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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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Multiple approaches have been applied to better understand the characteristics of geologic units exposed at the surface and buried at depth in the vicinity of US Ecology (USE), a low-level commercial waste site in the northern Amargosa Desert, Nevada. Techniques include surficial geologic mapping and interpretation of the subsurface using borehole data. Dated deposits at depth were used to estimate rates of sediment accumulation. The subsurface lithologies have been modeled in three dimensions. Lithologic cross sections have been created from the three-dimensional model and have been compared to resistivity data at the same location. Where deposits appear offset, a fault was suspected. Global Positioning System...
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The Little Blackwater River watershed is a low-lying tidal watershed in Dorchester County, Maryland. The potential exists for increased residential development in a mostly agricultural watershed that drains into the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. Groundwater and surface-water levels were collected along with water-quality samples to document hydrologic and geochemical conditions within the watershed prior to potential land-use changes. Lithologic logs were collected in the Little Blackwater River watershed and interpreted with existing geophysical logs to conceptualize the shallow groundwater-flow system. A shallow water table exists in much of the watershed as shown by sediment cores and surface geophysical...
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The Sonoma Valley, located about 30 miles north of San Francisco, is one of several basins in Sonoma County that use a combination of ground water and water delivered from the Russian River for supply. Over the past 30 years, Sonoma Valley has experienced rapid population growth and land-use changes. In particular, there has been a significant increase in irrigated agriculture, predominantly vineyards. To provide a better understanding of the ground-water/surface-water system in Sonoma Valley, the U.S. Geological Survey compiled and evaluated existing data, collected and analyzed new data, and developed a ground-water flow model to better understand and manage the ground-water system. The new data collected include...
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This study of the geohydrology and water chemistry of the Alexander Valley, California, was done to provide an improved scientific basis for addressing emerging water-management issues, including potential increases in water demand and changes in flows in the Russian River. The study tasks included (1) evaluation of existing geohydrological, geophysical, and geochemical data; (2) collection and analysis of new geohydrologic data, including subsurface lithologic data, ground-water levels, and streamflow records; and (3) collection and analysis of new water-chemistry data. The estimated total water use for the Alexander Valley for 1999 was approximately 15,800 acre-feet. About 13,500 acre-feet of this amount was for...
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The relation between dam releases and dissolved-oxygen concentration, saturation and deficit, downstream from Roanoke Rapids Dam in North Carolina was evaluated from 2005 to 2009. Dissolved-oxygen data collected at four water-quality monitoring stations downstream from Roanoke Rapids Dam were used to determine if any statistical relations or discernible quantitative or qualitative patterns linked Roanoke River in-stream dissolved-oxygen levels to hydropower peaking at Roanoke Rapids Dam. Unregulated tributaries that inundate and drain portions of the Roanoke River flood plain are crucial in relation to in-stream dissolved oxygen. Hydropower peaking from 2005 to 2009 both inundated and drained portions of the flood...
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As part of an annual evaluation of water-quality conditions by the Chesapeake Bay Program, water-quality and streamflow data from 32 sites in nontidal parts of the Chesapeake Bay watershed were analyzed to document annual nutrient and sediment trends for 1985 through 2004. This study also formalized different trend tests and methodologies used in assessing the effectiveness of man-agement actions in reducing nutrients and sediments to the Chesapeake Bay. Trends in streamflow were tested at multiple time scales (daily, seasonal, and annual), resulting in only one significant trend (annual-mean streamflow for the Choptank River near Greensboro, Md.). Total freshwater flow entering the bay for the July-August-September...
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This report presents the results of a study by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, on nutrients, select pesticides, and suspended sediment in the karst terrane of the Sinking Creek Basin. Streamflow, nutrient, select pesticide, and suspended-sediment data were collected at seven sampling stations from 2004 through 2006. Concentrations of nitrite plus nitrate ranged from 0.21 to 4.9 milligrams per liter (mg/L) at the seven stations. The median concentration of nitrite plus nitrate for all stations sampled was 1.6 mg/L. Total phosphorus concentrations were greater than 0.1 mg/L, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's recommended maximum concentration, in 45 percent...
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Vertical velocity and acoustic backscatter measurements by acoustic Doppler current profilers were used to determine seasonal, subseasonal (days to weeks), and diel variation in suspended solids in a freshwater lake where massive cyanobacterial blooms occur annually. During the growing season, the suspended material in the lake is dominated by the buoyancy-regulating cyanobacteria, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae. Measured variables (water velocity, relative backscatter [RB], wind speed, and air and water temperatures) were averaged over the deployment season at each sample time of day to determine average diel cycles. Phase shifts between diel cycles in RB and diel cycles in wind speed, vertical water temperature differences...
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Halite brine (saturation ranging from 45 to 80 percent) lies within glacial-drift deposits that fill the Onondaga Trough, a 40-km long bedrock valley deepened by Pleistocene ice near Syracuse, N.Y. The most concentrated brine occupies the northern end of the trough, more than 15 kilometers (km) beyond the northern limit of halite beds in the Silurian Salina Group, the assumed source of salt. The chemical composition of the brine and its radiocarbon age estimated from geochemical modeling with NETPATH suggest that the brine formed through dissolution of halite by glacial melt water, and later mixed with saline bedrock water about 16,500 years ago. Transient variable-density flow simulations were conducted with SEAWAT...
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In the interest of improved public safety during flooding, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the city of Kansas City, Missouri, completed a flood-inundation study of the Blue River in Kansas City, Missouri, from the U.S. Geological Survey streamflow gage at Kenneth Road to 63rd Street, of Indian Creek from the Kansas-Missouri border to its mouth, and of Dyke Branch from the Kansas-Missouri border to its mouth, to determine the estimated extent of flood inundation at selected flood stages on the Blue River, Indian Creek, and Dyke Branch. The results of this study spatially interpolate information provided by U.S. Geological Survey gages, Kansas City Automated Local Evaluation in Real Time gages, and...
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Nutrient and sediment data collected at 115 sites by Federal and State agencies from 1993 to 2004 were analyzed by the U.S. Geological Survey to determine trends in concentrations and loads for selected rivers and streams that drain into the northwestern Gulf of Mexico from the south-central United States, specifically from the Lower Mississippi, Arkansas-White-Red, and Texas-Gulf Basins. Trends observed in the study area were compared to determine potential regional patterns and to determine cause-effect relations with trends in hydrologic and human-induced factors such as nutrient sources, streamflow, and implementation of best management practices. Secondary objectives included calculation of loads and yields...
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The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) conducted a series of geophysical investigations to monitor a field-scale biostimulation pilot project at the Anoka County Riverfront Park (ACP), downgradient from the Naval Industrial Reserve Ordnance Plant, in Fridley, Minnesota. The pilot project was undertaken by the U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southern Division, for the purpose of evaluating biostimulation using emulsified vegetable oil to treat ground water contaminated with chlorinated hydrocarbons. Vegetable oil was introduced to the subsurface to serve as substrate for naturally occurring microbes, which ultimately break down chlorinated hydrocarbons into chloride, carbon dioxide, and water through oxidation-reduction...
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Topographic change of archeological sites within the Colorado River corridor of Grand Canyon National Park (GCNP) is a subject of interest to National Park Service managers and other stakeholders in the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program. Although long-term topographic change resulting from a variety of natural processes is typical in the Grand Canyon region, a continuing debate exists on whether and how controlled releases from Glen Canyon Dam, located immediately upstream of GCNP, are impacting rates of site erosion, artifact transport, and the preservation of archeological resources. Continued erosion of archeological sites threatens both the archeological resources and our future ability to study evidence...
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The Nebraska Department of Natural Resources approved instream-flow appropriations on the Platte River to maintain fish communities, whooping crane roost habitat, and wet meadows used by several wild bird species. In the lower Platte River region, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission owns an appropriation filed to maintain streamflow for fish communities between the Platte River confluence with the Elkhorn River and the mouth of the Platte River. Because Elkhorn River flow is an integral part of the flow in the reach addressed by this appropriation, the Upper Elkhorn and Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources Districts are involved in overall management of anthropogenic effects on the availability of surface water for...
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Nitrate concentrations greater than background levels have been detected in ground water of the High Plains aquifer. Empirically based models and corresponding maps were developed that predict the vulnerability of the aquifer to nonpoint-source nitrate contamination. The models predict the probability of detecting nitrate concentrations larger than 4 milligrams per liter in ground water of the High Plains aquifer that was recharged during the last 50 years. The models were calibrated by correlating concentrations of nitrate in ground water from 336 wells that intercept recently recharged (less than 50 years) water with anthropogenic and hydrogeologic explanatory variables. Particle-tracking simulations delineated...
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A study of selected water-quality and macroinvertebrate community data was conducted at 10 stream sites in the Seacoast region of New Hampshire to determine if a relation is present between stream quality and the extent of urbanization in a watershed. Watersheds with similar characteristics, but varying in their degree of urban development, were studied. The percent of impervious surface, the percent of urban land use in a watershed, and the percent of urban land use in two types of stream buffers were compared and correlated with stream-quality variables. Specific conductance, turbidity, nitrite plus nitrate yields, and selected macroinvertebrate community data were significantly correlated with most measures of...
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Extensive remediation of the Drake Chemical Superfund Site has been ongoing since 1983. Contaminated soils were excavated and incinerated on site between 1996 and 1999. After 1999, remedial efforts focused on contaminated ground water. A ground-water remediation system was started in November 2000. The source area of the contaminated ground water was assumed to be the zone 1 area on the Drake Chemical site. The remedial system was designed to capture ground water migrating from zone 1. Also, the remediation system was designed to pump and treat the water in an anoxic environment and re-infiltrate the treated water underground through an infiltration gallery that is hydrologically downgradient of the extraction wells....
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Butternut Lake is a 393-hectare, eutrophic to hypereutrophic lake in northcentral Wisconsin. After only minor improvements in water quality were observed following several actions taken to reduce the nutrient inputs to the lake, a detailed study was conducted from 2002 to 2007 by the U.S. Geological Survey to better understand how the lake functions. The goals of this study were to describe the water quality and hydrology of the lake, quantify external and internal sources of phosphorus, and determine the effects of past and future changes in phosphorus inputs on the water quality of the lake. Since the early 1970s, the water quality of Butternut Lake has changed little in response to nutrient reductions from the...
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Reactive-transport processes in the Red River, downstream from the town of Red River in north-central New Mexico, were simulated using the OTEQ reactive-transport model. The simulations were calibrated using physical and chemical data from synoptic studies conducted during low-flow conditions in August 2001 and during March/April 2002. Discharge over the 20-km reach from the town of Red River to the USGS streamflow-gaging station near the town of Questa ranged from 395 to 1,180 L/s during the 2001 tracer and from 234 to 421 L/s during the 2002 tracer. The pH of the Red River ranged from 7.4 to 8.5 during the 2001 tracer and from 7.1 to 8.7 during the 2002 tracer, and seep and tributary samples had pH values of 2.8...