Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

USGS Scientists Document Widespread Increases In Streamflow And Changes In The Timing Of Snowmelt Over The Past 50 Years

Date:
June 21, 2005
Source:
U.S. Geological Survey
Summary:
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists have identified nationwide trends toward increasing streamflow in many areas of the nation since 1940 based on data collected from long-term USGS streamgages. This conclusion and several more interesting trends in our nation's streamflows can be found in four new fact sheets recently issued by the agency.

The map depicts streamflow conditions as computed at USGS gaging stations. The colors represent real-time streamflow compared to percentiles of historical daily streamflow for the day of the year. This map represents conditions relative to those that have historically occured at this time of year. Only stations having at least 30 years of record are used.
Credit: Image courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey

Reston, VA -- U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists have identified nationwide trends toward increasing streamflow in many areas of the nation since 1940 based on data collected from long-term USGS streamgages. This conclusion and several more interesting trends in our nation's streamflows can be found in four new fact sheets recently issued by the agency.

Related Articles


"Understanding streamflow trends is essential to effective management of the nation's water supply and is critical to developing strategies that mitigate the potential negative impacts of floods and droughts," said USGS Associate Director for Water Robert Hirsch.

In the first study, USGS scientists identified a nationwide trend that streamflow has been increasing in the United States since at least 1940. Most of the increases were during low-and-moderate streamflows. This means that, during typically dry periods, more water is now available in the stream.

In the second study, scientists discovered that over the last 30 years, winter/spring streamflows occurred one to two weeks earlier than in previous decades in northern or mountainous areas of New England. Similarly, in the third study, scientists found that streamflows in most western rivers occur almost one to three weeks earlier now than they did in the middle of the 20 th century.

The fourth study shows that the streamflow of the Mississippi River was influenced by both climate and human activities such as construction of water reservoirs, agricultural irrigation and groundwater pumping. Streamflow of the Mississippi River increased at a rate of 4.5 percent per decade largely because of an increase in precipitation.

The USGS has been measuring and recording streamflow in the United States since the late 1800's. Today, the USGS monitors streamflow at 7,400 locations nationwide. The USGS streamflow information is used for many purposes such as water resource appraisal and allocation, design of the nation's infrastructure such as bridges and water treatment plants, flood hazard planning, National Weather Service flood forecasting, reservoir operations, water-quality management, habitat assessment and protection, recreational enjoyment and safety, and understanding changes in streamflow due to land-use and climate changes. USGS streamflow data are available at http://water.usgs.gov/waterwatch/.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by U.S. Geological Survey. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

U.S. Geological Survey. "USGS Scientists Document Widespread Increases In Streamflow And Changes In The Timing Of Snowmelt Over The Past 50 Years." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 June 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050619195902.htm>.
U.S. Geological Survey. (2005, June 21). USGS Scientists Document Widespread Increases In Streamflow And Changes In The Timing Of Snowmelt Over The Past 50 Years. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050619195902.htm
U.S. Geological Survey. "USGS Scientists Document Widespread Increases In Streamflow And Changes In The Timing Of Snowmelt Over The Past 50 Years." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050619195902.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Antarctic sea ice isn't only expanding, it's thicker than previously thought, and scientists aren't sure exactly why. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) A multinational group of scientists have released the first ever detailed, high-resolution 3-D maps of Antarctic sea ice. Using an underwater robot equipped with sonar, the researchers mapped the underside of a massive area of sea ice to gauge the impact of climate change. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) A British solar power start-up says that by covering millions of existing car park spaces around the UK with flexible solar panels, the country's power problems could be solved. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yellow-Spotted Turtles Rescued from Trafficking

Yellow-Spotted Turtles Rescued from Trafficking

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) Hundreds of Amazon River turtles released into the wild in Peru. Sharon Reich reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins