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Publications are the cornerstone of the Pennsylvania Water Science Center’s dissemination of scientific data and conclusions. You can access USGS publications and journal articles here. 

Filter Total Items: 928

Characterization of peak streamflows and flooding in select areas of Pennsylvania from the remnants of Hurricane Ida, September 1–2, 2021

Pennsylvania experienced heavy rainfall on September 1 and 2, 2021, as the remnants of Hurricane Ida swept over parts of the State. Much of eastern and south-central Pennsylvania received 5 to 10 inches of rain, and most of the rainfall fell within little more than 6 hours. Southeastern Pennsylvania experienced widespread, substantial flooding, and the city of Philadelphia and surrounding areas we
Marla H. Stuckey, Matthew D. Conlon, Mitchell R. Weaver

Societal benefits of floodplains in the Chesapeake Bay and Delaware River watersheds: Sediment, nutrient, and flood regulation ecosystem services

Floodplains provide critical ecosystem services to people by regulating floodwaters and retaining sediments and nutrients. Geospatial analyses, field data collection, and modeling were integrated to quantify a portfolio of services that floodplains provide to downstream communities within the Chesapeake Bay and Delaware River watersheds. The portfolio of services included floodplain sediment and n
Kristina G. Hopkins, Jacqueline Sage Welles, Emily J. Pindilli, Gregory B. Noe, Peter Claggett, Labeeb Ahmed, Marina Metes

Land development and road salt usage drive long-term changes in major-ion chemistry of streamwater in six exurban and suburban watersheds, southeastern Pennsylvania, 1999-2019

In urbanized areas, the “freshwater salinization syndrome” (FSS), which pertains to long-term increases in concentrations of major ions and metals in fresh surface waters, has been attributed to road salt application. In addition to FSS, the water composition changes as an influx of sodium (Na+) in recharge may displace calcium (Ca2+), magnesium (Mg2+), potassium (K+), and trace metals by reverse
Marissa Lee Rossi, Peleg Kremer, Charles A. Cravotta, Krista E. Seng, Steven T. Goldsmith

River water quality in the Delaware River Basin—Concentrations and trends through 2018

IntroductionThe Delaware River Basin provides drinking water to 13.3 million people and supports endangered species, provides recreational opportunities, and is an essential resource to regional industries. The efforts of Federal and State governments have substantially improved overall water quality in the basin, which had been severely degraded prior to the mid-20th century. Recent trend analyse
Megan E. Shoda, Emily G Gain, Jennifer C. Murphy

Satellite precipitation bias estimation and correction using in situ observations and climatology isohyets for the MENA region

The availability of reliable gridded precipitation datasets is limited around the world, especially in arid regions. In this study, we utilized observations from satellite-based precipitation data and in situ rain gauge observations to determine a suitable precipitation dataset in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region. First, we evaluated seven different precipitation products using rain ga
Stefanie Kagone, Naga Manohar Velpuri, Kul Bikram Khand, Gabriel B. Senay, Michael R. Van der Valk, Daniel J. Goode, Salam Abu Hantash, Thair M. Al-Momani, Nanor Momejian, Jack R. Eggleston

Per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) in Pennsylvania surface waters: A statewide assessment, associated sources, and land-use relations

The objectives of this study are to identify per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in Pennsylvania surface waters, corresponding associations with potential sources of PFAS contamination (PSOC) and other parameters, and compare raw surface water concentrations to human and ecological benchmarks. Surface water samples from 161 streams were collected in September 2019 and were analyzed for 33 t
Sara Breitmeyer, Amy Williams, Joseph W. Duris, Lee W. Eicholtz, Dustin R. Shull, Timothy A. Wertz, Emily Woodward

Salinity and total dissolved solids measurements for natural waters: An overview and a new salinity method based on specific conductance and water type

The total concentration of dissolved constituents in water is routinely quantified by measurements of salinity or total dissolved solids (TDS). However, salinity and TDS are operationally defined by their analytical methods and are not equivalent for most waters. Furthermore, multiple methods are available to determine salinity and TDS, and these methods have inherent differences. TDS is defined a
R. Blaine McCleskey, Charles A. Cravotta, Matthew P. Miller, Fred D. Tillman, Paul Stackelberg, Katherine J. Knierim, Daniel Wise

Estimated reduction of nitrogen in streams of the Chesapeake Bay in areas with agricultural conservation practices

Spatial data provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Resource Conservation Service representing implementation at the field-level for a selection of agricultural conservation practices were incorporated within a spatially referenced regression model to estimate their effects on nitrogen loads in streams in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Conservation practices classified as “high-imp
Andrew Sekellick, Scott Ator, Olivia H. Devereux, Jennifer L. Keisman

A multi-level assessment of biological effects associated with mercury concentrations in smallmouth bass, Micropterus dolomieu

Total mercury (THg) was measured in muscle (fillet) and liver tissue of adult smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomieu collected at multiple sites in the Potomac and Susquehanna River drainages within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Smallmouth bass in these drainages have experienced episodic mortality events, a high prevalence of skin lesions and reproductive endocrine disruption (intersex or testicula
Vicki S. Blazer, Heather L. Walsh, Adam Sperry, Brenna Raines, James Willacker, Collin Eagles-Smith

Tracking status and trends in seven key indicators of stream health in the Chesapeake Bay watershed

“The Bay Connects us, the Bay reflects us” writes Tom Horton in the book “Turning the Tide—Saving the Chesapeake Bay”. The Chesapeake Bay watershed contains the largest estuary in the United States. The watershed stretches north to Cooperstown, New York, south to Lynchburg and Virginia Beach, Virginia, west to Pendleton County, West Virginia, and east to Seaford, Delaware, and Scranton, Pennsylvan
Samuel H. Austin, Matt J. Cashman, John Clune, James E. Colgin, Rosemary M. Fanelli, Kevin P. Krause, Emily H. Majcher, Kelly O. Maloney, Chris A. Mason, Doug L. Moyer, Tammy M. Zimmerman

Analysis of the United States documented unplugged orphaned oil and gas well dataset

In coordination with the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and in response to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) produced a documented unplugged orphaned oil and gas well dataset (called the DOW dataset hereafter) that contains the location and status of these wells nationwide as of 2022. The DOW dataset includes 117,672 wells across 27 states. The data
Matthew D. Merrill, Claire A. Grove, Nicholas J. Gianoutsos, Philip A. Freeman

Gross alpha-particle activity and high 226Ra concentrations do not correspond with high 210Po in the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain aquifers of the United States

210Po, which is of human-health concern based on lifetime ingestion cancer risk, is indirectly regulated in drinking water through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s gross alpha-particle activity (GAPA) maximum contaminant level of 15 pCi/L (picocuries per liter). This regulation requires independent measurement of 226Ra for samples exceeding the GAPA screening level of 5 pCi/L. There is n
Zoltan Szabo, Charles A. Cravotta, Paul Stackelberg, Kenneth Belitz