Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (193 KB bytes)

Title: Differences in Surface Water Quality Draining Four Road Surface Types in the Southern Appalachians

Author: Clinton, Barton D.; Vose, James M.;

Date: 2003

Source: Southern Journal of Applied Forestry, Vol. 27, No. 2, May 2003. p. 100-106.

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Improved and unimproved roads can be the primary source of stream sediment in forested watersheds. We assessed differences in production of total suspended solids (TSS; ppm) from four road sulfate conditions in a Southern Appalachian watershed: (1) a 2-yr-old paved surface (P), (2) an improved gravel sulfate with controlled drainage and routine maintenance (RG), (3) an improved gravel surface with erosion andsediment control structures installed and routine maintenance (IG}, and (4) an unimproved poorly maintained gravel surface (UG). Variation was high among and within road sulfate types. The P surface generated the least amount of TSS, which was comparable to control sites, while the UG surface generated the most. The P surface produced significantly less TSS than the UG surface, but not less than the IG and RG surfaces. Variation among road surface types was related to TSS travel distance below the road, precipitation amount, time of year, and the existence of functioning erosion and sediment control structures. TSS decreased with travel distance (P = -81% over 38.5 m, IG = -30% over 30.5 m, RG = -89% over 39.4 m, and UG = -22% over 28.1 m). Also in this study we assessed the delivery of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH; ppm)from the P surface and found concentrations of < 0.5 ppm, which are well below published USEPA and NC DENRTPH standards for sediment. Paving isan attractive option for reducing maintenance costs and sediment production and transport; however, levels of TPH from freshly applied asphalt are unknown.

Keywords: Forest roads, sediment, overland flow, water quality, Chattooga River

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication. (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)



Clinton, Barton D.; Vose, James M. 2003. Differences in Surface Water Quality Draining Four Road Surface Types in the Southern Appalachians. Southern Journal of Applied Forestry, Vol. 27, No. 2, May 2003. p. 100-106.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.