PHILADELPHIA – The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency will evaluate a Biennial Emergency Preparedness Exercise at the Limerick Generating Station. The exercise will take place during the week of November 18, 2013 to test the ability of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to respond to an emergency at the nuclear facility.Language English
DENTON, Texas– Leaders from Harris County, Texas and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are asking the public to participate in a 90-day appeal/comment period for preliminary flood maps that have been issued for the coastal areas of the county.Language English
DENTON, Texas –– In five months, on Wednesday, April 14, 2014, new flood maps for Smith County, Texas will become effective. Before that date, state, local and federal officials are encouraging everyone to view the maps to understand their flood risk and consider purchasing flood insurance.Language English
DENTON, Texas –– In five months, on Wednesday, April 14, 2014, new flood maps for Lee County, Texas will become effective. Before that date, state, local and federal officials are encouraging everyone to view the maps to understand their flood risk and consider purchasing flood insurance.Language English
DENVER – In the two months since heavy rains brought flooding, Colorado survivors have received more than $117.4 million in state and federal assistance and low-interest loans and an additional $35.1 million in FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) payouts.Language English
The USGS, in cooperation with other Federal agencies, has posted new Ohio US Topo quadrangles (748 maps) which include partial Public Land Survey System (PLSS). Ohio is the first state east of the Mississippi River to have PLSS data added to US Topo maps, joining Wyoming and Colorado in the west.
"It is great to have these 748 updated US Topo maps for our state available online at no charge," said Charley Hickman, the Geospatial Liaison for Ohio. "We appreciate the continuing improvements in this product, including the availability of PLSS township, range, and section information."
The PLSS is a way of subdividing and describing land in the United States. All lands in the public domain are subject to subdivision by this rectangular system of surveys, which is regulated by the U.S. Department of the Interior. Other selected states will begin getting PLSS map data during the next respective revision cycle.
The new design for US Topo maps improves readability of maps for online and printed use, while retaining the look and feel of the traditional USGS topo map. Map symbols are easy to read when the digital aerial photograph layer imagery is turned on.
Other re-design enhancements and new features:
- New shaded relief layer for enhanced view of the terrain
- Military installation boundaries, post offices and cemeteries
- New road classification
- A slight screening (transparency) has been applied to some features to enhance visibility of multiple competing layers
- New PDF legend attachment
- Metadata formatted to support multiple browsers
US Topo maps are created from geographic datasets in The National Map, and deliver visible content such as high-resolution aerial photography, which was not available on older paper-based topographic maps. The new US Topo maps provide modern technical advantages that support wider and faster public distribution and on-screen geographic analysis tools for users.
The new digital topographic maps are PDF documents with geospatial extensions (GeoPDF®) image software format and may be viewed using Adobe Reader, available as a no-cost download.
These new quads replace the first edition US Topo maps for Ohio. The replaced maps will be added to the USGS Historical Topographic Map Collection and are also available for free download from The National Map and the USGS Map Locator & Downloader website.
US Topo maps are updated every three years. The initial round of the 48 conterminous state coverage was completed in September of 2012. Hawaii and Puerto Rico maps have recently been added. More than 400 new US Topo maps for Alaska have been added to the USGS Map Locator & Downloader, but will take several years to complete.
For more information, go to: http://nationalmap.gov/ustopo/
USGS scientists have determined that high-salinity groundwater found more than 1,000 meters (0.6 mi.) deep under the Chesapeake Bay is actually remnant water from the Early Cretaceous North Atlantic Sea and is probably 100-145 million years old. This is the oldest sizeable body of seawater to be identified worldwide.
Twice as salty as modern seawater, the ancient seawater was preserved like a prehistoric fly in amber, partly by the aid of the impact of a massive comet or meteorite that struck the area about 35 million years ago, creating Chesapeake Bay.
"Previous evidence for temperature and salinity levels of geologic-era oceans around the globe have been estimated indirectly from various types of evidence in deep sediment cores," said Ward Sanford, a USGS research hydrologist and lead author of the investigation. "In contrast, our study identifies ancient seawater that remains in place in its geologic setting, enabling us to provide a direct estimate of its age and salinity."
The largest crater discovered in the United States, the Chesapeake Bay impact crater is one of only a few oceanic impact craters that have been documented worldwide.
About 35 million years ago a huge rock or chunk of ice traveling through space blasted a 56-mile-wide hole in the shallow ocean floor near what is now the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. The force of the impact ejected enormous amounts of debris into the atmosphere and spawned a train of gigantic tsunamis that probably reached as far as the Blue Ridge Mountains, more than 110 miles away.
The impact of the comet or meteorite would have deformed and broken up the existing arrangement of aquifers (water-bearing rocks) and confining units (layers of rock that restrict the flow of groundwater). Virginia's "inland saltwater wedge" is a well-known phenomenon that is thought to be related to the impact crater. The outer rim of the crater appears to coincide with the boundary separating salty and fresh groundwater.
"We knew from previous observations that there is deep groundwater in quite a few areas in the Atlantic Coastal Plain around the Chesapeake Bay that have salinities higher than seawater,” said Jerad Bales, acting USGS Associate Director for Water. "Various theories related to the crater impact have been developed to explain the origin of this high salinity. But, up to this point, no one thought that this was North Atlantic Ocean water that had essentially been in place for about 100 million years."
"This study gives us confidence that we are working directly with seawater that dates far back in Earth’s history,” Bales continued. “The study also has heightened our understanding of the geologic context of the Chesapeake Bay region as it relates to improving our understanding of hydrology in the region."
USGS Professional Paper 1612. "The Effects of the Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater on the Geological Framework and Correlation of Hydrogeologic Units of the Lower York-James Peninsula, Virginia."
Six Months After Deadly Tornadoes, Winter Weather Preparedness Day Reminds Oklahomans to Stay Ready for Severe Weather
OKLAHOMA CITY – Nearly six months after the start of deadly tornadoes that struck the state, the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) and FEMA urge Oklahomans to continue to stay prepared for severe weather.
During this time of year, that means being ready for hazardous winter weather conditions. Wednesday, Nov. 13 is Winter Weather Preparedness Day in Oklahoma. As we near the winter weather season, this is a time for Oklahomans to become prepared for freezing temperatures and the snow and ice that may accompany them.
Statewide shotgun deer hunting season to open Nov. 15 with successful harvest projected for Delaware hunters
DENVER – A new Morgan County Disaster Recovery Center opens in Brush on Wednesday, Nov. 13.
Morgan County Fairgrounds
750 Ellsworth St.
Brush, CO 80723
Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., MST, Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.
Beginning Nov. 24, this DRC will be closed on Sunday.Language English
Community Involvement Advisory Council sets public workshop Thursday, Nov. 21 in Millsboro on development of Vlasic Pickle/Pinnacle site
New research by the U.S. Geological Survey conducted on the Delmarva Peninsula, which forms the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, indicates it may take several decades for many water-quality management practices aimed at reducing nitrogen input to the Bay to achieve their full benefit due to the influence of groundwater.
The USGS findings provide critical information on how long it may take to see the water quality in the Bay improve as more stringent practices are implemented to reduce nutrients and sediment to tidal waters. Having established a calculation for the total nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment pollutants that are allowable for the Chesapeake watershed, known as the total maximum daily load (TMDL), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working with Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the four other Bay watershed jurisdictions to ensure that all water-quality practices needed to reduce the flow of nutrients and sediment to the Bay are in place by 2025.
"This new understanding of how groundwater affects water-quality restoration in the Chesapeake Bay will help sharpen our focus as many agencies, organizations, and individuals work together to improve conditions for fish and wildlife," said Lori Caramanian, Department of the Interior Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water and Science. "In turn, improved environmental conditions will serve to further people’s enjoyment and promote the economic benefits of the Nation’s largest estuary."
The responses of watershed systems and ecosystems to environmental management actions at any location can vary from rapid changes (such as the swift beneficial effect of a wastewater treatment plant upgrade) to longer improvement intervals of several decades. In the Chesapeake Bay, "lag response time" refers to the time between implementing management actions and the resulting improvements in water quality. Lag times will vary for nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment.
This USGS study focused on nitrogen. Some of the nitrogen will run off directly into a stream, but a large portion on the Delmarva (more than two thirds) is affected by the slow travel times of nutrients moving from their land source through underground aquifers to a receiving stream or estuary.
Sources of nitrogen include fertilizer and manure applications to agricultural land, wastewater and industrial discharges, runoff from urban areas, domestic septic drain fields, and air emissions. Excess nitrogen contributes to algal blooms that cause low dissolved oxygen in the Bay and related fish kills each summer and impact recreational activities.
For this study USGS scientist Ward Sanford developed a complex model for water, geology, and chemical interactions that he applied to seven separate watersheds on the Delmarva Peninsula. Based on the concept of nitrogen mass-balance regression, the model was able to reproduce the time history of nitrate concentrations in area streams and wells, including a recent slowdown in the rate of concentration increase in streams. The model was then also used to forecast future nitrogen delivery from the Delmarva Peninsula to the Bay under different nitrogen management scenarios.
The new study shows that ages of groundwater and associated nitrogen from the Delmarva Peninsula into the Chesapeake Bay range from less than a year to centuries, with median ages ranging from 20 to 40 years. These groundwater age distributions are markedly older than previously estimated for areas west and north of the Bay, which has a median age of 10 years. The older ages occur because the porous, sandy aquifers on the Delmarva yield longer groundwater return times than the fractured-rock areas of the Bay watershed.
The USGS research found that in some areas of the Delmarva the groundwater currently discharging to streams is gradually transitioning to waters containing higher amounts of nitrate due to fertilizer used during the 1970s through the 1990s. Similarly, the total amount of nitrogen in the groundwater is continuing to rise as a result of the slow groundwater response times.
Without additional management practices being implemented, the study forecasts about a 12% increase in nitrogen loads from the Delmarva to the Bay by 2050. The study provides several scenarios for reducing nitrogen to the water table and the amount of time needed to see the reductions in groundwater discharging to streams. For example, the model predicts that a 25% reduction in the nitrogen load to the water table will be required to have a 13% reduction in load to the bay.
However, the results also indicate that nutrient management practices implemented over the past decade or so have begun to work and confirm that the amount of the nitrogen loading to streams in the future will depend on the rigor of water-quality practices implemented to reduce nutrients at present.
This study highlights the complexities of environmental restoration of the Bay. The findings help refine the expectations of resource managers and citizens alike of how long it may take to see substantial water-quality improvements in the Bay, and they may provide additional insight into the effectiveness of different types of land management practices given the time lag created by local groundwater response times.
The study was done as part of increased federal efforts under the President’s 2009 Chesapeake Executive Order, which directs Federal agencies, including the EPA and the Department of the Interior, to "begin a new era" in protection and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. With a watershed that spreads across six states and Washington, DC, the Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States and one of the largest and most biologically productive estuaries in the world.
"Quantifying Groundwater's Role in Delaying Improvements to Chesapeake Bay Water Quality," Environmental Science & Technology
Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama's disaster declaration issued for the State of South Dakota.
Assistance for Affected Individuals and Families Can Include as Required:Language English
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the State of South Dakota to supplement state, local and tribal recovery efforts in the area affected by a severe winter storm, snowstorm, and flooding during the period of October 3-16, 2013.Language English
DENVER – A new El Paso County Disaster Recovery Center in Colorado Springs opens for six days beginning Monday, Nov. 11, Veterans Day, and closes permanently on Saturday, Nov. 16.
EL PASO COUNTY
Norris-Penrose Event Center
1045 Lower Gold Camp Rd.
Colorado Springs, CO 80905
Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., MST, Monday through Saturday, Nov. 16, when it closes permanently.Language English