GSA Connects 2021 in Portland, Oregon

Paper No. 185-9
Presentation Time: 2:30 PM-6:30 PM


MOREU, Lourdes1, RICKETTS, Jason2, GARCIA, Victor H.3 and MA, Lin2, (1)College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331; Earth, Environmental, and Resource Sciences, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX 79968, (2)Department of Earth, Environmental and Resource Sciences, The University of Texas at El Paso, 500 W University Ave, El Paso, TX 79902, (3)Arizona Geological Survey, University of Arizona, Tuscon, AZ 85721

Understanding surface water chemistry and quality is vital because of the many impacts on society, agriculture, and human health. However, there is currently a lack of understanding regarding how watershed parameters, such as climate, geology, and land uses, control water quality in rivers. The surface water chemistry and quality of the Colorado River Basin, across Texas, was investigated to gain an improved understanding of how climate, geology, and human factors are impacting water quality. In this study, fifteen water sampling locations along the Colorado River were selected based on proximity to USGS and TWDB stream gauges and accessibility. Water samples for chemical and isotopic analyses were collected at each of the fifteen sites on the Colorado River in July 2021.

Water samples will be analyzed for trace metals using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Conducting a trace metal analysis will allow us to monitor the levels of critical trace metals that may be hazardous to humans and aquatic life. Historical chemistry data for the fifteen sampling locations was also utilized from the USGS Water Quality Data Portal and analyzed for spatial and temporal trends in water chemistry. Future goals for this research include expanding the number of rivers that will be sampled, as well as resample locations through different seasons in order to understand seasonalchanges in water chemistry.