Progress report: chemical character of surface waters in the Devils Lake Basin, North Dakota

Open-File Report 50-98
Compiled as part of program of Interior Department for development of Missouri River Basin



Devils Lake in northeastern North Dakota was at one time the most popular summer resort in the state. With decline in lake level the lake has become a shallow body pf vary saline water, which scenic value and recreational appeal completely destroyed. Under the Missouri River development program, it is proposed to restore the lake level to an altitude of 1,425 feet by diversion of Missouri River water.

The chemical character of the water in Devils Lake and in other surface bodies in Devils Lake Basin is determined from the analyses of 95 samples. The physical and chemical properties of lake bed deposits are also shown. Lake water in the basin vary considerable in both concentration and composition, ranging from fresh bicarbonate waters of 300 parts per million dissolved solids to sulfate waters of over 100,000 parts per million of soluble salts. Twenty-four samples indicates the chemical character of water in the Red River of the North and its tributaries.

The probable concentration of dissolved solids in water of Devils Lake at altitude 1,425 feet has been estimated as ranging from 3,000 to 7,600 parts per million. Final concentration will largely depend upon the percentage of deposited salts reentering solution and the quality of the inflow water.

The possible effects of lake effluents on downstream developments, with particular reference to sanitation and pollution problems, are also discussed in this report.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Progress report: chemical character of surface waters in the Devils Lake Basin, North Dakota
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 50-98
DOI 10.3133/ofr5098
Year Published 1950
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Description 46 p.
Country United States
State North Dakota
Other Geospatial Devils Lake Basin
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