Correlating Sub-basin Sediment Fingerprints with Land Use in the Southern Piedmont
Radcliffe, David E.
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This study seeks to further our ability to directly determine sediment provenance by utilizing the sediment fingerprinting technique and Rapid Geomorphic Assessments (RGAs) to determine both sediment contributions from potential sources and the stability of stream channels. Two sub basins of the North Fork Broad River (NFBR) were sampled for suspended sediment. Potential sources fall into three categories 1: surface (pastures and forests) 2: stream banks 3: upland subsurface (dirt roads, construction sites). Three tracers are being used in the study: total Carbon (TC), 15N, and Fatty Acid Methyl Esters (FAME). The Multivariate Mixing Model was used to determine relative contributions from source components. Results from the fingerprinting study were com-pared to RGA data in an attempt to establish a relationship between the two techniques. Currently we have sample data for 7 events in 2009 and 2010. Utilizing TC and 15N, the model output suggests a contribution of about 85% from stream banks and another 10% from pastures. The upland subsurface category is showing only a minimal contribution of about 5%. RGA data collected in 2008 show both tributaries to be unstable with mean stability indexes ranging from 17.2 to 17.6.