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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: 134
Image: Blackfoot River, Southeastern Idaho
Date Published: August 4, 2017
Status: Active

Selenium in the Blackfoot River Watershed

The upper Blackfoot River receives runoff from 12 large phosphate mines. Shale waste rock that is a byproduct of mining is highly enriched in naturally occurring selenium. At optimal concentrations, selenium can be a positive nutrient and antioxidant in mammals and fish. At elevated concentrations, however, it can damage fish and animal immune systems. As early as 1996, livestock deaths...

U.S. Geological Survey and Bureau of Reclamation technicians using radio telemetry equipment to document bull trout migration b
Date Published: August 4, 2017
Status: Completed

Identifying Bull Trout Migration in the Upper Boise River Basin

In 1999, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) listed the bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) as a threatened species. In 2010, the FWS designated critical habitat for the bull trout, including the upper Boise River basin. The Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) operates three reservoirs on the upper Boise River for irrigation and flood control. Reclamation and FWS have a need to understand...

Contacts: Dorene MacCoy
Image: Owyhee Canyonlands Streamgage Installation
Date Published: August 4, 2017
Status: Active

Streamflow Evaluation for Water Right Claims for Wild and Scenic Rivers, Owyhee Canyonlands Wilderness

Several river segments in the Owyhee Canyonlands Wilderness have been designated as “Wild and Scenic” under the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009. This designation is intended to protect the “outstanding remarkable values” (ORVs) in this area—specifically fish and wildlife habitat, scenic and geological features, and recreational opportunities.

The Bureau of Land Management (...

Contacts: Ryan L Fosness
Microplastics sampling on Lake Mead
Date Published: August 4, 2017
Status: Active

Occurrence and Potential Risk of Microplastics in Lake Mead and the Delaware River

There is mounting evidence that microplastics present a significant threat to aquatic organisms. Microplastics – defined as plastic particles less than 5 mm in diameter – come from many different sources, including synthetic textiles, industrial waste products, personal care products, and the breakdown of litter, car tires, and other objects. This study will assess the occurrence of...

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

GLACIER SIMULATION

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 Blackfoot-...

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...

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: 335
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 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 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 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

...
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 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

...
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

...
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

...
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

...
August 11, 2016

H1 East Transect – 2016

Permanent Site: H1 East Transect; Depth: 5.7 Meters (18.8 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 2.4 Kilometers (1.5 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.1479177,-123.53472865; 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: 86
USGS
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
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
January 12, 2017

Helpful new information for anyone designing structures over or near water, managing water distribution, or interested in the flow of local streams.

A USGS hydrologist collects a water sample
December 21, 2016

Population Growth and Changing Land Uses Prompted Assessment

USGS streamgage
December 19, 2016

10 New Streamgages Installed to Help Manage the Valuable Water Resources

Christian Schmidt
November 28, 2016

Former Montana Water Quality Administrator Begins Work in Boise

A mother grizzly bear and her cub in Yellowstone National Park.
November 16, 2016

Offspring of grizzly bear mothers with a history of human-bear conflicts are more likely to be involved in human-bear conflicts than offspring of mothers without a history of human-bear conflicts, according to a new study

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: 55