News Archive - 2011

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Trends in Suspended-Sediment Loads and Concentrations in the Mississippi River Basin, 1950-2009

Trends in loads and concentrations of suspended sediment and suspended sand generally were downward for stations within the Mississippi River Basin during the 60-, 34-, and 12-year periods analyzed. Sediment transport in the lower Mississippi River has historically been, and continues to be, most closely correlative to sediment contributions from the Missouri River, which generally carried the largest annual suspended-sediment load of the major Mississippi River subbasins. Analyses of flow-adjusted concentrations of suspended sediment indicate the recent downward temporal changes generally can be explained by corresponding decreases in streamflows.


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Has the Magnitude of Floods Across the USA Changed With Global CO2 Levels?

An increase in flood magnitudes remains one of the most anticipated impacts of climate change. Land and water resource managers are asking questions about how to estimate future flood risks and develop effective flood mitigation strategies for the future. A new report published by U.S. Geological Survey scientists in the Hydrologic Sciences Journal looks at this potential linkage using historical records looking back 127 years through 2008 at 200 locations across the United States.


Year of The Flood

Devastating floods across much of the U.S. were severe and unrelenting during the spring and summer of 2011. When floods happen, USGS crews are among the first-responders. Often working in dangerous conditions, USGS scientists measure streamflow and river levels, repair and install streamgages, measure water quality and changes in sediment flow, and assess river changes. From flood forecasts to difficult decisions about flood management, science is critical for flood preparations and response.


USGS Notes Flood's Quirks

Omaha World-Herald story on the USGS and the Missouri River Flood


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Online Flood Information

Flood stage maps, news, photos, historical information, and flood reports can all now be easily found under the [Flood] tab on the navigation bar.


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Stream Gaging Network Stakeholders Meeting - June 7th

The Nation's water resources are vital to the long-term health of our citizens and the stability of our economy. Over the past several years, Corps of Engineers and USGS funding for the Streamgaging program in the Mississippi River basin has been relatively flat, and potential budget cuts in the future years could result in the discontinuation of service to stream gages.

Media coverage of meeting:
Articles: [Daily Iowan] [Press-Citizen] [Gazette]
Videos: [KCRG Video] [KWQC Video]


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Streamflow Gages Available for Flood Forecasting

The USGS Iowa City, is pleased to announce the development of rating curves for 8 of 10 new streamflow gages supported by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). These sites are also now available to the National Weather Service to be used as flood forecast locations.


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Lagrangian mass-flow investigations of inorganic contaminants in wastewater-impacted streams:

With increasing stress on water resources due to climate change and population growth, reuse of municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents will play an important role in meeting demands for urban water supply, agricultural needs, and environmental flows.


Environmental Mercury Presentation

David Krabbenhoft of the USGS Wisconsin Water Science Center presented his Environmental Mercury research at the Iowa Water Science Center in Iowa City on April 20, 2011


Have Your River Text U! USGS releases WaterAlert to deliver data users want, when they want it.

Whether you subscribe to your favorite news sources via RSS feed, download apps for your phone, or use Twitter and Facebook, the Internet age we live in is ripe for all kinds of customized, instantaneous information services. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Federal agency that monitors the Nations rivers, lakes, and groundwater resources, recently released a new service that can better connect us to the natural world.

The new service, WaterAlert, allows users to set notification thresholds of their own choosing for any USGS real-time streamgage, raingage, water-quality, or groundwater monitoring site. The system then sends emails or text messages to subscribers whenever the threshold conditions are met, as often as the user specifies.


Ice breakup on the Skunk River at Augusta, IA

A dramatic new video depicting the breakup of ice on the Skunk River at Augusta, IA is now available from the U.S. Geological Survey. The USGS video captures the powerful fragmentation of ice cover on the Skunk River at Augusta on February 17, at approximately 3 p.m. local time. The USGS has operated a streamgage at this location since 1913, which provides near-real-time data on Skunk River water levels and flows. This gage is operated in cooperation with the Iowa DNR Geological Survey Bureau.


Nutrient and Sediment Concentrations and Corresponding Loads during the Historic June 2008 Flooding in Eastern Iowa

A combination of above-normal precipitation during the winter and spring of 2007-2008 and extensive rainfall during June 2008 led to severe flooding in many parts of the Midwestern United States. This resulted in transport of substantial amounts of nutrients and sediment from Iowa basins into the Mississippi River.


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