Unified Interior Regions

Massachusetts

Massachusetts, officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state in the New England region of the eastern United States. Several large bays distinctly shape its coast. Boston is the largest city at the innermost point of Massachusetts Bay and the mouth of the Charles River. There are 50 cities and 301 towns in Massachusetts, grouped into 14 counties.

Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center

Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center

384 Woods Hole Rd.
Woods Hole, MA 02543

Phone: 508-548-8700
Fax: 508-457-2310

Woods Hole Center

New England Water Science Center - Massachusetts

New England Water Science Center - Massachusetts

10 Bearfoot Road
Northborough, MA 01532

Phone: (508) 490-5000
Fax: (508) 490-5068

New England Water

States L2 Landing Page Tabs

Massachusetts, officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state in the New England region of the eastern United States. Several large bays distinctly shape its coast. Boston is the largest city at the innermost point of Massachusetts Bay and the mouth of the Charles River. There are 50 cities and 301 towns in Massachusetts, grouped into 14 counties.

News

Date published: October 1, 2020

TNMCorps Mapping Challenge Summary Results for City / Town Halls in MA, CT, & RI

Summary statistics are now available for this challenge. Thanks again to everyone who contributed!

Date published: September 28, 2020

New England Water Use, 2015

The New England Water Science Center has collected, reviewed, and aggregated water-withdrawal data in each of the six States every 5 years since 1950. The most recent water-use compilation was completed in 2015, and its summary is presented in this geonarrative.

Date published: September 24, 2020

FINISHED! City / Town Halls in MA, CT, & RI

This challenge is now complete! Thank you to everyone who contributed!

Filter Total Items: 76
Date published: October 28, 2020
Status: Completed

New England Drought, 2020

New England experienced a combination of above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation beginning in mid-May that led to a flash drought and rapid drying of soil. Near record warmth and below normal precipitation has persisted through October.

Date published: September 29, 2020
Status: Completed

New England Water Use in 2015

The New England Water Science Center has collected, reviewed, and aggregated water-withdrawal data in each of the six States every 5 years since 1950. The most recent water-use compilation was completed in 2015, and its summary is presented in this geonarrative.

Date published: June 4, 2020
Status: Active

Vernal Pool Inundation Models

This website provides an application for exploring modeling results from a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) project titled ...

Date published: April 17, 2020
Status: Active

The Response of Coastal Wetlands to Sea-level Rise: Understanding how Macroscale Drivers Influence Local Processes and Feedbacks

The purpose of this work is to advance our understanding of how coastal wetland responses to sea-level rise (SLR) within the conterminous United States are likely to vary as a function of local, regional, and macroscale drivers, including climate. Based on our interactions with managers and decision makers, as well as our knowledge of the current state of the science, we propose to: (a)...

Date published: March 9, 2020
Status: Active

Assessment of Nitrogen Discharge to Cape Cod Rivers to Identify High-Priority Nitrogen Reduction Areas

     In 2019 USGS and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 1 initiated a study to measure spatial and temporal patterns of nitrogen loading in selected rivers on Cape Cod and then determine whether the measured patterns can be related to nitrogen source areas in the surrounding watersheds to prioritize nitrogen reduction efforts. Study results will improve understanding of...

Date published: February 24, 2020
Status: Active

Assessment of Hydrologic Conditions in the Three Bays Watershed in Support of Nutrient Management Activities, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

      In 2019 the USGS began a partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Research and Development (ORD), EPA Region 1 Southeast New England Program for Coastal Watershed Restoration (SNEP), Barnstable Clean Water Coalition (BCWC), and other stakeholders to conduct hydrologic monitoring and assessment in support of multifaceted nutrient-management activities in...

Date published: December 13, 2019
Status: Active

Using Video Imagery to Study Head of the Meadow Beach

Two video cameras are mounted on a bluff near Head of the Meadow Beach, Cape Cod National Seashore, North Truro, MA. One camera looks alongshore toward the north-northeast, and the second looks directly offshore (northeast). The cameras are part of a U.S. Geological Survey research project to study the beach and nearshore environment shared by beachgoers, shorebirds, seals, and sharks. The...

Date published: November 4, 2019
Status: Completed

New England Water Use

Background: The U.S. Geological Survey has compiled the nation's water-use data at the county, state, and national levels every 5 years since 1950. The most recent estimated water-use compilation was completed in 2015. A summary for New England is presented on this webpage.

The Issue: Comprehensive water-use data analysis is needed to quantify the...

Date published: November 4, 2019
Status: Completed

Massachusetts Water Use

Background: The U.S. Geological Survey has compiled the nation's water-use data in Massachusetts and the rest of the United States at the county, state, and national levels every 5 years since 1950. The most recent estimated water-use compilation was completed in 2015. A summary for Massachusetts is presented on this webpage.

The Issue: Comprehensive...

Date published: October 24, 2019
Status: Active

Herring River Water Quality

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) New England Water Science Center installed, operated, and maintained surface water-quality sites at the Chequessett Neck Road dike on the Herring River from November 2015 through September 2018.

Date published: September 4, 2019
Status: Active

Real-Time Storm Response

Coastal change forecasts and pre- and post-storm photos documenting coastal change for landfalling storms. Currently responding to Hurricane Dorian.

Contacts: Kara Doran
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Date published: October 1, 2020

New England Below Normal 28-day average streamflow compared to historical streamflow for the day of year

Below Normal 28-day average streamflow compared to historical streamflow for the day of year

Date published: June 25, 2020

Continuous Monitoring Data From Herring River Wetlands, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, 2015 to January 2020

The Herring River estuary (Wellfleet, Cape Cod, Massachusetts) has been tidally restricted for over a century by a dike constructed near the mouth of the river. The U.S. Geological Survey collected continuous monitoring data (including water level, soil temperature, air temperature, and meteorological parameters). These datasets can help evaluate key ecosystem drivers.

Date published: June 1, 2020

Continuous monitoring data from Great Barnstable Marsh on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, 2017-19

These USGS datasets can be used to evaluate changes in water levels across ditched and natural salt marsh regions and provide information for any future studies of salt marsh productivity and geomorphic models in Great Barnstable Marsh.

Date published: May 12, 2020

Low-altitude aerial imagery and related field observations associated with unmanned aerial systems (UAS) flights over Coast Guard Beach, Nauset Spit, Nauset Inlet, and Nauset Marsh, Cape Cod National Seashore, Eastham, Massachusetts on 1 March 2016

Low-altitude (approximately 120 meters above ground level) digital images were obtained from cameras mounted in a fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flown from the lawn adjacent to the Coast Guard Beach parking lot on 1 March, 2016.   Two consecutive unmanned aerial systems (UAS) missions were flown, each with two cameras, autopilot computer, radios, and a global satellite navigation...

Date published: April 23, 2020

Domestic Wells in the United States

Domestic wells provide drinking water supply for approximately 40 million people in the United States. Knowing the location of these wells, and the populations they serve, is important for identifying heavily used aquifers, locations susceptible to contamination, and populations potentially impacted by poor-quality groundwater. 

Date published: December 3, 2019

Continuous Monitoring Data From Natural and Restored Salt Marshes on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, 2016-17

. In this study, sites were selected to compare salt marshes restored over a range of years and to compare marshes upstream and downstream from a restored tidal restriction. Salt marshes downstream from tidal restrictions represent "natural" conditions because hydrology was not substantially altered, whereas marshes upstream from repaired culverts represent "restored" conditions.

Date published: October 15, 2019

Numerical model of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) growth dynamics in West Falmouth Harbor

The development of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) growth model within the Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere-Wave-Sediment Transport (COAWST) model leads to a change in SAV biomass. The SAV biomass is computed from temperature, nutrient loading and light predictions obtained from coupled hydrodynamics (temperature), bio-geochemistry (nutrients) and bio-optical (light) models.

Date published: October 15, 2019

Sea-floor sediment samples, seabed imagery, and CTD instrument data collected on Stellwagen Bank in September 2017, U.S. Geological Survey Field Activity 2017-044-FA

This is part of the effort to map geologic substrates of the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary region off Boston, MA. The overall goal is to develop high-resolution (1:25,000) interpretive maps, based on multibeam sonar data and seabed sampling, showing surficial geology and seabed sediment dynamics.  The Sanctuary's research vessel, R/V Auk, visited 57 locations on Stellwagen...

Date published: April 9, 2019

Drought Streamflow Probabilities in Northeast Region

Maximum likelihood logistic regression (MLLR) is used to estimate drought probabilities for selected Northeast rivers and streams. Winter streamflows are used to estimate the chance of hydrologic drought during summer months. This application allows the display and query of these drought streamflow probabilities for Northeastern streams.

Date published: March 12, 2019

Unvegetated to vegetated marsh ratio in Cape Cod National Seashore salt marsh complex, Massachusetts

Unvegetated to vegetated marsh ratio (UVVR) in the Cape Cod National Seashore (CACO) salt marsh complex and approximal wetlands is computed based on conceptual marsh units defined by Defne and Ganju (2019). UVVR was calculated based on U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) 1-meter resolution imagery.

Date published: March 12, 2019

Conceptual marsh units for Cape Cod National Seashore salt marsh complex, Massachusetts

The salt marsh complex of Cape Cod National Seashore (CACO), Massachusetts, USA and approximal wetlands were delineated to smaller, conceptual marsh units by geoprocessing of surface elevation data. Flow accumulation based on the relative elevation of each location is used to determine the ridge lines that separate each marsh unit

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A screenshot of the New England Water Use geo-narrative
September 28, 2020

The New England Water Science Center has collected, reviewed, and aggregated water-withdrawal data in each of the six States every 5 years since 1950. The most recent water-use compilation was completed in 2015, and its summary is presented in this geonarrative.

Black and grey map of the contiguous 48 states shaded by the number of people using domestic wells per square kilometer (2010)
April 23, 2020

Domestic wells provide drinking water supply for approximately 40 million people in the United States. Knowing the location of these wells, and the populations they serve, is important for identifying heavily used aquifers, locations susceptible to contamination, and populations potentially impacted by poor-quality groundwater. 

Three Bays watershed, Barnstable, MA
February 24, 2020

Three Bays watershed area and locations of four sites for preliminary hydrogeologic site characterization, Barnstable, Massachusetts.

Wells in the New England groundwater level network dataset, 2017, web application
November 13, 2019

Locations of active wells (at least one measurement during the previous year) in the New England groundwater level network at the end of 2017. The dataset contains 104 wells with continuous water-level measurements (15-minute to hourly measurements), 182 wells with discrete water-level measurements (monthly measurements at most locations), and 95 wells with intermittent water-level measurements.

Flood Inundation Mapper - New England
November 4, 2019

USGS Flood Inundation Mapper Web Application

Map of USGS Groundwater monitoring sites
April 10, 2019

USGS installed 18 monitoring wells and 14 multilevel samplers (MLSs) at 14 locations to monitor water levels and groundwater quality beneath the Maravista neighborhood in Falmouth, Massachusetts.

Map of potential permeable reactive barriers sites on Cape Cod, MA
February 4, 2019

Locations of the sites investigated to determine hydrologic suitability for installation of permeable reactive barriers to treat groundwater nitrogen, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

NWIS-Mapper thumbnail image
November 26, 2018

The National Water Information System (NWIS) Mapper provides access to water-resources data at over 1.5 million sites across the U.S., including current and historical data. Users can search by site type, data type, site number, or place.

New England Water Conditions Map
October 30, 2018

New England Current Water Conditions (Groundwater, Surface Water and Water-Quality) Maps

Map showing USGS Groundwater monitoring sites located in the Maravista neighborhood, Falmouth, Massachusetts
October 24, 2018

In the spring of 2016, the USGS installed 18 monitoring wells and 14 multilevel samplers (MLSs) at 14 locations to monitor water levels and groundwater quality beneath the Maravista neighborhood in Falmouth, Massachusetts.

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The Housatonic River near Lee, Massachusetts
December 13, 2018

This software release provides the database application that runs the Massachusetts Sustainable-Yield Estimator (MA SYE) computer program (version 2.0).

SIR 2016-5123 front cover icon
October 5, 2016

Overview

The Massachusetts Reservoir Simulation Tool is a screening-level model developed to examine the effects of reservoirs on the natural streamflow of streams in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Reservoir Simulation Tool simulates the daily water balance equation of a water supply reservoir and estimates the magnitude, frequency and duration of spillage below the dam over the period of record.

USGS
January 16, 2012

Overview

The Connecticut River UnImpacted Streamflow Estimation (CRUISE) tool combines the utility of catchment delineation at any location along a stream with the estimation and serving of daily streamflow information. The CRUISE tool is freely-available and requires only an internet connection and Microsoft Excel version 2000 or higher. 

SIR2011-5125 front cover icon
October 19, 2011

Overview

The firm yield of a reservoir is defined as the maximum yield that can be delivered from a system without failure, even during a severe drought. The Firm Yield Estimator model (FYE) uses the daily water-balance equation to estimate reservoir storage from October 1, 1960 to September 30, 2004, which includes the most extreme drought of record.

SIR 2009-5227 front cover
June 15, 2011

Overview

The Massachusetts Sustainable-Yield Estimator is a decision-support tool that provides screening-level estimates of the sustainable yield of a basin, defined as the difference between the unregulated streamflow and a user-specified quantity of water that must remain in the stream to support such functions as recreational activities or aquatic habitat.

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USGS boat crew on Merrimack River, Massachusetts
July 1, 2020

USGS boat crew on Merrimack River, Massachusetts

Two USGS scientists traveling by boat to estuary sampling and monitoring stations, Merrimack River, Massachusetts

Photograph of USGS staff in the marsh wearing masks
June 8, 2020

Social distancing in the field

Safety is a top priority. USGS staff recently improved access to field sites at the Herring River estuary within the Cape Cod National Seashore to provide safer paths through a phragmites wetland. Research continues largely through deployment of instruments that can take measurements in water and air continuously, but some measurements do require staff, who are

...
Merrimack River near Aiken St Bridge, Lowell, Massachusetts (USGS ID: 010965985)
June 6, 2020

Merrimack River near Aiken St Bridge, Lowell, Massachusetts

Merrimack River near Aiken St Bridge, Lowell, Massachusetts (USGS ID: 010965985).

The site is one of the Merrimack project water quality sampling and monitoring stations.

Photograph of USGS scientist on a ladder checking equipment
May 21, 2020

Rebecca Sanders-DeMott performing maintenance on an eddy flux tower

Instruments continue to collect vital data during workplace closures. Here staff perform maintenance on an eddy flux tower located within a phragmites wetland at the Cape Cod National Seashore. The instruments on this tower measure methane and CO2 fluxes related to plant and soil processes day in and day out for the entire year. This information is critical for

...
May 5, 2020

Timing is Everything: Fish, Wildlife, and Timing of Life Events

Timing is Everything: How Fish and Wildlife are Responding to Climate Change Through Shifts in the Timing of Life Events

Changes in phenology, or the seasonal timing of recurring life history events such as breeding, feeding, and movements, have emerged as a primary indicator of species’ responses to climate change. In terrestrial environments,

Photograph of USGS Scientist wearing a protective face covering
April 29, 2020

Meagan Gonneea at the Herring River Estuary, Wellfleet, MA

When wetland plants in the northeast emerged this spring, USGS scientists were working from home and unable to start many planned research activities. However, many instruments were already deployed and continued to collect information critical to USGS research. These instruments still need visits occasionally to download data and make sure there aren’t any problems.

...
March 17, 2020

Detecting Dune Features: Coast Guard Beach, Massachusetts

Tall and contiguous coastal dunes can substantially mitigate storm surge and flooding near our coasts. Understanding the position and height of dunes, as well as how these features change over time, is critical to the USGS mission of predicting impacts to coastal infrastructure and habitat caused by storms and hurricanes. To this end, the USGS operates a number of small

February 5, 2020

Discharge Measurement on Millers River Near South Royalston, MA

A USGS Hydrologic Technician is briefly shown calibrating the compass on a remote controlled Qboat. The Qboat is then sent across the Millers River near South Royalston, Massachusetts to collect discharge data. This video shows the Qboat making several passes across the river.
 

the entrance to the Buzzards Bay entrance to the Cape Cod Canal.
January 17, 2020

Buzzards Bay Entrance to the Cape Cod Canal

This image created using the Continuous Bathymetry and Elevation Models of the Massachusetts Coastal Zone and Continental Shelf, shows the entrance to the Buzzards Bay entrance to the Cape Cod Canal.

the three-dimensional perspective view of the Elizabeth Islands in the center of the image. Buzzards Bay is to the left (north)
January 17, 2020

Elizabeth Islands, Massachusetts

This image created using the Continuous Bathymetry and Elevation Models of the Massachusetts Coastal Zone and Continental Shelf, shows the three-dimensional perspective view of the Elizabeth Islands in the center of the image. Buzzards Bay is to the left (north) of the Elizabeth Islands, and Vineyard Sound is to the right (south). View is from the Southeast looking to the

...
Salem and Marblehead in the middle of the image and Rocky Neck in the upper middle.
January 17, 2020

Salem and Marblehead, Massachusetts

This image created using the Continuous Bathymetry and Elevation Models of the Massachusetts Coastal Zone and Continental Shelf, shows Salem and Marblehead in the middle of the image and Rocky Neck in the upper middle.

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THUMBNAIL: Timelapse of City/Town Halls in MA, CT, RI
October 1, 2020

Summary statistics are now available for this challenge. Thanks again to everyone who contributed!

A screenshot of the New England Water Use geo-narrative
September 28, 2020

The New England Water Science Center has collected, reviewed, and aggregated water-withdrawal data in each of the six States every 5 years since 1950. The most recent water-use compilation was completed in 2015, and its summary is presented in this geonarrative.

TNMCorps Mapping Challenge: City/Town Halls in MA, CT, RI FINISHED
September 24, 2020

This challenge is now complete! Thank you to everyone who contributed!

Map of New England 7-day average streamflow conditions
September 21, 2020

Current information to help with understanding the extent and severity of the recent drought in New England.

TNMCorps Mapping Challenge: City/Town Halls in MA, CT, RI
September 17, 2020

Almost 200 new points have been added since last week - NICE WORK!  Since this challenge is nearing completion, we performed our spatial analyses to help identify remaining communities. 

TNMCorps Mapping Challenge: City/Town Halls in MA, CT, RI
September 10, 2020

Volunteers edited over 100 points since last week - nice work!  This includes the addition of ~40 new points. 

TNMCorps Mapping Challenge: City/Town Halls in MA, CT, RI
September 3, 2020

Almost 200 edits have come in for this challenge since we launched it last week - nice work!

TNMCorps Mapping Challenge: City/Town Halls in MA, CT, RI NEW
August 27, 2020

TNMCorps Mapping Challenges continue in New England with a new challenge for city/town halls in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island!

Dragonfly larvae being held in an open hand
July 21, 2020

A team of federal, academic, and NGO researchers conducted a national-scale assessment of mercury bioaccumulation in aquatic ecosystems using dragonfly larvae as biosentinels.

USGS
August 6, 2019

On July 19, a new journal article from the Cape Cod Toxic Substances Hydrology team was published online in the Journal of Geophysical Research—Biogeosciences.  New England WSC co-authors include Denis LeBlanc and Tim McCobb.  The study was partly supported by the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources in Daejeon, South Korea.

New England Newsletter - Spring-Summer 2019 cover
July 26, 2019

This issue of WaterMarks has information on the full spectrum of work we do: from flood monitoring to drought predictions, water-quality sampling in estuaries to the latest technology in rapid arsenic analysis. In addition, we are starting to highlight a few of our staff in each newsletter, so you get to meet and become more familiar with those who do the work and represent the future of our WSC.

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Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center

Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center

384 Woods Hole Rd.
Woods Hole, MA 02543

Phone: 508-548-8700
Fax: 508-457-2310

Woods Hole Center

New England Water Science Center - Massachusetts

New England Water Science Center - Massachusetts

10 Bearfoot Road
Northborough, MA 01532

Phone: (508) 490-5000
Fax: (508) 490-5068

New England Water