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Title: Using soil surveys to target riparian buffers in the Chesapeake Bay watershed

Author: Dosskey, Michael G.;

Date: 2008

Source: In: AWRA 2008 Summer Specialty Conference, Virginia Beach, Virginia. 6 p.

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: The efficacy of vegetative buffers for improving water quality could be enhanced by distinguishing differences in buffer capability across watersheds and accounting for them in buffer planning. A soil survey-based method was applied to riparian areas in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The method is based on soil attributes that are important in determining buffer function. Fannable SSURGO soil map units were rated for the capability of a buffer to trap sediment and dissolved pollutants in surface runoff from agricultural fields and to interact with pollutants in groundwater. Area-weighted average ratings for soils within 98 ft of streams were calculated for each hydrogeomorphic region (HGMR) in the watershed and compared to published expert opinion of the relative functioning of riparian zones among HGMRs. Results using the soil survey method correlated well with expert opinion at the HGMR scale. Since the soil survey method rates riparian areas at even fmer resolution, it may be useful for guiding buffer installations to specific locations where impact is likely to be greater and to avoid sites where impact is likely to be small.

Keywords: groundwater, nonpoint source pollution, pollutant trapping efficiency, surface runoff, vegetative buffers

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Dosskey, Michael G. 2008. Using soil surveys to target riparian buffers in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. In: AWRA 2008 Summer Specialty Conference, Virginia Beach, Virginia. 6 p.


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