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The MI-OH Water Science Center (WSC) provides credible and relevant scientific information on critical water resources issues in Michigan, Ohio, and beyond. Major focus areas include Great Lakes, ecosystems science, hydrologic monitoring networks, flood frequency and mapping, water availability, and effects of agricultural and urban practices, mineral extraction, and other human activities.

Great Lakes Science Center

Great Lakes Science Center

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Michigan Water Science Center

Michigan Water Science Center

Science Center Link

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.

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Energy - Bakken
March 8, 2018

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.

Flood Scientists - Drayton
March 8, 2018

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.

Lake Erie green waters at the Beach with Buoy marking swim area
December 5, 2017
Status: Active

The USGS collaborates with local, state, federal, tribal, university, and industry partners to conduct the science necessary to understand the causes and effects of toxic HABs and inform water management and public health decisions. USGS is characterizing the life cycle of HABs, their asociated toxins, and the genes responsible for cyanotoxin production. This work is enhancing the ability of...

Screenshot of the Science in the Great Lakes (SiGL) Mapper
October 13, 2017

The USGS Science in the Great Lakes (SiGL) Mapper is a map-based discovery tool that displays basin-wide multi-disciplinary monitoring and research activities conducted by both USGS and partners across all five Great Lakes. The mapper, a Data Management System, and other tools are easy to access and help scientists and managers strategically plan, implement, and analyze their Great Lakes...

Image: Invasive Phragmites australis
July 13, 2017
Status: Active

The USGS is developing innovative Phragmites control measures to keep this rapidly spreading invasive plant from further expanding its range into new wetland habitats and to aid in the development of successful restoration strategies. Scientists are conducting studies and field tests to determine if fungi that live within the Phragmites are enabling the plant to take over habitat used by...

Boat trolling for zebra mussels
June 10, 2017
Status: Active

Invasive zebra and quagga mussels (Dreissena polymorpha and D. rostriformis bugensis, respectively) are causing significant ecological and economic impacts and the scope of these impacts has increased as they continue to spread across North America. The USGS conducts science to inform management actions for controlling and mitigating the impacts of invasive mussels.  Studies...

photo of the OWML lab
May 12, 2017

The MI-OH Water Microbiology Laboratories provide microbiological data of public-health significance from surface waters, ground waters, and sediments for a variety of study objectives.

 

LINKS: Back to MIOH Microbiology Homepage

photo of the OWML lab
May 12, 2017

Indicator bacteria are routinely measured by means of membrane-filtration or liquid broth most-probable number techniques. Find out more about the analytical methods used for standard bacterial indicators.

 

LINKS: Back to MIOH Microbiology Homepage

photo of the OWML lab
May 12, 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey MI-OH Water Science Center Microbiology Laboratories in Lansing, Michigan and Columbus, Ohio address water-related public-health concerns across the Nation using traditional and cutting-edge analytical approaches. The laboratories work with government agencies, academic institution, and regional and local partners to study the processes and anthropogenic influences...

Tagged lamprey in a stream
February 16, 2017

Adult sea lamprey abundance in Lake Erie increased during the past decade, exceeding pre-control levels and causing extensive mortality on some strains of stocked lake trout (Markham 2015).  Control agents speculate that this increase may be due to an uncontrolled larval sea lamprey population in the St. Clair River because other known sources of larval sea lampreys are regularly treated with...

Image: Alaskan Glacier
November 10, 2016

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

 

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

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Application screenshot thumbnail
September 1, 2017

National Water Information System (NWIS)

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

NWIS-Mapper thumbnail image
August 30, 2017

National Water Information System (NWIS) Mapper

The National Water Information System (NWIS) Mapper provides access to water-resources data at over 1.5 million sites across the U.S., including current and historical data. Users can search by site type, data type, site number, or place.

USGS Water-Quality equipment with cover opened at edge of river near a footbridge.
June 3, 2017

Water-Quality Monitor Network in Michigan

The USGS operates a network of real-time water-quality monitoring stations that measure up to five physical parameters. The parameters are temperature, specific conductance, pH, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity. One to four of those parameters are measured at 26 sites, while all five parameters are measured at 13 sites. 

USGS visual identity - green
April 18, 2017

Bathythermograph Data, Lake Michigan, 1954

This USGS data release includes complete CSDGM metadata, a digitized set of original bathythermogram print photos, and the temperature and depth data collected from each bathythermograms using open-source software. In addition, because of their historical value and potential future use, this data release includes the cruise logs, which include complementary nautical and research notes.

Screenshot of the Michigan Lake Water Clarity Interactive Map Viewer
September 15, 2016

Shapefile and Metadata — 2003-2005 eSDT

Estimated Secchi-disk transparency (eSDT) and corresponding estimated trophic state index (eTSI) values.  
Data is available for download in shapefile format with metadata:  2003-2005 eSDT

 

Screenshot of the Michigan Lake Water Clarity Interactive Map Viewer
September 15, 2016

Shapefile and Metadata — 2013 eSDT

Estimated Secchi-disk transparency (eSDT) and corresponding estimated trophic state index (eTSI) values.  
Data is available for download in shapefile format with metadata:  2013 eSDT

 

Screenshot of the Michigan Lake Water Clarity Interactive Map Viewer
September 15, 2016

Shapefile and Metadata — 1999-2000 eSDT

Estimated Secchi-disk transparency (eSDT) and corresponding estimated trophic state index (eTSI) values.  
Data is available for download in shapefile format with metadata: 1999-2000 eSDT

 

Screenshot of the Michigan Lake Water Clarity Interactive Map Viewer
September 15, 2016

Shapefile and Metadata — 2009-2010 eSDT

Estimated Secchi-disk transparency (eSDT) and corresponding estimated trophic state index (eTSI) values.  
Data is available for download in shapefile format with metadata:  2009-2010 eSDT

 

Screenshot of the Michigan Lake Water Clarity Interactive Map Viewer
September 15, 2016

Shapefile and Metadata — 2007-2008 eSDT

Estimated Secchi-disk transparency (eSDT) and corresponding estimated trophic state index (eTSI) values.  
Data is available for download in shapefile format with metadata: 2007-2008 eSDT

 

Screenshot of the Michigan Lake Water Clarity Interactive Map Viewer
September 15, 2016

Shapefile and Metadata — 2011 eSDT

Estimated Secchi-disk transparency (eSDT) and corresponding estimated trophic state index (eTSI) values.  
Data is available for download in shapefile format with metadata:  2011 eSDT

 

Screenshot of the Michigan Lake Water Clarity Interactive Map Viewer
September 15, 2016

Shapefile and Metadata — 2002 eSDT

Estimated Secchi-disk transparency (eSDT) and corresponding estimated trophic state index (eTSI) values.  

Data is available for download in shapefile format with metadata:  2002 eSDT

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

Structures Data

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.

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Image of Michigan and Ohio's Current Water Conditions website
June 3, 2017

The clickable sites, Water Resources Conditions List, and Data Table at the bottom of the map are all connected. Interacting with any of them will activate pop-ups and display the site in both the Map, List and Table. 

Screenshot of the FishVis mapper
November 19, 2016

The FishVis Mapper is the product of an Upper Midwest and Great Lakes LCC project, “A Regional Decision Support Tool for Identifying Vulnerabilities of Riverine Habitat and Fishes to Climate Change” that developed an approach for predicting fish species occurrence under current climate conditions and project how fish species occurrence may change under future climate conditions.

Screenshot of the Michigan Lake Water Clarity Interactive Map Viewer
September 15, 2016

Available online are estimated Secchi-disk transparency (eSDT) and corresponding estimated trophic state index (eTSI) values for Michigan inland lakes. To view available eSDT for Michigan inland lakes greater than 20 acres without interference from clouds, cloud shadows, dense vegetation or shoreline, go to the Michigan Lake Water Clarity Interactive Map Viewer. 

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.

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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: 2011

Northern goshawk monitoring in the western Great Lakes bioregion

Uncertainties about factors affecting Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) ecology and the status of populations have added to the challenge of managing this species. To address data needs for determining the status of goshawk populations, Hargis and Woodbridge (2006) developed a bioregional monitoring protocol based on estimating occupancy. The...

Bruggeman, Jason E.; Andersen, David E.; Woodford, James E.
Northern goshawk monitoring in the western great lakes bioregion; 2011; Article; Journal; Journal of Raptor Research; Bruggeman, J. E.; Andersen, D. E.; Woodford, J. E.

Year Published: 2001

Areal distribution and concentrations of contaminants of concern in surficial streambed and lakebed sediments, Lake Erie-Lake Saint Clair Drainages, 1990-97

Concerns about elevated concentrations of contaminants such as polychlorinated biphenyls and mercury in aquatic bed sediments throughout the Great Lakes Basin have resulted in a need for better understanding of the scope and severity of the problem. Various organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, trace metals, and polycyclic aromatic...

Rheaume, S.J.; Button, D.T.; Myers, Donna N.; Hubbell, D.L.
Areal distribution and concentrations of contaminants of concern in surficial streambed and lakebed sediments, Lake Erie-Lake Saint Clair Drainages, 1990-97; 2001; WRI; 2000-4200; Rheaume, S. J.; Button, D. T.; Myers, D. N.; Hubbell, D. L.

Year Published: 2000

Water quality in the Lake Erie-Lake Saint Clair Drainages; Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, New York, and Pennsylvania, 1996-98

This report summarizes major findings about water quality in the Lake Erie-Lake Saint Clair Drainages that emerged from an assessment conducted between 1996 and 1998 by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program. Water quality is discussed in terms of local and regional issues and compared to conditions...

Myers, Donna N.; Thomas, Mary Ann; Frey, Jeffrey W.; Rheaume, Stephen J.; Button, Daniel T.
Water quality in the Lake Erie-Lake Saint Clair Drainages; Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, New York, and Pennsylvania, 1996-98; 2000; CIR; 1203; Myers, Donna N.; Thomas, Mary Ann; Frey, Jeffrey W.; Rheaume, Stephen J.; Button, Daniel T.

Year Published: 1978

Model analysis of the impact on ground-water conditions of the Muskegon County wastewater disposal system, Michigan

A digital model was developed to study the impact on ground-water conditions of the Muskegon County, Mich., wastewater disposal system. At the disposal site, wastewater is stored in two 850-acre lagoons and then spray-irrigated on crop land. About 70 miles of drainage tile, which underlies the irrigated land, has caused the water table to be...

McDonald, Michael G.; Fleck, William B.
Model analysis of the impact on ground-water conditions of the Muskegon County wastewater disposal system, Michigan; 1978; OFR; 78-99; McDonald, Michael G.; Fleck, William B.

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Illustration of the Graphical Constituent Loading Analysis System website
June 20, 2017

GCLAS is a program designed primarily to compute daily and annual loadings of constituents transported in streamflow.

Shiny Apps
February 15, 2017

This data exploration tool is intented for use by researchers, resource managers, and the public to better understand the status of the fish community in Lake Erie.

Data entry for Calculate Streamflow Depletion by Nearby Pumping Well
May 16, 2008

STRMDEPL08—An Extended Version of STRMDEPL with Additional Analytical Solutions to Calculate Streamflow Depletion by Nearby Pumping Well

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Image shows a sample of pyrrhotite against a black background
2016 (approx.)
Pyrrhotite is an iron sulfide mineral related to iron pyrite, which is one of the minerals known as Fool's Gold. Pyrrhotite, although not one of the Fool's Gold minerals, is sometimes called magnetic pyrite as it is weakly magnetic. It is most valued as a collectors mineral. Sample provided by Carlin Green, USGS. Sample originated from Eagle Mine, Michigan, and is 4.5cm in size.
2016 (approx.)
Watch as the USGS Hammond Bay Biological Station water tank and pump house are constructed from the ground up! This short video features time lapse photography of the 1-million gallon water tank and pump house constructed to supply water to a state-of-the-art aquatic science laboratory. Laboratory construction will occur over the next several years and will also be chronicled with time lapse...
Lake Trout
2016 (approx.)
Lake trout historically supported the most valuable freshwater commercial fisheries in North America, but their populations crashed in parts of the Great Lakes during the 1950s and 1960s due to overfishing and invasive species.
June 15, 2016
This is an introductory video to an adaptive management approach for the invasive plant Phragmites australis in the Great Lakes basin. An adaptive management framework is an iterative process of robust decision making aimed at reducing uncertainty over time, for a variety of stakeholders with differing backgrounds and interests, via system monitoring.
Image: Gulls on Shore of Lake Michigan
March 14, 2016
The U.S. Geological Survey's National Wildlife Health Center, with help from many partners and support from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, has established "Lake Michigan Volunteer AMBLE - Avian Monitoring for Botulism Lakeshore Events." The goal of AMBLE is to empower a network of concerned citizens to monitor bird health and beach conditions along miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, thus...
Image: Gull on Rock, Lake Michigan
March 14, 2016
The U.S. Geological Survey's National Wildlife Health Center, with help from many partners and support from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, has established "Lake Michigan Volunteer AMBLE - Avian Monitoring for Botulism Lakeshore Events." The goal of AMBLE is to empower a network of concerned citizens to monitor bird health and beach conditions along miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, thus...
Pitcher's Thistle Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
July 8, 2015
Pitcher's Thistle Sleeping, Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, MI. Lake Michigan is pictured in the background.
R/V Sturgeon leaving dock
August 12, 2014
The R/V Sturgeon setting sail from the Navy Pier in Chicago, IL on its fall survey of Lake Michigan. The Sturgeon is based in Cheboygan, MI at the Cheboygan Vessel Base.
Sea Lamprey Hammond Bay Biological Station
April 11, 2014
Sea Lamprey at the Hammond Bay Biological Statioin in Millersburg, MI
December 11, 2013
The capabilities of the Great Lakes Science Center's new aquatic wet lab are highlighted. Note: Music: "See You Later" by Pitx featuring Fireproof Babies, Bmccosar. Available at http://ccmixter.org/files/Pitx/17154 . Creative Commons License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/
August 31, 2013
The U.S. Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center has conducted lake-wide surveys of the fish community in Lake Michigan each fall since 1973 using standard 12-m bottom trawls towed along contour at depths of 9 to 110 m at seven different sites around the perimeter of the lake. The resulting data on relative abundance, size and age structure, and condition of individual fishes are used to...
Commercial lake fishing
April 25, 2012
In the photo, commercial fishermen collect seafood on the U.S. Great Lakes.
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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.

Lake Michigan at Sunset
August 16, 2017

Invasive mussels and less nutrients from tributaries have altered the Lake Michigan ecosystem making it more conducive to the stocking of lake trout and steelhead than Chinook salmon, according to a recent U.S. Geological Survey and Michigan State University study.

Image of first page of Western Lake Erie Water Monitoring Summary
May 28, 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is measuring streamflow and collecting nutrient and sediment samples at stream gages in the Western Lake Erie Basin in Northwest Ohio.  

Housing structure for USGS Stream gage with Clear Fork Mohican River in the background
May 11, 2017

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) operates a network of real-time streamgages that continually record stage and streamflow every 15 to 60 minutes. 

Jumping Silver Carp
April 26, 2017

If invasive bighead carp and silver carp spread into Lake Michigan, there would be enough food available for these particular species of Asian carp to survive, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Potash
April 17, 2017

For more than two decades, researchers, geologists, and investors had no idea they were standing above tremendous wealth. Thousands of feet deep beneath the surface of western Michigan, a potential multibillion-dollar potash deposit was discovered. Potash—a mineral salt containing high levels of potassium—is an ingredient in fertilizer essential for growing crops.

Sea Lamprey Hammond Bay Biological Station
March 28, 2017

Unlike most animals, sea lampreys, an invasive, parasitic species of fish damaging the Great Lakes, could become male or female depending on how quickly they grow, according to a U.S. Geological Survey study published today.

River with blue reflection, in late summer, leaves just starting to turn from green to gold.
March 2, 2017

Human and bovine, or cattle, viruses were detected in a small percentage of some Great Lakes Basin streams, with human viruses more prevalent in urban streams and bovine viruses more common in streams in agricultural areas, according to a recent U.S. Geological Survey-led study.