Unified Interior Regions

North Carolina

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.

States L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 87
Date published: January 20, 2017
Status: Active

Stratification and Water Quality of Jordan Lake, North Carolina

The New Hope arm of Jordan Lake, located in Chatham County, North Carolina, serves as a drinking-water supply for the Towns of Cary, Apex, and Morrisville. The reservoir is listed as impaired due to nutrient over-enrichment and occasionally experiences algal blooms and fish kills.

In order to evaluate effects of installing a vertical-mixing system on the New Hope arm of Jordan Lake, the...

Contacts: Mary L Giorgino
Date published: January 20, 2017
Status: Active

North Carolina Shale Gas Baseline Groundwater Sampling Project

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) South Atlantic Water Science Center is conducted an inventory of well records and baseline groundwater-quality sampling to better delineate areas of groundwater use and groundwater-quality characteristics prior to potential shale gas exploration in the Triassic Basins of Lee and Chatham Counties, North Carolina. The compilation of baseline groundwater-quality...

Date published: January 19, 2017
Status: Completed

Roanoke River Water-Quality Monitoring and Modeling, N.C.

The relations among river flow, floodplain water level, and instream dissolved-oxygen (DO) concentrations are important but poorly understood for the Roanoke River. Flooding and floodplain inundation no longer follow a natural seasonal pattern of flooding in the winter and occasionally in the fall, and lower flows throughout the remainder of the year, but are primarily governed by upstream...

Contacts: Sean D Egen
Date published: January 17, 2017
Status: Active

Water Use in North Carolina, 2010

In North Carolina and across the Nation, water is a vital resource and it is used for a variety of purposes. Water use for 2010 was estimated for each county in North Carolina using data obtained from various Federal and State agencies and other sources. Estimates of water use in North Carolina were developed for the categories of public supply, domestic, industrial, mining, aquaculture,...

Contacts: Douglas G Smith
Date published: January 11, 2017

Surface-Water Quality in Agricultural Watersheds of the North Carolina Coastal Plain Associated with Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations

The effects of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) on water quality were investigated at 54 agricultural stream sites throughout the North Carolina Coastal Plain during 2012 and 2013.

Three general watershed land-use types were examined during the study, including 18 background watersheds with no active CAFOs, 18 watersheds with one or more active swine CAFOs but no poultry...

Date published: November 9, 2016
Status: Active

Mid-Currituck Bridge Water Quality, Currituck Sound, North Carolina

The North Carolina Department of Transportation is planning to make transportation improvements in the Currituck Sound area by constructing a three-lane bridge from U.S. Highway 158 just south of Coinjock, North Carolina, to State Highway 12 on the Outer Banks just south of Corolla, North Carolina. From Aug 2011 to early 2018, the USGS will be collecting regular water-quality samples as well...

Date published: November 8, 2016
Status: Completed

Evaluation of Nutrients in Durham County, North Carolina, Urban Streams

Falls Lake and Jordan Lake are included in the North Carolina Division of Water Quality's 303(d) list of "impaired" waters due to violations of the State chlorophyll-a standard caused by excessive nutrient inputs. Scientific data are needed allocate resources to achieve nutrient reduction targets have been adopted for the Falls Lake and Jordan Lake watersheds for stormwater, as well as for...

Date published: November 2, 2016

Flood Frequency Information

Reliable estimates of the magnitude and frequency of floods are essential for such things as the design of transportation and water-conveyance structures, flood insurance studies, and flood-plain management. Flood-frequency estimates are particularly important in densely populated urban areas. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is using a multistate approach to update methods for determining...

Date published: October 26, 2016

Hydrologic Assessment of New Hanover County, NC Aquifers

New Hanover County is one of the most populated areas along the North Carolina coastline and the population is projected to expand by 25 percent over the next 20 years. County managers and town planners are concerned about escalating demand for groundwater within the county and recognize the importance of high-quality drinking water to meet the demands of a growing population.


Date published: October 24, 2016
Status: Completed

Fate and Transport of Pathogens and Nutrients from Land-Applied Animal Manures

This collaborative project between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the USGS was conducted as part of a larger research program being undertaken by USEPA and the U.S Department of Agriculture at several research sites throughout the United States. Goals included:

1. Obtain detailed data concerning the survival of pathogenic microorganisms from manure applied to soil...

Date published: October 24, 2016
Status: Completed

Factors Affecting Nitrogen and Phosphorus Loads in Nutrient-Sensitive Water of Eastern North Carolina

Data collected between 1997 and 2008 at 48 stream sites were used to characterize relations between watershed settings and stream nutrient yields throughout central and eastern North Carolina. The focus of the investigation was to identify environmental variables in watersheds that influence nutrient export for supporting the development and prioritization of management strategies for...

Date published: October 19, 2016

Characterization of subsurface bedrock fractures at GMH Electronics EPA Superfund Site near Roxboro, NC

The US Environmental Protection designated a former electronics manufacturing facility as a Superfund cleanup site near Roxboro, North Carolina. Operations at a former gasoline station/store and electronic component production facility may have resulted in the presence of a volatile-organic compound (VOC) plume in groundwater in the area; referred to as the "GMH Electronics Site".


Filter Total Items: 87
video thumbnail: Climate Connections: Visiting Students in North Carolina (Episode 1)
April 20, 2011

Climate Connections: Visiting Students in North Carolina (Episode 1)

America has questions about climate change, and the USGS has real answers. In this episode of Climate Connections, USGS scientists answer questions gathered from middle and high school students in Mt. Airy, NC.

  • Do all scientists agree that climate change is occurring?
  • Could climate change impact fishing?
  • Will the climate change abruptly or
USGS CoreCast
March 6, 2011

Groundwater Awareness Week is March 6-12

Groundwater is not a single vast pool of underground water; rather, it is contained within a variety of aquifer systems. Each of these aquifers has its own set of questions and challenges. From large drawdowns in the Great Plains aquifer to arsenic in some wells in New England, this episode of CoreCast highlights six different USGS groundwater studies all across the United

June 2, 2010

Effects of Urbanization on Stream Ecosystems

Development can have negative effects on streams in urban and suburban areas. As a watershed becomes covered with pavement, sidewalks, and other types of urban land cover, stream organisms are confronted with an increased volume of storm water runoff, increased exposure to fertilizers and pesticides, and dramatic changes in physical living spaces within the stream itself.

January 26, 2010

USGS Hydrologic Data Collection Program in North Carolina

USGS North Carolina Data Chief, Jeanne Robbins, provides an overview on hydrologic data collection techniques for North Carolina.

October 18, 2009

Marking the Milestone, The Triangle Area Water Supply Monitoring Proj

USGS North Carolina Water Quality Specialist Mary Georgino discusses The Triangle Area Water Supply Monitoring Project.

September 15, 2009

Hurricane Floyd, and the Floods of 1999

USGS North Carolina Water Science Center Director Jerad Bales discusses Hurricane Floyd and flood impacts on North Carolina in 1999.

Ryan Rasmussen and Cassandra Pfeifle, Hydrologic Technicians, collect samples at Little River Reservoir, 2009.
August 19, 2009

Water Sampling at Little River Reservoir, Durham County, NC, 2009.

Ryan Rasmussen and Cassandra Pfeifle, Hydrologic Technicians, collect samples at Little River Reservoir, 2009. 

Filter Total Items: 110
December 19, 2013

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell has announced today that Interior’s Southeast Climate Science Center is awarding more than $800,000 to universities and other partners for research to guide managers of parks, refuges and other resources in planning how to help species and ecosystems adapt to climate change.

July 30, 2013

Newly designed maps covering Indiana, Iowa, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia are now available online for free download

June 20, 2012

Using a geology-based assessment method, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated a mean undiscovered natural gas resource of 3.9 trillion cubic feet and a mean undiscovered natural gas liquids resource of 135 million barrels in continuous accumulations within five East Coast Mesozoic basins, according to a new USGS report.  

USGS science for a changing world logo
November 15, 2011

Water from wells in Lee and Chatham counties will be sampled and tested for baseline information because of potential for shale gas exploration in these areas. 

USGS science for a changing world logo
October 7, 2011

Gerard McMahon has been selected as the Director of the Department of the Interior’s Southeast Climate Science Center located at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

McMahon will be the first permanent director of the new center, which is one of eight regional Climate Science Centers being established. The new centers will be managed by the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center

USGS science for a changing world logo
August 26, 2011

Hurricane response crews from the USGS have installed storm-surge sensors at key locations along the North Carolina coast in advance of Hurricane Irene. And now, they are actively consulting with federal and state partners about the need for similar equipment for other coastal areas including the Chesapeake Bay, the Delaware Bay, Long Island Sound and even as far north as Cape Cod.

November 17, 2010

Approximately 13 million metric tons of rare earth elements (REE) exist within known deposits in the United States, according to the first-ever nationwide estimate of these elements by the U.S. Geological Survey.

November 16, 2010

The report, “Groundwater Availability of the Atlantic Coastal Plain of North and South Carolina,” is available online.

Large volumes of high quality groundwater fill aquifers along the Atlantic Coastal Plain (ACP) in North and South Carolina. Groundwater levels in much of the region remain relatively unchanged from predevelopment days, despite declines in some locations from large-scale pumping.