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
Wood River Valley residents rely on groundwater for domestic supply, either from domestic or municipal-supply wells. The rapid population growth since the 1970s has caused concern about the long-term sustainability of the groundwater resource.
Nutrient enrichment can affect the ecological health of a stream. For example, excessive aquatic plant growth caused by increased nutrients can reduce dissolved oxygen necessary for other aquatic life. Topics of particular interest in this study area include:
seasonal patterns among nutrients, flows, algae and plants in streams
rooted aquatic plant vs. algae growth
In August 2013, the Beaver Creek wildfire burned more than 100,000 acres of public and private land northwest of Hailey, Idaho. According to the U.S. Forest Service, about 57 percent of the area is considered moderately burned, and the risk of post-fire soil erosion is high on more than 8,400 acres.
Because fluvial sediment poses both economic and ecological problems, resource managers need a safe, cost-effective way to measure sediment in streams, particularly in remote areas.
Sedimentation of Lower Granite Reservoir, operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, affects commercial navigation and reservoir storage capacity. Some groups are concerned that dredging the reservoir to remove excess sediment may negatively affect endangered species such as steelhead and salmon.
Some groups are concerned that dredging the reservoir and the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers to remove excess sediment may mobilize contaminants in sediment that could negatively affect endangered species such as steelhead and salmon.
Are there ways to manage sediment before it accumulates in Lower Granite Reservoir? If so, resource managers must know exactly how much sediment is being transported in the lower Snake and Clearwater River basins, the grain-size distribution of the sediment that is being transported, which subbasins are contributing the most sediment, and how the sediment is being deposited once it is...
Formation of arroyos in the late 1800s greatly increased erosion across the southwestern United States. Since the 1930s, however, this erosion has decreased, partly because of bank stabilization by introduced saltcedar. With Isleta Pueblo Indian Nation, the Aquatic Systems Branch developed a new sediment dating method using saltcedar tree rings. We applied the method in a landmark study of...
Federal policymakers and land managers are accountable to the public for how they invest public funds and for the outcomes of the policy and management decisions they make. Through a variety of economic analyses and custom modeling, SEA economists evaluate how investments and management decisions affect individuals, local communities, and society as a whole.
Groundwater resources in northwestern Louisiana may be needed for development of natural gas production from the Haynesville Shale. Use of groundwater for hydro-fracturing of the shale may lower water levels and alter groundwater flow directions in the Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer and other local aquifers. Regional maps of aquifers in northwestern Louisiana are unavailable. The LaWSC, in cooperation...
Since 1950 when the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) first conducted water-use compilations, important changes in water use have occurred in Alabama. The early part of the history (1950 to 1980) showed a steady increase in water use. During this time, the expectation was that, as the population increased, so would water use. Contrary to this expectation, reported water withdrawals declined in...
Welcome....the Lower Tennessee River Basin in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, and Mississippi is one of the 59 study units that are part of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program.The long-term goals of this program are to describe the status and trends in the quality of a large, representative part of the Nation's surface- and ground-water...
Late Quaternary environmental dynamics in the Atacama Desert reconstructed from rodent midden pollen records
In the past two decades, much has been learned about the late Quaternary climate history of the Atacama Desert with some details still unclear about the seasonality, timing and extent of wet and dry phases. Modern climate studies reveal that, far from exhibiting a unique pattern, seasonal precipitation originates from many sources and mechanisms....de Porras, M.E.; Maldonado, A.; De Pol-Holz, R.; Latorre, C.; Betancourt, Julio L.
Detection of diazotrophy in the acetylene-fermenting anaerobe Pelobacter sp. strain SFB93
Acetylene (C2H2) is a trace constituent of the present Earth's oxidizing atmosphere, reflecting a mixture of terrestrial and marine emissions from anthropogenic, biomass-burning, and unidentified biogenic sources. Fermentation of acetylene was serendipitously discovered during C2H2 block assays of N2O reductase, and Pelobacter acetylenicus was...Akob, Denise M.; Baesman, Shaun; Sutton, John M.; Fierst, Janna L.; Mumford, Adam; Shrestha, Yesha; Poret-Peterson, Amisha T.; Bennett, Stacy; Dunlap, Darren S.; Haase, Karl B.; Oremland, Ronald S.
Climate scenarios for the Truckee-Carson River system
In this study, the scenarios ultimately take the form of gridded, daily (maximum and minimum) temperatures and precipitation totals spanning the entire Truckee-Carson River System, from which meteorological inputs to various hydrologic, water-balance and watermanagement models can be extracted by other parts of the Water for the Seasons project...Dettinger, Michael; Sterle, Kelley; Simpson, Karen; Singletary, Loretta; Fitzgerald, Kelsey; McCarthy, Maureen
Autotrophic microbial arsenotrophy in arsenic-rich soda lakes
A number of prokaryotes are capable of employing arsenic oxy-anions as either electron acceptors [arsenate; As(V)] or electron donors [arsenite; As(III)] to sustain arsenic-dependent growth (‘arsenotrophy’). A subset of these microorganisms function as either chemoautotrophs or photoautotrophs, whereby they gain sufficient energy from their redox...Oremland, Ronald S.; Saltikov, Chad W.; Stolz, John F.; Hollibaugh, James T.
Water quality measurements in San Francisco Bay by the U.S. Geological Survey, 1969–2015
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) maintains a place-based research program in San Francisco Bay (USA) that began in 1969 and continues, providing one of the longest records of water-quality measurements in a North American estuary. Constituents include salinity, temperature, light extinction coefficient, and concentrations of chlorophyll-a,...Schraga, Tara; Cloern, James E.
Managed aquifer recharge through off-season irrigation in agricultural regions
Options for increasing reservoir storage in developed regions are limited and prohibitively expensive. Projected increases in demand call for new long-term water storage to help sustain agriculture, municipalities, industry, and ecological services. Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) is becoming an integral component of water resources around the...Niswonger, Richard; Morway, Eric D.; Triana, Enrique; Huntington, Justin L.
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
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.
Diagramm des Wasserkreislaufs, The Water Cycle, German
Τι είναι ο υδρολογικός κύκλος;
Ο υδρολογικός κύκλος, ή αλλιώς ο κύκλος του νερού, περιγράφει την παρουσία και την κυκλοφορία του νερού στην επιφάνεια της Γης, καθώς και κάτω και πάνω απ’ αυτή. Το νερό της Γης είναι πάντα σε κίνηση και πάντα σε αλλαγή, από την υγρή μορφή στην αέρια ή σε πάγο ξανά και αντίστροφα. Ο κύκλος του νερού λειτουργεί εδώ και δισεκατομμύρια χρόνια...
Die Hidrologiese Siklus - The Water Cycle, Afrikaans
Cikli i Ujit - The Water Cycle, Albanian
Çfarë është cikli i ujit?
I ri! Çfarë është cikli i ujit? Unë mund të përgjigjem lehtësisht që "unë" jam kudo! Cikli i ujit përshkruan ekzistencën dhe lëvizjen e ujit në, Brenda dhe mbi planetin Tokë. Uji i planetit Tokë është gjthmonë në lëvizje dhe forma e tij ndryshon gjithmonë, nga lëng në avull në akull dhe e kundërta...
Диаграма на водния цикъл - The Water Cycle, Bulgarian
Timthriall an Uisce (The Water Cycle), Gaeilge (Irish)
Bíonn uisce an Domhain de shíor ag gluaiseacht. Is é timthriall an uisce (nó an timthriall hidreolaíoch mar a thugtar air uaireanta) a chuireann síos ar shíorghluaiseacht an uisce ar dhromchla an Domhain, os cionn an dromchla, agus thíos faoi. Bíonn staid an uisce á hathrú de shíor idir leacht, gal, agus leac oighir...
Cos'é il ciclo dell'acqua?
Cos'è il ciclo dell'acqua? Si può facilmente rispondere: "presente" dappertutto! Il ciclo dell'acqua, noto comunemente anche come ciclo idrologico, descrive l'esistenza ed il movimento dell'acqua sulla, nella e al di sopra della Terra. L'acqua della Terra è sempre in movimento e cambia stato continuamente, da liquido a vapore a ghiaccio, in...
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!
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.
USGS Finds Elevated Levels of Arsenic, Radon, Methane in Some Private Wells in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania
Tests of 75 private drinking water wells in Lycoming County, in north-central Pennsylvania, found water from most of the sampled wells contained concentrations of radon that exceeded a proposed, nonbinding health standard for drinking water. Smaller percentages of the wells contained concentrations of arsenic or methane that exceed existing drinking water standards.
Human and bovine, or cattle, viruses were detected in a small percentage of some Great Lakes Basin streams, with human viruses more prevalent in urban streams and bovine viruses more common in streams in agricultural areas, according to a recent U.S. Geological Survey-led study.
Philadelphia communities along the Schuylkill River and Darby Creek now have new tools to help inform residents of impending flooding. The U.S. Geological Survey recently installed three new streamgages in Manayunk, Eastwick, and downtown near 30th St., which will monitor water levels, and provide vital data used by emergency managers and flood forecasters to help protect lives and property.
A USGS analysis of New Jersey water quality trends found levels of total nitrogen and total phosphorus, which fuel algae blooms, declined or stayed the same at most stream sites between the 1970s and 2011. At all sites studied, chlorides from road salt increased over that time.
Joyce E. Williamson, a native of South Dakota and a South Dakota School of Mines and Technology alumna, was selected as the director of the newly formed U.S. Geological Survey Dakota Water Science Center. Williamson is located in the center’s Rapid City, South Dakota, office.