This report presents the results of a study by the U.S. Geological Survey, done in cooperation with the North Dakota State Water Commission, to estimate water-quality constituent concentrations at seven sites on the Sheyenne River, N. Dak. Regression analysis of water-quality data collected in 1980-2006 was used to estimate concentrations for hardness, dissolved solids, calcium, magnesium, sodium, and sulfate. The explanatory variables examined for the regression relations were continuously monitored streamflow, specific conductance, and water temperature. For the conditions observed in 1980-2006, streamflow was a significant explanatory variable for some constituents. Specific conductance was a significant explanatory variable for all of the constituents, and water temperature was not a statistically significant explanatory variable for any of the constituents in this study.
The regression relations were evaluated using common measures of variability, including R2, the proportion of variability in the estimated constituent concentration explained by the explanatory variables and regression equation. R2 values ranged from 0.784 for calcium to 0.997 for dissolved solids. The regression relations also were evaluated by calculating the median relative percentage difference (RPD) between measured constituent concentration and the constituent concentration estimated by the regression equations. Median RPDs ranged from 1.7 for dissolved solids to 11.5 for sulfate. The regression relations also may be used to estimate daily constituent loads.
The relations should be monitored for change over time, especially at sites 2 and 3 which have a short period of record. In addition, caution should be used when the Sheyenne River is affected by ice or when upstream sites are affected by isolated storm runoff. Almost all of the outliers and highly influential samples removed from the analysis were made during periods when the Sheyenne River might be affected by ice.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Continuous water-quality monitoring and regression analysis to estimate constituent concentrations and loads in the Sheyenne River, North Dakota, 1980-2006
Scientific Investigations Report
U.S. Geological Survey
North Dakota Water Science Center, Dakota Water Science Center