Advertisement

Origins of stream salinization in an upland New England watershed

  • D. M. Evans
  • A. M. Villamagna
  • M. B. Green
  • J. L. Campbell
Article
  • 81 Downloads

Abstract

Salinity levels are above historical levels in many New England watersheds. We investigated potential sources of salinity in the Pemigewasset River, a relatively undeveloped watershed in northern New England. We utilized a synoptic sampling approach on six occasions between April and September 2011 paired with a novel land use analysis that incorporated traditional watershed and riparian zones as well as a local contributing area. We established background specific conductivity (SC) and found that SC was above established background levels in both the mainstem of the river (peak of 172 μS cm−1) and multiple tributaries. Specific conductivity was highest during low flow conditions (June) indicating potential groundwater storage and release of de-icing salts applied during winter months. Development in the watershed and riparian zone was found to be more strongly associated with elevated SC, compared to roads. The local contributing area was not found to be strongly associated with SC; however, there was evidence that the local contributing area may contribute to SC under low flow conditions.

Keywords

Conductivity Land use Pollution transport Pollution storage Freshwater 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to acknowledge Kristin Brandt for field and lab contributions and Scott Bailey for reviews of methods and manuscript drafts. The quality of this manuscript has been improved through the comments of anonymous reviewers.

References

  1. Bailey AS, Hornbeck JW, Campbell JL, Eagar C. (2003). Hydrometeorological database for Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest: 1955–2000. US For Serv Gen Tech Rep; 305. Available: http://www.treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/5406. Accessed 6 February 2018.
  2. Bailey, S. W., Brousseau, P. A., McGuire, K. J., & Ross, D. S. (2014). Influence of landscape position and transient water table on soil development and carbon distribution in a steep, headwater catchment. Geoderma, 226–227, 279–289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Campbell, J. L., Ollinger, S. V., Flerchinger, G. N., Wicklein, H., Hayhoe, K., & Bailey, A. S. (2010). Past and projected future changes in snowpack and soil frost at the Hubbard Brook experimental forest, New Hampshire, USA. Hydrological Processes, 24, 2465–2480.Google Scholar
  4. Campbell, J.L., Driscoll, C.T., Pourmokhtarian, A., Hayhoe, K. (2011). Streamflow responses to past and projected future changes in climate at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, New Hampshire, United States. Water Resources Research, 47, W02514.  https://doi.org/10.1029/2010WR009438.
  5. Cotton JE, Olimpio JR. (1996). Geohydrology, yield, and water quality of stratified-drift aquifers in the Pemigewasset River basin, central New Hampshire [Internet]. Report No.: 94–4083. Available: http://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/wri944083. Accessed 6 of February 2018.
  6. Daley, M. L., Potter, J. D., & McDowell, W. H. (2009). Salinization of urbanizing New Hampshire streams and groundwater: effects of road salt and hydrologic variability. Journal of the North American Benthological Society, 28, 929–940.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Demers, C. L., & Sage, R. W. (1990). Effects of road deicing salt on chloride levels in four adirondack streams. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution, 49, 369–373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Evans, D. M., Zipper, C. E., Donovan, P. F., & Daniels, W. L. (2014). Long-term trends of specific conductance in waters discharged by coal-mine valley fills in central Appalachia, USA. Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 50(6), 1449–1460.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gardner, K. M., & Royer, T. V. (2010). Effect of road salt application on seasonal chloride concentrations and toxicity in south-central Indiana streams. Journal of Environmental Quality, 39, 1036–1042.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Godwin, K. S., Hafner, S. D., & Buff, M. F. (2003). Long-term trends in sodium and chloride in the Mohawk River, New York: the effect of fifty years of road-salt application. Environmental Pollution, 124, 273–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Griffith, M. B. (2014). Natural variation and current reference for specific conductivity and major ions in wadeable streams of the conterminous USA. Freshwater Science, 33(1), 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Harte, P. T., & Trowbridge, P. R. (2010). Mapping of road-salt-contaminated groundwater discharge and estimation of chloride load to a small stream in southern New Hampshire, USA. Hydrological Processes, 24, 2349–2368.Google Scholar
  13. Homer, C. G., Dewitz, J. A., Yang, L., Jin, S., Danielson, P., Xian, G., Coulston, J., Herold, N. D., Wickham, J. D., & Megown, K. (2015). Completion of the 2011 National Land Cover Database for the conterminous United States—representing a decade of land cover change information. Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing, 81(5), 345–354.Google Scholar
  14. Howard, K. W., & Haynes, J. (1993). Groundwater contamination due to road de-icing chemical-salt balance implications. Geoscience Canada., 20(1), 1–8.Google Scholar
  15. Kaushal, S. S., Groffman, P. M., Likens, G. E., Belt, K. T., Stack, W. P., Kelly, V. R., Band, L. E., & Fisher, G. T. (2005). Increased salinization of fresh water in the northeastern United States. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 102(38), 13517–13520.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kaushal, S. S., Likens, G. E., Pace, M. L., Utz, R. M., Haq, S., Gorman, J., & Grese, M. (2018). Freshwater salinization syndrome on a continental scale. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201711234, E574–E583.  https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1711234115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kelly, V. R., Lovett, G. M., Weathers, K. C., Findlay, S. E. G., Strayer, D. L., Burns, D. J., & Likens, G. E. (2008). Long-term sodium chloride retention in a rural watershed: legacy effects of road salt on streamwater concentration. Environmental Science and Technology, 42(2), 410–415.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kelting, D. L., Laxson, C. L., & Yerger, E. C. (2012). Regional analysis of the effect of paved roads on sodium and chloride in lakes. Water Research, 46(8), 22749–22758.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kunkle, S. H. (1972). Effects of road salt on a Vermont stream. Journal of American Water Works Association, 64(5), 290–295 Published by: American Water Works Association Stable URL : http://www.jstor.org/.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Likens, G. E., & Buso, D. C. (2012). Dilution and the elusive baseline. Environmental Science and Technology, 46(8), 4382–4387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. NHDOT (2013). New Hampshire Department of Transportation. NH Public Roads (GIS Shapefile). Available at http://www.granit.unh.edu/data/downloadfreedata/category/databycategory.html
  22. Ramakrishna, D., & Viraraghavan, T. (2005). Environmental impact of chemical deciers—a review. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, 166, 49–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Rosenberry, D. O., Bukaveckas, P. A., Buso, D. C., Likens, G. E., Shapiro, A. M., & Winter, T. C. (1997). Movement of road salt to a small New Hampshire lake. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, 109, 179–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. USEPA (2006). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. National recommended water quality criteria. 4304T. https://www.epa.gov/wqc/national-recommended-water-quality-criteria-aquatic-life-criteria-table. Accessed 9 August 2018.
  25. USEPA (2018). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Secondary drinking water standards: guidance for nuisance chemicals. https://www.epa.gov/dwstandardsregulations/secondary-drinking-water-standards-guidance-nuisance-chemicals. Accessed 19 January 2018.
  26. USGS (2009). U.S. Geological Survey. National elevation dataset (NED) (1/3 arc second—10 meter resolution). https://viewer.nationalmap.gov/advanced-viewer/. Accessed 19 January 2018.
  27. USGS (2016). U.S. Geologic Survey. Daily data. https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/dv/?referred_module=sw. Accessed 19 January 2018.
  28. Williams, W. (1987). Salinization of rivers and streams: an important environmental hazard. Ambio Ambocx, 16(4), 180–185.Google Scholar
  29. Williams, W. D. (2001). Anthropogenic salinization of inland waters. Hydrobiologia, 466, 329–337.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Plymouth State UniversityPlymouthUSA
  2. 2.U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Station Newtown SquareUSA

Personalised recommendations