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Project ID: 2006AK50B

Title: Watershed Response to Forest Fires in Cold Regions: Channel Development and Suspended Load Variation in Streams in Interior Alaska

Project Type: Research

Start Date: 03/01/2006

End Date: 02/28/2008

Congressional District: AK

Focus Categories: Hydrology, Surface Water

Keywords: suspended load, soil erosion, channel formation, mapping, discontinuous permafrost

Principal Investigator: Toniolo, Horacio

Federal Funds: $7,000

Non-Federal Matching Funds: $3,325

Abstract: The past summers in Alaska were characterized by enormous and devastating boreal forest fires. For instance, more than 2 million hectares were affected by fires in the summer of 2004, and 1.55 million hectares during the summer of 2005. The rapid effects of fires on suspended load in streams, and channel development in zones affected by fires or the fire-suppession activities are not well understood or quantified in areas underlain by discontinuous permafrost. The objectives of the proposed research are (1) to provide baseline data on rapid changes in the suspended load of streams in severely and partially burned areas located in watersheds underlain by discontinuous permafrost in Interior Alaska, and (2) to provide quantitative data on changes (soil erosion) in areas affected by firefighters. A pristine watershed unaffected by fires will be used as a control to compare suspended load in this project. Extensive field data collection and surveys and laboratory analysis will be conducted to accomplish these objectives.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Maintained by: John Schefter
Last Updated: Friday, December 07, 2007
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