Salton Sea Science Office

Monitoring & Assessment

Salton Sea OFR The Salton Sea (Sea) is an ecosystem facing large systemic changes in the near future. Managers and stakeholders are seeking solutions to the decline of the Sea and have turned to the scientific community for answers. In response, scientists gathered in Irvine, California, to review existing science and propose scientific studies and monitoring needs required for understanding how to retain the Sea as a functional ecosystem. This document summarizes the proceedings of this gathering of approximately 50 scientists at a September 8–10, 2014, workshop on the State of the Salton Sea.

Barnum, D.A., Bradley, T., Cohen, M., Wilcox, B., and Yanega, G., 2017, State of the Salton Sea—A science and monitoring meeting of scientists for the Salton Sea: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2017–1005, 20 p.,
Salton Sea OFR Case, H. L., III; Boles, Jerry; Delgado, Arturo; Nguyen, Thang; Osugi, Doug; Barnum, Douglas A.; Decker, Drew; Steinberg, Steven; Steinberg, Sheila; Keene, Charles; White, Kristina; Lupo, Tom; Gen, Sheldon; Baerenklau, Ken A., 2013, Salton Sea ecosystem monitoring and assessment plan, USGS Open-File Report: 2013-1133. (

Connecting Habitats - Tracking birds with satellites and GPS

Oregon State University created a site that displays the long-range movements of Caspian terns in the Pacific Flyway.  By zooming in on the map, the data display this species marked birds use of the Salton Sea, and then by zooming out, their flight path is displayed along the entire Pacific Flyway.

Utah Department of Wildlife Resources created a site that tracks the long range movements of American White Pelicans from their breeding colonies to other wetlands, In particular several of their marked birds show up at the Salton Sea.

Water monitoring sources

The US Bureau of Reclamation initiated quarterly monitoring of the Salton Sea to provide information on changes in water quality occurring as a result of water conservation measures and other projects intended to improve or maintain water quality. Monitoring includes profiles for temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity, and oxidation-reduction potential; major ion concentrations; nutrients; chlorophyll a; Secchi depth; and total and dissolved organic carbon.  The sampling sites illustrated in this map have been monitored quarterly on a continuing basis since 1999.

Download Excel sheet of Bureau of Reclamation Salton Sea water quality data **This data is updated regularly so please download again to ensure current data.

Lake level information for the Salton Sea nr Westmorland, CA gage is available at:,00062,00054,62614,72020

Discharge and gage height information for the Alamo River near Niland, CA gage is available at:

Discharge and gage height information for the New River near Westmorland is at:

Discharge and gage height information for the Whitewater River near Mecca is available at:

Map of BOR sampling sites from G. Holdren & A. Montaño, 2002. Chemical and physical characteristics of the Salton Sea, California. Hydrobiologia 473: 1–21, 2002. D.A. Barnum, J.F. Elder, D. Stephens & M. Friend (eds), The Salton Sea.

BOR Sampling Sites

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