Unified Interior Regions

Region 5: Missouri Basin

USGS Science Centers in the Missouri Basin Region

For more information on what each center is doing in the Missouri Basin, please follow the links below!

Wyoming - Montana Water Science Center

Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center

Kansas Water Science Center

Nebraska Water Science Center

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

Dakota Water Science Center

Regions L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 308
Date published: March 26, 2018
Status: Active

Flooding and High-Flow Conditions in Wyoming and Montana

The USGS monitors flood and high-flow conditions at more than 300 streamgages across Montana and Wyoming.  Water level and flow information are used by the National Weather Service (NWS) to make accurate flood forecasts. High-flow conditions are expressed as percentiles comparing current (within the past few hours) instantaneous flow to historical daily mean flow for ...

Contacts: Brian L Loving
Date published: March 21, 2018
Status: Active

Montana Crest-Stage Gage Network

The purpose of the crest-stage gage network is to inventory and monitor peak discharges throughout the state of Montana, with special emphasis on streams that may damage transportation infrastructure. Recorded data documenting peak streamflow at various sites within the state will be used by the Montana Department of Transportation to support assessments of culvert size, bridge construction,...

Contacts: Dennis Elliott
Date published: March 20, 2018
Status: Active

Geospatial Research and Development to Understand Hydrologic Processes

All natural phenomena have a spatial component. Remote sensing, GIS, and geostatistical methods can be used to evaluate the spatial components of hydrologic phenomena and understand characteristics, such as water quality, streamflow, and hydraulics.

Date published: March 15, 2018
Status: Active

Webinar: Projecting Climate Change Impacts on Wetland-Dependent Birds in the Prairie Pothole Region

View this webinar to learn how scientists are projecting the impacts of climate change on birds in the Prairie Pothole Region.

Date published: February 23, 2018
Status: Active

Groundwater-Flow Model for the High Plains Aquifer in South Dakota

Project Period: 2013-2018
Cooperators: Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Oglala Sioux Tribe
Project Chief: Kyle Davis

Contacts: Kyle W Davis
Date published: February 1, 2018
Status: Active

Probability of Streamflow Permanence (PROSPER)

PRObability of Streamflow PERmanence (PROSPER)

Rivers and streams are constantly changing. Streamflows can change throughout the year and between years due to snowmelt, precipitation, diversions, and return flows. For many streams, these fluctuations determine whether a stream has year-round flow or not. PROSPER is a project initiated to better understand what causes these fluctuations...

Date published: January 23, 2018
Status: Active

Bridge Scour in Montana

Bridge scour is the erosion of streambed material away from pier foundations and abutments and is the leading cause of bridge failure in the United States (Richardson and Davis, 2001). Since the early 1990s, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) have had a cooperative bridge scour project in Montana.

Contacts: Steve Holnbeck
Date published: December 13, 2017
Status: Active

Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team

The Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team (IGBST) is an interdisciplinary group of scientists and biologists responsible for long-term monitoring and research efforts on grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE). The team was formed by the Department of the Interior (DOI) in 1973 as a direct result of controversy...

Date published: November 16, 2017
Status: Active

Impacts of Disease on Wolves in Yellowstone National Park

In 1995 and 1996, wolves were reintroduced into the Northern Rockies where they have since established and spread. Within Yellowstone National Park, one of the core protected release sites, the unmanaged population steadily increased to high densities, producing a large wolf population susceptible to infections such as canine parvovirus (CPV), canine distemper virus (CDV) and sarcoptic mange...

Contacts: Paul Cross, Ph.D., Emily Almberg, Doug Smith, Ellen Brandell & Peter Hudson
Date published: November 16, 2017
Status: Active

Pneumonia in Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn sheep populations are often impacted by outbreaks of pneumonia that are suspected to come from domestic sheep and goats.

Contacts: Paul Cross, Ph.D., Frances Cassirer, Raina Plowright, Peter Hudson, Tom Besser & Keiza Manlove, Andrew Dobson
Date published: November 16, 2017
Status: Active


Brucellosis is a nationally and internationally regulated disease of livestock with significant consequences for animal health, public health, and international trade.

Contacts: Paul Cross, Ph.D., Emily Almberg, Kelly Proffitt, Brandon Scurlock, & Eric Maichak, Jared Rogerson & Hank Edwards, Mark Drew & Paul Atwood , Eric Cole, Angela Brennan
Date published: November 13, 2017
Status: Completed

Bridge Scour Publications

Publications about North and South Dakota bridge scour.

Filter Total Items: 96
Date published: April 20, 2016

Structures Data

USGS data portray selected structures data, including the location and characteristics of manmade facilities. Characteristics consist of a structure's physical form (footprint), function, name, location, and detailed information about the structure. The types of structures collected are largely determined by the needs of the disaster planning and response and homeland security organizations....

Date published: April 19, 2016

The United States Interagency Elevation Inventory (USIEI)

The USIEI is a comprehensive, nationwide listing of known high-accuracy topographic and bathymetric data for the United States and its territories. The project is a collaborative effort of the USGS and NOAA with contributions from other federal agencies. The inventory supports the 3D Elevation Program and the Integrated Ocean and Coastal Mapping effort. This resource is updated in Spring and...

Date published: April 19, 2016

Elevation Data

The 3DEP products and services available through The National Map consist of lidar point clouds (LPC), standard digital elevation models (DEMs) at various horizontal resolutions, elevation source and associated datasets, an elevation point query service and bulk point query service. All 3DEP products are available, free of charge and without use restrictions.

Date published: April 19, 2016

Flattop Mountain SNOTEL Snowpack: Water Year 2015

The Flattop Mountain SNOTEL (SNOw TELemetry) station is one of nearly 600 similar stations operated throughout the western United States by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS, U.S. Department of Agriculture). These stations measure and record Snow Water Equivalent (SWE), which is the weight of snow water equivalent to inches of water. Most SNOTEL sites also measure temperature an...

Date published: April 12, 2016

Orthoimagery Data

Orthoimagery data typically are high resolution aerial images that combine the visual attributes of an aerial photograph with the spatial accuracy and reliability of a planimetric map. The National Map offers public domain, 1-meter orthoimagery for the conterminous United States with many urban areas and other locations at 2-foot or finer resolution.

Date published: April 12, 2016

The National Map Small-Scale Collection

The National Map offers a collection of small-scale datasets, most of which are at 1:1,000,000. The National Map publishes two data collections at one million-scale: one for Global Map users and one for National Map users. In terms of vector geometry, the lines, points, and areas in these data collections are identical. The difference is in the attributes assigned to these features.

Date published: March 12, 2016


WaterWatch is a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) World Wide Web site that displays maps, graphs, and tables describing real-time, recent, and past streamflow conditions for the United States. The real-time information generally is updated on an hourly basis.

Date published: January 1, 2016

Previous mineral-resource assessment data compilation for the U.S. Geological Survey Sagebrush Mineral-Resource Assessment Project

This data release consists of a compilation of previously published mineral potential maps that were used for the Sagebrush Mineral-Resource Assessment (SaMiRA) project. This information was used as guides for assessing mineral potential assessment of approximately 10 million acres in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming. Specifically, the compilation was used to identify the d

Date published: November 23, 2013

Land Treatment Digital Library (LTDL)

The Land Treatment Digital Library (LTDL) was created by the USGS to catalog legacy land treatment information on Bureau of Land Management lands in the western United States. The LTDL can be used by federal managers and scientists for compiling information for data-calls, producing maps, generating reports, and conducting analyses at varying spatial and temporal scales.

Date published: July 24, 2013

Data Entry Module for the Land Treatment Digital Library (LTDL)

This software allows agencies, organizations, and individuals to download an empty, stand-alone Land Treatment Digital Library database to individual or networked computers. Data entered in these databases may be submitted to the USGS for possible inclusion in the online Land Treatment Digital Library (https://ltdl.wr.usgs.gov).

Filter Total Items: 741
Satellite image showing how there is damage due to beetles in the Black Hills.
September 8, 2018

Beetle Damage in the Black Hills

Mountain pine beetles are about the size of a grain of rice, so of course we can’t see them from space in satellite images. What is visible is what the beetles can do to a pine forest. The washed-out pink color indicates large areas of standing dead or damaged trees.

September 7, 2018

Image of the Week - Lake Thompson

Many lakes in South Dakota’s Prairie Pothole Region are expanding. 

Lake Thompson in eastern South Dakota is one that has displayed remarkable change in recent decades.

Each week, the Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center highlights a new satellite image(s) featuring striking changes in the Earth's surface. Our images come from locations

Satellite image showing the eclipse.
August 21, 2018

One Year Ago: Total Eclipse Darkens Nebraska Sandhills

A total solar eclipse darkened the skies over the United States on Aug. 21, 2017.

Oshkosh, a town in the Nebraska Sandhills, was a prime location for viewing the eclipse. This Landsat 7 image shows the town at 11:33 a.m. local time on Aug. 18, 2016, a year before the total eclipse.

August 21, 2018

Image of the Week - One Year Ago: Eclipse Darkens Nebraska

A total solar eclipse darkened the skies over the United States on Aug. 21, 2017.

Fourteen states were in the path of totality, a 70-mile-wide band under which the moon fully blocked the sun for just under three minutes.

Oshkosh, a town in the Nebraska Sandhills was a prime location for viewing the eclipse. This Landsat 7 image shows the town at 11:33 a.m.

August 20, 2018


This short video provides a quick look at the Application for Extracting and Exploring Analysis Ready Samples (AppEEARS). AppEEARS provides a simple and efficient way to subset, transform, and visualize geospatial data distributed from a variety of federal archives. AppEEARS can be accessed by visiting https

Satellite image showing the lake size from 1972 until present.
August 11, 2018

Lake Thompson, South Dakota

Many lakes in South Dakota's Prairie Pothole Region are expanding. Lake Thompson in eastern South Dakota is one that has displayed remarkable change in recent decades.

July 19, 2018

Drilling an Ice Core

Researchers start drilling an ice core in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

Verification of Reference Elevations at USGS streamgage in SD
July 19, 2018

Verification of Reference Elevations at USGS streamgage in SD

Student hydrologic technician Jackie Eldredge holding the rod over one of the known reference points at streamgage 06404998, Grace Coolidge Creek near Game Lodge near Custer, SD. One step in ensuring consistent streamflow data is verifying that the reference elevation at the streamgage stays consistent and that any changes are documented. All of the USGS streamgages have

Reading Elevation of a Known Reference Point in SD
July 19, 2018

Reading Elevation of a Known Reference Point in SD

Hydrologic technician Kammy Durham reading the elevation of a known reference point at streamgage 06404998, Grace Coolidge Creek near Game Lodge near Custer, SD. One step in ensuring consistent streamflow data is verifying that the reference elevation at the streamgage stays consistent and that any changes are documented. All of the USGS streamgages have multiple reference

June 30, 2018

Daily Operations of Landsat 7

What it takes each day to keep Landsat 7 operating smoothly. Hear the stories from inside the L7 Mission Operation Center.

Water-Quality Sampling at Ellsworth Air Force Base
June 28, 2018

Water-Quality Sampling at Ellsworth Air Force Base

Hydrologic Technician Kammy Durham collecting water-quality samples from a well at Ellsworth Air Force Base for analysis.

Groundwater-Level Measurement at Ellsworth Air Force Base
June 28, 2018

Groundwater-Level Measurement at Ellsworth Air Force Base

Student hydrologist Todd Anderson assisting with water level measurements and purging of a well at a research location at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota. The groundwater level is measured and the well is purged prior to collecting water-quality samples from wells.

Filter Total Items: 288
July 13, 2015

Wetland channels constructed in downtown Rapid City, South Dakota, effectively reduced many pollutants in stormwater runoff, according to a recent U.S. Geological Survey report.

Image: USGS Idaho Water Science Director Dr. Kyle Blasch
June 15, 2015

Dr. Kyle W. Blasch begins work today as the Director of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Idaho Water Science Center, headquartered in Boise.

May 26, 2015

Aldo V. (Skip) Vecchia, a U.S. Geological Survey scientist, will be awarded the 2015 Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award for his outstanding efforts mentoring junior staff.

Image: Road Overflow at White River Near Oglala
May 18, 2015

U.S. Geological Survey streamflow gages are recording major flooding on the White River and Cheyenne River as the result of recent snow and rain.  Field crews are measuring streamflow on the White River and the Cheyenne River and minor flooding at various sites throughout western South Dakota

Image: Bull Trout and Westslope Cutthroat Trout
May 12, 2015

Scientists have discovered that the diversity of a threatened native trout species will likely decrease due to future climate change. 

collage of scientists conducting science related to each mission are
May 12, 2015

The latest coal resource assessment of the Powder River Basin showcases the newly revised USGS’ assessment methodology, which, for the first time, includes an estimate of the reserve base for the entire basin.

May 5, 2015

Groundwater quality has not substantially changed since 2007 recharge activities began in the Equus Beds aquifer in Kansas, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the City of Wichita, Kansas.

March 24, 2015

Media and the public are invited to attend a free meeting and field trips about South Dakota water issues on April 15 and 16 in Rapid City.

Image: Invasives Williston
March 23, 2015

The presence of non-native plant species is significantly greater adjacent to oil well pads than in non-developed areas of the Williston Basin, according to a first-of-its-kind U.S. Geological Survey study for this area.

February 25, 2015

A new interactive online tool to improve flood warnings and emergency management is now available in selected parts of Johnson County, Kansas, and Jackson County, Missouri. 

Filter Total Items: 191