Link to USGS home page

Water-Quality Assessment of the Ozark Plateaus Study Unit, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma-Habitat Data and Characteristics at Selected Sites, 1993-95

By Suzanne R. Femmer

This document is available in Portable Document Format (PDF):  OFR97-236 (1.23 MB)
To view this document, you need the Adobe Acrobat® Reader installed on your computer.
(A free copy of the Acrobat® Reader may be downloaded from Adobe Systems Incorporated.)


Abstract

The characterization of instream and riparian habitat is part of the multiple lines of evidence used by the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program to assess the water quality of streams. In the NAWQA Program, integrated physical, chemical, and biological assessments are used to describe water-quality conditions. The instream and riparian habitat data are collected at sites selected for surface-water chemistry analyses and biological assessment.

Instream and riparian habitat data are structured in a nested scheme—at sampling reach, segment, and basin scales. The habitat data were collected in the Ozark Plateaus study unit at 41 sites during 1993-95. Thirteen of these sites, representative of selected combinations of physiography, land use, and basin size, have longitudinal, transverse, and quarter point vegetation plot surveys in addition to the Level I survey measurements (reach length, depth, velocity, dominant substrate, embeddedness, and vegetation quarter points, for example) recommended by the NAWQA Program protocols. These habitat data were from onsite measurements, U.S. Geological Survey topographic maps, and a geographic information system.

The analyses of the habitat data indicates substantial differences between sites of differing physiography and basin-scale land-use activities. The basins range from 46.4 to 4,318 square kilometers and have stream orders from 2 to 6. All streams studied are a riffle/pool type, and most have cobble that is less than 50 percent embedded as the dominant streambed substrate.

Of the three physiographic sections studied, the Boston Mountains have the largest mean segment and sideslope gradients, basin relief, woody species diversity, and stream depths when compared with sites of similar size. Channel sinuosities, mean velocities, and canopy angles are largest at sites in the Springfield Plateau physiographic section. The sites in the Salem Plateau physiographic section have the largest woody vegetation densities and mean channel widths.

Sites in basins with predominantly agricultural land use tend to have more open canopies, steeper segment gradients, and more sinuous stream channels than the forested sites. Sites in predominantly forested basins tend to have deeper and swifter flow, smaller channel widths, and more dense woody riparian vegetation (at small basins) than the agricultural sites.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

FIGURES
  1. Map showing physiographic sections and location of sites with habitat data in the Ozark Plateaus study unit, 1993-95
  2. Map showing ecoregions and major river systems of the Ozark Plateaus study unit
  3. The Jacks Fork above Alley Spring, Missouri (station number 07065495)
  4. Paddy Creek above Slabtown Spring, Missouri (station number 06929315)
  5. The Niangua River at Windyville, Missouri (station number 06923250)
  6. Dousinbury Creek near Wall Street, Missouri (station number 06923150)
  7. The Black River near Lesterville, Missouri (station number 07061400)
  8. The Buffalo River near St. Joe, Arkansas (station number 07056000)
  9. North Sylamore Creek near Fifty Six, Arkansas (station number 07060710)
  10. The Illinois River near Tahlequah, Oklahoma (station number 07196500)
  11. The Elk River near Tiff City, Missouri (station number 07189000)
  12. Yocum Creek near Oak Grove, Arkansas (station number 07053250)
  13. The Kings River near Berryville, Arkansas (station number 07050500)
  14. Center Creek near Smithfield, Missouri (station number 07186480)
  15. The Buffalo River near Boxley, Arkansas (station number 07055646)
TABLES
  1. Characteristics of sites with habitat data in the Ozark Plateaus study unit
  2. Habitat data for forested sites in large drainage basins in the Salem Plateau physiographic section
  3. Habitat data for forested sites in small drainage basins in the Salem Plateau physiographic section
  4. Habitat data for agricultural sites in large drainage basins in the Salem Plateau physiographic section
  5. Habitat data for agricultural sites in small drainage basins in the Salem Plateau physiographic section
  6. Habitat data for sites in forested basins that include mining land use in the Salem Plateau physiographic section
  7. Basin and segment characteristics of fixed sites in the Salem Plateau physiographic section
  8. Habitat data for forested sites in large drainage basins in the Springfield Plateau physiographic section
  9. Habitat data for forested sites in small drainage basins in the Springfield Plateau physiographic section
  10. Habitat data for agricultural sites in large drainage basins in the Springfield Plateau physiographic section
  11. Habitat data for agricultural sites in small drainage basins in the Springfield Plateau physiographic section
  12. Habitat data for sites with mixed land use in large drainage basins in the Springfield Plateau physiographic section
  13. Basin and segment characteristics of fixed sites in the Springfield Plateau physiographic section
  14. Habitat data for forested sites in small drainage basins in the Boston Mountains physiographic section
  15. Summary of habitat characteristics for each of the major physiographic sections and their primary land use and size in the Ozark Plateaus study unit

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Persistent URL: http://pubs.water.usgs.gov/ofr97236
Page Contact Information: GS Pubs Web Contact
Last modified: Thursday, January 10 2013, 09:55:13 PM
FirstGov button  Take Pride in America button