Wisconsin Water Science Center
Water quality is measure of the suitability of water for a particular use based on selected physical, chemical, and biological characteristics. Water-quality monitoring is used to help water-resource managers understand and avert potential negative effects of man-made and natural stresses on water resources. The Wisconsin Water Science Center investigates water-quality issues using new technologies and techniques to study the physical, chemical, biological, geological interactions in rivers, streams, lakes, and groundwater in Wisconsin and across the Nation. Some of the issues we address include the occurrence, distribution, trends, and modeling of pollutants; the relationship between ecological responses and water quality; and the relationships between natural factors, land use, and water quality, in both rural and urban settings.
To reduce the impact of increasing urban development and recreational use on Geneva Lake, efforts are being made to decrease point- and nonpoint-source pollution inputs. To document Geneva Lake's water quality, the USGS collected water-quality data and developed empirical eutrophication models to demonstrate that reductions in phosphorus loading were related to water-quality improvements.
Little St. Germain Lake, Wis., consists of four main basins separated by narrows. This study monitored lake water quality, identified phosphorus sources, determined spatial and temporal distribution of oxygen, evaluated the effectiveness of winter aeration systems, and modeled groundwater/lake-water interactions.
North Fish Creek, Wis., has accelerated erosion and sedimentation that negatively affects aquatic habitat. This project monitored three rehabilitation projects (including submerged flow-deflecting vanes) to determine their effect on bluff erosion rates and sediment volumes, and to describe the upland land cover and soils. This data will help guide runoff management and bluff restoration...
Riparian grazing allows cattle free access to streams, but may accelerate erosion by the removal or trampling of vegetation. This study measured stream bank erosion, channel morphology, and stream substrate through seven experimental intensive-rotational pastures. It also evaluated the use of photo-electronic erosion pins (PEEPs) for measuring bank erosion in this type of geomorphic setting....
Lake Superior tributaries in Bayfield County, Wis., have accelerated erosion and sedimentation influenced by changing land use, steep slopes, erodible soils, and flashy runoff. This project assessed the geomorpology of five tributaries, identified problem areas, and assessed rehabilitation alternatives and watershed management strategies specifically related to the rehabilitation of brook...
The USGS is evaluating the effectiveness of non-point pollution control measures in five watersheds in the Lower Fox River and Duck Creek watersheds and comparing daily phosphorus and suspended solids loads for each watershed.
The USGS and Wisconsin DNR collected water-quality and biological data from 240 wadeable streams and 40 nonwadeable rivers throughout Wisconsin to evaluate the potential environmental benefits of enforcing nutrient criteria and standards for streams and rivers if they better reflected regionally defined, scientifically defensible thresholds to biotic response.
The PEST++ software suite is object-oriented universal computer code written in C++ that expands on and extends the algorithms included in PEST, a widely used parameter estimation code written in Fortran. PEST++ is designed to lower the barriers of entry for users and developers while providing efficient algorithms that can accommodate large, highly parameterized problems.
PESTCommander is an object-oriented Graphical User Interface (GUI) written in Python® that facilitates the management of model files ("file management") and remote launching and termination of slave computers across a distributed network of computers ("run management").
GENIE is a model-independent suite of programs that can be used to generally distribute, manage, and execute multiple model runs via the TCP/IP infrastructure. The suite consists of a file distribution interface, a run manage, a run executer, and a routine that can be compiled as part of a program and used to exchange model runs with the run manager.
TSPROC (Time Series PROCessor) is a software package designed to assist in the calibration of models by editing and distilling time series datasets into more meaningful observations to be used in the optimization objective function. The software performs calculations on time-series data associated with surface-water models, including calculation of flow volumes, transformation by means of...
Western Lake Michigan Drainages Study Unit in Wisconsin and Michigan was part of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment Program during Cycle 1 and 2. Research in this study unit included assessments of surface water and ecology, groundwater, urbanization effects, and mercury.