Rhodamine-WT dye losses in a mountain stream environment

Journal of the American Water Resources Association
By: , and 



A significant fraction of rhodamine WT dye was lost during a short term multitracer injection experiment in a mountain stream environment. The conservative anion chloride and the sorbing cation lithium were concurrently injected. In-stream rhodamine WT concentrations were as low as 45 percent of that expected, based on chloride data. Concentration data were available from shallow‘wells’dug near the stream course and from a seep of suspected return flow. Both rhodamine WT dye and lithium were nonconservative with respect to the conservative chloride, with rhodamine WT dye closely following the behavior of the sorbing lithium.

Nonsorption and sorption mechanisms for rhodamine WT loss in a mountain stream were evaluated in laboratory experiments. Experiments evaluating nonsorption losses indicated minimal losses by such mechanisms. Laboratory experiments using sand and gravel size streambed sediments show an appreciable capacity for rhodamine WT sorption.

The detection of tracers in the shallow wells and seep indicates interaction between the stream and the flow in the surrounding subsurface, intergravel water, system. The injected tracers had ample opportunity for intimate contact with materials shown in the laboratory experiments to be potentially sorptive. It is suggested that in the study stream system, interaction with streambed gravel was a significant mechanism for the attenuation of rhodamine WT dye (relative to chloride).

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Rhodamine-WT dye losses in a mountain stream environment
Series title Journal of the American Water Resources Association
DOI 10.1111/j.1752-1688.1983.tb05944.x
Volume 19
Issue 6
Year Published 1983
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) Toxic Substances Hydrology Program
Description 8 p.
First page 943
Last page 950
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details