Image above: Discharge measurement at the Russian River gauging station..
Photo Credit: Brett Wells.
Landforms and ecosystems are affected by hydrological changes. Monitoring and analyzing these changes is an integral part of planning and preparing for future decisions. Communities in the Kenai River Watershed rely heavily upon this basin for local salmon harvest, and the tourism that this resource brings. The Alaska Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research’s (EPSCoR) Alaska Adapting to Changing Environments (ACE) project is exploring the social-ecological dynamic in the Kenai River Watershed. This portion of the project is referred to as the Southcentral Test Case (STC). The goal of the STC is to examine the changing hydrological and landscape environment, how these changes affect the stream environment, water quality, and salmon population. This knowledge will allow communities who are depending on these resources to better understand, project, and react to the social-ecological changes. The hydrological research group is measuring, and modeling select sub-basins in the Kenai River Watershed, to provide hydrological parameters for these areas. The modeled parameters are found using the Army Corps of Engineers HEC-HMS model applied to Beaver Creek, Russian River, and Ptarmigan Creek. The parameters measured in the field and historical data are used to determine remaining hydrological parameters. The parameters will be applied and calibrated for future use by the EPSCOR STC.