2012 Progress Report: Role of land use and BMPs in reducing the effect of extreme magnitude events on sediment and pollutant transport in the SE US Coastal Plain and Mississippi Alluvial Valley

EPA Grant Number: R835186
Title: Role of land use and BMPs in reducing the effect of extreme magnitude events on sediment and pollutant transport in the SE US Coastal Plain and Mississippi Alluvial Valley
Investigators: Hatten, Jeffery A
Institution: Oregon State University
EPA Project Officer: Hiscock, Michael
Project Period: April 1, 2012 through March 31, 2017
Project Period Covered by this Report: January 1, 2012 through December 31,2012
Project Amount: $363,258
RFA: Extreme Event Impacts on Air Quality and Water Quality with a Changing Global Climate (2011) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Global Climate Change , Air Quality and Air Toxics , Water and Watersheds , Climate Change , Air , Water


The overall objective of this research is to determine the role of best management practices (BMPs) and land use decisions in affecting water quality in the face of extreme events and climate change. Two objectives have been developed to guide this research:

Objective #1. Determine the capacity of BMPs to reduce large event caused delivery of sediment in a lake with a small agricultural watershed in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley (MAV). Our working hypothesis is that the efficiency of BMPs at reducing sediment and pollutant yield will decrease with increasing storm magnitude. 

Objective #2. Determine the role that BMP development and land use decisions have had on event associated sedimentation rates in a lake with a large watershed. We hypothesize that in a large watershed (Loon Lake watershed in the Oregon Coast Range) the response of sedimentation to BMP implantation will be much slower as a result of large stores of sediment deposited as a result of historical land use in locations near the river. Suspended sediment from these sources is likely to be affected by a change in frequency and magnitude of floods as a result of climate change.   

Progress Summary:

We are currently in the sample and data collection phase of this research. We received a core collected from the USDA ARS National Sedimentation Lab that was collected from Beasley Lake (small watershed) in the MS Alluvial Valley (for Objective #1: small watershed). We have collected a CT scan to examine stratigraphy. This core has also been analyzed using Geotek MSCL-S and Gamma Density sensor to determine core density and is currently being subsampled. Additionally, we are making preparations to collect cores from Loon Lake in the Oregon Coast Range (for Objective #2: large watershed). We have conducted scouting campaigns in the Loon Lake watershed and collected small cores in order to inform us on our locations to take longer cores (1-3 meter, possibly longer depending on availability of equipment).

In general, other than a delay in starting on this work caused by the PI’s transition to Oregon State University (from Mississippi State University) we are making headway on the objectives of this project. No major difficulties have been encountered. 

Future Activities:

During the next year, we will be collecting cores from Loon Lake in the Oregon Coast Range and preparing samples from those cores for analysis. Subsamples from the Beasley Lake  core and Loon Lake will be analyzed for radioisotopes (210Pb and 137Cs) to determine sedimentation rates. Elemental (C, N, and S), stable isotope (13C and 15N), and biomarker (e.g., lignin, cutin) characteristics of sediment will be determined in order to examine the processes of mobilization and transport.

Beyond this coming year, we will be examining sedimentation rates in relation to climatic and land use history to examine how storm events and land use interacts to affect sediment fluxes and water quality. We will also examine the biomarker and elemental composition to determine how mobilization and transport of sediment have been affected as a result of land use and event magnitude. 

Journal Articles:

No journal articles submitted with this report: View all 17 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

Water, watersheds, sediments, pollutants, global climate, agriculture, forestry, hydrology, analytical, Southeast, Northwest, Mississippi, MS, Oregon, OR, EPA Region 4, EPA Region 10 

Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
  • 2013 Progress Report
  • 2014 Progress Report
  • 2015 Progress Report
  • Final Report