Water-Quality Assessment of the Potomac River Basin: Water-Quality and Selected Spatial Data, 1992-1996
Entry ID: CBP_PNAQWA

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Summary
Abstract: The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) implemented the National Water-Quality
Assessment (NAWQA) Program to describe the status and trends in the quality of
the Nation's surface water and ground water and to provide scientific
understanding of the natural and human-induced factors that affect water
quality. In 1991, twenty study units were started. Additional study units began
in 1994 and 1997. Data collection and analysis in each study unit follows
national guidelines for the NAWQA Program, but also addresses the issues most
important to that study unit. NAWQA is designed to produce a wealth of
water-quality information to assist policy makers and managers at the national,
state, and local levels in making more informed decisions. In 1991, the
Potomac River Basin study unit began planning assessment activities. The basin
was subdivided into eight subunits based on physiographic and geologic
characteristics, which were determined to be the most influential natural
factors affecting water quality. Water-quality sampling began in 1992. The
first high-intensity data-collection phase of the study unit spanned from 1993
to 1995; much of the data collection focused on the Great Valley Carbonate,
Piedmont, Triassic Lowlands, and Valley and Ridge subunits. Hundreds of
water-quality characteristics were measured in different media during this
time, including ground water, streamwater, streambed sediments, and aquatic
biological tissues. Fish communities and stream habitat also were sampled. In
addition, spatial data such as geology, land use, hydrography, and other
watershed characteristics were compiled into a geographic information system
(GIS) to support the assessment. After 1995 the project entered a period of
less frequent sampling called the low-intensity phase.

This report presents data collected and compiled during the first
high-intensity phase of the Potomac NAWQA study unit. Data are presented from
138 ground-water wells and 125 stream sites. Ground-water measurements compiled
in this report include chemical, physical, and water-level data. Streamwater
measurements compiled include chemical, physical, streamflow, bed-sediment
contaminants, aquatic-tissue contaminants, fish community, and selected stream
habitat data. Quality-control chemical data are also presented. Basinwide and
site-specific spatial data compiled by the study unit are also distributed with
this report.


The study design and sampling methods developed for the Potomac NAWQA study
unit are consistent with the national NAWQA guidelines (Gilliom and others,
1995). The design permits an integrated assessment of conditions at local,
regional, and national scales. For more information refer to the report,
"Design and Implementation of a Sampling Strategy for a Water-Quality
Assessment of the Potomac River Basin" (Gerhart and Brakebill, 1996). Sampling
methods and protocols for the NAWQA Program are documented in a series of
guideline documents. Citations for these can be found in the Selected
references section of this report.

Geographic Coverage
 N: 40.0 S: 38.0  E: -77.0  W: -79.0

Data Set Citation
Dataset Originator/Creator: U.S. Geological Survey
Dataset Title: Water-Quality Assessment of the Potomac River Basin: Water-Quality and Selected Spatial Data, 1992-96
Dataset Release Date: 1997
Dataset Publisher: U.S. Geological Survey
Online Resource: http://md.water.usgs.gov/pnawqa/datarpt/pages/intro.htm


Temporal Coverage
Start Date: 1992-01-01
Stop Date: 1996-12-31


Location Keywords
CONTINENT > NORTH AMERICA > UNITED STATES OF AMERICA > VIRGINIA > POTOMAC RIVER BASIN


Science Keywords
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY >ACID DEPOSITION    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY >ALKALINITY    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY >BENTHIC INDEX    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY >CARBON DIOXIDE    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY >CARCINOGENS    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY >CHLOROPHYLL    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY >CONDUCTIVITY    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY >CONTAMINANTS    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY >DISSOLVED GASES    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY >DISSOLVED SOLIDS    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY >HYDROCARBONS    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY >INORGANIC MATTER    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY >LIGHT TRANSMISSION    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY >NITROGEN COMPOUNDS    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY >NUTRIENTS    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY >ORGANIC MATTER    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY >OXYGEN    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY >PH    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY >PHOSPHOROUS COMPOUNDS    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY >RADIOISOTOPES    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY >STABLE ISOTOPES    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY >SUSPENDED SOLIDS    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY >TOXIC CHEMICALS    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY >TRACE METALS    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY >TURBIDITY    [Definition]


ISO Topic Category
ENVIRONMENT
GEOSCIENTIFIC INFORMATION
INLAND WATERS


Project
CBP >Chesapeake Bay Program    [Information]


Access Constraints
None


Use Constraints
None


Keywords
water quality sampling
groundwater
streamwater
streambed sediments
aquatic biological tissue


Data Set Progress
COMPLETE


Data Center
Potomac River, National Water Quality Assessment Program, Water Resources Discipline, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of the Interior    [Information]
Data Center URL: http://md.water.usgs.gov/pnawqa/

Data Center Personnel
Name: POTOMAC NAWQA CHIEF
Phone: 410 238-4200
Contact Address:
U.S. Geological Survey
8987 Yellow Brick Road
City: Baltimore
Province or State: Maryland
Postal Code: 21237
Country: USA


Personnel
POTOMAC NAWQA CHIEF
Role: TECHNICAL CONTACT
Phone: 410 238-4200
Contact Address:
U.S. Geological Survey
8987 Yellow Brick Road
City: Baltimore
Province or State: Maryland
Postal Code: 21237
Country: USA



Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2003-09-29
Last DIF Revision Date: 2011-11-22
Future DIF Review Date: 2004-09-29

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