Seepage Investigation and Selected Hydrologic Data for the Escalante River Drainage Basin, Garfield and Kane Counties, Utah, 1909-2002

Dale E. Wilberg
Bernard J. Stolp
U.S. Geological Survey
U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Scientific Investigations Report 2004-5233


This report contains the results of an October 2001 seepage investigation conducted along a reach of the Escalante River in Utah extending from the U.S. Geological Survey streamflow-gaging station near Escalante to the mouth of Stevens Canyon. Discharge was measured at 16 individual sites along 15 consecutive reaches. Total reach length was about 86 miles. A reconnaissance-level sampling of water for tritium and chlorofluorcarbons was also done. In addition, hydrologic and water-quality data previously collected and published by the U.S. Geological Survey for the 2,020-square-mile Escalante River drainage basin was compiled and is presented in 12 tables. These data were collected from 64 surface-water sites and 28 springs from 1909 to 2002. None of the 15 consecutive reaches along the Escalante River had a measured loss or gain that exceeded the measurement error. All discharge measurements taken during the seepage investigation were assigned a qualitative rating of accuracy that ranged from 5 percent to greater than 8 percent of the actual flow. Summing the potential error for each measurement and dividing by the maximum of either the upstream discharge and any tributary inflow, or the downstream discharge, determined the normalized error for a reach. This was compared to the computed loss or gain that also was normalized to the maximum discharge. A loss or gain for a specified reach is considered significant when the loss or gain (normalized percentage difference) is greater than the measurement error (normalized percentage error). The percentage difference and percentage error were normalized to allow comparison between reaches with different amounts of discharge.