A data reconnaissance on the effect of suspended-sediment concentrations on dissolved-solids concentrations in rivers and tributaries in the Upper Colorado River Basin

Journal of Hydrology
By:  and 

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Abstract

The Colorado River is one of the most important sources of water in the western United States, supplying water to over 35 million people in the U.S. and 3 million people in Mexico. High dissolved-solids loading to the River and tributaries are derived primarily from geologic material deposited in inland seas in the mid-to-late Cretaceous Period, but this loading may be increased by human activities. High dissolved solids in the River causes substantial damages to users, primarily in reduced agricultural crop yields and corrosion. The Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program was created to manage dissolved-solids loading to the River and has focused primarily on reducing irrigation-related loading from agricultural areas. This work presents a reconnaissance of existing data from sites in the Upper Colorado River Basin (UCRB) in order to highlight areas where suspended-sediment control measures may be useful in reducing dissolved-solids concentrations. Multiple linear regression was used on data from 164 sites in the UCRB to develop dissolved-solids models that include combinations of explanatory variables of suspended sediment, flow, and time. Results from the partial t-test, overall likelihood ratio, and partial likelihood ratio on the models were used to group the sites into categories of strong, moderate, weak, and no-evidence of a relation between suspended-sediment and dissolved-solids concentrations. Results show 68 sites have strong or moderate evidence of a relation, with drainage areas for many of these sites composed of a large percentage of clastic sedimentary rocks. These results could assist water managers in the region in directing field-scale evaluation of suspended-sediment control measures to reduce UCRB dissolved-solids loading.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title A data reconnaissance on the effect of suspended-sediment concentrations on dissolved-solids concentrations in rivers and tributaries in the Upper Colorado River Basin
Series title Journal of Hydrology
DOI 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2014.08.020
Volume 519
Issue Part A
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Arizona Water Science Center
Description 11 p.
First page 1020
Last page 1030
Country United States
State Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming
Other Geospatial Upper Colorado River Basin
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N