Geochemistry of the Mattole River in Northern California

Open-File Report 78-205
By:  and 



The chemical composition of streams can vary greatly with changing discharge during storm runoff. These chemical changes are related to the pathways of various water parcels from the time they fall as rain until they enter the stream, and to the interactions between water and sediment during transport downstream. In order to understand better the chemical variations during storms, an extensive investigation was made of the Mattole River, a chemically clean coastal stream in Mendocino County, California. The Mattole drains a topographically mature basin of 620 sw km which has relief of about 1200 m, a long summer dry season, and mean annual rainfall of about 2300 mm. The stream flow is composed of seasonally varying proportions of four flow components, namely, surface runoff, quick-return flow (rainfall having brief and intimate contact with the soil before entering the surface drainage), delayed-return flow, and base runoff. Each component is identified by its characteristic chemistry and by the time delay between rainfall and entrance into the stream. Information is also presented on rain chemistry, adsorption reactions of suspended sediments in the fresh and brackish environments, and compositional variation of river sediments with particle size. (Woodard-USGS)
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Geochemistry of the Mattole River in Northern California
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 78-205
DOI 10.3133/ofr78205
Edition -
Year Published 1977
Language ENGLISH
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey,
Description xv, 324 p. :ill., maps ;27 cm. --
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