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Specific conductance measurements in central and western New York streams - A retrospective characterization

September 13, 2012

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Data Rescue Program funds were used to recover data from paper records for 139 streamgages across central and western New York State; 6,133 different streamflow measurement forms, collected between 1970-80, contained field water-quality measurements. The water-quality data were entered, reviewed, and uploaded into the USGS National Water Information System. In total, 4,285 unique site visits were added to the database. The new values represent baseline water quality from which to measure change and will lead to a comparison of water-quality change over the last 40 years and into the future. Specific conductance was one of the measured properties and represents a simple way to determine if ambient inorganic water quality has been altered by anthropogenic (road salt runoff, wastewater discharges, or natural gas development) or natural sources. The objective of this report is to describe ambient specific conductance characteristics of surface water across the central and western part of New York. This report presents median specific conductance of stream discharge for the period 1970-80 and a description of the relation between specific conductance and concentrations of total dissolved solids (TDS) retrieved from the USGS National Water Information System (NWIS) database from 1955 to present. The data descriptions provide a baseline of surface-water specific conductance data that can used for comparison to current and future measurements in New York streams.

Publication Year 2012
Title Specific conductance measurements in central and western New York streams - A retrospective characterization
DOI 10.3133/ofr20121174
Authors William M. Kappel, Gaylen J. Sinclair, James E. Reddy, David A. Eckhardt, M. Peter deVries, Margaret E. Phillips
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 2012-1174
Index ID ofr20121174
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization New York Water Science Center