GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 101-12
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


FOSTER, Anna, MORENO, Laura Maria Victoria Navarro and ASANTE, Joseph, Earth Sciences, Tennessee Technological Univer, 1 William L Jones Dr, Cookeville, TN 38505

Water quality and land use/land cover are closely linked together and must be considered in city planning. The City of Cookeville is one of the fastest growing micropolitan cities in the United States; therefore, the purpose of this study is to properly assess consequences of future land use change on the water resources of the Falling Water River watershed. In this study, the physico-chemical (including metals and anions) compositions of water in three selected subwatersheds of the Falling Water River are being determined in relation to their specific land use. The study area is a karst landscape and water is susceptible to contamination by human activities. The important land use/cover types calculated within the subwatersheds are: Taylors Creek, 9.08% developed and 59.84% agriculture; Cane Creek, 20.40% developed and 51.61% agriculture; and Falling Water River (upper and middle), 28.62% developed, 21.37% agriculture, and 49.00% forest. The pH, electrical conductivity (EC), dissolved oxygen (DO), and alkalinity (as CaCO3) are being measured at the field site. The major ion concentrations and trace elements are being measured at the water center at Tennessee Tech University.

Data collected thus far shows that the more urbanized area (Falling River) has the lowest median of DO (7.25mg/L) and highest median of EC (214.65 µS/cm). The observed median of DO in Cane Creek and Taylors Creek are 8.49mg/L and 8.93mg/L respectively. Also, the median of electrical conductivity in Cane Creek and Taylors Creek are 138.2 µS/cm and 201.5 µS/cm respectively. Decreased DO may be due to more bacteria/waste being present due to more urbanized land. From the results it appears that agriculture has greater control of water quality when it is the prominent land use/cover type. The increase in EC (Taylors Creek) compared with that for Cane Creek can also be due to increase rock weathering. The major ion chemistry and trace element data which is being analyzed can help in the further understanding of the relationship. This research will further our understanding on chemical parameters that occur in water due to different land usage; thus helping to identify ways to protect our water from human activities impairing water quality.