Enhanced hydrologic and geomorphic monitoring in Ten Mile Creek, Montgomery County, Maryland

Science Center Objects

Ten Mile Creek is a small, predominantly agricultural and forested watershed located to the west of Clarksburg, Maryland, in an area that has experienced land-use change and urban development over the past decade. Additional development extending into the Ten Mile Creek watershed is planned over the next several years.

This planned development in the Ten Mile Creek watershed presents an opportunity to monitor the surface-water hydrology and stream geomorphology before, during, and after the development to assess watershed responses over time.

Start Date: June 1, 2013

End Date: September 30, 2018


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Office of Research and Development

Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection

Project Lead: Matt Baker and Ed Doheny


The objective of the study is to track and quantify watershed response over time to changes in land use caused by development in the watershed.


Ten Mile Creek
(Public domain.)

Two active USGS stream gages are located on the main stem of Ten Mile Creek: 01644388, Ten Mile Creek near Clarksburg, MD; 01644390, Ten Mile Creek near Boyds, MD. The gages are being supplemented with a geomorphic monitoring reach, which will allow the collection of channel-geometry data from designated cross sections, channel-alignment and orientation data along longitudinal profiles, and from pebble counts through the reach.

The stream gage data will also be augmented by data from a series of fixed-location crest-stage gages which will be used to compute peak flows that are not quantified by direct measurement. These data will also allow USGS to perform analyses of changes in boundary-shear stress conditions experienced by streambed sediments.

Ten Mile Creek
(Public domain.)


Two continuous-record precipitation gages are also being installed in the watershed to track the spatial distribution and intensity of rainfall in the watershed.

Precipitation data collected in combination with discharge data from the stream gages will allow for analysis of changes in rainfall-runoff relations over time as a result of the new development in the watershed.

Geomorphic analysis will allow for assessment of changes over time in dimension, pattern, profile, and composition of the stream channel in the reach that includes the upper stream gage.

The shear stress analysis will indicate if there are discernable changes in the erosive power of the stream, and whether those changes correlate with the increased development of the watershed.

These analyses will allow direct comparisons to be made with published analyses for Minebank Run, a stream in Baltimore County, Maryland that was physically restored without any enhanced storm-water best management practices due to the age of most of the existing development in that watershed.