USGS Unveils Mobile Flood Tool for the Nation

USGS National Water Dashboard Example - Zeta Rate of Change

The new USGS National Water Dashboard, or NWD, provides critical information to decision-makers, emergency managers and the public during flood events, informing decisions that can help protect lives and property. “The National Water Dashboard is a much-needed advancement that will help keep communities across the country safe during extreme weather conditions,” said Tim Petty, Ph.D., …

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Greater Yellowstone Area Expected to Become Warmer, Drier

Research raft on Spider Lake, WY

This image shows a research raft on Spider Lake, Wind River Indian Reservation, Wind River Range, Wyoming. (Credit: Bryan Schuman, University of Wyoming) Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey, Montana State University and the University of Wyoming studied climate change in the Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA) from 1950-2018. They evaluated how these changes could progress …

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New Insight into Climate Change Impacts on Yellowstone

WHAT:   Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey, Montana State University, the University of Wyoming, Greater Yellowstone Coalition and partners studied past climate change in the Greater Yellowstone Area and evaluated how those changes could progress by 2100. Coauthors of the forthcoming report and voices from the Greater Yellowstone Area will discuss the significance of the findings and answer media questions. This event is open to members of the …

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What’s Causing Seabird Die-Offs in Alaska?

Tufted Puffin, the species most affected by a recent seabird die-off in the Pribilof Islands, AK

A tufted puffin, the species most affected by a recent seabird die-off in the Pribilof Islands, Alaska. (Credit: Sarah Schoen, USGS) A beach littered with bird carcasses is a sobering sight. Since mid-October, hundreds of dead seabirds have washed ashore the north and east sides of St. Paul Island, Alaska, an otherwise serene volcanic island landscape in the …

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Removal of Fallen Leaves Can Improve Urban Water Quality

Autumn leaf cleanup

The timely removal of leaf litter can reduce harmful phosphorus concentrations in stormwater by over 80 percent in Madison, Wisconsin. (USGS) The timely removal of leaf litter can reduce harmful phosphorus concentrations in stormwater by over 80 percent in Madison, Wisconsin, according to a recent U.S. Geological Survey study. Autumn leaf litter contributes a significant …

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Common Insecticide Identified in Midwestern Streams

Map of Bifenthrin Study Area

A common insecticide used in urban and agricultural areas, bifenthrin, is harmful to aquatic ecosystems at levels that were previously considered safe, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey. The insecticide was measured in several streams in the Midwest at levels that caused harm to artificial aquatic ecosystems. Bifenthrin is used to …

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Widespread Plastic Pollution Found in Great Lakes Tributaries

Microplastics in Jar

Tiny pieces of harmful plastic, called microplastics, are prevalent in many rivers that flow into the Great Lakes, according to a study published today in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. Results are also illustrated on a new USGS microplastics website. Microplastics fall off decomposing bottles and bags, wear off of synthetic clothing and are manufactured …

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High Rate of Tumors Found on white sucker in some Wisconsin Rivers

Lip tumor diagnosed as a papilloma on a white sucker fish

There is an elevated incidence of skin and liver tumors among White Suckers caught in certain Wisconsin rivers that flow into Lake Michigan according to a U.S. Geological Survey study recently published in the Journal of Fish Diseases. The three-year study looked at White Sucker tumor prevalence in the Sheboygan River and Milwaukee Estuary, which …

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Deadly Bat Fungus in Washington State Likely Originated in Eastern U.S.

Image: Bat with White-nose Syndrome

A hibernating little brown bat with a white muzzle typical of white-nose syndrome. (Greg Turner, Pennsylvania Game Commission, public domain) The bat-killing fungus recently detected for the first time in western North America is genetically similar to strains found in the eastern United States and did not likely originate in Eurasia, according to a study …

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Low Levels of Contaminants Found in Great Lakes Tree Swallow Eggs

Image: Household Products Could Harm Tree Swallows

While exposure was low at most sites, USGS scientists found high concentrations of dioxins and furans in tree swallow eggs from Midland, Michigan, and from the Saginaw River and Bay.​​​​​​​ (Thomas W. Custer, USGS) Birds at most study sites in the Great Lakes basin were minimally exposed to most environmental contaminants, with the exception of high …

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Moving Barges Have Potential to Transport Invasive Fish

Photo of USGS and FWS scientists studying the interaction of moving barges and small fish on the Illinois Waterway.

Results of the study indicate the potential for small fish to be transported through the electric dispersal barrier, which was built to keep invasive species such as Asian carp from passing between the Mississippi River and Great Lakes Basins. However, there is no evidence to date that Asian carp have crossed the Electric Dispersal Barrier …

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Rainfall Following Drought Linked to Historic Nitrate Levels in Some Midwest Streams in 2013

Photo showing a small stream flowing through corn fields in northern Indiana.

Drought periods followed by rainfall caused nitrate levels to increase to the highest ever measured in some Midwest streams during a 2013 study, according to a U.S. Geological Survey report published today in the Journal of Environmental Quality. Nitrate, a form of nitrogen, is a common pollutant in U.S. streams and groundwater. Excessive concentrations in …

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New Science Challenges Old Assumptions about Harmful Algal Blooms

Map of the 48 contiguous states showing cylindrospermopsin concentrations

The first-ever National Lakes Assessment of toxins from harmful algal blooms challenges several long-held assumptions, including the extent, distribution and make-up of toxins from harmful algal blooms. The assessment, conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, sampled 1161 inland lakes and reservoirs throughout the United States. Harmful algal blooms can be …

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Second Round of USGS Studies Begin to Define What Minerals Lie Beneath Portions of the Upper Midwest

U.S. Geological Survey scientists will conduct a high-resolution airborne survey to study the rock layers under a region of the south-central Upper Peninsula, Michigan, and parts of northeastern Wisconsin, starting in early April and lasting until as late as August. When the data analysis is complete, resulting geologic maps will help USGS researchers improve an …

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USGS Goes Airborne to Define What Minerals Lie Beneath the Upper Midwest

Map of upcoming USGS AEM study area in relation to state and county borders.

Beginning in early April and continuing for approximately two weeks, the U.S. Geological Survey will conduct an aerial survey designed to scan the upper part of the earth’s crust. As part of this survey, a helicopter will be flying low to the ground towing equipment shaped like a giant hula-hoop beneath it. The flight region …

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