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Effects of Impervious Cover on the Surface Water Quality and Aquatic Ecosystem of the Kyeongan Stream in South Korea

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The extent of impervious cover in a watershed has been linked to the quality of an urban aquatic environment. The Kyeongan watershed in South Korea was investigated to evaluate the relationship between the total impervious area (TIA) and the aquatic ecosystem of the watershed, including water quality and aquatic life using a relatively high-resolution (0.4m) image. The TIA was found to be approximately 12% of the watershed, which indicates that the quality of its environment was being adversely affected by it. For water quality, Pearson correlation analyses showed that all water quality parameters studied were found to be positively correlated with TIA at p < 0.01, except for nitrate (NO3 ). In addition, the zone with a higher TIA was found to have worse water quality. Some water quality parameters, such as nitrite (NO2 ), total phosphorus, and phosphate (PO4 3−) were highly affected by discharges from wastewater treatment plants. Water quality data suggest that TIA could be used to predict the water quality of streams. For ecological parameters, the diatom index for organic pollution and trophic diatom index were found to be highly correlated with TIA, whereas physical habitat and benthic macroinvertebrates were poorly correlated with TIA. However, the results indicate that the extent of impervious cover can be a useful indicator for predicting the status of specific ecosystem of streams.
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Keywords: aquatic ecosystem; high-resolution image; impervious cover; water quality; watershed management

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-08-01

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    Water Environment Research (WER) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

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