Date of Award
Master of Science
John E. Foss, R. J. Luxmoore
Headwater riparian wetlands form an important hydrologic link between terrestrial and aquatic systems. These wetlands are small and account for only nine percent of the total wetland area in the US, however, they account for nearly half of the upland/wetland edge. Three headwater riparian wetlands were instrumented with flumes, solution samplers and shallow wells to monitor hydrologic and chemical interactions between physiographic positions and streams within the watersheds. The objectives of this study were to examine the general hydrologic and chemical characteristics of such wetlands. Water sampling was conducted in soils and streams during baseflow and stormflow conditions. Cross sections of water tables on wetlands had distinctive differences from those on non-wetlands. Wetland areas had generally level, shallow water tables, while non-wetland bottoms had deeper, more sloping water tables. Calcium concentrations in streams and soils ranged from 2 mg L-1 to 25 mg L-1, and were usually highest on wetland physiographic positions. Magnesium concentrations ranged from 1 mg L-1 to 4 mg L-1 and had similar patterns to those seen for calcium. Dissolved organic carbon concentrations ranged from 5 to 17 mg L-1 and were also highest in wetlands. Total nitrogen concentrations were consistently less than 1 mg L-1 at all positions. Although these wetlands were small, the hydrogeochemical processes occurring were sufficient to alter soil water chemistry. Although wetlands generally had the highest concentrations of the observed solutes, the solute concentrations of non-wetland bottom was closer to wetland values during drier periods on the watersheds.
Eisenbies, Mark Hale, "The Hydrologic Characterization of Three Forested Headwater Riparian Wetlands in East Tennessee. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 1996.