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The U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) mission is to provide reliable scientific information about the Nation's natural resources. An integral part of that mission is to provide consistent, long-term water-resources data. To do so, the Central Midwest WSC operates a widespread surface and ground-water data collection network as well as research on a wide range of scientific issues.

Link to Science Center

News

Photo of a young girl drinking water, which likely originated from groundwater sources. 
December 7, 2017

A regional assessment of untreated groundwater in the Cambrian-Ordovician aquifer system, which includes parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri and Indiana, is now available from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Exterior of a municipal water pumping station
December 6, 2017

Oxygen levels, dissolved minerals among factors responsible for high concentrations of radium in untreated water from aquifer that underlies six states

Image shows a geologic map of the Lower 48
August 21, 2017

A carbonatite here, a glacial moraine there, a zig-zagging fault or two, even a behemoth of a batholith. The geology of the 50 States is an enormous patchwork of varied forms, beautiful in their variance but challenging to present as a single map.

Filter Total Items: 12
Flood 08
Date Published: October 4, 2018
Status: Active

Flood Information at Selected Bridge and Culvert Sites

The USGS systematically collects all types of water data to better manage the water resources in each state.

Photo of Hydrologist Dan Christiansen
Date Published: September 5, 2018
Status: Active

Research and Investigations

The USGS Central Midwest Water Science Center (CMWSC) is comprised of water science offices in Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri.

The MOWSC conducts research and monitoring on a wide variety of hydrologicial issues affecting steams, rivers, lakes, and groundwater in our three states and across the Nation.

Cedar River Basin, Iowa
Date Published: August 29, 2018
Status: Active

Assessment of Groundwater and Quality - Cedar River Project

ASSESSMENT OF GROUND-WATER AND QUALITY: Cedar River Alluvium, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
PERIOD OF PROJECT: Since 1992
PROJECT CHIEF: Steve Kalkhoff 
STUDY AREA: Linn County
COOPERATING AGENCY: City of Cedar Rapids (...

Groundwater waterfall
Date Published: August 22, 2018
Status: Completed

Completed and Archived Projects - Streamflow, Groundwater, and Lakes, CMWSC

Completed and Archived Projects - Streamflow, Groundwater, and Lakes, CMWSC

Boat Ramp at Hermann, Missouri
Date Published: August 10, 2018
Status: Active

River WebCams for the Central Midwest Water Science Center (Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri)

We have installed webcams at a number of locations in the Central Midwest Water Science Center to allow you to view, in real time, the current conditions.  Some of the cameras allow users to temporarily control the tilt, pan, and zoom.  During periods of flooding the Central Midwest Water Science Center may take control of the camera.

 

USGS
Date Published: July 18, 2018
Status: Active

Real-Time Data Links

REAL-TIME LINKS:

Streamflow:     IA  || IL ||  MO
Groundwater levels:   ...

Photo of Bird Bands in a Variety of Sizes and Types
Date Published: May 1, 2018
Status: Active

Bird Banding Laboratory

The Bird Banding Laboratory (BBL) is an integrated scientific program established in 1920 supporting the collection, archiving, management and dissemination of information from banded and marked birds in North America.  This information is used to monitor the status and trends of resident and migratory bird populations. Because birds are good indicators of the health of the environment, the...

Energy - Bakken
Date Published: March 8, 2018

Mining and Energy

Scientists are examining a number of issues to characterize potential effects of unconventional oil and gas development in the Bakken Shale within the Williston Basin, located in ND, SD and MT. Research is building upon current/ongoing studies to implement new, innovative research including water quality, water availability, ecological effects, proppant sand, and induced seismicity.

Attribution: Midwest
Flood Scientists - Drayton
Date Published: March 8, 2018

Flood Response

Floods are the leading cause of natural disaster losses, and Midwest Region scientists are ready to respond. Flood inundation maps tied to USGS real-time stream gage data and National Weather Service flood forecast sites enable state and local communities to make timely operational and public safety decisions during floods.

a birder on a bridge looking at the birds
Date Published: July 26, 2016
Status: Active

HDgov: Multi-agency Website for Human Dimensions of Natural Resources

HDgov is an interactive and mobile-responsive online portal to interagency, academic, and non-government resources focused on the human dimensions of natural resource management. The web portal provides easy access to tools, publications, data, and methods that help ensure that the people side of natural resources is considered throughout the entire natural resource management process. The...

A crowd of people in a National Park.
Date Published: July 26, 2016
Status: Active

National Park Service Visitor Spending Effects

The National Park Service (NPS) manages the Nation’s most iconic destinations that attract millions of visitors from across the Nation and around the world. Trip-related spending by NPS visitors generates and supports a considerable amount of economic activity within park gateway communities. USGS economists collaborate with the National Park Service social science program to estimate NPS...

Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp
Date Published: July 21, 2016
Status: Active

North American Waterfowl Management Plan

The ultimate success of North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) depends on maintaining relevance to stakeholders and society. In order to be relevant, a first step is to better understand what people value in regard to waterfowl and their habitats. Without this information, NAWMP population, habitat, and people objectives may not reflect stakeholder and societal values; and management...

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Real-time Data
/data-tools/annual-water-data-reports-iowa-illinois-and-missouri

Annual Water Data Reports - Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri

Water Data Reports for Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina
October 5, 2018

Beginning with Water Year 2006 and ending with Water Year 2013, annual water data reports were made available as individual electronic Site Data Sheets for the entire Nation for retrieval, download, and localized printing on demand. As of 2014, NWISWeb now provides an on-demand, print-ready Water-Year Summary as an annual water-data product.

Science Datasets
/data-tools/prospect-and-mine-related-features-us-geological-survey-75-and-15-minute-topographic

Prospect- and Mine-Related Features from U.S. Geological Survey 7.5- and 15-Minute Topographic Quadrangle Maps of the United States

data location map
December 1, 2017

These data are part of a larger USGS project to develop an updated geospatial database of mines, mineral deposits and mineral regions in the United States. Mine and prospect-related symbols, such as those used to represent prospect pits, mines, adits, dumps, tailings, etc., are currently being digitized on a state-by-state basis from USGS Historical Topographic Maps.

Science Datasets
/data-tools/missouri-river-bend-classification-data-sets

Missouri River bend classification data sets

3 dimensional graph of Missouri river channel classification attributes
November 15, 2017

5 datasets to underlie the bend-scale classification of Lower Missouri River. Classification was based on geomorphic and engineering variables for 257 bends from Sioux City, Iowa to the confluence with the Mississippi River near St. Louis, Missouri.

Science Datasets
/data-tools/missouri-river-2011-regional-sand-floodplain

Missouri River 2011 regional sand floodplain

Sand deposits from the 2011 Missouri River flood
November 15, 2017

Polygon coverage of sand deposits from the 2011 Missouri River flood.  The dataset covers 1,298 km of the Missouri River valley bottom from Gavins Point Dam in South Dakota to the confluence with the Mississippi River near St. Louis, Missouri.

Water
/data-tools/national-water-information-system-web-interface-nwisweb-0

National Water Information System web interface (NWISweb)

Application screenshot thumbnail
September 1, 2017

The National Water Information System (NWIS) web application provides access to real-time and historical surface-water, groundwater, water-quality, and water-use data collected at approximately 1.5 million sites across all 50 states.

Web Application
/data-tools/national-water-information-system-nwis-mapper

National Water Information System (NWIS) Mapper

NWIS Mapper screenshot
August 30, 2017

The NWIS mapper provides access to over 1.5 million sites contained in the USGS National Water Information System (NWIS), including sites where current and historical surface-water, groundwater, springs, and atmospheric data has been collected. Users can search by site type, data type, site number, or place.

Science Datasets
/data-tools/airborne-magnetic-total-field-survey-manchester-region-iowa-usa

Airborne Magnetic Total-Field Survey, Manchester Region, Iowa, USA

magnetic data map
November 29, 2016

This data release includes the airborne magnetic survey data collected from the Manchester region of Iowa. The primary goal of the airborne magnetic survey is to map lateral variations of magnetization that are related to differences in rock type.

GIS Data
/data-tools/structures-data

Structures Data

Structure datasets for the nation from The National Map
April 20, 2016

USGS data portray selected structures data, including the location and characteristics of manmade facilities. Characteristics consist of a structure's physical form (footprint), function, name, location, and detailed information about the structure. The types of structures collected are largely determined by the needs of the disaster planning and response and homeland security organizations.

GIS Data
/data-tools/boundaries

Boundaries Data

Boundaries datasets for the nation from The National Map.
April 19, 2016

Boundaries data or governmental units represent major civil areas including states, counties, Federal, and Native American lands, and incorporated places such as cities and towns.

GIS Data
/data-tools/hydrography-data

Hydrography Data

Illustration related to the the river corridor
April 19, 2016

The National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) and Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD) are used to portray surface water on The National Map.

GIS Data
/data-tools/united-states-interagency-elevation-inventory-usiei

The United States Interagency Elevation Inventory (USIEI)

3D Lidar Point Cloud Image of San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge
April 19, 2016

The USIEI is a comprehensive, nationwide listing of known high-accuracy topographic and bathymetric data for the United States and its territories. The project is a collaborative effort of the USGS and NOAA with contributions from other federal agencies. The inventory supports the 3D Elevation Program and the Integrated Ocean and Coastal Mapping effort. This resource is updated in Spring and Fall.

GIS Data
/data-tools/elevation-data

Elevation Data

Digital Elevation Model in the Atchafalaya Basin, LA
April 19, 2016

The 3DEP products and services available through The National Map consist of lidar point clouds (LPC), standard digital elevation models (DEMs) at various horizontal resolutions, elevation source and associated datasets, an elevation point query service and bulk point query service. All 3DEP products are available, free of charge and without use restrictions.

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Digital Elevation Model in the Atchafalaya Basin, LA
April 19, 2016

The 3DEP products and services available through The National Map consist of standard digital elevation models (DEMs) at various horizontal resolutions, elevation source and associated datasets, an elevation point query service and bulk point query service. All 3DEP products are available, free of charge and without use restrictions.

Filter Total Items: 17
Year Published: 2018

Transport of nitrogen and phosphorus in the Cedar River Basin, Iowa and Minnesota, 2000–15

Nitrate concentrations in the Cedar River in Iowa and Minnesota have increased from an average of less than 1.0 milligram per liter in the early 1900s to more than 5.0 milligrams per liter in the 2000s and have resulted in periodic water-quality impairment of the river. Spatial differences and temporal changes in nitrogen and phosphorus transport...

Kalkhoff, Stephen J.
Kalkhoff, S.J., 2018, Transport of nitrogen and phosphorus in the Cedar River Basin, Iowa and Minnesota, 2000–15: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2018–5090, 44 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20185090.

Year Published: 2016

St. Louis area earthquake hazards mapping project; seismic and liquefaction hazard maps

We present probabilistic and deterministic seismic and liquefaction hazard maps for the densely populated St. Louis metropolitan area that account for the expected effects of surficial geology on earthquake ground shaking. Hazard calculations were based on a map grid of 0.005°, or about every 500 m, and are thus higher in resolution than any...

Cramer, Chris H.; Bauer, Robert A.; Chung, Jae-won; Rogers, David; Pierce, Larry; Voigt, Vicki; Mitchell, Brad; Gaunt, David; Williams, Robert; Hoffman, David; Hempen, Gregory L.; Steckel, Phyllis; Boyd, Oliver S.; Watkins, Connor M.; Tucker, Kathleen; McCallister, Natasha
Cramer C.H., Bauer R.A., Chung J.-W., Rogers J.D., Pierce L., Voigt V., Mitchell B., Gaunt D., Williams R.A., Hoffman D., Hempen G.L., Steckel P.J., Boyd O.S., Watkins C.M., Tucker K., McCallister N.S. St. Louis area earthquake hazards mapping project; seismic and liquefaction hazard maps Seismological Research Letters, January, 2017, Vol. 88, Issue 1, pp. 206-223

Year Published: 2016

Historical files from Federal Government mineral exploration-assistance programs, 1950 to 1974

The Defense Minerals Administration (DMA), Defense Minerals Exploration Administration (DMEA), and Office of Minerals Exploration (OME) mineral exploration programs were active over the period 1950–1974. Under these programs, the Federal Government contributed financial assistance in the exploration for certain strategic and critical minerals. The...

Frank, David G.
Frank, D.G., 2016, Historical files from Federal Government mineral exploration-assistance programs, 1950 to 1974: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1004, http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ds1004.

Year Published: 2015

A random-walk algorithm for modeling lithospheric density and the role of body forces in the evolution of the Midcontinent Rift

This paper develops a Monte Carlo algorithm for extracting three-dimensional lithospheric density models from geophysical data. Empirical scaling relationships between velocity and density create a 3D starting density model, which is then iteratively refined until it reproduces observed gravity and topography. This approach permits deviations from...

Levandowski, William Brower; Boyd, Oliver S.; Briggs, Richard; Gold, Ryan D.
Levandowski, W., Boyd, O., Briggs, R. and Gold, R. (2015), A random-walk algorithm for modeling lithospheric density and the role of body forces in the evolution of the Midcontinent Rift. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst.. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1002/2015GC005961

Year Published: 2011

Using observed postconstruction peak discharges to evaluate a hydrologic and hydraulic design model, Boneyard Creek, Champaign and Urbana, Illinois

Boneyard Creek—which drains an urbanized watershed in the cities of Champaign and Urbana, Illinois, including part of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) campus—has historically been prone to flooding. Using the Stormwater Management Model (SWMM), a hydrologic and hydraulic model of Boneyard Creek was developed for...

Over, Thomas M.; Soong, David T.; Holmes, Robert R.
Using observed postconstruction peak discharges to evaluate a hydrologic and hydraulic design model, Boneyard Creek, Champaign and Urbana, Illinois; 2011; SIR; 2011-5176; Over, Thomas M.; Soong, David T.; Holmes, Robert R. Jr.

Year Published: 2011

Assessing the role of conspecific attraction in habitat restoration for Henslow's sparrows in Iowa

The presence of conspecific individuals may provide important cues about habitat quality for territorial songbirds. We tested the ability of a conspecific song playback system to attract Henslow’s sparrows to previously unoccupied restored habitat. We successfully attracted Heslow’s sparrows to 3 of 7 treatment plots using conspecific...

Vogel, Jennifer A.; Koford, Rolf R.; Otis, David L.

Year Published: 2011

Nest success of northern bobwhite on managed and unmanaged landscapes in southeast Iowa

Range-wide declines in northern bobwhite populations (Colinus virginianus) have been attributed to concomitant loss of breeding habitat. Bobwhite management efforts to restore this habitat resource can be informed by empirical studies of associations between breeding success and multi-scale habitat attributes. We compared bobwhite nest success in...

Potter, Lisa M.; Otis, David L.; Bogenschutz, Todd R.
Nest success of northern bobwhite on managed and unmanaged landscapes in southeast Iowa; 2011; Article; Journal; Journal of Wildlife Management; Potter, L. M.; Otis, D. L.; Bogenschutz, T. R.

Year Published: 2010

Calibrating recruitment estimates for mourning doves from harvest age ratios

We examined results from the first national-scale effort to estimate mourning dove (Zenaida macroura) age ratios and developed a simple, efficient, and generalizable methodology for calibrating estimates. Our method predicted age classes of unknown-age wings based on backward projection of molt distributions from fall harvest collections to...

Miller, David A.; Otis, David L.

Year Published: 2009

Effects of commercial harvest on shovelnose sturgeon populations in the Upper Mississippi River

Shovelnose sturgeon Scaphirhynchus platorynchus have become an increasingly important commercial species in the upper Mississippi River (UMR) because of the collapse of foreign sturgeon (family Acipenseridae) populations and bans on imported caviar. In response to concerns about the sustainability of the commercial shovelnose sturgeon fishery in...

Koch, Jeff D.; Quist, Michael C.; Pierce, Clay L.; Hansen, Kirk A.; Steuck, Michael J.

Year Published: 2009

Individual variation in baseline and stress-induced corticosterone and prolactin levels predicts parental effort by nesting mourning doves

Endocrine systems have an important mechanistic role in structuring life-history trade-offs. During breeding, individual variation in prolactin (PRL) and corticosterone (CORT) levels affects behavioral and physiological processes that drive trade-offs between reproduction and self-maintenance. We examined patterns in baseline (BL) and stress...

Miller, David A.; Vleck, Carol M.; Otis, David L.

Year Published: 2002

Estimated water withdrawals, water use, and water consumption in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin, 1950-95

From 1950 through 1995, the U.S. Geological Survey tabulated water withdrawals throughout the United States, including the northcentral States of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin. During this period, total water withdrawals increased in each of the north-central States by at least a factor of two. Illinois led...

Kay, Robert T.
Estimated water withdrawals, water use, and water consumption in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin, 1950-95; 2002; WRI; 2001-4116; Kay, Robert T.

Year Published: 2002

In Search of Easy-to-Use Methods for Calibrating ADCP's for Velocity and Discharge Measurements

A cost-effective procedure for calibrating acoustic Doppler current profilers (ADCP) in the field was presented. The advantages and disadvantages of various methods which are used for calibrating ADCP were discussed. The proposed method requires the use of differential global positioning system (DGPS) with sub-meter accuracy and standard software...

Oberg, K.
In Search of Easy-to-Use Methods for Calibrating ADCP's for Velocity and Discharge Measurements; 2002; Conference Paper; Hydraulic Measurements and Experimental Methods; Oberg, K.

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Image from an application that navigates users through USGS National Oil and Gas Assessment Provinces
November 14, 2018

National Oil and Gas Assessment Provinces

This is a graphic from the USGS National Oil and Gas Assessment Explorer application, which allows user to drill into 70 oil and gas assessment provinces throughout the United States.

Assessing bridge scour countermeasures
August 17, 2018

Assessing bridge scour countermeasures

USGS hydrologist Taylor Dudunake assesses the rip-rap countermeasure along the pier of the Iowa State Route 76 bridge over the Upper Iowa River near Dorchester, Iowa. The assessment was part of a nationwide study of bridge scour countermeasures the USGS conducted on behalf of the Federal Highway Administration. 

Cyanobacterial accumulation at Binder Lake, Iowa, dominated by the blue green algae Microcystis sp. with a dead fish
April 17, 2018

Cyanobacterial accumulation at Binder Lake, Iowa

Cyanobacterial accumulation at Binder Lake, Iowa, dominated by the blue green algae Microcystis sp. with a dead fish

Cedar Rapids
December 31, 2017

Pilot and Crew Discussing Flight Plan for collecting AEM Data

Helicopter pilot and crew discussing flight plan and data collection before lifting off.

Cedar Rapids
December 31, 2017

Helicopter Lifting Off to Start a Data Collection Run for EM Data

Helicopter lifting off to start a data collection run.

Cedar Rapids
December 31, 2017

Greg Delzer Talking with the Local Press Regarding the AEM Flight Plan

USGS Scientist, Greg Delzer, talking with the local press regarding the AEM flight plan and details on what USGS and others will be collecting and analyzing.

Cedar Rapids
December 31, 2017

RESOLVE bird used to collect airborne electromagnetic data

USGS team of scientists were on site before the survey to help answer questions and go over last minute flight and data collection details. (Photo includes individuals from USGS: Iowa/Illinois Water Science Center, Dakota Water Science Center, Denver Crustal Geophysics Group, Office of Communication, and Branch of Geophysics)

Cedar Rapids Geophysical Survey
May 5, 2017

Cedar Rapids Geophysical Survey

A helicopter towing a large, cylindrical sensor will make low-level flights over parts of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as part of a groundwater survey in May 2017.

The flights will collect and record underground geologic measurements to help the U.S. Geological Survey better determine groundwater resources in the Cedar River Aquifer. The helicopter, operated by 

...
Cedar Rapids Geophysical Survey - Helicopter and Sensor
May 3, 2017

Cedar Rapids Geophysical Survey - Helicopter and Sensor

A helicopter towing a large, cylindrical sensor will make low-level flights over parts of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as part of a groundwater survey in May 2017.

The flights will collect and record underground geologic measurements to help the U.S. Geological Survey better determine groundwater resources in the Cedar River Aquifer. The helicopter, operated by 

...
Cedar Rapids Geophysical Survey - Helicopter and Sensor 2
May 3, 2017

Cedar Rapids Geophysical Survey - Helicopter and Sensor 2

A helicopter towing a large, cylindrical sensor will make low-level flights over parts of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as part of a groundwater survey in May 2017.

The flights will collect and record underground geologic measurements to help the U.S. Geological Survey better determine groundwater resources in the Cedar River Aquifer. The helicopter, operated by 

...
Cedar Rapids Geophysical Survey - Team with Sensor
May 1, 2017

Cedar Rapids Geophysical Survey - Team with Sensor

A helicopter towing a large, cylindrical sensor will make low-level flights over parts of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as part of a groundwater survey in May 2017.

The flights will collect and record underground geologic measurements to help the U.S. Geological Survey better determine groundwater resources in the Cedar River Aquifer. The helicopter, operated by 

...
Team of scientists studied changes in nitrapyrin
December 31, 2016

Team of scientists studied changes in nitrapyrin

A team of scientists studied changes in nitrapyrin — a nitrification inhibitor applied with fertilizers as a bactericide to kill natural soil bacteria for the purpose of increasing crop yields — occurrence associated with land use changes from March to June 2016. The above photographs document the following conditions: recent anhydrous ammonia application (upper left),

...
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Photo of a young girl drinking water, which likely originated from groundwater sources. 
December 7, 2017

A regional assessment of untreated groundwater in the Cambrian-Ordovician aquifer system, which includes parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri and Indiana, is now available from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Exterior of a municipal water pumping station
December 6, 2017

Oxygen levels, dissolved minerals among factors responsible for high concentrations of radium in untreated water from aquifer that underlies six states

Image shows a geologic map of the Lower 48
August 21, 2017

A carbonatite here, a glacial moraine there, a zig-zagging fault or two, even a behemoth of a batholith. The geology of the 50 States is an enormous patchwork of varied forms, beautiful in their variance but challenging to present as a single map.

Image of a red dye study conducted in the Brandon Road Lock on the Des Plaines River near Joliet, Illinois, in 2015.
June 6, 2017

U.S. Geological Survey scientists will inject a harmless, bright red fluorescent dye into the auxiliary lock at Locks and Dam 14 on the Mississippi River near Pleasant Valley, Iowa, Tuesday, June 13, 2017, weather permitting. If needed, a backup date is scheduled for June 27, 2017.  

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.

USGS: Science for a changing world
September 26, 2016

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

Iowa
September 23, 2016

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

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.

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