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

Picture of the Army Creek watershed.

                        Army Creek Marsh in Army Creek watershed, Delaware


Discussion of Army Creek Watershed

Army Creek watershed covers Army Creek, plus a number of unnamed drainages running into the Delaware River.  Most of the watershed is old industrial or residential and not in a natural state.  It is located between Broad Dyke and Red Lion Creek watersheds on the west side of Delaware River.  More information on the watershed can be found at this link.

Despite its small drainage, it is still 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.

Army Creek Water Inundation (2002-2017)


Table 1. Army Creek Watershed Tidal Water (2002-2017) in acres
Year ETRW ECOW Total Tidal Water
2002 0.12 58.77 58.89
2007 0.13 78.76 78.89
2012 0.81 81.86 82.67
2017 0.91 91.57 92.48

ETRW = Estuarine Tidal Riverine Water (Salinity < 0.5 ppt)

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 but not up to the 2002-2007 levels.

Table 2. Average Rate of Army Creek Watershed Water Inundation 

(2002-2017) in acres/year

 Period  Average Rate (acres/year)
2002-2007 +4.00
2007-2012 +0.76
2012-2017 +1.96

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.

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