Effects of urbanization and stormwater control measures on streamflows in the vicinity of Clarksburg, Maryland, USA

Hydrological Processes
By: , and 



Understanding the efficacy of revised watershed management methods is important to mitigating the impacts of urbanization on streamflow. We evaluated the influence of land use change, primarily as urbanization, and stormwater control measures on the relationship between precipitation and stream discharge over an 8-year period for five catchments near Clarksburg, Montgomery County, Maryland, USA. A unit-hydrograph model based on a temporal transfer function was employed to account for and standardize temporal variation in rainfall pattern, and properly apportion rainfall to streamflow at different time lags. From these lagged relationships, we quantified a correction to the precipitation time series to achieve a hydrograph that showed good agreement between precipitation and discharge records. Positive corrections appeared to include precipitation events that were of limited areal extent and therefore not captured by our rain gages. Negative corrections were analysed for potential causal relationships. We used mixed-model statistical techniques to isolate different sources of variance as drivers that mediate the rainfall–runoff dynamic before and after management. Seasonal periodicity mediated rainfall–runoff relationships, and land uses (i.e. agriculture, natural lands, wetlands and stormwater control measures) were statistically significant predictors of precipitation apportionment to stream discharge. Our approach is one way to evaluate actual effectiveness of management efforts in the face of complicating circumstances and could be paired with cost data to understand economic efficiency or life cycle aspects of watershed management. Published 2015. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Effects of urbanization and stormwater control measures on streamflows in the vicinity of Clarksburg, Maryland, USA
Series title Hydrological Processes
DOI 10.1002/hyp.10505
Volume 29
Issue 20
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) Eastern Geographic Science Center
Description 14 p.
First page 4413
Last page 4426
Time Range Start 1998-01-01
Time Range End 2010-12-31
Country United States
State Maryland
County Montgomery County
Other Geospatial Clarksburg
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
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