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USGS California Flooding Resources

Flooding Multimedia Gallery


Photo of a flooded Fashion Valley Road in San Diego, on January 7, 2016.

San Diego River Flooding

Sections of Fashion Valley Road, San Diego, were closed by flooding of the San Diego River. Closed roads were a common scene in San Diego and throughout California during the El Niño-related storms Jan. 6-7, 2016. Hydrographers from the Poway Field Officers closely monitored high-flow conditions throughout the storms. (USGS photo by Dianna Crilley)

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Photo of road closure signs along a flooded Fashion Valley Road in San Diego, on January 7, 2016.

San Diego Road Closures

Sections of Fashion Valley Road, San Diego, were closed by flooding of the San Diego River. Closed roads were a common scene in San Diego and throughout California during the El Niño-related storms Jan. 6-7, 2016. Hydrographers from the Poway Field Officers closely monitored high-flow conditions throughout the storms. (USGS photo by Dianna Crilley)

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photo of Debris Flow in Cable Canyon following the 2003 Old Fire in the San Bernardino Mountains, California.

Post-fire Debris Flow

Debris Flow in Cable Canyon following the 2003 Old Fire in the San Bernardino Mountains, California.

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Southern California Flood Wave Captured by USGS Hydrologic Technicians (Video)

Southern California Flood Wave Captured by USGS Hydrologic Technicians (Video)

USGS Hydrologic Technicians, Drew Gaffney and Ernie Houston, captured a frontal wave during a flash flood just as it reached USGS streamgage 11136800 at Cuyama River below Buckhorn Canyon near Santa Maria, CA on July 20, 2015.

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Slideshow of streamgaging photos

USGS Stream Monitoring During Storms (Video)

USGS crews were in the field checking streamflow during the mid-January storms in California.

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photo of debris as a result of flooding

2003 Debris Flow in Devore, CA (Video)

Rare footage of debris flow was captured by resident Howard Davis as mud and boulders rolled down the street.

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photo of a flash flood

USGS Webcam Captures Flash Flood (Video)

Sudden and torrential rainfall on hillsides left bare by wildfires caused dangerous flash flooding.

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USGS Flood News


Reporters: Do you want to accompany a USGS field crew as they monitor streamgages?
Dec 16, 2016

MEDIA ADVISORY: Accompany a USGS Field Crew as they Measure Stream Flow and Flooding in Storm-Affected Areas of California
Dec 15, 2016

During Recent Droughts: Central Valley Groundwater Levels Reached Historical Lows and Land Subsidence Intensified
Oct 01, 2015

Southern California Flood Wave Captured by USGS Hydrologic Technicians (Video)
Aug 05, 2015

Building Sandbars in the Grand Canyon
Jun 03, 2015

Free Public Lecture at CSU Sacramento: Land Subsidence - The Lowdown on the Drawdown
Jan 30, 2015

Land-Subsidence Trends in the Coachella Valley Detailed in New Report
Jun 09, 2014

Renewed Land Subsidence Poses Risk to Water Infrastructure in California's San Joaquin Valley
Nov 21, 2013

Land Subsidence Poses Risk to Water Infrastructure in California's San Joaquin Valley
Nov 18, 2013

Cuyama Valley Groundwater Study Reveals Subsidence, Complex Geology, Other Challenges
Jul 11, 2013

Technical Announcement: New Reports Update Estimates of Flood Frequency in California
Aug 27, 2012

USGS Associate Director for Water, and Scientists Present on Subsidence, Water Quality Monitoring, and National Water Programs
Nov 22, 2011

Additional information on the San Joaquin Valley subsidence study
Sep 04, 2009

Central Valley subsidence study launched
Sep 04, 2009

USGS webcam gives real-time look at gushing San Pedro Creek
Feb 06, 2009

Study finds subsidence continuing in the Coachella Valley
Dec 17, 2007

New USGS webcam goes online in Santiago Fire burn area
Dec 04, 2007

California Delta peat soils can be "re-grown," USGS finds
Aug 09, 2007

USGS Flood Publications


Enhancing drought resilience with conjunctive use and managed aquifer recharge in California and Arizona
Publication Date:  Mar 08, 2016
Author(s):  Bridget R. Scanlon, Robert C. Reedy, Claudia C. Faunt, Donald Pool, Kristine Uhlman
Publication Type:  Journal Article


Water availability and land subsidence in the Central Valley, California, USA
Publication Date:  Nov 17, 2015
Author(s):  Claudia C. Faunt, Michelle Sneed, Jonathan A. Traum, Justin T. Brandt
Publication Type:  Journal Article


Anticipating Environmental and Environmental-Health Implications of Extreme Storms: ARkStorm Scenario
Publication Date:  Jul 22, 2015
Author(s):  Geoffrey S. Plumlee, Charles N. Alpers, Suzette A. Morman, Carma San Juan
Publication Type:  Journal Article


Storage in California's Reservoirs and Snowpack in this Time of Drought
Publication Date:  Jun 01, 2015
Author(s):  Michael D. Dettinger, Michael L. Anderson
Publication Type:  Journal Article


Modeling Tidal Freshwater Marsh Sustainability in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Under a Broad Suite of Potential Future Scenarios
Publication Date:  Apr 01, 2015
Author(s):  Kathleen M. Swanson, Judith Z. Drexler, Christopher C. Fuller, David H. Schoellhamer
Publication Type:  Journal Article


Mississippi River Nitrate Loads from High Frequency Sensor Measurements and Regression-Based Load Estimation
Publication Date:  Oct 13, 2014
Author(s):  Charles G. Crawford, Robert J. Gilliom, Brian A. Bergamaschi, Brian A. Pellerin, JohnFranco Saraceno, C. Paul Frederick, Bryan D. Downing, Jennifer C. Murphy
Publication Type:  Journal Article


Riders on the Storm: Selective Tidal Movements Facilitate the Spawning Migration of Threatened Delta Smelt in the San Francisco Estuary
Publication Date:  Sep 23, 2014
Author(s):  W.A. Bennett, Jon Burau
Publication Type:  Journal Article


Mercury cycling in agricultural and managed wetlands of California, USA - Seasonal influences of vegetation on mercury methylation, storage, and transport
Publication Date:  Jun 15, 2014
Author(s):  Lisamarie Windham-Myers, Mark Marvin-DiPasquale, Evangelos Kakouros, Jennifer L. Agee, Le H. Kieu, Craig A. Stricker, Jacob A. Fleck, Josh T. Ackerman
Publication Type:  Journal Article


Methylmercury production in sediment from agricultural and non-agricultural wetlands in the Yolo Bypass, California, USA
Publication Date:  Jun 15, 2014
Author(s):  Mark Marvin-DiPasquale, Lisamarie Windham-Myers, Jennifer L. Agee, Evangelos Kakouros, Le H. Kieu, Jacob A. Fleck, Charles N. Alpers, Craig A. Stricker
Publication Type:  Journal Article


Optical Sensors for Water Quality
Publication Date:  Mar 20, 2014
Author(s):  Brian A. Pellerin, Brian A. Bergamaschi
Publication Type:  Journal Article


Methylmercury production in and export from agricultural wetlands in California, USA: The need to account for physical transport processes into and out of the root zone
Publication Date:  Feb 15, 2014
Author(s):  P.A.M. Bachand, S.M. Bachand, Jacob A. Fleck, Charles N. Alpers, M. Stephenson, L. Windham-Myers
Publication Type:  Journal Article


Mercury cycling in agricultural and managed wetlands: A synthesis of methylmercury production, hydrologic export, and bioaccumulation from an integrated field study
Publication Date:  Feb 14, 2014
Author(s):  Lisamarie Windham-Myers, Jacob A. Fleck, Joshua T. Ackerman, Mark Marvin-DiPasquale, Craig A. Stricker, Wesley A. Heim, Philip A.M. Bachand, Collin A. Eagles-Smith, Gary Gill, Mark Stephenson, Charles N. Alpers
Publication Type:  Journal Article


Mercury cycling in agricultural and managed wetlands, Yolo Bypass, California: Spatial and seasonal variations in water quality
Publication Date:  Dec 14, 2013
Author(s):  Charles N. Alpers, Jacob A. Fleck, Mark Marvin-DiPasquale, Craig A. Stricker, Mark Stephenson, Howard E. Taylor
Publication Type:  Journal Article


Land Subsidence along the Delta-Mendota Canal in the Northern Part of the San Joaquin Valley, California, 2003-10
Publication Date:  Nov 21, 2013
Author(s):  Michelle Sneed, Justin T. Brandt, Mike Solt
Publication Type:  Scientific Investigations Report


U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Internet Tools
Publication Date:  Nov 07, 2013
Author(s):  Kimberly H. Shaffer
Publication Type:  Fact Sheet


A sediment budget for the southern reach in San Francisco Bay, CA: Implications for habitat restoration
Publication Date:  Nov 01, 2013
Author(s):  Gregory Shellenbarger, Scott A. Wright, David H. Schoellhamer
Publication Type:  Journal Article


A step decrease in sediment concentration in a highly modified tidal river delta following the 1983 El Niño floods
Publication Date:  Nov 01, 2013
Author(s):  Erin L. Hestir, David H. Schoellhamer, Tara Morgan-King, Susan L. Ustin
Publication Type:  Journal Article


Adjustment of the San Francisco estuary and watershed to decreasing sediment supply in the 20th century
Publication Date:  Nov 01, 2013
Author(s):  David H. Schoellhamer, Scott A. Wright, Judith Z. Drexler
Publication Type:  Journal Article


Seasonal variations in suspended-sediment dynamics in the tidal reach of an estuarine tributary
Publication Date:  Nov 01, 2013
Author(s):  Maureen A. Downing-Kunz, David H. Schoellhamer
Publication Type:  Journal Article


DOM composition in an agricultural watershed: Assessing patterns and variability in the context of spatial scales
Publication Date:  Aug 09, 2013
Author(s):  Peter J. Hernes, Robert G.M. Spencer, Rachael Y. Dyda, Brian A. Pellerin, Philip A.M. Bachand, Brian A. Bergamaschi
Publication Type:  Journal Article


Economic Resilience through "One-Water" Management
Publication Date:  Aug 08, 2013
Author(s):  Randal Hanson, Wolfgang Schmid
Publication Type:  Open-File Report


A Long-Term Comparison of Carbon Sequestration Rates in Impounded and Naturally Tidal Freshwater Marshes Along the Lower Waccamaw River, South Carolina
Publication Date:  Jul 19, 2013
Author(s):  Judith Z. Drexler, Ken W. Krauss, M. Craig Sasser, Christopher C. Fuller, Christopher M. Swarzenski, Amber Powell, Kathleen M. Swanson, James L. Orlando
Publication Type:  Journal Article


Short-term variability of 7Be atmospheric deposition and watershed response in a Pacific coastal stream, Monterey Bay, California, USA
Publication Date:  May 01, 2013
Author(s):  Chrisopher H. Conaway, Curt D. Storlazzi, Amy E. Draut, Peter W. Swarzenski
Publication Type:  Journal Article


Estimating floodplain sedimentation in the Laguna de Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, CA
Publication Date:  Apr 24, 2013
Author(s):  Jennifer A. Curtis, Lorraine E. Flint, Cliff R. Hupp
Publication Type:  Journal Article


Hydraulic and Geomorphic Assessment of the Merced River and Historic Bridges in Eastern Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California
Publication Date:  Jan 29, 2013
Author(s):  J. Toby Minear, Scott A. Wright
Publication Type:  Open-File Report


Mercury dynamics in a San Francisco estuary tidal wetland: assessing dynamics using in situ measurements
Publication Date:  Dec 23, 2012
Author(s):  Brian A. Bergamaschi, Jacob A. Fleck, Bryan D. Downing, Emmanuel Boss, Brian A. Pellerin, Neil K. Ganju, David H. Schoellhamer, Amy A. Byington, Wesley A. Heim, Mark Stephenson, Roger Fujii
Publication Type:  Journal Article


Development of Regional Skews for Selected Flood Durations for the Central Valley Region, California, Based on Data Through Water Year 2008
Publication Date:  Jul 26, 2012
Author(s):  Johnathan R. Lamontagne, Jery R. Stedinger, Charles Berenbrock, Andrea G. Veilleux, Justin C. Ferris, Donna Knifong
Publication Type:  Scientific Investigations Report


Methods for Determining Magnitude and Frequency of Floods in California, Based on Data through Water Year 2006
Publication Date:  Jul 23, 2012
Author(s):  Anthony J. Gotvald, Nancy A. Barth, Andrea G. Veilleux, Charles Parrett
Publication Type:  Scientific Investigations Report


Groundwater Quality in the Southern Sierra Nevada, California
Publication Date:  Apr 10, 2012
Author(s):  Miranda S. Fram, Kenneth Belitz
Publication Type:  Fact Sheet


Geomorphic Setting, Aquatic Habitat, and Water-Quality Conditions of the Molalla River, Oregon, 2009-10
Publication Date:  Feb 29, 2012
Author(s):  Kurt D. Carpenter, Christiana R. Czuba, Mathieu D. Marineau, Steve Sobieszczyk, Jonathan A. Czuba, Mackenzie K. Keith
Publication Type:  Scientific Investigations Report


Carbon gas fluxes in re-established wetlands on organic soils differ relative to plant community and hydrology
Publication Date:  Jan 01, 2012
Author(s):  Robin L. Miller
Publication Type:  Journal Article


Projected Evolution of California's San Francisco Bay Delta-River System in a Century of Climate Change
Publication Date:  Sep 21, 2011
Author(s):  James E. Cloern, Noah Knowles, Larry R. Brown, Michael D. Dettinger, Michael D. Dettinger, Tara L. Morgan, David H. Schoellhamer, Mark T. Stacey, Mick van der Wagner, R. Wayne Wagner, Alan D. Jassby
Publication Type:  Journal Article


The Aquatic Real-Time Monitoring Network: In Situ Optical Sensors for Monitoring the Nation's Water Quality
Publication Date:  Jun 17, 2011
Author(s):  Brian A. Pellerin, Brian A. Bergamaschi, Peter S. Murdoch, Bryan D. Downing, JohnFranco Saraceno, George R. Aiken, Robert G. Streigl
Publication Type:  Fact Sheet


Climate Change, Atmospheric Rivers, and Floods in California - a multimodel analysis of storm frequency and magnitude changes
Publication Date:  Jun 01, 2011
Author(s):  Michael Dettinger
Publication Type:  Journal Article


Regional Skew for California, and Flood Frequency for Selected Sites in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Basin, Based on Data through Water Year 2006
Publication Date:  Mar 24, 2011
Author(s):  Charles Parrett, Andrea G. Veilleux, J.R. Stedinger, Nancy A. Barth, Donna Knifong, Justin C. Ferris
Publication Type:  Scientific Investigations Report


Subsidence Reversal in a Re-established Wetland in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California, USA
Publication Date:  Oct 01, 2008
Author(s):  Robin L. Miller, Miranda S. Fram, Roger Fujii, Gail Wheeler
Publication Type:  Journal Article


Storms and flooding in California in December 2005 and January 2006 - a preliminary assessment
Publication Date:  Sep 01, 2006
Author(s):  Charles Parrett, Richard A. Hunrichs
Publication Type:  Open-File Report


Analysis of Pesticides in Surface Water and Sediment from Yolo Bypass, California, 2004-2005
Publication Date:  Jan 01, 2005
Author(s):  Kelly L. Smalling, James L. Orlando, Kathryn M. Kuivla
Publication Type:  Scientific Investigations Report


Evaluation of Volatile Organic Compounds in Two Mojave Desert Basins-Mojave River and Antelope Valley-in San Bernardino, Los Angeles, and Kern Counties, California, June-October 2002
Publication Date:  Jan 01, 2005
Author(s):  Jill N. Densmore, Kenneth Belitz, Michael T. Wright, Barbara J. M. Dawson, Tyler D. Johnson
Publication Type:  Scientific Investigations Report


Geomorphic and Hydrologic Assessment of Erosion Hazards at the Norman Municipal Landfill, Canadian River Floodplain, Central Oklahoma
Publication Date:  Nov 18, 2003
Author(s):  Jennifer A. Curtis, John W. Whitney
Publication Type:  Journal Article


Acoustic backscatter of the 1995 flood deposit on the Eel shelf
Publication Date:  Feb 02, 1999
Author(s):  Jeffry C. Borgeld, John E. Hughes Clarke, John A. Goff, Larry A. Mayer, Jennifer A. Curtis
Publication Type:  Journal Article


Magnitude and frequency of floods in California
Publication Date:  Jan 01, 1994
Author(s):  Arvi O. Waananen, John R. Crippen
Publication Type:  Water-Resources Investigations Report


USGS Flood Contacts


Name/Expertise Office Email Phone
Laurel Rogers
Outreach / Public Affairs
San Diegolarogers@usgs.gov619.225.6104
Scott Patterson
Field Office Chief
Powayrspatter@usgs.gov858.679.4015
Timothy Reed
Field Office Chief
Reddingtreed@usgs.gov530.246.5282
Bob Blanchard
Field Office Chief
Redlandsrblanch@usgs.gov909.798.3272
Armando Robledo
Field Office Chief
Sacramentoarobledo@usgs.gov916.381.0207
Anthony Guerriero
Field Office Chief
Santa Cruzaguerrie@usgs.gov831.460.7494
Stuart Hill
Field Office Chief
Santa Mariasahill@usgs.gov805.928.9539
Ed Parvin
Field Office Chief
Truckeeeparvin@usgs.gov530.587.0910
Andrew Watson
Field Office Chief
Ukiahafwatson@usgs.gov707.468.4040