Water Quality and Habitat Conditions in Upper Midwest Streams Relative to Riparian Vegetation and Soil Characteristics, August 1997: Study Design, Methods, and Data

Open-File Report 99-202

By Stephen K. Sorenson, Stephen D. Porter,Kimberlee K.B. Akers, Mitchell A. Harris, Stephen J. Kalkhoff, Kathy E. Lee,Linda R. Roberts, and Paul J. Terrio


The full report is available in pdf.  Links to the pdf.

Water-chemistry, biological, and habitat data were collected from 70 sites on Midwestern streams during August 1997 as part of an integrated, regional water-quality assessment by the U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program. The study area includes the Corn Belt region of southern Minnesota, eastern Iowa, and west-central Illinois, one of the most intensive and productive agricultural regions of the world. The focus of the study was to evaluate the condition of woodedriparian zones and the influence of basin soildrainage characteristics on water quality and biological-community responses. This report includes a description of the study design and site-characterization process, sample-collection and processing methods, laboratory methods, quality-assurance procedures, and summaries of data on nutrients, herbicides and metabolites, stream productivity and respiration, biological communities, habitat conditions, and agriculturalchemical and land-use information.





Purpose and Scope

Effects of Agricultural Intensity on Water Quality and Aquatic Life

Effects of Wooded-Riparian Areas on Water Quality and Aquatic Life

Effects of Soil Characteristics on Water Quality and Aquatic Life

Hypotheses Concerning Relations Between Stream Quality and Selected Factors


Study Design and Methods

Site Characterizaion

Characterization of Wooded-Riparian Zones in Stream Segments

Characterization of Soil Drainage in Stream Basins

Livestock Data

Population Data

Rainfall Data

Agricultural-Chemical Use and Crop Data

Characterization of Water Quality

Water-Sample Collection

Water-Sample Laboratory Analysis

Water Clarity

Stream Productivity and Respiration


Sample Collection

Periphyton Subsampling and Processing

Chlorophyll a and Ash-Free Mass Analysis

Quality-Control Samples.  

Benthic Invertebrates

Characterization of Habitat Conditions.

Canopy Cover

Stream-Habitat Conditions

Streambank Characteristics

Riparian-Zone Vegetation

Quality Assurance  






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U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
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