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Development of Salinity Budget for the Brazos River Basin, Texas

Author(s): Chihun Lee; Ralph A. Wurbs

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Keywords: Reservoirs; Salinity; TDS

Abstract: Salinity is a major determinant of where and how water resources are used worldwide. High salinity loads in several major river/reservoir systems, including the Brazos River in Texas, originate largely from salt seeps and springs in isolated areas of the upper river basins in the Permian Basin geological region. A salinity budget study of the Brazos River system, using observed Streamflow, reservoir storage, and total dissolved solids (TDS) data compiled by the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS), performed to evaluate the magnitude, timing, variability, and other characteristics of salinity moving through the river/reservoir system. For each of the river reaches, the volume and load budgets were developed for each month of the October 1963 through September 1986 period-of-analysis. Concentrations are computed for given loads and volumes. Some components of the volume and load budget inflow and outflows consist of observed data. Estimates for other components are computed from available data based on formulating reasonable assumptions and premises. Computation of TDS loads and volume-weighted mean TDS concentrations of the water stored in the reservoirs is a key aspect of the analyses.


Year: 2012

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