U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) http://usgs.gov — The USGS serves the Nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from nature.

05/10/2020
earthquake.usgs.gov

Preliminary Event: M 4.5 - 17km SE of Ocotillo Wells, CA: PAGER - GREEN ShakeMap - VII , DYFI? - V, Time - 2020-05-10 22:07:40 UTC (2020-05-10 14:07:40 -08:00 at epicenter), Location: 33.019°N 116.020°W, Depth: 10.04 km (6.24 mi)

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05/09/2020

Happy World Migratory Bird Day!

For USGS waterfowl scientists, every day is a migratory bird day!

This video (sound on!) was recorded in November at the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex in California's Central Valley, where tens of thousands of ducks and geese have arrived to spend the winter. Snow and Ross's geese, mallard, pintail, and northern shoveler are just a few of the waterfowl species that can be spotted - or heard! - in the Central Valley wetlands. Ducks and geese thrive in wetlands like this one at Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, but they also rely heavily on flooded agricultural fields, especially rice fields, in the winter. The ducks rely on these different environments to find food as they travel. On the other hand, geese can feed in dry fields before they flood and on other dry land, giving them an upper hand (or upper wing, if you prefer) in finding food. USGS scientists and partners are studying how growing geese populations in the California Central Valley wintering and breeding areas are affecting ducks and other waterfowl. GPS transmitters like the one worn by the Greater white-fronted goose in the photo are being used to learn how goose habitat use overlaps with that of ducks, helping scientists understand competition between geese and ducks.

Learn more here: http://ow.ly/vvwh50zBbLW

In honor of World Migratory Bird Day, we have a trivia question for you - how fast do ducks fly?Answer - Faster than you...
05/09/2020

In honor of World Migratory Bird Day, we have a trivia question for you - how fast do ducks fly?

Answer - Faster than you might think!

New measurements by USGS scientists using GPS-tracking data found that a migrating mallard duck travels at an average of 51 miles per hour!

Knowing how fast ducks fly means local and regional managers can estimate how much energy the ducks will use and how much food they will need. In a recently published study, USGS biologists tracked six species of dabbling ducks in California with GPS to calculate their migratory and non-migratory flight speeds. Until recently, technology has limited the ability to accurately assess flight speeds, leading to estimates of questionable accuracy, many of which had not been updated in almost a century. In the new study, scientists generated new, more accurate flight speeds by attaching small, high-resolution, solar-powered GSM-GPS transmitters to ducks in Suisun Marsh on the eastern side of San Francisco Bay. The transmitters were equipped like tiny backpacks, which you can see in the image.

The GPS data showed that median migratory speeds were faster for the larger mallard (51 mph or 83 km/h), northern pintail (49 mph or 79 km/h) and gadwall (44 mph or 71 km/h), than for the smaller-bodied northern shoveler (41 mph or 66 km/h), cinnamon teal (39 mph or 64 km/h) and American wigeon (32 mph 52 km/h).

Read more about the study: http://ow.ly/SQch50zBbS1

Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt today announced the Bison Conservation Initiative, a new cooperative initiativ...
05/07/2020

Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt today announced the Bison Conservation Initiative, a new cooperative initiative that will coordinate conservation strategies and approaches for the wild American Bison over the next 10 years. The Department of the Interior and its partners have been successful in restoring the populations of the American Bison and supporting healthy herds. With unprecedented interest and cooperation among partners – including states, tribes, nations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) – bison conservation is well equipped to move beyond the confluence of strong analytical assessments and toward coordinated conservation action.

Director Jim Reilly issued the following statement in support of the initiative:

“The people of the USGS are proud to provide the critical interdisciplinary science for this large-scale national conservation effort of our treasured national symbols. Our research will allow state, federal and tribal partners to focus attention where needed to conserve and manage our bison populations.”

For additional information about the Bison Conservation Initiative, visit http://ow.ly/Gt3X50zA6Qt or http://ow.ly/AShA50zA6Qu.

Image shows a bison and calf. Credit: Jesse Achtenberg, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Mapping Challenge update: The National Map Corps is a recognized citizen science program that leverages crowd sourcing t...
05/07/2020

Mapping Challenge update: The National Map Corps is a recognized citizen science program that leverages crowd sourcing techniques and volunteers to update structure data on USGS map products. Recently TNMCorps has increased its use of “Mapping Challenges” to collect data on specific structures within focused areas:
• Ongoing: Schools in Mississippi and Alabama (More than 300 points edited in one week)
• Ongoing: City/Town Halls in Louisiana, Mississippi & Alabama (Less than 70 points remain)
• Finished: Georgia and South Carolina Schools (2,762 unique points edited)
• Finished: Georgia and South Carolina City/Town Halls (329 unique points edited)
If you are interested in participating in a Mapping Challenge: http://ow.ly/99f350zA4Bq

Marie Zuck, USGS hydrologic technician, and Frederick Stumm, USGS research hydrologist, insert a borehole geophysical lo...
05/07/2020

Marie Zuck, USGS hydrologic technician, and Frederick Stumm, USGS research hydrologist, insert a borehole geophysical logging probe into a 1,460 foot deep observation well April 30th in Nassau County, New York. As the probe was lowered down the observation well it recorded and mapped the hydrogeologic framework of the groundwater and determined the location and depth of saltwater intrusion from the surrounding Atlantic Ocean into the freshwater aquifer system.

This work was done as part of an ongoing multi-year study the USGS is conducting to assess groundwater availability in the Long Island aquifer system, which is the primary source of drinking water to more than 2.8 million people in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

The #USGS investigation, in cooperation with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, will provide information needed to assess changes in water quantity and the potential for saltwater intrusion in the aquifer system, and examine how changing water demands can affect groundwater flow to ponds, streams, wetlands and coastal waters. The information gathered will be used to construct updated hydrogeologic maps, monitor changes in aquifer salinity and water levels, and develop a computer model to predict likely outcomes of potential water-management decisions and changes in environmental conditions. Drilling for the first observation well began in August 2019 and the remaining wells are scheduled to be completed by the Fall of 2021.

To learn more about this study, visit the project website at: http://ow.ly/vSxw50zzFGA. For more information about Long Island’s groundwater, checkout this USGS factsheet http://ow.ly/RE4n50zzFGz.

Photo courtesy of Bill Murphy.

A USGS study examined Potomac River fish data from 1975-2017 to evaluate population trends for 28 fish species. Scientis...
05/07/2020

A USGS study examined Potomac River fish data from 1975-2017 to evaluate population trends for 28 fish species. Scientists discovered significant trends over the 43 year period of the study for 13 species including nine species that showed a population increase while four species showed a decrease.

The species that showed a decline in population included smallmouth bass – a popular sportfish among anglers – and other fish species that require stable or predictable spring-flow river conditions for spawning. The species that showed a population increase included banded killifish, mosquitofish, and other species that thrive in unpredictable river flow conditions, such as more flooding from heavy rains.

Millions of people rely on the Potomac River for drinking water and recreational opportunities. This study provides an analysis of the Potomac’s fish population trends that will be useful for decision makers as they work to protect economically important sportfish as well as non-game species that are vital to the food web of this important river. It will give officials and resource managers the information they need to make policies that might help mitigate population loss of key sportfish or endangered species. This study might also be used to shed light on trends that could help identify issues with non-natives and invasive species.

For more information, visit: http://ow.ly/ibC250zz3ha

Photo shows a smallmouth bass. Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

05/06/2020
earthquake.usgs.gov

Preliminary Event: M 6.8 - 205km NW of Saumlaki, Indonesia: PAGER - GREEN ShakeMap - VI , DYFI? - IV, Time - 2020-05-06 13:53:56 UTC (2020-05-06 22:53:56 +09:00 at epicenter), Location: 6.795°S 129.861°E, Depth: 107.00 km (66.49 mi)

The Earthquake Event Page application supports most recent browsers, view supported browsers. Or, try our Real-time Notifications, Feeds, and Web Services.

The National Map Corps is a recognized citizen science program that leverages crowd sourcing techniques and volunteers t...
05/05/2020

The National Map Corps is a recognized citizen science program that leverages crowd sourcing techniques and volunteers to update structure data on USGS map products. To reward, recognize and motivate these participants, the program awards “virtual badges” as they increase their number of submitted “points”.
This week, we highlight the Society of the Steel Tape badge. This virtual award is earned with the submission of 50-99 points. What is a steel tape? Steel tape a ribbon of steel commonly 100 feet long and precisely calibrated in hundredths of a foot. Even in these days of electronic measuring devices and GPS, the steel tape provides a reliable, accurate and convenient method of measuring short distances.
So, join TNMCorps today! Participation is free and at record levels: http://ow.ly/JFUV50zwFE1

This month marks the second anniversary of the largest rift zone eruption and summit collapse at Kīlauea Volcano in 200 ...
05/04/2020

This month marks the second anniversary of the largest rift zone eruption and summit collapse at Kīlauea Volcano in 200 years. Read how the USGS Hawaii Volcano Observatory's history of innovation led to cutting-edge water sampling deep within Kīlauea’s volcanic crater here:
http://ow.ly/er5r50zwpHY

05/02/2020
earthquake.usgs.gov

Preliminary Event: M 5.4 - 11km SSE of Tallaboa, Puerto Rico: PAGER - PENDING ShakeMap - VII , DYFI? - VII, Time - 2020-05-02 11:13:18 UTC (2020-05-02 07:13:18 -04:00 at epicenter), Location: 17.937°N 66.727°W, Depth: 9.00 km (5.59 mi)

The Earthquake Event Page application supports most recent browsers, view supported browsers. Or, try our Real-time Notifications, Feeds, and Web Services.

05/02/2020
earthquake.usgs.gov

Preliminary Event: M 6.6 - 89km S of Ierapetra, Greece: , Time - 2020-05-02 12:51:06 UTC (2020-05-02 14:51:06 +02:00 at epicenter), Location: 34.205°N 25.712°E, Depth: 16.99 km (10.56 mi)

The Earthquake Event Page application supports most recent browsers, view supported browsers. Or, try our Real-time Notifications, Feeds, and Web Services.

05/02/2020
earthquake.usgs.gov

Preliminary Event: M 5.5 - 11km SSE of Tallaboa, Puerto Rico: PAGER - YELLOW ShakeMap - VII , DYFI? - VII, Time - 2020-05-02 11:13:19 UTC (2020-05-02 07:13:19 -04:00 at epicenter), Location: 17.894°N 66.679°W, Depth: 4.33 km (2.69 mi)

The Earthquake Event Page application supports most recent browsers, view supported browsers. Or, try our Real-time Notifications, Feeds, and Web Services.

The Colorado River in Grand Canyon is home to rainbow trout and native fish species like the endangered humpback chub, a...
05/02/2020

The Colorado River in Grand Canyon is home to rainbow trout and native fish species like the endangered humpback chub, and aquatic insects are an important food resource for these fish. However, the Colorado River downstream of Glen Canyon Dam contains unusually low abundance and diversity of these insects, and species like mayflies are conspicuously absent. To help promote a more robust aquatic insect community, experimental flows operated by the Bureau of Reclamation, called “Bug Flows,” will be released from the dam this summer. Bug Flows have occurred the past two years and have shown promising results for creating more diverse and abundant insect communities.

Glen Canyon Dam is a hydropower and water storage dam, and energy needs determines the amount of water released through the dam, which influences aquatic insects. As power demands increase during the day, more water passes through the dam, resulting in higher river levels downstream. As power demands decrease at night, so does the water level. Adult aquatic insects lay their eggs at the water’s edge, so when water levels drop, eggs are exposed to air, dry out, and die. Data collected by USGS scientists and their citizen science partners indicate that this may be the cause for the decline in insects.

To rebuild the insect community, weekend water releases from May through August 2020 will remain low and steady while weekday flows will operate as normal. Lower weekend flows should provide plenty of egg-laying opportunities for insects. Then, when weekday water levels rise to normal levels and fluctuate, eggs should remain submerged and safe.

Scientists will monitor the effects of the Bug Flow experiment, which will include capturing, identifying, and counting lots of bugs — last year they counted over 600,000 insects!

More information on Bug Flows:
Press Release: http://ow.ly/nfGN50zuGD0
Citizen Science: http://ow.ly/a17T50zuGCY
Background: http://ow.ly/PbCz50zuGCZ

04/30/2020

Up periscope! With small waterproof cameras strapped to their shells, loggerhead turtles are giving USGS scientists a never-before-seen glimpse of the secret, submerged life of sea turtles in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Three species of threatened or endangered sea turtles typically congregate in St. Joseph Bay in the Florida Panhandle. They surface briefly to breathe, and rarely come ashore except when females return to their natal beaches to lay eggs, so most of their lives take place out of our sight. USGS biologist Margaret Lamont is piloting the use of small waterproof cameras attached to the shells of seven turtles - five loggerheads, one green, and one Kemp’s Ridley. No sea turtles were harmed and all research was conducted through strict animal care/use guidelines, with appropriate state and federal permits.

The camera sits behind the animal’s head and records for 90 consecutive minutes. After 48 hours the camera set-up pops off and floats to the surface. Satellite and radio tags help biologists recover the cameras. The videos give new insights into sea turtle feeding, resting, movement, and interactions with other sea turtles. Scientists hope the information will help guide efforts to protect sea turtles and their habitats.

In the videos we see St. Joseph Bay through the eyes of two young adult female loggerheads as they swim, surface, breathe, dive, forage, and spend time with other sea turtles. Scientists were intrigued to see loggerheads, Kemp’s ridleys and green sea turtles all gathered around a piece of debris on the seafloor. Sea turtles seek out structures for protection from sharks and other predators. Lamont, who has studied sea turtles for 25 years, said, “I’ve never seen all three species sharing a structure at once.”

Mapping Challenge update: The National Map Corps is a recognized citizen science program that leverages crowd sourcing t...
04/30/2020

Mapping Challenge update: The National Map Corps is a recognized citizen science program that leverages crowd sourcing techniques and volunteers to update structure data on USGS map products. Recently TNMCorps has increased its use of “Mapping Challenges” to collect data on specific structures within focused areas:
• Ongoing: Schools in Mississippi and Alabama (More than 500 points edited in one week)
• Ongoing: City/Town Halls in Louisiana, Mississippi & Alabama (Less than 150 points remain)
• Finished: Georgia and South Carolina Schools (2,762 unique points edited)
• Finished: Georgia and South Carolina City/Town Halls (329 unique points edited)
Special shout out to “geo163” and “detour” who completed their 20th and 10th Mapping Challenges respectively!
If you are interested in participating in a Mapping Challenge: http://ow.ly/SgWd50zt7GQ

We've got a new mineral map out! But this one's a bit unusual, in that it's for a mineral that people probably want to a...
04/29/2020

We've got a new mineral map out! But this one's a bit unusual, in that it's for a mineral that people probably want to avoid. The mineral in question is pyrrhotite: http://ow.ly/IlRn50zrhTV

Pyrrhotite is a mineral similar to pyrite, which you may know as Fool's Gold. Pyrrhotite can cause problems if rock that contains it is used to make concrete. When concrete that has pyrrhotite in it gets exposed to water, particularly rain, it can break down, leading to concrete cracking. If that happens to your home's foundation, it can cause the foundation to fail.

This map shows where we think pyrrhotite might occur, and it's meant to be a starting point for identifying where there's a risk of pyrrhotite being included in crushed stone production.

#USGS #Science #Concrete #Minerals #Pyrrhotite #Maps

The Federal Geographic Data Committee is pleased to welcome a distinguished group of new and returning members to the Na...
04/29/2020

The Federal Geographic Data Committee is pleased to welcome a distinguished group of new and returning members to the National Geospatial Advisory Committee and looks forward to continuing a collaborative and productive relationship with the groups and organizations represented on the committee. New appointees to the committee are:
• Douglas Adams (Baltimore County, Maryland)
• Chad Baker (California Department of Transportation)
• Gar Clarke (State of New Mexico)
• Garet Couch (National Tribal Geographic Information Support Center)
• Jack Dangermond (ESRI)
• William Haneberg (State of Kentucky)
• Roberta Lenczowski (Roberta E. Lenczowski Consulting)
• Mark Meade (Quantum Spatial)
• Siva Ravada (Oracle Corporation)
• Felicia Retiz (Texas Water Development Board)
• Vasit Sagan (St. Louis University)
• Cy Smith (State of Oregon)
• Tim Trainor (Trainor Consultants)
For more details: http://ow.ly/k5oH50zrihU

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