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The extensive development of oil and natural-gas resources in south Texas during the past 10 years has led to questions regarding possible environmental effects of processes associated with oil and natural-gas production, in particular the process of hydraulic fracturing, on water and other natural resources. Part of the lower San Antonio River watershed intersects an area of oil and natural-gas production from the sedimentary rocks that compose the Eagle Ford Group.The rapid expansion of infrastructure associated with oil and natural-gas production increases potential pathways for inorganic and organic contaminants to enter surface-water systems. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the San Antonio River...
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The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Bureau of Reclamation and the Oklahoma Water Resources Board, (1) quantified the groundwater resources of the Rush Springs aquifer in western Oklahoma by developing a numerical groundwater-flow model, (2) evaluated the effects of estimated equal-proportionate-share (EPS) pumping rates on aquifer storage and streamflow for time periods of 20, 40, and 50 years into the future, (3) assessed the uncertainty in the EPS scenario results, and (4) evaluated the effects of (a) projected groundwater-use rates extended 50 years into the future and (b) sustained hypothetical drought conditions over a 10-year period on stream base flow and groundwater in storage.The Rush Springs...
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A critical component of the Lake Michigan Diversion Accounting program, which oversees the diversion of Great Lakes water by the State of Illinois, is the U.S. Geological Survey streamgage on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal near Lemont, Illinois. The long-term application of an up-looking acoustic Doppler current profiler at this streamgage allows the flows at this study site to be examined from a new perspective: one that is not possible with the horizontally oriented instruments typically used at the site. This report presents results from more than 3.5 years of continuous monitoring data from the up-looking acoustic Doppler current profiler deployed at the study site, which allowed variability in the vertical...
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Two three-dimensional seismic surveys totaling 3.4 square miles were acquired in southeastern Miami-Dade County during 2015 as part of an ongoing broad regional investigation by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department, that includes mapping and karst characterization of the Floridan aquifer system in southeastern Florida. Twenty columniform seismic-sag structures were identified in the three-dimensional seismic data acquired at the South Miami Heights study area in Miami-Dade County, Florida. The seismic-sag structures are commonly composed of a lower and upper seismic facies, where the lower facies is interpreted to be a high permeability column-shaped volume of...
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When erupting, all volcanoes pose a degree of risk to people and infrastructure, however, the risks are not equivalent from one volcano to another because of differences in eruptive style and geographic location. Assessing the relative threats posed by U.S. volcanoes identifies which volcanoes warrant the greatest risk-mitigation efforts by the U.S. Geological Survey and its partners. This update of the volcano threat assessment of Ewert and others (2005) considers new research in order to determine which volcanic systems should be added or removed from the list of potentially active volcanoes, updates the scoring of active volcanoes, and updates the 24-factor hazard and exposure matrix used to create the threat...
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The U.S. Geological Survey evaluated the transformation of mercury to bioavailable methylmercury in Sinclair Inlet, Kitsap County, Washington, and assessed the effect of the transformation processes on the mercury burden in marine organisms and sediment. In August 2008, samples of sediment, water, and biota from six sites in Sinclair Inlet and three bays representative of Puget Sound embayments were collected. The extensive sediment sampling included analysis of methylmercury in sediment and porewater, estimates of methylation production potential, and analyses of ancillary constituents associated with organic carbon and reduction-oxidation (redox) conditions to assist in interpreting the mercury results. Analyses...
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This report describes a digital, three-dimensional faulted hydrostratigraphic model constructed to represent the geologic framework of the Edwards aquifer system in the area of San Antonio, northern Bexar County, Texas. The model is based on mapped geologic relationships that reflect the complex structures of the Balcones fault zone, detailed lithologic descriptions and interpretations of about 40 principal wells (and qualified data from numerous other wells), and a conceptual model of the gross geometry of the Edwards Group units derived from prior interpretations of depositional environments and paleogeography. The digital model depicts the complicated intersections of numerous major and minor faults in the subsurface,...
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As magma moves toward the surface, it interacts with anything in its path: hydrothermal systems, cooling magma bodies from previous eruptions, and (or) the surrounding 'country rock'. Magma also undergoes significant changes in its physical properties as pressure and temperature conditions change along its path. These interactions and changes lead to a range of geophysical and geochemical phenomena. The goal of volcano monitoring is to detect and correctly interpret such phenomena in order to provide early and accurate warnings of impending eruptions. Given the well-documented hazards posed by volcanoes to both ground-based populations (for example, Blong, 1984; Scott, 1989) and aviation (for example, Neal and others,...
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This chapter compiles available chemical and radiation toxicity information for plants and animals from the scientific literature on naturally occurring uranium and associated radionuclides. Specifically, chemical and radiation hazards associated with radionuclides in the uranium decay series including uranium, thallium, thorium, bismuth, radium, radon, protactinium, polonium, actinium, and francium were the focus of the literature compilation. In addition, exposure pathways and a food web specific to the segregation areas were developed. Major biological exposure pathways considered were ingestion, inhalation, absorption, and bioaccumulation, and biota categories included microbes, invertebrates, plants, fishes,...
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In 2010, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Air Resource Management, began a study to evaluate long-term trends in lake-water chemistry for 64 high-elevation lakes in selected Class I wilderness areas in Colorado, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming during 1993 to 2009. The purpose of this report is to describe trends in the chemical composition of these high-elevation lakes. Trends in emissions, atmospheric deposition, and climate variables (air temperature and precipitation amount) are evaluated over a similar period of record to determine likely drivers of changing lake chemistry. Sulfate concentrations in precipitation decreased over the past two decades at...
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Potential wetland extents were estimated for a 14-mile reach of the Wabash River near Terre Haute, Indiana. This pilot study was completed by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The study showed that potential wetland extents can be estimated by analyzing streamflow statistics with the available streamgage data, calculating the approximate water-surface elevation along the river, and generating maps by use of flood-inundation mapping techniques. Planning successful restorations for Wetland Reserve Program (WRP) easements requires a determination of areas that show evidence of being in a zone prone to sustained or frequent...
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Daily streamflow records for water years 1950–2010 in the Susitna River Basin range in length from 4 to 57 years, and many are distributed within that period in a way that might not adequately represent long-term streamflow conditions. Streamflow in the basin is affected by the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), a multi-decadal climate pattern that shifted from a cool phase to a warm phase in 1976. Records for many streamgages in the basin fell mostly within one phase of the PDO, such that monthly and annual statistics from observed records might not reflect streamflow conditions over a longer period. Correlations between daily discharge values sufficed for extending streamflow records at 11 of the 14 streamgages...
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Significant Findings An analysis of suspended-sediment transport in the Johnson Creek basin, Oregon, during water years 2007–10 indicated that: Streamflow characteristics for the 4 years of study were not extremely dry or wet, and represented near-average conditions. Computed average annual suspended-sediment loads were 1,890 and 4,640 tons at the Gresham and Milwaukie stations, respectively. More than 70 percent of suspended-sediment transport in the watershed occurred during the high-flow months of November, December, and January. Less than 10 percent of suspended-sediment transport in the watershed occurred during April–October. About 50 percent of all suspended-sediment load is transported during the highest...
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The U.S. Geological Survey’s National Water-Quality Assessment program requires nutrient input for analysis of the national and regional assessment of water quality. Detailed information on nutrient inputs to the environment are needed to understand and address the many serious problems that arise from excess nutrients in the streams and groundwater of the Nation. This report updates estimated county-level farm and nonfarm nitrogen and phosphorus input from commercial fertilizer sales for the conterminous United States for 1987 through 2006. Estimates were calculated from the Association of American Plant Food Control Officials fertilizer sales data, Census of Agriculture fertilizer expenditures, and U.S. Census...
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This study characterized the amount and quality of organic matter in the Clackamas River, Oregon, to gain an understanding of sources that contribute to the formation of chlorinated and brominated disinfection by-products (DBPs), focusing on regulated DBPs in treated drinking water from two direct-filtration treatment plants that together serve approximately 100,000 customers. The central hypothesis guiding this study was that natural organic matter leaching out of the forested watershed, in-stream growth of benthic algae, and phytoplankton blooms in the reservoirs contribute different and varying proportions of organic carbon to the river. Differences in the amount and composition of carbon derived from each source...
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In 2010, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the San Antonio Water System, began a study to assess the brackish-water movement within the Edwards aquifer (more specifically the potential for brackish-water encroachment into wells near the interface between the freshwater and brackish-water transition zones, referred to in this report as the transition-zone interface) and effects on spring discharge at Comal and San Marcos Springs under drought conditions using a numerical model. The quantitative targets of this study are to predict the effects of higher-than-average groundwater withdrawals from wells and drought-of-record rainfall conditions of 1950–56 on (1) dissolved-solids concentration changes at...
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A study was initiated in 2009 by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with Routt County, the Colorado Water Conservation Board, and the City of Steamboat Springs, to compile and analyze historic water-quality data and assess water-quality conditions in the Upper Yampa River watershed (UYRW) in northwestern Colorado. Water-quality data for samples collected by federal, state, and local agencies for various periods from 1975 through 2009 were compiled and assessed for streams, lakes, reservoirs, and groundwater in the UYRW, including the Elkhead Creek subwatershed and the Yampa River watershed that is upstream from Elkhead Creek. For selected physical-property and chemical-constituent data for samples...
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The potential for streambed scour was evaluated at 41 bridges that cross tidal waterways in Alaska. These bridges are subject to several coastal and riverine processes that have the potential, individually or in combination, to induce streambed scour or to damage the structure or adjacent channel. The proximity of a bridge to the ocean and water-surface elevation and velocity data collected over a tidal cycle were criteria used to identify the flow regime at each bridge, whether tidal, riverine, or mixed, that had the greatest potential to induce streambed scour. Water-surface elevations measured through at least one tide cycle at 32 bridges were correlated to water levels at the nearest tide station. Asymmetry...
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Dams provide beneficial functions such as flood control, recreation, and reliable water supplies, but they also entail risk: dam breaches and resultant floods can cause substantial property damage and loss of life. The State of Oklahoma requires each owner of a high-hazard dam, which the Federal Emergency Management Agency defines as dams for which failure or misoperation probably will cause loss of human life, to develop an emergency action plan specific to that dam. Components of an emergency action plan are to simulate a flood resulting from a possible dam breach and map the resulting downstream flood-inundation areas. The resulting flood-inundation maps can provide valuable information to city officials, emergency...


map background search result map search result map Water-quality assessment and macroinvertebrate data for the Upper Yampa River watershed, Colorado, 1975 through 2009 County-level estimates of nitrogen and phosphorus from commercial fertilizer for the Conterminous United States, 1987–2006 Evaluation of streambed scour at bridges over tidal waterways in Alaska Sources and characteristics of organic matter in the Clackamas River, Oregon, related to the formation of disinfection by-products in treated drinking water Sources and characteristics of organic matter in the Clackamas River, Oregon, related to the formation of disinfection by-products in treated drinking water Water-quality assessment and macroinvertebrate data for the Upper Yampa River watershed, Colorado, 1975 through 2009 Evaluation of streambed scour at bridges over tidal waterways in Alaska County-level estimates of nitrogen and phosphorus from commercial fertilizer for the Conterminous United States, 1987–2006