Week 1- Mapping and More

The first week of research has been a busy and productive time!  This week I’ve been working on mapping the watershed boundaries for the retention pond, Strawberry Creek, and Pogonia Stream (the reference stream).  Using a digital elevation model (DEM) generated from high-resolution light detecting and ranging (LiDAR) data, I have been able to delineate the watershed for both of the streams on ArcMap.  The retention pond’s watershed, however, has been a bit trickier to delineate. In order to map the true extent of the retention pond’s watershed, I needed to “artificially” add culverts and other underground drainage structures (that would not have necessarily been detected with LiDAR).  Through a trial and error process, in addition to support from my advisor and the lovely people over at the Center for Geospatial Analysis, I am currently working on adding the final few culverts to the map. The watershed is growing and getting more accurate every day!

 

Additionally, this week I learned how to configure and deploy four new temperature sensors.  I will be measuring water temperature at the pond and in both streams as a part of my project.  To help me gain a greater understanding of why I should be measuring this parameter and to get some insight into how urbanization affects the temperature of runoff (and what effect this may have on the downstream environment), I spent some time reading papers on this phenomenon.

 

I’ve also been working with my advisor to prepare some new instruments to put out in the field next week.  These include a new gauging station to go in the retention pond (with probes to measure water temperature, depth, and conductivity), and temperature, depth, and conductivity probes to place in Strawberry Creek and the reference stream.

 

These first few days back on campus have been an exciting start to the summer!

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