Runoff and chemical loading in small watersheds in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area, Minnesota

Water-Resources Investigations Report 85-4122

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Flow, rainfall, and water-quality data were collected during 1980 for 15 to 30 rainfall and snowmelt events on 6 rural and 11 urban watersheds in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area. Event or daily flow and load models (for seven constituents) were developed and used with runoff and rainfall data for 1963-80 to compute 2-year frequency annual and seasonal flows and loads for each watershed. In models of storm-sewered watersheds, total storm rainfall proved to be the most significant factor controlling runoff and loads. Depending on the watershed type, antecedent soil-moisture indices and rainfall intensity also were important factors in estimating runoff. Annual runoff from storm-sewered watersheds averaged about 27 percent of annual precipitation, ranging from 13 to 57 percent. Runoff in urban main-stem streams ranged from 13 to 20 percent and was related to the percent of urbanization in the watershed. Annual runoff in rural watersheds ranged from 6 to 20 percent of annual precipitation. Runoff responses were highest in the snowmelt season for all watersheds and declined through the rest of the year. Rural watersheds showed a considerable decrease in runoff response during late summer and fall. Urban-watershed response from season to season was more consistent than rural watersheds because of the impervious area and storm sewers in urban watersheds. (USGS)

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Runoff and chemical loading in small watersheds in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area, Minnesota
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Water-Resources Investigations Report
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U.S. Geological Survey,
iv, 35 p. ;28 cm.