US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Water and Environment Journal, 2015


U.S. Government work


We estimated discharge and suspended sediment (SS) yield in a minimally disturbed watershed in North Central Pennsylvania, USA, and compared a typical storm (September storm, 4.80 cm) to a large storm (Superstorm Sandy, 7.47 cm rainfall). Depending on branch, Sandy contributed 9.7–19.9 times more discharge and 11.5–37.4 times more SS than the September storm. During the September storm, the upper two branches accounted for 60.6% of discharge and 88.8% of SS at Lower Branch; during Sandy these percentages dropped to 36.1% for discharge and 30.1% for SS. The branch with close proximity roads had over two-three times per area SS yield than the branch without such roads. Hysteresis loops showed typical clockwise patterns for the September storm and more complicated patterns for Sandy, reflecting the multipeak event. Estimates of SS and hysteresis in minimally disturbed watersheds provide useful information that can be compared spatially and temporally to facilitate management.