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Publications

The majority of publications in this section address water resources in Utah or in bordering states. Some of the publications are included because one or more of the authors work at the Utah Water Science Center but have provided expertise to studies in other geographic areas.

Filter Total Items: 883

Nitrogen in the Chesapeake Bay watershed—A century of change, 1950–2050

ForewordSustaining the quality of the Nation’s water resources and the health of our diverse ecosystems depends on the availability of sound water-resources data and information to develop effective, science-based policies. Effective management of water resources also brings more certainty and efficiency to important economic sectors. Taken together, these actions lead to immediate and long-term e

How will baseflow respond to climate change in the Upper Colorado River Basin?

Baseflow is critical to sustaining streamflow in the Upper Colorado River Basin. Therefore, effective water resources management requires estimates of baseflow response to climatic changes. This study provides the first estimates of projected baseflow changes from historical (1984 – 2012) to thirty-year periods centered around 2030, 2050, and 2080 under warm/wet, median, and hot/dry climatic condi

Substantial declines in salinity observed across the Upper Colorado River Basin during the 20th century, 1929 to 2019

Salinity in the Colorado River Basin causes an estimated $300 to $400 million per year in economic damages in the U.S. To inform and improve salinity‐control efforts, this study quantifies long‐term trends in salinity (dissolved solids) across the Upper Colorado River Basin (UCRB), including time periods prior to the construction of large dams and preceding the implementation of salinity‐control p

Continental-scale analysis of shallow and deep groundwater contributions to streams

Groundwater discharge generates streamflow and influences stream thermal regimes. However, the water quality and thermal buffering capacity of groundwater depends on the aquifer source-depth. Here, we pair multi-year air and stream temperature signals to categorize 1729 sites across the continental United States as having major dam influence, shallow or deep groundwater signatures, or lack of pron

Groundwater management process simulations using an updated version of the three-dimensional numerical model of groundwater flow in northern Utah Valley, Utah County, Utah

Groundwater is a primary source of drinking water in northern Utah County. The groundwater system is recharged mainly from precipitation in the adjacent Wasatch Mountains and infiltration of streamflow. In 2004, groundwater withdrawals were estimated to be roughly 44,500 acre-feet per year. In 2016, groundwater withdrawals were estimated to be greater than 63,400 acre-feet per year. To prepare for

Ground‐penetrating radar, electromagnetic induction, terrain, and vegetation observations coupled with machine learning to map permafrost distribution at Twelvemile Lake, Alaska

We collected ground‐penetrating radar (GPR) and frequency‐domain electromagnetic induction (FDEM) profiles in 2011 and 2012 to identify the extent of permafrost relative to surface biomass and solar insolation around Twelvemile Lake near Fort Yukon, Alaska. We compared a Landsat‐derived biomass estimate and modeled solar insolation from a digital elevation model to the geophysical measurements. We

Modeling estrogenic activity in streams throughout the Potomac and Chesapeake Bay watersheds

Endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs), specifically estrogenic endocrine-disrupting compounds, vary in concentration and composition in surface waters under the influence of different landscape sources and landcover gradients. Estrogenic activity in surface waters may lead to adverse effects in aquatic species at both individual and population levels, often observed through the presence of interse

Changing climate drives future streamflow declines and challenges in meeting water demand across the southwestern United States

Society and the environment in the arid southwestern United States depend on reliable water availability, yet current water use outpaces supply. Water demand is projected to grow in the future and climate change is expected to reduce supply. To adapt, water managers need robust estimates of future regional water supply to support management decisions. To address this need, we estimate future strea

The firn meltwater Retention Model Intercomparison Project (RetMIP): Evaluation of nine firn models at four weather station sites on the Greenland ice sheet

Perennial snow, or firn, covers 80 % of the Greenland ice sheet and has the capacity to retain surface meltwater, influencing the ice sheet mass balance and contribution to sea-level rise. Multilayer firn models are traditionally used to simulate firn processes and estimate meltwater retention. We present, intercompare and evaluate outputs from nine firn models at four sites that represent the ice

Hydrologic properties of a highly permeable firn aquifer in the Wilkins Ice Shelf, Antarctica

We present measurements of the density, hydraulic conductivity, and specific discharge of a widespread firn aquifer in Antarctica, within the Wilkins Ice Shelf. At the field site, the aquifer is 16.2 m thick, starting at 13.4 m from the snow surface and transitioning from water‐saturated firn to ice at 29.6 m. Hydraulic conductivity derived from slug tests show a geometric mean value of 1.4 ± 1.2 

Development of a method to identify complex wells and assess the accuracy of basin withdrawals in Utah

Power consumption coefficients (PCCs) and dedicated flowmeter records for irrigation wells in three Utah groundwater basins were analyzed to develop a method to better characterize the accuracy of annual groundwater withdrawal estimates. The PCC method has been used by the U.S. Geological Survey in Utah since 1963 as a way to estimate groundwater withdrawal. As a result, most irrigation wells in U

Integrated borehole, radar, and seismic velocity analysis reveals dynamic spatial variations within a firn aquifer in southeast Greenland

Perennial water storage in firn aquifers has been observed within the lower percolation zone of the southeast Greenland ice sheet. Spatially distributed seismic and radar observations, made ~50 km upstream of the Helheim Glacier terminus, reveal spatial variations of seismic velocity within a firn aquifer. From 1.65 to 1.8 km elevation, shear‐wave velocity (Vs) is 1,290 ± 180 m/s in the unsaturate