U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

5:00am

Wed December 17, 2014
Water

Drought Of 2012 Took Big Toll On Ogallala Aquifer

A center pivot irrigation system in Northeast Colorado
Greg Goebel Flickr-Creative Commons

In Northeastern Colorado, farmers growing food like corn and potatoes depend for water on a giant, underground reservoir. Called the Ogallala, or High Plains aquifer, this water source spreads across eight high plains states like a giant, underground lake.

In times of drought, farmers who use the aquifer for water take more of it. A report from the U.S. Geological Survey, published December 16, shows the 2012 drought significantly diminished the Ogallala's water.

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2:47pm

Wed August 27, 2014
Science

There's A Big Leak In America's Water Tower

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 5:29 pm

Joe Giersch, an ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, studies stoneflies that live only in the melt from glaciers and snowpack in the northern Rockies.
Clint Muhlfeld USGS

The northern arm of the Rocky Mountains is sometimes called "the crown of the continent," and its jewels are glaciers and snowfields that irrigate large parts of North America during spring thaw.

But the region is getting warmer, even faster than the rest of the world. Scientists now say warming is scrambling the complex relationship between water and nature and could threaten some species with extinction as well as bring hardship to ranchers and farmers already suffering from prolonged drought.

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11:14am

Fri July 25, 2014
Environment

Study: Powerful Insecticides Found Widespread In Midwest Waters

A new study found a class of insecticides popular with corn and soybean farmers in Midwest waterways.
Credit Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

Powerful chemicals used by many farmers to ward off insects are making their way into Midwest rivers and streams, according to a study by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

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5:50am

Tue June 3, 2014
Environment

Was The Greeley Quake A 'Frack Quake'?

A screencap from the Colorado Geological Survey's online earthquake and fault and fold map. Dark blue cirlces denote 1.60 to 2.59 magnitude quakes, bright red denotes 5.59 to 6.59.
Colorado Geological Survey

After a 3.4 magnitude earthquake hit Saturday evening near the northeastern Colorado town of Greeley, questions about its connection to oil and gas development started popping up on social media and in the blogosphere, with anti-fracking activists trying to make a link between the two.

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11:38am

Wed May 28, 2014
Western Slope

Geologists: Soft Rock, Steep Slope Contributors In Collbran Mudslide

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 7:44 pm

This map, put together by the USGS in 1982, shows which parts of the country are most prone to landslides. The areas shaded in red have the highest landslide incidence.
USGS

The area where the Collbran mudslide happened has seen similar slides in the past. Geologists say relatively weak rock and steep terrain create a recipe for such natural disasters. Still, Colorado in general is less vulnerable to slides than wetter areas, like the west coast. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

The Colorado Geological Survey began mapping landslides near Collbran in the 1980’s. They discovered the area where this debris flow happened was prone to slides.

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