Event Title

Mountain system observatory and research at Senator Beck Basin, San Juan Mountains, Southwest Colorado

Presenter Information

Chris Landry

Location

ECC 203

Event Website

http://water.usu.edu/htm/conference/past-spring-runoff-conferences

Start Date

5-4-2007 2:10 PM

End Date

5-4-2007 2:30 PM

Description

Snow-driven mountain systems in the American West may be particularly sensitive sentinels of regional climate change as manifested by altered snowcover and hydrologic characteristics, changes in plant communities and biogeochemical fluxes, and seasonal shifts in energy budgets. Integrated monitoring could reveal to resource managers early evidence of emerging trends, and nearer-term disturbances, in local and regional mountain processes and the ecosystem services they provide. Modelers benefit from field verification of their forecasts, and mountain system process researchers can also utilize monitoring infrastructure. The Senator Beck Basin Study Area has been developed in the western San Juan Mountains near Silverton, Colorado by the Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies. The San Juan Mountains are a significant contributor to the Colorado River Basin and are the primary headwater of the Rio Grande River. SBBSA is a 290 ha catchment spanning elevations from 3353 to 4118 m and contains alpine tundra at the highest elevations, sub-alpine forest at the lowest, and a krumholz ecotone between. Arrays of instrumentation located above and below tree line monitor weather, snowpack, energy budget, and soil condition parameters. A nearby micro-met station monitors ‘free air’ wind, air temperature and humidity. A broad-crested, notched weir at the basin pour-point monitors discharge and water properties, and two additional inter-basin sites monitor stream stage. A comprehensive inventory of the basin's plant communities was performed in 2004 and will be repeated in 2009. Research teams currently utilizing the basin are exploring the effects of desert dust depositions on alpine snowpack, hydrologic, biogeochemical, and climatic processes. Regional water stakeholders are supporting the development of streamflow forecasting tools that incorporate the effects of desert dust on snowmelt timing and intensity

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Apr 5th, 2:10 PM Apr 5th, 2:30 PM

Mountain system observatory and research at Senator Beck Basin, San Juan Mountains, Southwest Colorado

ECC 203

Snow-driven mountain systems in the American West may be particularly sensitive sentinels of regional climate change as manifested by altered snowcover and hydrologic characteristics, changes in plant communities and biogeochemical fluxes, and seasonal shifts in energy budgets. Integrated monitoring could reveal to resource managers early evidence of emerging trends, and nearer-term disturbances, in local and regional mountain processes and the ecosystem services they provide. Modelers benefit from field verification of their forecasts, and mountain system process researchers can also utilize monitoring infrastructure. The Senator Beck Basin Study Area has been developed in the western San Juan Mountains near Silverton, Colorado by the Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies. The San Juan Mountains are a significant contributor to the Colorado River Basin and are the primary headwater of the Rio Grande River. SBBSA is a 290 ha catchment spanning elevations from 3353 to 4118 m and contains alpine tundra at the highest elevations, sub-alpine forest at the lowest, and a krumholz ecotone between. Arrays of instrumentation located above and below tree line monitor weather, snowpack, energy budget, and soil condition parameters. A nearby micro-met station monitors ‘free air’ wind, air temperature and humidity. A broad-crested, notched weir at the basin pour-point monitors discharge and water properties, and two additional inter-basin sites monitor stream stage. A comprehensive inventory of the basin's plant communities was performed in 2004 and will be repeated in 2009. Research teams currently utilizing the basin are exploring the effects of desert dust depositions on alpine snowpack, hydrologic, biogeochemical, and climatic processes. Regional water stakeholders are supporting the development of streamflow forecasting tools that incorporate the effects of desert dust on snowmelt timing and intensity

http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/runoff/2007/AllAbstracts/19