Watershed trend analysis and water-quality assessment using bottom-sediment cores from Cheney Reservoir, south-central Kansas

Water-Resources Investigations Report 98-4227




An examination of Cheney Reservoir bottom sediment was conducted in August 1997 to describe long-term trends and document the occurrence of selected constituents at concentrations that may be detrimental to aquatic organisms. Average concentrations of total phosphorus in bottom-sediment cores ranged from 94 to 674 milligrams per kilogram and were statistically related to silt- and (or) clay-size particles. Results from selected sampling sites in Cheney Reservoir indicate an increasing trend in total phosphorus concentrations. This trend is probably of nonpoint-source origin and may be related to an increase in fertilizer sales in the area, which more than doubled between 1965 and 1996, and to livestock production. Few organochlorine compounds were detected in bottom-sediment samples from Cheney Reservoir. DDT, its degradation products DDD and DDE, and dieldrin had detectable concentrations in the seven samples that were analyzed. DDT and DDD were each detected in one sample at concentrations of 1.0 and 0.65 microgram per kilogram, respectively. By far, the most frequently detected organochlorine insecticide was DDE, which was detected in all seven samples, ranging in concentration from 0.31 to 1.3 micrograms per kilogram. A decreasing trend in DDE concentrations was evident in sediment-core data from one sampling site. Dieldrin was detected in one sample from each of two sampling sites at concentrations of 0.21 and 0.22 micrograms per kilogram. Polychlorinated biphenyls were not detected in any bottom-sediment sample analyzed. Selected organophosphate, chlorophenoxy-acid, triazine, and acetanilide pesticides were analyzed in 18 bottom-sediment samples. Of the 23 pesticides analyzed, only the acetanilide herbicide metolachlor was detected (in 22 percent of the samples). Seven bottom-sediment samples were analyzed for major metals and trace elements. The median and maximum concentrations of arsenic and chromium, the maximum concentration of copper, and all concentrations of nickel in the seven samples were in the range where adverse effects to aquatic organisms occasionally occur. No time trends in trace elements were discernable in the August 1997 data.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Watershed trend analysis and water-quality assessment using bottom-sediment cores from Cheney Reservoir, south-central Kansas
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey ; Information Services [distributor],
iv, 24 p. :col. ill, col. maps ;28 cm.