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: 386
Date published: March 26, 2019
Status: Active

Defining Native Ranges of U.S. Inland Fishes

Understanding the native versus non-native range of a species can provide useful information about dispersal, population distribution patterns, and human mediated movement across hydrologic barriers. The USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species (NAS) Program is working with partners to define native ranges of inland fishes in the United States to help identify which species should be included in the...

Date published: March 5, 2019
Status: Active

The Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Flood and Storm Tracker (FaST)

Storm-related flooding can lead to the potential spread of nonindigenous (or non-native) aquatic species into waterways they have not been seen in before. The USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species program has developed an innovative mapping tool to help natural resource managers with post-storm nonindigenous aquatic species detection and assessment efforts. 

Date published: February 26, 2019
Status: Completed

August-September 2014 Southwest Floods

Learn more about USGS flood activities related to the August-September 2014 Floods, caused by heavy rains followed by remnants of Hurricane Odile which brought major flooding to parts of Arizona.

Date published: February 25, 2019
Status: Completed

September 2013 Southwest Floods

Learn more about USGS flood activities related to the September 2013 Southwest Floods that occurred when rains brought major flooding to parts of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah.

Date published: February 25, 2019
Status: Completed

Summer 2011 Missouri River Basin flood

Learn more about USGS flood activities related to the 2011 Missouri River Basin Flood resulting from higher-than-average snowmelt runoff combined with heavy spring rains.

Date published: February 25, 2019
Status: Active

Urban Waters Federal Partnership—Middle Rio Grande (Albuquerque, N. Mex.)

The Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, just 7 miles south of downtown Albuquerque on the Rio Grande, will reconnect people, especially young people, with nature in this highly populated area. The USGS is gathering data that will help gauge the success of habitat restoration efforts.

Date published: February 22, 2019
Status: Active

Yellowstone River Compact Commission: Technical Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes

The Yellowstone River Compact Commission Technical Advisory committee meets periodically. The official minutes of each meeting  can be accessed below by clicking on the appropriate link.

Date published: February 22, 2019
Status: Active

Yellowstone River Compact Commission: Annual Reports

The Yellowstone River Compact Commission was established in 1951 and meets annually.

The Commission's formational meeting minutes and annual reports can be accessed below by clicking on the appropriate link. The official minutes of each meeting are incorporated into the Commission's annual reports.

Date published: February 19, 2019
Status: Active

Topographic Survey Data of Fountain Creek between Colorado Springs and the Confluence of Fountain Creek at the Arkansas River

Starting in 2012, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with Colorado Springs Utilities selected 10 reaches or study areas along Fountain Creek between Colorado Springs and the confluence of Fountain Creek at the Arkansas River for annual bed and bank characterization and topographic surveys.  

The selected 10 study areas are approximately 5 to 20 bank-full channel widths in...

Contacts: Laura Hempel
Date published: December 13, 2018
Status: Active

Connections between Forested and Urban Landscapes and Implications for Water Supply

Interactions between forested and urban landscapes can lead to reciprocal effects that have substantial impacts on water supply and ecology. Air pollution from urban and forested landscapes can be deposited on adjacent forests, while forest disturbance, such as wildfires and floods, can remobilize those contaminants. Additionally, pollutants from legacy land use (e.g., mining) can also be...

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: October 15, 2019

Data Release: The effects of wildfire on snow water resources estimated from canopy disturbance patterns and meteorological conditions

This data release contains model input and output data associated with a published report (The effects of wildfire on snow water resources estimated from canopy disturbance patterns and meteorological conditions [Moeser, Broxton and Harpold, 2019]) where specific descriptions of the data can be found. The input data are derived from pre- and post-fire aerial LiDAR acquired in June 201

Date published: October 11, 2019

Digital subsurface data from USGS Evolution of Sedimentary Basin studies of the San Juan basin and adjacent areas, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico

The San Juan basin is a significant physical and structural element in the southeastern part of the Colorado Plateau physiographic province. The San Juan basin is in New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and Utah and has an area of about 21,600 square miles. The basin is about 140 miles wide and about 200 miles long. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, the U.S. Geological Survey's Evol

Date published: October 1, 2019

U-Pb detrital zircon data for: Select Pennsylvanian-Triassic sedimentary rocks from Colorado

This dataset includes U-Pb detrital zircon age data for samples from the Ingleside and Lyons formations in north-central Colorado collected from Owl Canyon and Park Creek Reservoir, from the Molas and Hermosa formations in southwestern Colorado collected from Molas Pass, and from the Lykins formation and its equivalents along the Front Range and in southeastern Colorado. It accompanies public...

Date published: September 26, 2019

Data for assessing the susceptibility of groundwater used for drinking water supply from selected principal aquifers of the Western United States, 2004-2018

Groundwater age distribution and susceptibility to natural and anthropogenic contaminants were assessed for selected principal aquifers of the Western United States: the Central Valley aquifer system (CVAL), the Basin and Range basin-fill aquifers (BNRF), the Rio Grande aquifer system (RIOG), the High Plains aquifer (HPAQ), the Columbia Plateau basaltic-rock aquifers (

Date published: September 19, 2019

Audiomagnetotelluric sounding data in the Silverton Caldera complex, Colorado, 2018

This data release includes audiomagnetotelluric (AMT) sounding data collected in July 2018 in the Silverton Caldera complex, Colorado, in the Southern Rocky Mountain Volcanic Field, by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Along with geologic mapping, airborne magnetics, airborne electromagnetics, and magnetotellurics, the USGS collected AMT data at 24 sites along four profiles

Date published: September 12, 2019

U-Pb detrital zircon data for: lower Paleozoic sedimentary rocks near Silverton, CO USA

This Laser ablation ICPMS U-Pb detrital zircon data set supports mapping and stratigraphic interpretations of the Upper Devonian Ignacio Formation in southwestern Colorado (Silverton area). All samples were collected from a measured stratigraphic section called "Sultan Creek South" located at 37.710010 and -107.67530 (Evans and others, 2019). The Ignacio Formation was previously int

Date published: September 6, 2019

Drainage basins and characteristics for selected streamgages within the Southern Rockies Landscape Conservation Cooperative domain

Streamflow and basin-characteristic data are needed for a variety of scientific applications including estimation of flow in ungaged basins and hydro-ecological classification of rivers. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Bureau of Reclamation and the Southern Rockies Landscape Conservation Cooperative (SRLCC), selected a subset of streamgages across the SRLC

Date published: August 20, 2019

High Resolution Aeromagnetic Survey, Villa Grove, Colorado, USA, 2011

This data release includes data collected from the Villa Grove helicopter magnetic survey in northern San Luis Valley and Poncha Pass region in south-central Colorado, USA. The survey area extends over the northern part of Great Sand Dunes National Park, Poncha Pass and vicinity, and into the southern end of the Upper Arkansas Valley. It includes the communities of Crestone, Villa Grove

Date published: July 29, 2019

U-Pb zircon data for: The Poncha Pass and Deadman Creek areas, northern Sangre de Cristo mountains of south-central Colorado

Geologic mapping, characterization of geologic structures, and sampling for geochronology was completed in two areas of the northwestern Sangre de Cristo mountains from 2011 through 2017. This data release provides the raw analytical data, metadata and sample information for 20 zircon U-Pb age analyses from laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICPMS). The two areas...

Date published: June 21, 2019

Structural geologic orientation data for primarily Proterozoic aged rocks, eastern-central Rocky Mountain Front Range, Colorado

This data release consists of point data digitized from structural geologic orientation symbols consisting of mostly foliations and lineations. The data comes from primarily Proterozoic aged rocks in the eastern-central Rocky Mountain Front Range of Colorado. Compilation of the data is from twenty-three geologic maps published by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Colorado Geological Survey...

Date published: June 12, 2019

GCMRC GIS Base Map Viewer 2.0

The Geospatial team of the Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center maintains an enterprise GIS system built upon ESRI ArcGIS Server and Portal applications.  This web application provides access to many of the most commonly used GIS layers and base data information used by GCMRC in support of on-going science projects. 

Click here to launch the Base Map Viewer (2.0) in a separate...

Date published: June 12, 2019

GCMRC REST Services Page

The Geospatial team of Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center maintains an enterprise GIS system built upon ESRI ArcGIS Server and Portal applications.  From this platform, geospatial content can be consumed in a variety of forms, from custom-built web applications to content hosted on ESRI's ArcGIS Online to direct access of web map services provided here on our REST services page.

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: 5,270
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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.

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Year Published: 2021

A near-real-time model for estimating probability of road obstruction due to earthquake-triggered landslides

Coseismic landslides are a major source of transportation disruption in mountainous areas, but few approaches exist for rapidly estimating impacts to road networks. We develop a model that links the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) near-real-time earthquake-triggered landslide hazard model with Open Street Map (OSM) road network data to rapidly...

Wilson, B.H.; Allstadt, Kate; Thompson, Eric M.

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Year Published: 2021

Evidence for variable precipitation and discharge from Upper Cretaceous–Paleogene fluvial deposits of the Raton Basin, Colorado–New Mexico, U.S.A.

The Raton Basin of Colorado–New Mexico, USA, is the southeasternmost basin of the Laramide intraforeland province of North America. It hosts a thick succession (4.5 km or 15,000 ft) of Upper Cretaceous to Paleogene marine and continental strata that were deposited in response to the final regression of the Western Interior Seaway and the onset of...

Schwartz, Theresa Maude; Dechesne, Marieke; Zellman, Kristine L.

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Year Published: 2021

Deposit classification scheme for the Critical Minerals Mapping Initiative Global Geochemical Database

A challenge for the global economy is to meet the growing demand for commodities used in today’s advanced technologies. Critical minerals are commodities (for example, elements, compounds, minerals) deemed vital to the economic and national security of individual countries that are vulnerable to supply disruption. The national geological agencies...

Hofstra, Albert H.; Lisitsin, Vladimir; Corriveau, Louise; Paradis, Suzanne; Peter, Jan; Lauzière, Kathleen; Lawley, Christopher; Gadd, Michael; Pilote, Jean-Luc; Honsberger, Ian; Bastrakov, Evgeniy; Champion, David; Czarnota, Karol; Doublier, Michael; Huston, David; Raymond, Oliver; VanDerWielen, Simon; Emsbo, Poul; Granitto, Matthew; Kreiner, Douglas C.
Hofstra, A., Lisitsin, V., Corriveau, L., Paradis, S., Peter, J., Lauzière, K., Lawley, C., Gadd, M., Pilote, J., Honsberger, I., Bastrakov, E., Champion, D., Czarnota, K., Doublier, M., Huston, D., Raymond, O., VanDerWielen, S., Emsbo, P., Granitto, M., and Kreiner, D., 2021, Deposit classification scheme for the Critical Minerals Mapping Initiative Global Geochemical Database: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2021–1049, 60 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20211049.

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
NASA image of Bear Lake with beautiful swirls in blue water showing mixing
May 1, 2018

Bear Lake Mixing

NASA image of Bear Lake with beautiful swirls in blue water showing mixing

Discussion on Complexities of the Rio Grande Watershed
April 30, 2018

Discussion on Complexities of the Rio Grande Watershed

Streamside talk about a water managers perspectives on the complexities of the Rio Grande Watershed and the history / need for runoff forecasts for downstream water users. The talk led by Dagmar Llewelly (BOR), Carolyn Donnelly (BOR), Andy Wood (UCAR), and Flaivo Lehner (UCAR) focused on how stream forecasts are developed from snow information and how the forecasts are

...
Rio Grande Gaging Station Sign
April 30, 2018

Rio Grande Gaging Station Sign

Attendees of the 86th Annual Western Snow Conference held in Albuquerque, New Mexico gather at the first streamgaging station established by the United States Geological Survey in 1889 to learn about USGS streamgaging techniques. 

Jeb Brown discusses sediment sampling techniques
April 30, 2018

Jeb Brown Discusses Sediment Sampling Techniques

Attendees of the 86th Annual Western Snow Conference listen as Jeb Brown of the New Mexico Water Science Center discusses current and past sediment gaging techniques. 

Hydro tech teaches sediment sampling techniques
April 30, 2018

Sediment Sampling Techniques

Attendees of the 86th Annual Western Snow Conference listen as Tyson Hatch of the New Mexico Water Science Center discusses current and past sediment gaging techniques. 

USGS Staff pose next to "First Gaging Station" sign
April 30, 2018

Rio Grande at Embudo, NM - First Gaging Station

Staff from the New Mexico Water Science Center pose next to the "First Gaging Station" sign after hosting a technical tour of the site as part of the 86th annual Western Snow Conference.

Attribution of storm-weighted potential contaminant hazard ranks to sampling locations
April 12, 2018

Attribution of storm-weighted potential contaminant hazard ranks

Geospatial Analyses and Applications — Salt Lake City, Utah. Attribution of storm-weighted potential contaminant hazard ranks to sampling locations in the Sediment-Bound Contaminant Resiliency and Response (SCoRR) network.

Fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) swimming in an experimental aquarium
April 3, 2018

Fathead minnows swimming in an experimental aquarium

Fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) swimming in an expermental aquaium. The aquarium is part of an experiment to assess endocrine disruption in fish.

Bioactive Chemicals Research Laboratory -- Boulder, Colorado
April 3, 2018

Bioactive Chemicals Research Laboratory -- Boulder, Colorado

Bioactive Chemicals Research Laboratory -- Boulder, Colorado. Fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) swimming in an expermental aquaium

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
Airborne electromagnetic system similar to that which will be used for the Silverton, Colorado survey.
March 25, 2019

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

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. 

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.

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