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Concentrations and loads of cadmium, lead, and zinc measured on the ascending and descending limbs of the 1999 snowmelt-runoff hydrographs for nine water-quality stations, Coeur d'Alene River basin, Idaho

Open-File Report 2000-310

Prepared in cooperation with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
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Abstract

The Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency within the Spokane River Basin of northern Idaho and eastern Washington included extensive data-collection activities to determine the nature and extent of trace-element contamination within the basin. The U.S. Geological Survey designed and implemented synoptic sampling of a high-flow runoff event at selected water-quality stations during the 1999 water year. The objective was to quantify spatial and temporal differences in constituent concentrations and loads over the ascending and descending limbs of a hydrograph depicting a high-flow runoff event. Discharge and water-quality data were collected during spring 1999 snowmelt runoff (May through early June) at nine water-quality stations, one on the North Fork Coeur d’Alene River and eight on the South Fork Coeur d’Alene River. The nine stations were sam- pled for whole-water recoverable and dissolved concentrations and loads of cadmium, lead, and zinc. The concentrations and loads sampled during the 1999 snowmelt-runoff event represented near-normal conditions, not flood conditions, in that the recurrence interval for discharge near the hydrograph peak was about 2 years. The general trend among the nine stations was an inverse relation between discharge and dissolved concentrations of cadmium, lead, and zinc, and a direct relation between discharge and whole-water recoverable concentrations of these constituents. The smallest loads of dissolved and whole-water recoverable cadmium, lead, and zinc were measured at South Fork Coeur d’Alene River above Deadman Gulch; constituent concentrations at this site were some of the smallest among those sampled, and discharge was also relatively small. The largest loads of dissolved and whole-water recoverable cadmium, lead, and zinc were measured at South Fork Coeur d’Alene River at Pinehurst; constituent concentrations at this site were large and discharge was the second-largest of all the discharge measurements. Hysteresis effects on concentrations and loads over the ascending and descending limbs of the snowmelt-runoff hydrograph were quite apparent, especially for whole-water recoverable constituents. Hysteresis is present when a property, such as constituent concentration or load, has different values for a given discharge over the ascending and descending limbs of a hydrograph. During this study, loads of whole-water recoverable constituents on the ascending limb were between 1.5 and 3.6 times larger than those mea- sured on the descending limb at nearly equal discharge. In contrast, dissolved constituents showed minimal hysteresis effects.

Geospatial Extents

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Concentrations and loads of cadmium, lead, and zinc measured on the ascending and descending limbs of the 1999 snowmelt-runoff hydrographs for nine water-quality stations, Coeur d'Alene River basin, Idaho
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
2000-310
ISBN:
0094-9140
Year Published:
2001
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Contributing office(s):
Idaho Water Science Center
Description:
iv, 42 p.
Number of Pages:
48
Country:
United States
State:
Idaho
Other Geospatial:
Bunker Hill Superfund;South Fork
Projection:
Albers Equal-Area
Scale:
100000