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USGS's Pennsylvania water-resources roots date back to the late 1800's, with the initiation of streamflow gaging on the Delaware and Susquehanna Rivers and evaluation of groundwater resources in various parts of the Commonwealth. Today Pennsylvania Water Science Center's cadre of nearly100 scientists, technicians and support staff throughout the state collect scientific data to inform the public.

Pennsylvania Water Science Center

Pennsylvania Water Science Center

Pennsylvania Water

News

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.

Chesapeake Bay coast at St. Michaels, Maryland
June 14, 2017

 Low- and no-oxygen area threatens crabs, oysters, fish

A map of Pennsylvania indicating radon concentrations of water samples collected during a multi-year groundwater radon study. Ma
May 11, 2017

A new U.S. Geological Survey study has discovered high levels of radon in wells across certain areas of Pennsylvania.

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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...

Oblique aerial photograph looking to the southwest along the southern end of Cedar Island, Virginia
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.

Susquehanna River at Conowingo Dam
Date Published: January 17, 2018

Conowingo Dam Above 90 Percent Capacity For Sediment Storage

The Conowingo Dam on the Susquehanna River is at about 92 percent capacity for sediment storage according to new U.S. Geological Survey research.

Chesapeake Bay Program Logo
Date Published: January 17, 2018
Status: Active

USGS contributes Toward Assessment of Bay's Health and Restoration

The federal agencies leading the watershed-wide effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay have released a progress report highlighting work completed in the 2015 fiscal year.

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”

Sediment trapping, mineral and organic in flood plain of Difficult Run Virginia
Date Published: January 12, 2018
Status: Active

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Science Summary—Vegetation traps nutrients and sediment in the flood plain of an urban stream in the Chesapeake Bay watershed

Urbanization in the Chesapeake Bay watershed has increased stream discharge, the frequency of flood-plain inundation, and the transport of nutrients (such as nitrogen and phosphorus) and sediment to streams and, ultimately, to the bay. Understanding the effects of the abundance, composition, and location of vegetation on flood-plain functions such as nutrient cycling and sediment trapping can...

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
Status: Active

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...

Contacts: Scott Phillips
Microplastics sampling on Lake Mead
Date Published: August 4, 2017
Status: Active

Occurrence and Potential Risk of Microplastics in Lake Mead and the Delaware River

There is mounting evidence that microplastics present a significant threat to aquatic organisms. Microplastics – defined as plastic particles less than 5 mm in diameter – come from many different sources, including synthetic textiles, industrial waste products, personal care products, and the breakdown of litter, car tires, and other objects. This study will assess the occurrence of...

Pennsylvania drought monitoring map
Date Published: November 2, 2016

Pennsylvania Drought Monitoring

The USGS Pennsylvania Water Science Center provides information to the public and stakeholders through their drought condition and groundwater monitoring networks.

Contacts: Dennis Risser
Appalachian Plateau Groundwater Availablity Study-newriver2
Date Published: September 30, 2016
Status: Active

Appalachian Plateau Groundwater Availablity Study

Pennsylvanian- and Mississippian-age aquifers occupy approximately 86,000 square-miles in the Appalachian Plateaus Physiographic Province of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama. As one of several USGS Regional Groundwater Studies, the primary goal of this study is to provide a regional understanding of groundwater flow and availability in the...

a birder on a bridge looking at the birds
Date Published: July 26, 2016

HDgov: Multi-agency Website for Human Dimensions of Natural Resources

HDgov is an interactive and mobile-responsive online portal to interagency, academic, and non-government resources focused on the human dimensions of natural resource management. The web portal provides easy access to tools, publications, data, and methods that help ensure that the people side of natural resources is considered throughout the entire natural resource management process. The...

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Application screenshot thumbnail
September 1, 2017

National Water Information System (NWIS)

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.

NWIS-Mapper thumbnail image
August 30, 2017

National Water Information System (NWIS) Mapper

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.

Structure datasets for the nation from The National Map
April 20, 2016

Structures Data

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.

Boundaries datasets for the nation from The National Map.
April 19, 2016

Boundaries Data

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.

Illustration related to the the river corridor
April 19, 2016

Hydrography Data

The National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) and Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD) are used to portray surface water on The National Map.

3D Lidar Point Cloud Image of San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge
April 19, 2016

The United States Interagency Elevation Inventory (USIEI)

The USIEI is a comprehensive, nationwide listing of known high-accuracy topographic and bathymetric data for the United States and its territories. The project is a collaborative effort of the USGS and NOAA with contributions from other federal agencies. The inventory supports the 3D Elevation Program and the Integrated Ocean and Coastal Mapping effort. This resource is updated in Spring and Fall.

Digital Elevation Model in the Atchafalaya Basin, LA
April 19, 2016

Elevation Data

The 3DEP products and services available through The National Map consist of lidar point clouds (LPC), 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.

Orthoimagery of Augusta Ga
April 12, 2016

Orthoimagery Data

Orthoimagery data typically are high resolution aerial images that combine the visual attributes of an aerial photograph with the spatial accuracy and reliability of a planimetric map. The National Map offers public domain, 1-meter orthoimagery for the conterminous United States with many urban areas and other locations at 2-foot or finer resolution.

Small Scale Collection USA
April 12, 2016

The National Map Small-Scale Collection

The National Map offers a collection of small-scale datasets, most of which are at 1:1,000,000. The National Map publishes two data collections at one million-scale: one for Global Map users and one for National Map users. In terms of vector geometry, the lines, points, and areas in these data collections are identical. The difference is in the attributes assigned to these features.

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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.

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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: 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: 2014

Drilling and geophysical logs of the tophole at an oil-and-gas well site, Central Venango County, Pennsylvania

In a study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey, drilling and geophysical logs were used to characterize the geohydrologic framework and the freshwater and saline-water zones penetrated by the tophole at an oil-and-...

Williams, John H.; Bird, Philip H.; Conger, Randall W.; Anderson, J. Alton
Williams, J.H., and others, 2014, Drilling and geophysical logs of the tophole at an oil-and-gas well site, Central Venango County, Pennsylvania: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2014–1194, 8 p., http://doi.dx.org/10.3133/ofr20141194.

Year Published: 2001

Areal distribution and concentrations of contaminants of concern in surficial streambed and lakebed sediments, Lake Erie-Lake Saint Clair Drainages, 1990-97

Concerns about elevated concentrations of contaminants such as polychlorinated biphenyls and mercury in aquatic bed sediments throughout the Great Lakes Basin have resulted in a need for better understanding of the scope and severity of the problem. Various organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, trace metals, and polycyclic aromatic...

Rheaume, S.J.; Button, D.T.; Myers, Donna N.; Hubbell, D.L.
Areal distribution and concentrations of contaminants of concern in surficial streambed and lakebed sediments, Lake Erie-Lake Saint Clair Drainages, 1990-97; 2001; WRI; 2000-4200; Rheaume, S. J.; Button, D. T.; Myers, D. N.; Hubbell, D. L.

Year Published: 2000

Water quality in the Lake Erie-Lake Saint Clair Drainages; Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, New York, and Pennsylvania, 1996-98

This report summarizes major findings about water quality in the Lake Erie-Lake Saint Clair Drainages that emerged from an assessment conducted between 1996 and 1998 by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program. Water quality is discussed in terms of local and regional issues and compared to conditions...

Myers, Donna N.; Thomas, Mary Ann; Frey, Jeffrey W.; Rheaume, Stephen J.; Button, Daniel T.
Water quality in the Lake Erie-Lake Saint Clair Drainages; Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, New York, and Pennsylvania, 1996-98; 2000; CIR; 1203; Myers, Donna N.; Thomas, Mary Ann; Frey, Jeffrey W.; Rheaume, Stephen J.; Button, Daniel T.

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Pennsylvania Baseline Streamflow Estimator Screen Capture
September 26, 2012

Estimation of Baseline Daily Mean Streamflows for Ungaged Locations on Pennsylvania Streams, Water Years 1960–2008

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June 15, 2016
This is an introductory video to an adaptive management approach for the invasive plant Phragmites australis in the Great Lakes basin. An adaptive management framework is an iterative process of robust decision making aimed at reducing uncertainty over time, for a variety of stakeholders with differing backgrounds and interests, via system monitoring.
Farms, forests and rolling hills in Lycoming County, PA
2015 (approx.)
A typical rural scene in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, with farms, forests and rolling hills.
USGS' Brian Selck samples a private well in Lycoming County, PA
2014 (approx.)
Brian Selck, a USGS National Association of Geoscience Teachers intern, collects a water level measurement from a domestic well at a site north of Jersey Shore in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, June 2014.
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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.

A map of Pennsylvania indicating radon concentrations of water samples collected during a multi-year groundwater radon study. Ma
May 11, 2017

A new U.S. Geological Survey study has discovered high levels of radon in wells across certain areas of Pennsylvania.

Farms, forests and rolling hills in Lycoming County, PA
March 6, 2017

Tests of 75 private drinking water wells in Lycoming County, in north-central Pennsylvania, found water from most of the sampled wells contained concentrations of radon that exceeded a proposed, nonbinding health standard for drinking water. Smaller percentages of the wells contained concentrations of arsenic or methane that exceed existing drinking water standards.

River with blue reflection, in late summer, leaves just starting to turn from green to gold.
March 2, 2017

Human and bovine, or cattle, viruses were detected in a small percentage of some Great Lakes Basin streams, with human viruses more prevalent in urban streams and bovine viruses more common in streams in agricultural areas, according to a recent U.S. Geological Survey-led study.

A USGS Hydrologic Technician installs a new streamgage
February 28, 2017

Philadelphia communities along the Schuylkill River and Darby Creek now have new tools to help inform residents of impending flooding. The U.S. Geological Survey recently installed three new streamgages in Manayunk, Eastwick, and downtown near 30th St., which will monitor water levels, and provide vital data used by emergency managers and flood forecasters to help protect lives and property. 

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

A regional assessment of untreated groundwater in the combined Valley and Ridge and Piedmont and Blue Ridge aquifers in the eastern United States is now available from the U.S. Geological Survey.

USGS NARL Wellsboro Home Page
November 18, 2016

The local home page, "Wellsboro Home Page", did a nice write-up on NARL in Wellsboro, PA on November 18, 2016,  The famous "fish hatchery" is more than meets the eye!

http://www.wellsborohomepage.com/wild-hometown-science/

Photo of a USGS scientist measuring of flow of water around the barge in Illinois.
June 14, 2016

When a moving barge encounters small fish in the Illinois Waterway there is a possibility that the fish will become trapped in the gap between barges, according to a new study by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Geological Survey.

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

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

USGS
May 10, 2016

A new study from the USGS assesses water quality data for the Juniata River Basin in Western Blair County, Pennsylvania.