Unified Interior Regions

Washington

Washington's Puget Sound is a complex ecosystem directly adjacent to a robust metropolitan area that scientists from the USGS Western Fisheries Research Center study. Recent surveys have looked at juvenile surf smelt, a key link in the food web that are consumed by predators such as salmon, orca, and many marine birds. 

Western Fisheries Research Center

Western Fisheries Research Center

Research at the WFRC focuses on the environmental factors responsible for the creation, maintenance, and regulation of fish populations including their interactions in aquatic communities and ecosystems. 

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Washington Water Science Center

Washington Water Science Center

The Water Science Center's mission is to collect, analyze and disseminate the impartial hydrologic data and information needed to wisely manage water resources for the people of the United States and the State of Washington.

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States L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 270
Date published: September 20, 2017

Land Treatment Digital Library

The LTDL was created by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to catalog information about land treatments on Federal lands in the western United States for all interested parties. The flexible framework of the library allows for the storage of a wide variety of data in different formats. The LTDL currently stores previously established land treatments or what often are called legacy data. The...

Date published: June 22, 2017
Status: Active

Land use and tsunami hazards in the Pacific Northwest

Tsunamis have the potential to cause considerable damage to communities along the U.S. Pacific Northwest coastline. As coastal communities expand over time, the potential societal impact of tsunami inundation changes.

To understand how community exposure to tsunami hazards may change in coming decades, we projected future development (i.e. urban, residential, and rural), households, and...

Date published: April 12, 2017
Status: Active

Land Use and Climate Change Team

We are a research team focusing on understanding the rates, causes, and consequences of land change across a range of geographic and temporal scales. Our emphasis is on developing alternative future projections and quantifying the impact on environmental systems, in particular, the role of land-use change on ecosystem carbon dynamics.

We are interested in how land-use and climate...

Date published: January 26, 2017
Status: Completed

Uranium in Groundwater

The Issue: Groundwater monitoring in northeastern Washington State has shown elevated levels of naturally occurring uranium in several community water systems and in private wells. A better understanding of the occurrence of uranium in groundwater along with outreach products that communicate the risk to area residents are important in order to reduce uranium exposure, protect...

Contacts: Sue Kahle
Date published: January 5, 2017
Status: Completed

National Parks North Coast and Cascades Network Critical Loads

Nutrients such as nitrogen are essential for plant and animal growth and nourishment, but overabundance can cause adverse effects. Excess amounts of nitrogen from the atmosphere can cause a lake to go through eutrophication, the process in which excess nitrogen triggers a series of events that cause a lake to become fatally low in dissolved oxygen. Alpine lakes are especially sensitive to...

Contacts: Rich Sheibley
Date published: January 4, 2017
Status: Completed

Spokane Valley - Rathdrum Prairie

The Spokane Valley/Rathdrum Prairie aquifer, which extends across Idaho and Washington, is the sole source of drinking water for more than 450,000 people. Recently submitted water-rights requests would substantially increase withdrawals from the aquifer. The public and state resource management agencies need an improved understanding of the SVRP hydrologic system in order to ensure appropriate...

Date published: January 1, 2017
Status: Completed

River Loads into Puget Sound

The Issue: Puget Sound, WA, is the second largest estuary in the United States and its unique geology, climate, and nutrient-rich waters sustain biologically-productive terrestrial, coastal, and marine habitats. Development and associated human activities have significantly degraded the Sound, causing declines in fish and wildlife populations, water-quality issues, and losses...

Contacts: Kathy Conn
Date published: January 1, 2017
Status: Completed

Regional Stormwater Monitoring Program Sampling

The Issue: The State of Washington issues Municipal Stormwater Permits to local governments in the Puget Sound region that require them to develop and implement a stormwater management program that reduces the discharge of pollutants and protects the quality of water in rivers, streams, lakes and Puget Sound. The permitees in partnership with the State need to measure whether...

Date published: January 1, 2017
Status: Completed

Lower Granite Reservoir Bathymetric and Underwater Video Surveys

Sedimentation of Lower Granite Reservoir, operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, affects commercial navigation and reservoir storage capacity. Some groups are concerned that dredging the reservoir to remove excess sediment may negatively affect endangered species such as steelhead and salmon.

Contacts: Ryan L Fosness
Date published: January 1, 2017
Status: Completed

Lower Granite Reservoir Bed Sediment Coring and Analysis

Some groups are concerned that dredging the reservoir and the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers to remove excess sediment may mobilize contaminants in sediment that could negatively affect endangered species such as steelhead and salmon.

Contacts: Ryan L Fosness
Date published: January 1, 2017
Status: Completed

Sediment Sampling in the Snake and Clearwater River Basins

Are there ways to manage sediment before it accumulates in Lower Granite Reservoir? If so, resource managers must know exactly how much sediment is being transported in the lower Snake and Clearwater River basins, the grain-size distribution of the sediment that is being transported, which subbasins are contributing the most sediment, and how the sediment is being deposited once it is...

Date published: January 1, 2017
Status: Completed

Coal Transport

The Issue: Federal and state natural resource managers and Tribes are concerned with the environmental impacts from unintentional release of coal dust from train cars during transport through the Northwest. Proposed new coal export terminals in Washington and Oregon would substantially increase rail traffic through the Northwest and the release of coal dust to the environment...

Contacts: Robert W Black
Filter Total Items: 176
Date published: January 1, 2016

Nearshore bathymetry data from the Elwha River delta, Washington, January 2015, collected from personal watercraft

This part of the data release presents bathymetry data from the Elwha River delta collected in January 2015 using two personal watercraft (PWCs). The PWCs were equipped with single-beam echosounders and survey-grade global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receivers.

Date published: January 1, 2016

Digital elevation models (DEMs) of the Elwha River delta, Washington, July 2015

This part of the data release presents a digital elevation model (DEM) derived from bathymetry and topography data of the Elwha River delta collected in July 2015. Two dams on the Elwha River, Washington State, USA trapped over 20 million m3 of sediment, reducing downstream sediment fluxes and contributing to erosion of the river's coastal delta. The removal of the Elwha and Glines Ca

Date published: January 1, 2016

Digital elevation models (DEMs) of the Elwha River delta, Washington, September 2014

This part of the data release presents a digital elevation model (DEM) derived from bathymetry and topography data of the Elwha River delta collected in September 2014. Two dams on the Elwha River, Washington State, USA trapped over 20 million m3 of sediment, reducing downstream sediment fluxes and contributing to erosion of the river's coastal delta. The removal of the Elwha and Glin

Date published: January 1, 2016

Digital elevation models (DEMs) of the Elwha River delta, Washington, January 2015

This part of the data release presents a digital elevation model (DEM) derived from bathymetry and topography data of the Elwha River delta collected in January 2015. Two dams on the Elwha River, Washington State, USA trapped over 20 million m3 of sediment, reducing downstream sediment fluxes and contributing to erosion of the river's coastal delta. The removal of the Elwha and Glines

Date published: January 1, 2016

Topography data from the Elwha River delta, Washington, February 2016

This part of the data release presents topography data from the Elwha River delta collected in February 2016. Topography data were collected on foot with global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receivers mounted on backpacks.

Date published: January 1, 2016

Digital elevation models (DEMs) of the Elwha River delta, Washington, February 2016

This part of the data release presents a digital elevation model (DEM) derived from bathymetry and topography data of the Elwha River delta collected in February 2016. Two dams on the Elwha River, Washington State, USA trapped over 20 million m3 of sediment, reducing downstream sediment fluxes and contributing to erosion of the river's coastal delta. The removal of the Elwha and Gline

Date published: January 1, 2016

Topography data from the Elwha River delta, Washington, January 2015

This part of the data release presents topography data from the Elwha River delta collected in January 2015. Topography data were collected on foot with global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receivers mounted on backpacks.

Date published: January 1, 2016

Topography data from the Elwha River delta, Washington, July 2015

This part of the data release presents topography data from the Elwha River delta collected in July 2015. Topography data were collected on foot with global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receivers mounted on backpacks.

Date published: January 1, 2016

Surface-sediment grain-size distributions from the Elwha River delta, Washington, September 2014

This portion of the data release presents sediment grain-size data from samples collected on the Elwha River delta, Washington, in September 2014 (USGS Field Activity 2014-649-FA). Surface sediment was collected from 63 locations using a small ponar, or 'grab', sampler from the R/V Frontier on September 5, 2014 in depths between about 1 and 17 m around the delta. The locations

Date published: January 1, 2016

Nearshore bathymetry data from the Elwha River delta, Washington, July 2015, collected from personal watercraft

This part of the data release presents bathymetry data from the Elwha River delta collected in July 2015 using two personal watercraft (PWCs). The PWCs were equipped with single-beam echosounders and survey-grade global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) receivers.

Date published: January 1, 2016

Nearshore bathymetry data from the Elwha River delta, Washington, January 2015, collected from kayak

This part of the data release presents bathymetry data from the Elwha River delta collected in January 2015 using a kayak. The kayak was equipped with a single-beam echosounder and a survey-grade global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receiver.

Date published: January 1, 2016

Nearshore bathymetry data from the Elwha River delta, Washington, September 2014, collected from personal watercraft

This part of the data release presents bathymetry data from the Elwha River delta collected in September 2014 using two personal watercraft (PWCs). The PWCs were equipped with single-beam echosounders and survey-grade global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receivers.

Filter Total Items: 718
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Year Published: 2010

Minimizing effects of over-water docks on federally listed fish stocks in McNary Reservoir: A literature review for criteria

McNary Lock and Dam were completed in 1953, creating McNary Reservoir, or Lake Wallula. The shoreline of the reservoir is federally owned and as a result the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has certain land and fish habitat management responsibilities to balance with other multipurpose benefits. The Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing of...

Rondorf, Dennis W.; Rutz, Gary L.; Charrier, Jodi C.

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Year Published: 2010

Quantifying the behavioral response of spawning chum salmon to elevated discharges from Bonneville Dam, Columbia River, USA

Chum salmon Oncorhynchus keta that spawn in main-stem habitats below Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River, USA, are periodically subjected to elevated discharges that may alter spawning behaviour. We investigated behavioural responses of spawning chum salmon to increased water velocities associated with experimental increases in tailwater...

Tiffan, K.F.; Haskell, C.A.; Kock, T.J.
Quantifying the behavioral response of spawning chum salmon to elevated discharges from Bonneville Dam, Columbia River, USA; 2010; Article; Journal; River Research and Applications; Tiffan, K. F.; Haskell, C. A.; Kock, T. J.

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Year Published: 2010

Wild Steelhead and introduced spring Chinook Salmon in the Wind River, Washington: Overlapping populations and interactions

We investigated interactions of introduced juvenile spring Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha with wild juvenile steelhead O. mykiss in the upper Wind River watershed (rkm 24.6 to rkm 43.8), Washington. Our objective was to determine if the presence of introduced spring Chinook salmon influenced populations of wild juvenile steelhead and if...

Jezorek, I.G.; Connolly, P.J.

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Year Published: 2010

Wind River water restoration, Annual report November 2008 to October 2009.

This report summarizes work completed by U.S. Geological Survey’s Columbia River Research Laboratory (USGS-CRRL) in the Wind River subbasin during the period November 2008 through October 2009 under Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) contract 41038. Long term research in the Wind River has focused on assessments of steelhead/rainbow trout...

Connolly, P.J.; Jezorek, I.G.; Munz, C.S.

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Year Published: 2009

Snake River fall Chinook salmon life history investigation, annual report 2007

In 2007, we used radio and acoustic telemetry to evaluate the migratory behavior, survival, mortality, and delay of subyearling fall Chinook salmon in the Clearwater River and Lower Granite Reservoir. Monthly releases of radio-tagged fish (~95/month) were made from May through October and releases of 122-149/month acoustic-tagged fish per month...

Tiffan, Kenneth F.; Connor, William P.; McMichael , Geoffrey A.; Buchanan, Rebecca A.

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Year Published: 2009

Pre-Restoration Habitat Use by Chinook Salmon in the Nisqually Estuary Using Otolith Analysis: An Additional Year

The Nisqually Fall Chinook population is one of 27 stocks in the Puget Sound evolutionarily significant unit listed as threatened under the Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). Preservation and extensive restoration of the Nisqually delta ecosystem is currently taking place to assist in recovery of the stock as juvenile Fall Chinook salmon are...

Lind-Null, Angie; Larsen, Kim
Pre-Restoration Habitat Use by Chinook Salmon in the Nisqually Estuary Using Otolith Analysis: An Additional Year; 2009; OFR; 2009-1106; Lind-Null, Angie; Larsen, Kim

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Year Published: 2009

A spatial model to assess the effects of hydropower operations on Columbia River fall Chinook Salmon spawning habitat

Priest Rapids Dam on the Columbia River produces large daily and hourly streamflow fluctuations throughout the Hanford Reach during the period when fall Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha are selecting spawning habitat, constructing redds, and actively engaged in spawning. Concern over the detrimental effects of these fluctuations prompted us...

Hatten, James R.; Tiffan, Kenneth F.; Anglin, Donald R.; Haeseker, Steven L.; Skalicky, Joseph J.; Schaller, Howard

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Year Published: 2009

Application of the SHOALS survey system to fisheries investigations in the Columbia River

We used a Scanning Hydrographic Operational Airborne LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) Survey (SHOALS) system to collect high-resolution bathymetry for 33 km of the Hanford Reach. Data were used in conjunction with hydrodynamic and predictive habitat models within a GIS (Geographical Information System) framework to evaluate the effects of a...

Tiffan, Kenneth F.; Wagner, Paul G.; Wolf, Keith S.; Hoffarth , Paul A.

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Year Published: 2009

Detections of Acoustic-Tagged Green Sturgeon in Baker Bay on the Lower Columbia River during September - November 2008

Acoustic transmitters implanted in green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris) captured in rivers in California were detected by acoustic receivers deployed within and around Baker Bay. The receivers were deployed at eight locations in the Bay and adjacent navigation channels of the Lower Columbia River during a period of anticipated channel dredging....

Parsley, Michael J.
Detections of Acoustic-Tagged Green Sturgeon in Baker Bay on the Lower Columbia River during September - November 2008; 2009; OFR; 2009-1026; Parsley, Michael J.

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Year Published: 2009

A spatial model of white sturgeon rearing habitat in the lower Columbia River, USA

Concerns over the potential effects of in-water placement of dredged materials prompted us to develop a GIS-based model that characterizes in a spatially explicit manner white sturgeon Acipenser transmontanus rearing habitat in the lower Columbia River, USA. The spatial model was developed using water depth, riverbed slope and roughness, fish...

Hatten, J.R.; Parsley, M.J.
A spatial model of white sturgeon rearing habitat in the lower Columbia River, USA; 2009; Article; Journal; Ecological Modelling; Hatten, J. R.; Parsley, M. J.

Filter Total Items: 874
August 8, 2016

4SP1 East Transect – 2016

Permanent Site: 4SP1 - East Transect; Depth: 5.2 Meters (17.0 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 0.8 Kilometers (0.5 Miles) East; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 4 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15257, -123.556704; Site Description: The site has converted from gravel/cobble substrate to all sand. Seaweed is completely absent. 
 

August 8, 2016

4SP1 West Transect – 2016

Permanent Site: 4SP1 - West Transect; Depth: 6.1 Meters (19.9 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 0.8 Kilometers (0.5 Miles) East; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 3 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15257, -123.557376; Site Description: The site has converted from gravel/cobble substrate to all sand. Seaweed is completely absent. 
 

August 7, 2016

GeoGirls: Five days of discovery at Mount St. Helens

Twenty middle-school girls from Washington and Oregon participated in the 2016 “GeoGirls” outdoor volcano science program at Mount St. Helens, jointly organized by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Mount St. Helens Institute. 

The GeoGirls spent five days conducting hands-on research and interacting with scientists, educators, and older students, learning about

Woman and girls next to a lake, seiving sediment
August 2, 2016

USGS scientist and girls next to a lake, seiving sediment

 Led by USGS scientist Cynthia Gardner, GeoGirls collect and sort sediments from the shore of Coldwater Lake, near Mount St. Helens, examining evidence of the May 18, 1980 landslide that dammed Coldwater Creek to create the lake.

August 1, 2016

C1 East Transect – 2013

Permanent Site: C1 East Transect; Depth: Meters (Feet); Distance from river mouth: 0.7 Kilometers (0.4 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 2 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.14525225,-123.57294101; Site Description: Substrate is entirely sand. All seaweeds are absent. Invertebrates are scarce and are almost exclusively the ornate tubeworm Diopatra ornata (appears as small

Candy striped shrimp with sand rose anemone
July 29, 2016

Candy striped shrimp with sand rose anemone

Candy striped shrimp with sand rose anemone - Scuba divers from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Western Fisheries Research Center, Washington Sea Grant, EPA and the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe collected data and images for a long-term study of the Elwha River dam removals and the resulting effects on the nearshore ecosystem.

Location: 

...
July 29, 2016

A2 East Transect – 2016

Permanent Site: A2 East Transect; Depth: 12.6 Meters (41.5 Feet); Distance from river mouth: Kilometers 1.8 (1.1 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.14130295, -123.58766124; Site Description: One of our deeper sites at over 40 feet. Sediment is primarily sand/sandy mud. Seaweeds have returned but are sparse with the main species being the

July 29, 2016

K1 East Transect – 2016

Permanent Site: K1 East Transect; Depth: 6.2 Meters (20.5 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 4.5 Kilometers (2.8 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.13592923,-123.5101581; Site Description: This is a shallow site. Sediment is a gravel/sand mixture. Both red (0:38) and brown seaweed was abundant but this year browns were way more

July 29, 2016

K1 West Transect – 2016

Permanent Site: K1 West Transect; Depth: 5.6 Meters (18.4 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 4.5 Kilometers (2.8 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.13592923,-123.51082988; Site Description: This is a shallow site. Sediment is a gravel/sand mixture. Both red (0:59) and brown seaweed was abundant but this year browns were more abundant

July 28, 2016

F2 East Transect – 2016

Permanent Site: F2 East Transect; Depth: 11.3 Meters (37.2 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 1.5 Kilometers (0.9 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15672004,-123.54969397; Site Description: Substrate is mainly a gravel - cobble mixture with an occasional boulder. Seaweed is abundant but is not as abundant as pre-dam removal levels,

July 28, 2016

F2 West Transect – 2016

Permanent Site: F2 West Transect; Depth: 11.3 Meters (37.2 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 1.5 Kilometers (0.9 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15672004,-123.55036603; Site Description: Substrate is mainly a gravel - cobble mixture with an occasional boulder. Seaweed is abundant but is not as abundant as pre-dam removal levels,

Fan hydroids
July 28, 2016

Fan hydroids

Fan hydroids - Scuba divers from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Western Fisheries Research Center, Washington Sea Grant, EPA and the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe collected data and images from a long-term study of the Elwha River dam removals and the resulting effects on the nearshore ecosystem.

Location: Strait of Juan de Fuca, near the

...
Filter Total Items: 377
New 2014 US Topo quadrangle of the Three Fingered Jack, Oregon, area
September 15, 2014

Newly released US Topo maps for Oregon now feature segments of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. Several of the 1,835 new US Topo quadrangles for the state now display parts of the Trail along with other improved data layers.

Monitoring station inside the crater of Mount St. Helens "sniffs" v...
September 4, 2014

This summer, a new monitoring station was installed on the lava dome in the crater of Mount St. Helens to "sniff" volcanic gases.

collage of scientists conducting science related to each mission are
September 3, 2014

As part of the Planning Committee for the Fifth Annual Pacific Northwest Climate Science Conference, the Department of the Interior’s Northwest Climate Science Center is pleased to invite you to join more than 250 scientists and practitioners from the Northwest to learn the latest on Pacific Northwest climate science and adaptation.

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August 1, 2014

WFRC – People’s Republic of China IHN Reference Laboratory Twinning Project

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July 1, 2014

Histopathology at WFRC: New Applications for an Old Discipline

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June 2, 2014

Assessing Climate-change Risks to Cultural and Natural Resources in the Yakima River  Basin, WA

Flyer for May presentation
May 28, 2014

Can better understanding fish diseases help to create much sought-after cures for human diseases such as Hepatitis C?

Lidar image showing the upper parts of the landslide that occurred in northwest Washington on March 22, 2014.
May 14, 2014

Want to know how elevation will benefit your state? The USGS National Geospatial Program is advancing the 3D Elevation Program, known as 3DEP, in response to the growing need for high-quality three-dimensional representations of the Nation’s natural and constructed features.

USGS science for a changing world logo
May 6, 2014

May is Volcano Preparedness Month in Washington State, providing residents an opportunity to become more familiar with volcanic risk in their communities and learn about steps they can take to reduce potential impacts. This year, Volcano Preparedness Month takes on new meaning with a recent scientific study confirming that Mount St. Helens remains an active volcano.

USGS science for a changing world logo
April 30, 2014

The coastal geology of Simeonof Island, the southeastern-most island in the Shumagin archipelago of the Aleutian Islands, suggests the region has not experienced a great megathrust earthquake in at least the past 3,400 years.

Mount St. Helens, as viewed from Elk Rock....
April 30, 2014

Slowly emerging patterns of behavior at Mount St. Helens are giving scientists at the USGS-Cascades Volcano Observatory and the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network new insights into activity beneath the volcano.

Filter Total Items: 160

Western Fisheries Research Center

Western Fisheries Research Center

Research at the WFRC focuses on the environmental factors responsible for the creation, maintenance, and regulation of fish populations including their interactions in aquatic communities and ecosystems. 

Go to Center

Washington Water Science Center

Washington Water Science Center

The Water Science Center's mission is to collect, analyze and disseminate the impartial hydrologic data and information needed to wisely manage water resources for the people of the United States and the State of Washington.

Go to Center