Implications of Walker Branch Watershed Research
The original objectives of the Walker Branch Watershed Project, as defined in 1967, were to provide base-line values for unpolluted natural waters, to contribute to our knowledge of cycling and loss of chemical elements in natural ecosystems, and to enable construction of models for predicting the effects of man’s activities on the landscape. These objectives were established prior to identification of specific environmental issues such as acidic precipitation, increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, and hydrologic transport of both organic and inorganic trace contaminants through forested landscapes. The watershed concept encompasses the coupling of both water and chemical budgets as they are influenced by the biological, chemical, and physical systems operating in the landscape. Integrating plot-level studies of the specific processes that govern transport and distribution of materials with watershed-level mass balances of water and chemicals permits evaluation of the effects of future perturbations on the landscape.
KeywordsWatershed Study National Atmospheric Deposition Program Burial Ground National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Soil Sensitivity
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