Crown of the
Continent Hydrologic Observatory:
Why a Crown of the Continent Hydrologic Observatory?†
Land use varies from areas that are totally pristine with a long history of federal protection, to areas that have urban and suburban development, to areas that are mined and logged, to areas that have been burned by wildfire.
With its diverse characteristics and location appeal, the Crown of the Continent Observatory will be a facility that the next generation of individual investigators will seek out for testing their hypothesis and conducting scientific research related to hydrologic issues.
The Crown of the Continent Hydrologic Observatory will provide a unique and excellent opportunity to document how climatic stresses have, are, and will modify the hydrologic system. The hydrologic community will gain large integrated core data sets that can be used to test and develop forecasting methods and tools, and insights into methods needed to unravel and define interrelationships among complex watershed, climatic, ecological and human activities. Physical and ecological interactions in this basin form a template, or metric, by which the sources, sinks, stores and transfers within less pristine systems around the world can be framed.
Several sites in the HO are current validation points for NASA MODIS vegetation productivity (MOD15, 17) and ET (MOD16) products. Research is also underway to develop improved algorithms for regional monitoring of water clarity and NPP for large montane lakes in the HO. Additional areas of the HO are also currently designated as future calibration and validation sites for HYDROS.
A Few Example Science Questions
quantity, distribution and timing impact stream flows and related ecological
systems? Recently completed research suggests basin snow-pack is melting earlier
and the glaciers are receding. What is controlling these changes and how will such
changes impact water availability and related ecosystems?
Mountain mass groundwater recharge
intermountain valleys alter the system hydrology, sediment transport and deposition,
floodplain processes, and ecological systems?
†††††† Read our full prospectus