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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The Demonstration Erosion Control Project: Aspects of Water Quality in Abiaca Creek, Mississippi

Authors
item Cooper, Charles
item Lizotte, Richard
item Knight, Scott
item Moore, Matthew

Submitted to: Mississippi Water Resources Research Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: December 22, 2004
Publication Date: December 30, 2004
Citation: Cooper, C.M., Lizotte Jr., R.E., Knight, S.S., Moore, M.T. 2004. The Demonstration Erosion Control Project: Aspects of Water Quality in Abiaca Creek, Mississippi. Mississippi Water Resources Research Conference Proceedings. Mississippi Water Resources Research - Geo Resources Institute, Mississippi State University, pp. 73-88. CD-ROM.

Interpretive Summary: Abiaca Creek watershed was monitored monthly at eight sites from 1992-2002 for water quality. This research is part of the demonstration erosion control (DEC) project aimed at controlling flooding, decreasing soil erosion and improving the environment in rivers and streams in north Mississippi. Differences in water quality occurred within the stream with better water quality upstream than downstream due, in part, to land use practices, gravel mining, and flood reservoirs. Annual water quality changes coincided with annual changes in climate. These results will help farmers, scientists and pollution control personnel in better understanding water quality conditions in Abiaca Creek watershed.

Technical Abstract: Landscape-scale stream channel erosion and ensuing incision in north Mississippi hill lands has been responsible for loss of arable land and degradation of aquatic habitats and water quality. Because of this, in 1983, Congress mandated a federal interagency demonstration project focusing on channel erosion in the upper Yazoo River drainage basin. As part of the Demonstration Erosion Control project (DEC), water quality in Abiaca Creek and six additional watersheds are routinely monitored to observe potential improvements after channel stabilization / flood control / rehabilitation technologies were implemented. Abiaca Creek watershed, located in portions of Caroll, Holmes, and Leflore Counties, Mississippi, is part of the upper Yazoo River drainage basin in north Mississippi and flows through Matthews Brake National Wildlife Refuge (MBNWR). From 1993-1996 setback levees were constructed along the lower reach of Abiaca Creek to mitigate sedimentation within MBNWR. The purpose of this study was to examine selected water quality parameters both spatially and temporally in Abiaca Creek using univariate and multivariate analyses to elucidate trends. The watershed was monitored monthly at eight sites from 1992-2002 for 14 water quality parameters. Results of spatial univariate analysis showed significant differences among sites for 13 of 14 water quality variables, whereas temporal analysis revealed differences among years for 12 of 14 variables. Exploratory multivariate analysis revealed spatial trends in water quality with upstream sites having overall better water quality than downstream ones. Observed spatial trends in water quality are influenced by localized geographic characteristics (e.g. localized land use practices, gravel mining, flood control structures, etc.). Temporal results showed a greater complexity in annual water quality with trends less evident and most likely associated with fluctuations in annual climatic conditions. Changes in water quality were cumulative due to major watershed inputs with instream reservoirs resetting dissolved oxygen and ammonia levels.

Last Modified: 4/17/2014
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