National Research Program


Sediment-Water Chemistry in Large River Systems: Biogeochemical, Geomorphic, and Human Controls

The mechanisms that control the composition of river-borne materials are only imperfectly understood, because both erosion and the subsequent transport of material by rivers are mediated by a wide variety of highly-linked chemical, biological, and physical processes. Moreover, in developed river systems, such as those in the United States, these processes are subject to pervasive human- related perturbations. This project studies weathering, erosion, and atmospheric-exchange processes which are the sources of dissolved and particulate material in rivers and trace substances in the atmosphere; studies chemical partitioning of various phases during transport in rivers and estuaries; describes the dispersal pathways of river-borne substances through river systems and estuaries, into and across the coastal marine environment; and evaluates the extent to which human activities, particularly changes in land use, have affected systems being examined, so as to provide data for studies of water-quality trends and climate change. For additional information: see Hydrologic and Erosional Responses of Burned Watersheds for wildfire studies, or see the page for the Boulder Creek Watershed in Colorado.

REPORTS PUBLISHED 2003-2012

Moody, J.A., Martin, D.A., Oakley, T.M., and Blanken, P. D., in press, Temporal and spatial variability of soil temperature and soil moisture after a wildfire: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2007-5015.

Pereira, P., Úbeda, X., and Martin, D.A., in press (web publication 3/2/12), Fire severity effects on ash chemical composition and water-extractable elements: Geoderma. (on-line abstract of preprint)

Ebel, B.A., Moody, J.A., and Martin, D.A., 2012, Hydrologic conditions controlling runoff generation immediately after wildfire: Water Resources Research, v. 48, W03529. doi:10.1029/2011WR011470 (on-line abstract or on-line article in pdf format, 2220 KB, published by the American Geophysical Union, not subject to U.S. copyright)

Murphy, S.F., and Writer, J.H., 2011, Evaluating the effects of wildfire on stream processes in a Colorado front range watershed, USA: Applied Geochemistry, v. 26, supplement 1 [Ninth International Symposium on the Geochemistry of the Earth's Surface (GES-9)], p. s.S363-S364. (on-line abstract of article)

Pereira, P., Úbeda, X., Martin, D., Mataix-Solera, J., and Guerrero, C., 2011, Effects of a low severity prescribed fire on water-soluble elements in ash from a Cork Oak (Quercus suber) forest located in the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula: Environmental Research, v. 111, no. 2, p. 237-247. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Shanley, J.B., McDowell, W.H., and Stallard, R.F., 2011, Long-term patterns and short-term dynamics of stream solutes and suspended sediment in a rapidly weathering tropical watershed: Water Resources Research, v. 47, W07515 doi:10.1029/2010WR009788. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Stallard, R.F., 2011, Weathering, landscape, and carbon in four paired research watersheds in eastern Puerto Rico: Applied Geochemistry, v. 26, supplement 1 [Ninth International Symposium on the Geochemistry of the Earth's Surface (GES-9)], p. s.S370-S372. (on-line abstract of article)

Sundquist, E.T., Ackerman, K.V., Stallard, R.F., Bliss, N.B., 2011, Historical influence of soil and water management on sediment and carbon budgets in the United States: Applied Geochemistry, v. 26, supplement 1 [Ninth International Symposium on the Geochemistry of the Earth's Surface (GES-9)], p. s259. (on-line abstract of article)  

Ogden, F. L., Stallard, R. F., Elsenbeer, H., and Hall, J. A., 2010, Panama Canal Watershed Experiment - Agua Salud Project, in Garcia, Pedro M., editor, The Proceedings of the International Specialty Conference and 8th Caribbean Islands Water Resources Congress on Tropical Hydrology and Sustainable Water Resources in a Changing Climate, San Juan, Puerto Rico, p. TPS-10-2.

Stallard, R.F., Ogden, F.L., Elsenbeer, H., and Hall, J., 2010, Panama Canal Watershed Experiment: Agua Salud Project: Water Resources Impact, v. 12, no. 4, p. 17-20.

Ackerman, K.V., Mixon, D.M., Sundquist, E.T., Stallard, R.F., Schwarz, G.E., and Stewart, D.W., 2009, RESIS–II—An updated version of the original Reservoir Sedimentation Survey Information System (RESIS) database: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 434 - available only online. (on-line abstract and to download data base or on-line report in pdf format , 308 KB)

Doerr, S.H., Woods, S.W., Martin, D.A., and Casimiro, M., 2009, 'Natural background' soil water repellency in conifer forests of the north-western USA: Its prediction and relationship to wildfire occurrence: Journal of Hydrology, v. 371, no. 1-4, p. 12-21. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Glynn, P.A., Larsen, M.C., Greene, E.A., Buss, H.L., Clow, D.W., Hunt, R.J., Mast, M.A., Murphy, S.F., Peters, N.E., Sebestyen, S.D., Shanley, J.B., and Walker, J.F., 2009, Selected Achievements, Science Directions, and New Opportunities for the WEBB Small Watershed Research Program, in Webb, R.M.T., and Semmens, D.J., eds, Proceedings of the Third Interagency Conference on Research in the Watersheds: Planning for an Uncertain Future: Monitoring, Integration, and Adaptation: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2009-5049, p. 39-52. (on-line article in pdf format, 359 KB)

Hoefen, T.M., Kokaly, R.F., Martin, D.A., Rochester, C., Plumlee, G.S., Mendez, G., Reichard, E.G., and Fisher, R.N., 2009, Sample collection of ash and burned soils from the October 2007 southern California Wildfires: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2009–1038, 64 p. (on-line abstract or on-line report in pdf format, 82.6 MB)

Moody, J.A., and Martin, D.A., 2009, Forest fire effects on geomorphic processes, in Cerdá, A., and Robichaud, P., eds., Fire Effects on Soils and Restoration Strategies: Science Publishers, Inc, Enfield,New Hampshire, USA, p. 41-79.

Moody, J.A., and Martin, D.A., 2009, Synthesis of sediment yields after wildland fire in different rainfall regimes in the western United States: International Journal of Wildland Fire, v. 18 no. 1, p. 96-115. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Murphy, S.F. and Stallard, R.F., 2009, Primary factors affecting water quality and quantity in four watersheds in Eastern Puerto Rico, in Webb, R.M.T., and Semmens, D.J., eds, Proceedings of the Third Interagency Conference on Research in the Watersheds: Planning for an Uncertain Future: Monitoring, Integration, and Adaptation: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2009-5049. Estes Park, Colorado, September 9-11, 2008, p. 251-256. (on-line paper in pdf format, 756 KB)

Semmens, D.J., Briggs, J.S., and Martin, D.A., 2009, An Ecosystem Services Framework for Multidisciplinary Research in the Colorado River Headwaters, in Webb, R.M.T., and Semmens, D.J., eds, Proceedings of the Third Interagency Conference on Research in the Watersheds: Planning for an Uncertain Future: Monitoring, Integration, and Adaptation: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2009-5049, p. 59-64. (on-line report in pdf format, 331 KB)

Úbeda, X., Pereira, P., Outeiro, L., and Martin, D.A., 2009, Effects of fire temperature on the physical and chemical characteristics of the ash from two plots of Cork oak (Quercus Suber): Land Degradation and Development, v. 20, no. 6, p. 589-608. (on-line abstract of journal article)

rthold, F.K. , Stallard, R.F. , Elsenbeer, H., 2008, Soil nutrient-landscape relationships in a lowland tropical rainforest in Panama: Forest Ecology and Management, v. 255, no. 3-4, p. 1135-1148. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Hageman, Philip L., Plumlee, Geoffrey S., Martin, Deborah A., Hoefen, Todd M., Adams, Monique, Lamothe, Paul J., Todorov, Todor, and Anthony, Michael W., Leachate Geochemical Results for Ash Samples from the June 2007 Angora Wildfire near Lake Tahoe in Northern California, 2008: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2008–1170. 14 p. (on-line abstract or on-line report in pdf format, 376 KB)

Harden, J.W., Berhe, A.A., Torn, M., Harte, J., Liu, S., Stallard, R.F., 2008, Soil erosion: Data say C sink: Science v. 320, no. 5873, p. 178-179.

Mixon, D.M., Kinner, D.A., Stallard, R.F., Syvitski, J.P.M., 2008, Geolocation of man-made reservoirs across terrains of varying complexity using GIS: Computers and Geosciences, v. 34, no. 10, p. 1184-1197. (on-line abstract of journal article).

Moody, J.A., Martin, D.A., and Cannon, S.H., 2008, Post-wildfire erosion response in two geologic terrains in the western USA: Geomorphology, v. 95, p. 103-118. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Moody, J.A., Martin, D.A., Haire, S.L., and Kinner, D. A., 2008, Linking runoff response to burn severity after wildfire: Hydrological Processes, v. 22, no. 13, p. 2063-2074. (on-line abstract or on-line article in pdf format, 640 KB, a US Government work in the public domain)

Verplanck, P.L., Murphy, S.F., Birkeland, P.W., Pitlick, J., Barber, L.B., and Schmidt T.S., 2008, Boulder Creek: A stream ecosystem in an urban landscape, in Raynolds, R.G., ed., Roaming the Rocky Mountains and Environs: Geological Field Trips, GSA Field Guides 10, 2008: Geological Society of America, p. 217-233. (on-line abstract)

John, R., Dalling, J.W., Harms, K.E., Yavitt, J.B., Stallard, R.F., Mirabello, M., Hubbell, S.P., Valencia, R., Navarrete, H., Vallejo M., and Foster R.B., 2007, Soil nutrients influence spatial distributions of tropical tree species: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, v. 104, no. 3, p. 864-869. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Plumlee, G.S., Martin, D.A., Hoefen, T., Kokaly, R., Hageman, P., Eckberg, A., Meeker, G.P., Adams, M., Anthony, M., and Lamothe, P.J., 2007, Preliminary analytical results for ash and burned soils from the October 2007 southern California wildfires: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2007-1407, 13 p. (on-line overview or on-line report in pdf format, 2 MB)

Barber, L.B., Murphy, S.F., Verplanck, P.L., Sandstrom, M.W., Taylor, H.E., and Furlong, E.T., 2006, Chemical loading into surface water along a hydrological, biogeochemical, and land use gradient: A holistic watershed approach: Environmental Science and Technology, v. 40, p. 475-486. (on-line abstract or on-line report in pdf format, 1784 KB, published by American Chemical Society; not subject to U.S. copyright)

Peters N.E., Shanley, J.B., Aulenbach, B.T., Webb, R.M., Campbell, D.H., Hunt, R., Larsen, M.C., Stallard, R.F., Troester, J., and Walker, J.F., 2006, Water and solute mass balance of five small, relatively undisturbed watersheds in the U.S.: Science of the Total Environment, v. 358, p. 221- 242. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Murphy, S.F., 2006, State of the watershed: Water quality of Boulder Creek, Colorado: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1284, 34 p. (on-line publication in pdf format, 9.2 MB)

Svenning, P. J.-C., Engelbrecht, B.M.J., Kinner, D.A., Kursar, T.A., Stallard, R.F., and Wright, S.J., 2006, The relative roles of environment, history and local dispersal in controlling the distributions of common tree and shrub species in a tropical forest landscape: Journal of Tropical Ecology, v. 22, no. 05, p. 575-586 doi: 10.1017/S0266467406003348 (on-line abstract of journal article)

Kinner, D.A., Mitasova, H., Stallard, R.F., Harmon, R.S., and Toma, L., 2005, GIS database and stream network analysis for the Chagres River Basin, Republic of Panama, in Harmon, R.S., ed., The Rio Chagres, Panama - A multidisciplinary profile of a tropical watershed: Water, Science and Technology Library, v. 52, p. 83-85.

Stallard, R.F., and Kinner, D.A., 2005, Estimation of landslide importance in hillslope erosion within the Panama Canal watershed, in Harmon, R.S., ed., The Rio Chagres, Panama - A multidisciplinary profile of a tropical watershed: Water, Science and Technology Library, v. 52, p. 281-295.

Godsey, S., Elsenbeer, H., and Stallard, R., 2004, Overland flow generation in two lithologically distinct rainforest catchments: Journal of Hydrology, v. 295, no. 14, p. 276-290. (on-line abstract)

Kinner, D.A., and Stallard, R.F., 2004, Identifying storm flow pathways in a rainforest catchment using hydrological and geochemical modeling: Hydrological Processes, v. 18, no. 15, p. 2851-2876. (on-line abstract or on-line article in pdf format, a U.S. Government work published by the Hydrological Processes, in the public domain in the USA)

Moody, J.A., and Martin, D.A., 2004, Wildfire impacts on reservoir sedimentation in the western United States, in Hu, C.-h, and Tan, Y., eds., Proceedings of the Ninth International Symposium on River Sedimentation, October 18-21, 2004, Yichang, China: Beijing, Tsinghua University Press, p. 1095-1102.

Svenning, J-C., Kinner, D.A., Stallard, R.F., Engelbrecht, B.M., and Wright, S.J., 2004, Ecological determinism in plant community structure across a tropical forest landscape: Ecology, v. 85, no. 9, p. 2526-2538. (on-line abstract)

Kinner, D.A., 2003, Delineation of the Boulder Creek watershed and its subwatersheds, in Murphy, S.F., Verplanck, P.L., and Barber, L.B., eds., Comprehensive water quality of the Boulder Creek Watershed, Colorado, during high-flow and low-flow conditions, 2000: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 03-4045, chapt. 2, p. 27-39.

Martin, D.A., 2003, Post-wildfire hydrology - effects of wildfire in New Mexico ecosystems and hydrological response of burned watershed, in Johnson, P.S., Land, L.A., Price, L.G., and Titus, F., eds., Water Resources of the Lower Pecos Region, New Mexico, Science, Policy, and a Look to the Future, Decision-Makers field Conference 2003, Socorro, New Mexico: New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, p. 80-82.

Murphy, S.F., Barber, L.B., Verplanck, P.L., and Kinner, D.A., 2003, Environmental setting and hydrology of the Boulder Creek Watershed, Chapter 1 in Murphy, S.F., Verplanck, P.L., and Barber, L.B., eds., Comprehensive water quality of the Boulder Creek Watershed, Colorado, during high-flow and low-flow conditions, 2000: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 03-4045, p. 5-26. (on line chapter in pdf format)

Murphy, S.F., Shelley, J.J., Stout, J.A., and Mead, E.P., 2003, Basic water quality in the Boulder Creek Watershed, Colorado, during high-flow and low-flow conditions, 2000, Chapter 3 in Murphy, S.F., Verplanck, P.L., and Barber, L.B., eds., Comprehensive water quality of the Boulder Creek Watershed, Colorado, during high-flow and low-flow conditions, 2000: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 03-4045, p. 41-70. (on-line chapter in pdf format)

Murphy, S.F., Verplanck, P.L., and Barber, L.B., eds., 2003, Comprehensive water quality of the Boulder Creek Watershed, Colorado, during high-flow and low-flow conditions, 2000: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 03-4045, 198 p. (on-line report)

Stallard, R.F., 2003, Erosion and sediment yield, in Middleton, G., ed., Encyclopedia of Sediments and Sedimentary Rocks: Dordrecht, Holland, Kluwer Academic Publishers. p. 254-256.

Turner, B.F,. Stallard, R.F., and Brantley, S.L., 2003, Investigation of in situ weathering of quartz diorite bedrock in the Rio Icacos basin, Luquillo Experimental Forest, Puerto Rico: Chemical Geology, v. 202, no.3-4, pp.313-341. (on-line abstract)

Verplanck, P.L., Murphy, S.F., and Barber, L.B., 2003, Water quality of the Boulder Creek Watershed, Colorado: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 043-03. (on-line fact sheet)


FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THIS PROJECT, CONTACT:
Robert F. Stallard
U.S. Geological Survey, 3215 Marine Street (E146), Boulder, CO 80303-1066
Email: stallard@usgs.gov
Telephone: 303-541-3022

Deborah A. Martin
U.S. Geological Survey, 3215 Marine Street (E146), Boulder, CO 80303-1066
Email: damartin@usgs.gov
Telephone: 303-541-3024

Sheila F. Murphy
U.S. Geological Survey, 3215 Marine Street (E145), Boulder, CO 80303-1066
Email: email sfmurphy@usgs.gov
Telephone 303-541-3023

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