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Water Inundation in Red Lion Creek Watershed, Delaware (2002-2017)

Picture of Red Lion Creek

                                    Red Lion Creek looking upstream from DE 9

Discussion of Red Lion Creek Watershed

Red Lion Creek watershed covers the main stem of Red Lion Creek, plus some shoreline and industrial canals along the Delaware River.  Most of the watershed is old or active industrial and not in a natural state.  It is located between Army Creek and Dragon Run watersheds on the west side of Delaware River.  More information on the watershed can be found at this link.

Similar to Army Creek, it is a riverine watershed.  This means that precipitation events have an outsize influence on the inundation numbers.  For instance, you can have a heavy rainfall event in the upper Delaware River or its tributaries, the water will then flow into the main stem of the Christina River causing it to rise.  There is not enough area for the water to spread out.  In these watersheds (riverine) it is best to look at the trends rather than the actual numbers.  However, in the case of Army Creek, this effect is only half expressed since it is only one side of the river.  The Delaware River is also larger here so there is more room for water to spread out, alleviating the effect.

Red Lion Creek Water Inundation

(2002-2017)

Table 1. Red Lion Creek Watershed Tidal Water (2002-2017) in acres
Year Estuarine Coastal Oligohaline Water
2002 72.27
2007 80.28
2012 81.29
2017 83.26

ECOW = Estuarine Coastal Oligohaline Water (Salinity 0.5-5 ppt)

Table 1 shows the amount of tidal water in the watershed has risen consistently since 2002 with a 2007-2012 slowdown seen in other watersheds.   The largest increase occurred in the 2002-2007 period and the smallest in the 2007-2012 period. The 2012-2017 period saw the inundation increase slightly.

Table 2. Average Rate of Red Lion Creek Watershed Water Inundation 

(2002-2017) in acres/year

 Period  Average Rate (acres/year)
2002-2007 +1.60
2007-2012 +0.20
2012-2017 +0.39

Table 2 shows the water inundation rate was highest in the 2002-2007 period and lowest in the 2007-2012 a trend seen in other watersheds.  The rate increased slightly in the 2012-2017 period.

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