Report Abstract

Concentrations and Loads of Selected Trace Elements and Other Constituents in the Rio Grande in the Vicinity of Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1994

By Todd Kelly and H.E. Taylor

The Pueblo of Isleta and the New Mexico Environment Department have established water-quality standards for the Rio Grande, which flows through Albuquerque, New Mexico. Trace-element concentrations historically have been greater than maximum permissible concentrations allowed by these standards. It is not known if these concentrations are due to sources from the Albuquerque metropolitan area or are from natural or other sources outside Albuquerque.

Accurate water-quality data with lower reporting limits than have been previously available were collected, and instantaneous concentrations and loads were calculated for trace elements and other constituents in the Rio Grande during high-flow and low- flow conditions. Seven sampling sites were selected upstream from, in, and downstream from metropolitan Albuquerque. Concurrent streamflow measurements were made at the time of sampling to determine suspended-sediment loads. Samples were analyzed separately for trace elements dissolved in water (less than 0.4 micrometer in diameter) and for those contained in suspended sediment (greater than 0.1 micrometer in diameter). Sample collection and processing, analytical methods, and quality control are discussed.

Abstract from Open-File Report 96-126


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