The City of Tulsa, Oklahoma, uses Lake Eucha and Spavinaw Lake in the Eucha-Spavinaw basin in northwestern Arkansas and northeastern Oklahoma for public water supply. Taste and odor problems in the water attributable to blue-green algae have increased in frequency over time. Changes in the algae community in the lakes may be attributable to increases in nutrient levels in the lakes, and in the waters feeding the lakes. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the City of Tulsa, conducted an investigation to summarize nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations and provide estimates of nitrogen and phosphorus loads, yields, and flow-weighted concentrations in the Eucha-Spavinaw basin for a 3-year period from January 2002 through December 2004. This report provides information needed to advance knowledge of the regional hydrologic system and understanding of hydrologic processes, and provides hydrologic data and results useful to multiple parties for interstate compacts.
Nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations were significantly greater in runoff samples than in base-flow samples at Spavinaw Creek near Maysville, Arkansas; Spavinaw Creek near Colcord, Oklahoma, and Beaty Creek near Jay, Oklahoma. Runoff concentrations were not significantly greater than in base-flow samples at Spavinaw Creek near Cherokee, Arkansas; and Spavinaw Creek near Sycamore, Oklahoma.
Nitrogen concentrations in base-flow samples significantly increased in the downstream direction in Spavinaw Creek from the Maysville to Sycamore stations then significantly decreased from the Sycamore to the Colcord stations. Nitrogen in base-flow samples from Beaty Creek was significantly less than in those from Spavinaw Creek. Phosphorus concentrations in base-flow samples significantly increased from the Maysville to Cherokee stations in Spavinaw Creek, probably due to a point source between those stations, then significantly decreased downstream from the Cherokee to Colcord stations. Phosphorus in base-flow samples from Beaty Creek was significantly less than phosphorus in base-flow samples from Spavinaw Creek downstream from the Maysville station.
Nitrogen concentrations in runoff samples were not significantly different among the stations on Spavinaw Creek; however, the concentrations at Beaty Creek were significantly less than at all other stations. Phosphorus concentrations in runoff samples were not significantly different among the three downstream stations on Spavinaw Creek, and not significantly different at the Maysville station on Spavinaw Creek and the Beaty Creek station. Phosphorus and nitrogen concentrations in runoff samples from all stations generally increased with increasing streamflow.
Estimated mean annual nitrogen total loads from 2002-2004 were substantially greater at the Spavinaw Creek stations than at Beaty Creek and increased in a downstream direction from Maysville to Colcord in Spavinaw Creek, with the load at the Colcord station about 2 times that of Maysville station. Estimated mean annual nitrogen base-flow loads at the Spavinaw Creek stations were about 5 to 11 times greater than base-flow loads at Beaty Creek. The runoff component of the annual nitrogen total load for Beaty Creek was 85 percent, whereas, at the Spavinaw Creek stations, the range in the runoff component was 60 to 66 percent.
Estimated mean annual phosphorus total loads from 2002-2004 were greater at the Spavinaw Creek stations from Cherokee to Colcord than at Beaty Creek and increased in a downstream direction from Maysville to Colcord in Spavinaw Creek, with the load at the Colcord station about 2.5 times that of Maysville station. Estimated mean annual phosphorus base-flow loads at the Spavinaw Creek stations were about 2.5 to 19 times greater than at Beaty Creek. Phosphorus base-flow loads increased about 8 times from Maysville to Cherokee in Spavinaw Creek; the base-flow loads were about the same at the three downstream stations. The runoff component
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USGS Numbered Series
Nutrient Concentrations, Loads, and Yields in the Eucha-Spavinaw Basin, Arkansas and Oklahoma, 2002-2004