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

USGS - Roswell Field Office, USGS/BLM
June 27, 2018

USGS - Roswell Field Office, USGS/BLM

USGS - Roswell Field Office, USGS/BLM

Technicians deploy water-quality instrumentation on Bear Lake platforms
May 17, 2018

Bear Lake QW Platforms

Technicians deploy water-quality instrumentation on Bear Lake platforms

Photo of a met station at Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, USGS
May 16, 2018

Met Station at Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge

Image of a Met Station at Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico, USGS - New Mexico Water Science Center (NMWSC)

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
 Map of June 23, 2020 Oaxaca, Mexico Earthquake
June 23, 2020

A magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck offshore Oaxaca, Mexico, on June 23, 2020, at 11:30 a.m. ET. Seismic instruments indicate the earthquake originated at a depth of 16 miles (26 km).  

Sagebrush-steppe landscapes have changed in fundamental ways over the past 100 years.
May 20, 2020

Weighing costs relative to outcomes: woody and invasive plant removal followed by seeding in shrublands and woodlands.

New study by RAMPS researchers examines how the costs of vegetation treatments related to outcomes. 

Find out more about how RAMPS supports land management decisions here.

An infographic summarizing activities of the RAMPS program.
May 18, 2020

This season's edition of the Restoration Assessment and Monitoring Program for the Southwest Newsletter contains recent program highlights including research updates from our RestoreNet experiment, recently awarded funding, field updates and more.

To subscribe to our newsletter, please visit: https://listserv.usgs.gov/mailman/listinfo/ramps

Get the latest updates from RAMPS here.

A USGS field team measures spring floodwaters at Chesapeake bay's largest tributary.
May 12, 2020

U.S. Geological Survey field crews are measuring flooding across the country as spring weather is in full swing. Warming temperatures, increased precipitation and snowmelt have caused moderate to major flooding in the upper Midwest, East Coast, Central Plains and the Southeast portions of the country.

Image shows the contiguous United States with potential occurrences of the mineral pyrrhotite
April 29, 2020

The USGS has released its first-ever map of where the mineral pyrrhotite may occur in the contiguous United States. This research was mandated by Congress in the FY2019 appropriations bill for the USGS and was supported by the USGS Mineral Resources Program.

dark space with golden solar flare
March 16, 2020

The U.S. Geological Survey released a new report on geoelectric hazards for two-thirds of the contiguous U.S., spanning from the northeast to the west coast of the Nation. 

EON Geosciences Piper Navajo Airplane with Tail Stinger Magnetometer
October 21, 2019

Editor: In the public interest and in accordance with the Federal Aviation Administration regulations, the USGS is announcing this low-level airborne project. Your assistance in informing the local communities is appreciated.

Moab_Utah.jpg
August 16, 2019

A new assessment of groundwater resources in the Spanish Valley watershed in southern Utah shows an amount that is about 30–40% lower than previously reported, according to a U.S. Geological Survey report.

A huge canyon surrounded by deep-set cliffs opens to reveal a sunny gorge and part of the Colorado River.
April 11, 2019

A new study shows that mysterious cycles in salinity in the lower Colorado River are a result of precipitation patterns in the headwaters of the upper basin more than a thousand river miles away. The salinity levels generally repeat about every 10 years.

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