Surface-Water Quality Assessment of the North Fork Red River Basin Upstream from Lake Altus, Oklahoma, 2002

By S. Jerrod Smith, M.L. Schneider, J.R. Masoner, and R.L. Blazs

Open-File Report 03362


Prepared in cooperation with the
Bureau of Reclamation


The report is available in PDF format.


Elevated salinity in the North Fork Red River is a major concern of the Bureau of Reclamation W. C. Austin Project at Lake Altus. Understanding the relation between surface-water runoff, ground-water discharge, and surface-water quality is important for maintaining the beneficial use of water in the North Fork Red River basin. Agricultural practices, petroleum production, and natural dissolution of salt-bearing bedrock have the potential to influence the quality of nearby surface water.

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Bureau of Reclamation, sampled stream discharge and water chemistry at 19 stations on the North Fork Red River and tributaries. To characterize surface-water resources of the basin in a systematic manner, samples were collected synoptically during receding streamflow conditions during July 8-11, 2002.

Together, sulfate and chloride usually constitute greater than half of the dissolved solids. Concentrations of sulfate ranged from 87.1 to 3,450 milligrams per liter. The minimum value was measured at McClellan Creek near Back (07301220), and the maximum value was measured at Bronco Creek near Twitty (07301303). Concentrations of chloride ranged from 33.2 to 786 milligrams per liter. The minimum value was measured at a North Fork Red River tributary (unnamed) near Twitty (07301310), and the maximum value was measured at the North Fork Red River near Back (07301190), the most upstream sample station.




Purpose and Scope


Description of study area

Hydrogeologic setting

Water use

Land use


Surface-water quality

References cited


For additional information write to:


District Chief

U.S. Geological Survey

Water-Resources Division

202 NW 66 St., Bldg. 7

Oklahoma City, OK 73116


Copies of this report can be purchased from:


U.S. Geological Survey

Information Services

Box 25286

Federal Center

Denver, CO 80225

Download the PDF version of the report for high-resolution, printable pages (4.8MB).

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.

FirstGov button  Take Pride in America button