Water chemistry of surface waters affected by the Fourmile Canyon wildfire, Colorado, 2010-2011

Open-File Report 2012-1104
By: , and 



In September 2010, the Fourmile Canyon fire burned about 23 percent of the Fourmile Creek watershed in Boulder County, Colo. Water-quality sampling of Fourmile Creek began within a month after the wildfire to assess its effects on surface-water chemistry. Water samples were collected from five sites along Fourmile Creek (above, within, and below the burned area) monthly during base flow, twice weekly during snowmelt runoff, and at higher frequencies during storm events. Stream discharge was also monitored. Water-quality samples were collected less frequently from an additional 6 sites on Fourmile Creek, from 11 tributaries or other inputs, and from 3 sites along Boulder Creek. The pH, electrical conductivity, temperature, specific ultraviolet absorbance, total suspended solids, and concentrations (dissolved and total) of major cations (calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium), anions (chloride, sulfate, alkalinity, fluoride, and bromide), nutrients (nitrate, ammonium, and phosphorus), trace metals (aluminum, arsenic, boron, barium, beryllium, cadmium, cobalt, chromium, copper, iron, mercury, lithium, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, lead, rubidium, antimony, selenium, strontium, vanadium, and zinc), and dissolved organic carbon are here reported for 436 samples collected during 2010 and 2011.

Study Area

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Water chemistry of surface waters affected by the Fourmile Canyon wildfire, Colorado, 2010-2011
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2012-1104
DOI 10.3133/ofr20121104
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Branch of Regional Research-Central Region
Description iv, 11 p.; 4 Appendices
Country United States
State Colorado
Other Geospatial Fourmile Creek
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details