Changes in pond water levels and surface extent due to climate variability alter solute sources to closed-basin Prairie-Pothole wetland ponds, 1979 to 2012

Wetlands
By: , and 

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Abstract

Wetter conditions beginning in 1993 resulted in marked changes in water levels and surface extent of prairie-pothole region wetland ponds, including closed-basin wetlands in the Cottonwood Lake area of North Dakota, U.S.A. Pond water levels after 1993 were consistently 0.5 to 2 m higher than during 1979–1993 (≤ 1 m deep) in wetlands lacking surface or substantial groundwater outlets, and ponds of some wetlands merged. Pond surface areas after 1993 were as much as twice pre-1993 areas. Weathered glacial till in the inundated uplands provided a source of solutes from the subsurface beyond the extent of the weathered wetland periphery and wetland sediments that existed before 1993. Increased pond peripheries also provided for more movement of solutes from shallow groundwater into wetland ponds during the wetter period. Long periods of higher water levels during pronounced wetter conditions can be associated with increased specific conductance for some wetland ponds. In wetlands receiving no groundwater input, specific conductance values of ponded waters were indistinguishable between wetter and preceding conditions. Thus, changes in specific conductance in wetland ponds during wetter climate conditions cannot be assumed to be uniform, a result of changing watershed solute sources.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Changes in pond water levels and surface extent due to climate variability alter solute sources to closed-basin Prairie-Pothole wetland ponds, 1979 to 2012
Series title Wetlands
DOI 10.1007/s13157-016-0808-x
Volume 36
Issue Supplement 2
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) Office of Ground Water
Description 13 p.
First page 343
Last page 355