A solute transport experiment was conducted on a 327-m reach of Little Lost Man Creek, a small stream in Humboldt County, California. Solutes were injected for 20 days. Chloride was used as a conservative tracer; lithium, potassium, and strontium were used as reactive tracers. In addition, nitrate and phosphate were added as biological reactants. Eighteen shallow wells were dug along the length of the study reach, 1-10 m laterally from the edge of the stream. The wells and sites in the stream were monitored for the injected solutes during and after the injection. Solute concentrations in the wells and stream are indicative of transport properties of stream and subsurface channel flow. This report presents the results of the analyses of the well samples and chemical data relevant to the interpretation of hydrological and chemical interaction between the stream and adjacent channel subsurface flows in the streambed. Calculations of the percentage of streamwater in the wellwater were made from conservative tracer measurements. The composition of wellwater ranged from 47% to 100% streamwater with most values above 90%. The time for water to travel from the beginning of the study reach to the wells was approximately three times as great as the travel time in the stream at the same distance down the reach. The three conclusions that can be drawn are (1) water in the stream exchanges extensively with water in the rest of the channel; (2) the interstitial water in the channel gravels achieves almost the same composition as the stream; and (3) under low flow conditions the stream gravels contain a significant portion of the stream volume. Plots of normalized chloride, lithium, and strontium concentrations at three stream sites are included. (Author 's abstract)
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Data on the solute concentration within the subsurface flows of Little Lost Man Creek in response to a transport experiment, Redwood National Park, northwest California
U.S. Geological Survey,
69 p.; 1 v. (various foliations) :ill., map ;28 cm.