Skip to main content


Publications are crucial for the dissemination of our Center's scientific data and conclusions. View journal articles authored by our Center's scientists here. The full, searchable catalog of USGS publications can be accessed through the USGS Publications Warehouse.

Filter Total Items: 225

Climate extremes as drivers of surface-water-quality trends in the United States

Surface-water quality can change in response to climate perturbations, such as changes in the frequency of heavy precipitation or droughts, through direct effects, such as dilution and concentration, and through physical processes, such as bank scour. Water quality might also change through indirect mechanisms, such as changing water demand or changes in runoff interaction with organic matter on t

Nitrogen in the Chesapeake Bay watershed—A century of change, 1950–2050

ForewordSustaining the quality of the Nation’s water resources and the health of our diverse ecosystems depends on the availability of sound water-resources data and information to develop effective, science-based policies. Effective management of water resources also brings more certainty and efficiency to important economic sectors. Taken together, these actions lead to immediate and long-term e

Groundwater hydrology and chemistry of Jamestown Island, Virginia—Potential effects of tides, storm surges, and sea-level rise on archaeological, cultural, and ecological resources

As the site of the first permanent English settlement in North America in 1607, Jamestown Island, Colonial National Historical Park (COLO), Virginia, contains a rich archaeological record that extends from the Paleoindian period (15,000 to 8,000 years ago) through the 20th century. The island is located on the lower James River near the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. Jamestown Island vegetation is domin

Chesapeake Bay: A case study in resiliency and restoration

Chesapeake Bay (“mother of waters” or the “great shellfish Bay” in Algonquin), is the largest estuary in the United States and arguably the best studied estuary in the world. Chesapeake Bay is immense, with the main stem stretching 200 nautical miles (315 km) from the mouth of the Susquehanna River to its terminus at the Atlantic Ocean and an overall watershed encompassing 64,000 mi2 (165,000 km2)

Hydrology and water quality of the Great Dismal Swamp, Virginia and North Carolina, and implications for hydrologic-management goals and strategies

The Great Dismal Swamp is a peat wetland in the Coastal Plain of southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. Timber harvesting and the construction of ditches to drain the swamp and facilitate the harvesting are collectively implicated in changes that altered the wetland forests, caused subsidence and decomposition of the peat, and increased the risk of fire. In response to these change

Forecasting drought probabilities for streams in the northeastern United States

Maximum likelihood logistic regression (MLLR) models for the northeastern United States forecast drought probability estimates for water flowing in rivers and streams using methods previously identified and developed. Streamflow data from winter months are used to estimate chances of hydrological drought during summer months. Daily streamflow data collected from 1,143 streamgages from April 1, 187

Simulated effects of sea-level rise on the shallow, fresh groundwater system of Assateague Island, Maryland and Virginia

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the National Park Service, developed a three-dimensional groundwater-flow model for Assateague Island in eastern Maryland and Virginia to assess the effects of sea-level rise on the groundwater system. Sea-level rise is expected to increase the altitude of the water table in barrier island aquifer systems, possibly leading to adverse effects to ecosy

Temporal variations of de facto wastewater reuse and disinfection by-products in public water systems in the Shenandoah River watershed, USA

Temporal variations of de facto wastewater reuse are relevant to public drinking water systems (PWSs) that obtain water from surface sources. Variations in wastewater discharge flows, streamflow, de facto reuse, and disinfection by-products (DBPs – trihalomethane-4 [THM4] and haloacetic acid-5 [HAA5]) over an 18-year period were examined at 11 PWSs in the Shenandoah River watershed, using more tha

Quantifying the response of nitrogen speciation to hydrology in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed using a multilevel modeling approach

Excessive nitrogen (N) inputs to coastal waters can lead to severe eutrophication and different chemical forms of N exhibit varying levels of effectiveness in fueling primary production. Efforts to mitigate N fluxes from coastal watersheds are often guided by models that predict changes in N loads as a function of changes in land use, management practices, and climate. However, relatively little i

The Chesapeake Bay program modeling system: Overview and recommendations for future development

The Chesapeake Bay is the largest, most productive, and most biologically diverse estuary in the continental United States providing crucial habitat and natural resources for culturally and economically important species. Pressures from human population growth and associated development and agricultural intensification have led to excessive nutrient and sediment inputs entering the Bay, negatively

Supporting cost-effective watershed management strategies for Chesapeake Bay using a modeling and optimization framework

Extensive efforts to adaptively manage nutrient pollution rely on Chesapeake Bay Program's (Phase 6) Watershed Model, called Chesapeake Assessment Scenario Tool (CAST), which helps decision-makers plan and track implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs). We describe mathematical characteristics of CAST and develop a constrained nonlinear BMP-subset model, software, and visualization frame

Estimation of selected seasonal streamflow statistics representative of 1930–2002 in West Virginia

Regional equations and procedures were developed for estimating seasonal 1-day 10-year, 7-day 10-year, and 30-day 5-year hydrologically based low-flow frequency values for unregulated streams in West Virginia. Regional equations and procedures also were developed for estimating the seasonal U.S. Environmental Protection Agency harmonic-mean flows and the 50-percent flow-duration values. The season