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Title: The East River, Colorado, Watershed: A Mountainous Community Testbed for Improving Predictive Understanding of Multiscale Hydrological–Biogeochemical Dynamics

Abstract

Extreme weather, fires, and land use and climate change are significantly reshaping interactions within watersheds throughout the world. Although hydrological–biogeochemical interactions within watersheds can impact many services valued by society, uncertainty associated with predicting hydrologydriven biogeochemical watershed dynamics remains high. With an aim to reduce this uncertainty, an approximately 300-km 2 mountainous headwater observatory has been developed at the East River, CO, watershed of the Upper Colorado River Basin. The site is being used as a testbed for the Department of Energy supported Watershed Function Project and collaborative efforts. Building on insights gained from research at the “sister” Rifle, CO, site, coordinated studies are underway at the East River site to gain a predictive understanding of how the mountainous watershed retains and releases water, nutrients, carbon, and metals. In particular, the project is exploring how early snowmelt, drought, and other disturbances influence hydrological–biogeochemical watershed dynamics at seasonal to decadal timescales. A system-of-systems perspective and a scale-adaptive simulation approach, involving the combined use of archetypal watershed subsystem “intensive sites” are being tested at the site to inform aggregated watershed predictions of downgradient exports. Complementing intensive site hydrological, geochemical, geophysical, microbiological, geological, and vegetation datasets are long-term, distributed measurement stations and specializedmore » experimental and observational campaigns. Several recent research advances provide insights about the intensive sites as well as aggregated watershed behavior. The East River “community testbed” is currently hosting scientists from more than 30 institutions to advance mountainous watershed methods and understanding.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [2];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [3];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [4];  [1];  [1];  [5];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
  2. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)
  3. Desert Research Inst., Reno, NV (United States)
  4. Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States)
  5. Ft. Lewis College, Durango, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1506294
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Vadose Zone Journal
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 17; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 1539-1663
Publisher:
Soil Science Society of America
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Hubbard, Susan S., Williams, Kenneth Hurst, Agarwal, Deb, Banfield, Jillian, Beller, Harry, Bouskill, Nicholas, Brodie, Eoin, Carroll, Rosemary, Dafflon, Baptiste, Dwivedi, Dipankar, Falco, Nicola, Faybishenko, Boris, Maxwell, Reed, Nico, Peter, Steefel, Carl, Steltzer, Heidi, Tokunaga, Tetsu, Tran, Phuong A., Wainwright, Haruko, and Varadharajan, Charuleka. The East River, Colorado, Watershed: A Mountainous Community Testbed for Improving Predictive Understanding of Multiscale Hydrological–Biogeochemical Dynamics. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.2136/vzj2018.03.0061.
Hubbard, Susan S., Williams, Kenneth Hurst, Agarwal, Deb, Banfield, Jillian, Beller, Harry, Bouskill, Nicholas, Brodie, Eoin, Carroll, Rosemary, Dafflon, Baptiste, Dwivedi, Dipankar, Falco, Nicola, Faybishenko, Boris, Maxwell, Reed, Nico, Peter, Steefel, Carl, Steltzer, Heidi, Tokunaga, Tetsu, Tran, Phuong A., Wainwright, Haruko, & Varadharajan, Charuleka. The East River, Colorado, Watershed: A Mountainous Community Testbed for Improving Predictive Understanding of Multiscale Hydrological–Biogeochemical Dynamics. United States. doi:10.2136/vzj2018.03.0061.
Hubbard, Susan S., Williams, Kenneth Hurst, Agarwal, Deb, Banfield, Jillian, Beller, Harry, Bouskill, Nicholas, Brodie, Eoin, Carroll, Rosemary, Dafflon, Baptiste, Dwivedi, Dipankar, Falco, Nicola, Faybishenko, Boris, Maxwell, Reed, Nico, Peter, Steefel, Carl, Steltzer, Heidi, Tokunaga, Tetsu, Tran, Phuong A., Wainwright, Haruko, and Varadharajan, Charuleka. Thu . "The East River, Colorado, Watershed: A Mountainous Community Testbed for Improving Predictive Understanding of Multiscale Hydrological–Biogeochemical Dynamics". United States. doi:10.2136/vzj2018.03.0061. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1506294.
@article{osti_1506294,
title = {The East River, Colorado, Watershed: A Mountainous Community Testbed for Improving Predictive Understanding of Multiscale Hydrological–Biogeochemical Dynamics},
author = {Hubbard, Susan S. and Williams, Kenneth Hurst and Agarwal, Deb and Banfield, Jillian and Beller, Harry and Bouskill, Nicholas and Brodie, Eoin and Carroll, Rosemary and Dafflon, Baptiste and Dwivedi, Dipankar and Falco, Nicola and Faybishenko, Boris and Maxwell, Reed and Nico, Peter and Steefel, Carl and Steltzer, Heidi and Tokunaga, Tetsu and Tran, Phuong A. and Wainwright, Haruko and Varadharajan, Charuleka},
abstractNote = {Extreme weather, fires, and land use and climate change are significantly reshaping interactions within watersheds throughout the world. Although hydrological–biogeochemical interactions within watersheds can impact many services valued by society, uncertainty associated with predicting hydrologydriven biogeochemical watershed dynamics remains high. With an aim to reduce this uncertainty, an approximately 300-km2 mountainous headwater observatory has been developed at the East River, CO, watershed of the Upper Colorado River Basin. The site is being used as a testbed for the Department of Energy supported Watershed Function Project and collaborative efforts. Building on insights gained from research at the “sister” Rifle, CO, site, coordinated studies are underway at the East River site to gain a predictive understanding of how the mountainous watershed retains and releases water, nutrients, carbon, and metals. In particular, the project is exploring how early snowmelt, drought, and other disturbances influence hydrological–biogeochemical watershed dynamics at seasonal to decadal timescales. A system-of-systems perspective and a scale-adaptive simulation approach, involving the combined use of archetypal watershed subsystem “intensive sites” are being tested at the site to inform aggregated watershed predictions of downgradient exports. Complementing intensive site hydrological, geochemical, geophysical, microbiological, geological, and vegetation datasets are long-term, distributed measurement stations and specialized experimental and observational campaigns. Several recent research advances provide insights about the intensive sites as well as aggregated watershed behavior. The East River “community testbed” is currently hosting scientists from more than 30 institutions to advance mountainous watershed methods and understanding.},
doi = {10.2136/vzj2018.03.0061},
journal = {Vadose Zone Journal},
number = 1,
volume = 17,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {9}
}

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