Nevada Water Science Center

Lake Mead

Lake Mead is about 30 miles south of Las Vegas in southern Nevada. It is the largest reservoir in the United States and can hold 28,500,000 acre-feet or 9.3 trillion gallons of water. Lake Mead is a popular spot for recreation including fishing, boating, hiking, and scuba diving.

Map of Lake Mead

USGS Nevada Water Science Center currently has several streamflow gages on tributaries to Lake Mead.


Real-Time Streamflow :: Daily Values :: Peak-Flow :: Water Quality

Research Activities at Lake Mead

Endocrine Disruption in Lake Mead

Lake Mead Evaporation Rates

Lake Mead Water Quality


Lake Mead Bibliography: List of USGS Nevada WSC publications about Lake Mead, including cooperative State publications.

Bathtub Ring

As the level of Lake Mead drops, a white band appears on the rocks above the water line. This white band is called a "bathtub ring". The current bathtub ring seen around Lake Mead has been caused by a decade of drought.


Bathtub ring around Lake Mead


However, 2011 was a great water year. Deep snow pack in the Rocky Mountains has led to a rise in the Colorado River, and more water in Lake Mead. So far this year, the lake has risen almost 30 feet.


NASA Earth Observatory has a web page about the drought and it's effects on Lake Mead at

This web page features images from the Landsat satellite that show a comparison of water levels in the lake from different years.





Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take pride in America logo logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
page Contact Information: Nevada Water Science Center Web Team
page Last Modified: May 1, 2012