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Open-File Report 2014-1104

Discharge, Water Quality, and Native Fish Abundance in the Virgin River, Utah, Nevada, and Arizona, in Support of Pah Tempe Springs Discharge Remediation Efforts

By Matthew P. Miller, Patrick M. Lambert, and Thomas B. Hardy

Abstract

Pah Tempe Springs discharge hot, saline, low dissolved-oxygen water to the Virgin River in southwestern Utah, which is transported downstream to Lake Mead and the Colorado River. The dissolved salts in the Virgin River negatively influence the suitability of this water for downstream agricultural, municipal, and industrial use. Therefore, various remediation scenarios to remove the salt load discharged from Pah Tempe Springs to the Virgin River are being considered. One concern about this load removal is the potential to impact the ecology of the Virgin River. Specifically, information is needed regarding possible impacts of Pah Tempe Springs remediation scenarios on the abundance, distribution, and survival of native fish in the Virgin River. Future efforts that aim to quantitatively assess how various remediation scenarios to reduce the load of dissolved salts from Pah Tempe Springs into the Virgin River may influence the abundance, distribution, and survival of native fish will require data on discharge, water quality, and native fish abundance. This report contains organized accessible discharge, water quality, and native fish abundance data sets from the Virgin River, documents the compilation of these data, and discusses approaches for quantifying relations between abiotic physical and chemical conditions, and fish abundance.

First posted July 15, 2014

For additional information, contact:
Director, Utah Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
2329 Orton Circle
Salt Lake City, Utah 84119
http://ut.water.usgs.gov/

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Suggested citation:

Miller, M.P., Lambert, P.M., and Hardy, T.B., 2014, Discharge, water quality, and native fish abundance in the Virgin River, Utah, Nevada, and Arizona, in support of Pah Tempe Springs discharge remediation efforts: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2014-1104, 16 p., https://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20141104.

ISSN 2231-1258 (online)



Contents

Abstract

Introduction

Purpose and Scope

Data Compilation

Possible Applications of Data and Next Steps

Acknowledgments

References Cited


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