Monday, March 26, 2012

Poopenaut Valley groundwater study

Poopenaut Valley
UC Santa Cruz and NPS researchers recently published their work on Poopenaut Valley groundwater modeling and monitoring in the Journal of Hydrology.  The researchers monitored experimental high flow releases from O'Shaughnessy Dam to assess the relative importance of inundation versus groundwater rise in establishing and maintaining riparian wetland conditions to determine how restoration benefits might be achieved while reducing total flood discharge.  The observations helped to calibrate a numerical model that was used to test scenarios for controlled flood releases.

Modeling of the groundwater–wetland system suggests that inundation of surface soils is the most effective mechanism for developing wetland conditions, although an elevated water table helps to extend the duration of soil saturation.  Results of the study will be incorporated into flow recommendations being developed for O'Shaughnessy Dam by UTREP.