" BES Project Abstracts 2006
Institute of Ecosystem Studies

2006 BES Annual Meeting Presentation and Poster Abstracts

The Suburban to Urban to Ultra Urban Gradient: Comparison of Water Quality in Small Streams from Baltimore City to Cub Hill
Turcsanyi, Istvan
Co-Authors: Turcsanyi, I., J. Quin, K. T. Belt,* W. P. Stack, R. V. Pouyat, R. McCauley, P. M. Groffman, G. Heisler, D. Dillon and M. Cherigo
Abstract: The US Forest service has been working with Baltimore City DPW and BES to gauge flows and sample baseflow and runoff in two highly impervious headwater catchments in west Baltimore within Watershed 263, where the goal is to characterize a baseline condition for runoff quantity and quality against which future changes due to a long-term reforestation and restoration efforts in the watershed can be measured. One of the emerging questions is whether older urban sites with high percentages of impervious cover are hotspots with respect to urban runoff pollution and warrant special watershed restoration attention. The US Forest Service, working with BES, also operates three stream stations near the Cub Hill eddy flux tower. These small Cub Hill catchments, along with various other long-term BES stream stations, provide examples of catchments with suburban medium density land use that provide a basis against which the older, ultra urban small catchments in Watershed 263, as well as two older urban/suburban stream sites in Moores Run, located in Northeast Baltimore City southwest of Cub Hill and operated by Baltimore City DPW, can be compared. We will summarize the water chemistry levels, seasonal patterns and variance at these sites for 3 years of baseflow and storm data collection, using total nitrogen and phosphorus, nitrate, phosphate, chloride, sulfate, and temperature and E. coli concentration data. These will be discussed in the context of landuse and hydrologic variability, and with respect to BES forested and agricultural reference catchments.