USGS

Environment
3:08 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Study: Defunct Idaho Mine Contaminating Blackfoot River

An 11-year state and federal study of selenium pollution in a southeastern Idaho watershed where some 700 sheep, cattle and horses have died over the last several decades after grazing in contaminated areas has found the toxin is likely moving through groundwater.

The 36-page study on the Upper Blackfoot River Watershed released earlier this month by the U.S. Geological Survey also found that selenium levels spiked in the river during spring thaw.

Researchers say the inactive Maybe Canyon Mine is producing the most contamination.

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Environment
10:56 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Why Idahoans Use More Water At Home Than Anyone Else In The Country

Idahoans use more water than residents in every other U.S. state.
Credit Robert Couse-Baker / Flickr Creative Commons

Idahoans are using more water per capita than residents of any other state according to a recent report from the U.S. Geological Survey. The USGS does a detailed look at water use every fifth year.

Molly Maupin led the team that calculated the nation’s water use for 2010. It took them four years to compile all the data. They looked at all the different ways people were using water, from morning showers to cooling nuclear power plants.

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Water
12:16 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Report: Ground Water Levels Have Dropped In Southern Wood River Valley

Stream near Sun Valley
Credit rickotto62 / Flickr Creative Commons

A new report from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) finds that ground water levels have dropped in parts of the Wood River Valley.

USGS hydrologist Jim Bartolino’s team looked at changes in ground water and surface water between 2006 and 2012.

Bartolino says there are two distinct parts to the aquifer under the valley.

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Yellowstone
9:49 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Report: Yellowstone Region Earthquake Hazard Higher Than Once Thought

A view from the Calcite Springs Overlook in Yellowstone National Park.
Credit Jim Peaco / Yellowstone National Park | Flickr Creative Commons

A new U.S. Geological Survey report indicates a slightly greater earthquake hazard in the Greater Yellowstone region of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho than previously thought.

And the USGS map of seismic hazards shows that the region is as seismically hazardous as anywhere in the United States. 

University of Utah geophysicist Bob Smith tells the Jackson Hole News & Guide that the nationwide USGS earthquake hazard maps and adjoining documents were last updated in 2006.

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Research
4:45 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

USGS Tries Listening To Human Racket To Understand Seismic Hazards

A seismic "thumper" used to map earthquake faults.
Horemu Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 6:22 pm

Research geologists have just finished a field trial to test a less invasive way to complete seismic hazard surveys.

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Earthquake
4:09 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Earthquake Swarm Continues To Shake Central Idaho

This intensity map from USGS shows where Monday afternoon's earthquake was felt.
Credit U.S. Geological Survey

The U.S. Geological Survey reports a 4.6-magnitude earthquake occurred Monday afternoon 14.2 miles north of Challis. Early Monday morning, a magnitude 3.0 earthquake was measured 11 miles north northwest of the town.

Mike Stickney is the director of the Earthquake Studies Office at the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology. He says this swarm of earthquakes in central Idaho started on March 24. He says at least 12 have been greater than magnitude 3, and many smaller tremors have also been measured.

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Earthquake
8:33 am
Thu April 10, 2014

4.1 Magnitude Earthquake Rattles Challis, Idaho

The earthquake was recorded just outside Challis, Idaho on April 10, 2014.
Credit Google Maps

The U.S. Geological Survey says a magnitude 4.1 earthquake has been recorded three miles underground near Challis, Idaho.

USGS monitors recorded the quake at 6:21 a.m. Thursday. It occurred nine miles north-northwest of the town.

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Environment
9:10 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Interactive Map Pinpoints Idaho, U.S. Wind Turbines

A screenshot of the USGS map known as windFarm.
Credit usgs.gov

If you’ve driven across southern Idaho in the past few years, you’ve no doubt seen a lot of wind turbines. But have you ever wondered how many there are? Now you can count them and get stats on each one with a new interactive map.

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Environment
8:59 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Interactive Boise River Web-Cam Losing Funding, Could Go Dark

Screen shot of the web-cam controls.
Credit id.water.usgs.gov

I spent 15 minutes entranced watching the Boise River sparkle and the fall leaves rustle on the computer screen in my windowless studio.  U.S. Geological Survey hydraulic engineer Molly Wood talked about the features of the USGS Boise River web camera while I played with the controls. I zoomed in on trees upstream and flipped it around to see the cars on the Glenwood Bridge.

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