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Our scientists in the Northwest Region conduct impartial, multi- and interdisciplinary research and monitoring on a large range of natural-resource issues that impact the quality of life of citizens of the Northwest states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.

News

Image shows coal being loaded into trucks at a coal mine
October 26, 2017

It is difficult to overstate the importance of energy to the American economy.  Managing this vital sector depends on knowing how many energy resources we have, how many we use and need, and how these resources are transported

Image shows a view of Libby Dam and Lake Koocanusa
October 25, 2017

Resource managers, regulators, and stakeholders of Montana and British Columbia’s Lake Koocanusa now have a new approach for understanding the implications of different levels of selenium, and to explore alternative selenium criteria for waters in the Lake.

USGS logo
September 18, 2017

Just after Labor Day, U.S. Geological Survey field crews began digging a trench within the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort ski area, on the lower reaches of Buffalo Bowl. 

 

 

Our scientists in the Northwest Region conduct impartial, multi- and interdisciplinary research and monitoring on a large range of natural-resource issues that impact the quality of life of citizens of the Northwest states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.

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USGS technician sampling for dissolved gases
November 2, 2017
Status: Active

We monitor groundwater and surface-water quality as well as streamflow and reservoir levels at nine surface-water sites.

Water samples are collected...

USGS green logo
October 12, 2017
Status: Active

Landscape ecology has only a short history as a recognized discipline, but it has transformed our thinking about the interplay between pattern and process. We now understand that many smaller-scale phenomena are driven by spatial processes, such as the proximity of different habitats to one another, the ability of organisms to move through landscapes, and the dynamics of natural disturbance...

Depiction of the 3D aquifer model - Idaho National Laboratory
September 23, 2017
Status: Active

Numerical models are being used to better understand the flow of groundwater and the transport of radiochemical and chemical constituents in the eastern Snake River Plain aquifer system.

The models, developed at the INL, afford scientists a framework to organize their knowledge and concepts of groundwater systems and to provide insights for water-resource managers for future water...

Dissolved gas water sample
September 22, 2017
Status: Active

Geochemical models for the eastern Snake River Plain aquifer system are being used to better understand the flow of groundwater beneath the INL and, ultimately, to better understand the fate and transport of radiochemical and chemical constituents. As water moves through the ground, it picks up chemicals from the gases and rocks it comes in contact with.

Geologic framework - Idaho National Laboratory
September 22, 2017
Status: Active

As basaltic lava cools and hardens, the inclination, declination, and polarity of the Earth’s ambient magnetic field is recorded in the magnetic minerals of the rock. The recorded magnetic values are largely preserved and can be deciphered by paleomagnetic analysis.

Drilling and Coring - Idaho National Laboratory
September 22, 2017
Status: Active

We drill and maintain wells around the INL to monitor and sample groundwater, obtain basalt and sediment cores for study and analysis, and study the physical properties of the subsurface (geophysical logging).

This information helps us to improve the scientific understanding of the eastern Snake River Plain and its aquifer. In particular, we are examining the subsidence of the plain and...

Video loggoing van
September 22, 2017
Status: Active

Drillers use the vertical and horizontal views captured by our downhole video camera to examine borehole integrity before placing water well casing, well screens, and submersible pumps. Hydrologists and geologists use the images to verify geophysical data such as: changes in rock type, small-scale geologic structures, rock fractures, and groundwater movement.

Geophysical logging van
September 22, 2017
Status: Active

Our scientists collect geophysical data from wells to understand the character of rocks and fluids below the surface. Geophysical data for a well are recorded, interpreted, and then disseminated as a geophysical log. Engineers and well drillers use geophysical logs to make well construction decisions such as design for well casing, well screen, and pump placement. Hydrologists, geologists and...

Water Archive Library - Idaho National Laboratory Project Office
September 21, 2017
Status: Active

Since 1966, we have archived over 6000 samples of about 500 mL each of "raw" (unfiltered and unpreserved) water from groundwater and surface-water quality sites collected during our monitoring activities. Through the years, we've kept the water samples in a secure room and tracked which samples researchers have requested and analyzed for various projects.

Contact us for more information...

Core Storage Library, USGS Idaho National Laboratory Project Office
September 21, 2017
Status: Active

Our Core Storage Library currently houses about 135,000 feet of core and several suites of cuttings from boreholes drilled at the INL. More cores and cuttings are added every year. The CSL also houses two suites of core and cuttings from the western Snake River Plain. In 2015, we added new core storage space in building CF 674.

USGS geologist Mary Hodges
September 20, 2017
Status: Completed

Relatively little is known about the Yellowstone-Snake River "hotspot" system. To increase our knowledge, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Geothermal Technologies Program provided over $4.5 million of this $6.7 million project using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds.

Core samples from Idaho National Laboratory
September 20, 2017
Status: Completed

The U.S. Department of Energy has proposed a location for a new facility to store waste at the INL. In the unlikely event that waste leaks from the facility, it will be important to monitor whether the contamination reaches the aquifer and baseline information is need before the facility is built.

Because we need to know how water and contaminants may travel through the aquifer, we need...

Our scientists in the Northwest Region conduct impartial, multi- and interdisciplinary research and monitoring on a large range of natural-resource issues that impact the quality of life of citizens of the Northwest states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.

Filter Total Items: 2
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.

Our scientists in the Northwest Region conduct impartial, multi- and interdisciplinary research and monitoring on a large range of natural-resource issues that impact the quality of life of citizens of the Northwest states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.

Filter Total Items: 4
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

IGBST Boundary Map
March 21, 2016

This map shows the overlapping boundaries of significant ecological and land management areas in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem used by the IGBST to show grizzly bear distribution and occupancy. Click on each boundary for more information.

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: 5
Year Published: 2016

Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative—A case study in partnership development

The Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI) is a successful example of collaboration between science and natural resource management at the landscape scale. In southwestern Wyoming, expanding energy and mineral development, urban growth, and other changes in land use over recent decades, combined with landscape-scale drivers such as...

D'Erchia, Frank
Attribution: Northwest
D’Erchia, Frank, 2016, Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative—A case study in partnership development: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1423, 17 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/cir1423.

Year Published: 2015

Rapid water quality change in the Elwha River estuary complex during dam removal

Dam removal in the United States is increasing as a result of structural concerns, sedimentation of reservoirs, and declining riverine ecosystem conditions. The removal of the 32 m Elwha and 64 m Glines Canyon dams from the Elwha River in Washington, U.S.A., was the largest dam removal project in North American history. During the 3 yr of dam...

Foley, Melissa M.; Duda, Jeffrey J.; Beirne, Matthew M.; Paradis, Rebecca; Ritchie, Andrew; Warrick, Jonathan A.
Foley, M.M., J.J. Duda, M.M. Beirne, R. Paradis, A. Ritchie, J.A. Warrick (2015). Rapid water quality change in the Elwha River estuary complex during dam removal. Limnology and Oceanography. doi: 10.1002/lno.10129

Year Published: 2015

Large-scale dam removal on the Elwha River, Washington, USA: source-to-sink sediment budget and synthesis

Understanding landscape responses to sediment supply changes constitutes a fundamental part of many problems in geomorphology, but opportunities to study such processes at field scales are rare. The phased removal of two large dams on the Elwha River, Washington, exposed 21 ± 3 million m3, or ~ 30 million ...

Warrick, Jonathan A.; Bountry, Jennifer A.; East, Amy E.; Magirl, Christopher S.; Randle, Timothy J.; Gelfenbaum, Guy R.; Ritchie, Andrew C.; Pess, George R.; Leung, Vivian; Duda, Jeff J.
Warrick, J.A., et al., 2015, Large-scale dam removal on the Elwha River, Washington, USA: Source-to-sink sediment budget and synthesis, Geomorphology, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2015.01.010

Year Published: 2008

Top 10 principles for designing healthy coastal ecosystems like the Salish Sea

Like other coastal zones around the world, the inland sea ecosystem of Washington (USA) and British Columbia (Canada), an area known as the Salish Sea, is changing under pressure from a growing human population, conversion of native forest and shoreline habitat to urban development, toxic contamination of sediments and species, and overharvest of...

Gaydos, Joseph K.; Dierauf, Leslie; Kirby, Grant; Brosnan, Deborah; Gilardi, Kirsten; Davis, Gary E.
Attribution: Northwest
Top 10 principles for designing healthy coastal ecosystems like the Salish Sea; 2008; Article; Journal; EcoHealth; Gaydos, Joseph K.; Dierauf, Leslie; Kirby, Grant; Brosnan, Deborah; Gilardi, Kirsten; Davis, Gary E.

Year Published: 2008

Top 10 principles for designing healthy coastal ecosystems

Like other coastal zones around the world, the inland sea ecosystem of Washington (USA) and British Columbia (Canada), an area known as the Salish Sea, is changing under pressure from a growing human population, conversion of native forest and shoreline habitat to urban development, toxic contamination of sediments and species, and overharvest of...

Gaydos, Joseph K.; Dierauf, Leslie; Kirby, Grant; Brosnan, Deborah; Gilardi, Kirsten; Davis, Gary E.
Attribution: Northwest
Top 10 principles for designing healthy coastal ecosystems; 2008; Article; Journal; EcoHealth; Gaydos, Joseph K., Dierauf, Leslie; Kirby, Grant; Brosnan, Deborah; Gilardi, Kirsten; Davis, Gary E.

Our scientists in the Northwest Region conduct impartial, multi- and interdisciplinary research and monitoring on a large range of natural-resource issues that impact the quality of life of citizens of the Northwest states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.

Filter Total Items: 3
Hailey, Idaho
August 22, 2016

The R package wrv is for processing the groundwater-flow model of the Wood River Valley (WRV) aquifer system, south-central Idaho. The groundwater-flow model is described in the associated model report and model archive. Included in the package is MODFLOW-USG version 1.3, a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) computer code that solves the groundwater-flow equation.

Upper Klamath Lake
April 3, 2013

The Shoreline Management Tool—An ArcMap Tool for Analyzing Water Depth, Inundated Area, Volume, and Selected Habitats, with an Example for the Lower Wood River Valley, Oregon

Our scientists in the Northwest Region conduct impartial, multi- and interdisciplinary research and monitoring on a large range of natural-resource issues that impact the quality of life of citizens of the Northwest states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.

Filter Total Items: 339
USGS scientists collect a sediment sample from Brownlee Reservoir
September 28, 2017
Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey and Idaho Power Company collected water, sediment, and biological samples from Brownlee Reservoir as part of an ongoing, cooperative study of mercury cycling in the Hells Canyon complex of reservoirs along the Snake River bordering Idaho and Oregon. The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality is also a partner in the study.
USGS weather station repair operations in Glacier NP.
September 12, 2017
Crews perform repairs on the Sperry Weather Station as part of Fire Operations in Glacier National Park. Information gathered by the USGS managed Sperry Weather Station are being used by regional fire managers to forecast fire weather and future fire behavior during the 2017 fire season.
USGS scientist doing weather station repairs in Glacier National Park.
September 12, 2017
USGS scientist Erich Peitzsch does repair on the Sperry Weather Station in Glacier National Park. Information gathered by the USGS managed Sperry Weather Station are being used by regional fire managers to forecast fire weather and future fire behavior during the 2017 fire season.
Panoramic image from Sperry Glacier in Glacier National Park showing smoke from forest fires.
September 12, 2017
Panoramic image from Sperry Glacier in Glacier National Park showing smoke from forest fires. Information gathered by the USGS managed Sperry Weather Station are being used by regional fire managers to forecast fire weather and future fire behavior.
July 5, 2017
Yellowstone grizzly bears inhabit federal, state, tribal, and private lands, and long-term research requires careful coordination across governmental levels. The Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team (IGBST) is an interdisciplinary group of scientists and biologists responsible for long-term monitoring and research efforts on grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE). The team was...
2017 (approx.)
Meet Bob. Bob is a beaver. Beavers and their dams are common sights along creeks in Oregon. Beaver activity can create diverse habitats and homes for many animals, including birds, fishes, and dragonflies. The USGS are studying beaver dams and ponds in Portland, Oregon, to understand how they affect the amount and quality of water in urban streams. Insights from the study will highlight the...
April 12, 2017
Kathy Conn, a U.S. Geological Survey Water Quality Specialist, demonstrates a new USGS field method using a continuous flow centrifuge to collect suspended sediment from large volumes of water in the Duwamish River near Seattle Washington.
Microplastics sampling on Lake Mead
March 21, 2017
Sampling for microplastics on Lake Mead, March 21, 2017
USGS hydrologic technician collecting data with ADCP from a cableway
March 9, 2017
USGS hydrologic technician Michael Allen collects streamflow data from the Boise River at streamgage station 13206000 using an acoustic Doppler current profiler.
January 20, 2017
The June 2016 Fish Fire burned over 12 km^2 in Los Angeles County, California. After the fire, the USGS installed an automated rain-triggered camera to monitor post-wildfire flooding and debris flow in a small canyon above the Las Lomas debris basin in Duarte. This video shows the peak flow triggered by an intense rainstorm on January 20, 2017.

Our scientists in the Northwest Region conduct impartial, multi- and interdisciplinary research and monitoring on a large range of natural-resource issues that impact the quality of life of citizens of the Northwest states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.

Filter Total Items: 86
Image shows coal being loaded into trucks at a coal mine
October 26, 2017

It is difficult to overstate the importance of energy to the American economy.  Managing this vital sector depends on knowing how many energy resources we have, how many we use and need, and how these resources are transported

Image shows a view of Libby Dam and Lake Koocanusa
October 25, 2017

Resource managers, regulators, and stakeholders of Montana and British Columbia’s Lake Koocanusa now have a new approach for understanding the implications of different levels of selenium, and to explore alternative selenium criteria for waters in the Lake.

USGS logo
September 18, 2017

Just after Labor Day, U.S. Geological Survey field crews began digging a trench within the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort ski area, on the lower reaches of Buffalo Bowl. 

 

 

Aerial view of red dye in the Kootenai River
September 18, 2017

BONNERS FERRY, Idaho — From Sept. 24 through 29, scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey will conduct dye tracer and aerial mapping studies on northern Idaho’s Kootenai River. Data from the studies will support Idaho Department of Fish and Game and Kootenai Tribe of Idaho fisheries and river restoration projects.

Profile of the North Fork of the Flathead River, Montana.
September 6, 2017

A new U.S. Geological Survey study provides a larger window into the future for understanding how seasonal stream temperatures may change in one of the most ecologically diverse ecosystems in North America – the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem, USA and Canada.

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.

USGS logo green
August 14, 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey awarded approximately $4.9 million this week to six universities and a university-governed non-profit, to support transitioning the west coast “ShakeAlert” earthquake early warning system into a production system.

Earthquake Catalog Map Results Example
August 8, 2017

After the next significant earthquake, many sources will be disseminating information from a variety of accounts, tools and services.

Girls points to a location on a map laying on the ground.
July 27, 2017

MEDIA ADVISORY

Twenty-five middle-school girls from 11 cities in Washington and Oregon are participating in the third annual “GeoGirls” outdoor volcano science program at Mount St. Helens, jointly organized by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Mount St. Helens Institute.

A mother grizzly bear and her cub in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
July 5, 2017

From the journals of Lewis & Clark, April 13, 1805 (in the vicinity of Pouch Point Recreation Area - 16 miles south of New Town, North Dakota):

Photo of a red dye-tracer study in June 2016 on the Missouri River near Fort Peck Dam, Montana.
June 21, 2017

Reporters: If interested in being notified when the study date is chosen, please contact Jennifer or Susannah.

High Plains aquifer water-level changes, predevelopment to 2015
June 16, 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey has released a new report detailing changes of groundwater levels in the High Plains aquifer. The report presents water-level change data in the aquifer for two separate periods: from 1950 – the time prior to significant groundwater irrigation development – to 2015, and from 2013 to 2015.

Our scientists in the Northwest Region conduct impartial, multi- and interdisciplinary research and monitoring on a large range of natural-resource issues that impact the quality of life of citizens of the Northwest states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.

Our scientists in the Northwest Region conduct impartial, multi- and interdisciplinary research and monitoring on a large range of natural-resource issues that impact the quality of life of citizens of the Northwest states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.

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