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Hydrologic data for the Big Spring basin, Clayton County, Iowa, water year 1990

Open-File Report 92-67

Prepared in cooperation with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (Geological Survey Bureau)
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Abstract

Hydrologic data were collected in the Big Spring basin located in Clayton County, Iowa, during the 1990 water year. The data were collected by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Geological Survey Bureau, to provide information on variation and movement of agricultural chemicals in the hydrologic cycle in the basin. Precipitation, surface-water, and ground-water data were collected.

Rainfall recorded during water year 1990 at a monitoring site on Roberts Creek totaled 43.67 inches. The greatest monthly rainfall (14.45 inches) occurred in August. Calcium and sulfate were the predominant ions in the rain, and the median concentrations of nitrate and ammonia as nitrogen were 0.35 and 0.48 milligrams per liter, respectively.

Stream discharge, specific conductance, pH, and water temperature were monitored continuously, and monthly water-quality samples were collected at three sites in the basin. The predominant ions in samples from Roberts Creek at the point where it leaves the basin were calcium, magnesium, and bicarbonate. Nitrite plus nitrate as nitrogen concentrations in 42 samples ranged from less than 0.10 to 18 milligrams per liter. Pesticide concentrations in 34 samples ranged from less than 0.10 to 12 micrograms per liter. Alachlor was detected in 56 percent of the samples; atrazine in 100 percent; cyanazine in 68 percent; and metolachlor in 47 percent.

At Big Spring, the ground-water discharge point, the daily mean specific conductance ranged from 378 to 796 microsiemens per centimeter at 25 degrees Celsius, the daily median pH ranged from 6.5 to 7.2, and the daily mean water temperature ranged from 5.5 to 11.5 degrees Celsius. Calcium, magnesium, and bicarbonate generally were the predominant ions in solution. Concentrations of nitrite plus nitrate as nitrogen in 32 samples ranged from 3.4 to 16 milligrams per liter. Alachlor was detected in 22 percent of the samples; atrazine in 100 percent; cyanazine in 44 percent, and metplachlor in 6 percent. The maximum atrazine concentration was 4.5 micrograms per liter.

During a low-flow seepage study, May 29 and 30,1990, the measured discharge lost by streams in the basin was 8.56 cubic feet per second, the measured dissolved nitrogen load lost was 0.29 ton per day, and the measured atrazine load lost was 0.028 pound per day. The total measured discharge and total dissolved nitrogen load leaving the basin in streams were 3.63 cubic feet per second and about 0.04 ton per day, respectively.

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Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Hydrologic data for the Big Spring basin, Clayton County, Iowa, water year 1990
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
92-67
Year Published:
1992
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Contributing office(s):
Iowa Water Science Center
Description:
vii, 80 p. ill.; 28 cm.
Country:
United States
State:
Iowa
County:
Clayton County
Other Geospatial:
Big Spring basin
Online Only (Y/N):
N
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
N