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Physical and chemical characteristics of Lake Powell at the forebay and outflows of Glen Canyon Dam, northeastern Arizona, 1990-91

Water-Resources Investigations Report 96-4016

By:
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Abstract

The physical and chemical characteristics of Lake Powell have a direct effect on the quality of water below Glen Canyon Dam. Understanding the physical and chemical characteristics of the lake and outflows from the dam is essential in order to effectively manage the operation of the dam. During August 1990 to September 1991, physical and chemical measurements were made and water samples were collected in the forebay of Lake Powell and at the outflows (draft tubes) of Glen Canyon Dam to document the physical and chemical characteristics of water entering the Colorado River. A persistent chemocline in the forebay of Lake Powell fluctuated seasonally during the study. Thermal stratification began in mid-April and persisted into late October. Spatial variation of specific conductance, pH, water temperature, and dissolved-oxygen concentration in the forebay was negligible. Sodium and sulfate were the dominant ions. Major ions, nutrients, and metals generally increased in concentration with depth in the forebay. Concentrations of dissolved nitrogen (as nitrite plus nitrate) in the forebay ranged from less than 0.02 to 0.58 milligrams per liter. Strontium and lithium were the most abundant metals. Dissolved organic carbon ranged from about 2.6 to 4.9 milligrams per. liter with larger concentrations generally occurring in the epilimnion. No diel variations of chemical constituents were observed. Vertical-attenuation coefficients of light penetration in the forebay ranged from 0.058 to 0.080 microeinsteins per meter squared per second, and the euphotic depth ranged from about 82 to 113 feet. Generally, the physical and chemical characteristics of outflows through the draft tubes of Glen Canyon Dam were similar to the physical and chemical characteristics of the water at penstock depth and deeper depths. Specific conductance ranged from 803 to 1,090 microsiemens per centimeter, and pH values ranged from about 7.2 to 8.0. Water temperatures measured in the outflows ranged from 7.0 to 9.0 degrees Celsius, and dissolved oxygen ranged from about 6.5 to 9.1 milligrams per liter. Concentrations of dissolved nitrogen (as nitrite plus nitrate) ranged from 0.13 to 0.74 milligrams per liter. Dissolved phosphorus (as orthophosphate) and ammonia (NH4) generally were less than the minimum reporting level of 0.01 milligrams per liter. Availability and Quality of Water from Drift Aquifers in Marshall, Pennington, Polk, and Red Lake Counties, Northwestern Minnesota By R.J. Lindgren Abstract Sand and gravel aquifers present within glacial deposits are important sources of water in Marshall, Pennington, Polk, and Red Lake Counties in northwestern Minnesota. Saturated thicknesses of the unconfined aquifers range from 0 to 30 feet. Estimated horizontal hydraulic conductivities range from 2.5 to 600 feet per day. Transmissivity of the unconfined aquifers ranges from 33 to greater than 3,910 feet squared per day. Theoretical maximum well yields for 6 wells with specific-capacity data range from 12 to 123 gallons per minute. Saturated thicknesses of shallow confined aquifers (depth to top of the aquifer less than 100 feet below land surface) range from 0 to 150 feet. Thicknesses of intermediate, deep, and basal confined aquifers (depths to top of the aquifer from 100 to 199 feet, from 200 to 299 feet, and 300 feet or more below land surface, respectively) range from 0 to more than 126 feet. Transmissivity of the confined aquifers ranges from 2 to greater than 210,000 feet squared per day. Theoretical maximum well yields range from 3 to about 2,000 gallons per minute. Recharge to ground water is predominantly from precipitation that percolates downward to the saturated zone. Recharge to unconfined aquifers in the study area ranged from 4.5 to 12.0 inches per year during 1991 and 1992, based on hydrograph analysis. Model simulations done for this study indicate that recharge rates from 8 to 9 inches per year to unconfined aquifers produce the best matches

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Physical and chemical characteristics of Lake Powell at the forebay and outflows of Glen Canyon Dam, northeastern Arizona, 1990-91
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
96-4016
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1996
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey ; Open-File Section [distributor],
Description:
vi, 78 p. :ill., map ;28 cm.