2013 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: April 1, 2013 through March 31,2014
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) that 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 have received a core collected from Beasley Lake (small watershed – Objective 1) in the MAV from Daniel Wren, a scientist at the USDA-ARS National Sedimentation Lab. This core has had a CT scan taken and been analyzed using Geotek MSCL-S and Gamma Density sensor and is nearing the end of subsampling. We have completed all particle size analysis and radio-isotope analysis (137Cs and 210Pb) on this core.

In September (2013), we made a 1-week long campaign collecting cores in Loon Lake in the Coast Range of Oregon (large watershed – Objective 2). We collected several 4-inch diameter gravity cores that will provide the per sample mass to conduct intensive sampling for radio isotopes. In addition, we collected several long 3-inch diameter Nesje cores (Max = 6.9m). We will use the long Nesje cores to characterize the long-term sedimentation patterns and sediment characteristics in this watershed. We will be able to compare pre-settlement, post-settlement/pre-regulation, and post-settlement/post-OR Forest Practices Act. These cores are nearing the end of analysis for particle size analysis and radioisotopes.

No major difficulties have been encountered.

This is a summary - for full text, please see attached Annual Report.

Future Activities:

During the next year, we will be determining 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. We will present our preliminary results at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting.

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 interact 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.

This is a summary - for full text, please see attached Annual Report.


Conference Presentations (2)

Presenter is underlined;  *student under Hatten’s direction

Richardson*, K., J.A. Hatten, R. Wheatcroft, and F.J. Guerrero-Bolaño*. 2014. Effect of timber harvest, changes in forestry practices, and natural disturbances on erosion as measured by lacustrine deposits. Western Forestry Graduate Research Symposium. Corvallis, Oregon. April 21-22. (Poster)


Richardson* K.N., R.A. Wheatcroft, J.A. Hatten, F.J. Guerrero. 2013. Loon Lake, Umpqua River Basin: What Tales Do the Sediments Tell? Poster presented at Water Resources Research Symposium sponsored by the Water Resources Graduate Program at Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon. May 13, 2013. (Poster) Awarded Best Poster Presentation for Water Resources Science.

Journal Articles:

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

Supplemental Keywords:

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

Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
  • 2012 Progress Report
  • 2014 Progress Report
  • 2015 Progress Report
  • Final Report