The U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Chesapeake Bay Program Office, Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin, Maryland Department of the Environment, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science are collaborating on the Chesapeake Bay Regional Watershed Model, using Hydrological Simulation Program - FORTRAN to simulate streamflow and concentrations and loads of nutrients and sediment to Chesapeake Bay. The model will be used to provide information for resource managers. In order to establish a framework for model simulation, digital spatial datasets were created defining the discretization of the model region (including the Chesapeake Bay watershed, as well as the adjacent parts of Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia outside the watershed) into land segments, a stream-reach network, and associated watersheds.
Land segmentation was based on county boundaries represented by a 1:100,000-scale digital dataset. Fifty of the 254 counties and incorporated cities in the model region were divided on the basis of physiography and topography, producing a total of 309 land segments. The stream-reach network for the Chesapeake Bay watershed part of the model region was based on the U.S. Geological Survey Chesapeake Bay SPARROW (SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes) model stream-reach network. Because that network was created only for the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the rest of the model region uses a 1:500,000-scale stream-reach network. Streams with mean annual streamflow of less than 100 cubic feet per second were excluded based on attributes from the dataset. Additional changes were made to enhance the data and to allow for inclusion of stream reaches with monitoring data that were not part of the original network. Thirty-meter-resolution Digital Elevation Model data were used to delineate watersheds for each stream reach. State watershed boundaries replaced the Digital Elevation Model-derived watersheds where coincident. After a number of corrections, the watersheds were coded to indicate major and minor basin, mean annual streamflow, and each watershed's unique identifier as well as that of the downstream watershed. Land segments and watersheds were intersected to create land-watershed segments for the model.