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: September 30, 2002
Status: Completed

Arkansas River Water-Quality Data

The Arkansas River Basin drains an area of 24,904 square miles of southeastern Colorado. Like other basins on the Front Range, the Arkansas Basin has experienced growth and is expected to have significant increases in growth in the future. Demands on the limited water resources also will increase as changes in water storage, water releases, and/or transfer of waters within or outside of the...

Date published: September 1, 2002
Status: Completed

Water-Quality Assessment of Wolford Mountain Reservoir on Muddy Creek near Kremmling, Colorado

In March 1985 the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Colorado River Water Conservation District (CRWCD), began a monitoring program on Muddy Creek in anticipation of the construction of a water storage project. A site upstream of the proposed reservoir (Muddy Creek above Antelope Creek, 09041090), and a downstream site (Muddy Creek at Kremmling, 09041500) were chosen to...

Date published: August 1, 2002
Status: Completed

Blue River Water-Quality Data

The Blue River drains approximately 680 square miles west of the Continental Divide in central Colorado before flowing northward into the Colorado River near Kremmling, Colorado. The Blue River watershed (BRW) is almost entirely located in Summit County and includes the towns of Breckenridge, Dillon, Frisco, Montezuma, and Silverthorne. Dillon Reservoir and Green Mountain Reservoir are major...

Contacts: Nancy J Bauch
Date published: May 20, 2002
Status: Completed

Hydrologic assessment of groundwater resources in a foothills watershed in Jefferson County, Colorado

Water quantity, water-quality, and growth issues are of concern to Jefferson County, Colorado, officials who must balance the needs of current (2002) residents and requests for future development with protection and allocation of available water resources.

The current status of groundwater resources in the mountainous parts of Jefferson County must be determined as a basis for...

Contacts: Suzanne Paschke
Date published: May 10, 2002
Status: Completed

Using GIS and Multivariate Regressions to Model Salt and Selenium Loads in Regions of the Upper Colorado River Basin

Elevated loads of salt and selenium can impair the quality of water for both anthropogenic and natural uses. Understanding the environmental processes controlling how salt and selenium are introduced to streams is critical to managing and mitigating the effects of elevated loads. Dominant relations between salt and selenium loads and environmental characteristics can be established by using...

Date published: November 15, 2001
Status: Archived

SAGEMAP

A GIS Database for Sage-grouse and Shrubsteppe Management in the Intermountain West

Contacts: Steven E Hanser
Date published: October 1, 2001
Status: Completed

Water-Quality Sampling at Five Hydrologic Benchmark Stations in the Western United States

The Hydrologic Benchmark Network (HBN) was established in 1963 to provide  Swiftwater Creek, MT long-term measurements of streamflow and water quality in areas of the United States that are minimally affected by human activities. Historically, the HBN has used a fixed-interval sampling strategy, however other more robust sampling strategies are now available. Trend networks, for example, can...

Date published: June 19, 2000
Status: Completed

NAWQA South Platte River Basin Study

The South Platte River Basin study, conducted as part of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment Program, combines information on water chemistry, physical characteristics, stream habitat, and aquatic life to provide science-based insights for current and...

Date published: May 15, 2000
Status: Completed

Water-Quality Monitoring of the Vallecito Reservoir Watershed

The water quality of the Vallecito Reservoir watershed in southwestern Colorado was initially studied by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) during July 1996 to July 1997, in cooperation with the Pine River Irrigation District, to assess the suitability of the reservoir as a potential source of drinking water (Ranalli and Evans, 1999). As a result of this study, in December 1997 a group of...

Contacts: Nancy J Bauch
Date published: October 31, 1998
Status: Completed

Effects of increasing urbanization on ground- and surface-water resources in the Fraser River watershed

The USGS has assessed the effects of increasing urbanization on ground- and surface-water resources in the Fraser River watershed. The population of Grand County increased 93 percent between the years of 1970 and 1990. The majority of the new development in the watershed will rely on ground water and individual septic disposal systems (ISDS's). This study has assessed the potential effects of...

Contacts: Nancy J Bauch
Date published: April 2, 1998
Status: Completed

Effects of Fluvial Tailings Deposits on Receiving Waters in the Upper Arkansas River Basin, Lake County, Colorado

Fluvial tailings deposits stored in the floodplain of the upper Arkansas River represent a potential nonpoint source of contamination to surface and ground waters. The U.S. Geological Survey has been cooperating with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to monitor a lowcost, insitu remediation technique for the deposits. Remediation of selected sites occurred in 1998 through 2000 by...

Date published: May 23, 1997
Status: Active

Groundwater-level data for the Albuquerque Basin and Adjacent Areas

The Albuquerque hydrologic basin extends along the Rio Grande from Cochiti in the north to San Acacia in the south. Increases in groundwater pumping to accommodate population growth in the basin resulted in substantial groundwater-level drawdown in some areas.

Contacts: Joseph E Beman

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: 5,302
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Year Published: 2020

Risk-targeted alternatives to deterministic ground motion caps in U.S. seismic provisions

Since their inception over 20 years ago, the maximum considered earthquake ground motion maps in U.S. building codes have capped probabilistic values with deterministic ground motions from characteristic earthquakes on known active faults. This practice has increasingly been called into question both because of spatially non-uniform risk levels...

Stewart, Jonathan P.; Luco, Nicolas; Hooper, John D; Crouse, C. B.

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Year Published: 2020

Exploring regional scale metamorphic fabrics in the Yukon Tanana terrane and environs using quantitative domain analyses

Metamorphic rock fabrics such as foliations and lineations provide a rock record of numerous deformational characteristics in the Earth’s crust. When spatial information is combined with fabric data collected at points on geologic maps, the nature and consistency of metamorphic fabrics can be explored through structural domain analysis. This is...

Caine, Jonathan; Jones, James V.

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Year Published: 2020

Mineralogy and lithology of the Upper Cretaceous Niobrara Formation determined by hyperspectral core imaging

Sections of the Upper Cretaceous (Coniacian to Campanian) Niobrara Formation in two cores from Kansas and Colorado, the Amoco Rebecca Bounds and USGS Portland 1, respectively, were examined by hyperspectral core imaging and analysis. A spectral imaging system combining high-resolution photography (50 μm), 3D laser profiling (20 μm), and near-...

Birdwell, Justin E.; Fontenot, Lionel C.; Martini, Brigette

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Year Published: 2020

Predicting the floods that follow the flames

No abstract available.

Gourley, Jonathan J; Vergara, Humberto; Arthur, Ami; Clark, Robert A III; Staley, Dennis M.; Fulton, John; Hempel, Laura A.; Goodrich, David C.; Rowden, Katherine; Robichaud, Peter R.

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Year Published: 2020

Bayesian modeling of non-stationary, univariate, spatial data for the Earth sciences

Some Earth science data, such as geochemical measurements of element concentrations, are non-stationary—the mean and the standard deviation vary spatially. It is important to estimate the spatial variations in both statistics because such information is indicative of geological and other Earth processes. To this end, an estimation method is...

Ellefsen, Karl J.; Van Gosen, Bradley S.
Ellefsen, K.J., and Van Gosen, B.S., 2020, Bayesian modeling of non-stationary, univariate, spatial data for the Earth sciences: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods, book 7, chap. C24, 20 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/tm7C24.

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Year Published: 2020

User guide to the bayesian modeling of non-stationary, univariate, spatial data using R language package BMNUS

Bayesian modeling of non-stationary, univariate, spatial data is performed using the R-language package BMNUS. A unique advantage of this package is that it can map the mean, standard deviation, quantiles, and probability of exceeding a specified value. The package includes several R-language classes that prepare the data for the modeling, help...

Ellefsen, Karl J.; Goldman, Margaret A.; Van Gosen, Bradley S.
Ellefsen, K.J, Goldman, M.A., and Van Gosen, B.S., 2020, User guide to the bayesian modeling of non-stationary, univariate, spatial data using R language package BMNUS: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods, book 7, chap. 20, 27 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/tm7C20.

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Year Published: 2020

Economic, land use, and ecosystem services impacts of Rwanda's Green Growth Strategy: An application of the IEEM+ESM platform

We develop and link the Integrated Economic-Environmental Modeling (IEEM) Platform to ecosystem services modeling (ESM). The IEEM+ESM Platform is an innovative decision-making framework for exploring complex public policy goals and elucidating synergies and trade-offs between alternative policy portfolios. The IEEM+ESM approach is powerful in its...

Banerjee, Onil; Bagstad, Kenneth J.; Cicowiecz, Martin; Dudek, Sebastian; Horridge, Mark; Alavalapati, Janaki; Masozera, Michel K.; Rukundo, Emmanuel; Rutebuka, Evariste

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Year Published: 2020

Salt flushing, salt storage, and controls on selenium: A 31-year mass-balance analysis of an irrigated, semiarid valley

Salinity, selenium, and uranium pose water‐quality challenges for the Arkansas River in southeastern Colorado and other rivers that support irrigation in semiarid regions. This study used 31 years of continuous discharge and specific conductance (SC) monitoring data to assess interannual patterns in water quality using mass balance on a 120‐...

Bern, Carleton R.; Holmberg, Michael J.; Kisfalusi, Zachary D.

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Year Published: 2020

Holocene relative sea-level change along the tectonically active Chilean coast

We present a comprehensive relative sea-level (RSL) database for north, central, and south-central Chile (18.5°S – 43.6°S) using a consistent, systematic, and internationally comparable approach. Despite its latitudinal extent, this coastline has received little rigorous or systematic attention and details of its RSL history remain largely...

Garrett, Ed; Melnick, Daniel; Dura, Tina; Cisternas, Marco; Ely, Lisa; Wesson, Robert L.; Jara-Munoz, Julius; Whitehouse, Pippa L

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Year Published: 2020

Near-field remote sensing of surface velocity and river discharge using radars and the probability concept at 10 USGS streamgages

Near-field remote sensing of surface velocity and river discharge (discharge) were measured using coherent, continuous wave Doppler and pulsed radars. Traditional streamgaging requires sensors be deployed in the water column; however, near-field remote sensing has the potential to transform streamgaging operations through non-contact methods in...

Fulton, John; Mason, Christopher Allen; Eggleston, Jack R.; Nicotra, Matthew J.; Chiu, C.-L.; Henneberg, Mark F.; Best, Heather; Cederberg, Jay; Holnbeck, Stephen R.; Lotspeich, R. Russell; Laveau, Christopher; Moramarco, Tommaso; Jones, Mark E.; Gourley, Jonathan J; Wasielewski, Danny

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Year Published: 2020

The Landsat Burned Area algorithm and products for the conterminous United States

Complete and accurate burned area map data are needed to document spatial and temporal patterns of fires, to quantify their drivers, and to assess the impacts on human and natural systems. In this study, we developed the Landsat Burned Area (BA) algorithm, an update from the Landsat Burned Area Essential Climate Variable (BAECV) algorithm. Here,...

Hawbaker, Todd J.; Vanderhoof, Melanie K.; Schmidt, Gail L.; Beal, Yen-Ju G.; Picotte, Joshua J.; Takacs, Joshua; Falgout, Jeff T.; Dwyer, John L.

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Year Published: 2020

A critical assessment of human-impact indices based on anthropogenic pollen indicators

Anthropogenic pollen indicators in pollen records are an established tool for reconstructing the history of human impacts on vegetation and landscapes. They are also used to disentangle the influence of human activities and climatic variability on ecosystems. The comprehensive anthropogenic pollen-indicator approach developed by Behre (1981) has...

Deza-Araujo, Mara; Morales-Molino, César; Tinner, Willy; Henne, Paul D.; Heitz, Caroline; Pezzatti, Gianni B; Hafner, Albert; Conedera, Marco

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
Image: USGS Field Crew On-Site During the Sept 2013 Colorado Flood
September 17, 2013

USGS Field Crew On-Site During the Sept 2013 Colorado Flood

Bob Brandle and Cory Stevens of the USGS Colorado Water Science Center record streamflow and water level measurements for the flooded St. Vrain River near Longmont, Colo. The river is one of many that flooded during a significant September 2013 rain event along Colorado's Front Range, damaging or destroying several USGS streamgages.

Looking northeast along the Bear River Duck Club Canal toward the Wellsville Mountains. 
April 30, 2013

Bear River, Utah

Looking northeast along the Bear River Duck Club Canal toward the Wellsville Mountains. 

A new report illustrates how groundwater pumping can affect the amount of water available in streams within the Malad-Lower Bear River Area in Utah. The product was developed by the USGS, in cooperation with the Utah

...
Image: Wastewater Disposal Facility in Colorado
January 15, 2013

Wastewater Disposal Facility in Colorado

Oilfield waste arrives by tanker truck at a wastewater disposal facility near Platteville, Colo. After removal of solids and oil, the wastewater is injected into a deep well for permanent storage underground. This disposal process has the potential to trigger earthquakes, but very few wastewater disposal wells produce earthquakes. No earthquakes are associated with

...
Image: Wastewater Disposal Facility in Colorado
January 15, 2013

Wastewater Disposal Facility in Colorado

Oilfield waste arrives by tanker truck at a wastewater disposal facility near Platteville, Colo. After removal of solids and oil, the wastewater is injected into a deep well for permanent storage underground. This disposal process has the potential to trigger earthquakes, but very few wastewater disposal wells produce earthquakes. No earthquakes are associated with

...
Bacteria contained in filter chambers placed in downgradient observation wells were exposed to sulfamethoxazole
October 1, 2012

Bacteria contained in filter chambers

Microbial-Contaminant Interactions Laboratory — Boulder, Colorado. Bacteria contained in filter chambers placed in downgradient observation wells were exposed to sulfamethoxazole for 30 days as it traveled past the wells.

Bacteria contained in filter chambers placed in downgradient observation wells were exposed to sulfamethoxazole for 30 days
October 1, 2012

Bacteria contained in filter chambers

Bacteria contained in filter chambers placed in downgradient observation wells were exposed to sulfamethoxazole for 30 days as it traveled past the wells

Prairie dog and SPV bait
August 7, 2012

Prairie dog and SPV bait

In this image, a Gunnison prairie dog eats a bait laden with the sylvatic plague vaccine. Prairie dogs in the wild are less likely to succumb to plague after they ingest peanut-butter-flavored bait that contains a vaccine against the disease.

Image: Utah Tribal Coop
June 6, 2012

Utah Tribal Coop

In the stream is Martel Fisher (USGS) and Bart Powaukee (Coordinator Ute Indian Tribe Water Quality Department) and some of the Ute Tribe Water Quality Department employees.

Red Mountain CO
April 22, 2012

Red Mountain, CO Hydrothermal Alteration

Photo showing intense acid-sulfate hydrothermal alteration on Red Mountain No. 2, Silverton CO. View is looking to the west across Corkscrew Gulch. 

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.