Alaska Science Center


The Alaska Science Center conducts research and monitoring on a wide variety of hydrological issues affecting streams, rivers, lakes, and groundwater in Alaska. We strive to meet the changing needs of those who use our information - from the distribution, availability, and quality of our water resources to topic-oriented research that addresses current hydrological issues.

Hydrologic Monitoring 

Hydrologic Monitoring 

The USGS's National Water Information System (NWIS) is a comprehensive and distributed application that supports the acquisition, processing, and long-term storage of water data.


AK Current Water Conditions

AK Current Water Conditions

Explore real-time Alaska streamflow, groundwater, and water-quality conditions and access data with our new interactive map application.

Current Conditions
Filter Total Items: 11
Date published: December 3, 2020
Status: Active

Collaborative Science for Priority Information Needs

One of the primary missions of the USGS is to address the science needs of Department of Interior bureaus, particularly those that manage natural resources and lands.  This mission is fulfilled through the research and other activities of USGS scientists but also specifically through three USGS nationally-funded programs listed below.

Date published: August 8, 2018
Status: Active

Streambed Scour at Bridges in Alaska

Streambed scour is the leading cause of bridge failure in the United States resulting in over 60 percent of all failures. The Alaska Science Center, in cooperation with the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities and the Alaska Railroad, is researching streambed scour through scour monitoring, hydraulic modeling, and data collection during high flows.  

Date published: June 18, 2018
Status: Active

Glaciers and Climate Project

Scientists with the Glaciers and Climate Project study many of the pertinent impacts that glaciers present to society, such as altering hydrologic cycles, contributing to sea-level rise, and creating environmental hazards. 

Contacts: Louis Sass, III
Date published: April 18, 2018
Status: Active

Hydro-Ecology of Arctic Thawing (HEAT): Ecology

Permafrost thaw is leading to a myriad of changes in physical and chemical conditions throughout the Arctic.

Date published: November 29, 2017
Status: Active

USGS Transboundary River Monitoring in Southeast Alaska

The USGS Alaska Science Center operates super gages on the Alsek, Taku, Stikine, Unuk and Salmon Rivers. Discrete water quality, sediment, and biological sampling are also collected at each gage location. Discrete water quality samples are also collected annually at the Canada-Alaska border crossings of the Taku, Stikine, and Unuk Rivers. Water quality data collection began in 2018 on the Unuk...

Date published: May 30, 2017
Status: Active

Alaska Streamflow Statistics

The USGS conducts various studies of streamflow statistics for data collected at streamflow-gaging stations. Streamflow statistics for gaged streams and methods for estimating those statistics for ungaged streams are used by water resource planners and managers for designing infrastructure, managing floodplains, and protecting life, property, and aquatic resources. The most recent USGS studies...

Date published: May 30, 2017
Status: Active

Arctic – Boreal Catchment Studies

Catchment hydrology focuses on the movement of water and solutes from landscapes to waterbodies. Our research addresses questions such as: Where is the stream water coming from? How long did it take to get here? What solutes, nutrients, and/or contaminants did the water pick up along the way? Because streams and lakes gather water and solutes, we can learn about the entire watershed by...

Contacts: Joshua C Koch, Ph.D., Ylva Sjöberg
Date published: April 12, 2017
Status: Active

Hydro-Ecology of Arctic Thawing (HEAT): Hydrology

The Arctic is warming at higher rates than much of the rest of the world. For Alaska, this results in changes in hydrology and ecosystems – permafrost is thawing, changing landscapes and releasing nutrients to soils and streams. 

Date published: August 20, 2015
Status: Completed

NAWQA Cook Inlet Basin Study Unit

The Cook Inlet Basin (COOK) study unit in southcentral Alaska, is part of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program. The long-term goals of this program are to describe the status and trends in the quality of a large, representative part of the Nation's surface- and ground-water resources, and to provide a sound, scientific understanding of the primary...

Date published: November 20, 2003
Status: Completed

Water Resources for Alaska GIS datasets Statewide Coverages

Legacy Data for AK Precipitation, Hydrologic Unit Map, and Streamflow analysis regions for AK and conterminous basins in Canada.

Contacts: Janet H Curran
Date published: November 20, 2000
Status: Completed

Water Resources for Alaska GIS datasets Regional Coverages

Legacy Data for Water Resources for Alaska GIS datasets Regional Coverages

Contacts: Jeff Conaway