Environmental Setting of the Upper Illinois River Basin and Implications for Water Quality

Water-Resources Investigations Report 98-4268
National Water-Quality Assessment Program
By: , and 



The upper Illinois River Basin (UIRB) is the 10,949 square mile drainage area upstream from Ottawa, Illinois, on the Illinois River. The UIRB is one of 13 studies that began in 1996 as part of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment program. A compilation of environmental data from Federal, State, and local agencies provides a description of the environmental setting of the UIRB. Environmental data include natural factors such as bedrock geology, physiography and surficial geology, soils, vegetation, climate, and ecoregions; and human factors such as land use, urbanization trends, and population change. Characterization of the environmental setting is useful for understanding the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of surface and ground water in the UIRB and the possible implications of that environmental setting for water quality. Some of the possible implications identified include depletion of dissolved oxygen because of high concentrations of organic matter in wastewater, increased flooding because of suburbanization, elevated arsenic concentrations in ground water because of weathering of shale bedrock, and decreasing ground-water levels because of heavy pumping of water from the bedrock aquifers.

Suggested Citation

Arnold, T.L., Sullivan, D.J., Harris, Mitchell A., Fitzpatrick, F.A., Scudder, B.C., Ruhl, P.M., Hanchar, D.W., and Stewart, J.S., 1999, Environmental setting of the upper Illinois River basin and implications for water quality: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 98–4268, 67 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/wri984268.

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Forewqard
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Environmental Setting
  • Implications of Environmental Setting for Water Quality
  • Summary
  • References Cited
  • Appendix 1. Bibliography of U.S. Geological Survey Reports from the Upper Illinois River Basin Pilot Study of the National Water-Quality Assessment Program

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Environmental setting of the upper Illinois River basin and implications for water quality
Series title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number 98-4268
DOI 10.3133/wri984268
Year Published 1999
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Illinois Water Science Center
Description vii, 67 p.
Country United States
State Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin
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