Synthesis of 10-years of Ecohydrologic studies on Turkey Creek watershed

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Since the establishment of a collaborative study 10 years ago, research on the third-order, 5240 ha forested Turkey Creek watershed in South Carolina’s coastal plain has advanced the understanding of rainfall-runoff relationships, stream hydrograph characteristics, and water table dynamics for dominant soil types. Surface water dynamics were shown to be regulated primarily by the water table, which is dependent upon precipitation and evapotranspiration. The baseflow is, however, highly variable, resulting in zero streamflow about one-third of the time, on average. These processes regulate upland freshwater runoff and mediate material export into the tidally influenced larger river downstream. Analysis of preand post-Hurricane Hugo streamflow data showed the resiliency of this coastal forest to extreme events. A high-resolution LiDAR-based digital elevation model (DEM) was shown to have increased accuracy in drainage area delineation on this low-gradient coastal plain compared to available topographic maps and DEMs, potentially influencing site hydrology and engineering designs.

  • Citation: Amatya, Devendra; Callahan, Timothy; Trettin, Carl 2016. Synthesis of 10-years of Ecohydrologic studies on Turkey Creek watershed.  In: Stringer, Christina E.; Krauss, Ken W.; Latimer, James S., eds. 2016. Headwaters to estuaries: advances in watershed science and management -Proceedings of the Fifth Interagency Conference on Research in the Watersheds. March 2-5, 2015, North Charleston, South Carolina. e-General Technical  Report  SRS-211. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 11 p.

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