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Open-File Report 2012–1237

Prepared in cooperation with the National Park Service, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Establishment of Sentinel Sampling Sites to Monitor Changes in Water and Sediment Quality and Biota Related to Visitor Use at Lake Powell, Arizona and Utah, 2004–2006

By Robert J. Hart, Howard E. Taylor, and G.M. Anderson

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (5.3 MB)Abstract

Twenty sentinel sampling sites were established and sampled during 2004–06 at Lake Powell, Arizona and Utah, by the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Park Service—Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The sentinel sampling sites provide sampling locations on Lake Powell, the Nation’s second largest reservoir that can be visited and sampled repeatedly over time to monitor changes in water and sediment quality and also biota. The sites were established in response to an Environmental Impact Statement that addressed the use of personal watercraft on Lake Powell. The use of personal watercraft can potentially introduce hydrocarbons and other contaminants and are of concern to the health of visitors and aquatic habitats of these environments. Data from this initial sampling period (2004–06) include (1) discrete measurements of water temperature, specific conductance, pH, and water clarity; (2) major ions, nutrients, and organic carbon; (3) trace elements including rare earths; (4) organic compounds including oil and grease, total petroleum hydrocarbons, and volatile organic compounds; (5) polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in lakebed sediments; and (6) continuous depth profile measurements of water temperature, specific conductance, pH, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity. Also, the National Park Service-Glen Canyon National Recreation Area collected bacteria samples during this initial sampling period.

First posted December 31, 2012

  • This report is available only on the Web.

For additional information contact:
Office information, Arizona Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
520 N. Park Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85719

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Suggested citation:

Hart, R.J., Taylor, H.E., and Anderson, G.M., 2012, Establishment of sentinel sampling sites to monitor changes in water and sediment quality and biota related to visitor use at Lake Powell, Arizona and Utah, 2004–2006: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012–1237, 25 p. (Available at




Description of Sentinel Sampling Sites


Quality of Water and Sediment Data

Water and Sediment Data

Future Sampling Plans



References Cited

Appendixes A–F

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