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: 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....

Date published: June 20, 2007
Status: Active

Chemical Modeling of Acid Waters Questa Baseline and Pre-Mining Ground-Water Quality Investigation, Red River Valley Basin, New Mexico

The US Geological Survey and the New Mexico Environment Department entered into a Joint Powers Agreement as of April 30, 2001 to execute an investigation of baseline and pre-mining ground-water quality in the Red River Basin, New Mexico. The main objective is to infer the pre-mining ground-water quality at the Questa Molycorp mine site. This study was formulated because New Mexico law states...

Contacts: Nathan C Myers
Date published: May 17, 2007
Status: Active

Comprehensive Water-Quality Study for the Arkansas River Basin, Colorado

Changes in land and water use associated with population growth and agricultural practices within the Arkansas River Basin are likely to affect water-quality on a local and, possibly, a basin-wide scale. To manage the limited water resources in the basin most effectively it is important to understand the processes that affect water quality within the basin and how future changes in land and...

Date published: March 7, 2007
Status: Completed

Chemical Modeling of Consequences of Surface-Water Delivery Through Existing City of Albuquerque Infrastructure

The City of Albuquerque has historically obtained all of its municipal-supply water from production wells completed in sediment of the Santa Fe Group aquifer system. Like several communities in the Rio Grande Valley and various parts of the arid Southwest, Albuquerque has evaluated the use of surface water as a means to improve sustainability of its municipal water supply. The City currently...

Date published: December 15, 2006
Status: Completed

Aquatic communities and associated water chemistry in the St. Vrain River near the City of Longmont wastewater-treatment plant

The St. Vrain River watershed in northeastern Colorado has experienced rapid urban growth over the last two decades. Population growth has led to increased volumes being treated at wastewater-treatment plants (WWTPs) in the basin. In the last two decades, in-stream restoration efforts and new treatment technologies have been implemented by the City of Longmont, with the goal of improving water...

Contacts: Nancy J Bauch
Date published: November 21, 2006
Status: Completed

RCMAP - Lake Fork at Gateview, 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.

Land use in the...

Contacts: Cory A Williams
Date published: June 6, 2006
Status: Active

Floods Analysis

Accurate estimations of flood discharges at bridge or culvert sites is required to provide cost-effective design of that structure. Streamflow-gaging stations, for which flood data are available, are usually located in major perennial drainage basins that are not representative of sites where common bridge and culvert designs are needed.

In 1942, the USGS, in cooperation with the New...

Contacts: Anne C Tillery
Date published: June 5, 2006
Status: Completed

Rio Grande Travel Times

The City of Albuquerque will begin accepting delivery of imported San Juan-Chama water to supplement present municipal water supplies as part of the City's Drinking Water Project (DWP). The City's San Juan-Chama water will be diverted from the Rio Grande near Alameda Bridge in Albuquerque, transported to a treatment facility, and eventually distributed to customers.

Water in the Rio...

Contacts: For contact information, please reach out to:
Date published: May 14, 2006
Status: Completed

Analysis of the Magnitude and Frequency of Peak Discharge in the Navajo Nation and Surrounding Region, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico

Estimates of the magnitude and frequency of peak discharges on unregulated streams at gaging stations or ungaged stream sites in the Navajo Nation in Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico are necessary for flood hazard mapping.

Contacts: Anne C Tillery
Date published: October 1, 2005
Status: Completed

Numerical simulation of the cumulative effects of land-use change and aggregate mines on ground-water flow and wetlands along the South Platte River, Brighton to Fort Lupton, Colorado

The South Platte River valley between the City of Brighton in Adams County and the town of Fort Lupton in Weld County, Colorado, contains many wetland areas that provide habitat for wildlife in the Front Range Urban Corridor. The extent of aggregate mining along this reach of the South Platte River valley continues to increase as the demand for aggregate grows in response to urban development...

Contacts: Suzanne Paschke
Date published: June 5, 2005
Status: Completed

Documentation of slug and shut-in test data for wells H-1, H-2A, H-2B, H-2C, and H-3 at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has collected, documented, and published an extensive amount of hydrogeologic data collected from and near the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site in southeastern New Mexico. The objective of the proposed work is to document and publish the data that was used to estimate values of transmissivity and storage coefficients for water-bearing zones open to...

Contacts: For contact information, please reach out to:
Date published: June 5, 2005
Status: Completed

Vertical Extent of Ground-Water Contamination with Organic Solvents in Grants, New Mexico

The City of Grants is located in Cibola County within western central New Mexico and is included within the Bluewater Underground Water Basin. Major aquifers within the Grants area include the Alluvium and basalt flows of Quaternary age and the San Andres Limestone and the Glorietta Sandstone of Permian age. Contamination of shallow ground water with volatile organic carbon compounds including...

Contacts: For contact information, please reach out to:

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: 5,190
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Year Published: 2020

Earthquakes, did you feel it?

The US Geological Survey (USGS) “Did You Feel It?”® (DYFI) system is an automated system for rapidly collecting macroseismic intensity data from Internet users’ shaking and damage reports and generating intensity maps immediately following earthquakes.Although the collection and assignment of DYFI-based Macroseismic Intensity (MI) data depart...

Wald, David J.; Quitoriano, Vince; Dewey, James W.

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Year Published: 2020

The influence of frost weathering on the debris flow sediment supply in an alpine basin

Rocky, alpine mountains are prone to mass wasting from debris flows. The Chalk Cliffs study area (central Colorado, USA) produces debris flows annually. These debris flows are triggered when overland flow driven by intense summer convective storms mobilizes large volumes of sediment within the channel network. Understanding the debris flow...

Rengers, Francis K.; Kean, Jason W.; Reitman, Nadine G.; Smith, Joel B.; Coe, Jeffrey A.; McGuire, Luke

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Year Published: 2020

Natural gas hydrates: Status of potential as an energy resource

Gas hydrate is a widespread naturally-occurring combination of water and natural gases. Gas hydrate is found in shallow sediments of deepwater regions of the continental margins and in areas of continuous permafrost. Where gas supply is sufficient and migration pathways connect gas sources to favorable reservoirs, gas hydrate can accumulate to...

Boswell, Ray; Hancock, Steve; Yamamoto, Koji; Collett, Timothy; Pratap, Mahendra; Lee, Sung-Rock

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Year Published: 2020

Dilution and propagation of provenance trends in sand and mud: Geochemistry and detrital zircon geochronology of modern sediment from central California (U.S.A.)

Integrated, multi-method provenance studies of siliciclastic sedimentary deposits are increasingly used to reconstruct the history of source-to-sink transport, paleogeography, and tectonics. Invariably, analysis of large-scale depositional systems must confront issues regarding how to best sample the system and adequately cope with the details of...

Malkowski, Matthew A.; Sharman, Glenn R.; Johnstone, Samuel A.; Grove, Marty J.; Kimbrough, Dave L.; Graham, Stephen A.

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Year Published: 2020

Effects of John Martin Reservoir on water quality and quantity: Assessment by chemical, isotopic, and mass-balance methods

Water quality and quantity can be influenced by transit through and storage in reservoirs. Assessing such effects can be challenging, however, because of mixing and residence times, and inter-annual net storage and release from both the reservoir itself and surrounding porosity. Here, different methodologies were used to assess the effect of John...

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

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Year Published: 2020

A high-resolution seismic catalog for the initial 2019 Ridgecrest Earthquake sequence: Foreshocks, aftershocks, and faulting complexity

I use template matching and precise relative relocation techniques to develop a high-resolution earthquake catalog for the initial portion of the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake sequence, from July 4-16, encompassing the foreshock sequence and the first 10+ days of aftershocks following the Mw 7.1 mainshock. Using 13,525 routinely cataloged events as...

Shelly, David R.

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Year Published: 2020

Estimating burn severity and carbon emissions from a megafire in boreal forests of China

Wildfires, especially those of large size, worsen air quality and alter the carbon cycle through combustion of large quantities of biomass and release of carbon into the atmosphere. The Black Dragon fire, which occurred in 1987 in the boreal forests of China is among the top five of such megafires ever recorded in the world. With over 30 years of...

Xu, Wenru; He, Hong S; Hawbaker, Todd; Zhu, Zhiliang; Henne, Paul

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Year Published: 2020

Evaluation of ground‐motion models for U.S. Geological Survey seismic hazard forecasts: Hawaii tectonic earthquakes and volcanic eruptions

The selection and weighting of ground‐motion models (GMMs) introduces a significant source of uncertainty in U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Seismic Hazard Modeling Project (NSHMP) forecasts. In this study, we evaluate 18 candidate GMMs using instrumental ground‐motion observations of horizontal peak ground acceleration (PGA) and 5%‐damped...

McNamara, Daniel E.; Wolin, Emily; Powers, Peter M.; Shumway, Allison; Moschetti, Morgan P.; Rekoske, John; Thompson, Eric M.; Mueller, Charles; Petersen, Mark D.

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Year Published: 2020

A domestic earthquake impact alert protocol based on the combined USGS PAGER and FEMA Hazus loss estimation systems

The U.S. Geological Survey’s PAGER alert system provides rapid (10-20 min) but general loss estimates of ranges of fatalities and economic impact for significant global earthquakes. FEMA’s Hazus software, in contrast, provides time consuming (2-5 hours) but more detailed loss information quantified in terms of structural, social, and economic...

Wald, David J.; Seligson, Hope A.; Rozelle, Jesse; Burns, Jordan; Marano, Kristin; Jaiswal, Kishor; Hearne, Mike; Bausch, Douglas

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Year Published: 2020

High-resolution airborne geophysical survey of the Shellmound, Mississippi area

In late February to early March 2018, the U.S. Geological Survey acquired 2,364 line-kilometers (km) of airborne electromagnetic, magnetic, and radiometric data in the Shellmound, Mississippi study area. The purpose of this survey is to contribute high-resolution information about subsurface geologic structure to inform groundwater models, water...

Burton, Bethany L.; Minsley, Burke J.; Bloss, Benjamin R.; Kress, Wade H.; Rigby, James R.; Smith, Bruce D.
Burton, B.L., Minsley, B.J., Bloss, B.R., Kress, W.H., Rigby, J.R., and Smith, B.D., 2020, High-resolution airborne geophysical survey of the Shellmound, Mississippi area: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3449, 2 sheets, https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3449.

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Year Published: 2020

Seepage investigation of the Rio Grande from below Leasburg Dam, Leasburg, New Mexico, to above El Paso, Texas, 2018

Seepage investigations were conducted periodically by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) from 1988 to 1998 and from 2006 to 2015 along a 64-mile reach of the Rio Grande as part of the Mesilla Basin monitoring program. Past studies were conducted during no-flow or low-flow periods. In 2018, a seepage investigation was conducted during April 3–4...

Ball, Grady P.; Robertson, Andrew J.; Morales, Karen Medina
Ball, G.P., Robertson, A.J., and Medina Morales, K., 2020, Seepage investigation of the Rio Grande from below Leasburg Dam, Leasburg, New Mexico, to above El Paso, Texas, 2018: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2019–5140, 16 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20195140.

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
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

Wind turbines in Wyoming.
June 10, 2014

Wind turbines in Wyoming.

Wind turbines working in Wyoming. 

Looking upstream from bridge, Tongue river, Monarch
June 4, 2014

Looking upstream from bridge, Tongue river, Monarch

Looking upstream from bridge, Tongue river, Monarch

truck and camper trailer Onaqui SageStep field site
April 28, 2014

Onaqui SageStep field site, field camp

Field site truck and trailer at the Onaqui SageStep field site, field camp

A landscape view of the drylands of southern Utah
April 28, 2014

Drylands of Southern Utah

USGS Image Drylands of Southern Utah - April 28, 2014

Ice jam, Powder River near Arvada (06317000)
March 8, 2014

Ice jam, Powder River near Arvada (06317000)

Ice jam, Powder River near Arvada (06317000)

ADCP measurement on Green River at Ouray, Utah from kayack.
February 28, 2014

Green River at Ouray, Utah

ADCP measurement from kayack on Green River at Ouray, Utah.

Rio Grande near Radium Springs, New Mexico
February 4, 2014

Rio Grande near Radium Springs, New Mexico

South-oriented view of the Rio Grande near Radium Springs, New Mexico, February 4, 2014 (photograph by Andrew J. Robertson).

SIR 2016–5010

Jemez Mountains with aspen trees, NM.
December 31, 2013

Jemez Mountains with aspen trees, NM.

Jemez Mountains with aspen trees, NM. 

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: 353
USGS
October 16, 1997

When Henry J. Moore was growing up on Third Avenue during the 1930s, he says he didn’t pay much attention to the comic-book space dust being kickedup by Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon. Twenty years later, however, Moore’s interest in the dust and landforms of Planet Earth set him on a course that would eventually land in the dust on Mars; in a matter of speaking.

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.