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Northern Great Plains Network (NGPN)

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Water Quality Monitoring

Network staff measuring water quality and streamflow at Agate Fossil Beds NM
Network staff measuring water quality and streamflow at Agate Fossil Beds NM

Monitoring Documents

USGS Gaging Stations

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For more information contact: Darren Thornbrugh


The NGPN has developed a water quality monitoring protocol for selected streams/rivers in the Network. Initially, the NGPN conducted pilot projects to evaluate the effectiveness of using continuous water quality data sondes. These data were then used to conduct a power analysis. The Network found that a three-year rotation sampling design maximized the number of sites that could be monitored under a moderately robust design.

Water quality monitoring was initiated in 2013. Since then, NGPN has entered into interagency agreements with the USGS North Dakota, Wyoming, and Nebraska Water Science Centers to collect water quality data. The USGS provides NGPN with the approved data for four core parameters (water temperature, specific conductance, pH, and dissolved oxygen) and for streamflow. In addition, data are made available in real-time (during ice-free season) for the parks sampled that year on the NGPN Website and the USGS National Water Information System Website.

Monitoring Objectives

  1. Determine status and long-term trends of core field parameters including temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, and specific conductivity in wadeable perennial streams/rivers during the ice-free season.
  2. Determine the status and long-term trends in streamflow at priority streams/rivers during the ice-free season.

Parks Monitored

Park 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
DETO X     X    
KNRI X     X    
THRO X     X    
AGFO   X     X  
NIOB   X     X  
MNRR (Niobrara River)   X     X  
FOLA     X     X
MNRR (Bow Creek)     X     X





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Last Updated: March 08, 2017 Contact Webmaster