Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 69, Issue 1, pp 63–83 | Cite as

Stream Phosphorus Transport in the Lake Tahoe Basin, 1989–1996

  • Lorin K. Hatch
  • John E. Reuter
  • Charles R. Goldman
Article

Abstract

Lake Tahoe is undergoing the initial stages of culturaleutrophication due to human alteration of the airshed andwatershed. The lake's switch from nitrogen (N) to phosphorus (P)limitation has been attributed primarily to atmospheric Nloading. This places an increased importance on controllingwatershed movement of P to the lake. A stream water qualitymonitoring data set consisting of nine streams in the Lake Tahoebasin has been analyzed to characterize the spatiotemporalvariation of P delivery to the lake. This data is from the LakeTahoe Interagency Monitoring Program (LTIMP), which providesscientific data for planning and regulatory agencies to addressenvironmental problems in the Lake Tahoe basin. Results indicatethat P delivery (concentrations, loads) varies greatly atinterannual, seasonal, and spatial scales. Annual and seasonaltotal P (TP) concentrations can vary up to three orders ofmagnitude in a given stream and are strongly associated withsuspended sediment. Particulate P is the major form of Ptransported by Tahoe streams and was strongly correlated withpercent surficial geologic deposits, which are primarily locatednear streams. Tahoe streams with the highest annualP concentrations often had the lowest annual P loads, and visaversa. P loading is greatest during the spring snowmelt (75% ofannual average). Potential watershed parameters influencing Pdelivery to Lake Tahoe have been identified as precipitation,basin area, basin steepness, and road and human developmentcoverage. Results also suggest that human development impacts onstream P loads are most prevalent during high precipitationyears. Identification and quantification of stream sediment andP sources such as streambanks and impervious surface isnecessary to aid in watershed restoration efforts.

Lake Tahoe phosphorus streams water quality watershed characteristics 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bailey, R. G.: 1974, Land-capability classification of the Lake Tahoe basin, California-Nevada, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, Zephyr Cove, NV. pp. 32.Google Scholar
  2. Beaulac, M. N. and Reckhow, K. H.: 1982, Wat. Res. Bull. 18, 1013–1024.Google Scholar
  3. Chikita, K. A.: 1996, J. Hydrol. 186, 295–313.Google Scholar
  4. Dedkov, A. P. and Moszherin, V. I.: 1992, in Erosion, Debris Flows, and Environmental in Mountain Regions (Proceedings of the Chengdu Symposium, July 1992) IAHS Publ. 209. pp. 29–36.Google Scholar
  5. Dillon, P. J. and Kirchner, W. B.: 1975, Water Res. 9, 135–148.Google Scholar
  6. Dillon, P. J., Molot, L. A. and Scheider, W. A.: 1991, J. Env. Qual. 20, 857–864.Google Scholar
  7. Farrar, J. W. and Long, H. K.: 1996, Report on the U.S. Geological Survey's evaluation program for standard reference samples distributed in October 1995: T-137 (trace constituents), M-136 (major constituents), N-47 (nutrient constituents), N-48 (nutrient constituents), P-25 (low ionic strength constituents) and Hg-21 (mercury), U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 96–138, Golden, CO.Google Scholar
  8. Fenn, C. R. and Gomez, B.: 1989, Hydol. Proc. 3, 123–125.Google Scholar
  9. Ferguson, R. I.: 1986, Wat. Resour. Res. 22, 74–76.Google Scholar
  10. Gaynor, J. D.: 1979, J. Great Lakes Res. 5, 124–130.Google Scholar
  11. Glancy, P. A.: 1977, A reconnaissance of sediment transport, streamflow, and chemical quality, Glenbrook Creek, Lake Tahoe basin, Nevada (Nevada Highway Department Hydrologic Report 2), pp. 54.Google Scholar
  12. Glancy, A.: 1988, Streamflow, sediment transport, and nutrient transport at Incline Village, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, 1970–1973 (U.S. Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 2313), pp. 53.Google Scholar
  13. Goldman, C. R.: 1974, Eutrophication of Lake Tahoe emphasizing water quality, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, NTIS, EPA Report 660/3–74–034.Google Scholar
  14. Goldman, C. R.: 1988, Limnol. Oceanogr. 33, 1321–1333.Google Scholar
  15. Goldman, C. R.: 1993, Standard operating procedures: UC Davis Limnological Laboratory, University of California, Davis, pp. 69.Google Scholar
  16. Goldman, C. R., Jassby, A. D. and Hackley, S. H.: 1993, Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 50, 1489–1496.Google Scholar
  17. Grober, D. and Silberbauer, M.: 1985, Water Res. 19, 975–981.Google Scholar
  18. Guy, H. P.: 1969, Laboratory theory and methods for sediment analysis. U.S. Geological Survey – Techniques of Water – Resources Investigations Book 5, Chapter C1, pp. 58.Google Scholar
  19. Hatch, L. K.: 1997, The generation, transport, and fate of phosphorus in the Lake Tahoe ecosystem, Ph. D. Thesis, University of California at Davis, pp. 212.Google Scholar
  20. Heyvaert, A.: 1998, The biogeochemistry and paleolimnology of sediments from Lake Tahoe, California-Nevada, Ph. D. thesis, University of california at Davis.Google Scholar
  21. Hill, B. R, and Nolan, K. M.: 1990, pp. 179–189, in Proceedings: International Mountain Watershed Symposium, June 8–10, 1988, Lake Tahoe, Tahoe Resource Conservation District, South Lake Tahoe, California, pp. 610.Google Scholar
  22. Hunter, D. A.: 1996, Lake Tahoe Interagency Monitoring Program Water Chemistry Water Quality Control Report, January-June 1996, Tahoe Research Group, University of California at Davis, pp. 7.Google Scholar
  23. Hunter, D. A., Reuter, J. E. and Goldman, C. R.: 1993, Quality assurance manual: Lake Tahoe Interagency Monitoring Program, Tahoe Research Group, University of California at Davis pp. 34 plus appendices.Google Scholar
  24. Jassby, A. D., Reuter, J. E., Axler, R. P., Goldman, C. R. and Hackley, S. H.: 1994, Water Resour Res. 30, 2207–2216.Google Scholar
  25. Jassby, A. D., Goldman, C. R. and Reuter, J. E.: 1995, Arch. Hydrobiol. 135, 1–21.Google Scholar
  26. Jassby, A. D., Goldman, C. R., Reuter, J. E. and Richards, R. C.: 1999, Limnol. Oceanogr. 44, 282–294.Google Scholar
  27. Jones, J. and Bachmann, R.: 1976, Journal WPCF, 48, 2176–2182.Google Scholar
  28. Kaplan, L. A., Goldman, C. R. and Knight, A. W.: 1975, Bull. Ecol. Soc. Am. 56, 24.Google Scholar
  29. Keller, H. M. and Strobel, T.: 1982,Water and nutrient discharge during snowmelt in subalpine areas, pp. 331–341 in Hydrological Aspects of Alpine and High Mountain Areas (Proceedings of the Exeter Symposium, July 1982), IAHS Publ. 138.Google Scholar
  30. Leonard, R. L., Kaplan, L. A., Elder, J. F., Coats, R. N. and Goldman, C. R.: 1979, Ecol. Monogr. 49, 281–310.Google Scholar
  31. Lewis, W. M., Saunders, J. F., Crumpacker, D. W. and Brendecke, C. M.: 1984, Eutrophication and land use: Lake Dillon, Colorado, Ecological Studies Series Vol. 46, Springer-Verlag New York.Google Scholar
  32. Majanovic, P.: 1989, Mathematical modeling of eutrophication processes in Lake Tahoe: water budget, nutrient budget, and model development, Ph. D. Thesis, University of California at Davis, pp. 385.Google Scholar
  33. Matthews, R. A. and Burnett, J. L.: 1971, Geology and land use planning in the Lake Tahoe basin, pp. 5–22 in Geology and geomorphology of the Lake Tahoe region: a guide for palnning, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, Zephyr Cove, Nevada, pp. 59.Google Scholar
  34. Menzel, D. W. and Corwin, N.: 1965, Limnol. Oceanogr, 10, 280–282.Google Scholar
  35. Meyer, J. L.: 1979, Limnol. Oceanogr. 24, 365–375.Google Scholar
  36. Meyer, J. L. and Likens, G. E.: 1979, Ecology, 60, 1255–1269.Google Scholar
  37. Molot, L. A., Dillon, P. J. and Lazerte, B. D.: 1989, Can. J. Fish. Aquat. 46. 1658–1666.Google Scholar
  38. Murphy, J. and Riley, J. P.: 1962, Anal. Chim. Acta 27, 31–36.Google Scholar
  39. Perkins, M. A.: 1976, The influence of epiphytic periphyton upon phosphorus flow in a subalpine stream, Ph. D. Thesis, University of California at Davis, pp. 186.Google Scholar
  40. Reuter, J. E., Jassby, A. D., Majanovic, P., Heyvaert, A. C. and Goldman, C. R.: 1998, Preliminary phosphorus and nitrogen budgets for Lake Tahoe, in Annual Progress Report – Lake Clarity and Watershed Modeling, John Muir Institute for the Environment, University of California, Davis, pp. 28.Google Scholar
  41. Skau, C. M., Brown, J. C. and Nadolski, J. A.: 1980, Snowmelt sediment from Sierra Nevada headwaters, pp. 418–429 in Symposium on Watershed Management 1980, Vol. 1 (American Society of Civil Engineers, Boise, ID July 21–23, 1980, pp. 597.Google Scholar
  42. Svendsen, L., Kronvang, B., Kristensen, P. and Graesbol, P.: 1995, Hydrol. Proc. 9, 119–142.Google Scholar
  43. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency: 1982, Emvironmental Thresholds Study, TRPA, Zephyr Cove, NV.Google Scholar
  44. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency: 1996, personal communication with land use and water quality staff members, TRPA, Zephyr Cove, NV.Google Scholar
  45. USDA Forest Service: 1994, Blackwood CreekWater Quality Monitoring Report,Water Years 1980– 1993 (USDA Forest Service, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, January 1994), pp. 52.Google Scholar
  46. Vaithiyanathan, P. and Correll, D.: 1992, J. Environ. Qual. 21, 280–288.Google Scholar
  47. Van Niewenhuyse, E. and Jones, J.: 1996, Can. J. Fish. Aq. Sci. 53, 99–105.Google Scholar
  48. Walling, D. E.: 1983, J. Hydol. 65, 209–237.Google Scholar
  49. Ward, A. D. and Elliot, W. J.: 1995, Environmental Hydrology, CRC Press, Inc., (Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, FL), pp. 462.Google Scholar
  50. Yaksich, S. M., Melfi, D. A., Baker, D. B. and Kramer, J.W.: 1985, J. Great Lakes Res. 11, 117–131.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lorin K. Hatch
    • 1
  • John E. Reuter
    • 2
  • Charles R. Goldman
    • 2
  1. 1.Univ. of Minn. Water Resources CenterSt. PaulUSA
  2. 2.Tahoe Research GroupUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA

Personalised recommendations