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Seepage investigation of the Rio Grande from below Leasburg Dam, Leasburg, New Mexico, to above American Dam, El Paso, Texas, 2015

Scientific Investigations Report 2016-5011

By:
, , and
DOI:10.3133/sir20165011

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Abstract

Seepage investigations have been conducted annually by the U.S. Geological Survey from 1988 to 1998 and from 2004 to the present (2015) along a 64-mile reach of the Rio Grande from below Leasburg Dam, Leasburg, New Mexico, to above American Dam, El Paso, Texas, as part of the Mesilla Basin monitoring program. Results of the investigation conducted in 2015 are presented in this report. The 2015 seepage investigation was conducted on February 10, 2015, during the low-flow conditions of the non-irrigation season. During the 2015 investigation, discharge was measured at 23 sites along the main-stem Rio Grande and 19 inflow sites within the study reach. Because of extended drought conditions affecting the basin, many sites along the Rio Grande (17 main-stem and 10 inflow) were observed to be dry in February 2015.

Net seepage gain or loss was computed for each subreach (the interval between two adjacent measurement locations along the river) by subtracting the discharge measured at the upstream location from the discharge measured at the closest downstream location along the river and then subtracting any inflow to the river within the subreach. An estimated gain or loss was determined to be meaningful when it exceeded the cumulative measurement uncertainty associated with the net seepage computation. The cumulative seepage loss in the 64-mile study reach in 2015 was 17.3 plus or minus 2.6 cubic feet per second. Gaining and losing reaches identified in this investigation generally correspond to seepage patterns observed in previous investigations conducted during dry years, with the gaining reaches occurring primarily at the southern (downstream) end of the basin.

Suggested Citation

Briody, A.C., Robertson, A.J., and Thomas, Nicole, 2016, Seepage investigation of the Rio Grande from below Leasburg Dam, Leasburg, New Mexico, to above American Dam, El Paso, Texas, 2015: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2016–5011, 15 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20165011.

ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Seepage Investigation
  • Summary
  • References Cited
  • Appendix 1. Discharge measurements and observations, Rio Grande seepage investigation, 2015

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Seepage investigation of the Rio Grande from below Leasburg Dam, Leasburg, New Mexico, to above American Dam, El Paso, Texas, 2015
Series title:
Scientific Investigations Report
Series number:
2016-5011
DOI:
10.3133/sir20165011
Year Published:
2016
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Contributing office(s):
New Mexico Water Science Center
Description:
vi., 15 p.
Country:
United States
Other Geospatial:
Rio Grande
Online Only (Y/N):
Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
N