The effect of tributary inflows on metal concentrations in <63mm sediments and benthic insects was examined on two scales (380 km and <2 km) in a river impacted by mining. A dilution-mixing model effectively described large-scale dispersion of Cd, Cu, and Pb in the sediments of the river. Input of metal from contaminated flood plains may introduce additional contamination in the middle reaches of the river. Intensive sampling around the confluences of two tributaries showed that there were significant, localized decreases in some metal concentrations immediately downstream of the inflows. Sediment metal concentrations 1 km below the inflows returned to values within the range predicted by the dilution-mixing model. Metal concentrations in benthic insects exhibited spatial patterns similar to those of the sediments, indicating that biological exposures to metals are at least partially dependent on the physical processes controlling the dispersion of sediment-bound metals. Tributary inflows introduce variability in metal contamination on different spatial scales that must be considered when assessing ecological risks in contaminated rivers. In addition to large-scale dilution of contaminants, smaller areas of reduced metal exposure occur near tributary inflows. These may shelter metal-sensitive taxa from severe metal contamination in the mainstem.
Battaglin, W.A., Kendall, C., Goolsby D.A., and Boyer, L.L., 1997, Plan of study to determine if the isotopic ratios d15N and d18O can reveal the sources of nitrate discharged by the Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 97-230, 18 p.
Nitrate and other nutrients discharged from the Mississippi River basin are suspected of causing a zone of depleted dissolved oxygen (hypoxic zone) in the Gulf of Mexico each summer. The hypoxic zone may have an adverse effect on aquatic life and commercial fisheries. Commercial fertilizers are the dominant source of nitrogen input to the Mississippi basin. Other nitrogen sources include animal waste, fixation of atmospheric nitrogen by legumes, precipitation, domestic and industrial effluent, and the soil. The inputs of nitrogen from most of these sources to the Mississippi basin can be estimated and the outputs in surface water can be measured. However, nitrogen from each source is affected differently by physical, chemical, and biological processes that control nitrogen cycling in terrestrial and aquatic systems. Hence, the relative contributions from the various sources of nitrogen to nitrate load in the Mississippi River are unknown because the different sources may not contribute proportionally to their inputs in the basin.
It may be possible to determine the relative contributions of the major sources of nitrate in river water using the stable isotopic ratios d15N and d18O of the nitrate ion. A few researchers have used the d15N and/or d18O isotope ratios to determine sources of nitrate in ground water, headwater catchments, and small rivers, but little is known about the isotopic composition of nitrate in larger rivers. The objective of this study is to measure the isotopic composition of nitrate and suspended organic matter in the Mississippi River and its major tributaries, in discharge to the Gulf of Mexico, and in streamflow from smaller watersheds that have distinct sources of nitrogen (row crops, animal wastes, and urban effluents) or are minimally impacted by man (undeveloped). Samples from seven sites on the Mississippi River and its tributaries and from 17 sites in smaller watersheds within the Mississippi River basin will be analyzed for d15N and d18Oof dissolved nitrate. Suspended sediment collected from these sites will also be analyzed to determine the d15N, d13C, and d34S of the suspended organic material. Six samples will be collected at each site during the winter, spring, and summer of 1996-97. Results from these samples will be used to identify seasonal and flow-related variability in d15N and d18O ratios from each site and may also help determine the principal sources of the nitrate entering the Gulf of Mexico.
The climate of the North Atlantic region underwent a series of abrupt cold/warm oscillations when the ice sheets of the Northern Hemisphere retreated during the last glacial termination (17.7-11.5 kyr ago). Evidence for these oscillations, which are recorded in European terrestrial sediments as the Oldest Dryas/Boelling/Older Dryas/Alleroed/Younger Dryas vegetational sequence, has been found in Greenland ice cores. The geographical extent of many of these oscillations is not well known, but the last major cold event (the Younger Dryas) seems to have been global in extent. Here we present evidence of four major oscillations in the hydrological balance of the Owens basin, California, that occurred during the last glacial termination. Dry events in western North America occurred at approximately the same time as cold events recorded in Greenland ice, with transitions between climate regimes in the two regions taking place within a few hundred years of each other. Our observations thus support recent climate simulations which indicate that cooling of the North Atlantic Ocean results in cooling of the North Pacific Ocean which, in turn, leads to a drier climate in western North America.
Boyer, E.W., Hornberger, G.M., Bencala, K.E., and McKnight, D.M., 1997, Response characteristics of DOC flushing in an alpine catchment: Hydrological Processes, v. 11, p. 1635-1647.
The spatial distribution of source areas and associated residence times of water in the catchment are significant factors controlling the annual cycles of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentration in Deer Creek (Summit County, Colorado). During spring snowmelt (April-August 1992), stream DOC concentrations increased with the rising limb of the hydrograph, peaked before maximum discharge, then declined rapidly as melting continued. We investigated catchment sources of DOC to streamflow, measuring DOC in tension lysimeters, groundwater wells, snow and streamflow. Lysimeter data indicate that near-surface soil horizons are a primary contributor of DOC to streamflow during spring snowmelt. Concentrations of DOC in the lysimeters decrease rapidly during the melt period, supporting the hypothesis that hydrological flushing of catchment soils is the primary mechanism affecting the temporal variation of DOC in Deer Creek. Time constants of DOC flushing, characterizing the exponential decay of DOC concentration in the upper soil horizon, ranged from 10 to 30 days for the 10 lysimeter sites. Differences in the rate of flushing are influenced by topographical position, with near-stream riparian soils flushed more quickly than soils located further upslope. Variation in the amount of distribution of accumulated snow, and asynchronous melting of the snowpack across the landscape, staggered the onset of the spring flush throughout the catchment, prolonging the period of increased concentrations of DOC in the stream. Streamflow integrates the catchment-scale flushing responses, yielding a time constant associated with the recession of DOC in the stream channel (84 days) that is significantly longer than the time constants observed for particular locations in the upper soil.
The use of strontium isotopes to evaluate mineral weathering and identify sources of base cations in catchment waters requires an understanding of the behavior of Sr in the soil environment as a function of time. Our approach is to model the temporal evolution of 87Sr/86Sr of the cation exchange pool in a soil chronosequence developed on alluvium derived from central Sierra Nevada granitoids during the past 3 Ma. With increasing soil age, 87Sr/86Sr of ammonium-acetate extractable Sr initially decreases from values typical of K-feldspar to those of plagioclase and hornblende and then remains constant, even though plagioclase and hornblende are absent from the soils after approximately 1 Ma of weathering. The temporal variation of 87Sr/86Sr of exchangeable Sr is modeled by progressively equilibrating Sr derived from mineral weathering and atmospheric deposition with Sr on exchange sites as waters infiltrate a soil column. Observed decreases in quartz-normalized modal abundances of plagioclase, hornblende, and K-feldspar with time, and the distinct 87Sr/86Sr values of these minerals can be used to calculate Sr flux from weathering reactions. Hydrobiotites in the soils have nearly constant modal abundances, chemistry, and 87Sr/86Sr over the chronosequence and provide negligible Sr input to weathering solutions. The model requires time and soil horizon-dependent changes in the amount of exchangeable Sr and the efficiency of Sr exchange, as well as a biologic cycling term. The model predicts that exchangeable Sr initially has 87Sr/86Sr identical to that of K-feldspar, and thus could be dominated by Sr leached from K-feldspar following deposition of the alluvium. The maximum value of 87Sr/86Sr observed in dilute stream waters associated with granitoids of the Yosemite region is likewise similar to that of the K-feldspars, suggesting that K-feldspar and not biotite may be the dominant source of radiogenic Sr in the streams. This study reveals that, when attempting to use Strontium isotopes to identify sources of base cations in catchment waters and biomass, both preferential leaching of Sr from minerals during incipient soil development and changing Sr exchange efficiency must be considered along with chemical contributions due to mineral dissolution.
The oxidation of methyl bromide (MeBr) in the water column of Mono Lake, CA, was studied by measuring the formation of H14CO3 from [14C]MeBr. Potential oxidation was detected throughout the water column, with highest rates occurring in the epilimnion (5-12 m depth). The oxidation of MeBr was eliminated by filter-sterilization, thereby demonstrating the involvement of bacteria. Vertical profiles of MeBr activity differed from those obtained for nitrification and methane oxidation, indicating that MeBr oxidation is not simply a co-oxidation process by either nitrifiers or methanotrophs. Furthermore, specific inhibitors of methane oxidation and/or nitrification (e.g., methyl fluoride, acetylene, allyl sulfide) had no effect upon the rate of MeBr oxidation in live samples. Of a variety of potential electron donors added to Mono Lake water, only trimethylamine resulted in the stimulation of MeBr oxidation. Cumulatively, these results suggest that the oxidation of MeBr in Mono Lake waters is attributable to trimethylamine-degrading methylotrophs. Neither methyl chloride nor methanol inhibited the oxidation of [14C]MeBr in live samples, indicating that these bacteria directly oxidized MeBr rather than the products of MeBr nucleophilic substitution reactions.
Stream bed temperature profiles were monitored continuously during water year 1990 and 1991 (WY90 and 91) in two New Mexico arroyos, similar in their meteorological features and dissimilar in their hydrological features. Stream bed temperature profiles between depths of 30 and 300 cm were examined to determine whether temporal changes in temperature profiles represent accurate indicators of the timing, depth and duration of percolation in each stream bed. These results were compared with stream flow, air temperature, and precipitation records for WY90 and 91, to evaluate the effect of changing surface conditions on temperature profiles. Temperature profiles indicate a persistently high thermal gradient with depth beneath Grantline Arroyo, except during a semi-annual thermal reversal in spring and autumn. This typifies the thermal response of dry sediments with low thermal conductivities. High thermal gradients were disrupted only during infrequent stream flows, followed by rapid re-establishment of high gradients. The stream bed temperature at 300 cm was unresponsive to individual precipitation or stream flow during WY90 and 91. This thermal pattern provides strong evidence that most seepage into Grantline Arroyo failed to percolate at a sufficient rate to reach 300 cm before being returned to the atmosphere. A distinctly different thermal pattern was recorded beneath Tijeras Arroyo. Low thermal gradients between 30 and 300 cm and large diurnal variations in temperature, suggest that stream flow created continuous, advection-dominated heat transport for over 300 days, annually. Beneath Tijeras Arroyo, low thermal gradients were interrupted only briefly during periodic, dry summer conditions. Comparisons of stream flow records for WY90 and 91 with stream bed temperature profiles indicate that independent analysis of thermal patterns provides accurate estimates of the timing, depth and duration of percolation beneath both arroyos. Stream flow loss estimates indicate that seepage rates were 15 times greater for Tijeras Arroyo than for Grantline Arroyo, which supports qualitative conclusions derived from analysis of stream bed temperature responses to surface conditions.
Four methods were applied to obtain confidence intervals for selected dependent variables from a nonlinear regression formulation of a ground-water flow model. The methods examined are (1) the linearization method, (2) the likelihood method, (3) a simple, percentile bootstrap method, and (4) a regression-based percentile bootstrap method that is a generalization of the first one. The methods were applied to a highly nonlinear regression model of a hypothetical ground-water system involving an infiltrating stream crossing a heterogeneous aquifer. Confidence intervals were computed for a hydraulic head and a parameter that is proportional to the streamflow infiltration rate. All confidence intervals computed by the likelihood method are virtually exact. Confidence intervals for hydraulic head by the linearization, likelihood, and the second bootstrap methods are similar, but confidence intervals by the first bootstrap method are very different and highly inaccurate. Confidence intervals for the streamflow infiltration parameter by the lineraization and first bootstrap methods are identical and inaccurate; confidence intervals by the second bootstrap method lie between those by the likelihood and the other two methods. These characteristics of the confidence intervals result because (1) the regression model is highly nonlinear, and (2) much of the nonlinearity can be removed by some transformation of model parameters.
The Great Plains landscape is less topographically complex than most other regions within North America, but diverse aquatic ecosystems, such as playas, pothole lakes, ox-bow lakes, springs, groundwater aquifers, intermittent and ephemeral streams, as well as large rivers and wetlands, are highly dynamic and responsive to extreme climatic fluctuations. We review the evidence for climatic change that demonstrates the historical importance of extremes in north-south differences in summer temperatures and east-west differences in aridity across four large subregions. These physical driving forces alter density stratification, deoxygenation, decomposition and salinity. Biotic community composition and associated ecosystem processes of productivity and nutrient cycling respond rapidly to these climatically driven dynamics. Ecosystem processes also respond to cultural effects such as dams and diversions of water for irrigation, waste dilution and urban demands for drinking water and industrial uses. Distinguishing climatic from cultural effects in future models of aquatic ecosystem functioning will require more refinement in both climatic and economic forecasting. There is a need, for example, to predict how long-term climatic forecasts (based on both ENSO and global warming simulations) relate to the permanence and productivity of shallow water ecosystems. Aquatic ecologists, hydrologists, climatologists and geographers have much to discuss regarding the synthesis of available data and the design of future interdisciplinary research.
Phosphate-bearing, ferric iron and siliceous crusts ranging in age from Recent to approximately 65,000 yr B.P. are observed in sediments of Lake Baikal. In younger sediments the crusts are at the base of a spectrum of secondary iron and manganese oxides that accumulate near the sediment/water interface in the zone of positive oxidation potential beneath an oxygenated water column. In areas where the average Quaternary sedimentation rates have been slow (e.g. 0.026mm/yr), the crusts are more common, and span a wider range of ages. No crusts have been found where the Quaternary sedimentation mode has been deltaic and rapid (0.15mm/yr). Independent core correlation based on magnetic properties of the sediment suggests that crusts can be correlated over most of Academician Ridge, an area that is particularly sensitive to climatic events affecting the concentration of suspended sediment. These crusts may be indicative of periods of low suspended sediment concentration, which occur during sustained transitions from glacial periods of high detrital input, to interglacial periods of high diatom sedimentation.The crusts are dominated by iron-rich and siliceous amorphous mineral phases, with an FeO:SiO2 by weight of 3:1. Regardless of age or location in the lake the Fe phase always includes Ca, P and Mn. Extensive microprobe data for these four elements recast as normalized elemental weight percent reveal linear trends of Ca:P and Fe:P. With increasing P, Ca also increases such that the two elements maintain a linear relationship passing very close to the origin and with a mean molar Ca:P=0.3 (too low for well-characterized apatite). Conversely, with increasing P, Fe decreases (mean molar Fe:P=3.4). There is no correlation between Mn and P. Molar Fe:P ratios for vivianite (an Fe(II) phosphate mineral observed in sediments closely below some crusts) are clustered around a stoichiometric composition. The covariant increase in Ca:P and the corresponding decrease in Fe:P may be explained by: (1) coupled adsorption of aqueous Ca and P by a colloidal ferric hydrous oxide; (2) loss of Fe from a Ca-P-Fe phase; or (3) oxidation of vivianite to a metastable mineral phase that gradually loses Ca and gains Fe. The first explanation is favored, because there is no petrographic evidence for either the existence of an originating Ca-P-Fe phase, or, for the oxidation of vivianite. Further, it is suggested that by continually equalizing surface charge, Ca allows more phosphate to be adsorbed leading to thicker crusts and longer preservation after burial.
We report SHRIMP U-Pb ages of 49 zircons from a sand sample from the lower Orinoco River, Venezuela, and Nd model ages of the fine sediment load from the main river and tributaries. The U-Pb ages reflect individual magmatic or metamorphic events, the Sm-Nd model ages reflect average crustal-residence ages of the sediment sources. Together they allow delineation of the crust-formation history of the basement precursors of the sediments.
The U-Pb ages range from 2.83 to 0.15 Ga, and most are concordant or nearly so. Discrete age groupings occur at ~2.8, ~2.1, and ~1.1 Ga. The oldest group contains only three samples but is isolated from its closest neighbors by a ~600 Ma age gap. Larger age groupings at ~2.1 and ~1.1 Ga make up about a third and a quarter of the total number of analyses, respectively. The remaining analyses scatter along concordia, and most are younger than 1.6 Ga. The ~2.8 and ~2.1 Ga ages correspond to periods of crust formation of the Imataca and Trans-Amazonian provinces of the Guyana Shield, respectively, and record intervals of short but intensive continental growth. These ages coincide with ~2.9 and ~2.1 Ga Nd model ages of sediments from tributaries draining the Archean and Proterozoic provinces of the Guyana Shield, respectively, indicating that the U-Pb ages record the geological history of the crystalline basement of the Orinoco basin. Zircons with ages corresponding to the major orogenies of the North Atlantic continents (the Superior at ~2.7 Ga and Hudsonian at 1.7-1.9 Ga) were not found in the Orinoco sample. The age distribution may indicate that South and North America were separated throughout their history.
Nd model ages of sediments from the lower Orinoco River and Andean tributaries are ~1.9 Ga, broadly within the range displayed by major rivers and dusts. This age does not coincide with known thermal events in the region and reflects mixing of sources with different crust-formation ages. The igneous and metamorphic history of these sources, as recorded by the detrital zircons, is that of the Orinoco basin basement. This implies that, despite evidence of fast sedimentary recycling, global similarities in Nd crustal-residence ages, and the probability of cross-continent mixing through continental drift, the sedimentary material carried by individual rivers is mainly derived from the crystalline basement in the basin. The global semblance in Nd isotope ratios in major river sediments and atmospheric dusts results from the averaging effect of large-scale sampling of the continents, which are heterogeneous in age on smaller regional scales.
A large portion of the continental crust in the Orinoco basin formed during the Trans-Amazonian orogeny at 2.0-2.1 Ga, and smaller portions formed both earlier, at ~2.8 Ga, and later, after 1.6 Ga. These observations, which are consistent with the relative sizes of crustal age provinces in the Orinoco basin, indicate that sediments from the lower Orinoco and Andean tributaries contain 25-35% of material added to the crust since Trans-Amazonian times. Nd model ages of these sediments underestimate the average crust-formation age of the basement of the Orinoco basin by only about 10%. If this relationship holds in other river basins, then Nd model ages of major rivers and wind blown particulates indicate that the mean age of the continental crust is ~1.9-2 Ga
Stable isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen were used to trace the sources of recharge from sinking streams to wells and springs several kilometers downgradient in the karst Madison aquifer near Rapid City, South Dakota. Temporal sampling of streamflow above the swallets identified a distinct isotopic signature that was used to define the spatial dimensions of recharge to the aquifer. When more than one sinking stream was determined to be recharging a well or spring, the proportions were approximated using a two-component mixing model. From the isotopic analysis, it is possible to link sinking stream recharge to individual wells or springs in the Rapid City area and illustrate there is significant lateral movement of ground water across surface drainage basins. These results emphasize that well-head protection strategies developed for carbonate aquifers that provide industrial and municipal water supplies need to consider lateral movement of ground-water flow from adjacent surface drainage basins.
Harvey, R.W., Metge, D.W., Kinner, N., and Mayberr, N., 1997, Physiological considerations in applying laboratory-determined buyont densities to predictions of bacterial and protozoan transport in groundwater: Results of in-situ and laboratory tests: Environmental Science & Technology, v. 31, p. 289-295.
Buoyant densities were determined for groundwater bacteria and microflagellates (protozoa) from a sandy aquifer (Cape Cod, MA) using two methods: (1) density-gradient centrifugation (DGC) and (2) Stoke's law approximations using sedimentation rates observed during natural-gradient injection and recovery tests. The dwarf (average cell size, 0.3 mm), unattached bacteria inhabiting a pristine zone just beneath the water table and a majority ( similar to 80%) of the morphologically diverse community of free-living bacteria inhabiting a 5-km-long plume of organically-contaminated groundwater had DGC-determined buoyant densities <1.019 g/cm3 before culturing. In the aquifer, sinking rates for the uncultured 2-mm size class of contaminant plume bacteria were comparable to that of the bromide tracer (1.9 x 10-3M), also suggesting a low buoyant density. Culturing groundwater bacteria resulted in larger (0.8-1.3 mm), less neutrally-buoyant (1.043-1.081 g/cm3) cells with potential sedimentation rates up to 64-fold higher than those predicted for the uncultured populations. Although sedimentation generally could be neglected in predicting subsurface transport for the community of free-living groundwater bacteria, it appeared to be important for the cultured isolates, at least until they readapt to aquifer conditions. Culturing-induced alterations in size of the contaminant-plume microflagellates (2-3 mm) were ameliorated by using a lower nutrient, acidic (pH 5) porous growth medium. Buoyant densities of the cultured microflagellates were low, i.e., 1.024-1.034 g/cm3 (using the DGC assay) and 1.017-1.039 g/cm3 (estimated from in-situ sedimentation rates), suggesting good potential for subsurface transport under favorable conditions.
The Rocky Mountains in the USA and Canada encompass the interior cordillera of western North America, from the southern Yukon to northern New Mexico. Annual weather patterns are cold in winter and mild in summer. Precipitation has high seasonal and interannual variation and may differ by an order of magnitude between geographically close locales, depending on slope, aspect and local climatic and orographic conditions. The region's hydrology is characterized by the accumulation of winter snow, spring snowmelt and autumnal baseflows. During the 2-3-month 'spring runoff' period, rivers frequently discharge > 70% of their annual water budget and have instantaneous discharges 10-100 times mean low flow. Complex weather patterns characterized by high spatial and temporal variability make predictions of future conditions tenuous. However, general patterns are identifiable; northern and western portions of the region are dominated by maritime weather patterns from the North Pacific, central areas and eastern slopes are dominated by continental air masses and southern portions receive seasonally variable atmospheric circulation from the Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico. Significant interannual variations occur in these general patterns, possibly related to ENSO (El Nino-Southern Oscillation) forcing. Changes in precipitation and temperature regimes or patterns have significant potential effects on the distribution and abundance of plants and animals. For example, elevation of the timber-line is principally a function of temperature. Palaeolimnological investigations have shown significant shifts in phyto- and zoo-plankton populations as alpine lakes shift between being above or below the timber-line. Likewise, streamside vegetation has a significant effect on stream ecosystem structure and function. Changes in stream temperature regimes result in significant changes in community composition as a consequence of bioenergetic factors. Stenothermic species could be extirpated as appropriate thermal criteria disappear. Warming temperatures may geographically isolate cold water stream fishes in increasingly confined headwaters. The heat budgets of large lakes may be affected resulting in a change of state between dimictic and warm monomictic character. Uncertainties associated with prediction are increased by the planting of fish in historically fishless, high mountain lakes and the introduction of non-native species of fishes and invertebrates into often previously simple food-webs of large valley bottom lakes and streams. Many of the streams and rivers suffer from the anthropogenic effects of abstraction and regulation. Likewise, many of the large lakes receive nutrient loads from a growing human population. We concluded that: (1) regional climate models are required to resolve adequately the complexities of the high gradient landscapes; (2) extensive wilderness preserves and national park lands, so prevalent in the Rocky Mountain Region, provide sensitive areas for differentiation of anthropogenic effects from climate effects; and (3) future research should encompass both short-term intensive studies and long-term monitoring studies developed within comprehensive experimental arrays of streams and lakes specifically designed to address the issue of anthropogenic versus climatic effects.
Heidari, M., and Moench, A.F., 1997, Evaluation of unconfined aquifer parameters from pumping test data by nonlinear least squares: Journal of Hydrology, v. 192, p. 300-313.
Nonlinear least squares (NLS) with automatic differentiation was used to estimate aquifer parameters from drawdown data obtained from published pumping tests conducted in homogeneous, water-table aquifers. The method is based on a technique that seeks to minimize the squares of residuals between observed and calculated drawdown subject to bounds that are placed on the parameter of interest. The analytical model developed by Neuman for flow to a partially penetrating well of infinitesimal diameter situated in an infinite, homogeneous and anisotropic aquifer was used to obtain calculated drawdown. NLS was first applied to synthetic drawdown data from a hypothetical but realistic aquifer to demonstrate that the relevant hydraulic parameters (storativity, specific yield, and horizontal and vertical hydraulic conductivity) can be evaluated accurately. Next the method was used to estimate the parameters at three field sites with widely varying hydraulic properties. NLS produced unbiased estimates of the aquifer parameters that are close to the estimates obtained with the same data using a visual curve-matching approach. Small differences in the estimates are a consequence of subjective interpretation introduced in the visual approach.
As part of a study relating fractured rock hydrology to in situ stress and recent deformation within the Dixie Valley Geothermal Field (DVGF), we conducted borehole televiewer and hydrologic logging and hydraulic fracturing stress measurements in a 2.7-km-deep geothermal production well (73B-7) drilled into the Stillwater fault zone. This fault is a major, active, range-bounding normal fault located in the western Basin and Range province, Nevada. The Stillwater fault zone comprises the main reservoir for a similar to 62 MW geothermal electric power plant operated by Oxbow Geothermal Corporation. Although earthquakes have not ruptured this segment of the Stillwater fault in historic times, large (M = 6.8-7.3) earthquakes have occurred within the past 80 years along range-bounding faults similar to 20 km to the northeast and southwest of the DVGF and geologic evidence shows that the Stillwater fault abutting the DVGF experienced two or more faulting episodes (total offset similar to 9 m) during the past 12,000 years. Borehole televiewer logs from well 73B-7 show numerous drilling-induced tensile fractures, indicating that the direction of the minimum horizontal principal stress, Shmin, is S57 degree E plus or minus 10 degree . As the Stillwater fault at this location dips S50 degree E at similar to 53 delta , it is nearly at the optimal orientation for normal faulting in the current stress field. Analysis of the hydraulic fracturing data shows that the magnitude of Shmin, is 24.1 and 25.9 MPa at 1.68 and 2.45 km, respectively. In addition, analysis of a hydraulic fracturing test from a shallow well 1.5 km northeast of 73B-7 indicates that the magnitude of Shmin, is 5.6 MPa at 0.4 km depth. In accordance with the Coulomb failure criterion, frictional sliding (normal faulting) should occur on the Stillwater fault at a critical magnitude of Shmin that is a function of the vertical stress, pore fluid pressure and coefficient of friction of preexisting faults. This analysis shows that the magnitude of Shmin in these wells is close to that predicted for incipient normal faulting on the Stillwater and subparallel faults, using coefficients of friction of 0.6-1.0 and estimates of the in situ fluid pressure and overburden stress. Precision temperature and spinner flowmeter logs were also acquired in well 73B-7, with and without simultaneously injecting water into the well. Localized perturbations to wellbore temperature and flow were used to identify hydraulically conductive fractures. Comparison of these data with fracture orientations from the televiewer log indicates that permeable fractures within and adjacent to the Stillwater fault zone are critically stressed, potentially active shear planes in the current west-northwest extensional stress regime at Dixie Valley. Permeability reduction and the establishment of fault seals would be expected along this segment of the Stillwater fault, given the high reservoir temperatures ( similar to 220-250 degree C at 2.3-3.0 km), and geochemical and thermal evidence for up-dip transport of supersaturated silica solutions within the fault zone. However, the observation that these permeable fractures are favorably aligned for normal faulting in the current stress field suggests that ongoing fault slip in response to the measured high differential stresses (i.e. Sv - Shmin) is sufficient to counteract the expected permeability reduction.
Concentrations of aerosolic quartz and 137Cs were used to estimate rates of hillslope soil erosion during 1990-91 in the North Halawa Valley on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. Fluvial transport of quartz was estimated to be 6.1 Mg in 1990 and 14.9 Mg in 1991. Fluvial transport of 137Cs from North Halawa Valley was estimated to be 1.29 x 109 pCi in 1991. Results were used with quartz contents, 137Cs activities, and bulk densities of hillslope soils to compute rates of basinwide hillslope soil erosion ranging from 0.1 to 0.3 mm yr-1. These rates are within the range of previous estimates of denudation computed for drainage basins on Oahu. The aerosol-concentration approach, therefore, is a useful method for assessing basinwide soil erosion.
Discharge records where flows have not been subject to overt anthropogenic controls have been identified for over 1500 streamflow gauging stations throughout the United States in the US Geological Survey Hydro-Climatic Data Network. These stations fall within all 21 water resources regions of the United States. Analysis of runoff in 20 regions, where long-term daily records are available, shows an increasing trend in 16 regions. Further analysis using a stratified subset of 65 sites shows an increase in baseflow at approximately 90% of the sites during the past 50 years, regardless of the size of the drainage area. Because anthropogenic alterations of watershed characteristics cannot explain these hydrologic changes, then meteorological or climatic forces are implicated.
The high spatial variability of estuaries poses a challenge for characterizing estuarine water quality. This problem was examined by conducting monthly high-resolution transects for several water quality variables (chlorophyll a, suspended particulate matter and salinity) in San Francisco Bay (California, U.S.A.). Using these data, six different ways of choosing station locations along a transect, in order to estimate mean conditions, were compared. In addition, 11 approaches to estimating the variance of the transect mean when stations are equally spaced were compared, and the relationship between variance of the estimated transect mean and number of stations was determined. The results provide guidelines for sampling along the axis of an estuary: (1) choose as many equally-spaced stations as practical; (2) estimate the variance of the mean y by var(y)=(1/10n2)Snj=2(yj-yj-1)2, where y1, ..., yn are the measurements at the n stations; and (3) attain the desired precision by adjusting the number of stations according to var(y)a1/n2. The inverse power of 2 in the last step is a consequence of the underlying spatial correlation structure in San Francisco Bay; more studies of spatial structure at other estuaries are needed to determine the generality of this relationship.
Katz, B. G., Coplen, T. B., Bullen, T. D., and Davis, J. H., 1997, Use of Chemical and Isotopic tracers to Characterize the Interactions Between Ground Water and Surface Water in Mantled Karst: Ground Water, v. 35, no. 6, p. 1014-1028.
In the mantled karst terrane of northern Florida, the water quality of the Upper Floridan aquifer is influenced by the degree of connectivity between the aquifer and the surface. Chemical and isotopic analyses [18O/16O (d18O), 2H/1H (dD), 13C/12C (d13C), tritium (3H), and strontium-87/strontium-86 (87Sr/86Sr)] along with geochemical mass-balance modeling were used to identify the dominant hydrochemical processes that control the composition of ground water as it evolves downgradient in two systems. In one system, surface water enters the Upper Floridan aquifer through a sinkhole located in the Northern Highlands physiographic unit. In the other system, surface water enters the aquifer through a sinkhole lake (Lake Bradford) in the Woodville Karst Plain. Differences in the composition of water isotopes (d18O and dD) in rainfall, ground water, and surface water were used to develop mixing models of surface water (leakage of water to the Upper Floridan aquifer from a sinkhole lake and a sinkhole) and ground water. Using mass-balance calculations, based on differences in d18O and dD, the proportion of lake water that mixed with meteoric water ranged from 7 to 86% in water from wells located in close proximity to Lake Bradford. In deeper parts of the Upper Floridan aquifer, water enriched in 18O and D from five of 12 sampled municipal wells indicated that recharge from a sinkhole (1 to 24%) and surface water with an evaporated isotopic signature (2 to 32%) was mixing with ground water. The solute isotopes, d13C and 87Sr/86Sr, were used to test the sensitivity of binary and ternary mixing models, and to estimate the amount of mass transfer of carbon and other dissolved species in geochemical reactions. In ground water downgradient from Lake Bradford, the dominant processes controlling carbon cycling in ground water were dissolution of carbonate minerals, aerobic degradation of organic matter, and hydrolysis of silicate minerals. In the deeper parts of the Upper Floridan aquifer, the major processes controlling the concentrations of major dissolved species included dissolution of calcite and dolomite, and degradation of organic matter under oxic conditions. The Upper Floridan aquifer is highly susceptible to contamination from activities at the land surface in the Tallahassee area. The presence of post-1950s concentrations of 3H in ground water from depths greater than 100 m below land surface indicates that water throughout much of the Upper Floridan aquifer has been recharged during the last 40 years. Even though mixing is likely between ground water and surface water in many parts of the study area, the Upper Floridan aquifer produces good quality water, which due to dilution effects shows little if any impact from trace elements or nutrients that are present in surface waters.
Kipp, K.L., Jr., 1997, Guide to the Revised Heat and Solute Transport Simulator: HST3D--Version 2. U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 97-4157, 149 p.
For additional information and to obtain the software:
The Heat- and Solute-Transport Program (HST3D) simulates ground-water flow and associated heat and solute transport in three dimensions. Over the years since the release of Versions 1.0 through 1.4, various additions, modifications, and corrections have been made to the original simulator. This report documents the release of Version 2. Major changes included in this version are (1) a revised data-input file with all spatial information described by coordinate location; (2) a new iterative solver for the matrix equations based on a generalized conjugate-gradient method; (3) an evapotranspiration boundary condition; (4) a division of the simulator output into many files; (5) a new set of output files designed for use by post-processing programs for graphical visualization and for flow totalization; (6) a pre-processor for evaluating dimensioning requirements; and (7) a port-processor for totalizing boundary flow rates and cumulative amounts. The post processing program for graphical visualization must be supplied by the user. Version 2 of the simulator has been verified using five test problems selected from the published literature. One involves heat transport, four involve solute transport, and all have variable-density fluids.
The Project for Intercomparison of Land-surface Parameterization Schemes (PILPS) has shown that different land surface models (LSMs) driven by the same meteorological forcing can produce markedly different surface energy and water budgets, even when certain critical aspects of the LSMs (vegetation cover, albedo, turbulent drag coefficient, and snowcover) are carefully controlled. To help explain these differences, the authors devised a monthly water balance model that successfully reproduces the annual and seasonal water balances of the different PILPS schemes. Analysis of this model leads to the identification of two quantities that characterize an LSM's formulation of soil water balance dynamics: 1) the efficiency of the soil's evaporation sink integrated over the active soil moisture range, and 2) the fraction of this range over which runoff is generated. Regardless of the LSM's complexity, the combination of these two derived parameters with rates of interception loss, potential evaporation, and precipitation provides a reasonable estimate for the LSM's simulated annual water balance. The two derived parameters shed light on how evaporation and runoff formulations interact in an LSM, and the analysis as a whole underscores the need for compatibility in these formulations.
Lessoff, S. C., and Konikow, L. F., 1997, Ambiguity in Measuring Matrix Diffusion With Single-Well Injection/Recovery Tracer Tests: Ground Water v. 35, no.1, p. 166-176.
Single-well injection/recovery tracer tests are considered for use in characterizing and quantifying matrix diffusion in dual-porosity aquifers. Numerical modeling indicates that neither regional drift in homogeneous aquifers, nor heterogeneity in aquifers having no regional drift, nor hydrodynamic dispersion significantly affects these tests. However, when drift is coupled simultaneously with heterogeneity, they can have significant confounding effects on tracer return. This synergistic effect of drift and heterogeneity may help explain irreversible flow and inconsistent results sometimes encountered in previous single-well injection/recovery tracer tests. Numerical results indicate that in a hypothetical single-well injection/recovery tracer test designed to demonstrate and measure dual-porosity characteristics in a fractured dolomite, the simultaneous effects of drift and heterogeneity sometimes yields responses similar to those anticipated in a homogeneous dual-porosity formation. In these cases, tracer recovery could provide a false indication of the occurrence of matrix diffusion. Shortening the shut-in period between injection and recovery periods may make the test less sensitive to drift. Using multiple tracers having different diffusion characteristics, multiple tests having different pumping schedules, and testing the formation at more than one location would decrease the ambiguity in the interpretation of test data.
Lind, C.J. and Oscarson, R.L., 1997, Iron deposition as acidic groundwater encounters the alluvium of Pinal Creek, AZ, USA: Applied Geochemistry, v. 11, p. 83-95.
In a column experiment, acidic groundwater from Pinal Creek Arizona, a Cu mining area, was eluted through a composited alluvial sample obtained from a core that had been removed from a well downgradient of the acidic groundwater. The minerals present in typical grains and flakes in the alluvium before and after the elution were determined by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy, and energy dispersive multichannel analyses (EDX). The concentrations of Fe, Ti, Mn, Si, Al, Na, Ca, K, Mg and S in these grains and flakes and in their microcrystalline surface coatings were measured by EDX. In addition to magnetite, hematite, and Fe-Ti oxides, Fe was most concentrated in micas (especially biotite-like flakes) and in the microcrystalline coatings. The measured elements in these microcrystalline coatings were primarily K, Fe, Al, and Si. The microcrystalline coatings on the mica flakes also contained Mg. The approximate 1:3 Mg:Si atomic ratios (ARs) of the biotite-like flakes both before and after the elution would suggest that the Fe deposited during the elution had not substituted for Mg in these flakes. As a result of the elution, assuming no loss of Si, the averaged recorded Fe:Si AR of the microcrystalline coatings increased from (0.46 to 0.58):3.00. Iron deposition on the typical grains and flakes may relate to the presence of Fe in the particle on which it is deposited or to the presence of Fe in the microcrystalline surface coatings before elution. The data here are not sufficient for a statistical evaluation, but elution caused the following trends: (1) The Fe:Si AR increased in the (K,Fe,Al,Si)-microcrystalline surface coatings; (2) For the mica flakes, there was more than a 2-fold increase in the Fe:Si AR for the microcrystalline surface coatings of the Fe-rich biotite-like flakes but no measurable increase of the Fe:Si AR for the microcrystalline surface coatings of the muscovite-like flakes that contained 3-5 times less Fe; (3) Also for the biotite-like flakes, the increase in Fe:Si AR was greater in the flakes that had a higher Fe:Si AR; (4) The Fe deposition on the Fe-rich microcrystalline surface coatings of the feldspar was much greater than on the Fe-poor, beige quartz and feldspar grains that, prior to elution, had only CaSO4 microcrystalline coatings; and (5) No Fe was deposited on Fe-poor grains with no microcrystalline surface coating.
Lins, H.F., Wolock, D.M., and McCabe, G.J., 1997, Scale and modeling issues in water resources planning: Climatic Change, v. 37, p. 63-88.
Resource planners and managers interested in utilizing climate model output as part of their operational activities immediately confront the dilemma of scale discordance. Their functional responsibilities cover relatively small geographical areas and necessarily require data of relatively high spatial resolution. Climate models cover a large geographical, i.e. global, domain and produce data at comparatively low spatial resolution. Although the scale differences between model output and planning input are large, several techniques have been developed for disaggregating climate model output to a scale appropriate for use in water resource planning and management applications. With techniques in hand to reduce the limitations imposed by scale discordance, water resource professionals must now confront a more fundamental constraint on the use of climate models - the inability to produce accurate representations and forecasts of regional climate. Given the current capabilities of climate models, and the likelihood that the uncertainty associated with long-term climate model forecasts will remain high for some years to come, the water resources planning community may find it impractical to utilize such forecasts operationally.
The Breckenridge Sanitation District discharges tertiary-treated sewage effluent into Lake Dillon, Colorado, a major water supply reservoir for Denver. The effluent plume was mapped using rhodamine-WT dye during ice-covered and open-water conditions and compared to a criterion issued in a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency policy statement regarding mixing-zone dilution. Rhodamine-WT dye was used as a tracer and was injected directly into the sewage effluent at the outlet of the treatment plant. Dye concentrations were determined using fluorometric analysis. Dye-concentration isolines were determined by interpolation of a rectangular sampling grid. At all sampling locations, plateau dye concentrations were reached within 48 hours after injection began. Results indicated that the Breckenridge Sanitation District's effluent mixing zone extended 158.5 m (520 ft) into the lake during ice-covered conditions on March 15, 1995 (the date of maximum effluent discharge during the study period) and extended 64 m (210 ft) during open-water conditions on September 13, 1995. The EPA criterion for lakes specifies that the maximum allowable length of a mixing zone not exceed 61-m (200 ft).
Reassessment of Metals Criteria for Aquatic Life Protection: Priorities for Research and Implementation presents the collected papers stemming from a SETAC-sponsored Pellston Workshop held in Pensacola, Florida, 10-14 February 1996. The workshop focused on unresolved scientific issues and needed significant research in the area of current and possible future approaches to regulating metals in aquatic environments. This book was written at the workshop, revised through reviews by the participants, and completed after the workshop. The book represents the views of the authors and the participants in attendance. It has not been peer reviewed in the classic sense of having anonymous reviewers critique it, but it has been reviewed by each workshop participant and extensively scrutinized for technical and editorial consistency and correctness by the workshop Steering Committee and a paid editorial consultant.
Hydrographs of stream discharge were analyzed to determine ground-water recharge for two small basins draining into Mirror Lake, New Hampshire. Two methods of hydrograph analysis developed for determining ground-water recharge were evaluated, the instantaneous recharge method and the constant recharge method. For the instantaneous recharge method, recharge is assumed to be instantaneous and uniform over the basin. For the constant recharge method, recharge is assumed to be constant and uniform over the basin for a period of weeks to months. Both methods require that a ground-water recession slope be determined. The recession slope is used directly in the calculation for the instantaneous recharge method, and it is used as a base of reference for fitting a type curve in the constant recharge method. Results of the study indicated that the estimates of ground-water recharge for both methods agree to within about 10 percent. Two approaches to the instantaneous recharge method, manual and automated, were also evaluated, and the results were statistically similar. The baseflow component of streamflow commonly is assumed to be equivalent to ground-water recharge; therefore, two methods developed for determining the baseflow component of streamflow, graphical partitioning and digital filtering, were evaluated also. Baseflow values determined by graphical partitioning of hydrographs were about 25 percent less than the ground-water recharge values. Baseflow values determined by two different approaches to the mathematical digital filtering method were generally less than baseflow determined by graphical partitioning. However, one of the approaches to digital filtering agreed reasonably well with graphical partitioning if an appropriate filter constant was used. The other approach to digital filtering resulted in baseflow values that were much less than the other baseflow values and was therefore deemed inappropriate for use on these small mountain watersheds.
A two dimensional depth-averaged sediment transport model is used to simulate field measurements of suspended sediment concentrations in northern San Francisco Bay. The model uses a semi-implicit finite difference method to solve the shallow water equations and incorporates standard empirical expressions for erosion and deposition of sediments into the transport equation as source/sink terms. The field measurements indicate that tidal scale variations (both diurnal and spring-neap) dominate the variations in suspended sediment concentration (SSC). Increases in SSC also correlated highly with large delta outflows following a storm in late winter. The sediment transport model reproduces the field measurements quite well during periods when the water column is relatively well-mixed vertically. However, the present model only includes one size class of sediment and does not perform well when spatial variability of sediment properties and multiple size classes are significant factors. Comparison of erosion and accretion patterns generated by the model with those obtained from historical bathymetric surveys indicate that the model captures several of the general features observed historically. A sensitivity analysis demonstrates that the model is very sensitive to the critical shear stress for erosion and moderately sensitive to the erosion rate constant, critical shear stress for deposition, and settling velocity.
The clustering of orientations of hydraulically conductive fractures in bedrock at the Mirror Lake, New Hampshire fractured rock study site was investigated by comparing the orientations of fracture populations in two subvertical borehole arrays with those mapped on four adjacent subvertical roadcuts. In the boreholes and the roadcuts, the orientation of fracture populations appears very similar after borehole data are compensated for undersampling of steeply dipping fractures. Compensated borehole and pavement fracture data indicate a northeast-striking population of fractures with varying dips concentrated near that of the local foliation in the adjacent rock. The data show no correlation between fracture density (fractures/linear meter) and distance from lithologic contacts in both the boreholes and the roadcuts. The population of water-producing borehole fractures is too small (28 out of 610 fractures) to yield meaningful orientation comparisons. However, the orientation of large aperture fractures (which contains all the producing fractures) contains two or three subsidiary clusters in orientation frequency that are not evident in stereographic projections of the entire population containing all aperture sizes. Further, these subsidiary orientation clusters do not coincide with the dominant (subhorizontal and subvertical) regional fracture orientations.
The chemical relationships among particulate and colloidal organic material and dissolved fulvic acid were examined in an alpine and subalpine lake and two streams in Loch Vale Watershed, Rocky Mountain National Park. The alpine lake, Sky Pond, had the lowest dissolved organic carbon (DOC) (0.37 mgC/L), the highest particulate carbon (POC) (0.13 mgC/L), and high algal biomass. The watershed of Sky Pond is primarily talus slope, and DOC and POC may be autochthonous. Both Andrews Creek and Icy Brook gain DOC as they flow through wet sedge meadows. The subalpine lake, The Loch, receives additional organic material from the surrounding forest and had a higher DOC (0.66 mgC/L). Elemental analysis, stable carbon isotopic compositon, and 13C-NMR characterization showed that: 1) particulate material had relatively high inorganic contents and was heterogeneous in compositon, 2) colloidal material was primarily carbohydrate material with a low inorganic content at all sites; and 3) dissolved fulvic acid varied in compositon among sites. The low concentration and carbohydrate-rich character of the colloidal material suggests that this fraction is labile to microbial degradation and may be turning over more rapidly than particulate fractions or dissolved fulvic acid. Fulvic acid from Andrews Creek had the lowest N content and aromaticity, whereas Sky Pond fulvic acid had a higher N content and lower aromaticity than fulvic acid from The Loch. The UV-visible spectra of the fulvic acids demonstrate that variation in characteristics with sources of organic carbon can explain to some extent the observed nonlinear relationship between UV-B extinction coefficients and DOC concentrations in lakes.
A possible consequence of increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere is "summer dryness," a decrease of summer plant- available soil water in middle latitudes, caused by increased availability of energy to drive evapotranspiration. Results from a numericalclimate model indicate that summer dryness and related changes of land-surface water balances arehighly sensitive to possible concomitant changes of plant-available water-holding capacity of soil, which depends on plant rooting depth and density. The model suggests that a 14% decrease of the soil volume whose water is accessible to plant roots would generate the same summer dryness, by one measure, as an equilibrium doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Conversely, a 14% increase of that soil volume would be sufficient to offset the summer dryness associated with carbon-dioxide doubling. Global and regional changes in rootingdepth and density may result from (1) plant and plant-community responses to greenhouse warming, to carbon-dioxide fertilization, and to associated changes in the water balance and (2) anthropogenic deforestation and desertification. Given their apparently critical role, heretofore ignored, in globalhydroclimatic change, such changes of rooting characteristics should be carefully evaluated using ecosystem observations, theory, and models.
The Passaic Formation consists of gradational sequences of mudstone, siltstone, and sandstone, and is a principal aquifer in central New Jersey. Ground-water flow is primarily controlled by fractures interspersed throughout these sedimentary rocks and characterizing these fractures in terms of type, orientation, spatial distribution, frequency, and transmissivity is fundamental towards understanding local fluid-transport processes. To obtain this information, a comprehensive suite of geophysical logs was collected in 10 wells roughly 46 m in depth and located within a .05 km2 area in Hopewell Township, New Jersey. A seemingly complex, heterogeneous network of fractures identified with an acoustic televiewer was statistically reduced to two principal subsets corresponding to two distinct fracture types: (1) bedding-plane partings and (2) high-angle fractures. Bedding-plane partings are the most numerous and have an average strike of N84 degree W and dip of 20 degree N. The high-angle fractures are oriented subparallel to these features, with an average strike of N79 degree E and dip of 71 degree S, making the two fracture types roughly orthogonal. Their intersections form linear features that also retain this approximately east-west strike. Inspection of fluid temperature and conductance logs in conjunction with flowmeter measurements obtained during pumping allows the transmissive fractures to be distinguished from the general fracture population. These results show that, within the resolution capabilities of the logging tools, approximately 51 (or 18 percent) of the 280 total fractures are water producing. The bedding-plane partings exhibit transmissivities that average roughly 5 m2/day and that generally diminish in magnitude and frequency with depth. The high-angle fractures have average transmissivities that are about half those of the bedding-plane partings and show no apparent dependence upon depth. The geophysical logging results allow us to infer a distinct hydrogeologic structure within this aquifer that is defined by fracture type and orientation. Fluid flow near the surface is controlled primarily by the highly transmissive, subhorizontal bedding-plane partings. As depth increases, the high-angle fractures apparently become more dominant hydrologically.
Eukaryotic microorganisms (protists) are a very important component of microbial communities inhabiting groundwater aquifers. This is not unexpected when one considers that many protists feed heterotrophically, by means of either phagotrophy (bacterivory) or osmotrophy. Protistan numbers are usually low (< 102 per g dw of aquifer material) in pristine, uncontaminated aquifers but may increase by several orders of magnitude in aquifers subject to organic pollution. Small flagellates (typically 2-3(5) mm in size in situ) are by far the dominant protists in aquifers, although amoebae and occasionally ciliates may also be present in much lower numbers. Although a wealth of new taxonomic information is waiting to be brought to light, interest in the identity of aquifer protists is not exclusively academic. If verified, the following hypotheses may prove to be important towards our understanding of the functioning of microbial communities in aquifers: (1) Differences in swimming behavior between species of flagellates lead to feeding heterogeneity and niche differentiation, implying that bacterivorous flagellates graze on different subsets of the bacterial community, and therefore play different roles in controlling bacterial densities. (2) Bacterivorous flagellates grazing on bacteria capable of degrading organic compounds have an indirect effect on the overall rates of biodegradation.
The importance of mineral weathering was assessed and compared for five mid-Atlantic watersheds receiving similar atmospheric inputs but underlain by differing bedrock. Annual solute mass balances and volume-weighted mean solute concentrations were calculated for each watershed for each year of record. In addition, primary and secondary mineralogy were determined for each of the watersheds through analysis of soil samples and thin sections using petrographic, scanning electron microscope, electron microprobe and X-ray diffraction techniques. Mineralogical data were also compiled from the literature. These data were input to NETPATH, a geochemical program that calculates the masses of minerals that react with precipitation to produce stream water chemistry. The feasibilities of the weathering scenarios calculated by NETPATH were evaluated based on relative abundances and reactivities of minerals in the watershed. In watersheds underlain by reactive bedrocks, weathering reactions explained the stream base cation loading. In the acid-sensitive watersheds on unreactive bedrock, calculated weathering scenarios were not consistent with the abundance of reactive minerals in the underlying bedrock, and alternative sources of base cations are discussed.
Osterkamp, W.R, and Toy, T.J., 1997, Geomorphic considerations for erosion prediction: Environmental Geology, v. 29, no.3/4, p. 152-157.
Current soil-erosion prediction technology addresses processes of rainsplash, overland-flow sediment transport, and rill erosion in small watersheds. The effects of factors determining sediment yield from larger-scale drainage basins, in which sediment movement is controlled by the combined small-scale processes and a complex set of channel and other basin-scale sediment-delivery processes, such as soil creep, bioturbation, and accelerated erosion due to denudation of vegetation, have been poorly evaluated. General suggestions are provided for the development of erosion-prediction technology at the geomorphic or drainage-basin scale based on the separation of sediment-yield data for channel and geomorphic processes from those of field-scale soil loss. An emerging technology must consider: (1) the effects on sediment yield of climate, geology and soils, topography, biotic interactions with other soil processes, and land-use practices; (2) all processes of sediment delivery to a channel system; and (3) the general tendency in most drainage basins for progressively greater sediment storage in the downstream direction.
Hexavalent chromium, Cr(VI), is a contaminant that may be present in groundwaters due to industrial or mining operations. Once in the groundwater, Cr(VI) is highly mobile, posing hazards to humans as both a toxin and a suspected carcinogen. Magnetite, an Fe2+-bearing oxide mineral common in many aquifers, has recently been studied for its capacity to reduce Cr(VI) to the less mobile Cr(III) in laboratory and field studies. Magnetite persists over millions of years in rocks and soils and might be an excellent material for in-situ remediation of Cr(VI)-contaminated, magnetite-bearing soils. However, we show that the magnetite surface passivates by reaction with aqueous Cr(VI) at pH 7, limiting the capacity of magnetite to act as an electron donor for Cr(VI) reduction at neutral pH. In this paper, we use a combination of XAFS and other analytical techniques to follow reactions between aqueous Cr(VI) and synthetic magnetite. A combination of XAFS and other analytical techniques was used to monitor solution Cr concentration, the oxidation state and local structure of surface-associated Cr, and changes in the surface structure of magnetite with reaction time.
To test the effects of sewage-derived organic matter on virus attachment, super(32)P-labeled bacteriophage PRD1, linear alkylbenzene sulfonates (LAS), and tracers were injected into sewage-contaminated (suboxic, elevated organic matter) and uncontaminated (oxic, low organic matter) zones of an iron oxide-coated quartz sand and gravel aquifer on Cape Cod, MA. In the uncontaminated zone, 83% of the PRD1 were attenuated over the first meter of transport by attachment to aquifer grains. In the contaminated zone, 42% of the PRD1 were attenuated over the first meter of transport. Sewage-derived organic matter contributed to the difference in PRD1 attenuation by blocking attachment sites in the contaminated zone. At greater distances down-gradient (to a total transport distance of 3.6 m), a near-constant amount of PRD1 continued to break through, suggesting that aquifer grain heterogeneities allowed a small amount of reversible attachment. Injection of an LAS mixture (25 mg/L), a common sewage constituent, remobilized 87% of the attached PRD1 in the contaminated zone, but only 2.2% in the uncontaminated zone. LAS adsorption promoted virus recovery in the contaminated zone by altering the PRD1-surface interactions; however, the amount of LAS adsorbed was not sufficient to promote release of the attached PRD1 in the uncontaminated zone.
Inverse models using, for example, nonlinear least-squares regression, provide capabilities that help modelers take full advantage of the insight available from ground-water models. However, lack of information about the requirements and benefits of inverse models is an obstacle to their widespread use. This paper presents a simple ground-water flow problem to illustrate the requirements and benefits of the nonlinear least-squares regression method of inverse modeling and discusses how these attributes apply to field problems. The benefits of inverse modeling include: (1) expedited determination of best fit parameter values; (2) quantification of the (a) quality of calibration, (b) data shortcomings and needs, and (c) confidence limits on parameter estimates and predictions; and (3) identification of issues that are easily overlooked during nonautomated calibration.
The effect of reaction time on the trihalomethane and nonpurgeable total organic-halide formation potentials was determined by chlorinating water samples from the Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio Rivers. Samples were collected for three seasons at 12 locations on the Mississippi from Minneapolis, Minnesota, to New Orleans, Louisiana, and on the Missouri and Ohio 1.6 kilometers above their confluences with the Mississippi. Both types of compounds formed rapidly during the initial stages of the reaction-time period, with formation rates decreasing with time. The ratio of the nonpurgeable total organic-halide and trihalomethane concentrations decreased with time, with the nonpurgeable total organic-halide compounds forming faster during the first stages of the time period and the trihalomethane compounds forming faster during the latter stages of the time period. Variation with distance along the Mississippi River of the formation rates approximately paralleled the variation of the dissolved organic carbon concentration, indicating that the rates of formation, as well as the concentrations of the compounds formed, depended on the dissolved organic carbon concentration.
Data from a string of instrumented wells located on an upland of 55 m width between two wetlands in central North Dakota, USA, indicated frequent changes in water-table configuration following wet and dry periods during 5 years of investigation. A seasonal wetland is situated about 1.5 m higher than a nearby semipermanent wetland, suggesting an average ground water-table gradient of 0.02. However, water had the potential to flow as ground water from the upper to the lower wetland during only a few instances. A water-table trough adjacent to the lower semipermanent wetland was the most common water-table configuration during the first 4 years of the study, but it is likely that severe drought during those years contributed to the longevity and extent of the water-table trough. Water-table mounds that formed in response to rainfall events caused reversals of direction of flow that frequently modified the more dominant water-table trough during the severe drought. Rapid and large water-table rise to near land surface in response to intense rainfall was aided by the thick capillary fringe. One of the wettest summers on record ended the severe drought during the last year of the study, and caused a larger-scale water-table mound to form between the two wetlands. The mound was short in duration because it was overwhelmed by rising stage of the higher seasonal wetland which spilled into the lower wetland. Evapotranspiration was responsible for generating the water-table trough that formed between the two wetlands. Estimation of evapotranspiration based on diurnal fluctuations in wells yielded rates that averaged 3-5 mm day-1. On many occasions water levels in wells closer to the semipermanent wetland indicated a direction of flow that was different from the direction indicated by water levels in wells farther from the wetland. Misinterpretation of direction and magnitude of gradients between ground water and wetlands could result from poorly placed or too few observation wells, and also from infrequent measurement of water levels in wells.
Suspended material samples were collected at 16 sites along the Mississippi River and some of its tributaries during July-August 1991, October-November 1991, and April-May 1992, and separated into colloid and particulate fractions to determine the organic carbon content of these two fractions of suspended material. Sample collection involved centrifugation to isolate the suspended particulate fraction and ultrafiltration to isolate the colloid fraction. For the first time, particulate and colloid concentrations and organic carbon and nitrogen content were investigated along the entire reach of the Mississippi River from above Minneapolis, Minnesota, to below New Orleans, Louisiana. Organic carbon content of the colloid (15.2 percent) was much higher than organic carbon content of the particulate material (4.8 percent). Carbon/nitrogen ratios of colloid and particulate phases were more similar to ratios for microorganisms than to ratios for soils, humic materials, or plants.
Liquid wastes from an enriched-uranium cold-scrap recovery plant were discharged to the environment through evaporation ponds and trenches from 1966 through 1980. The ponds were lined with polyethylene and PVC membranes, but leakage from the ponds and trenches resulted in a plume of contaminated ground water extending northwestward through a highly permeable sand and gravel aquifer of glacial origin to the Pawcatuck River and the adjoining marshland. The findings of the investigation are reported and suggest that, if pumping rates are kept at less than 0.25 million U.S. gpd, groundwater supplies are unlikely to be affected.
It has generally been recognized that molecular diffusion can be a significant process affecting the transport of carbon-14 in the subsurface when occurring either from a permeable aquifer into a confining layer or from a fracture into a rock matrix. An analytical solution that is valid for steady-state radionuclide transport through fractured rock is shown to be applicable to many multilayered aquifer systems. By plotting the ratio of the rate of diffusion to the rate of decay of carbon-14 over the length scales representative of several common hydrogeologic settings, it is demonstrated that diffusion of carbon-14 should often be not only a significant process, but a dominant one relative to decay. An age-correction formula is developed and applied to the Bangkok Basin of Thailand, where a mean carbon-14-based age of 21,000 years was adjusted to 11,000 years to account for diffusion. This formula and its graphical representation should prove useful for many studies, for they can be used first to estimate the potential role of diffusion and then to make a simple first-order age correction if necessary.
A method of random resampling of residuals from stochastic models is used to generate a large number of 12-month-long traces of natural monthly runoff to be used in a position analysis model for a water-supply storage and delivery system. Position analysis uses the traces to forecast the likelihood of specified outcomes such as reservoir levels falling below a specified level or streamflows falling below statutory passing flows conditioned on the current reservoir levels and streamflows. The advantages of this resampling scheme, called bootstrap position analysis, are that it does not rely on the unverifiable assumption of normality, fewer parameters need to be estimated directly from the data, and accounting for parameter uncertainty is easily done. For a given set of operating rules and water-use requirements for a system, water managers can use such a model as a decision-making tool to evaluate different operating rules.
Microevolutionary changes in the body size of the bushy-tailed woodrat (Neotoma cinerea) since the last glacial maximum were estimated from measurements of fecal pellets preserved in paleomiddens from the Great Basin and Colorado Plateau of the United States. The changes closely track regional temperature fluctuations simulated by the Community Climate Model of the National Center for Atmospheric Research and also those estimated from deuterium isotope ratios of plant cellulose recovered from paleomiddens. Body size decreased during periods of climatic warming, as predicted from Bergmann's rule and from physiological responses to temperature stress. Fossil woodrat middens, by providing detailed temporal sequences of body sizes from many locations, permit precise quantification of responses to climatic change that have occurred in the past and may occur in the future.
Van Metre, P.C., and Callender, E., 1997, Water-quality trends in White Rock Creek Basin from 1912-1994 identified using sediment cores from White Rock Lake reservoir, Dallas, Texas: Journal of Paleolimnology, v. 17, p. 239-249.
Historical trends in selected water-quality variables from 1912 to 1994 in White Rock Creek Basin were identified by dated sediment cores from White Rock Lake. White Rock Lake is a 4.4-km2 reservoir filled in 1912 and located on the north side of Dallas, Texas, with a drainage area of 259 km2. Agriculture dominated land use in White Rock Creek Basin before about 1950. By 1990, 72% of the basin was urban. Sediment cores were dated using cesium-137 and core lithology. Major element concentrations changed, and sedimentation rates and percentage of clay-sized particles in sediments decreased beginning in about 1952 in response to the change in land use. Lead concentrations, normalized with respect to aluminum, were six times larger in sediment deposited in about 1978 than in pre-1952 sediment. Following the introduction of unleaded gasoline in the 1970s, normalized lead concentrations in sediment declined and stabilized at about two and one-half times the pre-1952 level. Normalized zinc and arsenic concentrations increased 66 and 76%, respectively, from before 1952 to 1994. No organochlorine compounds were detected in sediments deposited prior to about 1940. Concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) and DDE (a metabolite of DDT) increased rapidly beginning in the 1940s and peaked in the 1960s at 21 and 20 mu g kg-1, respectively, which is coincident with their peak use in the United States. Concentrations of both declined about an order of magnitude from the 1960s to the 1990s to 3.0 and 2.0 mu g kg-1, respectively. Chlordane and dieldrin concentrations increased during the 1970s and 1980s. The largest chlordane concentration was 8.0 mu g kg-1 and occurred in a sediment sample deposited in about 1990. The largest dieldrin concentration was 0.7 mu g kg-1 and occurred in the most recent sample deposited in the early 1990s. Agricultural use of chlordane and dieldrin was restricted in the 1970s; however, both were used as termiticides, and urban use of chlordane continued at least until 1990. Recent use of dieldrin and aldrin, which degrades to dieldrin, has not been reported; however, increasing trends in dieldrin since the 1970s suggest recent urban use could have occurred.
Van Metre, P.C., Callender, E., and Fuller, C.C., 1997, Historical trends in organo-chlorine compounds in river basins identified using sediment cores from reservoirs: Environmental Science and Technology, v. 31, p. 2339-2344.
This study used chemical analyses of dated sediment cores from reservoirs to define historical trends in water quality in the influent river basins. This work applies techniques from paleolimnology to reservoirs, and in the process, highlights differences between sediment-core interpretations for reservoirs and natural lakes. Sediment cores were collected from six reservoirs in the central and southeastern United States, sectioned, and analyzed for 137Cs and organochlorine compounds. 137Cs analyses were used to demonstrate limited post-depositional mixing, to indicate sediment deposition dates, and to estimate sediment focusing factors. Relative lack of mixing, high sedimentation rates, and high focusing factors distinguish reservoir sediment cores from cores collected in natural lakes. Temporal trends in concentrations of PCBs, total DDT (DDT + DDD + DDE), and chlordane reflect historical use and regulation of these compounds and differences in land use between reservoir drainages. PCB and total DDT core burdens, normalized for sediment focusing, greatly exceed reported cumulative regional atmospheric fallout of PCBs and total DDT estimated using cores from peat bogs and natural lakes, indicating the dominance of fluvial inputs of both groups of compounds to the reservoirs. The reservoirs sampled are Coralville Reservoir in Iowa, White Rock Lake in Texas, and Lakes Walter F. George, Harding, Blackshear, and Seminole in Georgia. Coralville Reservoir is located on the Iowa River in east central Iowa (Figure 1). The reservoir was created in 1959, has a surface area of 101 km2, and has a drainage area to surface area ratio of 80. The watershed is about 90% farmland, principally corn and soybeans.
The Interdisciplinary Research Initiative was established in the Shingobee River headwaters area in 1989 to address problems related to management of aquatic ecosystems. This watershed was selected because it has many different types of aquatic environments within a single compact watershed, and it contains lakes having greatly different residence times. The aquatic environments in the watershed include streams, lakes that interact with streams, lakes that do not interact with streams, riparian wetlands, wetlands that occupy depressions, and wetlands formed and maintained by ground-water discharge. The research conducted thus far has focused partly on carbon budgets of Williams and Shingobee Lakes, the Little Shingobee Fen, and hyporheic exchange with the Shingobee River. However, the research has evolved to encompass studies of how the integration of atmospheric, surface, and ground water sets the stage for chemical and biological processes in a variety of aquatic systems within the same watershed. The purpose of this report is to provide an overview of the findings to date and note where opportunities exist to address questions which have arisen or are unanswered.
The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the significantly increased resolution of determining macropore recharge by combining physical, chemical, and isotopic methods of analysis. Techniques for quantifying macropore recharge were developed for both small-scale (1 to 10 km2) and regional-scale areas in arid and semi-arid areas. The Southern High Plains region of Texas and New Mexico was used as a representative field site to test these methods. Macropore recharge in small-scale areas is considered to be the difference between total recharge through floors of topographically closed basins and interstitial recharge through the same area. On the regional scale, macropore recharge was considered to be the difference between regional average annual recharge and interstitial recharge measured in the unsaturated zone. Stable isotopic composition of ground water and precipitation was used as an independent estimate of macropore recharge on the regional scale. Results of this analysis suggest that in the Southern High Plains recharge flux through macropores is between 60 and 80 percent of the total 11 mm/y. Between 15 and 35 percent of the recharge occurs by interstitial recharge through the basin floors. Approximately 5 percent of the total recharge occurs as either interstitial or matrix recharge between the basin floors, representing approximately 95 percent of the area. The approach is applicable to other arid and semi-arid areas that focus rainfall into depressions or valleys.
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