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A statistical analysis of the quality of surface water in Nebraska

January 1, 1980

This report provides descriptive statistics for 29 chemical or biological constituents for 109 stream sites in Nebraska sampled by the U.S. Geological Survey beginning in 1946. Also provided for each site are regression equations relating specific conductance to each of 12 chemical constituents and a regression equation relating specific conductance to stream discharge.

The descriptive statistics are presented by river basins. Water leaving these basins that has the lowest mean specific conductance (266 umho/cm) is from the Niobrara River at Verdel, and water that has the highest (1,890 umho/cm) is from the South Platte River at Roscoe. Statewide, the principal cations in streamflow are calcium and sodium, and the principal anions are bicarbonate and sulfate. Calcium and bicarbonate usually predominate where mean specific conductance is less than 1,000 umho/cm, and sodium and sulfate predominate where the mean exceeds 1,000 umho/cm.

Based on regression equations, dissolved solids, hardness, calcium, magnesium and bicarbonate, with some exceptions, correlate well with specific conductance for all stream sites.

Illustrations of how regression equations may be used to estimate water quality of streamflow are given and are compared with values from actual analyses.

Publication Year 1980
Title A statistical analysis of the quality of surface water in Nebraska
DOI 10.3133/wri8043
Authors R. A. Engberg
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series Number 80-43
Index ID wri8043
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization U.S. Geological Survey