Bibliography of U.S. Geological Survey studies of lakes and reservoirs; the first 100 years

Circular 859




For more than 100 years, the U.S. Geological Survey has pursued its mission of assessing and mapping the earth resources of the United States, including assessment of the Nation's water resources. Although the Survey has never been a water-management or development agency, it has assisted agencies that are responsible for such developments, and commonly provides data and information for such purposes. Because reservoirs are an intergral part of most water-development projects, the Survey has been involved in reservoir-related studies since the 1880's. The largest and longest involvement has centered on providing information on streamflows and sediment transport related to existing and proposed reservoirs. During the late 1940's, the Survey greatly expanded its activities in evaporation research. More recently, ground water, including bank storage, has gained increased attention. Most of these studies were related primarily to questions of water quantity, and the Survey continues to be involved in studies of physical hydrology. In addition, in response to the increased concern with environmental quality during the past 20 years, the number of Survey studies of the chemical and biological aspects of lakes and reservoirs have increased considerably.

Prompted by the recent Centennial (1879-1979) of the U.S. Geological Survey, it is appropriate to assess the Survey's contributions to the hydrology of lakes and reservoirs. Both natural lakes and manmade reservoirs are included in this report. 1 This report includes studies in which lakes or reservoirs are the principal topics. It does not include reports of general water resources of an area in which lakes are discussed as part of that area. This report also does not include data reports in which the data are merely tabulated. The types of reports listed herein include studies of existing or proposed water bodies and associated fluxes of water to and from these water bodies.

This report does not include geological or paleobiological studies of ancient lakes. This report does, however, include geological studies of proposed reservoir sites.

This bibliography has three parts. The first part is an alphabetical listing that gives complete references to the given reports. Part 2 is a listing by topics, and only the authors, date of publication, and cross-reference to the State are given. Six general categories are considered: Lake hydrology; interaction of lakes and streamflow, including geological studies of reservoir sites; interaction of lakes and atmospheric water; interaction of lakes. and ground water; chemical and biological limnology; and sediment studies. The first four consist of studies of physical characteristics of lakes, and the last two of water-quality characteristics. The category of lake hydrology includes general studies of lakes that are not easily grouped into one of the more specific categories of physical characteristics. For example, it includes water-budget studies where all aspects of hydrology are discussed. It also includes studies of hydrodynamics of lakes as well as studies of lake-level fluctuations. 

The category of interaction of lakes and streamflow includes preimpoundment studies of streamflow discharge for reservoir design, and studies of the effects of existing reservoirs on streamflow and channel characteristics. Also included in this category are geological studies of river valleys for proposed reservoir sites. The category of interaction of lakes and atmospheric water includes primarily studies of evaporation. The interaction of lakes and ground water includes studies of bank storage. The category of chemical and biological studies was not subdivided into more specific types because of the virtually inseparable relation between chemistry and biology in most studies.

This bibliography provided much of the information for two papers that discuss the history of U.S. Geological Survey studies of lakes and reservoirs. (See Winter, 1981b; and Hadley, 1981).

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Bibliography of U.S. Geological Survey studies of lakes and reservoirs; the first 100 years
Series title:
Series number:
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U.S. Geological Survey
Contributing office(s):
North Dakota Water Science Center, Dakota Water Science Center
35 p.