The Bureau of Reclamation has proposed construction of the Lake Andes/Wagner Irrigation Demonstration Project to investigate environmental effects of irrigation of glacial till soils substantially derived from marine shales. During 1983-2000, the U.S. Geological Survey collected hydrologic, water-quality, and sediment data in the Lake Andes and Choteau Creek Basins, and on the Missouri River upstream and downstream from Choteau Creek, to provide baseline information in support of the proposed demonstration project.
Lake Andes has a drainage area of about 230 mi2 (square miles). Tributaries to Lake Andes are ephemeral. Water-level fluctuations in Lake Andes can be large, and the lake has been completely dry on several occasions. The outlet aqueduct from Lake Andes feeds into Garden Creek, which enters Lake Francis Case just upstream from Fort Randall Dam on the Missouri River.
For Lake Andes tributary stations, calcium, magnesium, and sodium are approximately codominant among the cations, and sulfate is the dominant anion. Dissolved-solids concentrations typically range from about 1,000 mg/L (milligrams per liter) to about 1,700 mg/L. Major-ion concentrations for Lake Andes tend to be higher than the tributaries and generally increase downstream in Lake Andes. Proportions of major ions are similar among the different lake units (with the exception of Owens Bay), with calcium, magnesium, and sodium being approximately codominant among cations, and sulfate being the dominant anion. Owens Bay is characterized by a calcium sulfate water type. Dissolved-solids concentrations for Lake Andes typically range from about 1,400 to 2,000 mg/L.
Whole-water nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations are similar among the Lake Andes tributaries, with median whole-water nitrogen concentrations ranging from about 1.6 to 2.4 mg/L, and median whole-water phosphorus concentrations ranging from about 0.5 to 0.7 mg/L. Whole-water nitrogen concentrations in Lake Andes are similar among the different units, with medians that range from about 2.4 to 4.0 mg/L. Median whole-water phosphorus concentrations for the different Lake Andes units range from 0.2 to 0.5 mg/L, and decrease downstream through Lake Andes.
Median selenium concentrations are substantially lower for Andes Creek (3 ?g/L (micrograms per liter)) than for the other tributary stations (34, 18, and 7 ?g/L). Median selenium concentrations for the lake stations (ranging from less than 1 to 2 ?g/L) are substantially lower than tributary stations.
The pesticides 2,4-D and atrazine were the most commonly detected pesticides in Lake Andes. Median concentrations for 2,4-D for Lake Andes range from 0.07 to 0.11 ?g/L; the median concentration for Owens Bay is 0.04 ?g/L. Median concentrations for atrazine for Lake Andes range from 0.2 to 0.4 ?g/L; the median concentration for Owens Bay is less than 0.1 ?g/L. Concentrations of both 2,4-D and atrazine are largest for the most upstream part of Lake Andes that is most influenced by tributary inflow.
Median suspended-sediment concentrations for Lake Andes tributaries range from 22 to 56 mg/L. Most of the suspended sediment transported in the Lake Andes tributaries consists of particles less than 63 ?m (micrometers) in diameter. Concentrations of most constituents in bottom sediments generally had similar ranges and medians for the Lake Andes tributaries. However, Andes Creek generally had lower concentrations of several metals. For Lake Andes, medians and ranges for most constituents generally were similar among the different units. However, selenium concentrations tended to be higher in the upstream part of the lake, and generally decreased downstream. Results of vertical sediment cores collected from a single site in the South Unit of Lake Andes in October 2000 indicate that selenium loading to Lake Andes increased during the period 1952 through 2000.
Choteau Creek has a drainage area of 619 mi2. In the upstream part of the basin, Chotea