Reconnaissance of the Quality of Surface Water in the San Rafael River Basin, Utah (TP-72)

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Water Rights and Water Resources

By: J. C. Mundorff and K. R. Thompson

The water-quality reconnaissance of the San Rafael River basin, Utah, encompassed an area of about 2,300 square miles. Data were obtained by the U.S. Geological Survey one or more times at 116 sites from June 1977 to September 1978. At 19 other sites visited during the same period, the streams were dry. Precipitation and stream discharge were significantly less than normal during 1977 and ranged from less than to more than normal during 1978. Exposed rocks in the San Rafael River basin range in age from Permian to Holocene. The Carmel Formation of Jurassic age and various members of the Mancos Shale of Cretaceous age are major contributors of dissolved solids to streams in the basin.

The purpose of the water-quality reconnaissance on which this report is based was (1) to obtain general information about the inorganic chemical characteristics of surface water in the basin, and (2) to obtain general information about the characteristics of fluvial sediment in the basin. The reconnaissance was limited in scope; it did not include intensive study of the effects of municipal sewage, irrigation, or mining on water quality. The principal objective of the study was a general definition of water-quality characteristics of streams in the basin; a secondary objective was the definition of specific problem areas or stream reaches.

Other Information:
Published: 1982
Pages: 53 p.
Plates: 4 pl.
Location: Emery County, Sanpete County, and Wayne County
Media Type: Paper Publication

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