Watershed Research

The word “watershed” is sometimes used interchangeably with “catchment” or the term “drainage basin”. A watershed is an area of land in which all freshwater flows to a common outlet (e.g mouth of a river or bay, or outflow of a reservoir). All land that drains water to a common outflow point is the watershed for that location. A watershed is a collection of surface water (lakes, streams, reservoirs, and wetlands), and ground water (sub-surface water). Many small watersheds can reside in a larger watershed. Streamflow and surface water quality are influenced by the physical characteristics of a watershed, climate and weather, biogeochemistry, and the land-use practices that happen in that area; we are interested in studying all of these aspects. Check out some publications at the bottom of the page, about land-use impacts on watersheds and the sensitivity of coastal watersheds to climate change.

There are fivemajor watershed research projects we work on. Check out the following Project Pages to read more about each topic:

Russell Creek Research Watershed, Northern Vancouver Island (FERN)
Honna Community Watershed, Haida Gwaii
Kwakshua Watersheds Program
, Calvert Island – Hakai Institute
Dissolved Organic Carbon Study, Synoptic Sampling Program


[PDF] Danehy, R.J., R.E. Bilby, R.B. Langshaw, D.M. Evans, T.R. Turner, W.C. Floyd, S.H. Schoenholtz, and S.D. Duke. 2012. Biological and water quality responses to hydrologic disturbances in third order forested streams. Ecohydrology 5(1):90-98. doi: 10.1002/eco.205
[PDF] Floyd, B. 2011. (Invited) The Sensitivity of Coastal Watersheds to Climate Change. BC Forest Professional 18(2):12-13.
[PDF] Evans, D.M., S.H. Schoenholtz, P.J. Wigington, Jr., S.M. Griffith, and W.C. Floyd. 2014. Spatial and temporal patterns of dissolved nitrogen and phosphorus in surface waters of a multi-land use basin. Environmental Monitoring & Assessment 186(2):873-887. doi:10.1007/s10661-013-3428-4
Floyd, W.C., Schoenholtz, S., Griffith, S.,Wigington, P., Steiner, J. 2009. Nitrate-Nitrogen, Land Use/Land Cover, and Soil Drainage Associations at Multiple Spatial Scales J. Environ. Qual. 38:1473–1482. doi:10.2134/jeq2008.0099