Drainage Density as Index of Watershed Development

by Philip B. Bedient, Asst. Prof.; Environmental Science and Engrg., Rice University, Houston, Tex.,
James P. Heaney, (A.M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof. of Environmental Engrg.; University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.,
Wayne C. Huber, (A.M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof. of Environmental Engrg.; University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.,


Serial Information: Journal of the Irrigation and Drainage Division, 1978, Vol. 104, Issue 4, Pg. 373-387


Document Type: Journal Paper

Discussion: Boyce Robert C. (See full record)
Closure: (See full record)

Abstract: Studies have been completed on watersheds in Florida, and a methodology developed to predict environmental impacts using drainage characteristics of developing watersheds. The drainage density index, a measure of total length of waterways observed on aerial photographs per unit area, was computed for various watersheds in order to relate land-use changes and drainage patterns to hydrologic and water quality responses. Results indicate significant increases in drainage density over the past 19 yr in the Kissimmee River Basin. Water quality concentrations and loading rates of total phosphorus from seven watersheds indicate a significant correlation with the drainage density index. Differences in available nonpoint source loads were found to reflect only a small fraction of observed difference in measured total phosphorus loads.

Subject Headings: Drainage | Watersheds | Density currents | Water quality | Loading rates | Phosphorus | Environmental issues | North America | Florida | United States

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