Skip to Main Content
Water balances of two Piedmont headwater catchments: implications for regional hydrologic landscape classificationAuthor(s): C. Dreps; G. Sun; J. Boggs
Source: Journal of the American Water Resources Association
Publication Series: Magazines or Trade Publications
Station: Southern Research Station
PDF: View PDF (1.85 MB)
DescriptionIn the Piedmont of North Carolina, a traditionally water-rich region, reservoirs that serve over 1 million people are under increasing pressure due to naturally occurring droughts and increasing land development. Innovative development approaches aim to maintain hydrologic conditions of the undisturbed landscape, but are based on insufficient target information. This study uses the hydrologic landscape concept to evaluate reference hydrology in small headwater catchments surrounding Falls Lake, a reservoir serving Raleigh and the greater Triangle area. Researchers collected one year of detailed data on water balance components, including precipitation, evapotranspiration, streamflow, and shallow subsurface storage from two headwater catchments representative of two hydrologic landscapes defined by differences in soils and topographic characteristics. The two catchments are similar in size and lie within the same physiographic region, and during the study period they showed similar water balances of 26-30% Q, 4 to 5% DS, 59-65% evapotranspiration, and 9-10% G. However, the steeper, more elevated catchment exhibited perennial streamflow and nongrowing season runoff ratios (Q/P) of 33%, whereas the flat, low-lying stream was drier during the growing season and exhibited Q/P ratios of 52% during the nongrowing season. A hydrologic landscape defined by topography and soil characteristics helps characterize local-scale reference hydrology and may contribute to better land management decisions.
- You may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationDreps, C.; James, , A.L.; Sun, G.; Boggs, J. 2014. Water balances of two Piedmont headwater catchments: implications for regional hydrologic landscape classification. Journal of the American Water Resources Association 50(4):1063-1079.
Keywordssurface water hydrology, headwaters, surface water/groundwater interactions, water balance, streamflow generation, stormwater management, runoff
- Long-term streamflow response to climatic variability in the Loess Plateau, China
- Snowmelt runoff and water yield along elevation and temperature gradients in California's southern Sierra Nevada
- Characterizing runoff and water yield for headwater catchments in the southern Sierra Nevada
XML: View XML