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Massachusetts

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Massachusetts, officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state in the New England region of the eastern United States. Several large bays distinctly shape its coast. Boston is the largest city at the innermost point of Massachusetts Bay and the mouth of the Charles River. There are 50 cities and 301 towns in Massachusetts, grouped into 14 counties.

Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center

Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center

Woods Hole Center

New England Water Science Center - Massachusetts

New England Water Science Center - Massachusetts

New England WSC - MA

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.

Measuring high water mark - blizzard of January 2018 in New England
January 15, 2018

Significant flooding along the coast of Massachusetts occurred Thursday, January 4, 2018, caused by a powerful blizzard.  Peak storm surge of approximately 3.00 feet occurred at the astro high tide; and, according to the National Weather Service, is the highest since records began at the Boston tide station in 1921. 

Erika Lentz interview on Trunk River Beach, Falmouth. MA
January 11, 2018

Interview on future impacts of sea-level rise on Cape Cod with meteorologist Danielle Niles on Trunk River Beach, Falmouth, MA

Filter Total Items: 23
Fish Passage Conte
Date Published: February 15, 2018
Status: Active

Fish Passage

A major focus of USGS-LSC is the design and evaluation of state-of the-art upstream and downstream fish passage structures for hydropower facilities of different sizes and locations and for different fish species, including endangered sturgeons and Atlantic salmon. Performance, physiology, behavior and energetics of each fish species are tested in-house for each design.

Contacts: Alexander Haro
American shad
Date Published: February 9, 2018
Status: Active

Fish Physiology

Physiological demands are especially important to anadromous fish because of their need to move between freshwater and seawater and to make long, often difficult migrations. These demands can become critical when barriers to migration and other changes in river ecosystems occur. We are particularly interested in how environmental change, both of 'natural' and 'human' origins, affects normal...

Alex Haro working with Atlantic sturgeon
Date Published: February 9, 2018
Status: Active

Fish Behavior

Recent discoveries of the extent of sturgeon movement in the Gulf of Maine combined with relicensing and water use issues in the Connecticut River demand closer evaluation of shortnose and Atlantic sturgeon migration and behavior patterns. Through field collaboration with state, federal, university and military institutions LSC-Conte scientists work to define the significance of pre-spawning...

Contacts: Micah Kieffer
The West Brook Story
Date Published: February 9, 2018
Status: Active

The West Brook Story

Natural systems, like rivers and streams, are remarkably complex, with many interacting parts. Data visualization tools make understanding and communicating complex ecological processes easier. Effective visualizations help users learn about patterns in data and how models work. Interactive visualizations are particularly useful, as they let users explore data and develop a personal...

Flume Facility
Date Published: February 9, 2018
Status: Active

Conservation Engineering

Engineering has an important role to play in the conservation of migratory fish species.  As a result of anthropogenic development on river systems, full and partial barriers to fish movement commonly exist in watersheds worldwide.  There is an estimated 2.5 million barriers to fish migration in the United States alone.  These barriers typically consist of small to large size dams, culverts,...

fish passage hydraulic flume
Date Published: February 5, 2018
Status: Active

Fish Passage Hydraulic Flume

Many existing upstream and downstream fish passage structure designs (fishways, culverts, screens, downstream bypasses, etc.) function poorly or only for a narrow range of species or environmental conditions. Agencies currently seek improved or new designs that pass a broader range of species with increased efficiency and reliability, under a wider range of hydraulic operating conditions, and...

aquatic biomechanics
Date Published: February 5, 2018
Status: Active

Fish Biomechanics

Biomechanics is the study of mechanical laws relating to the movement of living organisms. In regards to fish, biomechanics pertains to the body shape of different species and the various structures of fish muscles, fins, etc. The biomechanics of a fish impact its swimming performance which in turn affects its ability to surpass barriers to movement. Understanding the biomechanical drivers of...

Oblique aerial photograph near Rodanthe, NC, looking south along the coast on August 30, 2011, three days after landfall of Hurr
Date Published: January 18, 2018
Status: Active

National Assessment of Storm-Induced Coastal Change Hazards

The overall objective is to improve real-time and scenario-based predictions of coastal change to support management of coastal infrastructure, resources, and safety. Research is part of the  National Assessment of Coastal Change Hazards project.

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.

Conte grounds
Date Published: December 12, 2017
Status: Active

Silvio O. Conte Anadromous Fish Research Laboratory

S.O. Conte Anadromous Fish Research Laboratory (CAFRL), Turners Falls, Massachusetts, showing Fish Passage Flume Complex in foreground

Filter Total Items: 21
Science Datasets
/data-tools/sampling-data-collected-cape-cod-bay-buzzards-bay-and-vineyard-sound-south-marthas

Sampling data collected in Cape Cod Bay, Buzzards Bay, and Vineyard Sound; south of Martha's Vineyard; and south and east of Nantucket, Massachusetts, in 2011, U.S. Geological Survey Field Activity 2011-015-FA

SeaBOSS on the fantail of the R/V Connecticut on Long Island Sound
April 4, 2018

These survey data are used to explore the nature of the sea floor and, in conjunction with high-resolution geophysical data, to make interpretive maps of sedimentary environments and validate acoustic remote sensing data.

Science Datasets
/data-tools/continuous-bathymetry-and-elevation-models-massachusetts-coastal-zone-and-continental-0

Continuous Bathymetry and Elevation Models of the Massachusetts Coastal Zone and Continental Shelf

Overview of 4 terrain models
April 4, 2018

Integrated terrain models covering 16,357 square kilometers of the Massachusetts coastal zone and offshore waters were built to provide a continuous elevation and bathymetry terrain model for ocean planning purposes.  A Triangulated Irregular Network was created from public-domain bathymetric and LiDAR data using the ArcGIS terrain-model framework.

Science Datasets
/data-tools/point-cloud-low-altitude-aerial-imagery-unmanned-aerial-system-uas-flights-over-coast

Point cloud from low-altitude aerial imagery from unmanned aerial system (UAS) flights over Coast Guard Beach, Nauset Spit, Nauset Inlet, and Nauset Marsh, Cape Cod National Seashore, Eastham, Massachusetts on 1 March 2016 (LAZ file)

Browse graphic of point cloud data
March 27, 2018

This point cloud was derived from low-altitude aerial images collected from an unmanned aerial system (UAS) flown in the Cape Cod National Seashore on 1 March, 2016. The objective of the project was to evaluate the quality and cost of mapping from UAS images. The point cloud contains 434,096,824 unclassifed and unedited geolocated points.

Science Datasets
/data-tools/topographic-imagery-and-raw-data-associated-unmanned-aerial-systems-uas-flights-over

Topographic, imagery, and raw data associated with unmanned aerial systems (UAS) flights over Black Beach, Falmouth, Massachusetts on 18 March 2016

Aerial images of Black Beach, Falmouth, MA
February 15, 2018

The U.S. Geological Survey worked in collaboration with members of the Marine Biological Laboratory and Woods Hole Analytics at Black Beach, in Falmouth, Massachusetts to explore scientific research demands on UAS technology for topographic and habitat mapping applications. 

Science Datasets
/data-tools/key-findings-scenario-based-assessment-noreasters

Key Findings for Scenario-Based Assessment for Nor'easters

summary of key findings for scenario-based assessment for Nor'easters
February 14, 2018

Percentage of sandy beaches very likely (probability > 0.9) to experience erosion associated with collision, overwash, and inundation during class 1-3 nor’easter impact.

Science Datasets
/data-tools/key-findings-scenario-based-assessment-hurricanes

Key Findings for Scenario-Based Assessment for Hurricanes

summary of key findings for scenario-based assessment for hurricanes
February 14, 2018

Percentage of sandy beaches very likely (probability > 0.9) to experience erosion associated with collision, overwash, and inundation during category 1-5 hurricane landfall.

Science Datasets
/data-tools/shoreline-change-rates-salt-marsh-units-edwin-b-forsythe-national-wildlife-refuge-new

Shoreline change rates in salt marsh units in Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, New Jersey

Map of marsh shoreline change rates for Edwin B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge
February 12, 2018

This dataset displays shoreline change rates at the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge (EBFNWR), which spans over Great Bay, Little Egg Harbor, and Barnegat Bay in New Jersey, USA

Science Datasets
/data-tools/continuous-bathymetry-and-elevation-models-massachusetts-coastal-zone-and-continental

Continuous Bathymetry and Elevation Models of the Massachusetts Coastal Zone and Continental Shelf

Overview of 4 terrain models
February 12, 2018

Integrated terrain models covering 16,357 square kilometers of the Massachusetts coastal zone and offshore waters were built to provide a continuous elevation and bathymetry terrain model for ocean planning purposes.  A Triangulated Irregular Network was created from public-domain bathymetric and LiDAR data using the ArcGIS terrain-model framework and then interpolated into a 32-bit GeoTiff.

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. 

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.

Filter Total Items: 4
New England Water Conditions Map
April 4, 2018

New England Current Water Conditions (Groundwater, Surface Water and Water-Quality) Maps

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: 8
Year Published: 2016

Low-altitude aerial imagery and related field observations associated with unmanned aerial systems (UAS) flights over Coast Guard Beach, Nauset Spit, Nauset Inlet, and Nauset Marsh, Cape Cod National Seashore, Eastham, Massachusetts on 1 March 2016

Low-altitude (approximately 120 meters above ground level) digital images were obtained from cameras mounted in a fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flown from the lawn adjacent to the Coast Guard Beach parking lot on 1 March, 2016. The UAV was a Skywalker X8 operated by Raptor Maps, Inc., contractors to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)....

Sherwood, Christopher R.
Sherwood, C., 2016, Low-altitude aerial imagery and related field observations associated with unmanned aerial systems (UAS) flights over Coast Guard Beach, Nauset Spit, Nauset Inlet, and Nauset Marsh, Cape Cod National Seashore, Eastham, Massachusetts on 1 March 2016: U.S. Geological Survey data release, http://dx.doi.org/10.5066/F7CN721H.

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: 2012

Spatial and temporal diet patterns of subadult and small adult striped bass in Massachusetts estuaries: Data, a synthesis, and trends across scales

Subadult and small adult (375–475 mm total length) striped bass Morone saxatilis are abundant and represent an important component of the recovered U.S. Atlantic coast stocks. However, little is known about these large aggregations of striped bass during their annual foraging migrations to New England. A quantitative understanding of trends...

Ferry, K.H.; Mather, Martha E.

Year Published: 2011

Seasonal use of a New England estuary by foraging contingents of migratory striped bass

Using acoustic telemetry on migratory striped bass Morone saxatilis in Plum Island Estuary (PIE), Massachusetts, we found that striped bass (335–634 mm total length) tagged in the spring and summer of 2005 (n = 14) and 2006 (n = 46) stayed in the estuary for an average of 66.0 d in 2005 and 72.2 d in 2006. Striped bass...

Mather, Martha E.; Pautzke, Sarah M.; Finn, John T.; Deegan, Linda A.; Muth, Robert M.

Year Published: 2011

Role of origin and release location in pre-spawning distribution and movements of anadromous alewife

Capturing adult anadromous fish that are ready to spawn from a self sustaining population and transferring them into a depleted system is a common fisheries enhancement tool. The behaviour of these transplanted fish, however, has not been fully evaluated. The movements of stocked and native anadromous alewife, Alosa pseudoharengus (...

Frank, Holly J.; Mather, M. E.; Smith, Joseph M.; Muth, Robert M.; Finn, John T.
Role of origin and release location in pre-spawning distribution and movements of anadromous alewife; 2011; Article; Journal; Fisheries Management and Ecology; Frank, H. J.; Mather, M. E.; Smith, J. M.; Muth, R. M.; Finn, J. T.

Year Published: 2010

Seasonal meso- and microhabitat selection by the northern snakehead (Channa argus) in the Potomac river system

 The northern snakehead (Channa argus) is a large piscivorous fish that is invasive in eastern Europe and has recently been introduced in North America. We examined the seasonal habitat selection at meso- and microhabitat scales using radio-telemetry to increase understanding of the ecology of this species, which will help to inform...

Lapointe, N.W.R.; Thorson, J.T.; Angermeier, P.L.

Year Published: 2010

Individual growth and reproductive behavior in a newly established population of northern snakehead (Channa argus), Potomac River, USA

Northern snakehead (Channa argus) were first found in the Potomac River in 2004. In 2007, we documented feeding and reproductive behavior to better understand how this species is performing in this novel environment. From April to October, we used electrofishing surveys to collect data on growth, condition, and gonad weight of adult fish. Growth...

Landis, Andrew M. Gascho; Lapointe, Nicolas W. R.; Angermeier, Paul L.

Year Published: 2010

Bald eagle predation on common loon egg

The Common Loon (Gavia immer) must defend against many potential egg predators during incubation, including corvids, Herring Gulls (Larus argentatus), raccoons (Procyon lotor), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), fisher (Martes pennanti), and mink (Neovison vison) (McIntyre 1988, Evers 2004, McCann et al. 2005). Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus...

DeStefano, Stephen; McCarthy, Kyle P.; Laskowski, Tom

Filter Total Items: 4
SIR 2016-5123 front cover icon
October 5, 2016

Overview

The Massachusetts Reservoir Simulation Tool is a screening-level model developed to examine the effects of reservoirs on the natural streamflow of streams in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Reservoir Simulation Tool simulates the daily water balance equation of a water supply reservoir and estimates the magnitude, frequency and duration of spillage below the dam over the period of record.

USGS
January 16, 2012

Overview

The Connecticut River UnImpacted Streamflow Estimation (CRUISE) tool combines the utility of catchment delineation at any location along a stream with the estimation and serving of daily streamflow information. The CRUISE tool is freely-available and requires only an internet connection and Microsoft Excel version 2000 or higher. 

SIR2011-5125 front cover icon
October 19, 2011

Overview

The firm yield of a reservoir is defined as the maximum yield that can be delivered from a system without failure, even during a severe drought. The Firm Yield Estimator model (FYE) uses the daily water-balance equation to estimate reservoir storage from October 1, 1960 to September 30, 2004, which includes the most extreme drought of record.

SIR 2009-5227 front cover
June 15, 2011

Overview

The Massachusetts Sustainable-Yield Estimator is a decision-support tool that provides screening-level estimates of the sustainable yield of a basin, defined as the difference between the unregulated streamflow and a user-specified quantity of water that must remain in the stream to support such functions as recreational activities or aquatic habitat.

Filter Total Items: 69
April 13, 2018

Image of the Week - Landsat's View of the Boston Marathon

This is a view of the route the Boston Marathon will take, as seen from Landsat 8.

At the USGS EROS Center, we study land change, operate the Landsat satellites, and maintain the longest, continuously acquired collection of images of the Earth's land surface.

USGS EROS Center (https://eros.usgs.gov/)
 

Drone image of Nauset Spit, Massachusetts
March 27, 2018

Drone image of Nauset Inlet, Massachusetts

Drone image of Nauset Inlet, Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts

USGS Deploys Storm-Tide Sensors
March 1, 2018

USGS Deploys Storm-Tide Sensors

USGS Hydrologic Technician deploys storm-tide sensor in Cohasset, MA.

Image of Erika Lentz and Danille Niles at Trunk River Beach, Falmouth, MA
January 10, 2018

Erika Lentz is interviewed by WBZ Boston for a sea-level rise segment

Erika Lentz, Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center Research Geologist interviewed by WBZ Boston Meterologist, Danielle Niles fora segment on sea-level rise

Erika Lentz interview on Trunk River Beach, Falmouth. MA
January 10, 2018

Erika Lentz interview by WBZ Meteorologist, Danielle Niles

Research geologist, Erika Lentz, interviewed on Trunk River Beach, Falmouth, MA, by WBZ meterologist, Danielle Niles, about the future impacts of sea-level rise

Blizzard of January 2018 - scouting out high water marks
January 6, 2018

Blizzard of January 2018 - scouting out high water marks

New England WSC Physical Scientist Andy Massey scouting out high water marks associated with the blizzard of January 2018. Houghs Neck Maritime Center, Quincy, MA.

Image of USGS scientist, Neil Ganju, at the Woods Hole Science Stroll outreach event
December 31, 2017

USGS Oceanographer, Neil Ganju, at the 2017 Woods Hole Science Stroll

Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center Oceanographer, Neil Ganju, sharing science at the 2017 Woods Hole Science Stroll outreach event

Overview of 4 terrain models
December 31, 2017

Bathymetry and Elevation Models of the Massachusetts Coastal Zone

Overview of the 4 Continuous Bathymetry and Elevation Models of the Massachusetts Coastal Zone and Continental Shelf

Map of marsh shoreline change rates for Edwin B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge
December 31, 2017

Map of Marsh shoreline change rates

Map of Edwin B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, N.J., marsh shoreline change rates.

December 31, 2017

Great view of the Great Marsh, Cape Cod, MA

USGS scientists, along with collaborators from the Marine Biological Laboratory, deployed a carbon flux tower on Great Marsh in 2017. Great Marsh is a 3800 acre salt marsh complex behind the Sandy Neck barrier beach in Barnstable, Cape Cod. This ecosystem is home to a variety of animals, including deer, fox, owls, and the rare Diamondback terrapin. The carbon flux tower monitors the exchange...

Filter Total Items: 101
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.

Measuring high water mark - blizzard of January 2018 in New England
January 15, 2018

Significant flooding along the coast of Massachusetts occurred Thursday, January 4, 2018, caused by a powerful blizzard.  Peak storm surge of approximately 3.00 feet occurred at the astro high tide; and, according to the National Weather Service, is the highest since records began at the Boston tide station in 1921. 

Erika Lentz interview on Trunk River Beach, Falmouth. MA
January 11, 2018

Interview on future impacts of sea-level rise on Cape Cod with meteorologist Danielle Niles on Trunk River Beach, Falmouth, MA

Long Island Sound Survey team
December 12, 2017

Geological Sampling (videos, photos and sediment samples) in Long Island Sound on the newly stretched R/V Connecticut with scientist from USGS, UConn and Univ of New Haven

Lake Powell
December 12, 2017

Develop a new bathymetry map of Lake Powell, UT-AZ, and characterize shallow sediment deposition near the mouths of the San Juan and Colorado Rivers. Bathymetric data, acoustic backscatter imagery, and limited CHIRP sub-bottom data were collected by the USGS Utah Water Science Center (UTWSC) and Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center (WHCMSC) within Lake Powell, October - November, 2017.

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.

USGS scientists use a boat and geophysical equipment to record geological and hydrological conditions in a coastal embayment.
July 12, 2016

New USGS study highlights Cape Cod's risk to rising sea levels

Scientists deploy high-tech buoy in Lake Winnipesaukee
June 27, 2016

A high-tech buoy that monitors water quality in real time was just installed in one of New England’s most popular lakes, where in the future it will help with determining when swimmers should and shouldn’t be in the water. 

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