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Publications produced by the Nevada Water Science Center are listed below. Older publications may not be available in electronic form yet. If a Nevada Water Science Center publication that you would like to view isn't listed below, please send email to  GS-W-NVpublic-info@

Filter Total Items: 368

Flood-inundation maps for the Muddy River, near Moapa, Nevada

The Muddy River provides habitat for several wildlife and endemic aquatic species protected under the Endangered Species Act. Near Moapa, Nevada, in the Bureau of Land Management’s Muddy River Floodplain Restoration Project Area, a previously constructed levee on the east side of the river alters the natural hydrology and decreases connectivity between the river and its floodplain. The Bureau of L
Christopher M. Morris, Hampton K. Childres

New capabilities in MT3D-USGS for simulating unsaturated-zone heat transport

Changes in climate and land use will alter groundwater heat transport dynamics in the future. These changes will in turn affect watershed processes (e.g., nutrient cycling) as well as watershed characteristics (e.g., distribution and persistence of cold-water habitat). Thus, groundwater flow and heat transport models at watershed scales that can characterize and quantify thermal impacts of surfac
Eric D. Morway, Daniel T. Feinstein, Randall J. Hunt, Richard W. Healy

Assessing potential effects of changes in water use in the middle Carson River Basin with a numerical groundwater-flow model, Eagle, Dayton, and Churchill Valleys, west-central Nevada

During the economic boom of the mid part of the first decade of the 2000s in northwestern Nevada, municipal and housing growth increased use of the water resources of this semi-arid region. In 2008, when the economy slowed, new housing development stopped, and immediate pressure on groundwater resources abated. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Bureau of Reclamation, began a hydr
Eric D. Morway, Susan G. Buto, Richard G. Niswonger, Justin L. Huntington

Evaluation of potential stresses and hydrologic conditions driving water-level fluctuations in well ER-5-3-2, Frenchman Flat, southern Nevada

Well ER-5-3-2 is part of a well network designed to monitor long-term water levels and radionuclide concentrations downgradient from underground nuclear tests that occurred in Frenchman Flat, an area of the U.S. Department of Energy Nevada National Security Site in southern Nevada. Interpretation of monitoring records for well ER-5-3-2 was confounded by previously unexplained water-level fluctuati
Tracie R. Jackson, Rebecca J. Frus

Evolving radon diffusion through earthen barriers at uranium waste disposal sites

Field measurements of Rn-222 fluxes from the tops and bottoms of compacted clay radon barriers were used to calculate effective Rn diffusion coefficients (DRn) at four uranium waste disposal sites in the western United States to assess cover performance after more than 20 years of service. Values of DRn ranged from 7.4 × 10−7 to 6.0 × 10−9 m2/s, averaging 1.42 × 10−7. Water saturation (SW) from so
Mark Fuhrmann, Todd Caldwell, William J. Likos, W. Jodi Waugh, Morgan M. Williams, Craig H. Benson

Quantifying stream-loss recovery in a spring using dual-tracer injections in the Snake Creek drainage, Great Basin National Park, Nevada, USA

Simultaneous short-pulse injections of two tracers (sodium bromide [Br–] and fluorescein dye) were made in a losing reach of Snake Creek in Great Basin National Park, Nevada, USA, to evaluate the quantity of stream loss through permeable carbonates that resurfaces at a spring approximately 10 km down drainage. A revised hydrogeologic cross section for a possible flow path of the infiltrated Snake
C. Eric Humphrey, Philip M. Gardner, Lawrence E. Spangler, Nora C. Nelson, Laura Toran, D. Kip Solomon

Can hydrological models benefit from using global soil moisture, evapotranspiration, and runoff products as calibration targets?

Hydrological models are usually calibrated to in-situ streamflow observations with reasonably long and uninterrupted records. This is challenging for poorly gage or ungaged basins where such information is not available. Even for gaged basins, the single-objective calibration to gaged streamflow cannot guarantee reliable forecasts because, as has been documented elsewhere, the inverse problem is m
Yiwen Mei, Juliane Mai, Hong Xuan Do, Andrew Gronewold, Howard W. Reeves, Sandra M. Eberts, Richard G. Niswonger, R. Steve Regan, Randall J. Hunt

Incorporating temperature into seepage loss estimates for a large unlined irrigation canal

Quantifying seepage losses from unlined irrigation canals is necessary to improve water use and conservation. The use of heat as a tracer is widely used in quantifying seepage rates across the sediment–water interface. In this study, field observations and two-dimensional numerical models were used to simulate seepage losses during the 2018 and 2019 irrigation season in the Truckee Canal system. N
Ramon C. Naranjo, David Smith, Evan J. Lindenbach

Estimated effects of pumping on groundwater storage and Walker River stream efficiencies in Smith and Mason Valleys, west-central Nevada

The Walker River originates in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and flows nearly 160 miles to its terminus at Walker Lake in west-central Nevada. The river provides a source of irrigation water for tens of thousands of acres of agricultural lands in California and Nevada and is the principal source of inflow to Walker Lake. Extraction of groundwater for agricultural use became prevalent in the late 195
Gwendolyn E. Davies, Ramon C. Naranjo

Working toward a National Coordinated Soil Moisture Monitoring Network: Vision, progress, and future directions

Soil moisture is a critical land surface variable, impacting the water, energy, and carbon cycles. While in situ soil moisture monitoring networks are still developing, there is no cohesive strategy or framework to coordinate, integrate, or disseminate these diverse data sources in a synergistic way that can improve our ability to understand climate variability at the national, state, and local le
C. Bruce Baker, Michael H. Cosh, John Bolten, Mark Brusberg, Todd Caldwell, Stephanie Connolly, Iliyana Dobreva, Nathan Edwards, Peter E. Goble, Tyson E. Ochsner, Steven M. Quiring, Michael Robotham, Marina Skumanich, Mark Svoboda, W. Alex White, Molly Woloszyn

In situ soil moisture sensors in undisturbed soils

Soil moisture directly affects operational hydrology, food security, ecosystem services, and the climate system. However, the adoption of soil moisture data has been slow due to inconsistent data collection, poor standardization, and typically short record duration. Soil moisture, or quantitatively volumetric soil water content (SWC), is measured using buried, in situ sensors that infer SWC from a
Todd Caldwell, Michael H. Cosh, Steven R. Evett, Nathan Edwards, Heather Hofman, Bradley Illston, Tilden P. Meyers, Marina Skumanich, Kent Sutcliffe

Simulation of heat flow in a synthetic watershed: Lags and dampening across multiple pathways under a climate-forcing scenario

Although there is widespread agreement that future climates tend toward warming, the response of aquatic ecosystems to that warming is not well understood. This work, a continuation of companion research, explores the role of distinct watershed pathways in lagging and dampening climate-change signals. It subjects a synthetic flow and transport model to a 30-year warming signal based on climate pro
Daniel T. Feinstein, Randall J. Hunt, Eric D. Morway