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

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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: 5,131
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Year Published: 2019

Source-dependent amplification of earthquake ground motions in deep sedimentary basins

Deep sedimentary basins amplify long-period shaking from seismic waves, increasing the seismic hazard for cities within such basins. We perform 3-D simulations of point source earthquakes distributed around the Seattle and Tacoma basins in Washington State, to examine the dependence of basin amplification on source azimuth, depth, and earthquake...

Wirth, Erin; Vidale, John E.; Frankel, Arthur; Pratt, Thomas L.

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Year Published: 2019

Late Quaternary paleohydrology of desert wetlands and pluvial lakes in the Soda Lake basin, central Mojave Desert, California (USA)

Sediment cores taken near extant springs along the western margin of Soda Lake playa, as well as from the playa center, reveal dramatic hydrologic changes that occurred in the central Mojave Desert during the late Quaternary. Results of stratigraphic, chronologic, physical, chemical, and microfossil analyses of seven cores, ranging in length from...

Honke, Jeffrey S.; Pigati, Jeffrey S.; Wilson, J.; Bright, J.; Goldstein, H.L.; Skipp, Gary L.; Reheis, M.C.; Havens, J. C.

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Year Published: 2019

A 4000-year history of debris flows in north-central Washington State, U.S.A.: Preliminary results from trenching and surficial geologic mapping at the Pope Creek fan

Long-term records of the magnitude and frequency of debris flows on fans are rare, but such records provide critical information needed for debris-flow hazard and risk assessments. This study explores the history of debris flows on a fan with seasonally inhabited cabins at Pope Creek along the Entiat River about 48 km upstream from the town of...

Coe, Jeffrey A.; Bessette-Kirton, Erin; Slaughter, Stephen; Rengers, Francis K.; Contreras, Trevor A.; Michelson, Katherin A; Taylor, Emily; Kean, Jason W.; Jacobacci, Kara; Hanson, Molly A
Coe, J.A., Bessette-Kirton, E.K., Slaughter, S.L., Rengers, F.K., Contreras, T.A., Mickelson, K.A., Taylor, E.M., Kean, J.W., Jacobacci, K.E., Hanson, M.A., 2019, A 4000-year history of debris flows in north-central Washington State, U.S.A.: preliminary results from trenching and surficial geologic mapping at the Pope Creek fan, in Kean, J.W., Coe, J.A., Santi, P.M., and Guillen, B.K., eds., Debris-Flow Hazards Mitigation: Mechanics, Monitoring, Modeling, and Assessment, Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Debris Flow Hazards Mitigation, Golden, Colorado, p. 613-620.

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Year Published: 2019

Exploring controls on debris-flow surge velocity and peak discharge at Chalk Cliffs, Colorado, USA

We present a series of debris-flow events and use combined sensor and video data to explore how sediment concentration and triggering rainfall intensity affect the velocity and discharge of debris-flow surges generated by surface-water runoff. We analyze an initial data set of 49 surges from four debris-flow events recorded by a monitoring system...

Smith, Joel B.; Kean, Jason W.; Coe, Jeffrey A.
Smith, J.B., Kean, J.W., and Coe, J.A., 2019, Exploring controls on debris-flow surge velocity and peak discharge at Chalk Cliffs, Colorado, USA, in Kean, J.W., Coe, J.A., Santi, P.M., and Guillen, B.K., eds., Debris-Flow Hazards Mitigation: Mechanics, Monitoring, Modeling, and Assessment, Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Debris Flow Hazards Mitigation, Golden, Colorado, p. 199-206.

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Year Published: 2019

An evaluation of debris-flow runout model accuracy and complexity in Montecito, CA: Towards a framework for regional inundation-hazard forecasting

Numerous debris-flow inundation models have been applied retroactively to noteworthy events around the world. While such studies can be useful in identifying controlling factors, calibrating model parameters, and assessing future hazards in specific study areas, model parameters tailored to individual events can be difficult to apply regionally....

Bessette-Kirton, Erin; Kean, Jason W.; Coe, Jeffrey A.; Rengers, Francis K.; Staley, Dennis M.
Bessette-Kirton, E.K., Kean, J.W., Coe, J.A., Rengers, F.K., Staley, D.M., 2019, An evaluation of debris-flow runout model accuracy and complexity in Montecito, California: Towards a framework for regional inundation-hazard forecasting, in Kean, J.W., Coe, J.A., Santi, P.M., and Guillen, B.K., eds., Debris-Flow Hazards Mitigation: Mechanics, Monitoring, Modeling, and Assessment, Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Debris Flow Hazards Mitigation, Golden, Colorado p. 257-264.

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Year Published: 2019

Real-time monitoring of debris-flow velocity and mass deformation from field experiments with high sample rate lidar and video

Debris flows evolve in both time and space in complex ways, commonly starting as coherent failures but then quickly developing structures such as roll waves and surges. This process is readily observed, but difficult to study or quantify because of the speed at which it occurs. Many methods for studying debris flows consist of point measurements (...

Rengers, Francis K.; Rapstine, Thomas; Allstadt, Kate E.; Olsen, Michael; Bunn, Michael; Iverson, Richard M.; Kean, Jason W.; Leshchinsky, Ben; Logan, Matthew; Sharifi-Mood, Mahyar; Obryk, Maciej; Smith, Joel B.

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Year Published: 2019

Looking through the window of disturbance at post-wildfire debris-flow hazards

The extreme heat from wildfire alters soil properties and incinerates vegetation, leading to changes in infiltration capacity, ground cover, soil erodibility, and rainfall interception. These changes promote increases in runoff and sediment transport that increase the likelihood of runoff-generated debris flows. Over a period of several years,...

McGuire, Luke; Rengers, Francis K.; Kean, Jason W.; Staley, Dennis M.; Tang, Hui; Youberg, Ann

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Year Published: 2019

Topographic change detection at Chalk Cliffs, Colorado, USA, using Airborne LiDAR and UAS-based Structure-from-Motion photogrammetry

The Chalk Cliffs debris-flow site is a small headwater catchment incised into highly fractured and hydrothermally altered quartz monzonite in a semi-arid climate. Over half of the extremely steep basin is exposed bedrock. Debris flows occur multiple times per year in response to rainstorm events, typically during the summer monsoon season. The...

Barnhart, Katherine R; Rengers, Francis K.; Ghent Jessica N; Tucker, Gregory E.; Coe, Jeffrey A.; Kean, Jason W.; Smith, Joel B.; Staley, Dennis M.; Kleiber, William; Wiens, Ashton M

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Year Published: 2019

Assessment of continuous oil and gas resources in the Beetaloo Basin, Australia, 2018

Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated undiscovered, technically recoverable mean resources of 429 million barrels of continuous oil and 8 trillion cubic feet of continuous gas in the Beetaloo Basin of northern Australia.

Schenk, Christopher J.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Woodall, Cheryl A.; Finn, Thomas M.; Marra, Kristen R.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.; Drake, Ronald M.
Schenk, C.J., Mercier, T.J., Woodall, C.A., Finn, T.M., Marra, K.R., Brownfield, M.E., Leathers-Miller, H.M., and Drake, R.M., II, 2019, Assessment of continuous oil and gas resources in the Beetaloo Basin, Australia, 2018: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2019–3013, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20193013.

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Year Published: 2019

Post-fire rockfall and debris-flow hazard zonation in the Eagle Creek Fire burn area, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon: a tool for emergency managers and first responders

The Eagle Creek Fire engulfed 48,832 acres (196 km2) within the Columbia River Gorge, Oregon beginning September 2nd and was 100% contained by November 30th, 2017. The Columbia River Gorge area is steep and heavily forested characterized by cliffs and flanking talus slopes, receiving > 100 inches (> 254 cm) of precipitation annually. The...

Calhoun, Nancy C.; Burns, William J.; Hayduk, S.H.; Staley, Dennis M.; Kean, Jason W.
Calhoun, N.C., Burns, W.J., Hay, S., Staley, D.M., and Kean, J.W. (2019), Post-fire rockfall and debris-flow hazard zonation in the Eagle Creek fire burn area, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon: A tool for emergency managers and first responders, in Debris-Flow Hazards Mitigation: Mechanics, Monitoring, Modeling, and Assessment, edited by Kean, J.W., Coe, J.A., Santi, P.M., and Guillen, B.K., Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists, Special Publication #28, p. 581-588.

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Year Published: 2019

Taking the pulse of debris flows: Extracting debris-flow dynamics from good vibrations in southern California and central Colorado

The destructive nature of debris flows makes it difficult to quantify flow dynamics with direct instrumentation. For this reason, seismic sensors placed safely away from the flow path are often used to identify the timing and speed of debris flows. While seismic sensors have proven to be a valuable tool for event detection and early warning, their...

Michel, A.; Kean, Jason W.; Smith, Joel B.; Allstadt, Kate E.; Coe, Jeffrey A.
Michel, A., Kean, J.W., Smith, J.B., Allstadt, K., and Coe, J.A. (2019), Taking the pulse of debris flows: extracting debris-flow dynamics from good vibrations in southern California and central Colorado, in Debris-Flow Hazards Mitigation: Mechanics, Monitoring, Modeling, and Assessment, edited by Kean, J.W., Coe, J.A., Santi, P.M., and Guillen, B.K., Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists, Special Publication #28, p. 154-161.

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Year Published: 2019

Assessment of tight-oil and tight-gas resources in the Junggar and Santanghu Basins of Northwestern China, 2018

Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated undiscovered, technically recoverable mean resources of 241 million barrels of tight oil and 10.1 trillion cubic feet of tight gas in the Junggar and Santanghu Basins of northwestern China.

Potter, Christopher J.; Schenk, Christopher J.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.; Finn, Thomas M.; Woodall, Cheryl A.; Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.; Marra, Kristen R.; Le, Phuong A.; Drake, Ronald M.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Pitman, Janet K.
Potter, C.J., Schenk, C.J., Mercier, T.J., Tennyson, M.E., Finn, T.M., Woodall, C.A., Leathers-Miller, H.M., Marra, K.R., Le, P.A., Drake, R.M., II, Brownfield, M.E., and Pitman, J.K., 2019, Assessment of tight-oil and tight-gas resources in the Junggar and Santanghu Basins of northwestern China, 2018: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2019–3012, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20193012.

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: 517
Image: Ranch in the Green River Valley, Wyoming

Ranch in the Green River Valley, Wyoming

A section of the Upper Green River Valley in western Wyoming, just south of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, showing different ecosystems (such as forests, wetlands, and aquatic habitats) whose capacities for carbon storage and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions will be assessed by the USGS. Scientists with the USGS are assessing the potential to store carbon

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Webcam image of the Pecos River near Acme, New Mexico - Site #08386000

Pecos River Webcam Near Acme, NM

Webcam image of the Pecos River near Acme, New Mexico - Site #08386000

Image: Colorado Plateau

Colorado Plateau

The Colorado Plateau lies in the Four Corners region of the southwestern United States: western Colorado, northwestern New Mexico, southeastern and eastern Utah, and northern Arizona. Most of the area is drained by the Colorado River and its main tributaries.

Image: Tree-Killing Las Conchas Fire in New Mexico

Tree-Killing Las Conchas Fire in New Mexico

USGS scientist Craig D. Allen observes the results of the extensive, tree-killing fire that consumed almost all above-ground biomass in this part of the Las Conchas Fire burn area in the Jemez Mountains, New Mexico. Photo taken in late August 2011, two months post-fire. Forest drought stress is highly correlated with mortality from poor growth, bark beetle outbreaks, and

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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.