Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


This study analyzes the relationship between the climate of the Narragansett Bay Drainage Basin and the increasing urban land use into a relative increase in runoff in the Basin streams. Data for thirty-five years were collected to discern the trends in runoff within the Basin. It was hypothesized that runoff is increasing in relation to an increase in urban acreage. Runoff data were analyzed in two forms. The Thornthwaite water budget was used to estimate runoff. For this, Basin temperature and precipitation records were necessary inputs. The estimated runoff was plotted against observed runoff by double-mass analysis. Deviations from the actual runoff are indicative of changes in runoff which relate to changes in land use. When the estimate becomes less than the actual the trend would be for an increase in impervious surface. Precipitation was plotted against runoff as a further indication of increasing runoff in certain drainage areas. Comparisons were made between basins with an analysis of the relative change in urban acreage and the relative change in runoffover the thirty-five year period.

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