Grant: $460,692 - National Science Foundation - Jul. 1, 2009
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Award Description: There has been growing interest in the roles that hyporheic zones and riparian zones play in catchment-scale budgets of nutrients, heat, and energy. Because streams are intimately connected to hyporheic and riparian zones, these biogeochemical 'hot spots , or zones of enhanced biogeochemical cycling, directly influence water quality of streams. Significant research has been conducted on the biogeochemical and hydrologic functions of both hyporheic and riparian zones, though often in isolation from each other. In this proposal, we seek to determine how dynamic valley-bottom (riparian) hydrology is controlled by valley morphology and gradient, and how this in turn influences hyporheic exchange throughout summer baseflow recession in headwater catchments. We propose to conduct a workshop at the Shale Hills Critical Zone Observatory to bring together hydrologists and geophysicists to define the cutting edge and future directions of hydrogeophysics in stream-groundwater interactions. This workshop will focus featured speakers and a field component with the goal of promoting interaction among principal players evaluating the state of the science with respect to data collection and modeling around this topic. We aim to produce a monograph from this workshop that can be used as a key resource for students and researchers in this field. We will additionally train two graduate students and two undergraduate students in hydrology, groundwater modeling, geophysics, and solute transport. We will actively recruit from under-represented applicants to Penn State, including undergraduate researchers via the Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP), a summer-long internship that engages students from minority groups and institutions in cutting edge research at institutions of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, the academic arm of the Big 10 Athletic Conference.
Project Description: We pose the following research questions: 1) How do the relative magnitudes of down-valley (qDV) and cross-valley (qCV) vectors of riparian subsurface flow change throughout seasonal baseflow recession? 2) How are these changes controlled by valley-scale morphology and gradient? 3) How spatially consistent (at the reach scale) are the patterns of qDV and qCV? 4) In response to seasonal changes in relative magnitudes of down-valley and cross-valley flow vectors, how does the extent of hyporheic exchange change during seasonal baseflow recession? We will address these questions by combining field methods (water table measurements, stream tracer experiments, electrical resistivity surveys), groundwater flow and transport modeling, stream solute transport modeling, and integrated analyses of tracer data and geophysical surveys of stream tracer distribution in the subsurface. Our field work will be conducted at four stream valley sites of two extremely different types: two low gradient, wide valley sites at Leading Ridge, PA, and two high gradient, narrow valley sites at HJ Andrews Experimental Forest, OR. This research will significantly enhance our ability to predict and quantify the hydrology of stream-groundwater exchange and associated biogeochemical responses. In addition to our scientific advances, we will develop a transferable, framework that integrates multiple data types. Furthermore, these field sites are associated with two long-term research projects funded by NSF (CZO in PA and LTER in OR). As such, this research will complement and leverage these coincident research activities.
Jobs Summary: A Principal Investigator and a research faculty (Co-PI) were assigned to this research project.. This will provide the opportunity to expand their knowledge, while facilitating the objectives of the project. (Total jobs reported: 0)
Project Status: Less Than 50% Completed
This award's data was last updated on Jul. 1, 2009. Help expand these official descriptions using the wiki below.