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Catalog of Long Term Research Conducted by the Northeastern Research Station

Catalog #80

A Study of Forest Influences on Streamflow in the Ridge and Valley Province of Pennsylvania
This is a part of cooperative research program evaluating "best management practices", atmospheric deposition impacts on water quality, hydrologic response, nutrient cycling, and water yields from forested and managed watersheds.
expected to continue
The Leading Ridge Watershed Research Unit is in the ridge and valley province of central PA. and consists of 3 watersheds of 106, 257, 303 acres in area approximately 40 deg 40 min N.Lat. and 77 deg 56 min W.Long. The watersheds are underlain by Rose Hill shale formation (700' thick), Castanea sandstone (500' thick), and Tuscarora quartzite. The average depth of soil mantle is 66" and the water-holding capacity is 28 area-inches. 9 major soil types exist on slopes averaging from 12.1 on treated watersheds to 17.3% on the control. The watersheds have a southeastern aspect; they range in elevation from 900' to 1450'. The forests are even-age coppice forests of oak, hickory, and maple forest type.

The Shale Hills Watershed Unit was established in 1961 approximately 40 deg 39 min 45 sec N.Lat. And 77 deg 54 min 30 sec W.Long. Two of the watersheds, 19 and 22 acres in size, were selected for hydrologic studies. Rose Hill shale underlies the entire study area. Soils on the watersheds averaged 56" in depth and range from 18" to 24" on the upper slopes and ridge tops to over 100" in portions of the valley floor. The soils are primarily silt loams and shaley silt loams. Blairton and Ernest soils are found along the stream channel and valley bottom areas while Berks and Weikert soils are found on the ridge and sideslope portions of the watershed. Soil moisture storage at field capacity is 14.1". The oak-hickory cover type dominates the watershed while an oak-hemlock community exists in the moist valley floor areas.

Paired watershed analysis, regression techniques, water budget analysis.
A 3-phase clearcutting experiment was implemented on the Leading Ridge Watershed No. 2 after a 7-year calibration 1959-66. 
Phase 1= a complete riparian clear-cut of 21 acres with subsequent spraying of 2,4,5-T & 2,4-D herbicides: 1967. 
Phase 2= middle slope clear-cut of 27 acres: 1971-72. 
Herbicide applied to phase 1 and 2 areas: 1974. 
Phase 3= upper slope and ridge top clear-cut (42 acres): 1975-1976. 
Herbicide applied to entire 90 acre clear-cut: 1977.

Leading Ridge Watershed No. 3 (257 acres was commercially clear-cut on 110 acres with Best Management Practices specified: 1976-1977.

To investigate the hydrologic behavior and response of a forested watershed to precipitation inputs, an irrigation system was designed to apply simulated rainfall to parts or all of Shale Hills Watershed No. 2.

Trenton weirs with a sharp-crested, 90-degree, v-notch in the center were used to measure stream discharge at the Leading Ridge sites. Evaluations included the effects of treatments on water quality and the timing and quantity of streamflow. Quickflow volume, instantaneous maximum peak, time to peak, time of recession, and antecedent flow rate of storm hydrographs were also investigated. The above hydrologic parameters were also quantified at the Shale Hills site along with soil moisture (neutron scattering technique). Deep and shallow groundwater observation wells monitored the saturated zones. The streamgaging station at Shale Hills No. 2 utilized a sharp-crested composite 30 degree-150 degree V-notch while at Shale Hills No. 3 a sharp-crested parabolic notch was used.
The following measurements taken weekly and on an event basis when needed at Leading Ridge: 
Streamflow, precipitation, climate: 1958 - present. 
Water quality: turbidity, temperature, acidity, and selected nutrients, and atmospheric deposition: 1972 - present. 
Turbidity, water temp, nutrient concentration were taken after storm events and forest harvesting. 
Shale Hills calibration period 1961 to 1975. Simulated rainfall applications 1970 to 1975. Replicated storm applications were made.
NADP and EPA quality assurance and quality control procedures were followed.
Instrumentation calibrated periodically. 
Participated in USGS blind sample audit program.
paper, computer tape and disk. A large portion of the Leading Ridge streamflow and water quality data has been computerized.
Studies of Ecosystem Processes
Lynch, J.A.; Sopper, W.E.; Corbett, E.S.; Aurand, D.W. 1975. Effects of management practices on the quality and quantity: The Penn. State Experimental watersheds. In: Proceeding, West Virginia municipal watershed management Symposium. 1973 September 11-12. Gen. Tech. Rpt. NE-13. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 32-46.

Corbett, E.S.; Lynch, JA 1983. Rapid fluctuations in streamflow pH and associated water quality parameters during a stormflow event. In: International Symposium on Hydrometeorology; 1982 June 13-17; Denver, CO. Bethesda, MD: American Water Resources Association. 461-464.

Lynch, JA; Corbett, E.S. 1983. Relationship of antecedent flow rate to storm hydrograph components. In: International Symposium on Hydrometeorology; 1982 June 13-17; Denver, CO. Bethesda, MD: American Water Resources Association. 73-77.

Lynch, JA; Corbett, E.S. 1985. Source area variability during peakflow: a function of antecedent soil moisture content. In: Jones, E. Bruce; Ward, Timothy J., eds. Watershed management in the eighties conference ; 1985 April 30-May 1; Denver, Co. New York: American Society of Civil Engineers. 300-307.

Lynch, JA; Corbett, E.; Mussallem, K. 1985. Best management practices for controlling nonpoint-source pollution on forested watersheds. J. soil and Water Conservation 40(1): 164-167.

Lynch, JA; Rishel, G.B.; Corbett, E.S. 1984. Thermal alteration of streams draining clear-cut watersheds; quantification and biological implications. Hydrobiologia 111: 161-169.

Corbett, E.S.; Lynch, JA 1985. Management of streamside zones on municipal watersheds. In: Riparian ecosystems and their management: reconciling conflicting uses: 1st North American Riparian conference; Tucson, AZ. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-120. Broomall, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 187-190. 

Dann, M.S.; Lynch, JA; Corbett, E.S. 1986. Comparison of methods for estimating sulfate export from a forested watershed. J. Environmental quality 15(2): 140-145. 

Lynch, JA; Hanna, C.M.; Corbett, E.S. 1986. Predicting pH, alkalinity, and total acidity in stream water during episodic events. Water Resources Research 22(6): 905-912. 

Corbett, E.S.; Lynch, JA 1989. Hydrologic production zones in a headwater watershed. In: Woessner, W.W.; Potts, D.F. eds. Proceedings, Headwaters hydrology symposium; Bethesda, MD; TPS-89-1. Bethesda, MD: American Water Resources Association. 573-578.

Lynch, JA; Corbett, E.S. 1989. Hydrologic control of sulfate mobility in a forested watershed. Water Resources Research 25(7): 1695-1703.

Lynch, JA; Corbett, E.S. 1989. Effectiveness of BMP's in controlling nonpoint pollution from silvicultural operations. In: Woessner, WW; Potts, D.F. Eds. Proceedings, Headwaters hydrology symposium; Bethesda, MD; TPS-89-1. Bethesda, MD: American Water Resources Association. 149-157.

Potter III, F.I.; Lynch, JA; Corbett, E.S. 1989. The role of atmospheric deposition in streamflow generation and episodic water quality. In: Woessner, WW; Potts, D.F. Eds. Proceedings, Headwaters hydrology symposium; Bethesda, MD; TPS-89-1. Bethesda, MD: American Water Resources Association. 527-541.

Potter III, F.I.; Lynch, JA; Corbett, E.S. 1988. Source areas contributing to the episodic acidification of a forested headwater stream. J. Contaminant Hydrology 3: 293-305.

Corbett, E.S.; Lynch, JA 1990. Current results from atmospheric deposition-related research -- the leading ridge experimental watersheds. In: Lynch, JA; Corbett, E.S.; Grimm, J.W., Eds. Proceedings, Conference on atmospheric deposition in Pennsylvania: a critical assessment; 1989 September 11-14; University Park, PA. University Park, PA: Penn. State Univ. Environmental Resources research Institute. 82-84.

Kostelnik, K.M.; Lynch, JA; Grimm, J.W.; Corbett, E.S. 1989. Sample size requirements for estimation of throughtfall chemistry beneath a mixed hardwood Forest. J. Environmental Quality 18(3): 274-380.

Lynch, JA; Corbett, E.S. 1990. Evaluation of best management practices for controlling nonpoint pollution from silvicultural operations. Water Resources Bulletin 26(1): 41-52.

Lynch, JA; Corbett, E.S. 1990. Management of source areas for water quality and quantity. In: Majumdar, S.K.; Miller, E.W.; Parizek, R.R., eds. Proceedings, Water resources in Pennsylvania: availability, quality, and management; Easton, PA.; Easton, PA: The Pennsylvania Academy of Science. Easton, PA. 499-517.

Lynch, JA; Corbett, E.S. 1991. Long-term implications of forest harvesting on Nutrient Cycling in central hardwood Forests. In: McCorwick, L.H.and Gottschalk, K.W., eds. Proceedings, 8th central hardwood conference; 1991 March 4-6; University Park, PA. Gen. Tech. rep. NE-148. Radnor, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 500-518 .

Corbett, ES; Sopper, W.E.; Lynch, JA 1975. Watershed response to partial area applications of simulated rainfall. In: Proceedings. Int. symp on hydrological characteristics of better water management; 1975 December 1-8; Tokyo, Japan. AISH Pub. No. 117. IAHS. 63-73.

Corbett, E.S.; Lynch, JA; Sopper, W.E. 1978. Timber harvesting practices and water quality in the eastern United States. J. For. 76 (8): 484-488.

Lynch, JA; Corbett, E.S. 1981. Effectiveness of best management practices in controlling nonpoint pollution from commercial clearcuts. In: Nonpoint pollution control: tools and techniques for the future; Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin; Tech. Pub 81-1. 213-224.

Lynch, JA; Corbett, E.S. 1982. Increasing summer storm peakflows following progressive forest clearcutting. In: Proceedings, 1982 Canadian hydrology symposium; 1982 June 14-15; Fredericton, New Brunswick. Fredericton, New Brunswick: National Research Council of Canada. 561-574.

Rishel, GB; Lynch, JA; Corbett, E.S. 1982. Seasonal stream temperature changes following forest harvesting. J. Environ. Qual. 11(1): 112-116.

Hornbeck, J.W.; Adams, M.B.; Corbett, E.S.; Verry, E.S.; Lynch, JA 1993. Long-term impacts of forest treatments of water yield: a summary for northeastern United States. J. Hydrology. 150: 323-344.

Jim A. Lynch, School of Forest Resources, Penn State Univ., 311 Forest Resources Lab., University Park, PA 16802. (814) 865-8830 
Pennsylvania State University - School of Forest Resources
Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Resources - Bureau of Forestry



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