Water-Quality Parameters and Benthic Algal Communities at Selected Streams in Minnesota, August 2000—Study Design, Methods, and Data

U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 02-43


By K.E. Lee


This report is also available as a pdf.



Water-quality measurements and benthic algal samples were measured or collected from select Minnesota streams as part of a multiagency (Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Geological Survey) study. The goal of the multiagency study was to identify quantifiable thresholds of water-quality impairment and establish quantifiable indicators of nutrient enrichment for medium to high-order streams.

This report describes the study design, sampling methods, and summarizes the physical, chemical, and benthic algal data for a component of the multiagency study that was designed to document diurnal water-quality measurements (specific conductance, pH, water temperature, and dissolved oxygen), benthic algal community composition and chlorophyll-a content, and primary productivity at 12 stream sites on 6 streams in Minnesota during August 2000. Specific conductance, pH, water temperature, dissolved oxygen concentrations and percent dissolved oxygen saturation measurements were made with submersible data recorders at 30 minute intervals for a period of 3-6 days during August 2000. Benthic algae collected from wood and rock substrate were identified and enumerated. Biovolume (volume of algal cells per unit area), density (number of cells per unit area), and chlorophyll-a content from benthic algae were determined. These data can be used as part of the multiagency study to develop an understanding of the relations among nutrient concentrations, algal abundance, algal community composition, and primary production and respiration processes in rivers of differing ecoregions in Minnesota.




Purpose and scope

Study design and methods

Precipitation data

Hydrologic Data

Diurnal water-quality measurements

Stream productivity and respiration estimates

Benthic algae collection and identification

Hydrologic characterization


Water quality

Primary production and respiration

Benthic Algae


Supplemental information


For additional information write to:


U.S. Geological Survey

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2280 Woodale Drive

Mounds View, MN 55112


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