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Rocky Mountain

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The Rocky Mountain Region ranges from the Colorado Rockies to the Western Deserts to the Great Plains. The Rocky Mountain Region conducts multi- and interdisciplinary research and monitoring in locations across the Region, the United States, around the world, and across our solar system.

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News

Photo of a young girl drinking water, which likely originated from groundwater sources. 
December 7, 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey is near the midpoint of a complex undertaking to survey the quality of the nation’s largest drinking-water resource.

Current website: https://www.usgs.gov/news/quality-nation-s-groundwater-progress-a-nation...

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

Map of Crested Butte Low-Level Flight Study Area
September 25, 2017

Editor:  In the public interest and in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration regulations, the USGS is announcing this low-level airborne project. Your assistance in informing the local communities is appreciated.

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The Little Missouri River, flood plain
Date Published: August 30, 2017

Reconstructing Flow History From Riparian Tree Rings

Aquatic Systems Branch scientists analyze rings of riparian trees relating tree growth and establishment to historical flow. We then use the tree rings to reconstruct the flow in past centuries. Flow reconstructions discover the frequency and magnitude of past droughts and floods—information that is essential for management of rivers and water supplies. We also use downscaled climate...

An image of an Ephemeroptera Heptageniidae Epeorus longimanuis.
Date Published: February 2, 2017
Status: Active

Aquatic Experimental Laboratory (AXL)

Aquatic invertebrates are a key component of freshwater ecosystems, and an understanding of aquatic invertebrate taxonomy is central to freshwater science. The U.S. Geological Survey Aquatic Experimental Lab (AXL) at the Fort Collins Science Center has developed the North American Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Digital Reference Collection (NAAMDRC) to provide users with a graphic tool to aid in...

Contacts: David Walters, Ph.D., Robert E Zuellig, Ph.D., Boris Kondratieff
Dead and dying cottonwoods along the Mojave River, California, following a decrease in the riparian water table
Date Published: January 17, 2017

Ecological Drought in Riparian Ecosystems

Drought is killing riparian trees along many rivers in the western United States. The cause can be increasing temperature or decreasing precipitation, flow or water-table elevation. At multiple locations we are relating water availability to physiological measurements of tree survival and water stress, such as ring width, carbon stable isotope ratio and branch hydraulic conductivity. These...

Crop duster plane
Date Published: December 8, 2016
Status: Completed

Pesticide Exposure to Native Bees in Agricultural Landscapes

There is a lack of knowledge and understanding of how widespread use of pesticides may affect bees as they move across a diverse agricultural landscape. Studies have shown there are impacts to honey bees due to exposure to pesticides including neonicotinoid insecticides and fungicides, but the effects of these compounds on native pollinators are largely unknown.

Contacts: Mark Vandever
A native Colorado bee on a yellow wildflower.
Date Published: December 8, 2016
Status: Completed

Native Pollinators in Agricultural Ecosystems

Beginning in 2012, the USGS collaborated with the USDA to assess the effectiveness of pollinator plantings and how alteration of landscapes has affected native pollinators and potentially contributed to their decline. The 2008 Farm Bill recognized contributions made by pollinators and made conservation of pollinator habitat a priority. The USGS is assessing native bee habitat, diversity, and...

Contacts: Mark Vandever
Mountain goats in Glacier National Park, Montana
Date Published: December 7, 2016

Higher and Farther: Patterns of Development within Protected Areas

There is a well-known bias in the location of protected areas both within the US and globally. Lands protected for conservation tend to be located on less productive soils at high elevations far from cities. USGS is exploring whether this ‘high and far’ paradigm applies within protected areas as well. That is, does human modification within lands that already have some degree of protection,...

A Burmese python coiled in the grass in the Everglades.
Date Published: December 4, 2016

Biology, Impacts and Control of Invasive Reptiles

Invasive species are considered to be second only to habitat degradation in terms of negative impacts on the Earth’s ecosystems, and our scientists make up a significant proportion of the global expertise in the rapidly-growing problem of invasive reptiles.

Invasive Tamarisk or saltcedar as it is known, growing on the side of a river.
Date Published: December 3, 2016
Status: Active

Ecology and Management of Invasive Riparian Plants

Due to high rates of disturbance and human activity, streamside or “riparian” areas are prone to colonization and spread of invasive plants. In the western United States, hundreds of thousands of riparian acres are occupied by the invasive shrubs/trees tamarisk and Russian olive, as well as numerous exotic herbaceous plants. Our work focuses on understanding the factors driving the...

Erosion along the Rio Puerco during the flood of 2006 following herbicide application to control saltcedar in 2003.
Date Published: December 3, 2016
Status: Active

Erosion and Invasive Saltcedar

Formation of arroyos in the late 1800s greatly increased erosion across the southwestern United States. Since the 1930s, however, this erosion has decreased, partly because of bank stabilization by introduced saltcedar. With Isleta Pueblo Indian Nation, the Aquatic Systems Branch developed a new sediment dating method using saltcedar tree rings. We applied the method in a landmark study of...

Everglades National Park
Date Published: December 2, 2016

USGS Everglades Research Offices - Florida

The Daniel Beard Center in Everglades National Park provides the base for most of the field work done on the control of invasive reptiles by USGS Fort Collins Science Center staff. The team works in Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge, and other parts of the Greater Everglades Ecosystem focusing on, among other species of concern,...

Invalid Scald ID.

Date Published: December 1, 2016

USGS Brown Treesnake Laboratory and Rapid Response Facility - Guam

USGS scientists and staff associated with the Brown Treesnake Project are co-located at the Guam National Wildlife Refuge at the northern end of Guam in the western Pacific Ocean. Project staff work on developing and testing control tools for invasive brown treesnakes, as well as understanding their impacts on Guam's ecosystems. Project staff also lead the multi-agency Brown Treesnake Rapid...

Vegetation along the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon
Date Published: December 1, 2016

Riparian Ecology

Riparian ecologists in the AS Branch study interactions among flow, channel change, and vegetation along rivers across the western United States and worldwide. Our work focuses on issues relevant to the management of water and public lands, including dam operation, climate change, invasive species, and ecological restoration. Investigations take place on a range of scales. For example,...

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USGS
June 14, 2018

Detection Limits

(Intro) (mg = µg) Elemental detection limits for NAA are variable because some elements become very radioactive–, and can be determined at very low levels while other elements do not become very radioactive or have very short half–lives (less than 10 seconds). Activation analysis determines the total mass of an element in a sample.

USGS
July 11, 2017

Germaine, S.S., Carter, S.K., Ignizio, D.A., and Freeman, A.T., 2017, Analysis of Land Disturbance and Pygmy Rabbit Occupancy Values Associated With Oil and Gas Extraction in Southwestern Wyoming, 2012: U.S. Geological Survey data release, https://doi.org/10.5066/F7BR8QDD. DOI: 10.5066/F7BR8QDD

example spectral reflectance plot
April 10, 2017

References for material identification in remote sensing images. The library contains spectral reflectance data for of hundreds of materials, including minerals, vegetation, organic and volatile compounds, and man-made materials.

Landscape Intactness for the Western US
February 2, 2017

Landscape intactness has been defined as a quantifiable estimate of naturalness measured on a gradient of anthropogenic influence. We developed a multiscale index of landscape intactness for the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) landscape approach, which requires multiple scales of information to quantify the cumulative effects of land use.

Bibiocephala dorsal vent
February 2, 2017

Aquatic invertebrates are a key component of freshwater ecosystems, and an understanding of aquatic invertebrate taxonomy is central to freshwater science. The North American Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Digital Reference Collection (NAAMDRC) was created by the USGS Aquatic Experimental Lab (AXL) to provide users with high-quality digital microscopy photographs.

Image: Arizona Upland Plant Community in the Sonoran Desert
January 27, 2017

This study uses growth in vegetation during the monsoon season measured from LANDSAT imagery as a proxy for measured rainfall. NDVI values from 26 years of pre- and post-monsoon season Landsat imagery were derived across Yuma Proving Ground (YPG) in southwestern Arizona, USA.

Erosion along the Rio Puerco during the flood of 2006 following herbicide application to control saltcedar in 2003.
January 27, 2017

A long-term study of the geomorphic history of the lower Rio Puerco arroyo in north-central New Mexico included the collection of high-precision (Real-time kinematic) GPS survey data (2002, 2007, 2010, and 2014), registration and rectification of historical aerial photographs (1935, 1950s, 1970s, and 1996), aerial LiDAR survey (2005) and post-flood (2006) satellite imagery.

This example of Public water use, blue water tower in field with winter trees blue sky. Half the letters of Seneca visible.
July 1, 2016

This U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Data Release provides derivative statistics of water used by Kansas public-supply systems in 2014.

Digital Elevation Model in the Atchafalaya Basin, LA
April 19, 2016

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.

Example GIS data layers
April 13, 2016

Interactive maps and downloadable data for regional and global geology, geochemistry, geophysics, and mineral resources. Includes web services providing data for users of Geographic Information System software (GIS). Links to portals for minerals information, geochemical data, and geophysical data.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 14, 2016

A collection of online tools made available by the Energy Resources Programs. Various tools include interactive mapping applications, photo galleries, GIS data search tools and more.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 14, 2016

Discover energy data about oil, gas, and coal resource assessments, oil shale, gas hydrates, geothermal, uranium, peat, wind, geologic sequestration, and water produced during energy production. There is also data including geochemistry, geophysics, and regional studies in the U.S.

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North Platte, Nebraska US Topo quadrangle: 2014
September 26, 2016

Network wells depicted on the Climate Response Network location map
Note: Color shading in the table below indicates multiple wells that plot as a single point on the state location map above.
Note: BLS = Water Level in Feet Below Land Surface, RVD = Water Level referenced to a vertical datum

Mobile River Basin Study
September 22, 2016

The Mobile River Basin in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee is one of the 59 study units that are part of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 14, 2016

To allow for a comprehensive evaluation among different energy types, an interdisciplinary team of U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists has developed an online Interactive Energy Atlas for Colorado and New Mexico. The Energy and Environment in the Rocky Mountain Area (EERMA) interdisciplinary team includes investigators from several USGS science centers.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 14, 2016

The Planetary Geologic Mapping Program is managed by the USGS for NASA, producing geologic maps across the Solar System.The maps are made to the same standards as similar maps for the Earth, providing a consistent high-quality product readily intelligible to any geoscientist.

Low Flow Map
May 1, 2014

As part of their mission to protect public health and aquatic ecosystems, Alabama state agencies need accurate and representative streamflow statistics to establish realistic and applicable criteria for both water quality and water quantity (fig. 1).

Arkansas Map Thumbnail
January 1, 2014

The Arkansas Groundwater - Quality Network is a web map interface that provides rapid access to the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) NWIS and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) STORET databases of ambient groundwater information. The interface enables users to perform simple graphical analysis and download selected water-quality data. 

a large map of the Fort Collins area
September 22, 2012

StreamStats is a Web-based tool that provides streamflow statistics, drainage-basin characteristics, and other information for USGS streamgaging stations and for user-selected ungaged sites on streams. When users select the location of a streamgaging station, StreamStats provides previously published information from a database. When users select a site on an ungaged stream, 

Black Warrior River Map
September 4, 2012

Static flood-inundation map libraries consist of maps that have been created in advance of a flood that are ready to be served through the Internet. Each library consists of a set of flood extent and depth maps developed for predetermined stream stage intervals (for example, a map for each one foot of stage).

Water use, by county, in Alabama, 2005
September 28, 2005

Water is one of the most important of Alabama's natural resources. Water is not only a vital component of human existence, it is critical to the overall quality of life. In order to protect and preserve this resource for future generations, we must have a baseline of information to make decisions. 

Total withdrawals in million gallons per day by watershed
January 1, 2005

Water is one of the most important of Alabama's natural resources. Water is not only a vital component of human existence, it is critical to the overall quality of life. In order to protect and preserve this resource for future generations, we must have a baseline of information to make decisions. 

NAWQA-map
September 19, 1996

The goals of the NAWQA program are being achieved through ongoing or planned investigations of 59 of the Nation's most important river and aquifer systems, which are referred to as study units. These study units were selected to represent the diverse geography, water resources, and land and water uses of the Nation. The Mobile River Basin is one such study unit, designed to supplement water.

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Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2019

Natural hazards and mineral commodity supply: Quantifying risk of earthquake disruption to South American copper supply

Mineral resources, and their mining and enrichment operations, are not equally distributed across Earth. The concentration of mineral supply in certain regions, owing to the geology or geography of the mineral resource, raises the level of risk related to supply disruption. Where mineral production coincides with areas prone to natural hazards,...

Schnebele, Emily; Jaiswal, Kishor; Luco, Nicolas; Nassar, Nedal T.
Schnebele, Emily, Jaiswal, Kishor, Luco, Nicolas, and Nassar, Nedal T., 2019, Natural hazards and mineral commodity supply—Quantifying risk of earthquake disruption to South American copper supply: Resources Policy, 63, 101430.

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Year Published: 2019

Hydrocarbons in upland groundwater, Marcellus Shale Region, Northeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New York, USA

Water samples from 50 domestic wells located <1 km (proximal) and >1 km (distal) from shale-gas wells in upland areas of the Marcellus Shale region were analyzed for chemical, isotopic, and groundwater-age tracers. Uplands were targeted because natural mixing with brine and hydrocarbons from deep formations is less common in those areas...

McMahon, Peter B.; Lindsey, Bruce D.; Conlon, Matthew D.; Hunt, Andrew G.; Belitz, Kenneth; Jurgens, Bryant; Varela, Brian

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Year Published: 2019

Petrologic and mineral physics database for use with the U.S. Geological Survey National Crustal Model

We present a petrologic and mineral physics database as part of the U.S. Geological Survey National Crustal Model (NCM). Each of 209 geologic units, 134 of which are currently part of the geologic framework within the NCM, was assigned a mineralogical composition according to generalized classifications with some refinement for specific geologic...

Sowers, Theron; Boyd, Oliver S.
Sowers, T., and Boyd, O.S., 2019, Petrologic and mineral physics database for use with the U.S. Geological Survey National Crustal Model: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1035, 17 p.,https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191035.

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Year Published: 2019

Source-dependent amplification of earthquake ground motions in deep sedimentary basins

Deep sedimentary basins amplify long-period shaking from seismic waves, increasing the seismic hazard for cities within such basins. We perform 3-D simulations of point source earthquakes distributed around the Seattle and Tacoma basins in Washington State, to examine the dependence of basin amplification on source azimuth, depth, and earthquake...

Moriarty, Erin; Vidale, John E.; Frankel, Arthur; Pratt, Thomas L.

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Year Published: 2019

A 4000-year history of debris flows in north-central Washington State, U.S.A.: Preliminary results from trenching and surficial geologic mapping at the Pope Creek fan

Long-term records of the magnitude and frequency of debris flows on fans are rare, but such records provide critical information needed for debris-flow hazard and risk assessments. This study explores the history of debris flows on a fan with seasonally inhabited cabins at Pope Creek along the Entiat River about 48 km upstream from the town of...

Coe, Jeffrey A.; Bessette-Kirton, Erin; Slaughter, Stephen; Rengers, Francis K.; Contreras, Trevor A.; Michelson, Katherin A; Taylor, Emily; Kean, Jason W.; Jacobacci, Kara; Hanson, Molly A
Coe, J.A., Bessette-Kirton, E.K., Slaughter, S.L., Rengers, F.K., Contreras, T.A., Mickelson, K.A., Taylor, E.M., Kean, J.W., Jacobacci, K.E., Hanson, M.A., 2019, A 4000-year history of debris flows in north-central Washington State, U.S.A.: preliminary results from trenching and surficial geologic mapping at the Pope Creek fan, in Kean, J.W., Coe, J.A., Santi, P.M., and Guillen, B.K., eds., Debris-Flow Hazards Mitigation: Mechanics, Monitoring, Modeling, and Assessment, Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Debris Flow Hazards Mitigation, Golden, Colorado, p. 613-620.

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Year Published: 2019

Exploring controls on debris-flow surge velocity and peak discharge at Chalk Cliffs, Colorado, USA

We present a series of debris-flow events and use combined sensor and video data to explore how sediment concentration and triggering rainfall intensity affect the velocity and discharge of debris-flow surges generated by surface-water runoff. We analyze an initial data set of 49 surges from four debris-flow events recorded by a monitoring system...

Smith, Joel B.; Kean, Jason W.; Coe, Jeffrey A.
Smith, J.B., Kean, J.W., and Coe, J.A., 2019, Exploring controls on debris-flow surge velocity and peak discharge at Chalk Cliffs, Colorado, USA, in Kean, J.W., Coe, J.A., Santi, P.M., and Guillen, B.K., eds., Debris-Flow Hazards Mitigation: Mechanics, Monitoring, Modeling, and Assessment, Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Debris Flow Hazards Mitigation, Golden, Colorado, p. 199-206.

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Year Published: 2019

An evaluation of debris-flow runout model accuracy and complexity in Montecito, CA: Towards a framework for regional inundation-hazard forecasting

Numerous debris-flow inundation models have been applied retroactively to noteworthy events around the world. While such studies can be useful in identifying controlling factors, calibrating model parameters, and assessing future hazards in specific study areas, model parameters tailored to individual events can be difficult to apply regionally....

Bessette-Kirton, Erin; Kean, Jason W.; Coe, Jeffrey A.; Rengers, Francis K.; Staley, Dennis M.
Bessette-Kirton, E.K., Kean, J.W., Coe, J.A., Rengers, F.K., Staley, D.M., 2019, An evaluation of debris-flow runout model accuracy and complexity in Montecito, California: Towards a framework for regional inundation-hazard forecasting, in Kean, J.W., Coe, J.A., Santi, P.M., and Guillen, B.K., eds., Debris-Flow Hazards Mitigation: Mechanics, Monitoring, Modeling, and Assessment, Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Debris Flow Hazards Mitigation, Golden, Colorado p. 257-264.

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Year Published: 2019

Real-time monitoring of debris-flow velocity and mass deformation from field experiments with high sample rate lidar and video

Debris flows evolve in both time and space in complex ways, commonly starting as coherent failures but then quickly developing structures such as roll waves and surges. This process is readily observed, but difficult to study or quantify because of the speed at which it occurs. Many methods for studying debris flows consist of point measurements (...

Rengers, Francis K.; Rapstine, Thomas; Allstadt, Kate E.; Olsen, Michael; Bunn, Michael; Iverson, Richard M.; Kean, Jason W.; Leshchinsky, Ben; Logan, Matthew; Sharifi-Mood, Mahyar; Obryk, Maciej; Smith, Joel B.

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Year Published: 2019

Looking through the window of disturbance at post-wildfire debris-flow hazards

The extreme heat from wildfire alters soil properties and incinerates vegetation, leading to changes in infiltration capacity, ground cover, soil erodibility, and rainfall interception. These changes promote increases in runoff and sediment transport that increase the likelihood of runoff-generated debris flows. Over a period of several years,...

McGuire, Luke; Rengers, Francis K.; Kean, Jason W.; Staley, Dennis M.; Tang, Hui; Youberg, Ann

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Year Published: 2019

Topographic change detection at Chalk Cliffs, Colorado, USA, using Airborne LiDAR and UAS-based Structure-from-Motion photogrammetry

The Chalk Cliffs debris-flow site is a small headwater catchment incised into highly fractured and hydrothermally altered quartz monzonite in a semi-arid climate. Over half of the extremely steep basin is exposed bedrock. Debris flows occur multiple times per year in response to rainstorm events, typically during the summer monsoon season. The...

Barnhart, Katherine R; Rengers, Francis K.; Ghent Jessica N; Tucker, Gregory E.; Coe, Jeffrey A.; Kean, Jason W.; Smith, Joel B.; Staley, Dennis M.; Kleiber, William; Wiens, Ashton M

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Year Published: 2019

Post-fire rockfall and debris-flow hazard zonation in the Eagle Creek Fire burn area, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon: a tool for emergency managers and first responders

The Eagle Creek Fire engulfed 48,832 acres (196 km2) within the Columbia River Gorge, Oregon beginning September 2nd and was 100% contained by November 30th, 2017. The Columbia River Gorge area is steep and heavily forested characterized by cliffs and flanking talus slopes, receiving > 100 inches (> 254 cm) of precipitation annually. The...

Calhoun, Nancy C.; Burns, William J.; Hayduk, S.H.; Staley, Dennis M.; Kean, Jason W.
Calhoun, N.C., Burns, W.J., Hay, S., Staley, D.M., and Kean, J.W. (2019), Post-fire rockfall and debris-flow hazard zonation in the Eagle Creek fire burn area, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon: A tool for emergency managers and first responders, in Debris-Flow Hazards Mitigation: Mechanics, Monitoring, Modeling, and Assessment, edited by Kean, J.W., Coe, J.A., Santi, P.M., and Guillen, B.K., Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists, Special Publication #28, p. 581-588.

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Year Published: 2019

Taking the pulse of debris flows: Extracting debris-flow dynamics from good vibrations in southern California and central Colorado

The destructive nature of debris flows makes it difficult to quantify flow dynamics with direct instrumentation. For this reason, seismic sensors placed safely away from the flow path are often used to identify the timing and speed of debris flows. While seismic sensors have proven to be a valuable tool for event detection and early warning, their...

Michel, A.; Kean, Jason W.; Smith, Joel B.; Allstadt, Kate E.; Coe, Jeffrey A.
Michel, A., Kean, J.W., Smith, J.B., Allstadt, K., and Coe, J.A. (2019), Taking the pulse of debris flows: extracting debris-flow dynamics from good vibrations in southern California and central Colorado, in Debris-Flow Hazards Mitigation: Mechanics, Monitoring, Modeling, and Assessment, edited by Kean, J.W., Coe, J.A., Santi, P.M., and Guillen, B.K., Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists, Special Publication #28, p. 154-161.

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Water Use Site Retrieval Page Icon
July 4, 2016

In 1977, the Congress of the United States recognized the need for uniform, current, and reliable information on water use and directed the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to establish a National Water-Use Information Program (NWUIP) to complement the Survey's data on the availability and quality of the Nations water resources.

USGS science for a changing world
January 1, 1999

CloseTest is a Windows program for testing capture-recapture data

Image: Public Wells
August 14, 1996

Water Well Constrution Reports entered online. 

The Southwest Region ranges from the Colorado Rockies to the Gulf Coast and the Western Deserts to the Great Plains. The Southwest Region conducts multi- and interdisciplinary research and monitoring in locations across the Region, the United States, around the world, and across our solar system.

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Digital elevation model created by an Unmanned Aerial System
December 31, 2017

Digital Elevation Model Created by an Unmanned Aerial System

This digital elevation model was created using structure from motion software mounted to an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) to analyze bridge scour. Studies using UAS have included stream temperature analyses, bird and mammal surveys, coastal change mapping, sandbar habitat surveys, fluvial erosion rates, microclimate mapping, air quality analysis, plant stress assessment,

...
Unmanned Aerial System takes images in Arizona
December 31, 2017

Unmanned Aerial System in Flight

Small Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) collecting digital photos to create digital elevation models. UAS are an increasingly important tool for monitoring, assessing, and conducting targeted scientific research for the nation.

October 16, 2017

Image of the Week - Wildfires Devastate California Wine Country

Strong winds are quickly spreading wildfire across California's wine country, as seen in these two Landsat 8 images.

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 (

...
Hydro techs from the New Mexico Water Science Center perform a well integrity test
September 19, 2017

Hydro Techs Perform Well Integrity Test

On September 19th, 2017 staff from the USGS NM WSC Albuquerque and Las Cruces offices visited a Climate Response Network (CRN) well just on the east side of the Organ Mountains outside of Las Cruces to receive training on integrity testing groundwater wells. What is integrity testing? Integrity testing involves adding a slug of clean water to a well and measuring how fast

...
Image shows a USGS scientist in a PFD taking a high-water measurement
September 11, 2017

Taking a High-Water Mark after Hurricane Harvey

USGS scientist Steve Hannes marks high water marks along the Colorado River after flooding from Hurricane Harvey in Wharton County, Texas.

Image shows a USGS scientist in a PFD taking a high-water measurement
September 11, 2017

Taking a High-Water Mark after Hurricane Harvey

USGS scientist Steve Hannes marks high water marks along the Colorado River after flooding from Hurricane Harvey in Wharton County, Texas.

Image shows a USGS scientist in a PDF taking a high-water mark
September 11, 2017

Taking a High-Water Mark after Hurricane Harvey

USGS scientist Steve Hannes marks high water marks along the Colorado River after flooding from Hurricane Harvey in Wharton County, Texas.

Image shows a USGS scientist in a PFD taking a high-water mark
September 11, 2017

Taking a High-Water Mark after Hurricane Harvey

USGS scientist Steve Hannes marks high water marks along the Colorado River after flooding from Harvey in Matagorda County, Texas.

USGS scientist David Rodriguez records high water marks from storm surge following Harvey near Corpus Christi, Texas. 
September 8, 2017

Recording high water marks following Harvey

USGS scientist David Rodriguez records high water marks from storm surge following Harvey near Corpus Christi, Texas. 

USGS scientist David Rodriguez records high water marks from storm surge near Corpus Christi, Texas. 
September 8, 2017

Recording high water marks after Harvey

USGS scientist David Rodriguez records high water marks from storm surge near Corpus Christi, Texas. 

Pre- and post-Harvey photos for Sargent, Texas
September 5, 2017

Pre- and post-Harvey photos for Sargent, Texas

Location 4. Sand dunes along this stretch of coast in Sargent, Texas, were overwashed by large waves during the storm. Sand from the beach and dunes is covering the roadway behind the dunes and which may be impassable. The predicted probability of overwash in this area was 94%.

USGS scientist surveying high water marks from storm surge from Hurricane Harvey at Packery Channel near Corpus Christi, TX.
September 5, 2017

High Water Mark Surveying

USGS scientist Alec McDonald surveying high water marks from storm surge from Hurricane Harvey at Packery Channel near Corpus Christi, Texas.

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Photo of a young girl drinking water, which likely originated from groundwater sources. 
December 7, 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey is near the midpoint of a complex undertaking to survey the quality of the nation’s largest drinking-water resource.

Current website: https://www.usgs.gov/news/quality-nation-s-groundwater-progress-a-nation...

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

Map of Crested Butte Low-Level Flight Study Area
September 25, 2017

Editor:  In the public interest and in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration regulations, the USGS is announcing this low-level airborne project. Your assistance in informing the local communities is appreciated.

USGS
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. 

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.

Image shows a map of Eastern Europe with the assessed basins shown in colored polygons
August 3, 2017

The Dnieper-Donets Basin of Ukraine could contain an estimated 4.3 billion tons of undiscovered potassium-bearing salt according to a recent U.S. Geological Survey assessment. In addition, previous estimates show that the nearby Pripyat Basin of Belarus could contain 80–200 billion metric tons of undiscovered potash resources.

Image shows a map of the Mid-Continent of the United States
July 17, 2017

No, it’s not a title for a new reality-dating TV show, but it is real science! It also describes the ideal mineral deposit.

Image shows industrial piles of gray rock
June 29, 2017

Slag. Depending on where you’re from, it may be an insult, a term meaning trash, or, in our case, the waste left over from metal smelting or refining. Outside of the construction industry, it might seem that uses for slag are considered limited.

Prairie dog and SPV bait
June 22, 2017

Prairie dogs in the wild are less likely to succumb to plague after they ingest peanut-butter-flavored bait that contains a vaccine against the disease, according to a U.S. Geological Survey study published today in the journal EcoHealth.  

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.

Image shows remnants of an abandoned mine in a hilly, forested area
June 9, 2017

At USGS, although the rocks we study are millions of years old, our scientific methods are cutting edge! Here's just one example of how we use creative problem-solving to help crystalize a solution to a complex issue.

The Southwest Region ranges from the Colorado Rockies to the Gulf Coast and the Western Deserts to the Great Plains. The Southwest Region conducts multi- and interdisciplinary research and monitoring in locations across the Region, the United States, around the world, and across our solar system.

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