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GMEG - Geology, Minerals, Energy, & Geophysics Science Center

Geologic and Geomorphic Evolution of the lower Colorado River




The lower Colorado River (LOCO) is a vital national resource. It provides millions of Americans with water, energy, and recreation. Surface and groundwater resources in its reach between Hoover and Imperial Dams support the needs of large cities and agricultural operations in southern California and Arizona. The river corridor is also critical habitat for native species and is a major avian flyway.

Schematic of the Colorado River aquifer


Objectives: Develop a 1:50,000-scale regional synthesis of late Miocene through Holocene stratigraphy and geomorphology of the lower Colorado River corridor from Hoover Dam to Imperial Dam. This effort involves compiling existing maps and new mapping. The project area is divided into a northern (NoLOCO) and southern (SoLOCO) sections.

Relevance: The Lower Colorado River Corridor transects federal, state, tribal and local lands. This effort will support Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife science needs along the Lower Colorado River system. It will involve collaboration with the Aizona Geological Survey, Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, and University of Arizona, University of Oregon, the University of New Mexico, and San Bernardino County Museum (CA). This USGS research provides scientific data for land Resource Managers to help make sound environmental decisions on critical environmental issues in this unique river corridor.





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