The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Central Colorado Assessment Project (CCAP) began in October 2003 and is planned to last through September 2008. One major goal of this project is to compare the relationships between surface-water chemistry and aquatic fauna in mined and unmined areas. To accomplish this goal, we are conducting a State-scale reconnaissance sampling program, in which we are collecting water and macroinvertebrate samples. Selected results from the first two years of project analyses are reported here. We plan to develop statistical models and use geographic information system (GIS) technology to quantify the relationships between ecological indicators of metal contamination in Rocky Mountain streams and water quality, landscape and land-use characteristics (for example, mine density, geology, geomorphology, vegetation, topography). Our research will test the hypothesis that physicochemical variables and ecological responses to metal concentrations in stream water in Rocky Mountain streams are ultimately determined largely by historical land uses.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Selected Field Parameters from Streams and Analytical Data from Water and Macroinvertebrate Samples, Central Colorado Assessment Project, Environmental Assessment Task, 2004 and 2005