Hydrology of a natural hardwood forested wetland

George M. Chescheir, Devendra M. Amatya and R. Wayne Skaggs

After Wise Use – The Future of Peatlands, Proceedings of the 13th International Peat Congress: Peatland Forestry

drainmod, flow-duration-curve, water-balance

Chescheir et al. 2008: Hydrology of a natural hardwood forested wetland


This paper documents the hydrology of a natural forested wetland near Plymouth, NC, USA. The research site was located on one of the few remaining, undrained non-riverine, palustrine forested hardwood wetlands on the lower coastal plain of North Carolina. A 137 ha watershed within the 350ha wetland was selected for intensive field study. Water balance components including surface runoff, lateral seepage, soil air volume, rainfall, and evap- otranspiration were monitored for a three year period. Water balance closure error over the 36 month period was 5%. The hydrology model DRAINMOD predicted that average annual outflow from the wetland would have been 23.3% of the average annual rainfall (1288 mm) during the 68 year period from 1933 to 2000.