Our main hypothesis/goal was to examine the Colorado River’s water properties with a variance throughout both space and time. The properties measured were pH, salinity, electric conductivity, total dissolved solids, dissolved oxygen, and temperature. As expected these properties varied in interesting ways throughout our four measurement zones. The variable that seemed to have the most effect was the influx of the flow from the Pariah River tributary. These changes can be observed in zones 3 and 4, and the main changes are temperature (+ average of 5 degrees in zone 3 and 3 degrees in zone 4), salinity (+.1-.2 ppt), EC(+300-500 microseimens) and its constituents TDS (+.2-.5) and DO of (10-20%). These relationships stay consistent throughout time, but on a whole all of the zones properties increase with time.
Out in the field in Lee’s Ferry, Arizona, our project took on a bit of different feel. When the methodology was initially constructed neither I nor my partner had any grasp on the scope of the project or what was even feasible to be tested in the field. The biggest oversight in our initial methodology was the assumption that would we be able to take much more samples than was reasonable and more frequently than was possible. We had to truncate our tests down to only four locations along the river and only twice a day (morning and evening). These changes to the methodology however did not negatively affect our data and we were still able to perform a myriad of tests. We used three types of equipment: a pH meter, a salinity meter, and an electric conductivity meter. Our results varied both spatially and temporally as we hypothesized. The experiment was informative and fun!
Well, it turns out my body can’t be a science experiment… So instead I will study something that has a 70% similarity with it, the Colorado River. This dynamic system has many fascinating attributes, and many aspects that will be explored through out this semester. Today, however, I will just touch on the methodology for the field tests that will be performed while on the field trip. Here goes:
Problem: How do different geographic locations of the river vary in chemical (salinity, pH, TDS, and dissolved oxygen) and physical (temperature, flow rates, and suspended solids) properties.
Test subjects: Different surface water samples.</p><p>Test group: Dependent on exposure to river.
Experiment: Field tests to monitor afforementioned properties.
Controls: Temperature, distance upstream or downstream from startimg point, inclination, time of day, weather, water depth, and human and animal activity in the area.
Procedure: Take .5 cup samples at various locations and times(morning, noon, afternoon), perform field tests, keep log of observations.
So that is the bare bones of it, I am looking forward to learning and sharing a lot of information about the Colorado!
Lee’s Ferry, named after John Doyle Lee, is a geographic oddity. It is one of the very few places were the Colorado river can be safely crossed. Mr. Lee made a name for himself and this area by providing the important service of ferrying westward bound expansionists across the MIghty Colorado. Lee’s Ferry today serves as a great fishing spot (a quick google search yields numerous angler aficionado sites), a fun spring break destination, and a wonderful place to study geologic deposits and processes. This semester we will be (hopefully!) partaking in all three. The Colorado River has cut through the rock bedding exposing a very interesting series of sandstones, limestones, and siltstones. Allowing for the progression of deposition and physical processes to be observed with respects to geologic time.