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Publications

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: 879

Geophysical and video logs of selected wells at and near the former Naval Air Warfare Center Warminster, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, 2017-19

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) collected borehole geophysical and video logs in 17 open-hole wells in Northampton, Warminster, and Warwick Townships, Bucks County, Pennsylvania during 2017–19 to support detailed groundwater investigations at and near the former Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC) Warminster, where groundwater contamination with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) had become

Machine-learning predictions of high arsenic and high manganese at drinking water depths of the glacial aquifer system, northern continental United States

Globally, over 200 million people are chronically exposed to arsenic (As) and/or manganese (Mn) from drinking water. We used machine-learning (ML) boosted regression tree (BRT) models to predict high As (>10 μg/L) and Mn (>300 μg/L) in groundwater from the glacial aquifer system (GLAC), which spans 25 states in the northern United States and provides drinking water to 30 million people. Our BRT mo

Evaluating low flow patterns, drivers and trends in the Delaware River Basin

In the humid, temperate Delaware River Basin (DRB) where water availability is generally reliable, summer low flows can cause competition between various human and ecological water uses. As temperatures continue to rise, population increases and development expands, it is critical to understand historical low flow variability to anticipate and plan for future flows. Using a sample of 325 U.S. Geol

Environmental and anthropogenic drivers of contaminants in agricultural watersheds with implications for land management

If not managed properly, modern agricultural practices can alter surface and groundwater quality and drinking water resources resulting in potential negative effects on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Exposure to agriculturally derived contaminant mixtures has the potential to alter habitat quality and negatively affect fish and other aquatic organisms. Implementation of conservation practices

Modeling estrogenic activity in streams throughout the Potomac and Chesapeake Bay watersheds

Endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs), specifically estrogenic endocrine-disrupting compounds, vary in concentration and composition in surface waters under the influence of different landscape sources and landcover gradients. Estrogenic activity in surface waters may lead to adverse effects in aquatic species at both individual and population levels, often observed through the presence of interse

Nutrient trends and drivers in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

The Chesapeake Bay Program maintains an extensive nontidal monitoring network, measuring nitrogen and phosphorus (nutrients) at more than 100 locations on rivers and streams in the watershed. Data from these locations are used by United States Geological Survey to assess the ecosystem’s response to nutrient-reduction efforts. This fact sheet summarizes recent trends in nitrogen and phosphorus in n

Microplastics in the Delaware River, northeastern United States

Microplastics are a contaminant of increasing concern in aquatic environments. Our understanding of microplastics in freshwater environments has increased dramatically over the past decade, but we still lack information on microplastic occurrence and biological uptake in National Park Service (NPS) waters. During 2015–19, the U.S. Geological Survey and the NPS conducted a three-phase study of micr

Widespread use of the nitrification inhibitor nitrapyrin: Assessing benefits and costs to agriculture, ecosystems, and environmental health

Agricultural production and associated applications of nitrogen (N) fertilizers have increased dramatically in the last century, and current projections to 2050 show that demands will continue to increase as the human population grows. Applied in both organic and inorganic fertilizer forms, N is an essential nutrient in crop productivity. Increased fertilizer applications, however, create the pote

Lithium in groundwater used for drinking-water supply in the United States

Lithium concentrations in untreated groundwater from 1464 public-supply wells and 1676 domestic-supply wells distributed across 33 principal aquifers in the United States were evaluated for spatial variations and possible explanatory factors. Concentrations nationwide ranged from

Development of regression equations for the estimation of flood flows at ungaged streams in Pennsylvania

Regression equations, which may be used to estimate flood flows at select annual exceedance probabilities, were developed for ungaged streams in Pennsylvania. The equations were developed using annual peak flow data through water year 2015 and basin characteristics for 285 streamflow gaging stations across Pennsylvania and surrounding states. The streamgages included active and discontinued contin

Interactive PHREEQ-N-AMDTreat water-quality modeling tools to evaluate performance and design of treatment systems for acid mine drainage

The PHREEQ-N-AMDTreat aqueous geochemical modeling tools described herein simulate changes in pH and solute concentrations resulting from passive and active treatment of acidic or alkaline mine drainage (AMD). The “user-friendly” interactive tools, which are publicly available software, utilize PHREEQC equilibrium aqueous and surface speciation models and kinetics models for O2 ingassing and CO2 o

Arsenic and uranium occurrence in private wells in Connecticut, 2013–18—A spatially weighted and bedrock geology assessment

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Connecticut Department of Public Health, conducted a study to determine the presence of arsenic and uranium in private drinking water wells in Connecticut. Samples were collected during 2013–18 from wells completed in 115 geologic units, with 2,433 samples analyzed for arsenic and 2,191 samples analyzed for uranium. The study concluded four major