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Research Reports

Effects of Velocity and Nutrient Alterations on Stream Primary Producers and Associated Organisms


Velocity and nutrient studies at 12 sites in Western Washington streams indicated that 50cm/sec is the critical average current velocity where the productive base of the food web is impacted. Swiftly flowing streams rich in nutrients should not be slowed to this value, and slowly flowing streams should not be altered to have velocities greater than this value.


  • Date Published: November, 1978
  • Publication Number: WA-RD 39.2
  • Last Modified: August 2, 2007
  • Authors: Richard R. Horner, Eugene B. Welch.
  • Originator: University of Washington. Environmental Engineering and Science Program.
  • # of Pages: 73 p., 1,581 KB (PDF)
  • Subject: Aquatic life, Construction sites, Critical velocity, Drainage, Ecosystems, Environmental impacts, Flow measurement, Food chain, Habitat (Ecology), Inorganic compounds, Organic compounds, Runoff, Streamflow, Streams, Velocity, Water quality.
  • Keywords: Velocity, nutrients, streams, Washington State, aquatic ecosystem, periphyton.
  • Related Publications: Water Quality Impacts Associated with Leachates from Highway Woodwastes Embankments, (WA-RD 39.1).
    Highway Runoff Monitoring: The Initial Year, (WA-RD 39.3).
    Composite Sampling of Highway Runoff: Year 2, (WA-RD 39.4).
    Criteria and Requirements for Statewide Highway Runoff Monitoring Sites, (WA-RD 39.5).
    Characterization of Highway Runoff in Washington State, (WA-RD 39.6).
    Year 3 - Runoff Water Quality, August 1979 - August 1980, (WA-RD 39.7).
    Views of Risk and Highway Transportation of Hazardous Materials - A Case Study in Gasoline, (WA-RD 39.8).
    A Survey of Trace Organics in Highway Runoff in Seattle, Washington, (WA-RD 39.9).
    Transport Deposition and Control of Heavy Metals in Highway Runoff, (WA-RD 39.10).
    Effects of Seattle Area Highway Stormwater Runoff on Aquatic Biota, (WA-RD 39.11).
    Highway Runoff in Washington State: Model Validation and Statistical Analysis, (WA-RD 39.12).
    Assessment of Pollutant Loadings and Concentrations in Highway Stormwater, (WA-RD 39.12.1).
    Year 4, Runoff Water Quality, August 1980-August 1981, (WA-RD 39.13).
    Guide for Water Quality Impact Assessment of Highway Operations and Maintenance, (WA-RD 39.14).
    Impacts of Channel Reconstruction in the Pilchuck River, (WA-RD 39.15).
    Summary -- Highway Runoff Water Quality Study, 1977-1982, (WA-RD 39.16).

This abstract was last modified October 30, 2008