Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory

The Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory, a US Forest Service Experimental Forest, was established in 1934 to study the theory and practice of forest watershed hydrology. This 2185 ha watershed in the southern Appalachian mountains of western North Carolina was selected because the area's abundant evenly distributed rainfall and mountainous topography which contained  many smaller watersheds with perennial stream flow for research. Early research (1934-1965) focused on land use demonstrations, with research turning toward ecosystem science in the late 1960s. The ecosystem approach to research at Coweeta has expanded to the entire southern Appalachian region, examining the impacts of disturbance, land use change and climate change on forests, water yield and water quality, and biogeochemical cycling.