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U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012–1203

Biotic, Water-Quality, and Hydrologic Metrics Calculated for the Analysis of Temporal Trends in National Water Quality Assessment Program Data in the Western United States

By Stephen M. Wiele, Anne M.D. Brasher, Matthew P. Miller, Jason T. May, and Kurt D. Carpenter

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (3.2 MB)Abstract

The U.S. Geological Survey’s National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program was established by Congress in 1991 to collect long-term, nationally consistent information on the quality of the Nation’s streams and groundwater. The NAWQA Program utilizes interdisciplinary and dynamic studies that link the chemical and physical conditions of streams (such as flow and habitat) with ecosystem health and the biologic condition of algae, aquatic invertebrates, and fish communities. This report presents metrics derived from NAWQA data and the U.S. Geological Survey streamgaging network for sampling sites in the Western United States, as well as associated chemical, habitat, and streamflow properties. The metrics characterize the conditions of algae, aquatic invertebrates, and fish. In addition, we have compiled climate records and basin characteristics related to the NAWQA sampling sites. The calculated metrics and compiled data can be used to analyze ecohydrologic trends over time.

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For additional information:
Contact Information, National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program
U.S. Geological Survey
913 National Center
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
Reston, VA 20192

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Suggested citation:

Wiele, S.M., Brasher A.M.D., Miller, M.P., May J.T., and Carpenter, K.D., 2012, Biotic, water-quality, and hydrologic metrics calculated for the analysis of temporal trends in National Water Quality Assessment Program Data in the Western United States: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012–1203, 11 p. and data tables. (Available at




Purpose and Scope

Data Compilation and Analysis

References Cited

Appendixes 1–9

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