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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Salt Accumulation in the Rivers of North Dakota1


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 14 No. 2, p. 211-217
    Received: Apr 19, 1984

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  1. A. Maianu2



Chemical determinations on over 9000 water samples collected from 83 rivers and analyzed by the U.S. Geological Survey between 1949 and 1982 were used to establish the patterns of salt accumulation in North Dakota rivers. The concentrations of the principal anions, cations, and sodium adsorption ratio (SAR) were related with the total salinity (electrical conductivity, EC) of each water sample. Some patterns of salt accumulation were observed: first, according to the anions that accumulate as a continuum with increases in total salinity; and secondly, by the rate of anion accumulation. Taking into consideration these two factors, eight groups of river waters were established. Thirdly, the change of the ratios between the anions with increases in total salinity creates a succession of stages of salt accumulation. Each stage corresponds to the change of the river water chemical composition between particular total salinity limits. These changes are specific for each group of rivers depending on the topographic and geologic conditions that prevail in the drainage basin of the rivers. Based on these three factors, a genetic classification of river waters was derived, which consists in ranking the waters in three categories: classes, groups, and stages of salt accumulation.

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