Open-File Report 96-176
Fall Creek Falls State Park, Tennessee
Fall Creek Falls State Park, Tennessee

About USGS ...
Hydrologic Investigations ...
Information Availability
The Cooperative Program
For Additional Information

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), established in 1879, is an agency of the U.S. Department of the Interior. For more than a century, the USGS has provided reports, maps, data, and other information to aid in the development, management, and protection of the Nation's water, energy, mineral, and land resources. This brochure outlines the USGS in Tennessee and highlights hydrologic investigations.

The U. S. Geological Survey has offices in Nashville, Knoxville, and Memphis, Tennessee.


The USGS collects hydrologic data to meet the needs of many users. These data document current conditions and provide the cornerstone for understanding hydrologic systems and solving hydrologic problems. Data-oriented activities include:

A USGS hydrologist measures stream flow.

Satellite-transmitted data are used to manage and operate the reservoir systems on the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers, to respond quickly to floods, and to determine permissible windows of time for waste discharges to rivers. The longer term record of data-going back in time for more than 100 years-is a priceless asset used for such purposes as designing bridges, levees, and other river-related structures, managing river flood-plain development, determining flood-insurance rates, establishing trends in water use and quality, projecting and planning for future water demand, and conducting interpretive studies.


Hydrologic investigations of the USGS are conducted in partnership with other governmental agencies and as mandated by Congress. The studies provide information necessary to solve National, regional, and areal water-resource problems. Some typical studies in progress and studies recently completed are:

A well is drilled to monitor groundwater.


Hydrologic data collected under the basic data program are published in the series of annual reports titled "Water Resources Data for Tennessee." The data are also readily available as computer printouts and in disk format, and are obtainable upon request. Results of interpretive studies are published in one of the several USGS report series. Results may also be reported in journals of professional societies. Copies of USGS reports are available for inspection at the U.S. Geological Survey office in Nashville and at selected libraries. Copies of reports can be purchased by calling 1-888-ASK-USGS.

Data can be obtained in digital format as well as hardcopy.


The USGS collects data and conducts studies in partnership with many Federal, State, and local governmental agencies under the Cooperative Program. Studies with other Federal agencies are usually performed on a reimbursable basis, whereas studies with State and local agencies are conducted on a matching funds basis--that is, the USGS and the cooperating agency share the costs. The Water Resources Division of the USGS conducts work in partnership with about 50 Federal, State, and local agencies in Tennessee.

Stream flow is measured from a bridge.


For water information:

District Chief
U.S. Geological Survey
640 Grassmere Park, Suite 100
Nashville, Tennessee 37211
(615) 837-4700

More information on the activities of the U.S. Geological Survey in Tennessee can be obtained by accessing the Tennessee home page on the World Wide Web at http://tn.water.usgs.gov

For map information:

Chief, Mapping Applications Center
U.S. Geological Survey
567 National Center
Reston, Virginia 22092
(703) 648-6002

For geologic information:

Assistant Chief Geologist
U.S. Geological Survey
953 National Center
Reston, Virginia 22092
(703) 648-6660

U.S. Geological Survey
Center for Earthquake Research and Information
The University of Memphis
Memphis, Tennessee 38152
(901) 678-2007

For biologic information:

National Biological Service
1849 C Street N.W. MS 3660
Washington, D.C. 20240
(202) 482-3980

For information on all USGS reports and products (including maps, images, and computerized data), call 1-888-ASK-USGS.

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Last update: Tuesday, 08-Jan-2013 14:48:31 EST
URL: http://tn.water.usgs.gov /pubs/OFR96-176/tn.html
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