thumbnail

Relations of surface-water quality to streamflow in the Wallkill and upper Delaware River Basins, New Jersey and vicinity, water years 1976-93

Water-Resources Investigations Report 99-4016

By:
, , and

Links

Abstract

Relations of water quality to streamflow were determined for 18 water-quality constituents at 18 surface-water stations within the drainage basins of the Wallkill and upper Delaware Rivers in New Jersey and vicinity for water years 1976-93. Surface-water-quality and streamflow data were evaluated for trends (through time) in constituent concentrations during high and low flows, and relations between constituent concentration and streamflow, and between constituent load and streamflow, were determined. Median concentrations were calculated for the entire period of study (water years 1976-93) and for the last 5 years of the period of study (water years 1989-93) to determine whether any large variation in concentration exists between the two periods. Medians also were used to determine the seasonal Kendall’s tau statistic, which was then used to evaluate trends in concentrations during high and low flows.

Trends in constituent concentrations during high and low flows were evaluated to determine whether the distribution of the observations changes through time for intermittent (nonpoint storm runoff) or constant (point sources and ground water) sources, respectively. Highand low-flow trends in concentrations were determined for some constituents at 15 of the 18 water-quality stations; 3 stations have insufficient data to determine trends. Seasonal effects on the relations of concentration to streamflow are evident for 16 of the 18 constituents. Negative slopes of relations of concentration to streamflow, which indicate a decrease in concentration at high flows, predominate over positive slopes because of the dilution of instream concentrations by storm runoff.

The slopes of the regression lines of load to streamflow were determined in order to show the relative contributions to the instream load from constant (point sources and ground water) and intermittent (storm runoff) sources. Greater slope values indicate larger contributions from storm runoff to instream load, which most likely indicate an increased relative importance of nonpoint sources. The slopes of load-to-streamflow relations along a stream reach that tend to increase in a downstream direction indicate the increased relative importance of contributions from storm runoff. The slopes of load-to-streamflow relations for several nutrients and dissolved ions increase in the downstream direction at the Wallkill River, Paulins Kill, and Musconetcong River. Likewise, the slopes of load-to-streamflow relations along a stream reach that tend to decrease in a downstream direction indicate the increased relative importance of point sources and groundwater discharge. The slopes of load-to-streamflow relations for several dissolved ions decrease in the downstream direction at the Delaware River.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Relations of surface-water quality to streamflow in the Wallkill and upper Delaware River Basins, New Jersey and vicinity, water years 1976-93
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
99-4016
Year Published:
1999
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
West Trenton, NJ
Contributing office(s):
New Jersey Water Science Center
Description:
Report: ix, 98 p.; Appendix
Country:
United States
State:
New Jersey
Other Geospatial:
Wallkill River Basin, Upper Delaware RIver Basin
Online Only (Y/N):
N
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
N