Abstract by Joel Barker
Hydrological and Paleoclimate Analysis of a Pinyon-Juniper and Fen Dominated Watershed on the Windy-Ridge Mega-Landslide
This study focuses on the current and past hydrology of a watershed residing on the Windy Ridge Mega-Landslide in Central Utah. A water budget was calculated over the last four years using instrumentation and weather stations. In terms of precipitation input, 70% is released by the evapotranspiration of the Pinyon-Juniper forest, 4% flows from the base of the watershed, and 26% is infiltrated. The results of a core taken at the base of the watershed tell a story of basin fill as the GBC fen changed from deep-stagnant water to fresh shallow water to terrestrial. Hydrogen Index (HI) values were looked at as a paleo-precipitation indicator, assuming a continuation of the current landscape. Producing estimates for past water input required a calculation of precipitation for both fully dry (terrestrial) and wet (pond) environments. An exponential trend in piezometer measurements and yearly precipitation (PRISM Climate Group) estimated 104 mm and 775 mm of annual precipitation are required for dry and wet endmember environments. This information can help in determining the magnitude of precipitation change over the past ~12,000 years in the watershed.