Effects of projected future urban land cover on nitrogen and phosphorus runoff to Chesapeake Bay Academic Article uri icon


  • This paper examined the effects of simulated land cover/land use (LC/LU) change from 2000 to 2030 on nutrient loadings to the Chesapeake Bay. The SPAtially Referenced Regression On Watershed Attributes (SPARROW) model was used with anticipated watershed-wide LC/LU change from a growth forecast model that provides spatially explicit probabilities of conversion to impervious surface. The total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) loadings estimated to enter the Chesapeake Bay were reduced by 20% and 19%, respectively. In general, as development replaced other LC/LUs from 2000 to 2030, TN and TP runoff was significantly reduced by losses of non-point, non-urban source loadings, yields, and land-to-water delivery. The simulation results suggest future changes in landscape composition and configuration at catchment and riparian stream buffer width scales could lower TN and TP runoff to the estuary. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • December 2009