Factors Affecting Precipitation and Baseflow in Two Small Paired Basins in Wilton, New York
Allison Stafford '07 and Kyle K. Nichols, Department of Geosciences
Precipitation and discharge were recorded in two paired watersheds, the Loughberry basin and the Louden basin, in Saratoga County, New York, from September 14th to November 26th, 2006. On average, the Loughberry site received 80% of the precipitation that the Louden site received, though the sites were less than four kilometers apart. This difference in precipitation may be a result of the urban center located to the west of the Louden rain gauge, which may form an urban heat island (UHI) that affects local climate, resulting in an increase in precipitation downwind of the urban center. Discharge normalized by basin area for the Louden creek cross-section was 1.2 times those for the Loughberry creek cross-section. While baseflow at the Louden creek cross-section underwent a gradual change of 0.03 m3 sec-1 in the middle of October, the Loughberry creek cross-section experienced a rapid baseflow change of 0.07 m3 sec-1 in less than three days. In the autumn, a decrease in evapotranspiration usually results in a gradual increase in baseflow following defoliation. Since land uses within the two basins are fairly similar, as are the types of trees present within the basins, this rapid increase in baseflow at the Loughberry creek cross-section could be due to a decrease in groundwater withdrawal by agricultural and golf course irrigation wells in combination with a decrease in vegetation transpiration following defoliation.
Full report is not available. Please contact Kyle Nichols for more information.