Unified Interior Regions

Pennsylvania

Our water-resources roots date back to the late 1800's, with the initiation of streamflow gaging on the Delaware and Susquehanna Rivers and evaluation of groundwater resources in various parts of the Commonwealth. Today Pennsylvania Water Science Center's cadre of nearly 100 scientists, technicians and support staff throughout the state collect scientific data to inform the public.

Pennsylvania Water Science Center

Pennsylvania Water Science Center

215 Limekiln Road
New Cumberland, PA 17070

Phone: (717) 730-6900
Fax: (717) 730-6997

Pennsylvania Water

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Our water-resources roots date back to the late 1800's, with the initiation of streamflow gaging on the Delaware and Susquehanna Rivers and evaluation of groundwater resources in various parts of the Commonwealth. Today Pennsylvania Water Science Center's cadre of nearly 100 scientists, technicians and support staff throughout the state collect scientific data to inform the public.

News

Date published: September 17, 2021

Northeastern U.S. Streams During Tropical Storm Henri

Streamflow and water level changed dramatically as Tropical Storm Henri made landfall in the northeastern U.S. in late August, 2021, as shown by the Water Footprint Data Visualization.

Date published: June 18, 2021

Land Use Models from EROS Offer Insight, Management Guidance for Delaware River Basin

In the mid-1960s, the city of Philadelphia faced a potential public health crisis.

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Date published: April 13, 2021
Status: Active

Contaminants in groundwater near former Navy bases in southeastern Pennsylvania

USGS has investigated groundwater flow and contaminant transport in the vicinity of former Navy bases in Bucks and Montgomery Counties, southeastern Pennsylvania, in cooperation with the U.S. Navy. Additional cooperative support for these investigations has been provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Bucks and Montgomery...

Contacts: Lisa A Senior
Date published: March 14, 2021
Status: Active

Hydrologic and Water Quality Studies of PFAS in Pennsylvania

USGS is working with federal, state, and local partners to monitor and evaluate perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in Pennsylvania's groundwater and surface waters.

Date published: March 12, 2021
Status: Active

Delaware River Basin

In Pennsylvania, the USGS's water-resources roots date back to the late 1800's, with the initiation of streamflow gaging on the Delaware and Susquehanna Rivers and assessments of groundwater resources near Philadelphia. The USGS Pennsylvania Water Science Center continues to provide scientific information about the water resources of the Delaware River Basin, in cooperation with regional and...

Date published: March 1, 2021
Status: Archived

Workplans on Study Design

The NAWQA program balances the unique assessment requirements of individual study units with a nationally consistent design and data-collection structure that incorporates a multiscale, interdisciplinary approach. Surface- and groundwater studies are conducted at local scales (a few square miles to hundreds of square miles) to study relations between land use and water quality, and at regional...

Date published: March 1, 2021
Status: Archived

Workplans on Study Design - Surface-Water Studies

The National study design for surface water focuses on water-quality conditions in streams by using three interrelated components: water-column studies , bed-sediment and fish-tissue studies , and ecological studies. Water-column studies are used to monitor physical and chemical characteristics such as suspended sediment, major ions, organic carbon, dissolved...

Date published: February 26, 2021
Status: Archived

Workplans on Study Design - Synoptic Investigations

During NAWQA studies additional water, ecological, and bed-sediment and fish-tissue samples are collected as part of short-term synoptic investigations of specific water-quality conditions or constituents to increase spatial coverage and to allow investigators to evaluate how the quality of water at basic-fixed and intensive-fixed sites is related to the quality of water in other streams...

Date published: February 26, 2021
Status: Archived

Workplans on Study Design - Groundwater Design

The National study design for groundwater focuses on water-quality conditions in major aquifers, with emphasis on recently recharged groundwater associated with present and recent human activities, by using study-unit surveys, land-use studies, and flow-path studies. In study-unit surveys and land-use studies, groundwater samples are analyzed for major ions, nutrients, pesticides, volatile...

Date published: February 26, 2021
Status: Archived

Workplans on Study Design - Ecological Design

NAWQA ecological studies are used to evaluate the effects of physical, chemical, and habitat characteristics on biological communities. Ecological surveys are done along a delineated stream reach and include a habitat assessment of the site and annual surveys of the fish, algal, and benthic invertebrate communities.

Date published: February 26, 2021
Status: Archived

Workplans on Study Design - Bed Sediment and Fish Tissue

Bed-sediment and fish-tissue studies are used in NAWQA to assess the presence and distribution of trace elements and hydrophobic organic contaminants that are less likely to be found in surface-water samples.

Date published: February 26, 2021
Status: Archived

Delaware River Basin Study Unit Description

The Delaware River drainage basin encompasses more than 12,700 mi2 (square miles) and includes parts of Pennsylvania (6,465 mi2), New Jersey (2,969 mi2), New York (2,363 mi2), and Delaware (968 mi2). The study-unit area includes the entire drainage basin, except for 770 miof the Coastal Plain in...

Date published: February 12, 2021
Status: Archived

Delaware River Basin (DelR) NAWQA Study Unit

The Delaware River Basin (DELR) NAWQA study began in 1997 and is a multi-district effort. Coordinated from our West Trenton, New Jersey office, the study also includes paticipation by our Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Troy, New York offices. During the first two years...

Contacts: New Jersey WSC Specialists
Date published: January 26, 2021
Status: Active

Consortium for Scientific Assistance to Watersheds

The USGS Pennsylvania Water Science Center participates in the Consortium for Scientific Assistance to Watersheds (C-SAW) to provide free technical assistance to Pennsylvania-based watershed and conservation organizations.

C-SAW does not conduct watershed monitoring or assessments. Instead, C-SAW helps watershed organizations do a better job with their own monitoring and...

Contacts: Mark A Roland
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Date published: November 19, 2020

Water-level data and selected field notes for aquifer-interval-isolation tests at and near the former Naval Air Warfare Center Warminster, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, 2018-19

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) conducted aquifer interval isolation (packer) tests of discrete water-bearing zones using straddle packers in 13 wells in Northampton, Warminster, and Warwick Townships and Ivyland Borough, Bucks County, Pennsylvania during 2018-19 to support detailed groundwater investigations at and near the former Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC) Warminster%

Date published: October 21, 2020

Pennsylvania Groundwater Quality Monitoring Network

USGS Pennsylvania Water Science Center, in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, samples 28 wells biannually to monitor ambient groundwater quality conditions in a variety of settings throughout Pennsylvania. The most recent results for selected constituents can be accessed through the Groundwater Quality...

Date published: October 20, 2020

Pennsylvania StreamStats

StreamStats is a national web-based application that provides selected water-resource information for Pennsylvania. Users can easily obtain descriptive information, basin characteristics, and streamflow statistics for USGS streamgages and ungaged stream locations throughout the Commonwealth. Water use data is also available for Pennsylvania in StreamStats.

Date published: October 8, 2020

Philadelphia Water Quality Monitoring Network

The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) and USGS have been working together to create and expand the water-quality monitoring network for Philadelphia. Data from these gaging stations will allow PWD scientists and engineers to monitor spatial and temporal water quality/quantity trends in the City in support of watershed restoration initiatives occurring within the City. 

Date published: August 28, 2020

Daily-timestep and monthly-timestep estimates of baseflow at 49 reference stream gages located within 25 miles of the Delaware River basin watershed boundary for the years 1950 through 2015

This USGS data release contains daily-timestep and monthly-timestep estimates of baseflow at 49 reference stream gages located within 25 miles of the Delaware River basin watershed boundary. Estimates are provided for the available period of record of streamflow data at each site between 1950 and 2015. A two-parameter recursive digital filter was used to estimate baseflow at the selected...

Date published: July 27, 2020

Loads and trends in the Chesapeake Bay nontidal monitoring network: results through Water Year 2018

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has developed the nontidal network mapper to share the short-term (2009-2018) water-year nutrient and suspended-sediment load and trend results for the Chesapeake Bay Program’s (CBP) non-tidal network (NTN). The mapper provides the primary findings for nitrogen, phosphorus and suspended-sediment trends, and gives the user tools to further examine the results...

Date published: June 23, 2020

Global Geochemical Database for Critical Minerals in Archived Mine Samples

The Critical Minerals in Archived Mine Samples Database (CMDB) contains chemistry and geologic information for historic ore and ore-related rock samples from mineral deposits in the United States. In addition, the database contains samples from archetypal deposits from 27 other countries in North America, South America, Asia, Africa and Europe. Samples were obtained from archived ore

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: February 5, 2020

Compiled data for groundwater levels, groundwater withdrawals by wells and quarries, and point-source discharges to streams in the vicinity of Willow Grove and Warminster, Bucks and Montgomery Counties, Pennsylvania, for selected years during 1999-2017

This USGS Data Release includes hydrologic data compiled for selected years during the period 1990-2017 to support the development and calibration of a numerical groundwater model used to simulate groundwater flow paths at and near former and currently active military bases in Montgomery and Bucks Counties in southeastern Pennsylvania (Goode and Senior, 2020). The hydrologic data compiled f...

Date published: January 24, 2020

Compilation of data not available in the National Water Information System for domestic wells sampled by the U.S. Geological Survey in Clinton County, Pennsylvania, May-September 2017

This dataset contains the lithologic class and topographic position index information and quality-assurance and quality-control data not available in the online National Water Information System for 54 domestic wells sampled by the U.S. Geological Survey in Clinton County, Pennsylvania, May-September 2017. The topographic position index (TPI) for each well location was computed on the bas

Date published: October 2, 2019

USGS National and Global Oil and Gas Assessment Project - Appalachian Basin Province, Middle Devonian Marcellus Shale Assessment Units and Input Data Forms

This data release contains the boundaries of assessment units and input data for the assessment of undiscovered gas resources in the Middle Devonian Marcellus Shale of the Appalachian Basin Province, 2019. The Assessment Unit is the fundamental unit used in the National Assessment Project for the assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources. The Assessment Unit is defined within the...

Date published: October 2, 2019

USGS National and Global Oil and Gas Assessment Project - Appalachian Basin Province, Point Pleasant Formation and Utica Shale Assessment Unit Boundaries and Assessment Input Data Forms

This data release contains the boundaries of assessment units and input data for the assessment of undiscovered gas hydrate resources on the north slope of Alaska. The Assessment Unit is the fundamental unit used in the National Assessment Project for the assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources. The Assessment Unit is defined within the context of the higher-level Total Petroleum...

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Floodplain Ecosystem Service Mapper
September 10, 2020

Healthy floodplains and wetlands provide critical ecosystem services to local and downstream communities by retaining sediments, nutrients, and floodwaters. Land conversion and degradation diminish floodplain functionality and services.

Thumbnail image of map showing groundwater quality in Pennsylvania
May 7, 2020

USGS Pennsylvania Water Science Center, in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, samples 28 wells biannually to monitor ambient groundwater quality conditions in a variety of settings throughout Pennsylvania.

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. 

Flood Inundation Mapper - Pennsylvania
May 2, 2019

USGS Flood Inundation Mapper Web Application

Map of potential radon exposure from groundwater and indoor air in Pennsylvania
May 1, 2019

The thumpnail map is figure 7 in 

Gross, E.L., 2017, Evaluation of radon occurrence in groundwater from 16 geologic units in Pennsylvania, 1986–2015, with application to potential radon exposure from groundwater and indoor air: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2017–5018, 24 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20175018.

Digital map data for this and other maps are available.

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

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.

USGS Storm-Tide Mapper and Data Services
March 8, 2016

The USGS Storm Tide Mapper is a tool for viewing, analyzing, and accessing storm tide data collected during and after hurricanes and Nor’easters. The USGS Storm Tide Mapper will continue to provide a unified and consistent source of real-time and archived storm-tide data.

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Year Published: 2021

Geophysical and video logs of selected wells at and near the former Naval Air Warfare Center Warminster, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, 2017-19

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) collected borehole geophysical and video logs in 17 open-hole wells in Northampton, Warminster, and Warwick Townships, Bucks County, Pennsylvania during 2017–19 to support detailed groundwater investigations at and near the former Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC) Warminster, where groundwater contamination with per...

Senior, Lisa A.; Anderson, J. Alton; Bird, Philip H.
Senior, L.A., Anderson, J.A., and Bird, P.H., 2021, Geophysical and video logs of selected wells at and near the former Naval Air Warfare Center Warminster, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, 2017–19: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2021–1025, 92 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20211025.

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Year Published: 2021

Evaluating low flow patterns, drivers and trends in the Delaware River Basin

In the humid, temperate Delaware River Basin (DRB) where water availability is generally reliable, summer low flows can cause competition between various human and ecological water uses. As temperatures continue to rise, population increases and development expands, it is critical to understand historical low flow variability to anticipate and...

Hammond, John; Fleming, Brandon J.

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Year Published: 2021

Environmental and anthropogenic drivers of contaminants in agricultural watersheds with implications for land management

If not managed properly, modern agricultural practices can alter surface and groundwater quality and drinking water resources resulting in potential negative effects on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Exposure to agriculturally derived contaminant mixtures has the potential to alter habitat quality and negatively affect fish and other aquatic...

Smalling, Kelly; Devereux, Olivia H.; Gordon, Stephanie; Phillips, Patrick J.; Blazer, Vicki S.; Hladik, Michelle; Kolpin, Dana W.; Meyer, Michael T.; Sperry, Adam; Wagner, Tyler

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Year Published: 2021

Modeling estrogenic activity in streams throughout the Potomac and Chesapeake Bay watersheds

Endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs), specifically estrogenic endocrine-disrupting compounds, vary in concentration and composition in surface waters under the influence of different landscape sources and landcover gradients. Estrogenic activity in surface waters may lead to adverse effects in aquatic species at both individual and population...

Gordon, Stephanie; Jones, Daniel K.; Blazer, Vicki S.; Iwanowicz, Luke R.; Williams, Brianna; Smalling, Kelly

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Year Published: 2021

Nutrient trends and drivers in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

The Chesapeake Bay Program maintains an extensive nontidal monitoring network, measuring nitrogen and phosphorus (nutrients) at more than 100 locations on rivers and streams in the watershed. Data from these locations are used by United States Geological Survey to assess the ecosystem’s response to nutrient-reduction efforts. This fact sheet...

Hyer, Kenneth E.; Phillips, Scott W.; Ator, Scott W.; Moyer, Douglas L.; Webber, James S.; Felver, Rachel; Keisman, Jennifer L.; McDonnell, Lee A.; Murphy, Rebecca; Trentacoste, Emily M.; Zhang, Qian; Dennison, William C.; Swanson, Sky; Walsh, Brianne; Hawkey, Jane; Taillie, Dylan
Hyer, K.E., Phillips, S.W., Ator, S.W., Moyer, D.L., Webber, J.S., Felver, R., Keisman, J.L., McDonnell, L.A., Murphy, R., Trentacoste, E.M., Zhang, Q., Dennison, W.C., Swanson, S., Walsh, B., Hawkey, J., and Taillie, D., 2021, Nutrient trends and drivers in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2020–3069, 4 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20203069.

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Year Published: 2021

Microplastics in the Delaware River, northeastern United States

Microplastics are a contaminant of increasing concern in aquatic environments. Our understanding of microplastics in freshwater environments has increased dramatically over the past decade, but we still lack information on microplastic occurrence and biological uptake in National Park Service (NPS) waters. During 2015–19, the U.S. Geological...

Baldwin, Austin K.; Spanjer, Andrew R.; Hayhurst, Brett; Hamilton, Donald
Baldwin, A.K., Spanjer, A.R., Hayhurst, B., and Hamilton, D., 2021, Microplastics in the Delaware River, northeastern United States: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2020-3071, 4 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20203071.

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Year Published: 2021

Spatial and temporal patterns of low streamflow and precipitation changes in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Spatial and temporal patterns in low streamflows were investigated for 183 streamgages located in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed for the period 1939–2013. Metrics that represent different aspects of the frequency and magnitude of low streamflows were examined for trends: (1) the annual time series of seven‐day average minimum streamflow, (2) the...

Fleming, Brandon J.; Archfield, Stacey A.; Hirsch, Robert M.; Kiang, Julie E.; Wolock, David M.

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Year Published: 2020

Development of a suite of functional immune assays and initial assessment of their utility in wild smallmouth bass health assessments

Methods were developed for measuring immune function in Micropterus dolomieu (smallmouth bass). The ultimate objective is to monitor and evaluate changes over time in immune status and disease resistance in conjunction with other characteristics of fish health and environmental stressors. To test these methods for utility in ecotoxicological...

Smith, Cheyenne R.; Ottinger, Christopher A.; Walsh, Heather L.; Blazer, Vicki S.
Smith, C.R., Ottinger, C.A., Walsh, H.L., and Blazer, V.S., 2020, Development of a suite of functional immune assays and initial assessment of their utility in wild smallmouth bass health assessments: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020–1077, 23 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20201077.

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Year Published: 2020

Hydro-climatic drought in the Delaware River Basin

The Delaware River Basin (DRB) supplies water to approximately 15 million people and is essential to agriculture and industry. In this study, a monthly water balance model is used to compute monthly water balance components (i.e., potential evapotranspiration, actual evapotranspiration, and runoff [R]) for the DRB for the 1901 through 2015 period...

McCabe, Gregory J.; Wolock, David M.

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Year Published: 2020

Groundwater quality in relation to drinking water health standards and hydrogeologic and geochemical characteristics for 47 domestic wells in Potter County, Pennsylvania, 2017

As part of a regional effort to characterize groundwater in rural areas of Pennsylvania, water samples from 47 domestic wells in Potter County were collected from May through September 2017. The sampled wells had depths ranging from 33 to 600 feet in sandstone, shale, or siltstone aquifers. Groundwater samples were analyzed for physicochemical...

Galeone, Daniel G.; Cravotta, Charles A. ; Risser, Dennis W.
Galeone, D.G., Cravotta, C.A., III, and Risser, D.W., 2020, Groundwater quality in relation to drinking water health standards and hydrogeologic and geochemical characteristics for 47 domestic wells in Potter County, Pennsylvania, 2017: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2020–5038, p.67, https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20205038.

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Year Published: 2020

Estimating streamflow and base flow within the nontidal Chesapeake Bay riverine system

Daily mean streamflow was estimated for all the nontidal parts of the Chesapeake Bay riverine system with the Unit Flows in Networks of Channels computer application using measured streamflow at the most downstream gage of selected rivers. The streamflows estimated by the Unit Flows in Networks of Channels computer application were aggregated at...

Buffington, Patrick C.; Capel, Paul D.
Buffington, P.C., and Capel, P.D., 2020, Estimating streamflow and base flow within the nontidal Chesapeake Bay riverine system: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2020–5055, 26 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20205055.

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Year Published: 2020

Groundwater quality in relation to drinking water health standards and geochemical characteristics for 54 domestic wells in Clinton County, Pennsylvania, 2017

Despite the reliance on groundwater by approximately 2.4 million rural Pennsylvania residents, publicly available data to characterize the quality of private well water are limited. As part of a regional effort to characterize groundwater in rural areas of Pennsylvania, samples from 54 domestic wells in Clinton County were collected and analyzed...

Clune, John W.; Cravotta, Charles A.
Clune, J.W., and Cravotta, C.A., III, 2020, Groundwater quality in relation to drinking water health standards and geochemical characteristics for 54 domestic wells in Clinton County, Pennsylvania, 2017 (ver 1.1, July 2020): U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2020–5022, 72 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20205022.

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Pennsylvania Baseline Streamflow Estimator Screen Capture
September 26, 2012

Estimation of Baseline Daily Mean Streamflows for Ungaged Locations on Pennsylvania Streams, Water Years 1960–2008

Opening screen of the water-analysis screening tool WAST.
April 2, 2009

Water-Analysis Screening Tool (WAST): A Tool for Assessing Available Water Resources in Relation to Aquatic-Resource Uses

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September 10, 2021

Image of the Week - Ida Rains on Eastern Pennsylvania

The remnants of Hurricane Ida dumped several inches of rain on eastern Pennsylvania.

These Landsat images show the Schuylkill River west of Philadelphia where muddied waters rose in several communities.

This image from August 26th shows typical river levels in the Phoenixville area.

A USGS stream gauge in Philadelphia exceeded flood stage levels by

central eastern U.S. states with boundary outline
February 19, 2021

Chesapeake Bay Watershed boundary, USA

The Chesapeake Bay watershed, or draingage basin, encompasses six states - New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. A drainage basin is a giant system of creeks, streams, and rivers that all flow into a common outlet, which in this case is the Chesapeake Bay.

Juxtaposed still images from videos of low and high flows in a stream
September 30, 2020

Low (top) and high (bottom) flow video images, Frankford Creek, PA

Still images from videos of surface water flow overlaid with velocity vectors during low (top) and high (bottom) flow conditions in Frankford Creek, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 2020. These videos were processed using large-scale particle imaging velocimetry (LSPIV) to estimate streamflow in a location where standard methods are inadequate. 

Photograph of broad weir notch with low flow, Young Womans Creek, Pennsylvania
September 23, 2020

Low streamflow at USGS streamgage Young Womans Creek near Renovo, PA_2

Low streamflow in late September, 2020 at USGS streamgage Young Womans Creek near Renovo, Pennsylvania (01545600). At the time of these photographs, the streamflow was 1.5 cubic feet per second (673 gallons per minute), which is equal to the 7-day, 10-year low flow statistic

...
Photograph of weir notch with low flow, Young Womans Creek, Pennsylvania
September 23, 2020

Low streamflow at USGS streamgage Young Womans Creek near Renovo, PA

Low streamflow in late September, 2020 at USGS streamgage Young Womans Creek near Renovo, Pennsylvania (01545600). At the time of these photographs, the streamflow was 1.5 cubic feet per second (673 gallons per minute), which is equal to the 7-day, 10-year low flow statistic

...
Image shows a USGS streamgage partially submerged in floodwaters
August 4, 2020

Flooded Pennsylvania Streamgage after Hurricane Isaias

This USGS streamgage on Schantz Spring near Wescosville, Pennsylvania was partially submerged after floodwaters from Tropical Storm Isaias quickly rose and flooded the area. USGS crews arrived on scene August 4 to

...
March 1, 2020

Karst Hazards Research at USGS Florence Bascom Geoscience Center (AD)

The Florence Bascom Geoscience Center conducts geologic research using digital elevation models to map karst systems and sinkhole hazards in the United States. Understanding these complex geologic systems helps to inform land use planning and development decisions. The

March 1, 2020

Karst Hazards Research at the USGS Florence Bascom Geoscience Center

The Florence Bascom Geoscience Center conducts geologic research using digital elevation models to map karst systems and sinkhole hazards in the United States. Understanding these complex geologic systems helps to inform land use planning and development decisions. The 

Photograph of boat and bridge, Allegheny River, Pennsylvania
January 23, 2020

A beautiful morning for an ADCP measurement on the Allegheny River, PA

A beautiful morning for an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler measurement on the Allegheny River, Pennsylvania. 

mountain, sunset, sky, water, snow
January 8, 2020

Mountain Sunset over Susquehanna River, Pennsylvania

Mountain Sunset over Susquehanna River, Pennsylvania

Photo of pipe next to trench in rolling hills, Lycoming County PA
December 31, 2019

Pipeline Trenching in Lycoming, Pennsylvania

Panoramic view of pipeline constuction in Hepburn Township, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania.

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Hurricane Henri's Water Footprint
September 17, 2021

Streamflow and water level changed dramatically as Tropical Storm Henri made landfall in the northeastern U.S. in late August, 2021, as shown by the Water Footprint Data Visualization.

grass. man, woman, park, table, red, green, trees
May 14, 2021

USGS staff participated in science outreach at Riverview High School, where students learned about environmental science and took part in interactive learning experiences.

National Geographic photographer at HBBS
April 26, 2021

During the 2020 field season, Great Lakes Science Center (GLSC) scientists from across the basin took photos of their research and the unique sites they encountered while in the field. Though the fieldwork season was limited in 2020, below is a sampling of standout photos from our scientists. 

If you would like to use any of the photos, visit the GLSC multimedia gallery.

water, sky, city, buildings, man, plaid, boat, trees, skyline
April 7, 2021

This issue of our Pennsylvania Water Science Center Newsletter highlights USGS data on the occurrence of PFAS contaminants in surface waters across the Commonwealth, a first-of-its-kind survey, in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. USGS identified likely causes for changing low-flow statistics for streams in the Delaware River Basin, and there's more.

Delaware River near Callicoon, NY - low flow
April 6, 2021

USGS scientists published a new study of low flow in streams in the Delaware River Basin. In general, the low flows measured during 1980-2018 increased along with increased precipitation, although low flows decreased in the Coastal Plain area, in the southern part of the basin, where water use and impervious surface have increased. 

water, sky, city, buildings, man, plaid, boat, trees, skyline
March 18, 2021

USGS Pennsylvania Water Science Center in cooperation with Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) released a first-of-its-kind Per- and Polyfluorinated Alkyl Substances (PFAS) dataset.

Tractor applying pesticides
December 17, 2020

USGS Pennsylvania Water Science Center and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture have agreed on a new five-year program to continue 30 years of cooperation assessing groundwater quality in agricultural areas. 

Pennsylvania Drought Condition Monitoring Map
November 18, 2020

See current status 2/4/21

USGS groundwater and surface water monitoring data contributed to the August 21, 2020 drought watch declaration for 16 counties by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PaDEP). The last drought watch ended in May 2017.

On November 17, 2020, PaDEP continued drought warnings in 3 counties and reduced the drought watch count to 20 counties, down from 30. 

Screenshot of StreamStats showing Pennsylvania
October 1, 2020

The Pennsylvania Water Science Center (PaWSC) has upgraded StreamStats with the latest National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) flowlines and Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD) drainage basins. More accurate basin delineations and basin characteristics, and improved estimates of streamflow are now available for any stream location in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Earth MRI Funds Critical Minerals Projects in Pennsylvania
September 29, 2020

A total of $100,000 will fund new research and preserve important data across the Keystone State

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Pennsylvania Water Science Center

Pennsylvania Water Science Center

215 Limekiln Road
New Cumberland, PA 17070

Phone: (717) 730-6900
Fax: (717) 730-6997

Pennsylvania Water