National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Project
What we measured:
When we sampled:
Field collection protocols:
. Habitat characteristics at the reach scale were measured at 11 equally spaced transects along the sampling reaches and included measurements of stream slope, bank height and slope, bank vegetation, erosion, bankfull width, wetted channel depth and width, presence/absence and identify geomorphic features (riffles, pools, runs), stream velocity, aspect of flow, bed substrate composition, habitat cover, and canopy closure.
What these measures represent:
. Biological communities have specific habitat requirements to live in streams. Habitat variables, such as substrate types (rocks, sand, silt, etc.), stream velocity, available geomorphic features (pools, riffles, runs), and amount of canopy closure (amount of sunlight) help characterize these specific habitat requirements that can affect the types of algae, invertebrate, and fish communities present at a stream site.
. Data collected can be used to help interpret changes in physical (for example, channel characteristics) and chemical (for example, transport of sediment) factors and biological communities associated with streams having different levels of urban intensity in the basin.
Photos of collecting habitat measures in Raleigh, North Carolina Study Area http://nc.water.usgs.gov/albe/Pics/pics_biology2/Habitat/index.html
Video clips of collecting habitat measures in Raleigh, North Carolina Study Area http://nc.water.usgs.gov/albe/video/video2_habitat.html