The Impact of Past and Present Land Use on Two Georgia Piedmont Streams
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This study examined the influence of differing past and present land use practices on bankfull discharge and sediment patterns in two small Georgia Piedmont watersheds, one urban and one forested. It was hypothesized that the urbanizing watershed would have significantly higher bankfull discharge and nongravel bedload levels than the forested basin. Bankfull discharge levels were estimated from stream cross-section measurements, thalweg sediments were analyzed, basin morphometric parameters were calculated, and GIS-mediated aerial photography analysis was performed. The discharge hypothesis was validated. The sediment hypothesis was not validated, apparently because of past land use practices in the forested watershed. Thus, the most effective stream analyses will incorporate past and present land use and morphology at the basin scale.