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Quantifying urban intensity in drainage basins for assessing stream ecological conditions

Journal of the American Water Resources Association

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Abstract

Three investigations are underway, as part of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program, to study the relation between varying levels of urban intensity in drainage basins and in-stream water quality, measured by physical, chemical, and biological factors. These studies are being conducted in the vicinities of Boston (Massachusetts), Salt Lake City (Utah), and Birmingham (Alabama), areas where rapid urbanization is occurring. For each study, water quality will be sampled in approximately 30 drainage basins that represent a gradient of urban intensity. This paper focuses on the methods used to characterize and select the basins used in the studies. It presents a methodology for limiting the variability of natural landscape characteristics in the potential study drainage basins and for ranking the magnitude of human influence, or urbanization, based on land cover, infrastructure, and socioeconomic data in potential study basins. Basin characterization efforts associated with the Boston study are described for illustrative purposes.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Quantifying urban intensity in drainage basins for assessing stream ecological conditions
Series title:
Journal of the American Water Resources Association
Volume
36
Issue:
6
Year Published:
2000
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of the American Water Resources Association
First page:
1247
Last page:
1261
Number of Pages:
15