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: 262
Date published: January 1, 2002
Status: Completed

Yakima Watershed and River Systems Management Program

Competition among water-resource users in many basins in the western United States has resulted in a need for near-real-time assessments of water availability and use. The Watershed and River System Management Program (WARSMP) is a collaborative program between the USGS and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) to couple watershed and river-reach models that simulate the physical hydrologic...

Contacts: Mark Mastin
Date published: January 1, 2002
Status: Completed

McChord Air Force Base

During the investigation of a jet fuel bulk storage area, trichloroethene (TCE) was detected in ground water beneath McChord Air Force Base, near Tacoma, Washington. Monitoring wells were installed on the base to determine the extent of the TCE. In March 2000, after six monitoring wells were installed in the residential area to the west of the base, TCE was detected at concentrations above the...

Date published: January 5, 2001
Status: Completed

Water Resources Inventory Area 1 Watershed Management

In recent years, increased use of ground- and surface-water supplies in watersheds of Washington State has created concern that insufficient in-stream flows remain for fish and other users. In response, the Washington State legislature passed the Watershed Management Act of 1998 (ESHB 2514; see also Ch.90.82 RCW - Watershed Planning), which encourages and provides some funding for local...

Date published: January 4, 2001
Status: Completed

Cedar River Watershed

The Cedar River watershed provides two-thirds of the water supply for the greater Seattle metropolitan region, in addition to being home to numerous terrestrial and aquatic organisms such as salmon, some of which are Federally listed as threatened species. The City of Seattle is establishing monitoring plans for the Cedar River watershed to effectively manage the resource. A critical component...

Contacts: Robert W Black
Date published: January 3, 2001
Status: Completed

Puget Sound-Willamette Trough

More than 70 percent of the population of Washington and Oregon resides in the Puget Sound-Willamette Trough, which stretches north-south on the western side of the Cascade Range. The area is one of the principal regional ground-water systems in the Nation, but little is known about the quantity and quality of the ground water, the regional flow system, or the interaction of the system with...

Date published: January 2, 2001
Status: Completed

Puyallup Flood Alert

The Puyallup River Basin lies mostly within Pierce County, Washington, and contains 972 square miles of land ranging in elevation from zero at its mouth in Puget Sound to 14,408 feet at the top of Mount Rainier. The cities of Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner, and Orting are some of the population centers located in the basin.

To protect lives and property in the basin, Pierce County needs...

Contacts: Mark Mastin
Date published: January 1, 2001
Status: Completed

Highway Storm-Water Detention

In some areas of the state, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) sometimes directs the storm-water runoff from highways into detention basins that store the water until it infiltrates into the ground. Because most of the water eventually percolates to the water table, and because runoff from highways can contain contaminants, using roadside detention basins may degrade...

Contacts: Lonna M Frans
Date published: January 3, 2000
Status: Completed

Elwha-Morse Watershed

Have increased demands for Washington State's ground water and surface water left sufficient stream flows for fish and other uses?

To find out, the state's Watershed Management Act of 1998 (ESHB 2514) confers on local people the responsibility for conducting local watershed planning.

The Elwha-Morse Watershed area was formed out of the western part of Water Resources Inventory...

Date published: January 2, 2000
Status: Completed

Pierce County Groundwater

The rapid growth of population in the Tacoma-Puyallup area in Pierce County has placed increasing demands on the ground-water resource. Most domestic water needs are met by wells completed in the several hundred feet of glacial deposits that underlie the area, and about 9,000 persons are served by a single spring on the southwestern side of Puyallup. Most of the population relies on individual...

Date published: January 1, 2000
Status: Completed

Probability Flows for Streams in Eastern WA

Under Washington regulations, bridges, culverts, and other stream-crossing structures need to be designed with fish passage in mind. For culverts, maximum flows cannot exceed a 10-percent exceedance probability flow (the flow that is equalled or exceeded 10 percent of the time) when fish are migrating upstream.

To help the Washington Department of Natural Resources manage its culverts...

Filter Total Items: 783
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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.

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Year Published: 2008

Petrology of the 2004-2006 Mount St. Helens lava dome -- implications for magmatic plumbing and eruption triggering

Eighteen years after dome-forming eruptions ended in 1986, and with little warning, Mount St. Helens began to erupt again in October 2004. During the ensuing two years, the volcano extruded more than 80×106 m3 of gas-poor, crystal-rich dacite lava. The 2004-6 dacite is remarkably uniform in bulk-rock composition and, at 65 percent SiO2 ,...

Sherrod, David R.; Scott, William E.; Stauffer, Peter H.; Pallister, John S.; Thornber, Carl R.; Cashman, Katharine V.; Clynne, Michael A.; Lowers, Heather; Mandeville, Charles W.; Brownfield, Isabelle K.; Meeker, Gregory P.
Petrology of the 2004-2006 Mount St. Helens lava dome -- implications for magmatic plumbing and eruption triggering: Chapter 30 in A volcano rekindled: the renewed eruption of Mount St. Helens, 2004-2006; 2008; PP; 1750-30; A volcano rekindled: the renewed eruption of Mount St. Helens, 2004-2006 (Professional Paper 1750); Pallister, John S.; Thornber, Carl R.; Cashman, Katharine V.; Clynne, Michael A; Lowers, Heather A.; Mandeville, Charles W.; Brownfield, Isabelle K.; Meeker, Gregory P.

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Year Published: 2008

Numerical modeling of rainfall thresholds for shallow landsliding in the Seattle, Washington, area

The temporal forecasting of landslide hazard has typically relied on empirical relations between rainfall characteristics and landslide occurrence to identify conditions that may cause shallow landslides. Here, we describe an alternate, deterministic approach to define rainfall thresholds for landslide occurrence in the Seattle, Washington, area....

Godt, Jonathan W.; McKenna, Jonathan P.
Numerical modeling of rainfall thresholds for shallow landsliding in the Seattle, Washington, area; 2008; Article; Book; Landslides and engineering geology of the Seattle, Washington, area; Godt, Jonathan W.; McKenna, Jonathan P.

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Year Published: 2008

3D crustal structure and long-period ground motions from a M9.0 megathrust earthquake in the Pacific Northwest region

We have developed a community velocity model for the Pacific Northwest region from northern California to southern Canada and carried out the first 3D simulation of a Mw 9.0 megathrust earthquake rupturing along the Cascadia subduction zone using a parallel supercomputer. A long-period (<0.5 Hz) source model was designed by mapping the...

Olsen, K.B.; Stephenson, W.J.; Geisselmeyer, A.
3D crustal structure and long-period ground motions from a M9.0 megathrust earthquake in the Pacific Northwest region; 2008; Article; Journal; Journal of Seismology; Olsen, K. B.; Stephenson, W. J.; Geisselmeyer, A.

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Year Published: 2008

A prototype system for forecasting landslides in the Seattle, Washington, area

Empirical rainfall thresholds and related information form the basis of a prototype system for forecasting landslides in the Seattle area. The forecasts are tied to four alert levels, and a decision tree guides the use of thresholds to determine the appropriate level. From analysis of historical landslide data, we developed a formula for a...

Chleborad, Alan F.; Baum, Rex L.; Godt, Jonathan W.; Powers, Philip S.
A prototype system for forecasting landslides in the Seattle, Washington, area; 2008; Article; Book; Landslides and engineering geology of the Seattle, Washington, area; Chleborad, Alan F.; Baum, Rex L.; Godt, Jonathan W.; Powers, Philip S.

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Year Published: 2008

Baseline studies in the Elwha River ecosystem prior to dam removal: Introduction to the special issue

The planned removal of two dams that have been in place for over 95 years on the Elwha River provides a unique opportunity to study dam removal effects. Among the largest dams ever considered for removal, this project is compelling because 83% of the watershed lies undisturbed in Olympic National Park. Eighteen million cubic meters of sediment...

Duda, Jeffrey J.; Freilich, Jerry; Schreiner, Edward G.

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Year Published: 2008

Benthic invertebrates and periphyton in the Elwha river basin: Current conditions and predicted response to dam removal

The impending removal of two dams on the Elwha River in Washington State offers a unique opportunity to study ecosystem restoration at a watershed scale. We examine how periphyton and benthic invertebrate assemblages vary across regulated and unregulated sections of the Elwha River and across different habitat types, and establish baseline data...

Morley, S.A.; Duda, J.J.; Coe, H.J.; Kloehn, K.K.; McHenry, M.L.
Benthic invertebrates and periphyton in the Elwha river basin: Current conditions and predicted response to dam removal; 2008; Article; Journal; Northwest Science; Morley, S. A.; Duda, J. J.; Coe, H. J.; Kloehn, K. K.; McHenry, M. L.

Filter Total Items: 872
February 26, 2015

PubTalk 2/2015 — Undamming Washington's Elwha River

by Amy East USGS Research Geologist

  • Hear about river response to the largest dam removal in history.
  • Causing disturbance as a means of restoration: how well does it work?
  • Will legendary salmon runs return?
Centrifuge Bowl Containing River Suspended Sediment
February 5, 2015

Centrifuge Bowl Containing River Suspended Sediment for Analysis

A U.S. Geological Survey hydrologist holds a centrifuge bowl containing river suspended sediment for analysis of metals and organic chemicals. The sample was collected using a new in-field continuous-flow centrifugation technique to separate and collect suspended sediment from large volumes of water. The sample was collected on the Duwamish River, Washington in cooperation

...
January 7, 2015

Oso Landslide Computer Simulations

A large destructive landslide occurred near Oso, Washington on March 22, 2014. Computer simulations indicate that it could have behaved very differently (with much less mobility and consequent destructiveness) if the ground had been less porous and water-saturated. This video shows the results of two computer simulations. The first simulation shows computed landslide

December 31, 2014

Continuous Gas Monitoring Tracks Volcanic Activity at Mount St. Helens

Volcano gas geochemistry has been around for a long time. Scientists can make gas measurements using very large, very expensive Correlation Spectrometers or collect samples in the field and bring them back for analysis in the lab. But it’s possible we’re missing out on a lot of information because our monitoring capabilities don’t include continuous observation.

To

Elwha River flowing through former dam site during flood
December 9, 2014

Elwha River flowing through former dam site during flood

USGS Hydrologist Chris Magirl captures image of the Elwha River flooding for the first time following dam removal. This location is just downstream of the former Elwha Dam which used to stand at the area near the top of the photograph.

Visitors at Glines Canyon East Abutment in Olympic National Park, the location of the Elwha River Restoration project.
October 31, 2014

Glines Canyon East Abutment

Visitors at Glines Canyon East Abutment in Olympic National Park, the location of the Elwha River Restoration project. Image available at Olympic National Park flickr site.

USGS scientist waits for helicopter pick-up in the crater of Mount ...
October 9, 2014

USGS scientist waits for helicopter pick-up in Mount St. Helens crater

USGS-CVO Research Geologist Peter Kelly communicates with the helicopter pilot and prepares for pick-up, on the new dome within the crater of Mount St. Helens.

Specific-Pathogen-Free Pacific herring
September 29, 2014

Specific-Pathogen-Free Pacific herring

Different size and age classes of experimental Specific-Pathogen-Free Pacific herring reared at the Marrowstone Marine Field Station.

Nucleospora (Enterocytozoon) salmonis
September 17, 2014

Nucleospora (Enterocytozoon) salmonis

Nucleospora (Enterocytozoon) salmonis infected fingerling steelhead kidney imprint. Note parasitized lymphoblasts containing spherical, light colored, nondescript, nuclear inclusions (arrows). L-G stain. X1000. (Courtesy of B. MacConnell)

USGS researchers use geophysical methods to locate groundwater at M...
September 15, 2014

Locate groundwater at Mount St. Helens

USGS researcher Jeff Wynn monitors in-coming data at the CSAMT (Controlled-Source Audio-Magnetotellurics ) receiver site on Mount St. Helens. The data will be used to locate the top of the groundwater system beneath the site.

Elwha River mouth during dam removal
September 3, 2014

Elwha River mouth during dam removal

Aerial photograph of the mouth of the Elwha River showing sediment deposits from dam removal. Aerial assistance by LightHawk and plane piloted by Dr. Milton Bennett.

Filter Total Items: 385
USGS science for a changing world logo
November 4, 2009

Greater sage-grouse populations have declined substantially in many areas in the West, though populations in some locations remain relatively stable, according to a comprehensive publication written by federal, state, and non-governmental organizations. The population assessment is one of numerous sage-grouse topics covered in the 24 chapters released today.

USGS science for a changing world logo
October 20, 2009

When Pierce County holds its "Shake 'n Quake" earthquake exercise Wednesday and Thursday, the foundation participants will use is a scenario developed by U.S. Geological Survey scientists here.

USGS science for a changing world logo
September 24, 2009

USGS will Grant Universities $5 Million to Beef Up Public Safety Grants totaling $5 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are being awarded to 13 universities nationwide to upgrade critical earthquake monitoring networks and increase public safety.

USGS science for a changing world logo
September 16, 2009

Levels of chloride, a component of salt, are elevated in many urban streams and groundwater across the northern U.S., according to a new government study. Chloride levels above the recommended federal criteria set to protect aquatic life were found in more than 40 percent of urban streams tested. The study was released today by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

USGS science for a changing world logo
September 9, 2009

The winter distribution of Pacific brant, a small, dark sea goose, has shifted northward from low-temperate areas such as Mexico to sub-Arctic areas as Alaska's climate has warmed over the last four decades, according to a just-released article in Arctic.

USGS science for a changing world logo
August 25, 2009

Two U.S. Geological Survey Cascade Volcano Observatory scientists will be available inside the crater of Mount St. Helens. This will provide a unique opportunity to capture the sights and sounds inside the crater and to learn about their latest findings and research.

USGS science for a changing world logo
August 13, 2009

Residents and critical infrastructure in the nation's six highest-risk volcanic areas—including the Northwest region of the United States-- will benefit from increased monitoring and analysis as a result of Recovery Act funds being channeled into volcano monitoring, Secretary Salazar announced today.

USGS science for a changing world logo
August 10, 2009

A report on long-term glacier measurements released today by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar shows that glaciers are dramatically changing in mass, length and thickness as a result of climate change.

USGS science for a changing world logo
August 3, 2009

Entire populations of North American fish already are being affected by several emerging diseases, a problem that threatens to increase in the future with climate change and other stresses on aquatic ecosystems, according to a noted U.S. Geological Survey researcher giving an invited talk on this subject today at the Wildlife Disease Association conference in Blaine, Wash.

USGS science for a changing world logo
July 14, 2009

A helicopter will be flying at low altitudes over parts of Spokane and Whitman counties July 15 as part of U.S. Geological Survey scientists' efforts to gauge Osprey reproductive success. The flight, operated under contract to the USGS, is flying over the nests of a large fish-eating hawk, called an Osprey.

USGS science for a changing world logo
July 10, 2009

The Coast Salish Tribal Nation and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will paddle to study and help improve the Salish Sea environment during their second Tribal Journey together on July 20 – August 3.

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