As part of the Susquehanna Shale Hills Critical Zone Observatory (SSHCZO) project, we have collected geochemical and hydrological data from several subcatchments and four monitoring sites on the main stem of Shaver’s Creek, in Huntingon county, Pennsylvania. One subcatchment (0.43 km2) is under agricultural land use, and the monitoring locations on the larger Shaver’s Creek (up to 163 km2) drain watersheds with 0 to 25% agricultural area. These two scales of investigation, coupled with advances made across the SSHCZO on multiple lithologies allow us to extrapolate from the subcatchment to the larger watershed. We use geochemical surface and groundwater data to estimate the solute and water transport regimes within the catchment, and to show how lithology and land use are major controls on ground and surface water quality. One area of investigation includes the transport of nutrients between interflow and regional groundwater, and how that connectivity may be reflected in local surface waters. Water and nutrient (Nitrogen) isotopes, will be used to better understand the relative contributions of local and regional groundwater and interflow fluxes into nearby streams. Following initial qualitative modeling, multiple hydrologic and nutrient transport models (e.g. SWAT and CYCLES/PIHM) will be evaluated from the subcatchment to large watershed scales. We will evaluate the ability to simulate the contributions of regional groundwater versus local groundwater, and also impacts of agricultural land management on surface water quality. Improving estimations of groundwater contributions to stream discharge will provide insight into how much agricultural development can impact stream quality and nutrient loading.
Wayman, C.R., Russo, T.A., Li, L., Forsythe, B., Hoagland, B. (2017): Qualitatively modeling solute fate and transport across scales in an agricultural catchment with diverse lithology. 2017 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, New Orleans, LA, 11-15 Dec .
This Paper/Book acknowledges NSF CZO grant support.