Welcome to the USGS Illinois Water Science Center. These pages are your source for water-resource information collected and interpreted
by the U.S. Geological Survey in Illinois.
On the map to the left, point to one of the stream-monitoring locations to see a summary of current streamflow conditions, or click elsewhere on the map to open a larger view.
Over the past twenty-six years, the Governor's Conferences on the Management of the Illinois River System have served as an important forum to bring together local, state, and federal leaders to create awareness of the issues of soil erosion and sedimentation, identify important river research initiatives, develop working coalitions, apply conservation practices to the watershed, prepare new river and watershed legislation, and provide for state and federal funding to address the issues of the Illinois River System. Please consider attending!
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Illinois Center for Transportation (ICT), are working on a project to update important equations in the widely used StreamStats online tool. The project will produce Web-based peak flow estimates for all urbanizing watersheds in Illinois. read more
Thomas Over, hydrologist at the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Illinois Water Science Center, is currently serving as co-principal investigator on Illinois Center for Transportation/Illinois Department of Transportation (ICT/IDOT) project R27-144 “Development and Implementation of Updated Urban Regional Flood Frequency Equations for Illinois.” The objective of this research is to update the 1979 Illinois urban regional flood-frequency equations to current urbanized conditions and implement the resulting equations in StreamStats, a Web-based geographic information systems (GIS) application used in water resources planning and management and in engineering design. read more
“The researchers at the USGS Illinois Water Science Center in Urbana are uniquely positioned and qualified for this project, given both their staffing experience with hydrology and water resources projects and their management and familiarity with the stream gaging network in Illinois. BBS Hydraulics has partnered with USGS on several research projects—they deliver reliable, useful results in a very competent manner. Considering Illinois StreamStats is supported and maintained by the USGS national office going forward, IDOT is receiving a great bargain on a critical design resource.”
- Matt O'Conner, Hydraulics Unit Group Leader in the Illinois Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Bridges and Structures (BBS) read more
New Illinois Water Science Center Publications!
Continuous Monitoring of Sediment and Nutrients in the Illinois River at Florence, Illinois, 2012–13 is available. This report summarizes the continuous, real-time collection of water-quality data, including nitrate+nitrate, phosphorus, and turbidity. The report describes the procedures for the collection of the data and the development of surrogate relationships with these parameters for display of phosphorus and sediment. This will allow for real-time display of the total loads of nitrate+nitrite, phosphorus and sediment.
Terrio, P.J., Straub, T.D., Domanski, M.M., and Siudyla, N.A., 2015, Continuous monitoring of sediment and nutrients in the Illinois River at Florence, Illinois, 2012–13: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2015–5040, 61 p.
The U.S. Geological Survey collected bathymetric data in Lake Calumet and a portion of the Calumet River in the vicinity of Lake Calumet to produce a bathymetric map. The bathymetric survey was made over 3 days (July 26, September 11, and November 7, 2012). Lake Calumet has become a focus area for Asian carp rapid-response efforts by state and federal agencies, and very little bathymetric data existed prior to this survey. This bathymetric survey provides data for a variety of scientific and engineering studies of the area; for example, hydraulic modeling of water and sediment transport from Lake Calumet to the Calumet River.
Duncker, J.J., Johnson, K.K., and Sharpe, J.B., 2015, Bathymetric survey of Lake Calumet, Cook County, Illinois: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3330, 1 sheet
The water gun is a tool adapted from deep marine geophysical surveys that is being evaluated for use as an acoustic fish deterrent to control the movement of invasive marine species. The water gun creates a seismic signal by using a compressed air discharge to move a piston rapidly within the water, resulting in an implosion. This energy pulse may be able to modify fish behavior or destroy marine life, such as the Asian carp, at some distance. The effects of this energy pulse on structures in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal (CSSC), such as canal walls, shore lines, and lock structures, are not known. The potential effects of the use of a water gun on structures was identified as a concern in the CSSC and was assessed relative to existing background sources during this study. During September 2011, two water guns with piston sizes of 80 and 343 cubic inches, respectively, were tested in the CSSC at varying pressures and distances from a canal wall consisting of dolomite and dolomite setblock. Seismic data were collected during these water gun firings using geophones on land, in boreholes, and at the canal wall interface. Data were collected at varying depths in the canal water using hydrophones. Seismic data were also collected during the occurrences of barge traffic, railroad traffic located near the electric fish barrier in Lemont, and coal-loading operations at a coal power plant near the electric fish barrier. In general, energy produced by barge and railroad sources was less than energy created by the water gun. Energy levels produced by coal-loading operations at least 200 feet from geophones were approximately four times lower than energy levels measured during water gun operations.
Morrow, W.S., Carpenter, P.J., and Adams, R.F., 2015, Seismic data collection from water guns and industrial background sources in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal Area, Illinois, 2011: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 938, 23 p.
More New Publications!
Garcia, T., Murphy, E. A., Jackson, P. R., & Garcia, M. H. (2015). Application of the FluEgg model to predict transport of Asian carp eggs in the Saint Joseph River (Great Lakes tributary). Journal of Great Lakes Research.
Sharpe, J.B. and Soong, D.T., 2015, Lake Michigan Diversion Accounting Land Cover Change Estimation by Use of the National Land Cover Dataset and Raingage Network Partitioning Analysis, U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2014-1258.
Mills, P.C., and Cobb, R.P, 2015, Hexavalent and total chromium at low reporting concentrations in source-water aquifers and surface waters used for public supply in Illinois, 2013: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2015–5020, 58 p.
New Madrid Quake Potential Elevated
An updated USGS Report says the New Madrid Seismic Zone has a larger range of potential earthquake magnitudes than previously imagined.
USGS Illinois Water Science Center Has New Address
405 N Goodwin Urbana, IL 61801
CAN YOU FEEL IT?
If you feel an earthquake, here is the link to the popular USGS webpage to report what you felt: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/dyfi/