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
Starting in 1997, the USGS began routinely studying water resources in the Clackamas River Basin. Whether it be assessing harmful algal blooms, runoff issues, streamflow, or watershed health, the USGS has worked with its partners to maintain one of Oregon's most beloved rivers.
Static flood-inundation map libraries consist of maps that have been created in advance of a flood that are ready to be served through the Internet. Each library consists of a set of flood extent and depth maps developed for predetermined stream stage intervals (for example, a map for each one foot of stage). A user can view real-time or forecast stage data from a USGS streamgage or National...
StreamStats is a Web-based tool that provides streamflow statistics, drainage-basin characteristics, and other information for USGS streamgaging stations and for user-selected ungaged sites on streams. When users select the location of a streamgaging station, StreamStats provides previously published information from a database. When users select a site on an ungaged stream, StreamStats will...
T-LiDAR technology utilizes reflected laser pulses sent from a tripod-mounted scanning instrument to determine distances to targets of interest. The resulting dataset is a 3 dimensional model or "point cloud" of millions of XYZ data points, spaced only a few millimeters apart. This highly detailed dataset is used by USGS scientists to create topographic models, make detailed measurements, and...
The USGS is summarizing basic information on water resources for each parish in Louisiana and presenting the information in fact-sheet format. Information presented includes groundwater and surface-water availability, quality, development, use, and trends. These brief summaries of water resources will provide parish officials, local officials and concerned citizens with information needed to...
The live oaks framing Toomer's Corner in Auburn, Alabama were planted about 1880 and have served as a focal point for Auburn celebrations in recent decades. The trees recently received a powerful dose of an herbicide known as Spike 80DF. In an effort to save the trees, a task force made up of university horticulturists, landscapers, agronomists, engineers, chemists and others has undertaken a...
Drinking water for the city of Eugene, Oregon, is drawn from the McKenzie River, a high-quality source that is nonetheless threatened by urban, agricultural, and forestry land uses upstream as well as by changes in water management in the watershed. In 2002, the USGS began monitoring dissolved pesticides in the McKenzie River and its tributaries.
Various environmental groups in Alabama are concerned that the use of culverts at highway crossings to convey stream flows has detrimental effects on the natural conditions of streams. Specifically, some groups are concerned that changes in stream geomorphology, sediment concentrations, and associated turbidity adversely impact the benthic macroinvertebrate community when culverts are...
In 2002, the Davis Pond Freshwater Diversion began diverting up to 10,000 cfs of Mississippi River water into the waters surrounding the Barataria Preserve of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. Previously, precipitation, local surface-water runoff, and occasional marine intrusion largely determined quality of surface and marsh porewaters at the Preserve. The new influx of...
The LaWSC, in collaboration with researchers from the National Wetlands Research Center (NWRC), the NRP program, Auburn University, and Clemson University, is documenting conditions in tidal swamps in Louisiana, Georgia, and South Carolina as a baseline with which to compare future data to assess the impacts of climate change in such areas. Tidal swamps in these states offer an array of...
In early 2009, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) constructed a rock barrier across the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO), a navigation channel between the Port of New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico. In August 2008, prior to construction of the rock barrier, the LaWSC, in cooperation with the USACE, began monitoring specific conductance, dissolved oxygen, and discharge in the MRGO to...
Wetlands in the Bayou aux Carpes area, south of New Orleans, La., currently are isolated from direct inflow of storm water runoff by levees and spoil banks. The USACE is considering removal of a spoil bank that would allow storm-water runoff to flow through and across the wetlands. . The wetlands consist of floating marshes, with a predominately organic substrate, and forested wetlands, some...
Challenges with secondary use of multi-source water-quality data in the United States
Combining water-quality data from multiple sources can help counterbalance diminishing resources for stream monitoring in the United States and lead to important regional and national insights that would not otherwise be possible. Individual monitoring organizations understand their own data very well, but issues can arise when their data are...Sprague, Lori A.; Oelsner, Gretchen P.; Argue, Denise M.
Arsenite as an electron donor for anoxygenic photosynthesis: Description of three strains of Ectothiorhodospria from Mono Lake, California, and Big Soda Lake, Nevada
Three novel strains of photosynthetic bacteria from the family Ectothiorhodospiraceae were isolated from soda lakes of the Great Basin Desert, USA by employing arsenite (As(III)) as the sole electron donor in the enrichment/isolation process. Strain PHS-1 was previously isolated from a hot spring in Mono Lake, while strain MLW-1 was obtained from...McCann, Shelley; Boren, Alison; Hernandez-Maldonado, Jaime; Stoneburner, Brendon; Saltikov, Chad W; Stolz, John F.; Oremland, Ronald S.
The chemistry and isotopic composition of waters in the low-enthalpy geothermal system of Cimino-Vico Volcanic District, Italy
Geothermal energy exploration is based in part on interpretation of the chemistry, temperature, and discharge rate of thermal springs. Here we present the major element chemistry and the δD, δ18O, 87Sr/86Sr and δ11B isotopic ratio of groundwater from the low-enthalpy geothermal system near the city of Viterbo in the Cimino-Vico volcanic district...Battistel, Maria; Hurwitz, Shaul; Evans, William; Barbieri, Maurizio
Estuary-ocean connectivity: Fast physics, slow biology
Estuaries are connected to both land and ocean so their physical, chemical, and biological dynamics are influenced by climate patterns over watersheds and ocean basins. We explored climate-driven oceanic variability as a source of estuarine variability by comparing monthly time series of temperature and chlorophyll-a inside San Francisco Bay with...Raimonet, Mélanie; Cloern, James E.
Custom map projections for regional groundwater models
For regional groundwater flow models (areas greater than 100,000 km2), improper choice of map projection parameters can result in model error for boundary conditions dependent on area (recharge or evapotranspiration simulated by application of a rate using cell area from model discretization) and length (rivers simulated with head-dependent flux...Kuniansky, Eve L.
The genetic basis of anoxygenic photosynthetic arsenite oxidation
“Photoarsenotrophy”, the use of arsenite as an electron donor for anoxygenic photosynthesis, is thought to be an ancient form of phototrophy along with the photosynthetic oxidation of Fe(II), H2S, H2, and NO2-. Photoarsenotrophy was recently identified from Paoha Island's (Mono Lake, CA) arsenic-rich hot springs. The genomes of several...Hernandez-Maldonado, Jamie; Sanchez-Sedillo, Benjamin; Stoneburner, Brendon; Boren, Alison; Miller, Laurence G.; McCann, Shelley; Rosen, Michael R.; Oremland, Ronald S.; Saltikov, Chad W.
Salinity influences on aboveground and belowground net primary productivity in tidal wetlands
Tidal freshwater wetlands are one of the most vulnerable ecosystems to climate change and rising sea levels. However salinification within these systems is poorly understood, therefore, productivity (litterfall, woody biomass, and fine roots) were investigated on three forested tidal wetlands [(1) freshwater, (2) moderately saline, and (...Pierfelice, Kathryn N.; Graeme Lockaby, B.; Krauss, Ken W.; Conner, William H.; Noe, Gregory; Ricker, Matthew C.
Chapter 1: Hydrologic exchange flows and their ecological consequences in river corridors
The actively flowing waters of streams and rivers remain in close contact with surrounding off-channel and subsurface environments. These hydrologic linkages between relatively fast flowing channel waters, with more slowly flowing waters off-channel and in the subsurface, are collectively referred to as hydrologic exchange flows (HEFs). HEFs...Harvey, Judson
Use of multiple age tracers to estimate groundwater residence times and long-term recharge rates in arid southern Oman
Multiple age tracers were measured to estimate groundwater residence times in the regional aquifer system underlying southwestern Oman. This area, known as the Najd, is one of the most arid areas in the world and is planned to be the main agricultural center of the Sultanate of Oman in the near future. The three isotopic age tracers 4He, 14C and...Müller, Th.; Osenbrück, K.; Strauch, G.; Pavetich, S.; Al-Mashaikhi, K.-S.; Herb, C.; Merchel, S.; Rugel, G.; Aeschbach, W.; Sanford, Ward E.
Groundwater quality in the Basin and Range Basin-Fill Aquifers, southwestern United States
Groundwater provides nearly 50 percent of the Nation’s drinking water. To help protect this vital resource, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Project assesses groundwater quality in aquifers that are important sources of drinking water. The Basin and Range basin-fill aquifers constitute one of the...Musgrove, MaryLynn; Belitz, Kenneth
Groundwater quality in the Coastal Lowlands aquifer system, south-central United States
Groundwater provides nearly 50 percent of the Nation’s drinking water. To help protect this vital resource, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Project assesses groundwater quality in aquifers that are important sources of drinking water. The Coastal Lowlands aquifer system constitutes one of the important...Barlow, Jeannie R.B.; Belitz, Kenneth
Groundwater quality in the Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain aquifer system, eastern United States
Groundwater provides nearly 50 percent of the Nation’s drinking water. To help protect this vital resource, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Project assesses groundwater quality in aquifers that are important sources of drinking water. The Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain aquifer system constitutes one of...Lindsey, Bruce; Belitz, Kenneth
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.
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.
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 scientist Lisa Ashmore services a water-quality monitor on Lake Houston. These instruments stayed afloat and collected data throughout the storm.
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...
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.
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.
USGS scientist Lisa Ashmore services a water-quality monitor on Lake Houston. These instruments stayed afloat and collected data throughout Harvey.
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
A USGS field crew takes water-quality samples on Lake Houston following Harvey.
USGS scientist Alec MacDonald takes flood measurements on the Guadalupe River in Victoria, Texas.
Wonder what Backwater Flooding is? We've got your answer here...
All affected USGS scientists are alive and well, and our flood work continues...
Six streamgages Set peaks of record and 50 stations were overtopped by floodwaters.
Streamflow and groundwater levels are declining in some locations along the San Pedro River near Sierra Vista, Arizona, according to a new report by the U.S. Geological Survey.
Feeling salty over our bad jokes? Then this EarthWord’s for you!
Future groundwater replenishment in the Upper Colorado River Basin may benefit from projected increases in future basin-wide precipitation under current climate projections, according to a recent study by the U.S. Geological Survey and Bureau of Reclamation.
A new interactive map and companion report from the U.S. Geological Survey allows residents living in and around New Mexico’s Jemez Mountains to see where they’re located in relation to postwildfire debris-flow hazards.
Two new streamgages recently installed by the U.S. Geological Survey in the cities of Greenfield and Elwood, Indiana will provide continuous, real-time streamflow and water level information in areas that have demonstrated a need for reliable flood warning and flood-related data.
Scientists to test the Great Salt Lake and Utah Lake
This EarthWord is clear as mud...
Welcome to the fourth installment or the “Spring-Summer 2016” version of the IN-KY Newsletter.
To gain insights into the risks associated with uranium mining and processing, U.S. Geological Survey scientists are investigating how uranium moves into and up food chains.