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Hydrology, watersheds, sedimentation


As more water has been diverted from rivers and streams to serve our farms and growing cities and towns, instream flows have diminished. To reach a good balance in the allocation of water between instream and offstream uses, we need a better understanding of the roles, uses, and values of instream flow, and of the laws and regulations that affect water allocation. This project aims to enhance that understanding.
This project is designed to demonstrate and validate the Unit Stream Power Erosion and Deposition (USPED) model at five geographically and climatically divergent military bases.
The project evaluates instream sedimentation, sediment sources, and water quality following the High Park fire, including the effectiveness of mulching on reducing instream sediment loads.
This study relates Colorado watershed condition with downstream water quality. Water quality is characterized by selected variables (e.g., suspended sediment) measured at a gauge or other inventory point along a river.
To ensure that wetland habitats are conserved, an efficient means of identifying wetlands at risk of conversion is needed, especially in the southern United States where the rate of loss has been highest in recent decades.
The aquatics synthesis project aimed to improve access and application of relevant climate change data for aquatic resource managers and researchers. The Southern Rockies Landscape Conservation Cooperative, recognizing the need for syntheses and tools for climate change adaptation, sponsored this effort.
Wet meadow ecosystems host threatened and endangered species and are at high risk from climate change, wildfires, and water diversion. A typical wet meadow in the upper Middle Fork Salmon River, Idaho is the site of several prior and current investigations of stream ecosystem dynamics.
Increasing use of prescribed fire by land managers and increasing likelihood of wildfires due to climate change creates a need to improve tools modelling extreme heating of soils during fires. Rocky Mountain Research scientist William Massman addressed this issue by developing and testing of a novel numerical model of soil evaporation and transport of heat, soil moisture, and water vapor under extreme conditions produced by wildfires.
The Climate Shield website hosts geospatial data and related information on specific locations of cold-water refuge streams for native cutthroat trout and bull trout across the American West. Forecasts about the locations of refugia could enable the protection of key watersheds, be used to rally support among multiple stakeholders, and provide a foundation for planning climate-smart conservation networks that improve the odds of preserving native trout populations through the 21st century.
The Air, Water and Aquatic Environments Science Program has developed a suite of internet interfaces, the Forest Service Water Erosion Prediction Project (FS WEPP), designed to allow users to quickly evaluate erosion and sediment delivery potential from forest roads.