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West Virginia

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West Virginia is located in the Appalachian region of the Southern United States and is the 41st largest by area and the 38th most populous of the 50 United States. The state is noted for its mountains, as well as its historic logging and coal mining industries, It is one of the most densely karstic areas in the world, making it a choice area for recreational caving and scientific research.

Virginia - West Virginia Water Science Center - WV

Virginia - West Virginia Water Science Center - WV

West Virginia Water

Leetown Science Center

Leetown Science Center

Fisheries Research

News

Barley Prize
October 26, 2017

USGS Leetown Science Center places 3rd in the second round of the International Barley Water Competition! This qualifies LSC as one of only 10 finalists for the last round of contenders.  The last round involves a test of phosphorus removal and the top four teams receive $200,000 each.   https://www.wateronline.com/doc/top-contenders-named-in-m-george-barley-water-prize-0001

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.

The USGS phosphorus water filter consists of six large tanks that each hold 600 pounds ochre for phosphorus removal.
July 19, 2017

A tabletop water filter demo designed to remove phosphorus from waste water has in five-years grown into a fully functional water treatment system capable of filtering more than 100-thousand gallons per day.

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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”

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...

Time of Concentration Estimates for Small Watersheds, WV
Date Published: June 13, 2017
Status: Active

Improving Time of Concentration Estimates for Small Rural Watersheds in the Appalachian Plateaus Physiographic Province, West Virginia

Many culverts and other drainage structures in rural West Virginia are located in small streams or valleys draining 100 acres or less. Design of these structures in West Virginia is generally done using discharge estimates made with widely used and well accepted methods. However, these methods require information including flow-segment length and channel geometry that are poorly characterized...

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...

Radar used to see nocturnal birds migrating through the area
Date Published: September 2, 2016

Nocturnal Bird Migration through the Central Appalachians

The Challenge: Concerns have arisen about the potential impacts of wind power development in the Appalachians on migrating birds, creating a critical need for information on their distribution and flight characteristics as they pass through the region. This study focuses on the spatial and temporal distribution of nocturnally migrating birds in the Central Appalachians (MD, VA, WV). The...

Contacts: Deanna Dawson
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...

A crowd of people in a National Park.
Date Published: July 26, 2016

National Park Service Visitor Spending Effects

The National Park Service (NPS) manages the Nation’s most iconic destinations that attract millions of visitors from across the Nation and around the world. Trip-related spending by NPS visitors generates and supports a considerable amount of economic activity within park gateway communities. USGS economists collaborate with the National Park Service social science program to estimate NPS...

Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp
Date Published: July 21, 2016

North American Waterfowl Management Plan

The ultimate success of North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) depends on maintaining relevance to stakeholders and society. In order to be relevant, a first step is to better understand what people value in regard to waterfowl and their habitats. Without this information, NAWMP population, habitat, and people objectives may not reflect stakeholder and societal values; and management...

A river bank that is being restored.
Date Published: July 5, 2016

Economic Impacts of Ecosystem Restoration

Federal investments in ecosystem restoration projects protect Federal trusts, ensure public health and safety, and preserve and enhance essential ecosystem services. These investments also generate business activity and create jobs. The Economic Impacts of Ecosystem Restoration project aims to increase the availability of information on the costs and activities associated with ecosystem...

USGS scientist lifting a sample bottle from ice hole
Date Published: April 19, 2016

Fate and Effects of Wastes from Unconventional Oil and Gas Development

This study is assessing the environmental health risks associated with wastes from unconventional oil and gas development by characterizing waste materials, identifying potential environmental pathways, and evaluating the potential effects on organisms from exposure to unintended waste releases.

Flooded Pier at Assawoman Bay, MD
Date Published: April 14, 2016

Flood Science- Northeast Region Capability Team

One of the critical roles that USGS personnel play in their day-to-day activities is to respond in a timely and professional manner to floods that can occur at any time of the year and for a variety of reasons. The Flood Science Capability Team examines the cause and effect...

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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.

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.

 

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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West Virginia Water-Monitoring-Sites Mapper
October 24, 2017

The Water-Monitoring-Sites Mapper is an interactive map of West 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.

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.

Filter Total Items: 29
Year Published: 2016

Assessment of hydrogeologic terrains, well-construction characteristics, groundwater hydraulics, and water-quality and microbial data for determination of surface-water-influenced groundwater supplies in West Virginia

In January 2014, a storage tank leaked, spilling a large quantity of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol into the Elk River in West Virginia and contaminating the water supply for more than 300,000 people. In response, the West Virginia Legislature passed Senate Bill 373, which requires the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (WVDHHR)...

Kozar, Mark D.; Paybins, Katherine S.
Kozar, M.D., and Paybins, K.S., 2016, Assessment of hydrogeologic terrains, well-construction characteristics, groundwater hydraulics, and water-quality and microbial data for determination of surface-water-influenced groundwater supplies in West Virginia (ver. 1.1, October 2016): U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2016–5048, 55 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20165048.

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: 2015

Water quality of groundwater and stream base flow in the Marcellus Shale Gas Field of the Monongahela River Basin, West Virginia, 2011-12

The Marcellus Shale gas field underlies portions of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Development of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technology led to extensive development of gas from the Marcellus Shale beginning about 2007. The need to identify and monitor changes in water-quality...

Chambers, Douglas B.; Kozar, Mark D.; Messinger, Terence; Mulder, Michon L.; Pelak, Adam J.; White , Jeremy S.
Chambers, D.B., Kozar, M.D., Messinger, Terence, Mulder, M.L., Pelak, A.J., and White, J.S., 2015, Water quality of groundwater and stream base flow in the Marcellus Shale Gas Field of the Monongahela River Basin, West Virginia, 2011–12: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2014–5233, 75 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20145233.

Year Published: 2014

Correlations of daily flows at streamgages in and near West Virginia, 1930-2011, and streamflow characteristics relevant to the use of index streamgages

Correlation of flows at pairs of streamgages were evaluated using a Spearman’s rho correlation coefficient to better identify gages that can be used as index gages to estimate daily flow at ungaged stream sites in West Virginia. Much of West Virginia (77 percent) is within areas where Spearman’s rho for daily streamflow between streamgages on...

Messinger, Terence; Paybins, Katherine S.
Correlations of daily flows at streamgages in and near West Virginia, 1930-2011, and streamflow characteristics relevant to the use of index streamgages; 2014; SIR; 2014-5061; Messinger, Terence; Paybins, Katherine S.

Year Published: 2013

Estimation of traveltime and longitudinal dispersion in streams in West Virginia

Traveltime and dispersion data are important for understanding and responding to spills of contaminants in waterways. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with West Virginia Bureau for Public Health, Office of Environmental Health Services, compiled and evaluated traveltime and longitudinal dispersion data representative of many West...

Wiley, Jeffrey B.; Messinger, Terence
Estimation of traveltime and longitudinal dispersion in streams in West Virginia; 2013; SIR; 2013-5182; Wiley, Jeffrey B; Messinger, Terence

Year Published: 2012

Groundwater quality in West Virginia, 1993-2008

Approximately 42 percent of all West Virginians rely on groundwater for their domestic water supply. However, prior to 2008, the quality of the West Virginia’s groundwater resource was largely unknown. The need for a statewide assessment of groundwater quality prompted the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with West Virginia Department...

Chambers, Douglas B.; Kozar, Mark D.; White , Jeremy S.; Paybins, Katherine S.
Groundwater quality in West Virginia, 1993-2008; 2012; SIR; 2012-5186; Chambers, Douglas B.; Kozar, Mark D.; White, Jeremy S.; Paybins, Katherine S.

Year Published: 2010

Estimation of selected seasonal streamflow statistics representative of 1930-2002 in West Virginia

Regional equations and procedures were developed for estimating seasonal 1-day 10-year, 7-day 10-year, and 30-day 5-year hydrologically based low-flow frequency values for unregulated streams in West Virginia. Regional equations and procedures also were developed for estimating the seasonal U.S. Environmental Protection Agency harmonic-mean flows...

Wiley, Jeffrey B.; Atkins, John T.
Estimation of selected seasonal streamflow statistics representative of 1930-2002 in West Virginia; 2010; SIR; 2010-5185; Wiley, Jeffrey B.; Atkins, John T., Jr.

Year Published: 2010

Estimation of Flood-Frequency Discharges for Rural, Unregulated Streams in West Virginia

Flood-frequency discharges were determined for 290 streamgage stations having a minimum of 9 years of record in West Virginia and surrounding states through the 2006 or 2007 water year. No trend was determined in the annual peaks used to calculate the flood-frequency discharges. Multiple and simple least-squares regression equations for the 100...

Wiley, Jeffrey B.; Atkins, John T.
Estimation of Flood-Frequency Discharges for Rural, Unregulated Streams in West Virginia; 2010; SIR; 2010-5033; Wiley, Jeffrey B.; Atkins Jr., John T.

Year Published: 2010

Discovery of ammocrypta clara (western sand darter) in the Upper Ohio River of West Virginia

Ammocrypta clara Jordan and Meek (western sand darter) occurs primarily in the western portions of Mississippi River system, but also has been reported from a Lake Michigan drainage and a few eastern Texas Gulf Slope rivers. Additional range records depict a semi-disjunct distribution within the Ohio River drainage, including collections from...

Cincotta, Dan A.; Welsh, Stuart A.
Discovery of ammocrypta clara (western sand darter) in the upper Ohio river of West Virginia; 2010; Article; Journal; American Midland Naturalist; Cincotta, D. A.; Welsh, S. A.

Year Published: 2009

Regional Curves for Bankfull Channel Characteristics in the Appalachian Plateaus, West Virginia

Streams in the Appalachian Plateaus Physiographic Province in West Virginia were classified as a single region on the basis of bankfull characteristics. Regression lines for annual peak flow and drainage area measured at streamgages in the study area at recurrence intervals between 1.2 and 1.7 years fell within the 99-percent confidence interval...

Messinger, Terence
Regional Curves for Bankfull Channel Characteristics in the Appalachian Plateaus, West Virginia; 2009; SIR; 2009-5242; Messinger, Terence

Year Published: 2009

Summary of West Virginia Water-Resource Data through September 2008

The West Virginia Water Science Center of the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with State and Federal agencies, obtains a large amount of data pertaining to the water resources of West Virginia each water year. A water year is the 12-month period beginning October 1 and ending September 30. These data, accumulated during many years,...

Evaldi, R.D.; Ward, S.M.; White, J.S.
Summary of West Virginia Water-Resource Data through September 2008; 2009; OFR; 2009-1199; Evaldi, R. D.; Ward, S. M.; White, J. S.

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USGS Leetown Science Center building surrounded by snow.
January 6, 2017
Morning snowfall at the Leetown Science Center's Administration building.
2016 (approx.)
Take a short look at a low cost phosphorus removal water filter the USGS has been working on for several years.
Image shows a large black stone with a silver sign in front
July 20, 2016
Cannel coal is a type of bituminous coal, which is the second-highest rank of coal (just behind anthracite). This particular sample has a high carbon content with high pollen and spore content as well. Unlike most bituminous coal, Cannel coal can be carved into ornaments. This sample came from the Eastern Interior Coalfield in Kentucky.
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Barley Prize
October 26, 2017

USGS Leetown Science Center places 3rd in the second round of the International Barley Water Competition! This qualifies LSC as one of only 10 finalists for the last round of contenders.  The last round involves a test of phosphorus removal and the top four teams receive $200,000 each.   https://www.wateronline.com/doc/top-contenders-named-in-m-george-barley-water-prize-0001

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.

The USGS phosphorus water filter consists of six large tanks that each hold 600 pounds ochre for phosphorus removal.
July 19, 2017

A tabletop water filter demo designed to remove phosphorus from waste water has in five-years grown into a fully functional water treatment system capable of filtering more than 100-thousand gallons per day.

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.

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)

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. 

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

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

Image shows a map with an aerial image of the study site beneath it
May 9, 2016

These are the first published studies to demonstrate water-quality impacts to a surface stream due to activities at an unconventional oil and gas wastewater deep well injection disposal site.

Image: Chesapeake Bay osprey chicks mostly healthy despite toxic exposure
April 4, 2016

The world's largest breeding population of ospreys is coping well with the long-lasting residues of toxic chemicals that were banned decades ago but remain in the Chesapeake Bay food chain at varying levels, such as the pesticide DDT and insulating chemicals known as PCBs.

Visualize Your Water EPA logo
January 13, 2016

Today, the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announce Visualize Your Water, a citizen science challenge for high school students who live in the Great Lakes basin and Chesapeake Bay watershed. 

USGS
December 1, 2015

A newly published, three-volume “Remote Sensing Handbook” is a comprehensive coverage of all remote sensing topics written by over 300 leading global experts.