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Contamination and pollution
Introduction of harmful substances into the environment by human action or natural processes.
Subtopics:
Industrial pollution (25 items)
Nonpoint-source pollution (11 items)
Pesticide and herbicide contamination (24 items)
Pharmaceutical contamination (3 items)
Toxic radionuclide contamination (12 items)
Toxic trace element contamination (40 items)

Water pollution (13 items)
Soil pollution (1 items)
Air pollution (7 items)
Related topics:


Results 1 - 164 of 183 listed alphabetically [list by similarity]
A Method for Qualitative Mapping of Thick Oil Spills Using Imaging Spectroscopy [More info]
A method to create qualitative images of thick oil in oil spills on water using near-infrared imaging spectroscopy data. It relies on the organic absorption features of chemical bonds in aliphatic hydrocarbons. The data cannot give oil volume estimates.
A Whole-System Approach to Understanding Agricultural Chemicals in the Environment [More info]
Explains the effects of the interaction of hydrologic and biological processes on agricultural chemicals in various environments.
A rapid method for creating qualitative images indicative of thick oil emulsion on the ocean's surface from imaging spectrometer data [More info]
Technical details explaining how remotely sensed visible and infrared data can help recognize the extent of oil spills.
Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) [More info]
Homepage of the Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) initiative programs supporting actions to remedy contaminations associated with hard rock mining. Includes data from the Upper Animas River and Boulder River, bibliography of reports, and pictures.
Acid rain and our Nation's Capital [More info]
Describes noticeable effects of acid rain on the building stones and monuments in Washington, DC.
Acute toxicity database [More info]
The following database summarizes the results from aquatic acute toxicity tests conducted by the USGS CERC located in Columbia, Missouri.
Agricultural chemicals [More info]
Overview of the Toxic Substances Hydrology Program role in investigating the occurrence and fate of agricultural chemicals with links to investigations, headlines, on-line fact sheets, new publications, bibliographies and photo gallery.
PDF Algal toxins [More info]
Chapter of Field Manual of Wildlife Diseases on algal toxins, red tide toxins, phycotoxins, dinoflagellates, cyanobacterium, and bird mortality due to algal toxicosis.
Amargosa Desert research site [More info]
Online reports, site description and photographs of the Amargosa Desert research site monitoring low level radioactive waste.
PDF Application of the SPARROW watershed model to describe nutrient sources and transport in the Missouri River Basin [More info]
Maps and diagrams showing how the mathematical model predicts the distribution of various pollutants within a large watershed.
Arsenic in ground water of the United States [More info]
Information on arsenic in United States ground water largely as a result of minerals dissolving from weathered rocks and soils. Includes links to publications, data, maps, and links to other sites with information on arsenic.
Arsenic in ground water of the United States [More info]
Arsenic is a naturally occurring element in rocks, soils, and the waters in contact with them. It is found in ground water as the result of minerals dissolving from weathered rocks and soils. This site links to data, maps, and more.
Arsenic studies group [More info]
Main page for the Arsenic studies group with links to arsenic related announcements, conferences, bibliography, workshops, and symposiums.
Asbestos: geology, mineralogy, mining, and uses [More info]
Report on asbestos, six types of mineral fibers belonging to two mineral groups, serpentines and amphiboles,with fiber morphology, crystal structure, analytical methods, properties, mining, milling, uses, and safety factors.(PDF file,28 pp.,4.5 MB)
Assessing ground-water vulnerability to contamination: providing scientifically defensible information for decision makers [More info]
The information, citations, and hypothetical examples provided in this report highlight how basic principles and assessments are essential components of the regulatory and policy decision-making process. Link to PDF version.
Assessing the Vulnerability of Public-Supply Wells to Contamination: Glacial Aquifer System in Woodbury, Connecticut [More info]
Sources and effects of contamination surrounding a single well in western Connecticut
Assessing the vulnerability of public-supply wells to contamination--Edwards aquifer near San Antonio, Texas [More info]
Well vulnerability results from the young age of groundwater. Karst features permit contaminants to move into the aquifer easily, leading to a well mixed aquifer; geochemical processes do not degrade contaminants quickly.
PDF Assessing the vulnerability of public-supply wells to contamination: Rio Grande aquifer system in Albuquerque, New Mexico [More info]
Explains the natural and human-affected factors that determine the concentration of contaminants in groundwater, especially where the concentration is different at the surface than at depth, and where pumping varies with time.
Assessment of Contaminant Exposure and Effects on Ospreys Nesting along the Lower Duwamish River, Washington, 2006-07 [More info]
PDF Atmospheric Deposition Program of the U.S. Geological Survey [More info]
Document on the federally supported interagency National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program (NAPAP) covering research on causes and effects of acid precipitation with the USGS as the lead agency for monitoring wet acid deposition.
Bedrock and soil geochemistry from Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota [More info]
Maps and text (Word or PDF format) and database (Excel or HTML format) for bedrock, forest floor, and mineral soil sampling in Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota to establish the background and baseline geochemistry and terrestrial mercury sources.
Bemidji Project crude-oil research project: background information [More info]
The study of petroleum in both the saturated and unsaturated zones, to better understand the processes that control contaminant behavior, and to use this understanding to estimate the future behavior of the contaminants.
Bemidji crude-oil research project (toxic substances) [More info]
Home page contains information, data, maps, and images relating to hydrologic research that has been conducted at the Bemidji research site.
Biogeochemical and geohydrologic processes in a landfill-impacted alluvial aquifer, Norman, Oklahoma [More info]
Discussion and links to research for the multi-disciplinary investigation on the Norman Landfill located on alluvium associated with the Canadian River in central Oklahoma.
Biological and ecotoxicological characteristics of terrestrial vertebrates residing in estuaries [More info]
Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends (BEST) program is designed to assess and monitor the effects of environmental contaminants on biological resources with links to detailed information on specific species.
Biological resource status and trends: Contaminants [More info]
Information concerning status and trends of biological resources, focusing on contaminants
Biological resource status and trends: Contaminants in air [More info]
Information concerning status and trends of biological resources, focusing on contaminants in air
Biological resource status and trends: Contaminants in animals [More info]
Information concerning status and trends of biological resources, focusing on contaminants in animals
Biological resource status and trends: Contaminants in plants [More info]
Information concerning status and trends of biological resources, focusing on contaminants in plants
Biological resource status and trends: Contaminants in soil [More info]
Information concerning status and trends of biological resources, focusing on contaminants in soil
Biological resource status and trends: Contaminants in water [More info]
Information concerning status and trends of biological resources, focusing on contaminants in water
PDF Breccia-pipe uranium mining in northern Arizona; estimate of resources and assessment of historical effects [More info]
Estimates of uranium resources affected by land withdrawal, effects of previous breccia-pipe mining, water-chemistry data for streams and springs, and potential biological pathways of exposure to uranium and associated contaminants.
PDF Central Colorado Assessment Project - application of integrated geologic, geochemical, biologic, and mineral resource studies [More info]
Diverse geoscientific and biological data collected in anticipation of ecological, land-management, and mineral resource-related problems.
PDF Characterizing contaminant concentrations with depth by using the USGS well profiler in Oklahoma, 2003-9 [More info]
Use of specialized sampling equipment to study public water supply wells, with examples showing Arsenic in two aquifers.
Chesapeake Bay activities [More info]
Information on USGS studies of Chesapeake Bay, the nation's largest estuary, concerned with water quality, ecosystem history and change, vital habitat and biological resources, and land use studies.
PDF Chloride control and monitoring program in the Wichita River Basin, Texas, 1996-2009 [More info]
Chloride concentrations in this river have historically been high due to natural saltwater springs and seeps from geologic formations. We monitor the water to help assess the progress of human efforts designed to mitigate this problematic salinity.
Coal-bed methane: potential and concerns [More info]
Fact sheet in PDF format on occurrence and recoverability of coalbed methane in the U.S. and related environmental concerns.
PDF Coal-tar-based pavement sealcoat, polycyclic aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), and environmental health [More info]
Pavement sealant contains chemicals that are known carcinogens, which get into nearby homes, lakes, and the air. Sealants based on coal tar release more dangerous chemicals than those based on asphalt.
Coastal and Marine Geology Program [More info]
Home page for Coastal and Marine Geology with links to topics of interest (sea level change, erosion, corals, pollution, sonar mapping, and others), Sound Waves monthly newsletter, field centers, regions of interest, and subject search system.
Coastal ocean modeling at the USGS Woods Hole Field Center [More info]
Fly-by and circulation movies, effluent concentration, tidal flushing, sea level, and temperature in Massachusetts Bay and Boston Harbor
Columbia Environmental Research Center (CERC) online databases [More info]
Links to Columbia Environmental Research Center online databases with text, data, and metadata on toxicity, Missouri River, biomonitoring of environmental status and trends, contaminants, and sediments.
PDF Computer simulation of reservoir depletion and oil flow from the Macondo well following the Deepwater Horizon blowout [More info]
This model estimates, by simulation, the reservoir pressure, flow rate, and volume of oil discharged, and the report discusses the uncertainty in the estimates.
PDF Concentrations of mercury and other metals in black bass (Micropterus spp.) from Whiskeytown Lake, Shasta County, California, 2005 [More info]
Historical gold mining has left this area susceptible to mercury contamination. Elevated concentrations of mercury in the fish are well documented here.
Contaminant Biology Program [More info]
The Contaminant Biology Program investigates contaminant exposure and effects on fish, wildlife, and other organisms, their habitat and ecosystems. Links include description of projects, research centers, and news.
Contaminant exposure and effects--terrestrial vertebrates (CEE-TV) database [More info]
The information provided in the CEE-TV database profiles available geo-referenced information on contaminant exposure and effects in terrestrial vertebrates along the U. S. coasts. The database utilizes Microsoft's Access 2000 for Windows.
PDF Decadal-scale changes in dissolved-solids concentrations in groundwater used for public supply [More info]
Recent increases in dissolved-solids concentrations in this aquifer have been documented in some areas used for public supply, raising concerns as to the sources and causes of the higher concentrations and the long-term effects on groundwater quality.
PDF Development of industrial minerals in Colorado [More info]
Explains how industrial minerals are produced and overseen through governmental regulation, and describes the industrial mineral resources of central Colorado.
Ecological risk assessment of toxic substances in the South Florida ecosystem: wildlife effects and exposure assessment [More info]
Project summaries and publications on wildlife contaminant exposures and prediction and monitoring of future restoration-driven exposures within the South Florida ecosystems.
Effects of Building a Sand Barrier Berm to Mitigate the Effects of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Louisiana Marshes [More info]
An assessment of the potential protective effects on coastal marshes in Louisiana of building barrier berms seaward of the existing barrier islands and inlets to help block or reduce the onshore spread of oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Effects of land use on water quality in Michigan [More info]
Links to projects that provide information on the relation of land use to water quality, sources of pollutants, or trends in water quality.
PDF Emissions from Coal Fires and Their Impact on the Environment [More info]
Reviews how coal fires occur, how they can be detected by airborne and remote surveys, and, most importantly, the impact coal-fire emissions may have on the environment and human health, especially mercury, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and methane.
Energy and minerals, and environmental health [More info]
Research and assessments on mineral and energy resources, the economic and environmental effects of resource extraction and use; and on human activities that introduce chemical and pathogenic contaminants into the environment.
PDF Environmental effects of historical mining in the Animas River watershed, southwestern Colorado [More info]
History and summary maps showing metal concentrations downstream of the mining area.
Environmental mercury mapping, modeling, and analysis [More info]
Online tools for mapping mercury data in the environment, with downloadable data from monitoring studies
Environmental studies of the World Trade Center area after the September 11, 2001 attack [More info]
Report describing the results of an interdisciplinary environmental study of the World Trade Center (WTC) area after the attack on September 11, 2001. The investigations included imaging spectroscopy mapping and laboratory analysis.
PDF Evaluation of fecal contamination by human and ruminant sources in upper Fountain Creek, Colorado, 2007-2008, by using multiple lines of evidence: [More info]
Microbial source tracking analysis of water sampled supports the argument that birds are the primary source of fecal contamination during the warm season.
PDF Examination of brine contamination risk to aquatic resources from petroleum development in the Williston Basin [More info]
Wetlands and oil wells shouldn't mix, but in some areas they do. This explains what problems may arise and how we study the effects of highly salty water produced by oil wells when it leaks into nearby wetlands and streams.
Fragile environments: San Francisco Bay wetlands [More info]
Overview with links to studies on the effects of human activity on the San Francisco estuary with loss of historic fresh and saltwater tidal marshes reducing habitats, introducing contaminants in waste, and creating dredging problems.
Framework for Assessing the Sustainability of Monitored Natural Attenuation [More info]
Research findings and examples of application to real problems--When can natural processes to reduce, or even destroy, contaminants at toxic waste sites be relied on?
Geologic studies of mercury [More info]
Collection of six short papers related to the mercury geochemical society, the study of mercury in coal, concentrations in sediment, soil, water, and fish collected near mercury and gold mines, and volanic emissions of mercury.
Great Lakes Beach Health Initiative [More info]
Research and development efforts to improve our ability to provide scientific information needed by local beach managers faced with questions about environmental quality and possible beach closure or resource usage.
Ground-water monitoring for pesticides in Wyoming [More info]
Sampling program to determine if pesticides are present in ground water, in accordance with Wyoming's Generic State Management Plan for Pesticides in Ground Water (SMP).
Groundwater quality in Coachella Valley, California [More info]
Five trace elements with human-health concerns were detected at high concentrations: arsenic, boron, fluoride, molybdenum, and strontium. Vanadium was present at moderate concentrations.
Groundwater quality in the Antelope Valley, California [More info]
Trace elements were present at high concentrations in 32% of the primary aquifers here, and at moderate concentrations in 17%. Of particular interest are aluminum, arsenic, vanadium, boron, fluoride, chromium, lead, and molybdenum.
Groundwater quality in the Central Sierra Nevada, California [More info]
Recent study indicates that inorganic trace elements and radioactive constituents are more likely to be subjects of concern in this less-developed area than anthropogenic organic compounds.
Groundwater quality in the Colorado River basins, California [More info]
Five trace elements with human-health concerns were detected at high concentrations: arsenic, boron, fluoride, molybdenum, and strontium. Chromium was detected at moderate concentrations.
Groundwater quality in the Indian Wells Valley, California [More info]
Five trace elements with human-health concerns were detected at high concentrations: arsenic, boron, molybdenum, strontium, and vanadium. Chromium and fluoride were detected at moderate concentrations.
Groundwater quality in the Madera and Chowchilla subbasins of the San Joaquin Valley, California [More info]
Uranium, arsenic, and nitrate were the inorganic constituents that were most frequently detected at high concentrations, mostly in shallower wells. High and moderate concentrations of arsenic were detected in deeper wells.
Groundwater quality in the Middle Sacramento Valley, California [More info]
Results of a survey of contaminants in untreated groundwater in this area. Arsenic and boron were the two trace elements detected most frequently at concentrations greater than the benchmarks.
Groundwater quality in the Mojave area, California [More info]
Six elements with human-health concerns were detected at high concentrations: arsenic, boron, fluoride, molybdenum, strontium, and vanadium. Lead was present at moderate concentrations.
Groundwater quality in the Monterey Bay and Salinas Valley groundwater basins, California [More info]
This study of untreated groundwater indicates the number of samples in which inorganic or organic constituents occur in high or moderate in concentration. The study does not indicate significant problems in groundwater quality here.
Groundwater quality in the Northern Sacramento Valley, California [More info]
Results of a survey of contaminants in untreated groundwater in this area, separating inorganic from organic constituents.
Groundwater quality in the Northern San Joaquin Valley, California [More info]
Arsenic and boron were the trace elements that most frequently occurred at high concentrations. Fumigants (pesticides) were detected at high concentrations in 3% of the primary aquifers. Herbicides and insecticides were detected at low concentrations.
Groundwater quality in the Owens Valley, California [More info]
Trace elements boron, arsenic, and molybdenum were found at high concentrations in 15% of primary aquifers in this area.
Groundwater quality in the San Diego Drainages Hydrogeologic Province, California [More info]
Vanadium and boron were detected at high and moderate concentrations in this area. High concentrations for these constituents were detected almost exclusively in samples collected in the Temecula Valley study area.
Groundwater quality in the Santa Clara River Valley, California [More info]
This study of untreated groundwater indicates the number of samples in which inorganic or organic constituents occur in high or moderate in concentration. The study does not indicate significant problems in groundwater quality here.
Groundwater quality in the Southern Sacramento Valley, California [More info]
Results of a survey of contaminants in untreated groundwater in this area. Arsenic and boron were the trace elements occurring most frequently at high concentrations.
Groundwater quality in the Southern Sierra Nevada, California [More info]
Recent study indicating inorganic constituents as the primary items of concern in this area. Chemical and mineralogical compositions of the aquifer rocks probably explain variation among localities here.
Groundwater quality in the Upper Santa Ana Watershed study unit, California [More info]
Recent study indicating nitrate and perchlorate are the primary inorganic constituents of interest here, coming from human activities such as agriculture.
Groundwater quality in the north San Francisco Bay groundwater basins, California [More info]
Summary of chemical constituents of ground water that are of concern to human activity in this area. Arsenic is the constituent that occurs most frequently in high concentrations.
Gulf of the Farallones disposal issues: disposal and waste disposal [More info]
Study of the effects on the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary resulting from the disposal of San Francisco dredged material and barrels of low-level radioactive waste with links to publications and atlas with digital images.
Health effects of mineral dusts [More info]
Overview of project to develop and apply a variety of earth science methods to interpret the geologic links between mineral dusts such as silica and asbestos and human health problems with links to contacts, tasks, and products.
Household Chemicals and Drugs Found in Biosolids from Wastewater Treatment Plants [More info]
Research findings and examples of application to real problems--biosolids have high concentrations of household contaminants compared to treated liquid wastewater effluent.
Human Health Database [More info]
Central site providing links to USGS databases and homepages providing significant data and information on research related to human health.
Hydrology of Johnson Creek Basin, a Mixed-Use Drainage Basin in the Portland, Oregon, Metropolitan Area [More info]
Study of a small stream that has had a history of persistent flooding and water-quality problems.
Hypoxia [More info]
A brief definition and explanation of hypoxia with special reference to the Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone along the Louisiana-Texas coast as well as extensive links to USGS and other related information resources.
Hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico and related USGS activities [More info]
Information about the causes and impact of hypoxia with links to USGS and other Federal agency information and activities related to nutrients in the Mississippi River Basin and hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico.
PDF Integrated geologic, geochemical, and geophysical studies of Big Bend National Park, Texas [More info]
Coordinated studies of the effect of historical mining for mercury, origin and composition of metals in groundwaters and surface waters, history of volcanic and intrusive activity, and the complex geological history of this area.
PDF Investigating atmospheric mercury with the U.S. Geological Survey mobile mercury laboratory [More info]
Explains sources of mercury in the air, ways in which mercury is concentrated in animals, and describes how we measure deposition of atmospheric mercury, with summaries of observations.
Kentucky District - program highlights [More info]
Brief descriptions of research programs in water resources in Kentucky with a few links to program websites. Programs include data collection projects, acid mine drainage, hydrodynamics, geology, waste site cleanup and hydrogeology.
Maps of the distribution and occurrence of ground water quality constituents and early 1970's land use in New Jersey [More info]
Links to maps of New Jersey showing nitrate levels, pesticides, Total Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), and radium in wells and land use of the 1970s.
Mercury Studies Team [More info]
Home page on hydrology studies on mercury, the most common contaminant of aquatic ecosystems, with links to general information, research team projects and data.
PDF Mercury and halogens in coal--Their role in determining mercury emissions from coal combustion [More info]
Explains the complex relationships between coal, mercury, and halogens in light of ongoing efforts to reduce the emission of mercury into the environment.
Mercury contamination of aquatic ecosystems [More info]
Fact sheet on mercury bioaccumulation and cycling in the environment. Also available in PDF format.
Mercury in stream ecosystems - publications [More info]
Publications dealing with the occurrence, methods of monitoring, and changes in the concentration of mercury within streams and nearby areas
Mercury in the environment [More info]
Fact sheet on mercury and the environment, including toxic effects, risk to people and wildlife, sources of mercury, environments where methylmercury is a problem, and mercury contamination.
Midcontinent Agricultural Chemical Research Program [More info]
Homepage for the research on occurrence, movement, flux, fate, and effects of agricultural chemicals, such as pesticides, in 25 states by the Midcontinent Agricultural Chemical Research Project (MACRP) with links to study results and publications.
PDF Monitoring for Pesticides in Groundwater and Surface Water in Nevada, 2008 [More info]
Study of pesticides in shallow groundwater and surface water to help decision makers evaluate and manage pesticide application practices to protect drinking water resources, especially deeper, potable groundwater as well as aquatic species.
Monitoring program for mercury in precipitation in Indiana [More info]
Precipitation-monitoring network for mercury in Indiana.
Multibeam data and socio-economic issues in west-central San Francisco Bay [More info]
Webpage based on USGS Open File Report 98-139 links to information on the San Francisco Bay estuary to study dredge disposal effects, fish habitats, sediment transport, rock pinnacles and navigation, and consequences of a large oil spill.
National Stream Quality Accounting Network (NASQAN) [More info]
Homepage for description of the National Stream Quality Network (NASQAN), a long-term program monitoring the concentrations and flux of sediment and chemicals in the Nation's largest rivers (Mississippi, Columbia, Colorado, Rio Grande, and Yukon).
National Water Quality Assessment urban studies portal [More info]
Multiple studies addressing urban water-quality issues, to describe biological, chemical, and physical characteristics of urban water resources over time, and relate those characteristics to natural processes and human activities
National Water-Quality Assessment data warehouse [More info]
Data warehouse for national water quality program with links to chemical, biological, and physical data for water, sediment and animal tissues, nutrient, pesticide, and VOC levels, streamflow, and ground water levels from national study units.
National analysis of trace elements in ground water, streams, stream and reservoir sediment, and fish and clam tissue across the United States [More info]
Trace elements are inorganic chemicals occurring in small amounts in nature. This web site of the National Water Quality Assessment links to U.S. data, publications, news, and other sites on trace metals, metalloids and radionuclides in water.
National assessment of mercury in aquatic ecosystems [More info]
Overview of three research programs including determining levels of mercury at selected sites in water, sediment and fish, mercury emissions into the atmosphere, and mercury cycling in the Everglades National Park, Florida.
National assessment of volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) in water resources of the United States [More info]
Links to online data retrieval, information on MTBE and gasoline oxygenates, VOCs analysis, VOC publications, news features, and featured online publications.
National field manual for the collection of water-quality data [More info]
Field manual (also available in PDF and paper formats) with instructions on techniques to collect and process water samples and to perform measurements of temperature, oxygen content, conductance, pH, turbidity, and fecal contaminants.
National highway runoff water quality data and methodology synthesis [More info]
Cooperative national project with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to evaluate FHWA's guidelines for highway-runoff quality. Links to searchable online bibliography of related publications by the USGS, EPA, FHWA, and state agencies.
Natural oil and gas seeps in California [More info]
Distribution and characteristics of natural oil and gas seeps in California, including processes of formation and effects on the environment; with discussion of tar pits and asphaltum.
New York State pesticide monitoring homepage [More info]
Data on presence and distribution of pesticides in surface and ground water of New York State.
Northern Gulf of Mexico ecosystem change and hazard susceptibility [More info]
Map interfaces and data in the area offshore Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama which was affected most by hurricane Katrina and, more recently, the oil spill.
Nutrients National Synthesis Project: nutrients in rivers, streams, and aquifers in the United States [More info]
This Nutrients National Synthesis Project site on the U.S. study of nutrients, especially nitrogen and phosphorus, as contaminants in high concentrations links to an overview, study team, featured reports, publications, and national datasets.
Nutrients in the Nation's streams and groundwater: National findings and implications [More info]
Despite public sector efforts to reduce nonpoint-source nutrients in streams and rivers, concentrations have remained the same or increased, continuing to pose risks to aquatic life and human health.
PDF Occurrence of Emerging Contaminants in Water and Bed Material in the Missouri River, North Dakota, 2007 [More info]
Water monitoring results, focused on wastewater compounds, human-health pharmaceutical compounds, hormones, and antibiotics in water, and waste indicators, hormones, and antibiotics in solids.
PDF Occurrence of Escherichia coli in the Cuyahoga River in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio [More info]
Explains how this important indicator bacteria is used to detect problems in the water supply that may affect human health, focusing on a specific recreational area.
Occurrence of selected radionuclides in ground water used for drinking water in the United States [More info]
Results (*.pdf) of a 1998 targeted reconnaissance survey on the sources of radium, polonium, and lead radionuclides, data collection and laboratory methods, existing occurrences in drinking water, risk assessments, and compliance monitoring.
PDF Occurrence, distribution, and concentrations of selected contaminants in streambed- and suspended-sediment samples collected in Bexar County, Texas, 2007-09 [More info]
Study showing which chemicals found in sediments were most common, with methods used and likely consequences of their high concentrations.
Oil Pollution Impacts on Birds [More info]
A compilation of information, including reports, bibliographies, and data, on all aspects oil toxicity relevant to birds and other wildlife.
PDF Operational guidelines for geological fieldwork in areas endemic for Coccidioidomycosis (Valley Fever) [More info]
Report giving operational guidelines that will lower the risk of coccidioidomycosis (Valley fever) for individuals who work outdoors in areas where the disease is endemic.
PDF Organic Compounds in Clackamas River Water Used for Public Supply near Portland, Oregon, 2003-05 [More info]
In all, 56 compounds were detected in samples collected approximately monthly during 2003-05 at the intake for the Clackamas River Water plant. On the basis of this screening-level assessment, adverse effects to human health are assumed to be negligible.
Organic Geochemistry Research Group in Kansas [More info]
The Organic Geochemistry Research Group of the Kansas District focuses on the fate and transport of organic contaminants in the environment with links to objectives, analytical methods, laboratory methods, publications, events, photos, and personnel.
PDF Organic compounds assessed in Neuse River water used for public supply near Smithfield, North Carolina, 2002-2005 [More info]
Reports concentration of organic compounds here, to serve as a baseline against which future measurements can be compared and to provide a general assessment of the quality of local water treatment efforts.
PDF Organic compounds in Elm Fork Trinity river water used for public supply near Carrollton, Texas, 2002-05 [More info]
We identified six compounds at concentrations less than human-health benchmarks, but within a factor of 10 of those limits. Those compounds might warrant further study to understand their transport and fate within the watershed.
PDF Organic compounds in Running Gutter Brook water used for public supply near Hatfield, Massachusetts, 2003-05 [More info]
The 258 organic compounds in this assessment are man-made: pesticides, solvents, gasoline hydrocarbons, personal-care and domestic-use products, pavement and combustion-derived compounds. None were found in concentrations deemed dangerous at this time.
Organic compounds in Truckee River water used for public supply near Reno, Nevada, 2002-05 [More info]
A preliminary indication of the potential importance of compounds detected in source water to the quality of finished water prior to distribution.
PDF Organic compounds in White River water used for public supply near Indianapolis, Indiana, 2002-05 [More info]
Measured concentrations of many compounds in water people use. Some compounds are regulated as health hazards; a few of these were over the benchmark limits. Others may become issues of concern, so studies such as this give us helpful background levels.
Ozone in our air - friend or foe? - depends on where [More info]
Article on ozone layer and ozone as a pollutant from the weekly newsletter Volcano Watch (Hawaiian Volcano Observatory) for August 20, 2001.
Parking-lot sealcoat: A major source of PAHs in urban and suburban environments [More info]
Explanation of chemical contaminants released into aquatic environments by popular sealcoating compounds used in parking lots, with frequently-asked questions, links, and contact information.
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center [More info]
Core web page from America's first wildlife experiment station and a leading wildlife management refuge, the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, Maryland with links to projects, publications, library, contacts, and how to get there.
Pesticide National Synthesis Project: national assessment of pesticides in streams, rivers, and ground water of the United States [More info]
An assessment of pesticides in national water resources, with links to national reports, national statistics, national data, pesticide use, analytical strategy, and standards for the U.S.
PDF Pesticides in Ground Water of Wyoming, 1995-2006 [More info]
Summarizes ground-water pesticide monitoring results, shows vulnerability of aquifers to contamination.
Pesticides in Midwestern rivers, 1989-2002 [More info]
Overview of aspects of research on pesticides and herbicides in Midwestern rivers with collection of data, results over a period of time, online publications, and bibliography.
PDF Pesticides in Wyoming's rivers, 2006-10 [More info]
Sampling for pesticide contamination in four major rivers in in the Bighorn and North Platte River Basins, begun in 2006 and resampled in 2009 and 2010 revealed concentration at levels below the standards for drinking water.
Pharmaceuticals, Hormones, and Other Organic Wastewater Contaminants in U.S. Streams [More info]
Describes and illustrates that a broad range of chemicals found in residential, industrial, and agricultural wastewaters commonly occur in mixtures at low concentrations downstream from areas of intense urbanization and animal production.
Photographs of the Picher Mining District (Ottawa County, Oklahoma) [More info]
Description and photos related to the Picher Mining District in Oklahoma, once a primary U.S. source of lead and zinc and now the largest superfund site in the U.S. with millions of cubic yards of mine tailings (locally known as "chat") remaining.
Pollution and waste disposal [More info]
Lists priority survey areas and objectives of these programs.
Radon in earth, air, and water [More info]
Links to USGS publications, bibliographies, and maps on radon in the U.S., plus links to non-USGS sites with information on radon.
PDF Redox Conditions in Selected Principal Aquifers of the United States [More info]
Summarizes measurements of ground-water chemistry that affect the vulnerability of aquifers to contamination. Data are from aquifers throughout the conterminous US and Alaska.
Reservoir sediment studies in Kansas [More info]
Report of completed reservoir sediment studies in Kansas using a combination of bathymetric surveying, sediment coring, chemical analysis, and statistical analysis to understand the quantity and quality of deposited sediment.
PDF Response of lake chemistry to atmospheric deposition and climate in selected Class I wilderness areas in the western United States, 1993-2009 [More info]
Sulfate deposition to high-elevation areas has decreased here as a result of reductions in SO2 emissions. Nitrate deposition did not change, whereas ammonium deposition increased, particularly at sites near urban and agricultural areas.
PDF Review of flow rate estimates of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill [More info]
We assess the degree to which a consensus was reached on the flow rate of the well by comparing in situ observations with a time-dependent flow rate model derived from pressure readings taken after the Macondo well was shut in for the well integrity test.
PDF Science supporting Gulf of Mexico oil-spill response, mitigation, and restoration activities-Assessment, monitoring, mapping, and coordination [More info]
Explains and shows data and expertise we were able to provide to Federal agencies and decision makers to help them deal with this difficult situation.
PDF Selenium and stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen in the benthic clam Corbula amurensis from Northern San Francisco Bay, California: May 1995-February 2010 [More info]
Monthly selenium concentration in this keystone species shows strong spatial and seasonal variation in a five-year series of analyses.
PDF Shoreline surveys of oil-impacted marsh in southern Louisiana, July to August 2010 [More info]
Locations of survey points, a photographic record of each site, field observations of vegetation cover and descriptions of oil coverage in the water and on plants, including measurements of the distance of oil penetration from the shoreline.
South Florida Information Access (SOFIA) metadata [More info]
Links to metadata of South Florida research projects and to the webpage of the project.
South Florida Restoration Science Forum [More info]
Discussions and posters about agriculture, ecology, hydrology, ecosystems, and resource management efforts in south Florida.
Southeast Ecological Science Center [More info]
Science center in Florida focusing on amphibians and reptiles, coastal ecology, contaminants and ecotoxicology, imperiled fish, manatees, and invasive species
Status and trends of biological resources [More info]
Description of the Status and Trends program, which monitors the abundance, distribution, productivity, and health of the Nation's living resources, detecting and evaluating changes in these variables over time.
Studies in Long Island Sound: geology, contaminants, and environmental issues [More info]
Description of Long Island Sound projects and links to research topics, data, publications, photos, and technology on sediment transport, sea floor mapping, contaminant sampling, sediment texture, and environmental issues.
Studies of polluted sediment offshore Los Angeles [More info]
Overview of studies of marine sediment on the continental shelf south of Los Angeles contaminated with DDT and PCBs from past sewage effluent discharges with links to research on Santa Monica Bay, Los Angeles Shelf and Palos Verdes Peninsula.
PDF Sustainability of natural attenuation of nitrate in agricultural aquifers [More info]
Nitrate from fertilizer is degraded by microbial action in the presence of solid minerals. This helps mitigate the effect of the nitrate, but begins to diminish the solid minerals needed. Will the process be sustainable in the long term?
PDF The Border Environmental Health Initiative-investigating the transboundary Santa Cruz watershed [More info]
Study to identify risks to water resources in the SCW, and the potential consequences to riparian ecosystems and ultimately human health.
The Gulf of Mexico Hypoxic Zone [More info]
Information and links to USGS and other Federal agency monitoring and research concerning the hypoxic zone in the northern Gulf of Mexico occurring along the Louisiana-Texas coast.
The South Florida environment-- a region under stress [More info]
This report serves as an environmental review and framework for developing USGS programs in the south Florida ecosystem, especially the Everglades and its watershed, and stresses the critical role of water in natural and human environment.
The USGS role in Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) assessments [More info]
Detailed information on Total Maximum Daily Load, the total quantity of a pollutant that a stream can carry and still conform to water quality standards, used as a measurement in the monitoring, assessment, and remediation of polluted waters.
The Virtual Fish: Semipermeable Membrane Device (SPMD) basics [More info]
Paper by Duane Chapman for the 6th International SPMD Workshop and Symposium on a semipermeable membrane device (SPMD) measures contaminants in water by mimicking the parts of fish that cause concentration of specific chemicals in fish tissues.
PDF Tintina gold province study, Alaska and Yukon Territory, 2002-2007 [More info]
New discoveries and modernized extraction methods prompted renewed interest in gold deposits in this part of central Alaska, prompting a variety of studies described here.
Toxic Substances Hydrology Program [More info]
Homepage for the Toxic Substances Hydrology Program, which provides scientific information on contaminated sites and on human and environmental health. Links to news, topical information, investigations, meetings, publications, and photos.
PDF Toxicity and bioavailability of metals in the Missouri River adjacent to a lead refinery [More info]
Report (PDF format) on an evaluation of the potential environmental impacts of contaminated ground water from a metals refinery adjacent to the Missouri River in Omaha, Nebraska testing water and sediments for contaminants and toxicity.
PDF Trace metals related to historical iron smelting at Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, Berks and Chester Counties, Pennsylvania [More info]
Iron ore containing elevated concentrations of trace metals was smelted here during 113 years of operation (1771-1883). We sampled a variety of materials nearby to determine the amount of metals such as arsenic, chromium, copper, lead, and zinc.
Trichloroethylene (TCE) in fractured bedrock, Naval Air Warfare Center, Trenton, N.J. [More info]
Research on contamination by trichloroethylene (TCE) in fractured rock at the Naval Air Warfare Center in Trenton, N.J. with links to site description, bibliography, online reports, and findings.
PDF Twelve Years of Monitoring Phosphorus and Suspended-Solids Concentrations and Yields in the North Fork Ninnescah River above Cheney Reservoir, South-Central Kansas 1997-2008 [More info]
Water quality is important here because this reservoir is the primary supply for Wichita, Kansas. Due to low streamflow during the monitoring period, we expect suspended sediment and phosphorus to be more variable in the future.
USGS Indiana District adopts White River [More info]
Volunteers from the USGS in Indiana, their families, and friends donate two Saturdays a year for a river-cleanup.
USGS Science Serves Public Health [More info]
Studies showing how human activities affect environmental and ecological health and how the quality of our environment and wildlife affects human health.
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