The first USGS Gauging Station 1889


USGS Gauging Station 1889

* Embudo, New Mexico * (south of Taos) * *

As studying stream and river flow patterns, power, and conductivity became a passion with the U.S. Geological Survey, they established their very first gauging station in 1889 along the Rio Grande River near Embudo, New Mexico. Here they collected stream flow information for scientific reports, studies, and analysis. Directed by John Wesley Powell, Irrigation Survey personnel (branch of the U.S. Geological Survey) developed procedures here that could be utilized for creating reliable stream flow estimates and was believed to be an important item to inventory in the arid west prior to settlement of the region. Once the methodology was solidified here near Embudo, the staff went to collect data at other western locations. Within two years, they also began collecting stream flow data along the Eastern United States, starting on the Potomac River at Chain Bridge near Washington D.C. on May 1, 1891. By 1895, measurements were being conducted in over 27 states. Today the USGS currently operates over 7000 gauging stations nation-wide. This helps us to understand the discharge of the stream, power of current, floodplain mapping, velocity, flood warnings, flood forecasting, and annual flow volumes. This is located just south of Taos, New Mexico.





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