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Progress report of hydrology and sedimentation in Bixler Run, Corey Creek, and Elk Run watersheds, Pennsylvania

January 1, 1994

This report describes the results of an investigation in progress and presents some tentative findings from a study of hydrology and sedimentation of three small watersheds where soil conservation practices are being applied. The study was begun in April 1954, to determine precipitation, runoff, probable sources and yields of sediment, and channel changes in two small watersheds in Pennsylvania. This report covers the period April 1954, to September 30, 1955 with the exception of the aggradation-degradation range data which covers the period October 1954 to November 1956. The internal or time control method of calibration is being used for the Bixler Run watershed study, and an external control is being used in the Corey Creek study.

Precipitation on Bixler Run watershed was 47.33 inches for the 1955 water year. Total runoff was 14.08 inches and the suspended sediment yield was 1,143.3 tons or 76 tons per square mile of drainage area. Precipitation on Corey Creek watershed for the same period totaled 35.81 inches. The total runoff was 8.37 inches and the suspended-sediment yield was 713.0 tons or 58.2 tons per square mile of drainage area. The precipitation on Elk Run, external control watershed for the Corey Creek study was 34.54 inches. The runoff was 10.10 inches and the suspended sediment yield was 709.9 tons or 69.5 tons per square mile.

Results from the study of channel changes by means of sediment aggradation-degradation ranges showed fill in all three watersheds. Bixler Run showed an average channel fill of 1.3 square feet per stream cross section. Corey Creek and Elk Run watersheds showed average fills of 2.9 and 4.1 square feet per cross section respectively. Most of the sediments comprising this fill were in the particle size range of gravel and coarser material.

The water in all three watersheds was low in dissolved solids during the period of investigation, varying from 72 to 127 ppm in Bixler Run, from 58 to 130 ppm in Corey Creek, and from 58 to 117 ppm in Elk Run. These waters are essentially of the secondary alkaline type with calcium and magnesium bicarbonate being the main dissolved constituents.