Water Resources Professional Project Reports

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2018


The objective of this research was to compare colorimetric methods for measuring low concentrations of bromide in natural waters. The bromide ion has long been used as a tracer to study hydrodynamic processes and properties. Its conservative nature makes it ideal as a tracer. Bromide is almost entirely immune to loss from a solution via adsorption on rocks and sediments, or reaction with other solutes present in the water. Using three methodologies to use colorimetry in the detection of bromide, I analyzed samples taken from the Gila River, Jemez Creek, and the Rio Grande after injections of sodium bromide were released in a tracer experiment. Concentrations of bromide samples made up breakthrough curves to analyze stream biogeochemistry, and I compared my analyses with results of bromide concentrations derived from ion chromatography, the “gold standard” of anion analysis.

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Hydrology Commons