395043 - Impact of land use change on water quantity and quality in the Shenandoah National Park
Monday, June 4
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Location: Greenway IJ
Iara Lacher, Front Royal, VA – Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute; Craig Fergus, Front Royal, VA – Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute; Karen Kline, Blacksburg,VA – Virginia Tech; Brian Benham, Blacksburg, VA – Virginia Tech; William McShea, Front Royal, VA – Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute; Tom Akre, Front Royal, VA – Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Land use-land cover (LULC) change from urbanization, deforestation and agricultural development can lead to several negative impacts on a watershed such as increased flood risk and degradation of aquatic ecosystems. This study explores the impact of LULC change on three commonly assessed water quality constituents: total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorous (TP) and total suspended solids (TSS) as well as streamflow (Q), in watersheds in and around the Shenandoah National Park in north central Virginia by coupling a dynamically distributed LULC projection model and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed model (CBWM) Phase 5.3.2. The study area includes portions of the James, Potomac, Rappahannock and York River watersheds. A 50-yr period (2011-2061) covering six decadal time slices was examined. An analysis based on the projected recent trends in land use conversion continuing over the next 50 years indicates that significant increases in TN (41.9%), TP (177.3%), TSS (89.2%) and Q (8.2%) will occur by 2061. Forthcoming correlation analyses will examine the relationships and drivers between projected LULC change and pollutant yield and stream flow. A jurisdiction-based analysis will also be performed with the objective of providing LULC planning guidance to city and county administrators to improve watershed management decisions considering nonstationarity induced by alternative LULC change scenarios.