Date of Award

8-12-2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Geosciences

First Advisor

Katie Price

Second Advisor

Daniel Deocampo

Third Advisor

Luke Pangle

Abstract

Increasing urbanization is often accompanied by problematic changes in watershed hydrology. Decreasing surface permeability can lead to increased overland flow volumes, which may spread surficial contaminants and increase the strain on municipal stormwater infrastructure. This study examines a mixed-use property in the Proctor Creek watershed in Atlanta, Georgia, to better understand how land-management practices influence soil overland flow potential. Field saturated hydraulic conductivity (Kfs) measurements were collected from soils 1) subjected to compaction, 2) in urban agricultural use, and 3) under common lawn maintenance. Mean values were 9.1E-7 cm/s, 2.2E-4 cm/s, and 9.0E-6 cm/s respectively. Measurements were collected in-situ with the use of the Aardvark constant-head permeameter. Statistical analyses indicated a substantial difference in Kfs based on land-management practices and that urban farming can increase soil Kfs and limit overland flow. Additional analysis revealed no significant difference in grain-size distributions suggesting land-management practices controlled Kfs, not soil texture.

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