Respectively, Geographer and Ecologist, U.S. Geological Survey, 3916 Sunset Ridge Road, Raleigh, North Carolina 27607 (E-Mail/McMahon: firstname.lastname@example.org).
QUANTIFYING URBAN INTENSITY IN DRAINAGE BASINS FOR ASSESSING STREAM ECOLOGICAL CONDITIONS1
Article first published online: 8 JUN 2007
JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association
Volume 36, Issue 6, pages 1247–1261, December 2000
How to Cite
McMahon, G. and Cuffney, T. F. (2000), QUANTIFYING URBAN INTENSITY IN DRAINAGE BASINS FOR ASSESSING STREAM ECOLOGICAL CONDITIONS. JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 36: 1247–1261. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2000.tb05724.x
Paper No. 00030 of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association.Discussions are open until August 1, 2001.
- Issue published online: 8 JUN 2007
- Article first published online: 8 JUN 2007
- urban intensity;
- environmental framework;
- water quality;
ABSTRACT: Three investigations are underway, as part of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program, to study the relation between varying levels of urban intensity in drainage basins and in-stream water quality, measured by physical, chemical, and biological factors. These studies are being conducted in the vicinities of Boston (Massachusetts), Salt Lake City (Utah), and Birmingham (Alabama), areas where rapid urbanization is occurring. For each study, water quality will be sampled in approximately 30 drainage basins that represent a gradient of urban intensity. This paper focuses on the methods used to characterize and select the basins used in the studies. It presents a methodology for limiting the variability of natural landscape characteristics in the potential study drainage basins and for ranking the magnitude of human influence, or urbanization, based on land cover, infrastructure, and socioeconomic data in potential study basins. Basin characterization efforts associated with the Boston study are described for illustrative purposes.