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The New York Water Science Center of the U.S. Geological Survey maintains an active Watershed Research Section with ongoing studies in the Catskill Mountain and Adirondack Mountain regions, other sites and areas in eastern New York and selected areas across the northeastern United States. Our section includes principal investigating scientists, laboratory analysts and laboratory support staff, field scientists, students, and volunteers. Contact information for personnel in the Watershed Research Section can be found below.
Statement of Purpose
Chatauguay Waterfall
The purpose of the Watersheds Research Section is to produce high-quality, innovative biogeochemical and hydrologic studies of forested, agricultural, and suburban watersheds and aquifers. We communicate our results to cooperators, funding agencies, the general public, and other scientists by making oral presentations at meetings and professional conferences, and by publishing our results in peer-reviewed journals, USGS reports, and fact sheets. Many of our studies utilize the watershed approach and are interdisciplinary in nature. Environmental studies that are of interest to the group include the effects of acid precipitation, climate change, and landscape disturbance on biogeochemical processes and terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
Watershed Approach
The watershed approach involves quantifying the fluxes of water (watershed hydrology), chemical elements, and energy into and out of a unit of landscape that can be defined by topographic boundaries. This approach forms the backbone of many of our studies. Specific process-level studies of soil chemistry, ground-water chemistry, ground-water flow, microbial ecology, and vegetation are then carried out within the watershed.
RF Watershed
Hydrogeologic Assessments
Borehole Geophysics Truck
Hydrogeologic assessments involve characterizing ground-water quality and quantity within stratified-drift and bedrock aquifers throughout Eastern New York. Many municipalities within New York State use ground water for public water supply and evaluating and understanding the quality and quantity of ground water is an important mission of the USGS. These studies are conducted at scales ranging from large river basins to areas less than 10 square miles. Many hydrogeologic tools are used in the hydrogeologic assessement of aquifers including surface and borehole geophysical surveys, test drilling, water quality sampling and analyses, analyses of stream discharge data, aquifer tests and analyses, and numerical ground water modeling and particle-tracking analysis.
Ecological Studies
To best manage terrestrial and aquatic resources in watersheds of the northeast it is essential to understand the direct effects that those management practices have on natural and disturbed biogeochemical, hydrologic, and geomorphic processes and their indirect effects on ecosystems. The sections' ecological studies characterize effects that altered watershed processes have on the health and survival of aquatic species and the integrity of local fish and macroinvertebrate communities.
Fish in Net
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Page Last Modified: Monday, March 15, 2007
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