Water quality of streams and springs, Green River Basin, Wyoming

Water-Resources Investigations Report 82-4008




Data concerning salinity, phosphorus, and trace elements in streams and springs within the Green River Basin in Wyoming are summarized. Relative contributions of salinity are shown through estimates of annual loads and average concentrations at 11 water quality measurements sites for the 1970-77 water years. A hypothetical diversion of 20 cu ft/sec from the Big Sandy River was found to lower dissolved solids concentration in the Green River at Green River, Wyoming. This effect was greatest during the winter months, lowering dissolved solids concentration as much as 13%. Decrease in dissolved solids concentrations during the remainder of the year was generally less than 2%. Unlike the dilution effect that overland runoff has on perennial streams, runoff in ephemeral and intermittent streams within the basin was found to be enriched by the flushing of salts from normally dry channels and basin surfaces. Relative concentrations of sodium and sulfate in streams within the basin appear to be controlled by solubility. A downstream trend of increasing relative concentrations of sodium, sulfate, or both with increasing dissolved solids concentration was evident in all streams sampled. Estimates of total phosphorus concentration at water quality measurement sites indicate that phosphorus is removed from the Green River water as it passes through Fontenelle and Flaming Gorge Reservoirs. Total phosphorus concentration at some stream sites is directly or inversely related to streamflow, but at most sites a simple relation between concentration and streamflow is not discernable. (USGS)

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USGS Numbered Series
Water quality of streams and springs, Green River Basin, Wyoming
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Water-Resources Investigations Report
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U.S. Geological Survey,
iii, 36 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.