Dye-tracing tests have been used by the U.S. Geological Survey, Iowa Water Science Center to determine the time-of-travel in selected Iowa streams from 1990-2006. Time-of-travel data are tabulated for 309 miles of stream reaches in four Iowa drainage basins: the Des Moines, Raccoon, Cedar, and Turkey Rivers. Time-of-travel was estimated in the Des Moines River, Fourmile Creek, North Raccoon River, Raccoon River, Cedar River, and Roberts Creek. Estimation of time-of-travel is important for environmental studies and in determining fate of agricultural constituents and chemical movement through a waterway. The stream reaches range in length from slightly more than 5 miles on Fourmile Creek, to more than 137 miles on the North Raccoon River. The travel times during the dye-tracer tests ranged from 7.5 hours on Fourmile Creek to as long as 200 hours on Roberts Creek; velocities ranged from less than 4.50 feet per minute on Roberts Creek to more than 113 feet per minute on the Cedar River.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Dye Tracer Tests to Determine Time-of-Travel in Iowa Streams, 1990-2006