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Open-File Report 03-148

Questa Baseline and Pre-Mining Ground-Water Quality Investigation. 2. Low-Flow (2001) and Snowmelt (2002) Synoptic/Tracer Water Chemistry for the Red River, New Mexico

U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2003-148, 166 pages (Published 2003)

By R. Blaine McCleskey, D. Kirk Nordstrom, Judy I. Steiger, Briant A. Kimball, and Philip L. Verplanck

Prepared in Cooperation with the New Mexico Environment Department

This report is available online in pdf format: USGS OFR 03-148 (13 MB)

ABSTRACT

Cover of OFR 2003-148.

Water analyses are reported for 259 samples collected from the Red River, New Mexico, and its tributaries during low-flow (2001) and spring snowmelt (2002) tracer studies. Water samples were collected along a 20-kilometer reach of the Red River beginning just east of the town of Red River and ending at the U.S. Geological Survey streamflow-gaging station located east of Questa, New Mexico. The study area was divided into three sections where separate injections and synoptic sampling events were performed during the low-flow tracer study. During the spring snowmelt tracer study, three tracer injections and synoptic sampling events were performed bracketing the areas with the greatest metal loading into the Red River as determined from the low-flow tracer study. The low-flow tracer synoptic sampling events were August 17, 20, and 24, 2001. The synoptic sampling events for the spring snowmelt tracer were March 30, 31, and April 1, 2002.

Stream and large inflow water samples were sampled using equal-width and depth-integrated sampling methods and composited into half-gallon bottles. Grab water samples were collected from smaller inflows. Stream temperatures were measured at the time of sample collection. Samples were transported to a nearby central processing location where pH and specific conductance were measured and the samples processed for chemical analyses. Cations, trace metals, iron redox species, and fluoride were analyzed at the U.S. Geological Survey laboratory in Boulder, Colorado. Cations and trace metal concentrations were determined using inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry and graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry. Arsenic concentrations were determined using hydride generation atomic absorption spectrometry, iron redox species were measured using ultraviolet-visible spectrometry, and fluoride concentrations were determined using an ion-selective electrode. Alkalinity was measured by automated titration, and sulfate, chloride, and bromide were analyzed by ion chromatography at the U.S. Geological Survey laboratory in Salt Lake City, Utah.

CONTENTS

Abstract

Introduction

Purpose and scope

Acknowledgments

Sample locations

Methods of sample collection, treatment, and analysis

Synoptic sample collection

Sample treatment

Analytical methods

Quality assurance

Intercomparison between filtration methods

Water-chemistry data from low-flow and snowmelt synoptic/tracer studies

Chemical and physical relations

Downstream profiles

References cited


REPORT AVAILABILITY

This report is available online in pdf format: USGS OFR 2003-148 (13 MB)
To view the PDF document, you need the Adobe Acrobat® Reader installed on your computer. (A free copy of the Acrobat® Reader may be downloaded from Adobe Systems Incorporated.)

Suggested citation:

McCleskey, R. Blaine; Nordstrom, D. Kirk; Steiger, Judy I.; Kimball, Briant A.; Verplanck, Philip L.., 2003, Questa Baseline and Pre-Mining Ground-Water Quality Investigation. 2. Low-Flow (2001) and Snowmelt (2002) Synoptic/Tracer Water Chemistry for the Red River, New Mexico: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2003148

For more information, contact the New Mexico Publications Unit.

USGS New Mexico Publications New Mexico Water Science Center

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