Collection of Short Papers on the Beaver Creek Watershed Study in West Tennessee, 1989-94

U.S. Geological Survey, Open-File Report 95-156

Compiled by W. Harry Doyle, Jr., and E.G. Baker

This report is available as a pdf below


In 1989, the U.S. Geological Survey began a scientific investigation to evaluate the effect of agricultural activities on water quality and the effectiveness of agricultural best management practices in the Beaver Creek watershed, West Tennessee. The project is being conducted jointly with other Federal, State, County agencies, the farming community, and academic institutions, in support of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Hydrologic Unit Area program.

The Beaver Creek project has evolved into a long-term watershed assessment and monitoring program. In 1991, a grant was received to develop and evaluate sampling strategies for higher order streams. During the summer of 1992, a reconnaissance of water-quality conditions for the shallow aquifers in Shelby, Tipton, Fayette, and Haywood Counties was conducted and included 89 domestic wells in the Beaver Creek watershed. Results from this effort lead to the development of a 1-year program to evaluate cause-and-effect relations that can explain the observed water-quality conditions for the shallow aquifers in the watershed. In 1992 the USGS, in cooperation with the Soil Conservation Service and the Shelby County Soil Conservation District, began an evaluation of in-stream processes and in-stream resource-management systems. In 1993, a biomonitoring program was established in the watershed.

This collection of articles and abstracts was originally published in the American Water Resources Association National Symposium on Water Quality Proceedings for the National conference held in Chicago in 1994. These articles address the optimimum sampling strategy for obtaining water-quality data in nonpoint-source pollution studies; provide an understanding of the fate and transport of agrichemicals in the surface runoff and the soil profile; demonstrate that the most significant water-quality problem in the watershed is the transport of sediment; support qualitative and quantitative statements of the effects agriculture has on water quality in the Beaver Creek watershed. The purpose of this report is to present the current (1994) results of these investigations in one document related to the Beaver Creek watershed.

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