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Delaware

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Located in the northeastern portion of the Delmarva Peninsula of the United States, Delaware is divided into three counties and is on a level plain, with the lowest mean elevation of any state in the nation with its highest elevation not rising fully 450 feet above sea level. An 80 foot ridge extends along the western boundary of the state separating watersheds that feed Delaware River and Bay.

Maryland - Washington D.C. - Delaware Science Center

Maryland - Washington D.C. - Delaware Science Center

Delaware Water

News

Nor'easter
March 1, 2018

USGS field crews are deploying storm-tide and wave sensors today from Maine to Delaware to track and study a Nor’easter forecasted to begin tomorrow.

Map showing the M4.1 earthquake epicenter near Dover, DE
November 30, 2017

The USGS has up-to-date details on the November 30, 2017 event.

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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Potential coastal change impacts for Hurricane Joaquin - Oct. 4, 2015
Date Published: March 28, 2018
Status: Completed

Hurricane Joaquin - Forecast and Documentation of Coastal Change

Hurricane Joaquin coastal change forecast and pre- and post-storm photos documenting coastal change.

A hardened shoreline (rip-rap revetment)
Date Published: March 14, 2018
Status: Active

Shoreline Changes and Impacts to Natural Resources in Chesapeake Bay

The Challenge: Climate change and sea level rise are expected to affect many miles of shoreline in the Chesapeake Bay and elsewhere along the Atlantic Coast in the coming years. In this scenario, federal and state agencies need to make more detailed assessments of how different watersheds and shoreline types might influence an array of ecosystem functions and components. Recently, most states...

Field Sampling Sites within the Delaware River Basin
Date Published: January 25, 2018
Status: Active

Quantifying Floodplain Ecological Processes and Ecosystem Services in the Delaware River Watershed

Floodplain and wetland areas provide critical ecosystem services to local and downstream communities by retaining sediments, nutrients, and floodwaters. The loss of floodplain functionality due to land use conversion and degradation reduces the provisioning of these services. Assessing, quantifying, and valuing floodplain ecosystem services provide a framework to estimate how floodplain...

coastal vulnerability of sea-level rise map
Date Published: January 18, 2018
Status: Active

National Assessment of Coastal Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise

This research seeks to objectively determine the relative risks due to future sea-level rise for the U.S. Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf of Mexico coasts. Research is part of National Assessment of Coastal Change Hazards project. 

Oblique aerial photograph looking to the southwest along the southern end of Cedar Island, Virginia
Date Published: January 18, 2018
Status: Active

Long-Term Coastal Change

Goals of this project include developing and improving coastal-change assessments and supporting long-term planning and decision making to ensure sustainable coastal economies, infrastructure, and ecosystems. Research is part of the National Assessment of Coastal Change Hazards...

Cliff erosion is a common storm-induced hazard along the West Coast.
Date Published: January 17, 2018
Status: Active

National Assessment of Coastal Change Hazards

Research to identify areas that are most vulnerable to coastal change hazards including beach and dune erosion, long-term shoreline change, and sea-level rise.

Two USGS Men in Boat
Date Published: January 16, 2018
Status: Active

USGS summarizes information about the Chesapeake Bay and implications for ecosystem management (USGS Circular 1316

The USGS released the Circular 1316: “Synthesis of U.S. Geological Survey Science for the Chesapeake Bay Ecosystem and Implications for Environmental Management”

Map - Thickness of surficial-aquifer sediments in the Delmarva Peninsula, Maryland and Delaware
Date Published: January 12, 2018
Status: Active

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Science Summary—New digital map documents surficial-aquifer thickness in the Delmarva Peninsula, Maryland and Delaware: Helping to understand the role of groundwater in delivering nitrogen to Chesapeake Bay

Nitrate, the major source of nitrogen in streams of the Eastern Shore of Chesapeake Bay and the wider Delmarva Peninsula, is transported primarily in groundwater through the unconfined surficial aquifer. Understanding the subsurface processes that affect nitrate transport in this area has been hampered by a lack of regional information on the thickness of this aquifer.

Figure from Fact Sheet
Date Published: January 11, 2018

Chesapeake Bay Activities Bibliography

The USGS has published reports and journal articles on a large number of topics related to the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed. Some recent reports are online. Findings from the publications are used by Chesapeake Bay Program resource managers and policy makers to make science-based decisions for ecosystem conservation and restoration. USGS Chesapeake Bay science information is also critical...

Ten Mile Creek
Date Published: September 19, 2017

Enhanced hydrologic and geomorphic monitoring in Ten Mile Creek, Montgomery County, Maryland

Ten Mile Creek is a small, predominantly agricultural and forested watershed located to the west of Clarksburg, Maryland, in an area that has experienced land-use change and urban development over the past decade. Additional development extending into the Ten Mile Creek watershed is planned over the next several years.

This planned development in the Ten Mile Creek watershed presents an...

An adult female surf scoter resting in the water
Date Published: February 16, 2017

Seabird Research Program

The Seabird Research Program at PWRC is focused on studying the ecology of species present across the Atlantic Coast. This program was a natural progression of PWRC's historic work studying the coastal ecology of wildlife in and around the Chesapeake Bay. We now focus on the three key areas on a variety of species: physiology, avoided bycatch, and movement ecology.

Gunpowder River
Date Published: September 28, 2016

Geomorphic Responses to Stream Channel Restoration at Minebank Run, Baltimore County, Maryland

Urban streams frequently undergo severe incision and erosion due to flashy streamflows caused by impervious surfaces in the watershed. The study was designed to investigate the hydrodynamics and geomorphology of a selected reach of Minebank Run before and after stream restoration, in order to determine the effect that stream restoration had on sediment processes in the stream.

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Web Application
/data-tools/oblique-aerial-photography-viewer

Oblique Aerial Photography Viewer

Oblique Aerial Photography Viewer
January 19, 2018

Obique photos offer a unique perspective of the coast. Features such as beach erosion or accretion, dune erosion and overwash can all be clearly characterized in this imagery. It also documents coastal infrastructure, as well as the damage that infrastructure may incur as the result of an impacting hurricane. 

Science Datasets
/data-tools/pharmaceuticals-water-fish-and-ospreys-nesting-delaware-river-and-bay

Pharmaceuticals in water, fish, and ospreys nesting in Delaware River and Bay

Pharmaceuticals in water, fish, and ospreys nesting in Delaware River and Bay
October 19, 2017

Exposure of wildlife to Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) is likely to occur but evidence of hazard and risk is limited. One exposure pathway that has received attention is trophic transfer of APIs in a water-fish-osprey food chain. 

Water
/data-tools/national-water-information-system-nwis

National Water Information System (NWIS)

Application screenshot thumbnail
September 1, 2017

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.

Real-time Data
/data-tools/national-water-information-system-nwis-mapper-0

National Water Information System (NWIS) Mapper

NWIS-Mapper thumbnail image
August 30, 2017

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.

Web Application
/data-tools/coastal-change-hazards-portal

Coastal Change Hazards Portal

Coastal Change Hazards Portal Interactive Mapper screen grab
August 24, 2017

Interactive access to coastal change science and data for our Nation’s coasts. Information and products are organized within three coastal change hazard themes: 1) extreme storms, 2) shoreline change, and 3) sea-level rise. Each data item represents an individual research product, with some items grouped together as aggregates to show the breadth of the topic and make it easy to explore.

Science Datasets
/data-tools/high-resolution-geophysical-data-collected-along-delmarva-peninsula-2014-us-geological

High-resolution geophysical data collected along the Delmarva Peninsula 2014, U.S. Geological Survey Field Activity 2014-002-FA

Delmarva bathymetry
October 31, 2016

High-resolution geophysical data collected along the Delmarva Peninsula in 2014.

Real-time Data
/data-tools/surface-water-data-delaware

Surface-Water Data for Delaware

MD General Image 1
September 29, 2016

Real-time, daily, peak-flow, field measurements, and statistics of current and historical data that describe stream levels, streamflow (discharge), reservoir and lake levels, surface-water quality, and rainfall in Maryland. 

Real-time Data
/data-tools/groundwater-data-delaware

Groundwater Data for Delaware

Water Supply Manhole Cover
September 29, 2016

Data from wells, springs, and other groundwater sources in Delaware; 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/nwis-data-mapper

NWIS Data Mapper

NWIS Mapper Web Site Graphics
April 28, 2016

NWIS Maps all sites with links to all available water data for individual sites. These pages provide access to water-resources data collected at approximately 1.5 million sites in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. 

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.

Filter Total Items: 5
Figure showing the main page of the SPARROW Decision Support Tool
August 24, 2016

2002 Total Phosphorus Model for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Figure showing the main page of the SPARROW Decision Support Tool
August 24, 2016

2002 Total Nitrogen Model for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

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.

USGS Storm-Tide Mapper and Data Services
March 8, 2016

The USGS Storm Tide Mapper is a tool for viewing, analyzing, and accessing storm tide data collected during and after hurricanes and Nor’easters. The USGS Storm Tide Mapper will continue to provide a unified and consistent source of real-time and archived storm-tide data.

Map shows color-coded seafloor character offshore of Monterey, California
March 7, 2016

This portal is a “go to” source for maps related to ocean and coastal mapping. Information is organized by geography or region, by theme, and by the year data was published.

Filter Total Items: 5
Year Published: 2016

High-resolution geophysical data collected along the Delmarva Peninsula, 2014, USGS Field Activity 2014-002-FA

The Delmarva Peninsula is a 220-kilometer-long headland, spit, and barrier island complex that was significantly affected by Hurricane Sandy. A U.S. Geological Survey cruise was conducted in the summer of 2014 to map the inner continental shelf of the Delmarva Peninsula using geophysical and sampling techniques to define the geologic framework...

Pendleton, Elizabeth; Ackerman, Seth D.; Baldwin, Wayne E.; Danforth, William W.; Foster, David S.; Thieler, E. Robert; Brothers, Laura L.
Pendleton, E.A., Ackerman, S.D., Baldwin, W.E., Danforth, W.W., Foster, D.S., Thieler, E.R., and Brothers, L.L. 2015, High-resolution geophysical data collected along the Delmarva Peninsula, 2014, USGS Field Activity 2014-002-FA (ver. 2.0, March 2015): U.S. Geological Survey data release. http://dx.doi.org/10.5066/F7MW2F60

Year Published: 2015

U.S. Geological Survey Chesapeake science strategy, 2015-2025—Informing ecosystem management of America’s largest estuary

Executive Summary The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has the critical role of providing scientific information to improve the understanding and management of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. The USGS works with Federal, State, and academic science partners to provide research and monitoring, and communicate results of these activities to enhance...

Phillips, Scott; Blomquist, Joel D.; Phillips, Scott; Blomquist, Joel D.; Bennett, Mark; Berlin, Alicia; Blazer, Vicki; Claggett, Peter; Faulkner, Stephen; Hyer, Kenneth; Ladino, Cassandra; Moyer, Douglas; Muir, Rachel; Noe, Gregory; Phillips, Patrick J.
Phillips, Scott, and Blomquist, Joel, eds., 2015, U.S. Geological Survey Chesapeake science strategy, 2015–2025—Informing ecosystem management of America’s largest estuary: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2015–1162, 43 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20151162.

Year Published: 2008

Algal and Invertebrate Community Composition along Agricultural Gradients: A Comparative Study from Two Regions of the Eastern United States

Benthic algal and invertebrate communities in two Coastal Plain regions of the Eastern United States?the Delmarva Peninsula (27 sites) and Georgia Upper Coastal Plain (29 sites)?were assessed to determine if aspects of agricultural land use and nutrient conditions (dissolved and whole-water nitrogen and phosphorus) could be linked to biological...

Calhoun, Daniel L.; Gregory, M. Brian; Weyers, Holly S.
Algal and Invertebrate Community Composition along Agricultural Gradients: A Comparative Study from Two Regions of the Eastern United States; 2008; SIR; 2008-5046; Calhoun, Daniel L.; Gregory, M. Brian; Weyers, Holly S.

Year Published: 2007

Development of Relations of Stream Stage to Channel Geometry and Discharge for Stream Segments Simulated with Hydrologic Simulation Program-Fortran (HSPF), Chesapeake Bay Watershed and Adjacent Parts of Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP), Interstate Commission for the Potomac River Basin (ICPRB), Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (VADCR), and University of Maryland (UMD) are collaborating to improve the...

Moyer, Douglas; Bennett, Mark
Development of Relations of Stream Stage to Channel Geometry and Discharge for Stream Segments Simulated with Hydrologic Simulation Program-Fortran (HSPF), Chesapeake Bay Watershed and Adjacent Parts of Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware; 2007; SIR; 2007-5135; Moyer, Douglas L.; Bennett, Mark R.

Year Published: 2006

Deciphering igneous and metamorphic events in high-grade rocks of the Wilmington complex, Delaware: Morphology, cathodoluminescence and backscattered electron zoning, and SHRIMP U-Pb geochronology of zircon and monazite

High-grade rocks of the Wilmington Complex, northern Delaware and adjacent Maryland and Pennsylvania, contain morphologically complex zircons that formed through both igneous and metamorphic processes during the development of an island-arc complex and suturing of the arc to Laurentia. The arc complex has been divided into several members, the...

Aleinikoff, J.N.; Schenck, W.S.; Plank, M.O.; Srogi, L.A.; Fanning, C.M.; Kamo, S.L.; Bosbyshell, H.
Deciphering igneous and metamorphic events in high-grade rocks of the Wilmington complex, Delaware: Morphology, cathodoluminescence and backscattered electron zoning, and SHRIMP U-Pb geochronology of zircon and monazite; 2006; Article; Journal; Bulletin of the Geological Society of America; Aleinikoff, J. N.; Schenck, W. S.; Plank, M. O.; Srogi, L. A.; Fanning, C. M.; Kamo, S. L.; Bosbyshell, H.

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September 30, 2017

USGS Hurricane Preparedness

Before a hurricane, USGS Scientists undertake a data collection effort of a grand scale. They install a temporary mobile network of sensors along the coasts to collect additional data on the intensity of storm surge, one of the most dangerous elements of a hurricane. This effort provides critical information that allows various USGS partners and emergency responders to make better informed...

Satellite image showing the Delaware Bay and Chesapeake Bay region
January 25, 2017

Satellite Image of the Delaware Bay and Chesapeake Bay Region

This Indian Space Research Organization LISS-3 image of the Delaware Bay and Chesapeake Bay region, acquired on January 25, 2017, shows the landscape along the densely populated U.S. East coast. Ecosystems and sea-level rise are among the regional landscape changes that satellite imagery helps to monitor. 

As US models predicted Hurricane Joaquin washed out a road at Kitty Hawk, NC in 2015.
June 1, 2016

Hurricane erodes N.C. road

As US models predicted Hurricane Joaquin washed out a road at Kitty Hawk, NC in 2015.

High waves and storm surge eroded the front of the man-made dune
October 7, 2015

Oblique aerial photographs of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Oblique aerial photographs of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. View looking west along the Delaware shore. High waves and storm surge from Hurricane Joaquin eroded the front of the man-made dune, exposing a layer of darker, heavier sediment (green arrow). The outfall pipe also became exposed as the beach face eroded. The yellow arrow in each image points to the same feature.

High waves and storm surge eroded the dune toe resulting in a steep dune scarp
October 7, 2015

Oblique aerial photographs of Bethany Beach, Delaware

Oblique aerial photographs of Bethany Beach, Delaware. View looking west along the Delaware shore. High waves and storm surge from Hurricane Joaquin eroded the dune toe resulting in a steep dune scarp (green arrow). The yellow arrow in each image points to the same feature.

High waves from Hurricane Joaquin eroded and narrowed the beach
October 7, 2015

Oblique aerial photographs of South Bethany, Delaware

Oblique aerial photographs of South Bethany, Delaware. View looking west along the Delaware shore. High waves from Hurricane Joaquin eroded and narrowed the beach. Sand from the beach was transported offshore forming a sand bar (green arrow), and inland covering dune vegetation (blue arrow). The yellow arrow in each image points to the same feature. 

Storm waves and surge have eroded the reconstructed dune seen in the upper image
October 7, 2015

Oblique aerial photographs of South Bethany, Delaware

Oblique aerial photographs of South Bethany, Delaware. View looking west along the Delaware shore. Storm waves and surge have eroded the reconstructed dune seen in the upper image (area fenced off and planted with grass) and left a steep dune scarp (green arrow). The yellow arrow in each image points to the same feature.

Potential coastal change impacts for Hurricane Joaquin - Oct. 4, 2015
October 4, 2015

Potential coastal change impacts for Hurricane Joaquin - Oct. 4, 2015

Screen shot of the Coastal Change Hazards Portal showing potential coastal change impacts during a direct landfall of Hurricane Joaquin based on NHC Advisory 27, 0800 AM EDT SUN OCT 04 2015.

Image: Thousands of Horseshoe Crabs on Slaughter Beach, Delaware
May 1, 2009

Thousands of Horseshoe Crabs on Slaughter Beach, Delaware

The morning after a full moon high tide spawn, thousands of horseshoe crabs wait on the mud flats for the high tide to return.

Image: Spawing Horshoe Crabs at Delaware Bay
May 1, 2009

Spawing Horshoe Crabs at Delaware Bay

Spawning horseshoe crabs at twilight in the Delaware Bay.

Image: Red Knots Forage for Horseshoe Crab Eggs at Delaware Bay
May 1, 2009

Red Knots Forage for Horseshoe Crab Eggs at Delaware Bay

Red knots forage for horseshoe crab eggs and other invertebrates on the beaches of Delaware Bay.  The bird on the left has a white leg flag marked with an "EX." It was initially capture in Canada in the fall of 2008.

Image: Red Knots Forage for Horseshoe Crab Eggs at Delaware Bay
May 1, 2009

Red Knots Forage for Horseshoe Crab Eggs at Delaware Bay

Red knots forage for horseshoe crab eggs and other invertebrates on the beaches of Delaware Bay. The bird in the center has an orange leg flag indicating it was captured and flagged in the past in Argentina.

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Nor'easter
March 1, 2018

USGS field crews are deploying storm-tide and wave sensors today from Maine to Delaware to track and study a Nor’easter forecasted to begin tomorrow.

Map showing the M4.1 earthquake epicenter near Dover, DE
November 30, 2017

The USGS has up-to-date details on the November 30, 2017 event.

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.

Photo of a young girl drinking water, which likely originated from groundwater sources. 
January 19, 2017

A regional assessment of untreated groundwater in the Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain aquifer system in the eastern United States is now available from the U.S. Geological Survey.

USGS: Science for a changing world
September 6, 2016

Threats to groundwater availability and sustainability in the Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain are dependent to a large degree by the type of aquifers used for water supply, according to a new regional assessment by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Stream Gage in Maryland
July 13, 2016

Vital coastal storm-tide information needed to help guide storm response efforts following major storms affecting Maryland will be more accessible than ever due to a new monitoring network the U.S. Geological Survey is currently building.

For more information, see http://md.water.usgs.gov/usgs-news.html

 

Image: Methane Seeps along Offshore Virginia
June 16, 2016

Recent scientific work has confirmed the source, composition and origin of methane seeps on the Atlantic Ocean seafloor, discovered in 2012, where scientists never expected them to be.

As US models predicted Hurricane Joaquin washed out a road at Kitty Hawk, NC in 2015.
June 1, 2016

New USGS models help predict storm effects on beaches

As the 2016 hurricane season opens, weather forecasters, emergency managers and coastal residents have access to tools developed by the U.S. Geological Survey that predict, more precisely than ever, where beach erosion and beachfront flooding will take place during hurricanes and other storms.

 

Map of the 48 contiguous states showing Microcystin concentrations
May 31, 2016

First-of-its-kind survey shows that algal toxins are found nationwide

Image: Chesapeake Bay osprey chicks mostly healthy despite toxic exposure
April 4, 2016

The world's largest breeding population of ospreys is coping well with the long-lasting residues of toxic chemicals that were banned decades ago but remain in the Chesapeake Bay food chain at varying levels, such as the pesticide DDT and insulating chemicals known as PCBs.

collage of scientists conducting science related to each mission are
March 14, 2016

Much of the coast from Maine to Virginia is more likely to change than to simply drown in response to rising seas during the next 70 years or so, according to a new study led by the U.S. Geological Survey.

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