Colorado mountains
From Long-Term Data to Understanding: Toward a Predictive Ecology
2015 LTER ASM Estes Park, CO - August 30 - September 2, 2015

Meteorological influences on high alpine water chemistry

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Poster Number: 
Presenter/Primary Author: 
Alana Wilson
Mark W. Williams

A time series of water chemistry from five alpine sampling sites at the Niwot Ridget LTER is examined to determine the influence of precipitation.  Water chemistry at the Martinelli snow-field dominated catchment responds in dry years because of the lack of a long-term reservoir.  Similar behavior is observed in the outflow from Green Lake 4, also dominated by snowmelt.  Both surface water sites have lower peak discharge and earlier peak discharge in dry years with a corresponding influence on water chemistry.

A time series of water chemistry from these two sites as well as rock glacier outflow, talus water, and Arikaree Glacier outflow will be presented from 1993 to 2014.  This data is used to conduct hydrochemistry based mixing models to estimate the role of reacted versus unreacted waters in these systems and seperately quantify new verus old water.