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Nebraska Water Science Center delivers real-time water data for Nebraska streams and aquifers to cooperators and the public. We operate flood alert systems for the Lincoln and Omaha metro areas and create flood inundation maps for partner cities. Our expertise includes groundwater studies and models, water quality, geomorphology, and ecology; allowing for integrated water research in the State.Link to Science Center
Learn more about USGS flood activities related to the 2011 Missouri River Basin Flood resulting from higher-than-average snowmelt runoff combined with heavy spring rains.
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...
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.
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.
Recent droughts in Nebraska (2000–06; 2012–13) have amplified concerns about the long-term sustainability of groundwater and surface-water resources as well as concerns about the effect of groundwater irrigation on streamflow and water supplies needed to meet wildlife, recreational, and municipal needs. The Lower Platte River Basin-wide Management Plan is currently being developed jointly by...
Homestead National Monument of America, (HOME) a National Park Service (NPS) site which commemorates the impacts of the Homestead Act of 1862 is located on the site of one of the first homestead claims filed in the United States of America, a site that was chosen by Daniel Freeman because of the clean abundant water that Cub Creek provided for...
Missouri River Water-Quality Monitoring in Relation to Combined Sewer Overflow Systems near Omaha, Nebraska
In 2012, the USGS Nebraska Water Science Center, in cooperation with the City of Omaha, began monitoring the Missouri River near Omaha to document water-quality changes in the river as the City improved their combined sewer overflow (CSO) system. The monitoring program includes both discrete and continuous data collection at four sampling sites on the Missouri River. Monitoring at each site...
The USGS Nebraska Water Science Center maintains a network of continuous water-quality monitors across Nebraska which provide near-real-time water-quality data. Continuous water-quality monitors are typically installed at or near existing USGS stream gages or wells. Parameters that are monitored at continuous water-quality sites include water temperature, specific conductance, dissolved oxygen...
The High Plains aquifer underlies 111.8 million acres (about 175,000 square miles) in parts of eight States—Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming. In response to a directive from Congress, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with local, state, and federal entities, has collected water-level data from wells screened in the High Plains...
Delineation of Areas Potentially Drained by Tile Drains and Updating of Streamflow-Trend Statistics from the Elkhorn River Basin in Eastern Nebraska
Water resource sustainability in the Elkhorn River Basin, Nebraska is a critical issue. Understanding streamflow trends is important to the determination of sustainable surface water and groundwater in the basin. The Lower Elkhorn and Upper Elkhorn Natural Resources Districts and the USGS cooperatively studied trends in streamflow characteristics of sites in the Elkhorn River, Salt Creek, and...
In the Elkhorn River and Loup River Basins, Natural Resources Districts (Upper Elkhorn, Lower Elkhorn, Upper Loup, Lower Loup, Middle Niobrara, Lower Niobrara, Lewis and Clark, and Lower Platte North) are collecting data and developing tools to assist with water resource planning. Critical planning issues in the Elkhorn River and Loup River basins are focused on the availability of the...
Nutrients and Productivity in the Lower Niobrara-Middle Missouri Confluence Area and the 59-mile reach of Missouri River between Gavins Point Dam and Ponca State Park
The Niobrara-Missouri Rivers delta at the head of Lewis and Clark Reservoir and the 59-mile reach of Missouri River below Gavins Point Dam are important river ecosystems for a variety of fish species including paddlefish, sauger, catfish and the endangered pallid sturgeon. From August 2015 through August 2016, we collected nutrient and chlorophyll water samples, and nutrient and carbon bed-...
National Water Information System (NWIS) Mapper
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.
Missouri River 2011 regional sand floodplain
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.
National Water Information System web interface (NWISweb)
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.
Nebraska Natural Resources Districts Wells on Groundwater Watch
Groundwater well networks for Natural Resources Districts in Nebraska. Real-time, continuous, and periodic data are available.
Nebraska Real-Time Water Quality on National Real-Time Water Quality
Real-time computed concentrations of water-quality constituents such as suspended sediment, total nitrogen, and total phosphorus are calculated using ordinary least squares regression models. The results of these models, along with direct water-quality measurements, can be viewed here as time-series graphs, or downloaded as tabular 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.
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.
The National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) and Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD) are used to portray surface water on The National Map.
The United States Interagency Elevation Inventory (USIEI)
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.
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.
Orthoimagery data typically are high resolution aerial images that combine the visual attributes of an aerial photograph with the spatial accuracy and reliability of a planimetric map. The National Map offers public domain, 1-meter orthoimagery for the conterminous United States with many urban areas and other locations at 2-foot or finer resolution.
The National Map Small-Scale Collection
The National Map offers a collection of small-scale datasets, most of which are at 1:1,000,000. The National Map publishes two data collections at one million-scale: one for Global Map users and one for National Map users. In terms of vector geometry, the lines, points, and areas in these data collections are identical. The difference is in the attributes assigned to these features.
Digital map of aquifer boundary for the High Plains aquifer in parts of Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming - This digital data set represents the extent of the High Plains aquifer in the central United States
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.
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 W.; Gold, Ryan D.
Flood-inundation maps for the St. Marys River at Decatur, Indiana
Digital flood-inundation maps for an 8.9-mile reach of the St. Marys River at Decatur, Indiana, were developed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. The inundation maps, which can be accessed through the USGS Flood Inundation Mapping Science Web site (http://water.usgs.gov/osw/...Strauch, Kellan R.
Hydrostratigraphic interpretation of test-hole and borehole geophysical data, Kimball, Cheyenne, and Deuel Counties, Nebraska, 2011-12
Recently (2004) adopted legislation in Nebraska requires a sustainable balance between long-term supplies and uses of surface-water and groundwater and requires Natural Resources Districts to understand the effect of groundwater use on surface-water systems when developing a groundwater-management plan. The South Platte Natural Resources District...Hobza, Christopher M.; Sibray, Steven S.
Diversity and distribution of mayflies (Ephemeroptera), stoneflies (Plecoptera), and caddisflies (Trichoptera) of the South Platte River Basin, Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming, 1873-2010
The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the C.P. Gillette Museum of Arthropod Diversity (Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado), compiled collection record data to document the historical and present-day occurrence of mayfly, stonefly, and caddisfly species in the South Platte River Basin. Data were compiled from records...Zuellig, Robert E.; Heinold, Brian D.; Kondratieff, Boris C.; Ruiter, David E.
Agricultural herbicide transport in a first-order intermittent stream, Nebraska, USA
The behavior of herbicides in surface waters is a function of many variables, including scale of the watershed, physical and chemical properties of the herbicide, physical and chemical properties of the soil, rainfall intensity, and time of year. In this study, the transport of 6 herbicides and 12 herbicide degradates was examined during the 2004...Vogel, J.R.; Linard, J.I.
Digital map of aquifer boundary for the High Plains aquifer in parts of Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming
This digital data set represents the extent of the High Plains aquifer in the central United States. The extent of the High Plains aquifer covers 174,000 square miles in eight states: Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming. This data set represents a compilation of information from digital and paper...Qi, Sharon
Decadal-scale changes of nitrate in ground water of the United States, 1988-2004
This study evaluated decadal-scale changes of nitrate concentrations in groundwater samples collected by the USGS National Water-Quality Assessment Program from 495 wells in 24 well networks across the USA in predominantly agricultural areas. Each well network was sampled once during 1988-1995 and resampled once during 2000-2004. Statistical tests...Rupert, Michael G.
Near-decadal changes in nitrate and pesticide concentrations in the South Platte River alluvial aquifer, 1993-2004
The lower South Platte River basin of Colorado and Nebraska is an area of intense agriculture supported by surface-water diversions from the river and ground-water pumping from a valley-fill alluvial aquifer. Two well networks consisting of 45 wells installed in the South Platte alluvial aquifer were sampled in the early 1990s and again in the...Paschke, S.S.; Schaffrath, K.R.; Mashbum, S.L.
Nutrient and Suspended-Sediment Trends in the Missouri River Basin, 1993-2003
Trends in streamflow and concentration of total nitrogen, nitrite plus nitrate, ammonia, total phosphorus, orthophosphorus, and suspended sediment were determined for the period from 1993 to 2003 at selected stream sites in the Missouri River Basin. Flow-adjusted trends in concentration (the trends that would have occurred in the absence of...Sprague, Lori A.; Clark, Melanie L.; Rus, David L.; Zelt, Ronald B.; Flynn, Jennifer L.; Davis, Jerri V.
Historical water-quality data for the High Plains Regional Ground-Water Study Area in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming, 1930-98
The High Plains aquifer underlies 174,000 square miles in parts of eight States and includes eight primary hydrogeologic units, including the well-known Ogallala Formation. The High Plains aquifer is an important resource, providing water for 27 percent of the Nation?s irrigated agricultural lands in an otherwise dry landscape. Since the 1980?s...Litke, David W.
Organochlorine compounds and trace elements in streambed sediment and fish tissue, South Platte River Basin; Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming
Concentration data for organochlorine compounds and trace elements in streambed sediment and fish tissue collected throughout the South Platte River Basin as part of the U.S. Geological Survey's National WaterQuality Assessment (NAWQA) Program were evaluated to determine the following: (1) which organochlorine compounds and trace elements occurred...Heiny, Janet S.
National water summary 1987: Hydrologic events and water supply and use
Water use in the United States, as measured by freshwater withdrawals in 1985, averaged 338,000 Mgal/d (million gallons per day), which is enough water to cover the 48 conterminous States to a depth of about 2.4 inches. Only 92,300 Mgal/d, or 27.3 percent of the water withdrawn, was consumptive use and thus lost to immediate further use; the...Carr, Jerry E.; Chase, Edith B.; Paulson, Richard W.; Moody, David W.
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.
A total solar eclipse darkened the skies over the United States on Aug. 21, 2017.
Fourteen states were in the path of totality, a 70-mile-wide band under which the moon fully blocked the sun for just under three minutes.
Oshkosh, a town in the Nebraska Sandhills was a prime location for viewing the eclipse. This Landsat 7 image shows the town at 11:33 a.m....
A total solar eclipse darkened the skies over the United States on Aug. 21, 2017.
Oshkosh, a town in the Nebraska Sandhills, was a prime location for viewing the eclipse. This Landsat 7 image shows the town at 11:33 a.m. local time on Aug. 18, 2016, a year before the total eclipse.
USGS Nebraska Water Science Center hydrologic technician, Nathan Shultz, collecting depth and velocity data at the USGS streamgaging station 06453600 Ponca Creek at Verdel, Nebraska during an ice jam on February 15, 2017.
Hydrologic Technician, James Albrecht, from the North Platte Field Office making a measurement of discharge under ice using a Flowtracker acoustic velocity meter on a top-setting wading rod. The string going across the picture is a tagline, used for measuring distance across the channel so that he can note the location of the ice hole he is working in. Typically, the...
This image is a High Resolution Orthoimagery, 6-inch spatial resolution, Lancaster County Dataset, taken in April 2007. High Resolution Orthoimagery looks like a photograph but any distortions caused by the tilt of the camera or topography of the land have been removed, so orthoimages are geospatially accurate and can be used as maps.
Tile drain in eastern Nebraska equipped with monitoring instruments.
In 1986, Congress directed the USGS to regularly report groundwater-level changes in the High Plains aquifer system. To comply with this directive, the USGS compares water levels measured every two years. By measuring water levels across the entire aquifer in one year, measurements made two years later enable calculation of changes over time. Measured water levels from...
During the summer of 2013, the Nebraska Sandhills exhibited a unusually significant sunflower emergence probably triggered by environmental conditions from the preceeding 2012 drought. Also, the Eastern Red Cedar is a particularly agressive invasive species which has become well established in Nebraska.
Reporters: Do you want to accompany a USGS field crew as they measure flood impacts? Please contact Marisa Lubeck or Jason Lambrecht to coordinate.
Instead of requiring costly dredging to remove sediment buildup behind water reservoirs and diversions, sediment from reservoirs in the Missouri River Basin could actually be used as fracking proppant feedstock, also known as frac sand, according to a recently published U.S. Geological Survey study.
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.
Recent storms in north-central and northeast Nebraska have caused high flows in several rivers, streams and creeks.
The U.S. Geological Survey has released a new report detailing changes of groundwater levels in the High Plains aquifer. The report presents water-level change data in the aquifer for two separate periods: from 1950 – the time prior to significant groundwater irrigation development – to 2015, and from 2013 to 2015.
Small variations in the density of the earth’s crust—undetectable to humans without sensitive instruments—influence where earthquakes may occur in the central United States. These new findings from the U.S. Geological Survey, published today in Nature Communications, may allow scientists to map where future seismicity in the center of the country is most likely.
Water-level changes from 2002 to 2015 were examined in wells screened in the High Plains aquifer within the Republican River Basin and the results are now available in a new U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map.
A new U.S. Geological Survey publication and model can be applied by multiple entities to better understand flow, quantity, sources and sinks of groundwater in the Northern High Plains Aquifer, which covers approximately 100,000 square miles across Nebraska, South Dakota, Kansas, Colorado and Wyoming.
Bifenthrin combats pests, but may harm aquatic ecosystems
The USGS Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit in partnership with the Nebraska Intelligent MoBile Unmanned Systems Lab (NIMBUS) and the Applied Complex Adaptive Systems Lab have designed a drone prototype that drops balls filled with combustible material that ignites fire as part of prescribed fire management.
Highest concentrations found in Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois.
First-of-its-kind survey shows that algal toxins are found nationwide