The impact of urbanization on seasonal hydrologic and nutrient budgets of a small North American watershed

V. J. Watson, O. L. Loucks, W. Wojner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Present day hydrologic and nutrient budgets have been measured and presettlement budgets estimated for a small urban watershed in Madison, Wisconsin. The importance of different seasons and sources to the total loading were compared for past and present conditions. The seasonal budget revealed that while spring contributes the greatest loadings in both scenarios, summer exhibits the greatest change in loadings from past to present. As for sources this seepage lake receives most of its water and N from groundwater; however, most P comes from surface runoff. The greatest impact on the watershed since settlement appears to be the large increase in runoff matched by a decrease in evapotranspiration and subsurface flow. This shift in hydrology is largely responsible for the substantial increase in P loading and the decrease in the N : P ratio of total loading. The significance of the lake's modified morphometry to areal and volumetric loading is also explored.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-96
Number of pages10
JournalHydrobiologia
Volume77
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1981

Keywords

  • hydrologic budget
  • nitrogen
  • nutrient budget
  • phosphorus
  • seasonal budget
  • Urbanization

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