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Virginia

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Virginia has a total area of 42,774.2 square miles, including 3,180.13 square miles of water, making it the 35th-largest state by area. The Chesapeake Bay separates the contiguous portion of the Commonwealth from the two-county peninsula of its Eastern Shore. The geography and climate of the Commonwealth are shaped by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay.

Virginia - West Virginia Water Science Center - VA

Virginia - West Virginia Water Science Center - VA

Virginia Water

Eastern Geology Paleoclimate Science Center

Eastern Geology Paleoclimate Science Center

Geology

National Minerals Information Center

National Minerals Information Center

Minerals

News

A screenshot of the Coastal Change hazards portal showing erosion, overwash and inundation potentials along the east coast
September 26, 2017

To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Maria, visit the USGS Hurricane Maria page at https://www.usgs.gov/maria.

A USGS hydrologic technician installs a Rapid-Deployment Gauge on a bridge in Norfolk, Virginia.
September 22, 2017

To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Jose, visit the USGS Hurricane Jose page at https://www.usgs.gov/jose.

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.

Filter Total Items: 63
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.

Data Nutrient
Date Published: January 17, 2018
Status: Active

USGS science contributes to "Water quality improves, pollution falls in the Chesapeake Bay"

Data show significant drop in nutrient and sediment loads

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
Sunset at Big Meadows in Shenandoah National Park
Date Published: October 21, 2017
Status: Active

Modeling summer month hydrological drought probabilities in the United States using antecedent flow conditions

Climate change raises concern that risks of hydrological drought may be increasing. We estimate hydrological drought probabilities for rivers and streams in the United States (U.S.) using maximum likelihood logistic regression (MLLR). Streamflow data from winter months are used to estimate the chance of hydrological drought during summer months. Daily streamflow data collected from 9,144...

Roanoke River Valley
Date Published: October 8, 2017
Status: Active

Monitoring High-Priority Stream Crossings Along Proposed Natural Gas Pipeline Routes

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), is monitoring the water quality of multiple high-priority streams where natural gas pipeline crossings have been proposed. The purpose of the monitoring effort is to collect baseline water-quality data and, if the pipeline construction is approved, to monitor water quality in these...

Contacts: Ethan Geisler
Filter Total Items: 29
Virginia Water-Monitoring-Site Mapper
December 11, 2017

Virginia Water-Monitoring-Site Mapper

The Water-Monitoring-Sites Mapper is an interactive map of Virginia water monitoring-site locations from the USGS National Water Information System (NWIS). It provides access to surface water, groundwater, and water quality monitoring data for active sites. The functionality includes query, select, tabular display by county, hydrologic unit code (HUC), and exporting spatial and tabular data.

Manassas Bluffs National Battlefield Park vegetation
November 15, 2017

Manassas Bluff flora database

Floral survey of 11 cliffs in the Manassas National Battlefield Park. We recorded 282 species in 194 genera and 83 families, including 23 newly documented species for the park. Locations of bluffs sampled. GIS data complement the USGS Data Series "A Floral Survey of Cliff Habitats along Bull Run at Manassas National Battlefield Park, Virginia"  and accompanying Microsoft Access database.

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.

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

Coastal Change Hazards Portal

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.

A StreamStats map image of the eastern United States
August 9, 2017

StreamStats for Virginia and the Nation

Interactively identify a watershed boundary and obtain detailed streamflow statistics.

For an introduction to StreamStats click HERE. For Virginia-specific StreamStats information click HERE.

To use StreamStats Beta Version 4 click HERE. To use the older Virginia StreamStates Version 3 click HERE.

 

The USGS Flood Event Viewer (FEV) is the public data discovery component of the Short-Term Network (STN) database. Data viewable
October 7, 2016

Hurricane and Flood Response Map Viewer

The USGS Flood Event Viewer (FEV) is the public data discovery component of the Short-Term Network (STN) database. Data viewable and downloadable from this page are from the STN database. This application integrates with the USGS National Water Information System (NWIS) database  for display of time-series water data.

Filter Total Items: 11
Virginia Water-Monitoring-Site Mapper
October 20, 2017

The Water-Monitoring-Sites Mapper is an interactive map of Virginia water monitoring-site locations from the USGS National Water Information System (NWIS). It provides access to surface water, groundwater, and water quality monitoring data for active sites. The functionality includes query, select, tabular display by county, hydrologic unit code (HUC), and exporting spatial and tabular data.

West Virginia Real-time Precipitation Network
May 22, 2017

This interactive map shows current and cumulative rainfall total for precipitation sites in West Virginia.  Map provides real-time precipitation radar image to overlay from National Weather Service.

Virginia Real-Time Precipitation Network
May 18, 2017

This interactive map shows current and cumulative rainfall total for precipitation sites in Virginia.  Map provides real-time precipitation radar image to overlay from National Weather Service. 

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.

Boston.jpg
April 6, 2016

USGS topographic maps originally published on paper in the period 1884-2006 have been scanned and published as PDF documents. This collection is of topographic quadrangle maps with scales between 1:10,000 and 1:250,000. These historic documents are downloadable free of charge through several interfaces.

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: 68
Year Published: 2016

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

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

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

Year Published: 2016

Digital elevations and extents of regional hydrogeologic units in the Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain aquifer system from Long Island, New York, to North Carolina

Digital geospatial datasets of the extents and top elevations of the regional hydrogeologic units of the Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain aquifer system from Long Island, New York, to northeastern North Carolina were developed to provide an updated hydrogeologic framework to support analysis of groundwater resources. The 19 regional hydrogeologic...

Pope, Jason P.; Andreasen, David C.; Mcfarland, E. Randolph; Watt, Martha K.
Pope, J.P., Andreasen, D.C., McFarland, E.R., and Watt, M.K., 2016, Digital elevations and extents of regional hydrogeologic units in the Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain aquifer system from Long Island, New York, to North Carolina: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 996, 28 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ds996.

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: 2016

Decadal-scale export of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment from the Susquehanna River basin, USA: Analysis and synthesis of temporal and spatial patterns

The export of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and suspended sediment (SS) is a long-standing management concern for the Chesapeake Bay watershed, USA. Here we present a comprehensive evaluation of nutrient and sediment loads over the last three decades at multiple locations in the Susquehanna River basin (SRB), Chesapeake's largest tributary...

Zhang, Qian; Ball, William P.; Moyer, Douglas

Year Published: 2016

Contaminants in urban waters—Science capabilities of the U.S. Geological Survey

Streams and estuaries with urban watersheds commonly exhibit increased streamflow and decreased base flow; diminished stream-channel stability; excessive amounts of contaminants such as pesticides, metals, industrial and municipal waste, and combustion products; and alterations to biotic community structure. Collectively, these detrimental effects...

Jastram, John D.; Hyer, Kenneth E.
U.S. Geological Survey, 2016, Contaminants in urban waters—Science capabilities of the U.S. Geological Survey: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2016–3024, 2 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/fs20163024.

Year Published: 2016

Spatial and temporal variation in microcystins occurrence in wadeable streams in the southeastern USA

Despite historical observations of potential microcystin-producing cyanobacteria (including Leptolyngbya,Phormidium, Pseudoanabaena, and Anabaena species) in 74% of headwater streams in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina (USA) from 1993 to 2011, fluvial cyanotoxin occurrence has not been systematically assessed in the...

Loftin, Keith A.; Clark, Jimmy M.; Journey, Celeste ; Kolpin, Dana W.; Van Metre, Peter C.; Bradley, Paul M.
Loftin, K.A., J.M. Clark, C.A. Journey, D.W. Kolpin, P.C. Van Metre, and P.M. Bradley. Spatial and temporal variation in microcystins occurrence in wadeable streams in the southeastern United States. Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/etc.3391

Year Published: 2016

Application of a Weighted Regression Model for Reporting Nutrient and Sediment Concentrations, Fluxes, and Trends in Concentration and Flux for the Chesapeake Bay Nontidal Water-Quality Monitoring Network, Results Through Water Year 2012

In the Chesapeake Bay watershed, estimated fluxes of nutrients and sediment from the bay’s nontidal tributaries into the estuary are the foundation of decision making to meet reductions prescribed by the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and are often the basis for refining scientific understanding of the watershed-scale...

Chanat, Jeffrey G.; Moyer, Douglas L.; Blomquist, Joel D.; Hyer, Kenneth E.; Langland, Michael J.
Chanat, J.G., Moyer, D.L., Blomquist, J.D., Hyer, K.E., and Langland, M.J., 2016, Application of a weighted regression model for reporting nutrient and sediment concentrations, fluxes, and trends in concentration and flux for the Chesapeake Bay Nontidal Water-Quality Monitoring Network, results through water year 2012: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2015–5133, 76 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20155133.

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: 2015

Fluvial geomorphology and suspended-sediment transport during construction of the Roanoke River Flood Reduction Project in Roanoke, Virginia, 2005–2012

Beginning in 2005, after decades of planning, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) undertook a major construction effort to reduce the effects of flooding on the city of Roanoke, Virginia—the Roanoke River Flood Reduction Project (RRFRP). Prompted by concerns about the potential for RRFRP construction-induced geomorphological instability...

Jastram, John D.; Krstolic, Jennifer L.; Moyer, Douglas; Hyer, Kenneth
Jastram, J.D., Krstolic, J.L., Moyer, D.L., and Hyer, K.E., 2015, Fluvial geomorphology and suspended-sediment transport during construction of the Roanoke River Flood Reduction Project in Roanoke, Virginia, 2005–2012: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2015–5111, 53 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20155111.

Year Published: 2015

Hydrogeology and simulation of groundwater flow in fractured-rock aquifers of the Piedmont and Blue Ridge Physiographic Provinces, Bedford County, Virginia

An annual groundwater budget was computed as part of a hydrogeologic characterization and monitoring effort of fractured-rock aquifers in Bedford County, Virginia, a growing 764-square-mile (mi2) rural area between the cities of Roanoke and Lynchburg, Virginia. Data collection in Bedford County began in the 1930s when continuous stream gages were...

McCoy, Kurt J.; White, Bradley A.; Yager, Richard M.; Harlow, George E.
McCoy, K.J., White, B.A., Yager, R.M., and Harlow, G.E., Jr., 2015, Hydrogeology and simulation of groundwater flow in fractured-rock aquifers of the Piedmont and Blue Ridge Physiographic Provinces, Bedford County, Virginia: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2015–5113, 54 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20155113.

Year Published: 2015

A conceptual framework and monitoring strategy for movement of saltwater in the coastal plain aquifer system of Virginia

A conceptual framework synthesizes previous studies to provide an understanding of conditions, processes, and relations of saltwater to groundwater withdrawal in the Virginia Coastal Plain aquifer system. A strategy for monitoring saltwater movement is based on spatial relations between the saltwater-transition zone and 612 groundwater-production...

Mcfarland, E. Randolph
McFarland, E.R., 2015, A conceptual framework and monitoring strategy for movement of saltwater in the Coastal Plain aquifer system of Virginia: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2015–5117, 30 p., 1 pl., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20155117.

Year Published: 2015

Hydrologic budget and conditions of Permian, Pennsylvanian, and Mississippian aquifers in the Appalachian Plateaus physiographic province

In response to challenges to groundwater availability posed by historic land-use practices, expanding development of hydrocarbon resources, and drought, the U.S. Geological Survey Groundwater Resources Program began a regional assessment of the Appalachian Plateaus aquifers in 2013 that incorporated a hydrologic landscape approach to estimate all...

McCoy, Kurt J.; Yager, Richard M.; Nelms, David L.; Ladd, David E.; Monti,, Jack; Kozar, Mark D.
McCoy, K.J., Yager, R.M., Nelms, D.L., Ladd, D.E., Monti, Jack, Jr., and Kozar, M.D., 2015, Hydrologic budget and conditions of Permian, Pennsylvanian, and Mississippian aquifers in the Appalachian Plateaus Physiographic Province (ver. 1.1, October 2015): U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2015–5106, 77 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20155106.

Filter Total Items: 90
Cowpasture River
2017 (approx.)
A photo of the Cowpasture River in Virignia.
Monitoring at Little Stony Creek above Archer Trail near Pembroke, VA
2017 (approx.)
Water monitoring at Little Stony Creek above Archer Trail near Pembroke, VA
Roanoke River Valley
2017 (approx.)
A photo of the Roanoke River Valley at Sunset.
Filter Total Items: 251
A screenshot of the Coastal Change hazards portal showing erosion, overwash and inundation potentials along the east coast
September 26, 2017

To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Maria, visit the USGS Hurricane Maria page at https://www.usgs.gov/maria.

A USGS hydrologic technician installs a Rapid-Deployment Gauge on a bridge in Norfolk, Virginia.
September 22, 2017

To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Jose, visit the USGS Hurricane Jose page at https://www.usgs.gov/jose.

Image shows a geologic map of the Lower 48
August 21, 2017

A carbonatite here, a glacial moraine there, a zig-zagging fault or two, even a behemoth of a batholith. The geology of the 50 States is an enormous patchwork of varied forms, beautiful in their variance but challenging to present as a single map.

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

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

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 Extensometer Drilling
January 18, 2017

Deep drilling in eastern Virginia will evaluate past effects of groundwater pumping, land subsidence, and relative sea-level rise. Future injection of water is expected to add pressure, expand the aquifer, and raise the land surface.

Hurricane Matthew satellite image that shows the large storm approaching the coastline of Florida.
October 6, 2016

USGS is engaged in research, monitoring, sampling and coastal change forecasting associated with Hurricane Matthew from Florida north up into Virginia.

To learn about storm sensors and see their location, explore the USGS Coastal Change Hazard Portal, or see satellite imagery before and after the storm, visit the USGS Hurricane Matthew page.

USGS: Science for a changing world
September 6, 2016

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

Catawba rhododendron blooming at Round Bald, NC
August 11, 2016

“From the mountains to the coast, the southeastern U.S. contains ecosystems that harbor incredible biodiversity. Many of those ecosystems are already highly at risk from urbanization and other human land-use change. Identifying the ecosystems at risk from climate change will help inform conservation and management to ensure we don’t lose that biodiversity.” (Jennifer Constanza, report author)

Screen shot of player playing pokemon go at the USGS building
July 27, 2016

USGS has evolved into a legendary Science-Type!

USGS
June 27, 2016

Reporters: Do you want to interview USGS scientists as they measure flooding? Please contact Shaun Wicklein at smwickle@usgs.gov or 804-399-9929.