Toll Gate Creek is a perennial stream draining a suburban area in Aurora, Colorado, where selenium concentrations have consistently exceeded the State of Colorado aquatic-life standard for selenium of 4.6 micrograms per liter since the early 2000s. In cooperation with the City of Aurora, Colorado, Utilities Department, a synoptic water-quality study was performed along an 18-kilometer reach of Toll Gate Creek extending from downstream from Quincy Reservoir to the confluence with Sand Creek to develop a detailed understanding of streamflow and concentrations and loads of selenium in Toll Gate Creek. Streamflow and surface-water quality were characterized for summer low-flow conditions (July–August 2007) using four spatially overlapping synoptic-sampling subreaches. Mass-balance methods were applied to the synoptic-sampling and tracer-injection results to estimate streamflow and develop spatial profiles of concentration and load for selenium and other chemical constituents in Toll Gate Creek surface water. Concurrent groundwater sampling determined concentrations of selenium and other chemical constituents in groundwater in areas surrounding the Toll Gate Creek study reaches. Multivariate principal-component analysis was used to group samples and to suggest common sources for dissolved selenium and major ions. Hydrogen and oxygen stable-isotope ratios, groundwater-age interpretations, and chemical analysis of water-soluble paste extractions from core samples are presented, and interpretation of the hydrologic and geochemical data support conclusions regarding geologic sources of selenium and the processes affecting selenium loading in the Toll Gate Creek watershed.
|Title||Streamflow and water-quality conditions including geologic sources and processes affecting selenium loading in the Toll Gate Creek watershed, Aurora, Arapahoe County, Colorado, 2007|
|Authors||Suzanne S. Paschke, Robert L. Runkel, Katherine Walton-Day, Briant A. Kimball, Keelin R. Schaffrath|
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Series Title||Scientific Investigations Report|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Colorado Water Science Center; Utah Water Science Center|