Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management (MS)

Administrative Home Department

College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science

Advisor 1

Fengjing Liu

Committee Member 1

Stephen Sebestyen

Committee Member 2

Veronica Webster


Analysis of concentration-discharge (C-Q) power-law relationships (C=aQb) is a powerful diagnostic tool to unravel solute export processes. However, application to watersheds with less intensive data can be difficult due to unexplained variation in C-Q behavior. To tackle this problem, I started my study at a small but data-intensive watershed in Vermont and then applied the insights to 138 watersheds throughout the Great Lakes Basin (GLB). I found that an increase in solute concentrations from shallow to deep flowpaths results in chemodynamic dilution (negative b-coefficient), a decrease produces chemodynamic flushing (positive b-coefficient). When applied to GLB, I found that nutrients and other contaminants in inflows are dominated by those in surficial soils rather than groundwater. Shallow and deep flowpaths are decoupled in urbanized areas, resulting in reduced capacity in contaminant buffering. Under future conditions of increasing urban areas and agriculture, solute export will become more enriched for nutrients.

Included in

Hydrology Commons