Event Title

The Effects of Rainfall Intensity on Legacy Sediments in Middle Creek

Faculty Advisor

Jennifer Elick

Start Date

25-4-2017 5:00 PM

End Date

25-4-2017 6:00 PM

Description

Analyses and comparison of suspended sediment loads with corresponding precipitation events in the Fall of 2016, were inconclusive due to erratic weather associated with an El Niño year. Low precipitation amounts, short duration storm events, and storms generally evaluated as low intensity events limited data collection and positive results. Overall, issues related to stream flow and an El Niño-like weather pattern resulted in a modified methodology and procedure in sample treatment. In this study, following the peak of storm events, 500 mL water samples were collected from several sites along the creek, including tributaries flowing into Middle Creek and downstream from a legacy sediment source. Filtered samples were oven dried, weighed and compared to unfiltered paper weights. Following several storm events with negative sediment loads, the amount of water collected was increased to nearly 4L, to yield positive results. Additionally, the filters were air dried. Positive suspended loads were obtained only after many trials and errors, however, the low amount of data collected is inconclusive.The original objectives in this study were to (1) determine if sediment transported along a small section of Middle Creek (Snyder County, PA) were from a legacy sediment source, (2) identify the intensity of storm (based on radar images) necessary to increase suspended sediment load, and (3) compare storm event duration, storm intensity, and the total sediment loads to determine if any relationships could be observed. Middle Creek flows through legacy sediments deposited between 1833-1992 from several generations of dams placed in the same location. Legacy sediments threaten lowland aquatic ecosystems, by transporting abundant organics, dissolved nutrients, and suspended sediments which may result in algal blooms and the burial of benthic communities. This study recommends future analyses of suspended sediment load from Middle Creek be conducted during intervals unaffected by El Niño, possibly during the summer months, when high energy thunderstorms pass through Central PA. Also, this study recommends X-ray analysis of the sediment from tributaries flowing into Middle Creek and the legacy sediment source.

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Apr 25th, 5:00 PM Apr 25th, 6:00 PM

The Effects of Rainfall Intensity on Legacy Sediments in Middle Creek

Analyses and comparison of suspended sediment loads with corresponding precipitation events in the Fall of 2016, were inconclusive due to erratic weather associated with an El Niño year. Low precipitation amounts, short duration storm events, and storms generally evaluated as low intensity events limited data collection and positive results. Overall, issues related to stream flow and an El Niño-like weather pattern resulted in a modified methodology and procedure in sample treatment. In this study, following the peak of storm events, 500 mL water samples were collected from several sites along the creek, including tributaries flowing into Middle Creek and downstream from a legacy sediment source. Filtered samples were oven dried, weighed and compared to unfiltered paper weights. Following several storm events with negative sediment loads, the amount of water collected was increased to nearly 4L, to yield positive results. Additionally, the filters were air dried. Positive suspended loads were obtained only after many trials and errors, however, the low amount of data collected is inconclusive.The original objectives in this study were to (1) determine if sediment transported along a small section of Middle Creek (Snyder County, PA) were from a legacy sediment source, (2) identify the intensity of storm (based on radar images) necessary to increase suspended sediment load, and (3) compare storm event duration, storm intensity, and the total sediment loads to determine if any relationships could be observed. Middle Creek flows through legacy sediments deposited between 1833-1992 from several generations of dams placed in the same location. Legacy sediments threaten lowland aquatic ecosystems, by transporting abundant organics, dissolved nutrients, and suspended sediments which may result in algal blooms and the burial of benthic communities. This study recommends future analyses of suspended sediment load from Middle Creek be conducted during intervals unaffected by El Niño, possibly during the summer months, when high energy thunderstorms pass through Central PA. Also, this study recommends X-ray analysis of the sediment from tributaries flowing into Middle Creek and the legacy sediment source.