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Reconstructing historical changes in the environmental health of watersheds by using sediment cores from lakes and reservoirs in Salt Lake Valley, Utah

June 1, 2001

The Great Salt Lake Basins study area of the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) program, which began in 1997, is increasing the scientific understanding of factors that affect surface-water quality within the study-area boundaries (fig. 1). One way to improve the understanding of these factors is to look at historical trends in existing water-quality data. Unfortunately, short record lengths, in- consistent analytical methods, numerous measurements at less than detection levels, and questionable accuracy limit the usefulness of historical monitoring data for most trace inorganic and organic contaminants found in streams, rivers, and lakes in the study area.

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