Due to a lapse in appropriations, the majority of USGS websites may not be up to date and may not reflect current conditions. Websites displaying real-time data, such as Earthquake and Water and information needed for public health and safety will be updated with limited support. Additionally, USGS will not be able to respond to inquiries until appropriations are enacted. For more information, please see www.doi.gov/shutdown
States L2 Landing Page Tabs
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.
Demand for biomass bioenergy has been increasing due to consumer choices, and changes in public policy in response to global climate change. Currently, in the United States, unprocessed wood waste is the primary source of biomass for energy production.
Northern New England is a fascinating landscape of conifers, unique wildlife, mountainous landscapes, and warming climates. Help us better understand whether red squirrel populations are responding to climate change and predict how that will impact the vulnerable boreal birds that they prey upon.
Assessment of hydrologic and water-quality changes in shallow groundwater beneath a coastal neighborhood being converted from septic systems to municipal sewers
The U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are collaborating on a study to better understand changes to groundwater quality beneath a densely developed coastal neighborhood as it undergoes conversion from onsite wastewater disposal to municipal sewering.
The topic of how climate change will exacerbate the impacts of invasive species is at the cutting edge of conservation biology and applied ecology. We are looking for someone to work with a group of researchers and natural resource managers under the paradigm of translational ecology, producing publications and designing research that will improve conservation outcomes on the ground
We are inviting you to participate in an exciting project that brings together citizen science data from iNaturalist and other online platforms to improve currently static biodiversity databases. This project will ultimately identify invasive species, taxonomy changes, and potential climate migrants that will aid conservation efforts on public lands.
A foundation for understanding hydrologic response to climate variation
The drought of 2016 affected hydrologic conditions throughout New England. Responses of USGS groundwater observation wells to this event, however, were not uniform and were sometimes markedly different from site to site. Although USGS scientists were able to provide explanations for most of these...
Groundwater and Surface-Water Monitoring in the Mill Creek Watershed, Wellfleet and Truro, Massachusetts
The Herring River estuary and salt marsh system, within the Cape Cod National Seashore in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, has been diked off from the ocean for more than 100 years. The National Park Service is now preparing to restore the 1,100 acre estuary-marsh system.
Help improve models of coastal erosion and morphologic change! This project offers an opportunity to collect and process various kinds of oceanographic and morphologic data using instruments and images recorded with our beach cam and drones. Or it can be a chance to develop and test numerical models. In either case, the results will help the USGS make forecasts of coastal erosion during storms...
Shifts in phenology provide one of the strongest indicators of an organism’s adaptive capacity to climate change, yet it is one of the most poorly known consequences of future impacts. This project seeks to improve understanding and develop adaptation strategies of the effects of phenological shifts and trophic mismatches in Atlantic coastal fish, seabird and marine mammal species.
Periodic high groundwater levels are a major cause of septic system-failures, wet basements, and other problems for suburban and rural residents in Massachusetts. High groundwater-level estimates for installation of on-site septic systems are mandated by State regulations.
Our Mission Statement
The mission of the Samples Repository (Buczkowski, 2018) is to
1. serve as the USGS repository for geological, biological, and geochemical samples collected through field research sponsored by the WHCMSC,
2. provide long-term storage of these samples collected by WHCMSC scientists and affiliated researchers under controlled conditions to ensure...
The USGS Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center's Samples Repository is co-located on the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's Quissett Campus at 384 Woods Hole Road in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
The K.O. Emery Geotechnical Wing serves as the primary storage location for all geological, biological, and geochemical samples collected through USGS research, or in the permanent...
Oceanographic, Atmospheric and Water-Quality Measurements Sandwich Town Neck Beach, Massachusetts, 2016
These measurements provide information about waves, tides, and overwash during a winter storm in January 2016; about waves, tides, currents, and water properties between February and May, 2016; and about waves and tides between May and June 2016, during a period that overlaps with offshore bathymetric surveys.
Oceanographic, Atmospheric and Water-Quality Measurements Sandwich Town Neck Beach, Massachusetts, 2017
These measurements provide short-duration datasets of waves, tides, and overwash from portable pressure sensors deployed on the beach during major winter storms on these dates: January 23-26; February 9-10; February 13-15; and March 13-15, 2017. Longer datasets were obtained from sensors on a platform deployed on the seafloor north of the beach in seven meters depth.
Massachusetts Shoreline Change Project: A GIS Compilation of Vector Shorelines for the 2018 update
The Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management launched the Shoreline Change Project in 1989 to identify erosion-prone areas of the coast. The shoreline position and change rate are used to inform management decisions regarding the erosion of coastal resources.
Geospatial Data Layers of Shallow Geology, Sea-Floor Texture, and Physiographic Zones from the Inner Continental Shelf of Martha’s Vineyard from Aquinnah to Wasque Point, and Nantucket from Eel Point to Great Point
Geologic, sediment texture, and physiographic zone maps characterize the sea floor south and west of Martha's Vineyard and north of Nantucket, Massachusetts. These maps were derived from interpretations of seismic-reflection profiles, high-resolution bathymetry, acoustic-backscatter intensity, bottom photographs, and surficial sediment samples.
Sidescan sonar, single beam bathymetry, and navigation collected offshore of Sandwich Beach in 2016, U.S. Geological Field Activity 2016-030-FA
The objectives of the survey were to provide bathymetric and sidescan sonar data for sediment transport studies and coastal change model development for ongoing studies of nearshore coastal dynamics along Sandwich Town Neck Beach, MA. Data collection equipment used for this investigation are mounted on an unmanned surface vehicle (USV) uniquely adapted from a commercially sold gas-powered kayak and termed the "jetyak". The jetyak design is the result of a collaborative effort between USGS and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists.
Sea-Floor Sediment Samples, Seabed Imagery, and CTD Instrument Data Collected on Stellwagen Bank in August 2017, U.S. Geological Survey Field Activity 2017-043-FA
The data collected in this study will aid research on the ecology of fish and invertebrate species that inhabit the region. On August 22 and 23, 2017, the U.S. Geological Survey, in collaboration with the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, conducted a research cruise aboard the Sanctuary’s Research Vessel Auk, visiting 39 locations within the sanctuary.
Coastal and Marine Geology Program Internet Map Server and GIS Data
The USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program (CMGP) Internet Map Server is an interactive mapping service which allows the user to explore and download GIS data sets published by CMGP.
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
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.
Continuous Bathymetry and Elevation Models of the Massachusetts Coastal Zone and Continental Shelf
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.
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)
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.
Topographic, imagery, and raw data associated with unmanned aerial systems (UAS) flights over Black Beach, Falmouth, Massachusetts on 18 March 2016
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.
Key Findings for Scenario-Based Assessment for Nor'easters
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.
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.
New England Current Water Conditions (Groundwater, Surface Water and Water-Quality) Maps
In the spring of 2016, the USGS installed 18 monitoring wells and 14 multilevel samplers (MLSs) at 14 locations to monitor water levels and groundwater quality beneath the Maravista neighborhood in Falmouth, Massachusetts.
StreamStats is a Web-based Geographic Information Systems (GIS) application that provides users with access to an assortment of analytical tools that are useful for a variety of water-resources planning and management purposes.
Maps of flood and high flow conditions within New England
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.
Links to publications that contain maps of the sea floor or lake beds and the digital data used to create them.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Soil amplification with a strong impedance contrast: Boston, Massachusetts
In this study, we evaluate the effect of strong sediment/bedrock impedance contrasts on soil amplification in Boston, Massachusetts, for typical sites along the Charles and Mystic Rivers. These sites can be characterized by artificial fill overlying marine sediments overlying glacial till and bedrock, where the depth to bedrock ranges from 20 to...Baise, Laurie G.; Kaklamanos, James; Berry, Bradford M; Thompson, Eric M.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Water Withdrawals, Use, and Wastewater Return Flows in the Concord River Basin, Eastern Massachusetts, 1996-2000
Water withdrawals, use, and wastewater return flows for the Concord River Basin were estimated for the period 1996-2000. The study area in eastern Massachusetts is 400 square miles in area and includes the basins of two major tributaries, the Assabet and Sudbury Rivers, along with the Concord River, which starts at the confluence of the two...Barlow, Lora K.; Hutchins, Linda M.; Desimone, Leslie A.
Nutrient and chlorophyll relations in selected streams of the New England Coastal Basins in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, June-September 2001
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is developing guidance to assist states with defining nutrient criteria for rivers and streams and to better describe nutrient-algal relations. As part of this effort, 13 wadeable stream sites were selected, primarily in eastern Massachusetts, for a nutrient-assessment study during the summer of 2001. The...Riskin, Melissa L.; Deacon, J.R.; Liebman, M.L.; Robinson, K.W.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Screenshot of a point cloud containing more than 50 million points from a photogrammetry project of the Quissett Campus. This point cloud was created from 633 photographs taken from a unmanned aircraft system (UAS) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts in July 2018
Sandy Brosnahan, Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center, discusses Kilauea Volcano drone footage with Science Stroll participants
Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center staff, Tarandeep Kalra (pointing in light blue shirt) and Zafer Defne (orange USGS shirt) discuss oceanographic models with Science Stroll attendees
USGS display table at the 2018 Woods Hole, MA Science Stroll
Fall 2018 WaterMarks continues a regular series of newsletters from the USGS New England Water Science Center to cooperating agencies, collaborators, and others interested in our work. This issue features:
- Links to new reports and journal articles by our staff
- Updates on recent activities of our Data Section
- Highlights of new and recently completed studies.
Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center Aerial Imaging and Mapping (AIM) group conducted drone flights from atop a dune at Sandy Neck (Cape Cod) while the Joint Airborne Lidar Bathymetry Technical Center of Expertise (JALBTCX) aircraft collected data overhead.
Spring 2018 WaterMarks continues a regular series of newsletters from the USGS New England Water Science Center to cooperating agencies, collaborators, and others interested our work. This issue features:
- Links to new reports and journal articles by our staff
- Current hydrologic conditions, with a focus on winter ice in streams
- Highlights of several new interpretive studies
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.
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.
Interview on future impacts of sea-level rise on Cape Cod with meteorologist Danielle Niles on Trunk River Beach, Falmouth, MA
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
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.
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.
Meet USGS' newest laboratory!
New USGS study highlights Cape Cod's risk to rising sea levels
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.