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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
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.
The Glacial Aquifer System Groundwater Availability Study began in 2012 and will be completed in 2016. The glacial aquifer system groundwater availability study is one of the USGS efforts in response to the Department of Interior WaterSMART initiative. This study is designed to provide information and analysis to stakeholders and decisionmakers for characterizing groundwater availability in...
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...
The USGS in Michigan-in cooperation with local, State, Tribal, and Federal partners-operates 155 streamgages recording stage and streamflow, and 13 lake-level gages. There are about 7,400 streamgages nationwide; many of these gages provide real-time data in 15-minute increments, which typically are transmitted to the World Wide Web every 1 to 2 hours using satellite, telephone, or cellular...
Data on low-flow characteristics are used by water-resources managers for a variety of purposes, including water-supply planning, making decisions about wastewater-discharge and water withdrawal permits, and evaluating in-stream flow requirements. The Michigan low-flow network currently consists of seven sites where streamflow is typically measured only during low-flow periods. In addition to...
The USGS operates a network of real-time water-quality monitoring stations that measure up to five physical parameters. The parameters are temperature, specific conductance, pH, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity. One to four of those parameters are measured at 26 sites, while all five parameters are measured at 13 sites. These data are used for decision making about hydroelectric power...
Historically, small streams with drainage areas less than 100 square miles have not been adequately represented in regional peak- (high) flow analysis. In Michigan, USGS operates 24 traditional crest-stage gages, where stage and streamflow is only measured during high flows, and 6 continuous-record crest-stage gages, where cooperators can continually monitor stage and USGS maintains a high-...
In response to decreasing water levels in the Great Lakes, especially Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, the International Upper Great Lakes Study (IUGLS) asked USGS to continuously measure flows in the connecting channels of St. Marys, St. Clair, and Detroit Rivers, and Water Survey Canada (WSC) to measure flows of Niagara River. To accommodate the effects of variable backwater and the...
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Michigan Bacteriological Research Laboratory (MI-BaRL) studies the source, occurrence, and distribution of the bacterial pathogens Shiga-toxin producing E. coli (STEC), Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter, Enterococcus, and Staphylococcus and the relation of occurrence of pathogens with fecal indicator bacteria, land-use, season, hydrology, geology, weather...
Botulism outbreaks occur within the Great Lakes and often result in significant bird die offs. It is believed that Clostridium botulinum is the reason for these die offs and the trophic pathways that this organism travels are of interest to understanding its place within the food web. The GLRI Avian Botulism Project is investigating six different matrices: sediment, Cladophora, invertebrates,...
U.S. Geological Survey Karst Interest Group Proceedings, San Antonio, Texas, May 16–18, 2017
Introduction and AcknowledgmentsKarst aquifer systems are present throughout parts of the United States and some of its territories, and have developed in carbonate rocks (primarily limestone and dolomite) and evaporites (gypsum, anhydrite, and halite) that span an interval of time encompassing more than 550 million years. The depositional...Kuniansky, Eve L.; Spangler, Lawrence E.
Stable isotope analyses of oxygen (18O:17O:16O) and chlorine (37Cl:35Cl) in perchlorate: reference materials, calibrations, methods, and interferences
RationalePerchlorate (ClO4−) is a common trace constituent of water, soils, and plants; it has both natural and synthetic sources and is subject to biodegradation. The stable isotope ratios of Cl and O provide three independent quantities for ClO4− source attribution and natural attenuation studies: δ37Cl, δ18O, and δ17O (or Δ17O or 17Δ) values....Böhlke, John Karl; Mroczkowski, Stanley J.; Sturchio, Neil C.; Heraty, Linnea J.; Richman, Kent W.; Sullivan, Donald B.; Griffith, Kris N.; Gu, Baohua; Hatzinger, Paul B.
A practical method for the determination of total selenium in environmental samples using isotope dilution-hydride generation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry
A safe, practical, and accurate method for the determination of selenium (Se) in range of environmental samples was developed. Small sample masses, 5–20 mg, were amended with 82Se enriched isotope for the isotope dilution (ID), preceding a multi-step wet digestion with nitric acid (HNO3) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Samples were incubated in an...Kleckner, Amy E.; Kakouros, Evangelos; Stewart, A. Robin
Density-driven free-convection model for isotopically fractionated geogenic nitrate in sabkha brine
Subsurface brines with high nitrate (NO3−) concentration are common in desert environments as atmospheric nitrogen is concentrated by the evaporation of precipitation and little nitrogen uptake. However, in addition to having an elevated mean concentration of ∼525 mg/L (as N), NO3− in the coastal sabkhas of Abu Dhabi is enriched in 15N (mean δ15N...Wood, Warren W.; Böhlke, John Karl
Planting richness affects the recovery of vegetation and soil processes in constructed wetlands following disturbance
The resilience of constructed wetland ecosystems to severe disturbance, such as a mass herbivory eat-out or soil disturbance, remains poorly understood. In this study, we use a controlled mesocosm experiment to examine how original planting diversity affects the ability of constructed freshwater wetlands to recover structurally and functionally...Means, Mary M.; Ahn, Changwoo; Noe, Gregory
Stable isotopic composition of perchlorate and nitrate accumulated in plants: Hydroponic experiments and field data
Natural perchlorate (ClO4−) in soil and groundwater exhibits a wide range in stable isotopic compositions (δ37Cl, δ18O, and Δ17O), indicating that ClO4− may be formed through more than one pathway and/or undergoes post-depositional isotopic alteration. Plants are known to accumulate ClO4−, but little is known about their ability to alter its...Estrada, Nubia Luz; Böhlke, John Karl; Sturchio, Neil C.; Gu, Baohua; Harvey, Greg; Burkey, Kent O.; Grantz, David A.; McGrath, Margaret T.; Anderson, Todd A.; Rao, Balaji; Sevanthi, Ritesh; Hatzinger, Paul B.; Jackson, W. Andrew
Final data report for factors controlling DDE dechlorination rates on the Palos Verdes Shelf: A field and laboratory investigation
This data report provides a compilation of information developed over the last 6+ years by a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional research team. The overall goal of this work has been to identify the biological, chemical, and physical factors that control rates of reductive dechlorination of DDE and DDMU in sediments of the Palos Verdes Shelf (...Eganhouse, Robert P.; Pontolillo, James; Orem, William H.; Webster, Daniel M.; Hackley, Paul C.; Edwards, Brian D.; Rosenberger, Kurt; Dickhudt, Patrick; Sherwood, Christopher R.; Reinhard, Martin; Qin, Sujie; Dougherty, Jennifer; Hopkins, Gary; Marshall, Ian; Spormann, Alfred
Final synthesis report for factors controlling DDE dechlorination rates on the palos verdes shelf: A field and laboratory investigation
This project was organized into separate field and laboratory studies aimed at answering “18 questions” in the original Scope of Work (cf., section 2 of this report, Background, for explanation). Because of some early results, certain questions became irrelevant and were, therefore, not pursued. In other cases, there simply was not enough time to...Eganhouse, Robert P.; Orem, William H.; Reinhard, Martin
Extent and persistence of secondary water quality impacts after enhanced reductive bioremediation
Electron donor (ED) addition can be very effective in stimulating enhanced reductive bioremediation (ERB) of a wide variety of groundwater contaminants. However, ERB can result in Secondary Water Quality Impacts (SWQIs) including decreased levels of dissolved oxygen (O2), nitrate (NO3- ), and sulfate (SO42- ), and elevated levels of dissolved...Borden, Robert C.; Jason M. Tillotson; Ng, Gene-Hua Crystal.; Bekins, Barbara A.; Kent, Douglas B.; Curtis, Gary P.
Reversible reduction of estrone to 17β-estradiol by Rhizobium, Sphingopyxis, and Pseudomonas isolates from the Las Vegas Wash
Environmental endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) are a growing concern as studies reveal their persistence and detrimental effects on wildlife. Microorganisms are known to affect the transformation of steroid EDCs; however, the diversity of estrogen-degrading microorganisms and the range of transformations they mediate remain relatively little...Blunt, Susanna M.; Benotti, Mark J.; Rosen, Michael R.; Hedlund, Brian; Moser, Duane
Classification of California streams using combined deductive and inductive approaches: Setting the foundation for analysis of hydrologic alteration
Regional classification of streams is an early step in the Ecological Limits of Hydrologic Alteration framework. Many stream classifications are based on an inductive approach using hydrologic data from minimally disturbed basins, but this approach may underrepresent streams from heavily disturbed basins or sparsely gaged arid regions. An...Pyne, Matthew I.; Carlisle, Daren M.; Konrad, Christopher P.; Stein, Eric D.
Field-scale observations of a transient geobattery resulting from natural attenuation of a crude oil spill
We present evidence of a geobattery associated with microbial degradation of a mature crude oil spill. Self-potential measurements were collected using a vertical array of nonpolarizing electrodes, starting at the land surface and passing through the smear zone where seasonal water table fluctuations have resulted in the coating of hydrocarbons on...Heenan, Jeffrey; Ntarlagiannis, Dimitris; Slater, Lee; Beaver, Carol; Rossbach, S.; Revil, A.; Atekwana, E.A.; Bekins, Barbara A.
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.
Consistent, national-scale and long-term water-quality monitoring of the Nation's rivers and streams has declined, in some cases, by more than half over time
USGS uses state-of-the-art science techniques to estimate phosphorus and suspended-sediment loads to Upper Klamath Lake in the Klamath Basin.
Uranium levels in Pigeon Spring, just north of the Grand Canyon, are likely due to a natural source of uranium and not related to the nearby former Pigeon Mine, according to a recent study by the U.S. Geological Survey.
A regional assessment of untreated groundwater in the Basin and Range basin-fill aquifers, which include parts of Nevada, California, Arizona, Utah and adjacent states, is now available from the U.S. Geological Survey.
A regional assessment of untreated groundwater in the Coastal Lowlands aquifer system in the southeastern United States is now available from the U.S. Geological Survey.
A regional assessment of untreated groundwater in the Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain aquifer system in the eastern United States is now available from the U.S. Geological Survey.
A regional assessment of untreated groundwater in the Southeastern Coastal Plain aquifer system is now available from the U.S. Geological Survey.
A regional assessment of untreated groundwater in the combined Valley and Ridge and Piedmont and Blue Ridge aquifers in the eastern United States is now available from the U.S. Geological Survey.
Deep drilling in eastern Virginia will evaluate past effects of groundwater pumping, land subsidence, and relative sea-level rise. Future injection of water is expected to add pressure, expand the aquifer, and raise the land surface.
U.S. Geological Survey scientist Dr. Robert Baskin is being awarded with a 2016 Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology. Gov. Gary R. Herbert will present awards to 11 individuals and one company at the 30th anniversary awards dinner tonight.
Water users around the country can now view the past and simulated future of hydrologic processes.
You are invited to join USGS scientists and field technician crews as they collect discharge measurements in rainfall-affected areas.