Twin Cities WRS Seminar

Hydrologic Impact of Tile Drained Landscape and Isotope Tracer Analysis


Lu Zhang
Ph.D. Student, Bioproducts and Biosystems Science, Engineering and Management 

February 1, 2019


In agricultural landscapes, farm scale management decisions can play an important role in watershed scale hydrologic response to snowmelt and rainfall. However, the link between farm and watershed scale responses to management is difficult to quantify because of variability in watershed characteristics (e.g., soils, weather) as well as differences in the timing and nature of farm management. In an effort to understand which field scale processes are important for watershed scale hydrology, we conducted a field campaign to measure stable isotopes of water for different likely source water end-members and then used those data to determine contributions to river water. We coupled these results with field monitoring and watershed scale hydrologic modeling in order to generate a more comprehensive understanding of watershed hydrology across events and seasons. The result of the research will aid in drainage water management strategy selection in a way that both increases production and minimize environmental impact.