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How Misapplication of the Hydrologic Unit Framework Diminishes the Meaning of Watersheds

Overview of attention for article published in Environmental Management, April 2017
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Mentioned by

twitter
3 tweeters

Citations

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6 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
22 Mendeley
citeulike
1 CiteULike
Title
How Misapplication of the Hydrologic Unit Framework Diminishes the Meaning of Watersheds
Published in
Environmental Management, April 2017
DOI 10.1007/s00267-017-0854-z
Pubmed ID
Authors

James M. Omernik, Glenn E. Griffith, Robert M. Hughes, James B. Glover, Marc H. Weber

Abstract

Hydrologic units provide a convenient but problematic nationwide set of geographic polygons based on subjectively determined subdivisions of land surface areas at several hierarchical levels. The problem is that it is impossible to map watersheds, basins, or catchments of relatively equal size and cover the whole country. The hydrologic unit framework is in fact composed mostly of watersheds and pieces of watersheds. The pieces include units that drain to segments of streams, remnant areas, noncontributing areas, and coastal or frontal units that can include multiple watersheds draining to an ocean or large lake. Hence, half or more of the hydrologic units are not watersheds as the name of the framework "Watershed Boundary Dataset" implies. Nonetheless, hydrologic units and watersheds are commonly treated as synonymous, and this misapplication and misunderstanding can have some serious scientific and management consequences. We discuss some of the strengths and limitations of watersheds and hydrologic units as spatial frameworks. Using examples from the Northwest and Southeast United States, we explain how the misapplication of the hydrologic unit framework has altered the meaning of watersheds and can impair understanding associations between spatial geographic characteristics and surface water conditions.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 3 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 22 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 22 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 6 27%
Student > Bachelor 4 18%
Student > Master 4 18%
Student > Ph. D. Student 3 14%
Professor 2 9%
Other 3 14%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Environmental Science 10 45%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 6 27%
Earth and Planetary Sciences 2 9%
Unspecified 2 9%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 1 5%
Other 1 5%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 2. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 13 July 2017.
All research outputs
#6,968,582
of 12,126,136 outputs
Outputs from Environmental Management
#738
of 1,107 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#130,458
of 272,534 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Environmental Management
#15
of 24 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 12,126,136 research outputs across all sources so far. This one is in the 40th percentile – i.e., 40% of other outputs scored the same or lower than it.
So far Altmetric has tracked 1,107 research outputs from this source. They receive a mean Attention Score of 4.7. This one is in the 30th percentile – i.e., 30% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 272,534 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one is in the 48th percentile – i.e., 48% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.
We're also able to compare this research output to 24 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 37th percentile – i.e., 37% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.