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Tuscaloosa Academy SLTER:

Area Overview | Analytical Methods | Data | Contact Info

Tuscaloosa Academy is a private school in a suburban area of west central Alabama. The school campus has a small stream that winds around the property and empties into the Black Warrior River. The monitoring which began in the fall of 1998 is directed by Ms. Kim Ouderkirk.


General Area

The area around Tuscaloosa Academy is suburban residential. The campus is located approximately one mile from the major river in town, the Black Warrior River. The stream flows around the edge of the football field with houses on two sides, a commercial green house on another, and a playground then the field house and school on the remaining side. Parts of the stream flow has been redirected with culverts.

Rainfall in Tuscaloosa (Jan.-Nov. 1998)

49.9 in

Tuscaloosa November rainfall at the airport

4.13 in

Average November rainfall (Birmingham)

54.52 in (117 days/year)

Average high temperature for November


Average low temperature for November



Site Description (Scroll down to see  student drawn area maps)

Site #1

The stream runs along the edge of a newly constructed (August 1998) parking lot. The stream is partially lined with imported limestone boulders. The remainder of the stream is lined with the local soil which is iron and clay rich. At this point the stream is about 12 cm deep and 2 meters wide. It has rapid flow in some areas with large masses of brown algae elsewhere. In areas where the water is flowing rapidly, it appears clear. This part of the stream receives full sun.

Site #2

This site is a pond which is fed by a culvert. Its banks are severely eroded and are 3-4 m above the water level. The pond is about 12 m in diameter and is estimated to be 2m deep. Turtles, frogs, and snakes have been occasionally spotted in this pond. The water is a murky greenish gray. The pond is in shade with a few breaks in the trees.  (site #2 is pictured in the center of the lower portion of the photo below)

Site #3

This site is about 3m below the pond outlet. Its bank appear fairly natural. They are also quite steep and banks are 3-4 meters above the water. Here, the stream is 14 cm deep and 1.3 m wide. The water is slow moving and its surface is covered with leaves. It also has a bit of an greasy sheen. It is in full shade.  (site #3 is pictured in the center of the picture above)
  MAPS General area map by Jim Miksis