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The USGS National Research Program (NRP), part of the USGS Water Mission Area, conducts research to develop and disseminate science-based information and tools needed for a fundamental understanding of the processes that affect the availability, movement, and quality of the Nation’s water resources. 

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NRP Scientists

NRP Scientists

NRP scientists conduct research on a wide range of topics to gain a better understanding of the processes that affect the Nation’s water resources.

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NRP Laboratories

NRP Laboratories

The National Research Program has a wide range of laboratories which support both USGS scientists and external partners.

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NRP Resources

The National Research Program provides many other scientific resources:

NRP Publications

Data and Long-Term Monitoring

Modeling Software

Scientific Tools

NRP Patents

News

Date published: May 10, 2017

The Complex Dynamics of Geyser Eruptions

Despite two centuries of scientific study, basic questions persist about geysers—why do they exist? What determines their behavior?

Date published: April 14, 2017

Freshwater Ecosystems are an Important Part of the Alaskan Carbon Cycle

While freshwater ecosystems cover only a small amount of the land surface in Alaska, they transport and emit a significant amount of carbon, according to new U.S. Geological Survey research. An invited feature article for Ecological Applications provides the first-ever major aquatic carbon flux assessment for the entire state. Carbon flux refers to the rate of carbon transfer between pools.

Date published: March 7, 2017

Worth the Weight: New Table Aims to Clarify Variable Atomic Weight Values

The new table includes both standard and conventional atomic weights values to clarify that many atomic weights have natural variation and to provide single values for chemical education use

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Date published: August 30, 2017

Reconstructing Flow History From Riparian Tree Rings

Aquatic Systems Branch scientists analyze rings of riparian trees relating tree growth and establishment to historical flow. We then use the tree rings to reconstruct the flow in past centuries. Flow reconstructions discover the frequency and magnitude of past droughts and floods—information that is essential for management of rivers and water supplies. We also use downscaled climate...

Date published: June 21, 2016

Blue Carbon

Objectives: To understand the dominant drivers of carbon fluxes in different tidal wetlands across different time and spatial scales; To quantify the values and uncertainties in carbon sequestration rates in different tidal wetlands.

Date published: June 21, 2016

Arctic and Permafrost Hydrology

Objectives: We aim to understand and predict the effects of climate warming and permafrost thaw on : (1) lakes and wetlands, (2) groundwater, (3) soil water, and (4) rivers; We develop and apply new modeling tools and approaches to simulate the interplay between permafrost and hydrology.

The USGS has been a leader in the development of hydrologic and geochemical simulation models since the 1960's. USGS models are widely used to predict responses of hydrologic systems to changing stresses, such as increases in precipitation or ground-water pumping rates, as well as to predict the fate and movement of solutes and contaminants in water. 

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Date published: August 30, 2016

HYDROTHERM

The HYDROTHERM computer program simulates multi-phase ground-water flow and associated thermal energy transport in three dimensions. It can handle high fluid pressures, up to 1 x 10^9 Pa (104 atm), and high temperatures, up to 1,200 °C. 

Date published: June 29, 2016

Groundwater Age Mixtures and Contaminant Trends Tool (GAMACTT)

The USGS Groundwater Age Mixtures and Contaminant Trends Tool can be used to explore the effects of basic aquifer properties and well configurations on groundwater age mixtures in groundwater discharge and on contaminant trends from varying nonpoint-source contaminant input scenarios.

Date published: June 29, 2016

TracerLPM

TracerLPM is an interactive Excel workbook program used to evaluate groundwater age distributions from environmental tracer data by using lumped parameter models (LPMs).

Date published: June 29, 2016

Exploration and Graphics for RivEr Trends (EGRET)

Exploration and Graphics for RivEr Trends (EGRET) is an R-package for the analysis of long-term changes in water quality and streamflow, including the water-quality method Weighted Regressions on Time, Discharge, and Season (WRTDS).

Date published: June 29, 2016

VS2DI

The VS2DI package contains all the tools that a user needs to create, run, and view results for a simulation of flow and transport through variably saturated porous media.

Date published: June 29, 2016

PHREEQC

PHREEQC is a general purpose geochemical model for reactions in water and between water and rocks and sediments.

Date published: June 29, 2016

Precipitation Runoff Modeling System (PRMS)

The Precipitation-Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) is a deterministic, distributed-parameter, physical process based modeling system developed to evaluate the response of various combinations of climate and land use on streamflow and general watershed hydrology.

Date published: June 28, 2016

PHAST

PHAST is a 3D groundwater flow and solute transport model that has extensive capabilities to simulate water-rock and biogeochemical reactions that include all of the reactions available in PHREEQC.

Date published: June 28, 2016

ModelMuse

ModelMuse is a graphical user interface (GUI) for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) models MODFLOW-2005, MODFLOW-LGR, MODFLOW-NWT, MODPATH, ZONEBUDGET, and PHAST and for MT3DMS. 

Date published: June 28, 2016

Multidimensional Surface-Water Modeling System (MD_SWMS)

The U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Multi-Dimensional Surface-Water Modeling System (MD_SWMS) is a pre- and post-processing application for computational models of surface-water hydraulics.

Date published: June 28, 2016

The Global Climate Change Viewer (GCCV)

The Global Climate Change Viewer (GCCV) is used to visualize future temperature and precipitation changes simulated by global climate models.

Date published: June 28, 2016

Coupled Ground Water and Surface Water Flow Model (GSFLOW)

Ground-water and Surface-water FLOW (GSFLOW) is used to simulate coupled ground-water and surface-water resources.

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two men standing near a well. Truck-mounted rig and well head visible.
December 31, 2016

Scientist working to retrieve sampling gear from groundwater well.

JJ Thordsen (USGS) and a wireline operator retrieving downhole vacuum sampler from a characterization well near a CO2 injection well at Citronelle oil field, Alabama.

December 1, 2016

Precipitation Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) Surface-Runoff Modules

Presents descriptions of the USGS Precipitation Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) Surface-Runoff modules, which compute Hortonian surface runoff, soil infiltration, and impervious surface and surface depression storage and flows.
 

January 29, 2016

Precipitation Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) Summary Modules

Presents descriptions of the USGS Precipitation Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) Summary modules.
 

January 29, 2016

Precipitation Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) Soil Zone Modules

Presents descriptions of the USGS Precipitation Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) Soilzone module.
 

January 29, 2016

Precipitation Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) Streamflow Modules

Presents descriptions of the USGS Precipitation Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) streamflow routing modules.
 

January 29, 2016

Precipitation Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) Cascading Flow Option

Presents descriptions of the USGS Precipitation Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) cascading-flow computation option, which allows for reinfiltration across the land surface, shallow subsurface, and saturated zone
 

erupting geyser with rainbow in midground. tall trees in background
November 30, 2014

Lone Star Geyser, Yellowstone National Park

eruption of Lone Star Geyser, Yellowstone National Park

built-up base of minerals around a geyser
October 31, 2012

El Tatio Geyser Field

Geyser cone in the El Tatio geyser field, Chile

Moutain Diablo in the early morning
December 31, 2004

Mt. Diablo from Suisun Marsh

Picturesque view of Mt.Diablo early in the morning from Suisun Marsh.

Water quality sampling using a Niskin sampler from the Research Vessel Polaris at sunset on San Francisco Bay.
December 31, 2003

Water quality sampling on San Francisco Bay

USGS conducts water quality sampling to describe changes in water quality along the deep channel of the San Francisco Bay-Delta system. Sampling includes continuious sampling and discrete sampling. Here a water discrete water sample is collected using a Niskin sampler at sunset in north San Francisco Bay.

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Date published: May 10, 2017

The Complex Dynamics of Geyser Eruptions

Despite two centuries of scientific study, basic questions persist about geysers—why do they exist? What determines their behavior?

Date published: April 14, 2017

Freshwater Ecosystems are an Important Part of the Alaskan Carbon Cycle

While freshwater ecosystems cover only a small amount of the land surface in Alaska, they transport and emit a significant amount of carbon, according to new U.S. Geological Survey research. An invited feature article for Ecological Applications provides the first-ever major aquatic carbon flux assessment for the entire state. Carbon flux refers to the rate of carbon transfer between pools.

Date published: March 7, 2017

Worth the Weight: New Table Aims to Clarify Variable Atomic Weight Values

The new table includes both standard and conventional atomic weights values to clarify that many atomic weights have natural variation and to provide single values for chemical education use

Date published: September 20, 2016

Changing Times, Changing Stories: Climate Change Perspectives Vary Notably Among Generations in Subarctic Alaska

New research from the U.S. Geological Survey and partners illustrates how climate change is perceived among different generations of indigenous residents in subarctic Alaska. While all subjects agreed climate change is occurring, the older participants observed more overall changes than the younger demographic.

Date published: August 29, 2016

Groundwater Sampling Method Key to Monitoring Success of Carbon Sequestration

TECHNICAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Monitoring, verification and accounting are key parts to demonstrating the feasibility or success of integrated carbon capture and storage technologies.

Date published: August 4, 2016

Living Organisms Take Up Uranium from their Environment

To gain insights into the risks associated with uranium mining and processing, U.S. Geological Survey scientists are investigating how uranium moves into and up food chains.

Date published: June 20, 2016

Thawing Permafrost Spells More than Climate Change for Earth’s Underground Layers

The thawing of the planet’s permafrost is replumbing arctic environments, creating several hydrologic consequences and possibly some opportunities according to a new study published in Vadose Zone.