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Catalog of Long Term Research Conducted by the Northeastern Research Station

Catalog #79

Watershed Study on the Dilldown Unit of the Delaware-Lehigh Experimental Forest
1) To test methods of establishing commercial forest stands on the brush-covered lands. 
2) To determine the effects of the conversion on water yields. 
3) To evaluate basic relationships between vegetative growth and streamflow.
1948
1994
The watershed is on State Forest lands near Blakeslee, PA. located on the Pocono Plateau in northwest PA. approximately 41 deg 02 min N.Lat. and 75 deg 32 min W.Long. Soils are stony to bouldery sandy loams with a leached A2 horizon, and they range in depth from 2' to 5'. The mineral soil is covered with a fibrous humus that almost completely prevents erosion. Parent rock is sandstone with some shale. Except for a riparian zone along Dilldown Creek, and some isolated spots, the watershed is covered with typical scrub oak (Quercus ilicifolia) vegetation with associations of pitch pine, gray birch, sassafras, red maple, and red oak -- 92% is brush (scrub oak) and 8% is high forest (riparian hardwoods and conifers within 800' to 1000' of the creek) and swamps comprise ~5% of area. Annual Precipitation average is 55" with a high of 76.84 inches and low of 39.73 inches within a 12-month period.

Dilldown Creek, tributary to Mud Run, is about 2.25 miles long and a little more than a mile in average width. The watershed is 1,529 acres in size. Elevation ranges from 1670' at the stream gaging station to 2215 near Pohopoco Fire Tower. Slopes on the northeastern side of the watershed are generally steeper and more rugged than slopes on the southwestern side.

Single watershed calibration techniques, water budget analysis.
100%
Portions of the watershed were converted from scrub oak to coniferous forest stands. Fire protection allowed the development of hardwood forest vegetation on portions of the watershed.
Water level recorders, hydrothermographs, intensity and standard raingauges, and automatic streamflow recorders were used to collect readings. Within the 1,529-acre watershed, the following recording instruments were placed: 4 recording rain and snow gages, 3 rainfall interception stations (2 in scrub oak, 1 in timber near stream), 4 permanent soil-moisture stations, 6 wells with a water-stage recorder, 1 Columbus deep-notch weir with a water-stage recorder, 2 climatic stations with rain and snow gages, thermograph, and anemometer (1 also with a Nipher-type windshield, standard 4' evaporation pan, and equipment for measuring fuel moisture for fire hazard condition measures). Data were compiled and correlated to develop predictions of runoff, estimation of evaporation, estimation of ground water storage, and estimations for water storage changes.
streamflow (CFS,CSM, inches) 
air temperatures (degrees F) & humidity 
precipitation amount (inches) & intensity 
groundwater levels (inches): 1948-1994
USGS followed standard procedures when installing the weir and recording instruments. Observer and instruments checked periodically.
Paper (16 file cabinet drawers) & USGS streamflow automation printouts.
Studies of Ecosystem Processes
1996
Reigner, I.C. 1964. Calibrating a watershed by using climatic data. Res. Paper NE-15. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 45 p.

Storey, H.D., compiler. 1951. Forest and water research project Delaware-Lehigh Experimental Forest report No. 1. Harrisburg, PA. Commonwealth of PA Department of Forests and Waters. 44 p.
Subsequent reports: 
report No. 2. 1953 23 p. 
report No. 3. 1955 17 p. 
report No. 4. 1961 35 p.

Bethlahmy, N. 1953. Estimation summer evapotranspiration losses in a Pennsylvania scrub oak forest. Soil Sci. 17(3): 295-297.

McNamara, E.F.; Reigner, IC 1955. Root competition slows growth of plantings on unprepared sites in scrub oak. Res. Note 54. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 3 p.

Eschner, A.R. 1960. Effect of scrub oak and associated ground cover on soil moisture. Station Paper No. 133. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 16 p.

Reigner, IC 1966. A method of estimating streamflow loss by evapotranspiration from the riparian zone. For. SCI 12(2): 130-139.

McQuilkin, W.E.; McNamara, E.F. 1967. Tree planting in scrub oak areas after site preparation with heavy equipment. Res. Paper NE-60. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 26 p.

Richard Birdsey, USDA Forest Service, 11 Campus Boulevard, Suite 200, Newtown Square, PA 19073. (610) 557-4091.
USGS; PA Dept. of Environmental Resources - Bureau of Forestry.

 

  

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