Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2019CO035B

Diel Signals in Hydrologic and Chemical Signals along the North Saint Vrain

Institute: Colorado
Year Established: 2019 Start Date: 2019-03-01 End Date: 2020-02-29
Total Federal Funds: $4,992 Total Non-Federal Funds: $2,596

Principal Investigators: Tim Covino

Abstract: Human activities rely on consistent supplies of water, but often these activities also pollute and disturb naturally functioning waterways. River-floodplain systems provide important ecosystem services that can increase river network resiliency to these disturbances. However, deeper knowledge of their functioning is necessary for creating management and restoration projects that are correspondent with the river’s natural processes. Research on water quality and river ecosystems often involves sampling at weekly or monthly intervals, but the frequency of this monitoring misses physiochemical changes in the system that occur at shorter time intervals and that can impact how the entire system functions. This study seeks to record and analyze the fine temporal scale physical and chemical changes occurring over one diel cycle in order to expand on our understanding of river-floodplain function. The research will be conducted through sampling of water and collection of real-time data from different areas of a river-floodplain system. Lab analysis of these samples will quantify the amplitude of changes and timing of riverfloodplain physiochemical properties over one day, and give insight on chemical and biological interactions and their dependency on daily temperature and light cycles. These efforts aim to validate and complement concurrent work investigating river-floodplain connectivity, and to provide a quick assessment monitoring tool for scientific and resource management use.