Paper No. 7
Presentation Time: 3:50 PM
A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT: DETERMINING CONTRIBUTING FACTORS TO THE VARIATIONS IN CONDUCTIVITY OF THE SAND SPRINGS RUN WATERSHED, FROSTBURG STATE UNIVERSITY, MD
The Sand Spring Run Watershed (SSRW) is a small drainage basin (1522 ha) located in the Allegheny Mountains of western Maryland in the west central watershed of the Chesapeake Bay. SSRW consists of mixed land-use types, that include: 548.9 of urban areas (urban/residential and commercial), 774.4 ha of forest, 35.0 ha of extractive surface mining operations, 90.2 ha of agricultural land-uses and 10.2 ha of mixed institutional use (Frostburg State University). Seasonal de-icing materials (commonly NaCl) may have reached a climax point where recent “over” application has lead to excessive accumulation within the soils of the Frostburg State University (FSU) campus, and surrounding urban areas. The accumulated de-icing materials may be exiting the soils at a non-uniformed rate where mobility is a result of “flushing” from localized precipitation events. The main exit route for the de-icing material is through the SSRW, resulting in a change in the water conductivity. In order to assess the influence of seasonal contaminations throughout the year conductivity sensors were installed at four key locations along a two-mile section of the SSRW. Conductivity data was recorded for ~24 months in an effort to determine if there is a “flushing” signature from the surrounding area into the SSRW; and to establish if de-icing salts are a major source of water degradation, and to identify the entry point for the major source of contamination.