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: November 19, 2018
Status: Active

Uinta-Piceance Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has conducted a number of geology-based assessments of undiscovered oil and gas resources in the Uinta-Piceance Basin (USGS Province 5020) of western Colorado and Eastern Utah. Recent assessments include.

    Date published: November 19, 2018
    Status: Active

    Eastern Great Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

    The U.S. Geological Survey completed the following assessments of undiscovered oil and gas potential of the Eastern Great Basin Province of eastern Nevada, western Utah, southeastern Idaho, and northwestern Arizona 5019.

       

      Date published: November 19, 2018
      Status: Active

      Yellowstone River Compact Commission

      The Yellowstone River Compact was ratified in 1950 and became effective in 1951. The Yellowstone River Compact Commission (YRCC) is a three member commission charged with apportioning the waters of the Yellowstone River and its tributaries.

      Date published: November 15, 2018
      Status: Active

      Water-Quality Summaries for Several Major River Basins in Colorado

      Summaries of water-quality monitoring data are available for several major river basins in Colorado.

      For each basin, current data from a network of sites are compared to previously collected data and instream standards. Lowess curves are provided on plots for selected constituents where a sufficient period of record and limited censored data are available.

      Date published: November 6, 2018
      Status: Active

      Integrated Uranium Resource and Environmental Assessment

      The US Geological Survey has assembled a small group of scientists who are assessing the uranium resource potential of the United States.  Uranium is used to fuel the 98 operable nuclear reactors in the United States, providing 20% of the nation’s electricity. More than 95% of this uranium is imported, and the rest is produced from uranium mines in Wyoming, Nebraska and Texas and a uranium...

      Contacts: Susan M Hall
      Date published: November 2, 2018
      Status: Active

      Gas Hydrates

      Central Energy Resources Science Center - Gas Hydrates Project Page

      Date published: October 16, 2018
      Status: Active

      Groundwater Models

      Groundwater is an important resource, but availability, quality, and sustainability during growth have become major concerns. Groundwater models are numerical representations that help hydrologists better understand groundwater systems. These models also provide tools for water managers. The Utah Water Science Center has groundwater models for many seperate areas in Utah as well as two...

      Date published: October 12, 2018
      Status: Completed

      New Methods for Dating and Sequencing Ancient Earthquakes Along the Wasatch Fault Zone

      Release Date: OCTOBER 12, 2018

      Complex geologic sites, like those between the fault segments along the Wasatch fault zone in Utah, make the dating and ordering past earthquakes a difficult task. Two new methods were used to make this task easier and to get better results.

      Date published: October 4, 2018
      Status: Active

      Water Use in Wyoming

      The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has compiled estimates of water use in Wyoming and the rest of the United States at 5-year intervals since 1950.

      Date published: September 26, 2018
      Status: Active

      EcoFlows: Understanding Streamflow Dynamics in Small Mountain Streams

      The WY-MT WSC is collaborating with the Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center to understand the dynamics of streamflows in small, mountain streams during the course of the year, and to describe the amount of variability associated with those measurments. These findings will assist fisheries biologists who are researching temperature and streamflow effects on cutthroat trout and will help...

      Date published: September 10, 2018
      Status: Active

      Reconstructing Ancient Human and Ecosystem Responses to Holocene Climate Conditions

      This research project will reconstruct Holocene climatic conditions to better understand human adaptation and response to past environmental variability. 

      Date published: August 30, 2018
      Status: Active

      Bioactive Chemicals Research Laboratory

      The Bioactive Chemicals Research Laboratory applies a collaborative transdisciplinary approach to conduct research to minimize the risk to human and aquatic organism health from exposure to contaminants in water supplies.

      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: November 29, 2018

      Downloadable Data for Denver Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

      Downloadable Data for Denver Basin Oil and Gas Assessments 

      Date published: November 29, 2018

      Downloadable Data for Wyoming Thrust Belt Oil and Gas Assessments

      Downloadable Data for Wyoming Thrust Belt Oil and Gas Assessments 

      Date published: November 29, 2018

      Downloadable Data for Southwestern Wyoming Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

      Downloadable Data for Southwestern Wyoming Basin Oil and Gas Assessments 

      Date published: November 29, 2018

      Downloadable Data for Hanna, Laramie and Shirley Basins Oil and Gas Assessments

       Downloadable Data for Hanna, Laramie and Shirley Basins Oil and Gas Assessments 

      Date published: November 29, 2018

      Downloadable Data for Uinta-Piceance Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

      Downloadable Data for Uinta-Piceance Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

      Date published: November 29, 2018

      Downloadable Data for Paradox Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

      Downloadable Data for Paradox Basin Oil and Gas Assessments 

      Date published: November 29, 2018

      Downloadable Data for San Juan Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

      Downloadable Data for San Juan Basin Oil and Gas Assessments 

      Date published: November 29, 2018

      Downloadable Data for Eastern Great Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

      Downloadable Data for Eastern Great Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

      Date published: November 29, 2018

      Downloadable Data for Wind River Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

       Downloadable Data for Wind River Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

      Date published: November 28, 2018

      Integrated Software for Imagers and Spectrometers

      This is the home page for ISIS, a digital image processing software package. The focus of the software is to manipulate imagery collected by current and past NASA and International planetary missions sent throughout our Solar System.

      Date published: October 30, 2018

      Current Streamflow and Water-Quality Monitoring at Select Sites in the Animas and San Juan River Basins, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah

      The USGS monitors current streamflow and water-quality conditions at various sites in the Animas and San Juan River Basins in Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah, including areas below the Gold King Mine release area. These streamgages provide continuous data on streamflow and select water-quality constituents including specific conductance, water temperature, pH, and turbidity.

      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
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      Year Published: 2021

      Age and tectonic setting of the Quinebaug-Marlboro belt and implications for the history of Ganderian crustal fragments in southeastern New England, USA

      Crustal fragments underlain by high-grade rocks represent a challenge to plate reconstructions, and integrated mapping, geochronology, and geochemistry enable the unravelling of the temporal and spatial history of exotic crustal blocks. The Quinebaug-Marlboro belt (QMB) is an enigmatic fragment on the trailing edge of the peri-Gondwanan Ganderian...

      Walsh, Gregory J.; Aleinikoff, John N.; Ayuso, Robert A.; Wintsch, Robert P.

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      Year Published: 2021

      When hazard avoidance is not an option: Lessons learned from monitoring the postdisaster Oso landslide, USA

      On 22 March 2014, a massive, catastrophic landslide occurred near Oso, Washington, USA, sweeping more than 1 km across the adjacent valley flats and killing 43 people. For the following 5 weeks, hundreds of workers engaged in an exhaustive search, rescue, and recovery effort directly in the landslide runout path. These workers could not avoid the...

      Reid, Mark E.; Godt, Jonathan W.; LaHusen, Richard G; Slaughter, Stephen L; Badger, Thomas C.; Collins, Brian D.; Schulz, William; Baum, Rex L.; Coe, Jeffrey A.; Harp, Edwin L; Schmidt, Kevin; Iverson, Richard M.; Smith, Joel B.; Haugerud, Ralph; George, David L.

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      Year Published: 2021

      Assessment of a conservative mixing model for the evaluation of constituent behavior below river confluences, Elqui River Basin, Chile

      Fate and transport modeling of water-borne contaminants is a data demanding and costly endeavor, requiring considerable expes such, it becomes important to know when a complex modeling approach is required, and when a simpler approach is adequate. This is the main objective herein, where a conservative mixing model is used to characterize the...

      Rossi, Catalina; Oyarzún, Jorge; Pasten, Pablo; Runkel, Robert L.; Núñez, Jorge; Duhalde, Denisse; Maturana, Hugo; Rojas, Eduardo; Arumí, José L.; Castillo, Daniela; Oyarzún, Ricardo

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      Year Published: 2021

      Detecting subtle change from dense landsat time series: Case studies of mountain pine beetle and spruce beetle disturbance

      In contrast to abrupt changes caused by land cover conversion, subtle changes driven by a shift in the condition, structure, or other biological attributes of land often lead to minimal and slower alterations of the terrestrial surface. Accurate mapping and monitoring of subtle change are crucial for an early warning of long-term gradual change...

      Ye, Su; Rogan, John; Zhu, Zhe; Hawbaker, Todd J.; Hart, Sarah J.; Andrus, Robert A.; Meddens, Arjan J.H.; Hicke, Jeffery A.; Eastman, J. Ronald; Kulakowski, Dominik

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      Year Published: 2021

      Evaluation of techniques for mitigating snowmelt infiltration-induced landsliding in a highway embankment

      Infiltration-induced landslides threaten transportation infrastructure around the world, and impose both direct costs through repair and remediation work and indirect costs through lost economic activity. Therefore, finding the most cost-effective techniques to mitigate slope failures that can impact critical infrastructure links is desirable. The...

      Hinds, Eric; Lu, Ning; Mirus, Benjamin B.; Godt, Jonathan W.; Wayllace, Alexandra

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      Year Published: 2021

      Surface-mining modeling for USGS coal assessments

      The value of national coal deposits is determined for the Solid Fuel Energy Resources Assessment and Research Project through economic evaluations using hypothetical mining models. Deposits near the surface are evaluated with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) surface-mining model, which is patterned after the standard mining techniques and...

      Pierce, Paul E.
      Pierce, P.E., 2021, Surface-mining modeling for USGS coal assessments: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2021–1059, 13 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20211059.

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      Year Published: 2021

      Movement of sediment through a burned landscape: Sediment volume observations and model comparisons in the San Gabriel Mountains, California, USA

      Post-wildfire changes to hydrologic and geomorphic systems can lead to widespread sediment redistribution. Understanding how sediment moves through a watershed is crucial for assessing hazards, developing debris flow inundation models, engineering sediment retention solutions, and quantifying the role that disturbances play in landscape evolution...

      Rengers, Francis K.; McGuire, Luke A.; Kean, Jason W.; Staley, Dennis M.; Dobre, Mariana; Robichaud, Peter R.; Swetnam, Tyson

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      Year Published: 2021

      Is there an urban pesticide signature? Urban streams in five U.S. regions share common dissolved-phase pesticides but differ in predicted aquatic toxicity

      Pesticides occur in urban streams globally, but the relation of occurrence to urbanization can be obscured by regional differences. In studies of five regions of the United States, we investigated the effect of region and urbanization on the occurrence and potential toxicity of dissolved pesticide mixtures. We analyzed 225 pesticide compounds in...

      Nowell, Lisa H.; Moran, Patrick W.; Bexfield, Laura M.; Mahler, Barbara; Van Metre, Peter C.; Bradley, Paul; Schmidt, Travis S.; Button, Daniel T.; Qi, Sharon L.

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      Year Published: 2021

      Magnetotelluric sampling and geoelectric hazard estimation: Are national-scale surveys sufficient?

      At present, the most reliable information for inferring storm-time ground electric fields along electrical transmission lines comes from coarsely sampled, national-scale magnetotelluric (MT) data sets, such as that provided by the EarthScope USArray program. An underlying assumption in the use of such data is that they adequately sample the...

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

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      Year Published: 2021

      Assessment of streamflow and water quality in the Upper Yampa River Basin, Colorado, 1992–2018

      The Upper Yampa River Basin drains approximately 2,100 square miles west of the Continental Divide in north-western Colorado. There is a growing need to understand potential changes in the quantity and quality of water resources as the basin is undergoing increasing land and water development to support growing municipal, industrial, and...

      Day, Natalie K.
      Day, N.K., 2021, Assessment of streamflow and water quality in the Upper Yampa River Basin, Colorado, 1992–2018: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2021–5016, 45 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20215016.

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      Year Published: 2021

      The biophysical role of water and ice within permafrost nearing collapse: Insights from novel geophysical observations

      The impact of permafrost thaw on hydrologic, thermal, and biotic processes remains uncertain, in part due to limitations in subsurface measurement capabilities. To better understand subsurface processes in thermokarst environments, we collocated geophysical and biogeochemical instruments along a thaw gradient between forested permafrost and...

      James, Stephanie R.; Minsley, Burke J; McFarland, Jack; Euskirchen, Eugenie S.; Edgar, Colin W.; Waldrop, Mark

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      Year Published: 2021

      Evaluation of remote mapping techniques for earthquake-triggered landslide inventories in an urban subarctic environment: A case study of the 2018 Anchorage, Alaska Earthquake

      Earthquake-induced landslide inventories can be generated using field observations but doing so can be challenging if the affected landscape is large or inaccessible after an earthquake. Remote sensing data can be used to help overcome these limitations. The effectiveness of remotely sensed data to produce landslide inventories, however, is...

      Martinez, Sabrina Nicole; Schaefer, Lauren Nicole; Allstadt, Kate; Thompson, Eric M.

      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
      Close-up of dried, cracked soil with small plants trying to survive in this soil.
      December 31, 2017

      Dry, cracked soil (RAMPS)

      Rangelands of the desert Southwest can be in a degraded condition and lacking perennial vegetation, which can lead to exposed soil and erosion. RAMPS is working to mitigate degradation by increasing 

      ...
      Lake Powell
      December 31, 2017

      Lake Powell

      The USGS Utah Water Science Center and the Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center conducted a collaborative geophysical research effort within Lake Powell, UT-AZ to map the bathymetry of the lake and characterize shallow sediment deposition near the mouths of the San Juan and Colorado Rivers.

      Jackson Hole Airport groundwater study area map
      December 31, 2017

      Jackson Hole Airport groundwater study area map

      Jackson Hole Airport groundwater study area map

      Fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) swimming in an experimental aquarium
      December 31, 2017

      Fathead minnows swimming in an experimental aquarium

      Bioactive Chemicals Research Laboratory — Boulder, Colorado. Fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) swimming in an experimental aquarium. The aquarium is part of an experiment to assess endocrine disruption in fish.

      Dry wash in San Rafael Desert with white surface salts
      December 31, 2017

      Dry wash in San Rafael Desert with white surface salts

      Dry wash in San Rafael Desert with white surface salts. White efflorescent salts form on the soil surface as water evaporates from the soil leaving the salt at the surface. 

      Salinity loads that originate from groundwater within the Upper Colorado River Basin have decreased from 1986-2011, according to

      ...
      Digital elevation model created by an Unmanned Aerial System
      December 31, 2017

      Digital Elevation Model Created by an Unmanned Aerial System

      This digital elevation model was created using structure from motion software mounted to an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) to analyze bridge scour. Studies using UAS have included stream temperature analyses, bird and mammal surveys, coastal change mapping, sandbar habitat surveys, fluvial erosion rates, microclimate mapping, air quality analysis, plant stress assessment,

      ...
      Measuring streamflow in Pass Creek, near Parkman, WY, station 06289600
      December 27, 2017

      Measuring streamflow under ice, Pass Creek, nr Parkman, WY

      Measuring streamflow under ice, Pass Creek, near Parkman, WY, station 06289600

      Measuring streamflow in Goose Creek, near Acme
      December 27, 2017

      Measuring streamflow in Goose Creek, near Acme, station 06305700

      Measuring streamflow in Goose Creek, near Acme, station 06305700

      USGS scientists check breach on glass-calm Great Salt Lake in surreal light.
      December 19, 2017

      Great Salt Lake, USGS boat at work

      USGS scientists check breach on glass-calm Great Salt Lake in surreal light.

      Outside stream stage of Bull Lake Creek abv Bull Lake
      December 13, 2017

      Reading stream stage at Bull Lake Creek above Bull Lake streamgage

      The wire weight is lowered to determine stage of Bull Lake Creek above Bull Lake

      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
      Lake Mead
      March 15, 2017

      The Colorado River system provides about 35 million Americans with a portion of their water supply. It irrigates 5½ million acres of land in the West and provides water to tribes, parks, and wildlife. The system serves parts of seven States and Mexico—but reservoir levels have crept lower over the past several years, sparking questions about how much water remains and who will have access.

      USGS: Science for a changing world
      March 8, 2017

      In order to provide long-term storage of diverted surface water from the Rio Grande as part of the Aamodt water rights settlement, managed aquifer recharge by surface infiltration in Pojoaque River Basin arroyos was proposed as an option.

      USGS
      February 17, 2017

      Small variations in the density of the earth’s crust—undetectable to humans without sensitive instruments—influence where earthquakes may occur in the central United States. These new findings from the U.S. Geological Survey, published today in Nature Communications, may allow scientists to map where future seismicity in the center of the country is most likely.

      Photo of an active oil and gas pad on Bureau of Land Management lands near Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
      February 7, 2017

      A new scientific approach can now provide regional assessments of land recovery following oil and gas drilling activities, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study published in the journal Science of the Total Environment.

      Dubois Badlands Wilderness Study Area, Wyoming
      January 19, 2017

      The U.S. Geological Survey and the Bureau of Land Management today released a collaborative report with new information and tools to support effective management of millions of acres of BLM public lands.  The report underscores the value of a landscape approach to management, and shows that the BLM manages some of the largest areas of intact public lands in the west. 

      Photo of a young girl drinking water, which likely originated from groundwater sources. 
      January 19, 2017

      A regional assessment of untreated groundwater in the Basin and Range basin-fill aquifers, which include parts of Nevada, California, Arizona, Utah and adjacent states, is now available from the U.S. Geological Survey.

      Photo of USGS scientist Robert Baskin deploying a side scan sonar in the Salton Sea, California. 
      January 18, 2017

      U.S. Geological Survey scientist Dr. Robert Baskin is being awarded with a 2016 Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology. Gov. Gary R. Herbert will present awards to 11 individuals and one company at the 30th anniversary awards dinner tonight.

      USGS
      January 12, 2017

      Helpful new information for anyone designing structures over or near water, managing water distribution, or interested in the flow of local streams.

      Map of Northern High Plains Aquifer
      December 13, 2016

      A new U.S. Geological Survey publication and model can be applied by multiple entities to better understand flow, quantity, sources and sinks of groundwater in the Northern High Plains Aquifer, which covers approximately 100,000 square miles across Nebraska, South Dakota, Kansas, Colorado and Wyoming.

      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.

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