Friday, September 28, 2012
Water quality relates to both geology/nature, as well as human beings, in a multitude of different ways. Geologists are interested in water quality, because of its relation to nature within the critical zone, which inherently has different levels of effects on humans in society. There are a number of issues, in terms of water quality, related to geology, for example, geologists have been measuring water for decades, conducting millions of measurements and analyses that have brought endless data on water quality. These measurements often times find something important about the water and the environment around it. For instance, these measurements find out the water ways properties, and the implications that these properties pose for the water way, as well as, the way these properties vary over time. So, if for example, the levels of the PH, conductivity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, nitrate or othro-phosphate begin to change from the results of the measurements taken from samples, than one can deduct that that something is going on somewhere that is affecting the water, and possibly, the water quality, which naturally can have negative implications for humans, since our very survival relies on water and its quality.
I graphed the parameter of measurements of conductivity in the Mad River for the most recent 12-month consecutive period. Conductivity is the amount of dissolved material in water and is a measure of the ability of water to pass an electrical current. Furthermore, conductivity is linked directly to the total dissolved solids that are present in the water. As the webpage http://water.epa.gov/type/rsl/monitoring/vms59.cfm states, “The conductivity of rivers in the United States generally ranges from 50 to 1500 µmhos/cm. Studies of inland fresh waters indicate that streams supporting good mixed fisheries have a range between 150 and 500 µhos/cm. Conductivity outside this range could indicate that the water is not suitable for certain species of fish or macro invertebrates. Industrial waters can range as high as 10,000 µmhos/cm.” The graph of the data from the measurements of conductivity in the Mad River for the most recent 12 month consecutive periods trends, or lack thereof, correspond with this research.
As one can see looking at the graph and having the knowledge of the dates when this data was taken, which are, 1) 6/23/2009, 2) 6/30/2009, 3) 7/7/2009, 4) 7/14/2009, 5) 7/21/2009, 6) 7/29/2009, 7) 8/3/2009, 8) 8/11/2009, 9) 8/18/2009, 10) 8/24/2009, 11) 8/31/2009, 12) 9/28/2009. Since this data set was measured during the months of June, July, August and September, the scatterplot isn’t exactly constant; however they do follow the seasonal trends, meaning that they are all quite moderate, because of the months that this data set is taken from. However, there are high levels of conductivity in low flow during the summer months and low conductivity when it rains, and pollution, as well as groundwater, can affect the conductivity in a stream or river, like Mad River.