The U.S. Geological Survey joins its many partners in other federal agencies, at universities, and in state and local governments in recognizing the importance of the Water Resources Research Act (WRRA) of 1964.
Signed into law 50 years ago by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 17, 1964, the WRRA established a Water Resources Research Institute in each state and Puerto Rico.
A new global geologic map of Mars –the most thorough representation of the “Red Planet’s” surface – has been published by the U.S. Geological Survey. This map provides a framework for continued scientific investigation of Mars as the long-range target for human space exploration.
Seasonal carbon dioxide frost, not liquid water, is the main driver in forming gullies on Mars today, according to a recent U.S. Geological Survey study that relied on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s (MRO) repeated high-resolution observations.
[Jim] Walker and construction crews building a new 220-foot-high dam at Calaveras Reservoir in the remote canyons east of Milpitas have been digging up a prehistoric treasure trove: the teeth of an extinct hippopotamus-like creature called a Desmostylus, clams, barnacles and the giant teeth from a 40-foot-long shark — and what could turn out to be an entire whale skeleton.
“During the last year, whole oceans worth of water have been found in the [Earth's] mantle, hundreds of kilometers below the crust. And a paper in today’s [June 12] issue of Science traces water’s influence all the way down to an important boundary inside the Earth, the top of the lower mantle.”
“California’s drought is imperiling tricolored blackbirds, large trees and native fish, with some of the affected species already on the state’s endangered list and others likely headed there because of rapidly declining numbers, scientists say.”
“On her way to visit the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Parlier on Monday, University of California President Janet Napolitano got a bird’s eye view of California cropland and rivers dry from the drought — a sight she hopes the universities can help fix through continued research and outreach.”
“By crunching data from the Central Valley, eBird can generate maps showing where virtually every species congregates in the remaining wetlands. … The BirdReturns program, financed by the Nature Conservancy, then pays rice farmers in the birds’ flight path to keep their fields flooded with irrigation water from the Sacramento River as migrating flocks arrive.
From the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center (NCDC):
“Drought is a unique climate event, which often begins with subtle effects but can end up being incredibly costly and devastating. Paleoclimatology, or the study of past climate prior to instrumental records, allows scientists not only to collect evidence of past climate conditions, such as drought, but also provides them with a means to investigate the climate processes underlying these conditions.
“Inside a moon of Saturn, beneath its icy veneer and above its rocky core, is a sea of water the size of Lake Superior, scientists announced on Thursday.
“The findings, published in the journal Science, confirm what planetary scientists have suspected about the moon, Enceladus, ever since they were astonished in 2005 by photographs showing geysers of ice crystals shooting out of its south pole.”
From the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Science Features blog:
“The 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia will be featuring many exciting events for the world to see. Though the Olympics Games is the premier athletic competition worldwide, the games also bridge the gap between science and sports by covering a number of Earth science topics as well. …
“The U.S. Geological Survey compiles water use statistics every five years and hopes to build towards a National Water Census.
From Greenversations, An EPA Blog About Science Matters, in a post by Marguerite Huber:
“EPA researchers studying green infrastructure (using vegetation, soil, and other naturalistic techniques to reduce stormwater runoff) collaborated with colleagues in the Agency’s New England office (EPA Region 1) to develop a new public-domain software app called the Watershed Management Optimization Support Tool (WMOST).
“The goal of the tool is to help water resource managers and planners identify cost effective, sustainable green infrastructure options for their local jurisdictions.
“California’s current drought is being billed as the driest period in the state’s recorded rainfall history. But scientists who study the West’s long-term climate patterns say the state has been parched for much longer stretches before that 163-year historical period began.”