Science Center Objects

Hellbranch Run is a second order stream tributary to Big Darby Creek. Big Darby Creek was designated a “National Scenic River” in 1994 by the U.S. Department of the Interior. Beginning in 1992, concern about the possible effects of urbanization on water quality in Hellbranch Run (and ultimately Big Darby Creek) prompted the USGS, in cooperation with the City of Columbus, Ohio, to begin collection of suspended-sediment and other water-quality data.  Sediment and water-quality data have been collected from 1992 to the present.

Station 03230450 Hellbranch Run near Harrisburg, OH

To monitor the effects of urbanization, the USGS collects suspended sediment and water quality data in cooperation with the City of Columbus. Located in Franklin County, the Hellbranch Run station is approximately 2.5 miles upstream from the confluence with Big Darby Creek.

Kentucky Sediment Laboratory
Sediment laboratory in Kentucky WSC

Sediment sampling

  • Samples are collected by event, meaning a sample is taken with an automatic sampler at every rise or fall in stage of 0.5 feet. If an event sample has not been collected with 5 days, a sample is then collected, regardless of the stage
  • Once per month and at high water events, an equal-width increment sample (EWI) is taken from the State Route 665 bridge adjacent to the station. The automatic sampler is tripped manually before and after the EWI to be used as a comparison
  • Samples processed by the USGS sediment lab in Louisville, KY for suspended sediment concentration
  • Data used to calculate sediment loading

Water quality

  • Once per month and at high water events, an equal-width increment sample (EWI) is taken while wading next to the station or from the State Route 665 bridge during an event.
  • Samples processed by the USGS National Water Quality Lab in Denver, CO for major ions and nutrients.
  • Parameters included in analysis schedule
  1. Chloride
  2. Nitrogen (ammonia)
  3. Nitrogen (ammonia + organic nitrogen)
  4. Nitrogen (nitrite)
  5. Nitrogen (nitrite + nitrate)
  6. Phosphorus
  7. Phosphorus (ortho phosphate)
  8. Silica
  9. Sulfate


Gage house  on right downstream side of State Route 665 bridge, 2.5 mi upstream from mouth, 2.7 mi north-northwest of Harrisburg
Gaging station 03230450 Hellbranch Run

Streamflow in Hellbranch Run is measured approximately six times per year, additional measurements are made during high-flow events.