Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Surface-Water Hazards

Filter Total Items: 13

Surface Water Questions & Answers

Our planet is covered in water. We see it in our oceans and on land we see it in our lakes and rivers. The vast amount of water on the Earth's surface is in the oceans, and only a relatively small amount exists as fresh surface water on land. Yet, it is vitally important to all life on Earth. Here at the Water Science School we have the answers to your questions about surface water.
link

Surface Water Questions & Answers

Our planet is covered in water. We see it in our oceans and on land we see it in our lakes and rivers. The vast amount of water on the Earth's surface is in the oceans, and only a relatively small amount exists as fresh surface water on land. Yet, it is vitally important to all life on Earth. Here at the Water Science School we have the answers to your questions about surface water.
Learn More

Water Q&A: Floods

Water Questions & Answers - Floods This page offers some questions and answers about the hydrology of floods. This information is from the U.S. Geological Survey's MD-DE-DC Water Science Center website of frequently-asked questions about water.
link

Water Q&A: Floods

Water Questions & Answers - Floods This page offers some questions and answers about the hydrology of floods. This information is from the U.S. Geological Survey's MD-DE-DC Water Science Center website of frequently-asked questions about water.
Learn More

Floods and Recurrence Intervals

A major storm or hurricane hits your area and on the radio you hear reference to a "100-year flood". But what exactly is a "100-year flood"? The term "100-year flood" is often used to describe a flood of great magnitude, but there is a lot more to it.
link

Floods and Recurrence Intervals

A major storm or hurricane hits your area and on the radio you hear reference to a "100-year flood". But what exactly is a "100-year flood"? The term "100-year flood" is often used to describe a flood of great magnitude, but there is a lot more to it.
Learn More

Storm-Tide Monitoring

It is important to understand how hurricanes and major storms affect coastal areas that are also subject to tidal flows. The only way to do this is to deploy many monitoring sites in the path of these storms, and collect data before, during, and after the storm passes. USGS often deploys this storm-tide monitoring equipment.
link

Storm-Tide Monitoring

It is important to understand how hurricanes and major storms affect coastal areas that are also subject to tidal flows. The only way to do this is to deploy many monitoring sites in the path of these storms, and collect data before, during, and after the storm passes. USGS often deploys this storm-tide monitoring equipment.
Learn More

Sea Level and Climate

Sea level and climate. If you wondering how they relate to one another all you need to think of is water storage. How does the earth store water during cold periods and how is water stored when the earth warms? If you're curious about the delicate connection the earth has between climate and sea level, don't stop here. Read on!
link

Sea Level and Climate

Sea level and climate. If you wondering how they relate to one another all you need to think of is water storage. How does the earth store water during cold periods and how is water stored when the earth warms? If you're curious about the delicate connection the earth has between climate and sea level, don't stop here. Read on!
Learn More

Uses of Streamflow Information

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been measuring the amount of water flowing in rivers since the 19th century. Having reliable past and present streamflow information is vital for many reasons, both at the personal and national level.
link

Uses of Streamflow Information

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been measuring the amount of water flowing in rivers since the 19th century. Having reliable past and present streamflow information is vital for many reasons, both at the personal and national level.
Learn More

Urban Water Quality: Sewage Overflows

Wastewater and sewage treatment are important topics in any society, all throughout history and into today. Improperly disposed of or treated sewage can cause disease and harm the ecosystem. That is why when a sewage overflow occurs it garners negative news attention.
link

Urban Water Quality: Sewage Overflows

Wastewater and sewage treatment are important topics in any society, all throughout history and into today. Improperly disposed of or treated sewage can cause disease and harm the ecosystem. That is why when a sewage overflow occurs it garners negative news attention.
Learn More

Tsunamis and Tsunami Hazards

You don't hear about tsunamis very often, but when they do strike, they can be huge newsmakers and can have drastic and devastating effects. The occurrence and potential for tsunamis on the coasts of the United States is not out of the question. Read on to learn about tsunamis.
link

Tsunamis and Tsunami Hazards

You don't hear about tsunamis very often, but when they do strike, they can be huge newsmakers and can have drastic and devastating effects. The occurrence and potential for tsunamis on the coasts of the United States is not out of the question. Read on to learn about tsunamis.
Learn More

Mining and Water Quality

Mine drainage is metal-rich water formed from a chemical reaction between water and rocks containing sulfur-bearing minerals. Problems that can be associated with mine drainage include contaminated drinking water, disrupted growth and reproduction of aquatic plants and animals, and the corroding effects of the acid on parts of infrastructures such as bridges.
link

Mining and Water Quality

Mine drainage is metal-rich water formed from a chemical reaction between water and rocks containing sulfur-bearing minerals. Problems that can be associated with mine drainage include contaminated drinking water, disrupted growth and reproduction of aquatic plants and animals, and the corroding effects of the acid on parts of infrastructures such as bridges.
Learn More

Floods: Things to Know

The following topics provide background on some of the scientific issues regarding floods.
link

Floods: Things to Know

The following topics provide background on some of the scientific issues regarding floods.
Learn More

How Much Water Flows During a Storm?

If a low-lying area near a river near you usually gets about 50 inches of rain a year, you might think "Well, that is about 1 inch per week, so that won't cause any flooding". But, nature doesn't think the same way, and often a large percentage of a year's precipitation can fall in a major storm, in a single day. Your river might not react much to a 1 inch rain, but things might be much different...
link

How Much Water Flows During a Storm?

If a low-lying area near a river near you usually gets about 50 inches of rain a year, you might think "Well, that is about 1 inch per week, so that won't cause any flooding". But, nature doesn't think the same way, and often a large percentage of a year's precipitation can fall in a major storm, in a single day. Your river might not react much to a 1 inch rain, but things might be much different...
Learn More

High-Water Marks and Flooding

At places where the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) does not have real-time monitoring equipment, we use high-water marks to measure the maximum height (stream stage) of a flood or high-water event.
link

High-Water Marks and Flooding

At places where the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) does not have real-time monitoring equipment, we use high-water marks to measure the maximum height (stream stage) of a flood or high-water event.
Learn More