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Publications recently added to the Pubs Warehouse

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Dilution and propagation of provenance trends in sand and mud: Geochemistry and detrital zircon geochronology of modern sediment from central California (U.S.A.)

Released January 24, 2020 06:38 EST

2020, American Journal of Science (319) 846-902

Matthew A. Malkowski, Glenn R. Sharman, Samuel Johnstone, Marty J. Grove, Dave L. Kimbrough, Stephen A. Graham

Integrated, multi-method provenance studies of siliciclastic sedimentary deposits are increasingly used to reconstruct the history of source-to-sink transport, paleogeography, and tectonics. Invariably, analysis of large-scale depositional systems must confront issues regarding how to best sample the system and adequately cope with the details of sediment mixing. Potential biases including variations in grain size, sediment flux, and zircon concentration may cause provenance tracking tools to misrepresent the contributions of source-areas that contribute to large drainage networks. We have acquired U-Pb detrital zircon data from modern sand and whole rock geochemistry from mud sampled from the Sacramento-San Joaquin drainage of central California to elucidate conditions that can skew provenance trends along the course of a major river system. This drainage network is fed by headwaters that tap the Mesozoic pluton-dominated southern Sierra Nevada, the Paleozoic-Mesozoic wallrock and volcanic-dominated northern Sierra Nevada, the ultramafic-dominated eastern Klamath Mountains, and the intermediate to mafic Cascades volcanic arc. Analysis of the results indicates that detrital zircon provenance trends effectively record source variations for the southern, granite-dominated portion of the drainage network where contrasts in lithology and inferred zircon fertility are relatively minor. In these circumstances, mixture modeling of U-Pb detrital zircon data calibrated with a measure of zircon fertility approximates relative sediment flux contributed by individual drainages. Alternatively, in the northern parts of the system, source regions underlain by ultramafic and /or volcanic rocks are poorly represented, or entirely missing, in down-stream detrital zircon records. In some cases, mud geochemistry data more faithfully represents sediment provenance trends. Sampling performed at the confluence of the Sacramento, American, Mokolumne, and San Joaquin rivers within the Sacramento Delta region yields a detrital zircon age distribution that is indistinguishable from that of an independently established database of Sierra Nevada batholith crystallization ages. However, when the combined river flows along a recently established passage to the Pacific through the San Francisco Bay region, dredged sediment is found to be significantly contaminated by locally eroded material from the Franciscan Complex and other rocks that crop out within the Coast Ranges. Large variation of Zr concentrations measured throughout the Bay area document that significant hydrodynamic fractionation impacts sediment delivery through this segment of the system. The more Sierra Nevada-like detrital zircon age distribution yielded by a piston-core sample from the continental slope may be explained by either early-stage unroofing of the Coast Ranges or more efficient sand delivery from the delta to the Pacific by a free flowing river driven by a low stand in sea level.

Binning singletons: Mentoring through networking at ASM microbe 2019

Released January 24, 2020 06:33 EST

2020, mSphere

Joseph B. James, Amanda L. Gunn, Denise M. Akob

The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) national conference, Microbe, is the flagship meeting for microbiologists across the globe. The presence of roughly 10,000 attendees provides enormous opportunities for networking and learning. However, such a large meeting can be intimidating to many, especially early career scientists, students, those attending alone, and those from historically underrepresented groups. While mentorship is widely valued by ASM and its members, finding concrete ways to develop new and diverse mentoring opportunities can be a challenge. We recognized the need for an initiative aimed at expanding peer-to-peer mentoring, facilitating networking, and providing support for Microbe attendees; therefore, we created the program Binning Singletons for ASM Microbe 2019. The program consisted of five steps named after tools or phenomena in the profession of microbiology: (i) Identify the Singletons (e.g., individuals attending alone), (ii) Bin the Singletons, (iii) Horizontal Transfer, (iv) Quorum Sensing, and (v) Exponential Growth. These steps resulted in the matching of participants unsure of how to get the most out of their conference experience (e.g., singletons) with mentors who assisted with meeting planning, networking, and/or impostor syndrome. Started on social media only a month before ASM Microbe 2019, the program successfully launched despite limited time and resources. Binning Singletons improved inclusivity and networking opportunities for participants at the conference. Here, we discuss what worked, and what can be improved, with an eye toward development of the Binning Singletons model for future conferences to provide opportunities to increase inclusivity, networking, and accessibility for singletons and build a stronger scientific community.

The historical context of contemporary climatic adaptation: A case study in the climatically dynamic and environmentally complex southwestern United States

Released January 23, 2020 17:08 EST

2020, Ecography

Robert Massatti, L. Lacey Knowles

The process of adaptation can be highly dependent upon historical and contemporary factors, especially in environmentally and topographically complex regions affected by Pleistocene glaciations. Here, we investigate Hilaria jamesii (Poaceae), a dryland C4 graminoid, to test how patterns of adaptive genetic variation are linked to its glacial and post‐glacial history. We show that the species persisted in a single, southern refugium during the last glacial period and subsequently migrated throughout its current distribution concurrent with post‐glacial warming. The species’ putative adaptive genetic variation correlates with climatic gradients (e.g. monsoon precipitation and mean diurnal temperature range) that covary with the species’ probable route of demographic expansion. The short timescale and multiple climatic dimensions of adaptation imply that natural selection acted primarily upon standing genetic variation. These findings suggest that restoration and conservation practices should prioritize the maintenance of standing genetic variation to ensure that species have the capacity to respond to future environmental changes.

Communicating hazards—A social science review to meet U.S. Geological Survey needs

Released January 23, 2020 12:05 EST

2019, Circular 1449

Kerry F. Milch, Suzanne C. Perry, Jennifer L. Bruce

This report is for U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)—and any other—hazard scientists who want to improve the understanding and use of their scientific information, particularly by non-experts. In order for people to use science, they need to understand it. The highly technical, specialized nature of scientific information makes that difficult, particularly when few scientists are trained to communicate with people outside their fields. These issues are of special importance to the USGS because it has many users who are not scientists and because it develops and applies hazard science to help protect the safety, security, and economic well-being of our Nation.

In 2010, the Science Application for Risk Reduction group at the USGS discovered the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions (CRED) guide, “The Psychology of Climate Change Communication.” Ever since, a growing number of USGS staff who need to communicate about hazards have used that guide and have asked CRED for a companion report dedicated to hazard communication to harness knowledge from more than 50 years of social science research.

In 2016, the USGS and CRED launched a collaboration to develop that companion report. Ultimately, a CRED hazard communication guide would be a Columbia University publication with a wide focus and would include many hazards that are outside the USGS purview. This report is a first step and concentrates strictly on hazard communication needs at the USGS.

To identify those needs and tailor this effort to USGS hazard communication priorities, this collaboration began with telephone interviews and an online survey of USGS staff. This report is the result; it summarizes social science research and experience in the areas of hazard communication that USGS participants deemed most important to include.

Assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources in the Central North Slope of Alaska, 2020

Released January 23, 2020 10:25 EST

2020, Fact Sheet 2020-3001

David W. Houseknecht, Katherine J. Whidden, Christopher D. Connors, Richard O. Lease, Christopher J. Schenk, Tracey J. Mercier, William A. Rouse, Palma J. Botterell, Rebecca A. Smith, Margaret M. Sanders, William H. Craddock, Christina A. DeVera, Christopher P. Garrity, Marc L. Buursink, Cevat O. Karacan, Samuel J. Heller, Thomas E. Moore, Julie A. Dumoulin, Marilyn E. Tennyson, Katherine L. French, Cheryl A. Woodall, Ronald M. Drake II, Kristen R. Marra, Thomas M. Finn, Scott A. Kinney, Chilisa M. Shorten

Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated undiscovered, technically recoverable mean resources of 3.6 billion barrels of oil and 8.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas (associated and nonassociated) in conventional accumulations in Mississippian through Paleogene strata in the central North Slope of Alaska.

Seafloor change around the Mississippi barrier islands, 1920 to 2016—The influence of storm effects on inlet and island morphodynamics

Released January 22, 2020 09:50 EST

2020, Open-File Report 2019-1140

James G. Flocks, Noreen A. Buster, Owen T. Brenner

The Mississippi Barrier Islands in the northern Gulf of Mexico experienced high rates of spatial change over recorded history. Wave-induced sediment transport induced island migration, landward retreat, and inlet evolution. These processes can be measured using repeat bathymetric surveys to analyze elevation change over time. This study analyzes digital elevation models created from three time periods where bathymetric data have been collected: the 1920s, 2009, and 2016. The models are compared to assess volumetric change between surveys and characterize morphologic responses to natural and human-influenced processes. Although all the islands within the study area experienced a loss of area over the period of study, the nearshore and tidal inlets experience both accretion and erosion that vary spatially and temporally. Major morphologic changes include westward island migration, expanding ebb-tidal deltas, and changes in inlet dimensions. This study is a collaboration between the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the National Park Service to establish baseline physical and pre-restoration morphologic conditions preceding a major restoration of the islands as part of the Mississippi Coastal Improvement Project.

Advanced biofilm analysis in streams receiving organic deicer runoff

Released January 22, 2020 06:34 EST

2020, PLoS ONE (15)

Michelle A Nott, Heather E. Driscoll, Minoru Takeda, Mahesh Vangala, Steven Corsi, Scott W. Tighe

Prolific heterotrophic biofilm growth is a common occurrence in airport receiving streams containing deicers and anti-icers, which are composed of low-molecular weight organic compounds. This study investigated biofilm spatiotemporal patterns and responses to concurrent and antecedent (i.e., preceding biofilm sampling) environmental conditions at stream sites upstream and downstream from Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, during two deicing seasons (2009–2010; 2010–2011). Biofilm abundance and community composition were investigated along spatial and temporal gradients using field surveys and microarray analyses, respectively. Given the recognized role of Sphaerotilus in organically enriched environments, additional analyses were pursued to specifically characterize its abundance: a consensus sthA sequence was determined via comparison of whole metagenome sequences with a previously identified sthA sequence, the primers developed for this gene were used to characterize relative Sphaerotilus abundance using quantitative real-time PCR, and a Sphaerotilus strain was isolated to validate the determined sthA sequence. Results indicated that biofilm abundance was stimulated by elevated antecedent chemical oxygen demand concentrations, a surrogate for deicer concentrations, with minimal biofilm volumes observed when antecedent chemical oxygen demand concentrations remained below 48 mg/L. Biofilms were composed of diverse communities (including sheathed bacterium Thiothrix) whose composition appeared to shift in relation to antecedent temperature and chemical oxygen demand. The relative abundance of sthA correlated most strongly with heterotrophic biofilm volume (positive) and dissolved oxygen (negative), indicating that Sphaerotilus was likely a consistent biofilm member and thrived under low oxygen conditions. Additional investigations identified the isolate as a new strain of Sphaerotilus montanus (strain KMKE) able to use deicer components as carbon sources and found that stream dissolved oxygen concentrations related inversely to biofilm volume as well as to antecedent temperature and chemical oxygen demand. The airport setting provides insight into potential consequences of widescale adoption of organic deicers for roadway deicing.

High-resolution airborne geophysical survey of the Shellmound, Mississippi area

Released January 17, 2020 16:20 EST

2020, Scientific Investigations Map 3449

Bethany L. Burton, Burke J. Minsley, Benjamin R. Bloss, Wade H. Kress, James R. Rigby, Bruce D. Smith

In late February to early March 2018, the U.S. Geological Survey acquired 2,364 line-kilometers (km) of airborne electromagnetic, magnetic, and radiometric data in the Shellmound, Mississippi study area. The purpose of this survey is to contribute high-resolution information about subsurface geologic structure to inform groundwater models, water resource infrastructure studies, and local decision making. The Shellmound region hosts a managed aquifer recharge (MAR) pilot project, developed by the Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The MAR pilot project is investigating the use of bank filtration along the Tallahatchie River as a source for recharge in areas of significant groundwater decline. Direct injection into the Mississippi River Valley Alluvial aquifer (MRVA) occurs about 3 km from the extraction gallery. Understanding the structure of the aquifer, including both shallow and deep confining units, is important for the success of this pilot MAR study and may be even more important for potential future large-scale MAR projects and groundwater model development efforts.

Maps showing geology, oil and gas fields, and geologic provinces of the Arctic

Released January 17, 2020 08:45 EST

2003, Open-File Report 97-470-J


This CD-ROM was compiled according to the methodology developed by the U.S. Geological Survey's World Energy Project. The geologic map of the Arctic was compiled and synthesized from the Circumpolar Geological Map of the Arctic, by Okulitch A.V., Lopatin B.G., and Jackson H.R., scale 1:6,000,000, published by the Geological Survey of Canada in 1989 (see References ). Specific details of the data sources are given in the metadata files on this CD-ROM. Map units were kept as close as possible to original map (more than 100 unique values). These Arctic maps were compiled using Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc. (ESRI) ARC/INFO software. Political boundaries and cartographic representations on this map are shown (with permission) from ESRI's ArcWorld 1:3M digital coverage. They have no political significance and are displayed as general reference only. Portions of this database covering the coastline, rivers and country boundaries contain proprietary property of ESRI. (© 1992 and 1996, Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc. All rights reserved. The bathymetric data were derived from the International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean (IBCAO) which was downloaded from the NOAA web site. Oil and gas centerpoints were derived from Probe 4.0 database - proprietary property of Petroleum Information/Dwights LLC d/b/a/IHS Energy Group. Specific details of the data sources and map compilation are given in the metadata files on this CD-ROM.

Turbidite event history—Methods and implications for Holocene paleoseismicity of the Cascadia subduction zone

Released January 17, 2020 08:40 EST

2012, Professional Paper 1661-F

Chris Goldfinger, C. Hans Nelson, Ann E. Morey, Joel E. Johnson, Jason R. Patton, Eugene B. Karabanov, Julia Gutierrez-Pastor, Andrew T. Eriksson, Eulalia Gracia, Gita Dunhill, Randolph J. Enkin, Audrey Dallimore, Tracy Vallier

Robert Kayen, editor(s)

Turbidite systems along the continental margin of Cascadia Basin from Vancouver Island, Canada, to Cape Mendocino, California, United States, have been investigated with swath bathymetry; newly collected and archive piston, gravity, kasten, and box cores; and accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon dates. The purpose of this study is to test the applicability of the Holocene turbidite record as a paleoseismic record for the Cascadia subduction zone. The Cascadia Basin is an ideal place to develop a turbidite paleoseismologic method and to record paleoearthquakes because (1) a single subduction-zone fault underlies the Cascadia submarine-canyon systems; (2) multiple tributary canyons and a variety of turbidite systems and sedimentary sources exist to use in tests of synchronous turbidite triggering; (3) the Cascadia trench is completely sediment filled, allowing channel systems to trend seaward across the abyssal plain, rather than merging in the trench; (4) the continental shelf is wide, favoring disconnection of Holocene river systems from their largely Pleistocene canyons; and (5) excellent stratigraphic datums, including the Mazama ash and distinguishable sedimentological and faunal changes near the Pleistocene-Holocene boundary, are present for correlating events and anchoring the temporal framework.

Multiple tributaries to Cascadia Channel with 50- to 150-km spacing, and a wide variety of other turbidite systems with different sedimentary sources contain 13 post-Mazama-ash and 19 Holocene turbidites. Likely correlative sequences are found in Cascadia Channel, Juan de Fuca Channel off Washington, and Hydrate Ridge slope basin and Astoria Fan off northern and central Oregon. A probable correlative sequence of turbidites is also found in cores on Rogue Apron off southern Oregon. The Hydrate Ridge and Rogue Apron cores also include 12-22 interspersed thinner turbidite beds respectively.

We use 14C dates, relative-dating tests at channel confluences, and stratigraphic correlation of turbidites to determine whether turbidites deposited in separate channel systems are correlative - triggered by a common event. In most cases, these tests can separate earthquake-triggered turbidity currents from other possible sources. The 10,000-year turbidite record along the Cascadia margin passes several tests for synchronous triggering and correlates well with the shorter onshore paleoseismic record. The synchroneity of a 10,000-year turbidite-event record for 500 km along the northern half of the Cascadia subduction zone is best explained by paleoseismic triggering by great earthquakes. Similarly, we find a likely synchronous record in southern Cascadia, including correlated additional events along the southern margin. We examine the applicability of other regional triggers, such as storm waves, storm surges, hyperpycnal flows, and teletsunami, specifically for the Cascadia margin.

The average age of the oldest turbidite emplacement event in the 10-0-ka series is 9,800±~210 cal yr B.P. and the youngest is 270±~120 cal yr B.P., indistinguishable from the A.D. 1700 (250 cal yr B.P.) Cascadia earthquake. The northern events define a great earthquake recurrence of ~500-530 years. The recurrence times and averages are supported by the thickness of hemipelagic sediment deposited between turbidite beds. The southern Oregon and northern California margins represent at least three segments that include all of the northern ruptures, as well as ~22 thinner turbidites of restricted latitude range that are correlated between multiple sites. At least two northern California sites, Trinidad and Eel Canyon/pools, record additional turbidites, which may be a mix of earthquake and sedimentologically or storm-triggered events, particularly during the early Holocene when a close connection existed between these canyons and associated river systems.

The combined stratigraphic correlations, hemipelagic analysis, and 14C framework suggest that the Cascadia margin has three rupture modes: (1) 19-20 full-length or nearly full length ruptures; (2) three or four ruptures comprising the southern 50-70 percent of the margin; and (3) 18-20 smaller southern-margin ruptures during the past 10 k.y., with the possibility of additional southern-margin events that are presently uncorrelated. The shorter rupture extents and thinner turbidites of the southern margin correspond well with spatial extents interpreted from the limited onshore paleoseismic record, supporting margin segmentation of southern Cascadia. The sequence of 41 events defines an average recurrence period for the southern Cascadia margin of ~240 years during the past 10 k.y.

Time-independent probabilities for segmented ruptures range from 7-12 percent in 50 years for full or nearly full margin ruptures to ~21 percent in 50 years for a southern-margin rupture. Time-dependent probabilities are similar for northern margin events at ~7-12 percent and 37-42 percent in 50 years for the southern margin. Failure analysis suggests that by the year 2060, Cascadia will have exceeded ~27 percent of Holocene recurrence intervals for the northern margin and 85 percent of recurrence intervals for the southern margin.

The long earthquake record established in Cascadia allows tests of recurrence models rarely possible elsewhere. Turbidite mass per event along the Cascadia margin reveals a consistent record for many of the Cascadia turbidites. We infer that larger turbidites likely represent larger earthquakes. Mass per event and magnitude estimates also correlate modestly with following time intervals for each event, suggesting that Cascadia full or nearly full margin ruptures weakly support a time-predictable model of recurrence. The long paleoseismic record also suggests a pattern of clustered earthquakes that includes four or five cycles of two to five earthquakes during the past 10 k.y., separated by unusually long intervals.

We suggest that the pattern of long time intervals and longer ruptures for the northern and central margins may be a function of high sediment supply on the incoming plate, smoothing asperities, and potential barriers. The smaller southern Cascadia segments correspond to thinner incoming sediment sections and potentially greater interaction between lower-plate and upper-plate heterogeneities.

The Cascadia Basin turbidite record establishes new paleoseismic techniques utilizing marine turbidite-event stratigraphy during sea-level highstands. These techniques can be applied in other specific settings worldwide, where an extensive fault traverses a continental margin that has several active turbidite systems.

Precipitation, temperature, groundwater-level elevation, streamflow, and potential flood storage trends within the Brazos, Colorado, Big Cypress, Guadalupe, Neches, Sulphur, and Trinity River Basins in Texas Through 2017

Released January 16, 2020 15:40 EST

2020, Scientific Investigations Report 2019-5137

Glenn R. Harwell, Jeremy McDowell, Cathina Gunn-Rosas, Brett Garrett

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), analyzed streamflow trends and streamflow-related variables through 2017 in seven important water-supply basins to provide information that can help water managers with the USACE and river authorities make future water management decisions. The primary purpose of this report is to document trends in long-term streamflow data at 114 selected USGS streamflow-gaging stations and 36 simulated reservoir-inflow stations in 7 river basins primarily in Texas: Brazos, Colorado, Big Cypress, Guadalupe, Neches, Sulphur, and Trinity. In this report, trends were considered statistically significant if their p-values were less than or equal to 0.05 (p-value ≤0.05). Streamflow data selected for temporal trend analyses included annual minimum streamflow, annual peak streamflow, and streamflow volume. Precipitation, air temperature, and groundwater-level-elevation data were analyzed for trends that may help to explain changes observed in the streamflow statistics. Basins were divided into sections along county lines for precipitation analyses. Streamflow volumes were analyzed for associations with potential flood storage. The potential flood storage, defined as the difference between maximum storage and normal storage, was computed for each dam from the National Inventory of Dams database and accumulated over time based on the completion date of the dam.

Precipitation and air temperature trends were analyzed for each of the eight climate divisions (High Plains, Trans-Pecos, Low Rolling Hills, Edwards Plateau, North Central Texas, South Central Texas, East Texas, and Upper Coast). Results of precipitation trend analyses indicated moderate upward trends in the Upper Coast and East Texas Climate Divisions analyzed on an annual time step from 1900 through 2017. These two climate divisions are in the eastern and southeastern parts of the State, and they receive more mean annual precipitation (45.88 and 46.09 inches, respectively) than the other climate divisions. The results of air temperature analyses indicated upward trends in annual mean air temperature within all climate divisions, with a mean slope of 0.02 degree Fahrenheit per year, or 1 degree every 50 years.

Within the Brazos River Basin, results of precipitation trend analyses on an annual time step indicated that precipitation amounts are most likely increasing in the lower and middle sections of the basin. Downward trends in annual streamflow and in the ratio of streamflow volume to precipitation volume were indicated at 7 of the 15 stations in the upper sections of the basin. The lower sections of the basin had mostly downward trends in annual minimum streamflow, whereas upward trends in annual minimum streamflow were indicated in the upper sections of the basin. Downward trends in annual peak streamflow were indicated at many of the stations in the upper sections of the basin. At the same seven stations in the upper sections of the basin where there were downward trends in annual streamflow, there were also downward trends in the ratio of streamflow volume to precipitation volume. The data from the same seven stations indicated negative associations between potential flood storage volume and annual streamflow volume and downward trends in the ratio of annual streamflow volume to potential flood storage volume. With the known addition of 13,006,394 acre-feet of potential flood storage between 1900 and 2010 in the subbasins analyzed, streamflow volumes have decreased in the upper sections of the Brazos River Basin.

Within the Colorado River Basin, results of precipitation trend analyses on an annual time step indicated no trends in the basin. Downward trends in annual streamflow were indicated at 16 stations in the upper sections of the basin, whereas no trends in annual streamflow were indicated in the lower section of the basin. In the lower section of the basin, one station that was operated as a continuous streamflow-gaging station through 2017 had a downward trend in annual minimum streamflow, and another station (operated through 2007) had an upward trend in annual minimum streamflow. In the upper sections of the basin, data from seven stations indicated upward trends in annual minimum streamflow, and data from six stations indicated downward trends. Data from 18 stations in the upper sections of the basin indicated downward trends in annual peak streamflow. Thirteen of the 16 stations in the upper sections of the basin with data that indicated downward trends in annual streamflow also have data that indicated downward trends in the ratio of streamflow volume to precipitation volume. Data from the same 13 stations indicated negative associations between potential flood storage volume and annual streamflow volume and downward trends in the ratio of annual streamflow volume to potential flood storage volume. With the known addition of 7,193,147 acre-feet of potential flood storage between 1891 and 2014 in the subbasins analyzed, streamflow volumes have decreased in the upper sections of the Colorado River Basin.

Within the Big Cypress Basin, results of precipitation trend analyses on annual, seasonal, and monthly time steps indicated almost no trends in the basin as defined in this report. However, the annual precipitation p-value only slightly exceeded the p-value threshold for a statistically significant trend. Given the upward trend in precipitation in the East Texas Climate Division, which includes the Big Cypress Basin, and the low p-value for annual precipitation within the basin, precipitation in the basin may be increasing over time. Two annual streamflow trends, one upward and one downward, were in the upper parts of the basin. Data from USGS streamflow-gaging station 07346000 Big Cypress Bayou near Jefferson, Texas, indicated an upward trend in annual minimum streamflow and a downward trend in annual peak streamflow. The station is immediately downstream from Lake O’ the Pines; presumably, minimums have increased because of regulated releases, and annual peaks have decreased because of storage from the lake for flood control. Despite the known addition of 2,737,154 acre-feet of potential flood storage between 1898 and 2011 in the subbasins analyzed, there have not been widespread reductions in streamflow volumes in the Big Cypress Basin, except for within the drainage area for the farthest upstream station on the main stem downstream from Mount Pleasant, Texas.

Within the Guadalupe River Basin, results of precipitation trend analyses on an annual time step indicated an upward trend in the lower section of the basin, but no trends in annual streamflow were indicated in the lower section of the basin. In the upper section of the basin, data from 1 of the 13 stations indicated an upward trend in annual streamflow. Data from 6 of the 13 stations in the upper section of the basin indicated a trend in annual minimum streamflow with 4 upward and 2 downward trends. Data from 2 of the 13 stations in the upper section of the basin indicated downward trends in annual peak streamflow. Despite the known addition of 2,016,534 acre-feet of potential flood storage between 1849 and 2013 in the subbasins analyzed, streamflow volumes have not decreased in the Guadalupe River Basin.

Within the Neches River Basin, results of precipitation trend analyses on an annual time step indicated upward trends in the basin. None of the data from stations analyzed in the Neches River Basin indicated annual trends in streamflow despite upward trends in annual precipitation within the basin. Data from 9 of the 19 stations analyzed in the basin indicated upward trends in annual minimum streamflow. Data from one of the simulated-inflow stations indicated a downward trend in annual minimum streamflow into Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Data from two stations indicated downward trends in annual peak streamflow, and data from one small subbasin indicated an upward trend in annual peak streamflow. Despite the known addition of 4,839,609 acre-feet of potential flood storage between 1888 and 2008 in the subbasins analyzed, there have not been widespread reductions in streamflow volumes in the Neches River Basin.

Within the Sulphur River Basin, results of precipitation trend analyses on an annual time step indicated a moderate upward trend within the basin. Data from only one of the stations, the simulated inflow to Jim Chapman Lake, indicated an annual upward trend in streamflow despite an upward trend in annual precipitation throughout the basin. Data from three of the six stations in the Sulphur River Basin indicated upward trends in annual minimum streamflow, and data from one of the six stations indicated a downward trend in annual peak streamflow. Despite the known addition of 6,933,361 acre-feet of potential flood storage between 1904 and 2006 in the subbasins analyzed, streamflow volumes have not decreased in the Sulphur River Basin.

Within the Trinity River Basin, results of precipitation trend analyses on an annual time step indicated upward trends in most sections of the basin. Data from 8 of the 36 stations analyzed for trends in annual streamflow indicated upward trends, and all 8 stations are in the upper sections of the basin. None of the data from stations in the lower sections of the basin indicated trends in annual streamflow. Data from 16 of the 36 stations indicated upward trends in annual minimum streamflow. Upward trends in annual minimum streamflow could be the result of managed reservoir releases in combination with wastewater treatment plant releases in the large Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex in the upper sections of the basin. All the trends in annual peak streamflow were in the sections of the basin that include the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Data from two stations, one USGS streamflow-gaging station and one simulated-inflow station, indicated upward trends in annual peak streamflow, and data from one streamflow-gaging station indicated a downward trend in annual peak streamflow. Of the basins included in this study, the Trinity River Basin has the second largest amount of potential flood storage of 8,947,349 acre-feet from dams added between 1890 and 2013. Eleven stations in the Trinity River Basin had positive associations between potential flood storage volume and annual streamflow volume, indicating that annual streamflow increases as potential flood storage increases. Data from 7 of the 11 stations also indicated upward trends in annual streamflow. The positive associations may be the result of increases in minimum streamflow, which could be the result of any combination of managed reservoir releases, wastewater treatment plant releases, or increased runoff from urbanized areas, particularly in the urbanized area of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

Seepage investigation of the Rio Grande from below Leasburg Dam, Leasburg, New Mexico, to above El Paso, Texas, 2018

Released January 16, 2020 15:00 EST

2020, Scientific Investigations Report 2019-5140

Grady P. Ball, Andrew J. Robertson, Karen Medina Morales

Seepage investigations were conducted periodically by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) from 1988 to 1998 and from 2006 to 2015 along a 64-mile reach of the Rio Grande as part of the Mesilla Basin monitoring program. Past studies were conducted during no-flow or low-flow periods. In 2018, a seepage investigation was conducted during April 3–4 along a 62.4-mile study reach, from below Leasburg Dam, Leasburg, New Mexico, to above El Paso, Texas, during a period of high flows due to dam releases of water for irrigation purposes. During this investigation, there was measurable streamflow at 31 of the 41 measurement locations: 22 river sites, 8 inflow sites, and 1 outflow site. Results of the 2018 high-flow seepage investigation are presented in this report.

Net seepage gain or loss was computed for each subreach (the interval between two adjacent measurement locations along the river) by subtracting the streamflow measured at the upstream location from the streamflow measured at the closest downstream location and then subtracting any inflow to the river within the subreach. An estimated gain or loss was determined to be meaningful if it exceeded the cumulative measurement uncertainty associated with the net seepage computation. During this investigation, streamflow on the main stem of the Rio Grande ranged from 577 to 1,000 cubic feet per second (ft3/s). Nine subreaches were found to have meaningful net seepage gain or loss, four gaining subreaches and five losing subreaches. Because of high cumulative uncertainty (plus or minus 111.3 ft3/s) relative to the calculated cumulative loss (−57.7 ft3/s) over the entire study reach, no meaningful gain or loss was determined in this study. Like all of the previous USGS seepage studies on this reach of the Rio Grande, this study reported a net seepage loss, and the magnitude of that loss was within the range of historical values.

Population and habitat analyses for greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in the bi-state distinct population segment—2018 update

Released January 16, 2020 14:18 EST

2019, Open-File Report 2019-1149

Peter S. Coates, Mark A. Ricca, Brian G. Prochazka, Shawn T. O'Neil, John P. Severson, Steven R. Mathews, Shawn Espinosa, Scott Gardner, Sherri Lisius, David J. Delehanty

Executive Summary

The Bi-State Distinct Population Segment (Bi-State DPS) of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus, hereinafter “sage-grouse”) represents a genetically distinct and geographically isolated population that straddles the border between Nevada and California. The primary threat to these sage-grouse populations is the expansion of single-leaf pinyon (Pinus monophylla) and Utah juniper (Juniperus osteosperma) into sagebrush ecosystems, which fragments and reduces population connectivity and survival. Other important threats include low water availability during brood-rearing, particularly during drought, and increased predation by common ravens (Corvus corax), a generalist predator often associated with anthropogenic resource subsidies. Although the Bi-State DPS occurs at high elevations relative to sage-grouse range-wide, changes in historical wildfire cycles and the conversion of native shrubs to invasive annual grasslands still threaten these populations. The Bi-State DPS has undergone multiple federal status assessments and associated litigation. For example, in October of 2013, the Bi-State DPS was proposed for listing as threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), then withdrawn in April 2015. The withdrawal decision was challenged, and in May 2018, a Federal district court ordered the withdrawal decision to be vacated, and USFWS was required to re-open the October 2013 listing evaluation.

In response, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), with State and Federal collaborators, embarked on a multipronged analysis to provide current and best available science regarding population status of sage-grouse within the Bi-State DPS. Using data from a long-term monitoring program, we carried out four analytical study objectives, and here, we provide preliminary results of these analyses. First, we used integrated population modeling (IPM) to predict annual population abundance and annual finite rate of population change for the Bi-State DPS, as a whole, and for each subpopulation between 1995 and 2018. Because sage-grouse exhibit population cycles (periodic increases and decreases in abundance across approximately 6- to 10-year wavelengths), we estimated trends across three nested temporal scales that represent one (11 years), two (18 years), and three (24 years) complete population cycles. These estimates of relatively long-term averaged population change account for temporal (that is, interannual) variation. Our model predicted population abundance for the Bi-State DPS during 2018 at 3,305 individuals (2,247–4,683), with the majority occupying Bodie Hills and Long Valley. The model also predicted cyclic dynamics in abundance through time with evidence of 24-year population growth and slight trends of decline over the past 18 years. Specifically, across the Bi-State DPS as a whole, we estimated annual average at 0.99, 0.99, and 1.02 over the one, two, and three population cycles, which equated to a 10.5 percent, 16.6 percent decrease, and 60.0 percent increase in abundance over the 11-, 18-, and 24-year cycles. Estimated abundance in 2018 had not reached numbers lower than those predicted during 1995. However, we found spatial variation in population trends across the three cycles. Bodie Hills subpopulation comprised the greatest (1,521) and exhibited average annual  greater than 1.0 across all periods resulting in average annual increases of 7 percent. This relatively large subpopulation has grown 5 times larger than what was predicted in 1995 while experiencing cyclical dynamics within that period.

Conversely, other smaller subpopulations within the Bi-State DPS exhibited average annual  equal to or less than 1.0 resulting in estimated 10-year risks of extirpation ranging from 2.0 to 76.1 percent. In general, evidence of decline among smaller subpopulations was greatest for the most recent period (2008–18) compared to a period that encompassed three full population cycles (24-year). This difference coincides with an intense period of drought that began in 2012.

For comparative purposes as part of this first objective, we conducted a similar analysis for populations of sage-grouse within Nevada and California but outside the Bi-State DPS. We developed a region-wide and distance-weighted IPM using lek count from Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) and California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) databases and with telemetry data collected by USGS across 12 sage-grouse subpopulations. Our models predicted similar patterns in population cycling outside the Bi-State DPS but with much stronger evidence of long-term declines across 24 years. Specifically, median  averaged across each year of the 11-, 18-, and 24-year periods resulted in average annual  values of 0.94, 0.97, and 0.99, respectively. These values equate to 41.0 percent, 38.5 percent, and 21.3 percent declines over the corresponding periods.

Second, we used lek count data in a state-space modeling framework to compare trends in population abundance across different spatial scales (that is, leks versus Bi-State DPS). This hierarchical framework allowed us to disentangle declines associated with climate conditions as opposed to other local level factors that might signal the need for management intervention. Specifically, we identified 7 leks that were both declining and recently decoupled from larger spatial scale trends, typically governed by climatic conditions (referred to as soft or hard signals). The goal of this analysis was to provide an early warning system that might have implications for conservation actions at local scales.

Third, we developed phenological (spring, summer–fall, and winter) and reproductive life stage (nesting, early brood-rearing, and late-brood rearing) based resource selection functions using various environmental covariates. We report rankings of variable importance for each season and life stage, developed maps of habitat selection indices (HSI), binned categories representing low, moderate, and high classes of quality (where any category greater than or equal to low indicated selected habitat) for each phenological season and life stage, and produced composite maps by selected phenological and reproductive stage to estimate annual habitat.

Fourth, we used  for each lek within the Bi-State DPS to carry out a spatial analysis that quantified substantial changes in the distribution of occupied habitat across long- (24-year) and short- (11-year) term periods. Owing to differences among available datasets, the long-term analysis primarily reflected spatial shifts among subpopulations comprising the majority of the Bi-State DPS (that is, Bodie Hills and Long Valley) while the short-term analysis also quantified changes among subpopulations along the periphery. Over long and short-term periods, the overall distribution of occupied habitat (as measured by 99 percent utilization distributions intersecting any quantified habitat) was reduced by 20,573 ha and 55,492 ha, respectively. Occupied core areas (as measured by 50 percent utilization distributions intersecting any quantified habitat) over long-term periods were solely located in Bodie Hills and Long Valley. Although nearly all subpopulations experienced contractions in occupied overall and core distribution, Bodie Hills experienced spatial expansion that occurred with concomitant spatial contraction at Long Valley over both periods. Subpopulations at the northern (Pine Nuts), central (Sagehen) and southern (White-Mountains) extents of the Bi-State DPS also experienced spatial contraction over the short-term period. These findings, coupled with those of population trends, indicate long-term patterns in redistribution of sage-grouse from Long Valley and peripheral subpopulations to Bodie Hills. That is, sage-grouse subpopulations at the periphery are declining while the largest population at the core is increasing, which could have meaningful impacts on overall metapopulation persistence. We provide evidence for loss of occupied habitat (reduced distribution) given local extirpation of subpopulations.

Fifth, we calculated percentages of selected phenological, life stage, and annual habitat that each subpopulation contributed to the Bi-State DPS. We then intersected these maps with a composite estimate of occupied habitat from the fourth objective and calculated percentages of selected habitat likely occupied by sage-grouse that each subpopulation contributed to the Bi-State DPS. These values provide evidence for loss of occupied habitat and subsequent reductions in spatial distribution given reductions in abundance and, in some cases, extirpation of leks within subpopulations.

Lastly, we carried out an initial in-depth analysis of selection for irrigated pastures and wet meadows during the brood-rearing stage for the Long Valley subpopulation. We chose this subpopulation because it represents a population core, representing 26.5 percent of total sage-grouse within the Bi-State DPS, and has exhibited long-term declines in abundance and distribution. This subpopulation is highly sensitive to precipitation and other factors that influence water availability. Models predicted higher use of the interior portions of irrigated pastures and wet meadows during late brood-rearing period, which represented a potentially risky use of habitat that was exacerbated during periods of low moisture (for example, drought, reduced water delivery, or both). Sage-grouse typically used edges of riparian areas and pastures, largely because the interior of these mesic areas consisted of considerably less overhead concealment cover (for example, shrubs) that likely resulted in a higher risk of mortality. We found that a lack of water delivery to pastures in the form of overwinter precipitation or diversion ditches increased the movements of sage-grouse to the interior of pastures. Although further investigation of water delivery impacts on chick survival are warrented, our initial findings regarding resource selection may explain recent declines in population growth at Long Valley.

Kelp forest monitoring at Naval Base Ventura County, San Nicolas Island, California: Fall 2017 and Spring 2018, Fourth Annual Report

Released January 16, 2020 09:37 EST

2020, Open-File Report 2019-1147

Michael C. Kenner, Joseph Tomoleoni

To assess and track changes to the rocky subtidal communities surrounding San Nicolas Island, the U.S. Navy entered into an agreement with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in 2014 to conduct an ecological monitoring program at several sites around the island. Four permanent sites—Nav Fac 100, West End, Dutch Harbor, and Daytona 100—were established. The sites were based on ones that had been monitored since 1980 by USGS and were combined or expanded for better comparability with monitoring programs conducted at the other California Channel Islands. At the sites, scientists from USGS and our cooperator, the University of California, Santa Cruz, measured bottom cover of algae and sessile invertebrate species in quadrats, counted and sized fish on swimming transects, and counted a suite of kelps and invertebrates on benthic band transects. Holdfast diameter and number of stipes of giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) were recorded on these transects, and size data were collected for urchins, sea stars, and shelled mollusks. Bottom temperatures were recorded at hourly intervals by archival data loggers that were deployed at the sites. This report focuses primarily on data collected in fall 2017 and spring 2018 and makes comparisons with data collected in previous years, beginning in fall 2014.

Nav Fac 100 is a site with a relatively low benthic profile, situated on the north side of San Nicolas Island. It was previously urchin dominated but underwent a dramatic decline in purple sea urchins in 2015 and 2016. Since then, macroalgae has become more prevalent as both annual brown algae, such as Dictyota, and perennials (for example, Cystoseira) have become established. The invasive brown alga Sargassum horneri has also become established. West End, on the southwest side of the island, also lacks much bottom relief but has more crevice habitat associated with boulders. It remains dominated by kelps and red algae, but red algae have decreased recently. Dutch Harbor, on the south side, has many high relief rocky reefs and had the greatest fish and non-motile invertebrate densities. It remains the most stable of the sites. Daytona 100, on the southeast side, has moderate relief and has remained a patchwork of kelp and urchin dominated areas with moderate fish density.

The main change at the sites during the last 4 years was the decline in urchin numbers at Nav Fac 100. There was storm-related mortality and subsequent recruitment in the M. pyrifera population at several of the sites in both 2016 and 2017. The winter of 2018, however, was relatively mild, with less destructive storm-related disturbance. The invasive brown alga S. horneri, first seen at San Nicolas Island at Nav Fac 100 in fall 2015, has become firmly established there during the last 2 sampling years. Finally, moderate increases were observed in purple urchin densities at all sites this spring. Long-term data are presented to illustrate trends and changes over the past three decades. Results indicate continued monitoring to evaluate ecosystem effects from perturbations owing to natural processes and anthropomorphic factors, including recovery of the sea otter population, changes in fisheries, invasive species and changing environmental conditions, could be valuable to inform managers’ decision-making.

Distribution and abundance of Least Bell’s Vireos (Vireo bellii pusillus) and Southwestern Willow Flycatchers (Empidonax traillii extimus) on the Middle San Luis Rey River, San Diego County, southern California—2019 data summary

Released January 16, 2020 08:56 EST

2020, Data Series 1122

Lisa D. Allen, Barbara E. Kus

We surveyed for Least Bell’s Vireos (Vireo bellii pusillus; vireo) along the San Luis Rey River, between College Boulevard in Oceanside and Interstate 15 in Fallbrook, California (middle San Luis Rey River), in 2019, and we surveyed and conducted nest monitoring for Southwestern Willow Flycatchers (Empidonax traillii extimus; flycatcher) in a survey area where breeding had historically been documented on the middle San Luis Rey River, in 2019. Surveys were conducted from April 11 to June 24 (vireo) and from May 16 to July 15 (flycatcher). We found 179 vireo territories, at least 124 of which were occupied by pairs. Vireo territories increased by 100 percent within the portion of the middle San Luis Rey River that burned as a result of a wildfire in 2017. In contrast, vireo territories increased by 5 percent within the unburned portion of the middle San Luis Rey River.

Vireos used five different habitat types in the survey area: mixed willow riparian, willow-cottonwood, riparian scrub, willow-sycamore, and upland scrub. Fifty-two percent of the vireos were detected in habitat characterized as mixed willow, and 92 percent of the vireos were detected in habitat with greater than 50 percent native plant cover. Of the 12 banded vireos detected in the survey area, 5 were resighted with a full color-band combination. One adult female with a unique color-band combination immigrated to the middle San Luis Rey River from Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton (MCBCP). Five other vireos with single (natal) federal bands were recaptured, identified, and color banded in 2019. Two vireos with a single dark blue federal band, indicating that they were banded as nestlings on the lower San Luis Rey River (LSLR), could not be recaptured for identification. The five natal vireos that were recaptured on the middle San Luis Rey River dispersed from 1.4 to 8.3 kilometers (km) from their natal territories. Banded vireos with a known age ranged from 1 to 11 years old.

One resident flycatcher was observed in the survey area in 2019. The resident flycatcher (male) was detected in a territory of mixed willow habitat with greater than 50 percent native plant cover. He was detected as a single male from May 16 to July 17, 2019, and no evidence of pairing or nesting was observed. The male flycatcher with a unique color-band combination occupied the same territory in 2018 and 2019.

Extreme mortality and reproductive failure of common murres resulting from the northeast Pacific marine heatwave of 2014-2016

Released January 15, 2020 13:49 EST

2020, PLoS ONE

John F. Piatt, Julia K. Parrish, Heather M. Renner, Sarah K. Schoen, Timothy Jones, Mayumi L. Arimitsu, Kathy J. Kuletz, Barbara Bodenstein, Marisol Garcia-Reyes, Rebecca Duerr, Robin Corcoran, Robb S.A. Kaler, Gerard J. McChesney, Richard T. Golightly, Heather A. Coletti, Robert M. Suryan, Hillary K. Burgess, Jackie Lindsey, Kirsten Lindquist, Peter Warzybok, Jaime Jahncke, Jan Roletto, William J. Sydeman

About 62,000 dead or dying common murres (Uria aalge), the trophically dominant fish-eating seabird of the North Pacific, washed ashore between summer 2015 and spring 2016 on beaches from California to Alaska. Most birds were severely emaciated and, so far, no evidence for anything other than starvation was found to explain this mass mortality. Three-quarters of murres were found in the Gulf of Alaska and the remainder along the West Coast. Studies show that only a fraction of birds that die at sea typically wash ashore, and we estimate that total mortality approached 1 million birds. About two-thirds of murres killed were adults, a substantial blow to breeding populations. Additionally, 22 complete reproductive failures were observed at multiple colonies region-wide during (2015) and after (2016–2017) the mass mortality event. Die-offs and breeding failures occur sporadically in murres, but the magnitude, duration and spatial extent of this die-off, associated with multi-colony and multi-year reproductive failures, is unprecedented and astonishing. These events co-occurred with the most powerful marine heatwave on record that persisted through 2014–2016 and created an enormous volume of ocean water (the “Blob”) from California to Alaska with temperatures that exceeded average by 2–3 standard deviations. Other studies indicate that this prolonged heatwave reduced phytoplankton biomass and restructured zooplankton communities in favor of lower-calorie species, while it simultaneously increased metabolically driven food demands of ectothermic forage fish. In response, forage fish quality and quantity diminished. Similarly, large ectothermic groundfish were thought to have increased their demand for forage fish, resulting in greater top-predator demands for diminished forage fish resources. We hypothesize that these bottom-up and top-down forces created an “ectothermic vise” on forage species leading to their system-wide scarcity and resulting in mass mortality of murres and many other fish, bird and mammal species in the region during 2014–2017.

Measurement and computation of streamflow

Released January 15, 2020 11:35 EST

1982, Water Supply Paper 2175

Saul Edward Rantz

The purpose of this manual is to provide a comprehensive description of state-of-the-art standardized stream-gaging procedures, within the scope described below. The manual is intended for use as a training guide and reference text, primarily for hydraulic engineers and technicians in the U.S. Geological Survey, but the manual is also appropriate for use by other stream-gaging practitioners, both in the United States and elsewhere.

Notes on interpretation of geophysical data over areas of mineralization in Afghanistan

Released January 15, 2020 10:50 EST

2011, Open-File Report 2011-1258

Benjamin J. Drenth

Afghanistan has the potential to contain substantial metallic mineral resources. Although valuable mineral deposits have been identified, much of the country’s potential remains unknown. Geophysical surveys, particularly those conducted from airborne platforms, are a well-accepted and cost-effective method for obtaining information on the geological setting of a given area. This report summarizes interpretive findings from various geophysical surveys over selected mineral targets in Afghanistan, highlighting what existing data tell us. These interpretations are mainly qualitative in nature, because of the low resolution of available geophysical data.

Geophysical data and simple interpretations are included for these six areas and deposit types: (1) Aynak: Sedimentary-hosted copper; (2) Zarkashan: Porphyry copper; (3) Kundalan: Porphyry copper; (4) Dusar Shaida: Volcanic-hosted massive sulphide; (5) Khanneshin: Carbonatite-hosted rare earth element; and (6) Chagai Hills: Porphyry copper.

Surface materials map of Afghanistan: Carbonates, phyllosilicates, sulfates, altered minerals, and other materials

Released January 15, 2020 10:20 EST

2012, Scientific Investigations Map 3152-A

Raymond F. Kokaly, Trude V.V. King, Todd M. Hoefen, Kathleen B. Dudek, Keith E. Livo

This map shows the distribution of selected carbonates, phyllosilicates, sulfates, altered minerals, and other materials derived from analysis of HyMap imaging spectrometer data of Afghanistan. Using a NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) WB-57 aircraft flown at an altitude of ~15,240 meters or ~50,000 feet, 218 flight lines of data were collected over Afghanistan between August 22 and October 2, 2007. The HyMap data were converted to apparent surface reflectance, then further empirically adjusted using ground-based reflectance measurements. The reflectance spectrum of each pixel of HyMap data was compared to the spectral features of reference entries in a spectral library of minerals, vegetation, water, ice, and snow. This map shows the spatial distribution of minerals that have diagnostic absorption features in the shortwave infrared wavelengths. These absorption features result primarily from characteristic chemical bonds and mineralogical vibrations. Several criteria, including (1) the reliability of detection and discrimination of minerals using the HyMap spectrometer data, (2) the relative abundance of minerals, and (3) the importance of particular minerals to studies of Afghanistan's natural resources, guided the selection of entries in the reference spectral library and, therefore, guided the selection of mineral classes shown on this map. Minerals occurring abundantly at the surface and those having unique spectral features were easily detected and discriminated. Minerals having similar spectral features were less easily discriminated, especially where the minerals were not particularly abundant and (or) where vegetation cover reduced the absorption strength of mineral features. Complications in reflectance calibration also affected the detection and identification of minerals.

Surface materials map of Afghanistan: Iron-bearing minerals and other materials

Released January 15, 2020 10:05 EST

2012, Scientific Investigations Map 3152-B

Trude V.V. King, Raymond F. Kokaly, Todd M. Hoefen, Kathleen B. Dudek, Keith E. Livo

This map shows the distribution of selected iron-bearing minerals and other materials derived from analysis of HyMap imaging spectrometer data of Afghanistan. Using a NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) WB-57 aircraft flown at an altitude of ~15,240 meters or ~50,000 feet, 218 flight lines of data were collected over Afghanistan between August 22 and October 2, 2007. The HyMap data were converted to apparent surface reflectance, then further empirically adjusted using ground-based reflectance measurements. The reflectance spectrum of each pixel of HyMap data was compared to the spectral features of reference entries in a spectral library of minerals, vegetation, water, ice, and snow. This map shows the spatial distribution of iron-bearing minerals and other materials having diagnostic absorptions at visible and near-infrared wavelengths. These absorptions result from electronic processes in the minerals. Several criteria, including (1) the reliability of detection and discrimination of minerals using the HyMap spectrometer data, (2) the relative abundance of minerals, and (3) the importance of particular minerals to studies of Afghanistan's natural resources, guided the selection of entries in the reference spectral library and, therefore, guided the selection of mineral classes shown on this map. Minerals occurring abundantly at the surface and those having unique spectral features were easily detected and discriminated. Minerals having similar spectral features were less easily discriminated, especially where the minerals were not particularly abundant and (or) where vegetation cover reduced the absorption strength of mineral features. Complications in reflectance calibration also affected the detection and identification of minerals.

GIS-Based Identification of Areas with Mineral Resource Potential for Six Selected Deposit Groups, Bureau of Land Management Central Yukon Planning Area, Alaska

Released January 15, 2020 08:30 EST

2015, Open-File Report 2015-1021

James V. Jones III, Susan M. Karl, Keith A. Labay, Nora B. Shew, Matthew Granitto, Timothy S. Hayes, Jeffrey L. Mauk, Jeanine M. Schmidt, Erin Todd, Bronwen Wang, Melanie B. Werdon, Douglas B. Yager

This study, covering the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Central Yukon Planning Area (CYPA), Alaska, was prepared to aid BLM mineral resource management planning. Estimated mineral resource potential and certainty are mapped for six selected mineral deposit groups: (1) rare earth element (REE) deposits associated with peralkaline to carbonatitic intrusive igneous rocks, (2) placer and paleoplacer gold, (3) platinum group element (PGE) deposits associated with mafic and ultramafic intrusive igneous rocks, (4) carbonate-hosted copper deposits, (5) sandstone uranium deposits, and (6) tin-tungsten-molybdenum-fluorspar deposits associated with specialized granites. These six deposit groups include most of the strategic and critical elements of greatest interest in current exploration.

This study has used a data-driven, geographic information system (GIS)-based method for evaluating the mineral resource potential across the large region of the CYPA. This method systematically and simultaneously analyzes geoscience data from multiple geospatially referenced datasets and uses individual subwatersheds (12-digit hydrologic unit codes or HUCs) as the spatial unit of classification. The final map output indicates an estimated potential (high, medium, low) for a given mineral deposit group and indicates the certainty (high, medium, low) of that estimate for any given subwatershed (HUC). Accompanying tables describe the data layers used in each analysis, the values assigned for specific analysis parameters, and the relative weighting of each data layer that contributes to the estimated potential and certainty determinations. Core datasets used include the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Alaska Geochemical Database (AGDB2), the Alaska Division of Geologic and Geophysical Surveys Web-based geochemical database, data from an anticipated USGS geologic map of Alaska, and the USGS Alaska Resource Data File. Map plates accompanying this report illustrate the mineral prospectivity for the six deposit groups across the CYPA and estimates of mineral resource potential. There are numerous areas, some of them large, rated with high potential for one or more of the selected deposit groups within the CYPA.

Storage capacity and sedimentation characteristics of the San Antonio Reservoir, California, 2018

Released January 15, 2020 08:04 EST

2020, Scientific Investigations Report 2019-5151

Mathieu D. Marineau, Scott A. Wright, Joan V. Lopez

The San Antonio Reservoir is a large water storage facility in Alameda County, California, and is a major component of the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System (RWS). The RWS is a water-supply system owned and operated by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and provides water for about 2.7 million people in the San Francisco, Santa Clara, Alameda, and San Mateo Counties. The San Antonio Reservoir is one of two RWS reservoirs in Alameda County and the third largest of the RWS reservoirs in the San Francisco Bay Area. The reservoir was formed by the James H. Turner Dam, which was completed in 1965. At the time of construction, the reservoir was estimated to have 50,500 acre-feet (acre-ft) of storage capacity. That early estimate was based on a 1963 pre-construction topographic map, which was drawn from aerial photographs. The capacity of the reservoir was later surveyed in 1994 and 2000. These two later surveys did not include the upper 18 feet (ft) of the reservoir, which represents roughly 30 percent of the overall storage volume. To determine the storage capacity and provide updated stage-capacity curves up to the spillway, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the SFPUC, surveyed the bathymetry and shoreline of the reservoir in April 2018.

The bathymetric survey was performed by making depth soundings using a boat-mounted, multibeam echosounder. At the time of the survey, the water level was between 13 and 14 ft below the spillway elevation. To measure capacity between the water line up to the spillway elevation, topography along most of the shoreline was surveyed from the boat using a terrestrial Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) scanner and in other areas by using ground-survey techniques. Location during bathymetric and topographic data collection was determined using a Global Navigation Satellite System-Real Time Network system. Vertical profiles of sound speed were collected periodically. The sound-speed profiles were used to spatially and temporally adjust the sound-speed calculations used to determine depth from the soundings. Approximately 125 kilometers (78 miles) of transects with a total of about 560 million depth soundings and topographic LiDAR points were collected (about 160 per square meter). In addition, approximately 500 topographic survey points were collected in shallow, wadable areas and on land near the upper reservoir area using a Global Navigation Satellite System receiver attached to a fixed length survey rod. Depth soundings, terrestrial LiDAR points, topographic survey points, and a digitized shoreline were merged and interpolated to generate a digital elevation model (DEM) of the reservoir. Gridded elevation data extracted from the DEM were then tabulated to determine total reservoir capacity and create reservoir stage-surface area and stage-storage capacity tables.

Results of the reservoir capacity analysis indicated that the reservoir has 53,266 (plus or minus 140) acre-ft of storage capacity, which is an increase of 2,766 acre-ft (or 5.5 percent) greater than the original 1965 estimate; the increase is likely due to improved survey methods. Also, at the time of this 2018 survey, Intake #1 (the lowest intake) was not in operation. Intake #1 is estimated to be buried approximately 10 ft below the bed, whereas Intake #2 is about 20 ft above the bed. There are five intakes at different elevation levels; however, when consecutive lower intakes become inoperable due to sedimentation, the live storage capacity (capacity available for use) is reduced. At the time of this survey, the remaining live storage (above Intake #2) was approximately 52,363 acre-ft.

The 2018 stage-capacity curve was compared to the original 1965 stage-capacity curve. Although overall, the changes indicate an increase in storage capacity, the change in volume at 372.7 ft North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (370 ft National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929, NGVD 29) shows a decrease of 733 acre-ft (the elevation of 370 ft NGVD 29 was used because it is the lowest elevation available for the 1965 stage-capacity curves). This finding agrees with the observed accumulation of sediment over Intake #1. That volume was converted to an annual sediment yield of 0.35 acre-ft per square mile (or 165 cubic meters per square kilometer), which is of the same order of magnitude as that found in other watersheds for the Coast Ranges in California. A decrease of 733 acre-ft between 1965 and 2018 thus represents a loss of 1.5 percent of the overall storage capacity in the reservoir. The updated stage-surface area and stage-capacity tables provided in this report and online (https://doi.org/10.5066/P9KC9DU8) can be used by the SFPUC to improve reservoir operations and serve as an accurate baseline to monitor bathymetric changes in the future.

Methods for computing water-quality loads at sites in the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Quality Network

Released January 14, 2020 16:30 EST

2017, Open-File Report 2017-1120

Casey J. Lee, Jennifer C. Murphy, Charles G. Crawford, Jeffrey R. Deacon

The U.S. Geological Survey currently (2020) publishes information on concentrations and loads of water-quality constituents at 110 sites across the United States as part of the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Quality Network (NWQN). This report details historical and updated methods for computing water-quality loads at NWQN sites. The primary updates to historical load estimation methods include (1) an adaptation to methods for computing loads to the Gulf of Mexico; (2) the inclusion of loads and trends computed using the Weighted Regressions on Time, Discharge, and Season (WRTDS) and Weighted Regressions on Time, Discharge, and Season with Kalman filtering (WRTDS–K) methods; and (3) the inclusion of loads computed using continuous water-quality data. Loads computed using WRTDS and WRTDS–K and continuous water-quality data are provided along with those computed using historical methods. Various aspects of method updates are evaluated in this report to help users of water-quality loading data determine which estimation methods best suit their particular application.

Chapter 4: Cretaceous thrusting and Neogene block rotation in the northern Portneuf Range region, southeastern Idaho

Released January 14, 2020 12:47 EST

1992, Memoir of the Geological Society of America (179) 95-113

Karl S. Kellogg

The Putnam thrust has long been recognized as an important Mesozoic structure in the northern Portneuf Range, southeastern Idaho. At most localities, the thrust places Ordovician rocks above Permian and Pennsylvanian rocks, although near its southeastern extent, it ramps laterally downsection to the southeast. At its southeasternmost exposures, Cambrian rocks are juxtaposed above Mississippian rocks. New work indicates that the hanging wall of the Putnam thrust contains three imbricate thrust slices or subplates, which are, from structurally lowest to highest (and generally from north to south), the Lone Pine subplate, the Narrows subplate, and the Bear Canyon-Toponce subplate.

The steeply south-dipping, east-trending Narrows thrust overlies the Lone Pine subplate, underlies the Narrows subplate, and is a lateral ramp that merges eastward into the Putnam thrust. Where exposed, the Narrows thrust places Late Proterozoic quartzite of the Brigham Group over Ordovician and Cambrian rocks. The Bear Canyon thrust overlies the Narrows subplate and underlies the Bear Canyon-Toponce subplate, dips eastward along the west side of the Portneuf Range, and places lower Brigham Group quartzite above Cambrian limestone and Cambrian and Late Proterozoic upper Brigham Group quartzite and argillite. At its northern extent, the Bear Canyon thrust curves to the east, where it merges with the Putnam thrust. On the east side of the range, the intensely folded Toponce thrust places upper Brigham Group quartzite above Ordovician rocks; the Toponce is believed to be an eastward extension of the Bear Canyon thrust.

East-dipping rocks within the Lone Pine subplate were not strongly deformed during Cretaceous thrusting, in contrast to rocks within the Narrows subplate, where east-vergent recumbent folds, cleavage directions that fan about northerly strikes, and tectonic thickening and thinning of beds indicate intense, thrust-parallel shear. The deformation and thrust geometry within the Narrows subplate suggest that the Narrows subplate actually consists of several horses within a foreland-dipping duplex.

Late Miocene and younger basin deposits occur in north-trending valleys adjacent t o the northern Portneuf Range and, to the west, the Bannock and Pocatello ranges. At most places, the Neogene deposits dip to the east by as much as 35°, indicating that late Miocene and younger extension and down-to-the-east rotation occurred along mostly west-dipping listric faults that are inferred to merge on at least one regional detachment. Although range-bounding faults account for a large component of extension and rotation, an additional large component was contributed by numerous, relatively small-displacement normal faults within mountain ranges.

A round-robin evaluation of the repeatability and reproducibility of environmental DNA assays for dreissenid mussels

Released January 13, 2020 16:41 EST

2020, Environmental DNA

Adam J. Sepulveda, Patrick R. Hutchins, Craig Jackson, Carl Ostberg, Matthew Laramie, Jon J. Amberg, Timothy Counihan, Andrew B. Hoegh, David Pilliod

Resource managers may be hesitant to make decisions based on environmental (e)DNA results alone since eDNA is an indirect method of species detection. One way to reduce the uncertainty of eDNA is to identify laboratory‐based protocols that ensure repeatable and reproducible results. We conducted a double‐blind round‐robin analysis of probe‐based assays for DNA of dreissenid (Dreissena spp.) mussels, which are prolific aquatic invaders that can cause significant economic and ecological impacts. DNA extract from water samples spiked with known amounts of dreissenid DNA and from water samples collected from waters with and without dreissenids were analyzed by four independent research laboratories. We used results to calculate detection repeatability within laboratories and assays, detection reproducibility among laboratories and assays, and estimated dreissenid DNA copy number precision and accuracy. Laboratory and assay repeatability and reproducibility of detection results were high, 91% and 92%, respectively. The estimated copy numbers were neither precise nor accurate for samples spiked with <773 gene copies. These results suggest that eDNA surveillance of dreissenid mussels, using the protocols evaluated herein, can generate reliable detection data for decision‐making. However, managers should be cautious about using the quantitative information often associated with eDNA detections, especially when DNA is at lower abundance. Our results provide strong support that eDNA has the potential to provide repeatable and reproducible evidence under varying laboratory conditions and for different sample water chemistries. This is reassuring since the demand for eDNA surveillance is widespread and number of laboratories that process eDNA samples is growing steadily.

Effects of surface-water use on domestic groundwater availability and quality during drought in the Sierra Nevada foothills, California

Released January 13, 2020 12:18 EST

2019, Fact Sheet 2019-3077

Zeno F. Levy, Miranda S. Fram, Kimberly A. Taylor


Approximately 2 million California residents rely on privately owned domestic wells for drinking water. During the California drought of 2012−16 groundwater levels declined in many parts of the state and wells were deepened in response. Most of the wells deepened during this time were domestic wells that were drilled into fractured bedrock throughout the Sierra Nevada foothills region of northern California. To understand the impacts of extreme drought on groundwater supply availability and quality in this setting, the United States Geological Survey completed a geochemical survey of domestic wells throughout the Yuba and Bear River watersheds during 2015–16 as part of the State Water Board’s Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment Program Priority Basin Project (GAMA-PBP). This fact sheet highlights key findings from the GAMA-PBP assessment.

Analysis of aquifer framework and hydraulic properties of Lovelock Valley, Lovelock, Nevada

Released January 13, 2020 10:58 EST

2019, Open-File Report 2019-1133

Cara Nadler

Multiple aquifer tests were conducted in Lovelock, Nevada, to determine hydraulic conductivity and storage properties to be used with the numerical groundwater flow model of the lower Humboldt River Basin while accounting for the influence of surface features with a modeling component. The numerical model will ultimately provide the Nevada Division of Water Resources (NDWR) with information regarding the impacts of groundwater pumping on the Humboldt River, allowing the Nevada State Engineer to make informed decisions in the conjunctive management of the State’s groundwater and surface water resources. Seven slug tests, one single-well pumping test, and two multi-well pumping tests were conducted to evaluate properties of shallow Lahontan clays and silts; shallow fluvial deposits; and coarser, water-bearing deposits of the younger alluvium. Aquifer tests were conducted between March 2017 and April 2018. Results indicate aquifers in the Lovelock Valley have transmissivity ranging between 0.0001 and 95,000 feet squared per day (ft2/day). The results of these tests provide constraints on hydraulic properties for a numerical groundwater flow model being developed for a capture study in the lower Humboldt River Basin.

Preliminary geologic map of the Greater Antilles and the Virgin Islands

Released January 13, 2020 08:17 EST

2019, Open-File Report 2019-1036

Frederic H. Wilson, Greta Orris, Floyd Gray


This geologic map of the Greater Antilles and the Virgin Islands is a compilation of information from the literature, integrated to provide a seamless geologic map of the region. The geology shown on sheet 1 covers Cuba, the island of Hispaniola, which includes Haiti and the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. A second more detailed sheet shows the geology of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The map units shown here are integrated across the islands of the Greater Antilles and the Virgin Islands.

The Greater Antilles and the Virgin Islands, although they appear to reflect the character of a magmatic arc, actually represent multiple, distinct geologic features. Only in Cuba are there unquestioned Jurassic-age, and perhaps older, rocks present. On the islands of Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic) and Puerto Rico, metamorphic assemblages contain rocks that may be of Jurassic age. Ophiolite assemblages that may include rocks of Jurassic age are present in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Puerto Rico. Metamorphic rocks of Cretaceous age are more widespread, present in Cuba, Hispaniola, and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. Cretaceous plutonic rocks are present in Cuba and Puerto Rico, as well as in the Dominican Republic (in the Cordillera Central and in the eastern part of the country). Gabbro and trondhjemite of inferred Early Cretaceous age are present in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Cretaceous volcanic rocks are widespread in Cuba, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands; they are of variable age and do not appear to reflect a single arc system. Cretaceous volcanic rocks are also found in Jamaica, in inliers on the eastern part of the island. Eocene volcanic rocks are prominent in southern Cuba, Haiti, eastern Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Volcanic rocks possibly as young as early Miocene are present in the southern Dominican Republic; the youngest volcanic rocks in the region are the Low Layton Lavas of Jamaica of late Miocene age and alkali basalt of Quaternary age on Hispaniola.

Carbonate rocks are an important component of the sedimentary section in the Greater Antilles, which is as old as Jurassic in Cuba and as young as Holocene in many areas. In Cuba, Early Cretaceous sedimentary rocks tend to be dominantly carbonates; volcanic clasts and debris are not present until the Late Cretaceous in Cuba, as well as in Jamaica and Puerto Rico. In contrast, Early Cretaceous volcaniclastic sedimentary rocks are common in the Virgin Islands. Olistostrome deposits are commonly described in latest Cretaceous and Eocene rocks; in the Paleocene and the early Eocene, these deposits are commonly associated with mélange units. Volcanic debris and tuff are common in sedimentary rocks of Paleocene and Eocene age, typically associated with carbonate rocks. Sedimentary rocks that postdate the Eocene either are dominantly carbonates or are mixed clastic and carbonate rocks in which the clastic component reflects erosion of earlier units, including older carbonate rocks. Rocks that contain lignite, which are only present in Cuba and on Hispaniola, generally are of Miocene age.

Mercury and selenium concentrations in fishes of the Upper Colorado River Basin, southwestern United States: A retrospective assessment

Released January 13, 2020 06:18 EST

2020, PLoS ONE (15)

Natalie Day, Travis Schmidt, James J. Roberts, Barbara C. Osmundson, James Willacker, Collin Eagles-Smith

Mercury (Hg) and selenium (Se) are contaminants of concern for fish in the Upper Colorado River Basin (UCRB). We explored Hg and Se in fish tissues (2,324 individuals) collected over 50 years (1962–2011) from the UCRB. Samples include native and non-native fish collected from lotic waterbodies spanning 7 major tributaries to the Colorado River. There was little variation of total mercury (THg) in fish assemblages basin-wide and only 13% (272/1959) of individual fish samples exceeded the fish health benchmark (0.27 μg THg/g ww). Most THg exceedances were observed in the White-Yampa tributary whereas the San Juan had the lowest mean THg concentration. Risks associated with THg are species specific with exceedances dominated by Colorado Pikeminnow (mean = 0.38 and standard error ± 0.08 μg THg/g ww) and Roundtail Chub (0.24 ± 0.06 μg THg/g ww). For Se, 48% (827/1720) of all individuals exceeded the fish health benchmark (5.1 μg Se/g dw). The Gunnison river had the most individual exceedances of the Se benchmark (74%) whereas the Dirty Devil had the fewest. We identified that species of management concern accumulate THg and Se to levels above risk thresholds and that fishes of the White-Yampa (THg) and Gunnison (Se) rivers are at the greatest risk in the UCRB.

Data mining for water resource management part 2 - methods and approaches to solving contemporary problems

Released January 13, 2020 05:00 EST

2010, Conference Paper, Proceedings of the 2010 South Carolina Water Resources Conference

Edwin A. Roehl, Paul Conrads

This is the second of two papers that describe how data mining can aid natural-resource managers with the difficult problem of controlling the interactions between hydrologic and man-made systems. Data mining is a new science that assists scientists in converting large databases into knowledge, and is uniquely able to leverage the large amounts of real-time, multivariate data now being collected for hydrologic systems. Part 1 gives a high-level overview of data mining, and describes several applications that have addressed major water resource issues in South Carolina. This Part 2 paper describes how various data mining methods are integrated to produce predictive models for controlling surface- and groundwater hydraulics and quality. The methods include: - signal processing to remove noise and decompose complex signals into simpler components; - time series clustering that optimally groups hundreds of signals into "classes" that behave similarly for data reduction and (or) divide-and-conquer problem solving; - classification which optimally matches new data to behavioral classes; - artificial neural networks which optimally fit multivariate data to create predictive models; - model response surface visualization that greatly aids in understanding data and physical processes; and, - decision support systems that integrate data, models, and graphics into a single package that is easy to use.

The Shoreline Management Tool—An ArcMap tool for analyzing water depth, inundated area, volume, and selected habitats, with an example for the lower Wood River Valley, Oregon

Released January 10, 2020 14:00 EST

2013, Open-File Report 2012-1247

Daniel T. Snyder, Tana L. Haluska, Darius Respini-Irwin

The Shoreline Management Tool is a geographic information system (GIS) based program developed to assist water- and land-resource managers in assessing the benefits and effects of changes in surface-water stage on water depth, inundated area, and water volume. Additionally, the Shoreline Management Tool can be used to identify aquatic or terrestrial habitat areas where conditions may be suitable for specific plants or animals as defined by user-specified criteria including water depth, land-surface slope, and land-surface aspect. The tool can also be used to delineate areas for use in determining a variety of hydrologic budget components such as surface-water storage, precipitation, runoff, or evapotranspiration.

The Shoreline Management Tool consists of two parts, a graphical user interface for use with Esri™ ArcMap™ GIS software to interact with the user to define scenarios and map results, and a spreadsheet in Microsoft® Excel® developed to display tables and graphs of the results. The graphical user interface allows the user to define a scenario consisting of an inundation level (stage), land areas (parcels), and habitats (areas meeting user-specified conditions) based on water depth, slope, and aspect criteria. The tool uses data consisting of land-surface elevation, tables of stage/volume and stage/area, and delineated parcel boundaries to produce maps (data layers) of inundated areas and areas that meet the habitat criteria. The tool can be run in a Single-Time Scenario mode or in a Time-Series Scenario mode, which uses an input file of dates and associated stages. The spreadsheet part of the tool uses a macro to process the results from the graphical user interface to create tables and graphs of inundated water volume, inundated area, dry area, and mean water depth for each land parcel based on the user-specified stage. The macro also creates tables and graphs of the area, perimeter, and number of polygons comprising the user-specified habitat areas within each parcel.

The Shoreline Management Tool is highly transferable, using easily generated or readily available data. The capabilities of the tool are demonstrated using data from the lower Wood River Valley adjacent to Upper Klamath and Agency Lakes in southern Oregon.

Geologic Map and Digital Database of the Yucaipa 7.5’ Quadrangle, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, California

Released January 10, 2020 11:50 EST

2003, Open-File Report 2003-301

Jonathan C. Matti, D.M. Morton, B.F. Cox, S.E. Carson, T.J. Yetter, Digital preparation by P.M. Cossette, M.C. Wright, S.A. Kennedy, M.L. Dawson, R.M. Hauser


This geologic database of the Yucaipa 7.5' quadrangle was prepared by the Southern California Areal Mapping Project (SCAMP), a regional geologic-mapping project sponsored jointly by the U.S. Geological Survey and the California Geological Survey. The database was developed as a contribution to the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program's National Geologic Map Database, and is intended to provide a general geologic setting of the Yucaipa quadrangle. The database and map provide information about earth materials and geologic structures, including faults and folds that have developed in the quadrangle due to complexities in the San Andreas Fault system.

The Yucaipa 7.5' quadrangle contains materials and structures that provide unique insight into the Mesozoic and Cenozoic geologic evolution of southern California. Stratigraphic and structural elements include: (1) strands of the San Andreas Fault that bound far-traveled terranes of crystalline and sedimentary rock; (2) Mesozoic crystalline rocks that form lower and upper plates of the regionwide Vincent-Orocopia Thrust system; and (3) late Tertiary and Quaternary sedimentary materials and geologic structures that formed during the last million years or so and that record complex geologic interactions within the San Andreas Fault system. These materials and the structures that deform them provide the geologic framework for investigations of geologic hazards and ground-water recharge and subsurface flow.

Geologic information contained in the Yucaipa database is general-purpose data that is applicable to land-related investigations in the earth and biological sciences. The term "generalpurpose" means that all geologic-feature classes have minimal information content adequate to characterize their general geologic characteristics and to interpret their general geologic history. However, no single feature class has enough information to definitively characterize its properties and origin. For this reason the database cannot be used for site-specific geologic evaluations, although it can be used to plan and guide investigations at the site-specific level.

Database of the Geologic Map of North America: Adapted from the map by J.C. Reed, Jr. and others (2005)

Released January 10, 2020 11:15 EST

2009, Data Series 424

Christopher P. Garrity, David R. Soller


The Geological Society of America's (GSA) Geologic Map of North America (Reed and others, 2005a; 1:5,000,000) shows the geology of a significantly large area of the Earth, centered on North and Central America and including the submarine geology of parts of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. This map is now converted to a Geographic Information System (GIS) database that contains all geologic and base-map information shown on the two printed map sheets and the accompanying explanation sheet. We anticipate this map database will be revised at some unspecified time in the future, likely through the actions of a steering committee managed by the GSA and staffed by scientists from agencies including those responsible for the original map compilation.

Regarding the use of this product, as noted by the map's compilers:
“The Geologic Map of North America is an essential educational tool for teaching the geology of North America to university students and for the continuing education of professional geologists in North America and elsewhere. In addition, simplified maps derived from the Geologic Map of North America are useful for enlightening younger students and the general public about the geology of the continent.”

With publication of this database, the preparation of any type of simplified map is made significantly easier. More important perhaps, the database provides a more accessible means to explore the map information and to compare and analyze it in conjunction with other types of information (for example, land use, soils, biology) to better understand the complex interrelations among factors that affect Earth resources, hazards, ecosystems, and climate.

Nutrient, organic carbon, and chloride concentrations and loads in selected Long Island Sound tributaries—Four decades of change following the passage of the Federal Clean Water Act

Released January 10, 2020 11:10 EST

2016, Scientific Investigations Report 2015-5189

John R. Mullaney

Trends in long-term water-quality and streamflow data from 14 water-quality monitoring sites in Connecticut were evaluated for water years 1974–2013 and 2001–13, coinciding with implementation of the Clean Water Act of 1972 and the Connecticut Nitrogen Credit Exchange program, as part of an assessment of nutrient and chloride concentrations and loads discharged to Long Island Sound. In this study, conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, data were evaluated using a recently developed methodology of weighted regressions with time, streamflow, and season. Trends in streamflow were evaluated using a locally weighted scatterplot smoothing method. Annual mean streamflow increased at 12 of the 14 sites averaging 8 percent during the entire study period, primarily in the summer months, and increased by an average of 9 percent in water years 2001–13, primarily during summer and fall months. Downward trends in flow-normalized nutrient concentrations and loads were observed during both periods for most sites for total nitrogen, total Kjeldahl nitrogen, nitrite plus nitrate nitrogen, total phosphorus, and total organic carbon. Average flow-normalized loads of total nitrogen decreased by 23.9 percent for the entire period and 10.9 percent for the period of water years 2001‒13. Major factors contributing to decreases in flow-normalized loads and concentrations of these nutrients include improvements in wastewater treatment practices, declining atmospheric wet deposition of nitrogen, and changes in land management and land use.

Loads of dissolved silica (DSi; flow-normalized and non-flow-normalized) increased slightly at most stations during the study period and were positively correlated to urbanized land in the basin and negatively correlated to area of open water. Concentrations and loads of chloride increased at 12 of the 14 sites during both periods. Increases likely are the result of an increase in the use of salt for deicing, as well as other factors related to urbanization and population growth, such as increases in wastewater discharge and discharge from septic systems.

Seismic evaluation of shallow-depth structure, faulting, and groundwater variations across the Dos Palmas Preserve, Riverside County, California

Released January 09, 2020 13:07 EST

2019, Open-File Report 2019-1130

Rufus D. Catchings, Mark R. Goldman, Joanne H. Chan, Robert R. Sickler, Michael J. Rymer, Coyn J. Criley


Dos Palmas Preserve is a Colorado Desert oasis and wetland in Riverside County, California, located near the base of the Orocopia Mountains and northeast of the Salton Sea. The original source of water for the oasis was artesian springs that developed at the base of the Orocopia Mountains, but more abundant water supplies were later provided to Dos Palmas Preserve when the Coachella Canal was built and water seeped from unlined parts of the canal. As a result of this abundant water supply in a desert setting, Dos Palmas Preserve, managed by the Bureau of Land Management, is now a wildlife preserve that became home to multiple plants, fowl, insects, rodents, reptiles, and bats, including some endangered and threatened species. More recently, sections of the Coachella Canal have been lined, resulting in a reduction of water seepage and threatening the sustainability of parts of Dos Palmas Preserve. Faults usually act as barriers to groundwater flow and Dos Palmas Preserve is only a few kilometers from the active trace of the San Andreas Fault, where splays of the fault trend through the area. Additionally, numerous closely spaced faults that have been mapped at the surface northwest of Dos Palmas Preserve are believed to extend southward into the Dos Palmas Preserve, where they are covered by alluvium. Thus, evaluation of the subsurface lithology and structure is needed to determine how the current allocation of water from the Coachella Canal affects various parts of Dos Palmas Preserve.

To better understand the distribution of the shallow lithology, faulting, and groundwater in Dos Palmas Preserve, the U.S. Geological Survey, in collaboration with the Bureau of Land Management, conducted a seismic survey across the northern part of Dos Palmas Preserve. The seismic survey was designed to “map” the upper part of the aquifer system and to more precisely locate faults that may affect groundwater flow in Dos Palmas Preserve. In this report, we present seismic velocity and reflection images of the shallow subsurface and relate those images to interpretative structures and stratigraphy that may affect groundwater at Dos Palmas Preserve.

Louisiana Coastal Zone sediment characterization; Comparison of sediment grain sizes for samples collected in 2008 and 2015–2016 from the western Chenier plain to the Chandeleur Islands, Louisiana—Louisiana Barrier Island Comprehensive Monitoring (BICM) Program

Released January 09, 2020 11:55 EST

2019, Open-File Report 2019-1132

Stephen T. Bosse, James G. Flocks, Julie C. Bernier, Ioannis Y. Georgiou, Mark A. Kulp, Michael Brown

Repeated sampling and grain-size analysis of surficial sediments along the sandy shorelines of Louisiana is necessary to characterize coastal-zone sediment properties and evaluate sediment transport patterns within the nearshore environments. In 2008, and again in 2015 and 2016, sediment grab samples were collected along the shorelines of the western Chenier plain, the Isles Dernieres (Raccoon, Whiskey, Trinity and East Islands), the Lafourche delta (Timbalier Islands, Caminada Headland, and Grand Isle), the modern delta (Grand Terre Islands from Chaland Headland to Sandy Point), and the Chandeleur Islands (from Curlew Island to Hewes Point). The samples were collected as part of the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) Barrier Island Comprehensive Monitoring (BICM) Program in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center (USGS–SPCMSC) and the University of New Orleans Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Studies (UNO–PIES). Physical properties of the samples (sediment grain size and sorting) were measured and provided in data reports to CPRA. Additional samples collected by the USGS from around Breton Island in 2014 and 2015 supplemented the 2015–2016 BICM data to complete the coastwide dataset. This report compares the results of the 2008 and 2015–2016 sedimentologic analyses and documents changes in composition (percent sand) and mean sediment grain size between the two time periods. At most sample sites, differences in mean grain size varied by less than ±0.25 Φ. The largest changes occurred at sites located near tidal inlets or along rapidly eroding shorelines.

Challenges for leveraging citizen science to support statistically robust monitoring programs

Released January 09, 2020 06:35 EST

2020, Biological Conservation (242)

Emily L. Weiser, James E. Diffendorfer, Laura Lopez-Hoffman, Darius J. Semmens, Wayne E. Thogmartin

Large samples and long time series are often needed for effective broad-scale monitoring of status and trends in wild populations. Obtaining those sample sizes can be more feasible when volunteers contribute to the dataset, but volunteer-selected sites are not always representative of a population. Previous work to account for biased site selection has relied on knowledge of covariates to explain differences between site types, but such knowledge is often unavailable. For cases where relevant covariates have not been defined, we used a simulation study to identify the consequences of including non-probabilistically selected sites (NP sites) in addition to sites selected from a probability-based design (P sites), test modeling frameworks that might correct for biases, and evaluate whether those frameworks could allow NP sites to reduce the sampling requirement for P sites and potentially reduce costs of monitoring. We informed the simulation with pilot data from surveys of monarch butterflies and their obligate larval host plant, milkweed. We found strong biases in NP sites versus P sites in density and trends of monarchs and milkweed. Modeling frameworks that accounted for site type with a group effect or that strongly downweighted NP sites successfully produced unbiased estimates. However, sampling more NP sites typically did not improve accuracy or precision, and adding NP sites sometimes required also adding P sites to prevent biases. Further work on novel modeling frameworks would be useful to allow citizen-science data to contribute useful information to conservation.

Water-balance techniques for determining available soil-water storage for selected sandy and clay soil study sites in Cass County, North Dakota, 2016–17

Released January 08, 2020 16:45 EST

2020, Scientific Investigations Report 2019-5141

Kevin Vining

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, collected field and remotely sensed data on precipitation, evapotranspiration (ET), and soil-water content to determine available soil-water storage (AWS) at six study sites on sandy and clay soils in Cass County, North Dakota. Data were collected at all the study sites from May 1–October 31, 2016, and from May 1–October 24, 2017. Estimated daily AWS was determined using daily meteorological and potential evapotranspiration (PET) data obtained from various climate stations, and estimated monthly AWS was determined using monthly meteorological and PET data and monthly ET data determined using the Operational Simplified Surface Energy Balance model. AWS during 2016 and 2017 was determined at daily and monthly time steps because of data availability and to assess results using varying time steps. Comparisons of measured and estimated daily values of AWS at the Brewer Lake site indicated poor agreement during May–October 2016 and May–October 2017. Comparisons of measured and estimated daily values of AWS at the Embden East and Embden West sites indicated poor and fair agreement respectively. At the Lynchburg Crop and Lynchburg Grass sites, comparisons of measured and estimated daily values of AWS indicated fair and good relations, respectively, even with the possible effects of soil cracks. Mean estimated values of daily runoff plus soil percolation for the four sandy soil sites indicated that a maximum of about 19 percent of the estimated runoff plus soil percolation could be considered runoff and that the remaining 81 percent could be considered soil percolation, and for the two clay soil sites about 13 percent of the runoff plus soil percolation could have been considered runoff and about 87 percent could have been considered soil percolation. Results indicated little difference between using monthly PET or monthly ET in water-balance equations to estimate monthly AWS for the grouped sandy soil sites, and only slightly better results were obtained using monthly PET than monthly ET to estimate monthly AWS for the grouped clay soil study sites. Overall, the monthly water-balance models did not perform as well as the daily water-balance models for determining AWS at the six study sites. Additional data collection from a longer-period study and adjustments to the models may improve results from the monthly water-balance techniques.

Assessment of existing groundwater quality data in the Green-Duwamish watershed, Washington

Released January 08, 2020 15:42 EST

2019, Open-File Report 2019-1131

Craig A. Senter, Kathleen E. Conn, Robert W. Black, Wendy B. Welch, Elisabeth T. Fasser

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) provided technical support to the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) in their assessment of the role groundwater plays in contributing pollutant loading to the Green-Duwamish River near Seattle, Washington. Ecology is developing watershed hydrology models of the Green-Duwamish watershed, and need to assign realistic contaminant concentrations to the various Hydrologic Response Units represented in their models. The USGS compiled existing groundwater quality data in the Green-Duwamish watershed, and this report summarizes results and interpretation of the dataset, including identifying data gaps and needs for further research and monitoring. The sources of existing data were the USGS’s National Water Information System, Ecology’s Environmental Information Management System, and a compilation of several studies by Leidos, a scientific research company. The water-quality parameters of interest included polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) Aroclors and congeners, phthalates, carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (cPAHs), arsenic, copper, and zinc. Results were grouped into the four subwatersheds delineated in Ecology’s hydrology models: Duwamish, Lower Green, Soos, and Upper Green. Results from the Duwamish subwatershed were further sub-divided by the USGS into the Lower Duwamish, containing land adjacent to the Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund site, and the Upper Duwamish, containing the remaining area of the Duwamish subwatershed. Groundwater quality data in the Lower Duwamish were treated separately because there is known contamination in this area. The availability of water quality data varied by subwatershed as follows: phthalate data was only available within the Duwamish, PCB data was available within the Duwamish and Lower Green, cPAH data was available within the Duwamish, Lower Green, and Soos, and data for arsenic, copper, and zinc were available within all four subwatersheds. More than 99 percent of the available data was within the Duwamish subwatershed, identifying a need for additional monitoring of groundwater quality in the other subwatersheds.

Geology and assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the Amerasia Basin Province, 2008

Released January 08, 2020 12:19 EST

2019, Professional Paper 1824-BB

David W. Houseknecht, Kenneth J. Bird, Christopher P. Garrity

Thomas E. Moore, Donald L. Gautier, editor(s)

The Amerasia Basin Province encompasses the Canada Basin and the sediment prisms along the Alaska and Canada margins, outboard from basinward margins (hingelines) of the rift shoulders that formed during extensional opening of the Canada Basin. The province includes the Mackenzie River delta and slope, the outer shelves and marine slopes along the Arctic margins of Alaska and Canada, and the deep Canada Basin.

The province is divided into four assessment units (AUs): (1) The Canning-Mackenzie Deformed Margin AU is that part of the rifted margin where the Brooks Range orogenic belt has overridden the rift shoulder and is deforming the rifted-margin prism of sediment outboard of the hingeline. This is the only part of the Amerasia Basin Province that has been explored and—even though more than 3 billion barrels of oil equivalent (BBOE) of oil, gas, and condensate have been discovered— none has been commercially produced. (2) The Alaska Passive Margin AU is the rifted-margin prism of sediment lying beneath the Beaufort Sea outer shelf and slope that has not been deformed by tectonism. (3) The Canada Passive Margin AU is the rifted-margin prism of sediment lying beneath the Arctic outer shelf and slope (also known as the polar margin) of Canada that has not been deformed by tectonism. (4) The Canada Basin AU includes the sedimentary wedge that lies beneath the deep Canada Basin, north of the marine slope developed along the Alaska and Canada margins. Mean estimates of risked, undiscovered, technically recoverable resources include more than 6 billion barrels of oil (BBO), more than 19 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of associated gas, and more than 16 TCF of nonassociated gas in the Canning-Mackenzie Deformed Margin AU; about 1 BBO, about 3 TCF of associated gas, and about 3 TCF of associated gas in the Alaska Passive Margin AU; and more than 2 BBO, about 7 TCF of associated gas, and about 8 TCF of nonassociated gas in the Canada Passive Margin AU. Quantities of natural gas liquids also are assessed in each AU. The Canada Basin AU was not quantitatively assessed because it is judged to hold less than 10 percent probability of containing at least one accumulation of 50 million barrels of oil equivalent.

The effects of management practices on grassland birds—Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris)

Released January 08, 2020 11:00 EST

2019, Professional Paper 1842-U

Meghan F. Dinkins, Lawrence D. Igl, Jill A. Shaffer, Douglas H. Johnson, Amy L. Zimmerman, Barry D. Parkin, Christopher M. Goldade, Betty R. Euliss

The key to Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris) management is maintaining areas with short, sparse vegetation by burning, mowing, or grazing. Horned Larks have been reported to use habitats with less than or equal to (≤) 70 centimeters (cm) average vegetation height, 3–26 cm visual obstruction reading, 15–67 percent grass cover, 3–70 percent forb cover, ≤21 percent shrub cover, 1–44 percent bare ground, ≤63 percent litter cover, and ≤9 cm litter depth.

Forest protection criteria within the Mississippi Alluvial Valley

Released January 08, 2020 06:26 EST

2020, Forests (11)

A. Blaine Elliott, Anne E. Mini, S. Keith McKnight, Daniel J. Twedt

The nearly ubiquitous bottomland hardwood forests that historically dominated the Mississippi Alluvial Valley have been greatly reduced in area. In addition, changes in hydrology and forest management have altered the structure and composition of the remaining forests. To ameliorate the detrimental impact of these changes on wildlife, conservation plans have emphasized restoration to increase interior forest habitat, while presuming negligible loss of extant forest in this ecoregion. Without conservation-protection, however, existing forests are subject to conversion to other uses. We assessed the conservation-protection status of land within the Mississippi Alluvial Valley and found that only 10% of total area was protected. Even so, 28% of extant forest was in the current conservation estate. Based on forest patch area, location, and hydrologic influence, we prioritized the attributed need of forest patches for additional conservation-protection. For forest bird conservation, we found 4712 forest patches warranted consideration for conservation-protection but only 109 of these forest patches met our conservation threshold of >2000 ha of core-forest that was >250 m from an edge. Overall, 35% of the area of forest patches considered for conservation-protection was protected within the conservation estate. However, those forest patches identified as most in need of conservation-protection had <10% of their area protected within the current conservation estate.

Interactions between soil thermal and hydrological dynamics in the response of Alaska ecosystems to fire disturbance

Released January 08, 2020 00:00 EST

2009, Journal of Geophysical Research G: Biogeosciences (114)

S. Yi, A.D. McGuire, J. Harden, E. Kasischke, K. Manies, L. Hinzman, A. Liljedahl, J. Randerson, H. Liu, V. Romanovsky, S. Marchenko, Y. Kim

Soil temperature and moisture are important factors that control many ecosystem processes. However, interactions between soil thermal and hydrological processes are not adequately understood in cold regions, where the frozen soil, fire disturbance, and soil drainage play important roles in controlling interactions among these processes. These interactions were investigated with a new ecosystem model framework, the dynamic organic soil version of the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model, that incorporates an efficient and stable numerical scheme for simulating soil thermal and hydrological dynamics within soil profiles that contain a live moss horizon, fibrous and amorphous organic horizons, and mineral soil horizons. The performance of the model was evaluated for a tundra burn site that had both preburn and postbura measurements, two black spruce fire chronosequences (representing space-for-time substitutions in well and intermediately drained conditions), and a poorly drained black spruce site. Although space-for-time substitutions present challenges in modeldata comparison, the model demonstrates substantial ability in simulating the dynamics of ??vapotranspiration, soil temperature, active layer depth, soil moisture, and water table depth in response to both climate variability and fire disturbance. Several differences between model simulations and field measurements identified key challenges for evaluating/improving model performance that include (1) proper representation of discrepancies between air temperature and ground surface temperature; (2) minimization of precipitation biases in the driving data sets; (3) improvement of the measurement accuracy of soil moisture in surface organic horizons; and (4) proper specification of organic horizon depth/properties, and soil thermal conductivity. Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.

Remnant hardwood forest mapping within the Upper Mississippi River Floodplain

Released January 07, 2020 13:45 EST

2020, Open-File Report 2019-1089

Jenny L. Hanson, Rich King, Erin E. Hoy

Executive Summary

The primary objective of the project was to locate previously unknown stands of mast-producing hardwood forest trees in the Upper Mississippi River floodplain using existing information. We located and mapped 399 previously unknown hardwood forest stands within the Mississippi River floodplain area of navigation pools 9, 10, and 11. Using color infrared images in combination with true-color imagery was useful for identifying hardwood forest stands. We recommend our result be refined by visiting the forest stands we identified to evaluate our classification rate and determine which stands are regenerating. In combination with regeneration information, our results can help better inform flood inundation modeling, which will help improve the efficacy of restoration design. Although we had some success using the best available information, to obtain more relevant observations, we recommend acquiring color infrared aerial imagery during the late fall season if providing detailed mapping of forest stands is a management priority. Imagery of this type collected in the fall, when trees may be distinguished by their differing senescence, has the potential to uniquely identify individual species or perhaps even individual trees. Gaining a better understanding of forest diversity and developing conservation strategies to preserve that diversity is timely because remaining aging trees, established before lock-and-dam installation on the Mississippi River, are nearing the end of their life expectancy.

Spatially referenced models of streamflow and nitrogen, phosphorus, and suspended-sediment loads in the southeastern United States

Released January 07, 2020 09:00 EST

2019, Scientific Investigations Report 2019-5135

Anne B. Hoos, Victor L. Roland II

Spatially Referenced Regression On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) models were applied to describe and estimate mean-annual streamflow and transport of total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP), and suspended sediment (SS) in streams and delivered to coastal waters of the southeastern United States on the basis of inputs and management practices centered near 2012, the base year of the model. Previously published TN and TP models for 2002 served as a starting point and reference for comparison. The datasets developed for the 2012 models not only represent updates of previous conditions but also incorporate new approaches for characterizing sources and transport processes that were not available for previous models.

Variability in streamflow across the southeastern United States was explained as a function of precipitation adjusted for evapotranspiration, spring discharge, and municipal and domestic wastewater discharges to streams. Results from the streamflow model were used as input to the water-quality SPARROW models, and areas with large streamflow prediction errors—urban areas and karst areas—were used to provide guidance on where additional data are needed to improve routing of flow.

Variability in TN transport in Southeast streams was explained by the following five sources in order of decreasing mass contribution to streams: atmospheric deposition, agricultural fertilizer, municipal wastewater, manure from livestock, and urban land. Variable rates of TN delivery from source to stream were attributed to variation among catchments in climate, soil texture, and vegetative cover, including the extent of cover crops in the watershed. Variability in TP transport in Southeast streams was explained by the following six sources in order of decreasing mass contribution to streams: parent-rock minerals, urban land, manure from livestock, municipal wastewater, agricultural fertilizer, and phosphate mining. Varying rates of TP delivery were attributed to variation in climate, soil erodibility, depth to water table, and the extent of conservation tillage practices in the watershed.

Variability in SS transport in Southeast streams was explained by variable sediment export rates for different combinations of land cover and geologic setting (for upland sources of sediment) and by gains in stream power caused by longitudinal changes in channel hydraulics (for channel sources of sediment). Sediment yields for the transitional land cover (shrub, scrub, herbaceous, and barren) varied widely depending on geologic setting and on agricultural land cover. Varying rates of SS delivery, like those for TP, were attributed to variation in climate, soil erodibility, and the extent of conservation tillage practices in the watershed, as well as to areal extent of canopy land cover in the 100-meter buffer along the channel. Relatively large uncertainty, compared to the other three models, for almost all the SS source coefficients indicates the need for caution when interpreting the results from the sediment model.

TN, TP, and SS inputs to streams from sources were balanced in the models with losses from physical processes in streams and reservoirs and with water withdrawals. The losses in streams and reservoirs along with withdrawals removed 35, 44, and 65 percent of the TN, TP, and SS load, respectively, that entered streams before reaching coastal waters.

Spatially referenced models of streamflow and nitrogen, phosphorus, and suspended-sediment transport in streams of the southwestern United States

Released January 07, 2020 09:00 EST

2019, Scientific Investigations Report 2019-5106

Daniel R. Wise, David W. Anning, Olivia L. Miller

Given the predicted imbalance between water supply and demand in the Southwest region of the United States, and the widespread problems with excessive nutrients and suspended sediment, there is a growing need to quantify current streamflow and water quality conditions throughout the region. Furthermore, current monitoring stations exist at a limited number of locations, and many streams lack streamflow and water quality information. SPAtially Referenced Regression On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) models were developed for hydrologic conditions representative of 2012 in order to understand how climate, land use, and other landscape characteristics control the yields of water, total nitrogen, total phosphorus, and suspended sediment across the Southwest region. The calibration data (mean annual streamflow and loads) for each of the four SPARROW models were based on continuous streamflow and discrete water-quality observations from throughout the region. Explanatory variables for the models consisted of regional datasets representing a range of potential sources of streamflow, nitrogen, phosphorous, and sediment, and processes that control the transport from land to water and attenuate loads within streams and waterbodies. Calibration and explanatory data were referenced to a surface water drainage network that allowed for routing and transport of water and loads through the region. The model results showed that wastewater discharge is the largest contributor to total nitrogen and total phosphorus yield from the Southwest region and forest land is the largest contributor to suspended-sediment yield, but that other sources such as atmospheric nitrogen deposition, agricultural runoff, and runoff from developed land are locally important across the region. The results from this study could complement research and inform water-quality management activities in the Southwest region. Examples might include identifying potentially impaired waterbodies and guiding remediation efforts where impairment has been documented, explaining the spatial patterns in harmful algal blooms, and providing estimates of sediment and nutrient loadings where such data are scarce or non-existent.

Zircon-hosted melt inclusion record of silicic magmatism in the Mesoproterozoic St. Francois Mountains terrane, Missouri: Origin of the Pea Ridge iron oxide-apatite rare earth element deposit and implications for regional crustal pathways of mineralization

Released January 07, 2020 06:23 EST

2020, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta (272) 54-77

Kathryn E. Watts, Celestine N. Mercer

Voluminous silicic magmatism was coeval with iron ore mineralization in the St. Francois Mountains terrane in southeast Missouri, part of the broader Mesoproterozoic Granite-Rhyolite province along the eastern margin of Laurentia. Some of the iron deposits contain extraordinary endowments of critical elements, such as the Pea Ridge iron oxide-apatite (IOA) deposit, which has an average grade of ~12 wt% rare earth oxides in breccia pipes that flank the ore body. To assess the role of silicic magmatism in the genesis of the Pea Ridge deposit, we present a high-spatial resolution study of zirconhosted melt inclusions from rhyolitic ash-flow tuffs. Melt inclusion data are combined with textural, geochemical, and geochronological analyses of zircon hosts to elucidate the magmatic-hydrothermal evolution of the Pea Ridge system. Two contemporaneous silicic igneous centers in the St. Francois Mountains terrane, Bourbon and Eminence, were studied for comparison. Pea Ridge melt inclusions are trachydacitic to rhyolitic (~63-79 wt% SiO2, ~5.6-11.7 wt% Na2O+K2O) with very high Cl in the least-evolved and most alkaline melt inclusions (~2,000-5,000 ppm Cl). Rare earth elements (REE) in melt inclusions have identical chondrite-normalized patterns to the mineralized breccia pipes, but with systematically lower absolute concentrations. Haplogranite ternary pressures range from ~0.5-10 kbar, with an average of ~2-3 kbar (7-12 km depth), and liquidus temperatures are ~850-950 °C, with an average of ~920 °C. Silicate and phosphate mineral inclusions have compositions that overlap minerals from the iron ore body and breccia pipes, recording a transition from igneous to hydrothermal zircon growth. Igneous iron oxide inclusions have compositions that indicate Pea Ridge magmas were reduced to moderately oxidized (log fO2 of -0.8 to -1.84 NNO). Zircons from two Pea Ridge samples have 207Pb/206Pb concordia ages of 1456 ± 9 Ma and 1467 ± 13 Ma that overlap published ages for the breccia pipes and iron ore zones of the Pea Ridge deposit. A population of texturally and chemically disrupted zircons have discordant domains that correspond to high Fe, U, and REE concentrations, consistent with the unique geochemical attributes of the IOA-REE ore body. Inherited cores in Pea Ridge and Bourbon zircons have concordant 207Pb/206Pb dates of 1550-1618 Ma, providing direct evidence of cratonic basement beneath these centers. Oxygen isotope data for inherited and autocrystic igneous zircons span from mantle to crustal values (18Ozircon=5.5-7.9‰). Our data are consistent with a model in which metasomatized mantle components were mixed with cratonic and accreted crustal material in a back-arc or rifted segment of a volcanic arc, with ore fluids derived from Cl-rich melts to transport Fe and REE in a long-lived (tens of Myr), pulsed, magmatic-hydrothermal system. Bourbon, which also possesses IOA mineralization, shares key petrologic similarities with the Pea Ridge system, whereas Eminence, which is not mineralized, has disparate geochemical and isotopic signatures that indicate it formed in a different crustal setting. The location of Pea Ridge and Bourbon along a cratonic margin may have been important in focusing silicic melts and mineralization in the upper crust, serving as a guide for future exploration efforts.

Spatially referenced models of streamflow and nitrogen, phosphorus, and suspended-sediment loads in streams of the midwestern United States

Released January 06, 2020 18:00 EST

2019, Scientific Investigations Report 2019-5114

Dale M. Robertson, David A. Saad

In this report, SPAtially Referenced Regression On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) models developed to describe long-term (2000–14) mean-annual streamflow, total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP), and suspended-sediment (SS) transport in streams of the Midwestern part of the United States (the Mississippi River, Great Lakes, and Red River of the North Basins) are described. The nutrient and suspended-sediment models have a base year of 2012, which means they were developed based on source inputs and management practices similar to those existing during or near 2012 and average hydrological conditions detrended to 2012 (2000–14), whereas the streamflow model has base years of 2000–14, which means it was developed based on the average input precipitation minus actual evapotranspiration from 2000 to 2014. In developing the models, several updates and improvements were made to the data inputs and statistical approaches used to calibrate/develop the models from those used in the previous 2002 SPARROW models. The 2012 SPARROW models were constructed using a higher resolution stream network, which resulted in a mean catchment size of 2.7 square kilometers compared to 480 square kilometers in the 2002 models; more detailed and updated wastewater treatment plant contribution estimates; inputs from background phosphorus sources that were not included in the 2002 model; and more accurate loads for calibration that were computed using a modified Beale ratio-estimator technique whenever no trend in load was determined. Statistical approaches were added to compensate for the unequal effect of each monitoring site during the calibration process by adjusting for the fraction of the basin included in other upstream monitored sites (nested share) and thinning the calibration sites if a negative statistical correlation between nearby sites was determined.

Results from 2012 SPARROW models describe how much of each water, TN, TP, and SS source was delivered to the stream network, and the major landscape factors that affected their delivery. Atmospheric deposition and natural (background) sources of TN and TP, respectively, were the dominant sources in anthropogenically unaffected areas (especially in the Rocky Mountains and north-central areas of the Midwest), whereas fertilizers, manure, and fixation were dominant sources in agricultural areas, especially in the Corn Belt and near the Mississippi River. Urban sources of TN and TP were typically localized, but they were still important for some large areas, especially the Lake Erie Basin. All of the land-to-water delivery variables in the nutrient and sediment SPARROW models, such as runoff, soil erodibility, basin slope, and the amount of tile drains, are commonly included in process-driven models. In the SPARROW TN and TP models, best management practices (BMPs) reduced the delivery of these nutrients to streams.

Long-term mean-annual flows and nutrient and sediment loads were simulated in streams throughout the Midwest. The simulated flows from the SPARROW flow model were used in the SPARROW TN, TP, and SS models to help describe nutrient and sediment transport from the watershed and through the stream network. Outputs from the TN, TP, and SS models describe loads and yields of these constituents throughout the Midwest, and from major drainage basins throughout the Midwest. Highest TN, TP, and SS yields and delivered yields were from the Lake Erie, Ohio River, Upper Mississippi River, and Lower Mississippi River Basins, whereas lowest yields were spread over most other areas. Losses during downstream delivery resulted in part of the TN, TP, and SS that reach the stream network not reaching the downstream receiving bodies: 14, 15, and 28 percent of the TN, TP, and SS, respectively, are lost during delivery to the Great Lakes and 19, 23, and 52 percent of the TN, TP, and SS, respectively, are lost during delivery to the Gulf of Mexico. The largest losses of nutrients and sediments during transport were in the Missouri and Arkansas River Basins.

Information from these SPARROW models can help guide nutrient and sediment reduction strategies throughout the Midwest. Model results provide information on what may be the most appropriate general type of actions to reduce total loading by describing the relative importance of each source, and where to most efficiently place the efforts to reduce loading by describing the distribution of nutrient and sediment loading. By implementing management efforts addressing the major sources of the loads in areas contributing the highest loads, it may be possible to reduce nutrient loading throughout the Mississippi River Basin and thus reduce the size of the hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico; reduce nutrient loading into lakes, and thus reduce the occurrence of harmful algal blooms; and reduce sediment losses, and thus improve the benthic habitat in streams and rivers throughout the Midwest.

Spatially referenced models of streamflow and nitrogen, phosphorus, and suspended-sediment loads in streams of the northeastern United States

Released January 06, 2020 18:00 EST

2019, Scientific Investigations Report 2019-5118

Scott W. Ator

SPAtially Referenced Regression On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) models were developed to quantify and improve the understanding of the sources, fate, and transport of nitrogen, phosphorus, and suspended sediment in the northeastern United States. Excessive nutrients and suspended sediment from upland watersheds and tributary streams have contributed to ecological and economic degradation of northeastern surface waters. Recent efforts to reduce the flux of nutrients and suspended sediment in northeastern streams and to downstream estuaries have met with mixed results, and expected ecological improvements have been observed in some areas but not in others. Effective watershed management and restoration to improve surface-water quality are complicated by the multitude of nutrient sources in the Northeast and the multitude of natural and human landscape processes affecting the delivery of nutrients and suspended sediment from upland areas to and within surface waters. Individual models were constructed representing streamflow and the loads of total nitrogen, total phosphorus, and suspended sediment from watersheds draining to the Atlantic Ocean from southern Virginia through Maine.

Northeastern streams contribute 303,000 metric tons (t) of nitrogen, 25,300 t of phosphorus, and 14,700,000 t of suspended sediment, annually (on average), to waters along the Atlantic Coast of North America. Although atmospheric deposition and natural mineral erosion contribute to nitrogen and phosphorus loads, respectively, in northeastern streams, most of the contributions are attributable to urban or agricultural sources. Within the Northeast, average yields of nutrients are therefore generally greater from densely populated or intensively cultivated areas of the mid-Atlantic region, the Hudson, Mohawk, and Connecticut River valleys, and the coastal areas of southern New England than in predominantly forested areas such as northern New England. Average upland sediment yields are similarly greater from agricultural areas than from urban or forested areas and are therefore generally greatest in areas yielding the greatest nutrients. Landscape conditions that are significant to nitrogen delivery from uplands to streams likely reflect the importance of groundwater transport in carbonate settings and of denitrification for removing nitrogen from uplands. Nitrogen losses to streams in agricultural areas are apparently mitigated by the use of cover crops but are exacerbated by the use of conservation tillage or no-till practices. The transport of phosphorus and suspended sediment from uplands to streams is greater in areas of more erodible soils but mitigated in agricultural areas with greater use of conservation tillage or no-till practices. Loads of nutrients and suspended sediment are significantly reduced within the stream network in impounded reaches, and nitrogen load is also significantly reduced in small flowing reaches.

Spatially referenced models of streamflow and nitrogen, phosphorus, and suspended-sediment loads in streams of the Pacific region of the United States

Released January 06, 2020 18:00 EST

2019, Scientific Investigations Report 2019-5112

Daniel R. Wise

Although spatial information describing the supply and quality of surface water is critical for managing water resources for human uses and for ecological health, monitoring is expensive and cannot typically be done over large scales or in all streams or waterbodies. To address the need for such data, the U.S. Geological Survey developed SPAtially Referenced Regression On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) for the Pacific region of the U.S. for streamflow and three water-quality constituents–total nitrogen, total phosphorus, and suspended sediment, based on a decadal time frame centered on the year 2012. The domain for these models included the Columbia River basin, the Puget Sound, the coastal drainages of Washington, Oregon, and California, and the Central Valley of California. Landscape runoff (represented by the difference between precipitation and evapotranspiration) was the largest source of streamflow, wastewater discharge, and atmospheric deposition were the largest contributors to total nitrogen yield from the Pacific region, wastewater discharge was the largest contributor to total phosphorus yield, and forest land was the largest contributor to suspended-sediment yield. Watersheds with relatively high water yields also generally had relatively high yields of total nitrogen, total phosphorous, and suspended sediment–except where there were large contributions from developed land and wastewater discharge.

The data used in this study, including many that improved upon existing national data or were compiled specifically for the Pacific region, characterized the complex hydrologic and water-quality conditions in the region more completely than previous models. By using these new datasets, this investigation was able to account for the complex network of water diversions and transfers, quantify the contribution of nutrients from different sources of livestock manure, discern a signal from unpaved logging roads in the suspended-sediment yields from forested coastal watersheds, show how recent wildfire disturbance influences phosphorus and sediment delivery to streams, and how sediment delivery to streams is also sensitive to the intensity of cattle grazing. The results from this study could complement research and inform water-quality management activities in the Pacific region. Examples might include identifying potentially impaired waterbodies and guiding remediation efforts where impairment has been documented, explaining the spatial patterns in harmful algal blooms, and providing estimates of sediment and nutrient loadings to Pacific coast estuaries where such data are scarce or non-existent.

Effectiveness of eugenol sedation to reduce the metabolic rates of cool and warm water fish at high loading densities

Released January 06, 2020 17:30 EST

2014, Aquaculture Research

Aaron R. Cupp, Kim T. Fredricks, Christopher F. Hartleb, Mark P. Gaikowski

Effects of eugenol (AQUI-S®20E, 10% active eugenol) sedation on cool water, yellow perch Perca flavescens (Mitchill), and warm water, Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus L. fish metabolic rates were assessed. Both species were exposed to 0, 10, 20 and 30 mg L−1 eugenol using static respirometry. In 17°C water and loading densities of 60, 120 and 240 g L−1, yellow perch controls (0 mg L−1 eugenol) had metabolic rates of 329.6–400.0 mg O2 kg−1 h−1, while yellow perch exposed to 20 and 30 mg L−1 eugenol had significantly reduced metabolic rates of 258.4–325.6 and 189.1–271.0 mg O2 kg−1 h−1 respectively. Nile tilapia exposed to 30 mg L−1 eugenol had a significantly reduced metabolic rate (424.5 ± 42.3 mg O2 kg−1 h−1) relative to the 0 mg L−1 eugenol control (546.6 ± 53.5 mg O2 kg−1 h−1) at a loading density of 120 g L−1 in 22°C water. No significant differences in metabolic rates for Nile tilapia were found at 240 or 360 g L−1 loading densities when exposed to eugenol. Results suggest that eugenol sedation may benefit yellow perch welfare at high densities (e.g. live transport) due to a reduction in metabolic rates, while further research is needed to assess the benefits of eugenol sedation on Nile tilapia at high loading densities.

Limited detection of antibodies to clade A/Goose/Guangdong/1/1996 lineage highly pathogenic H5 avian influenza virus in North American waterfowl

Released January 06, 2020 16:20 EST

2019, Journal of Wildlife Diseases (56) 47-57

David E. Stallknecht, Clara Kienzle-Dean, Nick Davis-Fields, Christopher S. Jennelle, Andrew S. Bowman, Jacqueline M. Nolting, Walter Boyce, James Crum, Jefferson Santos, Justin D. Brown, Diann Prosser, Susan E. W. De La Cruz, Joshua T. Ackerman, Michael L. Casazza, Scott Krauss, Daniel Perez, Andrew M. Ramey, Rebecca L. Poulson

During 2014, highly pathogenic (HP) influenza A viruses (IAVs) of the A/Goose/Guangdong/1/1996 lineage (GsGD-HP-H5), originating from Asia, were detected in domestic poultry and wild birds in Canada and the US. These clade GsGD-HP-H5 viruses included reassortants possessing North American lineage gene segments; were detected in wild birds in the Pacific, Central, and Mississippi flyways; and caused the largest HP IAV outbreak in poultry in US history. To determine if an antibody response indicative of previous infection with clade GsGD-HP-H5 IAV could be detected in North American wild waterfowl sampled before, during, and after the 2014–15 outbreak, sera from 2,793 geese and 3,715 ducks were tested by blocking enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and hemagglutination inhibition (HI) tests using both clade GsGD-HPH5 and North American lineage low pathogenic (LP) H5 IAV antigens. We detected an antibody response meeting a comparative titer-based criteria (HI titer observed with GsGD-HP-H5 antigens exceeded the titer observed for LP H5 antigen by two or more dilutions) for previous infection with clade GsGD-HP-H5 IAV in only five birds, one Blue-winged Teal (Spatula discors) sampled during the outbreak and three Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) and one Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) sampled during the post-outbreak period. These serologic results are consistent with the spatiotemporal extent of the outbreak in wild birds in North America during 2014 and 2015 and limited exposure of waterfowl to GsGD-HP-H5 IAV, particularly in the central and eastern US.

Cross section of the North Carolina coastal plain from Enfield through Cape Hatteras

Released January 06, 2020 15:40 EST

2019, Open-File Report 2019-1145

Robert E. Weems, Jean M. Self-Trail, Lucy E. Edwards


The Atlantic Coastal Plain, the southeasternmost physiographic province in the United States, is underlain by strata that regionally dip gently eastward and gradually thicken toward the Atlantic Ocean basin. These strata, ranging in age from Middle Jurassic to Holocene, accumulated along the eastern margin of North America after the break-up of the supercontinent Pangaea during the Early Jurassic. In the east-central United States north of Florida, Cape Hatteras is the point of land that most closely approaches the eastern edge of the Atlantic Continental Shelf of the United States. In 1946, Esso (now part of ExxonMobil) drilled a deep oil exploration well to basement rock near the Cape Hatteras lighthouse. No oil or gas was found there, or in any of the other test wells that were drilled within the onshore North Carolina Coastal Plain. Recent work indicates that the top of the oil window lies at 9,000 feet near the base of the Cape Hatteras Esso #1 test well. Therefore, any mature petroleum source rocks that may be present in the North Carolina Coastal Plain are only likely to be found east of the present coastline.

Although the Cape Hatteras test well did not produce oil or gas, it did produce a wealth of stratigraphic information about the outer portion of the onshore Atlantic Continental Shelf. Advances in global stratigraphic correlation, in tandem with our analyses of calcareous nannofossils and dinoflagellate cysts (dinocysts) from the Cape Hatteras test-well spot samples have produced significant advances beyond earlier interpretations of this well and other deep test wells inshore of Cape Hatteras. These results, when coupled with work done offshore of Cape Hatteras, have allowed us to create a more detailed cross section of the North Carolina Coastal Plain and adjacent continental shelf than previously possible.

Levels at gaging stations

Released January 06, 2020 12:30 EST

2010, Techniques and Methods 3-A19

Terry A. Kenney

Operational procedures at U.S. Geological Survey gaging stations include periodic leveling checks to ensure that gages are accurately set to the established gage datum. Differential leveling techniques are used to determine elevations for reference marks, reference points, all gages, and the water surface. The techniques presented in this manual provide guidance on instruments and methods that ensure gaging-station levels are run to both a high precision and accuracy. Levels are run at gaging stations whenever differences in gage readings are unresolved, stations may have been damaged, or according to a pre-determined frequency. Engineer’s levels, both optical levels and electronic digital levels, are commonly used for gaging-station levels. Collimation tests should be run at least once a week for any week that levels are run, and the absolute value of the collimation error cannot exceed 0.003 foot/100 feet (ft).

An acceptable set of gaging-station levels consists of a minimum of two foresights, each from a different instrument height, taken on at least two independent reference marks, all reference points, all gages, and the water surface. The initial instrument height is determined from another independent reference mark, known as the origin, or base reference mark. The absolute value of the closure error of a leveling circuit must be less than or equal to 0.003√n ft, where n is the total number of instrument setups, and may not exceed |0.015| ft regardless of the number of instrument setups. Closure error for a leveling circuit is distributed by instrument setup and adjusted elevations are determined. Side shots in a level circuit are assessed by examining the differences between the adjusted first and second elevations for each objective point in the circuit. The absolute value of these differences must be less than or equal to 0.005 ft. Final elevations for objective points are determined by averaging the valid adjusted first and second elevations. If final elevations indicate that the reference gage is off by |0.015| ft or more, it must be reset.

Economic impacts of Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative Conservation projects in Wyoming

Released January 06, 2020 12:00 EST

2020, Open-File Report 2019-1135

Christopher Huber, Matthew Flyr, Catherine Cullinane Thomas

Executive Summary

This report estimates the economic impacts on the Wyoming economy from investments made by the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI) on conservation and restoration projects. The WLCI has been working in southwestern Wyoming since 2007 to coordinate science and management decisions among government and private entities that invest in conservation projects aimed at restoring and enhancing wildlife habitat. These investments support jobs and generate business activities within the Wyoming economy. WLCI conservation and restoration projects occur on both publicly managed and privately owned lands and are supported by leveraging funds from Federal bureaus, Wyoming State and local government agencies, and private contributions. During 2007–2018, the WLCI invested a total of more than $69,100,000 (in 2018 dollars) on conservation projects within the State of Wyoming. These pooled funds have been used to purchase conservation easements and hire business contractors to complete restoration projects, with 98 percent of project funds awarded to Wyoming-based businesses. Including both direct and secondary effects, the U.S. Geological Survey estimates that local spending on these conservation and restoration projects during 2007–2018 supported an estimated 1,055 job-years (the number of annualized full- and part-time jobs generated or supported), more than $30,500,000 in labor income, almost $40,900,000 in value added, and almost $68,200,000 in economic output within the Wyoming economy. These results demonstrate how investments in WLCI conservation projects support jobs, livelihoods, small businesses, and rural economies in Wyoming.

Sustaining Environmental Capital Initiative summary report

Released January 06, 2020 12:00 EST

2020, Open-File Report 2019-1117

Christopher Huber, James R. Meldrum, Rudy M. Schuster, Zachary H. Ancona, Kenneth J. Bagstad, Scott M. Beck, Daren M. Carlisle, Peter R. Claggett, Fabiano Franco, Heather S. Galbraith, Michelle Haefele, Kristin R Hoelting, Dianna M. Hogan, Kristina G. Hopkins, Tim Kern, Collin B. Lawrence, Stacy Lischka, John B. Loomis, Julie M. Mueller, Gregory B. Noe, Emily J. Pindilli, Brian Quay, Darius J. Semmens, Wilson Sinclair, Daniel E. Spooner, Brian Voigt, Barabara St. John White

Federal agencies need credible scientific information to determine the production and value of ecosystem services in an efficient and timely manner. The U.S. Geological Survey addresses this scientific information need through the Sustaining Environmental Capital Initiative project. The project has relied on U.S. Geological Survey expertise related to water, fisheries, advanced modeling, and economics and other social sciences to conduct eight case studies across a range of environment types, including water-based environments, deserts, sagebrush ecosystems, floodplains, and forests. The Sustaining Environmental Capital Initiative also supported the development and expansion of four tools with the intent of adding content and usability for partners’ decision-making needs. The tools are the Natural Value Resource Center, Benefit Transfer Toolkit, Riverine Environmental Flow Decision Support System, and Artificial Intelligence for Ecosystem Services modeling platform.

Discharge measurements at gaging stations

Released January 06, 2020 10:15 EST

2010, Techniques and Methods 3-A8

D. Phil Turnipseed, Vernon B. Sauer

The techniques and standards for making discharge measurements at streamflow gaging stations are described in this publication. The vertical axis rotating-element current meter, principally the Price current meter, has been traditionally used for most measurements of discharge; however, advancements in acoustic technology have led to important developments in the use of acoustic Doppler current profilers, acoustic Doppler velocimeters, and other emerging technologies for the measurement of discharge. These new instruments, based on acoustic Doppler theory, have the advantage of no moving parts, and in the case of the acoustic Doppler current profiler, quickly and easily provide three-dimensional stream-velocity profile data through much of the vertical water column. For much of the discussion of acoustic Doppler current profiler moving-boat methodology, the reader is referred to U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods 3–A22 (Mueller and Wagner, 2009).

Personal digital assistants (PDAs), electronic field notebooks, and other personal computers provide fast and efficient data-collection methods that are more error-free than traditional hand methods. The use of portable weirs and flumes, floats, volumetric tanks, indirect methods, and tracers in measuring discharge are briefly described.

Discharge measurements at gaging stations

Released January 06, 2020 10:15 EST

1969, Techniques of Water-Resources Investigations 03-A8

Thomas J. Buchanan, William P. Somers

The techniques used in making discharge measurements at gaging stations are described in this report. Most of the report deals with the current-meter method of measuring discharge, because this is the principal method used in gaging streams. The use of portable weirs and flumes, floats, and volumetric tanks in measuring discharge are briefly described.

Stage measurement at gaging stations

Released January 06, 2020 09:45 EST

2010, Techniques and Methods 3-A7

Vernon B. Sauer, D. Phil Turnipseed

Stream and reservoir stage are critical parameters in the computation of stream discharge and reservoir volume, respectively. In addition, a record of stream stage is useful in the design of structures that may be affected by stream elevation, as well as for the planning for various uses of flood plains. This report describes equipment and methodology for the observation, sensing, and recording of stage in streams and reservoirs. Although the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) still uses the traditional, basic stilling-well float system as a predominant gaging station, modern electronic stage sensors and water-level recorders are now commonly used. Bubble gages coupled with nonsubmersible pressure transducers eliminate the need for stilling wells. Submersible pressure transducers have become common in use for the measurement of stage in both rivers and lakes. Furthermore, noncontact methods, such as radar, acoustic, and laser methods of sensing water levels, are being developed and tested, and in the case of radar, are commonly used for the measurement of stage. This report describes commonly used gaging-station structures, as well as the design and operation of gaging stations. Almost all of the equipment and instruments described in this report will meet the accuracy standard set by the USGS Office of Surface Water (OSW) for the measurement of stage for most applications, which is ±0.01 foot (ft) or 0.2 percent of the effective stage. Several telemetry systems are used to transmit stage data from the gaging station to the office, although satellite telemetry has become the standard. These telemetry systems provide near real-time stage data, as well as other information that alerts the hydrographer to extreme or abnormal events, and instrument malfunctions.

Statistical methods in water resources

Released January 06, 2020 09:15 EST

2002, Techniques of Water-Resources Investigations 04-A3

Dennis R. Helsel, Robert M. Hirsch


This book began as class notes for a course we teach on applied statistical methods to hydrologists of the Water Resources Division, U. S. Geological Survey (USGS). It reflects our attempts to teach statistical methods which are appropriate for analysis of water resources data. As interest in this course has grown outside of the USGS, incentive grew to develop the material into a textbook. The topics covered are those we feel are of greatest usefulness to the practicing water resources scientist. Yet all topics can be directly applied to many other types of environmental data.

This book is not a stand-alone text on statistics, or a text on statistical hydrology. For example, in addition to this material we use a textbook on introductory statistics in the USGS training course. As a consequence, discussions of topics such as probability theory required in a general statistics textbook will not be found here. Derivations of most equations are not presented. Important tables included in all general statistics texts, such as quantiles of the normal distribution, are not found here. Neither are details of how statistical distributions should be fitted to flood data -- these are adequately covered in numerous books on statistical hydrology.

We have instead chosen to emphasize topics not always found in introductory statistics textbooks, and often not adequately covered in statistical textbooks for scientists and engineers. Tables included here, for example, are those found more often in books on nonparametric statistics than in books likely to have been used in college courses for engineers. This book points the environmental and water resources scientist to robust and nonparametric statistics, and to exploratory data analysis. We believe that the characteristics of environmental (and perhaps most other 'real') data drive analysis methods towards use of robust and nonparametric methods.

Exercises are included at the end of chapters. In our course, students compute each type of analysis (t-test, regression, etc.) the first time by hand. We choose the smaller, simpler examples for hand computation. In this way the mechanics of the process are fully understood, and computer software is seen as less mysterious.

We wish to acknowledge and thank several other scientists at the U. S. Geological Survey for contributing ideas to this book. In particular, we thank those who have served as the other instructors at the USGS training course. Ed Gilroy has critiqued and improved much of the material found in this book. Tim Cohn has contributed in several areas, particularly to the sections on bias correction in regression, and methods for data below the reporting limit. Richard Alexander has added to the trend analysis chapter, and Charles Crawford has contributed ideas for regression and ANOVA. Their work has undoubtedly made its way into this book without adequate recognition.

Professor Ken Potter (University of Wisconsin) and Dr. Gary Tasker (USGS) reviewed the manuscript, spending long hours with no reward except the knowledge that they have improved the work of others. For that we are very grateful. We also thank Madeline Sabin, who carefully typed original drafts of the class notes on which the book is based. As always, the responsibility for all errors and slanted thinking are ours alone.

Summary of preliminary 2D inundation modeling for three Hattian landslide dam breach scenarios

Released January 06, 2020 08:03 EST

2006, Open-File Report 2006-1094

Roger P. Denlinger, Daniel R.H. O'Connell, Matt Jones

On October 8, 2005, a M 7.6 earthquake near Muzafarrabad, Pakistan, triggered a landslide that dammed the Karli River and one of its tributaries about 4 km upstream of the confluence of the Karli and Jhelum rivers near the town of Hattian Bala. The smaller dam on the tributary of the Karli River has been artificially breached and is no longer a hazard. When the larger dammed lake on the Karli River has filled enough to flow over the landslide blockage, it will have impounded about 60 million cubic meters of water. This lake will drain through the landslide dam as it breaches during the spring runoff or during the monsoon season in early summer. The inundation associated with the Karli River landslide dam breach endangers a substantial downstream population, particularly the population located in the vicinity of Hattian Bala at the confluence of the Karli and Jhelum rivers. To help mitigate this hazard, we used an accurate two-dimensional flow model to simulate dambreak flows associated with three breach-rate downcutting scenarios, and estimated inundation depths and peak flow velocities. We superimposed inundation extents and other attributes on photographic images of the region to provide clear delineation of potential impacts on populated areas near the confluence of the Karli and Jhelum rivers.

Trends of litter decomposition and soil organic matter stocks across forested swamp environments of the southeastern US

Released January 03, 2020 16:02 EST

2020, PLoS ONE (15)

Beth A. Middleton

A common idea in the discussion of soil carbon processes is that litter decomposition rates and soil carbon stocks are inversely related. To test this overall hypothesis, simultaneous studies were conducted of the relationship of environmental gradients to leaf and wood decomposition, buried cloth decomposition and percent soil organic matter in Taxodium distichum swamps across the Mississippi River Alluvial Valley (MRAV) and northern Gulf of Mexico (GOM) of the US. Decomposition of leaf tissue was 6.2 to 10.9 times faster than wood tissue. Both precipitation and flooding gradients were negatively related to leaf and wood litter decomposition rates based on models developed using Stepwise General Model Selection (MRAV vs. GOM, respectively). Cotton cloth should not be used as a proxy for plant litter without prior testing because cloth responded differently than plant litter to regional environmental gradients in Tdistichum swamps. The overall hypothesis was supported in the MRAV because environments with higher precipitation (climate normal) had lower rates of decomposition and higher percent soil organic matter. In the MRAV, higher levels of percent soil organic matter were related to increased 30-year climate normals (30 year averages of precipitation and air temperature comprising southward increasing PrinComp1). Soil organic carbon % in inland vs. coastal Tdistichum forests of the MRAV were comparable (range = 1.5% to 26.9% vs. 9.8 to 31.5%, respectively). GOM swamps had lower rates of litter decomposition in more flooded environments. Woody Tdistichum detritus had a half-life of up to 300 years in the MRAV, which points to its likely role in the maintenance of inland “teal” soil organic carbon. This unique study can contribute to the discussion of approaches to maintain environments conducive to soil carbon stock maximization.

Incorporation of water-use summaries into the StreamStats web application for Maryland

Released January 03, 2020 13:20 EST

2010, Scientific Investigations Report 2010-5111

Kernell G. Ries III, Marilee A. Horn, Mark R. Nardi, Steven Tessler

Approximately 25,000 new households and thousands of new jobs will be established in an area that extends from southwest to northeast of Baltimore, Maryland, as a result of the Federal Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, with consequent new demands on the water resources of the area. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Maryland Department of the Environment, has extended the area of implementation and added functionality to an existing map-based Web application named StreamStats to provide an improved tool for planning and managing the water resources in the BRAC-affected areas. StreamStats previously was implemented for only a small area surrounding Baltimore, Maryland, and it was extended to cover all BRAC-affected areas. StreamStats could provide previously published streamflow statistics, such as the 1-percent probability flood and the 7-day, 10-year low flow, for U.S. Geological Survey data-collection stations and estimates of streamflow statistics for any user-selected point on a stream within the implemented area. The application was modified for this study to also provide summaries of water withdrawals and discharges upstream from any user-selected point on a stream. This new functionality was made possible by creating a Web service that accepts a drainage-basin delineation from StreamStats, overlays it on a spatial layer of water withdrawal and discharge points, extracts the water-use data for the identified points, and sends it back to StreamStats, where it is summarized for the user. The underlying water-use data were extracted from the U.S. Geological Survey's Site-Specific Water-Use Database System (SWUDS) and placed into a Microsoft Access database that was created for this study for easy linkage to the Web service and StreamStats. This linkage of StreamStats with water-use information from SWUDS should enable Maryland regulators and planners to make more informed decisions on the use of water resources in the BRAC area, and the technology should be transferrable to other geographic areas.

U.S. Geological Survey Earthquake Science Center

Released January 03, 2020 11:51 EST

2020, Fact Sheet 2019-3067

Stephen H. Hickman

The mission of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Earthquake Science Center is to collect a wide range of data on earthquakes, faults, and crustal deformation; conduct research to increase our understanding of earthquake source processes, occurrence, and effects; and synthesize this knowledge into probabilistic seismic hazard assessments, aftershock forecasts, and ground-shaking scenarios for anticipated major earthquakes. We disseminate these data products, hazard assessments, and research discoveries to scientists, engineers, emergency managers, and the public.

With university and State partners, we operate the California Integrated Seismic Network and the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, as well as geodetic networks throughout the western United States. We also lead the National Strong Motion Project and the ShakeAlert earthquake early warning (EEW) system; house renowned rock mechanics laboratories and deep borehole geophysics facilities; and conduct extensive geophysical, geologic, and paleoseismic investigations along active faults. We are funded primarily by the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program, with additional support from the USGS Volcano Hazards and Energy Resources Programs, other Federal and State agencies, private foundations, and public and private utilities and corporations.

Geologic map of the northern Harrat Rahat volcanic field, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Released January 02, 2020 14:30 EST

2019, Scientific Investigations Map 3428

Drew T. Downs, Joel E. Robinson, Mark E. Stelten, Duane E. Champion, Hannah R. Dietterich, Thomas W. Sisson, Hani Zahran, Khalid Hassan, Jamal Shawali

Harrat Rahat, in the west-central part of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is the largest of 15 Cenozoic harrats (Arabic for “volcanic field”) distributed on the Arabian plate. It extends more than 300 km north-south and 50 to 75 km east-west, and it covers an area of approximately 20,000 km2, has a volume of approximately 2,000 km3, and encompasses more than 900 observable vents. Volcanism commenced around 10 Ma and has continued into historic time, the most recent eruption occurring in 1256 C.E. Volcanic products are dominated by alkali basalt and hawaiite lava flows, with subordinate mugearite lava flows, as well as benmoreite and trachyte lava flows, domes, and pyroclastic flows.

This geologic map distinguishes 239 eruptive units that cover an area of 3,340 km2 in northern Harrat Rahat and the adjacent city of Al-Madinah. Results are presented as a geologic map of the study area at 1:75,000 scale and of smaller regions of particular interest at 1:25,000 scale, along with interpretive text.

Most units are basaltic lava flows that erupted from the broadly north-northwest-trending main vent axis that constructed the topographic crest of the volcanic field. This 300- to 400-m-high vent axis, which has a width of 6 to 10 km, lies in the eastern one-third of northern Harrat Rahat. Basalt and hawaiite lava flows can extend as far as 27 km from their vents, but most are 10 to 15 km long. Evolved products such as mugearites, benmoreites, and trachytes are less extensive; the trachytic pyroclastic flows extend as far as 9 km from their source vents, although most only reach 4 to 6 km. Vents of the evolved products are restricted to the main vent axis or its flanks.

No volcanic rocks older than 1.2 Ma are exposed in the map area, and about 90 percent of the exposed volcanic rocks erupted during the past 570 thousand years. As depicted on the geologic maps, eruption ages and field relations define 12 eruptive stages for northern Harrat Rahat for the past 1.2 million years. Other important geochronological findings include (1) several late Pleistocene lava flows near Al-Madinah, which previously were interpreted as Holocene from archeological evidence; (2) the eruption age of a cluster of cinder cones and small lava flows in the western outskirts of Al-Madinah (previously ascribed to an eruption in 641 C.E.) is actually 13.3±1.9 ka, close to the Pleistocene-Holocene boundary; and (3) only two Holocene eruptions have been identified in the map area, those of the historically described basalt of Al Labah in 1256 C.E. and the dome and pyroclastic flows of the trachyte of Um Rgaibah at 4.2±5.2 ka.

Groundwater recharge estimates for Maine using a Soil-Water-Balance model—25-year average, range, and uncertainty, 1991 to 2015

Released January 02, 2020 13:25 EST

2019, Scientific Investigations Report 2019-5125

Martha G. Nielsen, Stephen M. Westenbroek

To address the lack of information on the spatial and temporal variability of recharge to groundwater systems in Maine, a study was initiated in cooperation with the Maine Geological Survey to use the U.S. Geological Survey Soil-Water-Balance model to evaluate annual average potential recharge across the State over a 25-year period from 1991 to 2015. The Maine Soil-Water-Balance model was calibrated using annual observations of recharge, runoff, and evapotranspiration for 32 calibration watersheds in the State during 2001–12 (902 total observations). Observations of recharge, runoff, and evapotranspiration were developed for each watershed to reduce the possibility of nonunique combinations of model parameters during the calibration. The Maine Soil-Water-Balance model was run using an optional evapotranspiration calculation method that provides more control for calibration than the standard method. The model was calibrated using the Parameter ESTimation software suite.

The overall mean model error (average of all annual residuals for recharge, runoff, and precipitation) was 0.39 inch. The mean of the absolute value of the residuals, or the mean absolute error, was 2.32 inches. The root mean squared error for the calibrated model overall was 3.14 inches. Statistical tests indicated that the model residuals are normally distributed. To determine the potential uncertainty in the median annual potential recharge that results from uncertainty in the parameters as they relate to information contained in the observations, 300 alternate model realizations were run, and the standard deviation of the median potential recharge value at every pixel was calculated.

Simulated 25-year median potential recharge across the State is widely variable; this variability closely follows patterns of precipitation, with additional variability contributed by the patchwork nature of the combinations of land-use class and hydrologic soil group inputs, and distribution of available water capacity in the soil across the State. Overall, the 25-year median annual potential recharge across the State is 7.5 inches, ranging from a low of about 5 inches to over 30 inches. The statewide range in the 25-year minimum values is from just over 2 inches to just over 20 inches. The statewide range in the 25-year maximum potential recharge is between 15 and 48 inches per year.

The model areas with the highest simulated median potential recharge include areas underlain by type A soils (sandy and well drained), particularly those that also have land uses with low or little vegetation (blueberry barrens, developed, open space, scrub/shrub, and cropland, for example). The potential recharge values for these areas are similar to previously published values for comparable soil types.

The 25-year average potential recharge grids were compared to recharge evaluated through groundwater-flow models or other methods in four hydrogeologic settings at six study areas in the State. A key factor in the ability of the Soil-Water-Balance model to reproduce the earlier study results was whether the available water-capacity data were an appropriate match for the hydrologic soil groups. The Maine Soil-Water-Balance model does a good job in representing an accurate potential recharge under circumstances where the surficial mapped soils extend below the surface to the water-table aquifer and where the available water-capacity data are in an appropriate range for the hydrologic soil group. One hydrogeologic setting that was challenging for the model was where a silt and clay layer was below a shallow soil unit that did not have available water-capacity data that were appropriate for the hydrologic soil group. In these cases, typically the available water-capacity data were very low, not accounting for the impedance of water flow provided by the underlying soil. The model also does not simulate well areas where bedrock surfaces are above the water table but below the plant rooting zone.

The data products accompanying this report are intended to be used to provide first-cut estimates of recharge for geographic areas no smaller than the smallest watersheds used in the calibration of the model—or about 1.5 square miles. It is recommended that the grids are used to calculate an area-wide average potential recharge for any given area of study, and an uncertainty around the mean should be calculated from the standard deviation grid at the same time.

Estimating sediment flux to Jamaica Bay, New York

Released January 02, 2020 09:40 EST

2019, Scientific Investigations Report 2019-5085

Richard A. Cartwright, Amy E. Simonson

Tidal wetland loss in Jamaica Bay, New York, is well documented. Maintaining wetlands is important from an environmental and ecological perspective and because wetlands buffer coastal communities from storm damage. An estimate of suspended-sediment flux through Rockaway Inlet is needed to improve understanding of sediment dynamics in Jamaica Bay and could be used in salt marsh restoration efforts. To estimate sediment flux, an index-velocity station and turbidity sensor were installed and operated in Rockaway Inlet near the mouth of Jamaica Bay from November 2014 to December 2016 and point and cross-sectional suspended-sediment samples were collected and analyzed. Index-velocity data coupled with cross-sectional acoustic Doppler current profiler measurements were used to develop an index-velocity rating. A simple linear regression rating with a strong coefficient of determination (R2 of 0.981) was developed. Discharge was computed from the stage-area and index-velocity relations, and a low-pass Godin filter was used to remove the tidal aliasing. A second simple linear regression (R2 of 0.75) between fixed-point suspended-sediment concentration (SSC) samples and turbidity allowed for the calculation of SSC through Rockaway Inlet, and then sediment flux was found by multiplying SSC and discharge for continuous (6-minute) data. Turbidity values were low in the near-ocean conditions at Rockaway Inlet, with daily means ranging from 0.6 to 8.2 formazin nephelometric units during the period of November 2014 through December 2016. During this time, computed daily mean suspended-sediment concentrations ranged from 3 to 13 milligrams per liter. High sediment loads generally occurred during incoming tides, during both storm and nonstorm conditions, suggesting a net inward sediment flux into Jamaica Bay. The fate of sediment after it enters Jamaica Bay was not investigated. Trends in sediment flux during major storms could not be evaluated because no major storms occurred during this investigation.

Early Paleozoic composite melange terrane, central Appalachian Piedmont, Virginia and Maryland; Its origin and tectonic history

Released January 01, 2020 15:28 EST

None, Book chapter

Louis Pavlides

Two distinct types of mélange deposits, distinguished by their matrix, occur within a collage of thrust slices in the Piedmont of the central Appalachians. They crop out in a northeast-trending belt that extends from at least central Virginia northeastward through most of Maryland. One type is a block-in-phyllite mélange that constitutes the Mine Run Complex (new name) of Virginia. It consists of a variety of metaplutonic, metavolcanic, mafic, and ultramafic blocks enclosed within a matrix of phyllite or schist and metasandstones of feldspathic or quartz metagraywacke. The Mine Run Complex is interpreted to consist of four imbricated thrust slices, each with its own distinctive exotic block content. The blocks in one of these mélange subunits (III) are almost exclusively mafic and ultramafic rocks, such as serpentinite, greenschist, metabasalt, and talc schist. The second mélange type within this Piedmont terrane, a metadiamictite, contains a less extensive variety of exotic blocks, the most common being mafic and ultramafic blocks. Such exotic blocks are enclosed in a micaceous quartzofeldspathic matrix, which has contemporaneously deposited schist and quartz-lump fragments as its characterizing features. The Sykesville Formation of Maryland and Virginia is typical of this type of mélange. Several varieties of metadiamictite that have some lithologic differences from the type locality of the Sykesville have been recognized in Virginia and are described as the Lunga Reservoir and the Purcell Branch Formations (new names).

Mélanges of the block-in-phyllite and the metadiamictite types are interpreted as having been formed in a Cambrian-Ordovician back-arc or marginal basin that lay on the continentward side of an island-arc system (central Virginia volcanic-plutonic belt and the James Run Formation of Maryland) that had formed in Cambrian time. This Cambrian-Ordovician back-arc basin is assumed to have been underlain, at least initially, by a transform-segmented spreading ridge.

The metadiamictite deposits now occur, for the most part, along the flanks and at the southeastern end of the Baltimore-Washington anticlinorium or antiform. This spatial relation is interpreted to be a consequence of thrusting of the diamictite across, as well as onto, the cover rocks and basement of the anticlinorial core terrane (“Baltimoria”) during the Taconic orogeny. The chaotic-textured diamictite formed as a sedimentary slump or slide apron or aprons somewhere to the east of “Baltimoria.” The source area for this diamictite probably was another crystalline landmass that lay east of “Baltimoria.” The matrix rocks of the block-in-phyllite mélange (Mine Run Complex) may have accumulated contemporaneously, in part with diamictite, probably by along-trough basin sedimentation. The block-in-phyllite mélanges of the Mine Run Complex occur south of the Baltimore-Washington anticlinorium metadiamictite terrane and are not associated directly with metadiamictite mélanges.

The metavolcanic and metaplutonic blocks within the eastern parts of the Mine Run Complex probably were shed from the island-arc terrane as it was thrust westward during the progressive tectonic telescoping of the back-arc basin in Cambrian and Ordovician time. The mafic and ultramafic blocks in both types of mélanges are believed to have been derived, in part, from the “oceanic” back-arc basin floor from various sources and different processes. Ultramafic protrusions, for example, may have been emplaced periodically along transform faults. Some of the mafic-ultramafic rock may have formed talus rubble along steep submarine scarps. Others may represent blocks broken and segmented by faults from what once were mafic sills emplaced within the sediments accumulating in the basin.

Bug flows: Don’t count your midges until they hatch

Released January 01, 2020 09:41 EST

2020, Boatman’s Quarterly Review (32) 8-11

Anya Metcalfe, Jeffrey Muehlbauer, Morgan Ford, Theodore Kennedy

Usually when people hear about a “bug problem” it’s due to an undesirable overabundance of insects (think plague of locusts). In the Colorado River in Grand Canyon, however, we are faced with the opposite predicament: the river is essentially devoid of bugs. Aquatic insects are a fundamental component of a healthy river ecosystem. Most aquatic insects spend their juvenile life stages (egg, larva, pupa) in the river and their winged adult life stage flying along the riparian corridor. Throughout these metamorphoses one thing is for certain: aquatic insects are prey for fish, birds, bats, lizards, and even other invertebrates. In Grand Canyon, food web studies conducted by the US Geological Survey (USGS) have demonstrated that populations of both native and sport fish are food limited (Cross et al. 2013, Kennedy et al. 2013). In other words, fish in Grand Canyon are consistently facing a calorie deficit. Indeed, the US Fish and Wildlife Service has cited the inadequate and unreliable food supply as the single greatest problem facing endangered Humpback Chub populations in the Grand Canyon (USFWS 2019).

Stress orientations in subduction zones and the strength of subduction megathrust faults

Released January 01, 2020 00:00 EST

2015, Science (349) 1213-1216

Jeanne L. Hardebeck

Subduction zone megathrust faults produce most of the world’s largest earthquakes. Although the physical properties of these faults are difficult to observe directly, their frictional strength can be estimated indirectly by constraining the orientations of the stresses that act on them. A global investigation of stress orientations in subduction zones finds that the maximum compressive stress axis plunges systematically trenchward, consistently making an angle of 45° to 60° with respect to the subduction megathrust fault. These angles indicate that the megathrust fault is not substantially weaker than its surroundings. Together with several other lines of evidence, this implies that subduction zone megathrusts are weak faults in a low-stress environment. The deforming outer accretionary wedge may decouple the stress state along the megathrust from the constraints of the free surface.

The Moloka‘i coral reef today, and alternatives for the future: Summary in The coral reef of south Moloka‘i, Hawai‘i—Portrait of a sediment-threatened fringing reef

Released January 01, 2020 00:00 EST

2015, Scientific Investigations Report 2015-5123

Michael E. Field, Susan A. Cochran, Joshua B. Logan, Curt D. Storlazzi

From the contributions collected in this publication have emerged two important observations that have significance locally, nationally, and internationally. First, the fringing coral reef along the south coast of Moloka'i is one of the most extensive and luxuriant reefs in the eight main Hawaiian Islands. It is longer and more continuous and has denser coral cover than reefs at any of the other islands—this alone makes it a state and national treasure worthy of study and protection. The second observation is more sobering: sections of the south Moloka'i reef have been damaged in the past by sedimentation ultimately caused by human activities in adjacent watersheds. Although some of those activities are no longer taking place, their lingering effects are still being felt in the form of excess sediment runoff. We here review the basis for each of these observations, discuss how sedimentation affects the reef, and summarize the choices that are faced by the people of Moloka'i and the State of Hawai'i with regard to the reef’s future.

Scanning and georeferencing historical USGS quadrangles (ver. 2.0, May 2015)

Released January 01, 2020 00:00 EST

2015, Fact Sheet 2011-3009-(version 2.0)

Larry R. Davis, William J. Carswell Jr.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Geospatial Program is scanning published USGS 1:250,000-scale and larger topographic maps printed between 1884, the inception of the topographic mapping program, and 2006. The goal of this scanning, which started in 2011, is to provide a digital repository of USGS topographic maps, available to the public at no cost. For more than 125 years, the USGS topographic maps have accurately portrayed the complex geography of the Nation. The USGS is the Nation’s largest producer of printed topographic maps, and, prior to 2006, USGS topographic maps were created using traditional cartographic methods and printed using a lithographic process. As the USGS continues release of a new generation of topographic maps (US Topo) in electronic form, the topographic map remains an indispensable tool for government, science, industry, land management planning, and leisure.

The interactive effects of excess reactive nitrogen and climate change on aquatic ecosystems and water resources of the United States

Released January 01, 2020 00:00 EST

2013, Biogeochemistry (114) 71-92

Jill S. Baron, E.K. Hall, B.T. Nolan, J.C. Finlay, E.S. Bernhardt, J.A. Harrison, F. Chan, E.W. Boyer

Nearly all freshwaters and coastal zones of the US are degraded from inputs of excess reactive nitrogen (Nr), sources of which are runoff, atmospheric N deposition, and imported food and feed. Some major adverse effects include harmful algal blooms, hypoxia of fresh and coastal waters, ocean acidification, long-term harm to human health, and increased emissions of greenhouse gases. Nitrogen fluxes to coastal areas and emissions of nitrous oxide from waters have increased in response to N inputs. Denitrification and sedimentation of organic N to sediments are important processes that divert N from downstream transport. Aquatic ecosystems are particularly important denitrification hotspots. Carbon storage in sediments is enhanced by Nr, but whether carbon is permanently buried is unknown. The effect of climate change on N transport and processing in fresh and coastal waters will be felt most strongly through changes to the hydrologic cycle, whereas N loading is mostly climate-independent. Alterations in precipitation amount and dynamics will alter runoff, thereby influencing both rates of Nr inputs to aquatic ecosystems and groundwater and the water residence times that affect Nr removal within aquatic systems. Both infrastructure and climate change alter the landscape connectivity and hydrologic residence time that are essential to denitrification. While Nr inputs to and removal rates from aquatic systems are influenced by climate and management, reduction of N inputs from their source will be the most effective means to prevent or to minimize environmental and economic impacts of excess Nr to the nation’s water resources.

New aerial survey and hierarchical model to estimate manatee abundance

Released January 01, 2020 00:00 EST

2011, Journal of Wildlife Management (75) 399-412

C.A. Langtimm, R.M. Dorazio, B.M. Stith, T.J. Doyle

Monitoring the response of endangered and protected species to hydrological restoration is a major component of the adaptive management framework of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. The endangered Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) lives at the marine-freshwater interface in southwest Florida and is likely to be affected by hydrologic restoration. To provide managers with prerestoration information on distribution and abundance for postrestoration comparison, we developed and implemented a new aerial survey design and hierarchical statistical model to estimate and map abundance of manatees as a function of patch-specific habitat characteristics, indicative of manatee requirements for offshore forage (seagrass), inland fresh drinking water, and warm-water winter refuge. We estimated the number of groups of manatees from dual-observer counts and estimated the number of individuals within groups by removal sampling. Our model is unique in that we jointly analyzed group and individual counts using assumptions that allow probabilities of group detection to depend on group size. Ours is the first analysis of manatee aerial surveys to model spatial and temporal abundance of manatees in association with habitat type while accounting for imperfect detection. We conducted the study in the Ten Thousand Islands area of southwestern Florida, USA, which was expected to be affected by the Picayune Strand Restoration Project to restore hydrology altered for a failed real-estate development. We conducted 11 surveys in 2006, spanning the cold, dry season and warm, wet season. To examine short-term and seasonal changes in distribution we flew paired surveys 1-2 days apart within a given month during the year. Manatees were sparsely distributed across the landscape in small groups. Probability of detection of a group increased with group size; the magnitude of the relationship between group size and detection probability varied among surveys. Probability of detection of individual manatees within a group also differed among surveys, ranging from a low of 0.27 on 11 January to a high of 0.73 on 8 August. During winter surveys, abundance was always higher inland at Port of the Islands (POI), a manatee warm-water aggregation site, than in the other habitat types. During warm-season surveys, highest abundances were estimated in offshore habitat where manatees forage on seagrass. Manatees continued to use POI in summer, but in lower numbers than in winter, possibly to drink freshwater. Abundance in other inland systems and inshore bays was low compared to POI in winter and summer, possibly because of low availability of freshwater. During cold weather, maps of patch abundance of paired surveys showed daily changes in manatee distribution associated with rapid changes in air and water temperature as manatees sought warm water with falling temperatures and seagrass areas with increasing temperatures. Within a habitat type, some patches had higher manatee abundance suggesting differences in quality, possibly due to freshwater flow. If hydrological restoration alters the location of quality habitat, postrestoration comparisons using our methods will document how manatees adjust to new resources, providing managers with information on spatial needs for further monitoring or management. Total abundance for the entire area was similar among survey dates. Credible intervals however were large on a few surveys, and may limit our ability to statistically detect trends in total abundance. Additional modeling of abundance with time- and patch-specific covariates of salinity, water temperature, and seagrass abundance will directly link manatee abundance with physical and biological changes due to restoration and should decrease uncertainty of estimates. ?? 2011 The Wildlife Society.

Diet composition and feeding patterns of adult shovelnose sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus platorynchus) in the lower Platte River, Nebraska, USA

Released January 01, 2020 00:00 EST

2011, Journal of Applied Ichthyology (27) 351-355

T. Rapp, D.A. Shuman, B.D.S. Graeb, S.R. Chipps, E.J. Peters

Two-hundred and seven adult shovelnose sturgeon ranging from 450 to 718mm in length were sampled from June to October 2001 and May to July 2002 to determine diet composition and feeding patterns in the lower Platte River. Shovelnose sturgeon fed primarily upon aquatic insect larvae and nymphs (>99% composition by number). Diptera of the family Chironomidae were the dominant prey items in both years and composed 98.1% of the shovelnose sturgeon diet in 2001 and 96.8% in 2002. Chironomidae were primarily represented by the four genera Paracladopelma, Chernovskiia, Saetheria and Robackia accounting for 90.2% of the ingested prey items in 2001 and 83.6% in 2002. In addition, shovelnose sturgeon showed in both years a generalized feeding pattern towards Ephemeroptera of the families Isonychiidae and Caenidae, as well as Trichoptera of the family Hydropsychidae. Other aquatic insects, terrestrial invertebrates and fishes were found infrequently and in low numbers in shovelnose sturgeon diets. The four most abundant Chironomidae genera are often found on sand and the high abundance of these taxa in the diet suggests that shovelnose sturgeon feed primarily near or on this substrate type. This highlights the importance of habitats that provide sand substrate for shovelnose sturgeon foraging in the lower Platte River. ?? 2011 Blackwell Verlag, Berlin.

Seabird use of discards from a nearshore shrimp fishery in the South Atlantic Bight, USA

Released January 01, 2020 00:00 EST

2011, Marine Biology (158) 2289-2298

P.G.R. Jodice, L.C. Wickliffe, E.B. Sachs

Shrimp trawling is common throughout the southeastern and Gulf of Mexico coasts of the USA and is the primary contributor to fisheries discards in these regions. Tens of thousands of nearshore seabirds nest near shrimp trawling grounds in the USA, but to date, there has been no assessment of the relationship between seabirds and shrimp trawlers. We examined the taxonomic composition of bycatch, rate at which seabirds scavenged bycatch, and energy density of discarded bycatch in a nearshore commercial shrimp fishery. Bycatch was primarily comprised of demersal fish that are not typically accessible to the plunge-diving and surface-feeding seabirds that occur in the area. Hence, seabird diets in the region appear to be broadened taxonomically by the availability of discards. Results from discard experiments indicated that 70% of the nearly 5,500 items discarded by hand were scavenged by seabirds and that the fate of a discarded item was most strongly predicted by its taxonomic order. Laughing gulls scavenged the greatest proportion of discards, although brown pelicans were the only species to scavenge more discards than predicted based upon their abundance. Because this is the first such study in the region, it is difficult to ascertain the extent or intensity of the impact that discards have on nearshore seabirds. Nonetheless, our results suggest that it will be difficult for managers to clearly understand fluctuations in local seabird population dynamics without first understanding the extent to which these species rely upon discards. This may be especially problematic in situations where seabird populations are recovering following natural or anthropogenic stressors. ?? 2011 Springer-Verlag.

Short report: Seroprevalence of West Nile virus in feral horses on Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada, United States

Released January 01, 2020 00:00 EST

2011, American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (84) 637-640

J.C. Franson, Erik K. Hofmeister, G.H. Collins, Robert J. Dusek

We screened 1,397 feral horses ( Equus caballus ) on Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada, United States, for IgM and IgG against flavivirus during 2004-2006, 2008, and 2009. Positive serum samples were tested for neutralizing antibodies to West Nile virus (WNV) and St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV). One animal was positive for antibody against WNV in 2004, but all others tested in 2004-2006 were negative. In 2008 and 2009, we found evidence of increasing seropositive horses with age, whereas seroprevalence of WNV decreased from 19% in 2008 to 7.2% in 2009. No horses were positive for antibody against SLEV. Being unvaccinated, feral horses can be useful for WNV surveillance. Copyright ?? 2011 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Temporal variation in bird and resource abundance across an elevational gradient in Hawaii

Released January 01, 2020 00:00 EST

2011, The Auk (128) 113-126

P.J. Hart, B.L. Woodworth, R.J. Camp, Katie L. Turner, K. McClure, K. Goodall, C. Henneman, C. Spiegel, J. LeBrun, E. Tweed, M. Samuel

We documented patterns of nectar availability and nectarivorous bird abundance over ???3 years at nine study sites across an 1,800-m elevational gradient on Hawaii Island to investigate the relationship between resource variation and bird abundance. Flower density (flowers ha?1) and nectar energy content were measured across the gradient for the monodominant ??hi?? (Metrosideros polymorpha). Four nectarivorous bird species were captured monthly in mist nets and surveyed quarterly with point-transect distance sampling at each site to examine patterns of density and relative abundance. Flowering peaks were associated with season but not rainfall or elevation. Bird densities peaked in the winter and spring of each year at high elevations, but patterns were less clear at middle and low elevations. Variability in bird abundance was generally best modeled as a function of elevation, season, and flower density, but the strength of the latter effect varied with species. The low elevations had the greatest density of flowers but contained far fewer individuals of the two most strongly nectarivorous species. There is little evidence of large-scale altitudinal movement of birds in response to ??hi?? flowering peaks. The loose relationship between nectar and bird abundance may be explained by a number of potential mechanisms, including (1) demographic constraints to movement; (2) nonlimiting nectar resources; and (3) the presence of an "ecological trap," whereby birds are attracted by the high resource abundance of, but suffer increased mortality at, middle and low elevations as a result of disease. ?? The American Ornithologists' Union, 2011.

Hydrological mobilizaton of mercury and disolved organic carbon in a snow-dominated, forested watershed: conceptualization and modeling

Released January 01, 2020 00:00 EST

2011, Journal of Geophysical Research G: Biogeosciences (116) G01002-G01002

J. Schelker, Douglas A. Burns, M. Weiler, H. Laudon

The mobilization of mercury and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) during snowmelt often accounts for a major fraction of the annual loads. We studied the role of hydrological connectivity of riparian wetlands and upland/wetland transition zones to surface waters on the mobilization of Hg and DOC in Fishing Brook, a headwater of the Adirondack Mountains, New York. Stream water total mercury (THg) concentrations varied strongly (mean = 2.25 + or - 0.5 ng L-1), and the two snowmelt seasons contributed 40% (2007) and 48% (2008) of the annual load. Methyl mercury (MeHg) concentrations ranged up to 0.26 ng L-1, and showed an inverse log relationship with discharge. TOPMODEL-simulated saturated area corresponded well with wetland areas, and the application of a flow algorithm based elevation-above-creek approach suggests that most wetlands become well connected during high flow. The dynamics of simulated saturated area and soil storage deficit were able to explain a large part of the variation of THg concentrations (r2 = 0.53 to 0.72). In contrast, the simulations were not able to explain DOC variations and DOC and THg concentrations were not correlated. These results indicate that all three constituents, THg, MeHg, and DOC, follow different patterns at the outlet: (1) the mobilization of THg is primarily controlled by the saturation state of the catchment, (2) the dilution of MeHg suggests flushing from a supply limited pool, and (3) DOC dynamics follow a pattern different from THg dynamics, which likely results from differing gain and/or loss processes for THg and/or DOC within the Fishing Brook catchment.

Physical Habitat Characteristics on the North and South Forks of the Shenandoah River, VA in 2002-2007

Released January 01, 2020 00:00 EST

2010, Report

Jennifer L. Krstolic, Donald C. Hayes, Peter M. Ruhl

The layers within this geodataset describe physical habitat characteristics in the North and South Fork Shenandoah rivers. They represent conditions during summer low-flow periods when canoeing was possible.The data are derived from GPS field surveys and GIS editing to complete habitat units around islands or river bends.

Physical Habitat Characteristics on the North and South Forks of the Shenandoah River, VA in 2002-2007

Released January 01, 2020 00:00 EST

2010, Report

Jennifer L. Krstolic, Donald C. Hayes

The layers within this geodataset describe physical habitat characteristics in the North and South Fork Shenandoah rivers. They represent conditions during summer low-flow periods when canoeing was possible.The data are derived from GPS field surveys and GIS editing to commplete habitat units around islands or river bends

Application of non-lethal stable isotope analysis to assess feeding patterns of juvenile pallid sturgeon Scaphirhynchus albus: A comparison of tissue types and sample preservation methods

Released January 01, 2020 00:00 EST

2010, Journal of Applied Ichthyology (26) 831-835

R.T. Andvik, J.A. VanDeHey, M.J. Fincel, William E. French, K.N. Bertrand, S.R. Chipps, Robert A. Klumb, B.D.S. Graeb

Traditional techniques for stable isotope analysis (SIA) generally require sacrificing animals to collect tissue samples; this can be problematic when studying diets of endangered species such as the pallid sturgeon Scaphirhynchus albus. Our objectives were to (i) determine if pectoral fin tissue (non-lethal) could be a substitute for muscle tissue (lethal) in SIA of juvenile pallid sturgeon, and (ii) evaluate the influence of preservation techniques on stable isotope values. In the laboratory, individual juvenile pallid sturgeon were held for up to 186 day and fed chironomids, fish, or a commercially available pellet diet. Significant, positive relationships (r2 ??? 0.8) were observed between fin and muscle tissues for both ??15N and ??13C; in all samples isotopes were enriched in fins compared to muscle tissue. Chironomid and fish based diets of juvenile pallid sturgeon were distinguishable for fast growing fish (0.3 mm day-1) using stable ??15N and ??13C isotopes. Frozen and preserved fin tissue ??15N isotopes were strongly related (r2 = 0.89) but ??13C isotopes were weakly related (r2 = 0.16). Therefore, freezing is recommended for preservation of fin clips to avoid the confounding effect of enrichment by ethanol. This study demonstrates the utility of a non-lethal technique to assess time integrated food habits of juvenile pallid sturgeon and should be applicable to other threatened or endangered species. ?? 2010 Blackwell Verlag, Berlin.

Patch dynamics and the timing of colonization-abandonment events by male Kirtland's Warblers in an early succession habitat

Released January 01, 2020 00:00 EST

2010, Biological Conservation (143) 1159-1167

D.M. Donner, C.A. Ribic, J.R. Probst

Habitat colonization and abandonment affects the distribution of a species in space and time, ultimately influencing the duration of time habitat is used and the total area of habitat occupied in any given year. Both aspects have important implications to long-term conservation planning. The importance of patch isolation and area to colonization-extinction events is well studied, but little information exists on how changing regional landscape structure and population dynamics influences the variability in the timing of patch colonization and abandonment events. We used 26 years of Kirtland's Warbler (Dendroica kirtlandii) population data taken during a habitat restoration program (1979-2004) across its historical breeding range to examine the influence of patch attributes and temporal large-scale processes, specifically the rate of habitat turnover and fraction of occupied patches, on the year-to-year timing of patch colonization and abandonment since patch origin. We found the timing of patch colonization and abandonment was influenced by patch and large-scale regional factors. In this system, larger patches were typically colonized earlier (i.e., at a younger age) and abandoned later than smaller patches. Isolated patches (i.e., patches farther from another occupied patch) were generally colonized later and abandoned earlier. Patch habitat type affected colonization and abandonment; colonization occurred at similar patch ages between plantation and wildfire areas (9 and 8.5 years, respectively), but plantations were abandoned at earlier ages (13.9 years) than wildfire areas (16.4 years) resulting in shorter use. As the fraction of occupied patches increased, patches were colonized and abandoned at earlier ages. Patches were abandoned at older ages when the influx of new habitat patches was at low and high rates. Our results provide empirical support for the temporal influence of patch dynamics (i.e., patch destruction, creation, and succession) on local colonization and extinction processes that help explain large-scale patterns of habitat occupancy. Results highlight the need for practitioners to consider the timing of habitat restoration as well as total amount and spatial arrangement of habitat to sustain populations.

Paleoceanography of the Gulf of Alaska during the past 15,000??years: Results from diatoms, silicoflagellates, and geochemistry

Released January 01, 2020 00:00 EST

2009, Marine Micropaleontology (72) 176-195

J. A. Barron, D. Bukry, W. E. Dean, J. A. Addison, B. Finney

High-resolution records of diatoms, silicoflagellates, and geochemistry covering the past 15,000??years were studied in three cores from the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). Core EW0408-85JC in an oceanic setting on the Kayak Slope displays a paleoceanographic record similar to that at several locations on the California margin during deglaciation. Biologic productivity as reconstructed using geochemical and microfossil proxies increased abruptly during the B??lling-Aller??d (B??-Al) warm interval (14.7-12.9??cal ka), declined during the Younger Dryas (YD) cold interval (12.9 to 11.7??cal kyr BP), and rose again during the earliest Holocene. At this site, the record after ~ 11??cal kyr BP is dominated by oceanic diatoms and silicoflagellates, with geochemical proxies displaying more subtle variation. Cores EW0408-66JC in the Yakobi Sea Valley near Cross Sound and EW0408-11JC in the Gulf of Esquibel contain an expanded, composite record along the southeast Alaskan margin. Core 66JC contains a detailed record of the B??-Al and YD. Diatoms and silicoflagellates indicate that coastal upwelling and biosiliceous productivity were strong during the B??-Al but declined during the YD. Sea ice-related diatoms increased in abundance during the YD, indicating cooler, but less productive waters. The glacial to biogenic marine sediment transition in core 11JC occurs at 1280??cmbsf (centimeters below sea floor), probably representing rising sea level and deglaciation early in the B??-Al. Freshwater and sea-ice related diatoms are common in the lower part of the core (B??-Al and YD), but upwelling-related diatoms and silicoflagellates quickly increased in relative abundance up-core, dominating the record of the past 11,000??years. Low oxygen conditions in the bottom water as reconstructed using geochemical proxies (U and Mo concentration) were most intense between ~ 6.5 and 2.8??cal kyr BP, the beginning of which is coincident with increases in abundance of upwelling-related diatoms. The records from these three cores jointly thus made it possible to reconstruct paleoclimatic and paleoceanographic conditions at high northern Pacific latitudes during the last 15??kyr.

Recovery distances of nestling Bald Eagles banded in Florida and implications for natal dispersal and philopatry

Released January 01, 2020 00:00 EST

2009, Journal of Raptor Research (43) 127-133

Petra Bohall Wood

I used band recovery data to examine distances between banding and recovery locations for 154 nestling Florida Bald Eagles and discuss the implications for understanding natal dispersal and philopatry in this species. Band recoveries occurred in 23 U.S. states and five Canadian provinces between 1931–2005. Recovery distance from the natal nest averaged longer for the youngest age classes (ANOVA: F  =  3.59; df  =  5, 153; P  =  0.005), for individuals banded in earlier decades (F  =  1.94; df  =  5, 153; P  =  0.093), and for the months of May through October (F  =  3.10; df  =  12, 153; P< 0.001). Of 35 individuals classed as mature (≥3.9 yr old when recovered; range 3.9–36.5 yr), 31 were located within Florida, which suggested a strong degree of philopatry to the natal state. Among 21 mature eagles of known sex with known banding and recovery locations in Florida, females, particularly younger birds, had longer recovery distances (N  =  9, mean  =  93 km, SE  =  22.4) than did males (N  =  12, mean  =  31 km, SE  =  5.3; t  =  2.67, df  =  19, P  =  0.026). The records examined here suggest a high degree of philopatry and relatively short natal dispersal distances, particularly in male Bald Eagles.

Appraisal of and response to social conditions in the Great Gulf Wilderness: Relationships among perceived crowding, rationalization, product shift, satisfaction, and future behavioral intentions

Released January 01, 2020 00:00 EST

2007, Conference Paper, Proceedings of the 2006 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium

Rudy M. Schuster, David Cole, Tony Hall, Jennifer Baker, Rebecca Oreskes

Purposes were to describe on-site social carrying capacity from the users’ perspectives, provide management applications, and refine constructs of product shift and rationalization used by visitors as coping responses to crowding. Data were gathered using on-site exit surveys of hikers in the Great Gulf Wilderness and analyzed with descriptive statistics, principal components analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, and structural equation modeling. Social carrying capacity did not appear to have been exceeded based on the users’ perspectives. However, coping was employed by 50 percent of the population. An acceptable model of hiker appraisal and coping response was identified. A discussion of management application and future direction for redefining product shift and rationalization within a context are offered.

Recreation-related perceptions of natural resource managers in the Saranac Lakes Wild Forest area

Released January 01, 2020 00:00 EST

2007, Report, Proceedings of the 2006 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium

Diane Kuehn, Mark Mink, Rudy M. Schuster

Public forest managers often work with diverse stakeholder groups as they implement forest management policies. Within the Saranac Lakes Wild Forest area of New York State’s Adirondack Park, stakeholder groups such as visitors, business owners, and landowners often have confl icting perceptions about issues related to water-based recreation in the region’s public forest areas. The main objective of this study is to identify the beliefs and attitudes of managers in the Saranac Lakes Wild Forest area regarding issues related to boat use. The Theory of Planned Behavior (Ajzen 1991), which illustrates the relationships among beliefs, attitudes, intended behaviors, and behaviors, provides the theoretical basis for the study. Fifteen managers of public and private properties within the region were interviewed in 2005. Interview data were recorded (with the permission of interviewees), transcribed, and qualitatively analyzed using N6 qualitative software. The interviews reveal basic issues perceived by managers concerning boat use, including environmental impacts from motorboat use (e.g., invasive species introductions) and noise generated by motorboats. Managers’ beliefs concerning these issues and attitudes towards boat use are identifi ed. Distinctions between public agency managers and managers of shoreline associations and other organizations are made.

Changes in seasonal nearshore zooplankton abundance patterns in Lake Ontario following establishment of the exotic predator Cercopagis pengoi

Released January 01, 2020 00:00 EST

2006, Journal of Great Lakes Research (32) 531-542

David M. Warner, Lars G. Rudstam, Hugues Benoit, Edward L. Mills, Ora E. Johannsson

Cercopagis pengoi, a zooplanktivore first discovered in Lake Ontario in 1998, may reduce availability of prey for planktivorous fish. Cercoapgis pengoi is most abundant in late summer and fall. Therefore, we hypothesized that abundance of small zooplankton (bosminids and cyclopoids) species would decrease at that time. To determine if the establishment of C. pengoi was followed by changes in the zooplankton community, seasonal patterns in nearshore zooplankton collected from May to October 1995–2000 were examined. Early summer density of small zooplankton was similar in all years while late summer and fall densities were significantly lower in 1998–2000 than in 1995–1997. The declines of small zooplankton coincided seasonally with the peak in C. pengoidensity. Other possible causes for the observed changes in small zooplankton are less likely. High levels of fish predation should have resulted in smaller zooplankton in 1998–2000 than in 1995–1997 and larger declines in Daphnia than other groups. This was not observed. There was no significant decline in chlorophyll-a concentrations or changes in temperature between 1995–1997 and 1998–2000. Therefore, the declines in density of small zooplankton were most likely the result of C. pengoi predation. The effect of C. pengoi establishment on alewives is increased competition for zooplankton prey but C. pengoi has replaced a portion of the zooplankton biomass and adult alewife diet formerly dominated by Diacyclops thomasi and Bosmina longirostris.

Spectral mixture analyses of hyperspectral data acquired using a tethered balloon

Released January 01, 2020 00:00 EST

2006, Remote Sensing of Environment (103) 338-350

Xuexia Chen, Lee Vierling

Tethered balloon remote sensing platforms can be used to study radiometric issues in terrestrial ecosystems by effectively bridging the spatial gap between measurements made on the ground and those acquired via airplane or satellite. In this study, the Short Wave Aerostat-Mounted Imager (SWAMI) tethered balloon-mounted platform was utilized to evaluate linear and nonlinear spectral mixture analysis (SMA) for a grassland-conifer forest ecotone during the summer of 2003. Hyperspectral measurement of a 74-m diameter ground instantaneous field of view (GIFOV) attained by the SWAMI was studied. Hyperspectral spectra of four common endmembers, bare soil, grass, tree, and shadow, were collected in situ, and images captured via video camera were interpreted into accurate areal ground cover fractions for evaluating the mixture models. The comparison between the SWAMI spectrum and the spectrum derived by combining in situ spectral data with video-derived areal fractions indicated that nonlinear effects occurred in the near infrared (NIR) region, while nonlinear influences were minimal in the visible region. The evaluation of hyperspectral and multispectral mixture models indicated that nonlinear mixture model-derived areal fractions were sensitive to the model input data, while the linear mixture model performed more stably. Areal fractions of bare soil were overestimated in all models due to the increased radiance of bare soil resulting from side scattering of NIR radiation by adjacent grass and trees. Unmixing errors occurred mainly due to multiple scattering as well as close endmember spectral correlation. In addition, though an apparent endmember assemblage could be derived using linear approaches to yield low residual error, the tree and shade endmember fractions calculated using this technique were erroneous and therefore separate treatment of endmembers subject to high amounts of multiple scattering (i.e. shadows and trees) must be done with caution. Including the short wave infrared (SWIR) region in the hyperspectral and multispectral endmember data significantly reduced the Pearson correlation coefficient values among endmember spectra. Therefore, combination of visible, NIR, and SWIR information is likely to further improve the utility of SMA in understanding ecosystem structure and function and may help narrow uncertainties when utilizing remotely sensed data to extrapolate trace glas flux measurements from the canopy scale to the landscape scale.

Wildlife and habitat damage assessment from Hurricane Charley: recommendations for recovery of the J. N. 'Ding' Darling National Wildlife Refuge Complex

Released January 01, 2020 00:00 EST

2006, Open-File Report 2006-1126.

J.M. Meyers, C.A. Langtimm, T. J. Smith III, K. Pednault-Willett

On 13 August 2004, the first of four hurricanes to strike Florida in 50% and sometimes 90% of their vegetation severely damaged (dead, broken tree stems, and tipped trees). Shell Mound Trail of JNDDNWR sustained catastrophic damage to its old growth mangrove forests. Direct storm mortality and injury to manatees in the area was probably slight. Because seagrass beads and manatee habitat extend beyond refuge boundaries, we recommended a regional approach with partner agencies to more thoroughly assess storm impacts and monitor recovery of seagrass and manatees. Besides intensive monitoring of waterbirds and their nesting habitat (pre- and post-storm), we recommend that the Mangrove Cuckoo be used as an indicator species for recovery of mangrove forests and also for monitoring songbirds at risk. Black-whiskered Vireo may be another potential indicator species to monitor in mangrove forests. Damaged vegetation should be monitored for recovery (permanent or long-term plots), especially where previous study plots have been established and with additional plots in mangrove forests of waterbird nesting islands and freshwater wetlands. Potential loss of wetlands may be prevented by water level monitoring, locating the positions (GPS-GIS) and maintaining existing water control structures, creating a GIS map of refuge with accurate vertical data, and monitoring and eradicating invasive plants. Invasive species, including Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius) and air potato (Dioscorea bulbifora), were common in a very limited survey. As an important monitoring goal, we recommend that species presence-absence data analysis (with probability of detection) be used to determine changes in animal communities. This could be accomplished possibly with comparison to other storm-damaged and undamaged refuges in the Region. This information may be helpful to refuge managers when storms return in the future.

Evaluating plant invasions from both habitat and species perspectives

Released January 01, 2020 00:00 EST

2006, Western North American Naturalist (66) 92-105

G.W. Chong, Yuka Otsuki, T.J. Stohlgren, D. Guenther, P. Evangelista, C. Villa, M.A. Waters

We present an approach to quantitatively assess nonnative plant invasions at landscape scales from both habitat and species perspectives. Our case study included 34 nonnative species found in 142 plots (0.1 ha) in 14 vegetation types within the Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument, Utah. A plot invasion index, based on nonnative species richness and cover, showed that only 16 of 142 plots were heavily invaded. A species invasive index, based on frequency, cover, and number of vegetation types invaded, showed that only 7 of 34 plant species were highly invasive. Multiple regressions using habitat characteristics (moisture index, elevation, soil P, native species richness, maximum crust development class, bare ground, and rock) explained 60% of variation in nonnative species richness and 46% of variation in nonnative species cover. Three mesic habitats (aspen, wet meadow, and perennial riparian types) were particularly invaded (31 of 34 nonnative species studied were found in these types). Species-specific logistic regression models for the 7 most invasive species correctly predicted occurrence 89% of the time on average (from 80% for Bromus tectorum, a habitat generalist, to 93% for Tamarix spp., a habitat specialist). Even with such a modest sampling intensity (<0.1% of the landscape), this multiscale sampling scheme was effective at evaluating habitat vulnerability to invasion and the occurrence of the 7 most invasive nonnative species. This approach could be applied in other natural areas to develop strategies to document invasive species and invaded habitats.

Relative vulnerability of female turtles to road mortality

Released January 01, 2020 00:00 EST

2006, Animal Conservation (9) 1-5

D.A. Steen, M. Aresco, S.G. Beilke, B. Compton, C.K. Dodd Jr., H. Forrester, J.W. Gibbons, J. Greene-McLeod, G. Johnson, T. Langen, M.J. Oldham, D.N. Oxier, R. Sammure, F. Schueler, Jonathan Sleeman, L.L. Smith, J. Tucker, J.P. Gibbs

Abstract not supplied at this time

Monitoring boreal forest leaf area index across a Siberian burn chronosequence: a MODIS validation study

Released January 01, 2020 00:00 EST

2005, International Journal of Remote Sensing (26) 5433-5451

X. Cheng, Lee Vierling, D. Deering, A. Conley

Landscapes containing differing amounts of ecological disturbance provide an excellent opportunity to validate and better understand the emerging Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) vegetation products. Four sites, including 1-year post-fire coniferous, 13-year post-fire deciduous, 24-year postfire deciduous, and .100 year old post-fire coniferous forests, were selected to serve as a post-fire chronosequence in the central Siberian region of Krasnoyarsk (57.3uN, 91.6uE) with which to study the MODIS leaf area index (LAI) and vegetation index (VI) products. The collection 4 MODIS LAI product correctly represented the summer site phenologies, but significantly underestimated the LAI value of the .100 year old coniferous forest during the November to April time period. Landsat 7-derived enhanced vegetation index (EVI) performed better than normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) to separate the deciduous and conifer forests, and both indices contained significant correlation with field-derived LAI values at coniferous forest sites (r 2 50.61 and r 2 50.69, respectively). The reduced simple ratio (RSR) markedly improved LAI prediction from satellite measurements (r 2 50.89) relative to NDVI and EVI. LAI estimates derived from ETM + images were scaled up to evaluate the 1 km resolution MODIS LAI product; from this analysis MODIS LAI overestimated values in the low LAI deciduous forests (where LAI,5) and underestimated values in the high LAI conifer forests (where LAI.6). Our results indicate that further research on the MODIS LAI product is warranted to better understand and improve remote LAI quantification in disturbed forest landscapes over the course of the year.

Effects of plant community composition and exposure to wave action on invertebrate habitat use of Lake Huron coastal wetlands

Released January 01, 2020 00:00 EST

2002, Lake and Reservoir Management (7) 255-269

Thomas M. Burton, Craig A. Stricker, Donald G. Uzarski

Invertebrate communities from different coastal marsh-plant communities were compared along wave-exposure gradients using data from 1994, 1998 and 1999. Data were subjected to correspondence analyses to search for patterns in invertebrate communities in relation to plant-community structure and wave exposure. In 1994, quantitative plant- and sediment-invertebrate samples were taken from nine habitats: four from inland, subsurface-connected marshes and five from littoral, emergent marshes. In 1998, sweep-net samples were taken from 13 plant communities: six on the exposed and seven on the protected side of an island. In 1999, 2–3 plant communities/sites were sampled with sweep nets from four sites around the Bay so that intersite differences between inner, less-exposed and outer, more-exposed habitats could be examined. In all three studies, correspondence analyses separated inland, protected or inner sites from littoral, exposed or outer sites, suggesting differences in invertebrate-community structure. For example, Hydracarina and Asellidae occurred in large numbers in inland sites, but were less common or absent from exposed, littoral sites. Littoral marshes also separated along an exposure gradient with Tanytarsini and Orthocladiinae collectors of organic particles occurring in very high numbers in outer, exposed areas where organic particles from the pelagic zone entered the marsh. Certain plant-community types clustered together (e.g. wet meadow and Scirpus) while others, such as Typha, stands clustered according to exposure to waves suggesting the importance of both plant-community structure and wave exposure in determining invertebrate-community structure. We present a conceptual model that suggests that invertebrates in Great Lakes' marshes are distributed along gradients of decreased mixing of pelagic water and increases in sediment organic matter from outer to inner marsh and between littoral and adjacent inland marshes. Some invertebrates do best on one end of these gradients, while the majority are generalists found across habitat types.

Management and conservation of San Francisco Bay salt ponds: effects of pond salinity, area, tide, and season on Pacific Flyway waterbirds

Released January 01, 2020 00:00 EST

2002, Waterbirds (25) 79-92

Nils Warnock, Gary W. Page, Tamiko D. Ruhlen, Nadav Nur, John Y. Takekawa, Janet T. Hanson

Throughout the world, coastal salt ponds provide habitat for large numbers and diversities of water- birds. San Francisco Bay contains the most important coastal salt pond complexes for waterbirds in the United States, supporting more than a million waterbirds through the year. As an initial step in attempting to understand how the anticipated conversion of salt ponds to tidal marsh might affect the Bay's bird populations, the number of birds using salt ponds on high and low tides was counted during the winter months of 1999/00 and 2000/01. Be- havior and habitat use of birds in these ponds were assessed, and the effects of tide cycle, pond salinity, and pond area on bird use were examined. We recorded 75 species ofwaterbirds in surveys of salt ponds in the South Bay from September 1999 to February 2001, totaling over a million bird use days on high tide. Shorebirds and dabbling ducks were the most abundant groups of birds using the salt ponds. Waterbird numbers and diversity were significantly affected by the salinity of ponds in a non-linear fashion with lower numbers and diversity on the highest salinity ponds. With the exception of ducks and Eared Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis), tide height at the Bay significantly affect- ed bird numbers in the salt ponds with ponds at high tides having higher numbers of birds than the same ponds on low tides. Considerable numbers of birds fed in the salt ponds on high and low tides, although this varied greatly by species. Habitat use varied by tide. Management recommendations include maintaining ponds of varying salini- ties and depths. Restoring salt ponds to tidal marsh should proceed with caution to avoid loss of waterbird diversity and numbers in San Francisco Bay.

A new chamber design for measuring community metabolism in a Michigan stream

Released January 01, 2020 00:00 EST

2001, Hydrobiologia (455) 137-155

D.G. Uzarski, T.M. Burton, Craig A. Stricker

We designed an open-ended community metabolism chamber to simultaneously measure surface and hyporheic metabolism. Our chamber design eliminated reaeration, compartmentalized metabolism, maintained ambient conditions and included hyporheic respiration. We compared results from our hyporheic chamber to results obtained from: (1) closed benthic community metabolism chambers constructed as recommended by Bott et al. (1978), and (2) whole-stream metabolism techniques as modified by Marzolf et al. (1994). Simultaneous comparisons of all three procedures were made for a 35 m riffle section of Augusta Creek, a 3rd-order Michigan stream, in July 1997 and repeated in July 1998. Simultaneous comparisons of all three procedures were also made for a 30 m sandy run section of Augusta Creek in September 1997, and repeated in September 1998. Our hyporheic chamber estimates for community respiration (CR24) were similar to those obtained using the whole-stream metabolism procedure but were considerably higher than estimates obtained using the closed benthic chambers in three of the four experiments. These data suggest that our chamber design provided estimates of community metabolism which included both benthic and hyporheic respiration. The chamber incorporates several positive aspects of both closed chambers and the whole-stream method. This new method can be replicated, eliminates the need for a reaeration coefficient, ambient conditions are better approximated since it remains an open system, and it appears to provide more realistic estimates of whole-stream metabolism compared to the traditional chamber approach.

Development of a preliminary invertebrate index of biotic integrity for Lake Huron coastal wetlands

Released January 01, 2020 00:00 EST

1999, Wetlands (19) 869-882

Thomas M. Burton, Donald G. Uzarski, Joseph P. Gathman, John A. Genet, Brian E. Keas, Craig A. Stricker

The biota of aquatic systems are integrators of overall habitat quality, revealing both episodic as well as cumulative disturbance, and therefore are able to serve as natural monitors of the systems they inhabit. Invertebrate communities from three relatively pristine coastal wetlands located along the northern shore of Lake Huron were compared to those from three relatively impacted Saginaw Bay coastal wetlands in Lake Huron to identify components of the community that could ordinate wetlands according to anthropogenic disturbance. A total of 24 potential metrics were examined for each of four vegetation zones at the study sites. Of these, 14 successfully discriminated between sites and were used to generate a preliminary index of biotic integrity (IBI) for Lake Huron coastal wetlands. This IBI was then tested by assessing coastal wetlands, including five additional sites, based on invertebrate data collected the following year. The preliminary IBI seemed to provide an accurate depiction of the wetlands used to generate the IBI as well as the five additional wetlands. We do not recommend use of the presented IBI as the definitive assessment tool for Lake Huron coastal wetlands. Instead, we suggest that it be tested further on a series of wetlands with known degrees of anthropogenic disturbance.

Characterizing Manatee habitat use and seagrass grazing in Florida and Puerto Rico: Implications for conservation and management

Released January 01, 2020 00:00 EST

1999, Pacific Conservation Biology (5) 289-298

L.W. Lefebvre, J.P. Reid, W.J. Kenworthy, J.A. Powell

The Indian River Lagoon on the Atlantic coast of Florida, USA, and the east coast of Puerto Rico provide contrasting environments in which the endangered West Indian Manatee Trichechus manatus experiences different thermal regimes and seagrass communities. We compare Manatee feeding behaviour in these two regions, examine the ecological effects of Manatee grazing on a seagrass community in the Indian River Lagoon, describe the utility of aerial surveys, radio tracking, and seagrass mapping to study Manatee feeding patterns, and develop hypotheses on sirenian feeding strategies in temperature and tropical seagrass communities. In both the Indian River Lagoon and Puerto Rico, Manatees were typically observed grazing in water depths = 2.0 m and more frequently on the most abundant seagrasses present in the community: Halodule wrightii in the Indian River Lagoon and Thalassia testudinum in eastern Puerto Rico. Where both H. wrightii and Syringodium filiforme were consumed in the Indian River Lagoon, Manatees tended to remove more S. filiforme than H. wrightii rhizome + root biomass. Even though 80 to 95% of the short-shoot biomass and 50 to 67% of the rhizome + root biomass were removed, grazed patches of H. wrightii and S. filiforme recovered significantly between February and August. H. wrightii may be both more resistant and resilient than S. filiforme to the impacts of Manatee grazing. Despite the significantly greater abundance of T. testudinum in Puerto Rico, Manatees exhibited selective feeding by returning to specific sites with abundant H. wrightii. They also appeared to feed selectively on T. testudinum shoots associated with clumps of the calcareous alga Halimeda opuntia. We hypothesize that Florida Manatees are less specialized seagrass grazers than Manatees in tropical regions like Puerto Rico. Continued research on Manatee grazing ecology in temperate to tropical seagrass communities will enable better protection and management of these vital and unique marine resources.

Geology and exploration of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska, 1974 to 1982

Released January 01, 2020 00:00 EST

1988, Geological Survey Professional Paper (United States)

George Gryc

The National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPRA) lies north of the Arctic Circle on the northern slope of the Brooks Range. Oil seepage on the Arctic Coast was reported in the 1900s, and the hunt for commercial oil deposits began as early as 1921. In 1923 President Harding set aside the western half of the Arctic Slope as Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 4, more recently redesignated as the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. Throughout this long history, the U.S. Geological Survey has been the principal source for geological and geophysical information for this area. The 39 chapters of this book are grouped under a number of areas of interest: exploration history; resource assessment; geological framework; geochemistry; geophysics; paleontology; reservoir rocks; and special studies on such subjects as a cultural resources program, engineering geological studies, and a computer data and graphics system.

Population biology of yellow perch in southern Lake Michigan, 1971-79

Released January 01, 2020 00:00 EST

1983, Technical Paper 109

LaRue Wells, Sherrell C. Jorgenson

This study was based mainly on gill-net collections of yellow perch (Perca flavescens) made during July and August 1971-79, in southern Lake Michigan at Grand Haven, Saugatuck, South Haven, Benton Harbor, and New Buffalo, Michigan; Michigan City and Gary, Indiana; Waukegan, Illinois; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Abundance of yellow perch was above the 1971-79 average in 1971 and 1972, below average in 1979, and about average or in doubt in the other years. Abundance during 1976-79 was greatest at Saugatuck and decreased more or less progressively from Saugatuck southward and around the southern end of the lake. The geographical differences in abundance were attributable partly to differences in fishing mortality. Average lengths of fish caught were greatest at Saugatuck, and generally greater in Michigan waters than in other areas; they were greater for females than for males. Fish sampled ranged in age from I to IX, but 88% of the males and 81% of the females were of ages II-V. Older perch were generally more common in State of Michigan waters, particularly at Saugatuck, than elsewhere. Females grew faster than males after the second year of life. Average lengths of males and females at the end of 3 years were 197 and 214 mm, respectively, in Michigan waters and 186 and 195 mm in Indiana-Illinois (few perch were caught in Wisconsin). The relation of weight (W) to length (L) for combined sexes was W = 2.6761(10-6) x L3.2644. Perch in southeastern Lake Michigan spawned mainly from late May to mid June. Virtually all males were mature in their second year, but some females not until their fourth year. Perch 174 to 355 mm long contained 9,300 to 136,000 eggs. Approximate mortalities of males and females in Michigan waters were 52% and 48%, respectively; rates were higher in Indiana-Illinois.

Spatial and temporal interactions of sympatric mountain lions in Arizona

Released December 31, 2019 23:45 EST

2011, European Journal of Wildlife Research (57) 1151-1163

K.L. Nicholson, P.R. Krausman, A. Munguia-Vega, M. Culver

Spatial and temporal interactions among individual members of populations can have direct applications to habitat management of mountain lions (Puma concolor). Our objectives were to evaluate home range overlap and spatial/temporal use of overlap zones (OZ) of mountain lions in Arizona. We incorporated spatial data with genetic analyses to assess relatedness between mountain lions with overlapping home ranges. We recorded the space use patterns of 29 radio-collared mountain lions in Arizona from August 2005 to August 2008. We genotyped 28 mountain lions and estimated the degree of relatedness among individuals. For 26 pairs of temporally overlapping mountain lions, 18 overlapped spatially and temporally and eight had corresponding genetic information. Home range overlap ranged from 1. 18% to 46. 38% (x??, SE = 2. 96). Male-male pairs were located within 1 km of each other on average, 0. 04% of the time, whereas male-female pairs on average were 3. 0%. Two male-male pairs exhibited symmetrical spatial avoidance and two symmetrical spatial attractions to the OZ. We observed simultaneous temporal attraction in three male-male pairs and four male-female pairs. Individuals from Tucson were slightly related to one another within the population (n = 13, mean R = 0. 0373 ?? 0. 0151) whereas lions from Payson (n = 6, mean R = -0. 0079 ?? 0. 0356) and Prescott (n = 9, mean R = -0. 0242 ?? 0. 0452) were not as related. Overall, males were less related to other males (n = 20, mean R = -0. 0495 ?? 0. 0161) than females were related to other females (n = 8, mean R = 0. 0015 ?? 0. 0839). Genetic distance was positively correlated with geographic distance (r2 = 0. 22, P = 0. 001). Spatial requirements and interactions influence social behavior and can play a role in determining population density. ?? 2011 Springer-Verlag.

Water quality and phytoplankton communities in Lake Pontchartrain during and after the Bonnet Carré Spillway opening, April to October 2008, in Louisiana, USA

Released December 31, 2019 23:45 EST

2009, Geo-Marine Letters (29) 431-440

Scott V. Mize, Dennis K. Demcheck

The Bonnet Carré Spillway, located 28 miles northwest of New Orleans, was constructed in the early 1930s as part of an integrated flood-control system for the lower Mississippi River system. From 11 April to 8 May 2008, Mississippi River water was diverted through the spillway into the 629-square-mile Lake Pontchartrain, which is hydraulically connected to the Gulf of Mexico. On 8 April, prior to the opening of the spillway, water-quality instruments were deployed and recorded hourly measurements of water temperature, dissolved oxygen, specific conductance, pH, and nitrate. Discrete water-quality and phytoplankton (algae) samples were collected in Lake Pontchartrain from 8 April to 3 October 2008 to assess the water-quality nutrient enrichment effects of the diversion on the lake. The maximum influence of river water in the southern portion of the lake was captured with continuous (hourly) monitoring of nitrate concentrations, and field measurements such as of specific conductance during the critical period in late April to early May. By late May, the deployed instruments had recorded the arrival, peak, and decline of selected constituents associated with the freshwater influx from the Mississippi River/Bonnet Carré Spillway diversion. The continuous monitoring data showed the short-term interactions of high-nitrate, low-specific conductance river water and low-nitrate, high-specific conductance lake water. The phytoplankton community composition, as an indicator of water quality, illustrated an extended response from the river water evident even after the continuous and discrete samples indicated that the lake had returned to pre-diversion conditions. The initial phytoplankton community response to nutrient increases was related to accumulations of diatoms. During periods of low nutrient concentrations, accumulations of blue-greens occurred by July and August. As blue-green algae cell densities and biovolumes increased in the summer, so did the species richness of blue-green algae, particularly the harmful algae bloom taxa. Cell densities and biovolume of the phytoplankton lake indicator taxaSkeletonema costatumAnabaena sp., and Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii were highest and dominated the diatom and blue-green algae communities during the period of most river water influence on the lake and immediately following the freshwater inflows. The dominance and recession of these indictor taxa reflect the dramatic changes that occurred in the phytoplankton community in response to an increase in nutrient-rich freshwater from the diversion into the lake, and not normal seasonal phytoplankton compositional differences. Water-quality data indicated a gradual reversion to pre-diversion lake conditions by June to July, but shifts in the phytoplankton composition were still evident through August 2008. Observations from this study were similar to results from previous studies of Mississippi River/Bonnet Carré Spillway diversion opening in 1997.

Contribution to the study of the physico-chemical structure of Clais

Released December 31, 2019 23:45 EST

1954, Open-File Report 54-28

Remy Hebert

The Cormeilles-en-Parisis hill shows one of the best geologic sections of the Paris region. The 80 meter high working face of the quarry exposes the complete section of the "Ludian" [the youngest beds of the Eocene] with its alternations of the marl and gypsum. Above is the sequence of supra-gypseous marls of the [lower oligocene] Sannosian stage, overlain by a very complex series of alternation brackish water and lacustrine layers, from blue marls to Brie limestone, up through the white Pantin marls, brown marls containing the pelecypod genus Cyrena and green marls. These strata overlain by the [Middle Oligocene] Stampian beds represented by the Fontainebleau sands and Ostrea-bearing marls. 

Hydrocyclonic separation of invasive New Zealand mudsnails from an aquaculture water source

Released December 31, 2019 23:00 EST

2012, Aquaculture (326-329) 156-162

R.J. Nielson, C.M. Moffitt, B.J. Watten

Invasive New Zealand mudsnails (Potamopyrgus antipodarum, NZMS) have infested freshwater aquaculture facilities in the western United States and disrupted stocking or fish transportation activities because of the risk of transporting NZMS to na??ve locations. We tested the efficacy of a gravity-fed, hydrocyclonic separation system to remove NZMS from an aquaculture water source at two design flows: 367. L/min and 257. L/min. The hydrocyclone effectively filtered all sizes of snails (including newly emerged neonates) from inflows. We modeled cumulative recovery of three sizes of snails, and determined that both juvenile and adult sized snails were transported similarly through the filtration system, but the transit of neonates was faster and similar to the transport of water particles. We found that transit times through the filtration system were different between the two flows regardless of snail size, and the hydrocyclone filter operated more as a plug flow system with dispersion, especially when transporting and removing the larger sized adult and juvenile sized snails. Our study supports hydrocyclonic filtration as an important tool to provide snail free water for aquaculture operations that require uninfested water sources. ?? 2011 .

Pre-spawning migration of adult Pacific lamprey, Entosphenus tridentatus, in the Willamette River, Oregon, U.S.A.

Released December 31, 2019 23:00 EST

2012, Article, Environmental Biology of Fishes

B. J. Clemens, M. G. Mesa, R. J. Magie, D. A. Young, C. B. Schreck

We describe the migration distances and timing of the adult Pacific lamprey, Entosphenus tridentatus, in the Willamette River Basin (Oregon, U. S. A.). We conducted aerial surveys to track radio-tagged fish upstream of a major waterfall and hydropower complex en route to spawning areas. We detected 24 out of the 43 fish that passed the waterfall-hydropower complex. Of the detected fish, 17 were detected multiple times. Their maximum migration distance upstream in the mainstem Willamette approximated a normal distribution. The maximum distance migrated upstream did not significantly correlate with total body length (r = -0.186, P = 0.385) or date that the fish passed Willamette Falls (r = -0.118, P = 0.582). Fish migrated primarily during the spring to early summer period before stopping during the summer, when peak river temperatures (≥20°C). However, at least three fish continued to migrate upstream after September. Behavior ranged from relatively slow migration, followed by holding; to rapid migration, followed by slow migration further up in the basin. This study provides a basis for informing more detailed research on Pacific lamprey in the future.

Impacts of invasive plants on sandhill crane (Grus canadensis) roosting habitat

Released December 31, 2019 23:00 EST

2011, Invasive Plant Science and Management (4) 369-377

A.C. Kessler, J.W. Merchant, R. Patrick Bixler, S.D. Shultz

Invasive plants continue to spread in riparian ecosystems, causing both ecological and economic damage. This research investigated the impacts of common reed, purple loosestrife, riparian shrubland, and riparian woodlands on the quality and quantity of sandhill crane roosting habitat in the central Platte River, Nebraska, using a discrete choice model. A more detailed investigation of the impacts of common reed on sandhill crane roosting habitat was performed by forecasting a spread or contraction of this invasive plant. The discrete choice model indicates that riparian woodlands had the largest negative impact on sandhill crane roosting habitat. The forecasting results predict that a contraction of common reed could increase sandhill crane habitat availability by 50%, whereas an expansion could reduce the availability by as much as 250%. This suggests that if the distribution of common reed continues to expand in the central Platte River the availability of sandhill crane roosting habitat would likely be greatly reduced. Nomenclature: Common reed, Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steud.; purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria L. Interpretive Summary: This research demonstrates the suitability of discrete choice modeling for quantifying the impacts of invasive plants on sandhill crane roosting habitat. Moreover, this research successfully applied a discrete choice model to forecast the implications that a spread (unsuccessful management) or contraction (successful management) of the invasive plant common reed (Phragmites australis) could have on the distribution and abundance of sandhill crane roosting habitat. The methods presented in this research could easily be adopted to provide managers with useful information that aids in the management of invasive plants for the benefit of native species' habitat. For example, managers could use the modeling and forecasting methods developed in this project to quantify the degree to which invasive species impact native species' habitat, prioritize the location of invasive plant management, and forecast which invasive species are most likely to impact native species. In addition, the discrete choice model forecasting methods described in this research allow the user to quantify the change in abundance and distribution of native species habitat as a result of invasive species spread or contraction. As the availability of digital land cover data grows and knowledge of invasive species' impacts expands, discrete choice modeling and forecasting simulations based on discrete choice models could be instrumental in aiding a field practitioner's management of invasive plants. ?? Weed Science Society of America.

Application of cross-borehole radar to monitor fieldscale vegetable old injection experiments for biostimulation

Released December 31, 2019 15:41 EST

2004, Conference Paper, Proceedings: Symposium on the Application of Geophysics to Engineering and Environmental Problems (SAGEEP)

John W. Lane, Jr., Frederick D. Day-Lewis, Roelof J. Versteeg, C.C. Casey, Peter K. Joesten

Cross-borehole radar methods were used to monitor a field-scale biostimulation pilot project at the Anoka County Riverfront Park (ACP), located downgradient of the Naval Industrial Reserve Ordnance Plant, in Fridley, Minnesota. The goal of the pilot project is to evaluate biostimulation using emulsified vegetable oil to treat ground water contaminated with chlorinated hydrocarbons. Vegetable oil is intended to serve as substrate to naturally occurring microbes, which ultimately break down chlorinated hydrocarbons into chloride, carbon dioxide, and water through oxidation-reduction reactions. In support of this effort, cross-borehole radar data were acquired by the U.S Geological Survey in five site visits over 1.5 years. This paper presents level-run (zero-offset profile) and time-lapse radar tomography data collected in multiple planes. Comparison of pre- and post-injection data sets provides valuable insights into the spatial and temporal distribution of both emulsified vegetable oil and also the extent of ground water with altered chemistry resulting from injections — information important for understanding microbial degradation of chlorinated hydrocarbons at the site.

In order to facilitate data interpretation and test the effectiveness of radar for monitoring oil-emulsion placement and movement, three injection mixtures with different radar signatures were used: (1) vegetable oil emulsion, (2) vegetable oil emulsion with a colloidal iron tracer, and (3) vegetable oil emulsion with a magnetite tracer. Based on petrophysical modeling, mixture (1) is expected to increase radar velocity and decrease radar attenuation relative to background — a water-saturated porous medium; mixtures (2) and (3) are expected to increase radar velocity and also increase radar attenuation due to their greater electrical conductivity compared to native ground water.

Radar slowness (inverse radar velocity) tomograms and level-run profiles show decreases in slowness in the vicinity of injection wells. Slowness anomalies are observed only in planes connected to injection wells, indicating that the emplaced emulsified vegetable oil does not migrate far after injection. In contrast to the localization of slowness anomalies, attenuation anomalies are observed in all level-run profiles, particularly those downgradient of the injection wells. Despite the expected signatures of different tracers, increases in attenuation are observed downgradient of all three injections; thus, we infer that the attenuation changes do not result from the iron tracers. One viable explanation for the observed attenuation changes is that products of oil-enhanced biodegradation (for example, ferrous iron) increase electrical conductivity of ground water and thus radar attenuation.

Application of radar methods to data from the ACP demonstrated the utility of radar for monitoring biostimulation. Results of level-run and tomographic surveys identified (1) the distribution of emulsified vegetable oil, and (2) the distribution of ground water with oil-affected chemistry. Ongoing research efforts include simultaneous tomographic inversion of radar data from multiple planes, petrophysical modeling, geostatistical interpolation, and development of an integrated interpretation considering conventional borehole logs and surface-to-borehole radar data.

Use of borehole radar methods and borehole geophysical logs to monitor a field-scale vegetable oil biostimulation pilot project at Fridley, Minnesota

Released December 31, 2019 15:31 EST

2004, Conference Paper, Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Remediation of Chlorinated and Recalcitrant Compounds,

John W. Lane, Jr., Clifton C. Casey, Frederick D. Day-Lewis, A. Witten, Roelof J. Versteeg

Cross-hole and surface-to-borehole radar and conventional borehole geophysical logs were used to monitor subsurface injections of vegetable oil emulsion conducted as part of a field-scale biostimulation pilot project at the Anoka County Riverfront Park (ACP), located downgradient of the Naval Industrial Reserve Ordnance Plant (NIROP), in Fridley, Minnesota. The pilot project was undertaken to evaluate biostimulation using emulsified vegetable oil for treatment of ground water contaminated with chlorinated hydrocarbons. The objectives of the geophysical investigations were to delineate the distribution of vegetable oil injected at NIROP, and evaluate the utility of adding geophysical tracers to the vegetable oil emulsions. Geophysical data were acquired by the U.S Geological Survey in five site visits over 1.5 years. This paper presents (1) level-run radar traveltime and amplitude data; (2) radar cross-hole traveltime tomograms; (3) vertical-radar profile diffraction tomograms; and (4) borehole electromagnetic induction logs. Based on comparison of pre- and postinjection data sets, a conceptual model was developed to define the distribution of emulsified vegetable oil and the extent of ground water having altered chemistry resulting from injections and, possibly, enhanced microbial degradation of chlorinated hydrocarbons. Radar slowness (reciprocal velocity) anomalies indicate that the emplaced oil emulsion remained close to the injection wells, whereas attenuation anomalies indicate changes in ground-water chemistry downgradient of all three injections.

Community for Data Integration 2018 annual report

Released December 31, 2019 15:15 EST

2019, Open-File Report 2019-1123

Leslie Hsu, Leah Colasuonno

The Community for Data Integration (CDI) is a community of practice whose purpose is to build the U.S. Geological Survey knowledge base in data integration. This annual report describes the various presentations, activities, and outcomes of the CDI monthly forums, working groups, trainings, and other CDI-sponsored events in fiscal year 2018. The report also describes the objectives of the 10 CDI-funded projects for the year. The CDI had a topical theme for fiscal year 2018—Risk assessment and hazards vulnerability in support of integrated predictive science capacity. This report describes how the community coordinated its activities around this theme.

The Cajun Prairie Restoration Project

Released December 31, 2019 12:05 EST

2001, Conference Paper, Proceedings of the seventeenth North American Prairie Conference : seeds for the future, roots of the past : held 16-20, July, 2000, North Iowa Area Community College, Mason City, Iowa

Malcolm Vidrine, Charles Allen, Bruno Borsari, Larry K. Allain, Stephen R. Johnson

No abstract available.

Trends in mammalian predator control trapping events intended to protect ground-nesting, endangered birds at Haleakalā National Park, Hawaiʻi: 2000–14

Released December 31, 2019 11:59 EST

2019, Open-File Report 2019-1122

Emily C. Kelsey, Josh Adams, Max F. Czapanskiy, Jonathan J. Felis, Julie L. Yee, Raina L. Kaholoaa, Cathleen Natividad Bailey

Predation and habitat degradation by non-native species are principal terrestrial threats to the federally endangered Hawaiian Petrel (ʻuaʻu, Pterodroma sandwichensis) and Hawaiian Goose (nēnē, Branta sandvicensis) within Haleakalā National Park (HALE), Maui, Hawaiʻi. Since 1981, HALE has maintained a network of live traps to control invasive mammalian predators and protect these endangered birds. To evaluate trapping efficiency in HALE, we evaluated four types of trap outcomes for the years 2000–14: Bait Lost (62 percent), No Event (23 percent), Trap Triggered (10 percent), and Predator Event (Rat Caught, Cat Caught, or Mongoose Caught; 4 percent). We used a multinomial logistic regression model to explore trends in the probabilities of broad outcomes (No Event, Other Event [Bait Lost or Trap Triggered], or Predator Event [Rat Caught, Cat Caught, or Mongoose Caught]). Temporal variations in the probabilities of No Event, Other Event, or Predator Event were best explained by ʻuaʻu season (off-season, pre-laying, incubation, or nestling), month, year, and seasonal rainfall with greater probabilities of Predator Event during the ʻuaʻu nestling period (July–October). The probability of Predator Event or Other Event decreased with increased rainfall. Spatial analysis showed that percent vegetative cover and vegetation type best explained variations in the probabilities of trapping outcomes with the probability of Predator Event being greatest in developed and tree covered areas. The proportion of trapping events that resulted in Rat Caught was at least 20 times greater than the proportions of events resulting in Cat or Mongoose Caught throughout the 15-year management period. Temporal analysis showed that season, year, and maximum temperature best explained variations in probabilities of Predator Event; the probability of Rat Caught was greatest during the ʻuaʻu pre-laying and incubation periods (February–June), was greater during periods of warmer maximum temperatures, and overall, increased over the 15-year management period. The probability of Mongoose Caught was greatest during the ʻuaʻu offseason (November–January), decreased through time (2000–14), and decreased with increasing weekly maximum temperatures. Trends in Cat Caught were hard to detect because of small sample sizes, though slight trends indicated cat captures were most frequent during the ʻuaʻu off season and less frequent through time (2000–14). The probability of a Cat Caught event was also negatively correlated with weekly temperatures. Spatial analysis showed elevation best explained variations in probabilities of capture for rats, cats, and mongoose. Overall, predator catches were fewer at higher elevations, and of predators caught at higher elevations, the clear majority were rats. Our results are being used by HALE Endangered Wildlife Management staff to evaluate existing methods for predator control and efficacy of existing trap-based control strategies intended to protect ʻuaʻu and nēnē.

Hydrogeologic framework of the Treasure Valley and surrounding area, Idaho and Oregon

Released December 31, 2019 11:50 EST

2019, Scientific Investigations Report 2019-5138

James R. Bartolino

Most of the population of the Treasure Valley and the surrounding area of southwestern Idaho and easternmost Oregon depends on groundwater for domestic supply, either from domestic or municipal-supply wells. As of 2017, 41 percent of Idaho’s population was concentrated in Idaho’s portion of the Treasure Valley, and current and projected rapid population growth in the area has caused concern about the long-term sustainability of the groundwater resource. In 2016, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Idaho Water Resource Board and the Idaho Department of Water Resources, began a project to construct a numerical groundwater-flow model of the westernmost western Snake River Plain (WSRP) aquifer system. As part of this project, a three-dimensional hydrogeologic framework model (3D HFM) of the aquifer system was generated, primarily from lithologic data compiled from 291 well-driller reports.

Four major hydrogeologic units are shown in the 3D HFM: Coarse-grained fluvial and alluvial deposits, Pliocene-Pleistocene and Miocene basalts, fine-grained lacustrine deposits, and granitic and rhyolitic bedrock. Generally, the 3D HFM is in agreement with the geologic history of the WSRP and hydrogeologic frameworks developed by previous authors. The resolution (voxel size) of the 3D HFM is sufficient for the construction of a regional groundwater-flow model.

The major components of inflow (or recharge) to the WSRP aquifer system are seepage from irrigation canals, direct infiltration from precipitation and excess irrigation water, seepage from the Boise and Payette Rivers and Lake Lowell, and subsurface inflow from adjoining uplands. The major components of outflow (or discharge) from the aquifer system are discharge to surface water (rivers, agricultural drains, and streams), groundwater pumping, and direct evapotranspiration from groundwater.

Preliminary assessment of shallow groundwater chemistry near Goodell Creek, North Cascades National Park, Washington

Released December 31, 2019 11:46 EST

2019, Open-File Report 2019-1144

Rich W. Sheibley, James R. Foreman

Goodell Creek is located within North Cascades National Park and is high-quality habitat for Chinook salmon, which are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The creation of a levee near the mouth of the creek where it enters the Skagit River has cut off the historical flood plain from the active channel. There is an effort to remove the levee along the left bank of the creek to restore this connection and preserve this high-quality habitat; however, construction debris and blasting waste from the past have been used as fill during the creation of the levee in the 1980s, and there is concern that contaminated groundwater could reach the creek if the levee is breached. As a result, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the National Park Service, assessed near-channel shallow-groundwater chemistry to determine how levee remediation should proceed. Groundwater was sampled in late summer in 2017. Deep groundwater at that time of year limited water-quality sampling. Six samples were collected in September 2017 and analyzed for nutrients, dissolved metals, and a suite of semi-volatile organic compounds. Laboratory data were almost always reported as below the method detection limits with the exception of data from a single shallow-groundwater well. Elevated concentrations of metals detected in water samples from this well were possibly caused by the buried metal in the vicinity of the sampling location. One sample collected close to the active channel of Goodell Creek showed no signs of contamination.

Iodine-129 in the Eastern Snake River Plain Aquifer at and near the Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho, 2017–18

Released December 31, 2019 11:41 EST

2019, Scientific Investigations Report 2019-5133

Neil V. Maimer, Roy C. Bartholomay

From 1953 to 1988, approximately 0.941 curies of iodine-129 (129I) were contained in wastewater generated at the Idaho National Laboratory, with almost all of it discharged at or near the Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center (INTEC). Until 1984, most of the wastewater was discharged directly into the eastern Snake River Plain (ESRP) aquifer through a deep disposal well; however, some wastewater was also discharged into unlined infiltration ponds or leaked from distribution systems below the INTEC.

During 2017–18, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy, collected samples for 129I from 30 wells that monitor the ESRP aquifer to track concentrations and changes of the carcinogenic radionuclide that has a 15.7 million-year half-life. Concentrations of 129I in the aquifer ranged from 0.000016 ± 0.000001 to 0.88+/- 0.03 picocuries per liter (pCi/L), and concentrations generally decreased in wells near the INTEC as compared with previously collected samples. The average concentration of 15 wells sampled during 5 different sample periods decreased from 1.15 pCi/L in 1990–91 to 0.168 pCi/L in 2017–18, but average concentrations were similar to 2011–12 within analytical uncertainty. All but four wells within a 3-mile radius of the INTEC showed decreases in concentration, and all samples had concentrations less than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s maximum contaminant level of 1 pCi/L. These decreases are attributed to the discontinuation of disposal of 129I in wastewater and to dilution and dispersion in the aquifer. Some wells southeast of INTEC showed increasing trends; these increases were attributed to variable transmissivity.

Although wells near INTEC sampled in 2017–18 showed decreases in concentrations compared with data collected previously, some wells south of the INL boundary showed small increases. These increases are attributed to historical variable discharge rates of wastewater that eventually moved to these well locations as a pulse of water from a particular disposal period.

Shorebird habitat availability assessment of agricultural fields using a digital aerial video system

Released December 31, 2019 11:18 EST

2005, Conference Paper, Bird Conservation Implementation and Integration in the Americas: Proceedings of the Third International Partners in Flight Conference

Clinton W. Jeske, Scott A. Wilson, Paul C. Chadwick, Wylie Barrow

Field and wetland conditions in the rice prairies of Louisiana and Texas are highly dynamic habitats. Rice prairies are important habitat for many species of migratory birds, including shorebirds, wading birds, and waterfowl. Ground sampling a variety of fields to assess habitat availability is very labor intensive, and accessibility to private lands makes statistical habitat sampling almost impossible. Aerial video is a tool we can use for assessing availability of these highly ephemeral habitats because of the short-duration repeatability of the surveys. The strong statistical basis of line transect theory allows quantitative estimation of habitat availability. We used ground surveys of field conditions and shorebird ground counts to correlate spectral signatures with shorebird habitat availability. This video system can also be used to identify and map distribution of invasive plant species known to affect suitability of stopover habitat for shorebirds and landbirds.

Quantifying erosion rates by using terrestrial laser scanning at Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park, Nevada County, California, 2014–17

Released December 31, 2019 10:57 EST

2019, Open-File Report 2019-1124

James F. Howle, Charles N. Alpers, Alfred J. Ward, Sandra Bond, Jennifer A. Curtis

The abandoned hydraulic mine pit at Malakoff Diggins near Grass Valley, California, can produce large volumes of eroded sediment transportable by storm runoff. Sediment-laden water discharged from the pit is a major source of heavy metals to Humbug Creek and the South Yuba River. To develop a comprehensive sediment budget for the Malakoff Diggins mine pit and identify sources of sediment and metals within the pit that can become entrained as suspended sediment in runoff discharged from the pit, the U.S. Geological Survey, working in cooperation with the California Department of Water Resources, the California Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Nevada Irrigation District, used terrestrial laser scanning technology to quantify eroded volumes and erosion rates of sedimentary units exposed in the pit walls. The results for eroded volumes and rates reported here are part one of a three-part study.

High-resolution terrestrial laser scanning surveys were repeated annually from 2014 through 2017, including before and after dry and wet winters, measuring centimeter-scale topographic changes to quantify the volume of sediment eroded from outcrops at Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park, located on the western slope of the northern Sierra Nevada about 17 kilometers northeast of Grass Valley, California. Terrestrial laser scanning enabled construction of three-dimensional maps of the complex outcrop surfaces, which could not be mapped non-destructively or in sufficient detail with traditional surveying techniques. Eroded volumes from discrete sedimentary units were calculated at four study sites (numbered 1, 2, 4, and 5) throughout the mine pit for the December 2014 to August 2017 period.

Eroded volumes at the four study sites during the 32-month study ranged from 288 plus or minus (±) 13 cubic meters (m3) of sediment at site 1 to 8,517±145 m3 at site 4. Annual erosion rates at the four study sites ranged from 0.06±0.01 cubic meters per square meter per year (m3/m2/yr) at site 4 to 0.14±0.01 m3/m2/yr at site 2. The total eroded volume documented with terrestrial laser scanning at all four study sites from December 2014 to August 2017 was 12,934±334 m3 of sediment, and the average annual erosion rate for the four study sites was 0.10±0.04 m3/m2/yr.

Horizontal erosional-change maps indicate that a variety of erosional processes were responsible for the eroded sediment volume. These included areally broad and smaller-scale processes such as persistent dry ravel, periodic sheet wash, and frost heave and more localized and larger-scale processes such as coalescing fluvial incision, rotational landslides, and translational block-fall failures.

Assessment of continuous oil and gas resources in Jurassic Shales of the eastern Arabian Peninsula, 2019

Released December 31, 2019 10:45 EST

2019, Fact Sheet 2019-3071

Christopher J. Schenk, Tracey J. Mercier, Cheryl A. Woodall, Marilyn E. Tennyson, Thomas M. Finn, Michael E. Brownfield, Kristen R. Marra, Phuong A. Le, Ronald M. Drake II, Scott A. Kinney

Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated undiscovered, technically recoverable mean resources of 5.6 billion barrels of oil and 109.1 trillion cubic feet of gas in the Jurassic Hanifa-Tuwaiq Total Petroleum System of the Arabian Peninsula.

Assessment of continuous oil and gas resources in Jurassic Posidonia Shales of Greece and Albania, 2019

Released December 31, 2019 10:45 EST

2019, Fact Sheet 2019-3075

Christopher J. Schenk, Tracey J. Mercier, Marilyn E. Tennyson, Thomas M. Finn, Cheryl A. Woodall, Michael E. Brownfield, Kristen R. Marra, Heidi M. Leathers-Miller, Phuong A. Le, Ronald M. Drake II

Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated undiscovered, technically recoverable mean resources of 118 million barrels of continuous oil and 170 billion cubic feet of continuous gas in the Jurassic Posidonia Shale Total Petroleum System of western Greece and southern Albania.

Use of borehole-radar methods to monitor the movement of a saline tracer in carbonate rock at Belvidere, Illinois

Released December 31, 2019 10:25 EST

1998, Conference Paper, Proceedings of the symposium on the application of geophysics to engineering and environmental problems

John W. Lane, Jr., Peter K. Joesten, F.P. Haeni, Mark Vendl, Douglas J. Yeskis

Common-depth (CD) radar surveys and cross-hole radar tomography methods were used to monitor the movement of a saline tracer in a dual-porosity dolomite aquifer at Belvidere, Illinois. The tracer test was conducted using an array of six open-hole bedrock wells at the Parson’s Casket Hardware Superfund site. The injection and recovery boreholes were about 20 m (meters) apart, and the imaging boreholes were arranged to provide planar coverage across and along the anticipated tracer path. A hydraulically conductive zone identified during previous investigations was isolated using straddle packers and pumped to establish a hydraulic gradient between the injection and recovery wells. A sodium chloride (NaCl) solution was continuously injected into this zone to move the tracer across the tomographic image plane.

CD cross-hole radar surveys and cross-hole tomography surveys were conducted before and periodically during the tracer injection. Background tomograms contain similar radar velocity and attenuation changes with depth, consistent with a layered dolomite that has variable porosity and electrical conductivity. Slow changes in attenuation associated with low tracer velocity permitted the acquisition of multiple CD surveys and two cross-hole tomography surveys during injection. CD surveys were used to rapidly identify the presence of tracer between wells. Attenuation-difference tomograms contain attenuation increases that delineate the spatial distribution with time of the saline tracer and show the progressive movement of the tracer within the tomographic image plane. Formation porosity and resistivities calculated from radar velocity and attenuation tomograms were used to estimate changes in fluid resistivity and tracer concentration in the tomographic image plane.

Borehole-wall imaging with acoustic and optical televiewers for fractured-bedrock aquifer investigations

Released December 31, 2019 09:35 EST

2000, Conference Paper, Proceedings of the seventh international symposium on borehole geophysics for minerals, geotechnical, and groundwater applications

John H. Williams, Carole D. Johnson

Imaging with acoustic and optical televiewers results in continuous and oriented 360 degree views of the borehole wall from which the character and orientation of lithologic and structural features can be defined for fractured-bedrock aquifer investigations. Fractures are more clearly defined under a wider range of conditions on acoustic images than on optical images including dark-colored rocks, cloudy borehole water, and coated borehole walls. However, optical images allow for the direct viewing of the character of and relation between lithology, fractures, foliation, and bedding. The most powerful approach is the combined application of acoustic and optical imaging with integrated interpretation. Borehole-wall imaging provides information useful for the collection and interpretation of flowmeter and other geophysical logs, core samples, and hydraulic and water-quality data from packer testing and monitoring.

Transmissivity and geophysical data for selected wells at and near the Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho, 2017–18

Released December 31, 2019 09:34 EST

2019, Scientific Investigations Report 2019-5134

Brian V. Twining, Neil V. Maimer

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy, conducted aquifer tests during 2017–18 on 101 wells at and near the Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho, to define the hydraulic characteristics for individual wells. These were short-duration aquifer tests, conducted with a limited number of observations during routine sampling. Pumped intervals (water columns) for individual wells ranged from 12 to 790 feet (ft). Semi-constant discharge rates during aquifer testing ranged from 1 to 45 gallons per minute, water-level response to pumping ranged from no observed drawdown to 52.4 ft, and length of aquifer tests for individual wells ranged from 10 to 160 minutes. Individual well data were analyzed to estimate the capacity of the well to produce water (specific capacity) and to estimate values for transmissivity. Estimates of specific capacity for individual wells ranged from less than 1.0 to greater than (>) 3.0 × 103 gallons per minute per foot; estimates of transmissivity for individual wells ranged from 2.0 to >5.4 x 105 feet squared per day.

Geophysical log data, well construction information, and general geology for individual wells were presented and included in this report. Basic hydrogeologic features for individual wells were described, along with a composite of natural gamma, neutron, gamma-gamma dual density, and acoustic televiewer data (when available). The geophysical and geologic data were used to suggest the location and thickness of sediment layers along with fractured and dense basalt areas for individual wells. Geophysical data were used to describe the general geology where geologic descriptions and (or) driller notes were not available.

A probabilistic assessment methodology for carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery and associated carbon dioxide retention

Released December 31, 2019 07:20 EST

2019, Scientific Investigations Report 2019-5115

Peter D. Warwick, Emil D. Attanasi, Ricardo A. Olea, Madalyn S. Blondes, Philip A. Freeman, Sean T. Brennan, Matthew D. Merrill, Mahendra K. Verma, Cevat O. Karacan, Jenna L. Shelton, Celeste D. Lohr, Hossein Jahediesfanjani, Jacqueline N. Roueché

The U.S. Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 authorized the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to conduct a national assessment of the potential volume of hydrocarbons recoverable by injection of carbon dioxide (CO2) into known oil reservoirs with historical production. The implementation of CO2 enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR) techniques could increase the U.S. recoverable hydrocarbon resource base. Use of anthropogenic CO2 in the CO2-EOR process could reduce the amount of CO2 released to the atmosphere by allowing a percentage of the injected CO2 to remain in reservoir pore space once occupied by produced oil and water or by CO2 dissolution in oil and water in the reservoir.

The USGS has developed a new methodology for the national assessment of technically recoverable oil resources that may be produced by using current CO2-EOR technologies. The methodology relies on a proprietary reservoir-level database, the comprehensive resource database (CRD). The CRD incorporates commercially available geologic and engineering data, and USGS-defined play averages or province averages of reservoir data were used to populate incomplete records. Values from the CRD are used to estimate the original oil in place (OOIP) for each reservoir. The inputs are reviewed by USGS geologists, particularly when play or province averages have been used. Monte Carlo simulation is used to produce a numerical probability distribution for the OOIP for each reservoir, with the mean defined as the value of the OOIP in the CRD. A reservoir model (CO2 Prophet, developed for the U.S. Department of Energy by Texaco, Inc.) is used to determine the incremental recovery factors for oil during the CO2-EOR process, on an individual reservoir basis. The model is also used to estimate the volume of CO2 remaining in the reservoir after the CO2-EOR process is complete. Empirical decline curve analysis and comparison with data from published papers and reports on CO2-EOR projects are utilized to substantiate the simulation results. Numerical distributions of recovery factors are prepared for variations in the reservoir lithology (clastic or carbonate). The distribution of incremental oil is computed by multiplying the appropriate probability distribution of recovery factors by the individual reservoir distribution of the OOIP. A way to estimate the CO2 remaining in the reservoir after the completion of the CO2-EOR process is also included in the methodology.

Assessment results will be aggregated to play, petroleum province, regional, and national scales. This assessment methodology has been tested on the Horseshoe Atoll, Upper Pennsylvanian-Wolfcampian play in the Permian Basin Province in Texas; the play consists of 27 reservoirs having at least 2 billion barrels of OOIP that are amenable to the CO2-EOR process. The play was selected as a test case because CO2-EOR production data and published reports are available for several reservoirs within the play. Preliminary estimates of oil recoverable by implementation of miscible CO2-EOR are comparable to those reported in the literature and obtained by reservoir decline curve analysis.

U.S. Geological Survey—Department of the Interior Region 11, Alaska—2019 annual science report

Released December 31, 2019 06:17 EST

2019, Open-File Report 2019-1141

Dee Williams, Elizabeth Powers, editor(s)

In keeping with our national mission, the USGS in Alaska provides timely and objective scientific information to help the Nation address issues and solve problems in five major topical areas (listed alphabetically):

  • Energy and Minerals;
  • Geospatial Mapping;
  • Natural Hazards;
  • Water Quality, Streamflow, and Ice Dynamics; and
  • Wildlife, Fish, and Habitat.  

The USGS in Alaska engages about 400 scientists and support staff working in three major science centers, Cooperative Research Units, and USGS centers outside Alaska, with a combined annual science budget of about $60 million. In just the last 5 years, the USGS in Alaska has produced scientific benefits resulting from more than 1,000 publications and about 250 technical reports. Publications relevant to Alaska can be conveniently searched by keyword through the USGS Publications Warehouse at https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/search?q=Alaska.

Ground-water resources, Cumberland County, New Jersey

Released December 31, 2019 00:00 EST

1971, Special Report 34

James G. Rooney

Cumberland County is located in the Atlantic Coastal Plain physiographic province along the northeastern shore of Delaware Bay in Southwestern New Jersey. An average annual hydrologic budget was computed for Cumberland County. Water gains are: precipitation, 1,050 mgd (million gallons per day); surface-water inflow, 142 mgd; ground-water inflow negligible. Water losses are: evapotranspiration, 685 mgd; surface-water outflow, 370 mgd; ground-water outflow, 137 mgd.

Unconsolidated and semiconsolidated Coastal Plain sediments, 2,500 to 4,500 feet thick, and ranging in age from Cretaceous to Holocene, consist of layers of clay, silt, sand and gravel. Aquifers composed mainly of sand and gravel occur in the Potomac Group and Raritan and Magothy Formations, the Wenonah Formation and Mount Laurel Sand, the Piney Point Formation, and the Kirkwood Formation and Cohansey Sand.

Aquifers in the Potomac-Raritan-Magothy sequence contain saline water and are not currently utilized in Cumberland County. However, they may be utilized in the future for underground storage of fresh water, or possibly other uses when more is known about this aquifer system.

The aquifer in the Wenonah Formation and Mount Laurel Sand is not presently utilized in Cumberland County. It is probably suitable for future development, however of wells yielding as much as 300 gpm (gallons per minute) of good quality water in the northern part of the county.

The Piney Point Formation is tapped in Cumberland County by only a few wells; each of these generally yield less than 100 gpm. Additional small supplies can be developed from this aquifer. Water from this aquifer requires little or no treatment for domestic use.

Two principal aquifers occur in the Kirkwood Formation and Cohansey Sand: (1) the lower Kirkwood aquifer and (2) the Cohansey-Kirkwood aquifer. Most wells tapping the lower Kirkwood aquifer yield less than 50 gpm but are capable of yielding as much as 400 gpm. Wells in the lower Kirkwood range in depth from 200 to 370 feet. The Cohansey-Kirkwood aquifer is the shallowest and most important source of ground-water in the county but is highly susceptible to surface contamination. This aquifer is highly permeable; analysis of data from two pumping tests indicates permeabilities of 1,200 and 2,700 gpm per square foot. It generally yields large supplies of water (300 to 1,200 gpm) to wells from depths of less than 180 feet. Water in the Cohansey-Kirkwood aquifer is characterized by 1mv dissolved-solids content (63 mg/l, median), low hardness (21 mg/l, median), and low pH values (5.5 pH units, median).

Water use in Cumberland County varies and is highly seasonal, mainly because of increasing requirements for irrigation and the food processing industries in the county. In 1964 seasonal use ranged from 27 mgd in March to 145 mgd in August. This is much higher than withdrawals in neighboring Salem and Cape May Counties. In 1964 withdrawals in Cumberland County averaged about 51 mgd; almost all of this, 49.4 mgd, was from ground-water supplies. The total annual water use in 1964 according to type of use was: for public supply, 10.6 mgd; for industrial uses, 19.0 mgd; irrigation, 15.4 mgd; suburban, rural, residential, institutional, farm, and commercial, 5.9 mgd. 

National assessment of shoreline change—Historical shoreline change along the north coast of Alaska, Icy Cape to Cape Prince of Wales

Released December 30, 2019 15:54 EST

2019, Open-File Report 2019-1146

Ann E. Gibbs, Alexander G. Snyder, Bruce M. Richmond

Beach erosion is a persistent problem along most open-ocean shores of the United States. Along the Arctic coast of Alaska, coastal erosion is widespread and threatens communities, defense and energy-related infrastructure, and coastal habitat. As coastal populations continue to expand and infrastructure and habitat are increasingly threatened by erosion, there is increased demand for accurate information regarding past and present trends and rates of shoreline movement.

Shoreline change was evaluated by comparing three to four historical shoreline positions derived from 1950s-era topographic surveys and black and white aerial photography, 1980s-era color-infrared Alaska High-Altitude Aerial Photography, 2003 natural color aerial photography, and 2010s-era natural color aerial photography. Long-term (1950s–2010s) and short-term (1980s–2010s) shoreline change rates were calculated using linear-regression and end-point methods, respectively, at transects spaced approximately every 50 meters along both the mainland and barrier island coasts.

Shoreline change rates calculated on more than 24,000 individual transects indicate that between 1948 and 2016 the northern coast of Alaska between Icy Cape and Cape Prince of Wales was slightly erosional, with 68 percent of the total transects showing shoreline retreat over the long term and 63 percent over the short term. However, only 9 percent of the total transects showed shoreline retreat greater than 1 meter per year (m/yr) over the long and short term, respectively. Mean rates of shoreline change of −0.2±0.1 and −0.2±0.3 m/yr, were calculated for the long and short term, respectively. Many rates measured were near the limit of our shoreline change uncertainty estimates. Erosion and accretion rates on individual transects ranged from −8.3 to +9.6 m/yr over the long term and −16.0 to +20.0 m/yr over the short-term analysis periods. The highest rates of erosion and accretion were associated with the formation and migration of inlets along barrier island coasts. The highest erosional rates of change were measured in the southern part of the study area between Sullivan Lake and Cape Prince of Wales. The highest accretional rates of change were measured in the northern part of the study area on the open-ocean coast of barrier islands fronting Kasegaluk Lagoon.

Open-ocean exposed shorelines compose 85 percent of all transects and 70 percent were erosional over the long term. Sheltered mainland-lagoon shorelines compose 15 percent of all transects in the study area and 58 percent were erosional over the long term. Although mean shoreline change rates were quite low along all coasts, exposed shorelines retreated at twice the rate (−0.2±0.1 m/yr) of sheltered shorelines (−0.1±0.1 m/yr). Barrier shoreline transects (includes barrier islands, spits, and beaches) compose 49 percent of the total transects and 56 percent of all exposed shoreline transects. Mean shoreline change rates on exposed barrier shorelines were only slightly greater than exposed mainland shorelines (−0.3±0.1 and −0.2±0.1 m/yr, respectively). Mean shoreline change rates on sheltered barrier shorelines were similar to sheltered mainland shorelines (−0.1±0.3 m/yr).

In contrast to the majority of the Nation’s shorelines, for all but three months of the year (July–September), the north coast of Alaska has historically been protected by landfast sea ice from processes such as waves, winds, and currents that typically drive coastal change on beaches in more temperate regions of the world. Projected and observed increases in periods of sea-ice-free conditions, as sea ice melts earlier and forms later in the year, particularly in the autumn, when large storms are more common in the Arctic, suggest that Arctic coasts will be more vulnerable to storm surge and wave energy, potentially resulting in accelerated shoreline erosion and terrestrial habitat loss in the future. Increases in air and sea water temperatures may also increase erosion of the ice-rich, coastal permafrost bluffs present along much of Alaska’s Arctic coast. More frequent shoreline change data collection and analysis in this rapidly changing environment should be considered in order to evaluate shoreline change trends in the future.

Streambed scour evaluations and conditions at selected bridge sites in Alaska, 2016–17

Released December 30, 2019 15:47 EST

2019, Scientific Investigations Report 2019-5110

Robin A. Beebee, Karenth L. Dworsky, Schyler J. Knopp

Stream stability, flood frequency, and streambed scour potential were evaluated at 20 Alaskan river- and stream-spanning bridges lacking a quantitative scour analysis or having unknown foundation details. Three of the bridges had been assessed shortly before the study described in this report but were re-assessed using different methods or data. Channel instability related to mining may affect scour at one site, while channel instability related to flow distribution changes can be seen at one site. One bridge was closed because of abutment scour prior to the study. Otherwise, channels generally showed stable bed elevations.

Contraction and abutment scour were calculated for all 20 bridges, and pier scour was calculated for the 2 bridges that had piers. Vertical contraction (pressure flow) scour was calculated for one site at which the modeled water surface was higher than the superstructure of the bridge. Hydraulic variables for the scour calculations were derived from one-dimensional and two-dimensional hydraulic models of the 1- and 0.2-percent annual exceedance probability floods (also known as the 100- and 500-year floods, respectively). Scour also was calculated for large recorded floods at two sites.

At many sites, overflow of road approaches relieves the bridge during floods and lessens the potential for scour. Two-dimensional hydraulic models are superior to one-dimensional hydraulic models at distributing flow between bridges, road approaches, and floodplains, and therefore likely produce more reasonable scour values at sites with substantial floodplain flow.

DNA fingerprinting of Southern Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus fuliginatus) in North San Diego County, California (2018-19)

Released December 30, 2019 15:43 EST

2019, Open-File Report 2019-1138

Anna Mitelberg, Julia G. Smith, Amy G. Vandergast

Throughout the western United States, efforts are underway to better understand and preserve migration and movement corridors for mule deer and other big game and to minimize the impacts of development and other land-use change on populations. San Diego County is home to a unique non-migratory subspecies of mule deer, the Southern mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus fuliginatus; herein referred to as “mule deer”). Because it is the only large herbivorous mammal in San Diego, connectivity among mule deer groups is an important indicator of functional connectivity throughout San Diego County urban preserves and has therefore been monitored within central and eastern San Diego County using DNA fingerprinting since 2005. To continue this effort and to assess genetic connectivity in north San Diego County (herein “North County”), we genotyped scat samples from preserves in the area and tissue samples from Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton (MCBCP). We used non-invasive capture/recapture analyses and pedigree analyses for assessing short-term movement and population clustering analyses to assess gene flow in North County. Additionally, we performed similar analyses on the combined San Diego County dataset, which was composed of the North County dataset collected for this study and a previously collected dataset from central and eastern San Diego County. Using recapture data, we found multiple instances of mule deer crossing roads in urban North County preserves, with several of these events occurring in areas where there are underpasses and culverts known to be used by mule deer. Corroborating previous studies in the region and statewide, pedigree and population structure analyses support the presence of two genetic clusters for mule deer in San Diego County—the “Coastal” and “Inland/Mountain” clusters. Low estimates of effective population size, especially in the Coastal cluster, suggest that to further understand potential vulnerabilities of mule deer in this region, it is important to continue to monitor connectivity, in particular, at the boundary between these two clusters.

Lithologic descriptions, geophysical logs, and source-rock geochemistry of the U.S. Geological Survey Alcova Reservoir AR–1–13 Core Hole, Natrona County, Wyoming

Released December 30, 2019 12:25 EST

2019, Scientific Investigations Report 2019-5123

Mark A. Kirschbaum, Thomas M. Finn, Christopher J. Schenk, Sarah J. Hawkins

In 2013, a continuous 624-foot core hole was drilled and logged by the U.S. Geological Survey in Natrona County, Wyoming, with the goal to better understand Cretaceous source rocks in the Wind River Basin. The core hole, named the Alcova Reservoir AR–1–13, penetrated the interval extending from the upper part of the Lower Cretaceous Cloverly Formation to the lower part of the Upper Cretaceous Frontier Formation. The lithologies are predominantly mudrock, with minor amounts of sandstone and altered volcanic ash beds that were deposited in open marine, nearshore marine, and fluvial settings.

Samples were collected from open marine clay-rich, dark-colored mudrocks, and these were analyzed for total organic carbon content and by programmed pyrolysis analysis. The results show that the lower part of the Frontier Formation, Shell Creek Shale equivalent, and the Thermopolis Shale contain Type III gas-prone kerogen, with poor to fair generative source rock potential. The upper part of the Mowry Shale has good to excellent generative potential, with organic matter composed mainly of Type II oil-prone kerogen with some mixed Type II/III kerogen capable of generating oil and gas.

Economic effects of wildfire risk reduction and source water protection projects in the Rio Grande River Basin in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado

Released December 30, 2019 11:15 EST

2019, Open-File Report 2019-1108

Christopher Huber, Catherine Cullinane Thomas, James R. Meldrum, Rachel Meier, Steven Bassett

Investments in landscape-scale restoration and fuels management projects can protect publicly managed trusts, enhance public health and safety, and help to preserve the many environmental goods and services enjoyed by the public. These investments can also support jobs and generate business sales activities within nearby local economies. This report investigates how investments made by the Rio Grande Water Fund (RGWF) on wildfire risk reduction and source water protection projects in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado affect local economic activity. To implement these projects, the RGWF spent a total of $855,000 in 2018 on contractors located in the Western States regional economy. Including direct and secondary effects, these expenditures supported an estimated 22 jobs, $1,089,000 in labor income, $1,324,000 in value added, and $1,907,000 in economic output in the 17 Western States economy. The majority (73 percent or $623,000) of these expenditures were made by hiring local businesses operating within a 13-county region in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado that comprises the RGWF project area. Including direct and secondary effects, local expenditures support an estimate 15 jobs, $676,000 in labor income, $791,000 in value added, and $1,120,000 in economic output within the 13-county RGWF project area. These results demonstrate how investments in wildfire risk reduction and source water protection projects can support jobs and livelihoods, small businesses, and rural economies in the Mountain West.

A one-dimensional diffusion analogy model for estimation of tide heights in selected tidal marshes in Connecticut

Released December 30, 2019 09:20 EST

2013, Scientific Investigations Report 2013-5076

David M. Bjerklie, Kevin O’Brien, Ron Rozsa

A one-dimensional diffusion analogy model for estimating tide heights in coastal marshes was developed and calibrated by using data from previous tidal-marsh studies. The method is simpler to use than other one- and two-dimensional hydrodynamic models because it does not require marsh depth and tidal prism information; however, the one-dimensional diffusion analogy model cannot be used to estimate tide heights, flow velocities, and tide arrival times for tide conditions other than the highest tide for which it is calibrated. Limited validation of the method indicates that it has an accuracy within 0.3 feet. The method can be applied with limited calibration information that is based entirely on remote sensing or geographic information system data layers. The method can be used to estimate high-tide heights in tidal wetlands drained by tide gates where tide levels cannot be observed directly by opening the gates without risk of flooding properties and structures. A geographic information system application of the method is demonstrated for Sybil Creek marsh in Branford, Connecticut. The tidal flux into this marsh is controlled by two tide gates that prevent full tidal inundation of the marsh. The method application shows reasonable tide heights for the gates-closed condition (the normal condition) and the one-gate-open condition on the basis of comparison with observed heights. The condition with all tide gates open (two gates) was simulated with the model; results indicate where several structures would be flooded if the gates were removed as part of restoration efforts or if the tide gates were to fail.

Severity and extent of alterations to natural streamflow regimes based on hydrologic metrics in the conterminous United States, 1980–2014

Released December 30, 2019 07:30 EST

2019, Scientific Investigations Report 2019-5001

Ken Eng, Daren M. Carlisle, Theodore E. Grantham, David M. Wolock, Rosaly L. Eng

Alteration of the natural streamflow regime by land and water management, such as land-cover change and dams, is associated with aquatic ecosystem degradation. The severity and geographic extent of streamflow alteration at regional and national scales, however, remain largely unquantified. The primary goal of this study is to characterize the severity and extent of alterations to natural streamflow regimes for 1980–2014 based on hydrologic metrics at 3,355 U.S. Geological Survey streamgages in the conterminous United States. Twelve hydrologic metrics with known relevance to aquatic ecosystem health were used to characterize the streamflow regime. Alterations to the 12 hydrologic metrics were quantified by taking ratios of the metrics calculated from observed daily streamflow records divided by the same metrics predicted for natural conditions by random forest statistical models. Some level of streamflow alteration (diminishment or inflation of hydrologic metrics) compared to natural conditions was indicated at about 80 percent of the assessed streamgages across the conterminous United States. The severity of alteration differed among ecoregions because of differences in dominant land and water management practices. Finally, when compared over the period 1980–2014, climate variability generally played a minor role in the alteration of streamflows across the United States when compared to the effects of land and water management.