In 1990-93, water from 19 springs along the north side of the Snake River near Twin Falls and Hagerman contained from 9.2+0.6 to 78.4+5.1 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) of tritium. The springs were placed into three categories based on their locations and tritium concentrations: Category I was the upstream most and contained from 52.8+3.2 to 78.4+5.1 pCi/L of tritium; Category 11 was downstream from those in Category I and contained from 9.2+0.6 to 18.6+1.2 pCi/L; and Category III was the farthest downstream and contained from 28.3+1.9 to 47.7+3.2 pCi/L. Differences in tritium concentrations in the Category I, II, and III springs are a function of the ground-water flow regime, land use, and irrigation practices in and hydraulically upgradient from each category of springs. A comparatively large part of the water from the Category I springs is derived from recharge in heavily irrigated areas in which the irrigation water largely is diverted from the Snake River. A large part of the recharge for Category II springs occurs as much as 140 miles upgradient. Tritium concentrations in Category III springs indicate an intermediate proportion of the recharge is from excess applied-irrigation water. The concept that recharge from excess applied- irrigation water from the Snake River has affected tritium in the aquifer is supported by isotopic and nitrogen data. Deuterium and oxygen-18 isotopic values, and nitrite plus nitrate as nitrogen concentrations in the flow of some springs has been impacted by irrigation.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Tritium, stable isotopes, and nitrogen in flow from selected springs that discharge to the Snake River, Twin Falls-Hagerman area, Idaho, 1990-93
Water-Resources Investigations Report
U.S. Geological Survey ;
Earth Science Information Center, Open-File Reports Section [distributor],