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Publications - Occasional Papers

Water Quality Characteristics for the Snake River, North Fork of the Snake River, Peru Creek, and Deer Creek in Summit County, Colorado: 2001 to 2002

INSTAAR Occasional Paper 57

2005, 46 pp. (cost: $10)

As a result of both historic mining activity and natural biogeochemical processes, a large portion of the Snake River watershed in Summit County, Colorado has water quality that is impaired by acid rock drainage (ARD), resulting in low pH and elevated aqueous concentrations of metals, specifically Al, Cd, Cu, Mn, and Zn. This report presents chemical monitoring data collected during studies conducted from November 2001 through September 2002, a period of time which encompassed the most extreme drought that has been recorded in the region in the past 100 yr. This data set provides a description of several anthropogenic ARD sources. Further, it reveals that at most study sites, aqueous metal concentrations decreased during snowmelt in spring and were greatest in summer during the low stream flows associated with the severe drought conditions. This variability has direct implications for in-stream biota and for the design of future assessments of ecosystem potential.

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