Concurrent Session C

Tuesday, March 26
10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Agenda subject to change.
Updated 20 March 2019


C1: Local and National Monitoring Networks in Support of Hydro-Terrestrial Modeling Across Spatial and Temporal Scales

Moderator: Yishen Li, US EPA
Room: Windows

10:35 Linking Long-Term and Short-Term Data Streams to Investigate Crystal Production and Dune-Field Susceptibility to Climate Change at White Sands National Monument, Donald Rosenberry, US Geological Survey

  • Abstract

    Linking Long-Term and Short-Term Data Streams to Investigate Crystal Production and Dune-Field Susceptibility to Climate Change at White Sands National Monument
    Donald Rosenberry1, David Bustos2, and Richard Webb1
    1US Geological Survey, Denver, Colorado; 2National Park Service, Alamogordo, New Mexico

    The bright white dune field and associated playa lakes at White Sands National Monument in southeastern New Mexico wax and wane in response to the surplus or deficit of gypsum sand and the moisture content of the dunes and inter-dune areas. Gypsum sand originates in the large playas to the west, is blown eastward through the dunes that reach heights of 10 to 15 m and is lost to the east beyond the boundary where dunes are stabilized by vegetation. Over the past several hundred years the dune field has been largely stable. However, if the frequency, duration, or areal extent of flooding events on the playas are reduced by changes in the amount or temporal distribution of precipitation, or by increases in evaporation of shallow groundwater, production of new gypsum may decrease. If recharge to the dune field, which maintains a water table only 10s of cm below the inter-dune areas and high moisture levels within the dunes, is altered by changing precipitation, dune stability may change. Any changes to the supply or movement of gypsum sand through the quasi-stationary dune field will also affect the associated fragile and unique ecosystem.

    Little is known about the historical duration of flooding events on the 500-km2 western playa. Sensors have been installed to monitor the depth to groundwater beneath the surface of the playa as well as durations of inundation. However, to put these data into historical context, relations are being developed between ongoing data collection at 0.5-hour frequency and historical groundwater data that extend back in time up to 100 years with monthly to annual data frequency. A basin-wide groundwater-flow model will then be used to predict changes in the groundwater beneath the playa and dune field in response to various scenarios of future climate and upgradient extractions of groundwater. Reconciling meteorological and hydrological data collected at different frequencies and durations for a variety of studies will be critical to the success of this work and the long-term management of the world’s largest gypsum dune system.

10:55 Hydrologic and Water Quality Responses to Hydroclimatic Change Over Five Decades in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, Michael Gooseff

  • Abstract

    Hydrologic and Water Quality Responses to Hydroclimatic Change Over Five Decades in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica
    Michael Gooseff1, Kathleen Welch1, Diane McKnight1, W. Berry Lyons2, Adam Wlostowski1, and Joel Singley1
    1University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado; 2Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

    The McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDVs) of Antarctica make up the largest ice-free region of the continent. The landscape is made up of bare soils, ice-covered lakes, streams, and alpine/piedmont glaciers. In the austral summer, these glaciers melt to provide streamflow, most of which terminates in closed-basin lakes. The Onyx River in Wright Valley has been gauged since 1968 and a stream gauge network in neighboring valleys burgeoned with the initiation of the MCM Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) project in the early 1990s. Here we report on the interannual dynamics of runoff and water quality from the dry valleys. The MDVs experienced a decadal cooling trend that ended in 2002. The following decade had much higher flows overall. Over our entire record, we have observed a trend of freshening of our streams with decreasing solute loads in a few cases. We attribute this to the potential evolution of weathered materials from hyporheic zones of these streambeds. Despite this slight freshening signal, chemical weathering remains extremely high compared to temperate catchments.

11:15 Application of the Monthly Water Balance Model to Better Understanding Data Availability and Cryospheric Processes in Alaska, Katie Schneider

  • Abstract

    Application of the Monthly Water Balance Model to Better Understanding Data Availability and Cryospheric Processes in Alaska
    Katie E. Schneider1, Jessica M. Driscoll1, William H. Farmer1, and Terri S. Hogue2
    1US Geological Survey WMA Integrated Modeling and Prediction Division, Denver, Colorado; 2Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado

    Historically, the infrastructure for the US Geological Survey’s (USGS) National Hydrologic Model (NHM) has been limited to the conterminous United States (CONUS). This limitation has been due to a lack of hydrologic data outside of CONUS needed for initial model parameterization and validation. However, recent expansions in higher-resolution satellite and field data capturing hydrologic processes beyond traditional CONUS data networks have allowed for extension of the NHM infrastructure to the domain of Alaska. This study will highlight data inventory and selection in addition to results from an initial application of the Monthly Water Balance Model (MWBM) for Alaska. The first objective of this study is to evaluate MWBM simulations for Alaska at a 12-digit Hydrologic Unit Code against ground and satellite measurements for components of the water budget: actual evapotranspiration, potential evapotranspiration, runoff, snow water equivalent) and streamflow. Based on these results, the second objective is to identify areas where the MWBM can be improved for hydrologic modeling in Alaska and identify data-gaps for optimization of the model; especially with respect to cryospheric processes, such as frozen ground and glaciers. Lastly, the MWBM is used to produce initial future water balance predictions in Alaska based on climate projections from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project. Anticipated results will point to the strengths and weaknesses of the MWBM for hydrologic modeling in Alaska, inform future application of the daily Precipitation Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) in Alaska and strengthen understanding of current and future cryospheric processes in this area. Better understanding the Alaskan water balance will also contribute to water quality monitoring efforts in this part of the country. Results of this work directly contribute to the National Water Census, a key piece of the USGS Water Availability and Use Science Program. Future goals include using these MWBM results towards application of the daily PRMS to the entire state of Alaska.

11:35 Optimal Hydrograph Separation to Estimate Base Flow in the Continental US, Sydney Foks, US Geological Survey

  • Abstract

    Optimal Hydrograph Separation to Estimate Base Flow in the Continental US
    Sydney Foks1, Jeff Raffensperger2, Colin Penn1, and Jessica Driscoll1
    1US Geological Survey, Denver, Colorado; 2US Geological Survey, Baltimore, Maryland

    Base-flow contribution to river discharge is an important driver affecting stream temperature, aquatic ecosystem health, water quality, and water availability during droughts. We define base flow as water contributing to a stream when no immediate precipitation has occurred in the watershed, in which base flow is generally thought of as having a groundwater source. Hydrograph separation techniques are the most common and inexpensive way to estimate base flow. A new hydrograph separation technique, optimal hydrograph separation, is a two-parameter, recursive digital filter that applies a mass balance constraint (using specific conductance) to estimate the base-flow contribution to total streamflow at streamgages wherever discharge and specific conductance are monitored. We used optimal hydrograph separation to estimate base-flow contributions to streams at over 800 USGS streamgages within the continental United States. Among our chosen sites, we found the median percent of base flow contribution to stream discharge was approximately 67%, with no relation to mean elevation, aspect, drainage area, dominant geologic rock type, or average precipitation within the basin. Distributions of base-flow percentage were similar among the southeastern coastal plains, central plains, and western plains, but different from the bimodal distributions of the western mountains and northeastern US. High-resolution water-quality data provides a framework for defining surface-water/groundwater interactions, and towards improved predictions of streamflow and water availability. Beyond this study, these results provide validation and(or) calibration targets for national-extent hydrologic modeling and water budget estimation products. In the future, this work will include an evaluation of uncertainty and could be used in an operational context to provide real-time estimation of base flow.


C2: Surveys for Contaminants of Emerging Concerns

Moderator: Leanne Stahl, US EPA
Room: Ballroom 1

10:35 A Synoptic Survey of Select Wastewater-Tracer Compounds and the Pesticide Imidacloprid in Florida’s Ambient Freshwaters, Jay Silvanima, Florida Department of Environmental Protection

  • Abstract

    A Synoptic Survey of Select Wastewater-Tracer Compounds and the Pesticide Imidacloprid in Florida’s Ambient Freshwaters
    James Silvanima, Andy Woeber, Stephanie Sunderman-Barnes, Rick Copeland, Christopher Sedlacek, and Thomas Seal
    Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Tallahassee, Florida

    Current wastewater treatment technologies do not remove many unregulated hydrophilic compounds, and there is growing interest that low levels of these compounds, referred to as emerging contaminants, may impact human health and the environment. A probabilistic-designed monitoring network was employed to infer the extent of Florida’s ambient freshwaters containing the wastewater (Includes reuse water, septic systems leachate, and wastewater treatment effluent.) indicators sucralose, acetaminophen, carbamazepine, and primidone and those containing the widely used pesticide imidacloprid. Extent estimates with 95% confidence bounds are provided for canals, rivers, streams, small and large lakes, and unconfined aquifers containing ultra-trace concentrations of these compounds as based on analyses of 2015 sample surveys utilizing 528 sites. Sucralose is estimated to occur in greater than 50% of the canal, river, stream, and large lake resource extents. The pharmaceuticals acetaminophen, carbamazepine, and primidone are most prevalent in rivers, with approximately 30% of river kilometers estimated to contain at least one of these compounds. Imidacloprid is estimated to occur in 50% or greater of the canal and river resource extents, and it is the only compound found to exceed published toxicity or environmental effects standards. Geospatial analyses show sucralose detection frequencies within Florida’s drainage basins to be significantly related to the percentage of urban land use (R2 = 0.36, < 0.001), and imidacloprid detection frequencies to be significantly related to the percentage of urban and agricultural land use (R2 = 0.47, < 0.001). The extent of the presence of these compounds highlights the need for additional emerging contaminant studies especially those examining effects on aquatic biota.

10:55 Managing Emerging Urban-Use Pesticides with Enhanced Green Infrastructure at The Watershed Scale, Jordyn Wolfand, Stanford University
11:15 Expanding Our Understanding of Pharmaceutical Exposures in Aquatic Environments: Development of a New Pharmaceutical Method and Its Application to Wastewater and Surface Water Samples, Edward Furlong, USGS
11:35 Occurrence of Lead-210 and Polonium-210 in Public-Drinking-Water Supplies from Principal Aquifers of the United States and Relations with Commonly Monitored Water-Quality Parameters, Zoltan Szabo, USGS


C3: HABs and Cyanotoxins

Moderator: Julie Chambers, Oklahoma Water Resources Board
Room: Ballroom 2

10:35 Why Cyanobacteria Dominate the World:  Ecological Strategies, Barry Rosen, USGS
10:55 Rediscovering Cyanotoxins in South Carolina, Emily Bores, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
11:15 Monitoring of Harmful Algal Blooms in Lake Okeechobee, the Caloosahatchee River, and the St Lucie River, Amanda Booth, USGS
11:35 Citizen Scientists Assist Cylindrospermopsin Monitoring in Missouri Reservoirs, Anthony Thorpe, The Lakes of Missouri Volunteer Program


C4: Making Chemical Concentrations Biologically Relevant

Moderator: Dave Chestnut, South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control
Room: Tower D

10:35 Screening and Prioritization of Surface Waters Using High Throughput In Vitro Assays as Effects-Based Monitoring Tools, Brett Blackwell, USEPA
10:55 In Vitro Water Quality Screening Tools for Quantifying Human and Ecological-Related Endocrine Activity, Elizabeth Medlock Kakaley, USEPA
11:15 Contaminant Mixtures and Predicted Effects in Wadeable Streams of The Southeastern United States, Paul Bradley, USGS
11:35 Using Pathway-based Biological Effects Monitoring and the Adverse Outcome Pathway Framework to Link Chemical Exposure with Ecological Hazards, Brett Blackwell, USEPA


C5: Data Soup: Recipes & Secret Spices

Moderator: Jim Dorsch, Colorado Metro Wastewater Reclamation District
Room: Silver

10:35 The Internet of Water: How Improved Water Data Infrastructure Can Answer Fundamental Questions, Candice Hopkins, USGS
10:55 AWQMS: Data Extraction, Utilization, and Assessment, Chris Adams, Oklahoma Water Resources Board
11:15 Volunteer-Friendly Techniques for Integrating Diverse Data into an Open Access Database, Helen Schlimm, Dickinson College
11:35 U.S. EPA’s Interoperable Watershed Network – Lessons Learned and Next Steps for Publishing Continuous Monitoring Data, Dwane Young, USEPA


C6: Applied Innovations I: Water Quality Monitoring

Moderator: Jeff Thomas, EPRI
Room: Vail

10:35 Using Stable Isotopes to Quantify Groundwater Infiltration and Imported Water in The San Diego County MS4 During Dry-Weather, Alex Messina, Amec Foster Wheeler
10:55 Harnessing a Real Time Sensor Network for Illicit and Accidental Discharge Detection:  Case Study Using Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s Sensor Network and the R Programming Language, Caroline Burgett, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services and Joel Nipper, City of Charlotte
11:15 Experience Using the Winning Sensor from the Nutrient Sensor Challenge (Using the WIZ for Surface Water), Alan Lindquist, USEPA
11:35 A Device that Greatly Reduces Fouling on Autonomous Multiparameter Datasondes, Joe Meiman, National Park Service


C7: Biological Assessment, Data Quality, and Comparability

Moderator: Pete Ruhl, USGS
Room: Terrace

10:35 Challenges in Establishing the Comparability of Bioassessment Data from Different Sources, Elizabeth Smith, Kansas Department of Health and Environment
10:55 Data Quality Documentation for Biological Assessments Using an Error Partitioning Framework, Sam Stribling, Tetra Tech, Inc.
11:15 Evaluation and Use of Combined Environmental Datasets for Broadscale Analyses, Ben Jessup, Tetra Tech, Inc.
11:35 Facilitated Discussion


C8: Panel Discussion: Integrating Volunteer Collected Data: An Agency Perspective on How to Support Volunteers and Assess Volunteer Collected Data

Room: Columbine


C9: Workshop: Designing and Instrumenting a High-Frequency Groundwater Monitoring Station

Room: Denver