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Use of dye tracing in water-resources investigations in Wyoming, 1967-94

May 1, 1997

During 1967-94, the U.S. Geological Survey made numerous applications of dye tracing for water-resources investigations in Wyoming. Many of the dye tests were done in cooperation with other agencies. Results of all applications, including some previously unpublished, are described. A chronology of past applications in Wyoming and a discussion of potential future applications are included. Time-of-travel and dispersion measurements were made in a 113-mile reach of the Wind/Bighorn River below Boysen Dam; a 117-mile reach of the Green River upstream from Fontenelle Reservoir and a 70-mile reach downstream; parts of four tributaries to the Green (East Fork River, 39 miles; Big Sandy River, 112 miles; Horse Creek, 14 miles; and Blacks Fork, 14 miles); a 75-mile reach of the Little Snake River along the Wyoming-Colorado State line; and a 95-mile reach of the North Platte River downstream from Casper. Reaeration measurements were made during one of the time-of-travel measurements in the North Platte River. Sixty-eight dye-dilution measurements of stream discharge were made at 22 different sites. These included 17 measurements for verifying the stage-discharge relations for streamflow-gaging stations on North and South Brush Creeks near Saratoga, and total of 29 discharge measurements at 12 new stations at remote sites on steep, rough mountain streams crossing limestone outcrops in northeastern Wyoming. The largest discharge measured by dye tracing was 2,300 cubic feet per second. In karst terrane, four losing streams-North Fork Powder River, North Fork Crazy Woman Creek, Little Tongue River, and Smith Creek-were dye-tested. In the Middle Popo Agie River, a sinking stream in Sinks Canyon State Park, a dye test verified the connection of the sink (Sinks of Lander Cave) to the rise, where flow in the stream resumes.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1996
Title Use of dye tracing in water-resources investigations in Wyoming, 1967-94
DOI 10.3133/wri964122
Authors J. F. Wilson, J.G. Rankl
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series Number 96-4122
Index ID wri964122
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse