Water quality responses from major hurricanes in Robeson County: A review and historic data analysis

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Title: Water quality responses from major hurricanes in Robeson County: A review and historic data analysis
Author: Maslova, Liudmila
Abstract: Abstract Understanding how the intensity of a hurricane impacts water quality in Robeson County is valuable for future impact predictions, appropriate decision-making to mitigate future impacts, and public communication on the localized effect of these storms on water quality. These spatial and temporal trends require the aggregation and spatial analysis of historical and current water quality data for the Lumbee watershed. Tabular data search, manipulation, and modeling of its spatial and temporal trends were used to help achieve the best estimates of contaminants analysis. Based on the Lumber River hydrographs and data overview six main hurricane were chosen. To investigate the trends in contaminants conditions for monitoring locations in North Carolina, monthly water quality data at twelve monitoring locations was analyzed for each hurricane from 1996 till 2016. To adequately assess hurricane influence on the water quality and visualize hurricane event, historic hurricane rainfall data for North Carolina area was interpolated and mapped together with PRIZM total month precipitation data. This demonstrated that hurricanes can bring the heaviest precipitation for the month, cause contaminants concentration increase, and modify streamflow regimes. Streamflow characteristics were found to be dependent on precipitation event and its localization. To study localized water quality effects from precipitation on surface water quality, total concentrations of contaminants, such as fecal cauliform and turbidity were plotted against the month they were recorded for locations in the Lumbee basin. The results were represented in the location-year-month-analytic series graphs showing temporal contaminants trends for each specific location. In an effort to associate chemical and climatic basin characteristics for each site and for each hurricane resulting rainfall maps were plotted together with the concentration peaks. This load duration curve (LDC) approach was applied to fecal coliform data to evaluate the impact of storm intensity of surface water quality. 3 One objective of the project was to attain a historical perspective of the major storm events and to analyze their impact on streamflow and water quality parameters such as turbidity and fecal coliform in Robeson County. A second objective was to model the influence of the precipitation on water quality parameters by using GIS spatial extension toolbox. This project has allowed us to examine historic hurricane data and understand its influence on water quality locally.
Date: 2017-12
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.20/34911


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