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Scientific Investigations Report 2010-5155

Prepared in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

Surface-Water Quantity and Quality, Aquatic Biology, Stream Geomorphology, and Groundwater-Flow Simulation for National Guard Training Center at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, 2002-05

By Michael J. Langland, Peter J. Cinotto, Douglas C. Chichester, Michael D. Bilger, and Robin A. Brightbill


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Base-line and long-term monitoring of water resources of the National Guard Training Center at Fort Indiantown Gap in south-central Pennsylvania began in 2002. Results of continuous monitoring of streamflow and turbidity and monthly and stormflow water-quality samples from two continuous-record long-term stream sites, periodic collection of water-quality samples from five miscellaneous stream sites, and annual collection of biological data from 2002 to 2005 at 27 sites are discussed. In addition, results from a stream-geomorphic analysis and classification and a regional groundwater-flow model are included. Streamflow at the facility was above normal for the 2003 through 2005 water years and extremely high-flow events occurred in 2003 and in 2004. Water-quality samples were analyzed for nutrients, sediments, metals, major ions, pesticides, volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds, and explosives. Results indicated no exceedances for any constituent (except iron) above the primary and secondary drinking-water standards or health-advisory levels set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Iron concentrations were naturally elevated in the groundwater within the watershed because of bedrock lithology. The majority of the constituents were at or below the method detection limit. Sediment loads were dominated by precipitation due to the remnants of Hurricane Ivan in September 2004. More than 60 percent of the sediment load measured during the entire study was transported past the streamgage in just 2 days during that event. Habitat and aquatic-invertebrate data were collected in the summers of 2002-05, and fish data were collected in 2004. Although 2002 was a drought year, 2003-05 were above-normal flow years. Results indicated a wide diversity in invertebrates, good numbers of taxa (distinct organisms), and on the basis of a combination of metrics, the majority of the 27 sites indicated no or slight impairment. Fish-metric data from 25 sites indicated results similar to the invertebrate data. Stream classification based on evolution of the stream channels indicates about 94 percent of the channels were considered to be in equilibrium (type B or C channels), neither aggrading nor eroding. A regional, uncalibrated groundwater-flow model indicated the surface-water and groundwater-flow divides coincided. Because of folding of rock layers, groundwater was under confined conditions and nearly all the water leaves the facility via the streams.

First posted November 9, 2010

For additional information contact:
Director, Pennsylvania Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
215 Limekiln Road
New Cumberland, Pennsylvania 17070

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Suggested citation:

Langland, M.J., Cinotto, P.J., Chichester, D.C., Bilger, M.D., and Brightbill, R.A., 2010, Surface-water quantity and quality, aquatic biology, stream geomorphology, and groundwater-flow simulation for National Guard Training Center at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, 2002-05: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2010-5155, 180 p.




Study Approach and Design

Study Methods

Surface Water

Aquatic Biology

Stream Geomorphology, Classification, and Assessment

Simulations of Groundwater Flow


References Cited

Appendix 1: Parameter Codes, Constituents Analyzed, Reporting Levels, and Primary and Secondary Drinking Water Standards

Appendix 2: Statistical Summaries of Water-Quality Data

Appendix 3: Sample Habitat Assessment Forms

Appendix 4: Aquatic Invertebrates: Summary of Site-Assessment Results

Appendix 5: Fish Sampling Data: Summary of Site-Assessment Results

Appendix 6: Final Taxa List

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