Title

Stream water and soil water chemistry following the Table Mountain wildfire, Washington

Presenter Information

Vincent Roccanova

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom C/D

Start Date

15-5-2014

End Date

15-5-2014

Keywords

Geochemistry, Streams, Wildfire

Abstract

The purpose of this project is to characterize stream water chemistry and soil water chemistry in response to wildfire activity in the Table Mountain area. The Table Mountain wildfire was started by several lightning strikes on September 8, 2012. Wildfire can have detrimental effects to water quality and stream ecosystems. For example, increased loads of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus can cause eutrophication in streams, depleting oxygen in water which is important to aquatic animals, especially fish. These changes in water quality can also affect humans who depend on these streams for irrigation and other uses. Wildfire can potentially cause such nutrient increases to occur through the process of biomass burning. Stream water and soil water samples were collected from the Table Mountain wildfire area from the winter of 2013 until the spring of 2014. These samples have been analyzed for pH, conductivity and alkalinity. Additional analyses are underway to determine trace element concentrations using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry and major ion concentrations using Ion Chromatography. Data will be presented that compares the chemistry of stream waters and soil waters at three types of sites that have been impacted to varying degrees by the Table Mountain wildfire: severely burned, moderately burned, and unburned. This dataset will thus describe how water chemistries have varied during the first two years following the Table Mountain wildfire at affected versus unaffected sites.

Poster Number

40

Faculty Mentor(s)

Gazis, Carey

Additional Mentoring Department

Geological Sciences

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May 15th, 8:30 AM May 15th, 11:00 AM

Stream water and soil water chemistry following the Table Mountain wildfire, Washington

SURC Ballroom C/D

The purpose of this project is to characterize stream water chemistry and soil water chemistry in response to wildfire activity in the Table Mountain area. The Table Mountain wildfire was started by several lightning strikes on September 8, 2012. Wildfire can have detrimental effects to water quality and stream ecosystems. For example, increased loads of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus can cause eutrophication in streams, depleting oxygen in water which is important to aquatic animals, especially fish. These changes in water quality can also affect humans who depend on these streams for irrigation and other uses. Wildfire can potentially cause such nutrient increases to occur through the process of biomass burning. Stream water and soil water samples were collected from the Table Mountain wildfire area from the winter of 2013 until the spring of 2014. These samples have been analyzed for pH, conductivity and alkalinity. Additional analyses are underway to determine trace element concentrations using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry and major ion concentrations using Ion Chromatography. Data will be presented that compares the chemistry of stream waters and soil waters at three types of sites that have been impacted to varying degrees by the Table Mountain wildfire: severely burned, moderately burned, and unburned. This dataset will thus describe how water chemistries have varied during the first two years following the Table Mountain wildfire at affected versus unaffected sites.