Date of Award

8-2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Forest Resources

Advisor

English, William R.

Committee Member

Shelburne , Victor B.

Committee Member

Post , Christopher J.

Abstract

Hunnicutt Creek watershed drains to the eastern edge of Clemson University campus. The landscape of this part of campus changes from a natural park like botanical garden to one dominated by academic buildings. The campus area has changed in time as well with increasing impervious areas such as roads, parking lots, roof tops and decreasing the amount of forested land leaded to the impairment of water quality in this creek. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the relationships between water quality indicators and percent imperviousness at a watershed level. Eight sampling sites were assigned at each sub-watershed within the Hunnicutt Creek watershed. Each sub-watershed was evaluated for the percent imperviousness and a variety of water quality indicators including physical, chemical and biological parameters. The correlation between the imperviousness and these water quality parameters was determined. The results indicated the mean percent imperviousness within study site was 21%. The values of habitat score and water quality parameter (pH, dissolved oxygen, conductivity and nitrate) were significantly different among sub-watersheds. Also, macroinvertebrate matrices showed the significant differences among sub-watershed sampled sites. Percent imperviousness showed significant correlations with habitat scores, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, fecal coliform bacteria, taxa richness, EPT richness, biotic indices and percent oligochaeta at p-values ≤ 0.05. The headwaters of Hunnicutt creek, upstream of the McMillan road and the academic zone tended to be more impacted than the headwaters within the South Carolina botanical garden.

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