(2010) James River - TSS and DS Transport


The EPA has recognized sediment as the primary nonpoint source pollutant in most water bodies. This study was designed to determine the dynamics of suspended sediment and dissolved solids transport in the karst-dominated upper and middle James River Basin, and supports efforts to understand sources of pollutants in the basin and the degree of variation in concentrations of pollutants throughout the year due to runoff and seasonal influences.

Organic carbon sources include seasonal inputs from vegetation and agricultural inputs from animals. Inorganic carbon sources include carbonate rock and urban land use.


Interactions between surface water and groundwater associated with karst topography creates total dissolved solid yields higher than total suspended solid yields.

As discharge increases, organic carbon concentrations increase and inorganic carbon concentrations decrease. Land use does not appear to influence organic carbon as the concentrations between the Pearson Creek site (mostly rural) and the Wilson Creek site (mostly urban) are similar. Inorganic carbon concentrations fluctuate more in the urbanized creek.