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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: 146
Hardened Gages—Built to Survive
Date Published: June 23, 2017

1 June 2010

Hurricane season starts today, and the USGS Lower Mississippi Gulf Water Science Center is committed to collecting and providing the most up-to-date information before, during, and after the storms that are sure to come our way. When a hurricane or tropical storm is approaching, accurate and timely storm data are crucial in making good decisions regarding personal safety and...

Hurricane Irene, satellite view, NASA
Date Published: June 23, 2017

USGS Information and Links

Hurricane Hazards—A National Threat (fact sheet)

USGS Natural Hazards - Hurricanes

Hurricane Forecast Information

National Hurricane Center—(NWS)

Current Tropical Forecast Information

GOES-8 Atlantic Infrared Imagery

GOES-8 Atlantic Visible Imagery

Earth Scan Laboratory—(LSU)

GOES-8 Atlantic Infrared...

WERC marsh during a storm
Date Published: June 23, 2017

USGS Louisiana Coastal Sites

Hurricane season starts today, and the USGS Lower Mississippi Gulf Water Science Center is committed to collecting and providing the most up-to-date information before, during, and after the storms that are sure to come our way. When a hurricane or tropical storm is approaching, accurate and timely storm data is crucial in making good decisions regarding...

Hurricane Joaquin seen from space
Date Published: June 23, 2017

River and Coastal Forecasts

The USGS is not a forecasting agency, but the National Weather Service (NWS) is, and they make extensive use of the data we collect in their effort to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date forecasts of many Louisiana rivers and streams, and weather along the coast. The links below will provide you with direct access to the NWS forecasts for...

Acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) is connected to an onboard computer to measure streamflow.
Date Published: June 1, 2017
Status: Active

In the mid-1990s, a new technology emerged in the field of inland streamflow monitoring. The South Atlantic Water Science Center is making great use of the acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP). It was originally developed for oceanographic work, but was adapted for inland streamflow measurements. This instrument is transforming the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) streamgaging program.

Collecting Water Samples fro the Couer d'Alene BEMP
Date Published: May 26, 2017

STATUS: Active

We partner with the EPA to conduct long-term water-quality and streamflow monitoring and streamflow measurements in the Coeur d’Alene River Basin, which has been widely impacted by historic mining activities. We collect water-quality samples 2-4 times per year at 20 sites throughout the basin. Our scientists analyze these samples for metals, hardness, sediment, and...

Lookout Point Dam
Date Published: May 18, 2017
Status: Completed

Hills Creek, Lookout Point, and Dexter Dams are located on the Middle Fork Willamette River upstream of Eugene in western Oregon, and are important resources managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for flood control, hydroelectric power, recreation, navigation, and irrigation. On the South Santiam River east of Albany in western Oregon, Green Peter and Foster Dams provide functions...

Crooked Canyon spring
Date Published: May 16, 2017

Groundwater-level monitoring in the upper Deschutes Basin of central Oregon from 1997 to 2008 shows water-level declines in some places that are larger than might be expected from climate variations alone, raising questions regarding the influence of groundwater pumping, canal lining (which decreases recharge), and other human influences. Between the mid-1990s and mid-2000s, water levels in...

USGS: Science for a changing world
Date Published: May 11, 2017
Status: Completed

Henry Hagg Lake is a reservoir located in the foothills of the eastern slope of the Coast Range Mountains of northwestern Oregon. The lake was formed by Scoggins Dam, an earthfill structure that impounds Scoggins Creek, a tributary of the Tualatin River. Hagg Lake was filled and began normal operation in 1975. At a maximum water elevation of 93.2 meters (305.8 feet) above sea level, the lake's...

Keno reach of the Klamath River
Date Published: May 9, 2017

The Klamath River from Link River to Keno Dam experiences poor water-quality conditions on a seasonal basis, creating inhospitable conditions for fish and other aquatic organisms. The Link River, the Klamath Straits Drain, and the Klamath River at Keno all were classified as having "very poor" water quality in summer by the Oregon Water Quality Index. The Klamath River in this reach also was...

beaver
Date Published: May 2, 2017
Status: Active

Beavers and their dams are common sights along creeks in Washington County, Oregon. Beaver help create diverse habitats for many other animals, including birds, fish, and insects. The USGS studys the affect beavers and their dams have on the amount and quality of water in local streams, providing a greater insight into what benefits or issues beavers may have to an urban environment.

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Shenandoah municipal and industrial discharges
Date Published: May 1, 2017
Status: Active

A key component to assessing the contaminant exposure pathways in streams and rivers of the Chesapeake Bay is using GIS-based landscape analysis to identify sources of endocrine disrupting chemicals. Municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) discharges are potentially major sources of EDCs to streams, and therefore understanding the de facto wastewater reuse (represented as...

Filter Total Items: 1,522
Year Published: 2017

Recovery data for surface water, groundwater and lab reagent samples analyzed by the USGS National Water Quality Laboratory schedule 2437, water years 2013-15

Analytical recovery is the concentration of an analyte measured in a water-quality sample expressed as a percentage of the known concentration added to the sample (Mueller and others, 2015). Analytical recovery (hereafter referred to as “recovery”) can be used to understand method bias and variability and to assess the temporal changes in a method...

Shoda, Megan E.; Nowell, Lisa H.; Bexfield, Laura M.; Sandstrom, Mark W.; Stone, Wesley W.
Attribution: Water
Shoda, M.E., Nowell, L.H., Bexfield, L.M., Sandstrom, M.W., Stone, W.W., 2017, Recovery data for surface water, groundwater and lab reagent samples analyzed by the USGS National Water Quality Laboratory schedule 2437, water years 2013-15: U.S. Geological Survey data release, https://doi.org/10.5066/F7QZ28G4.

Year Published: 2017

Storage filters upland suspended sediment signals delivered from watersheds

Climate change, tectonics, and humans create long- and short-term temporal variations in the supply of suspended sediment to rivers. These signals, generated in upland erosional areas, are filtered by alluvial storage before reaching the basin outlet. We quantified this filter using a random walk model driven by sediment budget data, a power-law...

Pizzuto, James E.; Keeler, Jeremy; Skalak, Katherine; Karwan, Diana
Attribution: Water
Pizzuto J., Keeler J., Skalak K., Karwan D., 2017, Storage filters upland suspended sediment signals delivered from watersheds, Geology, v. 45, no. 2, p. 151-154, https://doi.org/10.1130/G38170.1

Year Published: 2017

Hourly storm characteristics along the U.S. West Coast: Role of atmospheric rivers in extreme precipitation

Gridded hourly precipitation observations over the conterminous U.S., from 1948 to 2002, are analyzed to determine climatological characteristics of storm precipitation totals. Despite generally lower hourly intensities, precipitation totals along the U.S. West Coast (USWC) are comparable to those in southeast U.S. (SEUS). Storm durations, more so...

Lamjiri, Maryam A.; Dettinger, Michael; Ralph, F. Martin; Guan, B.
Attribution: Water
Lamjiri, M. A., M. D. Dettinger, F. M. Ralph, and B. Guan (2017), Hourly storm characteristics along the U.S. West Coast: Role of atmospheric rivers in extreme precipitation, Geophys. Res. Lett., 44, doi:10.1002/2017GL074193.

Year Published: 2017

Complex networks of functional connectivity in a wetland reconnected to its floodplain

Disturbances such as fire or flood, in addition to changing the local magnitude of ecological, hydrological, or biogeochemical processes, can also change their functional connectivity—how those processes interact in space. Complex networks offer promise for quantifying functional connectivity in watersheds. The approach resolves connections...

Larsen, Laurel G.; Newman, Susan; Saunders, Colin; Harvey, Judson
Attribution: Water
Larsen, L.G., Newman, S., Saunders, C., and Harvey, J.W., 2017, Complex networks of functional connectivity in a wetland reconnected to its floodplain, Water Resources Research, 53, 6089–6108, doi:10.1002/ 2017WR020375.

Year Published: 2017

Fine particle retention within stream storage areas at base flow and in response to a storm event

Fine particles (1–100 µm), including particulate organic carbon (POC) and fine sediment, influence stream ecological functioning because they may contain or have a high affinity to sorb nitrogen and phosphorus. These particles are immobilized within stream storage areas, especially hyporheic sediments and benthic biofilms. However, fine particles...

Drummond, J. D.; Larsen, L. G.; González-Pinzón, R.; Packman, A. I.; Harvey, Judson
Attribution: Water
Drummond, J.D., Larsen, L.G., Gonzalez-Pinzon, R., Packman, A.I. and Harvey, J.D., 2017, Fine particle retention within stream storage areas at base flow and in response to a storm event, Water Resources Research, 53, 5690–5705, doi:10.1002/2016WR020202.

Year Published: 2017

Plant diversity increases with the strength of negative density dependence at the global scale

Theory predicts that higher biodiversity in the tropics is maintained by specialized interactions among plants and their natural enemies that result in conspecific negative density dependence (CNDD). By using more than 3000 species and nearly 2.4 million trees across 24 forest plots worldwide, we show that global patterns in tree species diversity...

LaManna, Joseph A.; Mangan, Scott A.; Alonso, Alfonso; Bourg, Norman; Brockelman, Warren Y.; Bunyavejchewin, Sarayudh; Chang, Li-Wan; Chiang, Jyh-Min; Chuyong, George B.; Clay, Keith; Condit, Richard; Cordell, Susan; Davies, Stuart J.; Furniss, Tucker J.; Giardina, Christian P.; Gunatilleke, I.A.U. Nimal; Gunatilleke, C.V. Savitri; He, Fangliang; Howe, Robert W.; Hubbell, Stephen P.; Hsieh, Chang-Fu; Inman-Narahari, Faith M.; Janik, David; Johnson, Daniel J.; Kenfack, David; Korte, Lisa; Kral, Kamil; Larson, Andrew J.; Lutz, James A.; McMahon, Sean M.; McShea, William J.; Memiaghe, Herve R.; Nathalang, Anuttara; Novotny, Vojtech; Ong, Perry S.; Orwig, David A.; Ostertag, Rebecca; Parker, Geoffrey G.; Phillips, Richard P.; Sack, Lawren; Sun, I-Fang; Tello, J. Sebastian; Thomas, Duncan W.; Turner, Benjamin L.; Vela Diaz, Dilys M.; Vrska, Tomas; Weiblen, George D.; Wolf, Amy; Yap, Sandra; Myers, Jonathan A.
Attribution: Water
J.A. LaManna et al., 2017, Plant diversity increases with the strength of negative density dependence at the global scale, Science, 356, 6345, 1389-1392.

Year Published: 2017

Response of deep groundwater to land use change in desert basins of the Trans-Pecos region, Texas, USA: Effects on infiltration, recharge, and nitrogen fluxes

Quantifying the effects of anthropogenic processes on groundwater in arid regions can be complicated by thick unsaturated zones with long transit times. Human activities can alter water and nutrient fluxes, but their impact on groundwater is not always clear. This study of basins in the Trans-Pecos region of Texas links anthropogenic land use and...

Robertson, Wendy Marie; Böhlke, John Karl; Sharp, John M.
Attribution: Water
Robertson, W.M., Böhlke, J.K., and Sharp, J.M.Jr., 2017, Response of deep groundwater to land use change in desert basins of the Trans-Pecos region, Texas, USA: Effects on infiltration, recharge, and nitrogen fluxes. Hydrological Processes, v. 31, p. 2349-2364. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hyp.11178.

Year Published: 2017

Tracking the fate of nitrate through pulse-flow wetlands: A mesocosm scale 15N enrichment tracer study

Quantitative information about the fate of applied nitrate (NO3-N) in pulse-flow constructed wetlands is essential for designing wetland treatment systems and assessing their nitrogen removal services for agricultural and stormwater applications. Although many studies have documented NO3-N losses in wetlands, controlled experiments indicating the...

Messer, Tiffany L.; Burchell, Michael R.; Böhlke, John Karl; Tobias, Craig R.
Attribution: Water
Messer, T.L., Burchell, M.R., Böhlke, J.K., and Tobias, C.R., 2017, Tracking the fate of nitrate through pulse-flow wetlands: A mesocosm scale 15N enrichment tracer study. Ecological Engineering, v. 106, p. 597-608. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoleng.2017.06.016

Year Published: 2017

On the probability distribution of daily streamflow in the United States

Daily streamflows are often represented by flow duration curves (FDCs), which illustrate the frequency with which flows are equaled or exceeded. FDCs have had broad applications across both operational and research hydrology for decades; however, modeling FDCs has proven elusive. Daily streamflow is a complex time series with flow values ranging...

Blum, Annalise G.; Archfield, Stacey A.; Vogel, Richard M.
Attribution: Water

Year Published: 2017

A hybrid machine learning model to predict and visualize nitrate concentration throughout the Central Valley aquifer, California, USA

Intense demand for water in the Central Valley of California and related increases in groundwater nitrate concentration threaten the sustainability of the groundwater resource. To assess contamination risk in the region, we developed a hybrid, non-linear, machine learning model within a statistical learning framework to predict nitrate...

Ransom, Katherine M.; Nolan, Bernard T.; Traum, Jonathan A.; Faunt, Claudia; Bell, Andrew M.; Gronberg, Jo Ann M.; Wheeler, David C.; Zamora, Celia; Jurgens, Bryant; Schwarz, Gregory E.; Belitz, Kenneth; Eberts, Sandra; Kourakos, George; Harter, Thomas
Attribution: Water

Year Published: 2017

Groundwater resources of the Devils Postpile National Monument—Current conditions and future vulnerabilities

This study presents an extensive database on groundwater conditions in and around Devils Postpile National Monument. The database contains chemical analyses of springs and the monument water-supply well, including major-ion chemistry, trace element chemistry, and the first information on a list of organic compounds known as emerging contaminants....

Evans, William C.; Bergfeld, Deborah
Attribution: Water
Evans, W.C., and Bergfeld, D., 2017, Groundwater resources of the Devils Postpile National Monument—Current conditions and future vulnerabilities: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2017–5048, 31 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20175048.

Year Published: 2017

Archaeal diversity and CO2 fixers in carbonate-/siliciclastic-rock groundwater ecosystems

Groundwater environments provide habitats for diverse microbial communities, and although Archaea usually represent a minor fraction of communities, they are involved in key biogeochemical cycles. We analysed the archaeal diversity within a mixed carbonate-rock/siliciclastic-rock aquifer system, vertically from surface soils to subsurface...

Lazar, Cassandre Sara; Stoll, Wenke; Lehmann, Robert; Herrmann, Martina; Schwab, Valérie F.; Akob, Denise M.; Nawaz, Ali; Wubet, Tesfaye; Buscot, François; Totsche, Kai-Uwe; Küsel, Kirsten
Attribution: Water
Lazar, C. S.; Stoll, W.; Lehmann, R.; Herrmann, M.; Schwab, V. F.; Akob, D. M.; Nawaz, A.; Wubet, T.; Buscot, F.; Totsche, K.-U.; Küsel, K., Archaeal diversity and CO2 fixers in carbonate-/siliciclastic-rock groundwater ecosystems. Archaea 2017, 2017, 1-13, https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/2136287

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: 808
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Image shows USGS scientists in PFDs taking water quality samples from Lake Houston
August 31, 2017
A USGS field crew takes water-quality samples on Lake Houston following Harvey.
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.
Filter Total Items: 344
Measuring Streamflow
May 11, 2017

Gary Moore spent the last three days of 2015 stacking hefty bags of sand in front of a fellow church member’s brick home. With only 1,000 feet between the house and the swelling Mississippi and Meramec Rivers, Moore and other volunteers worked quickly, in frigid temperatures, to assemble a 10-foot high, 1,000-foot-long sandbag wall to ward off floodwaters.

Image: Old Faithful Erupting
May 10, 2017

Despite two centuries of scientific study, basic questions persist about geysers—why do they exist? What determines their behavior?

USGS logo
May 3, 2017

A report published today by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Connecticut Department of Public Health, reveals that water from some private wells across the state has registered high levels of Arsenic and Uranium.

USGS hydrologic technician Christopher Rowden verifies the accuracy of streamgage information at the Jacks Fork River.
April 30, 2017

Reporters: Do you want to interview USGS scientists as they measure flooding? Please contact Jennifer LaVista.

Low-flying helicopter survey
April 27, 2017

Starting on May 2 and lasting for about two days, a helicopter towing a large, cylindrical sensor will make low-level flights over parts of Cedar Rapids as part of a groundwater survey.

Walker Lake on a Spring day
April 24, 2017

USGS model simulations suggest that Walker Lake will rise by as much as 15 to 18 feet this year, the most in a single year in recorded history.

Hydrologic Regions of Alaska
April 14, 2017

While freshwater ecosystems cover only a small amount of the land surface in Alaska, they transport and emit a significant amount of carbon, according to new U.S. Geological Survey research. An invited feature article for Ecological Applications provides the first-ever major aquatic carbon flux assessment for the entire state. Carbon flux refers to the rate of carbon transfer between pools.

This image shows a damaged street sign and flood debris left behind by record flood waters of the Blanco River near Martindale,
April 10, 2017

The new “Water On-the-Go” mobile app gives the public easy access to current conditions in streams across Texas. This product was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey to help raise water awareness during both floods and normal conditions.

Little Plover River Wells
April 6, 2017

Both irrigation wells and municipal wells affect flows in the Little Plover River near Plover, Wisconsin, stretches of which ran dry in past years, according to a new scientific report.

Looking northeast along the Bear River Duck Club Canal toward the Wellsville Mountains. 
April 6, 2017

A new report illustrates how groundwater pumping can affect the amount of water available in streams within the Malad-Lower Bear River Area in Utah. The product was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Utah Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water Rights.

Bath Creek, Bath County, VA
April 4, 2017

USGS provides a long-term look at changes in the quality of our nation’s rivers and streams