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Water-Chemistry Data for Selected Hot Springs, Geysers, and Streams in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, 2001-2002

U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2004-1316

By  R. Blaine McCleskey, James W. Ball, D. Kirk Nordstrom, JoAnn M. Holloway, and Howard E. Taylor

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Water analyses are reported for one-hundred-twenty-one samples collected from hot springs and their overflow drainages, the Gibbon River, and one ambient-temperature acid stream in Yellowstone National Park (YNP) during 2001-2002. Twenty-five analyses are reported for samples collected during May 2001, fifty analyses are reported for samples collected during September 2001, eleven analyses are reported for samples collected during October 2001, and thirty-five analyses are reported for samples collected during June and July 2002. Water samples were collected and analyzed for major and trace constituents from nine areas of YNP including Norris Geyser Basin, Nymph Lake and Roadside Springs, Lower Geyser Basin, Washburn Springs, Calcite Springs, Crater Hills, Mammoth Hot Springs, West Thumb Geyser Basin, and Brimstone Basin. These water samples were collected and analyzed as part of research investigations in YNP on arsenic redox distribution in hot springs and overflow drainages, the occurrence and distribution of dissolved mercury, and sulfur redox speciation. Most samples were analyzed for major cations and anions, trace metals, and iron, arsenic, nitrogen, and sulfur redox species. Only mercury concentration, pH, and specific conductance were determined for samples collected in October 2001 as they were collected during a reconnaissance field trip. Analyses were performed at the sampling site, in an onsite mobile laboratory, or later in a U.S. Geological Survey laboratory, depending on stability of the constituent and whether it could be preserved effectively.

Water samples were filtered and preserved onsite. Water temperature, specific conductance, pH, Eh, and dissolved hydrogen sulfide were measured onsite at the time of sampling. Alkalinity and acidity were determined by titration, usually within a few days of sample collection. Concentrations of thiosulfate (S2O3) and polythionate (SnO6) were determined as soon as possible (generally minutes to hours after sample collection) by ion chromatography in an onsite mobile laboratory vehicle. Total dissolved iron and ferrous iron concentrations often were measured onsite in the mobile laboratory.

Concentrations of aluminum, arsenic, barium, beryllium, boron, cadmium, calcium, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, lead, lithium, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, potassium, selenium, silica, sodium, strontium, vanadium, and zinc were determined by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry. Trace concentrations of antimony, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, copper, lead, and selenium were determined by Zeeman-corrected graphite-furnace atomic-absorption spectrometry. Concentrations of total arsenic and arsenite were determined by hydride-generation atomic-absorption spectrometry using a flow-injection analysis system. Concentrations of total mercury were determined by cold-vapor atomic fluorescence spectrometry. Concentrations of bromide, chloride, nitrate, and sulfate were determined by ion chromatography. Concentrations of ferrous and total iron were determined by the FerroZine colorimetric method. Concentrations of nitrite were determined by colorimetry or chemiluminescence. Concentrations of ammonia were determined by ion chromatography, with reanalysis by colorimetry when separation of sodium and ammonia peaks was poor. Dissolved organic carbon concentrations were determined by the wet persulfate oxidation method.




    Purpose and Scope 


Methods of Sample Collection, Preservation, and Analysis 

    Sample Collection and Preservation 

    Analytical Measurements

    Field Measurements

        pH Measurements

        Hydrogen Sulfide Determinations 

    Major-Cation and Trace-Metal Determinations

    Major-Anion Determinations

    Nutrient and Dissolved Organic Carbon Determinations

    Water Isotope determinations

    Acidity Determinations

    Revised pH Measurements

Sample Locations and Cross-Reference Information

Water-Chemistry Data

References Cited

Appendix 1, Quality Assurance and Quality Control

Appendix 2, Sample Site Photographs



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