USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station

Pacific Southwest
Research Station

800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011
(510) 883-8830
United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.

Tahoe Basin particle size analysis and protocol development

LTIMP SitesPrincipal Investigators:
Alan Heyvaert, Desert Research Institute
Geoff Schladow, University of California-Davis
Todd Caldwell, Desert Research Institute

Proposal [pdf]

Final Report [pdf]

Please contact Dr. Alan Heyvaert with questions regarding the report.

Project Summary

Water clarity in Lake Tahoe has been declining for several decades. Much of this clarity loss has been caused by increased input and accumulation of fine particulates (<16 m in diameter) in the lake. Therefore, accurate methods for analysis of fine particle concentrations and particle size distributions in water samples from the lake, streams, and urban runoff are of major importance.

The main goal of this project was to assemble and analyze available data on particle size characterization reported for samples from Lake Tahoe, from Tahoe Basin streams, and from Tahoe-area urban runoff.

Additional objectives included:

  1. Conducting a set of comparative tests on the methods currently in use for PSD analysis
  2. Preliminary investigation on the use of surrogate measurements to complement or replace the explicit measurement of PSD
  3. Developing guidance for standardized analysis and reporting of new data by various groups.