Salinity Trends in Surface Waters of the Upper Colorado River Basin, Colorado
- Nancy J. Bauch * and
- Norman E. Spahr
Dissolved-solids data collected in the Upper Colorado River Basin upstream from Cameo, Colorado, and in the Gunnison River Basin were analyzed for trends in flow-adjusted dissolved-solids concentrations and loads for water years 1970 to 1993, 1980 to 1993, and 1986 to 1993. Trend results for flow-adjusted periodic dissolved-solids concentrations for the Colorado River Basin upstream from Cameo, CO, generally were downward or no trend was indicated. Trends in flow-adjusted monthly and annual dissolved-solids loads primarily were downward or absent. These trend results partly agree with the downward trends reported by a previous investigation for the Colorado River near Cameo site. In the Gunnison River Basin, trends in flow-adjusted dissolved-solids concentrations and loads were not detected for more than one-half of the site/analysis-period combinations. Of the trends that were present, most indicated decreases in concentrations and loads rather than increases. In both the Colorado River Basin upstream from Cameo, CO, and the Gunnison River Basin, trends in flow-adjusted dissolved-solids concentrations and flow-adjusted monthly and annual dissolved-solids loads may be affected by a variety of factors. These include channel evolution and hydrologic variation, water quality and flow rate of groundwater discharges and springs, sample size and period of record of dissolved-solids data, and changes in land use in the basin.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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