The Heart River drainage basin of .southwestern North Dakota comprises an area of 3,365 square miles and lies within the Missouri Plateau of the Great Plains province. Streamflow of the Heart River and its tributaries during 1949-58 was directly proportional to .the drainage area. After the construction of Heart Butte Dam in 1949 and Dickinson Dam in 1950, the mean annual streamflow near Mandan was decreased an estimated 10 percent by irrigation, evaporation from the two reservoirs, and municipal use.
Processes that contribute sediment to the Heart River are mass wasting, advancement of valley heads, and sheet, lateral stream, and gully erosion. In general, glacial deposits, terraces, and bars of Quaternary age are sources of sand and larger sediment, and the rocks of Tertiary age are sources of clay, silt. and sand. The average annual suspended-sediment discharges near Mandan were estimated to be 1,300,000 tons for 1945-49 and 710,000 tons for 1970-58.
The percentage composition of ions in water of the Heart River, based on average concentrations in equivalents per million for selected ranges of streamflow, changes with flow and from station to station. During extremely low flows the water contains a large percentage of sodium and about equal percentages of bicarbonate and .sulfate, and during extremely high flows the water contains a large percentage of calcium plus magnesium and bicarbonate. The concentrations, in parts per million, of most of the ions vary inversely with flow.
The water in the reservoirs--Edward Arthur Patterson Lake and Lake Tschida--during normal or above-normal runoff is of suitable quality for public use. Generally, because of medium or high salinity hazards, the successful long-term use of Heart River water for irrigation will depend on a moderate amount of leaching, ,adequate drainage, ,and the growing of crops that have moderate or good salt tolerance.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Sedimentation and chemical quality of surface water in the Heart River drainage basin, North Dakota
Water Supply Paper
U. S. Govt. Print. Off.,
v, 42 p. :illus., maps (1 fold. in pocket) ;24 cm.