Impacts of Changed Stream flow on Selected Water Quality Parameters in the Upper Esopus Creek Watershed of New York, USA
Huicheng Chien, Kieran Pierce

Water is essential to human life and the health of the environment. Physical and chemical properties of water quality vary in response to climate, soils, geology, land use and land cover. In addition, pollutants and nutrients carried by surface runoff could be flushed into stream flow to disturb water quality. The objectives of this research are to sample water quality during and after storm events and examine the impacts of changed stream flow on water quality parameters including water temperature, conductivity, pH, dissolved oxygen, nitrate and total orthophosphate. The study site was located in the Upper Esopus Creek Watershed (Ulster and Greene Counties, NY) which is dominated by forest. The results show there were nonlinear relationships between stream flow and water quality. With increased stream flow, dissolved oxygen and nitrate increased, but pH, temperature, conductivity decreased. Within the forested watershed, surface runoff is not the dominant stream flow generation process, which leads to less nutrient pollution being flushed into streams. The increased stream flow from storm events may have a diluting influence on water quality and shorter residence time of pollution and changed water quality parameters, which mitigates the impacts of water quality disturbance on aquatic ecosystem.

Full Text: PDF    DOI: 10.15640/jges.v6n1a5