Mission Areas

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: 138
Erosion along the Rio Puerco during the flood of 2006 following herbicide application to control saltcedar in 2003.
December 3, 2016

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...

Image: Alaskan Glacier
November 10, 2016

Several Research areas are listed and their contacts regarding Glacial Aquifer System Groundwater Availability Study are available here.

 

<- Back to main Glacial Aquifer System Groundwater...

Great Sand Dunes National Park.
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
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...

Louisiana
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
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...

Lower Tennessee River (LTEN) Basin Study
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...

USGS streamgage with Satellite antenna at the edge of river.
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...

USGS technician monitoring a low flow in a stream while standing on a pebble island in stream in summer.
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...

USGS Water-Quality equipment with cover opened at edge of river near a footbridge.
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...

Crest-Stage Streamgage equipment set up at edge of a stream.
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-...

Equipment is fixed-location acoustic Doppler velocity meters at Connecting Channels
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...

Filter Total Items: 1,477
Year Published: 2017

Water, Energy, and Biogeochemical Model (WEBMOD), user’s manual, version 1

The Water, Energy, and Biogeochemical Model (WEBMOD) uses the framework of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Modular Modeling System to simulate fluxes of water and solutes through watersheds. WEBMOD divides watersheds into model response units (MRU) where fluxes and reactions are simulated for the following eight hillslope reservoir types: canopy...

Webb, Richard M.T.; Parkhurst, David L.
Attribution: Water
Webb, R.M.T., and Parkhurst, D.L., 2017, Water, Energy, and Biogeochemical Model (WEBMOD), user’s manual, version 1: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods, book 6, chap. B35, 171 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/tm6B35.

Year Published: 2017

Estimated annual agricultural pesticide use by crop group for states of the conterminous United States, 1992-2014

This dataset provides estimates of annual agricultural use of pesticide compounds by crop group at the state level for states in the conterminous United States, for the time period 1992-2014, compiled from data used to make county-level estimates by means of methods described in Thelin and Stone (2013) and Baker and Stone (2015). The source of...

Baker, Nancy T.
Attribution: Water
Baker, N. T. , 2017, Estimated annual agricultural pesticide use by crop group for states of the conterminous United States, 1992-2014: U.S. Geological Survey Data Release, https://dx.doi.org/10.5066/F7NP22KM.

Year Published: 2017

Tracer-based characterization of hyporheic exchange and benthic biolayers in streams

Shallow benthic biolayers at the top of the streambed are believed to be places of enhanced biogeochemical turnover within the hyporheic zone. They can be investigated by reactive stream tracer tests with tracer recordings in the streambed and in the stream channel. Common in-stream measurements of such reactive tracers cannot localize where the...

Knapp, Julia L.A.; González-Pinzón, Ricardo; Drummond, Jennifer D.; Larsen, Laurel G.; Cirpka, Olaf A.; Harvey, Judson W.
Attribution: Water
Knapp, J.L.A., González-Pinzón, R., Drummond, J.D., Larsen, L.G., Cirpka, O.A. and Harvey, J.W., 2017, Tracer-based characterization of hyporheic exchange and benthic biolayers in streams, Water Resources Research, vol. 53, n. 2, p. 1575-1594.

Year Published: 2017

WARP model pesticide predictions for EPA reach file 1 segments: 1992-2012

The Watershed Regressions for Pesticides (WARP) models were developed using linear regression methods to establish quantitative linkages between pesticide concentrations measured at U.S. Geological Survey sampling sites and a variety of human-related and natural factors that affect pesticide concentrations in streams. Such factors include...

Stone, Wesley W.
Attribution: Water

Year Published: 2017

Microbially mediated barite dissolution in anoxic brines

Fluids injected into shale formations during hydraulic fracturing of black shale return with extraordinarily high total-dissolved-solids (TDS) and high concentrations of barium (Ba) and radium (Ra). Barite, BaSO4, has been implicated as a possible source of Ba as well as a problematic mineral scale that forms on internal well surfaces, often in...

Ouyang, Bingjie; Akob, Denise M.; Dunlap, Darren S.; Renock, Devon
Attribution: Water
Ouyang, B., D. M. Akob, D. S. Dunlap, and D. Renock. 2017. Microbially mediated barite dissolution in anoxic brines. Applied Geochemistry, 76: 51-59.

Year Published: 2017

Evaluating mountain meadow groundwater response to Pinyon-Juniper and temperature in a great basin watershed

This research highlights development and application of an integrated hydrologic model (GSFLOW) to a semiarid, snow-dominated watershed in the Great Basin to evaluate Pinyon-Juniper (PJ) and temperature controls on mountain meadow shallow groundwater. The work used Google Earth Engine Landsat satellite and gridded climate archives for model...

Carroll, Rosemary W.H.; Huntington, Justin L.; Snyder, Keirith A.; Niswonger, Richard G.; Morton, Charles; Stringham, Tamzen K.
Attribution: Water
Carroll, R. W., Huntington, J. L., Snyder, K. A., Niswonger, R., Morton, C., & Stringham, T. K. (2016). Evaluating mountain meadow groundwater response to Pinyon‐Juniper and temperature in a Great Basin watershed. Ecohydrology.

Year Published: 2017

Nutrient processes at the stream-lake interface for a channelized versus unmodified stream mouth

Inorganic forms of nitrogen and phosphorous impact freshwater lakes by stimulating primary production and affecting water quality and ecosystem health. Communities around the world are motivated to sustain and restore freshwater resources and are interested in processes controlling nutrient inputs. We studied the environment where streams flow...

Niswonger, Richard G.; Naranjo, Ramon C.; Smith, David; Constantz, James E.; Allander, Kip K.; Rosenberry, Donald O.; Neilson, Bethany; Rosen, Michael R.; Stonestrom, David A.
Attribution: Water
Niswonger, R., Naranjo, R., Smith, D., Constantz, J., Allander, K., Rosenberry, D., Neilson, B., Rosen, M., Stonestrom, D., 2017, Nutrient processes at the stream-lake interface for a channelized versus unmodified stream mouth, Water Resour. Res., 53, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2016WR019538

Year Published: 2017

Potentially exploitable supercritical geothermal resources in the ductile crust

The hypothesis that the brittle–ductile transition (BDT) drastically reduces permeability implies that potentially exploitable geothermal resources (permeability >10−16 m2) consisting of supercritical water could occur only in rocks with unusually high transition temperatures such as basalt. However, tensile fracturing is possible even in...

Watanabe, Noriaki; Numakura, Tatsuya; Sakaguchi, Kiyotoshi; Saishu, Hanae; Okamoto, Atsushi; Ingebritsen, Steven E.; Tsuchiya, Noriyoshi
Attribution: Water

Year Published: 2017

Changes in the Chemistry of Groundwater Reacted with CO2: Comparison of Laboratory Results with the ZERT Field Pilot

As part of the ZERT program, sediments from two wells at the ZERT site, located in Bozeman, Montana, USA were reacted with a solution having the composition of local groundwater. A total of 50 water samples were collected from 7 containers placed for 15 days in a glove box with one atmosphere of CO2 to investigate detailed changes in the...

Kharaka, Yousif K.; Thordsen, James J.; Abedini, Atosa A.; Beers, Sarah; Thomas, Burt
Attribution: Water
Kharaka, Y. K., Thordsen, J. J., Abedini, A., Beers, S. Thomas, B., 2017, Changes in the chemistry of groundwater reacted with CO2: Comparison of laboratory results with the ZERT field pilot. Procedia Earth and Planetary Science, v. 17, p. 241 – 244. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.proeps.2016.12.043

Year Published: 2017

Using groundwater age distributions to understand changes in methyl tert-butyl ether (MtBE) concentrations in ambient groundwater, northeastern United States

Temporal changes in methyl tert-butyl ether (MtBE) concentrations in groundwater were evaluated in the northeastern United States, an area of the nation with widespread low-level detections of MtBE based on a national survey of wells selected to represent ambient conditions. MtBE use in the U.S. peaked in 1999 and was largely discontinued by 2007...

Lindsey, Bruce; Ayotte, Joseph; Jurgens, Bryant; DeSimone, Leslie
Attribution: Water
Lindsey, B.D., Ayotte, J.D., Jurgens, B.C., Desimone, L.A., 2017, Using Groundwater Age Distributions to Understand Changes in Methyl tert-butyl ether (MtBE) Concentrations, Northeastern United States, Science of the Total Environment, v 579, 1 February 2017, p. 579-587. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.11.058.

Year Published: 2017

Local geology controlled the feasibility of vitrifying Iron Age buildings

During European prehistory, hilltop enclosures made from polydisperse particle-and-block stone walling were exposed to temperatures sufficient to partially melt the constituent stonework, leading to the preservation of glassy walls called ‘vitrified forts’. During vitrification, the granular wall rocks partially melt, sinter viscously and densify...

Fabian B Wadsworth; Michael J Heap; Damby, David; Kai-Uwe Hess; Jens Najorka; Jérémie Vasseur; Dominik Fahrner; Donald B Dingwell
Attribution: Water
Wadsworth, F. B. et al. 2017. Local geology controlled the feasibility of vitrifying Ion Age buildings. Scientific Reports, 7:40028; doi: 10.1038/srep40028.

Year Published: 2017

The contribution of rice agriculture to methylmercury in surface waters: A review of data from the Sacramento Valley, California

Methylmercury (MeHg) is a bioaccumulative pollutant produced in and exported from flooded soils, including those used for rice (Oriza sativa L.) production. Using unfiltered aqueous MeHg data from MeHg monitoring programs in the Sacramento River watershed from 1996 to 2007, we assessed the MeHg contribution from rice systems to the Sacramento...

Tanner, K. Christy; Windham-Myers, Lisamarie; Fleck, Jacob; Tate, Kenneth W.; McCord, Stephen A.; Linquist, Bruce A.
Attribution: Water

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: 801
USGS scientists installs storm-tide sensor in preparation for Hurricane Harvey
August 24, 2017
USGS scientist Darwin Ockerman installs a storm-tide sensor at Packery Channel near Corpus Christi, Texas.
USGS scientist Charles Hartmann installs a storm-tide sensor in preparation for Hurricane Harvey in Carancahua Bay, Texas. 
August 24, 2017
USGS scientist Charles Hartmann installs a storm-tide sensor in preparation for Hurricane Harvey in Carancahua Bay, Texas.
USGS, Las Cruces Field Office
August 4, 2017
U.S. Geological Survey, New Mexico Water Science Center - Las Cruces Field Office location
2017 (approx.)
The Arizona Water Science Center details the history and development of the Continuous Slope-Area Method. Learn about the people and events that began these new advances in the field of stream gaging. Music Artist: Glenn Jones, “Bergen County Farewell”. CC License. Music provided by www.FreeMusicArchive.com
Making a discharge measurement below the Eagle Nest Dam near Cimarron, New Mexico
2017 (approx.)
Hydrologic technician Chris Peskuski snapped this picture from Eagle Nest Dam overlooking the Cimarron River where streamflow measurements are made to measure outflow from the dam. Eagle Nest Dam sits at 8,300 feet elevation and is surrounded by two of the highest peaks in New Mexico; Wheeler Peak and Baldy Mountain.
Virginia Water Science Center Office
July 20, 2017
Virginia and West Virginia Water Science Center: Virginia Science Office, Richmond.
White Heron in Marsh
2017 (approx.)
A white heron flying across a marsh in York County, Virginia.
A flying insect on lakeshore grasses.
2017 (approx.)
A flying insect perched on lakeshore grasses, Albemarle County, Virginia.
King Creek in York County, Virginia
June 27, 2017
A panoramic photo of King Creek near the Colonial Parkway in York County, Virginia.
York River in York County, Virginia
June 27, 2017
The York River, looking across the bridge to York, Virginia.
Young Boy Fishing
June 24, 2017
A young boy fishing in a lake in Albemarle County, Virginia.
Johanna Blake demonstrates how to use a water quality sonde
June 21, 2017
USGS NMWSC Hydrologists Johanna Blake and Jeb Brown attended the 2nd Annual Conference on Environmental Conditions of the Animas and San Juan Watersheds with Emphasis on Gold King Mine and other Mine Waste Issues in Farmington, NM from June 20-21. Johanna and Jeb presented on the USGS long-term monitoring work of continuous monitoring sondes, water quality, and sediment measurement. On June 22nd...
Filter Total Items: 344
A USGS Hydrologic Technician installs a new streamgage
February 28, 2017

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. 

Wintry trees and grasses line New Jersey's Mantua Creek.
February 27, 2017

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.

USGS logo
February 22, 2017

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. 

Photo of USGS streamgage measures flooding in the lower Trinity River
February 22, 2017

A better understanding of sediment and freshwater flow into Galveston Bay is now available from a new U.S. Geological Survey report, done in cooperation with the Texas Water Development Board, and the Galveston Bay Estuary Program.

Centrifuge Bowl Containing River Suspended Sediment
February 13, 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey published a new report highlighting a portable continuous-flow centrifuge which aims to save time and money on contaminant analysis of particles suspended in water samples.

USGS: Science for a changing world
February 13, 2017

Water-level changes from 2002 to 2015 were examined in wells screened in the High Plains aquifer within the Republican River Basin and the results are now available in a new U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map.

USGS logo
February 8, 2017

A new JavaScript library, called GWIS (Graphing Water Information System), can create time-series plots of information measured at U.S. Geological Survey hydrologic data collection sites across the United States.

The Caernarvon Freshwater Diversion structure, located at the head of Breton Sound Estuary, became operational in 1992.
February 8, 2017

New research shows how river diversions may change water quality in estuaries. 

Dr. Christian Zimmerman, USGS Alaska Science Center Director
February 1, 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Christian Zimmerman as the new director of their Alaska Science Center in Anchorage, Alaska. Zimmerman succeeds Dr. Mark Shasby who held the position for the past six years.

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.