Watershed modeling and uncertainty analysis for the North Fork Broad River, Georgia, USA
Hayes, Patricia Jean
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Erosion and the resulting sediment are major issues facing the environment. High sediment loads can cause water quality problems, such as damaging biota habitat and recreational use. Georgia’s North Fork Broad River has been listed as an impaired stream segment for sediment. Our objective was to use Water Characterization System’s (WCS) Sediment Tool to model the sediment movement in the North Fork. The model uses USLE to determine erosion and four delivery ratios (DR) to determine sediment yield. Another objective was to determine model sensitivity and uncertainty. We have implemented WCS in an Excel spreadsheet coupled with @Risk software, a commercial plug-in to Excel. Our modeling efforts show that the North Fork does have a sediment problem. Sediment is greatly affected by DR. Land use changes can also affect the sediment yield. Using WCS, there is large uncertainty in sediment delivery prediction, but much less uncertainty in erosion prediction.
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