Unified Interior Regions

Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin

Map of Region 7 Upper Colorado River Basin

Map of Region 7 Upper Colorado River 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: 386
Date published: July 11, 2019
Status: Completed

Digging Into the Past on the Teton Fault

- by Jaime Delano (on site) and Lisa Wald (back in the office)

This was originally posted as a blog on the USGS Natural Hazards Mission Area Facebook page during the paleoseismology fieldwork on the Teton Fault outside of Jackson, Wyoming from September 5-21, 2017.

Date published: July 8, 2019
Status: Active

Concealed Rare Earth Element (REE) Terranes in the Southern Basin and Range Geologic Province

The project is developing an understanding of the types, sizes, and spatial distribution of rare earth element (REE) related deposits in the southern Basin and Range geologic province to help ensure the availability of rare earth elements to the U.S.

Contacts: Mark Bultman
Date published: July 2, 2019
Status: Active

Volcanic-related Beryllium Deposits of the US: Geologic Setting, Genesis, and the Potential for Post-Extraction Recovery of By-Product Critical Minerals

Project objectives are: 1) to fully establish a comprehensive and robust geologic and geochemical framework for the occurrence of volcanic-related beryllium (Be) deposits; 2) further our understanding of the fundamental ore processes that lead to formation of volcanogenic beryllium (Be)-boron (B)-lithium (Li)-phosphorus (P) group deposits, by investigating processes favorable for enhanced...

Contacts: Nora Foley
Date published: June 28, 2019
Status: Active

Seismic Seiches

Definition of seismic seiches and examples dating back to their first public mention in 1755.

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...

Contacts: Rebecca Travis
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...

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: 272
Date published: March 23, 2020

Data release for Geologic Map of the Homestake Reservoir 7.5' quadrangle, Lake, Pitkin, and Eagle Counties, Colorado

The Homestake Reservoir 7.5' quadrangle lies at the northwestern end of the Upper Arkansas Valley, and headwaters of the Arkansas River, and the Roaring Fork, Fryingpan, and Eagle Rivers of the Colorado River system. The quadrangle lies within tectonic provinces of the 1.4 Ga Picuris Orogeny, the late Paleozoic Ancestral Rockies, Late Cretaceous-Paleocene Laramide orogeny, Oligo

Date published: March 19, 2020

Uranium-, thorium-, strontium-, carbon- and oxygen-isotope data used to evaluate a 300,000-year history of water-table fluctuations at Wind Cave, South Dakota, USA — scale, timing, and groundwater mixing in the Madison Aquifer

Tables of U- and Th-isotopic data used to calculate uranium-series age estimates and initial 234U/238U activity ratios as well as 87Sr/86Sr, δ13C, and δ18O for samples of phreatic speleothems from Wind Cave National Park and U- and Sr-isotopic compositions of waters from the southern Black Hills of South Dakota, USA

Date published: March 11, 2020

Data Release for Geologic Map of Petroglyph National Monument and Vicinity, Bernalillo County, New Mexico

This geologic map depicts and briefly describes geologic units underlying Petroglyph National Monument and immediately adjacent areas in Bernalillo County, New Mexico. The Monument is underlain dominantly by Quaternary basalts of the Albuquerque Volcanoes volcanic field, a series of basin-filling volcanic flows and associated vents from a monogenetic volcanic highland along the eastern margin...

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

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

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 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.

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: 4,993
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Year Published: 2020

Spatial variability in seasonal snowpack trends across the Rio Grande headwaters (1984 - 2017)

This study evaluated the spatial variability of trends in simulated snowpack properties across the Rio Grande headwaters of Colorado using the SnowModel snow evolution modeling system. SnowModel simulations were performed using a grid resolution of 100 m and 3-hourly time step over a 34-yr period (1984–2017). Atmospheric forcing was provided by...

Sexstone, Graham A.; Penn, Colin A.; Liston, Glen; Gleason, Kelly; Moeser, C. David; Clow, David W.

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Year Published: 2020

The firn meltwater Retention Model Intercomparison Project (RetMIP): Evaluation of nine firn models at four weather station sites on the Greenland ice sheet

Perennial snow, or firn, covers 80 % of the Greenland ice sheet and has the capacity to retain surface meltwater, influencing the ice sheet mass balance and contribution to sea-level rise. Multilayer firn models are traditionally used to simulate firn processes and estimate meltwater retention. We present, intercompare and evaluate outputs from...

Vandecrux, Baptiste; Mottram, Ruth; Langen, Peter; Fausto, Robert; Olesen, Martin; Stevens, C. Max; Verjans, Vincent; Leeson, Amber; Ligtenberg, Stefan; Kuipers Munneke, Peter; Marchenko, Sergey S.; van Pelt, Ward; Meyer, Colin R.; Simonsen, Sebastian B.; Heilig, Achim; Samimi, Samira; Marshall, Shawn J.; Machguth, Horst; MacFerrin, Michael J.; Niwano, Masashi; Miller, Olivia L.; Voss, Clifford I.; Box, Jason E.

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Year Published: 2020

Hydrogeochemistry in the Yukon-Tanana Upland region of east-central Alaska: Possible exploration tool for porphyry-style deposits

A hydrogeochemical study using high resolution ICP-MS was undertaken at the Taurus and other porphyry Cu-Mo(-Au) occurrences and Ag-Au-Cu (+/- Pb, Zn) occurrences with epithermal-style characteristics in the Yukon-Tanana upland region of eastern Alaska. Surface water samples were collected from 30 sites on creeks that drain known deposits and...

Kelley, Karen D.; Graham, Garth E.

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Year Published: 2020

Assessing uranium and select trace elements associated with breccia pipe uranium deposits in the Colorado River and main tributaries in Grand Canyon, USA

Assessing chemical loading from streams in remote, difficult-to-access watersheds is challenging. The Grand Canyon area in northern Arizona, an international tourist destination and sacred place for many Native Americans, is characterized by broad plateaus divided by canyons as much as two-thousand meters deep and hosts some of the highest-grade...

Tillman, Fred; Anderson, Jessica; Unema, Joel; Chapin, Thomas
Tillman, F.D, Anderson, J.R., Unema, J.A., and Chapin, T.P., 2020, Assessing uranium and select trace elements associated with breccia pipe uranium deposits in the Colorado River and main tributaries in Grand Canyon, USA. PLoS ONE, 15(11): e0241502.

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Year Published: 2020

Geochemical assessment of groundwater in the Big Chino subbasin, Arizona, 2011–18

A geochemical characterization of groundwater in the Big Chino subbasin of Arizona was conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the City of Prescott, the Town of Prescott Valley, and the Salt River Project, to understand groundwater evolution through the study area and the source of water to springs along the gaining reach of...

Beisner, Kimberly R.; Jones, Casey J. R.
Beisner, K.R., and Jones, C.J.R., 2020, Geochemical assessment of groundwater in the Big Chino subbasin, Arizona, 2011–18: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2020–5094, 49 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20205094.

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Year Published: 2020

Accounting for land in the United States: Integrating physical land cover, land use, and monetary valuation

Land plays a critical role in both economic and environmental accounting. As an asset, it occupies a unique position at the intersection of the System of National Accounts (SNA), the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting Central Framework (SEEA-CF), and (as a spatial unit) SEEA Experimental Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA-EEA), making land a...

Wentland, Scott A.; Ancona, Zachary H.; Bagstad, Kenneth J.; Boyd, James W.; Hass, Julie L.; Gindelsky, Marina; Moulton, Jeremy G.

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Year Published: 2020

Integrated geophysical imaging of rare-earth-element-bearing iron oxide-apatite deposits in the eastern Adirondack Highlands, New York

The eastern Adirondack Highlands of northern New York host dozens of iron oxide-apatite (IOA) deposits containing magnetite and rare earth element (REE)-bearing apatite. We use new aeromagnetic, aeroradiometric, ground gravity, and sample petrophysical and geochemical data to image and understand these deposits and their geologic framework....

Shah, Anjana K.; Taylor, Ryan D.; Walsh, Gregory J.; Phillips, Jeffrey

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Year Published: 2020

QCam: sUAS-based doppler radar for measuring river discharge

The U.S. Geological Survey is actively investigating remote sensing of surface velocity and river discharge (discharge) from satellite-, high altitude-, small, unmanned aircraft systems- (sUAS or drone), and permanent (fixed) deployments. This initiative is important in ungaged basins and river reaches that lack the infrastructure to deploy...

Fulton, John W.; Anderson, Isaac E.; Chiu, C.-L.; Sommer, Wolfram; Adams, Josip; Moramarco, Tommaso; Bjerklie, David M.; Fulford, Janice M.; Sloan, Jeff L.; Best, Heather; Conaway, Jeffrey S.; Kang, Michelle J.; Kohn, Michael S.; Nicotra, Matthew J.; Pulli, Jeremy J.

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Year Published: 2020

Soil respiration response to rainfall modulated by plant phenology in a montane meadow, East River, Colorado, USA

Soil respiration is a primary component of the terrestrial carbon cycle. However, predicting the response of soil respiration to climate change remains a challenge due to the complex interactions between environmental drivers, especially plant phenology, temperature, and soil moisture. In this study, we use a 1‐D diffusion‐reaction model to...

Winnick, Mathew; Lawrence, Corey R.; McCormick, Maeve; Druhan, Jennifer; Maher, Kate

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Year Published: 2020

Imaging the tectonic grain of the Northern Cordillera orogen using Transportable Array receiver functions

Azimuthal variations in receiver function conversions can image lithospheric structural contrasts and anisotropic fabrics that together compose tectonic grain. We apply this method to data from EarthScope Transportable Array in Alaska and additional stations across the northern Cordillera. The best‐resolved quantities are the strike and depth of...

Schulte-Pelkum, Vera; Caine, Jonathan; Jones, James V.; Becker, Thorsten W

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Year Published: 2020

Bathymetry of Deadmans Lake, Golf Course Reservoir 9, Ice Lake, Kettle Lakes 1–3, and Non-Potable Reservoirs 1–4 at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, 2019

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA), carried out bathymetric and topographic surveys to characterize the volume of Deadmans Lake, Golf Course Reservoir 9, Ice Lake, Kettle Lakes 1–3, and Non-Potable Reservoirs 1–4 at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado. Bathymetric maps of each lake and reservoir are...

Kohn, Michael S.; Hempel, Laura A.
Kohn, M.S., and Hempel, L.A., 2020, Bathymetry of Deadmans Lake, Golf Course Reservoir 9, Ice Lake, Kettle Lakes 1–3, and Non-Potable Reservoirs 1–4 at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, 2019: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3463, pamphlet 12 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3463.

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Year Published: 2020

Localized fault-zone dilatancy and surface inelasticity of the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquakes

Earthquakes produce a spectrum of elastic and inelastic deformation processes that are reflected across various length and time scales. While elasticity has long dominated research assumptions in active tectonics, increasing interest has focused on the inelastic characteristics of earthquakes, particularly those of the surface fault rupture zone...

Barnhart, William D.; Gold, Ryan D.; Hollingsworth, James

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: 520
large boulder with trees growing near it
May 21, 2019

boulder dropped by retreating glacier in Yellowstone National Park

This huge boulder was dropped by a retreating glacier on the north rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone in Yellowstone National Park, and it is a testament to Yellowstone's icy past.

May 10, 2019

Image of the Week - A New Yellowstone Hot Spot

Scientists with the USGS Yellowstone Volcano Observatory use satellite and aerial imagery to map hot springs, geothermal vents, and geysers at Yellowstone National Park. They recently found an entirely new thermal area miles from the nearest trailhead. Landsat 8's thermal infrared sensors captured the change in a nighttime image from April of 2017. Aerial images reveal a

USGS - Water quality sampling in the western Plains of San Agustin
April 10, 2019

Water quality sampling in the western Plains of San Agustin

USGS scientist Mike Carlson works to collect a water quality sample from a windmill in the western Plains of San Agustin. Photo taken by Jeff Pepin on April 10th, 2019.

USGS - stock tank in the western Plains of San Agustin
April 4, 2019

Stock tank in the western Plains of San Agustin

USGS scientist Hal Nelson wades in a stock tank to install a fitting on the discharge pipe of a groundwater well to facilitate water quality sampling in the western Plains of San Agustin. Photo taken by Jeff Pepin on April 4th, 2019. 

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)

Stormwater runoff in the Albuquerque urban area, NMWSC
December 31, 2018

Stormwater runoff in the Albuquerque urban area, NMWSC

Stormwater runoff in the Albuquerque urban area, NMWSC

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

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: 337
This is a photo of a view of Lake Powell's south shore.
March 18, 2019

Mercury concentrations within Lake Powell are highest in side canyons within the lower portion of the reservoir, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey report. This finding is part of a study to better understand why mercury concentrations in striped bass are higher in the lower part of the reservoir.

Photo of an active oil and gas pad on Bureau of Land Management lands near Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
February 12, 2019

Recovery of vegetation on plugged and abandoned oil and gas well sites on the Colorado Plateau is influenced by time, moisture, nonnative plants and the type of plant community that was originally in place before well sites were constructed, according to a recently published study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Image shows a map of the assessment units of the 2018 Delaware Basin oil and gas assessment
November 28, 2018

Estimates Include 46.3 Billion Barrels of Oil, 281 Trillion Cubic feet of Natural Gas, and 20 Billion Barrels of Natural Gas Liquids in Texas and New Mexico’s Wolfcamp Shale and Bone Spring Formation.

Big Thompson Floods of 1976 and 2013 - A Visual Comparison of Flood Events
September 14, 2018

The Big Thompson Floods of 1976 and 2013 shown visually. The inundation images reflect the location and peak streamflows at certain points between Estes Park and Loveland, Colorado.

Bandelier Postwildfire, New Mexico Water Science Center
August 6, 2018

The U.S. Geological Survey is celebrating the achievements of Dr. Craig D. Allen, who was recently named an Ecological Society of America (ESA) fellow for making exceptional contributions to a broad array of ecology. Dr. Allen, a research ecologist with the USGS Fort Collins Science Center, joins 27 other newly-initiated ESA fellows from academia, public and private sectors. Fellows are elected fo

UAS Vehicle
June 26, 2018

This Thursday, scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey and NASA will test new technologies near Parkdale, Colorado, located west of Cañon City, to better understand how drones may be used to measure water depth, water levels and velocity from the sky. 

Wind turbines
April 19, 2018

Today, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in partnership with DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the American Wind Energy Association, released the United States Wind Turbine Database (USWTDB) and the USWTDB Viewer to access this new public dataset.

Bear Lake to Receive Water Quality and Weather Monitoring Equipment
March 30, 2018

Bear Lake will house water quality and weather monitoring equipment that will provide near real-time information to the public and water managers beginning in early April and continuing through 2022.

Dry wash in San Rafael Desert with white surface salts
January 25, 2018

Salinity loads that originate from groundwater within the Upper Colorado River Basin have decreased from 1986-2011, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study done in cooperation with the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program.

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: 323