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Multi-temporal Salton Sea watershed delineation: Land Use and Pollutants Input Analysis using the Hydrology Tool in GIS

  • Author(s): Liu, Xinyan
  • Advisor(s): Stenstrom, Michael K
  • Suffet, Irwin
  • et al.
Abstract

The Salton Sea is located in the Imperial and Coachella Valleys and is the largest lake in California. Agricultural runoff with salts and other chemicals used on the surrounding farmlands have stabilized the Sea since its most recent flood in 1905. As a result the Salton Sea and areas around its watershed are contaminated with salts and toxic chemicals, becoming an environment hazard. A new GIS analysis has been developed and used in this thesis to evaluate watershed management, land-use modeling, and surface water quality analysis. The results show general trends of the pollutants distribution. Selenium (Se) is commonly found in the sediments and Arsenic (As) has been detected in both the water column and sediment. Excess nitrogen, phosphorus, and other nutrients in the water body are mainly from untreated or incompletely treated wastewaters, organic waste, livestock and poultry manure, and agricultural fertilizers.

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