Advertisement

Quantifying flow interval–pollutant loading relationships in a rapidly urbanizing mixed-land-use watershed of the Central USA

  • Sean J. Zeiger
  • Jason A. Hubbart
Original Article

Abstract

Rapid urbanization and agricultural development have altered flow and pollutant loading regimes resulting in poorly understood pollutant transport regimes and inadequately conceived management practices. Four years of hydrologic and water quality data (i.e., stream flow, suspended sediment, nitrate, nitrite, total ammonium, total inorganic nitrogen, and total phosphorus) were collected using a five-site nested-scale study design in a representative mixed-land-use watershed. Cumulative nested sub-basin drainage areas ranged from 79 to 208 km2. Daily flow and load duration analyses were used to quantify land use impacts to flow-mediated pollutant loading at multiple flow intervals including high flows (0–10%), moist conditions (10–40%), mid-range flows (40–60%), dry conditions (60–90%), and low flows (90–100%). Pollutant loads ranged across four orders of magnitude for suspended sediments, and three orders of magnitude for nutrient loads during the high flow interval when nearly all of the total pollutant loads were transported (e.g., 99% of suspended sediments, 92% of total inorganic nitrogen, and 95% of total phosphorus loads). Results from stepwise multiple linear regression analyses showed significant relationships between land use, flow, and pollutant load at high flows, moist conditions, and mid-range flow intervals (R 2 > 75.7; p < 0.035). No significant relationships (p < 0.05) were detected during dry conditions, or low flow intervals. Results highlight the need for consideration of combined flow and pollutant loading targets appropriate for watersheds modified by current and ongoing land use and point to a need for long-term and broad-scale efforts to develop achievable hydrologic and water quality recommendations especially in rapidly urbanizing mixed-land-use watersheds.

Keywords

Pollutant loading Urban Mixed-land-use hydrology Suspended sediment Nutrients 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Funding was provided by the Missouri Department of Conservation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 7 through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (P.N: G08-NPS-17) under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act. Additional funding was provided by partners of the Hinkson Creek Watershed Collaborative Adaptive Management program. Results presented may not reflect the views of the sponsors, and no official endorsement should be inferred.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

References

  1. Allan JD (2004) Landscapes and riverscapes: the influence of land use on stream ecosystems. Annu Rev Ecol Evol Syst 35:257–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) (2007) Standard methods for determining sediment concentrations in water samples. ASTM D:3977–3997Google Scholar
  3. Blanco-Canqui H, Gantzer CJ, Anderson SH, Alberts EE, Ghidey F (2002) Saturated hydraulic conductivity and Its impact on simulated runoff for claypan soils. Soil Sci Soc Am J 66(5):1596–1602CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bernhardt ES, Band LE, Walsh CJ, Berke PE (2008) Understanding, managing, and minimizing urban impacts on surface water flux. Ann NY Acad Sci 1134:61–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bernot MJ, Tank JL, Royer TV, David MB (2006) Nutrient uptake in streams draining agricultural catchments of the midwestern United States. Freshw Biol 51(3):499–509CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bilotta GS, Brazier RE (2008) Understanding the influence of suspended solids on water quality and aquatic biota. Water Res 42:2849–2861CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Birgand F, Skaggs RW, Chescheir GM, Gilliam JW (2007) Nitrogen removal in streams of agricultural catchments—a literature review. Crit Rev Environ Sci Technol 37:381–487CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. David MB, Gentry LE (2000) Anthropogenic inputs of nitrogen and phosphorus and riverine export for Illinois, USA. J Environ Qual 29(2):494–508CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. David MB, Drinkwater LE, McIsaac GF (2010) Sources of nitrate yields in the Mississippi River Basin. J Environ Qual 39(5):1657–1667CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dodds WK, Jones JR, Welch EB (1998) Suggested classification of stream trophic state: distributions of temperate stream types by chlorophyll, total nitrogen, and phosphorus. Water Res 32(5):1455–1462CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dodds WK, Bouska WW, Eitzmann JL, Pilger TJ, Pits KL, Riley AJ, Schloesser JT, Thornbrugh DJ (2009) Eutrophication of U.S. freshwaters: analysis of potential economic damages. Environ Sci Technol 43(1):12–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dottori F, Martina MLV, Todini E (2009) A dynamic rating curve approach to indirect discharge measurement. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci 13:847–863CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fletcher TD, Vietz G, Walsh CJ (2014) Protection of stream ecosystems from urban stormwater runoff: the multiple benefits of an ecohydrological approach. Prog Phys Geogr 38:1–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Harmel RD, Cooper RJ, Slade RM, Haney RL, Arnold JG (2006) Cumulative uncertainty in measured streamflow and water quality data for small watersheds. Trans ASABE 49(3):689–701CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hatt BE, Fletcher TD, Walsh CJ, Taylor SL (2004) The influence of urban density and drainage infrastructure on the concentrations and loads of pollutants in small streams. Environ Manag 34:112–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Howarth RW, Billen G, Swaney D, Townsend A, Jaworski N, Lajtha K, Downing JA, Elmgren R, Caraco T, Jordan T, Berendse F, Freney J, Kudeyarov V, Murdoch P, Zhu ZL (1996) Regional nitrogen budgets and riverine N & P fluxes for the drainages to the North Atlantic Ocean: natural and human influences. Biochemistry 35(1):75–139Google Scholar
  17. Hubbart JA (2011) Urban floodplain management: understanding consumptive water-use potential in urban forested floodplains. Stormwater 12(6):56–63Google Scholar
  18. Hubbart JA, Zell C (2013) Considering streamflow trend analyses uncertainty in urbanizing watersheds: a baseflow case study in the central United States. Earth Interact 17(5):1–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hubbart JA, Holmes J, Bowman G (2010) Integrating science based decision making and TMDL allocations in urbanizing watersheds. Watershed Sci Bull 01:19–24Google Scholar
  20. Hubbart JA, Muzika R-M, Huang D, Robinson A (2011) Improving quantitative understanding of Bottomland Hardwood Forest influence on soil water consumption in an urban floodplain. Watershed Sci Bull 3:34–43Google Scholar
  21. Hubbart JA, Kellner ER, Hooper LT, Lupo AR, Market PS, Guinan PE, Stephan K, Fox NI, Svoma BM (2014) Localized climate and surface energy flux alterations across an urban gradient in the central US. Energies 7:1770–1791CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kellner E, Hubbart JA, Ikem A (2015) A comparison of forest and agricultural shallow groundwater chemical status a century after land use change. Sci Total Environ 529:82–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kellner E, Hubbart JA (2016a) A comparison of the spatial distribution of vadose zone water in forested and agricultural floodplains a century after harvest. Sci Total Environ 542(Pt A):153–161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kellner E, Hubbart JA (2016b) Continuous and event-based time series analysis of observed floodplain groundwater flow under contrasting land-use types. Sci Total Environ 566–567:436–445CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lamba J, Thompson AM, Karthikeyan KG, Fitzpatrick FA (2015) Sources of fine sediment stored in agricultural lowland streams, Midwest, USA. Geomorphology 236:44–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Leopold LB, Wolman MG, Miller JP (2012) Fluvial processes in geomorphology. Dover Publications, Mineola, NY, p 11501Google Scholar
  27. Lerch RN, Baffaut C, Kitchen NR, Sadler EJ (2015) Long-term agroecosystem research in the Central Mississippi River Basin: dissolved nitrogen and phosphorus transport in a high-runoff-potential watershed. J Environ Qual 44:44–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Letcher RA, Jakeman AJ, Merritt WS, McKee LJ, Eyre BD, Baginska B (1999) Review of techniques to estimate catchment exports. Environment Protection Authority, SydneyGoogle Scholar
  29. MDNR (2011) Total maximum daily load for Hinkson Creek Boone County, Missouri. Prepared by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources Water Protection ProgramGoogle Scholar
  30. Meybeck M, Laroche L, Dürr HH, Syvitski JPM (2003) Global variability of daily total suspended solids and their fluxes in rivers. Glob Planet Change 39(1):65–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Miller D, Vandike J (1997) Groundwater resources of Missouri. Missouri Department of Natural Resources Division of Geology and Land Survey Water Resources Rep, 46, p 136Google Scholar
  32. Nelson EJ, Booth DB (2002) Sediment sources in an urbanizing, mixed land-use watershed. J Hydrol 264(1):51–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Petrucci G, Rodriguez F, Deroubaix JF, Tassin B (2014) Linking the management of urban watersheds with the impacts on the receiving water bodies: the use of flow duration curves. Water Sci Technol 70(1):127–135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Poor CJ, McDonnell JJ (2007) The effects of land use on stream nitrate dynamics. J Hydrol 332(1–2):54–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Quilbe R, Rousseau AN, Duchemin M, Poulin A, Gangbazo G, Villeneuve JP (2006) Selecting a calculation method to estimate sediment and nutrient loads in streams: application to the Beaurivage River (Quebec, Canada). J Hydrol 326(1–4):295–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Roy AH, Freeman MC, Freeman BJ, Wenger SJ, Ensign WE, Meyer JL (2005) Investigating hydrological alteration as a mechanism of fish assemblage shifts in urbanizing streams. J N Am Benthol Soc 24:656–678CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Royer TV, Tank JL, David MB (2004) Transport and fate of nitrate in headwater agricultural streams in Illinois. J Environ Qual 33(4):1296–1304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Royer TV, David MB, Gentry LE (2006) Timing of riverine export of nitrate and phosphorus from agricultural watersheds in Illinois: implications for reducing nutrient loading to the Mississippi River. Environ Sci Technol 40:4126–4131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Schottler SP, Ulrich J, Belmont P, Moore R, Lauer JW, Engstrom DR, Almendinger JE (2014) Twentieth century agricultural drainage creates more erosive rivers. Hydrol Process 28:1951–1961CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Shepard AN, Valentine JF, D’Elia CF, Yoskowitz DW, Dismukes DE (2013) Economic impact of Gulf of Mexico ecosystem goods and services and integration Into restoration decision-making. Gulf Mexico Sci 1(2):10–27Google Scholar
  41. Turnipseed DP, Sauer VB (2010) Discharge measurements at gaging stations. In: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques in Water Resource Investigations Book 3: Applications of Hydraulics. Chap A8. http://pubs.usgs.gov/twri/twri3a8/pdf/TWRI_3-A8.pdf
  42. Vietz GJ, Sammonds MJ, Walsh CJ, Fletcher TD, Rutherfurd ID, Stewardson MJ (2014) Ecologically relevant geomorphic attributes of streams are impaired by even low levels of watershed effective imperviousness. Geomorphology 206:67–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Vogel RM, Fennessey NM (1994) Flow-duration curves. I: new interpretation and confidence intervals. J Water Resour Plan Manag 120(4):485–504CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Walsh CJ, Roy AH, Feminella JW, Cottingham PD, Groffman PM, Morgan RP II (2005a) The urban stream syndrome: current knowledge and the search for a cure. J N Am Benthol Soc 24(3):706–723CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Walsh CJ, Fletcher TD, Ladson AR (2005b) Stream restoration in urban catchments through redesigning stormwater systems: looking to the catchment to save the stream. J N Am Benthol Soc 24(3):690–705CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Zeiger SJ, Hubbart JA (2015) Nested-scale nutrient yields from a mixed-land-use urbanizing watershed. Hydrol Process 30(10):1475–1490CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Zeiger SJ, Hubbart JA (2016) Quantifying suspended sediment flux in a mixed-land-use urbanizing watershed using a nested-scale study design. Sci Total Environ 542:315–323CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Forestry, School of Natural Resources, Water Resources ProgramUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.Institute of Water Security and Science, Davis College, Schools of Agriculture and Food, and Natural ResourcesWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA

Personalised recommendations