Characterization of hydrologic and sediment transport behavior of forested headwater streams in southwest Georgia
Summer, W. B.
Jackson, C. Rhett
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Properly established streamside management zones (SMZs) reduce impacts of timber harvesting on stream sediment fluxes. However, effects of partial harvesting within SMZs on water quality are not well documented. The objectives of this study are to characterize hydrology and sediment export in undisturbed first-order streams to provide baseline data for a long-term paired watershed study. The study design includes two control (no harvest) and two eventual treatment watersheds (all are between 26 – 48 hectares in size). The entire treatment watersheds will be harvested except for SMZs, which will be divided into upper and lower sections. The upper section will have an intact SMZ, while the lower section will receive partial harvesting according to Georgia best management practices (BMP) guidelines. Flow and sediment concentrations will be monitored at the outlet of each treatment and control watershed for two years prior to harvest and for several years following harvest. Eighteen months of pretreatment flow and sediment data from the four study watersheds are available for analysis. These data reveal significant differences in hydrologic behavior among four adjacent watersheds with similar soils and nearly identical forest cover.