The Laguna Tortuguero, a slightly saline to freshwater lagoon in north-central Puerto Rico, has a surface area of about 220 hectares and a mean depth of about 1.2 meters. As part of a water-quality reconnaissance, water samples were collected at about monthly and near bi-monthly intervals from March 1999 to May 2000 at four sites: three stations inside the lagoon and one station at the artificial outlet channel dredged in 1940, which connects the lagoon with the Atlantic Ocean. Physical characteristics that were determined from these water samples were pH, temperature, specific conductance, dissolved oxygen, dissolved oxygen saturation, and discharge at the outlet canal. Other water-quality constituents also were determined, including nitrogen and phosphorus species, organic carbon, chlorophyll a and b, plankton biomass, hardness, alkalinity as calcium carbonate, and major ions. Additionally, a diel study was conducted at three stations in the lagoon to obtain data on the diurnal variation of temperature, specific conductance, dissolved oxygen, and dissolved oxygen saturation. The data analysis indicates the water quality of Laguna Tortuguero complies with the Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board standards and regulations.
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USGS Numbered Series
Water-quality reconnaissance of Laguna Tortuguero, Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, March 1999-May 2000