Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Water-quality and streamflow datasets used for estimating loads considered for use in the 2002 Midcontinent nutrient SPARROW models, United States and Canada, 1970-2012

March 29, 2018

The United States Geological Survey's (USGS) SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) model was developed to aid in the interpretation of monitoring data and simulate water-quality conditions in streams across large spatial scales. SPARROW is a hybrid empirical⁄process-based mass balance model that can be used to estimate the major sources and environmental factors that affect the long-term supply, transport, and fate of contaminants in streams. The spatially explicit model structure is defined by a river reach network coupled with contributing catchments. The model is calibrated by statistically relating watershed sources and transport-related properties to monitoring-based water-quality load estimates. Load estimates used in recent Midcontinent SPARROW model applications (2002 base year) are described in Saad and others, 2018 (https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20185051). Load estimation methods described in this report include the Beale Ratio Estimator and Fluxmaster models. This USGS data release, prepared in cooperation with the International Joint Commission, contains all of the input and output files necessary to reproduce the load estimates considered for inclusion in the 2002 Midcontinent SPARROW models. Data preparation for input to the load estimation models is also fully described in the above-mentioned report.

Related Content