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Spatial and Temporal Variations in Streamflow, Dissolved Nitrate, and Total Phosphorus in the Rio Grande from Del Norte, Colorado, to El Paso, Texas, 1993-95. By Stephanie J. Moore and Scott K. Anderholm. National Water Quality Assessment Program NAWQA. Overview.

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By stephanie j moore and scott k anderholm

Spatial and Temporal Variations in Streamflow, Dissolved Nitrate, and Total Phosphorus in the Rio Grande from Del Norte, Colorado, to El Paso, Texas, 1993-95

By Stephanie J. Moore and Scott K. Anderholm

National Water Quality Assessment Program

NAWQA


Overview
Overview Nitrate,

  • Describe spatial and temporal variations in streamflow and nutrient concentrations.

  • Use variations in streamflow to evaluate affects of inflows and diversions?

  • Use variations in nutrient concentrations to evaluate affects of inflows and instream processes?


Data Nitrate,

Monthly water-quality samples --

collected from 1993 to 1995

Daily mean streamflow data --

calculated from continuous data


Rio grande valley study unit

Rio Grande Valley Nitrate, Study Unit

Areas of

ground-water

inflow

Agricultural areas

Rio Grande

Floodway and

Conveyance Channel

Elephant Butte

And Caballo

Reservoirs


Spatial variations in streamflow

2,400 Nitrate,

Increasing

streamflow

Decreasing

streamflow

2,200

2,000

1,800

1,600

1,400

1,200

Decreases

by 650 ft3/s

1,000

800

600

400

2 + T = Sum

200

0

Spatial variations in streamflow

1993

1994

1995

Annual mean streamflow (ft3/s)

RGDelN RGTrinch Conejos Sum1 RGLob RGTJB Chama Sum2 RGOtowi Convey RGFldwy Sum3 RGLeasb RGElP

1 2 T Sum 3 4 T Sum 5 T 7 Sum 8 9


Temporal variations in streamflow

9,000 Nitrate,

Temporal variations in streamflow

8,000

Otowi

7,000

6,000

5,000

Daily mean streamflow (ft3/s)

4,000

Rio Chama

Taos Jxn

3,000

2,000

1,000

0


Spatial variations in dissolved nitrate concentrations

Convey vs. Floodway Nitrate,

Reservoir

effects

Increase

Above

El Paso

Increase between Otowi and Isleta

Little change above Otowi

2.2

Spatial variations in dissolved nitrate concentrations

2.0

1.8

1.6

1.4

Dissolved nitrate (mg/L)

1.2

1.0

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0

1 2 T 3 4 T 5 6 T 7 8 9


Temporal variations in dissolved nitrate concentrations between otowi and isleta

* Nitrate, RGOtowi

RGIsleta

Temporal variations in dissolved nitrate concentrationsbetween Otowi and Isleta

3

2

Dissolved nitrate (mg/L)

1

0

  • Generally, smaller nitrate concentrations during snowmelt.

  • Smallest increases (between sites) during snowmelt.

  • Larger concentrations during low flow.

  • (Otowi: Dec – Feb; Isleta: Aug – Sept)


RGIsleta Nitrate,

RGConvey

RGFldwy

Temporal variations in dissolved nitrate concentrationsbetween Isleta and Elephant Butte (San Marcial)

3

2

Dissolved nitrate (mg/L)

1

0

  • Isleta to Floodway at San Marcial: little change.

  • Isleta to Convey: decrease in nitrate concentrations.

  • Convey: largest concentrations in Aug-Sept


Spatial variations in total phosphorus concentrations

Convey vs. Floodway Nitrate,

Reservoir

effects

Increase between Otowi and Isleta

Increase

Above

El Paso

Little change above Otowi

1.8

Spatial variations in total phosphorus concentrations

1.6

1.4

1.2

Total phosphorus (mg/L)

1.0

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0

1 2 T 3 4 T 5 6 T 7 8 9


* Nitrate, RGOtowi

RGIsleta

Temporal variations in total phosphorus concentrationsbetween Otowi and Isleta

1.0

Total phosphorus (mg/L)

0.5

0

  • Seasonal pattern at Otowi is typical:

  • Largest concentrations during snowmelt.

  • Isleta: Smallest concentrations during snowmelt.


RGIsleta Nitrate,

RGFldwy

Temporal variations in total phosphorus concentrationsbetween Isleta and Elephant Butte

2.0

Total phosphorus (mg/L)

1.0

0

  • Isleta and Floodway: smallest concentrations during snowmelt.

  • Floodway: large concentrations during monsoon and early snowmelt.



Wrir 02 4224 http nm water usgs gov publications htm
WRIR 02-4224 and nutrient loadshttp://nm.water.usgs.gov/publications.htm


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