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. 

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

States L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 270
Date published: March 2, 2016

Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO)

The CVO staff conduct research on many aspects of active volcanism, respond to dangerous volcanic activity in many parts of the world, and maintain a close watch over volcanoes in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. The USGS established CVO in Vancouver, Washington, after the May 18, 1980, eruption of Mount St. Helens.

Date published: January 1, 2016
Status: Completed

Kitsap Groundwater Model

The Issue: Groundwater provides a major source of drinking water for the population of the Kitsap Peninsula. Consequently, as the population grows, so does the demand for groundwater. However, the quantity of usable groundwater is limited, largely because the Peninsula is bounded by seawater and the potential for water-level declines and seawater intrusion increases as groundwater usage...

Contacts: Lonna M Frans
Date published: January 1, 2016
Status: Completed

Raging River Temperature

The Issue: Large, in-channel wood that helps to create and maintain healthy aquatic habitat in rivers throughout the Pacific Northwest was removed from many rivers in the past. In 2009, King County put wood back into the river to restore the Raging River watershed. To guide the county's restoration of the Raging River watershed, managers need to know the effect of restoration...

Date published: January 1, 2016
Status: Active

Lake Spokane

The Issue: Phosphorus from many different sources has caused water quality problems for Lake Spokane in eastern Washington by promoting the growth of algae and aquatic plants. Phosphorus comes from municipal and industrial point-sources upstream of Lake Spokane, as well as non-point sources like septic tanks, agricultural fields, and wildlife. Lake Spokane was listed by the...

Date published: May 1, 2015
Status: Completed

Seismology in the City

Release Date: May 1, 2015

How seismologists can use noise to see under the ground.

Contacts: William J Stephenson, Lisa A Wald, Steve Hartzell, Morgan Moschetti, Jack Odum, Robert Williams, David Worley
Date published: January 1, 2015
Status: Completed

South Fork Nooksack River Basin Groundwater and Surface-water Interactions and Processes

High water temperatures and low instream flows during the summer have been identified as some of the key limitations for the viability of South Fork Nooksack River salmon populations including summer and spring-run Chinook salmon. Restoration strategies including the placement of engineered log jams, the restoration of floodplains and wetlands, and instream flow negotiation have been developed...

Date published: January 1, 2015
Status: Completed

White River Bioenergetics

The White River Basin is located in western Washington and drains an area of about 500 square miles. Rivers in the White River Basin are fed by melt water from glaciers on Mt. Rainier, runoff from snowmelt and rain, and groundwater discharge. Beginning in the early to mid-twentieth century, the White River from river mile (RM) 9 to its confluence with the Puyallup River was extensively...

Contacts: Robert W Black
Date published: January 5, 2014
Status: Completed

Upper Kittitas County

The Issue: Baseflows in the tributary streams in the western portion of Kittitas County are important in the late summer and fall when demands on these streams peak. An ongoing USGS Yakima River basin study indicates that groundwater and surface water are interconnected, however the hydrogeologic framework and the potential impacts of groundwater withdrawals on tributary streamflow in the...

Date published: January 2, 2014
Status: Completed

Recharge and frozen ground in the PNW

The Issue: Seasonally frozen ground occurs over approximately one-third of the contiguous United States, and the extent and duration of frozen ground have been decreasing as a result of global warming. In semi-arid regions such as the Columbia Plateau and Snake River Plain in the Pacific Northwest, nearly all natural recharge occurs between October and March when intermittent...

Contacts: Mark Mastin
Date published: January 1, 2014
Status: Completed

Vancouver Lake Nutrient Budget

The Issue: Vancouver Lake in Clark County, WA has been experiencing water quality problems for decades. Recently, harmful algal blooms have been taking place in summer resulting in closures of the lake to swimming/water contact. One potential cause of these algal blooms in the increased loading of nutrients to the lake; however, there is currently little known about the amount and timing of...

Contacts: Rich Sheibley
Date published: January 1, 2014
Status: Completed

Nooksack River Streamflow and Network Analysis

The Lummi Nation is partner to six USGS streamflow-gaging stations in the Nooksack River basin that measure streamflow in small streams. The Lummi Nation uses data from these stations to help manage its natural resources and has requested that the USGS analyze the available data record. As a result, the USGS is using streamflow data collected in and near the Nooksack River basin to develop...

Date published: January 10, 2013
Status: Completed

NAS Whidbey Transport Model

The Issue: The carcinogenic compound 1,4-dioxane was recently (2003) found in groundwater in the vicinity of the former landfill at Area 6, Operable Unit 1, Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island, Island County, Washington. The current extent and potential for further migration of 1,4-dioxane in the vicinity of Area 6 are not well known. Also at area 6, the Navy is exploring...

Filter Total Items: 733
Publication Thumbnail
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.

Publication Thumbnail
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.

Publication Thumbnail
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.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2009

Adult chinook salmon passage at Little Goose Dam in relation to spill operations

Spill patterns at Little Goose Dam in 2007 were modified in anticipation of a spillway weir installation intended to improve downstream passage of juvenile salmonids. However, in spill pattern was associated with reduced daily counts of adult salmon passing the dam. Consequently, the behaviors and upstream passage times of radio-tagged adult...

Jepson, M.A.; Caudill , C.C.; Clabough, T.S.; Peery, C.A.; Beeman, J.W.; Fielding, S.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2009

Behavioural thermoregulation by subyearling fall (autumn) Chinook salmon oncorhynchus tshawytscha in a reservoir

This study investigated behavioural thermoregulation by subyearling fall (autumn) Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha in a reservoir on the Snake River, Washington, U.S.A. During the summer, temperatures in the reservoir varied from 23?? C on the surface to 11?? C at 14 m depth. Subyearlings implanted with temperature-sensing radio...

Tiffan, K.F.; Kock, T.J.; Connor, W.P.; Steinhorst, R.K.; Rondorf, D.W.
Behavioural thermoregulation by subyearling fall (autumn) Chinook salmon oncorhynchus tshawytscha in a reservoir; 2009; Article; Journal; Journal of Fish Biology; Tiffan, K. F.; Kock, T. J.; Connor, W. P.; Steinhorst, R. K.; Rondorf, D. W.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2009

Evaluation of strobe lights to reduce turbine entrainment of juvenile steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) at Cowlitz Falls Dam, Washington

We conducted a radiotelemetry evaluation to determine if strobe lights could be used to decrease turbine entrainment of juvenile steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) at Cowlitz Falls Dam, Washington. We found that radio-tagged juvenile steelhead approached and entered two spillbays (one lighted, one unlighted) in equal proportions. However, the...

Kock, Tobias J.; Evans, Scott D.; Liedtke, Theresa L.; Rondorf, Dennis W.; Kohn, Mike

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2009

Factors affecting the age-C resident fish community along shorelines of the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River

The Hanford Reach is one of the few remaining unimpounded sections of the Columbia River. However, because of flow management at upstream dams, there are often large fluctuations in water level. To determine how environmental conditions might affect age-0 resident fishes in the Hanford Reach, we evaluated species composition, distribution,...

Gadomski, D.M.; Wagner, P.G.
Factors affecting the age-C resident fish community along shorelines of the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River; 2009; Article; Journal; Northwest Science; Gadomski, D. M.; Wagner, P. G.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2009

Molecular detection of native and invasive marine invertebrate larvae present in ballast and open water environmental samples collected in Puget Sound

Non-native marine species have been and continue to be introduced into Puget Sound via several vectors including ship's ballast water. Some non-native species become invasive and negatively impact native species or near shore habitats. We present a new methodology for the development and testing of taxon specific PCR primers designed to assess...

Harvey, J.B.J.; Hoy, M.S.; Rodriguez, R.J.
Molecular detection of native and invasive marine invertebrate larvae present in ballast and open water environmental samples collected in Puget Sound; 2009; Article; Journal; Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology; Harvey, J. B. J.; Hoy, M. S.; Rodriguez, R. J.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2009

Passage, survival, and approach patterns of juvenile salmonids at Little Goose Dam

No abstract available 

Beeman, J.W.; Braatz, A.C.; Fielding, S.D.; Hansel, H.C.; Brown, S.T.; George , G.T.; Haner, P.V.; Hansen, G.S.; Shurtleff, D.J.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2009

Prevalence of viral erythrocytic necrosis in Pacific herring and epizootics in Skagit Bay, Puget Sound, Washington.

Epizootics of viral erythrocytic necrosis (VEN) occurred among juvenile Pacific herring Clupea pallasii in Skagit Bay, Puget Sound, Washington, during 2005-2007 and were characterized by high prevalences and intensities of cytoplasmic inclusion bodies within circulating erythrocytes. The prevalence of VEN peaked at 67% during the first epizootic...

Hershberger, P.K.; Elder, N.E.; Grady, C.A.; Gregg, J.L.; Pacheco, C.A.; Greene, C.; Rice, C.; Meyers, T.R.
Prevalence of viral erythrocytic necrosis in Pacific herring and epizootics in Skagit Bay, Puget Sound, Washington.; 2009; Article; Journal; Journal of Aquatic Animal Health; Hershberger, P. K.; Elder, N. E.; Grady, C. A.; Gregg, J. L.; Pacheco, C. A.; Greene, C.; Rice, C.; Meyers, T. R.

Filter Total Items: 876
Scientist stands on bank of landslide debris.  Fallen trees throughout the photo.
July 13, 2016

Extensional structural features of the 2014 SR530 landslide near Oso

USGS hydrologist Mark Reid examines an extensional basin in the middle of the Oso landslide deposit.  The headscarp (near-vertical cliff at the back of the landslide) is visible at the top of the image.  The prominent tree is one of many that fell and became perched as the landslide spread out over the river valley.

Columbia River Research Laboratory
July 13, 2016

Columbia River Research Laboratory

Image of the Western Fisheries Research Center, Columbia River Research Laboratory, Cook, WA

Research team in the Northern Cascades.
July 7, 2016

USGS - NOROCK Research team in the Northern Cascades.

USGS - NOROCK field team in the Northern Cascades studying Hoary marmots and American pika and snowpack dynamics.  

Juvenile steelhead smolts
July 7, 2016

Juvenile steelhead smolts

Juvenile steelhead smolts become silvery and scales become loose as they transition into their seawater life history stages.

June 15, 2016

Catching the Quakes

USGS Research Geophysicist Kate Allstadt conducts experiments at the U.S. Geological Survey debris-flow flume, near Eugene, Oregon. Dr. Allstadt and her group are working toward an understanding of how debris flows generate seismic signals. The quantitative information will be used in the development of improved technologies for detecting debris flows to mitigate their

Mount St. Helens earthquake record during times of magma recharge....
May 4, 2016

Mount St. Helens earthquake record during times of magma recharge.

The top plot is the number of located earthquakes per week from the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network's catalog. The bottom plot shows the earthquake depths with time. Earthquakes are plotted as circles with the size of the circle corresponding to the magnitude of the earthquake (see legend). Both plots show the time period from 1987 to September 2004, and 2008 to May 4

...
Earthquakes at Mount St. Helens from March 14, 2016 through May 4, ...
May 4, 2016

Earthquakes at Mount St. Helens from Mar. 14, 2016 - May 4, 2017

Map view plot of earthquakes located by the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network from March 14, 2016 through May 4, 2016. Only high-quality locations are shown (8 or more observations with a 130 degree gap or less between observing stations).

USGS-CVO crew digs out Mount St. Helens' September Lobe monitoring ...
March 30, 2016

USGS-CVO crew digs out Mount St. Helens' Sep. Lobe monitoring station.

During the first few days of Mount St. Helen's earthquake swarm in March 2016, the September Lobe monitoring station (located on the 1980-86 dome) was buried in deep snow and not transmitting data. USGS-Cascades Volcano Observatory Technicians Kelly Swinford and Amberlee Darold dug out the station on March 30, restoring data flow and improving our ability to monitor the

...
Photo of Tidal marsh
March 18, 2016

Tidal marsh, Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, WA.

A tidal marsh at Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, WA.

mountain scenery with bare rock in left foreground, and river and forest in distance
December 31, 2015

Headscarp of Red Bluffs Landslide Overlooking Crescent Lake Landslide

View out over the Crescent Lake landslide from the headscarp (left foreground) of the Red Bluffs landslide, looking toward Stevenson, Washington and the Columbia River.

Group of women and girls looking at Mount St. Helens in the distance
December 31, 2015

USGS scientist and GeoGirls viewing Mount St. Helens

USGS scientists Kate Allstadt and Cynthia Gardner tell the story of the May 18, 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens and how the catastrophic landslide, lateral blast, and lahar changed the landscape.

Female scientist and young girls looking at scientific equipment
December 31, 2015

USGS scientist and GeoGirls looking at portable seismograph

USGS research geophysicist Kate Allstadt assists GeoGirls in deploying seismometers at Mount St. Helens. The girls collected the seismometers two days later and analyzed the earthquake information recorded by the instruments.

Filter Total Items: 378
Image: Salmon Conservation Efforts Honored
January 16, 2014

Today the Pacific Northwest Aquatic Monitoring Partnership (PNAMP) was recognized for its conservation achievements focused on federally listed salmon species. The partnership was selected for a "Partnership in Conservation" award because it improves the scientific foundation for natural and cultural resource management and advances government-to-government relationship with Indian nations.

USGS science for a changing world logo
January 15, 2014

Twenty years ago this week an earthquake struck Northridge, Calif., killing 57 people and revealing a serious defect in a common type of mid-rise building. A new study by U.S. Geological Survey and Caltech engineers, shows that these mid-rise buildings with fracture-prone welds in their steel frames are much more dangerous than they would be if they met current standards.

Image: Low-Flying Airplane Maps New Madrid Zone
January 3, 2014

Preliminary interpretations of a recent geophysical survey confirm the presence of earthquake faults and reveal the possibility of previously unknown faults beneath the greater Spokane area.

USGS
December 31, 2013

Preliminary interpretations of a recent geophysical survey confirm the presence of earthquake faults as well as reveal the possibility of previously unknown faults beneath the greater Spokane area. 

USGS
December 19, 2013

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced today that Interior’s Northwest Climate Science Center is awarding nearly $1.3 million to universities and other partners for research to assist Native Americans and federal and state land managers plan for and adapt to climate change.

Acoustic Flow Monitor Records Small Debris Surges on the South Fork...
December 16, 2013

On September 28, after about 10 hours of steady rain, an acoustic flow monitor (AFM) on the South Fork Toutle River recorded the passage of small debris flows.

USGS
December 9, 2013

A new assessment of shoreline change along the Pacific Northwest coast from the late 1800s to present found that while the majority of beaches are stable or slightly accreting (adding sand), many Oregon beaches have experienced an increase in erosion hazards in recent decades.

Members of the Colombia-USA Bi-national Exchange examine historical...
September 25, 2013

Scientsts from the Pacific Northwest and Colombia work together to understand and communicate volcano hazards.

USGS
September 17, 2013

Officials from South America are helping to save lives in communities around Cascade Range volcanoes by sharing their expertise in a bi-national exchange that brings Colombian emergency managers and scientists to the Pacific Northwest, following a recent visit to Colombia by U.S. counterparts.

USGS
September 16, 2013

Officials from South America are helping to save lives in communities around Cascade Range volcanoes by sharing their expertise in a bi-national exchange that brings Colombian emergency managers and scientists to the Pacific Northwest, following a recent visit to Colombia by U.S. counterparts. 

USGS
September 12, 2013

A new computer model of the Chimacum Creek Basin built to simulate “what-if” scenarios for basin groundwater managers indicates that most of the water recharging the groundwater system flows directly out to marine waters and coastal areas, according to a report by the U.S. Geological Survey.

USGS
August 5, 2013

TACOMA, Wash. — Scientists have sorted out and mapped the aquifers in the Little Spokane River Basin, giving the first detailed picture of the groundwater system, according to a report published by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with Spokane County.

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