Date of Award

8-12-2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Geosciences

First Advisor

Katie Price

Second Advisor

Jeremy Diem

Third Advisor

Dajun Dai

Abstract

The metro areas of the southeastern Piedmont are rapidly expanding, bringing changes to the hydrology of the watersheds within them. Increased urbanization can have significant effects on stream hydrology within a watershed, including large fluctuations of flow in streams referred to as “stream flashiness”. Increased stream flashiness has numerous consequences, including water quality degradation, flooding, and destruction of aquatic habitats. This thesis quantifies stream flashiness in urban and rural streams and investigates the relationship between flashiness and watershed land cover, particularly the amount and spatial distribution of impervious surfaces. Results show a strong relationship between urbanization and peak flows, but indicate that the underlying geology and other natural/anthropogenic factors complicate the relationship between R-B index and percent impervious surface cover. Results also indicate regional patterns within the southeastern Piedmont, most notably flashier streams in North Carolina compared to Georgia.

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