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


Picture of Stoney Run

                            Stoney Creek at Bellevue State Park downstream of I-95


Discussion of Stoney Creek Watershed

Stoney Creek is located just downstream of Naamans Creek along the Delaware River.  Like the Naamans Creek watershed, the tidal sections of the creek are heavily industrial and bulkheaded and there is a small section of the main stem that is more natural.  Part of Bellevue State Park is located in this watershed.  For more information on the watershed, you can go to this link.

Stoney Creek has a very small footprint exposed to tidal water.  It is subjected to the effects of a riverine watershed.  This means precipitation events have an outsize influence on the inundation numbers.  For instance, you can have a heavy rainfall event in the upper Delaware watershed, which then flows into the main stem of the Delaware 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 because of the flashing water.

Stoney Creek Tidal Water (2002-2017)


Table 1. Stoney Creek Watershed Tidal Water (2002-2017) in acres
Year Estuarine Tidal Riverine Water
2002 2.27
2007 3.65
2012 3.69
2017 4.37

Estuarine Tidal Riverine Water = water that has a salinity < 0.5 ppt

Table 1 shows that the amount of tidal water in the watershed has consistently risen since 2002 with the largest increase in the 2012-2017 period.  Like the Naamans Creek watershed, Stoney Creek experienced a slowdown in the 2007-2012 period.

Table 2.  Average Rate of Stoney Creek Watershed Tidal Water Inundation

(2002-2017) in acres/year

 Period  Average rate (acres/year)
2002-2007 0.28
2007-2012 0.008
2012-2017 0.14

Table 2 shows that the water inundation rate slowed in the 2007-2012 period, but sped up in the 2012-2017 period, but not above the 2002-2007 period.  As noted in the last post, the 2007-2012 slowdown has been seen in other watersheds in Delaware.

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