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This list of Water Resources Mission Area publications includes both official USGS publications and journal articles authored by our scientists. A searchable database of all USGS publications can be accessed at the USGS Publications Warehouse.

Filter Total Items: 18155

Recent, widespread nitrate decreases may be linked to persistent dissolved organic carbon increases in headwater streams recovering from past acidic deposition

Long-term monitoring of water quality responses to natural and anthropogenic perturbation of watersheds informs policies for managing natural resources. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nitrate (NO3−) in streams draining forested landscapes provide valuable information on ecosystem function due to their biogeochemical reactivity and solubility in water. Here we evaluate a 20-year record (2001−20
Kevin Alexander Ryan, Gregory B. Lawrence

Long-term trends in Arctic riverine chemistry signal multi-faceted northern change

Rivers integrate processes occurring throughout their watersheds and are therefore sentinels of change across broad spatial scales. River chemistry also regulates ecosystem function across Earth’s land–ocean continuum, exerting control from the micro- (for example, local food web) to the macro- (for example, global carbon cycle) scale. In the rapidly warming Arctic, a wide range of processes—from
Suzanne E. Tank, James W. McClelland, Robert G. M. Spencer, Alexander I. Shiklomanov, Anya Suslova, Florentina Moatar, Rainer Amon, Lee W. Cooper, Greg Elias, Vyacheslav Gordeev, Christopher Guay, Tatiana Gurtovaya, Lyudmila Kosmenko, Edda A. Mutter, Bruce Peterson, Bernhard Peucker-Ehrenbrink, Peter Raymond, Paul Schuster, Lindsay Scott, Robin Staples, Robert G. Striegl, Mikhail Tretiakov, Alexander V. Zhulidov, Nikita Zimov, Sergey Zimov, Robert M. Holmes

A general approach for evaluating of the coverage, resolution, and representation of streamflow monitoring networks

Streamflow monitoring networks provide information for a wide range of public interests in river and streams. A general approach to evaluate monitoring for different interests is developed to support network planning and design. The approach defines three theoretically distinct information metrics (coverage, resolution, and representation) based on the spatial distribution of a variable of interes
Christopher Konrad, Scott W. Anderson

Contaminant risks in consuming fish from the Area of Concern in the Upper Niagara River

The lack of contemporary data on contaminants in resident fish prevents an analysis of temporal trends in contaminant concentrations and the present-day status of the “Restrictions on Fish and Wildlife Consumption” Beneficial Use Impairment (BUI) in the Niagara River Area of Concern (AOC). During 2018, concentrations of 260 contaminants in four groups of fish species from five areas in or near the
Barry P. Baldigo, Patrick J. Phillips, Scott D. George, Mark Filipski

Characterizing changes in the 1-percent annual exceedance probability streamflows for climate-change scenarios in the Housatonic River watershed of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York

Current methods for determining the 1-percent annual exceedance probability (AEP) for a streamflow assume stationarity (the assumption that the statistical distribution of data from past observations does not contain trends and will continue unchanged in the future). This assumption allows the 1-percent AEP to be determined based on historical streamflow records. However, the assumption of station
Scott A. Olson

Assessing the effects of chloride deicer applications on groundwater near the Siskiyou Pass, southwestern Oregon, July 2018–February 2021

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), evaluated the effects of cold-weather chloride deicers (road deicing chemicals) on groundwater quality, with a focus on chloride, near the Siskiyou Pass in southwestern Oregon. The study covered the period during July 2018 through February 2021. Between the years 2016 and 2020 ODOT applied up to 16,000
Stephen B. Gingerich, Daniel R. Wise, Adam J. Stonewall

Identifying the relative importance of water-budget information needed to quantify how land-cover change affects recharge, Hawaiian Islands

This report describes a sensitivity analysis of a water-budget model that was completed to identify the most important types of hydrologic information needed to reduce the uncertainty of model recharge estimates. The sensitivity of model recharge estimates for the Hawaiian Islands of Oʻahu and Maui was analyzed for seven model parameters potentially affected by land-cover changes within a watershe
Adam G. Johnson, Alan Mair, Delwyn S. Oki

Groundwater-flow model of the Treasure Valley, southwestern Idaho, 1986–2015

Most of the population of the Treasure Valley and the surrounding area of southwestern Idaho and easternmost Oregon depends on groundwater for domestic supply, either from domestic or municipal-supply wells. Current and projected rapid population growth in the area has caused concern about the long-term sustainability of the groundwater resource. In 2016, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation
Stephen A. Hundt, James R. Bartolino

Long-term water-quality constituent trends in the Little Arkansas River, south-central Kansas, 1995–2021

The Equus Beds aquifer and Cheney Reservoir are primary sources for the city of Wichita’s current (2023) water supply. The Equus Beds aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) project was developed by the city of Wichita in the early 1990s to meet future water demands using the Little Arkansas River as an artificial aquifer recharge water source during above-base-flow conditions. Little Arkansas River wa
Mandy L. Stone, Brian J. Klager

Salinity trends in a groundwater system supplemented by 50 years of imported Colorado River water

The Indio subbasin of the Coachella Valley is a desert area of southern California where a growing population depends primarily on groundwater for drinking and agricultural uses. The aquifer system has been supplemented with Colorado River water through managed recharge and widespread irrigation since the mid-20th century. We use a combination of geochemical modeling and trend analysis to identify
Jennifer S. Harkness, Patrick Michael McCarthy, Bryant Jurgens, Zeno Levy

Implications of water, sediment, and nutrient budgets for the restoration of a shallow, turbid lake in semiarid southeastern Oregon

Malheur Lake is the largest lake in the endorheic Harney Basin in southeastern Oregon. Since the 1990s, Malheur Lake—which averages depths of about 1 meter—has been in a degraded, turbid state lacking submergent and emergent vegetation. The goals of this study were to identify the major sources of sediment and nutrients to Malheur Lake to determine the importance of managing nutrients for lake res
Cassandra D. Smith, Tamara M. Wood

Regression equations for estimating the 4-day, 3-year low-flow frequency and adjusted harmonic mean streamflow at ungaged sites for unregulated, perennial streams in New Mexico

The Federal Clean Water Act stipulates that States adopt water-quality standards to protect and enhance the quality of water in those States and to protect water quality through the creation of planning documents and discharge permits. Critical low-flow values, including the 4-day, 3-year low-flow frequency (4Q3) and harmonic mean streamflows, are necessary for developing those planning documents
Meghan T. Bell, Anne C. Tillery