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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Relating Hydrologic Variables and Stream Order to Locate Riparian Buffers

Authors
item Burkart, Michael
item James, David
item Tomer, Mark

Submitted to: International Conference on Diffuse Pollution
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 28, 2004
Publication Date: October 28, 2004
Citation: Burkart, M.R., James, D.E., Tomer, M.D. 2004. Relating hydrologic variables and stream order to locate riparian buffers [CD-ROM]. Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Diffuse Pollution. Kyoto, Japan; London, England.

Technical Abstract: Methods for mapping hydrologic variables to locate vegetated riparian buffers were explored using examples from the Deep Loess Region of the Midwest. Elevation and stream-flow data were used to define wetness, baseflow, sediment transport, and discharge indices. Groundwater dominates discharge in very small streams and through riparian areas in the region. All indices showed that riparian areas along first order streams have greater potential to intercept groundwater or runoff than similar areas along larger streams. A wetness index, used to indicate saturated soils, defined a significantly greater probability of saturation along smaller streams, enhancing the potential for groundwater interception. Significantly smaller values of the sediment transport index along smaller streams provide enhanced opportunities for deposition of sediment and associated contaminants. A discharge index shows that buffers along first order streams have orders of magnitude greater opportunities to intercept water passing through riparian areas than reaches of larger streams.

Last Modified: 11/22/2014
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