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Field manual for identifying and preserving high-water mark data

September 26, 2017

This field manual provides general guidance for identifying and collecting high-water marks and is meant to be used by field personnel as a quick reference. The field manual describes purposes for collecting and documenting high-water marks along with the most common types of high-water marks. The manual provides a list of suggested field equipment, describes rules of thumb and best practices for finding high-water marks, and describes the importance of evaluating each high-water mark and assigning a numeric uncertainty value as part of the flagging process. The manual also includes an appendix of photographs of a variety of high-water marks obtained from various U.S. Geological Survey field investigations along with general comments about the logic for the assigned uncertainty values.