Unified Interior Regions

South Dakota

Surface water and groundwater provide important water supplies in South Dakota. Major rivers include the Big Sioux, James, Cheyenne, and Missouri Rivers. Key aquifers include the Dakota, Madison, Minnelusa, and Big Sioux aquifers. The Dakota Water Science Center has many studies that focus on these resources as well various other national and international studies. 

Link to Science Center

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Graphic of Williston Basin Oil and Gas Wells, North Dakota, South Dakota and Eastern Montana, 2016
January 1, 2016

Graphic of Williston Basin Oil and Gas Wells

This is a graphic showing the boundary of the Williston Basin Province and Oil and Gas Wells, North Dakota, South Dakota and Eastern Montana, 2016

Resolve 8
December 31, 2015

RESOLVE Bird Used for Collection of Airborne Electromagnetic Data

A low-flying helicopter will carry this large cylindrical sensor, called a bird, to measure physical properties of the Big Sioux aquifer below the Earth's surface. More information on the airborne electromagnetic method is available at https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20163075.

Resolve 10
December 31, 2015

RESOLVE bird flying to collect airborne electromagnetic data

Power lines present challenges in data collection and analyses of airborne electromagnetic data near Sioux Falls, SD. The bird is suspended from a helicopter as it transmits and receives electromagnetic signals to the ground, which are used to interpret characteristics of the aquifer. More information on the airborne electromagnetic method is available at 

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Resolve 11
December 31, 2015

RESOLVE Bird Flying over Corn Field Collecting Airborne EM Data

Airborne electromagnetic data collection a corn field near Sioux Falls, SD. The bird is suspended from a helicopter as it transmits and receives electromagnetic signals to the ground, which are used to interpret characteristics of the aquifer. More information on the airborne electromagnetic method is available at https://doi.

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Resolve 15
December 31, 2015

Airborne Electromagnetic Data Collection Over an Agricultural Field

Airborne electromagnetic data collection over an agricultural field near Sioux Falls, SD. The bird is suspended from a helicopter as it transmits and receives electromagnetic signals to the ground, which are used to interpret characteristics of the aquifer. More information on the airborne electromagnetic method is available at

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Resolve 1
December 31, 2015

RESOLVE Helicopter's Airborne Electromagnetic “Bird"

Left to right: Greg Delzer, David Smith and Mark Anderson (South Dakota Water Science Center and Denver Crustal Geophysics Group) standing with the RESOLVE helicopter's airborne electromagnetic “bird.” The bird is suspended from a helicopter as it transmits and receives electromagnetic signals to the ground, which are used to interpret characteristics of the aquifer. More

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December 11, 2015

What's the Big Idea? — Charting Change from the Skies

Tom Loveland, research scientist with the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science Center, explains how he uses data — both past and present — to help scientists, natural resource managers, and the public better understand how the face of the planet is shifting and what that change means.

Resolve low-level flight system
October 31, 2015

Resolve low-level flight system

In this image, a helicopter towing a large, cylindrical sensor makes low-level flights as part of a USGS remote geophysical survey, which collects data about underground geology. The scientific system, called Resolve, is operated by CGG Canada Services, Ltd. 

color photograph
October 19, 2015

Earth Resources Observation and Science Center

The exterior of the Earth Resources Observation and Science Center near Sioux Falls, SD, USA. 

External image of EROS Center
October 19, 2015

External image of EROS Center

External view of the EROS Center on a fall day. Watch and hear a video regarding the Center at this URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lE_vsuGxso8

Remote geophysical sensor
October 6, 2015

Remote geophysical sensor

This sensor, called a bird, is tethered to a helicopter during USGS geophysical surveys. As the helicopter flies low over specific areas, the bird transmits electromagnetic waves deep into the ground to measure the below-surface physical properties. This scientific system is called Resolve and is operated by CGG Canada Servives, Ltd. The bird pictured here was used for a

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Image: Little White River near Martin SD
August 2, 2015

Little White River near Martin SD

USGS student trainee assists with the collection of a streamflow measurement on August 3, 2015, on the Little White River near Martin, SD (streamgage 06447500). Streamflow was about 16 cubic feet per second.