Sediment oxygen demand in the Tualatin River basin, Oregon, 1992-96

Water-Resources Investigations Report 97-4103




Sediment oxygen demand (SOD) rates were measured by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) personnel at 20 stream sites in the Tualatin River Basin from 1992 through 1996 as part of an investigation into the sources and sinks of dissolved oxygen in the Tualatin River. During the low-flow summer periods of 1992 through 1994, 97 measurements were collected at 9 sites on the main stem of the river between river miles (RMs) 5.5 and 43.2. During the low-flow summer periods of 1995 and 1996, 28 measurements of SOD were collected at 11 sites on 8 tributaries of the Tualatin River. All SOD rates were measured with in-situ benthic chambers designed to monitor the loss of dissolved oxygen in a known volume of water circulating above a known area of minimally disturbed stream sediment. For main-stem Tualatin River sites, the observed SOD rate ranged from 0.6 to 4.4 grams of oxygen per square meter per day (g/m 2 d) with a median of 2.3 g/m 2 d. In the tributaries, the measured SOD rate ranged from 0.2 to 10.9 with a median of 3.6 g/m 2 d. These rates are in the range of those reported for other sites in Oregon and across the United States. Most of the variation in the measured SOD rates was likely due to heterogeneities in the bed sediment. Statistical comparisons show that the rates measured at the tributary sites are significantly larger than those measured in the main stem. Within the main stem, the rates measured at sites in the meander reach of the river were not significantly different from those measured in the reservoir reach. Similarly, no difference was found when the sites affected by the cycle of phytoplankton bloom and die-off were compared to those unaffected by phytoplankton. Only one site on the main stem, RM 5.5, was found to have an SOD rate that was significantly higher than that found at the other main-stem sites. Algal detritus may contribute to the elevated rate at that site, but other factors such as the rate of sediment accumulation could also account for the increased rate.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Sediment oxygen demand in the Tualatin River basin, Oregon, 1992-96
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey ; Branch of Information Services [distributor],
iv, 19 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.