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Title:Environmental observations of a riparian ecosystem during flood season
Author(s):Mitsch, William J.; Rust, William; Behnke, Ann; Lai, Larry
Contributor(s):Illinois Institute of Technology
Subject(s):Water resources development
Water resources development--Illinois
Aquatic ecology
Riparian ecosystems
Wwater quality
Geographic Coverage:Illinois (state)
Abstract:Dynamics of floodplain wetlands along the Kankakee River in Northeastern Illinois were studied during the Spring flood season of 1979. The study involved hydrology, water chemistry and sedimentation measurements. The wetlands study areas were dominated by silver maple (Acer saccharinum) with river birch (Betula nigra), pin oak (Quercus palustris), America elm (Ulmus americana) and swamp white oak (Q. - bicolor) as subdominants. The floodplain forest study site was inundated for 62 to 80 days, depending on location, during March - May 1979. Flooding was determined to occur at a river discharge of 4000 to 4500 cfs and the floodplain forest was determined to be under water 66 percent of the years for at least 10 days since 1917. Flooding has not occurred at all in only five years during that period. Approximately 6.2 million cubic meters of water was stored in the entire wetland area, this representing 2.3 percent of the floodwater above bankfull discharge at a downstream location. Water quality during flooding indicated that few spatial patterns existed on different floodplain sites and no differences were seen in the floodplain and main channel water quality of the river. Groundwater showed increasing orthophosphates and decreasing nitrates after floodwater receded. Sedimentation plates placed on the floodplain prior to flooding collected an average of 590 g/m2 of sediments, representing a gross deposition of 4500 metric tons of sediments on the entire wetland area. No consistent spatial pattern of sediment deposition was noted.
Issue Date:1979-08
Publisher:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Water Resources Center
Genre:Report (Grant or Annual)
Sponsor:U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey
Rights Information:Copyright 1979 held by the the authors
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-04-20

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