Unified Interior Regions

Region 9: Columbia-Pacific Northwest

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Our scientists in the Columbia-Pacific Northwest Region conduct impartial, multi- and interdisciplinary research and monitoring on a large range of natural-resource issues that impact the quality of life of citizens of Idaho, Oregon, Washington and western Montana.

News

Date published: October 6, 2021

Queen Charlotte Fault Mapping

The Queen Charlotte Fault is an active strike-slip boundary, similar to California’s San Andreas fault.

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Date published: September 30, 2021
Status: Active

Remote Sensing Coastal Change

We use remote-sensing technologies—such as aerial photography, satellite imagery, structure-from-motion (SfM) photogrammetry, and lidar (laser-based surveying)—to measure coastal change along U.S. shorelines.

Date published: September 15, 2021
Status: Active

Sediment Transport in Coastal Environments

Our research goals are to provide the scientific information, knowledge, and tools required to ensure that decisions about land and resource use, management practices, and future development in the coastal zone and adjacent watersheds can be evaluated with a complete understanding of the probable effects on coastal ecosystems and communities, and a full assessment of their vulnerability to...

Date published: September 2, 2021
Status: Active

Ecosystems: EXPRESS

The continental shelf and slope offshore California, Oregon, and Washington are home to deep-sea corals, chemosynthetic communities, and other sensitive habitats that could be impacted by the development of energy and mineral resources. The EXPRESS (Expanding Pacific Research and Exploration of Submerged Systems) campaign will map and characterize these special areas to help guide ocean...

Date published: September 1, 2021
Status: Active

Coastal Climate Impacts

The impacts of climate change and sea-level rise around the Pacific and Arctic Oceans can vary tremendously. Thus far the vast majority of national and international impact assessments and models of coastal climate change have focused on low-relief coastlines that are not near seismically active zones. Furthermore, the degree to which extreme waves and wind will add further stress to coastal...

Date published: September 1, 2021
Status: Active

Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS)

The Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) makes detailed predictions of storm-induced coastal flooding, erosion, and cliff failures over large geographic scales. CoSMoS was developed for hindcast studies, operational applications and future climate scenarios to provide emergency responders and coastal planners with critical storm-hazards information that can be used to increase public safety...

Date published: July 30, 2021
Status: Active

Dynamic coastlines along the western U.S.

The west coast of the United States is extremely complex and changeable because of tectonic activity, mountain building, and land subsidence. These active environments pose a major challenge for accurately assessing climate change impacts, since models were historically developed for more passive sandy coasts.

Date published: July 30, 2021
Status: Active

U.S. West Coast and Alaska Marine Geohazards

Marine geohazards are sudden and extreme events beneath the ocean that threaten coastal populations. Such underwater hazards include earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, and tsunamis.

Devastating earthquakes in Japan (2011) and Chile (2010) that spawned pan-oceanic tsunamis sent a sobering reminder that U.S. coastlines are also vulnerable to natural disasters that originate in...

Date published: December 16, 2020
Status: Active

Estuaries and large river deltas in the Pacific Northwest

Essential habitat for wild salmon and other wildlife borders river deltas and estuaries in the Pacific Northwest. These estuaries also support industry, agriculture, and a large human population that’s expected to double by the year 2060, but each could suffer from more severe river floods, higher sea level, and storm surges caused by climate change.

Date published: November 12, 2020
Status: Active

White River spinedace (Lepidomeda albivallis) and White River desert suckers (Catostomus clarki) - KFFS

Species Studied

White River spinedace (Lepidomeda albivallis) and White River desert suckers (Catostomus clarki)

Contacts: Summer Burdick
Date published: November 12, 2020
Status: Active

Pahranagat roundtail chub (Gila robusta) - KFFS

Species Studied

Pahranagat roundtail chub (Gila robusta)

Contacts: Barbara Martin
Date published: November 4, 2020
Status: Active

USGS science supporting the Elwha River Restoration Project

 

The Elwha River Restoration Project has reconnected the water, salmon, and sediment of a pristine river and coast of the Olympic Peninsula of Washington. Coordinated by the National Park Service, restoration of the Elwha River included the removal of two large dams that had blocked salmon and sediment passage for almost 100 years. The largest dam removal in U.S. history began in...

Date published: July 1, 2020
Status: Active

Quantitative Disease Ecology

Researchers at the USGS are working on developing new quantitative methods to study disease dynamics in wildlife systems as well as systems at the wildlife-domestic-human interface. Much of our work focuses on how host population structure affects disease invasion, persistence and control in wildlife disease systems. We tackle these issues with a combination of simulation and statistical...

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Date published: May 25, 2021

Modeled extreme total water levels along the U.S. west coast

This dataset contains information on the probabilities of storm-induced erosion (collision, inundation and overwash) for each 100-meter (m) section of the United States Pacific coast for return period storm scenarios. The analysis is based on a storm-impact scaling model that uses observations of beach morphology combined with sophisticated hydrodynamic models to predict how the coast will...

Date published: January 18, 2021

Cyanobacterial toxin effects on inflammatory response of human toll-like receptors (TLRs)

Various stressors including temperature, environmental chemicals and toxins can have profound impacts on immunity to pathogens. It is believed that increased eutrophication near rivers and lakes coupled with climate change are predicted to lead to increased algal blooms. Currently, the effects of cyanobacterial toxins on disease resistance in mammals is a largely unexplored area of research....

Date published: June 9, 2020

SPARROW Mappers for the 2012 SPARROW Models for the Pacific region

SPARROW mappers are interactive tools that allow users to explore river streamflow and nutrient and sediment loads and yields and the importance of different sources of contaminants in a particular river basin. Data can be visualized using maps and interactive graphs and tables, and rankings can be shown by state, major watershed, hydrologic unit (HUC), and catchment.

Date published: September 26, 2019

Data for assessing the susceptibility of groundwater used for drinking water supply from selected principal aquifers of the Western United States, 2004-2018

Groundwater age distribution and susceptibility to natural and anthropogenic contaminants were assessed for selected principal aquifers of the Western United States: the Central Valley aquifer system (CVAL), the Basin and Range basin-fill aquifers (BNRF), the Rio Grande aquifer system (RIOG), the High Plains aquifer (HPAQ), the Columbia Plateau basaltic-rock aquifers (

Date published: September 6, 2019

Drainage basins and characteristics for selected streamgages within the Southern Rockies Landscape Conservation Cooperative domain

Streamflow and basin-characteristic data are needed for a variety of scientific applications including estimation of flow in ungaged basins and hydro-ecological classification of rivers. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Bureau of Reclamation and the Southern Rockies Landscape Conservation Cooperative (SRLCC), selected a subset of streamgages across the SRLC

Date published: September 5, 2019

Geodetic Data for USGS Benchmark Glaciers: Orthophotos, Digital Elevation Models, and Glacier Boundaries

Since the late 1950s, the USGS has maintained a long-term glacier mass-balance program at three North American glaciers. Measurements began on South Cascade Glacier, WA in 1958, expanding to Gulkana and Wolverine glaciers, AK in 1966, and later Sperry Glacier, MT in 2005. Additional measurements have been made on Lemon Creek Glacier, AK to compliment data collected by the Juneau Ice

Date published: July 16, 2019

High Altitude Weather Station Data at USGS Benchmark Glaciers

Since the late 1950s, the USGS has maintained a long-term glacier mass-balance program at three North American glaciers. Measurements began on South Cascade Glacier, WA in 1958, expanding to Gulkana and Wolverine glaciers, AK in 1966, and later Sperry Glacier, MT in 2005. Additional measurements have been made on Lemon Creek Glacier, AK to compliment data collected by the Juneau Ice

Date published: June 10, 2019

Beach topography and nearshore bathymetry of the Columbia River littoral cell, Washington and Oregon

This data release presents beach topography and nearshore bathymetry data from repeated surveys performed by a team of scientists from the USGS, Washington State Department of Ecology, and Oregon State University in the Columbia River littoral cell (CRLC), Washington and Oregon. The CRLC extends approximately 165 kilometers between Point Grenville, WA, and Tillamook, OR.

Date published: April 19, 2019

Puget Sound Real-Time Water-Level Data

The chart shows the most recent 7 days of data at all Puget Sound water level sites with available data. Use mouse scroll wheel to zoom and drag to pan. Sites include Bellingham, Oak Harbor, Edmonds, Lofall, Steilacoom, and Olympia.

Date published: January 1, 2019

Topography data from the Elwha River delta, Washington, July 2017

This part of the data release presents topography data from the Elwha River delta collected in July 2017. Topography data were collected on foot with global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receivers mounted on backpacks.

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CITE
January 10, 2018

Scientists at WERC's Dixon Field station have fitted Cinnamon Teal with GPS backpacks. Using R, the telemetry locations are displayed on an image every two weeks.

CITE
January 10, 2018

Scientists at WERC's Dixon Field station have fitted Cinnamon Teal with GPS backpacks. Using R, the telemetry locations are displayed on an image every two weeks.

CITE
January 10, 2018

Scientists at WERC's Dixon Field station have fitted Cinnamon Teal with GPS backpacks. Using R, the telemetry locations are displayed on an image every two weeks.

Digital Elevation Model in the Atchafalaya Basin, LA
April 19, 2016

The 3DEP products and services available through The National Map consist of standard digital elevation models (DEMs) at various horizontal resolutions, elevation source and associated datasets, an elevation point query service and bulk point query service. All 3DEP products are available, free of charge and without use restrictions.

Klamath lake landsat
February 1, 2010

The image is a mosaic of nine scenes from Landsat 5 at a resolution of 30 meters on 07/22/2005, 08/26/2006, 06/17/2007, 07/05/2007, 08/18/2009, 08/27/2009, and 09/26/2009.

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Year Published: 2021

Global-scale changes to extreme ocean wave events due to anthropogenic warming

Extreme surface ocean waves are often primary drivers of coastal flooding and erosion over various time scales. Hence, understanding future changes in extreme wave events owing to global warming is of socio-economic and environmental significance. However, our current knowledge of potential changes in high-frequency (defined here as having return...

Morim, Joao; Vitousek, Sean; Hemer, Mark; Reguero, Borja; Erikson, Li H.; Casas-Prat, Merce; Wang, Xiaolan L.; Semedo, Alvaro; Mori, Nobuhito; Shimura, Tomoya; Mentaschi, Lorenzo; Timmerman, Ben

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Year Published: 2021

Twenty-first-century projections of shoreline change along inlet-interrupted coastlines

Sandy coastlines adjacent to tidal inlets are highly dynamic and widespread landforms, where large changes are expected due to climatic and anthropogenic influences. To adequately assess these important changes, both oceanic (e.g., sea-level rise) and terrestrial (e.g., fluvial sediment supply) processes that govern the local sediment budget must...

Bamunawala, Janaka; Ranasinghe, Roshanka; Dastgheib, Ali; Nichols, Robert .J.; Murray, A. Brad; Barnard, Patrick L.; Sirisena, T. A. J. G.; Duong, Trang Minh; Hulscher, Suzanne J. M. H.; van der Spek, Ad

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Year Published: 2021

Artificial lights with different spectra do not alter detrimental attraction of young Chinook salmon and sockeye salmon along lake shorelines

Artificial light at night (ALAN) is common in lakes with developed shorelines, especially prevalent in the nearshore areas where juvenile fishes, including salmonids, are present. One concern is that fishes may be attracted to ALAN and become more vulnerable to predators. The use of longer wavelength lights has been suggested to reduce the effects...

Tabor, Roger A. ; Perkin, Elizabeth K; Beauchamp, David; Britt, Lyle L.; Haehn, Rebecca; Greene, John A.; Robinson, Timothy J.; Stolnack, Scott; Lantz, Daniel W; Moore, Zachary J

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Year Published: 2021

USGS National Water Quality Monitoring Network

What is the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Quality Monitoring Network?Understanding the water quality of U.S. streams and rivers requires consistent data collection and analysis over decades. The U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) National Water Quality Network (NWQN) was established to facilitate national-scale understanding of surface-water...

Riskin, Melissa L.; Lee, Casey J.
Lee, C.J., and Riskin, M.L., 2021, USGS National Water Quality Monitoring Network: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2021–3019, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20213019.

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Year Published: 2021

Long-term changes in kelp forests in an inner basin of the Salish Sea

Kelp forests form an important biogenic habitat that responds to natural and human drivers. Global concerns exist about threats to kelp forests, yet long-term information is limited and research suggests that trends are geographically distinct. We examined distribution of the bull kelp Nereocystis luetkeana over 145 years in South Puget...

Berry, H.D.; Mumford, T.F.; Calloway, M.; Ferrier, L.; Christiaen, B.; vanArendonk, Nathan R.; Grossman, Eric E.; Dowty, P.

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Year Published: 2021

Multi-region assessment of chemical mixture exposures and predicted cumulative effects in USA wadeable urban/agriculture-gradient streams

Chemical-contaminant mixtures are widely reported in large stream reaches in urban/agriculture-developed watersheds, but mixture compositions and aggregate biological effects are less well understood in corresponding smaller headwaters, which comprise most of stream length, riparian connectivity, and spatial biodiversity. During 2014–2017,...

Bradley, Paul; Journey, Celeste A.; Romanok, Kristin; Breitmeyer, Sara; Button, Daniel T.; Carlisle, Daren M.; Huffman, Bradley; Mahler, Barbara; Nowell, Lisa H.; Qi, Sharon L.; Smalling, Kelly; Waite, Ian R.; Van Metre, Peter C.
Attribution: California Water Science Center, Colorado Water Science Center, Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Water Science Center, New Jersey Water Science Center, Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Water Science Center, Oklahoma-Texas Water Science Center, Oregon Water Science Center, South Atlantic Water Science Center (SAWSC), Water Resources, Region 1: North Atlantic-Appalachian, Region 2: South Atlantic-Gulf (Includes Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), Region 3: Great Lakes, Region 4: Mississippi Basin, Region 5: Missouri Basin, Region 6: Arkansas-Rio Grande-Texas-Gulf, Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin, Region 8: Lower Colorado Basin, Region 9: Columbia-Pacific Northwest, Region 10: California-Great Basin, Region 11: Alaska, Region 12: Pacific Islands (American Samoa, Hawaii, Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands)

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Year Published: 2021

An assessment of vertical land movement to support coastal hazards planning in Washington state

The sea and land change elevation spatially and temporally from a multitude of processes, so it is necessary to constrain the movement of both to evaluate how coastlines will evolve and how those evolving coastlines will impact the natural and built environment over time. We combine land movement observations from global navigation satellite...

Newton, Tyler; Weldon, Ray; Miller, Ian M.; Schmidt, David; Morgan, Harriet; Grossman, Eric; Mauger, Guillaume S

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Year Published: 2021

Assessing the impact of drought on arsenic exposure from private domestic wells in the conterminous United States

This study assesses the potential impact of drought on arsenic exposure from private domestic wells by using a previously developed statistical model that predicts the probability of elevated arsenic concentrations (>10 μg per liter) in water from domestic wells located in the conterminous United States (CONUS). The application of the model to...

Lombard, Melissa; Daniel, Johnni; Jeddy, Zuha; Hay, Lauren; Ayotte, Joseph D.

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Year Published: 2021

Monitoring wetland water quality related to livestock grazing in amphibian habitats

Land use alteration such as livestock grazing can affect water quality in habitats of at-risk wildlife species. Data from managed wetlands are needed to understand levels of exposure for aquatic life stages and monitor grazing-related changes afield. We quantified spatial and temporal variation in water quality in wetlands occupied by threatened...

Smalling, Kelly; Rowe, Jennifer; Pearl, Christopher; Iwanowicz, Luke R.; Givens, Carrie E.; Anderson, Chauncey W.; McCreary, Brome; Adams, Michael J.

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Year Published: 2021

Toward an integrative geological and geophysical view of Cascadia subduction zone earthquakes

The Cascadia subduction zone (CSZ) is an exceptional geologic environment for recording evidence of land level changes, tsunamis, and ground motion that reveals at least 19 great megathrust earthquakes over the past 10 kyr. Such earthquakes are among the most impactful natural hazards on Earth, transcend national boundaries, and can have global...

Walton, Maureen A. L.; Staisch, Lydia M.; Dura, Tina; Pearl, Jessie Kathleen; Sherrod, Brian; Gomberg, Joan S.; Engelhart, Simon E.; Trehu, Anne; Watt, Janet; Perkins, Jonathan P; Witter, Robert C.; Bartlow, Noel; Goldfinger, Chris; Kelsey, Harvey; Morey, Ann; Sahakian, Valerie J.; Tobin, Harold; Wang, Kelin; Wells, Ray; Wirth, Erin

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Year Published: 2021

Systematic characterization of morphotectonic variability along the Cascadia convergent margin: Implications for shallow megathrust behavior and tsunami hazards

Studies of recent destructive megathrust earth­quakes and tsunamis along subduction margins in Japan, Sumatra, and Chile have linked forearc mor­phology and structure to megathrust behavior. This connection is based on the idea that spatial varia­tions in the frictional behavior of the megathrust influence the tectono-morphological evolution of...

Watt, Janet; Brothers, Daniel

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Year Published: 2020

Anadromous coastal cutthroat trout Oncorhynchus clarkii clarkii as a host for Argulus pugettensis (Crustacea, Branchiura): Parasite prevalence, intensity and distribution

Coastal cutthroat trout [Oncorhynchus clarkii clarkii (Richardson, 1836)] from the marine waters of Puget Sound, WA, was documented as a new host for the ectoparasite Argulus pugettensis (Dana, 1852). The prevalence of A. pugettensis was 66% (49 of 74) on cutthroat trout and 0% (0 of 55) on coho salmon [O. kisutch (...

Losee, James P; Jones, Simon R M; McKinstry, Caitlin A E; Batts, William N.; Hershberger, Paul

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multicolored map of Ocean Shores, Washington
April 13, 2017

The Pedestrian Evacuation Analyst is an ArcGIS extension that estimates how long it would take for someone to travel on foot out of a hazardous area that was threatened by a sudden event such as a tsunami, flash flood, or volcanic lahar. It takes into account the elevation changes and the different types of landcover that a person would encounter along the way.

Hailey, Idaho
August 22, 2016

The R package wrv is for processing the groundwater-flow model of the Wood River Valley (WRV) aquifer system, south-central Idaho. The groundwater-flow model is described in the associated model report and model archive. Included in the package is MODFLOW-USG version 1.3, a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) computer code that solves the groundwater-flow equation.

Upper Klamath Lake
April 3, 2013

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

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map with hexagon grid overlay depicting study areas and points depicting barred owl sightings in 2015
October 4, 2021

Barred owl sightings at Oregon Coast Range monitoring sites, 2015

Locations of barred owl sightings recorded during 2015 owl monitoring activities. Barred owls were lethally removed from the areas highlighted in pink. Supporting data is found at https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20201089.

map with hexagon grid overlay depicting study areas and points depicting barred owl sightings in 2020
October 4, 2021

Barred owl sightings at Oregon Coast Range monitoring sites, 2020

Locations of barred owl sightings recorded during 2020 owl monitoring activities. Barred owls were lethally removed from the areas highlighted in pink. Supporting data is found at https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20201089.

arrows pointing to northern spotted owl territory and the movement of barred owl west and its present day territory
October 4, 2021

Barred owl movement west

Barred owls spread west during the 1900s and today completely overlap the range of the northern spotted owl.

Blue River cableway and stream gage
September 17, 2020

Cableway and stream gage on Blue River, OR

Cableway (foreground) and stream gage (background) on Blue River at Blue River, Oregon (Site number 14162200)

North Santiam River cableway
September 16, 2020

Cableway on North Santiam River at Niagara, Oregon

Cableway on North Santiam River at Niagara, Oregon (Site number 14181500)

Blue River stream gage
September 15, 2020

Stream gage on Blue River at Blue River, Oregon

Stream gage on Blue River at Blue River, Oregon, (Site number 14162200)

McKenzie River stream gage
September 15, 2020

Stream gage on McKenzie River near Vida, Oregon

Stream gage on McKenzie River near Vida, Oregon (Site number 14162500) 

South Fork McKenzie River stream gage
September 15, 2020

Stream gage on South Fork McKenzie River near Rainbow, Oregon

Stream gage on South Fork McKenzie River near Rainbow, Oregon (Site number 14159500)

man holding microphone
August 25, 2020

USGS Director Jim Reilly gives a speech

The USGS Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center (FRESC) held a groundbreaking ceremony on August 25, 2020 at the Idaho Water Science Center (IDWSC) in Boise, Idaho. FRESC is moving their Snake River Field Station, presently located on the Boise State University campus, to the IDWSC campus and building a new facility for the USGS Pacific Northwest environmental DNA

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A man and woman wearing cloth face coverings and setting up equipment
June 26, 2020

Setting up a bat acoustic monitoring station

White-nose syndrome has been detected in Washington. USGS scientist are helping the NPS design and evaluate bat sampling protocols for their Pacific Northwest parks.

Verifying Bridge Scour Sonar Accuracy
May 21, 2020

Verifying Bridge Scour Sonar Accuracy

Hydrologic technician Russ Miller navigates a remote-controlled acoustic Doppler current profiler into position to measure streeambed elevation at a highway bridge over the Payette River near Letha, Idaho. Technicians from the USGS Idaho Water Science Center used the ADCP measurements to verify the accuracy of two sonar devices installed on the bridge that transmit real-

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map
September 9, 2021

Residents and visitors should not be alarmed to see a low-flying helicopter over Lemhi and Custer Counties west of Salmon, Idaho from September 6 to October 18, 2021. 

Color photograph of person in colorful shirt in front of rock wall
May 12, 2021

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — On May 9, 2021, Christina (Tina) Neal became the new director of the U.S. Geological Survey Volcano Science Center, home of the Alaska, California, Cascades, Hawaiian and Yellowstone volcano observatories.  

Earthquake Early Warning Basics
May 4, 2021

After 15 years of planning and development, the ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system is now available to more than 50 million people in California, Oregon and Washington, the most earthquake-prone region in the conterminous U.S.

Map of the glacial aquifer locations in the United States
April 27, 2021

New 3-dimensional models predict where high concentrations of arsenic and manganese are likely to occur in the glacial aquifer system, reports a new study from the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Quality Program. The glacial aquifer system, which underlies parts of 25 states across the northern U.S., supplies groundwater for about 30 million people.

Photo looking down on the rocky coastline of Oregon from high up on a cliff, with breaking ocean waves on rocks.
February 16, 2021

Starting May 4, 2021, ShakeAlert®-powered earthquake early warning alerts will be available to more than 50 million people in California, Oregon and Washington, the most earthquake-prone region in the conterminous U.S.

a solar panel powering a seismometer peeks out of trees in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest
January 14, 2021

A lone solar panel in the middle of California’s largest national forest is powering a seismometer able to detect Earth’s vibrations, a piece of the puzzle necessary to help protect life and property by providing critical seconds of warning that an earthquake is occurring and shaking is imminent.  

Dr. Jon Major, Scientist-in-Charge of the U.S. Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory.
January 14, 2021

The U.S. Geological Survey is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Jon Major to serve as the new Scientist-in-Charge of the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory.

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