Regional patterns of anthropogenic influences on streams and rivers in the conterminous United States, from the early 1970s to 2012

Journal of Land Use Science
By: , and 

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Abstract

This paper introduces a dataset containing consistent time-series measurements of anthropogenic activities potentially affecting stream quality across the conterminous United States and summarizes the most noteworthy trends from 61 variables in 16 categories. Data include measures of atmospheric deposition, agricultural production, livestock, urbanization, irrigation, land use, nutrients from fertilizer, dams/reservoirs, and pesticide use, among others. The trend periods range from 10 to 40 years, beginning as early as 1970 and ending in 2012. Detailed summaries are provided for 1992-2012. Key results include: increase of urbanization and ‘exurbanization’, particularly in the South, Southwest, and Mid-Atlantic; increases in crop production and fertilizer use in much of the Midwest; increases in the concentration of livestock, particularly of hogs and pigs; increases in irrigation, dams, and reservoirs in the Lower Mississippi and Lower Missouri watersheds, widespread increase in the use of the pesticide glyphosate; and widespread decrease in atmospheric deposition of sulfate. These results and others provide a framework for evaluating potential causes of water-quality changes over the past four decades.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Regional patterns of anthropogenic influences on streams and rivers in the conterminous United States, from the early 1970s to 2012
Series title Journal of Land Use Science
DOI 10.1080/1747423X.2019.1590473
Volume 13
Issue 6
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Contributing office(s) WMA - Earth System Processes Division
Description 30 p.
First page 585
Last page 614
Country United States
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