Unified Interior Regions

Region 9: Columbia-Pacific Northwest

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Large snow-covered, cone shaped mountain in background, looming over urban area in foreground
January 18, 2014

Mount Rainier looms over the Puyallup Valley, Washington

Mount Rainier volcano looms over Puyallup Valley, near Orting, Washington.

Surveying stream channels at Mount St. Helens...
January 17, 2014

Surveying stream channels at Mount St. Helens

Scientists conduct a stream channel cross-section survey of the Toutle River on the north side of Mount St. Helens (view to the southwest).

Suspended sediment sampling bottles from Elwha River sampling
December 31, 2013

Suspended sediment sampling bottles from Elwha River sampling

Series of daily sample bottles containing integrated water samples from the Elwha River, October 17, 2012 to November 9, 2012.

Suspended sediment sampling series
December 31, 2013

Suspended sediment sampling series

Series of daily sample bottles containing integrated water samples from the Elwha River, October 17, 2012 to November 9, 2012. Graphical overlay is the measured suspended sediment concentration in each sample bottle, showing the variability in sediment concentration during the time period shown.

Spectrogram from Central Pumice Cone Seismic Station, Newberry Volc...
December 5, 2013

Lake-Ice Quakes from Newberry Volcano

The popping and cracking of ice in lakes within the Newberry Volcano caldera is picked up by local seismic stations, such as Central Pumice Cone. The lake-ice quakes do not resemble standard volcanic low-frequency or high-frequency events and are sporadically observed in the winter at other ice-covered lakes in Yellowstone, Long Valley, and elsewhere.

Antennas deployed in the Wind River to monitor movements of fish.
November 4, 2013

Antennas deployed in the Wind River to monitor movements of fish.

Antennas deployed in the Wind River to monitor movements of fish that have been tagged with Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags.  The need to track fish movements in large streams over extensive areas has extended this current technology to new levels.

Monitoring river discharge near Mount St. Helens, Washington....
October 30, 2013

Monitoring river discharge near Mount St. Helens, WA.

Crews test two methods of measuring discharge of the Muddy River near Mount St. Helens, Washington. The computer and tethered orange float create a vertical discharge profile; the hand-held flow tracker confirms the data. Data collection is becoming more electronic-oriented with periodic confirmation of results by physical observations.

Maintenance at Acoustic Flow Monitor near Mount St. Helens, Washing...
October 18, 2013

Maintenance at Acoustic Flow Monitor near Mount St. Helens, WA

Repairs are made to an Acoustic Flow Monitor (AFM) located at the confluence of the North Fork Toutle River, Maratta, Castle and Coldwater Creeks, where the most recent lahar occurred in November, 2006. AFMs are installed to "hear" when lahars [muddy debris flows] move down channel so affected communities can be warned of the hazard.

Mouth of the Elwha River during dam removal
September 28, 2013

Mouth of the Elwha River during dam removal

Aerial photograph of the mouth of the Elwha River where it meets the Strait of Juan de Fuca during the removal of the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams, Washington State, USA. Aerial assistance by LightHawk and plane piloted by Dr. Hunter Handsfield.

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USGS
May 10, 2000

Twenty years ago this month, Mount St. Helens in southern Washington State was building up energy for the cataclysmic eruption that occurred on May 18, 1980.

USGS
April 20, 2000

Harold L. James, longtime geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey and a former Chief Geologist, died April 2 in Bellingham, Washington. He was 87.

USGS
April 13, 2000

Biologists updating 1994 studies of contaminants in upper Columbia River fish--including Lake Roosevelt--have found either decreases or no change in levels of mercury, dioxins and furans, and PCBs, according to a report released today by the U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey.

USGS
March 21, 2000

A new study from the U.S. Geological Survey and the Oregon Graduate Institute shows that as many as 9,000 community water wells in 31 states may be affected by contamination from the gasoline additive methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) due to their proximity to leaking underground storage tanks.

USGS
January 24, 2000

On January 26, 1700, the largest earthquake known to have occurred in the "lower 48" United States, rocked Cascadia, a region 600 miles long that includes northern California, Oregon, Washington, and southern British Columbia.

USGS
January 7, 2000

Seattle will keep cool, clean drinking water flowing from the Cedar River Watershed while keeping streams healthy for threatened salmon, with help from a monitoring method developed by the U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior.

USGS
October 25, 1999

A method of calculating a power-consumption coefficient (pcc) for irrigation pump sites along the Snake River can save personnel, vehicle, and equipment costs and, thus, dollars, according to a new report from the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of the Interior

USGS
October 4, 1999

Nitrate contamination of ground water from land use activities, especially agricultural activities, is common in many parts of the lower Nooksack River Basin. Fifty-five of the 368 wells sampled for nitrate showed concentrations above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Health Canada drinking water standards, according to a recently published report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

USGS
August 3, 1999

The earthquakes and volcanic activity that created and continue to define Mount Rainier are the subjects of four lectures to be presented by U.S. Geological Survey scientists in or near Mount Rainier National Park in August. The schedule is as follows:

USGS
July 15, 1999

Water released from reservoirs into the North Branch of the Potomac River on Sunday will arrive at the water-supply intakes at Washington sometime on Thursday or Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

USGS
May 28, 1999

The scenery is spectacular, but don’t go for the pure mountain air. According to a recently published study, air in Washington’s Mount Rainier National Park contains higher concentrations of ozone, a major component of air pollution, than nearby urban areas.

USGS
May 1, 1999

The magnitude of earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest’s prehistoric past, the results of recent earthquake "soundings," and the probabilities for future earthquakes in the Seattle area will be the focus of several presentations by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists at the annual meeting of the Seismological Society of America (SSA), in Seattle, May 3-5.