While Tropical Storm Irene was traveling through New Hampshire, CFE’s hydrologist Mark Green and research professor Lisa Doner worked hard during the day and night from Saturday, August 27, through Thursday, September 1, to collect over 50 samples from the Pemigewasset River watershed in the Plymouth/Campton area.
The storm generated an unprecedented opportunity to learn about the Pemigewasset watershed, how it produces major floods, and the water quality during floods. The volume of rainfall on the landscape from the storm likely caused elements such as carbon, phosphorus, and aluminum to be released and flushed through the system and into the rivers and streams. Capturing the large release of elements at one time is unique, and the data from the sampling effort will help understand the potential implications for forest health after such large flushing events.
Water samples from the Pemi River will be analyzed in the CFE Environmental Research Laboratory to determine the nutrient and element concentrations in the samples as well as the isotopic composition, which will help explain the sources of the flood waters throughout the event.
Results from the water samples are being analyzed, so check back soon for updates.