Hydrologic Study at Farm Creek Marsh, Dorchester County, Maryland, from April 2015 to April 2016

Scientific Investigations Report 2019-5032
Prepared in cooperation with The Conservation Fund and Audubon Maryland-DC
By: , and 



In 2015, the U.S. Geological Survey began a 1-year hydrologic study to investigate the extent and cause of inundation at Farm Creek Marsh, in Dorchester County, Maryland. In combination with a tide and precipitation gage, a representative section of the marsh was instrumented with surface-water monitors and shallow groundwater piezometers to capture the spatial and temporal extent of inundation. In addition, water-quality data (major ions and nutrients) were collected to help discern the cause of inundation. Results indicate that during the year-long study, all sites were periodically inundated, ranging from a total of 108 days to the entire study period of 353 days. The depth of inundation was typically between 0 and 0.2 feet (ft) (above land surface), with the exception of large storm events. Less than 0.5 ft of elevation was the difference between a site being inundated during the entire study period of 353 days and a site being inundated for 36 consecutive days out of 108 total days of inundation during the study period. Water-quality data showed a large difference in pH between marsh surface water (6.1 to 6.9 standard pH units) and shallow groundwater (3.0 to 3.6 standard pH units), with differences also observed in concentrations of silica, iron, manganese, and potassium. Collectively, the combination of water-quality, hydrologic, and soils data indicate that inundation is caused by tide and storm events rather than groundwater discharge.

Suggested Citation

Walker, C.W., Lester, T.R., and Nealen, C.W., 2019, Hydrologic study at Farm Creek Marsh, Dorchester County, Maryland, from April 2015 to April 2016: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2019–5032, 12 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20195032.

ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Hydrologic Results
  • Summary
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Hydrologic study at Farm Creek Marsh, Dorchester County, Maryland, from April 2015 to April 2016
Series title Scientific Investigations Report
Series number 2019-5032
DOI 10.3133/sir20195032
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Maryland Water Science Center
Description iv, 12 p.
Country United States
State Maryland
County Dorchester County
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details