Sunday, 9 February 2003
A Spatiotemporal Investigation of the Influences of Weather on the Hydrological Characteristics of a Montane Melt Water Environment
During the summer of 2002, 25 high school students from the United States and Scotland conducted a three week field study of the Oliver Creek catchment basin in the Cloud Peak Wilderness Area, located in the Big Horn Mountains of northern Wyoming. Similar studies were conducted at this site in the summers of 1998 and 2000. Observations indicated significant differences associated with the hydrology since the studies in 1998. Specifically this paper focuses on some of the changes involving comparisons of pH, stream flow, and weather patterns. Studies done in the years 1998, 2000, and 2002 followed dramatically different winter and spring climactic patterns, provoking questions as to the influence of the meteorological and hydrological components on the rest of the ecosystem. Given this to be a simple melt water complex, the meteorological parameters during the study period are also being analyzed to determine their influence on the observed changes in stream hydrology. An organized attempt was made to determine the general properties of the stream and assess them with respect to the data collected in the previous expeditions. Data was collected at the same location with in the catchment basin in all three studies. To determine exactly how the variables in climate contributed to the observed changes, a comparison of the three studies is being reported. The results are expected to be available at the annual AMS conference.