Organic matters: investigating the sources, transport, and fate of organic matter in Fanno Creek, Oregon

Fact Sheet 2015-3003
Clean Water Services
By: , and 

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Abstract

The term organic matter refers to the remnants of all living material. This can include fallen leaves, yard waste, animal waste, downed timber, or the remains of any other plant and animal life. Organic matter is abundant both on land and in water. Investigating organic matter is necessary for understanding the fate and transport of carbon (a major constituent of organic matter).

Organic matter is necessary for maintaining a healthy ecosystem. It participates in a wide range of ecological functions, such as supplying food to the microbes that are part of the foundation of the food chain. Organic matter also plays a role in many other natural functions, including the binding and transport of some trace metals and controlling how light is absorbed in the water column. Organic matter in a stream can be found in many places, such as in the leaves that have fallen from a tree (termed "leaf litter"), in algae floating in the stream or attached to rocks, as part of the soil, or even suspended or dissolved in the water.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with Clean Water Services, recently completed an investigation into the sources, transport, and fate of organic matter in the Fanno Creek watershed. The information provided by this investigation will help resource managers to implement strategies aimed at decreasing the excess supply of organic matter that contributes to low dissolved-oxygen levels in Fanno Creek and downstream in the Tualatin River during summer. This fact sheet summarizes the findings of the investigation.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Organic matters: investigating the sources, transport, and fate of organic matter in Fanno Creek, Oregon
Series title Fact Sheet
Series number 2015-3003
DOI 10.3133/fs20153003
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Oregon Water Science Center
Description 4 p.
Country United States
State Oregon
Other Geospatial Fanno Creek
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N