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Discharge, suspended sediment, bedload, and water quality in Clear Creek, western Nevada, water years 2010-12

September 30, 2015

Clear Creek is a small stream that drains the eastern Sierra Nevada near Lake Tahoe, flows roughly parallel to the U.S. Highway 50 corridor, and discharges to the Carson River near Carson City, Nevada. Historical and ongoing development in the drainage basin is thought to be affecting Clear Creek and its sediment-transport characteristics. A baseline study from water years 2004–07 collected and evaluated data at three Clear Creek sampling sites. These data included discharge, selected water-quality parameters, and suspended-sediment concentrations, loads, and yields. This study builds on what was learned from the baseline study in water years 2004–07 and serves as a continuation of the data collection and analyses of the Clear Creek discharge regime and associated water-quality and sediment concentrations and loads during water years 2010–12.

During this study, total annual sediment loads ranged from 355 tons per year in 2010 to 1,768 tons per year in 2011 and were significantly lower than the previous study (water years 2004–07). Bedload represented between 29 and 38 percent of total sediment load in water years 2010–12, and between 72 and 90 percent of the total sediment load in water years 2004–07, which indicates a decrease in bedload between study periods. Annual suspended-sediment loads in water years 2010–12 indicated no significant change from water years 2004–07. Mean daily discharge was significantly lower in water years 2010–12 than in waters years 2004–07 and may be the reason for the decrease in bedload that resulted in a lower total sediment load.

Publication Year 2015
Title Discharge, suspended sediment, bedload, and water quality in Clear Creek, western Nevada, water years 2010-12
DOI 10.3133/sir20155124
Authors Jena M. Huntington, Charles S. Savard
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Scientific Investigations Report
Series Number 2015-5124
Index ID sir20155124
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Nevada Water Science Center