Regions

South Dakota

States L2 Landing Page Tabs

Surface water and groundwater provide important water supplies in South Dakota. Major rivers include the Big Sioux, James, Cheyenne, and Missouri Rivers. Key aquifers include the Dakota, Madison, Minnelusa, and Big Sioux aquifers. The Dakota Water Science Center has many studies that focus on these resources as well various other national and international studies. 

Link to Science Center

News

Jesslyn Brown of the USGS speaking at a workshop on Land Change Assessment, Monitoring, and Projection
November 15, 2018

The mapping and classification of land use and land cover has long been a primary duty for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and remotely-sensed data at the Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center has served as the backbone of the Survey’s modern efforts.

In recent years, two advancements in remote sensing emerged that promise to revolutionize the field.

Photo of Landsat 9 Ground System Review Panel
October 22, 2018

Agencies like NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) that commit multiple millions of dollars to put Landsat satellites into space need to know that the spacecraft, the sensors onboard, the ground system operating the satellite, and the launch vehicle are all designed and built the right way.

Color photo of Stephen Zahn at the Landsat 9 Ground System CDR in September 2018
October 4, 2018

Tim Rykowski has a history of reviewing satellite ground systems. NASA’s Space Network Systems Manager, Rykowski figures he’s probably sat in on a few dozen such reviews during his 35 years at NASA, including the design and build of the Landsat 9 (L9) Ground System that’s going on now.

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color photograph
Date Published: November 14, 2018
Status: Active

EROS User Group

The purpose of the future EROS User Group (EUG) will be three-fold:

  • Provide operational users of EROS products and services with an opportunity and platform to discuss opinions, needs, and concerns in a structured and consistent manner;
  • Provide EROS projects with a consistent platform for targeted communications and opportunity for direct feedback from the user community
  • ...
Photo of sunflowers blooming in the Nebraska Sandhills
Date Published: July 31, 2018
Status: Active

Remote Sensing Phenology

Phenology is the study of plant and animal life cycles in relation to the seasons. EROS maintains a set of nine annual phenological metrics for the conterminous United States, all curated from satellite data. Taken together, the metrics represent a powerful tool for documenting life cycle trends and the impacts of climate change on ecosystems.

Contacts: Jesslyn Brown
Illustration of land cover projection
Date Published: May 16, 2018
Status: Active

Land Cover Projections

Scientists at EROS look at local and global drivers of land-use change to project how different scenarios will impact and change landscapes. Using the FOREcasting SCEnarios of Land-use Change (FORE-SCE) modeling framework provides spatially explicit projections of future land-use and land-cover change. 

Contacts: Terry Sohl
color photo of Mobile Bay, Alabama topobathymetric map
Date Published: May 15, 2018
Status: Active

Coastal National Elevation Database (CoNED) Applications

The Coastal National Elevation Database (CoNED) and Applications project at EROS offers information used for a range of applications analysis needed for climate change analysis.      

Screenshot of the Land Treatment Exploration Tool with proposed treatment drawn on screen.
Date Published: May 10, 2018
Status: Active

Land Treatment Exploration Tool

The Land Treatment ExplorationTool provides a practical resource for managers who are planning restoration and rehabilitation actions on public lands. The tool generates a variety of spatial products while being user friendly for all levels of GIS expertise, even to those with little or no experience.

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...

Aerial view of the Williston Basin
Date Published: April 30, 2018
Status: Active

Williston and Powder River Basins Groundwater Availability Study

The development of two nationally important energy-producing areas, the Williston structural basin (containing the Bakken Formation) and Powder River structural basin, provide a critical opportunity to study the water-energy nexus within a groundwater context. Large volumes of water are needed for energy development in these basins. The hydraulically connected aquifers in 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.

High Plains aquifer in South Dakota
Date Published: February 23, 2018
Status: Active

Groundwater-Flow Model for the High Plains Aquifer in South Dakota

Project Period: 2013-2018
Cooperators: Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Oglala Sioux Tribe
Project Chief: Kyle Davis

Contacts: Kyle W Davis
USGS
Date Published: November 13, 2017
Status: Completed

Bridge Scour Publications

Publications about North and South Dakota bridge scour.

Houses inudated by flood waters SD 1924
Date Published: November 7, 2017
Status: Completed

Black Hills Area Floods Since 1877

Summary of Floods in the Black Hills Area Since 1877.

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Science Datasets
/data-tools/conterminous-us-1-km-avhrr-remote-sensing-phenology-data

Conterminous U.S. 1 km AVHRR Remote Sensing Phenology Data

color map of Start of Season Time (SOST) for 2014
June 22, 2018

Historical remote sensing phenology (RSP) image data and graphics for the conterminous U.S. are made freely available from the USGS/EROS Center. Three data sets are distributed: CONUS 1 km AVHRR RSP data, Eastern CONUS 250 m eMODIS RSP data, and Western CONUS 250 m eMODIS RSP data. 

Users of these phenology data sets should cite this DOI: https://doi.org//10.5066/F7PC30G1. 
 

Web Application
/data-tools/coned-project-viewer

CoNED Project Viewer

color image of Gulf of Mexico coast
May 15, 2018

The Coastal National Elevation Database (CoNED) Project Viewer is a portal to the topobathymetric models created with the expertise of the expertise of the U.S. Geological Survey Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center near Sioux Falls, SD. 

Web Application
/data-tools/earthnow-landsat-image-viewer

EarthNow! Landsat Image Viewer

Animation of landsat satellite orbiting earth
May 9, 2018

The EarthNow! Landsat Image Viewer displays imagery in near real-time as Landsat 7 and Landsat 8 orbit the Earth. Along with the near real-time video stream, EarthNow! also replays acquisition recordings from a list of previous Landsat overpasses. When Landsat 7 or Landsat 8 are out of viewing range of a ground station, the most recent overpass is displayed.

Web Application
/data-tools/land-treatment-exploration-tool

Land Treatment Exploration Tool

Screenshot of the Land Treatment Exploration Tool with proposed treatment drawn on screen.
May 3, 2018

The Land Treatment Exploration Tool is designed for resource managers to use when planning land treatments. The tool provides useful summaries of environmental characteristics of planned treatment areas and facilitates adaptive management practices by comparing those characteristics to other similar treatments within a specified distance or area of interest.  Provisional Software.

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.

Real-time Data
/data-tools/south-dakota-water-quality-data

South Dakota Water Quality Data

Example NWIS graph of real-time water quality monitoring
June 22, 2017

At selected surface-water and groundwater sites, the USGS maintains instruments that continuously record physical and chemical characteristics of the water including pH, specific conductance, temperature, dissolved oxygen, and percent dissolved-oxygen saturation. Supporting data such as air temperature and barometric pressure are also available at some sites.

Real-time Data
/data-tools/south-dakota-ground-water-data

South Dakota Ground Water Data

Example NWIS graph of real-time groundwater-level monitoring
June 22, 2017

Data from wells, springs, test holes, tunnels, drains, and excavations in South Dakota; well location data includes information such as latitude and longitude, well depth, and aquifer. Groundwater level data are collected and stored as either discrete field-water-level measurements or as continuous time-series data from automated recorders.

Real-time Data
/data-tools/groundwater-watch-below-normal-groundwater-levels-gancsc

Groundwater Watch - Below Normal Groundwater Levels (GA/NC/SC)

Groundwater Watch - Below Normal Groundwater Levels
May 17, 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey has a database/archive of about 850,000 wells across the Nation. A well with below normal groundwater levels is identified when the most recent water-level measurement is in the 24th percentile or lower in the month of measurement over the period of record for the well.

>> Georgia  ||  North Carolina  ||  South Carolina
>> United States

GIS Data
/data-tools/data-organized-river-basin-georgia-north-and-south-carolina

Data Organized by River Basin, in Georgia, North and South Carolina

Image of major river basins in Georgia, North and South Carolina
April 3, 2017

Realtime/Current Conditions:
   Streamflow: GA || NC || SC    Groundwater: GA || NC || SC   Water Quality: GA || NC || SC   Precipitation: GA || NC || SC
Daily mean data:
   Stage: GA || NC || SC   Streamflow: GA || NC || SC   Stage and streamflow: GA || NC || SC
Realtime Maps:
   NC Realtime

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.

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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.

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Year Published: 2018

Conceptual model to assess water use associated with the life cycle of unconventional oil and gas development

As the demand for energy increases in the United States, so does the demand for water used to produce many forms of that energy. Technological advances, limited access to conventional oil and gas accumulations, and the rise of oil and gas prices resulted in increased development of unconventional oil and gas (UOG) accumulations. Unconventional oil...

Valder, Joshua F.; McShane, Ryan R.; Barnhart, Theodore B.; Sando, Roy; Carter, Janet M.; Lundgren, Robert F.
Valder, J.F., McShane, R.R., Barnhart, T.B., Sando, R., Carter, J.M., and Lundgren, R.F., 2018, Conceptual model to assess water use associated with the life cycle of unconventional oil and gas development: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2018–5027, 22 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20185027.

Year Published: 2010

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
Digital map of aquifer boundary for the High Plains aquifer in parts of Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming; 2010; DS; 543; Qi, Sharon

Year Published: 2008

Estimated use of water in South Dakota, 2005

During 2005, withdrawals from ground-water and surface-water sources in South Dakota for the eight categories of offstream use totaled about 500 million gallons per day (Mgal/d). Of total withdrawals, about 271 Mgal/d was withdrawn from ground water and about 230 Mgal/d was withdrawn from surface water. The largest use of water in South Dakota...

Carter, Janet M.; Neitzert, Kathleen M.
Estimated Use of Water in South Dakota, 2005; 2008; SIR; 2008-5216; Carter, Janet M.; Neitzert, Kathleen M.

Year Published: 2002

Estimated use of water in South Dakota, 2000

During 2000, the total amount of water withdrawn from ground- and surface-water sources in South Dakota was about 528 Mgal/d (million gallons per day). Of this amount, about 222 Mgal/d, or 42 percent of the total, was from ground water. Surface-water withdrawals were about 306 Mgal/d, or 58 percent of the total. Total withdrawals for six...

Amundson, Franklin D.
Estimated use of water in South Dakota, 2000; 2002; OFR; 2002-440; Amundson, Franklin D.

Year Published: 2001

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.
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; 2001; WRI; 2000-4254; Litke, David W.

Year Published: 1998

Estimated use of water in South Dakota, 1995

Amundson, Franklin D.
Estimated use of water in South Dakota, 1995; 1998; OFR; 98-268; Amundson, F. D.

Year Published: 1990

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.
Attribution: Water, Central Midwest Water Science Center, Dakota Water Science Center, , , Kansas Water Science Center, Minnesota Water Science Center, Pennsylvania Water Science Center, Texas Water Science Center, Utah Water Science Center, Wisconsin Water Science Center, Water Resources, Water Availability and Use Science Program, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, United States of America
National water summary 1987: hydrologic events and water supply and use; 1990; WSP; 2350; Carr, Jerry E.; Chase, Edith B.; Paulson, Richard W.; Moody, David W.

Year Published: 1988

Estimated water use in South Dakota, 1985

Water use in South Dakota during 1985 is estimated to have been 674 million gal/day. This is a slight decrease from the 1980 estimate of 690 million gal/day. Of the total use, 63% was from surface-water sources and 37% was from groundwater sources. About 75% of the total water use was for agriculture, 16% was for domestic and commercial use, 8%...

Benson, Rick D.; Winterton, J.E.
Estimated water use in South Dakota, 1985; 1988; OFR; 88-313; Benson, Rick D.; Winterton, J. E.

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photograph of lesson plan
May 8, 2018

The Earth Resources Observation and Science Center offers educational resources designed for elementary- and middle-school students. The U.S. Geological Survey offers more options through its science education resource page.

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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.

October 16, 2018

Image of the Week - Cottonwood Fire

October 16, 2018, marks the two-year anniversary of the Cottonwood Fire in western South Dakota. The fire consumed a large swath of grassland near the community of Wall and just north of Badlands National Park.

Thanks to low relative humidity, and high winds and temperatures, the fire spread quickly. It burned 41,360 acres by the time it was 100 percent contained

...
Staff Gage for Streamgage 06431500, Spearfish Creek at Spearfish, SD
October 2, 2018

Staff Gage for Streamgage 06431500, Spearfish Creek at Spearfish, SD

Staff gage for Spearfish Creek at Spearfish, SD (USGS streamgage 06431500). This site was established as a U.S. Geological Survey streamgage on October 9, 1946, and is operated in cooperation with South Dakota Department of Natural Resources. More information on this streamgage is available at 

...
Spearfish Creek at Spearfish, SD (USGS Streamgage 06431500)
October 2, 2018

Spearfish Creek at Spearfish, SD (USGS Streamgage 06431500)

Gage house for Spearfish Creek at Spearfish, SD (USGS streamgage 06431500). This site was established as a U.S. Geological Survey streamgage on October 9, 1946, and is operated in cooperation with South Dakota Department of Natural Resources. Streamgages are visited by a USGS hydrologic technician on 6-week intervals throughout the year. The October or early November visit

...
September 26, 2018

EROS: EarthExplorer and GloVis - Register For An Account

USGS EROS | How To Search and Download Satellite Imagery The USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center has created a series of videos to help users search for and download remotely sensed imagery. The first step in the process is to register for a free account so you can search and order data from EarthExplorer and GloVis websites. This video walks you

...
September 19, 2018

Jennifer Lacey: Leading USGS in Space

For this native South Dakotan, a love for math and a college trip to EROS in Sioux Falls, SD led to overseeing USGS's Landsat operations including the upcoming 2020 launch of Landsat 9. Read Jennifer's story and other #womeninscience stories at https://bit.ly/2D1RHk5

September 17, 2018

Image of the Week - Beetle Damage in the Black Hills

Ponderosa pine forests in the Black Hills of South Dakota are the focus of this week’s USGS Image of the Week.

Mountain pine beetles are about the size of a grain of rice, so of course we can’t see them from space in satellite images. What is visible is what the beetles can do to a pine forest. The washed-out pink color indicates large areas of standing dead or

...
Satellite showing how fire scar is no longer present.
September 16, 2018

Cottonwood Fire, 2016

October 16, 2018, marks the two-year anniversary of the Cottonwood Fire in western South Dakota. The fire consumed a large swath of grassland near the community of Wall and just north of Badlands National Park.

September 11, 2018

An Introduction to Suomi-NPP NASA VIIRS Data Products

This video provides an introduction to new land data products from the joint National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) satellite sensor aboard the Suomi-National Polar-orbiting Partnership (S-NPP). The Suomi-NPP NASA VIIRS data products discussed in the

...
Satellite image showing how there is damage due to beetles in the Black Hills.
September 8, 2018

Beetle Damage in the Black Hills

Mountain pine beetles are about the size of a grain of rice, so of course we can’t see them from space in satellite images. What is visible is what the beetles can do to a pine forest. The washed-out pink color indicates large areas of standing dead or damaged trees.

September 7, 2018

Image of the Week - Lake Thompson

Many lakes in South Dakota’s Prairie Pothole Region are expanding. 

Lake Thompson in eastern South Dakota is one that has displayed remarkable change in recent decades.

Each week, the Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center highlights a new satellite image(s) featuring striking changes in the Earth's surface. Our images come from locations

...
August 20, 2018

AppEEARS

This short video provides a quick look at the Application for Extracting and Exploring Analysis Ready Samples (AppEEARS). AppEEARS provides a simple and efficient way to subset, transform, and visualize geospatial data distributed from a variety of federal archives. AppEEARS can be accessed by visiting https

...
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Jesslyn Brown of the USGS speaking at a workshop on Land Change Assessment, Monitoring, and Projection
November 15, 2018

The mapping and classification of land use and land cover has long been a primary duty for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and remotely-sensed data at the Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center has served as the backbone of the Survey’s modern efforts.

In recent years, two advancements in remote sensing emerged that promise to revolutionize the field.

Photo of Landsat 9 Ground System Review Panel
October 22, 2018

Agencies like NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) that commit multiple millions of dollars to put Landsat satellites into space need to know that the spacecraft, the sensors onboard, the ground system operating the satellite, and the launch vehicle are all designed and built the right way.

Color photo of Stephen Zahn at the Landsat 9 Ground System CDR in September 2018
October 4, 2018

Tim Rykowski has a history of reviewing satellite ground systems. NASA’s Space Network Systems Manager, Rykowski figures he’s probably sat in on a few dozen such reviews during his 35 years at NASA, including the design and build of the Landsat 9 (L9) Ground System that’s going on now.

Photo of EROS' Doug Daniels speaking to a class in Sioux Falls, SD
August 22, 2018

When they step out of their science or engineering realms, staff members at the Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center near Sioux Falls, SD, often tell a different story about the work they do.

In many ways, a more interesting story.

color photograph of Tom Loveland
April 30, 2018

Former Chief Scientist's contributions as head of Landsat Science Team, commitment to education recognized

Image: Redwater River, South Dakota
April 11, 2018

Media and the public are invited to attend a free meeting about South Dakota water issues on Thursday, April 19, in Rapid City, South Dakota.

LiDAR image
March 14, 2018

USGS has produced topographic maps of American landscapes for more than a century as part of its Congressional mandate to maintain the elevation data that helps document change across the Nation. The use of LiDAR, refined at EROS, is key to modern topography.

Image: Brown Fracking Sand
February 27, 2018

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

Prairie dog and SPV bait
December 13, 2017

About 70 percent of wild prairie dogs successfully ingested baits containing an oral sylvatic plague vaccine, or SPV, that were distributed throughout their habitats, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.

USGS
November 15, 2017

Conference: April 19, 2018 
Field trips: April 20, 2018 

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