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: January 6, 2011
Status: Completed

Lake Crescent

Lake Crescent in Olympic National Park is known for its clear, near-pristine water. Because the water is very low in plant nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, the lake is extremely susceptible to even small increases in nutrient levels, which could cause algal blooms and impact the health of three species of fish in the lake. Currently, the growth of bottom-dwelling algae in developed...

Contacts: Patrick Moran
Date published: January 5, 2011
Status: Completed

Hood Canal

In September 2002, fish in Hood Canal near Hoodsport were under stress from low concentrations of dissolved oxygen, prompting the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife to temporarily close parts of Hood Canal to some types of fishing during the month of October. In 2003, low dissolved oxygen conditions worsened, some fish kills were observed as early as June, and by October large...

Contacts: Rich Sheibley
Date published: January 5, 2011
Status: Completed

Yakima River Basin

The Yakima River flows 215 miles from the outlet of Keechelus Lake in the central Washington Cascades southeasterly to the Columbia River, draining an area of 6,155 square miles. The Yakima River Basin is one of the most intensively irrigated areas in the United States. Population in the Yakima River Basin was about 238,000 in 1990.

Increasing demands for water for municipal, fisheries...

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
Filter Total Items: 742
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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,...

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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.

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Year Published: 2008

Cascadia Subduction Zone

The geometry and recurrence times of large earthquakes associated with the Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) were discussed and debated at a March 28-29, 2006 Pacific Northwest workshop for the USGS National Seismic Hazard Maps. The CSZ is modeled from Cape Mendocino in California to Vancouver Island in British Columbia. We include the same...

Frankel, Arthur D.; Petersen, Mark D.
Cascadia Subduction Zone; 2008; OFR; 2007-1437-L; Appendix L in The Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast, Version 2 (UCERF 2); Frankel, Arthur D.; Petersen, Mark D.

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Year Published: 2008

White sturgeon mitigation and restoration in the Columbia and Snake rivers upstream from Bonneville Dam, Annual Progress Report April 2006 - March 2007. Report C

Describe reproduction and early life history characteristics of white sturgeon populations in the Columbia River between Bonneville and Priest Rapids dams. Define habitat requirements for spawning and rearing white sturgeon and quantify the extent of habitat available in the Columbia River between Bonneville and Priest Rapids dams. Progress...

Parsley, M.J.; Kofoot, P.

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Year Published: 2008

Characterization of estuary use by Nisqually Hatchery Chinook based on Otolith analysis

INTRODUCTION 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 are planned to assist in recovery of the stock. A pre-restoration baseline...

Lind-Null, Angie M.; Larsen, Kim A.; Reisenbichler, Reg
Characterization of Estuary Use by Nisqually Hatchery Chinook Based on Otolith Analysis; 2008; OFR; 2008-1102; Lind-Null, Angie M.; Larsen, Kim A.; Reisenbichler, Reg

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Year Published: 2008

Needs Assessment and Scoping Study for Sinking Ships as Diving Sites in Puget Sound

BACKGROUND There is growing interest in starting a program to sink ships in Puget Sound to create one or more underwater dive sites. Experience in other parts of the world has indicated that sunken vessels are highly popular with divers and could provide a basis for increased recreation and attraction of out-of-state divers with attendant...

Rubin, Steve; Grossman, Eric E.; Koontz, Lynne; Paulson, Anthony; Sexton, Natalie; Reisenbichler, Reg
Needs Assessment and Scoping Study for Sinking Ships as Diving Sites in Puget Sound; 2008; OFR; 2008-1020; Rubin, Steve; Grossman, Eric; Koontz, Lynne; Paulson, Anthony; Sexton, Natalie; Reisenbichler, Reg

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Year Published: 2008

Chemistry, mineralogy, and petrology of amphibole in Mount St. Helens 2004-2006 dacite

Textural, compositional, and mineralogical data are reported and interpreted for a large population of clinoamphibole phenocrysts in 22 samples from the seven successive dacite spines erupted at Mount St. Helens between October 2004 and January 2006. Despite the uniformity in bulk composition of magma erupted since 2004, there is striking...

Sherrod, David R.; Scott, William E.; Stauffer, Peter H.; Thornber, Carl R.; Pallister, John S.; Lowers, Heather; Rowe, Michael C.; Mandeville, Charles W.; Meeker, Gregory P.
Chemistry, mineralogy, and petrology of amphibole in Mount St. Helens 2004-2006 dacite: Chapter 32 in A volcano rekindled: the renewed eruption of Mount St. Helens, 2004-2006; 2008; PP; 1750-32; A volcano rekindled: the renewed eruption of Mount St. Helens, 2004-2006 (Professional Paper 1750); Thornber, Carl R.; Pallister, John S.; Lowers, Heather A.; Rowe, Michael C.; Mandeville, Charles W.; Meeker, Gregory P.

Filter Total Items: 863
August 8, 2015

A1 East Transect – 2015

Permanent Site: A1 East Transect; Depth: 8.3 Meters (27.1 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 1.8 Kilometers (1.1 Miles) West; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 4 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.13870775, -123.5855312; Site Description: Transect is in eastern part of Freshwater Bay. Sediment is primarily sand/sandy mud. Previous small boulders appear to be buried. Seaweeds are very

August 7, 2015

H1 East Transect – 2015

Permanent Site: H1 East Transect; Depth: 5.5 Meters (Feet 18.2); Distance from river mouth: 2.4 Kilometers (1.5 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 4 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.1479177,-123.53472865; Site Description: This is a shallow site and one of the farthest removed from the effects of the sediment plume outside of the control sites. Substrate is still

August 7, 2015

C2 East Transect – 2015

Permanent Site: C2 East Transect; Depth: 16.3 Meters (Feet 53.4); Distance from river mouth: 0.7 Kilometers (0.4 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 4 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.147841,-123.57596074; Site Description: One of our deepest sites. Substrate is all muddy sand. Seaweed is absent. Some woody debris is seen (0:39 seconds). Featherduster tubeworms, mainly

August 7, 2015

H1 West Transect – 2015

Permanent Site: H1 West Transect; Depth: 5.7 Meters (Feet 18.6); Distance from river mouth: 2.4 Kilometers (1.5 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 4 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.14803012,-123.53535558; Site Description: This is a shallow site and one of the farthest removed from the effects of the sediment plume outside of the control sites. Substrate is still

August 7, 2015

C2 West Transect – 2015

Permanent Site: C2 West Transect; Depth: 16.6 Meters (Feet 54.5); Distance from river mouth: 0.7 Kilometers (0.5 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 4 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.147841,-123.57663268; Site Description: One of our deepest sites. Substrate is all muddy sand. Seaweed is absent. Lots of woody debris is present (0:42, 0:44, 0:53 seconds). Featherduster

August 6, 2015

GP2 East Transect – 2015

Permanent Control Site: GP2 East Transect; Depth: 13.2 Meters (43.2 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 18.8 Kilometers (11.7 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 4 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.12781102,-123.31645664; Site Description: This site was established as the eastern control. Substrate is mainly a gravel sand mixture. A few large boulders are located off

August 6, 2015

GP1 West Transect – 2015

Permanent Control Site: GP1 West Transect; Depth: 8.0 Meters (26.1 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 19.0 Kilometers (11.8 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 4 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.11852521,-123.31605203; Site Description: This site was established as the eastern control. Depth is medium-shallow. Substrate is mainly a gravel/sand/cobble mixture surrounding

August 6, 2015

GP2 West Transect – 2016

Permanent Control Site: GP2 West Transect; Depth: 12.9 Meters (42.3 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 18.8 Kilometers (11.6 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 4 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.12781102,-123.31712832; Site Description: This site was established as the eastern control. Substrate is mainly a gravel/sand/cobble mixture surrounding boulders. Red and brown

Juvenile wolf eel
August 6, 2015

Juvenile wolf eel

Juvenile wolf eel - 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,

...
August 6, 2015

GP1 East Transect – 2015

Permanent Control Site: GP1 East Transect; Depth: 7.3 Meters (24 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 19.0 Kilometers (11.8 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 4 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.11852521,-123.31538047; Site Description: This site was established as the eastern control. Depth is medium-shallow. Substrate is mainly a gravel/sand/cobble mixture surrounding

August 5, 2015

D2 East Transect – 2015

Permanent Site: D2 East Transect; Depth: 12.1 Meters (39.8 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 0.3 Kilometers (0.2 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 4 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15233001,-123.56829403; Site Description: This site is right off the mouth of the river. Substrate is mainly gravel. This year lots of dead clam shells (0:40, 1:03 seconds) are scattered along

Moon snails
August 5, 2015

Moon snails

Moon snails - 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: USGS, Western Fisheries Research

...
Filter Total Items: 378
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.

USGS
June 21, 2012

SPOKANE, Wash. — Starting Friday, scientists will be using sound waves to look down into the Earth, and the result will be a picture of the geology beneath Spokane, perhaps including faults that cause shallow earthquakes.

USGS
May 8, 2012

PORTLAND, Ore.­–-Human activities, such as industrial production, transportation, and day-to-day living, are sources of many contaminants that flow into the Columbia River.

USGS
May 4, 2012

VANCOUVER, Wash. — 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.

USGS
February 29, 2012

SACRAMENTO, Calif.— Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey have, for the first time, demonstrated how aquifer composition can affect how excessive levels of phosphorous (an essential nutrient contained in fertilizers) can be carried from fertilized agricultural fields via groundwater to streams and waterways. 

USGS science for a changing world logo
October 7, 2011

Gustavo Bisbal has been selected as the center director of the Department of the Interior’s Northwest Climate Science Center, headquartered at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Ore., with additional resources and capabilities at the University of Washington in Seattle, Wash., and the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho.

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