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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.

Filter Total Items: 72
Collecting sediment samples from Brownlee Reservoir, Idaho and Oregon
Date Published: August 4, 2017
Status: Active

Mercury Cycling in the Hells Canyon Complex

The Hells Canyon Complex is a hydroelectric project consisting of three dams located on the Snake River along the Oregon and Idaho border. Elevated concentrations of mercury and methylmercury in the water column, bottom sediments, and biota in this reach have resulted in two of the reservoirs, Brownlee and Hells Canyon, being listed as impaired for mercury by the state of Idaho, and the entire...

Image: Water-Quality Study in Historical Idaho Mining District
Date Published: August 4, 2017
Status: Active

Trace Elements in Streams Near the Stibnite Mining Area

Mining of stibnite (antimony sulfide), tungsten, gold, silver, and mercury near the town of Stibnite in central Idaho has left a legacy of trace element contamination in the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River (EFSFSR) and its tributaries. Concentrations of arsenic, antimony, and mercury frequently exceed human health criteria and may impact threatened or endangered salmonid...

Logging in the Sierra Nevada Mountains
Date Published: June 22, 2017
Status: Active

Threats to protected areas

Land-use intensification poses significant threats to biodiversity both directly through the alteration and fragmentation of ecosystems and habitat loss, and indirectly through the disruption of supporting ecological processes. While protected areas offer refugia for species and ecosystems, they do not function in isolation from surrounding natural, working, or human-dominated landscapes....

Contacts: Tamara Wilson
Hydrologist collecting data on South Fork Coeur d'Alne River, Idaho
Date Published: May 26, 2017
Status: Active

Coeur d'Alene Basin Water-Quality Monitoring

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, and nutrients. In addition, we ...

Crooked Canyon spring
Date Published: May 16, 2017
Status: Completed

Groundwater in the Upper Deschutes Basin, Oregon

Groundwater monitoring in the Deschutes Basin shows water-level declines are larger than might be expected from climate variations alone, raising questions regarding the influence of groundwater pumping, canal lining, and other human influences.

Contacts: Terrence Conlon
klamath river at keno reach
Date Published: May 9, 2017
Status: Active

Water Quality in Keno Reach of the Klamath River

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. These problems led the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to prepare a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) plan to bring the river into compliance with water-quality standards. This study uses a hydrodynamic and...

Contacts: Annett Sullivan
Flow diagram of relationships between watershed stressors and aquatic health
Date Published: April 12, 2017
Status: Active

Stream quality assessments in the Southeast

The South Atlantic Water Science Center is a participant in the Southeast Stream Quality Assessment (SESQA) which covers the southeastern region of the Regional Stream Quality Assessment (RSQA).

The goal of the study is to determine how stream...

Old Perpetual Geyser
Date Published: April 11, 2017
Status: Active

Hydrogeologic and Geothermal Conditions of the Northwest Volcanic Aquifers

Although sparsely populated, this area in southeastern Oregon, northeastern California, northwestern Nevada, and southeastern Idaho has high geothermal heat flow that may be used to generate large amounts of electricity.

Trumpeter swans, Camas National Wildlife Refuge
Date Published: March 9, 2017
Status: Completed

Estimating Seepage Rates of Streams, Ponds, and Lakes at the Camas National Wildlife Refuge

The Camas National Wildlife Refugeprovides essential resting, feeding, and nesting habitat for waterfowl including migratory birds. A variety of other animals, large and small, are found there, too. Since the refuge was established in 1937, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has been responsible for managing this vital resource.

Traditionally, Camas Creek and groundwater inflow...

Contacts: Gordon Rattray
Big Wood River at Hailey, Idaho
Date Published: January 2, 2017
Status: Completed

Wood River Valley Hydrologic Trends and Comparisons

Wood River Valley residents rely on groundwater for domestic supply, either from domestic or municipal-supply wells. The rapid population growth since the 1970s has caused concern about the long-term sustainability of the groundwater resource.

Stalker Creek, Idaho, in summer
Date Published: January 1, 2017
Status: Completed

Effects of Nutrient Enrichment on Stream Ecosystems (Upper Snake River Basin NAWQA)

Nutrient enrichment can affect the ecological health of a stream. For example, excessive aquatic plant growth caused by increased nutrients can reduce dissolved oxygen necessary for other aquatic life. Topics of particular interest in this study area include:

seasonal patterns among nutrients, flows, algae and plants in streams

rooted aquatic plant vs. algae growth

stream...

Debris flow as result of 2013 Beaver Creek Fire, Idaho
Date Published: January 1, 2017
Status: Completed

Debris-Flow Hazard Assessment of the Area Burned by the 2013 Beaver Creek Fire

In August 2013, the Beaver Creek wildfire burned more than 100,000 acres of public and private land northwest of Hailey, Idaho. According to the U.S. Forest Service, about 57 percent of the area is considered moderately burned, and the risk of post-fire soil erosion is high on more than 8,400 acres.

Filter Total Items: 495
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Year Published: 2018

Volcanic aquifers of Hawai‘i—Hydrogeology, water budgets, and conceptual models

Hawai‘i’s aquifers have limited capacity to store fresh groundwater because each island is small and surrounded by saltwater. Saltwater also underlies much of the fresh groundwater. Fresh groundwater resources are, therefore, particularly vulnerable to human activity, short-term climate cycles, and long-term climate change. Availability of fresh...

Izuka, Scot K.; Engott, John A.; Rotzoll, Kolja; Bassiouni, Maoya; Johnson, Adam G.; Miller, Lisa D.; Mair, Alan
Izuka, S.K., Engott, J.A., Rotzoll, Kolja, Bassiouni, Maoya, Johnson, A.G., Miller, L.D., and Mair, Alan, 2018, Volcanic aquifers of Hawai‘i—Hydrogeology, water budgets, and conceptual models (ver. 2.0, March 2018): U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2015-5164, 158 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20155164.

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Year Published: 2018

Spatially distributed groundwater recharge estimated using a water-budget model for the Island of Maui, Hawai`i, 1978–2007

Demand for freshwater on the Island of Maui is expected to grow. To evaluate the availability of fresh groundwater, estimates of groundwater recharge are needed. A water-budget model with a daily computation interval was developed and used to estimate the spatial distribution of recharge on Maui for average climate conditions (1978–2007 rainfall...

Johnson, Adam G.; Engott, John A.; Bassiouni, Maoya; Rotzoll, Kolja
Johnson, A.G., Engott, J.A., Bassiouni, Maoya, and Rotzoll, Kolja, 2018, Spatially distributed groundwater recharge estimated using a water-budget model for the Island of Maui, Hawai`i, 1978–2007 (ver. 2.0, February 2018): U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2014–5168, 53 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20145168.

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Year Published: 2018

The effect of isolation, fragmentation, and population bottlenecks on song structure of a Hawaiian honeycreeper

Little is known about how important social behaviors such as song vary within and among populations for any of the endemic Hawaiian honeycreepers. Habitat loss and non‐native diseases (e.g., avian malaria) have resulted in isolation and fragmentation of Hawaiian honeycreepers within primarily high elevation forests. In this study, we examined how...

Pang-Ching, Joshua M.; Paxton, Kristina L.; Paxton, Eben H.; Pack, Adam A.; Hart, Patrick J.
Pang‐Ching, J. M., K. L. Paxton, E. H. Paxton, A. A. Pack, and P. J. Hart. 2018. The effect of isolation, fragmentation, and population bottlenecks on song structure of a Hawaiian honeycreeper. Ecology and Evolution 8:2076–2087. Available: https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.3820

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Year Published: 2018

Rapid colonization of a Hawaiian restoration forest by a diverse avian community

Deforestation of tropical forests has led to widespread loss and extirpation of forest bird species around the world, including the Hawaiian Islands which have experienced a dramatic loss of forests over the last 200–800 years. Given the important role birds play in forest ecosystem functions via seed dispersal and pollination, a bird community's...

Paxton, Eben H.; Yelenik, Stephanie G.; Borneman, Tracy E.; Rose, Eli; Camp, Richard J.; Kendall, Steve J.
Paxton, E. H., S. G. Yelenik, T. E. Borneman, E. T. Rose, R. J. Camp, and S. J. Kendall. 2018. Rapid colonization of a Hawaiian restoration forest by a diverse avian community. Restoration Ecology 26:165–173.

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Year Published: 2017

Vegetation response of a dry shrubland community to feral goat management on the island of Moloka‘i, Hawai‘i

The Hawaiian Islands are well known for their unique ecosystem assemblages that have a high proportion of endemic flora and fauna. However, since human colonization of this archipelago—starting with the arrival of Polynesian sailors approximately 1,200 years ago, and particularly following western contact in 1778—thousands of non-native species...

Jacobi, James D.; Stock, Jonathan
Jacobi, J.D., and Stock, J., 2017, Vegetation response of a dry shrubland community to feral goat management on the island of Moloka‘i, Hawai‘i: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2017–5136, 28 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20175136.

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Year Published: 2017

How many Laysan Teal Anas laysanensis are on Midway Atoll? Methods for monitoring abundance after reintroduction

Wildlife managers often request a simple approach to monitor the status of species of concern. In response to that need, we used eight years of monitoring data to estimate population size and test the validity of an index for monitoring accurately the abundance of reintroduced, endangered Laysan Teal Anas laysanensis. The population was...

Reynolds, Michelle H.; Courtot, Karen; Hatfield, Jeffrey
Reynolds, M. H., K. N. Courtot, and J. S. Hatfield. 2017. How many Laysan teal Anas laysanensis are on Midway Atoll? Methods for monitoring abundance after reintroduction. Wildfowl 67:60–71. Available: https://wildfowl.wwt.org.uk/index.php/wildfowl/article/view/2664/1781

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Year Published: 2017

Interactions among invasive plants: Lessons from Hawai‘i

Most ecosystems have multiple-plant invaders rather than single-plant invaders, yet ecological studies and management actions focus largely on single invader species. There is a need for general principles regarding invader interactions across varying environmental conditions, so that secondary invasions can be anticipated and managers can...

D'Antonio, Carla M.; Ostertag, Rebecca; Cordell, Susan; Yelenik, Stephanie G.
D’Antonio, C. M., R. Ostertag, S. Cordell, and S. Yelenik. 2017. Interactions among invasive plants: lessons from Hawai‘i. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 48:521–541. Available: http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-ecolsys-110316-022620

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Year Published: 2017

Feral goats and sheep

No abstract available.

Pitt, William C.; Beasley, James; Witmer, Gary W.; Hess, Steve C.; Van Vuren, Dirk H.; Witmer, Gary W.
Hess, S. C., D. H. Van Vuren, and G. W. Witmer. 2017. Feral goats and sheep. Pages 287–307 in W. C. Pitt, J. Beasley, and G. W. Witmer, editors. Ecology and Management of Terrestrial Vertebrate Invasive Species in the United States. CRC Press, Boca Raton.

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Year Published: 2017

Monitoring Hawaiian biodiversity: Pilot study to assess changes to forest birds and their habitat

Biological diversity, or biodiversity, is the variety and abundance of species in a defined area, and is one of the oldest and most basic descriptions of biological communities. Understanding how populations and communities are structured and change over space and time in response to internal and external forces is a management priority. Effective...

Gorresen, P. Marcos; Camp, Richard J.; Gaudioso, Jacqueline; Brinck, Kevin W.; Berkowitz, Paul; Jacobi, James D.

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Year Published: 2017

No evidence of critical slowing down in two endangered Hawaiian honeycreepers

There is debate about the current population trends and predicted short-term fates of the endangered forest birds, Hawai`i Creeper (Loxops mana) and Hawai`i `Ākepa (L. coccineus). Using long-term population size estimates, some studies report forest bird populations as stable or increasing, while other studies report signs of population...

Rozek, Jessica C.; Camp, Richard J.; Reed, J. Michael
Rozek, J. C., R. J. Camp, and J. M. Reed. 2017. No evidence of critical slowing down in two endangered Hawaiian honeycreepers. PLOS ONE 12:e0187518. Available: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0187518

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Year Published: 2017

Assessing the potential of translocating vulnerable forest birds by searching for novel and enduring climatic ranges

Hawaiian forest birds are imperiled, with fewer than half the original >40 species remaining extant. Recent studies document ongoing rapid population decline and pro- ject complete climate-based range losses for the critically endangered Kaua’i endemics ‘akeke’e (Loxops caeruleirostris) and ‘akikiki (Oreomystis bairdi) by end-of-century due to...

Fortini, Lucas B.; Kaiser, Lauren R.; Vorsino, Adam E.; Paxton, Eben H.; Jacobi, James D.
Fortini, L. B., L. R. Kaiser, A. E. Vorsino, E. H. Paxton, and J. D. Jacobi. 2017. Assessing the potential of translocating vulnerable forest birds by searching for novel and enduring climatic ranges. Ecology and Evolution 7:9119–9130. Available: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ece3.3451/full

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Year Published: 2017

Monitoring eradication of European mouflon sheep from the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park

European mouflon (Ovis gmelini musimon), the world's smallest wild sheep, have proliferated and degraded fragile native ecosystems in the Hawaiian Islands through browsing, bark stripping, and trampling, including native forests within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park (HAVO). HAVO resource managers initiated ungulate control efforts in the 469 km2...

Judge, Seth; Hess, Steven C.; Faford, Jonathan K.; Pacheco, Dexter; Leopold, Christina
Judge, S. W., S. C. Hess, J. K. Faford, D. Pacheco, and C. R. Leopold. 2017. Monitoring eradication of European mouflon sheep from the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Pacific Science 71:425–436. Available: http://www.bioone.org/doi/full/10.2984/71.4.3

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: 301
Three girls sit on rocks and look at a computer screen.
December 31, 2016

Geogirls use computers in the field to track locations

Geogirls use computers in the field to track locations and annotate field photos.

USGS streamgage
November 1, 2016

USGS streamgage 13210810, Fifteen Mile Creek near Middleton, Idaho.

USGS streamgage 13210810, Fifteen Mile Creek near Middleton, Idaho, is one of 10 streamgages the USGS has installed on Treasure Valley drains in cooperation with the Idaho Department of Water Resources. Data from these streamgages will be incorporated into a groundwater-flow model of the Treasure Valley aquifer system.

September 22, 2016

Framework for Evaluating Multi-Species Climate Change Vulnerability

This webinar was conducted as part of the Climate Change Science and Management Webinar series, hosted in partnership by the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center and the FWS National Conservation Training Center. 

Webinar Summary: Frameworks for evaluating the vulnerability of multiple species to decline or extinction are increasingly needed by

...
August 25, 2016

E2 East Transect – 2016

Permanent Site: E2 East Transect; Depth: 14.3 Meters (46.8 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 0.9 Kilometers (0.5 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15653002,-123.56130401; Site Description: This is one of our deeper sites. Substrate is mainly gravel/cobble with an occasional boulder. A few brown acid kelps (Desmarestia spp. at 0:06 

...
August 25, 2016

E2 West Transect – 2016

Permanent Site: E2 West Transect; Depth: 14.6 Meters (47.8 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 0.9 Kilometers (0.5 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15653002, -123.56197605; Site Description: This is one of our deeper sites. Substrate is mainly gravel/cobble with scattered boulders. A few small red and brown seaweeds, mainly acid kelp

...
August 24, 2016

D2 West Transect – 2016

Permanent Site: D2 West Transect; Depth: 12.8 Meters (41.9 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 0.3 Kilometers (0.2 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal Lat/Long: 48.15233001,-123.56896603; Site Description: This site is right off the mouth of the river. Substrate is mainly gravel with some cobble. Dead clam shells are scattered everywhere (2:14 seconds).

...
August 24, 2016

J1 West Transect – 2016

Permanent Site: J1 West Transect; Depth: 9.8 Meters (32.3 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 6.6 Kilometers (4.1 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.13607725,-123.48002186; Site Description: This site is medium depth. Substrate is mainly a gravel/sand mixture. Both red (0:25 seconds) and brown seaweed growth is dense and appears to be

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August 23, 2016

GP1 East Transect – 2016

Permanent Control Site: GP1 East Transect; Depth: 7.5 m (24.7 feet); Distance from river mouth: 19.0 Kilometers (11.8 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long:; Site Description: This site was established as the eastern control. Depth is medium-shallow. Substrate is mainly a gravel/sand/cobble mixture surrounding numerous large boulders. Red (1

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August 23, 2016

GP2 East Transect – 2016

Permanent Control Site: GP2 East Transect; Depth: 13.2 Meters (43.4 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 18.8 Kilometers (11.7 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.12781102,-123.31645664; Site Description: This site was established as the eastern control. Substrate is mainly a gravel sand mixture. A few large boulders are located off

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August 23, 2016

GP1 West Transect – 2016

Permanent Control Site: GP1 West Transect; Depth: 7.9 m (25.9 feet); Distance from river mouth: 19.0 Kilometers (11.8 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.11852521,-123.31605203; Site Description: This site was established as the eastern control. Depth is medium-shallow. Substrate is mainly a gravel/sand/cobble mixture surrounding

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August 23, 2016

GP2 West Transect – 2015

Permanent Control Site: GP2 West Transect; Depth: 13.0 Meters (42.6 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 18.8 Kilometers (11.6 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.12781102,-123.31712832; Site Description: This site was established as the eastern control. Substrate is mainly a gravel/sand/cobble mixture surrounding boulders. This year red

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August 12, 2016

H1 West Transect – 2016

Permanent Site: H1 West Transect; Depth: 5.7 Meters (18.7 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 2.4 Kilometers (1.5 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.14803012,-123.53535558; Site Description: This is a shallow site and one of the farthest removed from the effects of the sediment plume outside of the control sites. Substrate is still

...

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: 79
USGS
March 8, 2017

Our lunchtime 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
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.

K2 Seismic Station
February 2, 2017

The U. S. Geological Survey is seeking volunteers to host temporary seismic stations in the Walnut Creek/Pleasant Hill/Concord California area. Volunteers will be assisting with a new ground motion study that will begin in March 2017.

USGS Streamgage on the Williamson River
January 24, 2017

USGS uses state-of-the-art science techniques to estimate phosphorus and suspended-sediment loads to Upper Klamath Lake in the Klamath Basin.

Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler
January 12, 2017

You are invited to join USGS scientists and field technician crews as they collect discharge measurements in rainfall-affected areas.

USGS streamgage
December 19, 2016

10 New Streamgages Installed to Help Manage the Valuable Water Resources

USGS
November 9, 2016

On November 14, 2016, the news media are invited to visit CVO and interview VDAP scientists about their work assisting foreign counterparts—responding to volcano eruptions and promoting volcano hazard awareness and preparedness.

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.

Filter Total Items: 59