Poster: The Potomac River Basin and Western Shore Chesapeake Bay Drainage as a Proposed Long-Term Hydrologic Observatory
Andrew J. Miller. James Smith, Claire Welty, Karen Prestegaard, Larry Band, Peter Groffman, Keith Eshleman, Gary Fisher, Margaret Palmer,Robert Shedlock, Michael Piasecki

A proposal for a long-term hydrologic observatory is being prepared for submission to NSF for an area encompassing the Potomac River Basin and the basins that form the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay from the Gunpowder River on the north to the Rappahannock River on the south. The area is approximately 52,000 sq km and spans five physiographic provinces, with total relief of about 1200 m. A wealth of existing instrumented field sites forms a network of resources that will be woven together as part of this effort, including the USGS NAWQA study in the Potomac River Basin; the Baltimore Ecosystem Study; USDA-ARS sites in Beltsville, MD; the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin's work in overseeing management of the Potomac River; the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center's field sites, and active field sites of major research universities located in the region.
This poster presents study area attributes, preliminary study design, and a proposed core data program. The program is designed to attract researchers in the following areas of scientific inquiry: (1) orographic precipitation mechanisms, runoff generation, and groundwater recharge; (2) sediment sources, storage, and delivery, floodplain processes, and fate of sediment-associated contaminants; (3) biogeochemical cycling and sources and sinks of nutrients and toxic contaminants in the landscape from non-tidal uplands to estuarine waters; (4) defining water needs to support ecosystems, and moving the science of restoration to an integrated biophysical enterprise; and (5) urban development, infrastructure, and consequent transformation of hydrologic landscapes and processes.


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