Ozark Plateaus National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program

Science Center Objects

Short Title: Ozark Plateaus NAWQA

Project Chief: Billy Justus

Cooperator: U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Assessment Program

Project Time Frame: 1991 - present

The Ozark Plateaus study unit is one of more than 50 study units that are part of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program. The long-term goals of this program are to describe the status and trends in the quality of a large, representative part of the Nation's surface- and ground-water resources, and to provide a sound, scientific understanding of the primary factors affecting the quality of these resources. The program will evaluate water quality at a wide range of spatial scales, from local to national, and will employ a multidisciplinary approach using physical, chemical and biological measurements to provide multiple lines of evidence with which to evaluate water quality.

The Ozark Plateaus study unit is one of more than 50 study units that are part of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program. The long-term goals of this program are to describe the status and trends in the quality of a large, representative part of the Nation's surface- and ground-water resources, and to provide a sound, scientific understanding of the primary factors affecting the quality of these resources. The program will evaluate water quality at a wide range of spatial scales, from local to national, and will employ a multidisciplinary approach using physical, chemical and biological measurements to provide multiple lines of evidence with which to evaluate water quality.

Map of Ozark NAWQA study area.

The initial, high intensity phase of the Ozark Plateaus NAWQA began in 1991 and continued through 1995. During the high intensity phase, study unit personnel collected ground-water, surface-water, and biological samples from throughout the study unit. Results of this first cycle of studies were summarized in several reports and a fact sheets. In 1996, the study unit entered a low intensity phase. Sampling of ground water and surface water continues at a small number of sites for evaluation of water-quality trends. Beginning in 2006, additional studies in the Ozark Plateaus have been conducted on effects of nutrient enrichment on stream ecosystems (for more information see Factsheet FS-118-03: New Studies Initiated by the U.S. Geological Survey - Effects of Nutrient Enrichment on Stream Ecosystems). To study the effects of nutrient enrichment on Ozark stream ecosystems sampling was conducted at 30 small streams in the Ozark Plateaus of Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma during the summer of 2006. These streams are located in basins covering a range of landuse and nutrient conditions. Seven of these 30 streams were sampled approximately monthly in 2007 to describe nutrient concentrations. Biological communities (periphyton, benthic macroinvertebrates, and fish) and associated habitat conditions were also sampled.

Publications

Publications by the Ozark Plateaus NAWQA Study Unit