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Analysis of postfire hydrology, water quality, and sediment transport for selected streams in areas of the 2002 Hayman and Hinman fires, Colorado

January 4, 2014

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began a 5-year study in 2003 that focused on postfire stream-water quality and postfire sediment load in streams within the Hayman and Hinman fire study areas. This report compares water quality of selected streams receiving runoff from unburned areas and burned areas using concentrations and loads, and trend analysis, from seasonal data (approximately April–November) collected 2003–2007 at the Hayman fire study area, and data collected from 1999–2000 (prefire) and 2003 (postfire) at the Hinman fire study area. The water-quality data collected during this study include onsite measurements of streamflow, specific conductance, and turbidity, laboratory-determined pH, and concentrations of major ions, nutrients, organic carbon, trace elements, and suspended sediment. Postfire floods and effects on water quality of streams, lakes and reservoirs, drinking-water treatment, and the comparison of measured concentrations to applicable water quality standards also are discussed.

Exceedances of Colorado water-quality standards in streams of both the Hayman and Hinman fire study areas only occurred for concentrations of five trace elements (not all trace-element exceedances occurred in every stream). Selected samples analyzed for total recoverable arsenic (fixed), dissolved copper (acute and chronic), total recoverable iron (chronic), dissolved manganese (acute, chronic, and fixed) and total recoverable mercury (chronic) exceeded Colorado aquatic-life standards.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2013
Title Analysis of postfire hydrology, water quality, and sediment transport for selected streams in areas of the 2002 Hayman and Hinman fires, Colorado
DOI 10.3133/sir20125267
Authors Michael R. Stevens
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Scientific Investigations Report
Series Number 2012-5267
Index ID sir20125267
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Colorado Water Science Center