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  California Water Science Center

Surface Water: Cycle I Activities (1991 - 2001)

Retrospective Analysis
The review and analysis of existing surface water-quality data provide a historical perspective on surface water quality in the Study Unit and are used to assess strengths and weaknesses of available information and to evaluate initial priorities for study design.

References:
Domagalski, J.L., 1997, Pesticides in surface and ground water of the San Joaquin-Tulare Basins, California: Analysis of Available Data, 1966 through 1992: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 2468, 74 p.

Kratzer, C.R., and Shelton, J.L., 1998, Water-quality assessment of the San Joaquin-Tulare Basins, California: Analysis of available data on nutrients and suspended sediment in surface water, 1972-1990: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1587, 92 p.

Surface Water Study Design

The approach taken by NAWQA to assess the water quality of streams is based on three interrelated components: Water Column, Bed Sediment and Tissue, and Ecological Studies. The Water Column and Bed Sediment and Tissue Studies are described here and the Ecological Studies are described under Aquatic Ecology Activities. The Water Column Studies are made up of the Basic-Fixed Site Assessment, the Intensive-Fixed Site Assessment, Synoptic Studies, and Low-Intensity Phase Sampling. The sampling strategy of these studies is based on the general concept of initial intensive sampling of few sites for all water-quality characteristics, and progressively adding more sites for more specific and less frequent sampling. For instance, fewer constituents are measured during a shorter time frame for the Synoptic Studies than for the Intensive Fixed-Site Assessment, but the spatial coverage is broader. The Bed Sediment and Tissue Study was designed to provide an initial identification of important constituents and their occurrence in the Study Unit. Concentrations and their areal distribution are assessed to identify occurrence and potential needs for more detailed study.

Summary of surface-water sites with data on this web page: Site Information

References:
Gilliom, R.J., Alley, W.M., and Gurtz, M.E., 1995, Design of the National Water-Quality Assessment Program--Occurrence and distribution of water-quality conditions: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1112, 33 p.


Basic-Fixed Site Assessment
The primary objective of the Basic-Fixed Site Assessment was to characterize the spatial and temporal distribution of general water-quality conditions and the transport of major inorganic constituents in stream water in relation to hydrologic conditions and sources.

Data collected:
A network of 10 sites were sampled for stream flow, nutrients, major ions, organic carbon, suspended sediment, water temperature, specific conductance, pH, and dissolved oxygen during 1992 through 1995, following procedures described by Shelton (1994). Four of these Basic-Fixed Sites are also Intensive-Fixed Sites (described below).

Location of Basic-Fixed Sites


Selected data available for downloading:
Site information

Field measurements, total hardness, and suspended sediment:
1992: view data | download data
1993: view data | download data
1994: view data | download data
1995: view data | download data

Nutrients and organic carbon data:
         Please go to NWISweb to download the latest available data


Major inorganics:
1992: view data | download data
1993: view data | download data
1994: view data | download data
1995: view data | download data

References:
Shelton, L.R., 1994, Field guide for collecting and processing stream-water samples for the National Water-Quality Assessment Program, U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 94-455, 42 p.


Intensive-Fixed Site Assessment
The purpose of the Intensive-Fixed Site Assessment was to assess the seasonal and short-term temporal variability of pesticides.

Data collected:
All sites were sampled for pesticides (insecticides and herbicides) from January - December 1993.

See Map above for location of Intensive-Fixed Sites.

Selected data available for downloading: Site information

Insecticides I: view data | download data
Insecticides II: view data | download data
Herbicides I: view data | download data
Herbicides II: view data | download data
Herbicides III: view data | download data
Herbicides IV: view data | download data

[Note: * Memo 98.03 on Changes in Reporting Levels and Data Qualifiers]

References:
Domagalski, J.L., 1997, Results of a prototype surface water network design for pesticides developed for the San Joaquin River Basin, California: Journal of Hydrology, v. 192, p 33-50.

Panshin, S.Y., Dubrovsky, N.M., Gronberg, J.M., and Domagalski, J.L., 1998, Occurrence and distribution of dissolved pesticides in the San Joaquin Basin, California, U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations 98-4032, 88 p.


Synoptic Studies: Dye-Tracer Studies
The dye-tracer studies were conducted to determine traveltimes in the lower San Joaquin Basin to aid in the interpretation of pesticide data.

Data collected:
Dye releases were made on the Merced River (February 1994), Salt Slough (June 1994), and Tuolumne River (February 1995). Dye concentrations were measured over time at several sites downstream of the release points.

Location of site sampled in dye-tracer study

References:
Kratzer, C.R., and Biagtan, R.N., 1997, Determination of traveltimes in the lower San Joaquin River Basin, California, from dye-tracer studies during 1994-1995: U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Investigations Report 97-4018, 20p.


Diazinon Transport Studies
The purpose of the diazinon transport studies was to describe the variability of diazinon concentrations in, and to determine the significance of, tributary sources to total diazinon transport in the San Joaquin Basin during winter storms.

Data collected:
Storms were sampled during the winters of 1993 and 1994. The storm sampling occurred during and after the February 8-11, 1993, February 18-20, 1993, January 23-25, 1994 and February 6-8, 1994 events. Streamflows were measured and samples were analyzed for dissolved diazinon concentrations.

Location of Precipitation, Water Quality, and Streamflow sites
Selected data available for downloading (1994 storm sampling and weekly sampling during storm months):
Site information

Diazinon: view data | download data

References:
Domagalski, J.L., Dubrovsky, N.M., and Kratzer, C.R., 1997, Pesticides in the San Joaquin River, California: Inputs from dormant sprayed orchards: Journal of Environmental Quality, v. 26, no. 2, p. 454-465.

Kratzer, C.R., 1999, Transport of diazinon in the San Joaquin River Basin, California: Journal of the American Water Resources Association, v. 35, no. 2, p. 379-395.



Study of Pesticides in Storm Runoff from Agricultural and Urban Areas in the Tuolumne River Basin
The purpose of this study was to describe the occurrence of pesticides in storm runoff from agricultural and urban areas in the Tuolumne River Basin, and to relate occurrence, concentrations, and loads to application.

Data collected:
Eight samples of agricultural runoff were collected from the Tuolumne River at Modesto during a February 1994 storm and ten samples of urban runoff were collected from five storm drains in the Modesto area during a February 1995 storm.

Selected data available for downloading:

Agricultural Sampling (February 8-10, 1994):
Site information
Pesticide I: view data | download data
Pesticide II: view data | download data

Urban Sampling (February 13-14, 1995):
Site information
Pesticide I: view data | download data
Pesticide II: view data | download data

References:
Kratzer, C.R., 1998, Pesticides in storm runoff from agricultural and urban areas in the Tuolumne River Basin in the vicinity of Modesto, California: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Reports 98-4017, 17 p.



Sediment-bound Organochlorine Pesticide Transport Study
The purpose of this study was to determine the occurrence and concentrations of organochlorine pesticides on suspended sediment in small west-side tributaries and the main stem of the San Joaquin River, and compare transport during the irrigation season to transport during winter storm runoff.

Data collected:
Samples of suspended sediment and stream water were collected in June 1994 during the irrigation season and in January 1995 during a winter storm. These samples were analyzed for selected organochlorine pesticides.

Location of sampling sites for sediment-bound organochlorine pesticides

Selected data available for downloading:

Summer Sampling (June 1994):
Site information
Stream flow and Suspended Sediment: view data | download data
Organochlorine pesticides on suspended sediment: view data | download data
Dissolved Organochlorine pesticides: view data | download data

Winter Sampling (January 1995):
Site information
Stream flow and Suspended Sediment: view data | download data
Organochlorine pesticides on suspended sediment: view data | download data
Dissolved Organochlorine pesticides: view data | download data

References:
Kratzer, C.R., 1999, Transport of sediment-bound organochlorine pesticides to the San Joaquin River, California: Journal of the American Water Resources Association, v. 35, no. 4, p. 957-981.


Bed Sediment and Tissue Occurrence Study
The primary objective of this study is to determine which trace elements and hydrophobic organic compounds occur at elevated levels relative to background conditions or at levels potentially toxic to humans or aquatic life. The occurrence survey for contaminants in bed sediment and tissues in the San Joaquin-Tulare Basins study unit focused on the perennial reach of the main stem of the San Joaquin River and tributaries to this reach within the San Joaquin Valley.

Data Collected:
Bed sediment data was collected from 17 sites in October 1992. These samples were analyzed for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides, semivolatile organic compounds, and trace elements. Clams and fish were collected at 18 sites in October-November 1992. The tissues from these samples were analyzed for PCBs, organochlorine pesticides, and trace elements.

Location of Bed Sediment and Tissue Sites

Selected data available for downloading:
Bed Sediment:
Site information
Organochlorine Pesticides I: view data | download data
Organochlorine Pesticides II + PCB: view data | download data

Tissue:
Site information
Organochlorine Pesticides I: view data | download data
Organochlorine Pesticides II + PCB: view data | download data

References:
Brown, L.R., 1997, Concentrations of chlorinated organic compounds in biota and bed sediment in streams of the San Joaquin Valley, California: Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, v.33, no. 4, p. 357-368.

Pereira, W.E., Domagalski, J.L., Hostettler, F.D., Brown, L.R., and Rapp, J.B., 1996, Occurrence and accumulation of pesticides and organic contaminants in river sediment, water, and clam tissues from the San Joaquin River and tributaries, California: Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, v. 15, no. 2, p. 172-180.



Low-Intensity Phase Sampling
The Low-Intensity Phase Sampling is intended to meet the objectives of trend assessment, which are to analyze past changes in water quality and to identify, describe, and explain (as possible) current and future changes and trends in water quality.

Data collected:
The Merced River at River Road Bridge near Newman, Orestimba Creek at River Road near Crows Landing, and San Joaquin River near Vernalis were sampled at least once a month during the low-intensity phase (1997-2001). Additionally, the Merced River and Orestimba Creek sites were also sampled twice a month during January through July each year (starting in 1998). Water-quality constituents include major ions, nutrients, suspended sediment and pesticides. In 1997, bed sediment samples were collected and analyzed for organic compounds and trace elements; tissue samples were collected and analyzed for organochlorine pesticides and total PCB.

Selected data available for downloading:
Site information
Field measurements, total hardness, and suspended sediment: view data | download data
Nutrients and organic carbon:
         Please go to NWISweb to download the latest available data

Major inorganic compounds: view data | download data
Insecticides I: view data | download data
Insecticides II: view data | download data
Herbicides I: view data | download data
Herbicides II: view data | download data
Herbicides III: view data | download data
Herbicides IV: view data | download data
Organochlorine Data for Tissue: view data | download data

Bed Sediment Data not yet available



Alternate methods of obtaining data

NWISWeb - Water Data for Nation: Online Searchable database of USGS data
NAWQA Data Warehouse: Online Searchable database of NAWQA data


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Page Last Modified: Friday, 22-Feb-2013 13:57:31 EST