U.S. Geological Survey - Environmental Health

Geospatial Analyses and Applications — Salt Lake City, Utah

About the Laboratory

Scientists within the Geospatial Analyses and Applications Team develop and apply geospatial analytical methods to answer broad-scale questions about source-sink and cause-effect relationships between contaminants and vulnerable communities. Multivariate statistics are used to identify connections between landscape gradients and observational data. These connections are used to develop risk assessments and make predictions across broad, regional scales.

USGS scientist holding a tablet computer
Tablet-enabled field forms have been developed to help coordinate field efforts, collect site information, GPS coordinates, photos, and control data collection. For more information on sampling protocols (see USGS Open-File Report 2015-1188B). Photo Credit: Shawn Fisher, USGS.
Two maps of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed - Left septic systems - Right regulated facilities
Two maps of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed showing locations of septic systems (left) and regulated facilities (right). Extensive databases detailing contaminant sources from local, state, and federal partners are used to understand source-sink linkages with observational field data. Data sources are summarized in a USGS Data Release. Image Credit: Stephanie Gordon, USGS.

Key Analytical Capabilities

  • Study site selection and characterization
  • Risk assessment – real vs. perceived
  • Custom metric development
  • Multivariate statistics
  • Big-data analysis
  • Landscape analysis
  • Hydrological modelling and analysis
  • Geomorphic assessment
  • Lidar and Remote Sensing
decision support tool shematic
Generalized schematic detailing the steps in the USGS decision support tool for prioritizing sampling locations based on perceived environmental hazards. USGS Open-File Report 2015-1188A.

Analytical Tools and Products

  • Statistical analysis in R
  • Field-form development
  • Database design and development
  • Geo-narratives and Web Applications
  • ScienceBase and metadata creation
  • ArcGIS, GRASS, Python, GitHub
SCoRR Web application screen shot
Screen shot of the Sediment-Bound Contaminant Resiliency and Response (SCoRR) Web site. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists have developed Web applications to visualize data and help coordinate sampling efforts.


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Page Last Modified: 17-Apr-2018 @ 12:34:57 PM EDT