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We conduct impartial, multi- and interdisciplinary research and monitoring on a large range of natural-resource issues that impact the quality of life of citizens and landscapes of the Southeastern United States and the Caribbean region.
About the Laboratory
Microbiologists at the Photomicroscopy and Flow Cytometry Laboratory develop and apply biomarkers to evaluate the potential impacts of environmental contaminants at the cellular and molecular levels. Because molecular and biochemical responses of cells are preceded by chemical changes in nuclei, cytoplasm, membranes, and extracellular fluids, these...
Using Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Capabilities to Help Identify Hummock-Hollow Formation and Fragmentation in Critical Marsh Habitat for Mottled Ducks
For many years, coastal marshes in Texas and Louisiana have served as critical habitat for the mottled duck (Anas fulvigula), which is considered a priority species in the Texas/Louisiana Gulf Coast area.
USGS Technical Support for Coastal/Wetlands Ecology: Spatial Analysis and Application for the Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GCP LCC)
The Gulf Coastal Prairie (GCP) includes areas within Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas as well as Mexico. The GCP Landscape Conservation Cooperative aims to conserve prairie grasslands which helps migratory birds and other wildlife that rely on these ecosystems.
The Bird Banding Laboratory (BBL) is an integrated scientific program established in 1920 supporting the collection, archiving, management and dissemination of information from banded and marked birds in North America. This information is used to monitor the status and trends of resident and migratory bird populations. Because birds are good indicators of the health of the environment, the...
The Challenge: Management of bottomland forests using wildlife forestry silviculture is being undertaken to achieve desired forest conditions for priority silvicolous wildlife, such as Louisiana black bear, migratory birds, and resident game species. Wildlife forestry management results in forests that have more open canopies and increased understory vegetation yet exhibit heterogeneous...
A sediment trap time series in the northern Gulf of Mexico is used to better assess the control of environmental variables (e.g., temperature and salinity) on the flux of both microfossils and molecular fossils to the sediments. The information gained from sediment trap studies is used to develop better proxy-based estimates of past oceanographic conditions from analyses of microfossils and ...
This project documents paleoceanographic, climatic, and environmental changes in the Gulf of Mexico and adjacent land areas over the last 10,000 years. The paleoenvironmental data is used to determine rates of change in the past, and to better understand both the natural and anthropogenic factors that contribute to climate variability on inter-annual to millennial timescales.
Barrier islands provide numerous invaluable ecosystem goods and services including storm protection and erosion control for the mainland, habitat for fish and wildlife, salinity regulation in estuaries, carbon sequestration in marshes, recreation, and tourism. These islands are dynamic environments due to their position at the land-sea interface. Storms, wave energy, tides, currents, and...
Hurricane Nate coastal change forecast and pre- and post-storm photos documenting coastal change.
The overall objective is to improve real-time and scenario-based predictions of coastal change to support management of coastal infrastructure, resources, and safety. Research is part of the National Assessment of Coastal Change Hazards project.
This research seeks to objectively determine the relative risks due to future sea-level rise for the U.S. Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf of Mexico coasts. Research is part of National Assessment of Coastal Change Hazards project.
USGS Louisiana Publications
USGS Publications in Louisiana
Louisiana Fact Sheets by Parish
Fact Sheets for Louisiana by Parish.
Sediment Data for Samples Collected in 2015, 2016, and 2017 from Coastal Louisiana
Data release doi:10.5066/F71G0KKD associated with this metadata record serves as an archive of sediment data for samples collected in 2015, 2016, and 2017 from coastal Louisiana. In 2015 and 2016, sediment grab samples (N=874) were collected coast-wide along shore-perpendicular transects that included back-barrier, emergent (beach and barrier island), shoreface, and nearshore environments. Sample
Key Findings for Scenario-Based Assessment for Hurricanes
Percentage of sandy beaches very likely (probability > 0.9) to experience erosion associated with collision, overwash, and inundation during category 1-5 hurricane landfall.
Archive of Digitized Analog Boomer and Minisparker Seismic Reflection Data Collected from the Northern Gulf of Mexico: 1981, 1990 and 1991
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Coastal and Marine Geology Program has actively collected geophysical and sedimentological data in the northern Gulf of Mexico for several decades, including shallow subsurface data in the form of high-resolution seismic reflection profiles (HRSP). Prior to the mid-1990s most HRSP data were collected in analog format as paper rolls of continuous profiles up to 25
Oblique Aerial Photography Viewer
Obique photos offer a unique perspective of the coast. Features such as beach erosion or accretion, dune erosion and overwash can all be clearly characterized in this imagery. It also documents coastal infrastructure, as well as the damage that infrastructure may incur as the result of an impacting hurricane.
Gulf of Mexico Dashboard
The USGS Southeast Regional Office has funded a cross-center collaboration between the Wetland and Aquatic Research Center and the Texas Water Science Center for the development of the Gulf of Mexico Water Dashboard.
Prospect- and Mine-Related Features from U.S. Geological Survey 7.5- and 15-Minute Topographic Quadrangle Maps of the United States
These data are part of a larger USGS project to develop an updated geospatial database of mines, mineral deposits and mineral regions in the United States. Mine and prospect-related symbols, such as those used to represent prospect pits, mines, adits, dumps, tailings, etc., are currently being digitized on a state-by-state basis from USGS Historical Topographic Maps.
Guide to the Plants of Louisiana
This guide to the vascular plants of Louisiana includes a database of plant characters, a search engine and plant images. Photographs include images of leaves, fruit, flower, stem, bark and other key identification features. Information about plants can be accessed by searching plant lists either by scientific name or common name.
National Water Information System web interface (NWISweb)
The National Water Information System (NWIS) web application provides access to real-time and historical surface-water, groundwater, water-quality, and water-use data collected at approximately 1.5 million sites across all 50 states.
National Water Information System (NWIS) Mapper
The NWIS mapper provides access to over 1.5 million sites contained in the USGS National Water Information System (NWIS), including sites where current and historical surface-water, groundwater, springs, and atmospheric data has been collected. Users can search by site type, data type, site number, or place.
Coastal Change Hazards Portal
Interactive access to coastal change science and data for our Nation’s coasts. Information and products are organized within three coastal change hazard themes: 1) extreme storms, 2) shoreline change, and 3) sea-level rise. Each data item represents an individual research product, with some items grouped together as aggregates to show the breadth of the topic and make it easy to explore.
Louisiana Fact Sheets by Parish
Shreveport Area—Caddo and Bossier Parishes Flood Map
Amite River Basin
River and Coastal Forecast Information
Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center, Slidell, Louisiana—(NWS)
June 1 marks the beginning of hurricane season. Should storms arrive on the Louisiana coast, the people in coastal communities across the State, along with many Federal, State, and local agencies will need to know how the storms are affecting the coastal and low-lying areas.The USGS maintains an extensive network of coastal gages that provides critical time-sensitive water level.
Subsurface geometry of the Mississippi Embayment Regional Aquifer Study (MERAS)
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.
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.
River and Coastal Forecast Information
Mississippi and Ohio River 7-Day Summary and Forecast
The Union County Water Conservation Board with funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began a study in 2003 with the U.S. Geological Survey, the Union County Conservation District, Burns & McDonnell to monitor the impact of water-level recovery and water-quality characteristics of the Sparta aquifer system in southern Arkansas and northern Louisiana.
Bat community response to silvicultural treatments in bottomland hardwood forests managed for wildlife in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley
Silvicultural treatments (e.g., selective timber harvests) that are prescribed to promote wildlife habitat are intended to alter the physical structure of forests to achieve conditions deemed beneficial for wildlife. Such treatments have been advocated for management of bottomland hardwood forests on public conservation lands in the Mississippi...Ketzler, Loraine P.; Comer, Christopher E.; Twedt, Daniel J.
Land area change in coastal Louisiana (1932 to 2016)
Coastal Louisiana wetlands are one of the most critically threatened environments in the United States. These wetlands are in peril because Louisiana currently experiences greater coastal wetland loss than all other States in the contiguous United States combined. The analyses of landscape change presented here have utilized historical surveys,...Couvillion, Brady R.; Beck, Holly; Schoolmaster, Donald; Fischer, Michelle
Prevalence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and B. salamandrivorans in the Gulf Coast Waterdog, Necturus beyeri, from Southeast Louisiana, USA
The globally widespread amphibian fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been linked to amphibian declines worldwide (Lips et al. 2006; Skerratt et al. 2007). In Louisiana, USA, Bd has been found in several amphibian species (Chatfield et al. 2012; Rothermel et al. 2008), but to our knowledge no population-level die-offs have been...Glorioso, Brad M.; Waddle, J. Hardin; Richards-Zawacki, Corinne L.
Nocturnal arboreality in snakes in the swamplands of the Atchafalaya Basin of south-central Louisiana and Big Thicket National Preserve of Southeast Texas
The southeastern United States is home to a diverse assemblage of snakes, but only one species, the Rough Greensnake (Opheodrys aestivus), is considered specialized for a predominantly arboreal lifestyle. Other species, such as Ratsnakes (genus Pantherophis) and Ribbonsnakes/Gartersnakes (genus Thamnophis), are widely known to climb into...Glorioso, Brad M.; Waddle, J. Hardin
Macroclimatic change expected to transform coastal wetland ecosystems this century
Coastal wetlands, existing at the interface between land and sea, are highly vulnerable to climate change. Macroclimate (for example, temperature and precipitation regimes) greatly influences coastal wetland ecosystem structure and function. However, research on climate change impacts in coastal wetlands has concentrated primarily on sea-level...Gabler, Christopher A.; Osland, Michael J.; Grace, James B.; Stagg, Camille L.; Day, Richard H.; Hartley, Stephen B.; Enwright, Nicholas M.; From, Andrew; McCoy, Meagan L.; McLeod, Jennie L.
A modeling study of the impacts of Mississippi River diversion and sea-level rise on water quality of a deltaic estuary
Freshwater and sediment management in estuaries affects water quality, particularly in deltaic estuaries. Furthermore, climate change-induced sea-level rise (SLR) and land subsidence also affect estuarine water quality by changing salinity, circulation, stratification, sedimentation, erosion, residence time, and other physical and ecological...Wang, Hongqing; Chen, Qin; Hu, Kelin; LaPeyre, Megan K.
Determining the spatial variability of wetland soil bulk density, organic matter, and the conversion factor between organic matter and organic carbon across coastal Louisiana, U.S.A.
Soil bulk density (BD), soil organic matter (SOM) content, and a conversion factor between SOM and soil organic carbon (SOC) are often used in estimating SOC sequestration and storage. Spatial variability in BD, SOM, and the SOM–SOC conversion factor affects the ability to accurately estimate SOC sequestration, storage, and the benefits (e.g.,...Wang, Hongqing; Piazza, Sarai C.; Sharp, Leigh A.; Stagg, Camille L.; Couvillion, Brady R.; Steyer, Gregory D.; McGinnis, Thomas E.
Wetland shoreline recession in the Mississippi River Delta from petroleum oiling and cyclonic storms
We evaluate the relative impact of petroleum spill and storm surge on near-shore wetland loss by quantifying the lateral movement of coastal shores in upper Barataria Bay, Louisiana (USA), between June 2009 and October 2012, a study period that extends from the year prior to the Deepwater Horizon spill to 2.5 years following the spill. We document...Rangoonwala, Amina; Jones, Cathleen E.; Ramsey, Elijah W.
Historical files from Federal Government mineral exploration-assistance programs, 1950 to 1974
The Defense Minerals Administration (DMA), Defense Minerals Exploration Administration (DMEA), and Office of Minerals Exploration (OME) mineral exploration programs were active over the period 1950–1974. Under these programs, the Federal Government contributed financial assistance in the exploration for certain strategic and critical minerals. The...Frank, David G.
Physiology of the invasive apple snail Pomacea maculata: tolerance to low temperatures
Apple snails of the genus Pomacea native to South America have invaded and become established in Europe, Asia, and the United States. Both the channeled apple snail Pomacea canaliculata and the island apple snail Pomacea maculata have been reported in the United States. The two species are difficult to distinguish using morphological characters,...Deaton, Lewis E.; Schmidt, William ; Leblanc, Brody ; Carter, Jacoby; Mueck, Kristy ; Merino, Sergio
Landscape-level estimation of nitrogen removal in coastal Louisiana wetlands: potential sinks under different restoration scenarios
Coastal eutrophication in the northern Gulf of Mexico (GOM) is the primary anthropogenic contributor to the largest zone of hypoxic bottom waters in North America. Although biologically mediated processes such as denitrification (Dn) are known to act as sinks for inorganic nitrogen, it is unknown what contribution denitrification makes to...Rivera-Monroy, Victor H.; Branoff, Benjamin; Meselhe, Ehab; McCorquodale, Alex; Dortch, Mark; Steyer, Gregory D.; Visser, Jenneke; Wang, Hongqing
Economic vulnerability to sea-level rise along the northern U.S. Gulf Coast
The northern Gulf of Mexico coast of the United States has been identified as highly vulnerable to sea-level rise, based on a combination of physical and societal factors. Vulnerability of human populations and infrastructure to projected increases in sea level is a critical area of uncertainty for communities in the extremely low-lying and flat...Thatcher, Cindy A.; Brock, John C.; Pendleton, Elizabeth A.
Eosin-nigrosin staining of spermatozoa from common carp (Cyprinus carpio) testes collected from the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada
Microscopic video imaging is used for computerized analysis of sperm motility parameters
Waterfowl populations in the northern Gulf of Mexico (NGOM) rely extensively on plants that grow under the surface in shallow waters, know as submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV), as a critical food resource in the winter season. SAV roots, shoots, and seeds provide high carbohydrate wildlife food that sustains valuable waterfowl species, including the American Wigeon,...
Bee pollinating a flowering coastal prairie plant
Screen shot of the Coastal Change Hazards Portal showing potential coastal change impacts during a direct landfall of Subtropical Storm Alberto based on NHC Advisory 1, 1000 AM EDT MAY 25 2018.
Predicted probabilities of dune erosion (inner strip), overwash (middle strip), and inundation (outer strip) for Hurricane Nate. Pictures are representative of coastal change observed during past storm events.
The sediment trap mooring deployed in the Gulf of Mexico (27.5 ºN, 90.3 ºW) at 700 meters water depth from 2008-2018. It is programmed to rotate every 7-14 days throughout the year, resulting in a weekly to bi-weekly resolution time series of sinking particle flux.
Graph of land area change rate in coastal Louisiana from 1932–2016. The red line approximates the long-term land area change rate. 95 out of 100 statistical analyses would produce a very similar trend (dotted blue lines). Credit: USGS
Non-native Cuban treefrogs have established a breeding population in New Orleans, Louisiana, the first such population on the U.S. mainland outside Florida. The treefrogs were discovered at the Audubon Zoo shortly after a shipment of palm trees from Florida were planted in the zoo's elephant enclosure in 2016. USGS scientist Brad Glorioso confirmed the presence of a...
Off the coast of Louisiana, the small Isle de Jean Charles has nearly been swallowed by the ocean. Only about 2% of the land mass remains compared to it's size in the 1950s.
Screen shot of the Coastal Change Hazards Portal showing potential coastal change impacts during a direct landfall of Hurricane Nate based on NHC Advisory 12, 0800 AM EDT SAT OCT 07 2017.
Before a hurricane, USGS Scientists undertake a data collection effort of a grand scale. They install a temporary mobile network of sensors along the coasts to collect additional data on the intensity of storm surge, one of the most dangerous elements of a hurricane. This effort provides critical information that allows various USGS partners and emergency responders to...
Nineteen inundation maps and detailed flood information from Hurricane Harvey are now available from the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Hurricane Harvey was the most significant rainfall event in U.S. history, both in scope and peak rainfall amounts, since records began in the 1880s.
The Eagle Ford Group of Texas contains estimated means of 8.5 billion barrels of oil, 66 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 1.9 billion barrels of natural gas liquids, according to a new assessment by the U.S. Geological Survey. This estimate consists of undiscovered, technically recoverable resources in continuous accumulations.
Julie Bernier (SPCMSC geologist) was invited to serve as a panelist for the session "Extraction Related Subsidence and the Potential for Uplift" at the 2018 State of the Coast Conference.
Rangley Mickey (SPCMSC Oceanographer) study "A framework for modeling scenario-based barrier island storm impacts" was published in the journal Coastal Engineering.
No one has a crystal ball to foresee what will happen during the 2018 hurricane season that begins June 1, but NOAA forecasters say there’s a 75 percent chance this hurricane season will be at least as busy as a normal year, or busier.
Potential coastal change impacts due to Alberto.
USGS Scientists will participate in the Gulf of Mexico Habitat Monitoring and Mapping User Workshop and Mapping Summit at the NOAA Disaster Response Center in Mobile, Alabama.
This page contains the weekly highlights from the Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Center for the week of 9/112017 - 9/15/2017! Please take a look and see what we have been up to!
Pre- and post-storm photo comparisons using NOAA imagery
A non-native insect infestation may not be the only factor involved in the ongoing die-back of a marsh grass in the Mississippi River’s “bird foot delta,” the ecologically and economically important part of coastal Louisiana where the river meets the Gulf of Mexico.
A carbonatite here, a glacial moraine there, a zig-zagging fault or two, even a behemoth of a batholith. The geology of the 50 States is an enormous patchwork of varied forms, beautiful in their variance but challenging to present as a single map.
Lack of Major Hurricanes Since 2008 Is Likely the Main Reason