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ARS Home » Northeast Area » University Park, Pennsylvania » Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research » Research » Research Project #443213

Research Project: FY 2022 Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) - Benchmark Watershed Assessment Studies (on croplands)/ University Park, PA

Location: Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research

Project Number: 8070-13000-015-022-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Sep 20, 2022
End Date: Sep 30, 2027

The proposed work will examine the effects of legacy nutrients on water quality outcomes in the Mahantango Creek watershed in order to support watershed-scale strategies for prioritizing and implementing conservation and best management practices.

Our research approach in Mahantango Creek will focus on five areas of activity: (1) Carrying out a spatial sampling of P in soils, sediments, and stream waters in order to characterize legacy P hotspots in the Mahantango Creek experimental watershed and ascertaining their contribution to legacy P losses in watershed runoff; (2) Examining nitrate-N concentration-discharge relationships using a network of high- frequency water quality sensors and pairing this information with watershed age dating studies to better understand how water age affects nitrate-N fate and transport; (3) Continuing to assess the Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework (ACPF) in the Mahantango Creek watershed and leveraging findings from windshield surveys and mapping with multi-decadal aerial imagery to corroborate ACPF output; (4) Maintaining and upgrading equipment that supports the long-term monitoring of meteorology, hydrology, and water quality in the Mahantango Creek watershed; and (5) Analyzing, compiling, and appending all hydrometeorological and water chemistry datasets for inclusion in STEWARDS, an online database that provides access to benchmark data from CEAP watershed locations throughout the U.S.