Category: Student Competition
As the environment is developed, it changes the natural patterns within the environment, such as the watershed patterns. This can lead to widening streams, collapsing bridges, and crumbling roads. The Catalpa Creek watershed has been altered in the recent years with new construction in the headwaters area. This alteration has caused incision and streambank erosion along the main stream and tributaries. A dammed tributary has been monitored during the fall semester 2017 to determine the temporal and spatial variability of water quality and sediment loads. This has been conducted through weekly sampling and testing for suspended solids, pH, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, total dissolved solids (TDS), salinity, specific conductivity, temperature, and flow velocity. Several of the parameters have changed throughout the monitoring period, with temperature and dissolved oxygen being affected the most. This area is prone to flash flooding events, which cause higher TDS and turbidity levels at the downstream stations, directly upstream of the dam in days monitored after a stormflow event. The temperature of the stream drops between 1.5 and 2 degrees Fahrenheit along the 0.32 mile upstream riparian section of the studied reach, before it starts heating up again induced by the lack of riparian vegetation along the remaining 0.38 miles. TDS and salinity readings decreased along the stream length, while dissolved oxygen increased. The final manuscript will include additional and more exhaustive analysis, expecting the occurrence of the late fall and early winter stormflow events.
Diana Linder– Undergraduate, Mississippi State University, Starkville