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USGS Chesapeake Bay Activities




U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Science Summary—Spatial and temporal variation of stream chemistry associated with contrasting geology and land-use patterns in the Chesapeake Bay watershed—Summary of results from Smith Creek, Virginia; Upper Chester River, Maryland; Conewago Creek, Pennsylvania; and Difficult Run, Virginia, 2010–2013

(Released November 2016) (PDF Version)
Figure 1 and link to larger image

Introduction and Issue

Across the Bay watershed, improvements in nitrogen and phosphorus have been seen at over half the nontidal monitoring stations during the past decade; however, more progress needs to be made to reduce nutrients and sediment to improve water-quality conditions in the Bay. Therefore, in 2010, the U.S. Geological Survey partnered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to initiate water-quality monitoring in four selected small watersheds that were targeted for increased implementation of management practices. The objective of this study was to investigate spatial and temporal variations in water chemistry and suspended sediment in these four relatively small watersheds that represent a range of land-use patterns and underlying geology to (1) characterize current water-quality conditions in these watersheds, and (2) identify the dominant sources, sinks, and transport processes in each watershed. The USGS has released initial results of the study, which included four watersheds:

Innovative Monitoring and Analysis

The study applied several innovative monitoring and analysis techniques in these watersheds that included:

Key Results: Smith Creek

Key Results: Upper Chester

Key Results: Conewago Creek

Key Results: Difficult Run

Future Directions

Source of information

The findings in this Science Summary are reported in the article below, which should be used as the reference for this information:

Hyer, K.E., Denver, J.M., Langland, M.J., Webber, J.S., Böhlke, J.K., Hively, W.D., and Clune, J.W., 2016, Spatial and temporal variation of stream chemistry associated with contrasting geology and land-use patterns in the Chesapeake Bay watershed—Summary of results from Smith Creek, Virginia; Upper Chester River, Maryland; Conewago Creek, Pennsylvania; and Difficult Run, Virginia, 2010–2013: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2016–5093, 211 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20165093.

For additional information about this science summary:

Contact Ken Hyer (kenhyer@usgs.gov) or Jimmy Webber (jwebber@usgs.gov).

For additional information about nontidal water-quality trends across the watershed:

Visit the USGS Chesapeake Bay Nontidal Monitoring Program site at http://cbrim.er.usgs.gov/.

For additional information about USGS Chesapeake Bay studies:

Visit the USGS Chesapeake Bay Web site at http://chesapeake.usgs.gov/.


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