Mission Areas L2 Landing Page Tabs
Water is one of seven science mission areas of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Water's mission is to collect and disseminate reliable, impartial, and timely information that is needed to understand the Nation's water resources.Read Science Plan
Henry Hagg Lake is a reservoir located in the foothills of the eastern slope of the Coast Range Mountains of northwestern Oregon. The lake is used for recreation in the summer and flood control in the winter.
In 1990, the USGS began assessing water-quality in the Tualatin River. Almost 30 years later, we are still monitoring conditions in the basin.
The Klamath River from Link River to Keno Dam experiences poor water-quality conditions on a seasonal basis, creating inhospitable conditions for fish and other aquatic organisms. These problems led the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to prepare a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) plan to bring the river into compliance with water-quality standards. This study uses a hydrodynamic and...
Beavers and their dams are common sights along creeks in the Tualatin River basin. Beaver help create diverse habitats for many other animals, including birds, fish, and amphibians. The USGS studying the affect beaver activity has on the amount and quality of water in local streams, so that agencies in the basin can make strategic management and habitat restoration decisions based on science...
A key component to assessing the contaminant exposure pathways in streams and rivers of the Chesapeake Bay is using GIS-based landscape analysis to identify sources of endocrine disrupting chemicals. Municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) discharges are potentially major sources of EDCs to streams, and therefore understanding the de facto wastewater reuse (represented as...
Although sparsely populated, this area in southeastern Oregon, northeastern California, northwestern Nevada, and southeastern Idaho has high geothermal heat flow that may be used to generate large amounts of electricity.
Fish, wildlife, and human populations along the lower Columbia River are exposed to an ever-growing variety of contaminants as a result of increasing urbanization, industrialization, and agricultural development.
The Camas National Wildlife Refugeprovides essential resting, feeding, and nesting habitat for waterfowl including migratory birds. A variety of other animals, large and small, are found there, too. Since the refuge was established in 1937, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has been responsible for managing this vital resource.
Traditionally, Camas Creek and groundwater inflow...
The Arizona Water Use program collects and estimates annual water withdrawals for the categories of irrigation, municipal, mining, thermoelectric-power, and drainage uses. The data for these categories are compiled for the Arizona Department of Water Resources groundwater basins outside of Active Management Areas.
Clear Creek is a small alpine stream that begins near Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada. The creek flows roughly parallel to U.S. Highway 50 and discharges to the Carson River near Carson City, Nevada. The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) is concerned about how historical and ongoing development in the Clear Creek drainage basin has/is affecting Clear Creek and its sediment-transport...
As Hurricane Matthew moved up the Atlantic coast of the U.S., the USGS South Atlantic Water Science Center (SAWSC) deployed most of the USGS Storm-Tide Network along the Atlantic coast to monitor the timing, extent, and magnitude of the storm tide during the passage of Hurricane Matthew.
• Go to the USGS Hurricane Matthew...
Download posters covering nine different water topics that are drawn in a cartoon format. Activites are included and Elementary and Middle School versions are available.
Porosity and pore size distribution in a sedimentary rock: Implications for the distribution of chlorinated solvents
Characterizing properties of the rock matrix that control retention and release of chlorinated solvents is essential in evaluating the extent of contamination and the application of remediation technologies in fractured rock. Core samples from seven closely spaced boreholes in a mudstone subject to trichloroethene (TCE) contamination were analyzed...Shapiro, Allen M.; Evans, Chrsitopher E.; Hayes, Erin C.
Spatial and temporal variability in benthic invertebrate assemblages in Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon
Upper Klamath Lake (UKL) in southern Oregon has experienced declines in water quality due to excessive nutrient loading. This has led to annual cyanobacterial blooms, primarily of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA). Benthic invertebrates are important food resources for benthic feeding fishes; however, they can increase autochthonous...Stauffer-Olsen, Natalie J.; Carter, James L.; Fend, Steven V.
Devils Hole, Nevada—A photographic story of a restricted subaqueous environment
This report presents selected photographic images taken by the author during U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) research into paleoclimatology and geochemistry in Devils Hole cavern during 1984 to 1993 in cooperation with the National Park Service. The unaltered suite of photographs was prepared by the USGS dive team as an aid to assist nondiving...Hoffman, Ray J.
A method for addressing differences in concentrations of fipronil and three degradates obtained by two different laboratory methods
In October 2012, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began measuring the concentration of the pesticide fipronil and three of its degradates (desulfinylfipronil, fipronil sulfide, and fipronil sulfone) by a new laboratory method using direct aqueous-injection liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (DAI LC–MS/MS). This method replaced the...Crawford, Charles G.; Martin, Jeffrey D.
Recovery data for surface water, groundwater and lab reagent samples analyzed by the USGS National Water Quality Laboratory schedule 2437, water years 2013-15
Analytical recovery is the concentration of an analyte measured in a water-quality sample expressed as a percentage of the known concentration added to the sample (Mueller and others, 2015). Analytical recovery (hereafter referred to as “recovery”) can be used to understand method bias and variability and to assess the temporal changes in a method...Shoda, Megan E.; Nowell, Lisa H.; Bexfield, Laura M.; Sandstrom, Mark W.; Stone, Wesley W.
Storage filters upland suspended sediment signals delivered from watersheds
Climate change, tectonics, and humans create long- and short-term temporal variations in the supply of suspended sediment to rivers. These signals, generated in upland erosional areas, are filtered by alluvial storage before reaching the basin outlet. We quantified this filter using a random walk model driven by sediment budget data, a power-law...Pizzuto, James E.; Keeler, Jeremy; Skalak, Katherine; Karwan, Diana
Hourly storm characteristics along the U.S. West Coast: Role of atmospheric rivers in extreme precipitation
Gridded hourly precipitation observations over the conterminous U.S., from 1948 to 2002, are analyzed to determine climatological characteristics of storm precipitation totals. Despite generally lower hourly intensities, precipitation totals along the U.S. West Coast (USWC) are comparable to those in southeast U.S. (SEUS). Storm durations, more so...Lamjiri, Maryam A.; Dettinger, Michael; Ralph, F. Martin; Guan, B.
Complex networks of functional connectivity in a wetland reconnected to its floodplain
Disturbances such as fire or flood, in addition to changing the local magnitude of ecological, hydrological, or biogeochemical processes, can also change their functional connectivity—how those processes interact in space. Complex networks offer promise for quantifying functional connectivity in watersheds. The approach resolves connections...Larsen, Laurel G.; Newman, Susan; Saunders, Colin; Harvey, Judson
Fine particle retention within stream storage areas at base flow and in response to a storm event
Fine particles (1–100 µm), including particulate organic carbon (POC) and fine sediment, influence stream ecological functioning because they may contain or have a high affinity to sorb nitrogen and phosphorus. These particles are immobilized within stream storage areas, especially hyporheic sediments and benthic biofilms. However, fine particles...Drummond, J. D.; Larsen, L. G.; González-Pinzón, R.; Packman, A. I.; Harvey, Judson
Plant diversity increases with the strength of negative density dependence at the global scale
Theory predicts that higher biodiversity in the tropics is maintained by specialized interactions among plants and their natural enemies that result in conspecific negative density dependence (CNDD). By using more than 3000 species and nearly 2.4 million trees across 24 forest plots worldwide, we show that global patterns in tree species diversity...LaManna, Joseph A.; Mangan, Scott A.; Alonso, Alfonso; Bourg, Norman; Brockelman, Warren Y.; Bunyavejchewin, Sarayudh; Chang, Li-Wan; Chiang, Jyh-Min; Chuyong, George B.; Clay, Keith; Condit, Richard; Cordell, Susan; Davies, Stuart J.; Furniss, Tucker J.; Giardina, Christian P.; Gunatilleke, I.A.U. Nimal; Gunatilleke, C.V. Savitri; He, Fangliang; Howe, Robert W.; Hubbell, Stephen P.; Hsieh, Chang-Fu; Inman-Narahari, Faith M.; Janik, David; Johnson, Daniel J.; Kenfack, David; Korte, Lisa; Kral, Kamil; Larson, Andrew J.; Lutz, James A.; McMahon, Sean M.; McShea, William J.; Memiaghe, Herve R.; Nathalang, Anuttara; Novotny, Vojtech; Ong, Perry S.; Orwig, David A.; Ostertag, Rebecca; Parker, Geoffrey G.; Phillips, Richard P.; Sack, Lawren; Sun, I-Fang; Tello, J. Sebastian; Thomas, Duncan W.; Turner, Benjamin L.; Vela Diaz, Dilys M.; Vrska, Tomas; Weiblen, George D.; Wolf, Amy; Yap, Sandra; Myers, Jonathan A.
Response of deep groundwater to land use change in desert basins of the Trans-Pecos region, Texas, USA: Effects on infiltration, recharge, and nitrogen fluxes
Quantifying the effects of anthropogenic processes on groundwater in arid regions can be complicated by thick unsaturated zones with long transit times. Human activities can alter water and nutrient fluxes, but their impact on groundwater is not always clear. This study of basins in the Trans-Pecos region of Texas links anthropogenic land use and...Robertson, Wendy Marie; Böhlke, John Karl; Sharp, John M.
Tracking the fate of nitrate through pulse-flow wetlands: A mesocosm scale 15N enrichment tracer study
Quantitative information about the fate of applied nitrate (NO3-N) in pulse-flow constructed wetlands is essential for designing wetland treatment systems and assessing their nitrogen removal services for agricultural and stormwater applications. Although many studies have documented NO3-N losses in wetlands, controlled experiments indicating the...Messer, Tiffany L.; Burchell, Michael R.; Böhlke, John Karl; Tobias, Craig R.
The USGS produces many types of multimedia products. Use the links below to browse our offerings of photograph galleries, podcasts and sound files, videos, aerial photos, and posters related to water. The USGS Newsroom has a Web page that highlights the main collection of multimedia products.
New USGS assessment provides fresh insights into nation’s brackish groundwater inventory
USGS provides a long-term look at changes in the quality of our nation’s rivers and streams
Two decades of harmful algal bloom, nutrient and sediment research by the U.S. Geological Survey is helping to support Wichita’s long-term vision of a sustainable water supply into the future. Early warning indicators of harmful algal blooms have been developed for Cheney Reservoir, Kansas, according to a new USGS publication done in cooperation with the City of Wichita, Kansas.
Media and the public are invited to attend a free meeting about South Dakota water issues on Thursday, April 6, in Rapid City, South Dakota.
Desert communities throughout the Southwest are putting water availability at the top of their municipal agendas.
The Colorado River system provides about 35 million Americans with a portion of their water supply. It irrigates 5½ million acres of land in the West and provides water to tribes, parks, and wildlife. The system serves parts of seven States and Mexico—but reservoir levels have crept lower over the past several years, sparking questions about how much water remains and who will have access.
The water in the Delta arrives primarily from the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, supplying water for more than 22 million people. This water source supports California’s trillion-dollar economy—the sixth largest in the world—and its $27 billion agricultural industry.
Groundwater, which flows out of sight through aquifers beneath our feet, is one of the Nation’s most important natural resources. In recognition of National Groundwater Awareness Week, March 5–11, 2017, here’s an opportunity to put your knowledge of this vital resource to the test!
Our lunchtime "brownbag" seminars are held Tuesdays from 12pm to 1 pm PT. The science lectures are held at the USGS Oregon Water Science Center at 2130 SW 5th Avenue in Portland, OR. The presentations are informal and are open to the public. Please, bring your lunch.
In order to provide long-term storage of diverted surface water from the Rio Grande as part of the Aamodt water rights settlement, managed aquifer recharge by surface infiltration in Pojoaque River Basin arroyos was proposed as an option.
The new table includes both standard and conventional atomic weights values to clarify that many atomic weights have natural variation and to provide single values for chemical education use
Nitrogen and phosphorus are essential nutrients—yet too much of a good thing is not always a good thing. Scientists are investigating nutrient pollution down the Mississippi River.