Field and laboratory measurements of process rates for runoff and salt movement were used to develop and calibrate a hydrosalinity model of outlfows from the Price River Basin at Woodside, Utah. The field measurements were specifically used to formulate a model for estimating surface flow (both overland and from small ephemeral channels) in the Coal Creek Basin on the valley floor of the Price River Basin. The basin simulation assessment model (BSAM) was used to combine local flows and model total outflow from the Price River. The results must be regarded as a first generation model that, while giving ostensibly reasonable results, needs much additional refinement and validation by collecting additional field data. As to field data, observed salt loading rates reached 518 pounds per square mile daily, groundwater inflow declined steadily throughout the summer but maintained constant salt concentrations, channel efflorescence varied more than 100 fold with the largest concentrations occurring in saturated bed material, and turbulent mixing and cyclic drying added to salt dissolution rates. Extrapolation of the results with the Coal Creek model showed only a very small percentage of the salt loading from the valley floor to originate from natural lands. BSAM showed average annual salt leaving the Basin at Woodside to be 190,000 tons, 114,000 coming from the mountain area and 76,000 from the valley floor. Of the valley floor contribution, only 3,500 tons are produced by surface runoff from nonirrigated areas. Topics to be emphasized in further model development include salt contribution from percolation snowmelt on natural lands, groundwater movement, the formation and dissolution of efflorescence, and salt-sediment transport by the sharp hydrographs on small ephemeral streams.
Riley, J. Paul; Chadwick, D. George; Dixon, Lester S.; James, L. Douglas; Grenney, William J.; and Israelsen, Eugene K., "Salt Uptake in Natural Channels Traversing Mancos Shales in the Price River Basin, Utah" (1982). Reports. Paper 123.