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Water-quality characteristics of six small, semiarid watersheds in the Green River coal region of Colorado

Water-Resources Investigations Report 81-19

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Abstract

Analysis of major and trace constituents in streams flowing through six semiarid watersheds indicates that the stream chemistry is characterized by saturation with respect to common carbonate minerals (calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese, and lead). The solubility of the carbonate minerals may be a major control on the absolute and relative concentrations of calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate, iron, manganese, and lead; however, other mechanisms probably control the concentrations of cadmium and zinc. Statistical analyses indicate that the mean concentrations of the major ions in the two climatic areas studied are significantly (P=0.05) different from one another, with larger mean concentrations in the more arid area. Trace-metal concentrations were similar from one area to another and indistinguishable from site to site (P=0.05) for lead, cadmium, and zinc. Linear regressions of major ion concentration to specific conductance are similar in both areas for sodium, bicarbonate, sulfate, and chloride. Results of the study may be useful in providing a first approximation of stream chemistry in other watersheds with the same geologic setting, determining watersheds with similar geochemical controls, and determining future changes in stream chemistry in the watersheds studied. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Water-quality characteristics of six small, semiarid watersheds in the Green River coal region of Colorado
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
81-19
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1982
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey, Water Resources Division,
Description:
iv, 96 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.