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RUNNING HEAD: Group C Catchment and Stream Term Study

Group C Catchment and Stream Term Study


By
Dominique Acillio, Sarah Adkisson, Chris Chick,
Alina Nagtalon, Renee Parisi, and Stephan Shansey
Stockton University

Author Note
ThispaperwaspreparedforDr.EmmaWittes,ENVL:3434,WatershedHydrologyclass,Fall2015.

CatchmentDescription
ThesectionofstreamstudiedinthispaperwaslocatedinsidetheMorsesMill
watershed,whichhasatotalareaof420167acres.Thelanduseassociatedwiththiswatershed
issplitmostlybetweenforest,urbanandwetlands,whichaccountsfor402353,259.22and219.5
acresrespectively.Theremainingareais~8acresofbarrenlandand<1acreofwater.Agraph
oftheclimateisshownbelowtoillustratethegeneraltemperaturesandprecipitationassociated
withthiswatershed.

Figure 1. (above) climate data for the Morses Mill Watershed.

Figure 2. Shown is precipitation data gathered for the Morses Mill watershed.

Within the larger Morses Mill watershed is the Nacote Creek watershed, which contains
the stream in which this paper is based on. This sub-watershed is 555.75 acres total.
The water for the stream in question was once precipitation falling onto the parking lots of
Stockton. Located in front of the campus center these lots have a slight slope to them allowing
the water to drain down and across/under Vera King Farris drive and into the stream (also known
to be the ditch). This water then traveled along the confines of the ditch until it merged into the
channel of the Morses Mill Stream below Lake Fred. Once in Morses Mill the waters make
their way towards the Mullica River and ultimately through the Great Bay and into the Atlantic
Ocean. Below is a map showing the location of our watershed in Atlantic county relative to the
state of NJ.

Figure 3 shows the map of the Nacote creek watershed within the Mullica river watershed towards the right side
of the image. On the left, the image depicts the location of the Mullica in respect to Atlantic county and the
State.

Water Budget
The water budget for any water body can be described as the inputs of any water into the
system minus the outputs of the water in the system is equal to the change in storage of that
system. In this context inputs can be described as precipitation, seepage due to groundwater,
surface/storm water runoff, etc.., and outputs can be defined as leakage into groundwater,
evapotranspiration (ET), infiltration, etc. Storage is mainly just the amount of water that is
stored in the body in question at any given time (base flow of a stream, average depth of a lake).
For the ditch the major inputs of the water budget are precipitation, and storm water runoff. The
outputs would mainly be comprised of infiltration/percolation, and evapotranspiration as well as
the discharge that was measured leaving the stream. The precipitation data collected at the site is
shown below in Table 1.
PRECIPITATION DATA FROM COLLECTORS AT SITE C
Station
Date
9/30/15
10/1/15
10/5/15
Precip 1
1.95
1.95
3.5
Precip 2
2.2
2.2
4.1
Precip 3
1.5
1.5
3.3
Table 1.

This is able to give us a relative idea of how much precipitation fell between 10/1 and
10/5, by subtracting the values for the first of October from those on the fifth we can obtain a
value for the precipitation that occurred during those days. Precip 1 has a value of 1.55, precip 2
has a value of 1.9, and precip 3 has a value of 1.8. These values can now be applied to the water
budget equation as an input value. The average precip from the collectors is equal to 1.75
inches. Combined with the influence from ground water these two variables make up the inputs

to the stream. The Evapotranspiration and measured discharge from the stream make up the
outputs, which are outweighed by the inputs since this is a perennial stream.
Storm Hydrograph and interpretation
Storm flows are generally the streams response to direct and indirect inputs of
precipitation. Usually these components are precipitation that falls directly into the stream
(small percentage overall) and over ground surface flows that drain into the stream (runoff).
These two factors are potentially the largest influence of initial storm response, while infiltrated
water that finds its way to the channel has the potential to lengthen the overall storm response of
that stream. For the stream studied a hydrograph was developed and is shown below.

Figure 4 (above) depicts a hydrograph showing multiple storm events that were recorded using a
pressure transducer placed in the ditch.

Upon further analysis of the above hydrograph with a focus on the first storm event, the
following observations were made. The peak stage of the storm event was 0.36ft with a rise time
of 3.5 hours. The fall time was found to be 31.25 hours, with a total storm duration of 34.75
hours. It should be noted that the stream itself did not achieve its base flow again after the first
storm due to another storm event, which caused the raise of the stage in the stream. The factors
that influence the response of the stream are the drainage of the parking lots from as well as the
infiltration of water that saturates the soil around the stream. This would explain the quick rise
time and the much longer fall time of the stream. The retention basins located at the bottom of
some of the parking lots are another factor that could easily influence the duration by slowly
letting the water go from holding into the soil or draining into the ditch.

Lake Fred Stage


0.6
0.5
0.4

Lake Fred Stage

Stage (Ft) 0.3


0.2
0.1
0
Date/Time

Figure 5, (above) shows a hydrograph from the lake Fred outlet. This hydrograph is over the
same time period as Figure 4 and shows the difference in response between the two sites.

When the data from the Site this paper studies is compared to the data from lake Fred
there is a clear similarity in their responses. Our site and Lake Fred both appear to have similar

rise times, fall times, as well as overall response to the storm is quite similar overall. While The
data for lake Fred appears to take a little longer to reach peak stage as well as falls slightly
slower, this is likely due to the size of the lake compared to the stream as well as the fact that
lake Fred has the more inputs than the Ditch.
Channel Morphology
As a group we went out to the section of stream that has the data logger and took
measurements of channel morphology just downstream. To make these measurements we used a
tape measure to get the width of the channel and a level rod to obtain the depth of the channel in
the sections measured. Shown below is the final result after the data was compiled into a graph
of the channel morphology.

Channel Morphology
0
5
10

Chanel bed

Depth (cm)
15
20
25
30
Width of section (cm)

Figure 6 (above) depicts the ditchs channel morphology. Measurements taken to graph
channel morphology were taken just downstream of the gage.

Once our channel morphology analysis was complete, the stream was to be classified
according to the Rosgen classification system. Using the Rosgen method it was determined that

the stream we studied was a C6c- stream. This classification fits the stream because of its
entrenchment (slightly entrenched), width to depth ratio, sinuosity, slope (almost 0), and channel
material (silt/clay). The channel material in this area unlike most streams in the region was
surprisingly comprised of mainly silt and clay. Upon standing in the channel one would sink to
almost their knees almost instantaneously. The channel material can mostly be attributed to
inputs as well as the overall discharge, since the stream drains from the parking lots any small
particles of silt/clay can easily get washed into the channel. Also since the discharge is quite low
it allows smaller sediments to accumulate in the pools.
Base Flow Discharge Measurement
Base flow of a stream can be summed up as the flow level and discharge of a stream
when not being influenced by any outside sources. Things like inputs from another stream,
seepage from ground water, etc.. can affect base flow. In the field direct measurements were
made to quantify the amount of water that is moving through the channel during normal
conditions, these measurements are shown below.
Distance
to
vertical
Station
(m)
LEW
0.900
2
1.050
3
1.200
4

1.350

1.500

1.600

1.700

8
9

1.800
1.900

Distance
to
vertical
Depth Depth Area
Velocit
(feet)
(cm)
(feet)
(ft^2) y
Discharge
2.953 0.000 0.000 0.000
0.000
0.000
3.445 4.000 0.131 0.065 -0.023
-0.001
3.937 7.500 0.246 0.121 -0.042
-0.005
15.50
4.429
0 0.509 0.250
0.029
0.007
16.50
4.921
0 0.541 0.266
0.078
0.021
18.50
5.249
0 0.607 0.199
0.115
0.023
23.50
5.577
0 0.771 0.253
0.090
0.023
24.50
5.906
0 0.804 0.264
0.030
0.008
6.234 22.00 0.722 0.237
0.014
0.003

10

2.000

6.562

11

2.100
2.200

6.890
7.218

REW

0
20.50
0
21.00
0
0.000

0.673

0.221

0.056

0.012

0.689
0.000

0.226
0.000

0.012
0.000

0.003
0.000
0.09342805
7

Q=

Base flow was also calculated using the Mannings Equation. For the equation the
roughness coefficient was determined through the use of a table while hydraulic radius, and slope
were determined through the use of field measurements. The velocity obtained from the
Mannings equation was found to be .09 CFS. The calculation of the mannings equation is
shown below:
V=

1.49
x 0.2352/ 3 x .0011/ 2
.200

V =7.45 x 0.38 x 0.032


V =0.09
In this context the use of mannings equation was fairly accurate at estimating the proper
velocity with in the stream, however this stream could have had many roughness coefficients
associated with it which could change the final velocity ever so slightly. The most efficient way
to measure discharge would be through the use of the mannings equation to estimate base flow,
however a physical measurement would prove more beneficial in the long run. This is because
observations of the stream channel would be able to be made at different times, and the channel
conditions would be able to be observed for changes in wetted perimeter, depth, scour, erosion,
etc
Management Recommendations:

Overall the stream and sub-catchment are in a good condition. However the area that
drains into the stream is mostly comprised of impervious ground cover that causes the stream
response to a storm to be flashy. Since there are still areas that are of vegetative cover the
infiltrated water contributes to the longer fall time of the storm event. The best management
practice that could be easily implemented would be a retention basin that drains the lots on
Stocktons campus and then slowly be moved into the ditch across of Vera King Farris drive.
This would help control the movement of silt and clays as well as organic matter into the stream,
which would decrease the buildup of decomposing organic matter as well as silts, clays and other
small particles. Another future project could be done to monitor the quality of the water within
the stream, specifically measuring total dissolved solids (TDS) and specific conductance to
determine how the storm flows are affecting the water. This would be done with the intent of
implementation of buffer areas or procedural changes in deicing of parking lots in the winter
months.