The Geology of Delaware

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Delaware Geological Survey - US Geological Survey Stream and Tide Gaging Program

The US Geological Survey in cooperation with the Delaware Geological Survey through a State-Federal partnership program operates and maintains stream and tide gages throughout Delaware. The streamgage network is a component of the National Streamflow Information Program (NSIP), a program that provides real-time and long-term current and historical streamflow information that is not only accurate and unbiased, but also meets the needs of many users.

Although not part of the NSIP, the tide gages also provide real-time and historical information. In 2010, we operate and maintain (24 hours a day, 365 days per year) 13 long-term, continuous-record, real-time streamgages and 2 streamgages that support specific short-term projects. The tide gage network consists of 9 long-term, real-time tide gages and 1 tide gage that supports a specific short-term project. Three streamgages and three tide gages also provide water quality information. Stream and tide gage information are available at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/de/nwis/current/?type=flow.

Stateside funding support for operation and maintenance of this partnership program is provided by the Delaware Geological Survey, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Delaware Emergency Management Agency, City of Wilmington, City of Newark, and United Water Delaware. The USGS provides match funding for the streamgage portion of the program.

The Delaware Stream and Tide Gage network provides the hydrologic and water quality information necessary to aid in defining, using, and managing Delaware’s invaluable surface and groundwater resources. The data are used for a multitude of purposes, including, but not limited to, long-range water resources planning and management, short-term resource management, evaluation of drought-no drought conditions, allocation of water resources for public, industrial, commercial, and irrigation water supplies, flood forecasting and warning, bridge and culvert design, hazard spill response and mitigation, analysis of sea level rise, recreation, and floodplain mapping. The stream and tide data are also utilized in existing real-time early warning systems related to potential flooding, and storm/coastal erosion throughout Delaware. The warning systems are used by the DGS, Delaware Emergency Management Agency, all three county emergency management offices, most municipalities, the National Weather Service, the Office of the State Climatologist, and others.

The network is directly tied into the Delaware Environmental Observing System (DEOS) Environmental Monitoring and Observing Network, a network of approximately thirty new meteorological observation sites coupled with existing weather and other environmental observation sites in and around Delaware (http://www.deos.udel.edu).