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Publications

Publications are crucial for the dissemination of the Virginia and West Virginia Water Science 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: 242

Groundwater quality and geochemistry of the western wet gas part of the Marcellus Shale Oil and Gas Play in West Virginia

Thirty rural residential water wells in the wet gas region of the Marcellus Shale oil and gas play in northwestern West Virginia were sampled by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in 2018, in cooperation with West Virginia State agencies, to analyze for a range of water-quality constituents, including major ions, trace metals, radionuclides, bacteria, and methane and other dissolved hydrocarbon gas

GPS data from 2019 and 2020 campaigns in the Chesapeake Bay region towards quantifying vertical land motions

The Chesapeake Bay is a region along the eastern coast of the United States where sea-level rise is confounded with poorly resolved rates of land subsidence, thus new constraints on vertical land motions (VLM) in the region are warranted. In this paper, we provide a description of two campaign-style Global Positioning System (GPS) datasets, explain the methods used in data collection and validatio

Stormwater quantity and quality in selected urban watersheds in Hampton Roads, Virginia, 2016–2020

Urbanization can substantially alter sediment and nutrient loadings to streams. Although a growing body of literature has documented these processes, conditions may vary widely by region and physiographic province (PP). Substantial investments are made by localities to meet federal, state, and local water-quality goals and locally relevant monitoring data are needed to appropriately set standards

Virginia Bridge Scour Pilot Study—Hydrological Tools

Hydrologic and geophysical components interact to produce streambed scour. This study investigates methods for improving the utility of estimates of hydrologic flow in streams and rivers used when evaluating potential pier scour over the design-life of highway bridges in Virginia. Recent studies of streambed composition identify potential bridge design cost savings when attributes of cohesive soil

Occurrence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances and inorganic analytes in groundwater and surface water used as sources for public water supply in West Virginia

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are widely observed anthropogenic compounds found in water supplies worldwide and increasingly linked with adverse health effects in humans. In 2019, the West Virginia Legislature recognized the contamination risk to public source-water supplies posed by PFAS and passed a resolution that required a statewide PFAS study. The purpose of the resolution was t

Speciation with gene flow in a narrow endemic West Virginia cave salamander (Gyrinophilus subterraneus)

Due to their limited geographic distributions and specialized ecologies, cave species are often highly endemic and can be especially vulnerable to habitat degradation within and surrounding the cave systems they inhabit. We investigated the evolutionary history of the West Virginia Spring Salamander (Gyrinophilus subterraneus), estimated the population trend from historic and current survey data,

Revisions to the Virginia Coastal Plain hydrogeologic framework southwest of the James River

New drilling information reveals that altitudes of some hydrogeologic units of the Virginia Coastal Plain aquifer system differ by as much as 50 feet (ft) from those previously known, namely the Aquia and Potomac aquifers, the Potomac confining zone, and the Nanjemoy-Marlboro and Saint Marys confining units. In addition, the lateral margins of some hydrogeologic units are located as much as severa

Summary of the midchannel springflows in Jackson River below Gathright Dam between April 24, 2010, and May 7, 2019

Between April 2010 and May 2019, springflow was determined for a midchannel spring in Jackson River below Gathright Dam near Hot Springs, Virginia. The springflow was measured to assess if the spring was influenced by the elevation of Lake Moomaw. Local precipitation was also reviewed to determine whether variations in springflow were influenced by rainfall. The spring is approximately 250 feet do

Major point and nonpoint sources of nutrient pollution to surface water have declined throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed

Understanding drivers of water quality in local watersheds is the first step for implementing targeted restoration practices. Nutrient inventories can inform water quality management decisions by identifying shifts in nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) balances over space and time while also keeping track of the likely urban and agricultural point and nonpoint sources of pollution. The Chesapeake Bay

Groundwater-level contour map of Fauquier County, Virginia, October-November 2018

Groundwater withdrawals provide most public-water supplies and all private-domestic users in Fauquier County, Virginia, a fast-growing rural area southwest of Washington, D.C. Groundwater levels were measured in 129 wells during a county-wide synoptic survey from October 29 through November 2, 2018. Field measurements, combined with datapoints from the National Hydrography Dataset, were used to de

Watershed-scale risk to aquatic organisms from complex chemical mixtures in the Shenandoah River

River waters contain complex chemical mixtures derived from natural and anthropogenic sources. Aquatic organisms are exposed to the entire chemical composition of the water, resulting in potential effects at the organismal through ecosystem level. This study applied a holistic approach to assess landscape, hydrological, chemical, and biological variables. On-site mobile laboratory experiments were

Nitrogen reductions have decreased hypoxia in the Chesapeake Bay: Evidence from empirical and numerical modeling

Seasonal hypoxia is a characteristic feature of the Chesapeake Bay due to anthropogenic nutrient input from agriculture and urbanization throughout the watershed. Although coordinated management efforts since 1985 have reduced nutrient inputs to the Bay, oxygen concentrations at depth in the summer still frequently fail to meet water quality standards that have been set to protect critical estuari