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Sediment and Total Phosphorous Contributors in Rock River Watershed
Yuan, Y., E. Mbonimpa, M. Nash, AND M. Mehaffey. Sediment and Total Phosphorous Contributors in Rock River Watershed. JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT. Elsevier Science Ltd, New York, NY, 133(0):214-221, (2014).
Total phosphorous (TP) and total suspended sediment (TSS) pollution is a problem in the US Midwest and is of particular concern in the Great Lakes region where many water bodies are already eutrophic. Increases in monoculture corn planting to feed ethanol based biofuel production could exacerbate these already stressed water bodies. In this study we expand on the previous studies relating landscape variables such as land cover, soil type and slope with changes in pollutant concentrations and loading in the Great Lakes region. The Rock River watershed in Wisconsin, USA was chosen due to its diverse land use, numerous lakes and reservoirs susceptible to TSS and TP pollution, and the availability of long-term streamflow, TSS and TP data. Eight independent subwatersheds in the Rock River watershed were identified using United States Geological Survey (USGS) monitoring sites that monitor flow, TSS and TP. For each subwatershed, we calculated land use, soil type, and terrain slope metrics or variables. TSS and TP from the different subwatersheds were compared using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), and associations and relationships between landscape metrics and water quality (TSS and TP) were evaluated using the Partial Least Square (PLS) regression. Results show that land uses of urban and corn rotated with non-leguminous crops agriculture are associated with loss of soil and phosphorus contributions in streams. This indicates that increasing the amount of corn rotated with non-leguminous crops within a subwatershed could increase degredation of water quality. Results showed that increase in corn-soybean rotation acreage within the watershed is associated with reduction in stream’s TSS and TP. Results also show that forest and water bodies were associated with reduction in TSS and TP. Based on our results we recommend adoption of the Low Impact Development (LID) approach in urban dominated subwatersheds. This approach attempts to replicate the pre-development hydrological regime by reducing the ratio of impervious area to natural cover wherever possible, as well as recycling or treating stormwater runoff using filter strips, ponds and wetlands. In agriculturally dominated subwatersheds, we recommend increasing corn-soybean rotation, keeping corn on areas with gentle slope and soils with lower erodibility.
Recommendation of adoption of the Low Impact Development (LID) approach in urban dominated subwatersheds.
YUAN ORD-003346 FINAL ARTICLE..PDF (PDF,NA pp, 1108.946 KB, about PDF)
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LAB
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES DIVISION
LANDSCAPE ECOLOGY BRANCH