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: 385
Date published: January 1, 2009
Status: Completed

Loutzenhizer Arroyo Water Quality Monitoring activities in the Lower Gunnison Basin

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

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

    Characterization of Selenium Sources in the Lower Gunnison River Basin

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

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

    RCMAP - Roaring Fork River at Basalt, Colorado

    The U.S. Geological Survey was engaged in a program to monitor and assess the long-term geomorphic behavior of selected river and stream reaches that previously had undergone some physical modification.  These modifications included natural channel adjustments to floods as well as intentional channel reconfigurations to alter the function or appearance of a river reach.

    The Roaring Fork...

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

    Upper Gunnison River Water-Quality Data

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

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

    Upper Arkansas Toxic-Substances Hydrology

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

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

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

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

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

    Date published: October 1, 2007
    Status: Completed

    Southwest Study Area Water-Quality Data

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

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

    USGS Abandoned Mine Lands Initiative

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

    Date published: September 30, 2007
    Status: Completed

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

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

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

    Contacts: David P Mau
    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....

    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: 5,060
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    Year Published: 2019

    Review of indicators for comparing environmental effects across energy sources

    Robust, quantitative comparisons of environmental effects across energy sources can support development of energy planning strategies that meet growing demand while managing and minimizing undesirable effects on environmental resources. Multicriteria analyses of energy systems often use a suite of indicators to make such comparisons, but those...

    Dorning, Monica; Diffendorfer, James E.; Scott R Loss; Bagstad, Kenneth J.

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    Year Published: 2019

    Variability in results from mineralogical and organic geochemical interlaboratory testing of U. S. Geological Survey shale reference materials

    The expansion of unconventional petroleum resource exploration and production in the United States has led to an increase in source rock characterization efforts, particularly related to bulk organic and mineralogical properties. To support the analytical and research needs of industry and academia, as well as internal work, the U.S. Geological...

    Birdwell, Justin E.; Wilson, Stephen A.

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    Year Published: 2019

    Detrital zircon geochronology along a structural transect across the Kahiltna assemblage in the western Alaska Range: Implications for emplacement of the Alexander-Wrangellia-Peninsular terrane against North America

    The Kahiltna assemblage in the western Alaska Range consists of deformed Upper Jurassic and Cretaceous clastic strata that lie between the Alexander-Wrangellia-Peninsular (AWP) terrane to the south, and the Farewell and other peri-cratonic terranes to the north. Differences in detrital zircon populations and sandstone petrography allow geographic...

    Box, Stephen E.; Karl, Susan M.; Jones, James V.; Bradley, Dwight C.; Haeussler, Peter; O'Sullivan, Paul B.

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    Year Published: 2019

    Plant and insect herbivore community variation across the Paleocene–Eocene boundary in the Hanna Basin, southeastern Wyoming

    Ecosystem function and stability are highly affected by internal and external stressors. Utilizing paleobotanical data gives insight into the evolutionary processes an ecosystem undergoes across long periods of time, allowing for a more complete understanding of how plant and insect herbivore communities are affected by ecosystem imbalance. To...

    Schmidt, Lauren E; Dunn, Regan E; Mercer, Jason J; Dechesne, Marieke; Currano, Ellen D

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    Year Published: 2019

    Quantifying source and sink habitats and pathways in spatially structured populations: A generalized modelling approach

    The ability to classify habitats and movement pathways as sources or sinks is an important part of the decision making process for the conservation of spatially structured populations. Diverse approaches have been used to quantify the importance of habitats and pathways in a spatial network, however these approaches have been limited by a lack of...

    Diffendorfer, James E.; Sample, Christine; Beiri, Joanna A; Allen, Benjamin L. ; Dementieva, Yulia; Carson, Alyssa; Higgins, Connar; Piatt, Sadie; Qiu, Shirley; Stafford, Summer; Mattsson, Brady J.; Semmens, Darius J.; Thogmartin, Wayne E.

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    Year Published: 2019

    Mountain-block recharge: A review of current understanding

    Mountain-block recharge (MBR) is the subsurface inflow of groundwater to lowland aquifers from adjacent mountains. MBR can be a major component of recharge but remains difficult to characterize and quantify due to limited hydrogeologic, climatic, and other data in the mountain block and at the mountain front. The number of MBR-related studies has...

    Katherine Markovich; Manning, Andrew H.; Laura Condon; Jennifer McIntosh

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    Year Published: 2019

    Assessing the feasibility of satellite-based thresholds for hydrologically driven landsliding

    Elevated soil moisture and heavy precipitation contribute to landslides worldwide. These environmental variables are now being resolved with satellites at spatiotemporal scales that could offer new perspectives on the development of landslide warning systems. However, the application of these data to hydro-meteorological thresholds (which account...

    Thomas, Matthew A.; Collins, Brian D.; Mirus, Benjamin B.

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    Year Published: 2019

    Assessment of undiscovered continuous oil and gas resources in the Upper Ordovician Point Pleasant Formation and Utica Shale of the Appalachian Basin Province, 2019

    Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated undiscovered, technically recoverable continuous mean resources of 1.8 billion barrels of oil and 117.2 trillion cubic feet of gas in the Upper Ordovician Point Pleasant Formation and Utica Shale of the Appalachian Basin Province.

    Enomoto, Catherine B.; Trippi, Michael H.; Higley, Debra K.; Drake, Ronald M.; Gaswirth, Stephanie B.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.; Le, Phuong A.; Marra, Kristen R.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.; Woodall, Cheryl A.; Schenk, Christopher J.
    Enomoto, C.B., Trippi, M.H., Higley, D.K., Drake, R.M., II, Gaswirth, S.B., Mercier, T.J., Brownfield, M.E., Leathers-Miller, H.M., Le, P.A., Marra, K.R., Tennyson, M.E., Woodall, C.A., and Schenk, C.J., 2019, Assessment of undiscovered continuous oil and gas resources in the Upper Ordovician Point Pleasant Formation and Utica Shale of the Appalachian Basin Province, 2019: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2019–3044, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20193044.

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    Year Published: 2019

    Assessment of undiscovered gas resources in the Middle Devonian Marcellus Shale of the Appalachian Basin Province, 2019

    Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated undiscovered, technically recoverable continuous mean resources of 96.5 trillion cubic feet of gas in the Middle Devonian Marcellus Shale of the Appalachian Basin Province.

    Higley, Debra K.; Enomoto, Catherine E; Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.; Ellis, Geoffrey S.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Schenk, Christopher J.; Trippi, Michael H.; Le, Phuong A.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Woodall, Cheryl A.; Marra, Kristen R.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.
    Higley, D.K., Enomoto, C.B., Leathers-Miller, H.M., Ellis, G.S., Mercier, T.J., Schenk, C.J., Trippi, M.H., Le, P.A., Brownfield, M.E., Woodall, C.A., Marra, K.R., and Tennyson, M.E., 2019, Assessment of undiscovered gas resources in the Middle Devonian Marcellus Shale of the Appalachian Basin Province, 2019: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2019–3050, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20193050.

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    Year Published: 2019

    Controls on petroleum resources for the Devonian Marcellus Shale in the Appalachian Basin Province, Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York

    Greater than 33 trillion cubic feet of gas, 68 million barrels of natural gas liquids (NGL), and 192 million barrels of water have been produced from the Middle Devonian Marcellus Shale of the Hamilton Group in the Appalachian Basin. These volumes are from more than 11,700 non-commingled wells. Areas of greatest production and future potential for...

    Higley, D.K.; Enomoto, Catherine B.; Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.

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    Year Published: 2019

    Burial history reconstruction of the Appalachian Basin in Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York, using 1D petroleum system models

    Nine 1D burial history models were built across the Appalachian Basin to reconstruct the burial, erosional, and thermal maturation histories of contained petroleum source rocks. Models were calibrated to measured downhole temperature and to vitrinite reflectance (% Ro) data from Devonian through Pennsylvanian petroleum source rocks. The highest...

    Higley, Debra K.; Enomoto, Catherine B.

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    Year Published: 2019

    Permeability anisotropy and relative permeability in sediments from the National Gas Hydrate Program Expedition 02, offshore India

    Gas and water permeability through hydrate-bearing sediments essentially governs the economic feasibility of gas production from gas hydrate deposits. Characterizing a reservoir’s permeability can be difficult because even collocated permeability measurements can vary by 4-5 orders of magnitude, due partly to differences between how various...

    Dai, Sheng; Kim, J.; Xu, Yue; Waite, William F.; Jang, Junbong; Yoneda, J.; Collett, Timothy S.; Kumar, Pushpendra

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

    Installing piezometer on the bank of the New Fork River

    Installing piezometer on the bank of the New Fork River

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

    Installing stream thermistor at New Fork Groundwater Streamgage

    Installing stream thermistor at New Fork Groundwater Streamgage

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

    Confluence of New Fork (foreground) and Green Rivers

    Confluence of New Fork (foreground) and Green Rivers

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

    Confluence of Cement Creek and the Animas River in Colorado

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

    A managed wildfire in New Mexico demonstrates application of wildland fire science for forest restoration and risk reduction
    August 8, 2014

    A managed wildfire in New Mexico

    A managed wildfire in New Mexico demonstrates application of wildland fire
    science for forest restoration and risk reduction

    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

    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: 340
    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.

    USGS
    June 2, 1997

    The U. S. Geological Survey has released Open-File Report 97-59 entitled: Geology and Structure of the Pine River, Florida River, Carbon Junction, and Basin Creek Gas Seeps, La Plata County, Colorado.

    USGS
    November 21, 1996

    The gasoline additive MTBE (methyl tert-butyl ether) was detected in some urban stormwater samples collected in 16 cities and metropolitan areas by the U.S. Geological Survey, but all detections of MTBE were less than the lower limit of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s draft lifetime health advisory for drinking water.

    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.