Science Serving Maryland's Coasts

Carl Pollard, Juniata College

Class Year: 
2016

Project Title: 

Determining the Relationship of Land Use Practices to Sedimentation Rates in Adjacent Creeks

Abstract: 
210Pb and 7Be radioisotopes can be used to determine historical sedimentation rates on decadal and seasonal scales. In the context of remediated agricultural lands, such sedimentation rates can allow for the observance of changes in land use practices over time. Over the past ~100 years Trippe Creek watershed saw multiple changes in land use with the most recent (~20 years ago) being the implementation of U.S. Department of Agriculture conservational programs. This study used 210Pb and 7Be analyses to examine changes in sedimentation rates in Trippe Creek. The purpose of the analysis was to determine if the implementation of conservational practices was able to lower the input of sediment into the creek. The results from the analysis were compared to210Pb and 7Be results from nearby Goldsborough Creek where the watershed is still dominated by active agriculture. Sedimentation rates in Trippe Creek decreased within the past 20 years while sedimentation rates in Goldsborough Creek increased. This comparison appeared to indicate that the implementation of conservational practices did relate to the decrease in sedimentation rates.