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There are many national hydrography applications, including Hydrologic Modeling, Enviromental Protection, Resources Management, Mapping, Emergency Response, WBD Application, and HEM Applications.

Hydrologic Modeling | Environmental Protection | Resources Management | Mapping | Emergency Response | WBD Applications/ HEM Applications

Hydrologic Modeling

StreamStats: Streamflow Statistics and Spatial Analysis Tools for Water-Resources Applications

StreamStats is a Web application that provides access to an assortment of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analytical tools that are useful for water-resources planning and management, and for engineering and design purposes. The map-based user interface can be used to delineate drainage areas for user-selected sites on streams, and then get basin characteristics and estimates of flow statistics for the selected sites anywhere this functionality is available. StreamStats users also can select the locations of U.S. Geological Survey data-collection stations, shown as triangles on the StreamStats map, and get flow statistics and other information for the stations. The types of flow statistics that are available vary from state to state. A variety of additional tools are available for discovering information about streams and the activities along them.

StreamStats works within Web browser software on personal computers and mobile devices, and is best viewed using the latest versions of Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Chrome, or Firefox. The browser must allow HTML5 asynchronous script execution. The application is being continually improved and expanded. The ActiveNews/Status link will provide notices of any new enhancements.


NHDPlus (medium-resolution data)

Between 1996 and 2000, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and other federal, state and local agencies collaborated to produce the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD), a comprehensive set of digital geospatial data about surface water features such as streams, rivers and lakes. These data can be used by water quality managers to make maps, perform upstream/downstream queries, and link other water-related information to the NHD network.

In 2006, this interagency collaboration produced NHDPlus, a suite of application-ready geospatial products that build upon, and extend, the capabilities of the medium-resolution NHD. NHDPlus integrates the NHD with the National Elevation Dataset (NED) and the Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD). It includes an enhanced NHD stream network with improved names, value-added attributes (such as stream order), incremental drainage areas with landscape characteristics, and flow volume and velocity estimates for pollutant dilution modeling. EPA and USGS have linked many water quality databases to NHDPlus, including stream gaging stations, water quality monitoring sites, and impaired waters, enabling these databases to be queried and analyzed in upstream/downstream order. NHDPlus greatly enhances the ability of researchers and water quality managers to analyze and model water quality data. For more information, visit on the NHDPlus webpage from the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Environmental Protection

WATERS (Watershed Assessment, Tracking & Environmental Results) and WATERS GeoViewer

WATERS unites from various EPA water programs by linking it to the national surface water network. Available information includes but is not limited to:

  • designated use(s) of a waterbody;
  • water quality monitoring results;
  • assessments of water quality;
  • causes and sources of impaired waters;
  • public beach closures; and
  • location of dischargers.

The WATERS GeoViewer tool is an EPA GeoPlatform based web mapping application that provides access to:

  • spatial data sets stored in WATERS, such as NHDPlus, EPA and Non-EPA Linked Data.
  • Watershed level reports containing both NHDPlus and StreamCat information.
  • Linked Data information, along with hyperlinks to web reports containing additional attribute information.
  • interactive Upstream / Downstream Search capabilities supporting Linked Data discovery.
  • interactive Watershed Delineation.
  • underlying EPA GeoPlatform items that can be used to create other mapping applications.

Additional information about using the WATERS GeoViewer tool can be found in the WATERS GeoViewer tutorial.


How's My Waterway?

Learn more about community, state, and national level information on topics such as:

  • Swimming
  • Eating fish
  • Aquatic life
  • Drinking water


SPARROW modeling: Estimating nutrient, sediment, and dissolved solids transport 

SPARROW (SPAtially Referenced Regression On Watershed attributes) models estimate the amount of a contaminant transported from inland watersheds to larger water bodies by linking monitoring data with information on watershed characteristics and contaminant sources.  Interactive, online SPARROW mapping tools allow for easy access to explore relations between human activities, natural processes, and contaminant transport.


Resources Management


The Electronic Water Rights Information Management System (eWRIMS) is a computer database developed by the State Water Resources Control Board to track information on water rights in California. eWRIMS contains information on Statements of Water Diversion and Use that have been filed by water diverters, as well as registrations, certificates, and water right permits and licenses that have been issued by the State Water Resources Control Board and its predecessors.



US Topo and topoBuilder

The NHD is the surface water component of the National Map. Hydrographic layers on topographic mapping are important because not only do water features provide important landmarks, but they also are important in defining topography. The USGS produces many types of topographic maps, including the US Topo map product and OnDemand Topo maps using topoBuilder


Emergency Response

Incident Command Tool for Protecting Drinking Water (ICWater)

According to the paper "Using NHD in the Incident Command Information Tool" by William B Samuels and Douglas Ryan, the Incident Command Tool "integrates multiple sources of information to give decision makers concise summaries of current conditions and forecasts of future consequences of terrorist acts on public water supply safety." This tool uses 1:100,000 scale NHD.

For More information read "Using NHD in the Incident Command Information Tool" by William B. Samuels and Douglas Ryan.


WBD Applications/ HEM Applications

Analyzing Legacy U.S. Geological Survey Geochemical Databases Using GIS—Applications for a National Mineral Resource Assessment

This report emphasizes geographic information system analysis and the display of data stored in the legacy U.S. Geological Survey National Geochemical Database for use in mineral resource investigations. Geochemical analyses of soils, stream sediments, and rocks that are archived in the National Geochemical Database provide an extensive data source for investigating geochemical anomalies. A study area in the Egan Range of east-central Nevada was used to develop a geographic information system analysis methodology for two different geochemical datasets involving detailed (Bureau of Land Management Wilderness) and reconnaissance-scale (National Uranium Resource Evaluation) investigations. ArcGIS was used to analyze and thematically map geochemical information at point locations. Watershed-boundary datasets served as a geographic reference to relate potentially anomalous sample sites with hydrologic unit codes at varying scales. The National Hydrography Dataset was analyzed with Hydrography Event Management and ArcGIS Utility Network Analyst tools to delineate potential sediment-sample provenance along a stream network. These tools can be used to track potential upstream-sediment-contributing areas to a sample site. This methodology identifies geochemically anomalous sample sites, watersheds, and streams that could help focus mineral resource investigations in the field.

Citation: Yager, D.B., Hofstra, A.H., and Granitto, Matthew, 2012, Analyzing legacy U.S. Geological Survey geochemical databases using GIS—Applications for a national mineral resource assessment: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods 11–C5, 28 p.