Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government


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: 17739

Learning from arid and urban aquatic ecosystems to inform more sustainable and resilient futures

The hydrology and aquatic ecology of arid environments has long been understudied relative to temperate regions. Yet spatially and temporally intermittent and ephemeral waters characterized by flashy hydrographs typify arid regions that comprise a substantial proportion of the Earth. Additionally, drought, intense storms, and human modification of landscapes increasingly affect many temperate regi

Landscape change, fire and erosion

New Mexico has a dynamic landscape, which will become even more so in response to climate change over the next 50 years, in part because of increasing incidence of wildfire. As the climate changes to warmer conditions, less rainfall will infiltrate into aquifers, leading to increased overland runoff. Landform processes can be complex, but in general, the predicted changes in climate and precipit


Soils play a strong role in determining how New Mexico’s diverse landscapes will respond to climate change. Soil cover acts like a sponge, holding in water that falls as rain or snow. The presence of soil supports vegetation, and substantially reduces runoff and erosion. Soil enhances other processes such as infiltration of water and aquifer recharge. Soils can be damaged by a warming climate. Los

Connecting diverse disciplines to improve understanding of surface water-groundwater interactions

Laura K. Lautz is a premier mentor, collaborator, and researcher at the intersection of natural hydrologic systems and humans. Her research has shifted the paradigm around measuring and understanding the impacts of surface water and groundwater interactions across spatial and temporal scales. She has done this by testing and refining new methods and by collaborating with, training, supporting, and

Habitat-specific foraging by striped bass (Morone saxatilis) in the San Francisco Estuary, California: Implications for tidal restoration

Non-native predatory fish strongly impact aquatic communities, and their impacts can be exacerbated by anthropogenic habitat alterations. Loss of natural habitat and restoration actions reversing habitat loss can modify relationships between non-native predators and prey. Predicting how these relationships will change is often difficult because insufficient information exists on the habitat-specif

U.S. Geological Survey Colorado River Basin Actionable and Strategic Integrated Science and Technology (ASIST)—Information Management Technology Plan

IntroductionMore than 840 publications, 575 data releases, and 330 project web pages from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) pertain to the Colorado River Basin. Limited interconnections between Colorado River Basin publications, data, and web pages restrict the ability to synthesize and interpret scientific resources. Currently, these pieces are spread across multiple isolated locations, internal

Bioavailability of dissolved organic matter varies with anthropogenic landcover in the Upper Mississippi River Basin

Anthropogenic conversion of forests and wetlands to agricultural and urban landcovers impacts dissolved organic matter (DOM) within streams draining these catchments. Research on how landcover conversion impacts DOM molecular level composition and bioavailability, however, is lacking. In the Upper Mississippi River Basin (UMRB), water from low-order streams and rivers draining one of three dominan

An assessment of future tidal marsh resilience in the San Francisco Estuary through modeling and quantifiable metrics of sustainability

Quantitative, broadly applicable metrics of resilience are needed to effectively manage tidal marshes into the future. Here we quantified three metrics of temporal marsh resilience: time to marsh drowning, time to marsh tipping point, and the probability of a regime shift, defined as the conditional probability of a transition to an alternative super-optimal, suboptimal, or drowned state. We used

A review of current capabilities and science gaps in water supply data, modeling, and trends for water availability assessments in the Upper Colorado River Basin

The Colorado River is a critical water resource in the southwestern United States, supplying drinking water for 40 million people in the region and water for irrigation of 2.2 million hectares of land. Extended drought in the Upper Colorado River Basin (UCOL) and the prospect of a warmer climate in the future pose water availability challenges for those charged with managing the river. Limited wat

Using continuous measurements of turbidity to predict suspended-sediment concentrations, loads, and sources in Flat Creek through the town of Jackson, Wyoming, 2019−20 — A pilot study

Flat Creek, a tributary to the Snake River in northwestern Wyoming, is an important source of irrigation water, fish and wildlife habitat, and local recreation. Since 1996, a section of Flat Creek within the town of Jackson has failed to meet Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality’s surface-water-quality standards for total suspended solids and turbidity required by its State water-use classi

Mapping areas of groundwater susceptible to transient contamination events from rapid infiltration into shallow fractured-rock aquifers in agricultural regions of the conterminous United States

Current time-invariant groundwater vulnerability assessments may not capture intermittent contamination events in landscape areas that experience rapid infiltration following precipitation or snowmelt. Occurrences of rapid infiltration and intermittent degradation of groundwater quality are frequently reported in fractured-rock aquifers. This investigation identifies landscape areas underlain by f

In situ soil moisture sensors in undisturbed soils

Soil moisture directly affects operational hydrology, food security, ecosystem services, and the climate system. However, the adoption of soil moisture data has been slow due to inconsistent data collection, poor standardization, and typically short record duration. Soil moisture, or quantitatively volumetric soil water content (SWC), is measured using buried, in situ sensors that infer SWC from a