Calculating salt loads to Great Salt Lake and the associated uncertainties for water year 2013; updating a 48 year old standard

Science of the Total Environment
Prepared in collaboration with UT DNR, Div of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands
By:  and 

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Abstract

Effective management of surface waters requires a robust understanding of spatiotemporal constituent loadings from upstream sources and the uncertainty associated with these estimates. We compared the total dissolved solids loading into the Great Salt Lake (GSL) for water year 2013 with estimates of previously sampled periods in the early 1960s.We also provide updated results on GSL loading, quantitatively bounded by sampling uncertainties, which are useful for current and future management efforts. Our statistical loading results were more accurate than those from simple regression models. Our results indicate that TDS loading to the GSL in water year 2013 was 14.6 million metric tons with uncertainty ranging from 2.8 to 46.3 million metric tons, which varies greatly from previous regression estimates for water year 1964 of 2.7 million metric tons. Results also indicate that locations with increased sampling frequency are correlated with decreasing confidence intervals. Because time is incorporated into the LOADEST models, discrepancies are largely expected to be a function of temporally lagged salt storage delivery to the GSL associated with terrestrial and in-stream processes. By incorporating temporally variable estimates and statistically derived uncertainty of these estimates,we have provided quantifiable variability in the annual estimates of dissolved solids loading into the GSL. Further, our results support the need for increased monitoring of dissolved solids loading into saline lakes like the GSL by demonstrating the uncertainty associated with different levels of sampling frequency.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Calculating salt loads to Great Salt Lake and the associated uncertainties for water year 2013; updating a 48 year old standard
Series title Science of the Total Environment
DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.07.015
Volume 536
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Utah Water Science Center
Description 15
First page 391
Last page 405
Time Range Start 2012-10-01
Time Range End 2013-09-30
Country United States
State Utah
Other Geospatial Great Salt Lake
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N