The Impacts of Carbonate Geology on Water Quality and Stream Biota in the Conodoguinet Creek Watershed

Dylan Baumbach
Faculty sponsor: Dr. Christopher Woltemade
College of Arts and Sciences

Geoenvironmental Studies

The Chesapeake Bay and many of its tributaries are heavily impacted by agricultural activity and in order to reduce these impacts it is necessary to understand how agricultural pollutants behave in a variety of environments. Previous research by local, state and federal agencies have suggested that streams influenced by carbonate geology are more heavily impacted by agriculture as a result of the co-location of carbonates and agricultural activity and the ability of carbonates to transport pollutants efficiently through groundwater conduits. This research sought to study how, under similar land use influences, carbonate geology impacted water quality and found that carbonate influenced streams are more heavily impacted by agricultural activity which suggest management efforts should prioritize groundwater remediation in conjunction with traditional surface management strategies.