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Virtually all the potable water consumed in the Centre Region is drawn from the groundwater reservoir.   Even residents in the Bellefonte area depend on groundwater that emerges naturally in the Big Spring. But the movement of water on and beneath the surface is controlled by the rocks and structures that shape the valley.   

Figure 1. Paleogeographic globe with present-day North America superimposed on the American landmass of c. 450 Ma.  (White dashed line is the equator; north i...

The Spring Creek Watershed is home to some of Pennsylvania’s most productive soils. These  soils are a primary reason for the region’s economic success.  They support agricultural and forestry operations that produce a wide variety of building materials, biofuels, and food products for humans and animals.  Soils also act as engineering materials for roads, pipelines, residential and commercial buildings, and recreational opportunities like bike paths.  Unfortunately, the best soils for food prod...

How many wetlands occur in the Spring Creek Watershed? This is a typical question arising when considering the water resources of a geographic area. It is also a difficult one to answer.  An easier, and perhaps more interesting, question is “How many different types of wetlands occur?  In this brief synopsis, we’ll examine both questions, as we explore the abundance and diversity of wetlands in the Spring Creek Watershed.

Climate, geology, topography, and soils are the primary natural driver...

The Spring Creek Watershed has two types of watershed boundaries as shown on this cross-section diagram.

The surface-water boundary is on the left and the groundwater boundary on the right.  The headwater area of the Big Spring in Bellefonte has its western boundary in the Spruce Creek Surface-Water Watershed.  When rainfall and snowmelt water infiltrate into the ground in the Spruce Creek Surface-Water Watershed as shown by the blue drop of water above, this water percolates downto bec...

The Spring Creek watershed lies along the eastern edge of the Appalachian Mountains, which extend from Maine to Georgia. Geologically,the Appalachian Mountains are divided into physiographic provinces (Figure 1). 

Figure 1: Physiographic Province Map of Pennsylvania. Click to open a larger PDF version.

The Spring Creek watershed is situated in the Ridge and Valley Province that has a southwest-northeast orientation, extending from northern Maryland to northeast Pennsylvania. This province is...

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