Water-quality trends using sediment cores from White Rock Lake, Dallas, Texas

Fact Sheet 217-96
By: , and 



The U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program has three objectives, one of which is "to define trends (or lack of trends) in water quality" (Leahy and others, 1990). Water-quality trends are of interest for at least three reasons: First, trends can improve our understanding of the influence of human activities on water-quality conditions; second, trends can indicate the effectiveness of environmental regulations; and third, trends can provide a warning of additional degradation of water quality in the future. A common approach for determining water-quality trends in streams is to apply statistical tests to historical data; however, historical water-quality data have several limitations. These include lack of data, inconsistent sampling and analytical methods, numerous measurements below detection levels, and questionable accuracy. If historical data are lacking or are inappropriate for statistical trend testing, water-quality records can be partly reconstructed using sediment cores from receiving water bodies such as reservoirs.

The purpose of this fact sheet is to summarize the principal findings documented in a report on water-quality trends in White Rock Creek Basin using dated sediment cores from White Rock Lake (Van Metre and Callender, in press). The study used dated sediment cores to reconstruct water-quality conditions. More specifically, the changes in water quality associated with the watershed’s change from agricultural to urban land use and with the implementation of environmental regulations were identified.

Study Area

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Water-quality trends using sediment cores from White Rock Lake, Dallas, Texas
Series title Fact Sheet
Series number 217-96
DOI 10.3133/fs21796
Year Published 1996
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Contributing office(s) Texas Water Science Center
Description 4 p.
Country United States
State Texas
City Dallas
Other Geospatial White Rock Lake
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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