USGS - Science for a Changing World

Open-File Report 01-43

Nutrient, suspended-sediment, and total suspended-solids data for surface water in the Great Salt Lake Basins study unit, Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming, 1980-95

By Heidi K. Hadley

Prepared as part of the National Water-Quality Assessment program


Selected nitrogen and phosphorus (nutrient), suspended-sediment and total suspended-solids surface-water data were compiled from January 1980 through December 1995 within the Great Salt Lake Basins National Water-Quality Assessment study unit, which extends from southeastern Idaho to west-central Utah and from Great Salt Lake to the Wasatch and western Uinta Mountains. The data were retrieved from the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Information System and the State of Utah, Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Water Quality database. The Division of Water Quality database includes data that are submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency STOrage and RETrieval system. Water-quality data included in this report were selected for surface-water sites (rivers, streams, and canals) that had three or more nutrient, suspended-sediment, or total suspended-solids analyses. Also, 33 percent or more of the measurements at a site had to include discharge, and, for non-U.S. Geological Survey sites, there had to be 2 or more years of data. Ancillary data for parameters such as water temperature, pH, specific conductance, streamflow (discharge), dissolved oxygen, biochemical oxygen demand, alkalinity, and turbidity also were compiled, as available. The compiled nutrient database contains 13,511 samples from 191 selected sites. The compiled suspended-sediment and total suspended-solids database contains 11,642 samples from 142 selected sites. For the nutrient database, the median (50th percentile) sample period for individual sites is 6 years, and the 75th percentile is 14 years. The median number of samples per site is 52 and the 75th percentile is 110 samples. For the suspended-sediment and total suspended-solids database, the median sample period for individual sites is 9 years, and the 75th percentile is 14 years. The median number of samples per site is 76 and the 75th percentile is 120 samples. The compiled historical data are being used in the basinwide sampling strategy to characterize the broad-scale geographic and seasonal water-quality conditions in relation to major contaminant sources and background conditions. Data for this report are stored on a compact disc.

This report is contained in the following file:


The file is readable with Adobe Acrobat Reader. The reader is available for free download from Adobe Systems Incorporated.

Data files in Microsoft Excel format found on the compact disc as part of the report are also included:


Data in this report are also available for retrieval at


Purpose and scope
Description of study unit
Nitrogen and phosphorus data
Suspended-sediment and total suspended-solids data
Description of compact disc
References cited

Send questions or comments about this report to Sue Thiros at 801.908.5000.

For more information about USGS activities in Utah, visit the USGS Utah District home page.

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