Due to a lapse in appropriations, the majority of USGS websites may not be up to date and may not reflect current conditions. Websites displaying real-time data, such as Earthquake and Water and information needed for public health and safety will be updated with limited support. Additionally, USGS will not be able to respond to inquiries until appropriations are enacted. For more information, please see www.doi.gov/shutdown
Regions L2 Landing Page Tabs
One of the major strengths of the Northeast Area is the enthusiasm and commitment of our scientists to produce the type of high quality science that the USGS is known for. Working together with our partners across the nation, we have the ability to provide complete, integrated and holistic environmental information that will produce the best results that we can achieve.
The Challenge: The health of the abundant waterfowl species of Chesapeake Bay has become a major concern due to the spread of Avian Influenza (AI) across North America and the role of waterfowl as a vector of AI. For decades, the health of the Bay’s waterfowl has been affected by the degradation of water quality and food supply due to industrial contaminants,agricultural run-off, pollution...
Scientists and staff of the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center stationed at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) do research on the systematics and conservation of vertebrate species and curate and manage the North American collections of Amphibian, Reptile, Bird, and Mammal specimens and associated records.
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...
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...
Federally-listed as threatened since 1986, the Atlantic Coast Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) population comprises fewer than 2,000 breeding pairs, according to the most recent census data. These breeding pairs are the target of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) species recovery plan.
The southern Chesapeake Bay region is experiencing land subsidence along with rising sea levels, both of which can contribute to coastal flooding. The rates at which these two processes are occurring are not exactly known. Mapping of land elevation change requires ground-truth survey data at multiple locations that are accurate and precise. With the exception of a few CORS sites that have...
The U.S. Geological Survey, partnering with the City of Roanoke and Virginia Tech University, are working to monitor the water volume and quality in streams throughout the City of Roanoke. There is currently a single long-term monitoring station, Lick Run, within the city. The objective of this study is to create a model to compute suspended sediment concentrations and loads within the Lick...
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...
Climate Change in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed: Effects on Riverine Discharge, Ecosystems, and Water Quality
The 64,000-square mile watershed that drains to the Chesapeake Bay is highly populated and has diverse land use, including forested, agricultural, and urbanized areas. Increased precipitation in the eastern United States over the last 100 years has affected stream flow and thus the loading of pollutants delivered to the bay. Such pollutants as suspended sediment and dissolved phosphorus and...
Cost effective and safe highway bridge designs are required to ensure the long-term sustainability of Virginia’s road systems. The water flows that, over time, scour streambed sediments from bridge piers inherently affect bridge safety and design costs. To ensure safety, bridge designs must anticipate streambed scour at bridge piers over the lifespan of a bridge. Until recently Federal Highway...
A key component to assessing the contaminant exposure pathways in streams and rivers of the Chesapeake Bay is using GIS-based landscape analysis to identify sources of endocrine disrupting chemicals. Municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) discharges are potentially major sources of EDCs to streams, and therefore understanding the de facto wastewater reuse (represented as...
Modification of the Quaternary stratigraphic framework of the inner-continental shelf by Holocene marine transgression: An example offshore of Fire Island, New York
The inner-continental shelf off Fire Island, New York was mapped in 2011 using interferometric sonar and high-resolution chirp seismic-reflection systems. The area mapped is approximately 50 km long by 8 km wide, extending from Moriches Inlet to Fire Island Inlet in water depths ranging from 8 to 32 m. The morphology of this inner-...Schwab, William C.; Baldwin, Wayne E.; Denny, Jane F.; Hapke, Cheryl J.; Gayes, Paul T.; List, Jeffrey H.; Warner, John C.
Methods and equations for estimating peak streamflow per square mile in Virginia’s urban basins
Models are presented that describe Virginia urban area annual peak streamflow per square mile based on basin percent urban area and basin drainage area. Equations are provided to estimate Virginia urban peak flow per square mile of basin drainage area in each of the following annual exceedance probability categories: 0.995, 0.99, 0.95, 0.9, 0.8, 0...Austin, Samuel H.
Synthesis of thirty years of surface water quality and aquatic biota data in Shenandoah National Park: Collaboration between the US Geological Survey and the National Park Service
The eastern United States has been the recipient of acidic atmospheric deposition (hereinafter, “acid rain”) for many decades. Deleterious effects of acid rain on natural resources have been well documented for surface water (e.g., Likens et al. 1996; Stoddard et al. 2001), soils (Bailey et al. 2005), forest health (Long et al. 2009), and habitat...Rice, Karen C.; Jastram, John D.; Wofford, John E.B.; Schaberl, James P.
Decreased atmospheric sulfur deposition across the southeastern U.S.: When will watersheds release stored sulfate?
Emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) to the atmosphere lead to atmospheric deposition of sulfate (SO42-), which is the dominant strong acid anion causing acidification of surface waters and soils in the eastern United States (U.S.). Since passage of the Clean Air Act and its Amendments, atmospheric deposition of SO2 in this region has declined by...Rice, Karen C.; Scanlon, Todd M.; Lynch, Jason A.; Cosby, Bernard J.
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.
Streamflow, water quality, and aquatic macroinvertebrates of selected streams in Fairfax County, Virginia, 2007-12
Efforts to mitigate the effects of urbanization on streams rely on best management practices (BMPs) that are implemented with the intent of reducing and retaining stormwater runoff. A cooperative monitoring effort between the U.S. Geological Survey and Fairfax County, Virginia, was initiated in 2007 to assess the condition of county streams and...Jastram, John D.
Reflections on a vision for integrated research and monitoring after 15 years
In May of 1998, Owen Bricker and his co-author Michael Ruggiero introduced a conceptual design for integrating the Nation’s environmental research and monitoring programs. The Framework for Integrated Monitoring and Related Research was an organizing strategy for relating data collected by various programs, at multiple spatial and temporal scales...Murdoch, Peter S.; McHale, Michael; Baron, Jill S.
Coastal storm monitoring in Virginia
Coastal communities in Virginia are prone to flooding, particularly during hurricanes, nor’easters, and other coastal low-pressure systems. These weather systems affect public safety, personal and public property, and valuable infrastructure, such as transportation, water and sewer, and electric-supply networks. Local emergency managers, utility...Wicklein, Shaun M.; Bennett, Mark
From headwaters to coast: Influence of human activities on water quality of the Potomac River Estuary
The natural aging process of Chesapeake Bay and its tributary estuaries has been accelerated by human activities around the shoreline and within the watershed, increasing sediment and nutrient loads delivered to the bay. Riverine nutrients cause algal growth in the bay leading to reductions in light penetration with consequent declines in sea...Bricker, Suzanne B.; Rice, Karen C.; Bricker, Owen P.
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
Water quality, sediment characteristics, aquatic habitat, geomorphology, and mussel population status of the Clinch River, Virginia and Tennessee, 2009-2011
Chemical, physical, and biological data were collected during 2009-2011 as part of a study of the Clinch River in Virginia and Tennessee. The data from this study, data-collection methods, and laboratory analytical methods used in the study are documented in this report. The study was conducted to describe the conditions of the Clinch River and to...Krstolic, Jennifer L.; Johnson, Gregory C.; Ostby, Brett J.K.
Quantifying groundwater’s role in delaying improvements to Chesapeake Bay water quality
A study has been undertaken to determine the time required for the effects of nitrogen-reducing best management practices (BMPs) implemented at the land surface to reach the Chesapeake Bay via groundwater transport to streams. To accomplish this, a nitrogen mass-balance regression (NMBR) model was developed and applied to seven watersheds on the...Sanford, Ward E.; Pope, Jason P.
Cowpasture river monitoring at Route 627 near Williamsville, VA
Water monitoring at Little Stony Creek above Archer Trail near Pembroke, VA
Monitoring Ramseys Draft at Route 716 near West Augusta
Before a hurricane, USGS Scientists undertake a data collection effort of a grand scale. They install a temporary mobile network of sensors along the coasts to collect additional data on the intensity of storm surge, one of the most dangerous elements of a hurricane. This effort provides critical information that allows various USGS partners and emergency responders to...
The Maine Office boat, "Miss Q", is parked next to the boat launch on Verona Island, ready to begin data collection on the Penobscot River. The crew was preparing to collect ADCP data (depth and velocity) as well as conductivity, temperature and depth profiles at various locations. In the background is the Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Fort Knox.
SEABed Observation and Sampling System (SeaBOSS) operations were conducted near Stellwagen Bank offshore of Massachusetts in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary aboard the sanctuary's research vessel, the R/V Auk.
Gypsy Moth populations are at their highest levels since the 1980s, causing damage to hardwood trees in the New England area.
At the USGS EROS Center, we study land change, operate the Landsat satellites, and maintain the longest, continuously acquired collection of images of the Earth's land surface.
USGS EROS Center (...
This is lesson 11f. In this lesson, you will learn about the new lidar products available through the 3D Elevation Program
A USGS analysis of New Jersey water quality trends found levels of total nitrogen and total phosphorus, which fuel algae blooms, declined or stayed the same at most stream sites between the 1970s and 2011. At all sites studied, chlorides from road salt increased over that time.
A recent interpretive review of scientific literature performed by the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Rochester sheds light on the interactions of gas hydrates and climate.
If coastal salt marshes are like savings accounts, with sediment as the principal, all eight Atlantic and Pacific coast salt marshes studied are "in the red," researchers found.
Patuxent Scientist Sam Droege interviewed for "Inside Science" about how commercially managed bumblebees and honey bees may be contributing to wild pollinator decline.
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.
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.
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.
Hundreds of articles have been written about the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history, at Indonesia’s Mt. Tambora just over 200 years ago. But for a small group of New England-based researchers, one more Tambora story needed to be told, one related to its catastrophic effects in the Gulf of Maine that may carry lessons for intertwined human-natural systems facing climate change today.
Richard Batiuk got to know the Chesapeake Bay in the early 1970s. During visits with his friends and family, they would swim and boat, and fish would practically jump aboard. He was young but knew he wanted to live and work on the bay.
Water users around the country can now view the past and simulated future of hydrologic processes.
The Interior Department’s Climate Science Centers, managed by USGS, are helping the National Park Service pinpoint the specific impacts of climate change on parks and their cultural and natural resources. Doing so will help managers answer a critical question: which resources will require human intervention to ensure their continued existence?
USGS researchers ground-truthed Hurricane Sandy's October 2012 storm tides in New Jersey and found northern coastal communities had significantly higher storm tides than southern ones did, though flood damage was widespread in both areas. The findings suggest that some southern New Jersey communities may be underestimating their future flood risks.