Science Inventory

Effects of Watershed Land Use and Geomorphology on Stream Baseflows In the Southern Blue Ridge Mountains, NC and GA

Citation:

PRICE, K., A. J. Parker, C. R. Jackson, T. Reitan, AND J. Dowd. Effects of Watershed Land Use and Geomorphology on Stream Baseflows In the Southern Blue Ridge Mountains, NC and GA. Presented at Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, April 14 - 18, 2010.

Impact/Purpose:

Scientific meeting presentation.

Description:

While it has been shown in many settings that both human land use and natural topographic variability influence stream baseflows, their interactions and relative influences have remained unresolved. Our objective was to determine the influence of human land use and watershed geomorphic characteristics in explaining baseflow variability in the southern Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and Georgia. A comprehensive suite of watershed characteristics, including factors of watershed topography, channel network morphometry, soils, land use, and precipitation were used in multiple regression analysis of baseflow variability among the 35 watersheds. Overall, geomorphic factors of drainage density and slope variability showed the strongest relationships to baseflow in this region, with percent watershed forest cover and amount of colluvium also demonstrating significant influence. Forest cover showed a consistent positive relationship with baseflow, despite the higher evapotranspiration rates generally associated with forest compared with other land covers. This highlights the importance of infiltration and recharge under undisturbed land cover in sustaining baseflows, and bears noteworthy implications for impaired flows and water resource sustainability.

URLs/Downloads:

PRICE 09 132A_AAG2010.PDF   (PDF,NA pp, 3244 KB,  about PDF)

PRICE 09 132 ABSTRACT.PDF   (PDF,NA pp, 18 KB,  about PDF)

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Product Published Date: 04/14/2010
Record Last Revised: 04/22/2010
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 216000

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY

ECOSYSTEMS RESEARCH DIVISION

REGULATORY SUPPORT BRANCH