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 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...

Date published: December 11, 2018
Status: Active

National Unmanned Aircraft Systems Project Office

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Unmanned* Aircraft Systems (UAS) Project Office (NUPO) leads the research activities needed to make UAS data collection an efficient, safe, and cost-effective remote sensing tool for Department of the Interior (DOI) and USGS scientists.

DOI manages over 20 percent of the Nation’s public lands and is responsible for migratory bird and wildlife...

Date published: December 11, 2018
Status: Active

Oil and Gas Waters Project

The primary objective of this project is to provide information on the volume, quality, impacts, and possible uses of water produced during generation and development of energy resources (particularly hydrocarbons) as well as related fluids injected into reservoirs for energy development and associated waste disposal.  The purpose of this work is to address scientific and societal questions...

Date published: December 7, 2018
Status: Completed

Oil Shale

The USGS Energy Resources Program has studied oil shale resources of the United States, with a significant effort on the Eocene Green River Formation of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming.  This formation contains the largest oil shale deposits in the world. Oil shale, despite the name, does not actually contain oil, but is a precursor of oil that is converted to crude oil when heated.  

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: 5,190
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Year Published: 2021

Characterization of water-resource threats and needs for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuges in the Legacy Mountain-Prairie Region, 2020

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), began a study in 2019 to complete the compilation and quality assurance of water-resource threats and needs data for the 117 National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) in the FWS Legacy Mountain-Prairie Region (LMPR) and to characterize the water-resource threats and...

Bauch, Nancy J.; Kohn, Michael S.; Caruso, Brian S.
Bauch, N.J., Kohn, M.S., and Caruso, B.S., 2021, Characterization of water-resource threats and needs for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuges in the Legacy Mountain-Prairie Region, 2020: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2021–1007, 46 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20211007.

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Year Published: 2021

Reconstructing the dynamics of the highly similar May 2016 and June 2019 Iliamna Volcano, Alaska ice–rock avalanches from seismoacoustic data

Surficial mass wasting events are a hazard worldwide. Seismic and acoustic signals from these often remote processes, combined with other geophysical observations, can provide key information for monitoring and rapid response efforts and enhance our understanding of event dynamics. Here, we present seismoacoustic data and analyses for two very...

Toney, Liam De La Hunt; Fee, David; Allstadt, Kate; Haney, Matthew M.; Matoza, Robin S.

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Year Published: 2021

Implementation plan for the southern Pacific Border and Sierra-Cascade Mountains provinces

IntroductionThe National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program (NCGMP) is publishing a strategic plan titled Renewing the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program as the Nation’s Authoritative Source for Modern Geologic Knowledge (Brock and others, in press). The plan provides a vision, mission, and goals for the program during the years 2020–...

Langenheim, Victoria E.; Graymer, Russell W.; Powell, Robert E.; Schmidt, Kevin; Sweetkind, Donald S.
Langenheim, V.E., Graymer, R.W., Powell, R.E., Schmidt, K.M., and Sweetkind, D.S., 2021, Implementation plan for the southern Pacific Border and Sierra-Cascade Mountains provinces: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2021–1012, 11 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20211012.

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Year Published: 2021

Six decades of seismology at South Pole, Antarctica: Current limitations and future opportunities to facilitate new geophysical observations

Seismograms from the South Pole have been important for seismological observations for over six decades by providing (until 2007) the only continuous seismic records from the interior of the Antarctic continent. The South Pole, Antarctica station has undergone many updates over the years, including conversion to a digital recording station as part...

Anthony, Robert E.; Ringler, Adam T.; DuVernois, M.; Anderson, K.; Wilson, David C.
Anthony, R. E., A. T. Ringler, M. DuVernois, K. R. Anderson, and D. C. Wilson (2021).Six Decades of Seismology at South Pole, Antarctica: Current Limitations and Future Opportunities to Facilitate New Geophysical Observations, Seismol. Res. Lett. XX, 1–18, doi: 10.1785/0220200448.

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Year Published: 2021

A review of timing accuracy across the Global Seismographic Network

The accuracy of timing across a seismic network is important for locating earthquakes as well as studies that use phase‐arrival information (e.g., tomography). The Global Seismographic Network (GSN) was designed with the goal of having reported timing be better than 10 ms. In this work, we provide a brief overview of how timing is kept across...

Ringler, Adam T.; Anthony, Robert E.; Wilson, David C.; Auerbach, D.; Bargabus, S.; Davis, P.W.; Gunnels, M.; Hafner, K.; Holland, James; Kearns, A.; Klimczak, E.

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Year Published: 2021

Rayleigh wave amplitude uncertainty across the Global Seismographic Network and potential implications for global tomography

The Global Seismographic Network (GSN) is a multiuse, globally distributed seismic network used by seismologists, to both characterize earthquakes and study the Earth’s interior. Most stations in the network have two collocated broadband seismometers, which enable network operators to identify potential metadata and sensor issues. In this study,...

Ringler, Adam T.; Anthony, Robert E.; Dalton, C. A.; Wilson, David C.

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Year Published: 2021

The changes in species composition mediate direct effects of climate change on future fire regimes of boreal forests in northeastern China

Direct effects of climate change (i.e. temperature rise, changes in seasonal precipitation, wind patterns and atmospheric stability) affect fire regimes of boreal forests by altering fire behaviour, fire seasons and fuel moisture. Climate change also alters species composition and fuel characteristics, which subsequently alter fire regimes....

Huang, Chao; He, Hong S.; Liang, Yu; Hawbaker, Todd J.; Henne, Paul D.; Xu, Wenru; Gong, Peng; Zhu, Zhiliang

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Year Published: 2021

Rapid-response unsaturated zone hydrology: Small-scale data, small-scale theory, big problems

The unsaturated zone (UZ) extends across the Earth’s terrestrial surface and is central to many problems related to land and water resource management. Flow of water through the UZ is typically thought to be slow and diffusive, such that it could attenuate fluxes and dampen variability between atmospheric inputs and underlying aquifer systems....

Nimmo, John R.; Perkins, Kimberlie; Plampin, Michelle R.; Walvoord, Michelle A.; Ebel, Brian A.; Mirus, Benjamin B.

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Year Published: 2021

Assessment of continuous gas resources in the Horn River Basin, Cordova Embayment, and Liard Basin, Canada, 2019

Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated undiscovered, technically recoverable mean resources of 135.4 trillion cubic feet of continuous gas in Devonian–Mississippian shales in the Horn River Basin, Cordova Embayment, and Liard Basin of Canada.

Schenk, Christopher J.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Woodall, Cheryl A.; Finn, Thomas M.; Le, Phuong A.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Marra, Kristen R.; Gaswirth, Stephanie B.; Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.; Pitman, Janet K.
Schenk, C.J., Mercier, T.J., Woodall, C.A., Finn, T.M., Le, P.A., Brownfield, M.E., Marra, K.R., Gaswirth, S.B., Leathers-Miller, H.M., and Pitman, J.K., 2021, Assessment of continuous gas resources in the Horn River Basin, Cordova Embayment, and Liard Basin, Canada, 2019: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2020–3015, 4 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20203015.

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Year Published: 2021

Natural and anthropogenic geochemical tracers to investigate residence times and groundwater–surface-water interactions in an urban alluvial aquifer

A multi-component geochemical dataset was collected from groundwater and surface-water bodies associated with the urban Fountain Creek alluvial aquifer, Colorado, USA, to facilitate analysis of recharge sources, geochemical interactions, and groundwater-residence times. Results indicate that groundwater can be separated into three distinct...

Newman, Connor; Paschke, Suzanne; Keith, Gabrielle L.

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Year Published: 2021

Dating fault damage along the eastern Denali fault zone with hematite (U-Th)/He thermochronometry

Unraveling complex slip histories in fault damage zones to understand relations among deformation, hydrothermal alteration, and surface uplift remains a challenge. The dextral eastern Denali fault zone (EDFZ; southwest Yukon, Canada) bounds the Kluane Ranges and hosts a variety of fault-related rocks, including hematite fault surfaces, which have...

McDermott, Robert G.; Ault, Alexis K.; Caine, Jonathan

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
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

Processing a sample for detection of N. fowleri
March 21, 2018

Processing a sample for detection of N. fowleri

Processing a sample for detection of N. fowleri

Equipment used to process a water sample to be analyzed for Naegleria fowleri
March 21, 2018

Equipment used to process a sample analyzed for Naegleria fowleri

Equipment used to process a water sample to be analyzed for Naegleria fowleri

Processing sample from Granite Hot Springs
March 20, 2018

Processing sample from Granite Hot Springs

Processing sample from Granite Hot Springs

March 7, 2018

Yellowstone Volcano Observatory Scientists Host Facebook Live Event

USGS–Yellowstone Volcano Observatory Scientist-in-Charge Mike Poland, Deputy Scientist-in-Charge Wendy Stovall, and Chief Seismologist Jamie Farrell answer questions from the public about Yellowstone earthquakes, deformation, eruptive history, the magmatic plumbing system, and more, during a USGS Volcanoes Facebook Live event recorded on March 7, 2018, at the USGS–Cascades

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
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.

Dry wash in San Rafael Desert with white surface salts
January 25, 2018

Salinity loads that originate from groundwater within the Upper Colorado River Basin have decreased from 1986-2011, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study done in cooperation with the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program.

Prairie dog and SPV bait
December 13, 2017

About 70 percent of wild prairie dogs successfully ingested baits containing an oral sylvatic plague vaccine, or SPV, that were distributed throughout their habitats, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.

Photo of a young girl drinking water, which likely originated from groundwater sources. 
December 7, 2017

A regional assessment of untreated groundwater in the Rio Grande aquifer system, which includes parts of Colorado, New Mexico and Texas, is now available from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Upstream view of Fountain Creek in Colorado
December 1, 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey just added more than 800 fish and macroinvertebrate data samples from Fountain Creek, Colorado, to the USGS BioData Retrieval system.

Lake Fork Creek below Sugarloaf dam near Leadville
November 17, 2017

Bringing together decades of research and mapping, the U.S. Geological Survey just released a geologic map and companion pamphlet featuring the Arkansas River Valley region in north-central Colorado.  

Investigating Lung Disease in Military Veterans
November 10, 2017

Six years ago, veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan had trouble breathing normally. The list of potential causes that soldiers were exposed to seemed endless: smoke from burn pits used for trash disposal, desert dust, diesel generator exhaust, humidity and temperature extremes, explosives, and city trash and sewage.

Image shows coal being loaded into trucks at a coal mine
October 26, 2017

It is difficult to overstate the importance of energy to the American economy.  Managing this vital sector depends on knowing how many energy resources we have, how many we use and need, and how these resources are transported

View of snow-capped Borah Peak, Idaho
October 24, 2017

A new tool that gives users the most detailed view yet of the world’s mountains is now available from the USGS. And it’s as close as your computer or cellphone.

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.

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