Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Floods and Droughts

The Upper Midwest Water Science Center has a network of over 580 active streamgages expanding Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin that provide data on stream conditions. We use this information to track floods (usually caused by slow-moving summer thunderstorms, rapid snowmelt due to rainfall, or winter ice jams) and droughts (associated with abnormal weather patterns or climate change). We also collect data on sediment erosion, transport, and deposition, which allows us to study the physical processes behind stream channels and floodplains. This, in turn, informs our ability to evaluate stream restoration or erosion-control techniques, land conservation practices, and aquatic habitat improvements. We use hydraulic modeling and flooding inundation mapping to support flood preparedness, emergency response, emergency recovery, mitigation and planning, and environmental and ecological assessment.

Filter Total Items: 27

Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) Watercourse Corridor Study

Since 2000, the USGS and MMSD have been partners in the Milwaukee Area Watercourse Corridor Study. The USGS has applied a multi-disciplinary approach to monitor and assess stream water quality within studies of aquatic communities, geomorphology and habitat, water and sediment, and streamflow. Results are provided to MMSD and watershed management agencies for planning and decision-making.
link

Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) Watercourse Corridor Study

Since 2000, the USGS and MMSD have been partners in the Milwaukee Area Watercourse Corridor Study. The USGS has applied a multi-disciplinary approach to monitor and assess stream water quality within studies of aquatic communities, geomorphology and habitat, water and sediment, and streamflow. Results are provided to MMSD and watershed management agencies for planning and decision-making.
Learn More

MMSD Watercourse Corridor Study: Continuous Real-Time Streamflow

The MMSD Watercourse Corridor Study supports seven USGS streamflow gages on Milwaukee-area streams that measure real-time discharge and gage height; five of these sites also collect time-lapse videos.
link

MMSD Watercourse Corridor Study: Continuous Real-Time Streamflow

The MMSD Watercourse Corridor Study supports seven USGS streamflow gages on Milwaukee-area streams that measure real-time discharge and gage height; five of these sites also collect time-lapse videos.
Learn More

Assessing stormwater reduction using green infrastructure: Gary City Hall (Gary, Ind.)

The effectiveness of green infrastructure (rain gardens and decreased impervious surface) at reducing stormwater runoff and capturing dissolved chloride is being assessed at a redevelopment project at Gary City Hall (Gary, Indiana). This study will evaluate pre- and post-construction hydrologic conditions using data collected by monitoring storm-sewer flow, groundwater levels, soil moisture, and...
link

Assessing stormwater reduction using green infrastructure: Gary City Hall (Gary, Ind.)

The effectiveness of green infrastructure (rain gardens and decreased impervious surface) at reducing stormwater runoff and capturing dissolved chloride is being assessed at a redevelopment project at Gary City Hall (Gary, Indiana). This study will evaluate pre- and post-construction hydrologic conditions using data collected by monitoring storm-sewer flow, groundwater levels, soil moisture, and...
Learn More

Assessing stormwater reduction through green infrastructure: RecoveryPark (Detroit, Mich.)

The effectiveness of green infrastructure (including urban land conversion and bioswales) at reducing stormwater runoff is being assessed at RecoveryPark, a redeveloped urban farm in Detroit, Michigan. This study will monitor pre- and post-construction storm-sewer flow, groundwater levels, precipitation, and potential evapotranspiration (ET) to evaluate stormwater-volume reduction in response to...
link

Assessing stormwater reduction through green infrastructure: RecoveryPark (Detroit, Mich.)

The effectiveness of green infrastructure (including urban land conversion and bioswales) at reducing stormwater runoff is being assessed at RecoveryPark, a redeveloped urban farm in Detroit, Michigan. This study will monitor pre- and post-construction storm-sewer flow, groundwater levels, precipitation, and potential evapotranspiration (ET) to evaluate stormwater-volume reduction in response to...
Learn More

Monitoring and predicting the impacts of trees on urban stormwater volume reduction

Much has been learned about how effectively individual green infrastructure practices can reduce stormwater volume, however, the role of urban trees in stormwater detention is poorly understood. This study quantified the impact that trees have on stormwater runoff volume.
link

Monitoring and predicting the impacts of trees on urban stormwater volume reduction

Much has been learned about how effectively individual green infrastructure practices can reduce stormwater volume, however, the role of urban trees in stormwater detention is poorly understood. This study quantified the impact that trees have on stormwater runoff volume.
Learn More

Groundwater monitoring and research

Groundwater is an important water resource. The USGS collects information on the quality and quantity of groundwater and conducts advanced modeling of groundwater flow and groundwater/surface-water systems. The USGS also evaluates the effects of water-use, land-use, and climate change on groundwater, surface-water, and the ecosystems that rely on them.
link

Groundwater monitoring and research

Groundwater is an important water resource. The USGS collects information on the quality and quantity of groundwater and conducts advanced modeling of groundwater flow and groundwater/surface-water systems. The USGS also evaluates the effects of water-use, land-use, and climate change on groundwater, surface-water, and the ecosystems that rely on them.
Learn More

GLRI Urban Stormwater Monitoring

The GLRI Urban Stormwater Monitoring effort brings together the expertise of the USGS with local and national partners to assess the ability of green infrastructure to reduce stormwater runoff in Great Lakes urban areas.
link

GLRI Urban Stormwater Monitoring

The GLRI Urban Stormwater Monitoring effort brings together the expertise of the USGS with local and national partners to assess the ability of green infrastructure to reduce stormwater runoff in Great Lakes urban areas.
Learn More

Ecoflows: Developing Indices of Streamflow Alteration

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) lists streamflow alteration as a key stressor on aquatic life in many watersheds. However, the MPCA currently does not have the information needed to quantitatively associate metrics from Index of Biological Integrity (IBI) surveys with metrics of streamflow alteration. We are using USGS streamgage data and MPCA IBI data to develop relations between...
link

Ecoflows: Developing Indices of Streamflow Alteration

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) lists streamflow alteration as a key stressor on aquatic life in many watersheds. However, the MPCA currently does not have the information needed to quantitatively associate metrics from Index of Biological Integrity (IBI) surveys with metrics of streamflow alteration. We are using USGS streamgage data and MPCA IBI data to develop relations between...
Learn More

Fluvial geomorphology studies

Fluvial geomorphology studies provide an understanding of the physical processes responsible for shaping the character of streams and their riparian zones across both glaciatied and unglaciated regions of Wisconsin and the midwestern U.S.
link

Fluvial geomorphology studies

Fluvial geomorphology studies provide an understanding of the physical processes responsible for shaping the character of streams and their riparian zones across both glaciatied and unglaciated regions of Wisconsin and the midwestern U.S.
Learn More

Michigan Streamflow Data Available Online

The USGS in Michigan-in cooperation with local, State, Tribal, and Federal partners-operates 155 streamgages recording stage and streamflow, and 13 lake-level gages. There are about 7,400 streamgages nationwide; many of these gages provide real-time data in 15-minute increments, which typically are transmitted to the World Wide Web every 1 to 2 hours using satellite, telephone, or cellular phone...
link

Michigan Streamflow Data Available Online

The USGS in Michigan-in cooperation with local, State, Tribal, and Federal partners-operates 155 streamgages recording stage and streamflow, and 13 lake-level gages. There are about 7,400 streamgages nationwide; many of these gages provide real-time data in 15-minute increments, which typically are transmitted to the World Wide Web every 1 to 2 hours using satellite, telephone, or cellular phone...
Learn More

Assessing stormwater reduction using green infrastructure: Niagara River Greenway Project (Buffalo, NY)

The U.S. Geological Survey is assessing the effectiveness of green infrastructure at attenuating and reducing stormflow along a 2.26 mile corridor of Niagara Street in Buffalo, NY. This research is being conducted in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency, the Buffalo Sewer Authority and University at Buffalo.
link

Assessing stormwater reduction using green infrastructure: Niagara River Greenway Project (Buffalo, NY)

The U.S. Geological Survey is assessing the effectiveness of green infrastructure at attenuating and reducing stormflow along a 2.26 mile corridor of Niagara Street in Buffalo, NY. This research is being conducted in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency, the Buffalo Sewer Authority and University at Buffalo.
Learn More

Evaluating the potential benefits of permeable pavement on the quantity and quality of stormwater runoff

Permeable pavement is a porous urban surface which catches precipitation and surface runoff, storing it in the reservoir while slowly allowing it to infiltrate into the soil below. This study will evaluate how well different types of permeable pavement reduces the amount of pollutants and runoff volume.
link

Evaluating the potential benefits of permeable pavement on the quantity and quality of stormwater runoff

Permeable pavement is a porous urban surface which catches precipitation and surface runoff, storing it in the reservoir while slowly allowing it to infiltrate into the soil below. This study will evaluate how well different types of permeable pavement reduces the amount of pollutants and runoff volume.
Learn More