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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

Tuktu Bluffs of the Alaska North Slope
May 23, 2017

Budget Focuses on Core USGS Science and Efficiency

Image shows several insets against the backdrop of Mount St. Helens erupting
May 18, 2017

Today, in 1980, Mount St. Helens unleashed the most devastating eruption in U.S. history. Two years later, USGS founded the Cascades Volcano Observatory to monitor Mount St. Helens and all the Cascades Volcanoes.

2014 South Napa Earthquake in California
May 15, 2017

Early on the morning of August 24, 2014, Loren Turner was awoken by clattering window blinds, a moving bed, and the sound of water splashing out of his backyard pool. He experienced what is now named the “South Napa Earthquake.” 

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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Collecting Water Samples fro the Couer d'Alene BEMP
May 26, 2017

We partner with the EPA to conduct long-term water-quality and streamflow monitoring and streamflow measurements in the Coeur d’Alene River Basin, which has been widely impacted by historic mining activities. We collect water-quality samples 2-4 times per year at 20 sites throughout the basin. Our scientists analyze these samples for metals, hardness, sediment,...

Crooked Canyon spring
May 16, 2017

Groundwater-level monitoring in the upper Deschutes Basin of central Oregon from 1997 to 2008 shows water-level declines in some places that are larger than might be expected from climate variations alone, raising questions regarding the influence of groundwater pumping, canal lining (which decreases recharge), and other human influences. Between the mid-1990s and mid-2000s, water levels in...

Keno reach of the Klamath River
May 9, 2017

The Klamath River from Link River to Keno Dam experiences poor water-quality conditions on a seasonal basis, creating inhospitable conditions for fish and other aquatic organisms. The Link River, the Klamath Straits Drain, and the Klamath River at Keno all were classified as having "very poor" water quality in summer by the Oregon Water Quality Index. The Klamath River in this reach...

This is a glacier animation for Glacier National Park.
May 9, 2017

The simulation reflects the predicted exponential rise in atmospheric CO2 concentrations, a 2xCO2 "global warming" scenario, by 2030 with a concurrent warming of 2-3 degrees centigrade (4-5 degrees Fahrenheit) by the year 2050. In addition it assumes that precipitation, primarily during the winter, will increase over the same time period five to 10 percent. The animation view of the...

Flow diagram of relationships between watershed stressors and aquatic health
April 12, 2017

How is stream ecology affected by chemical and physical stressors in small streams? The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is addressing this question through studies of relations between stressors and stream ecology across large regions of the United States.

Regional Stream Quality Assessments  ||  ...

Old Perpetual Geyser
April 11, 2017

A joint study between the USGS Water and Energy Mission Areas has the main goals of quantifying groundwater resources and geothermal energy potential in much of eastern Oregon, northeastern California, southwestern Idaho, and northernmost Nevada. This study area lies within a broadly-defined Northwest Volcanic Province (NVP) that has been dominated by volcanic eruptions that have shaped the...

Screen shot of ScienceCache mobile application's site information.
March 6, 2017

If you like to geocache and you want to contribute to research, or you are a scientist looking to engage the public in repeat observations at a particular place, you should try ScienceCache.  

ScienceCache is a scientific geocaching mobile application framework.  By melding training and games into the hunt for place-based data collection sites, and incorporating photo...

A feral hog is in a trap in southeastern U.S. awaiting immobilization and GPS collar.
March 3, 2017

The wild hog (Sus scrofa) is an exotic invasive species that significantly impacts native resources and their populations are expanding significantly throughout the United States.  In addition, wild hogs are likely contributing to the spread of disease such as pseudorabies. National Park Service units in the Southeast that have populations of exotic wild hogs include Big South Fork...

Invasive New Zealand mud snails as seen under a microscope.
February 2, 2017

Researchers at the Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center's Western Waters Invasive Species and Disease Research Program work extensively with federal, state, tribal, regional, and local partners to deliver science to improve early detection and prevention of invasive species and disease; understand complex interactions that promote invasive species and disease, and their impacts (and...

Animated GIF of a bear rubbing up against a tree which appears to be dancing
January 25, 2017

The Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE) in northwest Montana is one of the last strongholds of the grizzly bear in the lower 48 states. Of the six established grizzly bear recovery zones, the NCDE is the third largest in area, potentially harboring the greatest number of grizzly bears, and is the only zone contiguous to a strong Canadian population. However, little information exists...

Scientist collecting stream data
December 5, 2016

The Challenge: The DOI WaterSMART (Sustain and Manage America’s Resources for Tomorrow) initiative is developing data and tools to help water managers identify current and future water shortages, for humans and for freshwater ecosystems. Fishes, for example, can decline in diversity and abundance when streamflow becomes too low, for too long.  However, ecologists find that effects...

Glines Canyon Dam on the Elwha River, during the dam removal process. Photo credit: National Park Service
November 29, 2016

Dam removal is an approach to river restoration that is becoming increasingly common. In most cases, dam removal is driven by considerations other than river restoration like dam safety, but how dam removal affects aquatic and riparian systems is of great interest in many dam removals. My work in this area has had two areas of focus thus far: 1) studies of vegetation and geomorphic change...

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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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.

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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.

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.

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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Top 10 principles for designing healthy coastal ecosystems like the Salish Sea
Year Published: 2008

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

Gaydos, Joseph K.; Dierauf, Leslie; Kirby, Grant; Brosnan, Deborah; Gilardi, Kirsten; Davis, Gary E.
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.
Top 10 principles for designing healthy coastal ecosystems
Year Published: 2008

Top 10 principles for designing healthy coastal ecosystems

Gaydos, Joseph K.; Dierauf, Leslie; Kirby, Grant; Brosnan, Deborah; Gilardi, Kirsten; Davis, Gary E.
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.
Rapid water quality change in the Elwha River estuary complex during dam removal
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.

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
Large-scale dam removal on the Elwha River, Washington, USA: source-to-sink sediment budget and synthesis
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 tonnes (t), of sediment that had been...

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
Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative—A case study in partnership development
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
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.
Tidally dominated sediment dispersal offshore of a small mountainous river: Elwha River, Washington State
Year Published: 2016

Tidally dominated sediment dispersal offshore of a small mountainous river: Elwha River, Washington State

Sediment supplied by small mountainous rivers (SMRs) represents a major fraction of the global ocean sediment budget. Studies from the past two decades have shown that much of this sediment is dispersed by episodic wind and wave energy along storm-dominated coasts. In tidally dominated environments, however, different transport styles and deposits...

E.F. Eidam, A.S. Ogston, C.A. Nittrouer, J.A. Warrick
Eidam, E.F., Ogston, A.S., Nittrouer, C.A., and Warrick, J.A., 2016, Tidally dominated sediment dispersal offshore of a small mountainous river: Elwha River, Washington State: Continental Shelf Research, v. 116, pp. 136–148, doi: 10.1016/j.csr.2016.01.009.

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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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.

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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.
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.
Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler
January 9, 2017
A U.S. Geological Survey field crew uses an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler to measure water velocity on the Truckee River in Reno, Nevada.
Hikers in Glacier National Park use the new USGS ScienceCache geocaching mobile application.
2016 (approx.)
Hikers in Glacier National Park use the new USGS ScienceCache geocaching mobile application. This scientific geocaching mobile application framework consists of a website and app to help engage geo-cachers, youth, and scientists in citizen science.
Alaska Interior mountain range shot with snow capped mountains.
2016 (approx.)
Alaska Interior mountain range shot with snow capped mountains.
USGS staff ski to and from  the Garden Wall weather station in Glacier National Park (elev. 7400 feet).
2016 (approx.)
USGS staff ski to and from the Garden Wall weather station in Glacier National Park (elev. 7400 feet) to complete maintenance and examine the snowpack for avalanche research.
Recording information during a point count
2016 (approx.)
Sarah Frey, a Northwest Climate Science Center graduate fellow at Oregon State University, records information during a point count at the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest in Oregon.
Closed canopy plantation
2016 (approx.)
Example of a closed canopy plantation logged 60 years ago at the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest in Oregon, old growth forests have bigger trees and a more complex understory.
USGS employees and Flathead National Forest staff dig pits in the snow to examine snow structure and depth in Montana.
2016 (approx.)
USGS employees and Flathead National Forest staff dig pits in the snow to examine snow structure and depth for avalanche research and forecasting in northwest Montana.

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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Image shows several insets against the backdrop of Mount St. Helens erupting
May 18, 2017

Today, in 1980, Mount St. Helens unleashed the most devastating eruption in U.S. history. Two years later, USGS founded the Cascades Volcano Observatory to monitor Mount St. Helens and all the Cascades Volcanoes.

2014 South Napa Earthquake in California
May 15, 2017

Early on the morning of August 24, 2014, Loren Turner was awoken by clattering window blinds, a moving bed, and the sound of water splashing out of his backyard pool. He experienced what is now named the “South Napa Earthquake.” 

Image shows a scan of an apatite grain on a black background
May 11, 2017

No one wants to have an active volcano in their backyard (just ask Dionisio Pulido), but ancient eroded volcanoes can sometimes be literal goldmines for mineral ores.

This image shows the perimeter of Sperry Glacier in Glacier National Park in 1966,1998, 2005, and 2015.
May 10, 2017

The warming climate has dramatically reduced the size of 39 glaciers in Montana since 1966, some by as much as 85 percent, according to data released by the U.S. Geological Survey and Portland State University.

Midnight Rainbow at Atigun Gorge, Alaska
April 10, 2017

Managing 72 million acres of Federal lands in Alaska is not easy, especially when the land’s many uses need to be balanced. There are several competing interests, including the development of mineral resources that are critical to the American economy.

Earthquake Early Warning: Vital for City Transit
April 6, 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey along with university, state and private-sector partners will highlight the rollout of Version 1.2 of the USGS ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system on April 10, 2017.

Image shows a scan of a grain of pyrite rimmed with stibnite, with varying levels of arsenic shown in a color gradient. Image pr
April 6, 2017

Today’s high-end electronics increasingly rely on mineral commodities...and research into those mineral commodities is increasingly using high-end electronics too!

bue and white street sign, circle with wave -shaped drawing indicating a tsunami evacuation route
March 20, 2017

Hours before Japan was struck by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and the ensuing catastrophic tsunami, John Schelling spoke at a public meeting in the coastal community of Oceans Shores, Washington, about preparing for tsunami hazards. The few dozen people attending the meeting went home that evening and watched in horror as the events in Japan unfolded.

mount hood
March 8, 2017

Our lunchtime "brownbag" seminars are held Tuesdays from 12pm to 1 pm PT. The science lectures are held at the USGS Oregon Water Science Center at 2130 SW 5th Avenue in Portland, OR. The presentations are informal and are open to the public. Please, bring your lunch.

USGS logo
February 17, 2017

Small variations in the density of the earth’s crust—undetectable to humans without sensitive instruments—influence where earthquakes may occur in the central United States. These new findings from the U.S. Geological Survey, published today in Nature Communications, may allow scientists to map where future seismicity in the center of the country is most likely.

Centrifuge Bowl Containing River Suspended Sediment
February 13, 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey published a new report highlighting a portable continuous-flow centrifuge which aims to save time and money on contaminant analysis of particles suspended in water samples.

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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