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Hydrologic effects of highway-deicing chemicals in Massachusetts; executive summary

Open-File Report 81-210

By:
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Abstract

Methods of estimating annual mean and annual maximum chloride concentrations in streams were developed through multiple and simple linear regression techniques using data collected during the 1972-77 water years. Independent variables are easily obtainable parameters, such as total salt application within a basin, annual precipitation, and drainage basin characteristics. Methods for obtaining gross estimates of chloride loads and sodium loads from salt-application data and estimates of nonhighway-related chloride and sodium were suggested. A chloride budget was calculated for a small basin draining a section of interstate highway. The chloride budget was described in terms of the percentages in direct runoff to the stream, in ground-water discharges to the stream, in storage in the ground, and the amount unaccounted for. Attempts were made to relate chloride concentrations in ground water adjacent to highways to quantities of salt applied to the highways on an annual basis, annual precipitation, depth of the wells below land surface, depth of the well below water table, and the distance of the well from the edge of the pavement. Little correlation was observed between annual salt-application values and annual mean chloride concentrations in ground water near highways. The irregular distribution of highway runoff, due to topographic differences between sites, and variations in runoff resulting from individual storms seem to be the causes of the lack of significant correlation between annual quantities of salt applied and chloride concentrations in ground water near highways. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Hydrologic effects of highway-deicing chemicals in Massachusetts; executive summary
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
81-210
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1981
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
iii, 13 p. :ill. ;28 cm.