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Multivariate classification of small order watersheds in the Quabbin Reservoir Basin, Massachusetts

Journal of the American Water Resources Association

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Abstract

A multivariate approach was used to analyze hydrologic, geologic, geographic, and water-chemistry data from small order watersheds in the Quabbin Reservoir Basin in central Massachusetts. Eighty three small order watersheds were delineated and landscape attributes defining hydrologic, geologic, and geographic features of the watersheds were compiled from geographic information system data layers. Principal components analysis was used to evaluate 11 chemical constituents collected bi-weekly for 1 year at 15 surface-water stations in order to subdivide the basin into subbasins comprised of watersheds with similar water quality characteristics. Three principal components accounted for about 90 percent of the variance in water chemistry data. The principal components were defined as a biogeochemical variable related to wetland density, an acid-neutralization variable, and a road-salt variable related to density of primary roads. Three subbasins were identified. Analysis of variance and multiple comparisons of means were used to identify significant differences in stream water chemistry and landscape attributes among subbasins. All stream water constituents were significantly different among subbasins. Multiple regression techniques were used to relate stream water chemistry to landscape attributes. Important differences in landscape attributes were related to wetlands, slope, and soil type.A multivariate approach was used to analyze hydrologic, geologic, geographic, and water-chemistry data from small order watersheds in the Quabbin Reservoir Basin in central Massachusetts. Eighty three small order watersheds were delineated and landscape attributes defining hydrologic, geologic, and geographic features of the watersheds were compiled from geographic information system data layers. Principal components analysis was used to evaluate 11 chemical constituents collected bi-weekly for 1 year at 15 surface-water stations in order to subdivide the basin into subbasins comprised of watersheds with similar water quality characteristics. Three principal components accounted for about 90 percent of the variance in water chemistry data. The principal components were defined as a biogeochemical variable related to wetland density, an acid-neutralization variable, and a road-salt variable related to density of primary roads. Three subbasins were identified. Analysis of variance and multiple comparisons of means were used to identify significant differences in stream water chemistry and landscape attributes among subbasins. All stream water constituents were significantly different among subbasins. Multiple regression techniques were used to relate stream water chemistry to landscape attributes. Important differences in landscape attributes were related to wetlands, slope, and soil type.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Multivariate classification of small order watersheds in the Quabbin Reservoir Basin, Massachusetts
Series title:
Journal of the American Water Resources Association
Volume
34
Issue:
2
Year Published:
1998
Language:
English
Publisher:
American Water Resources Assoc
Publisher location:
Herndon, VA, United States
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
439
Last page:
450
Number of Pages:
12