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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.

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Filter Total Items: 167
Great Sand Dunes National Park.
Date Published: October 26, 2016

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.

Map of the extent of glacial deposits in the U.S. from Laurentide and Cordilleran
Date Published: October 4, 2016

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...

Contacts: Howard W Reeves
Louisiana
Date Published: September 29, 2016

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...

Freshwater withdrawals and population in Alabama, 1960-2005
Date Published: September 28, 2016

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...

Lower Tennessee River (LTEN) Basin Study
Date Published: September 26, 2016

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...

USGS streamgage with Satellite antenna at the edge of river.
Date Published: September 24, 2016

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...

Contacts: Thomas Weaver
USGS technician monitoring a low flow in a stream while standing on a pebble island in stream in summer.
Date Published: September 24, 2016

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...

Contacts: Thomas Weaver
USGS Water-Quality equipment with cover opened at edge of river near a footbridge.
Date Published: September 24, 2016

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...

Contacts: Thomas Weaver
Crest-Stage Streamgage equipment set up at edge of a stream.
Date Published: September 24, 2016

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-...

Contacts: Thomas Weaver
Equipment is fixed-location acoustic Doppler velocity meters at Connecting Channels
Date Published: September 24, 2016

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...

Contacts: Thomas Weaver
Collage of three printouts of DNA sequencing of Pathogens.
Date Published: September 24, 2016

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...

Contacts: Natasha Isaacs
Color Illustration of Avian Botulism transport through species
Date Published: September 24, 2016

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,...

Contacts: Natasha Isaacs
Filter Total Items: 1,556
Year Published: 2017

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.
Attribution: Water Resources
Kuniansky, E.L., and Spangler, L.E., eds., 2017, U.S. Geological Survey Karst Interest Group Proceedings, San Antonio, Texas, May 16–18, 2017: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2017–5023, 245 p., http://doi.org/10.3133/sir20175023.

Year Published: 2017

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.
Attribution: Water Resources
Böhlke, J.K., Mroczkowski, S.J., Sturchio, N.C., Heraty, L.J., Richman, K.W., Sullivan, D.B., Griffith, K.N., Gu, B., and Hatzinger, P.B., 2017, Stable isotope analyses of oxygen (18O:17O:16O) and chlorine (37Cl:35Cl) in perchlorate: Reference materials, calibrations, methods, and interferences. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, v. 31, p. 85-110, doi: 10.1002/rcm.7751

Year Published: 2017

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
Attribution: Water Resources
Kleckner, A. E., E. Kakouros, and A. R. Stewart. 2017. A practical method for the determination of total selenium in environmental samples using Isotope Dilution-Hydride Generation-Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry. Limnol. Oceanogr. Methods 15: 363-371. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/lom3.10164

Year Published: 2017

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
Attribution: Water Resources
Wood, W.W., and Böhlke, J.K., 2017, Density-driven free-convection model for isotopically fractionated geogenic nitrate in sabkha brine. Groundwater, v. 55(2), p. 199-207, doi: 10.1111/gwat.12463

Year Published: 2017

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
Attribution: Water Resources
Means, M.M., C. Ahn, and G.B. Noe. 2017. Planting richness affects the recovery of vegetation and soil processes in created wetlands following disturbance. Science of the Total Environment 579: 1366-1378.

Year Published: 2017

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
Attribution: Water Resources
Estrada, N.L., Böhlke, J.K., Sturchio, N.C., Gu, B., Harvey, G., Burkey, K.O., Grantz, D.A., MacGrath, M.T., Anderson, T.A., Rao, B., Sevanthi, R., Hatzinger, P.B., and Jackson, W.A., 2017, Stable isotopic composition of perchlorate and nitrate accumulated in plants: Hydroponic experiments and field data. Science of the Total Environment, v. 595, p. 556–566, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.03.223.

Year Published: 2017

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
Attribution: Water Resources
Eganhouse, R., Pontolillo, J., DiFilippo, E., Orem, W., Webster, D., Hackley, P., Edwards, B., Rosenberger, K., Swarzenski, P., Dickhudt, P., Sherwood, C., Reinhard, M., Qin, S., Dougherty, J., Hopkins, G., Marshall, I. and Spormann, A., Final Data Report for Factors Controlling DDE Dechlorination Rates on the Palos Verdes Shelf: A Field and Laboratory Investigation, submitted to J. Huang, Remedial Project Manager, Region 9, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, July 18, 2016, 1076p

Year Published: 2017

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
Attribution: Water Resources
Eganhouse, R., Orem, W. and Reinhard, M., Final Synthesis Report for Factors Controlling DDE Dechlorination Rates on the Palos Verdes Shelf: A Field and Laboratory Investigation, submitted to J. Huang, Remedial Project Manager, Region 9, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, December 19, 2016, 31p.

Year Published: 2017

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.
Attribution: Water Resources
Borden, R.C., Tillotson, J.M., Ng, G.C., Bekins, B.A., Kent, D.B., Curtis, G.P., 2015, Extent and Persistence of Secondary Water Quality Impacts after Enhanced Reductive Bioremediation, SERDP Project ER-2131

Year Published: 2017

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
Attribution: Water Resources
Blunt, S., Benotti, M., Rosen, M.R., Hedlund B., and Moser, 2017, Reversible Reduction of Estrone to 17β -estradiol by Rhizobium, Sphingopyxis, and Pseudomonas Isolates from the Las Vegas Wash. Journal of Environmental Quality, 46 281–287. https://dx.doi:10.2134/jeq2016.08.0286

Year Published: 2017

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.
Attribution: Water Resources
Pyne MI, Carlisle DM, Konrad CP, and Stein ED. Classification of California streams using combined deductive and inductive approaches: Setting the foundation for analysis of hydrologic alteration. Ecohydrology. 2017

Year Published: 2017

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.
Attribution: Water Resources
Heenan, J. W., D. Ntarlagiannis,L. D. Slater, C. L. Beaver, S. Rossbach, A. Revil, E. A. Atekwana, and B. Bekins (2017), Field-scale observations of a transient geobattery resulting from natural attenuation of a crude oil spill, J. Geophys. Res. Biogeosci., 122, 918–929, doi:10.1002/2016JG003596.

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.

Filter Total Items: 915
Image shows a USGS scientist in a PDF taking a high-water mark
September 11, 2017
USGS scientist Steve Hannes marks high water marks along the Colorado River after flooding from Hurricane Harvey in Wharton County, Texas.
Image shows a USGS scientist in a PFD taking a high-water measurement
September 11, 2017
USGS scientist Steve Hannes marks high water marks along the Colorado River after flooding from Hurricane Harvey in Wharton County, Texas.
Image shows a USGS scientist in a PFD taking a high-water mark
September 11, 2017
USGS scientist Steve Hannes marks high water marks along the Colorado River after flooding from Harvey in Matagorda County, Texas.
A small boat with scientific equipment loaded onboard resting near shore of a lake.
September 10, 2017
The Maine Office boat, "Miss Q", is parked next to the boat launch on Verona Island, ready to begin data collection on the Penobscot River. The crew was preparing to collect ADCP data (depth and velocity) as well as conductivity, temperature and depth profiles at various locations. In the background is the Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Fort Knox.
Hurricane Irma satellite image
September 5, 2017
Satellite Image of Hurricane Irma on September 5, 2017. Photo by NASA/NOAA GOES Project
Preparing to measure Irma's storm surge in Puerto Rico
September 4, 2017
Along the northeast coast of Puerto Rico, USGS hydrologic technician Francisco Almanzar surveys reference elevation points to ensure the accuracy of water level data. Almanzar and other USGS employees installed nine storm surge sensors along the coast on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 4, 2017 as Hurricane Irma approached.
USGS scientists Lisa Ashmore and Lee Bodkin collect water-quality samples on Lake Houston in response to Harvey.
August 31, 2017
USGS scientists Lisa Ashmore and Lee Bodkin collect water-quality samples on Lake Houston in response to the high flow conditions that resulted from Harvey.
Image shows a USGS scientist in a PFD servicing a streamgage
August 31, 2017
USGS scientist Jimmy Hopkins repairs a streamgage downstream of Addicks reservoir at Buffalo Bayou after flooding from Hurricane Harvey. This gauge is normally accessed on land from a platform on the side of a bridge.
Image shows USGS scientists planning their water quality work on a whiteboard
August 31, 2017
A peek into a USGS planning meeting to coordinate water-quality sampling efforts in response to Harvey. This sampling effort is part of the federal government’s broad efforts to ensure public health and to support the state, tribal, and local response to the storm
August 31, 2017
Hurricane Harvey made landfall on August 25th. Over the next few days, record rain totals had devastated the area. At the USGS EROS Center, we study land change, operate the Landsat satellites, and maintain the longest, continuously acquired collection of images of the Earth's land surface. USGS EROS Center ( https://eros.usgs.gov/ )
Image shows a USGS scientist in a PFD servicing a water quality monitor on a lake
August 31, 2017
USGS scientist Lisa Ashmore services a water-quality monitor on Lake Houston. These instruments stayed afloat and collected data throughout the storm.
USGS scientist Lisa Ashmore services a water-quality monitor on Lake Houston. These instruments stayed afloat throughout Harvey.
August 31, 2017
USGS scientist Lisa Ashmore services a water-quality monitor on Lake Houston. These instruments stayed afloat and collected data throughout Harvey.
Filter Total Items: 357
Freshwater Stream
January 30, 2017

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 Streamgage on the Williamson River
January 24, 2017

USGS uses state-of-the-art science techniques to estimate phosphorus and suspended-sediment loads to Upper Klamath Lake in the Klamath Basin.

Photo of Pigeon Canyon just before it merges with Snake Gulch in northern Arizona. 
January 24, 2017

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.

Photo of a young girl drinking water, which likely originated from groundwater sources. 
January 19, 2017

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.

Photo of a young girl drinking water, which likely originated from groundwater sources. 
January 19, 2017

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.

Photo of a young girl drinking water, which likely originated from groundwater sources. 
January 19, 2017

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.

Photo of a young girl drinking water, which likely originated from groundwater sources. 
January 19, 2017

A regional assessment of untreated groundwater in the Southeastern Coastal Plain aquifer system is now available from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Photo of a young girl drinking water, which likely originated from groundwater sources. 
January 19, 2017

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.

USGS Extensometer Drilling
January 18, 2017

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.

Photo of USGS scientist Robert Baskin deploying a side scan sonar in the Salton Sea, California. 
January 18, 2017

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.

Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler
January 12, 2017

You are invited to join USGS scientists and field technician crews as they collect discharge measurements in rainfall-affected areas.