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: 147
U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2012-5119
Date Published: September 9, 2014

STATUS; Completed

The endangered Bruneau hot springsnail (Pyrgulopsis bruneauensis) exists only in a geographically limited habitat of thermal springs and seeps in southwestern Idaho. As a part of its 2002 recovery plan for the springsnail, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) targeted conservation efforts to increase groundwater levels in the Bruneau area to protect the...

Low Flow Study Images
Date Published: 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),...

Streamgage operated by Idaho Power Company on the Snake River below Swan Falls Dam near Murphy, Idaho
Date Published: January 2, 2014

STATUS: Completed

The State of Idaho needs to determine stream discharge, adjusted to remove fluctuations resulting from the operation of hydropower facilities, in the Snake River below Swan Falls Dam near Murphy, Idaho. The State will use this information to distribute water to owners of water rights in the middle Snake River, particularly at thresholds of 3,900 and 5,600 ft3/s....

Development along shoreline of Coeur d'Alene Lake
Date Published: January 1, 2014

STATUS: Completed

Development around Coeur d'Alene Lake has accelerated over the past 25 years. Commercial and residential development adjacent to the lake plus demands for irrigation, recreation, and hydropower raise concerns about the potential for declining lake levels.

A comprehensive lake water budget helps resource managers determine the possible effects of growth on lake...

Osprey pair nesting on a sign in Coeur d'Alene Lake
Date Published: January 1, 2014

STATUS: Completed

The mining district in the South Fork Coeur d’Alene River valley was among the Nation’s largest producers of silver, lead, zinc, and other metals from the 1880s to the 1980s. These activities have produced large quantities of waste material that contain environmentally hazardous contaminants such as cadmium, lead, and zinc. Much of this material has been discharged...

Rock Creek (Clackamas)
Date Published: October 31, 2013
Status: Active

Starting in 2001, 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.

Black Warrior River Map
Date Published: 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
Date Published: 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
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...

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...

McKenzie River
Date Published: May 1, 2011
Status: Completed

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.

Filter Total Items: 1,522
Year Published: 2016

Crustal permeability

Permeability is the primary control on fluid flow in the Earth’s crust and is key to a surprisingly wide range of geological processes, because it controls the advection of heat and solutes and the generation of anomalous pore pressures.  The practical importance of permeability – and the potential for large, dynamic changes in permeability...

Gleeson, Tom; Ingebritsen, Steven E.
Attribution: Water
Gleeson, T., and Ingebritsen, S.E., eds., 2016, Crustal Permeability: Chichester, AGU/Wiley Blackwell, 451 p.

Year Published: 2016

Data on annual total nitrogen loads and watershed characteristics used to develop a method to estimate the total nitrogen loads in small streams

This USGS Data Release represents the data used to develop multiple linear regression models for estimating the loads of total nitrogen in small streams. Recursive partitioning and random forest regression were used to assess 85 geospatial, environmental, and watershed variables across 636 small (less than 585 square kilometers) watersheds to...

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

Year Published: 2016

Nutrient and pesticide data collected from the USGS National Water Quality Network and previous networks, 1980-2015

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, National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Project. The NWQN includes 19 large river coastal sites, 44 large river inland sites, 30 wadeable stream...

Deacon, Jeffrey R.; Lee, Casey; Norman, Julia E.; Reutter, David C.
Attribution: Water
Jeff Deacon, Casey Lee, Julia Norman, and David Reutter, 2017, Nutrient and pesticide data collected from the USGS National Water Quality Network and previous networks, 1963-2016: U.S. Geological Survey

Year Published: 2016

Combined exposure of diesel exhaust particles and respirable Soufrière Hills volcanic ash causes a (pro-)inflammatory response in an in vitro multicellular epithelial tissue barrier model

BackgroundThere are justifiable health concerns regarding the potential adverse effects associated with human exposure to volcanic ash (VA) particles, especially when considering communities living in urban areas already exposed to heightened air pollution. The aim of this study was, therefore, to gain an imperative, first understanding of the...

Tomašek, Ines; Horwell, Claire J.; Damby, David; Barošová, Hana; Geers, Christoph; Petri-Fink, Alke; Rothen-Rutishauser, Barbara; Clift, Martin J. D.
Attribution: Water
Tomašek, I., Horwell, C.J., Damby, D.E., Barošová, H., Geers, C., Petri-Fink, A., Rothen-Rutishauser, B., Clift, M.J.D., 2016, Combined exposure of diesel exhaust particles and respirable Soufrière Hills volcanic ash causes a (pro-)inflammatory response in an in vitro multicellular epithelial tissue barrier model: Particle and Fibre Toxicology, 13:67, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12989-016-0178-9

Year Published: 2016

Estimating natural monthly streamflows in California and the likelihood of anthropogenic modification

Because natural patterns of streamflow are a fundamental property of the health of streams, there is a critical need to quantify the degree to which human activities have modified natural streamflows. A requirement for assessing streamflow modification in a given stream is a reliable estimate of flows expected in the absence of human influences....

Carlisle, Daren M.; Wolock, David M.; Howard, Jeannette K.; Grantham, Theodore E.; Fesenmyer, Kurt; Wieczorek, Michael
Attribution: Water
Carlisle, D.M., Wolock, D.M., Howard, J.K., Grantham, T.E., Fesenmyer, Kurt, and Wieczorek, Michael, 2016, Estimating natural monthly streamflows in California and the likelihood of anthropogenic modification: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016–1189, 27 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161189.

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. We...

Lee, Minjin; Shevliakova, Elena; Malyshev, Sergey; Milly, P.C.D.; Jaffe, Peter R.
Attribution: Water

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.
Attribution: Water
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

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
Attribution: Water

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.
Attribution: Water
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

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.
Attribution: Water

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
Attribution: Water
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

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...

Van Metre, Peter C.; Frey, Jeffrey W.; Musgrove, MaryLynn; Nakagaki, Naomi; Qi, Sharon L.; Mahler, Barbara J.; Wieczorek, Michael; Button, Daniel T.
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: 808
2016 (approx.)
This video will provide a brief history and purpose for one of the oldest streamgages in Indiana. The gage is at the Wabash River at Lafayette, Indiana. The site number is 03335500. This video was produced at the request of the West Lafayette Parks Department where this historic gage is located. A QR code is displayed on an interpretive plaque next to the gage which is located in a high profile...
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
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.
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.
2016 (approx.)
In this video, we will briefly review how to enable the RiverSurveyor Stationary Live software for field operation, enabling it for use. 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 accounting for open water flow angles 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 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
Filter Total Items: 344
A U.S. Geological Survey hydrologic technician, uses an Acoustic Doppler Velocimeter to measure stream flow on a Florida creek.
September 2, 2016

Working quickly, making decisions based on the National Hurricane Center’s latest forecasts, often working in storm winds and rain, USGS scientists use a variety of techniques to forecast and track coastal flooding caused by Hermine.

two men standing near a well. Truck-mounted rig and well head visible.
August 29, 2016

TECHNICAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Monitoring, verification and accounting are key parts to demonstrating the feasibility or success of integrated carbon capture and storage technologies.

Mt. Lyell and view of Vogelsang Pass, Yosemite National Park, 1913
August 25, 2016

In celebration of the National Park Service Centennial, 1916-2016

 

Iowa
August 24, 2016

Reporters: Do you want to accompany a USGS field crew as they measure flooding? Please contact Jason McVay at 319-430-6962.

Reactivated USGS streamgage in Frankton, Indiana
August 23, 2016

A U.S. Geological Survey streamgage, dormant since 2003, was recently reactivated in the city of Frankton, Indiana through a funding partnership with the Indiana Department of Transportation.

Image shows aerial imagery of flooding in Louisiana, courtesy of the National Geodetic Survey
August 22, 2016

The USGS response to the Louisiana floods is part of the larger USGS flood science mission...

Image shows a flooded street with a USGS truck nearby
August 19, 2016

All affected USGS scientists are alive and well, and our flood work continues...

Photograph showing San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area.
August 18, 2016

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.