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Article

Spatial Analysis of a Chesapeake Bay Sub-Watershed: How Land Use and Precipitation Patterns Impact Water Quality in the James River

Department of Geosciences, Mississippi State University, 108 Hilbun Hall: P.O. Box 5448, Starkville, MS 39762, USA
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Academic Editors: Junye Wang, Narayan Kumar Shrestha and Frédéric Huneau
Water 2021, 13(11), 1592; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13111592
Received: 9 April 2021 / Revised: 25 May 2021 / Accepted: 27 May 2021 / Published: 4 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Watershed Management Modeling)
Changes in land cover throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed, accompanied by variability in climate patterns, can impact runoff and water quality. A study was conducted using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) for the James River watershed in Virginia, the southernmost tributary of the Chesapeake Bay, from 1986 to 2018, in order to evaluate factors that affect water quality in the river. This research focuses on statistical analysis of land use, precipitation, and water quality indicators. Land cover changes derived from satellite imagery and geographic information system (GIS) tools were compared with water quality parameters throughout that timeframe. Marked decreases in forest land cover were observed throughout the watershed, as well as increased residential development. Our findings suggest strong links between land cover modification, such as residential development, and degraded water quality indicators such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment. In addition, we note direct improvements in water quality when forest land areas are preserved throughout the watershed. View Full-Text
Keywords: watershed modeling; watershed management; water quality modeling; best management practices; land use/land cover change; climate change; integrated modeling; nonpoint pollution; ecohydrology watershed modeling; watershed management; water quality modeling; best management practices; land use/land cover change; climate change; integrated modeling; nonpoint pollution; ecohydrology
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MDPI and ACS Style

Delia, K.A.; Haney, C.R.; Dyer, J.L.; Paul, V.G. Spatial Analysis of a Chesapeake Bay Sub-Watershed: How Land Use and Precipitation Patterns Impact Water Quality in the James River. Water 2021, 13, 1592. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13111592

AMA Style

Delia KA, Haney CR, Dyer JL, Paul VG. Spatial Analysis of a Chesapeake Bay Sub-Watershed: How Land Use and Precipitation Patterns Impact Water Quality in the James River. Water. 2021; 13(11):1592. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13111592

Chicago/Turabian Style

Delia, Kristina A., Christa R. Haney, Jamie L. Dyer, and Varun G. Paul 2021. "Spatial Analysis of a Chesapeake Bay Sub-Watershed: How Land Use and Precipitation Patterns Impact Water Quality in the James River" Water 13, no. 11: 1592. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13111592

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