Spatial distribution of Sediment and Nutrient Loadings from Upper Pearl River Watershed (UPRW)

Author(s): Jayakody, P.; Parajuli, P.; Cathcart, T.

Deterioration of surface water quality is one of the most concern issues in the U.S. The knowledge of spatial and temporal variability of water quality parameters may help to formulate mitigation plans to improve water quality. This study was designed to investigate temporal and spatial variability of sediment, total nitrogen (TN), and total phosphate (TP) loadings to the surface water through a modeling approach. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was applied for Upper Pearl River Watershed (UPRW) in central Mississippi. Water samples were collected from Burnside and Lena USGS gauging stations. The SWAT model was calibrated and validated for daily time steps using manual and automatic (SUFI-2) methods from Feb 2010 to May 2011. Preliminary results showed good to very good model performances with the coefficient of determination (R2) and Nash-Sutcliff Efficiency Index (NSE) from 0.6 to 0.8 (flow), 0.3 to 0.6 (sediment), 0.6 to 0.7 (TN), and 0.5 to 0.6 (TP) during both hydrologic and water quality model calibration and validation. Sub-watersheds were ranked based on water quality pollutants loading to prioritize land areas for watershed management operations.

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