Link to USGS home page.

Water Quality and Habitat Conditions in Upper Midwest Streams Relative to Riparian Vegetation and Soil Characteristics, August 1997: Study Design, Methods, and Data

Open-File Report 99-202

By 1Stephen K. Sorenson, 2Stephen D. Porter, 3Kimberlee K.B. Akers, 4Mitchell A. Harris, 3Stephen J. Kalkhoff, 5Kathy E. Lee, 3Linda R. Roberts, and 4Paul J. Terrio


1U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Va

2U.S. Geological Survey, Lakewood, CO

3U.S. Geological Survey, Iowa City, IA

4U.S. Geological Survey, Urbana, Il

5U.S. Geological Survey, Mounds View, Mn


The full report is available in pdf.  Link to the pdf.


Water-chemistry, biological, and habitat data were collected from 70 sites on Midwestern streams during August 1997 as part of an integrated, regional water-quality assessment by the U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program. The study area includes the Corn Belt region of southern Minnesota, eastern Iowa, and west-central Illinois, one of the most intensive and productive agricultural regions of the world. The focus of the study was to evaluate the condition of woodedriparian zones and the influence of basin soildrainage characteristics on water quality and biological-community responses. This report includes a description of the study design and site-characterization process, sample-collection and processing methods, laboratory methods, quality-assurance procedures, and summaries of data on nutrients, herbicides and metabolites, stream productivity and respiration, biological communities, habitat conditions, and agriculturalchemical and land-use information.




Purpose and Scope

Effects of Agricultural Intensity on Water Quality and Aquatic Life

Effects of Wooded-Riparian Areas on Water Quality and Aquatic Life

Effects of Soil Characteristics on Water Quality and Aquatic Life

Hypotheses Concerning Relations Between Stream Quality and Selected Factors


Study Design and Methods

Site Characterizaion

Characterization of Wooded-Riparian Zones in Stream Segments

Characterization of Soil Drainage in Stream Basins

Livestock Data

Population Data

Rainfall Data

Agricultural-Chemical Use and Crop Data

Characterization of Water Quality

Water-Sample Collection

Water-Sample Laboratory Analysis

Water Clarity

Stream Productivity and Respiration


Sample Collection

Periphyton Subsampling and Processing

Chlorophyll a and Ash-Free Mass Analysis

Quality-Control Samples.

Benthic Invertebrates

Characterization of Habitat Conditions

Canopy Cover

Stream-Habitat Conditions

Streambank Characteristics

Riparian-Zone Vegetation

Quality Assurance





Suggested citation

Sorenson, S.K., Porter, S.D., Akers, K.K.B., Harris, M.A., Kalkhoff, S.J., Lee, K.E., Roberts, L.R., and Terrio, P.J., 1999, Water quality and habitat conditions in upper midwest streams relative to riparian vegetation and soil characteristics, August 1997: Study design, methods, and data: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 99-202, 53 p.



The text and graphics are presented here in pdf format (print quality):

The full report is 551 KB

   Document Accessibility: Adobe Systems Incorporated has information about PDFs and the visually impaired. This information provides tools to help make PDF files accessible. These tools convert Adobe PDF documents into HTML or ASCII text, which then can be read by a number of common screen-reading programs that synthesize text as audible speech. In addition, an accessible version of Acrobat Reader 5.0 for Windows (English only), which contains support for screen readers, is available. These tools and the accessible reader may be obtained free from Adobe at Adobe Access.

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Persistent URL:
Page Contact Information: Contact USGS
Last modified: Wednesday, December 07 2016, 05:41:09 PM
FirstGov button  Take Pride in America button