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Date: Thursday, 11 Sep 2014 16:42
Summary: Above normal precipitation in the Heart, Knife and Green River Basins of North Dakota led to record-breaking streamflows at several U.S. Geological Survey streamgages this past August

Contact Information:

Marisa Lubeck ( Phone: 303-202-4765 );




Above normal precipitation in the Heart, Knife and Green River Basins of North Dakota led to record-breaking streamflows at several U.S. Geological Survey streamgages this past August.

“It was an unusually wet August for southwest North Dakota, particularly in and near Hazen, New Hradec and Richardton,” said Steve Robinson, Associate Director of the USGS North Dakota Water Science Center. “USGS streamgages provide critical flood monitoring data during hazardous weather.”

The Knife River at Hazen, North Dakota, USGS gaging station recorded an August 2014 monthly mean flow of 1,398 cubic feet per second (cfs), which is 6.5 times greater than the previous record monthly mean flow of 215 cfs in August 1954. This gage has been in operation since September 1937.

The USGS streamgage on the Green River near New Hradec, North Dakota, which has been in operation since March 1964, had a record August monthly mean flow of 128 cfs – more than four times greater than the previous record monthly mean flow of 29.5 cfs in August 1981.

For the USGS Heart River near Richardton gaging station, the preliminary August 2014 monthly mean flow of 710 cfs is 1.5 times greater than the previous record monthly mean flow of 401 cfs in August 1909. This streamgage operated from June 1903 to September 1922, and April 1943 to present.

A map of August streamflow compared to historical streamflow in North Dakota is available online.

There are 140 USGS-operated stations in North Dakota that measure water levels, streamflow, rainfall and water-quality. Most of the USGS stations are real-time sites where data are updated every one to four hours.

For more than 125 years, the USGS has monitored flow in selected streams and rivers across the United States. The information is routinely used for water supply and management, monitoring floods and droughts, bridge and road design, determination of flood risk and for many recreational activities.

Access current flood and high flow conditions across the country by visiting the USGS WaterWatch website. Receive instant, customized updates about water conditions in your area via text message or email by signing up for USGS WaterAlert.

Author: "OC_Web@usgs.gov (Office of Communications and Publishing)" Tags: "PR, WaterNationalStreamflowInformation W..."
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Date: Thursday, 11 Sep 2014 12:30
Summary: Levels of pesticides continue to be a concern for aquatic life in many of the Nation’s rivers and streams in agricultural and urban areas, according to a new USGS study spanning two decades (1992-2011)

Contact Information:

Ethan Alpern ( Phone: 703-648-4406 ); Wesley Stone ( Phone: 317-600-2786 );




Levels of pesticides continue to be a concern for aquatic life in many of the Nation’s rivers and streams in agricultural and urban areas, according to a new USGS study spanning two decades (1992-2011). Pesticide levels seldom exceeded human health benchmarks.

Over half a billion pounds of pesticides are used annually in the U.S. to increase crop production and reduce insect-borne disease, but some of these pesticides are occurring at concentrations that pose a concern for aquatic life.

Percent of streams with one or more pesticide compounds exceeding a chronic aquatic-life benchmark.
High resolution image

The proportion of streams with one or more pesticides that exceeded an aquatic-life benchmark was similar between the two decades for streams and rivers draining agricultural and mixed-land use areas, but much greater during the 2002-2011 for streams draining urban areas.

Fipronil, an insecticide that disrupts the central nervous system of insects, was the pesticide most frequently found at levels of potential concern for aquatic organisms in urban streams during 2002-2011.

“The information gained through this important research is critical to the evaluation of the risks associated with existing levels of pesticides,” said William Werkheiser, USGS Associate Director for Water.

Since 1992, there have been widespread trends in concentrations of individual pesticides, some down and some up, mainly driven by shifts in pesticide use due to regulatory changes, market forces, and introduction of new pesticides. “Levels of diazinon, one of the most frequently detected insecticides during the 1990s, decreased from about 1997 through 2011 due to reduced agricultural use and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory phase-out of urban uses,” said, Wesley Stone, USGS hydrologist.

The potential for adverse effects on aquatic life is likely underestimated in these results because resource constraints limited the scope of monitoring to less than half of the more than 400 pesticides currently used in agriculture each year and monitoring focused only on pesticides dissolved in water.

The USGS National Water-Quality Assessment Program is continually working to fill these data gaps by adding new pesticides that come into use, such as the neonicotinoid and pyrethroid insecticides, improving characterization of short-term acute exposures, and enhancing evaluations of sediment and other environmental media.

The study “Pesticides in U.S. Streams and Rivers:  Occurrence and trends during 1992-2011” is a feature article in the Environmental Science and Technology journal. The article and additional information including data, reports, and maps on pesticide status, trends, and use are available online.

Author: "OC_Web@usgs.gov (Office of Communications and Publishing)" Tags: "PR, Water WaterNationalStreamflowInforma..."
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Date: Tuesday, 09 Sep 2014 19:00
Summary: A new book that summarizes the Kīlauea magma system is now available online, with printed copies to follow soon

Contact Information:

Thomas Wright ( Phone: 301-365-2287 );




Cover to professional paper 1806.
Professional Paper 1806: Two Hundred Years of Magma Transport and Storage at Kīlauea Volcano, Hawaiʻi, 1790–2008

ISLAND OF HAWAIʻI, HawaiʻiA new book that summarizes the Kīlauea magma system is now available online, with printed copies to follow soon.  The U.S. Geological Survey monograph summarizes the evolution of the internal plumbing of Kīlauea Volcano on the Island of Hawaiʻi from the first documented eruption in 1790 to the explosive eruption of March 2008 in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater. 

For the period before the founding of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory in 1912, the authors rely on written observations of eruptive activity, earthquake swarms, and periodic draining of magma from the lava lake present in Kīlauea Caldera by missionaries and visiting scientists. After 1912 the written observations were supplemented by continuous measurement of tilting of the ground at Kīlauea’s summit and by a continuous instrumental record of earthquakes, both measurements made during 1912–56 by a single pendulum seismometer housed on the northeast edge of Kīlauea’s summit. Scientific interpretations become more robust following the installation of seismic and deformation networks in the 1960s. A major advance in the 1990s was the ability to continuously record and telemeter ground deformation to allow its precise correlation with seismic activity before and after eruptions, intrusions, and large earthquakes.

In Kīlauea’s 200-year history, USGS scientists and authors of the new volume, Thomas Wright and Fred Klein, identify three regions of the volcano in which magma is stored and supplied from below. Source 1 is at 1-km depth or less beneath Kīlauea’s summit and fed Kīlauea’s summit lava lakes throughout most of the 19th century and again from 1907 to 1924. Source 1 was used up in the series of small Halemaʻumaʻu eruptions following the end of lava-lake activity in the summit collapse of 1924. Source 2 is the magma reservoir at a depth of 2–6 km beneath Kīlauea’s summit that has been imaged by seismic and deformation measurements beginning in the 1960s. This source was first identified in the summit collapses of 1922 and 1924. Source 3 is a diffuse volume of magma-permeated rock between 5 and 11 km depth beneath the east rift zone and above the near-horizontal fault at the base of the Kīlauea edifice. 

Kīlauea’s history can be considered in cycles of equilibrium, crisis, and recovery. The approach of a crisis is driven by a magma supply rate that greatly exceeds the capacity of the plumbing to deliver magma to the surface. Crises can be anticipated by inflation measured at Kīlauea’s summit coupled with an increase in overall seismicity, particularly manifest by intrusion and eruption in the southwest sector of the volcano. Unfortunately the nature of the crisis—for example, a large earthquake, new eruption, or edifice-changing intrusion—cannot be specified ahead of time. The authors conclude that Kīlauea’s cycles are controlled by nonlinear dynamics, which underscores the difficulty in predicting eruptions and earthquakes.

Highlights of interpretations for the period prior to 1952 are:

• Prior to and including 1924, major subsidence events include draining of the deep magma system identified beneath Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone. 1924 is the last such occurrence.

• A massive intrusion on the lower east rift zone preceding the 1924 phreatic activity at Kīlauea’s summit stabilized the south flank and the present magmatic system.

• The 1952 eruption was preceded by deep earthquakes associated with the magma supply path from the mantle resulting in the beginning of a steady increase in magma supply rate extending to 2008.  A large earthquake swarm on the offshore part of Kīlauea’s south flank in the months before the 1952 eruption ushered in the modern era of seaward spreading.

Interpretations in the post-1952 period are based on connecting events over a far longer time period than the duration of any one person’s tenure on the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory staff.

Highlights are:

• Kīlauea’s shallow magma system is envisioned as a small molten core surrounded by a partially molten matrix able to record both short- and long-period seismicity.

• Magma coming from the mantle enters the rift zone before it reaches the molten core and appears in rift eruptions before it is seen as a summit eruption.

• Earthquake swarms beneath Kīlauea’s south flank precede as well as succeed shallow intrusions, supporting the modern idea of deep magma pressure being exerted from beneath the East Rift Zone.

• Prior to the M7 south flank earthquake on November 29, 1975 south flank spreading was driven by Kīlauea’s magma supply. Following the earthquake the spreading rate was decoupled from the still increasing magma supply rate.

• The seismic signatures of “suspected deep intrusions” in the monograph are equated with similar signatures that characterize “slow-slip” or “silent” earthquakes. The occurrence of such events is inferred to extend as far back as the 1960s well before continuous geodetic monitoring could identify correlated spreading steps.

• Major changes in Kīlauea’s behavior, such as ends of long eruptions, large south flank earthquakes or changes in eruptive style are anticipated by increased seismic activity on the southwest side of the volcano. The nature of the coming event is not specified, which emphasizes the uncertainties in eruption and earthquake forecasting, even in an increasingly well-monitored, but yet imperfectly understood volcano.

Citation: Wright, T.L., and Klein, F.W., 2014, “Two hundred years of magma transport and storage at Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai'i, 1790-2008,” U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1806, 240 p., plus 8 digital appendixes.

Appendices include yearly time-series seismic plots and map plots for all intrusion-related earthquake swarms covered in the text. Earthquakes are color-coded to indicate those preceding, during, and following the intrusion.

Author: "OC_Web@usgs.gov (Office of Communications and Publishing)" Tags: "TA, ProfessionalPaper volcano magma Kila..."
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Date: Tuesday, 09 Sep 2014 18:22
Summary: Late-summer water temperatures near the Florida Keys were warmer by nearly 2 degrees Fahrenheit in the last several decades compared to a century earlier, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey

Increased Temperatures Spell Trouble for Corals

Contact Information:

Ilsa Kuffner ( Phone: 727-502-8048 ); Christian Quintero ( Phone: 813-498-5019 );




ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.Late-summer water temperatures near the Florida Keys were warmer by nearly 2 degrees Fahrenheit in the last several decades compared to a century earlier, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Researchers indicate that the warmer water temperatures are stressing corals and increasing the number of bleaching events, where corals become white resulting from a loss of their symbiotic algae.  The corals can starve to death if the condition is prolonged.

“Our analysis shows that corals in the study areas are now regularly experiencing temperatures above 84 F during July, August and September; average temperatures that were seldom reached 120 years ago,” said Ilsa Kuffner, a USGS research marine biologist and the study’s lead author. “When corals are exposed to water temperatures above 84 F they grow more slowly and, during extended exposure periods, can stop growing altogether or die.”

The new analysis compares water temperatures during two time periods a century apart at two of Florida’s historic offshore lighthouses – Fowey Rocks Lighthouse, off Miami, and Carysfort Reef Lighthouse, off Key Largo, Florida. The first period included data from 1879 to 1912, while the second period spanned from 1991 to 2012. Temperatures at a third area, a reef off Islamorada, Florida, were also monitored from 1975 to 2007.

“What’s interesting is that the temperature increase observed during this recent 32-year period was as large as that measured at the lighthouses spanning 120 years,” said Kuffner. “This makes it likely the warming observed at the lighthouses has actually occurred since the 1970s.” 

The study indicates that August is consistently the month when Florida’s ocean temperatures peak. In the analysis of recent decades, average temperatures for August have been at or very close to 86 F.  At Fowey Lighthouse from 1879 to 1912, the average August temperature was just 84.2 F. Temperatures this August at the same location, though not included in the study, averaged 87 F. 

Coral bleaching is currently underway in the Florida Keys, highlighting the real-time impact that warmer ocean temperatures are having on reefs. Corals can recover from bleaching if the waters cool down within a few weeks, but mortality usually ensues if corals remain bleached longer than a month or two.

The study, “A century of ocean warming on Florida Keys coral reefs: Historic in-situ observations,” was recently published in the journal Estuaries and Coasts and is available via open access.  

Author: "OC_Web@usgs.gov (Office of Communications and Publishing)" Tags: "PR, ClimateandLandUseChange NaturalHazar..."
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Date: Tuesday, 09 Sep 2014 18:22
Summary: Late-summer water temperatures near the Florida Keys were warmer by nearly 2 degrees Fahrenheit in the last several decades compared to a century earlier, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey

Increased Temperatures Spell Trouble for Corals

Contact Information:

Ilsa Kuffner ( Phone: 727-502-8048 ); Christian Quintero ( Phone: 813-498-5019 );




ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.Late-summer water temperatures near the Florida Keys were warmer by nearly 2 degrees Fahrenheit in the last several decades compared to a century earlier, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Researchers indicate that the warmer water temperatures are stressing corals and increasing the number of bleaching events, where corals become white resulting from a loss of their symbiotic algae.  The corals can starve to death if the condition is prolonged.

“Our analysis shows that corals in the study areas are now regularly experiencing temperatures above 84 F during July, August and September; average temperatures that were seldom reached 120 years ago,” said Ilsa Kuffner, a USGS research marine biologist and the study’s lead author. “When corals are exposed to water temperatures above 84 F they grow more slowly and, during extended exposure periods, can stop growing altogether or die.”

The new analysis compares water temperatures during two time periods a century apart at two of Florida’s historic offshore lighthouses – Fowey Rocks Lighthouse, off Miami, and Carysfort Reef Lighthouse, off Key Largo, Florida. The first period included data from 1879 to 1912, while the second period spanned from 1991 to 2012. Temperatures at a third area, a reef off Islamorada, Florida, were also monitored from 1975 to 2007.

“What’s interesting is that the temperature increase observed during this recent 32-year period was as large as that measured at the lighthouses spanning 120 years,” said Kuffner. “This makes it likely the warming observed at the lighthouses has actually occurred since the 1970s.” 

The study indicates that August is consistently the month when Florida’s ocean temperatures peak. In the analysis of recent decades, average temperatures for August have been at or very close to 86 F.  At Fowey Lighthouse from 1879 to 1912, the average August temperature was just 84.2 F. Temperatures this August at the same location, though not included in the study, averaged 87 F. 

Coral bleaching is currently underway in the Florida Keys, highlighting the real-time impact that warmer ocean temperatures are having on reefs. Corals can recover from bleaching if the waters cool down within a few weeks, but mortality usually ensues if corals remain bleached longer than a month or two.

The study, “A century of ocean warming on Florida Keys Coral reefs: Historic in-situ observations,” was recently published in the journal Estuaries and Coastsand is available via open access.  

Author: "OC_Web@usgs.gov (Office of Communications and Publishing)" Tags: "PR, ClimateandLandUseChange NaturalHazar..."
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Date: Monday, 08 Sep 2014 20:31
Summary: Scientists and technicians from the U.S. Geological Survey will be conducting field studies of high water flows from the recent heavy rains in Phoenix along the Salt River today

Contact Information:

Kenneth Fossum ( Phone: 602-697-7495 ); Jennifer LaVista ( Phone: 303-202-4764 );




Reporters: Do you want to interview a USGS scientist as they measure flooding? Please contact Kenneth Fossum or Jennifer LaVista.

Scientists and technicians from the U.S. Geological Survey will be conducting field studies of high water flows from the recent heavy rains in Phoenix along the Salt River today. 

Who: USGS field crews

Where: Priest Road Bridge over the Salt River in Phoenix, Ariz.
Map available by clicking this link.

What: Collection of high water measurements

When: Monday afternoon, September 8, until approximately 2:30 p.m.  

Additional Information

Author: "OC_Web@usgs.gov (Office of Communications and Publishing)" Tags: "PR, flooding streamflow Arizona flood wa..."
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Date: Monday, 08 Sep 2014 17:00
Summary: The Pacific walrus population roughly halved between 1981 and 1999, the last year for which demographic data are available. A recent study by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey quantifies this historic population decline

Contact Information:

Rebecca Taylor ( Phone: 907-786-7004 ); Chris Trent ( Phone: 703-648-4451 );




ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Pacific walrus population roughly halved between 1981 and 1999, the last year for which demographic data are available. A recent study by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey quantifies this historic population decline. The 18 year decline identified by the study was not steady across that period. The decline was most severe in the mid-1980s, and then moderated in the 1990s. 

If the moderating trend has continued up to the present time then the population might be stabilized. That, however, cannot be determined until more recent data are collected and analyzed. USGS is working to obtain the data needed to close the gap from collection of the last demographic data to the present day. This information will be vital because the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is expected to determine whether the Pacific walrus should be listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 2017. Population dynamics, such as those investigated in this USGS study, will be a critical factor in the decision.

“We integrated data from many sources,” said lead author of the study research statistician Rebecca Taylor, with the USGS Alaska Science Center in Anchorage. “These included annual harvest records, 6 age structure surveys and 5 population size surveys conducted at various times over the 32 year study. The age structure data—collected between 1981 and 1999—were particularly informative, and enabled us to quantify the population decline and the birth and death rates that caused it.”

Scientists think past walrus population dynamics were affected mainly by harvest. Previous work suggests the population probably increased rapidly in the 1960s due to reduced hunting and reached or exceeded the size that could be supported by food resources in the late 1970s to early 1980s.  The decline quantified by the USGS analysis was probably initiated by this overabundance of walruses and exacerbated by a return to the relatively high harvests of the 1980s.

“The decline probably was prompted by these historical reasons, but we can’t rule out other possible contributing factors,” said Taylor. “The environment isn’t static, and food may have become less available to walruses over time, possibly because of sea ice loss.”  Sea ice is important to walruses because they rest on it between dives to the ocean floor to eat clams and other invertebrates.

Taylor’s analytical approach allows the incorporation of new data to understand more recent population dynamics.  In 2013 and 2014, the USGS, USFWS and the Alaska Department of Fish & Game jointly surveyed walruses in Bering Strait and the Chukchi Sea to estimate current age structures and test a new method of estimating population size using a genetic mark-and-recapture approach. Another survey is planned for 2015.

In 2011, due to the combined threats of harvest and sea ice loss, the USFWS determined that listing of the population as threatened under the Endangered Species Act was warranted but was precluded by higher priorities. The agency is under a court order to make a listing decision in 2017.

This research effort is part of the USGS Changing Arctic Ecosystems Initiative. The results of this new study were published in the online journal Marine Mammal Science on September 5, 2014. 

For further information:

Multimedia Gallery links:

Author: "OC_Web@usgs.gov (Office of Communications and Publishing)" Tags: "PR, walrus endangered species alaska wil..."
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Date: Monday, 08 Sep 2014 17:00
Summary: The Pacific walrus population roughly halved between 1981 and 1999, the last year for which demographic data are available. A recent study by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey quantifies this historic population decline

Contact Information:

Rebecca Taylor ( Phone: 907-786-7004 ); Chris Trent ( Phone: 703-648-4451 );




ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Pacific walrus population roughly halved between 1981 and 1999, the last year for which demographic data are available. A recent study by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey quantifies this historic population decline. The 18 year decline identified by the study was not steady across that period. The decline was most severe in the mid-1980s, and then moderated in the 1990s. 

If the moderating trend has continued up to the present time then the population might be stabilized. That, however, cannot be determined until more recent data are collected and analyzed. USGS is working to obtain the data needed to close the gap from collection of the last demographic data to the present day. This information will be vital because the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is expected to determine whether the Pacific walrus should be listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 2017. Population dynamics, such as those investigated in this USGS study, will be a critical factor in the decision.

“We integrated data from many sources,” said lead author of the study research statistician Rebecca Taylor, with the USGS Alaska Science Center in Anchorage. “These included annual harvest records, 6 age structure surveys and 5 population size surveys conducted at various times over the 32 year study. The age structure data—collected between 1981 and 1999—were particularly informative, and enabled us to quantify the population decline and the birth and death rates that caused it.”

Scientists think past walrus population dynamics were affected mainly by harvest. Previous work suggests the population probably increased rapidly in the 1960s due to reduced hunting and reached or exceeded the size that could be supported by food resources in the late 1970s to early 1980s.  The decline quantified by the USGS analysis was probably initiated by this overabundance of walruses and exacerbated by a return to the relatively high harvests of the 1980s.

“The decline probably was prompted by these historical reasons, but we can’t rule out other possible contributing factors,” said Taylor. “The environment isn’t static, and food may have become less available to walruses over time, possibly because of sea ice loss.”  Sea ice is important to walruses because they rest on it between dives to the ocean floor to eat clams and other invertebrates.

Taylor’s analytical approach allows the incorporation of new data to understand more recent population dynamics.  In 2013 and 2014, the USGS, USFWS and the Alaska Department of Fish & Game jointly surveyed walruses in Bering Strait and the Chukchi Sea to estimate current age structures and test a new method of estimating population size using a genetic mark-and-recapture approach. Another survey is planned for 2015.

In 2011, due to the combined threats of harvest and sea ice loss, the USFWS determined that listing of the population as threatened under the Endangered Species Act was warranted but was precluded by higher priorities. The agency is under a court order to make a listing decision in 2017.

This research effort is part of the USGS Changing Arctic Ecosystems Initiative. The results of this new study were published in the online journal Marine Mammal Science on September 5, 2014. 

For further information:

Multimedia Gallery links:

Author: "OC_Web@usgs.gov (Office of Communications and Publishing)" Tags: "PR, walrus endangered species alaska wil..."
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Date: Monday, 08 Sep 2014 15:00
Summary: In Idaho, local, state and federal officials’ ability to forecast floods, allocate water and help the public plan for outdoor recreation will substantially improve. The U.S. Geological Survey is investing in devices used to continuously measure streamflow and other water data

Contact Information:

Tim Merrick ( Phone: 208-387-1305 );




Grays Lake Outlet near Herman, ID.
Grays Lake Outlet near Herman, ID. (High resolution image)
Little Lost River near Howe, ID.
Little Lost River near Howe, ID. (High resolution image)
Pack River near Colburn, ID.
Pack River near Colburn, ID. (High resolution image)
Middle Fork Salmon River at Middle Fork Lodge near Yellow Pine, ID.
Middle Fork Salmon River at Middle Fork Lodge near Yellow Pine, ID. (High resolution image)

BOISE, Idaho — In Idaho, local, state and federal officials’ ability to forecast floods, allocate water and help the public plan for outdoor recreation will substantially improve. The U.S. Geological Survey is investing in devices used to continuously measure streamflow and other water data. Earlier this year, Congress provided $6 million in additional funding for the USGS National Streamflow Information Program. Idaho’s share of that new funding, $141,000, will be applied to 10 streamgages throughout the state.

While the streamgages can be used for a variety of purposes by millions of users, one of the most important uses has the potential to save lives and offer huge financial savings by reducing potential economic loss. The National Weather Service will use data from two streamgages in northern Idaho to help protect communities against flooding.

“USGS streamgages are a critical component of our river forecast and flood warning program,” said NWS hydrologist Katherine Rowden, “The data provided by streamgages on the Pack River near Colburn and the St. Joe River at St. Maries will help us deliver forecasts and warnings to those areas.”

Two other streamgages that will be supported by the new USGS NSIP funding—one on the Snake River near Murphy and one on the Little Lost River near Howe—are critical to Idaho Department of Water Resources allocations of water for agricultural and hydroelectric production.

“The Little Lost River streamgage is important for the distribution of irrigation water in Water District 33,” said IDWR’s Rick Raymondi. “It’s also near the eastern Snake Plain aquifer model boundary, so data from that streamgage will improve the accuracy of the model water budget in that area. The Snake River near Murphy streamgage is important for administering water rights as defined in the Swan Falls Settlement Agreement between the state of Idaho and Idaho Power Company. The flows measured there are closely watched by the state, Idaho Power Company, and other interested parties throughout the year.”

USGS NSIP also now fully funds the streamgage on the Middle Fork Salmon River at the Middle Fork Lodge near Yellow Pine. Data from that streamgage are essential to outdoor recreationists.

“The Middle Fork gaging station is used by outfitters and guides, sometimes on a daily basis,” said Grant Simonds of the Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association. “It is extremely important for Middle Fork boaters so they can plan their trips with safety as a major consideration for all flows, but especially for high and low flows.”

USGS NSIP streamgages are part of a nationwide backbone network designed to meet national needs for streamflow information. Funding for NSIP ensures full federal support for critical streamgages in Idaho and nationwide. The increased USGS NSIP funding strengthens Idaho’s network of more than 200 real-time streamgages. The program currently funds 39 of those streamgages, with an ultimate goal of funding 110 Idaho streamgages.

“Most of our streamgages are jointly funded by the USGS and state, tribal, local and other federal partners,” said Michael Lewis, director of the USGS Idaho Water Science Center. “As USGS NSIP grows toward its goal of a nationwide backbone of federally-funded streamgages, we can relieve our partners’ strained budgets and provide permanent stability to a vital state resource.”

The complete list of Idaho streamgages covered by the new funding is available on the USGS Idaho Water Science Center website. To see pictures and learn more about the importance of these streamgages to Idaho, follow @USGS_Idaho and #10forIdaho.

Additional Resources

What is a streamgage? 

Uses of Streamflow Information 

NSIP Federal Goal Streamgage Network, Status as of August, 2014

Author: "OC_Web@usgs.gov (Office of Communications and Publishing)" Tags: "PR, streamgage water flooding waterquali..."
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Date: Monday, 08 Sep 2014 11:57
Summary: New USGS-led research suggests that fish exposed to estrogenic endocrine-disrupting chemicals may have increased susceptibility to infectious disease

Contact Information:

Luke  Iwanowicz ( Phone: 304-724-4550 ); Hannah Hamilton ( Phone: 703-648-4356 );




LEETOWN, W.Va. -- New USGS-led research suggests that fish exposed to estrogenic endocrine-disrupting chemicals may have increased susceptibility to infectious disease.

Exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals can affect the reproductive system and cause the development of characteristics of the opposite sex, such as eggs in the testes of male fish. Wild- caught fish affected by endocrine-disrupting chemicals have been found in locations across the county.  Estrogenic endocrine-disrupting chemicals are derived from a variety of sources from natural estrogens to synthetic pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals that enter the waterways.

In this study, researchers discovered that cellular receptors for estrogen were present in cells of the channel catfish immune system, which alters the immune system response. These cellular receptors are similar to “on-off switches” that require a lock and key for activation. The study looked at channel catfish because of their well-researched leukocyte cell lines. Leukocytes are immune system cells involved in defending the body against infectious disease and foreign invaders.

Estrogens have been shown to modify immune system responses in mammals and a diverse group of ray-finned fishes that include tunas, halibut, herring and catfish. Most fish species are members of this group, called teleosts. Prior to this research few studies looked at how estrogen receptors in fish leukocytes function. 

The study also marks the first time the dynamics of estrogen receptor gene behavior has been evaluated in activated immune cells. Immune cells are either activated or not, much like a dimmable light, there are degrees of activation.   The researchers found that all cells of the immune system are not likely to be equally affected. 

“We found that B-cells that produce antibodies, T-cells that regulate and coordinate immune responses and destroy virus-infected cells, and macrophages that gobble up invaders, have different arrays of estrogen receptors,” said lead author, USGS research biologist Luke Iwanowicz. “It is likely that these cells are instructed by estrogens differently.”

Iwanowicz noted that this work moves researchers one step closer to better understanding the consequences of exposure to estrogenic substances on the immune function in fish.  “This new research not only means that endocrine disruptors may make fish more prone to disease, but it also provides the context and baseline data to enhance our ability to conduct similar work in wild-caught fishes and investigate relationships between disease in the aquatic environments and endocrine disruptors.”

Based on these findings, future research would explore age-related differences as well as seasonal differences in fish and estrogenic endocrine-disrupting chemical exposure.

The journal article, “Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) leukocytes express estrogen receptor isoforms ERα and ERβ2 and are functionally modulated by estrogens,” by L.R. Iwanowicz, J.L. Stafford, R. Patino, E. Bengten, N.W. Millerand V.S. Blazer, is available online in Fish & Shellfish Immunology.

Author: "OC_Web@usgs.gov (Office of Communications and Publishing)" Tags: "TA, ecosystemsendocrince-disrupting chem..."
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Date: Friday, 05 Sep 2014 19:00
Summary: Overview of Klamath Mountains groundwater quality with pie charts showing concentrations of organic and inorganic constituents in groundwater. (High resolution image) SACRAMENTO, Calif. — ^_Naturally occurring trace elements were detected at high concentrations in less than 3 percent of raw groundwater sources used for public water supply in the Klamath Mountain area, according to the ongoing U.S. Geological Survey study of California groundwater quality. In comparison, high concentrations of trace elements have generally been found in 10 to 25 percent of the state’s groundwater sources used for public supply. For the study, USGS scientists analyzed untreated groundwater sources from wells, not treated tap water. 

Contact Information:

Bonnie Dickson, USGS ( Phone: 916-278-3318 ); George Kostyrko, SWRCB ( Phone: 916-341-7365 );




Overview of Klamath Mountains groundwater quality with pie charts showing concentrations of organic and inorganic constituents in groundwater.
Overview of Klamath Mountains groundwater quality with pie charts showing concentrations of organic and inorganic constituents in groundwater. (High resolution image)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — ^_Naturally occurring trace elements were detected at high concentrations in less than 3 percent of raw groundwater sources used for public water supply in the Klamath Mountain area, according to the ongoing U.S. Geological Survey study of California groundwater quality. In comparison, high concentrations of trace elements have generally been found in 10 to 25 percent of the state’s groundwater sources used for public supply. For the study, USGS scientists analyzed untreated groundwater sources from wells, not treated tap water. 

Chemicals associated with human activities, such as nitrate, solvents, and gasoline components, were not detected at high concentrations.

The naturally occurring trace elements that were detected at high concentrations in a small number of wells were arsenic, antimony, and boron. These are found in rocks and soils and in the groundwater that they come in contact with.

For the study, USGS scientists collected and analyzed raw groundwater sources from wells in Del Norte, Siskiyou, Humboldt, Trinity, Tehama, and Shasta Counties. Federal and California regulatory benchmarks established for drinking water consumption were used to provide context for evaluating the quality of the groundwater. "High" concentrations are defined as above the Environmental Protection Agency's or California’s State Water Resources Control Board’s Maximum Contaminant Levels or other non-regulatory health-based levels for chemical constituents or elements not having MCLs.

"This study provides a baseline understanding of water quality throughout the state’s most heavily used aquifers. We are using clear, proven, and reproducible scientific methods that will allow scientists to monitor changes and trends in groundwater quality in the future. The study also provides people with valuable information of how their groundwater quality compares to statewide results," said George Bennett, a USGS hydrologist and lead author of the report prepared in collaboration with the State Water Board.

The study is part of the State Water Board Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment Priority Basin Project, for which the USGS California Water Science Center is the technical lead. The USGS is monitoring and assessing groundwater quality in 120 priority basins, and in mountainous areas across the state, in order to better understand the natural and human factors affecting groundwater quality. The main goals of the GAMA Priority Basin Project are to improve comprehensive statewide groundwater monitoring and to increase the availability of groundwater-quality information to the public.

The complete findings are detailed in a new USGS report, "Status and understanding of groundwater quality in the Klamath Mountains study unit, 2010-California GAMA Priority Basin Project," and in a related four-page fact sheet, "Groundwater Quality in the Klamath Mountains, California," intended for the public. More information on the GAMA program can be found online.

Author: "OC_Web@usgs.gov (Office of Communications and Publishing)" Tags: "PR, groundwater water Klamath WaterQuali..."
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Date: Thursday, 04 Sep 2014 21:32
Summary: The U.S. Geological Survey will host an educational event for the news media focused on earthquakes on Wednesday September 24, 2014

Contact Information:

Susan  Garcia ( Phone: 650-346-0998 ); Leslie  Gordon ( Phone: 650-329-4006 );




Media Advisory – Save the Date

MENLO PARK, Calif. — The U.S. Geological Survey will host an educational event for the news media focused on earthquakes on Wednesday September 24, 2014. The goal of the event is to provide the press an opportunity to work with USGS staff to build knowledge about and confidence in our information delivery systems and people to create more timely and accurate reporting of earthquakes.

At this event, USGS scientists and public affairs staff will lead sessions in which journalists can refresh knowledge about basic principles about earthquakes, how to improve scientific accuracy when reporting on earthquakes, and about USGS resources to make your job easier. Find out about USGS public domain maps, images, and graphics that can be quickly and freely downloaded and reused following an earthquake.

Who:

USGS geologists, geophysicists, and public affairs. See list below.


What:

30-minute plenary session with presentations on reporting on earthquakes and relevant USGS resources, followed by concurrent small group discussions with USGS researchers on various aspects of earthquake science. Subjects will include:

  • Earthquake Early Warning vs. Earthquake Prediction, by Doug Given, Geophysicist
  • Natural vs. Induced Seismicity, by Justin Rubinstein, Geophysicist
  • Emerging New Technology: GPS, InSAR, LiDAR, by Ben Brooks, Geologist
  • Shaking Intensity versus Earthquake Magnitude, by Brad Aagaard, Geophysicist
  • Liquefaction, Landslides, & Fault Rupture, by Tom Holzer, Engineering Geologist
  • USGS Real-time Online Earthquake Products, by David Wald, Geophysicist
  • Is the Number of Large Earthquakes Increasing? by Jeanne Hardebeck, Geophysicist
  • Earthquake Resources on the Web, by Lisa Wald, Geophysicist/Web Content Manager, Webmaster
  • Foreshocks, Main Shocks, and Aftershocks, by Andrea Llenos, Geophysicist and Ruth Harris, Geophysicist
  • Who/how/when and where to go for an interview concerning an earthquake, by Leslie Gordon, Public Affairs Specialist and Susan Garcia, Outreach Coordinator 

When:

Wednesday, September 24, 2014, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. PDT


Registration:  

Please register online to participate in the workshop.


Where:

U.S. Geological Survey
Main Auditorium, Bldg. 3, 2nd floor
345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, Calif.


Online:

The first 30 minutes of the event will be live video-streamed over the web, and archived online for later viewing.

Author: "OC_Web@usgs.gov (Office of Communications and Publishing)" Tags: "PR, earthquake NewsMedia training 101 ha..."
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Date: Thursday, 04 Sep 2014 17:55
Summary: Insects feed fish and wildlife higher on the food chain, but they can also transfer harmful contaminants to their predators according to new research conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey and published in Environmental Science and Technology

Contact Information:

Heidi  Koontz ( Phone: 303-202-4763 );




Insects feed fish and wildlife higher on the food chain, but they can also transfer harmful contaminants to their predators according to new research conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey and published in Environmental Science and Technology.

Because insects can transform from sedentary juveniles (larvae) to winged adults, contaminants accumulated as larvae can be carried to different locations potentially far from the pollution source.

The paper documents critical changes in insect contaminant concentrations and chemical tracers used to estimate position on the food chain during this transformation (a.k.a. metamorphosis).

“Most metals are lost during metamorphosis and are in higher concentrations in larvae than adults. Contaminants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are retained during metamorphosis and are in higher concentrations in adults than larvae,” said Johanna Kraus, a USGS scientist based in Ft. Collins, Colorado, and lead author of the ES&T paper. “As a result, the animals that eat insects, like bats, birds and fish may be exposed to higher contaminant concentrations depending on the contaminants and whether they are eating larval or adult insects.”  

These results have large implications for managing and studying how far and how long it takes for contaminants to spread, and their effects on food webs across ecosystem boundaries. Metabolic regulation of contaminants generally predicts whether contaminants are excreted or concentrated in insect bodies during metamorphosis. Pollutants that magnify up the food chain tend to be retained and concentrated during metamorphosis. 

This is the first paper to synthesize the general patterns and variation in contaminant transfer during a major developmental and habitat shift (e.g., water to land, ground to aerial) in animals with complex life cycles, as well as the first compilation of effects of metamorphosis on isotopic tracers used to estimate food web structure. The article was also selected as the American Chemical Society’s Editors' Choice paper (Sept. 2, 2014). 

Author: "OC_Web@usgs.gov (Office of Communications and Publishing)" Tags: "PR, Ecosystems EcosystemsWildlifeTerrest..."
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Date: Thursday, 04 Sep 2014 13:00
Summary: Newly released US Topo maps for Michigan now feature segments of the North Country National Scenic Trail. Several of the 1,290 new US Topo quadrangles for the state now display parts of the Trail along with other improved data layers.

Contact Information:

Mark Newell, APR ( Phone: 573-308-3850 ); Larry  Moore ( Phone: 303-202-4019 ); Mark Weaver, National Park Service ( Phone: 616-430-3495 );




Newly released US Topo maps for Michigan now feature segments of the North Country National Scenic Trail. Several of the 1,290 new US Topo quadrangles for the state now display parts of the Trail along with other improved data layers.

"USGS maps are excellent planning and navigation tools for hikers and other trail users” said Mark Weaver, Superintendent of the Trail.  “The North Country Trail is a truly special recreational resource and we are quite thrilled to have the trail incorporated onto the maps.”

The North Country Trail is one of the 11 National Scenic Trails in the U.S.  It is the longest national scenic trail, extending over seven states and 168 distinct land management units, from the vicinity of Crown Point State Park New York, to Lake Sakakawea State Park on the Missouri River in North Dakota, to the route of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.  Plans are underway to expand the trail to include the Arrowhead region of northern Minnesota, and extend the eastern terminus to the Appalachian Trail in Vermont, eventually bringing the trail to approximately 4,600 miles long.

"The North Country Trail tells the unique story of the people and the places in America's northern heartlands- the hardship of an unforgiving landscape, the joys of recreating in the Great North Woods and the challenges of making a living from the land without destroying it,” explained Bruce Matthews, Executive Director of the North Country Trail Association. “Being present on the USGS maps mean more people will become more deeply engaged with this story and with the North Country Trail.”                                   

The USGS partnered with the National Park Service to incorporate the trail onto the Michigan US Topo maps. This NST joins the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail and the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail as being featured on the new Topo maps. The USGS hopes to eventually include all National Scenic Trails in The National Map products.

These new maps replace the first edition US Topo maps for Michigan and are available for free download from The National Map and the USGS Map Locator & Downloader website.

Another important addition to the new Michigan US Topo maps in the inclusion of Public Land Survey System. PLSS is a way of subdividing and describing land in the US. All lands in the public domain are subject to subdivision by this rectangular system of surveys, which is regulated by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

“The inclusion of a layer for the PLSS with township, range, and section information on the new US Topo maps for Michigan is a valuable addition,” said Charley Hickman, Geospatial Liaison to Ohio and Michigan. “Many of the stakeholder groups in Michigan who use USGS topographic maps and data have noted the importance of PLSS as a key reference layer.  Thanks to the Bureau of Land Management and the State of Michigan for making this data available.”

To compare change over time, scans of legacy USGS topo maps, some dating back to the late 1800s, can be downloaded from the USGS Historical Topographic Map Collection

To download US Topo maps: US Topo Quadrangles — Maps for America

caption below caption below
The National Trails System was established by Act of Congress in 1968. The Act grants the Secretary of Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture authority over the National Trails System. The Act defines four types of trails. Two of these types, the National Historic Trails and National Scenic Trails, can only be designated by Act of Congress. National scenic trails are extended trails located as to provide for maximum outdoor recreation potential and for the conservation and enjoyment of nationally significant scenic, historic, natural, and cultural qualities of the area through which such trails may pass.(Larger image) The North Country National Scenic Trail (NCNST) stretches 875 miles from New York to North Dakota. The trail enters Michigan near Morenci in the southeastern corner of the state. From there it heads northwest through both urban and rural settings toward certified trail segments in Manistee National Forest. It then takes a decided turn northward through the Jordan Valley and Wilderness State Park to cross the Straits of Mackinac. The Upper Peninsula segment of the trail system goes east to west starting in Hiawatha National Forest. It passes Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, and parts of Ottawa National Forest before it exits Michigan at the town of Ironwood. Special attractions: A complete look at urban and rural Michigan, including Mackinac Bridge, Mackinac Island, Tahquamenon Falls, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Porcupine Mountains. Click here for more info (Larger image)
Author: "OC_Web@usgs.gov (Office of Communications and Publishing)" Tags: "PR, CoreScienceSystemsNationalGeospatial..."
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Date: Wednesday, 03 Sep 2014 19:30
Summary: Beginning this week, the U.S. Geological Survey will be drilling two test boreholes near Del Rio, Texas, to collect core samples and geophysical information important to better understand the physical properties of the subsurface.

Contact Information:

Jennifer LaVista ( Phone: 303-202-4764 );




Beginning this week, the U.S. Geological Survey will be drilling two test boreholes near Del Rio, Texas, to collect core samples and geophysical information important to better understand the physical properties of the subsurface.

The USGS will collect rock core samples and geophysical logs to characterize the properties of the rocks such as rock type, fracture patterns, porosity, permeability, and crystalline structure.   

"Each test hole will be used to collect data through the entire rock units to be studied and compared to locally-exposed rock outcrops, and will include the Austin Chalk, Eagle Ford Shale, Boquillas Formation, Buda Formation, and Del Rio Clay," said USGS Texas Water Science Center Deputy Director Greg Stanton.

The test holes will be returned to original conditions when the data collection is completed. USGS data will be made available to the public at a later date after review and quality assurance has been completed. 

Author: "OC_Web@usgs.gov (Office of Communications and Publishing)" Tags: "PR, boreholes drilling geology Texas geo..."
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Date: Wednesday, 03 Sep 2014 18:30
Summary: MENLO PARK, Calif. — Members of the news media are invited to attend a scientific briefing at the U.S. Geological Survey to summarize what has been learned about and from the August 24 magnitude 6 South Napa Earthquake

Contact Information:

Susan  Garcia ( Phone: 650-346-0998 ); Leslie  Gordon ( Phone: 650-329-4006 );




MENLO PARK, Calif. — Members of the news media are invited to attend a scientific briefing at the U.S. Geological Survey to summarize what has been learned about and from the August 24 magnitude 6 South Napa Earthquake

This is a technical briefing by and for scientists, but members of the news media are welcome to sit in. Individual scientists will be available for one-on-one interviews at appropriate times during the two-hour briefing.

What:

Science briefing among researchers to share current knowledge and ongoing work studying the M6 South Napa Earthquake of August 24.

Subjects to be covered include:

  • Earthquake sequence and aftershock probabilities.
  • Earthquake early warning system.
  • Surface rupture & ground failure.
  • Geodetic signature & fault rupture models.
  • Ground motions.
  • Aftershock seismic instrument deployment.
  • Damage assessment.
Who:

USGS geologists, geophysicists, and seismologists.

Additional scientists and engineers from other institutions such as the California Geological Survey, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, Stanford, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, Pacific Gas & Electric, California Earthquake Authority, and others have been invited, but this is not a confirmed list of speakers.


When:

Thursday, September 4, 2014, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon PDT


Where:  

U.S. Geological Survey
Main Auditorium, Bldg. 3, 2nd floor
345 Middlefield Road
Menlo Park, Calif.

Online:

The meeting will be streamed over the web, and archived for later viewing. If you have trouble with the streaming video, call 650-329-4735.

 
Author: "OC_Web@usgs.gov (Office of Communications and Publishing)" Tags: "PR, earthquake science briefing SouthNap..."
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Date: Wednesday, 03 Sep 2014 09:00
Summary: The avian flu virus that caused widespread harbor seal deaths in 2011 can easily spread to and infect other mammals and potentially humans

Contact Information:

Gail Moede Rogall ( Phone: 608-270-2438 ); Heidi Koontz ( Phone: 303-202-4763 ); Marisa Lubeck ( Phone: 303-526-6694 );




The avian flu virus that caused widespread harbor seal deaths in 2011 can easily spread to and infect other mammals and potentially humans.

A new study by the U.S. Geological Survey and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital shows that the avian influenza H3N8 strain that infected New England harbor seals could be transmitted to other mammals through the air without physical contact. Transmission by respiratory droplets through coughing, for example, is the main way influenza viruses spread among people. The study also showed that current seasonal flu vaccines do not protect against this seal virus, meaning a new vaccine would be necessary if there ever was an outbreak in humans.

"The ability to transmit through the air is an important step in the path toward any influenza virus becoming pandemic," said USGS scientist Hon Ip. "The lack of protection against the seal virus from the annual seasonal vaccine highlights the risks posed by this H3N8 group of viruses."

The article, led by St. Jude in collaboration with the USGS and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was published today in the journal Nature Communications and is available online.

The scientists tested a sample of the influenza virus taken from an infected harbor seal in New Hampshire in 2011, and found that the virus was closely related to influenza viruses from wild birds. However, the H3N8 virus isolated from the seal contained mutations that allowed it to reproduce efficiently in human lung cells, cause disease in mice and infect ferrets through the air.

"Findings from this study highlight the need for continued surveillance and study of avian influenza genetics, particularly in areas like coastal regions where wild birds, wild mammals and human populations come into contact with each other,” said USGS scientist Jeff Hall.

H3N8 viruses, common in wild birds, have been associated with ongoing outbreaks in dogs and horses and have also been detected in pigs, donkeys and now seals. Beginning in September 2011, more than 160 young harbor seals were found dead or dying along the New England coast as a result of this infection. In previous H3N8 mortality events, up to 20 percent of the local seal population died.

For more information on zoonotic diseases, or diseases that spread between animals and humans, please visit the USGS National Wildlife Health Center website.

Author: "OC_Web@usgs.gov (Office of Communications and Publishing)" Tags: "PR, Ecosystems Biology HumanHealth Wildl..."
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Date: Tuesday, 02 Sep 2014 23:36
Summary: As part of the Planning Committee for the Fifth Annual Pacific Northwest Climate Science Conference, the Department of the Interior’s Northwest Climate Science Center is pleased to invite you to join more than 250 scientists and practitioners from the Northwest to learn the latest on Pacific Northwest climate science and adaptation, including presentations on landslides, wildfires, sea level rise, extreme weather events, natural resource and infrastructure vulnerability, human health and cultural impacts.

Contact Information:

Chris  Trent ( Phone: 703-648-4451 ); Lisa  Hayward Watts ( Phone: 206-616-5347 (o) );




As part of the Planning Committee for the Fifth Annual Pacific Northwest Climate Science Conference, the Department of the Interior’s Northwest Climate Science Center is pleased to invite you to join more than 250 scientists and practitioners from the Northwest to learn the latest on Pacific Northwest climate science and adaptation, including presentations on landslides, wildfires, sea level rise, extreme weather events, natural resource and infrastructure vulnerability, human health and cultural impacts.

At 1:30 PM on Wednesday Washington Governor, Jay Inslee, will give a Keynote Address on increasing resilience in Washington State and the Northwest. 

Who: Scientists, managers and administrators addressing climate change across a range of sectors. Plenary by Washington Governor, Jay Inslee. 

When: The conference will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, September 9-10, 2014

Where: Kane Hall on the University of Washington Seattle campus. Click here for directions.

Members of news organizations and of science writers' associations are encouraged to attend the conference. To learn more and to RSVP contact Lisa Hayward Watts at lhayward@uw.edu or 206-795-8843.

Author: "OC_Web@usgs.gov (Office of Communications and Publishing)" Tags: "PR, ClimateChange PacificNorthwest confe..."
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Date: Tuesday, 02 Sep 2014 15:15
Summary: A U.S. Geological Survey streamgage will be dedicated by Congressional and city officials on September 3 in Rapid City

Contact Information:

Marisa Lubeck ( Phone: 303-526-6694 ); Mark Anderson ( Phone: 605-394-3220 );




Reporters: A photograph of the showcase gage is available online.   

A U.S. Geological Survey streamgage will be dedicated by Congressional and city officials on September 3 in Rapid City. This showcase streamgage is located on Rapid Creek at Rapid City in Founders Park and will provide visitors with critical information about how streamflow is measured and other water-resource issues related to floods, droughts, water supply and recreation.

What: Media and public are invited to attend a dedication ceremony and open house for the historical USGS showcase streamgage on Rapid Creek at Rapid City.

Who: U.S. Senator John Thune (invited) or representative
Rapid City Mayor Sam Kooiker
Mark Anderson, Director, USGS South Dakota Water Science Center
Dave Carpenter, National Weather Service
Other agencies and users of streamflow information

When: Wednesday, September 3, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Please gather on-site at 9:30 a.m.; comments will be at 10 a.m., followed by open house.

Where: North side of Rapid Creek across the footbridge in Founders Park (map of streamgage location)
Rapid City, S.D.
 

The Rapid Creek at Rapid City streamgage has one of the longest periods of record in South Dakota, with continuous discharge since July 1942.  The new showcase gage has an outreach or public education purpose in addition to measuring flow. The gage house was designed to fit in and be part of Founder's Park.

The streamgage features three display windows that can be changed and updated over time. Current displays explain how a streamgage operates, describes the history of flooding along Rapid Creek, and provides a summary of the efforts by the City of Rapid City to improve water quality of urban runoff.  A graph of the historical flows is provided with a QR code that will allow visitors to rapidly learn the current gage height and streamflow discharge from a smartphone or other mobile device.

The largest peak discharge at this location was estimated as 50,000 cubic feet per second during the historic 1972 flood. This flash flood took 238 lives and was among the deadliest flash floods in U.S. history.

The streamgage is operated in cooperation with the City of Rapid City and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

For more than 125 years, the USGS has monitored flow in selected streams and rivers across the U.S. The information is routinely used for water supply and management, monitoring floods and droughts, bridge and road design, determination of flood risk and for many recreational activities. 

Author: "OC_Web@usgs.gov (Office of Communications and Publishing)" Tags: "PR, GeographicAreasMidwest Water streamg..."
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Date: Tuesday, 02 Sep 2014 15:15
Summary: Reporters: A photograph of the showcase gage is available online.   

Contact Information:

Marisa Lubeck ( Phone: 303-526-6694 ); Mark Anderson ( Phone: 605-394-3220 );




Reporters: A photograph of the showcase gage is available online.   

A U.S. Geological Survey streamgage will be dedicated by Congressional and city officials on September 3 in Rapid City. This showcase streamgage is located on Rapid Creek at Rapid City in Founders Park and will provide visitors with critical information about how streamflow is measured and other water-resource issues related to floods, droughts, water supply and recreation.

WHAT:           Media and public are invited to attend a dedication ceremony and open house for the historical USGS showcase streamgage on Rapid Creek at Rapid City.

 

WHO:             U.S. Senator John Thune (invited) or representative

Rapid City Mayor Sam Kooiker

Mark Anderson, Director, USGS South Dakota Water Science Center

                        Dave Carpenter, National Weather Service

Other agencies and users of streamflow information

 

WHEN:           Wednesday, September 3, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Please gather on-site at 9:30 a.m.; comments will be at 10 a.m., followed by open house.

 

WHERE:        North side of Rapid Creek across the footbridge in Founders Park (map of streamgage location)

                        Rapid City, S.D.

The Rapid Creek at Rapid City streamgage has one of the longest periods of record in South Dakota, with continuous discharge since July 1942.  The new showcase gage has an outreach or public education purpose in addition to measuring flow. The gage house was designed to fit in and be part of Founder's Park.

The streamgage features three display windows that can be changed and updated over time. Current displays explain how a streamgage operates, describes the history of flooding along Rapid Creek, and provides a summary of the efforts by the City of Rapid City to improve water quality of urban runoff.  A graph of the historical flows is provided with a QR code that will allow visitors to rapidly learn the current gage height and streamflow discharge from a smartphone or other mobile device.

The largest peak discharge at this location was estimated as 50,000 cubic feet per second during the historic 1972 flood. This flash flood took 238 lives and was among the deadliest flash floods in U.S. history.

The streamgage is operated in cooperation with the City of Rapid City and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

For more than 125 years, the USGS has monitored flow in selected streams and rivers across the U.S. The information is routinely used for water supply and management, monitoring floods and droughts, bridge and road design, determination of flood risk and for many recreational activities. 

Author: "OC_Web@usgs.gov (Office of Communications and Publishing)" Tags: "PR, GeographicAreasMidwest Water streamg..."
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