Huntley Meadows

Hydrologic, Soil & Plant Monitoring

 

An extensive network of hydrologic, soil, and vegetation monitoring points has been installed at Huntley Meadows Park to fully document and monitor the effects of the wetlands restoration program. First, a network of shallow (< 6 feet) groundwater wells was installed in the fall of 2012 to document the level and pattern of local seasonal soil water table fluctuations for one full year before the restoration project was implemented. Four sets of wells extend from the current wetland uphill into the immediately surrounding non-wetland forested systems. All wells are instrumented with continuous data recorders to allow researchers to determine both short- and long-term effects of the changes in water levels in the central wetland on the surrounding adjacent landscape.

Additional deep groundwater wells have been installed at multiple locations around the park to better document interactions between the wetland and the regional groundwater system. Stream flows into and out of the central wetland are also being continuously monitored. The combined shallow and deep groundwater and surface water monitoring data sets provide important data for the development of an overall water budget for the Huntley Meadows wetland system. A better understanding the wetland water budget will help park personnel manage the central wetland.

The soil resources around all permanent monitoring locations have been documented and permanent vegetation monitoring plots are associated with each of the four shallow groundwater wells. Over time, the effects of changes in water levels in the central wetland on (a) soil saturation levels and (b) vegetation density and type will be determined to document the effects of the changes in wetland water levels on local habitat values and soil functions.

Monitoring Groundwater and Surface Water Report - April 2015
Vegetation Monitoring Report - April 2015
Complete April 2015 Report is available.