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Open-File Report 2012–1236

Prepared in cooperation with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

Temporal and Spatial Trends of Chloride and Sodium in Groundwater in New Hampshire, 1960–2011

By Laura Medalie

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (1.73 MB)Abstract

Data on concentrations of chloride and sodium in groundwater in New Hampshire were assembled from various State and Federal agencies and organized into a database. This report provides documentation of many assumptions and limitations of disparate data that were collected to meet wide-ranging objectives and investigates temporal and spatial trends of the data. Data summaries presented in this report and analyses performed for this study needed to take into account the 27 percent of chloride and 5 percent of sodium data that were censored (less than a reporting limit) at multiple reporting limits that systematically decreased over time. Throughout New Hampshire, median concentrations of chloride were significantly greater during 2000-2011 than in every decade since the 1970s, and median concentrations of sodium were significantly greater during 2000-2011 than during the 1990s. Results of summary statistics showed that the 50th, 75th, and 90th percentiles of the median concentrations of chloride and sodium by source (well) from Rockingham and Strafford counties were the highest in the State; and the 75th and 90th percentiles from Carroll, Coos, and Grafton counties were the lowest. Large increases in median concentrations of chloride and sodium for individual wells after 1995 compared with concentrations for years before were found in parts of Belknap and Rockingham counties and in small clusters within Carroll, Hillsborough, and Merrimack counties.

First posted November 27, 2012

For additional information contact:
Office Chief
U.S. Geological Survey
New England Water Science Center
New Hampshire-Vermont Office
331 Commerce Way, Suite 2
Pembroke, NH 03275

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Suggested citation:

Medalie, Laura, 2012, Temporal and spatial trends of chloride and sodium in groundwater in New Hampshire, 1960–2011: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012–1236, 25 p., available only at




Data and Methods

Spatial and Temporal Trends in Concentrations

References Cited

Appendix 1. Description of the Database for Salt in New Hampshire Groundwater

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