Oregon Water Science Center


Welcome to the USGS in Oregon. Our mission is to explore the natural world around us and provide reliable scientific information to help Federal, State, and local agencies, Tribes, and the public make well-informed decisions. Our research is widely used to manage Oregon's water resources for the benefit and safety of people and the environment. 

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Current Stream Conditions

Current Stream Conditions

See what is happening in streams near you. View real-time stream data for streams around Oregon.

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Weekly Science Seminar

Weekly Science Seminar

Our lunchtime seminars are held Tuesdays from 12pm to 1 pm and are open to the public.

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Date published: January 5, 2021

USGS Measures the Effect of Recent Wildfires on Water Quality in Oregon

Some of the intense wildfires that occurred during late summer of 2020 in Oregon happened along streams that were being monitored by the USGS. As a result, the USGS was able to measure how water-quality was affected by those wildfires.

Date published: December 1, 2020

"Legacy nitrogen" contributing to upward nitrate trends in streams

Despite the tremendous effort invested in reducing the use of nitrogen, widespread decreases in nitrate loads in US rivers and streams remain elusive—what gives? A new study from the USGS provides more evidence that the culprit is the slow release to streams of nitrogen that has accumulated in groundwater and other...

Date published: November 6, 2020

Potential Burrowing Habitat for Lamprey Larvae in the Umpqua River Basin, Oregon

Lampreys in the Umpqua River basin face multiple threats, including predation by nonnative fish such as smallmouth bass.


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Year Published: 2021

Monitoring wetland water quality related to livestock grazing in amphibian habitats

Land use alteration such as livestock grazing can affect water quality in habitats of at-risk wildlife species. Data from managed wetlands are needed to understand levels of exposure for aquatic life stages and monitor grazing-related changes afield. We quantified spatial and temporal variation in water quality in wetlands occupied by threatened...

Smalling, Kelly; Rowe, Jennifer; Pearl, Christopher; Iwanowiczl, Luke R.; Givens, Carrie E.; Anderson, Chauncey W.; Mccreary, Brome; Adams, Michael J.

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Year Published: 2021

Eroding Cascadia—Sediment and solute transport and landscape denudation in western Oregon and northwestern California

Riverine measurements of sediment and solute transport give empirical basin-scale estimates of bed-load, suspended-sediment, and silicate-solute fluxes for 100,000 km2 of northwestern California and western Oregon. This spatially explicit sediment budget shows the multifaceted control of geology and physiography on the rates and processes of...

O'Connor, Jim E.; Mangano, Joseph F.; Wise, Daniel R.; Roering, Joshua R.

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Year Published: 2020

Factors affecting nitrate concentrations in stream base flow

Elevated nitrogen concentrations in streams and rivers in the Chesapeake Bay watershed have adversely affected the ecosystem health of the bay. Much of this nitrogen is derived as nitrate from groundwater that discharges to streams as base flow. In this study, boosted regression trees (BRTs) were used to relate nitrate concentrations in base flow...

Wherry, Susan; Tesoriero, Anthony J.; Terziotti, Silvia