Science Inventory

Sediment Loss and its Contributors in Puerto Rico Watersheds

Citation:

Yuan, Y., E. Taguas, Y. Jiang, E. Mbonimpa, AND W. Hu. Sediment Loss and its Contributors in Puerto Rico Watersheds. Soil Science. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, PA, 1(0):565-602, (2015).

Impact/Purpose:

Future study may include proximity relationships of different land cover types to contributing predictors to improve understanding of source and mitigation solutions.

Description:

A major environmental concern in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is increased sediment load to water reservoirs and ultimately to estuaries and reef areas outside the estuaries. Sediment deposition has significantly reduced the storage capacity of reservoirs, and the associated contaminants and nutrients adsorbed to terrestrial sediments can stress corals and negatively impact reef health. Therefore, it is important to understand local soil erosion and sediment transport processes to better prevent and manage sediment loss. The main objective of this study was to determine the influence of landscape characteristics on sediment loss by analyzing available precipitation and sediment data collected in Puerto Rico during the past three decades; information on land use, soil properties and topography were also included in the statistical analysis. Through analyzing sediment loss from ridge watersheds in Puerto Rico, we identified the main factors causing sediment loss in those ridge watersheds and understood better how changes in land use and its interactions with precipitation, terrain and soils might influence sediment loss. It was found that topography and rainfall factors do not play a leading role in sediment loss. Sediment loss from the ridge watersheds was mainly caused by interactions of development, heavy rainfall events (especially the hurricanes) and steep mountainous slopes. The partial least square (PLS) analysis was not very successful in identifying major factors attributed to sediment loss due to the complexity of the study watersheds. Results from this study greatly improve our understanding of sediment loss resulting from changes in land use/cover within a watershed, thereby helping stakeholders to make more informed decisions about future land use planning.

URLs/Downloads:

YUAN ORD-011720 JOURNAL-PUBLISHED SEDIMENT LOSSES PR.PDF   (PDF,NA pp, 530 KB,  about PDF)

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Product Published Date: 09/23/2015
Record Last Revised: 11/02/2015
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 309430

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES DIVISION

LANDSCAPE ECOLOGY BRANCH