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: 163
Terrestrial Light Detection and Ranging (T-LiDAR) Technology
Date Published: 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 measurements, and...

Marshy area on Chesapeake Bay
Date Published: 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...

Contacts: Vincent E White
Terrestrial Light Detection and Ranging (T-LiDAR) Technology
Date Published: 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 undertaken a...

Contacts: Dr. Luke Marzen
McKenzie River
Date Published: May 1, 2011
Status: Active

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.

USGS_partner_logo
Date Published: 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...

Marshland
Date Published: June 3, 2010

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...

Image: Soil Core Sample #1
Date Published: September 29, 2009

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...

Cave in fractured Austin Group rock located approximately 9.3 miles northeast of city of Uvalde in Uvalde County, Texas.
Date Published: September 29, 2009

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 on the Fort A.P. Hill reservation are all freshwater
Date Published: September 23, 2009

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...

Simulation showing how geoelectric vectors (black)
Date Published: April 18, 2009

Saltwater encroachment has been detected in six aquifers, including the "1,500-foot" and "2,000-foot" sands, north of the Baton Rouge fault in East Baton Rouge Parish. The encroachment is in response to ground-water withdrawals, primarily for public supply and industrial uses, in Baton Rouge. Additional information is needed for water planners and managers in the Baton Rouge area to make...

Contacts: Charles Heywood
Five Mile Canoeing
Date Published: January 7, 2005

The Black Warrior - Cahaba Rivers Land Trust and City of Tarrant (as part of the Fivemile Creek Greenway Partnership) are among the new USGS cooperators for 2003 -04. These organizations are spearheading an effort to restore Fivemile Creek in Jefferson County to its place as an important asset in daily lives for those who live and work along the creek in northern Jefferson County. The Greenway...

Total withdrawals in million gallons per day by watershed
Date Published: January 7, 2005

Water is one of the most important of Alabama's natural resources. Water is not only a vital component of human existence, it is critical to the overall quality of life. In order to protect and preserve this resource for future generations, we must have a baseline of information to make decisions. Decision and policy makers must know the answers to three fundamental questions: where is the...

Filter Total Items: 1,536
Year Published: 2016

Revisiting human-environment interactions in Chaco Canyon and the American Southwest

Chaco Canyon was the center of a regionally integrated system. Despite a century of research, questions remain about its rise and fall, and the role of human-environment interactions. The answers may lie in current events and new tools and perspectives.

Betancourt, Julio L.; Guiterman, Christopher H.
Attribution: Water
Betancourt, J.L., and Guiterman, C.H., 2017, Revisiting human-environment interactions in Chaco Canyon and the American Southwest. PAGES Magazine, 24 (2) , 64-65, doi: 10.22498/pages.24.2.64

Year Published: 2016

Statistically extracted fundamental watershed variables for estimating the loads of total nitrogen in small streams

Accurate estimation of total nitrogen loads is essential for evaluating conditions in the aquatic environment. Extrapolation of estimates beyond measured streams will greatly expand our understanding of total nitrogen loading to streams. Recursive partitioning and random forest regression were used to assess 85 geospatial, environmental, and...

Kronholm, Scott C.; Capel, Paul D.; Terziotti, Silvia
Attribution: Water

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 A.
Attribution: Water

Year Published: 2016

USGS measurements of water quality in San Francisco Bay (CA), 1969-2015

The U.S. Geological Survey maintains a program of water-quality studies in San Francisco Bay (CA) that began in 1969. This Data Release makes available all measurements made from 1969 through 2015. Water-quality constituents include salinity, temperature, light attenuation coefficient, and concentrations of chlorophyll-a, dissolved oxygen,...

Cloern, James E.; Schraga, Tara
Cloern, J.E., and Schraga, T.S., 2016, USGS Measurements of Water Quality in San Francisco Bay (CA), 1969-2015: U. S. Geological Survey data release, https://doi.org/10.5066/F7TQ5ZPR.

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. It is the task of the IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) Commission on Isotopic Abundances and...

Coplen, Tyler B.; Meyers, Fabienne; Holden, Norman E.
Attribution: Water
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

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.
Attribution: Water
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.

Year Published: 2016

Hydrogeology and hydrologic conditions of the Ozark Plateaus aquifer system

The hydrogeology and hydrologic characteristics of the Ozark Plateaus aquifer system were characterized as part of ongoing U.S. Geological Survey efforts to assess groundwater availability across the Nation. The need for such a study in the Ozark Plateaus physiographic province (Ozark Plateaus) is highlighted by increasing demand on groundwater...

Hays, Phillip D.; Knierim, Katherine J.; Breaker, Brian K.; Westerman, Drew A.; Clark, Brian R.
Hays, P.D., Knierim, K.J., Breaker, Brian, Westerman, D.A., and Clark, B.R., 2016, Hydrogeology and hydrologic conditions of the Ozark Plateaus aquifer system: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2016–5137, 61 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20165137.

Year Published: 2016

Special issue “The phreatic eruption of Mt. Ontake volcano in 2014”

Mt. Ontake volcano erupted at 11:52 on September 27, 2014, claiming the lives of at least 58 hikers. This eruption was the worst volcanic disaster in Japan since the 1926 phreatic eruption of Mt. Tokachidake claimed 144 lives (Table 1). The timing of the eruption contributed greatly to the heavy death toll: near midday, when many hikers were...

Yamaoka, Koshun; Geshi, Nobuo; Hashimoto, Tasheki; Ingebritsen, Steven E.; Oikawa, Teruki
Attribution: Water
Yamaoka, K., Geshi, N., Hashimoto, T., Ingebritsen, S.E., and Oikawa, T., 2016, Special issue “The phreatic eruption of Mt. Ontake volcano in 2014”: Earth, Planets, and Space, v. 68, doi:10.1186/s40623-016-0548-4.

Year Published: 2016

A dynamic leaf gas-exchange strategy is conserved in woody plants under changing ambient CO2: evidence from carbon isotope discrimination in paleo and CO2 enrichment studies

Rising atmospheric [CO2], ca, is expected to affect stomatal regulation of leaf gas-exchange of woody plants, thus influencing energy fluxes as well as carbon (C), water, and nutrient cycling of forests. Researchers have proposed various strategies for stomatal regulation of leaf gas-exchange that include maintaining a constant leaf internal [CO2...

Voelker, Steven L.; Brooks, J. Renée; Meinzer, Frederick C.; Anderson, Rebecca D.; Bader, Martin K.-F.; Battipaglia, Giovanna; Becklin, Katie M.; Beerling, David; Bert, Didier; Betancourt, Julio L.; Dawson, Todd E.; Domec, Jean-Christophe; Guyette, Richard P.; Körner, Christian; Leavitt, Steven W.; Linder, Sune; Marshall, John D.; Mildner, Manuel; Ogée, Jérôme; Panyushkina, Irina P.; Plumpton, Heather J.; Pregitzer, Kurt S.; Saurer, Matthias; Smith, Andrew R.; Siegwolf, Rolf T.W.; Stambaugh, Michael C.; Talhelm, Alan F.; Tardif, Jacques C.; Van De Water, Peter K.; Ward, Joy K.; Wingate, Lisa
Attribution: Water

Year Published: 2016

Atomic weights of the elements 2013 (IUPAC Technical Report)

The biennial review of atomic-weight determinations and other cognate data has resulted in changes for the standard atomic weights of 19 elements. The standard atomic weights of four elements have been revised based on recent determinations of isotopic abundances in natural terrestrial materials:cadmium to 112.414(4) from 112.411(8),molybdenum to...

Meija, Juris; Coplen, Tyler B.; Berglund, Michael; Brand, Willi A.; De Bièvre, Paul; Gröning, Manfred; Holden, Norman E.; Irrgeher, Johanna; Loss, Robert D.; Walczyk, Thomas; Prohaska, Thomas
Attribution: Water

Year Published: 2016

Bounded fractional diffusion in geological media: Definition and Lagrangian approximation

Spatiotemporal Fractional-Derivative Models (FDMs) have been increasingly used to simulate non-Fickian diffusion, but methods have not been available to define boundary conditions for FDMs in bounded domains. This study defines boundary conditions and then develops a Lagrangian solver to approximate bounded, one-dimensional fractional diffusion....

Zhang, Yong; Green, Christopher T.; LaBolle, Eric M.; Neupauer, Roseanna M.; Sun, HongGuang
Attribution: Water
Zhang, Y, C.T. Green, E.M. LaBolle, R.M. Neupauer, ,and H.G. Sun, 2016, Bounded fractional diffusion in geological media: Definition and Lagrangian approximation, Water Resources Research, DOI: 10.1002/2016WR019178

Year Published: 2016

Deposition, accumulation, and alteration of Cl−, NO3−, ClO4− and ClO3− salts in a hyper-arid polar environment: Mass balance and isotopic constraints

The salt fraction in permafrost soils/sediments of the McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDV) of Antarctica can be used as a proxy for cold desert geochemical processes and paleoclimate reconstruction. Previous analyses of the salt fraction in MDV permafrost soils have largely been conducted in coastal regions where permafrost soils are variably affected by...

Jackson, Andrew; Davila, Alfonso F.; Böhlke, John Karl; Sturchio, Neil C.; Sevanthi, Ritesh; Estrada, Nubia; Brundrett, Maeghan; Lacelle, Denis; McKay, Christopher P.; Poghosyan, Armen; Pollard, Wayne; Zacny, Kris
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: 851
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
2016 (approx.)
In this video we will highlight the important data quality indicators in 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
2016 (approx.)
In this video, we will outline the process of setting up an under ice measurement in the TRDI SxS Pro 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
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
2016 (approx.)
In this video we will outline the process of collecting an open water station in 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
2016 (approx.)
In this video we will outline the process of entering manual station information in 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
Flowing stream passing a streamgage with swirling leaves in the water
October 20, 2016
A beautiful capture of a streamgage at Bunnell Brook near Burlington, CT. A weir structure controls the height of the water, so a stable relation between stream stage and flow can be maintained. The gage house is the concrete structure in the photo, and has been used to collect streamflow data since 1931. Recent drought conditions have reduced the flow to a trickle, and daily streamflows in...
Jessica Cain and Ryan Rasmussen, Hydrologic Technicians, measure water quality at Jordan Lake, 2016.
October 18, 2016
Jessica Cain and Ryan Rasmussen, Hydrologic Technicians, measure water quality at Jordan Lake, 2016.
View of the Rio Brazos river with green trees and blue sky as the backdrop.
October 17, 2016
Hydrologic technician Lindsay Hastings took this photo of the Rio Brazos near Tierra Amarilla, New Mexico during her first field trip as a streamgager with the New Mexico Water Science Center. Did you know that New Mexico was the birth place of streamgaging? The USGS began collecting streamflow information in 1889 when the first streamgage was established on the Rio Grande in New Mexico, about 80...
2016 (approx.)
In this video, we will discuss some of the important data quality indicators you can use when collecting data in the TRDI SxS Pro 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
2016 (approx.)
In this video, we will demonstrate how to collect an ending edge as part of a midsection ADCP measurement in TRDI SxS Pro. 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
2016 (approx.)
In this video, we will discuss the Processing dialog in TRDI SxS Pro. 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
Filter Total Items: 351
Image shows a USGS scientist standing in brown water with red and brown cliffs in the background
August 8, 2016

This EarthWord is clear as mud...

INKY Newsletter Logo
August 8, 2016

Welcome to the fourth installment or the “Spring-Summer 2016” version of the IN-KY Newsletter. 

Four numbered sample jars containing brownish water and small snails in a laboratory connected to tubes and electronic meter.
August 4, 2016

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.

Image shows the brown tributary entering the blue Chattahoochee River from below
August 1, 2016

This EarthWord sounds like some flu meds, but it’s closer to runny rivers than runny noses...

3-D map of Big Thompson Watershed
July 25, 2016

 

Forty years ago on July 31, as Coloradoans and tourists celebrated the state’s centennial, between 12 and 14 inches of rain fell over a four-hour period in the mountains below the resort town of Estes Park, killing 143 people. The 1976 Big Thompson flood stands as the worst natural disaster in Colorado’s recorded history.

A gas plume arising from Augustine Volcano during it's eruptive phase 2005-06.
July 19, 2016

Over the last 30 years in the United States, how many people have died—on average—per year from floods?

Image shows a man standing ankle-deep in a stream with an orange sampler
July 18, 2016

“Whatcha gonna do when they come for you”-thinks this week’s EarthWord...

Image shows a map of all 50 states color-coded for their potential for groundwater corrosivity
July 13, 2016

An analysis of more than 20,000 wells nationwide shows 25 states have groundwater that has either high or very high potential to be corrosive...

USGS scientists use a boat and geophysical equipment to record geological and hydrological conditions in a coastal embayment.
July 12, 2016

New USGS study highlights Cape Cod's risk to rising sea levels