Accurate Maps of Streams Could Aid in More Sustainable Development

Stream

Stream (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)

Where a stream ends is clear, but where it begins can be more difficult to discern. Researchers from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science have developed a new method to solve this problem, resulting in a new map of the Potomac River watershed stream network that significantly improves the information needed for assessing the impact of urbanization on aquatic ecosystems.

“For the first time, we have an accurate representation of where streams once flowed through major urban areas of Baltimore and Washington, D.C. and where streams currently flow through forests,” said the study’s lead author Dr. Andrew Elmore of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s Appalachian Laboratory. “This information is critical for quantifying the impact of urbanization on aquatic ecosystems.”

More information:  sciencedaily.com

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