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Water

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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: 86
The water cycle diagram, especially made for school-aged kids.
April 14, 2016

Learn about water! As part of the USGS's Water Science School, we have created a water-cycle diagram for schools and "kids" of all ages, from 5-105. Our diagram is available in over 20 languages. We also offer an interactive diagram which...

The ecology teams quantitatively sample fish and mussels semiannually in the spring and fall
April 14, 2016

WaterSMART (Sustain and Manage America’s Resources for Tomorrow) is a program of the Department of the Interior that focuses on improving water conservation and helping water-resource managers make sound decisions about water use....

Flooded Pier at Assawoman Bay, MD
April 14, 2016

One of the critical roles that USGS personnel play in their day-to-day activities is to respond in a timely and professional manner to floods that can occur at any time of the year and for a variety of reasons. The Flood Science Capability Team examines the cause and effect...

Historic water tower in Chicago.
March 15, 2016

The Water-Use Open Forum allows those involved in water-use data collection, data management, and regulation to communicate about challenges and solutions to water-use data issues, such as data collection, storage, QA/QC, analysis and data dissemination.

Mobile River Basin Chart
September 22, 2014

The Mobile River Basin study is one of several NAWQA studies that began in Federal fiscal year 1997 (October 1996). Study planning and design, and analysis of existing data will be done during the first 2 years, which is consistent with all NAWQA studies. After the 2-year planning period, surface- and ground-water and biological data will be collected intensively for 3 years during a high-...

Low Flow Study Images
May 1, 2014

As part of their mission to protect public health and aquatic ecosystems, Alabama state agencies need accurate and representative streamflow statistics to establish realistic and applicable criteria for both water quality and water quantity (fig. 1). Historically, low-flow statistics, such as the annual minimum 7-day average flow that likely will occur, on average, once every 10 years (7Q10),...

Black Warrior River Map
September 22, 2012

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...

Map of Mt. Pleasant Waterworks wells in the Charleston aquifer
September 22, 2012

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...

Terrestrial Light Detection and Ranging (T-LiDAR) Technology
September 22, 2011

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...

Marshy area on Chesapeake Bay
September 5, 2011

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...

Terrestrial Light Detection and Ranging (T-LiDAR) Technology
September 2, 2011

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...

USGS_partner_logo
September 26, 2010

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...

Explore new publications and highlighted collections.

Filter Total Items: 1,411
Climate variability and extremes, interacting with nitrogen storage, amplify eutrophication risk
Year Published: 2016

Climate variability and extremes, interacting with nitrogen storage, amplify eutrophication risk

Despite 30 years of basin-wide nutrient-reduction efforts, severe hypoxia continues to be observed in the Chesapeake Bay. Here we demonstrate the critical influence of climate variability, interacting with accumulated nitrogen (N) over multidecades, on Susquehanna River dissolved nitrogen (DN) loads, known precursors of the hypoxia in the Bay.

Lee, Minjin; Shevliakova, Elena; Malyshev, Sergey; Milly, P.C.D.; Jaffe, Peter R.
Climate change and the Delta
Year Published: 2016

Climate change and the Delta

Anthropogenic climate change amounts to a rapidly approaching, “new” stressor in the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta system. In response to California’s extreme natural hydroclimatic variability, complex water-management systems have been developed, even as the Delta’s natural ecosystems have been largely devastated. Climate change is projected to...

Dettinger, Michael; Anderson, Jamie; Anderson, Michael L.; Brown, Larry R.; Cayan, Daniel; Maurer, Edwin P.
Dettinger, M., Anderson, J., Anderson, M., Brown, L., Cayan, D., and Maurer, E., 2016, Climate change and the Delta: San Francisco Estuary & Watershed Science, 26 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.15447/sfews.2016v14iss3art5
U.S. national categorical mapping of building heights by block group from Shuttle Radar Topography Mission data
Year Published: 2016

U.S. national categorical mapping of building heights by block group from Shuttle Radar Topography Mission data

This dataset is a categorical mapping of estimated mean building heights, by Census block group, in shapefile format for the conterminous United States. The data were derived from the NASA Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, which collected “first return” (top of canopy and buildings) radar data at 30-m resolution in February, 2000 aboard the Space...

Falcone, James
Comment on “Reconciliation of the Devils Hole climate record with orbital forcing”
Year Published: 2016

Comment on “Reconciliation of the Devils Hole climate record with orbital forcing”

Moseley et al. (Reports, 8 January 2016, p. 165) postulate an increase in dissolved thorium isotope 230Th with depth below the water table as the explanation for the differing ages of Termination II. Flow of geothermal water through the Devils Hole caverns precludes this explanation. Deposition of younger secondary calcite into the initial...

Winograd, Isaac J.
Genome sequence of the photoarsenotrophic bacterium Ectothiorhodospira sp. strain BSL-9, isolated from a hypersaline alkaline arsenic-rich extreme environment
Year Published: 2016

Genome sequence of the photoarsenotrophic bacterium Ectothiorhodospira sp. strain BSL-9, isolated from a hypersaline alkaline arsenic-rich extreme environment

The full genome sequence of Ectothiorhodospira sp. strain BSL-9 is reported here. This purple sulfur bacterium encodes an arxA-type arsenite oxidase within the arxB2AB1CD gene island and is capable of carrying out “photoarsenotrophy” anoxygenic photosynthetic arsenite oxidation. Its genome is composed of 3.5 Mb and has approximately 63% G+C...

Hernandez-Maldonado, Jaime; Stoneburner, Brendon; Boren, Alison; Miller, Laurence; Rosen, Michael R.; Oremland, Ronald S.; Saltikov, Chad W
Hernandez-Maldonado J, Stoneburner B, Boren A, Miller L, Rosen M, Oremland RS, Saltikov CW. 2016. Genome sequence of the photoarsenotrophic bacterium Ectothiorhodospira sp. strain BSL-9, isolated from a hypersaline alkaline arsenic-rich extreme environment. Genome Announc 4(5):e01139-16. http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/genomeA.01139-16
High nitrate concentrations in some Midwest United States streams in 2013 after the 2012 drought
Year Published: 2016

High nitrate concentrations in some Midwest United States streams in 2013 after the 2012 drought

Nitrogen sources in the Mississippi River basin have been linked to degradation of stream ecology and to Gulf of Mexico hypoxia. In 2013, the USGS and the USEPA characterized water quality stressors and ecological conditions in 100 wadeable streams across the midwestern United States. Wet conditions in 2013 followed a severe drought in 2012, a...

VanMetre, Peter; Frey, Jeffrey W.; Musgrove, Marylynn; Nakagaki, Naomi; Qi, Sharon L.; Mahler, Barbara J.; Wieczorek, Michael; Button, Daniel T.
New organic reference materials for hydrogen, carbon, and nitrogen stable isotope-ratio measurements: caffeines, n-alkanes, fatty acid methyl esters, glycines, L-valines, polyethylenes, and oils
Year Published: 2016

New organic reference materials for hydrogen, carbon, and nitrogen stable isotope-ratio measurements: caffeines, n-alkanes, fatty acid methyl esters, glycines, L-valines, polyethylenes, and oils

An international project developed, quality-tested, and determined isotope−δ values of 19 new organic reference materials (RMs) for hydrogen, carbon, and nitrogen stable isotope-ratio measurements, in addition to analyzing pre-existing RMs NBS 22 (oil), IAEA-CH-7 (polyethylene foil), and IAEA-600 (caffeine). These new RMs enable users to normalize...

Schimmelmann, Arndt; Qi, Haiping; Coplen, Tyler B.; Brand, Willi A.; Fong, Jon; Meier-Augenstein, Wolfram; Kemp, Helen F.; Toman, Blaza; Ackermann, Annika; Assonov, Sergey; Aerts-Bijma, Anita; Brejcha, Ramona; Chikaraishi, Yoshito; Darwish, Tamim; Elsner, Martin; Gehre, Matthias; Geilmann, Heike; Gröning, Manfred; Hélie, Jean-François; Herrero-Martín, Sara; Meijer, Harro A.J.; Sauer, Peter E.; Sessions, Alex L.; Werner, Roland A.
Agricultural pesticide use estimates for the USGS National Water Quality Network, 1992-2014
Year Published: 2016

Agricultural pesticide use estimates for the USGS National Water Quality Network, 1992-2014

The National Water Quality Network (NWQN) for Rivers and Streams includes 113 surface-water river and stream sites monitored by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water Quality Program (NWQP). The NWQN represents the consolidation of four historical national networks: the USGS National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Project, the USGS...

Baker, Nancy T.
Nancy T. Baker, 2016, Agricultural Pesticide Use Estimates for the USGS National Water Quality Network, 1992-2014: U.S. Geological Survey Data Release, https://dx.doi.org/10.5066/F7FF3QHP
An experimental study of the role of subsurface plumbing on geothermal discharge
Year Published: 2016

An experimental study of the role of subsurface plumbing on geothermal discharge

In order to better understand the diverse discharge styles and eruption intervals observed at geothermal features, we performed three series of laboratory experiments with differing plumbing geometries. A single, straight conduit that connects a hot water bath (flask) to a vent (funnel) can originate geyser-like periodic eruptions, continuous...

Namiki, Atsuko; Ueno, Yoshinori; Hurwitz, Shaul; Manga, Michael; Munoz-Saez, Carolina; Murphy, Fred
Updated atomic weights: Time to review our table
Year Published: 2016

Updated atomic weights: Time to review our table

Despite common belief, atomic weights are not necessarily constants of nature. Scientists’ ability to measure these values is regularly improving, so one would expect that the accuracy of these values should be improving with time.

Coplen, Tyler B.; Meyers, Fabienne; Holden, Norman E.
Coplen, T. B., Meyers, F., Holden, N. E. 2016, Updated Atomic Weights: Time to Review Our Table. Chemistry Views Magazine, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/chemv.201600015
Watershed boundaries for the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Quality Network
Year Published: 2016

Watershed boundaries for the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Quality Network

The National Water Quality Network (NWQN) for Rivers and Streams includes 113 surface-water river and stream sites monitored by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water Quality Program (NWQP). The NWQN represents the consolidation of four historical national networks: the USGS National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Project, the USGS...

Baker, Nancy T.
Baker, N.T., 2016, Watershed Boundaries for the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Quality Network: U.S. Geological Survey data release, https://doi.org/10.5066/F7SF2TBD.
Isotope-abundance variations and atomic weights of selected elements: 2016 (IUPAC Technical Report)
Year Published: 2016

Isotope-abundance variations and atomic weights of selected elements: 2016 (IUPAC Technical Report)

There are 63 chemical elements that have two or more isotopes that are used to determine their standard atomic weights. The isotopic abundances and atomic weights of these elements can vary in normal materials due to physical and chemical fractionation processes (not due to radioactive decay). These variations are well known for 12 elements (...

Coplen, Tyler B.; Shrestha, Yesha
Coplen, T. B., Shrestha, Y., 2016, Isotope-abundance variations and atomic weights of selected elements: 2016 (IUPAC Technical Report): Pure and Applied Chemistry, v. 88, p. 1203-1224. http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/pac-2016-0302

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: 731
2016 (approx.)
This video provides an overview of the USGS Fractured Rock Geophysical Toolbox Method Selection Tool. The Fractured Rock Geophysical Toolbox Method Selection Tool (FRGT-MST) is an Excel-based tool for identification of geophysical methods most likely to be appropriate for project goals and site conditions. We envision the FRGT-MST: 1) equipping remediation professionals with a tool to understand...
Water flowing from culvert
2016 (approx.)
Hampton Roads WQMP Image 1. Water flowing from a culvert.
Before and after pictures - Hurricane Rita and Holly Beach, Louisiana, USA
December 14, 2016
Hurricanes can cause severe beach erosion —​​​​​​​—​​​​​​​—​​​​​​​—​​​​​​​—​​​​​​​—​​​​​​​—​​​​​​​—​​​​​​​—​​​​​​​—​​​​​​​—​​​​​​​—​​​​​​​—​​​​​​​—​​​​​​​—​​​​​​​—​​​​​​​—​​​​​​​—​​​​​​​—​​​​​​​—​​​​​​​—​​​​​​​— The Storm-Induced Coastal Change Hazards component of the of the National Assessment of Coastal Change Hazards project focuses on understanding the magnitude and variability of extreme...
December 1, 2016
The new Great Salt Lake breach was opened on Dec. 1 by the Union Pacific Railroad Company. This created a new opening between the north and the south arm of the lake, allowing water to flow between the two sides. This time-lapse video shows the breach opening, which took about two hours. Before the new breach was opened, the north arm of the Great Salt Lake was at an historic low. Water had...
December 1, 2016
Presents descriptions of the USGS Precipitation Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) Surface-Runoff modules, which compute Hortonian surface runoff, soil infiltration, and impervious surface and surface depression storage and flows.
The Chimney Tops 2 fire in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
November 2016 (approx.)
The fire that became known as Chimney Tops 2 started near a Great Smoky Mountains National Park landmark known as The Chimneys on or about Nov. 23, 2016.
Weighing soils into crucibles for the determination of percent dry and loss-on-ignition
November 30, 2016
Don Bonville, Physical Scientist Technician, weighs soils into crucibles for the determination of percent dry and loss-on-ignition. These soil samples are part of the Hydrologic Benchmark Network Program.
Smoky Mountain fires on the night of Nov. 28, 2016
November 28, 2016
In an extreme drought and amid high winds, many fires burned together in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the town of Gatlinburg and nearby communities to form the deadly fire that became known as Chimney Tops 2. This photo was taken on the night of Nov. 28, 2016, as the fire was spreading rapidly.
USGS streamgage
November 1, 2016
USGS streamgage 13210810, Fifteen Mile Creek near Middleton, Idaho, is one of 10 streamgages the USGS has installed on Treasure Valley drains in cooperation with the Idaho Department of Water Resources. Data from these streamgages will be incorporated into a groundwater-flow model of the Treasure Valley aquifer system.
October 2016 (approx.)
In this video we will outline the process of setting up a measurement using the SonTek RSSL software. Note: Use of trade names is for descriptive purposes only, and does not imply endorsement by the USGS. For additional videos in this series, visit the following link: https://www2.usgs.gov/humancapital/ecd/hydrotube/hydrotube-ADCP.html
October 2016 (approx.)
In this video we will outline the process of editing vertical information using the SonTek RSSL software. Note: Use of trade names is for descriptive purposes only, and does not imply endorsement by the USGS. For additional videos in this series, visit the following link: https://www2.usgs.gov/humancapital/ecd/hydrotube/hydrotube-ADCP.html
October 2016 (approx.)
Along the Atlantic Coast, a 2000+ ft deep hole has been drilled by the USGS to assess the issues of groundwater pumping, relative sea-level rise, and land subsidence. This video shows the drilling of the first extensometer to measure land subsidence in the North Atlantic Coastal Plain in 30+ years. Land subsidence has been observed at various locations in the southern Chesapeake Bay region at...
Filter Total Items: 311
Photo of two of the main spring discharge points of Comal springs.
December 7, 2016

A new U.S. Geological Survey website provides important information about streamflow in the Comal and San Marcos Rivers and springflow at Comal and San Marcos Springs. This website was developed in collaboration with the Edwards Aquifer Authority.

Christian Schmidt
November 28, 2016

Former Montana Water Quality Administrator Begins Work in Boise

This picture was taken June 23, 2010 along the Louisiana shoreline in Barataria Bay and shows oil spilled from Deepwater Horizon
November 17, 2016

A new USGS-NASA study found widespread shoreline loss along heavily oiled areas of Louisiana's coast after the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill and compared the erosion from the spill with coastal changes Hurricane Isaac caused in 2012.

A group of Brook Trout swim through a stream.
November 16, 2016

A new USGS study shows non-native Brown Trout can place a burden on native Brook Trout under the increased water temperatures climate change can cause.

USGS: Science for a changing world
October 27, 2016

In partnership with the Federal Advisory Committee on Water Information

Cyanobacterial bloom in Lake Okeechobee, FL (July 2016)
October 24, 2016

Building knowledge to protect ecological and human health

Hydrologic technician Samantha Kephart.points out a high water mark
October 21, 2016

The heavy rains and storm surge Hurricane Matthew produced caused severe flooding in many parts of the south east, resulting in almost 40 peak flood records. As the flood waters continue to recede from some affected areas, the U. S. Geological Survey will continue its efforts to record this historic flooding. Click here to learn more about the work the USGS has completed for Hurricane Matthew.

Photo of scientists testing where methane goes once released into streams
October 17, 2016

First application shows majority of methane in study stream emitted to the atmosphere. 

USGS logo
October 17, 2016

A new study offers the most sophisticated analyses to date on how Los Angeles-area groundwater supplies are replenished. The analyses provide water managers with a clearer understanding of the sources and amount of available groundwater in the region – information that is important for planning and management of the vital resource.

Baltimore Harbor Water Wheel (aka “Mr. Trash Wheel”)
October 14, 2016

Online sites will provide the first real-time, user-friendly Inner Harbor water information