Hydrologic data were collected for four years at six sites in the Creeping Swamp watershed in eastern North Carolina in a preliminary effort to study the effects of stream channelization on the hydrology of a small watershed. A water-budget evaluation for pre-channelized conditions showed that runoff accounts for about 17 percent of the total rainfall, base runoff about 20 percent, ground-water outflow about 2 percent, and evapotranspiration about 61 percent. Channelization would have caused the greatest decline in ground-water levels nearest the stream, with the decline diminishing with increased distance from the stream. Channelization would also have resulted in a decrease in overland runoff and an increase in the amount of water reaching Creeping Swamp through the ground-water system, although the total volume of runoff would not change significantly. The water-quality characteristics of Creeping Swamp indicate that the stream is relatively free of pollution, although it is likely that channelization would increase (1) suspended-sediment loads, (2) stream temperatures, and (3) concentrations of dissolved solids, especially during low flows.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Hydrology of the Creeping Swamp Watershed, North Carolina with reference to potential effects of stream channelization