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Turbidity and Total Suspended Solids on the Lower Cache River Watershed, AR


The Cache River Watershed (CRW) in Arkansas is part of one of the largest remaining bottomland hardwood forests in the US. Although wetlands are known to improve water quality, the Cache River is listed as impaired due to sedimentation and turbidity. This study measured turbidity and total suspended solids (TSS) in seven sites of the lower CRW; six sites were located on the Bayou DeView tributary of the Cache River. Turbidity and TSS levels ranged from 1.21 to 896 NTU, and 0.17 to 386.33 mg/L respectively and had an increasing trend over the 3-year study. However, a decreasing trend from upstream to downstream in the Bayou DeView tributary was noted. Sediment loading calculated from high precipitation events and mean TSS values indicate that contributions from the Cache River main channel was approximately 6.6 times greater than contributions from Bayou DeView. Land use surrounding this river channel affects water quality as wetlands provide a filter for sediments in the Bayou DeView channel.

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Funding was provided by Lower Cache River 319 Grant through AR Natural Resource Commission, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Many thanks to the staff and students at the Ecotoxicology Research Facility at Arkansas State University for assistance with this project, especially Katie Kilmer for her help with mapping.

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Correspondence to Carlos A. Rosado-Berrios.

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Rosado-Berrios, C.A., Bouldin, J.L. Turbidity and Total Suspended Solids on the Lower Cache River Watershed, AR. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 96, 738–743 (2016).

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  • Total suspended solids
  • Turbidity
  • Cache River, Arkansas
  • Bottomland hardwood forests
  • Sediment loading
  • Water quality impairment