Synthesis of 10-years of Ecohydrologic studies on Turkey Creek watershedThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Since the establishment of a collaborative study 10 years ago, research on the third-order, 5240 ha forested Turkey Creek watershed in South Carolina’s coastal plain has advanced the understanding of rainfall-runoff relationships, stream hydrograph characteristics, and water table dynamics for dominant soil types. Surface water dynamics were shown to be regulated primarily by the water table, which is dependent upon precipitation and evapotranspiration. The baseflow is, however, highly variable, resulting in zero streamflow about one-third of the time, on average. These processes regulate upland freshwater runoff and mediate material export into the tidally influenced larger river downstream. Analysis of preand post-Hurricane Hugo streamflow data showed the resiliency of this coastal forest to extreme events. A high-resolution LiDAR-based digital elevation model (DEM) was shown to have increased accuracy in drainage area delineation on this low-gradient coastal plain compared to available topographic maps and DEMs, potentially influencing site hydrology and engineering designs.