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Detection of Flooding Responses at the River Basin Scale Enhanced by Land use ChangeThe Georges Creek watershed (area 187.5 sq km) in western Maryland (United States) has experienced land use changes (>17% of area) associated with surface mining of coal. The adjacent Savage River watershed (area 127.2 sq km) is unmined. Moments of flood frequency distributions indicated that climatic variability affected both watersheds similarly. Normalizing annual maximum flows by antecedent streamflow and causative precipitation helped identify trends in flooding response. Analysis of contemporary storm events using Next Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD) stage III precipitation data showed that Georges Creek floods are characterized by higher peak runoff and a shorter centroid lag than Savage River floods, likely attributable to differences in current land use. Interestingly, Georges Creek produces only two thirds of the storm-flow volume as Savage River, apparently because of infiltration into abandoned deep mine workings and an associated transbasin diversion constructed circa 1900. Empirical trend analysis is thus complicated by both hydroclimatic variability and the legacy of deep mining in the basin.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
McCormick, Brian C. (Maryland Univ. Frostburg, MD, United States)
Eshleman, Keith N. (Maryland Univ. Frostburg, MD, United States)
Griffith, Jeff L. (Maryland Univ. Frostburg, MD, United States)
Townsend, Philip A. (Wisconsin-Madison Univ. Madison, WI, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
August 1, 2009
Publication Information
Publication: Water Resoures Research
Volume: 45
Subject Category
Meteorology and Climatology
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits