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The southeastern United States has undergone anthropogenic changes in landscape structure, with the potential to increase (e.g., urbanization) and decrease (e.g., reservoir construction) stream flashiness and flooding. Assessment of the outcome of such change can provide insight into the efficacy of current strategies and policies to manage water resources. We (1) examined trends in precipitation, floods, and stream flashiness and (2) assessed the relative influence of land cover and flow-regulating features (e.g., best management practices and artificial water bodies) on stream flashiness from 1991 to 2013. We found mean annual precipitation decreased, which coincided with decreasing trends in floods. In contrast,...
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This collection of 13 articles focuses on CECs, and each of the articles highlights a specific aspect of this broad topic. The articles were solicited from researchers who participated in the second summer specialty conference on this topic, organized by the American Water Resources Association. The title of the conference was “CECs in Water Resources II: Research, Engineering and Community Action,” and the conference, as well as the articles in this featured collection, focus on a better and more comprehensive understanding of these contaminants. The conference was held in Denver, Colorado, on June 25-27, 2012, and approximately 125 conference attendees participated in an interdisciplinary forum of more than 75...
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Groundwater transport often complicates understanding of surface-water contamination. We estimated the regional flux of nitrate and selected herbicides from groundwater to nontidal headwater streams of the Atlantic Coastal Plain (New Jersey through North Carolina) based on late-winter or spring base-flow samples from 174 streams. Sampled streams were selected randomly, and flux estimates are based on resulting population estimates rather than on empirical models, which have been used previously for similar estimates. Base-flow flux in the estimated 8,834 headwater streams of the study area are an estimated 21,200 kg/day of nitrate (as N) and 5.83, 0.565, and 20.7 kg/day of alachlor, atrazine, and metolachlor (and...
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Managers make decisions regarding if and how to remove dams in spite of uncertainty surrounding physical and ecological responses, and stakeholders often raise concerns about certain negative effects, regardless of whether or not these concerns are warranted at a particular site. We used a dam-removal science database supplemented with other information sources to explore seven frequently-raised concerns, herein Common Management Concerns (CMCs). We investigate the occurrence of these concerns and the contributing biophysical controls. The CMCs addressed are: degree and rate of reservoir sediment erosion, excessive channel incision upstream of reservoirs, downstream sediment aggradation, elevated downstream turbidity,...
An accounting procedure is developed which determines a flow regime that is capable of transporting an amount of bedload sediment necessary to ensure channel stability downstream. The method allows for sediment buildup in the channel within geomorphic threshold limits during low flow periods. During periods of high runoff, enough water is bypassed to transport the stored sediment. The procedure utilizes only those flows of sufficient magnitude to maintain channel stability over the long run (25–50+ years). An example is presented which determines the volume of water and frequency of release for channel maintenance purposes downstream from a hypothetical water diversion project. Of some 1,200,000 acre feet generated...
Frequent and persistent droughts exacerbate the problems caused by the inherent scarcity of water in the semiarid to arid parts of the southwestern United States. The occurrence of drought is driven by climatic variability, which for years before about the beginning of the 20th century in the Southwest must be inferred from proxy records. As part of a multidisciplinary study of the potential hydrologic impact of severe sustained drought on the Colorado River, the physical basis and limitations of tree rings as indicators of severe sustained drought are reviewed, and tree-ring data are analyzed to delineate a “worst-case� drought scenario for the Upper Colorado River Basin (UCRB). Runs analysis of a 121-site...
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The National Park Service and the National Biological Service initiated research in Denali National Park and Preserve, a 2.4 million-hectare park in southcentral Alaska, to develop ecological monitoring protocols for national parks in the Arctic/Subarctic biogeographic area. We are focusing pilot studies on design questions, on scaling issues and regionalization, ecosystem structure and function, indicator selection and evaluation, and monitoring technologies. Rock Creek, a headwater stream near Denali headquarters, is the ecological scale for initial testing of a watershed ecosystem approach. Our conceptual model embraces principles of the hydrological cycle, hypotheses of global climate change, and biological...
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Lake surface regimes are fundamental attributes of lake ecosystems and their interaction with the land and atmosphere. High latitudes may be particularly sensitive to climate change, however, adequate baselines for these lakes are often lacking. In this study, we couple monitoring, remote sensing, and modeling techniques to generate baseline datasets of lake surface temperature and ice cover in the Alaskan Subarctic and Arctic. No detectable trends were observed during this study period, but a number of interesting patterns were noted among lakes and between regions. The largest Arctic lake was relatively unresponsive to air temperature, while the largest Subarctic lake was very responsive likely because it is fed...
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Nutrient input to the Laurentian Great Lakes continues to cause problems with eutrophication. To reduce the extent and severity of these problems, target nutrient loads were established and Total Maximum Daily Loads are being developed for many tributaries. Without detailed loading information it is difficult to determine if the targets are being met and how to prioritize rehabilitation efforts. To help address these issues, SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) models were developed for estimating loads and sources of phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) from the United States (U.S.) portion of the Great Lakes, Upper Mississippi, Ohio, and Red River Basins. Results indicated that recent...
A severe sustained drought in the Colorado River Basin would cause economic damages throughout the Basin. An integrated hydrologic-economic-institutional model introduced here shows that consumptive water users in headwaters states are particularly vulnerable to very large shortfalls and hence large damages because their rights are effectively junior to downstream users. Chronic shortfalls to consumptive users relying on diversions in excess of rights under the Colorado River Compact are also possible. Nonconsumptive water uses (for hydropower and recreation) are severely affected during the worst drought years as instream flows are reduced and reservoirs are depleted. Damages to these uses exceeds those to consumptive...
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This collaborative study examined urbanization and impacts on area streams while using the best available sediment and erosion control (S&EC) practices in developing watersheds in Maryland, United States. During conversion of the agricultural and forested watersheds to urban land use, land surface topography was graded and vegetation was removed creating a high potential for sediment generation and release during storm events. The currently best available S&EC facilities were used during the development process to mitigate storm runoff water quality, quantity, and timing before entering area streams. Detailed Geographic Information System (GIS) maps were created to visualize changing land use and S&EC practices,...
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Cedar Rapids obtains its municipal water supply from a shallow alluvial aquifer along the Cedar River in east-central Iowa. Water samples were collected and analyzed for selected isotopes and chlorofluorocarbons to characterize the ground-water flow system near the municipal well fields. Analyses of deuterium and oxygen-18 indicate that water in the alluvial aquifer and in the underlying carbonate bedrock aquifer was recharged from precipitation during modern climatic conditions. Analyses of tritium indicate modern, post-1952, water in the alluvial aquifer and older, pre-1952, water in the bedrock aquifer. Mixing of the modern and older waters occurs in areas where (1) the confining layer between the two aquifers...
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Estimates of incoming solar radiation (insolation) from Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite observations have been produced for the state of Florida over a 10-year period (1995-2004). These insolation estimates were developed into well-calibrated half-hourly and daily integrated solar insolation fields over the state at 2 km resolution, in addition to a 2-week running minimum surface albedo product. Model results of the daily integrated insolation were compared with ground-based pyranometers, and as a result, the entire dataset was calibrated. This calibration was accomplished through a three-step process: (1) comparison with ground-based pyranometer measurements on clear (noncloudy) reference days,...
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Watershed Regressions for Pesticides (WARP) models, previously developed for atrazine at the national scale, are improved for application to the United States (U.S.) Corn Belt region by developing region-specific models that include watershed characteristics that are influential in predicting atrazine concentration statistics within the Corn Belt. WARP models for the Corn Belt (WARP-CB) were developed for annual maximum moving-average (14-, 21-, 30-, 60-, and 90-day durations) and annual 95th-percentile atrazine concentrations in streams of the Corn Belt region. The WARP-CB models accounted for 53 to 62% of the variability in the various concentration statistics among the model-development sites. Model predictions...
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Recent national concerns regarding the environmental occurrence of emerging contaminants (ECs) have catalyzed a series of recent studies. Many ECs are released into the environment through discharges from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and other sources. In 2005, the U.S. Geological Survey and the City of Longmont initiated an investigation of selected ECs in a 13.8‐km reach of St. Vrain Creek, Colorado. Seven sites were sampled for ECs following a Lagrangian design; sites were located upstream, downstream, and in the outfall of the Longmont WWTP, and at the mouths of two tributaries, Left Hand Creek and Boulder Creek (which is influenced by multiple WWTP outfalls). Samples for 61 ECs in 16 chemical use categories...
The cascade correlation neural network was used to predict the two-year peak discharge (Q2) for major regional river basins of the continental United States (US). Watersheds ranged in size by four orders of magnitude. Results of the neural network predictions ranged from correlations of 0.73 for 104 test data in the Souris-Red Rainy river basin to 0.95 for 141 test data in California. These results are improvements over previous multilinear regressions involving more variables that showed correlations ranging from 0.26 to 0.94. Results are presented for neural networks trained and tested on drainage area, average annual precipitation, and mean basin elevation. A neural network trained on regional scale data in the...
Researchers representing each of the Colorado River Basin states as well as the Secretary of the Interior were presented with an interactive computer simulation of a progressively increasing drought and were given the collective opportunity to change the ways in which basin-wide and within-state water management were conducted. The purpose of this ?gaming? exercise was to identify rules for managing the Colorado River which are effective in preventing drought-caused damages to basin water users. This water management game was conducted three times, varying the collective choice roles for management of the river yet staying substantially within the current institution for management of the Colorado River known as...
The Colorado River Basin faces the dilemma of an increasing demand for water while presently struggling with salinity concentrations approaching critical levels for some water uses. Based upon projected development salinity concentrations are predicted to exceed 1200 mg/1 at Imperial Dam by the year 2010. Annual losses to the basin economy associated with increased salinity will exceed $50 million by the year 2010. Although methods of controlling salt discharges are relatively unrefined, certain conclusions, based upon Bayesian statistical methods, can be reached. Five basic alternatives for coping with the problem are presented and evaluated in this paper: (1) do nothing; (2) adopt arbitrary salinity standards;...


map background search result map search result map Lake temperature and ice cover regimes in the Alaskan Subarctic and Arctic: Integrated monitoring, remote sensing, and modeling Nutrient inputs to the Laurentian Great Lakes by source and watershed estimated using SPARROW watershed models Mitigating the effects of landscape development on streams in urbanizing watersheds Mitigating the effects of landscape development on streams in urbanizing watersheds Nutrient inputs to the Laurentian Great Lakes by source and watershed estimated using SPARROW watershed models Lake temperature and ice cover regimes in the Alaskan Subarctic and Arctic: Integrated monitoring, remote sensing, and modeling