Detection of flooding responses at the river basin scale enhanced by land use change
Article first published online: 1 AUG 2009
Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.
Water Resources Research
Volume 45, Issue 8, August 2009
How to Cite
2009), Detection of flooding responses at the river basin scale enhanced by land use change, Water Resour. Res., 45, W08401, doi:10.1029/2008WR007594., , , and (
- Issue published online: 1 AUG 2009
- Article first published online: 1 AUG 2009
- Manuscript Accepted: 15 MAY 2009
- Manuscript Revised: 27 MAR 2009
- Manuscript Received: 14 NOV 2008
- land use change;
- surface mining;
- central Appalachians
 The Georges Creek watershed (area 187.5 km2) 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 km2) 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 stormflow 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.