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USGS Groundwater Information > September 1, 2015 Highlights

USGS Monthly Groundwater News and Highlights: September 1, 2015

Featured Product: USGS Groundwater Technical Procedures

Groundwater  Technical Procedures Report

Groundwater Technical Procedures of theUSGS, Techniques and Methods 1-A1

To promote consistent and accurate collection of groundwater-level data and related field practices, USGS scientists use a common set of technical procedures. These procedures are used by the USGS as guidance for field work, standardization of measurements and other tasks, training of staff, and quality assurance. In response to the need for citable standardized technical procedures of the USGS, a report documenting some of the most common groundwater field procedures was published and is freely available for download online. These technical procedures provide step-by-step instructions, diagrams, sample field forms, and more. The report compiles techniques for groundwater-site establishment, well maintenance, water-level measurements, groundwater-discharge measurements, and single-well aquifer tests. Making these standards publicly available also allows hydrologists, technicians, and data managers from outside the USGS to reference techniques used by the USGS. The documents can also be used to provide a consistent set of training materials for those new to the routine aspects of groundwater-data collection and handling.

Recently the USGS has also started to produce a companion set of groundwater technical procedure videos. In the videos, USGS hydrologists demonstrate the technical procedures in the field. Watch the example view below, which shows how to measure the depth to groundwater below land surface using a type of tape measure called an electric tape. Or, browse the growing collection of groundwater technical procedure videos.

USGS Groundwater-Related Press Releases

Animation of Groundwater Watch Active Water Level Network, 30 days

The USGS Active Groundwater Level Network includes about 20,000 wells that have been measured by the USGS or USGS cooperators at least once within the past 13 months. The animation shows a daily snapshot of water-level statistics in the network for August 2015. Credit: USGS. The image is in the public domain.

Media Advisory: Yes, Humans Really Are Causing Earthquakes -- Public Lecture

Technical Announcement: Extensive Investigation of Intermittent Streams Indicates Link to Past Climate

Study Explores Groundwater and Geothermal Energy in Drought-Stricken Eastern Oregon and Neighboring States

USGS Groundwater-Related Publications

Groundwater quality data in 15 GAMA study units: results from the 2006–10 Initial sampling and the 2009–13 resampling of wells, California GAMA Priority Basin Project

Chemical considerations for an updated National assessment of brackish groundwater resources

Relations between well-field pumping and induced canal leakage in east-central Miami-Dade County, Florida, 2010-2011

Water-budgets and recharge-area simulations for the Spring Creek and Nittany Creek Basins and parts of the Spruce Creek Basin, Centre and Huntingdon Counties, Pennsylvania, Water Years 2000-06

A new temperature profiling probe for investigating groundwater-surface water interaction

Natural recharge estimation and uncertainty analysis of an adjudicated groundwater basin using a regional-scale flow and subsidence model (Antelope Valley, California, USA)

Numerical simulation of groundwater flow, resource optimization, and potential effects of prolonged drought for the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Tribal Jurisdictional Area, central Oklahoma

Hydrologic budget and conditions of Permian, Pennsylvanian, and Mississippian aquifers in the Appalachian Plateaus physiographic province

Streamflow gains and losses in the Colorado River in northwestern Burnet and southeastern San Saba Counties, Texas

Simulation of groundwater flow and analysis of the effects of water-management options in the North Platte Natural Resources District, Nebraska

Organic and inorganic composition and microbiology of produced waters from Pennsylvania shale gas wells

Modeling groundwater nitrate exposure for an agricultural health study cohort in Iowa

A water-budget approach to estimating potential groundwater recharge from two domestic sewage disposal fields in eastern Bernalillo County, New Mexico, 2011-12

Mixing effects on nitrogen and oxygen concentrations and the relationship to mean residence time in a hyporheic zone of a riffle-pool sequence

Multimodel analysis of anisotropic diffusive tracer-gas transport in a deep arid unsaturated zone

Sources of high-chloride water and managed aquifer recharge in an alluvial aquifer in California, USA

Screening tool to evaluate the vulnerability of down-gradient receptors to groundwater contaminants from uncapped landfills

USGS Groundwater-Related Software Updates and New Releases

ModelMuse v.3.6.1


Scientists adjusts equipment in the field.

Photo Credit: USGS/Colin Kikuchi. The photo is in the public domain.

Field Photo:

Scientists across the USGS use geophysical tools and methods to study groundwater. In this photo, USGS scientist Jeff Kennedy is setting up a tool to collect gravity measurements as part of a study on aquifer storage. Gravity is a measurement of mass: the greater an object's mass, the stronger its gravitational pull. By measuring changes in gravity over time, scientists estimate changes in mass. In hydrology, this can be used to study water in the subsurface. If the amount of groundwater in a particular area increases over time, gravity will also increase. Likewise, decreases in the amount of groundwater will cause gravity to decrease. The instruments need to be very sensitive, though, because the changes in gravity are very small. (Too small for a human to feel any change!)

Learn about other examples of geophysical tools and methods applied to USGS groundwater studies.

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