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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.
Forest cover is predicted to decline in the western US in the next century, due in part to increased hydraulic stress associated with climate change. There has been a large body of work done on adult trees in natural settings, but a smaller amount has been done on more vulnerable seedlings outside of the greenhouse.
Assessment of Potential Effects of Water-Supply Withdrawals on Groundwater Levels near the Hyannis Ponds Complex, Barnstable, Massachusetts
The USGS, in cooperation with the Town of Barnstable and MassWildlife, is assessing the potential effects of new water-supply withdrawals on groundwater levels in the Hyannis Ponds Wildlife Management Area on Cape Cod. A groundwater-flow model is being used to simulate the effects of several possible withdrawal and wastewater-return flow scenarios developed by the Town of Barnstable and...
Hydrologic Site Assessment for Passive Treatment of Groundwater Nitrogen with Permeable Reactive Barriers, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
In 2019 USGS completed a study designed to develop and evaluate a phased site-assessment approach for determining the hydrologic suitability of sites being considered for permeable reactive barrier installation on Cape Cod. The approach provides a template for town officials and other stakeholders to follow when considering PRBs for passive treatment of nitrogen in groundwater on Cape Cod and...
The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) is conducting geologic mapping of the sea floor to characterize the surface and shallow subsurface geologic framework within the Massachusetts coastal zone. The long-term goal of this mapping effort is to produce high-resolution geologic maps and a Geographic Information System (GIS) that...
Estimation of Daily Streamflow and Water Availability in the Massachusetts Sustainable-Yield Estimator, Version 2.0
The Massachusetts Sustainable-Yield Estimator is a decision-support tool that provides estimates of daily unaltered streamflow, water-use-adjusted streamflow, and water availability for ungaged, user-defined sites in Massachusetts. In this recently completed study, version 2.0 of the original Sustainable-Yield Estimator (Archfield and others, 2010) was developed with minor changes to the...
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.
USGS’s extensive stream gage network has greatly advanced our hydrologic understanding of watershed dynamics through the calculation of long-term streamflow measurements. Discharge, however, is not a direct measurement but rather derived from measurements of channel area, water height, and velocity.
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.
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 situations, staff who participated in drought advisory panels realized the need for a quantitative...
Unvegetated to vegetated marsh ratio in Cape Cod National Seashore salt marsh complex, Massachusetts
Unvegetated to vegetated marsh ratio (UVVR) in the Cape Cod National Seashore (CACO) salt marsh complex and approximal wetlands is computed based on conceptual marsh units defined by Defne and Ganju (2019). UVVR was calculated based on U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) 1-meter resolution imagery.
Conceptual marsh units for Cape Cod National Seashore salt marsh complex, Massachusetts
The salt marsh complex of Cape Cod National Seashore (CACO), Massachusetts, USA and approximal wetlands were delineated to smaller, conceptual marsh units by geoprocessing of surface elevation data. Flow accumulation based on the relative elevation of each location is used to determine the ridge lines that separate each marsh unit
Mean tidal range in marsh units of Cape Cod National Seashore salt marsh complex, Massachusetts
This dataset displays the spatial variation of mean tidal range (i.e. Mean Range of Tides, MN) in the Cape Cod National Seashore (CACO) salt marsh complex and approximal wetlands based on conceptual marsh units.MN was based on the calculated difference in height between mean high water (MHW) and mean low water (MLW) using the VDatum (v3.5) database ( http://vdatum.noaa.gov/ ).
Elevation of marsh units in Cape Cod National Seashore salt marsh complex, Massachusetts
Through scientific efforts initiated with the Hurricane Sandy Science Plan, the U.S. Geological Survey has been expanding national assessment of coastal change hazards and forecast products to coastal wetlands. The intent is to provide federal, state, and local managers with tools to estimate their vulnerability and ecosystem service potential
National Water Information System (NWIS) Mapper
The NWIS mapper provides access to over 1.5 million sites contained in the USGS National Water Information System (NWIS), including sites where current and historical surface-water, groundwater, springs, and atmospheric data has been collected. Users can search by site type, data type, site number, or place.
Coastal and Marine Geoscience Data System
Site provides access to Coastal and Marine Geology Program (CMGP) data via Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards services; serving data to GeoMapApp and Virtual Ocean 2-D and 3-D earth browsing tools, for data integration, visualization and analysis; and metadata catalogs for data discovery.
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.
Locations of the sites investigated to determine hydrologic suitability for installation of permeable reactive barriers to treat groundwater nitrogen, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
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.
User guide for the Massachusetts Sustainable-Yield Estimator (MA SYE—version 2.0) computer program
This report is a user guide for the Massachusetts Sustainable-Yield Estimator (MA SYE) computer program (version 2.0). The MA SYE was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to provide a planning-level decision-support tool designed to help decision makers estimate daily...Granato, Gregory E.; Levin, Sara B.
Methods used to estimate daily streamflow and water availability in the Massachusetts Sustainable-Yield Estimator version 2.0
The Massachusetts Sustainable-Yield Estimator is a decision support tool that provides estimates of daily unaltered streamflow, water-use-adjusted streamflow, and water availability for ungaged, user-defined basins in Massachusetts. Daily streamflow at the ungaged site is estimated for unaltered (no water use) and water-use scenarios. The...Levin, Sara B. ; Granato, Gregory E.
Geochemical conditions and nitrogen transport in nearshore groundwater and the subterranean estuary at a Cape Cod embayment, East Falmouth, Massachusetts, 2013–14
Nitrogen transport and transformation were studied during 2013 to 2014 by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in a subterranean estuary beneath onshore locations on the Seacoast Shores peninsula, a residential area in Falmouth, Massachusetts, served by septic systems and cesspools, and adjacent...Colman, John A.; LeBlanc, Denis R.; Böhlke, John K.; McCobb, Timothy D.; Kroeger, Kevin D.; Belaval, Marcel; Cambareri, Thomas C.; Pirolli, Gillian F.; Brooks, T. Wallace; Garren, Mary E.; Stover, Tobias B.; Keeley, Ann
High-water marks from Hurricane Sandy for coastal areas of Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, October 2012
Because coastal areas in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts were heavily affected by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), under a mission agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, collected storm tide high-water marks in those coastal areas. This effort was undertaken to better understand the...Ostiguy, Lance J.; Sargent, Timothy C.; Izbicki, Brittney J.; Bent, Gardner C.
Characterization of stormwater runoff from bridge decks in eastern Massachusetts, 2014–16
The quality of stormwater runoff from bridge decks (hereafter referred to as “bridge-deck runoff”) was characterized in a field study from August 2014 through August 2016 in which concentrations of suspended sediment (SS) and total nutrients were monitored. These new data were collected to supplement existing highway-runoff data collected in...Smith, Kirk P.; Sorenson, Jason R.; Granato, Gregory E.
Nutrient and metal loads estimated by using discrete, automated, and continuous water-quality monitoring techniques for the Blackstone River at the Massachusetts-Rhode Island State line, water years 2013–14
Flow-proportional composite water samples were collected in water years 2013 and 2014 by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, from the Blackstone River at Millville, Massachusetts (U.S. Geological Survey station 01111230), about 0.5 mile from the border with Rhode Island. Samples...Sorenson, Jason R.; Granato, Gregory E.; Smith, Kirk P.
Quality of water from crystalline rock aquifers in New England, New Jersey, and New York, 1995-2007
Crystalline bedrock aquifers in New England and parts of New Jersey and New York (NECR aquifers) are a major source of drinking water. Because the quality of water in these aquifers is highly variable, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) statistically analyzed chemical data on samples of untreated groundwater collected from 117 domestic bedrock...Flanagan, Sarah M.; Ayotte, Joseph D.; Robinson, Gilpin R.
Development of simulated groundwater-contributing areas to selected streams, ponds, coastal water bodies, and production wells in the Plymouth-Carver region and Cape Cod, Massachusetts
IntroductionThe U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in support of the Massachusetts Estuaries Project (MEP), delineated groundwater-contributing areas to various hydrologic receptors including ponds, streams, and coastal water bodies throughout southeastern Massachusetts, including portions of the Plymouth-Carver aquifer system and all of Cape Cod....Carlson, Carl S.; Masterson, John P.; Walter, Donald A.; Barbaro, Jeffrey R.
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.
This software release provides the database application that runs the Massachusetts Sustainable-Yield Estimator (MA SYE) computer program (version 2.0).
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.
Map showing the surficial geology from this study and Baldwin and others (2016) with equivalent onshore geology (adapted from Stone and DiGiacomo-Cohen, 2009). The areal extents over which offshore subsurface geologic units crop out at the sea floor were interpreted from seismic-reflection data.
The distribution of sediment textures within the study area. The bottom-type classification is from Barnhardt and others (1998) and is based on 16 sediment classes. The classification is based on four sediment units that include gravel (G), mud (M), rock (R), and sand (S). If the texture is greater than 90 percent, it is labeled with a single letter. If the composition of...
Geologic sections (C-C', D-D', and E-E') illustrating the general distributions and thicknesses of seismic stratigraphic units and major unconformities in the Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket study areas. The geologic sections were produced from chirp seismic-reflection profile interpretations.The Ul unconformity is a dashed line to denote that it is...
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
A new report and map published by the U.S. Geological Survey provides critical insight to electric power grid operators across the northeastern United States in the event of a once-per-century magnetic superstorm.
Marine geologic maps of the inner continental shelf of Massachusetts, where science, scientists, and art come together to create visually appealing interpretive maps that are critical to aid statewide efforts to inventory and manage coastal and marine resources.
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!