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: 267
Date published: January 3, 2011
Status: Completed

Columbia Plateau Groundwater Availability Study

The Columbia Plateau Regional Aquifer System (CPRAS) covers about 44,000 square miles of eastern Oregon and Washington and western Idaho. The primary aquifers are basalts of the Columbia River Basalt Group and overlying basin-fill sediments. Groundwater availability issues in the basin include: 1) widespread water-level declines caused by pumping, 2) reduction in base flow to rivers and...

Date published: January 2, 2011
Status: Completed

Bainbridge Island

Ground water is the sole source of drinking water for the City of Bainbridge Island in Kitsap County, Washington. As the population grows, demand for ground water grows, too. However, because ground water is limited by area and by the potential for seawater intrusion, the City recognizes in the Water Resources Element of its comprehensive plan that water resources must be carefully managed and...

Contacts: Lonna M Frans
Date published: January 2, 2011
Status: Completed

Quilcene Bay

In response to concerns that increased use of ground- and surface-water supplies in watersheds in Washington leaves insufficient in-stream flow for fish and other users, the Washington State legislature passed the Watershed Management Act of 1998, which encourages watershed planning at the local level. As part of this planning, stakeholders within a Water Resources Inventory Area (WRIA) need...

Contacts: Joseph Jones
Date published: January 2, 2011
Status: Completed

Chehalis River Basin

The Chehalis River flows approximately 125 miles in southwestern Washington north-northwesterly to Grays Harbor and the Pacific Ocean, draining an area of approximately 2,700 square miles. The Chehalis River Basin is the second largest basin in Washington State. It is bounded on the west by the Pacific Ocean, on the east by the Deschutes River Basin, on the north by the Olympic Mountains, and...

Date published: January 1, 2011
Status: Completed

Lake Roosevelt-Upper Columbia River

Lake Roosevelt was formed on the Columbia River by the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam, and extends a total of 217 km to within 24 km of Canada The lake is heavily contaminated with trace elements that were discharged as slag material from a smelter in Canada; approximately 360 metric tons were discharged per day from 1900 to 1998. A study by the USGS reported that Lake Roosevelt bed...

Date published: January 10, 2010
Status: Completed

Skagit Ground Water Model

State and local water-resource managers in Lower Skagit/Samish Water Resource Inventory Area (WRIA-3) face two water-availability issues that are common throughout Washington State. First, they must reserve water for domestic wells that are exempt from the water rights system without harming river and stream ecosystems in the lower Skagit River basin. Skagit County, which would be responsible...

Date published: January 2, 2010
Status: Completed

Mount Rainier Fluvial Geomorphology and River Sedimentation

To provide information for management efforts to reduce flooding and improve aquatic habitat in the Lower Puyallup River Basin (Puyallup, Carbon and White Rivers), Pierce County and other stakeholders are looking for river-system management options that consider the system's flood-carrying capacity and trends in sedimentation. To assist, the USGS is building a computerized hydraulic model of...

Date published: January 15, 2009
Status: Completed

FEMA High Water Marks - Western Washington Flood, January 2009

The Issue: Significant flooding occurred throughout western Washington on January 7 and 8, 2009. As part of its Hazard Mitigation effort, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region X needs documentation on the extent of flooding for verifying Preliminary Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRMs) and corresponding Flood Insurance Studies (FIS) that have been...

Contacts: Mark Mastin
Date published: January 5, 2009
Status: Completed

Moses Lake Sediment

Located in central Washington, Potholes Reservoir is a key feature of the Columbia Basin Project and serves as a vital source of irrigation water. Potholes Reservoir has traditionally been fed water through the East Low Canal, but due to operational changes over the years, the Bureau of Reclamation is looking for reliable alternatives to ensure an adequate portion of water supply to Potholes...

Contacts: Mark Mastin
Date published: January 4, 2009
Status: Completed

Lower Bonaparte Springs

The Issue: The Confederated Colville Tribes are concerned with maintaining and enhancing endangered summer steelhead fish stocks in the Okanogan River and its tributaries. One Okanogan River subbasin of particular interest is Bonaparte Creek where almost 50 percent of the summer steelhead captured in 2008 were of natural rather than hatchery stock. The Colville Tribes are working to ensure...

Date published: January 3, 2009
Status: Completed

FEMA Technical Support

9722-DRE00 - FEMA Technical Support, Pre-Declaration, January 2009 Floods - Completed FY2009

A wide plume of warm moist air streaming in from west of Hawaii caused widespread rainfall throughout western Washington in early January 2009. National Weather Service flood stages were exceeded in many different basins, most of which drain from the west side of the Cascade Range. Flows at four...

Contacts: Mark Mastin
Date published: January 1, 2009
Status: Completed

WSDOT Stormwater Monitoring

The Washington State Department of Transportation, or WSDOT, monitors the water quality of runoff from state highways and other transportation facilities under their National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. The NPDES permit requires WSDOT to make sure that the stormwater meets Clean Water Act and other regulations designed to restore and protect our country's water...

Contacts: Rich Sheibley
Filter Total Items: 747
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Year Published: 2009

Survival and migration behavior of subyearling Chinook salmon at Lower Granite Dam

n/a

Puls, A.L.; Counihan, T.D.; Walker, C.E.; Hardiman, J.M.; Duran , I.N.

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Year Published: 2009

Water velocity, turbulence, and migration rate of subyearling fall Chinook salmon in the free-flowing and impounded Snake River

We studied the migratory behavior of subyearling fall Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha in free-flowing and impounded reaches of the Snake River to evaluate the hypothesis that velocity and turbulence are the primary causal mechanisms of downstream migration. The hypothesis states that impoundment reduces velocity and turbulence and alters...

Tiffan, Kenneth F.; Kock, Tobias J.; Haskell, Craig A.; Connor, William P.; Steinhorst, R. Kirk
Tiffan, K.F., T.J. Kock, C.A. Haskell, W.P. Connor, and R.K. Steinhorst. 2009. Water velocity, turbulence, and migration rate of subyearling fall Chinook salmon in the free-flowing and impounded Snake River. Trans Am. Fish. Soc. 138(2): 373-384. DOI:10.1577/T08-051.1. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1577/T08-051.1

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Year Published: 2009

Wind River watershed restoration, annual report April 2007 to October 2008

No abstract available 

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

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Year Published: 2008

Landslides and engineering geology of the Seattle, Washington, area

This volume brings together case studies and summary papers describing the application of state-of-the-art engineering geologic methods to landslide hazard analysis for the Seattle, Washington, area. An introductory chapter provides a thorough description of the Quaternary and bedrock geology of Seattle. Nine additional chapters review the history...

Baum, Rex L.; Godt, Jonathan W.; Highland, Lynn M.
Landslides and engineering geology of the Seattle, Washington, area; 2008; Book; 20; Edited by Baum, Rex L.; Godt, Jonathan W.; Highland, Lynn M.

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Year Published: 2008

Modeling landslide recurrence in Seattle, Washington, USA

To manage the hazard associated with shallow landslides, decision makers need an understanding of where and when landslides may occur. A variety of approaches have been used to estimate the hazard from shallow, rainfall-triggered landslides, such as empirical rainfall threshold methods or probabilistic methods based on historical records. The wide...

Salciarini, Diana; Godt, Jonathan W.; Savage, William Z.; Baum, Rex L.; Conversini, Pietro
Modeling landslide recurrence in Seattle, Washington, USA; 2008; Article; Journal; Engineering Geology; Salciarini, Diana ; Godt, Jonathan W.; Savage, William Z.; Baum, Rex L.; Conversini, Pietro

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Year Published: 2008

Seasonal and diel movements of white sturgeon in the lower columbia river

Continuous monitoring of the movements and depths used by white sturgeon Acipenser transmontanus with acoustic telemetry technologies in the lower Columbia River provided information on diel and seasonal migrations, local movements, and site fidelity. White sturgeon moved to shallower water at night and showed greater activity, inferred from rates...

Parsley, M.J.; Popoff, N.D.; Van Der Leeuw, B. K.; Wright, C.D.
Seasonal and diel movements of white sturgeon in the lower columbia river; 2008; Article; Journal; Transactions of the American Fisheries Society; Parsley, M. J.; Popoff, N. D.; Van Der Leeuw, B. K.; Wright, C. D.

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Year Published: 2008

Distributed energy balance modeling of South Cascade Glacier, Washington and assessment of model uncertainty

We have developed a physically based, distributed surface energy balance model to simulate glacier mass balance under meteorological and climatological forcing. Here we apply the model to estimate summer ablation on South Cascade Glacier, Washington, for the 2004 and 2005 mass balance seasons. To arrive at optimal mass balance simulations, we...

Anslow, Faron S.; Hostetler, S.; Bidlake, W.R.; Clark, P.U.
Distributed energy balance modeling of South Cascade Glacier, Washington and assessment of model uncertainty; 2008; Article; Journal; Journal of Geophysical Research F: Earth Surface; Anslow, F. S.; Hostetler, S.; Bidlake, W. R.; Clark, P. U.

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Year Published: 2008

Atmospheric Deposition and Surface-Water Chemistry in Mount Rainier and North Cascades National Parks, U.S.A., Water Years 2000 and 2005-2006

High-elevation aquatic ecosystems in Mount Rainier and North Cascades National Parks are highly sensitive to atmospheric deposition of nitrogen and sulfur. Thin, rocky soils promote fast hydrologic flushing rates during snowmelt and rain events, limiting the ability of basins to neutralize acidity and assimilate nitrogen deposited from the...

Clow, David W.; Campbell, Donald H.
Atmospheric Deposition and Surface-Water Chemistry in Mount Rainier and North Cascades National Parks, U.S.A., Water Years 2000 and 2005-2006; 2008; SIR; 2008-5152; Clow, David W.; Campbell, Donald H.

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Year Published: 2008

Survival and migration behavior of juvenile salmonids at McNary Dam, 2006

During 2006, we used acoustic telemetry and a route-specific survival model (RSSM, Skalski et al. 2002) to estimate behavior, passage, and survival of juvenile salmonids during two different spill operations and diel periods at McNary Dam. An evaluation of 12-h versus 24-h spill was proposed for the spring migration period at McNary Dam. However,...

AA

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Year Published: 2008

Landslides Mapped from LIDAR Imagery, Kitsap County, Washington

Landslides are a recurring problem on hillslopes throughout the Puget Lowland, Washington, but can be difficult to identify in the densely forested terrain. However, digital terrain models of the bare-earth surface derived from LIght Detection And Ranging (LIDAR) data express topographic details sufficiently well to identify landslides. Landslides...

McKenna, Jonathan P.; Lidke, David J.; Coe, Jeffrey A.
Landslides Mapped from LIDAR Imagery, Kitsap County, Washington; 2008; OFR; 2008-1292; McKenna, Jonathan P.; Lidke, David J.; Coe, Jeffrey A.

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Year Published: 2008

Survival and migration behavior of juvenile salmonids at Lower Granite Dam, 2006

We described behavior and estimated passage and survival parameters of juvenile salmonids during spring and summer migration periods at Lower Granite Dam in 2006. During the spring, the study was designed to examine the effects of the Behavioral Guidance Structure (BGS) by using a randomized-block BGS Stored / BGS Deployed treatment design. The...

Beeman, John W.; Fielding, Scott D.; Braatz, Amy C.; Wilkerson, Tamara S.; Pope, Adam C.; Walker, Christopher E.; Hardiman, Jill M.; Perry, Russell W.; Counihan, Timothy D.

Filter Total Items: 871
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

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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

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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.

Large map at top shows the study area bathymetry, four smaller maps below show the detail at locations from larger map.
December 30, 2015

Bathymetry data of Columbia River mouth

Bathymetry data of Columbia River mouth, derived from an interferometric swath bathymetry systems survey in 2013. A) Swath map of data; B-E) sample detail pull-outs

USGS researcher examines large-scale structural features of the 2014 SR530 landslide near Oso, Washington
September 22, 2015

Scientist stands on the bank of a still river

USGS hydrologist Mark Reid looks at one of the many grabens (extensional basins) that formed as the Oso landslide swept across the North Fork Stillaguamish River valley.

August 23, 2015

K1 West Transect – 2015

Permanent Site: K1 West Transect; Depth: 6.0 Meters (19.8 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 4.5 Kilometers (2.8 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 4 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 (1:30 seconds) and brown seaweed was abundant and appears close to pre-dam

Filter Total Items: 384
USGS
May 6, 2013

May is Volcano Awareness Month in Washington state.  While no volcanoes in Washington currently show indications of immediate reawakening, experience has taught us that volcanoes often give just a few days' warning before an eruption begins.  Monitoring Washington’s volcanoes and developing eruption response plans are important tasks for volcano scientists and public officials.

Scientists Discuss Their Work in Short Videos...
May 6, 2013

Meet scientists of the USGS Volcano Science Center and learn more about their jobs as they watch over 161 known active volcanoes within the US and its territories.

USGS
April 22, 2013

The U.S. Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory is cancelling its planned May 4th public open house due to to the federal budget sequestration.

USGS
April 3, 2013

New scientific findings published in Ecology reveal that interactions of climate, soils, shrubs, and a natural nitrogen fertilization process affect regrowth of forests following wildfire in southern Oregon and northern California. Managers can use this information to consider post-fire management practices, including fertilization and shrub-removal.

USGS
March 27, 2013

Floodplain managers downstream of Mount Rainier are using information in a report recently published by the U.S. Geological Survey to manage flood risks in their communities.

USGS
February 5, 2013

Geologic barriers, the intermixing of water between aquifers through wells, and groundwater pumping contribute to the pattern of declines of groundwater levels of the Columbia Plateau, according to a report published by the U.S. Geological Survey.

USGS
October 23, 2012

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — The largest dam-removal project in history has increased river water cloudiness caused by suspended particles, known as turbidity, a process that could affect aquatic life. The dismantling of two large dams on the Elwha River in Washington began in September of last year and has increased river turbidity significantly, even though most of the sediment trapped behind the...

USGS
October 9, 2012

TACOMA, Wash. — Water management in the Chamokane Creek Basin can now be guided by a new computer model to run "what-if" simulations to evaluate the potential effects of groundwater withdrawals on streamflows in the basin, according to a report released today by the U. S. Geological Survey. 

USGS
September 24, 2012

SEATTLE — The U.S. Geological Survey has named fish pathologist Dr. Jill Rolland the director of its ‪Western Fisheries Research Center (WFRC), headquartered in Seattle. 

USGS
September 24, 2012

TACOMA, Wash. — Roughly enough sediment to fill a football field to the height of six Space Needles is delivered into the Puget Sound each year through a complex delivery network of rivers, according to a fact sheet published by the U.S. Geological Survey.  The sediment delivery has both positive and negative effects on the environment, with some significant unknowns.

Pre-dawn view from camp on east flank of Mount Rainier, Washington....
September 13, 2012

The location and depth of the the September 13, 2012 M 2.4 are entirely consistent with past Rainier earthquakes, and such events are considered by CVO and the PNSN be part of the background “normal” level of activity at Mount Rainier.

USGS
July 27, 2012

PORT ANGELES, Wash. — Scuba-diver scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey, with support teams from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, and Washington Sea Grant, are returning to the mouth of Washington’s Elwha River this week to explore and catalogue the effect of released sediment on marine life following the nation’s largest dam removal effort.

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.

Go to Center