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Water-quality assessment of Steiner Branch basin, Lafayette County, Wisconsin

Water-Resources Investigations Report 81-52

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Abstract

Steiner Branch basin in southwestern Wisconsin has rugged mature topography where few conservation practices are followed to reduce soil losses. This report assesses the magnitude and types of nonpoint discharges that affect the water quality of Steiner Branch. The 1978 water year discharge was about 90% of the average and the 1979 discharge was 120% of average. Streamflow during the 2-year study period ranged from 1.5 cubic feet per second, which is approximately the low flow that occurs on the average of once every 2 years, to 392 cubic feet per second, a discharge of about a 5-year flood-recurrence interval. Suspended-sediment yields were 369 tons per square mile in the 1978 water year and 84.6 tons per square mile in 1979. These yields were 1.66 times higher than those monitored in an adjoining basin where more typical conservation practices were employed. However, sediment discharge per unit of stream discharge was only 1.30 times higher in the Steiner Branch basin than in the adjoining basin. The estimated long-term annual suspended-sediment yield for the Steiner Branch basin is 444 tons per square mile. The majority of the nutrient load of the stream was transported during runoff events whereas transport of nitrite plus nitrate nitrogen and total nitrogen occurred primarily during base-flow conditions. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Water-quality assessment of Steiner Branch basin, Lafayette County, Wisconsin
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
81-52
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1982
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
v, 58 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.
Number of Pages:
63