The Impact of Land Use on Water Quality: a Comparison of the Roaring River and Piney Creek Drainage Basins of Southwest Missouri

Date of Graduation

Fall 1992


Master of Science in Geospatial Sciences


Geography, Geology, and Planning

Committee Chair

David Castillon


This study compares the water quality of two drainage basins in the southwestern MIssouri, Ozarks. The water quality was determined by analyzing for the following parameters: dissolved oxygen, nitrate, fecal coliform bacteria, fecal streptococcus bacteria, and conductivity. The two drainage basins studied were the pristine Piney Creek Wilderness basin and the more developed Roaring River basin. The physical variables and land used for the basins were mapped and analyzed to determine what differences exist between the basins that could affect the water quality is the land use. The Roaring River basin has many more potential pollution sources than the Piney Creek basin, and there is a corresponding differnce in the water quality of the basins. The water quality of the Roaring River basin has been degraded from the natural levels represented by the baseline data from the Piney Creek basin. Nitrate was the main indicator of pollution. The groundwater entering the Roaring River basin from springs is a major source of pollution. The most probable pollution sources are agricultutre, which includes poultry houses, and septic tanks.

Subject Categories

Earth Sciences


© Douglas B Hemsath