North-Central Section - 50th Annual Meeting - 2016

Paper No. 23-10
Presentation Time: 11:20 AM


COPELAND, Kayla, CASCARANO, Ryan and SKALBECK, John D., Department of Geoscience, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, 900 Wood Road, Kenosha, WI 53141,

Beginning in 2005, a hydrologic and geochemical investigation has taken place annually each summer in the Albion Basin within the Little Cottonwood Canyon of Alta, Utah. The primary wetland study areas within the Albion Basin include: Catherine’s Pass, Collins/Sugarloaf, Albion Basin Fen, and Patsy Marley. The overall goal of this continuous long-term monitoring is to provide hydrologic data for potential use in watershed management decisions. Historically, annual monitoring has consisted of collecting: automated water levels using Levelogger pressure transducers, manual water levels using an electronic sounder, field water chemistry (temperature, pH, EC), and water samples for the purpose of chemical analysis in a laboratory setting. Water samples are collected from springs, surface water, and also from piezometers in the ground. Chemical analysis of water samples collected helps evaluate hydrologic characteristics of the wetlands.

In 2013, a spring mapping study was initiated with the purpose of characterizing the water balance for each wetland study area. Mapping spring locations and measuring spring inflow and outflow allows for a water balance estimation at a given study area. In 2013, a brief survey of springs was conducted in order to assess the general contribution of source water for each of the wetland areas being studied. In 2015, a more thorough study was conducted in order to accurately calculate flow within these basins. Ultimately, this wetland study is important for describing hydrologic characteristics of the individual wetland basins present within the Albion Basin. It also helps to assess the implications of proposed water diversions from these sites, as any diversion has the potential to result in a permanent loss of water from the Albion Basin, and would also affect the natural environment within the study area. Analysis using a Global Information System (GIS) databased allowed for more detailed evaluation of the water balance for each wetland study area. This evaluation allows for the calculation of hypothetical residential development support within each wetland study area based on statutory requirements related to daily water use. This analysis leads to an estimate of wetland acreage required to support residential development within the Albion Basin.