The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) initiated data-collection activities for the Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program-West (EMAP-West) in South Dakota during 2000. The objectives of the study were to develop the monitoring tools necessary to produce unbiased estimates of the ecological condition of surface waters across a large geographic area of the western United States, and to demonstrate the effectiveness of those tools in a large-scale assessment.
In 2001, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks (GF&P) established a cooperative agreement and assumed responsibility for completing the remaining assessments for the perennial, wadable streams of the EMAP-West in the State. Stream assessment sites were divided into two broad categories-the first category of sites was randomly selected and assigned by the USEPA for South Dakota. The second category consisted of sites that were specifically selected because they appeared to have reasonable potential for representing the best available physical, chemical, and biological conditions in the State. These sites comprise the second category of assessment sites and were called 'reference' sites and were selected following a detailed evaluation process. Candidate reference site data will serve as a standard or benchmark for assessing the overall ecological condition of the randomly selected sites.
During 2000, the USEPA completed 22 statewide stream assessments in South Dakota. During 2001-2003, the USGS and GF&P completed another 42 stream assessments bringing the total of randomly selected stream assessments within South Dakota to 64. In addition, 18 repeat assessments designed to meet established quality-assurance/quality-control requirements were completed at 12 of these 64 sites. During 2002-2004, the USGS in cooperation with GF&P completed stream assessments at 45 candidate reference sites. Thus, 109 sites had stream assessments completed in South Dakota for EMAP-West (2000-2004).
Relatively early in the EMAP-West stream-assessment process, it became apparent that for some streams in south-central South Dakota, in-stream conditions varied considerably over relatively short distances of only a few miles. These changes appeared to be a result of geomorphic changes associated with changes in the underlying geology. For these streams, moving stream assessment sites short distances upstream or downstream had the potential to provide substantially different bioassessment data. In order to obtain a better understanding of how geology influences stream conditions, two streams located in south-central South Dakota were chosen for multiple stream sampling at sites located along their longitudinal profile at points where notable changes in geomorphology were observed. Subsequently, three sites on Bear-in-the-Lodge Creek and three sites on Black Pipe Creek were selected for multiple stream sampling using EMAP-West protocols so that more could be learned about geologic influences on stream conditions.
Values for dissolved oxygen and specific conductance generally increased from upstream to downstream locations on Bear-in-the-Lodge Creek. Values for pH and water temperature generally decreased from upstream to downstream locations. Decreasing water temperature could be indicative of ground-water inflows.
Values for dissolved oxygen, pH, and water temperature generally increased from upstream to downstream locations on Black Pipe Creek. The increase in temperature at the lower sites is a result of less dense riparian cover, and the warmer water also could account for the lower concentrations of dissolved oxygen found in the lower reaches of Black Pipe Creek. Values for specific conductance were more than three times greater at the lower site (1,342 microsiemens per centimeter (?S/cm)) than at the upper site (434 ?S/cm). The increase probably occurs when the stream transitions from contacting the underlying Ar
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Summary of Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP) activities in South Dakota, 2000-2004