Colorado Water Science Center

Publications

Filter Total Items: 657
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Year Published: 2020

Fluoride occurrence in United States groundwater

Data from 38,105 wells were used to characterize fluoride (F) occurrence in untreated United States (U.S.) groundwater. For domestic wells (n = 11,032), water from which is generally not purposely fluoridated or monitored for quality, 10.9% of the samples have F concentrations >0.7 mg/L (U.S. Public Health Service recommended optimal F...

McMahon, Peter B.; Brown, Craig J.; Johnson, Tyler D.; Belitz, Kenneth; Lindsey, Bruce D.

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Year Published: 2020

Elevation and elevation-change maps of Fountain Creek, southeastern Colorado, 2015–19

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with Colorado Springs Utilities, has been collecting topographic data at 10 study areas along Fountain Creek, Colorado, annually since 2012. The 10 study areas are located between Colorado Springs and the terminus of Fountain Creek at the Arkansas River in Pueblo. The purpose of this report is to present...

Hempel, Laura A.
Hempel, L., 2020, Elevation and elevation-change maps of Fountain Creek, southeastern Colorado, 2015–19: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3456, 10 sheets, 9 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3456.

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Year Published: 2020

Runoff sensitivity to snow depletion curve representation within a continental scale hydrologic model

The spatial variability of snow water equivalent (SWE) can exert a strong influence on the timing and magnitude of snowmelt delivery to a watershed. Therefore, the representation of subgrid or subwatershed snow variability in hydrologic models is important for accurately simulating snowmelt dynamics and runoff response. The U.S. Geological Survey...

Sexstone, Graham A.; Driscoll, Jessica M.; Hay, Lauren; Hammond, John; Barnhart, Theodore B.

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Year Published: 2020

Relating hydroclimatic change to streamflow, baseflow, and hydrologic partitioning in the Upper Rio Grande Basin, 1980 to 2015

Understanding how changing climatic conditions affect streamflow volume and timing is critical for effective water management. In the Rio Grande Basin of the southwest U.S., decreasing snowpack, increasing minimum temperatures, and decreasing streamflow have been observed in recent decades, but the effects of hydroclimatic changes on baseflow, or...

Rumsey, Christine; Miller, Matthew; Sexstone, Graham A.

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Year Published: 2020

Hydrogeologic characterization, groundwater chemistry, and vulnerability assessment, Ute Mountain Ute Reservation, Colorado and Utah

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe (UMUT), initiated a study in 2016 to increase understanding of the hydrogeology and chemistry of groundwater within select areas of the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation (UMUR) in Colorado and Utah, identify vulnerabilities to the system and other natural resources, and outline...

Bauch, Nancy J.; Arnold, L. Rick
Bauch, N.J., and Arnold, L.R., 2020, Hydrogeologic characterization, groundwater chemistry, and vulnerability assessment, Ute Mountain Ute Reservation, Colorado and Utah: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2019–5122, 76 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20195122.

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Year Published: 2020

Preferential elution of ionic solutes in melting snowpacks: Improving process understanding through field observations and modeling in the Rocky Mountains

The preferential elution of ions from melting snowpacks is a complex problem that has been linked to temporary acidification of water bodies. However, the understanding of these processes in snowpacks around the world, including the polar regions that are experiencing unprecedented warming and melting, remains limited despite being instrumental in...

Costa, Diogo; Sexstone, Graham A.; Pomeroy, J.W.; Campbell, Donald H.; Clow, David W.; Mast, Alisa

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Year Published: 2020

Effects of John Martin Reservoir on water quality and quantity: Assessment by chemical, isotopic, and mass-balance methods

Water quality and quantity can be influenced by transit through and storage in reservoirs. Assessing such effects can be challenging, however, because of mixing and residence times, and inter-annual net storage and release from both the reservoir itself and surrounding porosity. Here, different methodologies were used to assess the effect of John...

Bern, Carleton R.; Holmberg, Michael; Kisfalusi, Zachary

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Year Published: 2020

Mercury and selenium concentrations in fishes of the Upper Colorado River Basin, southwestern United States: A retrospective assessment

Mercury (Hg) and selenium (Se) are contaminants of concern for fish in the Upper Colorado River Basin (UCRB). We explored Hg and Se in fish tissues (2,324 individuals) collected over 50 years (1962–2011) from the UCRB. Samples include native and non-native fish collected from lotic waterbodies spanning 7 major tributaries to the Colorado River....

Day, Natalie; Schmidt, Travis; Roberts, James J.; Osmundson, Barbara C.; Willacker, James; Eagles-Smith, Collin

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Year Published: 2019

Exposure and potential effects of pesticides and pharmaceuticals in protected streams of the US National Park Service southeast Region

Globally protected areas offer refugia for a broad range of taxa including threatened and endangered species. The United States National Park Service (NPS) manages public lands to preserve biodiversity, but increasing park visitation and development of surrounding landscapes increase exposure to and effects from bioactive contaminants. The risk (...

Bradley, Paul; Romanok, Kristin; Duncan, Jeffrey R.; Battaglin, William; Clark, Jimmy; Hladik, Michelle; Huffman, Bradley; Iwanowicz, Luke; Journey, Celeste A.; Smalling, Kelly

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Year Published: 2019

Remote sensing of tracer dye concentrations to support dispersion studies in river channels

In river channels the flow field influences the dispersion of biota, contaminants, and other suspended or dissolved materials. Insight on patterns and rates of dispersion can be gained by injecting a pulse of visible dye and observing spatial and temporal variations in dye concentration as the pulse moves downstream. We evaluated the potential of...

Legleiter, Carl J.; McDonald, Richard R.; Nelson, Jonathan M.; Kinzel, Paul J.; Perroy, Ryan L. ; Baek, Donghae; Seo, Il Won

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Year Published: 2019

2017 Monitoring and tracking wet nitrogen deposition at Rocky Mountain National Park

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), the National Park Service (NPS), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the Nitrogen Deposition Reduction Plan (NDRP) in 2007 to address the effects and trends of nitrogen deposition at Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). The agencies chose a glidepath approach...

Kristi Morris; Mast, M. Alisa; Wetherbee, Gregory; Baron, Jill; Cheatham, Jim; Bromberg, Jim; Devore, Lisa; Hou, James; Gebhart, Kristi; Bell, Mike; Gay, David; Olson, Michael; Weinmann, Timothy; Bowker, Daniel

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Year Published: 2019

Controls on spatial and temporal variations of brine discharge to the Dolores River in the Paradox Valley, Colorado, 2016–18

The Paradox Valley in southwestern Colorado is a collapsed anticline formed by movement of the salt-rich Paradox Formation at the core of the anticline. The salinity of the Dolores River, a tributary of the Colorado River, increases substantially as it crosses the valley because of discharge of brine-rich groundwater derived from the underlying...

Mast, Alisa; Terry, Neil
Mast, M.A., and Terry, N., 2019, Controls on spatial and temporal variations of brine discharge to the Dolores River in the Paradox Valley, Colorado, 2016–18: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2019–5058, 25 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20195058.