State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2007WV98B
Title: WRI 97 - Chemical and Flow Characterization of Mining Impacted Streams Using Continuous Water Quality Monitoring and Watershed Modeling
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2007
End Date: 2/28/2009
Congressional District: West Virginia District 1
Focus Categories: Water Quality, Surface Water, Models
Keywords: Continuous monitoring, watershed modeling, acid mine drainage, regression analysis, water chemistry, dissolved metals, stream discharge
Principal Investigators: Fulton, Jen; Gutta, J. Brady; Quaranta, John D.; Paul Ziemkiewicz
Federal Funds: $ 20,184
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 37,872
Abstract: Abstract: Discrete water quality samples often do not adequately represent the true constituent load of a system. Although many parameters can be continuously monitored, these typically do not include the major parameters of concern in watersheds impacted by acid mine drainage (AMD). However, these parameters can be estimated through the combination of continuously monitored data and periodic water chemistry analysis. Continuous estimates of chemical concentration can provide a more accurate and detailed understanding of water chemistry dynamics and chemical loads in AMD impacted streams. Continuous data can also be used to evaluate the accuracy of water quality predictions made by models such as the Watershed Characterization and Modeling System (WCMS). The primary objective of this study is to develop regression equations that will relate continuously monitored data to parameters of interest in AMD impacted watersheds. We will continuously monitor several water quality parameters in an AMD impacted watershed, and will use regression analysis in order to identify surrogates for parameters such as iron and aluminum. A secondary objective of the study is to use continuous water quality data to evaluate the predictive ability of WCMS. We will produce error bounds for WCMS estimates, greatly enhancing the utility of WCMS for water chemistry estimations. The final objective of this project is to use continuous water quality data to examine spatial and temporal variability of water chemistry in the watershed. The information provided by this continuous data collection will assist in the construction of effective AMD treatment systems, and may provide a valuable tool for total maximum daily load (TMDL) development.

Final Report, PDF

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