Science.gov

Sample records for agricultural great plains

  1. Measuring and mitigating agricultural greenhouse gas production in the US Great Plains, 1870-2000.

    PubMed

    Parton, William J; Gutmann, Myron P; Merchant, Emily R; Hartman, Melannie D; Adler, Paul R; McNeal, Frederick M; Lutz, Susan M

    2015-08-25

    The Great Plains region of the United States is an agricultural production center for the global market and, as such, an important source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This article uses historical agricultural census data and ecosystem models to estimate the magnitude of annual GHG fluxes from all agricultural sources (e.g., cropping, livestock raising, irrigation, fertilizer production, tractor use) in the Great Plains from 1870 to 2000. Here, we show that carbon (C) released during the plow-out of native grasslands was the largest source of GHG emissions before 1930, whereas livestock production, direct energy use, and soil nitrous oxide emissions are currently the largest sources. Climatic factors mediate these emissions, with cool and wet weather promoting C sequestration and hot and dry weather increasing GHG release. This analysis demonstrates the long-term ecosystem consequences of both historical and current agricultural activities, but also indicates that adoption of available alternative management practices could substantially mitigate agricultural GHG fluxes, ranging from a 34% reduction with a 25% adoption rate to as much as complete elimination with possible net sequestration of C when a greater proportion of farmers adopt new agricultural practices.

  2. Measuring and mitigating agricultural greenhouse gas production in the US Great Plains, 1870–2000

    PubMed Central

    Parton, William J.; Gutmann, Myron P.; Merchant, Emily R.; Hartman, Melannie D.; Adler, Paul R.; McNeal, Frederick M.; Lutz, Susan M.

    2015-01-01

    The Great Plains region of the United States is an agricultural production center for the global market and, as such, an important source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This article uses historical agricultural census data and ecosystem models to estimate the magnitude of annual GHG fluxes from all agricultural sources (e.g., cropping, livestock raising, irrigation, fertilizer production, tractor use) in the Great Plains from 1870 to 2000. Here, we show that carbon (C) released during the plow-out of native grasslands was the largest source of GHG emissions before 1930, whereas livestock production, direct energy use, and soil nitrous oxide emissions are currently the largest sources. Climatic factors mediate these emissions, with cool and wet weather promoting C sequestration and hot and dry weather increasing GHG release. This analysis demonstrates the long-term ecosystem consequences of both historical and current agricultural activities, but also indicates that adoption of available alternative management practices could substantially mitigate agricultural GHG fluxes, ranging from a 34% reduction with a 25% adoption rate to as much as complete elimination with possible net sequestration of C when a greater proportion of farmers adopt new agricultural practices. PMID:26240366

  3. Toxic fables: the advertising and marketing of agricultural chemicals in the great plains, 1945-1985.

    PubMed

    Vail, David D

    2012-12-01

    This paper examines how pesticides and their technologies were sold to farmers and pilots throughout the midtwentieth century. It principally considers how marketing rhetoric and advertisement strategies used by chemical companies and aerial spraying firms influenced the practices and perspectives of farm producers in the Great Plains. In order to convince landowners and agricultural leaders to buy their pesticides, chemical companies generated advertisements that championed local crop health, mixture accuracy, livestock safety and a chemical-farming 'way of life' that kept fields healthy and productive. Combining notions of safety, accuracy and professionalism with pest eradication messages reinforced the standards that landowners, pilots and agriculturalists would hold regarding toxicity and risk when spraying their fields. As the politics of health changed in the aftermath of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, these companies and aerial spraying outfits responded by keeping to a vision of agricultural health that required poisons for protection through technological accuracy.

  4. Warming in the Northern Great Plains: Impact and Response in the Agricultural Community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seielstad, G.; Welling, L.

    2001-12-01

    Because agricultural production in the northern Great Plains contributes significantly to both domestic and international markets the impacts of climate change, as well as the response strategies undertaken by the region's residents, will be felt throughout the nation and the world. The national assessment of Climate Change Impacts on the United States has pointed out that the northern Great Plains could be favored under global warming scenarios in that future climates could increase crop yields [Reilly, Tubiello, McCarl, and Melillo, 2000]. Yield, though, is only one measure of the consequences that rapid warming might have on this region. Challenges to a changing environment must be met by people. Producers here, as well as in other agricultural regions, already function under multiple stresses that are completely separate from climate variability and change. These include falling prices, globalization, complex trade relations, changes in government policy, environmental constraints, and changing consumer preferences. It is against the backdrop of these stresses that pending climate changes must be considered. Interactions with stakeholders through the NGP Assessment workshops, held in 1997 and 1999, identified key concerns and outlined potential mitigation and optimization strategies for the consequences of climate change in this region. We will present examples of the successful implementation of some of these strategies: actions that farmers and ranchers are employing to 1) increase their awareness of environmental factors, 2) enhance their ability to respond quickly to environmental change, 3) improve their economic returns, and 4) decrease environmental degradation. We will also highlight other "no regrets" actions and policies under consideration that may offer individual producers greater flexibility in their management decisions and provide a healthier environment for society at large.

  5. Potential Agricultural Uses of Flue Gas Desulfurization Gypsum in the Northern Great Plains

    SciTech Connect

    DeSutter, T.M.; Cihacek, L.J.

    2009-07-15

    Flue gas desulfurization gypsum (FGDG) is a byproduct from the combustion of coal for electrical energy production. Currently, FGDG is being produced by 15 electrical generating stations in Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin. Much of this byproduct is used in the manufacturing of wallboard. The National Network for Use of FGDG in Agriculture was initiated to explore alternative uses of this byproduct. In the northern Great Plains (North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana), FGDG has the potential to be used as a Ca or S fertilizer, as an acid soil ameliorant, and for reclaiming or mitigating sodium-affected soils. Greater than 1.4 million Mg of FGDG could initially be used in these states for these purposes. Flue gas desulfurization gypsum can be an agriculturally important resource for helping to increase the usefulness of problem soils and to increase crop and rangeland production. Conducting beneficial use audits would increase the public awareness of this product and help identify to coal combustion electrical generating stations the agriculturally beneficial outlets for this byproduct.

  6. Distribution and nesting success of ferruginous hawks and Swainson's hawks on an agricultural landscape in the Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We studied nest site land cover associations, and reproductive success of two Buteo species of conservation concern on the southern Great Plains, USA. The study area was in Cimarron County, Oklahoma, where land use is dominated by row crop agriculture, livestock grazing, and Conservation Reserve Pro...

  7. Agricultural Producer Perceptions of Climate Change and Climate Education Needs for the Central Great Plains

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hibbs, Amber Campbell; Kahl, Daniel; PytlikZillig, Lisa; Champion, Ben; Abdel-Monem, Tarik; Steffensmeier, Timothy; Rice, Charles W.; Hubbard, Kenneth

    2014-01-01

    The Central Great Plains Climate Education Partnership conducted focus groups throughout Kansas to gain a better understanding of farmer perceptions and attitudes towards climate change education. Results indicate concern about climatic changes, even if producers are unsure that "human caused climate change" is occurring. Participants…

  8. Expanding soil health assessment methods for agricultural systems of the southern great plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In agricultural systems, soil health (also referred as soil quality) is critical for sustainable production and ecosystem services. Soil health analyses dependent upon singular parameters fail to account for the host of interactions occurring within the soil ecosystem. Soil health is in flux with m...

  9. Dynamic cropping systems: Holistic approach for dryland agricultural systems in the northern Great Plains of North America

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cropping systems over the past century have developed greater crop specialization, more effectively conserve our soil and water resources, and are more resilient. The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the evolution of cropping systems in the Northern Great Plains and provide an approach to crop...

  10. Great plains regional climate assessment technical report

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Great Plains region (GP) plays important role in providing food and energy to the economy of the United States. Multiple climatic and non-climatic stressors put multiple sectors, livelihoods and communities at risk, including agriculture, water, ecosystems and rural and tribal communities. The G...

  11. Southern Great Plains Safety Orientation

    SciTech Connect

    Schatz, John

    2014-05-01

    Welcome to the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility (ARM) Southern Great Plains (SGP) site. This U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) site is managed by Argonne National Laboratory (ANL). It is very important that all visitors comply with all DOE and ANL safety requirements, as well as those of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the National Fire Protection Association, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and with other requirements as applicable.

  12. Moving from pixels to parcels: Modeling agricultural scenarios in the northern Great Plains using a hybrid raster- and vector-based approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sohl, T.; Wika, S.; Dornbierer, J.; Sayler, K. L.; Quenzer, R.

    2015-12-01

    Policy and economic driving forces have resulted in a higher demand for biofuel feedstocks in recent years, resulting in substantial increases in cultivated cropland in the northern Great Plains. A cellulosic-based biofuel industry could potentially further impact the region, with grassland and marginal agricultural land converted to perennial grasses or other feedstocks. Scenarios of projected land-use change are needed to enable regional stakeholders to plan for the potential consequences of expanded agricultural activity. Land-use models used to produce spatially explicit scenarios are typically raster-based and are poor at representing ownership units on which land-use change is based. This work describes a hybrid raster/vector-based modeling approach for modeling scenarios of agricultural change in the northern Great Plains. Regional scenarios of agricultural change from 2012 to 2050 were constructed, based partly on the U.S. Department of Energy's Billion Ton Update. Land-use data built from the 2012 Cropland Data Layer and the 2011 National Land Cover Database was used to establish initial conditions. Field boundaries from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Common Land Unit dataset were used to establish ownership units. A modified version of the U.S. Geological Survey's Forecasting Scenarios of land-use (FORE-SCE) model was used to ingest vector-based field boundaries to facilitate the modeling of a farmer's choice of land use for a given year, while patch-based raster methodologies were used to represent expansion of urban/developed lands and other land use conversions. All modeled data were merged to a common raster dataset representing annual land use from 2012 to 2050. The hybrid modeling approach enabled the use of traditional, raster-based methods while integrating vector-based data to represent agricultural fields and other ownership-based units upon which land-use decisions are typically made.

  13. Spatiotemporal variations in growing season exchanges of CO2, H2O,and sensible heat in agricultural fields of the Southern GreatPlains

    SciTech Connect

    Fischer, Marc L.; Billesbach, David P.; Berry, Joseph A.; Riley,William J.; Torn, Margaret S.

    2007-06-13

    Climate, vegetation cover, and management create fine-scaleheterogeneity in unirrigated agricultural regions, with important but notwell-quantified consequences for spatial and temporal variations insurface CO2, water, and heat fluxes. We measured eddy covariance fluxesin seven agricultural fields--comprising winter wheat, pasture, andsorghum--in the U.S. Southern Great Plains (SGP) during the 2001-2003growing seasons. Land-cover was the dominant source of variation insurface fluxes, with 50-100 percent differences between fields planted inwinter-spring versus fields planted in summer. Interannual variation wasdriven mainly by precipitation, which varied more than two-fold betweenyears. Peak aboveground biomass and growing-season net ecosystem exchange(NEE) of CO2 increased in rough proportion to precipitation. Based on apartitioning of gross fluxes with a regression model, ecosystemrespiration increased linearly with gross primary production, but with anoffset that increased near the time of seed production. Because theregression model was designed for well-watered periods, it successfullyretrieved NEE and ecosystem parameters during the peak growing season,and identified periods of moisture limitation during the summer. Insummary, the effects of crop type, land management, and water limitationon carbon, water, and energy fluxes were large. Capturing the controllingfactors in landscape scale models will be necessary to estimate theecological feedbacks to climate and other environmental impactsassociated with changing human needs for agricultural production of food,fiber, and energy.

  14. Great Plains Synfuels` hidden treasures

    SciTech Connect

    Kuhn, A.K.; Duncan, D.H.

    1996-12-31

    The Great Plains Synfuels Project was commissioned 12 years ago. While demonstrating success regarding SNG production, DGC quietly started development of chemical products derived from the liquid by-product streams of Lurgi moving bed gasifiers. Naphtha, crude phenol, and tar oil are the primary by-products, and these contain valuable compounds such as phenol, cresylic acid, catechols, naphthols, fluorene, and BTX. Process technologies have been developed for (1) separation of various impurities from cresylic acid distillate fractions or from whole cresylic acid; (2) extracting cresylic acid from tar oil; (3) conversion of tar pitch to a blend stock used in making anode binder pitch; and (4) separating high purity catechol and methyl catechols. As a result of this work, DGC built a phenol/cresylic acid facility. The cresylic acid side supplies over 10 percent of the world market. The achievement with the catechols is presently leading to bench scale routes for synthesis of chemical intermediates which ultimately may include compounds such as vanillin, pyrogallol, sesamol, homoveratrylamine, and many others, penetrating the fields of flavors and fragrances, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, photographic chemicals, dyes, etc. These efforts stimulate DGC`s growth and will provide an economic uplift. By-products already contribute more than 10% of revenues and are destined to rival natural gas in importance.

  15. Life on the Great Plains. [Lesson Plan].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    2000

    In this four-part lesson, students examine the concept of geographic region by exploring the history of the United States Great Plains. In Part I, students gather information about the location and environment of the Great Plains in order to produce a map outlining the region in formal terms. In Part II, students examine how the region has been…

  16. The Use of Remote Sensing for Monitoring, Prediction, and Management of Hydrologic, Agricultural, and Ecological Processes in the Northern Great Plains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Farwell, Sherry O.; DeTroye, Diane (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The NASA-EPSCoR program in South Dakota is focused on the enhancement of NASA-related research in earth system science and corresponding infrastructure development to support this theme. Hence, the program has adopted a strategy that keys on research projects that: a) establish quantitative links between geospatial information technologies and fundamental climatic and ecosystem processes in the Northern Great Plains (NGP) and b) develop and use coupled modeling tools, which can be initialized by data from combined satellite and surface measurements, to provide reliable predictions and management guidance for hydrologic, agricultural, and ecological systems of the NGP. Building a partnership network that includes both internal and external team members is recognized as an essential element of the SD NASA-EPSCoR program. Hence, promoting and tracking such linkages along with their relevant programmatic consequences are used as one metric to assess the program's progress and success. This annual report first summarizes general activities and accomplishments, and then provides progress narratives for the two separate, yet related research projects that are essential components of the SD NASA-EPSCoR program.

  17. The geologic story of the Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Trimble, Donald E.

    1980-01-01

    For more than half a century after Lewis and Clark crossed the country in 1805-6, the Great Plains was the testing ground of frontier America here America grew to maturity (fig. 1). In 1805-7, explorer Zebulon Pike crossed the southcentral Great Plains, following the Arkansas River from near Great Bend, Kans., to the Rocky Mountains. In later years, Santa Fe traders, lured by the wealth of New Mexican trade, followed Pike's path as far as Bents Fort, Colo., where they turned southwestward away from the river route. Those pioneers who later crossed the plains on the Oregon Trail reached the Platte River near the place that would become Kearney, Nebr., by a nearly direct route from Independence, Mo., and followed the Platte across the central part of the Great Plains.

  18. Spatial-temporal dynamics of agricultural drought in the tallgrass prairie region of the Southern Great Plains during 2000-2013

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Y.; Xiao, X.; Zhang, G.; Bajgain, R.; Dong, J.; Qin, Y.; Jin, C.; Wagle, P.; Basara, J. B.; McCarthy, H. R.; Anderson, M. C.; Hain, C.; Otkin, J.

    2015-12-01

    Tallgrass prairie is an important ecosystem type and a major feed for beef cattle in the Southern Great Plains (SGP: Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas). Frequent drought in the SGP affects the production of tallgrass prairie and ultimately the beef cattle production. It is, therefore, necessary to map drought vulnerable areas to help ranchers adapt cattle industry to drought conditions. In this study, we analyzed Land Surface Water Index (LSWI) calculated from near infrared and shortwave infrared bands of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and quantified the spatial-temporal dynamics of agricultural drought in the tallgrass prairie region of the SGP during 2000-2013. The number of days with LSWI < 0 during the thermal growing season (start and end dates as well as duration of land surface temperature > 5 °C) was defined as the duration of drought to generate drought duration maps for each year. Following the decreasing rainfall gradient from east to west in the SGP, counties in the west experienced whole growing season drought (WGSZ) more (three or more out of 14 years with WGSD), middle counties had one to two months summer drought, and eastern counties experienced less drought (mainly one year with WGSD and less than one month of summer drought). The LSWI-based drought duration map showed similar patterns with Evaporative Stress Index (ESI) and U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) in wet, summer drought, and whole growing season drought years. Our drought map has identified the vulnerability of counties to different droughts (summer drought and whole growing season drought) in the SGP. This finer resolution (500 m) drought map has the potential to show the drought condition for individual ranch, which can be used to guide drought mitigation activities and livestock production.

  19. Long-term Agroecosystem Research in the Northern Great Plains.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmer, M.; Sanderson, M.; Liebig, M. A.; Wienhold, B.; Awada, T.; Papiernik, S.; Osborne, S.; Kemp, W.; Okalebo, J. A.; Riedall, W.

    2015-12-01

    The Northern Great Plains is the bread basket of the United States, accounting for a substantial portion of U.S. agricultural production. This region faces critical challenges regarding balancing food needs, resource conservation (e.g Ogallala aquifer), environmental concerns, and rural economy development. Developing transformative, multifunctional systems will require equally imaginative and efficient tools to help farmers manage complex agroecosystems in a rapidly changing climate. The Northern Plains long-term agroecosystem research (LTAR) site at Mandan, ND and the Platte River High Plains LTAR (ARS/University of Nebraska-Lincoln) at Lincoln, NE in collaboration with USDA-ARS research units in Brookings, SD and Fargo, ND are collaborating to address the grand challenge of providing and sustaining multiple service provisions from Northern Great Plains agroecosystems. We propose to attain these goals through sustainable intensification based on the adoption of conservation agriculture principles including reduced soil disturbance, livestock integration, and greater complexity and diversity in the cropping system. Here, we summarize new concepts these locations have pioneered in dynamic cropping systems, resource use efficiency, and agricultural management technologies. As part of the LTAR network, we will conduct long-term cross-site research to design and assess new agricultural practices and systems aimed at improving our understanding of decision making processes and outcomes across an array of agricultural systems.

  20. Regional dynamics of grassland change in the western Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Drummond, M.A.

    2007-01-01

    This paper examines the contemporary land-cover changes in two western Great Plains ecoregions between 1973 and 2000. Agriculture and other land uses can have a substantial effect on grassland cover that varies regionally depending on the primary driving forces of change. In order to better understand change, the rates, types, and causes of land conversion were examined for 1973, 1980, 1986, 1992, and 2000 using Landsat satellite data and a statistical sampling strategy. The overall estimated rate of land-cover change between 1973 and 2000 was 7.4% in the Northwestern Great Plains and 11.5% in the Western High Plains. Trends in both ecoregions have similarities, although the dynamics of change differ temporally depending on driving forces. Between 1973 and 1986, grassland cover declined when economic opportunity drove an expansion of agriculture. Between 1986 and 2000, grassland expanded as public policy and a combination of socioeconomic factors drove a conversion from agriculture to grassland. ?? 2007 Copyright by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

  1. Large Area Crop Inventory Experiment (LACIE). Detecting and monitoring agricultural vegetative water stress over large areas using LANDSAT digital data. [Great Plains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thompson, D. R.; Wehmanen, O. A. (Principal Investigator)

    1978-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. The Green Number Index technique which uses LANDSAT digital data from 5X6 nautical mile sampling frames was expanded to evaluate its usefulness in detecting and monitoring vegetative water stress over the Great Plains. At known growth stages for wheat, segments were classified as drought or non drought. Good agreement was found between the 18 day remotely sensed data and a weekly ground-based crop moisture index. Operational monitoring of the 1977 U.S.S.R. and Australian wheat crops indicated drought conditions. Drought isoline maps produced by the Green Number Index technique were in good agreement with conventional sources.

  2. Great Plains makes 100 billion cubic feet

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1987-03-01

    The Great Plains coal gasification plant on January 18, 1987 produced its 100 billionth cubic foot of gas since start-up July 28, 1984. Owned by the Department of Energy and operated by ANG Coal Gasification Company, the plant uses the Lurgi process to produce about 50 billion cubic feet per year of gas from five million tons per year of lignite. The plant has been performing at well above design capacity.

  3. Great Plains Gasification Project status report

    SciTech Connect

    Pollock, D.C.

    1985-08-01

    The Great Plains Gasification Project is the first commercial synthetic fuels project based on coal conversion in the US. The goal is to convert North Dakota lignite into pipeline quality synthetic natural gas (SNG). The project consists of an open pit coal mine, a gasification plant, and an SNG pipeline in Mercer County, North Dakota. The project took 12 years from its conception to the production in 1984 of SNG for users. The author describes the plant's basic processes, the start-up activities and schedule, and some of the more interesting start-up problems.

  4. Dust storms - Great Plains, Africa, and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woiceshyn, P. M.; Krauss, R.; Minzner, R.; Shenk, W.

    1977-01-01

    Dust storms in the Great Plains of North America and in the Sahara Desert are analyzed on the basis of imagery from the geostationary Synchronous Meteorological Satellite. The onset time, location and areal extent of the dust storms are studied. Over land surfaces, contrast enhancement techniques are needed to obtain an adequate picture of dust storm development. In addition, infrared imagery may provide a means of monitoring the strong horizontal temperature gradients characteristic of dust cloud boundaries. Analogies between terrestrial dust storms and the airborne rivers of dust created by major Martian dust storms are also drawn.

  5. Medicine Wheels of the Great Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vogt, David

    Medicine Wheels are unexplained aboriginal boulder configurations found primarily on hilltops and river valley vistas across the northwest Great Plains of North America. Their varied, complex designs have inspired diverse hypotheses concerning their meaning and purpose, including astronomical ones. While initial "observatory" speculations were unfounded, and quests to "decode" these structures remain unfulfilled and possibly misguided, the Medicine Wheels nevertheless represent a uniquely worthwhile case study in archaeoastronomical theory and method. In addition, emerging technologies for data acquisition and analysis pertinent to Medicine Wheels offer prospectively important new sight lines for the future of archaeoastronomy.

  6. DOE receives title to Great Plains plant

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1986-09-01

    On June 30, 1986 the Great Plains Coal Gasification Project was sold at a foreclosure sale at the Mercer County courthouse in North Dakota. The US Department of Energy was the only bidder at the sale. DOE's bid for the plant was $1 billion DOE-secured loan that the five sponsor companies defaulted on when they withdrew from the project in August 1985. DOE did not receive title to the plant until a lawsuit filed by American Natural Resources (ANR) was settled on July 14, 1986. DOE has vowed to keep the plant running as long as it does not cost the taxpayers any money. Eventually DOE wishes to dispose of the plant. Therefore, in February 1986 DOE requested that interested organizations submit expressions of interest in the Great Plains plant. This paper, after discussing the lawsuit, summarizes the nine responses received by DOE. Some companies were willing for it to remain a coal gasification facility; other submitted plans for modifications to produce methanol.

  7. A Sustainable Biomass Industry for the North American Great Plains

    SciTech Connect

    Rosenberg, Norman J.; Smith, Steven J.

    2009-12-01

    The North American Great Plains (hereafter NAGP) region is economically distressed and prone to severe ecological disruptions such as soil erosion. Its water resources are over-used and subject to pollution from agricultural fertilizers and chemicals, issues common to agricultural lands globally. On the other hand, the region is well suited to the production of herbaceous biomass that can be combusted directly for power or converted to liquid transportation fuels. This paper reviews the geography, history and current condition of the NAGP and offers suggestions about how the agriculture, economy and environment of this and similar regions around the world can be made more sustainable and able to contribute to a reduction in CO2 emissions and consequent global warming.

  8. Great Plains Wind Energy Transmission Development Project

    SciTech Connect

    Brad G. Stevens, P.E.; Troy K. Simonsen; Kerryanne M. Leroux

    2012-06-09

    In fiscal year 2005, the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) received funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to undertake a broad array of tasks to either directly or indirectly address the barriers that faced much of the Great Plains states and their efforts to produce and transmit wind energy at the time. This program, entitled Great Plains Wind Energy Transmission Development Project, was focused on the central goal of stimulating wind energy development through expansion of new transmission capacity or development of new wind energy capacity through alternative market development. The original task structure was as follows: Task 1 - Regional Renewable Credit Tracking System (later rescoped to Small Wind Turbine Training Center); Task 2 - Multistate Transmission Collaborative; Task 3 - Wind Energy Forecasting System; and Task 4 - Analysis of the Long-Term Role of Hydrogen in the Region. As carried out, Task 1 involved the creation of the Small Wind Turbine Training Center (SWTTC). The SWTTC, located Grand Forks, North Dakota, consists of a single wind turbine, the Endurance S-250, on a 105-foot tilt-up guyed tower. The S-250 is connected to the electrical grid on the 'load side' of the electric meter, and the power produced by the wind turbine is consumed locally on the property. Establishment of the SWTTC will allow EERC personnel to provide educational opportunities to a wide range of participants, including grade school through college-level students and the general public. In addition, the facility will allow the EERC to provide technical training workshops related to the installation, operation, and maintenance of small wind turbines. In addition, under Task 1, the EERC hosted two small wind turbine workshops on May 18, 2010, and March 8, 2011, at the EERC in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Task 2 involved the EERC cosponsoring and aiding in the planning of three transmission workshops in the midwest and western regions. Under Task 3, the

  9. Greenhouse gas mitigation potential of dryland cropping systems in the U.S. Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The U.S. Great Plains contain significant expanses of agricultural land dedicated to dryland cropping. Dryland cropping systems in the region that sequester soil organic carbon (SOC) and minimize nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions can serve to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) balance of U.S. agriculture....

  10. Circular buffer strips in center pivot irrigation for multiple benefits in the Southern Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Ogallala Aquifer has converted the Southern Great Plains from a dust bowl to a highly productive agricultural region in the US. However, over exploitation of the aquifer is threatening sustainability of irrigated agriculture in the region. Partial pivots, where high water using conventional crop...

  11. Circles of live buffer strips in a center pivot to improve multiple ecosystem services and sustainability of irrigated agriculture in the southern great plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Declining Ogallala Aquifer has threatened sustainability of highly productive irrigated agriculture in the region. The region, known for the dust bowl of thirties, is scared of its return. Lower well outputs and increasing pumping costs have compelled farmers to adapt alternative conservation strate...

  12. Statistical Downscaling for the Northern Great Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coburn, J.

    2014-12-01

    The need for detailed, local scale information about the warming climate has led to the use of ever more complex and geographically realistic computer models as well as the use of regional models capable of capturing much finer details. Another class of methods for ascertaining localized data is known as statistical downscaling, which offers some advantages over regional models, especially in the realm of computational efficiency. Statistical downscaling can be described as the process of linking coarse resolution climate model output to that of fine resolution or even station-level data via statistical relationships with the purpose of correcting model biases at the local scale. The development and application of downscaling has given rise to a plethora of techniques which have been applied to many spatial scales and multiple climate variables. In this study two downscaling processes, bias-corrected statistical downscaling (BCSD) and canonical correlation analysis (CCA), are applied to minimum and maximum temperatures and precipitation for the Northern Great Plains (NGP, 40 - 53°N and 95 - 120°W) region at both daily and monthly time steps. The abilities of the methods were tested by assessing their ability to recreate local variations in a set of both spatial and temporal climate metrics obtained through the analysis of 1/16 degree station data for the period 1950 to 2000. Model data for temperature, precipitation and a set of predictor variables were obtained from CMIP5 for 15 models. BCSD was applied using direct comparison and correction of the variable distributions via quadrant mapping. CCA was calibrated on the data for the period 1950 to 1980 using a series of model-based predictor variables screened for increasing skill, with the derived model being applied to the period 1980 to 2000 so as to verify that it could recreate the overall climate patterns and trends. As in previous studies done on other regions, it was found that the CCA method recreated

  13. Kansas environmental and resource study: A Great Plains model. [land use, image enhancement, winter wheat, agriculture, water resources, and pattern recognition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haralick, R. M.; Kanemasu, E. T.; Morain, S. A.; Yarger, H. L.; Ulaby, F. T.; Davis, J. C. (Principal Investigator); Bosley, R. J.; Williams, D. L.; Mccauley, J. R.; Mcnaughton, J. L.

    1973-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Improvement in the land use classification accuracy of ERTS-1 MSS multi-images over Kansas can be made using two distances between neighboring grey tone N-tuples instead of one distance. Much more information is contained texturally than spectrally on the Kansas image. Ground truth measurements indicate that reflectance ratios of the 545 and 655 nm wavebands provide an index of plant development and possibly physiological stress. Preliminary analysis of MSS 4 and 5 channels substantiate the ground truth interpretation. Results of the land use mapping experiment indicate that ERTS-1 imagery has major potential in regionalization. The ways in which land is utilized within these regions may then be studied more effectively than if no adequate regionalization is available. A model for estimating wheat yield per acre has been applied to acreage estimates derived from ERTS-1 imagery to project the 1973 wheat yields for a ten county area in southwest Kansas. The results are within 3% of the preharvest estimates for the same area prepared by the USDA. Visual identification of winter wheat is readily achieved by using a temporal sequence of images. Identification can be improve by stratifying the project area into subregions having more or less homogeneous agricultural practices and crop mixes.

  14. Particulate Loads Caused by Wind Erosion in the Great Plains

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hagen, Lawrence J.; Woodruff, Neil P.

    1975-01-01

    In this paper the annual flux of suspended particulates caused by wind erosion in the Great Plains is estimated. This study demonstrated that climate causes wide variations in air pollution from wind erosion. (BT)

  15. Great Plains Drought in Simulations of Twentieth Century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCrary, R. R.; Randall, D. A.

    2008-12-01

    The Great Plains region of the United States was influenced by a number of multi-year droughts during the twentieth century. Most notable were the "Dust Bowl" drought of the 1930s and the 1950s Great Plains drought. In this study we evaluate the ability of three of the Coupled Global Climate Models (CGCMs) used in the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the IPCC to simulate Great Plains drought with the same frequency and intensity as was observed during the twentieth century. The models chosen for this study are: GFDL CM 2.0, NCAR CCSM3, and UKMO HadCM3. We find that the models accurately capture the climatology of the hydrologic cycle of the Great Plains, but that they tend to overestimate the variability in Great Plains precipitation. We also find that in each model simulation at least one long-term drought occurs over the Great Plains region during their representations 20th Century Climate. The multi-year droughts produced by the models exhibit similar magnitudes and spatial scales as was observed during the twentieth century. This study also investigates the relative roles that external forcing from the tropical Pacific and local feedbacks between the land surface and the atmosphere have in the initiation and perpetuation of Great Plains drought in each model. We find that cool, La Nina-like conditions in the tropical pacific are often associated with long-term drought conditions over the Great Plains in GFDL CM 2.0 and UKMO HadCM3, but there appears to be no systematic relationship between tropical Pacific SST variability and Great Plains drought in CCSM3. It is possible the strong coupling between the land surface and the atmosphere in the NCAR model causes precipitation anomalies to lock into phase over the Great Plains thereby perpetuating drought conditions. Results from this study are intended to help assess whether or not these climate models are credible for use in the assessment of future drought over the Great Plains region of the United States.

  16. Child Labor in the Early Sugar Beet Industry in the Great Plains, 1890-1920

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lyons-Barrett, Mary

    2005-01-01

    Children working in agriculture have always been a part of the rural culture and work ethos of the United States, especially on the Great Plains. Many teenagers still detassel corn or walk the beans in the summer months to earn spending money or money for college. But what about the children who work as migrant laborers in commercialized…

  17. The future of irrigation on the U.S. Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the Great Plains, soil and water conservation is being achieved in both dryland and irrigated agricultural systems, and increasingly in combinations of these systems. Limiting tillage has increased the retention of crop residues on the surface and has reduced the evaporative loss of water, making...

  18. Great Plains climate and land-use effects on soil organic carbon

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil organic carbon (SOC) is essential to agricultural productivity and sustainability in response to climate and land-use change. Here, we examine 14 sites across the US Great Plains to determine the sensitivity of important SOC fractions to climatic gradients (temperature and precipitation) and l...

  19. Rural School District Reorganization on the Great Plains.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bryant, Miles

    2002-01-01

    Rural school district reorganization and school consolidation are put into perspective by reviewing the large population increases that fueled small-school growth in the Great Plains, 1870-1930. Since the Dust Bowl and Great Depression, population losses, improvements in transportation, and arguments advocating economies of scale and increased…

  20. Causes and Predictability of the 2012 Great Plains Drought

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoerling, M.; Eischeid, J.; Kumar, A.; Leung, R.; Mariotti, A.; Mo, K.; Schubert, S.; Seager, R.

    2013-01-01

    Central Great Plains precipitation deficits during May-August 2012 were the most severe since at least 1895, eclipsing the Dust Bowl summers of 1934 and 1936. Drought developed suddenly in May, following near-normal precipitation during winter and early spring. Its proximate causes were a reduction in atmospheric moisture transport into the Great Plains from the Gulf of Mexico. Processes that generally provide air mass lift and condensation were mostly absent, including a lack of frontal cyclones in late spring followed by suppressed deep convection in summer owing to large-scale subsidence and atmospheric stabilization. Seasonal forecasts did not predict the summer 2012 central Great Plains drought development, which therefore arrived without early warning. Climate simulations and empirical analysis suggest that ocean surface temperatures together with changes in greenhouse gases did not induce a substantial reduction in summertime precipitation over the central Great Plains during 2012. Yet, diagnosis of the retrospective climate simulations also reveals a regime shift toward warmer and drier summertime Great Plains conditions during the recent decade, most probably due to natural decadal variability. As a consequence, the probability for severe summer Great Plains drought may have increased in the last decade compared to the 1980s and 1990s, and the so-called tail-risk for severe drought may have been heightened in summer 2012. Such an extreme drought event was nonetheless still found to be a rare occurrence within the spread of 2012 climate model simulations. Implications of this study's findings for U.S. seasonal drought forecasting are discussed.

  1. The Great Plains IDEA Gerontology Program: An Online, Interinstitutional Graduate Degree

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sanders, Gregory F.

    2011-01-01

    The Great-Plains IDEA Gerontology Program is a graduate program developed and implemented by the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (Great Plains IDEA). The Great Plains IDEA (Alliance) originated as a consortium of Colleges of Human Sciences ranging across the central United States. This Alliance's accomplishments have included…

  2. A conceptual model to facilitate amphibian conservation in the northern Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mushnet, David M.; Euliss, Ned H.; Stockwell, Craig A.

    2012-01-01

    As pressures on agricultural landscapes to meet worldwide resource needs increase, amphibian populations face numerous threats including habitat destruction, chemical contaminants, disease outbreaks, wetland sedimentation, and synergistic effects of these perturbations. To facilitate conservation planning, we developed a conceptual model depicting elements critical for amphibian conservation in the northern Great Plains. First, we linked upland, wetland, and landscape features to specific ecological attributes. Ecological attributes included adult survival; reproduction and survival to metamorphosis; and successful dispersal and recolonization. Second, we linked ecosystem drivers, ecosystem stressors, and ecological effects of the region to each ecological attribute. Lastly, we summarized information on these ecological attributes and the drivers, stressors, and effects that work in concert to influence the maintenance of viable and genetically diverse amphibian populations in the northern Great Plains. While our focus was on the northern Great Plains, our conceptual model can be tailored to other geographic regions and taxa.

  3. Crop diversity on traditional great plains wheat farms

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Historically, the vast majority of cropland in the western Great Plains was either seeded to continuous monoculture wheat or was in a wheat-fallow rotation. The objective of this paper is to determine the combined effects of crop diversity and tillage systems on wheat grain yield and net returns fo...

  4. The Renewal of Population Loss in the Nonmetropolitan Great Plains.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Albrecht, Don E.

    1993-01-01

    Analysis of population trends in 293 nonmetropolitan counties in the Great Plains, 1950-90, reveals that the rural population turnaround of the 1970s has indeed ended. During the 1980s, 84% of these counties had total population declines, and 96% had net outmigration. The most important variable in producing positive trends was inmigration of…

  5. Producing and Marketing Proso Millet in the Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Proso millet is a short-season summer crop that produces well in the semi-arid western Great Plains and is suitable for diversifying and intensifying dryland production systems. Proso allows transition back to winter wheat in cropping rotations. No-till methods work well with proso establishment. Pr...

  6. Agriculture on the Chaco Plain, Paraguay, South America

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    This view of extensive agriculture on the Chaco Plain, Paraguay, (22.5S, 60.5W) depicts the fertility of the soils between the Andes Mountains and the Paraguay - Parana Rivers in the northwestern Paraguay. The Gran Chaco Plain is flat landscape built up by sediments. Frontier settlements like Marsical Estigarribia, seen in the image, are dominated by agriculture along the stream courses that abound in the area.

  7. Dunes Reveal Unprecedented Circulation Patterns During Great Plains Droughts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oglesby, R. J.; Rowe, C. M.; Loope, D. B.; Sridhar, V.; Swinehart, J. B.; Mason, J. A.

    2006-12-01

    The Nebraska Sand Hills consist of sand dunes that currently are immobile, because growing season rainfall is sufficient for prairie grass growth, which in turn stabilizes the dunes. These dunes have undergone numerous periods of activation and mobility in the past, presumably because prolonged drought conditions removed the vegetation cover. In particular, dune reactivation occurred during the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) 800-1000 years ago. Analysis of dune morphology also provides one of the very few means of directly determining wind direction for pre-instrumental periods. Modern day winds over the Sand Hills (and central Great Plains as a whole) are dominantly from the northwest in winter, and from the southeast in late spring and summer. These southeast winds transport considerable moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean, and hence play a key role in the May through July rainy season that occurs at present. Analysis of the dunes that activated during the MWP shows that the dominant winds must have been from the northwest and from the southwest. Assuming that the northwest winds reflected a winter pattern similar to that at present, the spring and summer wind regime and associated circulation patterns must have been very different. Southwesterly winds do occur at present, but only aloft, where they transport hot dry air from the Mexican plateau. We infer that during the MWP these southwesterlies must have reached the surface, sharply reducing moisture transport and yielding hot dry conditions relative to the present. Analysis of NCEP reanalyses from 1949-2002, as well as daily wind data from selected weather stations in and around the Sand Hills, yields no present-day analog, not even individual years, during which southwesterlies dominated during May through June. This implies that circulation patterns responsible for inducing and/or enhancing long-term drought over the central US may be very different than anything experienced during the recent times of

  8. Kansas environmental and resource study: A Great Plains model, tasks 1-6

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haralick, R. M.; Kanemasu, E. T.; Morain, S. A.; Yarger, H. L. (Principal Investigator); Ulaby, F. T.; Shanmugam, K. S.; Williams, D. L.; Mccauley, J. R.; Mcnaughton, J. L.

    1972-01-01

    There are no author identified significant results in this report. Environmental and resources investigations in Kansas utilizing ERTS-1 imagery are summarized for the following areas: (1) use of feature extraction techniqued for texture context information in ERTS imagery; (2) interpretation and automatic image enhancement; (3) water use, production, and disease detection and predictions for wheat; (4) ERTS-1 agricultural statistics; (5) monitoring fresh water resources; and (6) ground pattern analysis in the Great Plains.

  9. Update on the Great Plains Coal Gasification Project

    SciTech Connect

    Imler, D.L.

    1985-12-01

    The Great Plains Gasification Plant is the US's first commercial synthetic fuels project based on coal conversion. The ANG Coal Gasification Company is the administer of the Great Plains Coal Gasification Project for the United States Department of Energy. The Project is designed to convert 14 M TPD of North Dakota of lignite into 137.5 MM SCFD of pipeline quality synthetic natural gas (SNG). Located in Mercer County, North Dakota, the gasification plant, and an SNG pipeline. Some 12 years passed from the time the project was conceived unit it became a reality by producing SNG into the Northern Border pipeline in 1984 for use by millions of residential, commercial, and industrial consumers. In this paper, the basic processes utilized in the plant are presented. This is followed by a discussion of the start-up activities and schedule. Finally, some of the more interesting start-up problems are described.

  10. Land change variability and human-environment dynamics in the United States Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Drummond, M.A.; Auch, R.F.; Karstensen, K.A.; Sayler, K.L.; Taylor, J.L.; Loveland, T.R.

    2012-01-01

    Land use and land cover changes have complex linkages to climate variability and change, biophysical resources, and socioeconomic driving forces. To assess these land change dynamics and their causes in the Great Plains, we compare and contrast contemporary changes across 16 ecoregions using Landsat satellite data and statistical analysis. Large-area change analysis of agricultural regions is often hampered by change detection error and the tendency for land conversions to occur at the local-scale. To facilitate a regional-scale analysis, a statistical sampling design of randomly selected 10 km ?? 10 km blocks is used to efficiently identify the types and rates of land conversions for four time intervals between 1973 and 2000, stratified by relatively homogenous ecoregions. Nearly 8% of the overall Great Plains region underwent land-use and land-cover change during the study period, with a substantial amount of ecoregion variability that ranged from less than 2% to greater than 13%. Agricultural land cover declined by more than 2% overall, with variability contingent on the differential characteristics of regional human-environment systems. A large part of the Great Plains is in relatively stable land cover. However, other land systems with significant biophysical and climate limitations for agriculture have high rates of land change when pushed by economic, policy, technology, or climate forcing factors. The results indicate the regionally based potential for land cover to persist or fluctuate as land uses are adapted to spatially and temporally variable forcing factors. ?? 2011.

  11. Land change variability and human-environment dynamics in the United States Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Drummond, Mark A.; Auch, Roger F.; Karstensen, Krista A.; Sayler, Kristi L.; Taylor, Janis L.; Loveland, Thomas R.

    2012-01-01

    Land use and land cover changes have complex linkages to climate variability and change, biophysical resources, and socioeconomic driving forces. To assess these land change dynamics and their causes in the Great Plains, we compare and contrast contemporary changes across 16 ecoregions using Landsat satellite data and statistical analysis. Large-area change analysis of agricultural regions is often hampered by change detection error and the tendency for land conversions to occur at the local-scale. To facilitate a regional-scale analysis, a statistical sampling design of randomly selected 10 km × 10 km blocks is used to efficiently identify the types and rates of land conversions for four time intervals between 1973 and 2000, stratified by relatively homogenous ecoregions. Nearly 8% of the overall Great Plains region underwent land-use and land-cover change during the study period, with a substantial amount of ecoregion variability that ranged from less than 2% to greater than 13%. Agricultural land cover declined by more than 2% overall, with variability contingent on the differential characteristics of regional human–environment systems. A large part of the Great Plains is in relatively stable land cover. However, other land systems with significant biophysical and climate limitations for agriculture have high rates of land change when pushed by economic, policy, technology, or climate forcing factors. The results indicate the regionally based potential for land cover to persist or fluctuate as land uses are adapted to spatially and temporally variable forcing factors.

  12. Land change variability and human-environment dynamics in the United States Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Drummond, Mark A.; Auch, Roger F.; Karstensen, Krista A.; Sayler, Kristi L.; Taylor, Janis L.; Loveland, Thomas R.

    2012-01-01

    Land use and land cover changes have complex linkages to climate variability and change, biophysical resources, and socioeconomic driving forces. To assess these land change dynamics and their causes in the Great Plains, we compare and contrast contemporary changes across 16 ecoregions using Landsat satellite data and statistical analysis. Large-area change analysis of agricultural regions is often hampered by change detection error and the tendency for land conversions to occur at the local-scale. To facilitate a regional-scale analysis, a statistical sampling design of randomly selected 10 km x 10 km blocks is used to efficiently identify the types and rates of land conversions for four time intervals between 1973 and 2000, stratified by relatively homogenous ecoregions. Nearly 8% of the overall Great Plains region underwent land-use and land-cover change during the study period, with a substantial amount of ecoregion variability that ranged from less than 2% to greater than 13%. Agricultural land cover declined by more than 2% overall, with variability contingent on the differential characteristics of regional human–environment systems. A large part of the Great Plains is in relatively stable land cover. However, other land systems with significant biophysical and climate limitations for agriculture have high rates of land change when pushed by economic, policy, technology, or climate forcing factors. The results indicate the regionally based potential for land cover to persist or fluctuate as land uses are adapted to spatially and temporally variable forcing factors.

  13. Whooping crane stopover site use intensity within the Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pearse, Aaron T.; Brandt, David A.; Harrell, Wade C.; Metzger, Kristine L.; Baasch, David M.; Hefley, Trevor J.

    2015-09-23

    Whooping cranes (Grus americana) of the Aransas-Wood Buffalo population migrate twice each year through the Great Plains in North America. Recovery activities for this endangered species include providing adequate places to stop and rest during migration, which are generally referred to as stopover sites. To assist in recovery efforts, initial estimates of stopover site use intensity are presented, which provide opportunity to identify areas across the migration range used more intensively by whooping cranes. We used location data acquired from 58 unique individuals fitted with platform transmitting terminals that collected global position system locations. Radio-tagged birds provided 2,158 stopover sites over 10 migrations and 5 years (2010–14). Using a grid-based approach, we identified 1,095 20-square-kilometer grid cells that contained stopover sites. We categorized occupied grid cells based on density of stopover sites and the amount of time cranes spent in the area. This assessment resulted in four categories of stopover site use: unoccupied, low intensity, core intensity, and extended-use core intensity. Although provisional, this evaluation of stopover site use intensity offers the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and partners a tool to identify landscapes that may be of greater conservation significance to migrating whooping cranes. Initially, the tool will be used by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other interested parties in evaluating the Great Plains Wind Energy Habitat Conservation Plan.

  14. Effects of fire in the Northern Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Higgins, Kenneth F.; Kruse, Arnold D.; Piehl, James L.

    1989-01-01

    This publication is a review of selected literature about prescribed burning in the Northern Great Plains (NGP) for management of wildlife. It also will be useful to other resource managers and researchers and to persons interested in the NGP. It is more 'descriptive' than 'interpretative.'The publication is a joint effort of the South Dakota State Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit (SDCFWRU), South Dakota State University, Brookings; the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NPWRC), Jamestown, N.D.; and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Fergus Falls, Minn. Manuscript typing and library services were shared between SDCFWRU and NPWRC.This publication (EC 761) is the second of three SDSU Extension circulars on grassland fires. EC 760 is Prescribed burning guidelines in the Northern Great Plains; EC 762 is Annotated bibliography of fire literature relative to northern grasslands in South-Central Canada and North-Central United States and contains many more citations than presented in this publication. All three circulars may be obtained from either the Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences Department; SDSU Box 2206; ph (605) 688-6121; or from the Ag Communications Bulletin Room; SDSU Box 2231; ph (605) 688-5628; both in Brookings, S.D. 57007.

  15. Great Plains ASPEN model development: Phosam section. Final topical report

    SciTech Connect

    Stern, S S; Kirman, J J

    1985-02-01

    An ASPEN model has been developed of the PHOSAM Section, Section 4600, of the Great Plains Gasification Plant. The bases for this model are the process description given in Section 6.18 of the Great Plains Project Management Plan and the Lummus Phosam Schematic Process Flow Diagram, Dwg. No. SKD-7102-IM-O. The ASPEN model that has been developed contains the complete set of components that are assumed to be in the gasifier effluent. The model is primarily a flowsheet simulation that will give the material and energy balance and equipment duties for a given set of process conditions. The model is unable to predict fully changes in process conditions that would result from load changes on equipment of fixed sizes, such as a rating model would predict. The model can be used to simulate the steady-state operation of the plant at or near design conditions or to design other PHOSAM units. Because of the limited amount of process information that was available, several major process assumptions had to be made in the development of the flowsheet model. Patent literature was consulted to establish the ammonia concentration in the circulating fluid. Case studies were made with the ammonia content of the feed 25% higher and 25% lower than the base feed. Results of these runs show slightly lower recoveries of ammonia with less ammonia in the feed. As expected, the duties of the Stripper and Fractionator reboilers were higher with more ammonia in the feed. 63 references.

  16. Late Pleistocene dune activity in the central Great Plains, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mason, J.A.; Swinehart, J.B.; Hanson, P.R.; Loope, D.B.; Goble, R.J.; Miao, X.; Schmeisser, R.L.

    2011-01-01

    Stabilized dunes of the central Great Plains, especially the megabarchans and large barchanoid ridges of the Nebraska Sand Hills, provide dramatic evidence of late Quaternary environmental change. Episodic Holocene dune activity in this region is now well-documented, but Late Pleistocene dune mobility has remained poorly documented, despite early interpretations of the Sand Hills dunes as Pleistocene relicts. New optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages from drill cores and outcrops provide evidence of Late Pleistocene dune activity at sites distributed across the central Great Plains. In addition, Late Pleistocene eolian sands deposited at 20-25 ka are interbedded with loess south of the Sand Hills. Several of the large dunes sampled in the Sand Hills clearly contain a substantial core of Late Pleistocene sand; thus, they had developed by the Late Pleistocene and were fully mobile at that time, although substantial sand deposition and extensive longitudinal dune construction occurred during the Holocene. Many of the Late Pleistocene OSL ages fall between 17 and 14 ka, but it is likely that these ages represent only the later part of a longer period of dune construction and migration. At several sites, significant Late Pleistocene or Holocene large-dune migration also probably occurred after the time represented by the Pleistocene OSL ages. Sedimentary structures in Late Pleistocene eolian sand and the forms of large dunes potentially constructed in the Late Pleistocene both indicate sand transport dominated by northerly to westerly winds, consistent with Late Pleistocene loess transport directions. Numerical modeling of the climate of the Last Glacial Maximum has often yielded mean monthly surface winds southwest of the Laurentide Ice Sheet that are consistent with this geologic evidence, despite strengthened anticyclonic circulation over the ice sheet. Mobility of large dunes during the Late Pleistocene on the central Great Plains may have been the result of

  17. Empirically Modeling Carbon Fluxes over the Northern Great Plains Grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, L.; Wylie, B. K.; Ji, L.; Gilmanov, T.; Tieszen, L. L.

    2007-12-01

    Grasslands cover nearly one-fifth of the global terrestrial surface and store most of their carbon below ground. The grassland ecosystem in the Great Plains occupies over 1.5 million km2 of land area and is the primary resource for livestock production in North America. However, the contributions of grasslands to local and regional carbon budgets remain uncertain due to the lack of carbon flux data for the expansive grassland ecosystems under various managements, land uses, and climate variability. A quantitative understanding of carbon fluxes across these systems is essential for developing regional, national, and global carbon budgets and providing guidance to policy makers and managers when substantial conversion to biofuels are implemented. Additionally, these estimates will provide insights into how the grassland ecosystem will respond to future climate and what systems are sustainable and offer net carbon sinks. This knowledge base and decisions support tools are needed for developing land management strategies for the region under a variety of environmental conditions and land use options. In the past, we used a remote sensing-based piecewise regression (PWR) model to estimate the grassland carbon fluxes in the northern Great Plains using the 1-km SPOT VEGETATION normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data. We estimated the carbon fluxes through integrated spatial databases and remotely sensed extrapolations of flux tower data to regional scales. The PWR model was applied to derive an empirical relationship between environmental variables and tower-based measurements. The PWR equations were then applied through time and space to estimate carbon fluxes across the study area at 1-km resolution. We now improve this modeling approach by 1) using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data with higher temporal, spatial, and spectral resolutions (8-day, 500-m, and 7-band) as input; 2) incorporating the actual vegetation evapotranspiration

  18. The 16 May 1909 northern Great Plains earthquake

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bakun, W.H.; Stickney, M.C.; Rogers, Gary C.

    2011-01-01

    The largest historical earthquake in the northern Great Plains occurred on 16 May 1909. Our analysis of intensity assignments places the earthquake location (48.81° N, 105.38° W) close to the Montana–Saskatchewan border with an intensity magnitude MI of 5.3–5.4. Observations from two seismic observatories in Europe give an average Ms value of 5.3. The 1909 earthquake is near an alignment of epicenters of small earthquakes in Montana and Saskatchewan and on strike with the mapped Hinsdale fault in Montana. Thus, the 1909 earthquake may have occurred on a 300-km-long seismically active fault, which could have seismic-hazard implications for the region, particularly for the hydraulically emplaced earth-filled Fort Peck Dam, constructed in the 1930s on the Missouri River in northeast Montana.

  19. Summertime Low-Level Jets over the Great Plains

    SciTech Connect

    Stensrud, D.J.

    1996-04-01

    The sky over the southern Great Plains Cloud and Atmospheric Radiation Testbed (CART) site of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program during the predawn and early morning hours often is partially obstructed by stratocumulus, stratus fractus, or cumulus fractus that are moving rapidly to the north, even through the surface winds are weak. This cloud movement is evidence of the low-level jet (LLJ), a wind speed maximum that occurs in the lowest few kilometers of the atmosphere. Owing to the wide spacing between upper-air sounding sites and the relatively infrequent sounding launches, LLJ evolution has been difficult to observe adequately, even though the effects of LLJs on moisture flux into North America are large. Model simulation of the LLJ is described.

  20. Building Indigenous Community Resilience in the Great Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gough, B.

    2014-12-01

    Indigenous community resilience is rooted in the seasoned lifeways, developed over generations, incorporated into systems of knowledge, and realized in artifacts of infrastructure through keen observations of the truth and consequences of their interactions with the environment found in place over time. Their value lies, not in their nature as artifacts, but in the underlying patterns and processes of culture: how previous adaptations were derived and evolved, and how the principles and processes of detailed observation may inform future adaptations. This presentation examines how such holistic community approaches, reflected in design and practice, can be applied to contemporary issues of energy and housing in a rapidly changing climate. The Indigenous Peoples of the Great Plains seek to utilize the latest scientific climate modeling to support the development of large, utility scale distributed renewable energy projects and to re-invigorate an indigenous housing concept of straw bale construction, originating in this region. In the energy context, we explore the potential for the development of an intertribal wind energy dynamo on the Great Plains, utilizing elements of existing federal policies for Indian energy development and existing federal infrastructure initially created to serve hydropower resources, which may be significantly altered under current and prospective drought scenarios. For housing, we consider the opportunity to address the built environment in Indian Country, where Tribes have greater control as it consists largely of residences needed for their growing populations. Straw bale construction allows for greater use of local natural and renewable materials in a strategy for preparedness for the weather extremes and insurance perils already common to the region, provides solutions to chronic unemployment and increasing energy costs, while offering greater affordable comfort in both low and high temperature extremes. The development of large

  1. Land surface process and radiobrightness modeling of the Great Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Judge, Jasmeet

    Accurate estimation of stored water by Land Surface Process (LSP) models is crucial to the prediction of continental weather and near-term climate by General Circulation Models (GCMs). This dissertation represents an important step toward assimilating the satellite radiometric observations to improve the soil moisture estimates. It consists of "forward" modeling of terrain brightnesses through a biophysically-based Land Surface Process/Radiobrightness (LSP/R) model, and correlating ground-based brightnesses with those from the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I). The LSP/R model was modified and calibrated for representative terrain in the Great Plains during summertime, when the surface processes are dominant and strongly coupled. The calibration used data from two collaborative field investigations, the fourth and the fifth Radiobrightness Energy Balance Experiments (REBEX-4 and REBEX-5). REBEX-4 was a collaboration with the Atmospheric Environment Service (AES), Canada, at the USGS EROS Data Center near Sioux Falls, SD. During the experiment, we observed microwave emission and concurrent micro-meteorological parameters at a bare soil and a nearby grass site from June-September in 1996. REBEX-5 was the University of Michigan's contribution to an extensive field investigation, Southern Great Plains Hydrology Experiment (SGP'97), conducted in north central Oklahoma from June 18--July 17 in 1997. During REBEX-5, we measured brightnesses of senescent winter wheat and after harvest wheat-stubble. In general, the calibrated LSP model predicted realistic surface processes that compared well with the field observations. The model predictions were most sensitive to shortwave albedo of the terrain and soil thermal and hydraulic conductivities. The Radiobrightness module captured the mean diurnal variations in brightnesses. The H-pol terrain brightnesses at 19 GHz were more sensitive to soil moisture and roughness than the V-pol brightnesses. The comparison of the EASE

  2. USGS Historical, Current, and Projected Future Land Cover Mapping for the Northern Great Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sohl, T. L.; Gallant, A.; Sayler, K. L.

    2008-12-01

    Land cover in the Northern Great Plains has changed considerably in the last several decades. While a significant proportion of the landscape has been cultivated for over one hundred years, the intensity of cultivation, crop type, and management practices have changed in response to shifts in government policy, commodity prices, access to water, and technological advances. Changes in land cover impact a wide variety of ecosystem processes and services, including carbon balances, climate, hydrology and water quality, and biodiversity. A consistent record of historical land cover is required to understand relations between land- cover change and these ecological processes, while projections of future land cover are needed for planning and potential mitigation efforts. Several U.S. Geological Survey efforts have been completed or are ongoing in the Northern Great Plains, resulting in the compilation of an unmatched record of historical, current, and future land-cover information for the region. The USGS Land Cover Trends project is using the historical record of Landsat imagery and a robust sampling approach to examine the rates, causes, and consequences of contemporary (1973-2000) land-cover change on an ecoregional basis for the conterminous United States. Results from completed Trends analyses for Great Plains ecoregions revealed changes in the proportion and distribution of grassland/shrubland and agricultural uses during the study period; Some areas exhibited considerable loss in cultivated land after initiation of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) in the mid 1980s. In recent years (post-2000), agricultural commodity prices have skyrocketed as food and energy compete for use of agricultural products, which in conjunction with the expiration of many CRP contracts, has led to expansion of cultivated land. In the coming decades, calls for U.S. energy independence and the development of biofuels from cellulosic stock could result in a transformation of the Great

  3. Net Ecosystem Production (NEP) of the Great Plains, United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Howard, Daniel; Gilmanov, Tagir; Gu, Yingxin; Wylie, Bruce; Zhang, Li

    2012-01-01

    Flux tower networks, such as AmeriFlux and FLUXNET, consist of a growing number of eddy covariance flux tower sites that provide a synoptic record of the exchange of carbon, water, and energy between the ecosystem and atmosphere at various temporal frequencies. These towers also detect and measure certain site characteristics, such as wind, temperature, precipitation, humidity, atmospheric pressure, soil features, and phenological progressions. Efforts are continuous to combine flux tower network data with remote sensing data to upscale the conditions observed at specific sites to a regional and, ultimately, worldwide scale. Data-driven regression tree models have the ability to incorporate flux tower records and remote sensing data to quantify exchanges of carbon with the atmosphere (Wylie and others, 2007; Xiao and others, 2010; Zhang and others, 2010; Zhang and others, 2011). Previous study results demonstrated the dramatic effect weather has on NEP and revealed specific ecoregions and times acting as carbon sinks or sources. As of 2012, more than 100 site-years of flux tower measurements, represented by more than 50 individual cropland or grassland sites throughout the Great Plains and surrounding area, have been acquired, quality controlled, and partitioned into gross photosynthesis (Pg) and ecosystem Re using detailed light-response, soil temperature, and vapor pressure deficit (VPD) based analysis.

  4. Mid-Wisconsinan environments on the eastern Great Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baker, R. G.; Bettis, E. A., III; Mandel, R. D.; Dorale, J. A.; Fredlund, G. G.

    2009-05-01

    Few sites on the eastern Great Plains contain paleobotanical records for the mid-Wisconsin. We report on four sites, two stream cutbanks and two quarry exposures, ranging in age from >50 to ˜23.4 ka. The oldest site at >50 ka contains a suite of macrofossils from prairie and disturbed ground habitats, with no representation of trees, indicating an open prairie. By ˜38 ka the assemblages include aquatic, wetland, mudflat, and prairie elements with rare specimens of Populus, Betula cf. papyrifera, Salix and at the most northerly site, Picea. This assemblage suggests a prairie/parkland with interspersed marshes, cooler temperatures and increased moisture. Populus and Salix continued to be represented from ˜36 to ˜29 ka, but the only other taxon was Carex. A hiatus may be present at some time during this interval. After ˜29 ka, Picea became dominant on the uplands and it was joined by sedges in local wetlands. At sites near riverine loess sources, loess accumulation began to fill in the wetlands and organic deposition ceased some time after 29 ka.

  5. Mid-Wisconsinan environments on the eastern Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baker, R.G.; Bettis, E. Arthur; Mandel, R.D.; Dorale, J.A.; Fredlund, G.G.

    2009-01-01

    Few sites on the eastern Great Plains contain paleobotanical records for the mid-Wisconsin. We report on four sites, two stream cutbanks and two quarry exposures, ranging in age from >50 to ???23.4 ka. The oldest site at >50 ka contains a suite of macrofossils from prairie and disturbed ground habitats, with no representation of trees, indicating an open prairie. By ???38 ka the assemblages include aquatic, wetland, mudflat, and prairie elements with rare specimens of Populus, Betula cf. papyrifera, Salix and at the most northerly site, Picea. This assemblage suggests a prairie/parkland with interspersed marshes, cooler temperatures and increased moisture. Populus and Salix continued to be represented from ???36 to ???29 ka, but the only other taxon was Carex. A hiatus may be present at some time during this interval. After ???29 ka, Picea became dominant on the uplands and it was joined by sedges in local wetlands. At sites near riverine loess sources, loess accumulation began to fill in the wetlands and organic deposition ceased some time after 29 ka. ?? 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. A Cloud Climatology of the Southern Great Plains ARM CART.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lazarus, Steven M.; Krueger, Steven K.; Mace, Gerald G.

    2000-05-01

    Cloud amount statistics from three different sources were processed and compared. Surface observations from a National Centers for Environmental Prediction dataset were used. The data (Edited Cloud Report; ECR) consist of synoptic weather reports that have been edited to facilitate cloud analysis. Two stations near the Southern Great Plains (SGP) Cloud and Radiation Test Bed (CART) in north-central Oklahoma (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Wichita, Kansas) were selected. The ECR data span a 10-yr period from December 1981 to November 1991. The International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) provided cloud amounts over the SGP CART for an 8-yr period (1983-91). Cloud amounts were also obtained from Micro Pulse Lidar (MPL) and Belfort Ceilometer (BLC) cloud-base height measurements made at the SGP CART over a 1-yr period. The annual and diurnal cycles of cloud amount as a function of cloud height and type were analyzed. The three datasets closely agree for total cloud amount. Good agreement was found in the ECR and MPL-BLC monthly low cloud amounts. With the exception of summer and midday in other seasons, the ISCCP low cloud amount estimates are generally 5%-10% less than the others. The ECR high cloud amount estimates are typically 10%-15% greater than those obtained from either the ISCCP or MPL-BLC datasets. The observed diurnal variations of altocumulus support the authors' model results of radiatively induced circulations.

  7. Quantifying Russian wheat aphid pest intensity across the Great Plains.

    PubMed

    Merrill, Scott C; Peairs, Frank B

    2012-12-01

    Wheat, the most important cereal crop in the Northern Hemisphere, is at-risk for an approximate 10% reduction in worldwide production because of animal pests. The potential economic impact of cereal crop pests has resulted in substantial research efforts into the understanding of pest agroecosystems and development of pest management strategy. Management strategy is informed frequently by models that describe the population dynamics of important crop pests and because of the economic impact of these pests, many models have been developed. Yet, limited effort has ensued to compare and contrast models for their strategic applicability and quality. One of the most damaging pests of wheat in North America is the Russian wheat aphid, Diuraphis noxia (Kurdjumov). Eighteen D. noxia population dynamic models were developed from the literature to describe pest intensity. The strongest models quantified the negative effects of fall and spring precipitation on aphid intensity, and the positive effects associated with alternate food source availability. Population dynamic models were transformed into spatially explicit models and combined to form a spatially explicit, model-averaged result. Our findings were used to delineate pest intensity on winter wheat across much of the Great Plains and will help improve D. noxia management strategy.

  8. DEVELOPMENT AND EVALUATION OF A FISH ASSEMBLAGE INDEX OF BIOTIC INTEGRITY FOR NORTHWESTERN GREAT PLAINS STREAMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Quantitative indicators of biological integrity are needed for streams in the Great Plains of North America, but it was not known if the Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) approach would be effective in this semi-arid region. Great Plains streams have a depauperate and tolerant i...

  9. Recent Trends in Soil Science and Agronomy Research in the Northern Great Plains of North America

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The book “Recent Trends in Soil Science and Agronomy Research in the Northern Great Plains of North America” summarizes published research in soil science and agronomy from various field experiments conducted in the soil-climatic/agro-ecological regions of the Northern Great Plains of North America....

  10. Catastrophic failure of the Northern Great Plains: A unifying hypothesis

    SciTech Connect

    Clausen, E.N. . Science Div.)

    1992-01-01

    The Northern Great Plains, at peak Laurentide glaciation, was a 1,600 km thick barrier between meltwater sources and the lower Missouri Valley. Meltwater and floodwaters flowed along the ice margin, moved between the Black Hills and Laurentide ice. Water was trapped between ice to the N and E and mountains to the W and S. The Pine Ridge Escarpment began as the S wall of a W-trending headcut while other headcuts eroded N, parallel to the ice margin. Sheetflow from the west and northwest stripped the easily-eroded surface between major headcuts. The Cheyenne Valley headcut then captured sheetflow from the eastern Powder River Basin, both N and S of the Black Hills. Sheetflow moving through the western Powder River Basin, however, continued to spill over the southern wall of the initial headcut, carving the upper White River Valley. These floodwaters filled the lower White River Valley, including the Scenic and Sage Creek Basins, and breached divides by spilling over into the newly formed Cheyenne Valley. Another W-trending headcut next initiated the upper Little Missouri Valley by diverting sheetflow from the northeastern Powder River Basin. The Little Missouri Valley was extended northward by diversion of flow to a fourth major headcut and then again by diversion to the Missouri Valley headcut. Sheetflow, moving SE into the Powder River Basin, was progressively captured and diverted as SW-trending headcuts formed the Yellowstone-Powder, Yellowstone-Tongue, and Yellowstone-Bighorn valleys. At the same time sheetflow was progressively captured and diverted by a northerly set of SW-trending headcuts which eroded the Redwater, Big Dry, and Musselshell valleys. Major spillways finally breached the 1,600 km thick barrier by cutting between the Highwood and Bearpaw Mountains and between Milk River Ridge and the Cypress Hills.

  11. Determinants of fish assemblage structure in Northwestern Great Plains streams

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mullen, J.A.; Bramblett, R.G.; Guy, C.S.; Zale, A.V.; Roberts, D.W.

    2011-01-01

    Prairie streams are known for their harsh and stochastic physical conditions, and the fish assemblages therein have been shown to be temporally variable. We assessed the spatial and temporal variation in fish assemblage structure in five intermittent, adventitious northwestern Great Plains streams representing a gradient of watershed areas. Fish assemblages and abiotic conditions varied more spatially than temporally. The most important variables explaining fish assemblage structure were longitudinal position and the proportion of fine substrates. The proportion of fine substrates increased proceeding upstream, approaching 100% in all five streams, and species richness declined upstream with increasing fine substrates. High levels of fine substrate in the upper reaches appeared to limit the distribution of obligate lithophilic fish species to reaches further downstream. Species richness and substrates were similar among all five streams at the lowermost and uppermost sites. However, in the middle reaches, species richness increased, the amount of fine substrate decreased, and connectivity increased as watershed area increased. Season and some dimensions of habitat (including thalweg depth, absolute distance to the main-stem river, and watershed size) were not essential in explaining the variation in fish assemblages. Fish species richness varied more temporally than overall fish assemblage structure did because common species were consistently abundant across seasons, whereas rare species were sometimes absent or perhaps not detected by sampling. The similarity in our results among five streams varying in watershed size and those from other studies supports the generalization that spatial variation exceeds temporal variation in the fish assemblages of prairie and warmwater streams. Furthermore, given longitudinal position, substrate, and stream size, general predictions regarding fish assemblage structure and function in prairie streams are possible. ?? American

  12. Southern Great Plains Ice Nuclei Characterization Experiment Final Campaign Summary

    SciTech Connect

    DeMott, PJ; Suski, KJ; Hill, TCJ; Levin, EJT

    2015-03-01

    The first ever ice nucleating particle (INP) measurements to be collected at the Southern Great Plains site were made during a period from late April to June 2014, as a trial for possible longer-term measurements at the site. These measurements will also be used to lay the foundation for understanding and parameterizing (for cloud resolving modeling) the sources of these climatically important aerosols as well as to augment the existing database containing this knowledge. Siting the measurements during the spring was intended to capture INP sources in or to this region from plant, soil, dust transported over long distances, biomass burning, and pollution aerosols at a time when they may influence warm-season convective clouds and precipitation. Data have been archived of real-time measurements of INP number concentrations as a function of processing conditions (temperature and relative humidity) during 18 days of sampling that spanned two distinctly different weather situations: a warm, dry and windy period with regional dust and biomass burning influences in early May, and a cooler period of frequent precipitation during early June. Precipitation delayed winter wheat harvesting, preventing intended sampling during that perturbation on atmospheric aerosols. INP concentrations were highest and most variable at all temperatures in the dry period, where we attribute the INP activity primarily to soil dust emissions. Additional offline INP analyses are underway to extend the characterization of INP to cover the entire mixed phase cloud regime from -5°C to -35°C during the full study. Initial comparisons between methods on four days show good agreement and excellent future promise. The additional offline immersion freezing data will be archived as soon as completed under separate funding. Analyses of additional specialized studies for specific attribution of INP to biological and smoke sources are continuing via the National Science Foundation and National Aeronautics

  13. Soil salinity study in Northern Great Plains sodium affected soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kharel, Tulsi P.

    Climate and land-use changes when combined with the marine sediments that underlay portions of the Northern Great Plains have increased the salinization and sodification risks. The objectives of this dissertation were to compare three chemical amendments (calcium chloride, sulfuric acid and gypsum) remediation strategies on water permeability and sodium (Na) transport in undisturbed soil columns and to develop a remote sensing technique to characterize salinization in South Dakota soils. Forty-eight undisturbed soil columns (30 cm x 15 cm) collected from White Lake, Redfield, and Pierpont were used to assess the chemical remediation strategies. In this study the experimental design was a completely randomized design and each treatment was replicated four times. Following the application of chemical remediation strategies, 45.2 cm of water was leached through these columns. The leachate was separated into 120- ml increments and analyzed for Na and electrical conductivity (EC). Sulfuric acid increased Na leaching, whereas gypsum and CaCl2 increased water permeability. Our results further indicate that to maintain effective water permeability, ratio between soil EC and sodium absorption ratio (SAR) should be considered. In the second study, soil samples from 0-15 cm depth in 62 x 62 m grid spacing were taken from the South Dakota Pierpont (65 ha) and Redfield (17 ha) sites. Saturated paste EC was measured on each soil sample. At each sampling points reflectance and derived indices (Landsat 5, 7, 8 images), elevation, slope and aspect (LiDAR) were extracted. Regression models based on multiple linear regression, classification and regression tree, cubist, and random forest techniques were developed and their ability to predict soil EC were compared. Results showed that: 1) Random forest method was found to be the most effective method because of its ability to capture spatially correlated variation, 2) the short wave infrared (1.5 -2.29 mum) and near infrared (0

  14. Biological Conditions and Economic Development: Nineteenth-Century Stature on the U.S. Great Plains.

    PubMed

    Carson, Scott Alan

    2015-06-01

    Average stature is now a well-accepted measure of material and economic well-being in development studies when traditional measures are sparse or unreliable, but little work has been done on the biological conditions for individuals on the nineteenth-century U.S. Great Plains. Records of 14,427 inmates from the Nebraska state prison are used to examine the relationship between stature and economic conditions. Statures of both black and white prisoners in Nebraska increased through time, indicating that biological conditions improved as Nebraska's output market and agricultural sectors developed. The effect of rural environments on stature is illustrated by the fact that farm laborers were taller than common laborers. Urbanization and industrialization had significant impacts on stature, and proximity to trade routes and waterways was inversely related to stature.

  15. The Buffalo Commons: Great Plains Residents' Responses to a Radical Vision

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rees, Amanda

    2005-01-01

    The American Great Plains has gained and shed various regional meanings since Euro-American exploration began. From a desert to a garden to a dust bowl to a breadbasket, this region's identity has shifted radically and dramatically over the last 200 years. In the mid-1980s unusual things were happening on the Plains that suggested yet another…

  16. Quantifying climate change mitigation potential in Great Plains wetlands for three greenhouse gas emission scenarios

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Byrd, Kristin B.; Ratliff, Jamie L.; Wein, Anne; Bliss, Norman B.; Sleeter, Benjamin M.; Sohl, Terry L.; Li, Zhengpeng

    2015-01-01

    We examined opportunities for avoided loss of wetland carbon stocks in the Great Plains of the United States in the context of future agricultural expansion through analysis of land-use land-cover (LULC) change scenarios, baseline carbon datasets and biogeochemical model outputs. A wetland map that classifies wetlands according to carbon pools was created to describe future patterns of carbon loss and potential carbon savings. Wetland avoided loss scenarios, superimposed upon LULC change scenarios, quantified carbon stocks preserved under criteria of carbon densities or land value plus cropland suitability. Up to 3420 km2 of wetlands may be lost in the region by 2050, mainly due to conversion of herbaceous wetlands in the Temperate Prairies where soil organic carbon (SOC) is highest. SOC loss would be approximately 0.20 ± 0.15 megagrams of carbon per hectare per year (MgC ha−1 yr−1), depending upon tillage practices on converted wetlands, and total ecosystem carbon loss in woody wetlands would be approximately 0.81 ± 0.41 MgC ha−1 yr−1, based on biogeochemical model results. Among wetlands vulnerable to conversion, wetlands in the Northern Glaciated Plains and Lake Agassiz Plains ecoregions exhibit very high mean SOC and on average, relatively low land values, potentially creating economically competitive opportunities for avoided carbon loss. This mitigation scenarios approach may be adapted by managers using their own preferred criteria to select sites that best meet their objectives. Results can help prioritize field-based assessments, where site-level investigations of carbon stocks, land value, and consideration of local priorities for climate change mitigation programs are needed.

  17. Partners in flight bird conservation plan for the Upper Great Lakes Plain (Physiographic Area 16)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knutson, M.G.; Butcher, G.; Fitzgerald, J.; Shieldcastle, J.

    2001-01-01

    1 November 2001. Conservation of bird habitats is a major focus of effort by Partners in Flight, an international coalition of agencies, citizens, and other groups dedicated to 'keeping common birds common'. USGS worked on a planning team to publish a bird conservation plan for the Upper Great Lakes Plain ecoregion (PIF 16), which includes large portions of southern Wisconsin, southern Michigan and parts of Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. The conservation plan outlines specific habitat restoration and bird population objectives for the ecoregion over the next decade. The plan provides a context for on-the-ground conservation implementation by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the US Forest Service, states, and conservation groups. Citation: Knutson, M. G., G. Butcher, J. Fitzgerald, and J. Shieldcastle. 2001. Partners in Flight Bird Conservation Plan for The Upper Great Lakes Plain (Physiographic Area 16). USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center in cooperation with Partners in Flight, La Crosse, Wisconsin. Download from website: http://www.blm.gov/wildlife/pifplans.htm. The Upper Great Lakes Plain covers the southern half of Michigan, northwest Ohio, northern Indiana, northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin, and small portions of southwest Minnesota and northwest Iowa. Glacial moraines and dissected plateaus are characteristic of the topography. Broadleaf forests, oak savannahs, and a variety of prairie communities are the natural vegetation types. A oDriftless Areao was not glaciated during the late Pleistocene and emerged as a unique area of great biological diversity. Priority bird species for the area include the Henslow's Sparrow, Sedge Wren, Bobolink, Golden-winged Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, Black-billed Cuckoo, and Red-headed Woodpecker. There are many large urban centers in this area whose growth and sprawl will continue to consume land. The vast majority of the presettlement forest and

  18. Dynamical connection between Great Plains low-level winds and variability of central Gulf States precipitation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pu, Bing; Dickinson, Robert E.; Fu, Rong

    2016-04-01

    The Great Plains low-level jet has been related to summer precipitation over the northern Great Plains and Midwest through its moisture transport and convergence at the jet exit area. Much less studied has been its negative relationship with precipitation over the southern Great Plains and the Gulf coastal area. This work shows that the southerly low-level winds at 30°-40°N over the southern Great Plains are significantly correlated with anticyclonic vorticity to its east over the central Gulf States (30°-35°N, 85°-95°W) from May to July. When the low-level jet is strong in June and July, anomalous anticyclonic vorticity over the central Gulf States leads to divergence and consequent subsidence suppressing precipitation over that region. In contrast, an enhanced southerly flow at the entrance region of the jet over the Gulf of Mexico, largely uncorrelated with the meridional wind over the southern Great Plains, is correlated with increased precipitation over the central Gulf States. Precipitation is large over the central Gulf States when the meridional wind over the southern Great Plains is weakest and over the Gulf of Mexico is strongest. This increase is consistent with the increased moisture transport and dynamic balance between loss of vorticity by advection and friction and gain by convergence.

  19. Subtask 7.3 - The Socioeconomic Impact of Climate Shifts in the Northern Great Plains

    SciTech Connect

    Jaroslav Solc; Tera Buckley; Troy Simonsen

    2007-12-31

    The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) evaluated the water demand response/vulnerability to climate change factors of regional economic sectors in the northern Great Plains. Regardless of the cause of climatic trends currently observed, the research focused on practical evaluation of climate change impact, using water availability as a primary factor controlling long-term regional economic sustainability. Project results suggest that the Upper Missouri, Red River, and Upper Mississippi Watersheds exhibit analogous response to climate change, i.e., extended drought influences water availability in the entire region. The modified trend suggests that the next period for which the Red River Basin can expect a high probability of below normal precipitation will occur before 2050. Agriculture is the most sensitive economic sector in the region; however, analyses confirmed relative adaptability to changing conditions. The price of agricultural commodities is not a good indicator of the economic impact of climate change because production and price do not correlate and are subject to frequent and irregular government intervention. Project results confirm that high water demand in the primary economic sectors makes the regional economy extremely vulnerable to climatic extremes, with a similar response over the entire region. Without conservation-based water management policies, long-term periods of drought will limit socioeconomic development in the region and may threaten even the sustainability of current conditions.

  20. Estimated historical distribution of grassland communities of the Southern Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reese, Gordon C.; Manier, Daniel J.; Carr, Natasha B.; Callan, Ramana; Leinwand, Ian I.F.; Assal, Timothy J.; Burris, Lucy; Ignizio, Drew A.

    2016-12-07

    The purpose of this project was to map the estimated distribution of grassland communities of the Southern Great Plains prior to Euro-American settlement. The Southern Great Plains Rapid Ecoregional Assessment (REA), under the direction of the Bureau of Land Management and the Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative, includes four ecoregions: the High Plains, Central Great Plains, Southwestern Tablelands, and the Nebraska Sand Hills. The REA advisors and stakeholders determined that the mapping accuracy of available national land-cover maps was insufficient in many areas to adequately address management questions for the REA. Based on the recommendation of the REA stakeholders, we estimated the potential historical distribution of 10 grassland communities within the Southern Great Plains project area using data on soils, climate, and vegetation from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) including the Soil Survey Geographic Database (SSURGO) and Ecological Site Information System (ESIS). The dominant grassland communities of the Southern Great Plains addressed as conservation elements for the REA area are shortgrass, mixed-grass, and sand prairies. We also mapped tall-grass, mid-grass, northwest mixed-grass, and cool season bunchgrass prairies, saline and foothill grasslands, and semi-desert grassland and steppe. Grassland communities were primarily defined using the annual productivity of dominant species in the ESIS data. The historical grassland community classification was linked to the SSURGO data using vegetation types associated with the predominant component of mapped soil units as defined in the ESIS data. We augmented NRCS data with Landscape Fire and Resource Management Planning Tools (LANDFIRE) Biophysical Settings classifications 1) where NRCS data were unavailable and 2) where fifth-level watersheds intersected the boundary of the High Plains ecoregion in Wyoming. Spatial data representing the estimated historical distribution of

  1. Alfalfa production with subsurface drip irrigation in the Central Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Irrigated alfalfa production is gaining interest because of the growing number of dairies in the semi-arid U.S. Central Great Plains and its longstanding superior profitability compared to other alternative crops grown in the region. Irrigation requirements for alfalfa are great because of alfalfa's...

  2. Seasonal weather-related decision making for cattle production in the Northern Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    High inter-annual variability of seasonal weather patterns can greatly affect forage and therefore livestock production in the Northern Great Plains. This variability can make it difficult for ranchers to set yearly stocking rates, particularly in advance of the grazing season. To better understand ...

  3. Towards an Operational Vegetation Health Monitoring System for the Northern Great Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aloysius, N.; Kim, H. J.

    2007-12-01

    Farmers and Rangers in the Northern Great Plains (NGP) of the United States had been devastated by the extremely dry weather conditions in the summer of 2006. The entire state of North Dakota was declared a primary agricultural disaster area in September, 2006 by the US Department of Agriculture. Emergency grazing on CRP lands was extended in several NGP states. On the contrary, the summer of 2005 had been exceptionally wet in certain parts of NGP which ruined crops. The occurrences of these weather extremes severely affect the natural resource based enterprises like farming and ranching, the effects of which ripple through the economies of several states in the region. In order to monitor and assess the impacts of these extreme events and to take mitigation strategies, variety of physical and environmental conditions have to be taken into consideration. Remote sensing based vegetation indices such as normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and enhanced vegetation index (EVI), climate information and drought indices are employed to assess the growth of vegetation and its vigor, both spatially and temporally. A 25-year history of NDVI and seven-year history of EVI data were used to develop a near real-time vegetation growth monitoring system for the five Northern Great Plains states (ID, MT, ND, SD and WY). The EVI and EVI anomaly, computed based on 2000-2005 averages, are updated twice monthly for the growing season, April through September. In addition, precipitation anomalies based on a 30-year average and Palmer Z-index (a short term moisture availability index) are also updated monthly for the 45 climate divisions within the NGP states. The presentation will highlight how the near real-time monitoring of the combination of vegetation and climate parameters can help to identify the temporal and spatial patterns of vegetation dynamics at different spatial (from individual farms, climate divisions to states and, even, the whole NGP region) and temporal

  4. Land Surface Phenologies of the Northern Great Plains: Possible Futures Arising From Land and Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henebry, G. M.; Wimberly, M. C.; Senay, G.; Wang, A.; Chang, J.; Wright, C. R.; Hansen, M. C.

    2008-12-01

    Land cover change across the Northern Great Plains of North America over the past three decades has been driven by changes in agricultural management (conservation tillage; irrigation), government incentives (Conservation Reserve Program; subsidies to grain-based ethanol), crop varieties (cold-hardy soybean), and market dynamics (increasing world demand). Climate change across the Northern Great Plains over the past three decades has been evident in trends toward earlier warmth in the spring and a longer frost-free season. Together these land and climate changes induce shifts in local and regional land surface phenologies (LSPs). Any significant shift in LSP may correspond to a significant shift in evapotranspiration, with consequences for regional hydrometeorology. We explored possible future scenarios involving land use and climate change in six steps. First, we defined the nominal draw areas of current and future biorefineries in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Iowa and masked those land cover types within the draw areas that were unlikely to change to agricultural use (open water, settlements, forests, etc.). Second, we estimated the proportion of corn and soybean remaining within the masked draw areas using MODIS-derived crop maps. Third, in each draw area, we modified LSPs to simulate crop changes for a control and two treatment scenarios. In the control, we used LSP profiles identified from MODIS Collection 5 NBAR data. In one treatment, we increased the proportion of tallgrass LSPs in the draw areas to represent widespread cultivation of a perennial cellulosic crop, like switchgrass. In a second treatment, we increased the proportion of corn LSPs in the draw areas to represent increased corn cultivation. Fourth, we characterized the seasonal progression of the thermal regime associated with the LSP profiles using MODIS Land Surface Temperature (LST) products. Fifth, we modeled the LSP profile as a quadratic function of accumulated

  5. Simulated responses of soil organic carbon stock to tillage management scenarios in the Northwest Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tan, Z.; Liu, S.; Li, Z.; Loveland, T.R.

    2007-01-01

    Background: Tillage practices greatly affect carbon (C) stocks in agricultural soils. Quantification of the impacts of tillage on C stocks at a regional scale has been challenging because of the spatial heterogeneity of soil, climate, and management conditions. We evaluated the effects of tillage management on the dynamics of soil organic carbon (SOC) in croplands of the Northwest Great Plains ecoregion of the United States using the General Ensemble biogeochemical Modeling System (GEMS). Tillage management scenarios included actual tillage management (ATM), conventional tillage (CT), and no-till (NT). Results: Model simulations show that the average amount of C (kg C ha-1yr-1) released from croplands between 1972 and 2000 was 246 with ATM, 261 with CT, and 210 with NT. The reduction in the rate of C emissions with conversion of CT to NT at the ecoregion scale is much smaller than those reported at plot scale and simulated for other regions. Results indicate that the response of SOC to tillage practices depends significantly on baseline SOC levels: the conversion of CT to NT had less influence on SOC stocks in soils having lower baseline SOC levels but would lead to higher potentials to mitigate C release from soils having higher baseline SOC levels. Conclusion: For assessing the potential of agricultural soils to mitigate C emissions with conservation tillage practices, it is critical to consider both the crop rotations being used at a local scale and the composition of all cropping systems at a regional scale. ?? 2007 Tan et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

  6. Modelling dust-drought interactions in the U.S Great Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koven, C. D.; Fung, I.

    2006-12-01

    We examine the possible role of mineral dust in amplifying summertime drought over the US Great Plains, specifically addressing the question of whether dust released during the 1930s drought could have acted as a drought feedback. We use the NCAR CAM3.0 atmospheric GCM, forced with drought-inducing SSTs as boundary conditions. We compare model runs with and without specified monthly-mean dust forcings centered over the southern US Great Plains, which was the center of the 1930s "dust-bowl". We specify multiple dust single-scattering albedos to explore the relative roles of scattering and absorption in enhancing drought. We also compare the role of dust in amplifying drought with the role of land surface perturbation, by running the GCM with climatological and desert vegetation over the Great Plains region. We find that all dust and land surface modification scenarios lead to decreased precipitation over the region, on top of the SST- induced precipitation reduction.

  7. Upscaling carbon fluxes over the Great Plains grasslands: Sinks and sources

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zhang, Li; Wylie, Bruce K.; Ji, Lei; Gilmanov, Tagir G.; Tieszen, Larry L.; Howar, Daniel M.

    2011-01-01

    Previous studies suggested that the grasslands may be carbon sinks or near equilibrium, and they often shift between carbon sources in drought years and carbon sinks in other years. It is important to understand the responses of net ecosystem production (NEP) to various climatic conditions across the U.S. Great Plains grasslands. Based on 15 grassland flux towers, we developed a piecewise regression model and mapped the grassland NEP at 250 m spatial resolution over the Great Plains from 2000 to 2008. The results showed that the Great Plains was a net sink with an averaged annual NEP of 24 ± 14 g C m−2 yr−1, ranging from a low value of 0.3 g C m−2 yr−1 in 2002 to a high value of 47.7 g C m−2 yr−1 in 2005. The regional averaged NEP for the entire Great Plains grasslands was estimated to be 336 Tg C yr−1 from 2000 to 2008. In the 9 year period including 4 dry years, the annual NEP was very variable in both space and time. It appeared that the carbon gains for the Great Plains were more sensitive to droughts in the west than the east. The droughts in 2000, 2002, 2006, and 2008 resulted in increased carbon losses over drought-affected areas, and the Great Plains grasslands turned into a relatively low sink with NEP values of 15.8, 0.3, 20.1, and 10.2 g C m−2 yr−1 for the 4 years, respectively.

  8. Grassland Vegetation in the Southern Great Plains during the Last Glacial Maximum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, Stephen A.; Valastro, Salvatore

    1995-09-01

    New pollen records from White Lake in the Southern High Plains and from Friesenhahn Cave on the southeastern Edwards Plateau of Texas indicate that the glacial-age vegetation of the southern Great Plains was a grassland. The High Plains was a treeless Artemisia grassland and the Edwards Plateau, at the south edge of the Great Plains, was a grassland with pinyon pines and deciduous trees in canyons and riparian habitats. The glacial-age grasslands differ from modern shortgrass and tallgrass prairies and may have no modern analog. The dominance of prairie vegetation during the last glacial maximum is compatible with late Pleistocene mammalian faunas and late-glacial grassland pollen records from the region. Earlier interpretations of a pine-spruce forest on the High Plains were based on pollen assemblages that are here shown to have been altered by postdepositional deterioration, resulting in differential preservation of conifer pollen grains. Accordingly, the "Tahoka Pluvial" and other "climatic episodes" defined by High Plains pollen records are abandoned.

  9. Channel narrowing and vegetation development following a great plains flood

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Friedman, J.M.; Osterkamp, W.R.; Lewis, W.M.

    1996-01-01

    Streams in the plains of eastern Colorado are prone to intense floods following summer thunderstorms. Here, and in other semiarid and arid regions, channel recovery after a flood may take several decades. As a result, flood history strongly influences spatial and temporal variability in bottomland vegetation. Interpretation of these patterns must be based on understanding the long-term response of bottomland morphology and vegetation to specific floods. A major flood in 1965 on Plum Creek, a perennial sandbed stream, removed most of the bottomland vegetatiqn and transformed the single-thread stream into a wider, braided channel. Channel narrowing began in 1973 and continues today. In 1991, we determined occurrences of 150 vascular plant species in 341 plots (0.5 m2) along a 7-km reach of Plum Creek near Louviers, Colorado. We related patterns of vegetation to elevation, litter cover, vegetative cover, sediment particle size, shade, and year of formation of the underlying surface (based on age of the excavated root flare of the oldest woody plants). Geomorphic investigation determined that Plum Creek fluvial surfaces sort into five groups by year of formation: terraces of fine sand formed before 1965; terraces of coarse sand deposited by the 1965 flood; stable bars formed by channel narrowing during periods of relatively high bed level (1973-1986); stable bars similarly formed during a recent period of low bed level (1987-1990); and the present channel bed (1991). Canonical correspondence analysis indicates a strong influence of elevation and litter cover, and lesser effects of vegetative cover, shade, and sediment particle size. However, the sum of all canonical eigenvalues explained by these factors is less than that explained by an analysis including only the dummy variables that define the five geomorphically determined age groups. The effect of age group is significant even when all five other environmental variables are specified as covariables. Therefore, the

  10. Influence of riparian and watershed alterations on sandbars in a Great Plains river

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fischer, Jeffrey M.; Paukert, Craig P.; Daniels, M.L.

    2014-01-01

    Anthropogenic alterations have caused sandbar habitats in rivers and the biota dependent on them to decline. Restoring large river sandbars may be needed as these habitats are important components of river ecosystems and provide essential habitat to terrestrial and aquatic organisms. We quantified factors within the riparian zone of the Kansas River, USA, and within its tributaries that influenced sandbar size and density using aerial photographs and land use/land cover (LULC) data. We developed, a priori, 16 linear regression models focused on LULC at the local, adjacent upstream river bend, and the segment (18–44 km upstream) scales and used an information theoretic approach to determine what alterations best predicted the size and density of sandbars. Variation in sandbar density was best explained by the LULC within contributing tributaries at the segment scale, which indicated reduced sandbar density with increased forest cover within tributary watersheds. Similarly, LULC within contributing tributary watersheds at the segment scale best explained variation in sandbar size. These models indicated that sandbar size increased with agriculture and forest and decreased with urban cover within tributary watersheds. Our findings suggest that sediment supply and delivery from upstream tributary watersheds may be influential on sandbars within the Kansas River and that preserving natural grassland and reducing woody encroachment within tributary watersheds in Great Plains rivers may help improve sediment delivery to help restore natural river function.

  11. Characterizing the environmental conditions and estimating aboveground biomass productivity for switchgrass in the Great Plains, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gu, Y.; Wylie, B. K.; Howard, D. M.

    2013-12-01

    Switchgrass is being evaluated as a potential feedstock source for cellulosic biofuels and is being cultivated in several regions of the United States. The recent availability of switchgrass land cover maps derived from the National Agricultural Statistics Service cropland data layer for the conterminous United States provides an opportunity to assess the environmental conditions of switchgrass over large areas and across different geographic locations. The main goal of this study is to investigate the relationship between site environmental conditions and switchgrass productivity and identify the optimal conditions for productive switchgrass in the Great Plains (GP). Environmental and climate variables such as elevation, soil organic carbon, available water capacity, climate, and seasonal weather were used in this study. Satellite-derived growing season averaged Normalized Difference Vegetation Index was used as a proxy for switchgrass productivity. The environmental conditions for switchgrass sites of variable productivity were summarized and a data-driven multiple regression switchgrass productivity model was developed. Results show that spring precipitation has the strongest correlation with switchgrass productivity (r = 0.92, 176 samples) and spring minimum temperature has the weakest correlation with switchgrass productivity (r = 0.16). An estimated switchgrass productivity map for the entire GP based on site environmental and climate conditions was generated. The estimated switchgrass biomass productivity map indicates that highly productive switchgrass areas are mainly located in the eastern part of the GP. Results from this study provide useful information for assessing economic feasibility or optimal land use decisions regarding switchgrass development in the GP.

  12. Atmosphere-Land-Surface Interaction over the Southern Great Plains: Diagnosis of Mechanisms from SGP ARM Data

    SciTech Connect

    Sumant Nigam

    2013-02-01

    Work reported included analysis of pentad (5 day) averaged data, proposal of a hypothesis concerning the key role of the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation in 20th century drought and wet periods over the Great Plains, analysis of recurrent super-synoptic evolution of the Great Plains low-level jet, and study of pentad evolution of the 1988 drought and 1993 flood over the Great Plains from a NARR perspective on the atmospheric and terrestrial water balance.

  13. Spatially explicit land-use and land-cover scenarios for the Great Plains of the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sohl, Terry L.; Sleeter, Benjamin M.; Sayler, Kristi L.; Bouchard, Michelle A.; Reker, Ryan R.; Bennett, Stacie L.; Sleeter, Rachel R.; Kanengieter, Ronald L.; Zhu, Zhi-Liang

    2012-01-01

    The Great Plains of the United States has undergone extensive land-use and land-cover change in the past 150 years, with much of the once vast native grasslands and wetlands converted to agricultural crops, and much of the unbroken prairie now heavily grazed. Future land-use change in the region could have dramatic impacts on ecological resources and processes. A scenario-based modeling framework is needed to support the analysis of potential land-use change in an uncertain future, and to mitigate potentially negative future impacts on ecosystem processes. We developed a scenario-based modeling framework to analyze potential future land-use change in the Great Plains. A unique scenario construction process, using an integrated modeling framework, historical data, workshops, and expert knowledge, was used to develop quantitative demand for future land-use change for four IPCC scenarios at the ecoregion level. The FORE-SCE model ingested the scenario information and produced spatially explicit land-use maps for the region at relatively fine spatial and thematic resolutions. Spatial modeling of the four scenarios provided spatial patterns of land-use change consistent with underlying assumptions and processes associated with each scenario. Economically oriented scenarios were characterized by significant loss of natural land covers and expansion of agricultural and urban land uses. Environmentally oriented scenarios experienced modest declines in natural land covers to slight increases. Model results were assessed for quantity and allocation disagreement between each scenario pair. In conjunction with the U.S. Geological Survey's Biological Carbon Sequestration project, the scenario-based modeling framework used for the Great Plains is now being applied to the entire United States.

  14. Great Plains Coal Gasification Project: Quarterly technical progress report, April-June 1988 (Fourth fiscal quarter, 1987-1988)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1988-07-29

    This progress report describes the operation of the Great Plains Gasification Plant, including lignite coal production, SNG production, gas quality, by-products, and certain problems encountered. (LTN)

  15. Dendroclimatic potential of plains cottonwood (Populus deltoides subsp. monilifera) from the Northern Great Plains, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Edmonson, Jesse; Friedman, Jonathan; Meko, David; Touchan, Ramzi; Scott, Julian; Edmonson, Alan

    2014-01-01

    A new 368-year tree-ring chronology (A.D. 1643–2010) has been developed in western North Dakota using plains cottonwood (Populus deltoides subsp. monilifera) growing on the relatively undisturbed floodplain of the Little Missouri River in the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. We document many slow-growing living trees between 150–370 years old that contradict the common understanding that cottonwoods grow fast and die young. In this northern location, cottonwood produces distinct annual rings with dramatic interannual variability that strongly crossdate. The detrended tree-ring chronology is significantly positively correlated with local growing season precipitation and soil moisture conditions (r  =  0.69). This time series shows periods of prolonged low radial tree growth during the known droughts of the instrumental record (e.g. 1931–1939 and 1980–1981) and also during prehistory (e.g. 1816–1823 and 1856–1865) when other paleoclimate studies have documented droughts in this region. Tree rings of cottonwood will be a useful tool to help reconstruct climate, streamflow, and the floodplain history of the Little Missouri River and other northern river systems.

  16. Simulating the impact of human land use change on forest composition in the Great Plains agroecosystems with the Seedscape model

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Easterling, W.E.; Brandle, J.R.; Hays, C.J.; Guo, Q.; Guertin, D.S.

    2001-01-01

    The expansion and contraction of marginal cropland in the Great Plains often involves small forested strips of land that provide important ecological benefits. The effect of human disturbance on these forests is not well known. Because of their unique structure such forests are not well-represented by forest gap models. In this paper, the development, testing and application of a new model known as Seedscape are described. Seedscape is a modification of the JABOWA-II model, and it uses a spatially-explicit landscape to resolve small-scale features of highly fragmented forests in the eastern Great Plains. It was tested and evaluated with observations from two sites, one in Nebraska and a second in eastern Iowa. Seedscape realistically simulates succession at the Nebraska site, but is less successful at the Iowa site. Seedscape was also applied to the Nebraska site to simulate the effect that varying forest corridor widths, in response to the presumed expansion/contraction of adjacent agricultural land, has on succession properties. Results suggest that small differences in widths have negligible effects on forest composition, but large differences in widths may cause statistically-significant changes in the relative importance of some species. We assert that long-term ecological change in human dominated landscapes is not well understood, in part, because of inadequate modeling techniques. Seedscape provides a much-needed tool for assessing the ecological implications of land use change in forests of predominately agricultural landscapes.

  17. Understanding Great Plains Urbanization through the Lens of South Dakota Townscapes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Conzen, Michael P.

    2010-01-01

    Most towns were crucial to the initial colonization and economic development of the Great Plains. Many were, directly or indirectly, creatures of railroad corporate planning, owing their location as well as their physical layout to the townsite companies controlled by railroad officials. This article examines how these facts shaped the fundamental…

  18. Particulate matter concentrations for mono-slope beef cattle facilities in the Northern Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Confined cattle facilities are an increasingly common housing system in the Northern Great Plains region of the United States. Producers may maintain a deep-bedded manure pack (Pack), they may remove all bedding/manure material from the pens weekly (Scrape), or use a combination of management styles...

  19. Growth and Quality of Cool-Season Perennial Grass Species in the Southern Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Annually planted winter wheat is the major cool-season livestock forage enterprise in a large part of the southern Great Plains and is a good complement to warm-season perennials. However, gaps in both fall and spring exist in the system. Cool-season perennial grasses that have origins in the Nort...

  20. Growth and Quality of Perennial C3 Grasses in the Southern Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Spring and fall gaps in forage production for systems utilizing winter wheat forage in the Southern Great Plains have led to an interest in additional resources such as C3 perennial grasses. We evaluated the potential of nine cool-season grass entries for forage production and quality through the fa...

  1. Developing wind and/or solar powered crop irrigation systems for the Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Some small scale, off-grid irrigation systems (less than 2.5 ha) that are powered by wind or solar energy are cost effective, but this paper discusses ways to achieve an economical renewable energy powered center pivot irrigation system for crops in the Great Plains. It was found that partitioning t...

  2. Effects of Grazing Pressure on Efficiency of Grazing on North American Great Plains Rangelands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Robust prediction models describing vegetation and animal responses to stocking rate in North American Great Plains rangelands are lacking as across site comparisons are limited by different qualitative designations of light, moderate and heavy stocking. Comparisons of stocking rates across sites ca...

  3. Black Enclaves of Violence: Race and Homicide in Great Plains Cities, 1890-1920

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McKanna, Clare V., Jr.

    2003-01-01

    The author examines interracial homicides in the early twentieth century in three Great Plains cities: Coffeyville, Kansas; Topeka, Kansas; and Omaha, Nebraska. Railroads attracted hundreds of young blacks searching for steady employment. Alcohol played an important role in violence levels as did the availability of cheap and handguns, and certain…

  4. Low-rank coal research: Volume 3, Combustion research: Final report. [Great Plains

    SciTech Connect

    Mann, M. D.; Hajicek, D. R.; Zobeck, B. J.; Kalmanovitch, D. P.; Potas, T. A.; Maas, D. J.; Malterer, T. J.; DeWall, R. A.; Miller, B. G.; Johnson, M. D.

    1987-04-01

    Volume III, Combustion Research, contains articles on fluidized bed combustion, advanced processes for low-rank coal slurry production, low-rank coal slurry combustion, heat engine utilization of low-rank coals, and Great Plains Gasification Plant. These articles have been entered individually into EDB and ERA. (LTN)

  5. Weather pattern climatology of the Great Plains and the related wind regime

    SciTech Connect

    Barchet, W.R.

    1982-11-01

    The meteorology of the Great Plains can be described as a constant progression of air masses, fronts and cyclonic storm systems. Each of these meteorological conditions can be characterized by identifiable isobaric and related weather parameter patterns. Nine such patterns have been defined to type the weather patterns in the Great Plains. Time series of weather pattern types were produced for 62 stations on the Great Plains. Statistical analyses of these time series produced annual and seasonal frequencies of occurrence of the weather pattern types. Maps of the annual and seasonal frequency of occurrence of weather pattern type are presented for the Great Plains. Persistence and alternation frequencies match what is expected for traveling temperate latitude cyclones, anticyclones and fronts. The wind regime for stations at which the anemometer height and location was constant (and known) for a minimum of three consecutive years was stratified by weather pattern type. Statistical analyses were made to show the response of the wind to the large-scale distribution of air pressure associated with a weather pattern type. The response of the wind to the weather pattern is a site-specific result of the interaction of the large-scale meteorology with local terrain, surface roughness and atmospheric stability. Mean wind speed discriminates between pairs of weather pattern types with better than 75% confidence for more than two-thirds of the possible pairs of weather pattern types.

  6. Cover crop biomass production and water use in the Central Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The water-limited environment of the semi-arid central Great Plains may not have potential to produce enough cover crop biomass to generate benefits associated with cover crop use in more humid regions. There have been reports that cover crops grown in mixtures produce more biomass with greater wate...

  7. Cover crop biomass production and water use in the central great plains under varying water availability

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The water-limited environment of the semi-arid central Great Plains may not have potential to produce enough cover crop biomass to generate benefits associated with cover crop use in more humid regions. There have been reports that cover crops grown in mixtures produce more biomass with greater wate...

  8. IMPLICATIONS OF INVASION BY JUNIPERUS VIRGINIANA ON SMALL MAMMALS IN THE SOUTHERN GREAT PLAINS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Changes in landscape cover in the Great Plains are resulting from the range expansion and invasion of eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana). By altering the landscape and local vegetation, red cedar is changing the structure and function of habitat for small mammals. We exam...

  9. Soil erosion and organic matter variations for central Great Plains cropping systems under residue removal

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The diversity of geo-climatic land bases and potential feedstocks within the United States Central Great Plains (CGP) requires sustainable production that provides optimal resource utilization while maintaining or enhancing localized soil and environmental quality as much as possible. This study exa...

  10. Dataset: Soil erosion and organic matter for central Great Plains cropping systems under residue removal

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The diversity of geo-climatic land bases and potential feedstocks within the United States Central Great Plains (CGP) requires sustainable production that provides optimal resource utilization while maintaining or enhancing localized soil and environmental quality as much as possible. This study exa...

  11. Low-dose glyphosate does not control annual bromes in the northern Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Annual bromes (downy brome and Japanese brome) have been shown to decrease perennial grass forage production and alter ecosystem functions in northern Great Plains rangelands. Large-scale chemical control might be a method for increasing rangeland forage production if low application rates confer co...

  12. IIMPLICATIONS OF INVASION BY JUNIPERUS VIRGINIANA ON SMALL MAMMALS IN THE SOUTHERN GREAT PLAINS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Changes in landscape cover in the Great Plains are resulting from the range expansion and invasion of eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana). By altering the landscape and local vegetation, red cedar is changing the structure and function of habitat for small mammals. We examin...

  13. Adaptation of Pulse Crops to the Changing Climate of the Northern Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Climate over the northern Great Plains has generally warmed over the last 60 yr. The rate of warming has varied temporally and spatially, confounding trend analysis for climate indicators such as increased length of the growing season. Change in precipitation has been even more variable. Despite thi...

  14. Cover crop effect on subsequent wheat yield and water use efficiency in the central great plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Crop production systems in the water-limited environment of the semi-arid central Great Plains may not have potential to profitably use cover crops because of lowered subsequent wheat (Triticum asestivum L.) yields following the cover crop. Cover crop mixtures have reportedly shown less yield-reduci...

  15. Cover crops can affect subsequent wheat yield in the central great plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Crop production systems in the water-limited environment of the semi-arid central Great Plains may not have potential to profitably use cover crops because of lowered subsequent wheat (Triticum asestivum L.) yields following the cover crop. Cover crop mixtures have reportedly shown less yield-reduci...

  16. Evaluating potential dryland cropping systems adapted to climate change in the Central Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Climate in the semi-arid Central Great Plains is expected to become warmer and drier in coming decades, with potentially greater variability in precipitation and temperature. Cropping systems that include forages and allow flexibility for determining if a crop should be planted and which crop to pla...

  17. Cropping Intensity Impacts on Soil Aggregation and Carbon Sequestration in the Central Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The predominant cropping system in the Central Great Plains is conventional tillage (CT) winter wheat–summer fallow. We investigated the effect 15 yrs of variable cropping intensity, fallow frequency, and tillage (CT and no-till [NT]) had on soil organic C (SOC) sequestration, particulate organic ma...

  18. Grasshopper responses to fire and postfire grazing in the northern Great Plains vary among species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rangeland management practices such as burning and grazing management may affect grasshopper populations by impacting development, survival and reproduction. Experiments are lacking in the northern Great Plains examining the effects of fire and grazing intensity on grasshoppers. As part of a larger ...

  19. But What Is There to See? An Exploration of a Great Plains Aesthetic

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tangney, ShaunAnne

    2004-01-01

    In the fall of 2001 I taught a beginning college composition course at Minot State University, a small state university located in the northwestern quadrant of North Dakota. It is typical of such courses to include a fair amount of reading, and one of the texts I assigned was Ian Frazier's "Great Plains". The book is a travelogue that…

  20. Developing a hybrid solar/wind powered irrigation system for crops in the Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Some small scale irrigation systems (< 2 ha) powered by wind or solar do not require subsidies, but this paper discusses ways to achieve an economical renewable energy powered center pivot irrigation system for crops in the Great Plains. By adding a solar-photovoltaic (PV) array together with a wind...

  1. Pigeon pea potential for summer grazing in the Southern Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Stocker cattle production in the southern Great Plains (SGP) faces forage quality gaps during July through September. A study was conducted in 2008 through 2010 to determine if pigeon pea [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.] could fill this deficit period. Six, 0.41 ha experimental paddocks were randomly ...

  2. Developing the 18th indicator for interpreting indicators of rangeland health on Northern Great Plains rangelands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    National Resources Inventory (NRI) resource assessment report shows little to no departure on Rangeland Health for most Northern Great Plains Rangelands. This information is supported by Interpreting Indicators of Rangeland Health (IIRH) data collected at local to regional scales. There is however a...

  3. Immigration to the Great Plains, 1865-1914: War, Politics, Technology, and Economic Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garver, Bruce

    2011-01-01

    The advent and vast extent of immigration to the Great Plains states during the years 1865 to 1914 is perhaps best understood in light of the new international context that emerged during the 1860s in the aftermath of six large wars whose consequences included the enlargement of civil liberties, an acceleration of economic growth and technological…

  4. Reflectance based characterization of wheat cultivars for identifying drought tolerance in the Southern Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the U.S. Southern Great Plains (SGP), drought stress is the single most important factor for reducing yield in winter wheat. Selection of drought tolerant wheat cultivars has been and will continue to be a critical strategy for wheat management under limited water conditions. Currently, yield is ...

  5. Modeling the Impact of Irrigation on Precipitation over the Great Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harding, K. J.; Snyder, P. K.

    2010-12-01

    Irrigation has been shown to have an impact on the surface radiation and water budgets over a portion of the North American Great Plains. The addition of near-surface moisture in the soil from irrigation contributes to increasing the surface water vapor and latent heat fluxes while decreasing the sensible heat flux. The result is a reduction in the surface and boundary layer air temperature, an increase in humidity, and spatially variable precipitation changes. In this study, the NOAH land component of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model has been modified to simulate the effects of irrigation at sub-grid scales using a satellite-derived fractional irrigation dataset. Grid cells in the model were divided into irrigated and non-irrigated segments based on the irrigation fraction. For irrigated segments, all soil layers were held at saturation from the surface down to a depth of 200 cm. WRF simulations of nine different May-September periods (3 pluvial, 3 normal, and 3 drought) over the Great Plains were used to assess the impact of irrigation on the precipitation field. Data from the simulations with and without irrigation were used to determine the precipitation recycling ratio in the Great Plains domain. In addition, a back trajectory analysis was conducted to trace precipitation back to its evaporative source and to identify locations that experienced precipitation changes explicitly due to evapotranspiration over heavily irrigated regions (e.g., Nebraska). Overall, analysis of the recycling ratio and back trajectories suggest that irrigation has a spatially variable, but significant, impact on the precipitation field over the North American Great Plains resulting from changes in boundary layer dynamic and thermodynamic processes. Since approximately 42% of water usage in the United States is attributed to irrigation, irrigation-induced changes in the precipitation field over the Great Plains have considerable impacts on local and regional water

  6. Downstream effects of dams on channel geometry and bottomland vegetation: Regional patterns in the Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Friedman, J.M.; Osterkamp, W.R.; Scott, M.L.; Auble, G.T.

    1998-01-01

    The response of rivers and riparian forests to upstream dams shows a regional pattern related to physiographic and climatic factors that influence channel geometry. We carried out a spatial analysis of the response of channel geometry to 35 dams in the Great Plains and Central Lowlands, USA. The principal response of a braided channel to an upstream dam is channel-narrowing, and the principal response of a meandering channel is a reduction in channel migration rate. Prior to water management, braided channels were most common in the southwestern Plains where sand is abundant, whereas meandering channels were most common in the northern and eastern Plains. The dominant response to upstream dams has been channel-narrowing in the southwestern Plains (e.g., six of nine cases in the High Plains) and reduction in migration rate in the north and east (e.g., all of twelve cases in the Missouri Plateau and Western Lake Regions). Channel-narrowing is associated with a burst of establishment of native and exotic woody riparian pioneer species on the former channel bed. In contrast, reduction in channel migration rate is associated with a decrease in reproduction of woody riparian pioneers. Thus, riparian pioneer forests along large rivers in the southwestern Plains have temporarily increased following dam construction while such forests in the north and east have decreased. These patterns explain apparent contradictions in conclusions of studies that focused on single rivers or small regions and provide a framework for predicting effects of dams on large rivers in the Great Plains and elsewhere. These conclusions are valid only for large rivers. A spatial analysis of channel width along 286 streams ranging in mean annual discharge from 0.004 to 1370 cubic meters per second did not produce the same clear regional pattern, in part because the channel geometries of small and large streams are affected differently by a sandy watershed.

  7. 78 FR 17653 - Upper Great Plains Wind Energy Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (DOE/EIS-0408)

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-03-22

    ... Wind Energy Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (DOE/EIS-0408) AGENCIES: Western Area... Service (Service), have, as joint lead agencies, prepared the Upper Great Plains Wind Energy Draft... wind energy development within Western's Upper Great Plains Customer Service Region (UGP Region),...

  8. Mapping marginal croplands suitable for cellulosic feedstock crops in the Great Plains, United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gu, Yingxin; Wylie, Bruce K.

    2016-01-01

    Growing cellulosic feedstock crops (e.g., switchgrass) for biofuel is more environmentally sustainable than corn-based ethanol. Specifically, this practice can reduce soil erosion and water quality impairment from pesticides and fertilizer, improve ecosystem services and sustainability (e.g., serve as carbon sinks), and minimize impacts on global food supplies. The main goal of this study was to identify high-risk marginal croplands that are potentially suitable for growing cellulosic feedstock crops (e.g., switchgrass) in the US Great Plains (GP). Satellite-derived growing season Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, a switchgrass biomass productivity map obtained from a previous study, US Geological Survey (USGS) irrigation and crop masks, and US Department of Agriculture (USDA) crop indemnity maps for the GP were used in this study. Our hypothesis was that croplands with relatively low crop yield but high productivity potential for switchgrass may be suitable for converting to switchgrass. Areas with relatively low crop indemnity (crop indemnity <$2 157 068) were excluded from the suitable areas based on low probability of crop failures. Results show that approximately 650 000 ha of marginal croplands in the GP are potentially suitable for switchgrass development. The total estimated switchgrass biomass productivity gain from these suitable areas is about 5.9 million metric tons. Switchgrass can be cultivated in either lowland or upland regions in the GP depending on the local soil and environmental conditions. This study improves our understanding of ecosystem services and the sustainability of cropland systems in the GP. Results from this study provide useful information to land managers for making informed decisions regarding switchgrass development in the GP.

  9. Estimating switchgrass productivity in the Great Plains using satellite vegetation index and site environmental variables

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gu, Yingxin; Wylie, Bruce K.; Howard, Daniel M.

    2015-01-01

    Switchgrass is being evaluated as a potential feedstock source for cellulosic biofuels and is being cultivated in several regions of the United States. The recent availability of switchgrass land cover maps derived from the National Agricultural Statistics Service cropland data layer for the conterminous United States provides an opportunity to assess the environmental conditions of switchgrass over large areas and across different geographic locations. The main goal of this study is to develop a data-driven multiple regression switchgrass productivity model and identify the optimal climate and environment conditions for the highly productive switchgrass in the Great Plains (GP). Environmental and climate variables used in the study include elevation, soil organic carbon, available water capacity, climate, and seasonal weather. Satellite-derived growing season averaged Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (GSN) was used as a proxy for switchgrass productivity. Multiple regression analyses indicate that there are strong correlations between site environmental variables and switchgrass productivity (r = 0.95). Sufficient precipitation and suitable temperature during the growing season (i.e., not too hot or too cold) are favorable for switchgrass growth. Elevation and soil characteristics (e.g., soil available water capacity) are also an important factor impacting switchgrass productivity. An anticipated switchgrass biomass productivity map for the entire GP based on site environmental and climate conditions and switchgrass productivity model was generated. Highly productive switchgrass areas are mainly located in the eastern part of the GP. Results from this study can help land managers and biofuel plant investors better understand the general environmental and climate conditions influencing switchgrass growth and make optimal land use decisions regarding switchgrass development in the GP.

  10. Regional Ecosystem Carbon Exchange in the Southern Great Plains: Measurements, Modeling, and Scaling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torn, M. S.; Riley, W. J.; Biraud, S. C.; Fischer, M. L.; Billesbach, D. S.; Berry, J. A.

    2007-12-01

    The extremely heterogeneous landscape of the ARM (Atmospheric Radiation Measurement) Climate Research Facility (ACRF) in the U.S. Southern Great Plains is representative of the southern boundary of the NACP Midwest intensive experiment. The area is largely agricultural with vegetation cover type and status that vary on sub- kilometer scales. In this study we developed, applied, and tested a "bottom- up" approach to inferring terrestrial C exchanges at fine scales (down to 250 m). Measurements at the ACRF include a 60 m tower instrumented with eddy covariance (ECOR) systems at several heights, about 20 permanent ECOR towers, several portable ECOR systems, many atmospheric and cloud sensing systems, and regular balloon sonde and aircraft measurements. We applied the land-surface model ISOLSM (with recent modifications to the plant physiological submodel) forced with OK and KS Mesonet climate datasets and MODIS vegetation indices. A method to infer vegetation cover type using satellite data and archetypal LAI annual profiles was developed and successfully tested against USDA census data for the region. The model's net CO2 exchange estimates were calibrated and tested using eddy correlation data from the dominant surface covers. Three years spanning a substantial precipitation gradient (2003 - 2005) were then simulated. Large differences in annual regional CO2 exchanges were predicted corresponding to expected system responses to available moisture. Spatial scaling analysis from 250 m to 100 km indicated that homogenizing LAI and vegetation cover can impact annual NEE substantially, including changing the region from a predicted net CO2 source to a net sink. Further, differences in NEE associated with spatial scaling differed between years, indicating that accurate bottom-up NEE estimates in this heterogeneous region require fine-scale analysis approaches.

  11. Land cover changes associated with recent energy development in the Williston Basin; Northern Great Plains, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Preston, Todd M.; Kim, Kevin

    2016-01-01

    The Williston Basin in the Northern Great Plains has experienced rapid energy development since 2000. To evaluate the land cover changes resulting from recent (2000 – 2015) development, the area and previous land cover of all well pads (pads) constructed during this time was determined, the amount of disturbed and reclaimed land adjacent to pads was estimated, land cover changes were analyzed over time for three different well types, and the effects from future development were predicted. The previous land cover of the 12,990 ha converted to pads was predominately agricultural (49.5%) or prairie (47.4%) with lesser amounts of developed (2.3%), aquatic (0.5%), and forest (0.4%). Additionally, 12,121 ha have likely been disturbed and reclaimed. The area required per gas well remained constant through time while the land required per oil well increased initially and then decreased as development first shifted from conventional to unconventional drilling and then to multi-bore pads. For non-oil-and- gas wells (i.e. stratigraphic test wells, water wells, injection wells, etc.), the area per well increased through time likely due to increased produced water disposal requirements. Future land cover change is expected to be 2.7 times greater than recent development with much of the development occurring in five counties in the core Bakken development area. Direct land cover change and disturbance from recent and expected development are predicted to affect 0.4% of the landscape across the basin; however, in the core Bakken development area, 2.3% of the landscape will be affected including 2.1% of the remaining grassland. Although future development will result in significant land cover change, evolving industry practices and proactive siting decisions, such as development along energy corridors and placing pads in areas previously altered by human activity, have the potential to reduce the ecological effects of future energy development in the Williston Basin.

  12. Land cover changes associated with recent energy development in the Williston Basin; Northern Great Plains, USA.

    PubMed

    Preston, Todd M; Kim, Kevin

    2016-10-01

    The Williston Basin in the Northern Great Plains has experienced rapid energy development since 2000. To evaluate the land cover changes resulting from recent (2000-2015) development, the area and previous land cover of all well pads (pads) constructed during this time were determined, the amount of disturbed and reclaimed land adjacent to pads was estimated, land cover changes were analyzed over time for three different well types, and the effects from future development were predicted. The previous land cover of the 12,990ha converted to pads was predominately agricultural (49.5%) or prairie (47.4%) with lesser amounts of developed (2.3%), aquatic (0.5%), and forest (0.4%). Additionally, 12,121ha has likely been disturbed and reclaimed. The area required per gas well remained constant through time while the land required per oil well increased initially and then decreased as development first shifted from conventional to unconventional drilling and then to multi-bore pads. For non-oil-and-gas wells (i.e. stratigraphic test wells, water wells, and injection wells), the area per well increased through time likely due to increased produced water disposal requirements. Future land cover change is expected to be 2.7 times greater than recent development with much of the development occurring in five counties in the core Bakken development area. Direct land cover change and disturbance from recent and expected development are predicted to affect 0.4% of the landscape across the basin; however, in the core Bakken development area, 2.3% of the landscape will be affected including 2.1% of the remaining grassland. Although future development will result in significant land cover change, evolving industry practices and proactive siting decisions, such as development along energy corridors and placing pads in areas previously altered by human activity, have the potential to reduce the ecological effects of future energy development in the Williston Basin.

  13. Pesticides in Surface Drinking-Water Supplies of the Northern Great Plains

    PubMed Central

    Donald, David B.; Cessna, Allan J.; Sverko, Ed; Glozier, Nancy E.

    2007-01-01

    Background Human health anomalies have been associated with pesticide exposure for people living in rural landscapes in the northern Great Plains of North America. Objective The objective of this study was to investigate the occurrence of 45 pesticides in drinking water from reservoirs in this area that received water primarily from snowmelt and rainfall runoff from agricultural crop lands. Methods Water from 15 reservoirs was sampled frequently during the spring pesticide application period (early May to mid-August) and less frequently for the remainder of the year. Drinking water was sampled in early July. Sample extracts were analyzed for pesticide content using mass spectrometric detection. Results We detected two insecticides and 27 herbicides in reservoir water. Consistent detection of a subset of 7 herbicides suggested that atmospheric deposition, either directly or in rain, was the principal pathway from fields to the reservoirs. However, the highest concentrations and number of herbicides in drinking water were associated with runoff from a localized 133-mm rainfall over 15 days toward the end of spring herbicide application. Water treatment removed from 14 to 86% of individual herbicides. Drinking water contained 3–15 herbicides (average, 6.4). Conclusions We estimated the mean annual calculated concentration of herbicides in drinking water to be 75 ng/L (2,4-dichlorophenoxy)acetic acid, 31 ng/L (2-chloro-4-methylphenoxy)acetic acid, 24 ng/L clopyralid, 11 ng/L dichlorprop, 4 ng/L dicamba, 3 ng/L mecoprop, and 1 ng/L bro-moxynil. The maximum total concentration of herbicides in drinking water was 2,423 ng/L. For the seven herbicides with established drinking water guidelines, all concentrations of the individual chemicals were well below their respective guideline. However, guidelines have not been established for the majority of the herbicides found in drinking water or for mixtures of pesticides. PMID:17687445

  14. Dynamics of cultural transmission in Native Americans of the high Great Plains.

    PubMed

    Lycett, Stephen J

    2014-01-01

    Culture is a phenomenon shared by all humans. Attempts to understand how dynamic factors affect the origin and distribution of cultural elements are, therefore, of interest to all humanity. As case studies go, understanding the distribution of cultural elements in Native American communities during the historical period of the Great Plains would seem a most challenging one. Famously, there is a mixture of powerful internal and external factors, creating-for a relatively brief period in time-a seemingly distinctive set of shared elements from a linguistically diverse set of peoples. This is known across the world as the "Great Plains culture." Here, quantitative analyses show how different processes operated on two sets of cultural traits among nine High Plains groups. Moccasin decorations exhibit a pattern consistent with geographically-mediated between-group interaction. However, group variations in the religious ceremony of the Sun Dance also reveal evidence of purifying cultural selection associated with historical biases, dividing down ancient linguistic lines. The latter shows that while the conglomeration of "Plains culture" may have been a product of merging new ideas with old, combined with cultural interchange between groups, the details of what was accepted, rejected or elaborated in each case reflected preexisting ideological biases. Although culture may sometimes be a "melting pot," the analyses show that even in highly fluid situations, cultural mosaics may be indirectly shaped by historical factors that are not always obvious.

  15. Simulation of the great plains low-level jet and associated clouds by general circulation models

    SciTech Connect

    Ghan, S.J.; Bian, X.; Corsetti, L.

    1996-07-01

    The low-level jet frequently observed in the Great Plains of the United States forms preferentially at night and apparently influences the timing of the thunderstorms in the region. The authors have found that both the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts general circulation model and the National Center for Atmospheric Research Community Climate Model simulate the low-level jet rather well, although the spatial distribution of the jet frequency simulated by the two GCM`s differ considerably. Sensitivity experiments have demonstrated that the simulated low-level jet is surprisingly robust, with similar simulations at much coarser horizontal and vertical resolutions. However, both GCM`s fail to simulate the observed relationship between clouds and the low-level jet. The pronounced nocturnal maximum in thunderstorm frequency associated with the low-level jet is not simulated well by either GCM, with only weak evidence of a nocturnal maximum in the Great Plains. 36 refs., 20 figs.

  16. Habitat relationships with fish assemblages in minimally disturbed Great Plains regions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fischer, John R.; Paukert, C.P.

    2008-01-01

    Effects of local environmental influences on the structure of fish assemblages were evaluated from 159 sites in two regions of the Great Plains with limited anthropogenic disturbance. These regions offered an opportunity to evaluate the structure and variation of streams and fish assemblages within the Great Plains. We used canonical correspondence analyses to determine the influence of environmental conditions on species abundances, species occurrences and assemblage characteristics. Analysis of regions separately indicated that similar environmental factors structured streams and fish assemblages, despite differences in environmental conditions and species composition between regions. Variance in fish abundance and assemblage characteristics from both regions was best explained by metrics of stream size and associated metrics (width, depth, conductivity and instream cover). Our results provide a framework and reference for conditions and assemblage structure in North American prairie streams.

  17. Monitoring the vernal advancement and retrogradation (green wave effect) of natural vegetation. [Great Plains Corridor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rouse, J. W., Jr. (Principal Investigator); Haas, R. H.; Deering, D. W.; Schell, J. A.

    1973-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. The Great Plains Corridor rangeland project utilizes natural vegetation systems as phenological indicators of seasonal development and climatic effects upon regional growth conditions. A method has been developed for quantitative measurement of vegetation conditions over broad regions using ERTS-1 MSS data. Radiance values recorded in ERTS-1 spectral bands 5 and 7, corrected for sun angle, are used to compute a band ratio parameter which is shown to be correlated with green biomass and vegetation moisture content. This report details the progress being made toward determining factors associated with the transformed vegetation index (TVI) and limitations on the method. During the first year of ERTS-1 operation (cycles 1-20), an average of 50% usable ERTS-1 data was obtained for the ten Great Plains Corridor test sites.

  18. Annual crop type classification of the U.S. Great Plains for 2000 to 2011

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Howard, Daniel M.; Wylie, Bruce K.

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to increase the spatial and temporal availability of crop classification data. In this study, nearly 16.2 million crop observation points were used in the training of the US Great Plains classification tree crop type model (CTM). Each observation point was further defined by weekly Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, annual climate, and a number of other biogeophysical environmental characteristics. This study accounted for the most prevalent crop types in the region, including, corn, soybeans, winter wheat, spring wheat, cotton, sorghum, and alfalfa. Annual CTM crop maps of the US Great Plains were created for 2000 to 2011 at a spatial resolution of 250 meters. The CTM achieved an 87 percent classification success rate on 1.8 million observation points that were withheld from model training. Product validation was performed on greater than 15,000 county records with a coefficient of determination of R2 = 0.76.

  19. Aerosol measurements at the Southern Great Plains Site: Design and surface installation

    SciTech Connect

    Leifer, R.; Knuth, R.H.; Guggenheim, S.F.; Albert, B.

    1996-04-01

    To impropve the predictive capabilities of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurements (ARM) program radiation models, measurements of awserosol size distributions, condensation particle concentrations, aerosol scattering coefficients at a number of wavelenghts, and the aerosol absorption coefficients are needed at the Southern Great Plains (SGP) site. Alos, continuous measurements of ozone concnetrations are needed for model validation. The environmental Measuremenr Laboratory (EMK) has the responsibility to establish the surface aerosol measurements program at the SGP site. EML has designed a special sampling manifold.

  20. Population change in the Great Plains since 1950 and the consequences of selective migration.

    PubMed

    Rathge, R; Highman, P

    1998-01-01

    This "study was initiated to explore the causes and consequences of persistent population loss in the Great Plains region [of the United States]. After classifying all counties by their growth patterns over the past five decades, we developed a typology that categorized counties based on the direction and magnitude of their population change.... We use this typology to explore the correlates of residential population change, and to examine the explanatory power of the variables found to be statistically significant."

  1. Correlation of spacecraft passive microwave system data with soil moisture indices (API). [great plains corridor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blanchard, B. J.; Mcfarland, M. J.; Theis, S.; Richter, J. G.

    1981-01-01

    Electrical scanning microwave radiometer brightness temperature, meteorological data, climatological data, and winter wheat crop information were used to estimate that soil moisture content in the Great Plains region. Results over the predominant winter wheat areas indicate that the best potential to infer soil moisture occurs during fall and spring. These periods encompass the growth stages when soil moisture is most important to winter wheat yield. Other significant results are reported.

  2. Stratigraphy of the Younger Dryas Chronozone and paleoenvironmental implications: Central and Southern Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Holliday, V.T.; Meltzer, D.J.; Mandel, R.

    2011-01-01

    The Great Plains of the United States was the setting for some of the earliest research in North America into patterns and changes in the character of late Pleistocene environments and their effects on contemporary human populations. Many localities in the region have well-stratified records of terminal Pleistocene and early Holocene human (Paleoindian) activity and past environments. These have proven important in debates over the character of the Younger Dryas Chronozone (YDC; 11,000-10,000 14C BP; 12,900-11,700 cal BP) in the continental interior. This paper reviews the lithostratigraphic record of the YDC on the Central and Southern Great Plains and summarizes paleobiological records (largely isotopic). The goal is to determine if there is any uniformity in the timing, character, direction and/or magnitude of changes in depositional environments or broader geomorphic systems before, during or after the YDC in order to address the question of the character of environments through this time. The stratigraphic records of the late Pleistocene to early Holocene transition, and in particular, the stratigraphic records of the YDC vary through time and space. The data clearly show that a host of geomorphic processes produced the terminal Pleistocene and early Holocene stratigraphic records of the Great Plains. Moreover, the YDC is not necessarily manifest as a distinct lithostratigraphic or biostratigraphic entity in these different types of deposits and soils. The various geomorphic systems of the Great Plains did not behave synchronously in response to any common climate driver. These stratigraphic records reflect local environmental conditions and probably a complex response to the reorganization of mid-latitude climates in the terminal Pleistocene and early Holocene. ?? 2011 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

  3. Are Droughts in the United States Great Plains Predictable on Seasonal and Longer Time Scales?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schubert, Siegfried D.; Suarez, M.; Pegion, P.; Kistler, M.; Einaudi, Franco (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The United States Great Plains has experienced numerous episodes of unusually dry conditions lasting anywhere from months to several years, In this presentation, we will examine the predictability of such episodes and the physical mechanisms controlling the variability of the summer climate of the continental United States. The analysis is based on ensembles of multi-year simulations and seasonal hindcasts generated with the NASA Seasonal to-Interannual Prediction Project (NSIPP-1) General Circulation Model.

  4. Reconnaissance of water quality in the High Plains Aquifer beneath agricultural lands, south-central Kansas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stullken, L.E.; Stamer, J.K.; Carr, J.E.

    1987-01-01

    The High Plains of western Kansas was one of 14 areas selected for preliminary groundwater quality reconnaissance by the U.S. Geological Survey 's Toxic Waste--Groundwater Contamination Program. The specific objective was to evaluate the effects of land used for agriculture (irrigated cropland and non-irrigated rangeland) on the water in the High Plains aquifer. Conceptual inferences, based on the information available, would lead one to expect groundwater beneath irrigated cropland to contain larger concentrations of sodium, sulfate, chloride, nitrite plus nitrate, and some water soluble pesticides than water beneath non-irrigated land (range-land) The central part of the Great Bend Prairie, an area of about 1,800 sq mi overlying the High Plains aquifer in south-central Kansas, was selected for the study of agricultural land use because it has sand soils, a shallow water table, relatively large annual precipitation, and includes large areas that are exclusively irrigated cropland or non-irrigated rangeland. As determined by a two-tailed Wilcoxon rank-sum test, concentrations of sodium and alkalinity were significantly larger at the 95% confidence level for water samples from beneath irrigated cropland than from beneath rangeland. No statistically significant difference in concentrations of sulfate, chloride, nitrite plus nitrate, and ammonia, was detected. Concentrations of 2,4-D found in water samples from beneath the rangeland were larger at the 99% confidence level as compared to concentrations of 2,4-D in samples from beneath irrigated cropland. Larger concentrations of sodium and alkalinity were found in water beneath irrigated cropland, and the largest concentration of the pesticide atrazine (triazines were found in three samples) was found in water from the only irrigation well sampled. The sodium and atrazine concentrations found in water from the irrigation well support the premise that water-level drawdown develops under irrigated fields. This diverts

  5. SuomiNet efforts in the U. S. Southern Great Plains.

    SciTech Connect

    Peppler, R. A.; Carr, F. H.; Ahern, J. L.; Liljegren, J. C.; Eagan, R. C.; Smith, J. J.

    2000-10-10

    SuomiNet provides great promise for advancing research at the University of Oklahoma in numerical weather prediction and plate tectonics studies, and will further help the U.S. DOE ARM (Atmospheric Radiation Measurement) Program better specify the measurement of water vapor over the Southern Great Plains. The SuomiNet program is also allowing ARM to upgrade its data collection infrastructure to provide more reliable and near real-time observations not only to SuomiNet but also to other researchers.

  6. Human Responses to Middle Holocene (Altithermal) Climates on the North American Great Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meltzer, David J.

    1999-11-01

    The climate of the Great Plains during the middle Holocene varied considerably, but overall it was marked by a north-south gradient of increasingly warmer and drier conditions, with a reduction in effective moisture, surface water, and resource abundance, and an increase in resource patchiness, sediment weathering, erosion, and aeolian activity. Pronounced drought conditions were most evident on the Southern High Plains. Understanding the human responses to middle Holocene climates is complicated by a lack of archaeological data, which is partly a result of geomorphic processes that removed or deeply buried sites of this age, and by the varying adaptive responses of hunter-gatherers during this period. On the Southern High Plains, where drought was most severe, surface and groundwater sources dried and bison populations were diminished, prompting substantial adaptive changes, including local abandonment, well-digging to tap underground water, and a widening of the diet breadth to incorporate higher-cost, lower-return seed and plant resources. Sites of this age on the Central and Northern Plains also show a possible increase in diet breadth (with the incorporation of plant foods in the diet), and perhaps changes in settlement mobility (including possible shift into higher elevation areas, or mapping-on to extant rivers and springs). But linking those changes to middle Holocene drought is less straightforward.

  7. Loess record of the Pleistocene-Holocene transition on the northern and central Great Plains, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mason, J.A.; Miao, X.; Hanson, P.R.; Johnson, W.C.; Jacobs, P.M.; Goble, R.J.

    2008-01-01

    Various lines of evidence support conflicting interpretations of the timing, abruptness, and nature of climate change in the Great Plains during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. Loess deposits and paleosols on both the central and northern Great Plains provide a valuable record that can help address these issues. A synthesis of new and previously reported optical and radiocarbon ages indicates that the Brady Soil, which marks the boundary between late Pleistocene Peoria Loess and Holocene Bignell Loess, began forming after a reduction in the rate of Peoria Loess accumulation that most likely occurred between 13.5 and 15 cal ka. Brady Soil formation spanned all or part of the B??lling-Aller??d episode (approximately 14.7-12.9 cal ka) and all of the Younger Dryas episode (12.9-11.5 cal ka) and extended at least 1000 years beyond the end of the Younger Dryas. The Brady Soil was buried by Bignell Loess sedimentation beginning around 10.5-9 cal ka, and continuing episodically through the Holocene. Evidence for a brief increase in loess influx during the Younger Dryas is noteworthy but very limited. Most late Quaternary loess accumulation in the central Great Plains was nonglacigenic and was under relatively direct climatic control. Thus, Brady Soil formation records climatic conditions that minimized eolian activity and allowed effective pedogenesis, probably through relatively high effective moisture. Optical dating of loess in North Dakota supports correlation of the Leonard Paleosol on the northern Great Plains with the Brady Soil. Thick loess in North Dakota was primarily derived from the Missouri River floodplain; thus, its stratigraphy may in part reflect glacial influence on the Missouri River. Nonetheless, the persistence of minimal loess accumulation and soil formation until 10 cal ka at our North Dakota study site is best explained by a prolonged interval of high effective moisture correlative with the conditions that favored Brady Soil formation. Burial

  8. Loess record of the Pleistocene Holocene transition on the northern and central Great Plains, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mason, Joseph A.; Miao, Xiaodong; Hanson, Paul R.; Johnson, William C.; Jacobs, Peter M.; Goble, Ronald J.

    2008-09-01

    Various lines of evidence support conflicting interpretations of the timing, abruptness, and nature of climate change in the Great Plains during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. Loess deposits and paleosols on both the central and northern Great Plains provide a valuable record that can help address these issues. A synthesis of new and previously reported optical and radiocarbon ages indicates that the Brady Soil, which marks the boundary between late Pleistocene Peoria Loess and Holocene Bignell Loess, began forming after a reduction in the rate of Peoria Loess accumulation that most likely occurred between 13.5 and 15 cal ka. Brady Soil formation spanned all or part of the Bølling-Allerød episode (approximately 14.7-12.9 cal ka) and all of the Younger Dryas episode (12.9-11.5 cal ka) and extended at least 1000 years beyond the end of the Younger Dryas. The Brady Soil was buried by Bignell Loess sedimentation beginning around 10.5-9 cal ka, and continuing episodically through the Holocene. Evidence for a brief increase in loess influx during the Younger Dryas is noteworthy but very limited. Most late Quaternary loess accumulation in the central Great Plains was nonglacigenic and was under relatively direct climatic control. Thus, Brady Soil formation records climatic conditions that minimized eolian activity and allowed effective pedogenesis, probably through relatively high effective moisture. Optical dating of loess in North Dakota supports correlation of the Leonard Paleosol on the northern Great Plains with the Brady Soil. Thick loess in North Dakota was primarily derived from the Missouri River floodplain; thus, its stratigraphy may in part reflect glacial influence on the Missouri River. Nonetheless, the persistence of minimal loess accumulation and soil formation until 10 cal ka at our North Dakota study site is best explained by a prolonged interval of high effective moisture correlative with the conditions that favored Brady Soil formation. Burial

  9. Baseline and projected future carbon storage and greenhouse-gas fluxes in the Great Plains region of the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bouchard, Michelle; Butman, David; Hawbaker, Todd; Li, Zhengpeng; Liu, Jinxun; Liu, Shu-Guang; McDonald, Cory; Reker, Ryan; Sayler, Kristi; Sleeter, Benjamin; Sohl, Terry; Stackpoole, Sarah; Wein, Anne; Zhu, Zhi-Liang; Zhu, Zhi-Liang

    2011-01-01

    This assessment was conducted to fulfill the requirements of section 712 of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 and to improve understanding of carbon and greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes in the Great Plains region in the central part of the United States. The assessment examined carbon storage, carbon fluxes, and other GHG fluxes (methane and nitrous oxide) in all major terrestrial ecosystems (forests, grasslands/shrublands, agricultural lands, and wetlands) and freshwater aquatic systems (rivers, streams, lakes, and impoundments) in two time periods: baseline (generally in the first half of the 2010s) and future (projections from baseline to 2050). The assessment was based on measured and observed data collected by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and many other agencies and organizations and used remote sensing, statistical methods, and simulation models.

  10. Hydrologic characteristics of soils in the High Plains, northern Great Plains, and Central Texas Carbonates Regional Aquifer Systems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dugan, Jack T.; Hobbs, Ryne D.; Ihm, Laurie A.

    1990-01-01

    Certain physical characteristics of soils, including permeability, available water capacity, thickness, and topographic position, have a measurable effect on the hydrology of an area. These characteristics control the rate at which precipitation infiltrates or is transmitted through the soil, and thus they have an important role in determining the rates of actual evapotranspiration (consumptive water use), groundwater recharge, and surface runoff. In studies of groundwater hydrology, it is useful to differentiate soils spatially according to their physical characteristics and to assign values that indicate their hydrologic responses.The principal purpose of this report is to describe the relation between the hydrologic characteristics of the soils in the study area and those environmental factors that affect the development and distribution of the soils. This objective will be achieved by (1) defining both qualitatively and quantitatively those soil characteristics that affect hydrology, and (2) classifying and delineating the boundaries of the soils in the study area according to these hydrologic characteristics.The study area includes the High Plains, Northern Great Plains, the Central Texas Carbonates, and parts of the Central Midwest Regional Aquifer Systems as described by the U.S. Geological Survey Regional Aquifer-System Analysis (RASA) Program (Sun, 1986, p.5and Sun, personal commun., June 1985) and shown in figures 1 through 5. The spatial patterns of the soils classified according to their quantifiable hydrologic characteristics will subsequently serve as an integral component in the analysis of actual evapotranspiration (consumptive water use), consumptive irrigation requirements, and potential ground-water recharge of the study area.The classification system used to describe the soils in this report is compatible with that of Dugan (1986). Dugan described the same characteristics of soils that are immediately underlain by principal aquifers of

  11. Farmers, Ranchers, and the Railroad: The Evolution of Fence Law in the Great Plains, 1865-1900

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kawashima, Yasuhide

    2010-01-01

    This article is divided into three parts. The first examines specific fencing policies in Kansas, Nebraska, and other Plains states, highlighting the transformation from the "fence-out" to "fence-in" (herd laws) policies. The second part discusses the coming of the railroads to the Great Plains and the farmers and the ranchers…

  12. Transmission of biology and culture among post-contact Native Americans on the western Great Plains

    PubMed Central

    Lycett, Stephen J.; von Cramon-Taubadel, Noreen

    2016-01-01

    The transmission of genes and culture between human populations has major implications for understanding potential correlations between history, biological, and cultural variation. Understanding such dynamics in 19th century, post-contact Native Americans on the western Great Plains is especially challenging given passage of time, complexity of known dynamics, and difficulties of determining genetic patterns in historical populations for whom, even today, genetic data for their descendants are rare. Here, biometric data collected under the direction of Franz Boas from communities penecontemporaneous with the classic bison-hunting societies, were used as a proxy for genetic variation and analyzed together with cultural data. We show that both gene flow and “culture flow” among populations on the High Plains were mediated by geography, fitting a model of isolation-by-distance. Moreover, demographic and cultural exchange among these communities largely overrode the visible signal of the prior millennia of cultural and genetic histories of these populations. PMID:27514818

  13. Application of wheat yield model to United States and India. [Great Plains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feyerherm, A. M. (Principal Investigator)

    1977-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. The wheat yield model was applied to the major wheat-growing areas of the US and India. In the US Great Plains, estimates from the winter and spring wheat models agreed closely with USDA-SRS values in years with the lowest yields, but underestimated in years with the highest yields. Application to the Eastern Plains and Northwest indicated the importance of cultural factors, as well as meteorological ones in the model. It also demonstrated that the model could be used, in conjunction with USDA-SRRS estimates, to estimate yield losses due to factors not included in the model, particularly diseases and freezes. A fixed crop calendar for India was built from a limited amount of available plot data from that country. Application of the yield model gave measurable evidence that yield variation from state to state was due to different mixes of levels of meteorological and cultural factors.

  14. Transmission of biology and culture among post-contact Native Americans on the western Great Plains.

    PubMed

    Lycett, Stephen J; von Cramon-Taubadel, Noreen

    2016-08-12

    The transmission of genes and culture between human populations has major implications for understanding potential correlations between history, biological, and cultural variation. Understanding such dynamics in 19th century, post-contact Native Americans on the western Great Plains is especially challenging given passage of time, complexity of known dynamics, and difficulties of determining genetic patterns in historical populations for whom, even today, genetic data for their descendants are rare. Here, biometric data collected under the direction of Franz Boas from communities penecontemporaneous with the classic bison-hunting societies, were used as a proxy for genetic variation and analyzed together with cultural data. We show that both gene flow and "culture flow" among populations on the High Plains were mediated by geography, fitting a model of isolation-by-distance. Moreover, demographic and cultural exchange among these communities largely overrode the visible signal of the prior millennia of cultural and genetic histories of these populations.

  15. Impact of dredging on dissolved phosphorus transport in agricultural drainage ditches of the Atlantic Coastal Plain

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Drainage ditches can be a key conduit of phosphorus (P) between agricultural soils of the Atlantic coastal plain and local surface waters, including the Chesapeake Bay. This study sought to quantify the effect of a common ditch management practice, sediment dredging, on fate of P in drainage ditches...

  16. Identifiying and evaluating a suitable index for agricultural drought monitoring in the Texas High Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Drought is a highly destructive natural phenomenon that affects portions of the United States almost every year. Severe water deficiencies can become catastrophic for agriculture and crop yields, especially in the Texas High Plains where generally inadequate rainfall is augmented by irrigation for c...

  17. Vulnerability of southern plains agriculture to climate change

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Climate is a key driver for all ecological and economic systems; therefore, climate change introduces additional uncertainty and vulnerability into these systems. Agriculture represents a major land use that is critical to the survival of human societies and it is highly vulnerable to climate. Clima...

  18. An Innovative Approach to Effective Climate Science Application through Stakeholder Participation in Great Plains Grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Athearn, N.; Broska, J.

    2015-12-01

    For natural resource managers and other Great Plains stakeholders, climate uncertainties further confound decision-making on a highly altered landscape. Partner organizations comprising the Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GPLCC) acknowledge climate change as a high-priority threat to grasslands and associated habitats, affecting water availability, species composition, and other factors. Despite its importance, incorporation of climate change impacts into planning is hindered by high uncertainty and lack of translation to a tangible outcome: effects on species and their habitats. In 2014, the GPLCC initiated a Landscape Conservation Design (LCD) process to ultimately improve the size and connectivity of grasslands - informing land managers of the landscape-scale impacts of local decisions about where to restore, enhance, protect, and develop lands. Defining this goal helped stakeholders envision a tangible product. High resolution land cover data recently completed for Texas and Oklahoma represent current grassland locations. By focusing climate change models to project changes in these land cover datasets, resulting land cover projections can be directly incorporated into LCD-based models to focus restoration where future climates will support grasslands. Broad organizational cooperation has been critical for this USGS-led project, which uses downscaled climate data and other support from the South Central Climate Science Center Consortium and builds on existing work including LCD efforts of the Playa Lakes Joint Venture and the Bureau of Land Management's Southern Great Plains Rapid Ecological Assessment. Ongoing stakeholder guidance through an advisory team ensures effective application of a product that will be both relevant to and understood by decision makers, for whom the primary role of research is to reduce uncertainties and clear the path for more efficient decision-making in the face of climatic uncertainty.

  19. Expansion of Juniperus virginiana L. in the Great Plains: Changes in soil organic carbon dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Dixie L.; Johnson, Loretta C.

    2003-06-01

    Woody encroachment by Juniperus virginiana into Great Plains grasslands allowed us to answer: Does changing the type of plant input to soils alter soil organic carbon (SOC) distribution or soil carbon (C) storage? The answer is critical because woody encroachment may alter C cycling over millions of hectares in the Great Plains and Midwest. We predicted that (1) forest SOC would become concentrated in shallow soil layers compared to SOC distribution in grassland, (2) woody expansion would increase soil C storage, and (3) forest C would be apparent in the larger soil organic matter fractions. Using δ13C signatures of SOC, 1/5 of the C from 0 to 25 cm in juniper forest soils was derived from C3 juniper trees. Forest C3 input occurred primarily in shallow surface layers: Forest soils developed over former C4 prairie contained 42% C3-SOC from 0 to 2.5 cm depth, and decreased to 6% at 25 cm. Isotopic analysis of SOC size fractions revealed that at 0-2.5 cm, the forest soil fraction >212 μm was -25.7‰. The fraction <2 μm had a 13C isotope ratio of -17.0‰ at the same depth, reflecting the predominance of residual prairie C in the smallest fraction. In spite of fast dynamics of soil C turnover, there was no net change in SOC amounts over 40-60 years (cumulative mineral and organic SOC in forest, 8782 g C/m2 ± 810; in grassland, 7699 ± 1004). Thus as junipers expand into mesic areas of the Great Plains, juniper forests will provide little additional soil C storage.

  20. Using natural range of variation to set decision thresholds: a case study for great plains grasslands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Symstad, Amy J.; Jonas, Jayne L.; Edited by Guntenspergen, Glenn R.

    2014-01-01

    Natural range of variation (NRV) may be used to establish decision thresholds or action assessment points when ecological thresholds are either unknown or do not exist for attributes of interest in a managed ecosystem. The process for estimating NRV involves identifying spatial and temporal scales that adequately capture the heterogeneity of the ecosystem; compiling data for the attributes of interest via study of historic records, analysis and interpretation of proxy records, modeling, space-for-time substitutions, or analysis of long-term monitoring data; and quantifying the NRV from those data. At least 19 National Park Service (NPS) units in North America’s Great Plains are monitoring plant species richness and evenness as indicators of vegetation integrity in native grasslands, but little information on natural, temporal variability of these indicators is available. In this case study, we use six long-term vegetation monitoring datasets to quantify the temporal variability of these attributes in reference conditions for a variety of Great Plains grassland types, and then illustrate the implications of using different NRVs based on these quantities for setting management decision thresholds. Temporal variability of richness (as measured by the coefficient of variation, CV) is fairly consistent across the wide variety of conditions occurring in Colorado shortgrass prairie to Minnesota tallgrass sand savanna (CV 0.20–0.45) and generally less than that of production at the same sites. Temporal variability of evenness spans a greater range of CV than richness, and it is greater than that of production in some sites but less in other sites. This natural temporal variability may mask undesirable changes in Great Plains grasslands vegetation. Consequently, we suggest that managers consider using a relatively narrow NRV (interquartile range of all richness or evenness values observed in reference conditions) for designating a surveillance threshold, at which

  1. Monitoring the Vernal Advancement and Retrogradation (Green Wave Effect) of Natural Vegetation. [Great Plains Corridor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rouse, J. W., Jr. (Principal Investigator); Haas, R. H.; Deering, D. W.; Schell, J. A.; Harlan, J. C.

    1974-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. The Great Plains Corridor rangeland project successfully utilized natural vegetation systems as phenological indicators of seasonal development and climatic effects upon regional growth conditions. An effective method was developed for quantitative measurement of vegetation conditions, including green biomass estimates, recorded in bands 5 and 6, corrected for sun angle, were used to compute a ratio parameter (TV16) which is shown to be highly correlated with green biomass and vegatation moisture content. Analyses results of ERTS-1 digital data and correlated ground data are summarized. Attention was given to analyzing weather influences and test site variables on vegetation condition measurements with ERTS-1 data.

  2. Stratigraphic evidence of desertification in the west-central Great Plains within the past 1000 yr

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madole, Richard F.

    1994-06-01

    Stratigraphic and geomorphic relations, archeological data, and eight radiocarbon ages at five widely scattered localities in northeastern Colorado indicate that eolian sand was mobilized over broad areas within the past 1000 yr. The mobilization began after 1 ka, was episodic, and ended at some as yet undetermined time prior to the latter part of the nineteenth century. Given that climate-model simulations suggest only slight variation in average surface temperature and annual precipitation in this region during the past 1000 yr, this part of the Great Plains evidently is near the threshold of widespread eolian sand transport under the present climate.

  3. Stratigraphic evidence of desertification in the west-central Great Plains within the past 1000 yr

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Madole, R.F.

    1994-01-01

    Stratigraphic and geomorphic relations, archaeological data, and eight radiocarbon ages at five widely scattered localities in northeastern Colorado indicate that eolian sand was mobilized over broad areas within the past 1000 yr. The mobilization began after 1 ka, was episodic, and ended at some as yet undetermined time prior to the latter part of the 19th century. Given that climate-model simulations suggest only slight variation in average surface temperature and annual precipitation in this region during the past 1000 yr, this part of the Great Plains evidently is near the threshold of widespread eolian sand transport under the present climate. -Author

  4. AmeriFlux US-ARb ARM Southern Great Plains burn site- Lamont

    SciTech Connect

    Torn, Margaret

    2016-01-01

    This is the AmeriFlux version of the carbon flux data for the site US-ARb ARM Southern Great Plains burn site- Lamont. Site Description - The ARM SGP Burn site is located in the native tallgrass prairies of the USDA Grazinglands Research Laboratory near El Reno, OK. One of two adjacent 35 ha plots, the US-ARb plot was burned on 2005/03/08. The second plot, US-ARc, was left unburned as the control for experimental purposes. Aside from 2005, the region evaded burning activities for at least 15 years. Current disturbances consist of only light grazing activities.

  5. Fire Cycles on the Northern Great Plains and Their Relation to Prairie Drought

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, K. J.; Clark, J. S.; Grimm, E. C.; Donovan, J. J.; Mueller, P.

    2004-12-01

    Drought is a naturally occurring, recurrent phenomenon that has historically gripped large regions of the United States, often with catastrophic consequences. Human insight into the duration, frequency, and dynamics of drought is largely limited to short-term observation. For example, the "Dust Bowl" of the 1930's in the central plains is one of the most vivid cases of prolonged drought in the USA and yet it persisted for less than a decade. To circumnavigate this limited perspective, we employed a paleoenvironmental approach to better characterize landscape response to prairie droughts and specifically document fire response to droughts. Two long sediment cores were collected from Kettle and Brush lakes in the Northern Great Plains (NGP) and age-depth models were developed for the cores by fitting locally weighted loess curves to AMS radiocarbon dates. The cores were continuously sub-sampled at high resolution (1 cm) for particulate charcoal, pollen, sediment mineralogy, and loss-on-ignition. In contrast to recent human observation, spectral and wavelet analyses reveal that multi-decadal to centennial drought cycles have persisted on the northern plains for much of the last ca. 10,000 years, though there were intervals where the cycles were muted, further compounding the dynamics of climate on the plains. In the latest Holocene interval, 160-year fire and drought cycles are clearly denoted. Fires are more common during the wet phases of the drought cycles because moist conditions foster increased grass productivity, resulting in greater fuel loads. In contrast, forbs expanded during the drier periods, limiting fuel loads which resulted in less fire. The charcoal data reveal three general Holocene fire intervals on the NGP associated with millennial-scale changes in climate. In general, the incidence of fire was greater in the early- and late-Holocene with less fire during the warm dry mid-Holocene.

  6. Interpretation and compendium of historical fire accounts in the Northern Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Higgins, K.F.

    1986-01-01

    This interpretation and compendium of historical fire accounts in the northern Great Plains provides resource managers with background information to justify the study or use of fire in management and provides a reference of historic fire accounts for those without ready access to major library collections. Historical accounts of fire are critiqued to aid interpreting the compendium accounts. An interpretation is included by the author.Lightning-set fires were recorded in the literature far less frequently than were Indian-set fires. The kinds of fire most frequently reported were scattered, single events of short duration and small extent. Although fires occurred in wetlands, wetlands as well as sandy soil sites usually were good areas for escape from the effects of fire. Both Indians and wild animals were reportedly injured or killed during prairie fires. The frequency of historic fires was less evident in the literature than the descriptions of fire distribution in time and space. Indian-set fires were reported in every month except January. Fires occurred mainly in two periods, March through May with a peak in April, and July to early November with a peak in October. Grassland fuels burned readily within a few hours or days after rain and even during light snowfall.I agree with arguments that support the concept that Indians of the northern Great Plains generally did not subscribe to annual wholesale or promiscuous burning practices, but that they did purposely use fire as a tool to aid hunting and gathering of food and materials. Apparently, the northern plains Indians did not pattern their use of fire with the seasonal patterns of lightning fires. More likely they developed seasonal patterns of burning the prairies in harmony with bison (Bison bison) herd movements because the hunter-gatherer economy of these nomadic tribes was centrally focused and largely dependent on bison and bison ecology.

  7. Backcasting the decline of a vulnerable Great Plains reproductive ecotype: identifying threats and conservation priorities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Worthington, Thomas A.; Brewer, Shannon K.; Grabowski, Timothy B.; Mueller, Julia

    2014-01-01

    Conservation efforts for threatened or endangered species are challenging because the multi-scale factors that relate to their decline or inhibit their recovery are often unknown. To further exacerbate matters, the perceptions associated with the mechanisms of species decline are often viewed myopically rather than across the entire species range. We used over 80 years of fish presence data collected from the Great Plains and associated ecoregions of the United States, to investigate the relative influence of changing environmental factors on the historic and current truncated distributions of the Arkansas River shiner Notropis girardi. Arkansas River shiner represent a threatened reproductive ecotype considered especially well adapted to the harsh environmental extremes of the Great Plains. Historic (n = 163 records) and current (n = 47 records) species distribution models were constructed using a vector-based approach in MaxEnt by splitting the available data at a time when Arkansas River shiner dramatically declined. Discharge and stream order were significant predictors in both models; however, the shape of the relationship between the predictors and species presence varied between time periods. Drift distance (river fragment length available for ichthyoplankton downstream drift before meeting a barrier) was a more important predictor in the current model and indicated river segments 375–780 km had the highest probability of species presence. Performance for the historic and current models was high (area under the curve; AUC > 0.95); however, forecasting and backcasting to alternative time periods suggested less predictive power. Our results identify fragments that could be considered refuges for endemic plains fish species and we highlight significant environmental factors (e.g., discharge) that could be manipulated to aid recovery.

  8. Backcasting the decline of a vulnerable Great Plains reproductive ecotype: identifying threats and conservation priorities.

    PubMed

    Worthington, Thomas A; Brewer, Shannon K; Grabowski, Timothy B; Mueller, Julia

    2014-01-01

    Conservation efforts for threatened or endangered species are challenging because the multi-scale factors that relate to their decline or inhibit their recovery are often unknown. To further exacerbate matters, the perceptions associated with the mechanisms of species decline are often viewed myopically rather than across the entire species range. We used over 80 years of fish presence data collected from the Great Plains and associated ecoregions of the United States, to investigate the relative influence of changing environmental factors on the historic and current truncated distributions of the Arkansas River shiner Notropis girardi. Arkansas River shiner represent a threatened reproductive ecotype considered especially well adapted to the harsh environmental extremes of the Great Plains. Historic (n = 163 records) and current (n = 47 records) species distribution models were constructed using a vector-based approach in MaxEnt by splitting the available data at a time when Arkansas River shiner dramatically declined. Discharge and stream order were significant predictors in both models; however, the shape of the relationship between the predictors and species presence varied between time periods. Drift distance (river fragment length available for ichthyoplankton downstream drift before meeting a barrier) was a more important predictor in the current model and indicated river segments 375-780 km had the highest probability of species presence. Performance for the historic and current models was high (area under the curve; AUC > 0.95); however, forecasting and backcasting to alternative time periods suggested less predictive power. Our results identify fragments that could be considered refuges for endemic plains fish species and we highlight significant environmental factors (e.g., discharge) that could be manipulated to aid recovery.

  9. Synchrony of Piping Plover breeding populations in the U.S. Northern Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Roche, Erin A.; Shaffer, Terry L.; Dovichin, Colin M.; Sherfy, Mark H.; Anteau, Michael J.; Wiltermuth, Mark T.

    2016-01-01

    Local populations that fluctuate synchronously are at a greater risk of extinction than those that do not. The closer the geographic proximity of populations, the more prone they are to synchronizing. Shorebird species select habitat broadly, and many breed across regions with diverse nesting habitat types. Under these conditions, nearby populations may experience conditions sufficiently different to prevent population synchrony, despite dispersal. In the U.S. Northern Great Plains, the Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus), federally listed as Threatened, is a migratory shorebird species that nests on the shorelines of rivers, reservoirs, and alkaline lakes. We assessed the degree to which local plover breeding population abundances were correlated (population synchrony), changed over time (population stability), and were influenced by environmental factors such as available habitat, precipitation, and within-season reservoir level rise. We found that the abundances of breeding populations nesting in riverine and reservoir habitats were the most synchronous, while populations nesting in alkaline lake habitats exhibited the greatest stability. Changes in local breeding population abundances were not explained by a single factor across habitat types. However, the abundances of local populations nesting in alkaline lake and river shoreline habitats were positively correlated with changes in nesting habitat availability. Our results suggest that dispersal among populations nesting in either river or reservoir and alkaline lake shoreline habitat may have an overall stabilizing effect on the persistence of the Great Plains Piping Plover metapopulation.

  10. Potential effects of anthropogenic greenhouse gases on avian habitats and populations in the northern Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larson, Diane L.

    1994-01-01

    Biotic response to the buildup of greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere is considerably more complex than an adjustment to changing temperature and precipitation. The fertilization effect carbon dioxide has on some plants, the impact UVB radiation has on health and productivity of organisms, and the resulting changes in competitive balance and trophic structure must also be considered. The intent of this paper is to review direct and indirect effects of anthropogenic greenhouse gases on wildlife, and to explore possible effects on populations of birds and their habitats in the northern Great Plains.Many of the potential effects of increasing greenhouse gases, such as declining plant nutritional value, changes in timing of insect emergence, and fewer and saltier wetlands, foreshadow a decline in avian populations on the Great Plains. However, other possible effects such as increased drought resistance and water use efficiency of vegetation, longer growing seasons, and greater overall plant biomass promise at least some mitigation. Effects of multiple simultaneous perturbations such as can be expected under doubled carbon dioxide scenarios will require substantial basic research to clarify.

  11. Simulating the dynamics of linear forests in Great Plains agroecosystems under changing climates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Guo, Q.; Brandle, J.; Schoeneberger, M.; Buettner, D.

    2004-01-01

    Most forest growth models are not suitable for the highly fragmented, linear (or linearly shaped) forests in the Great Plains agroecosystems (e.g., windbreaks, riparian forest buffers), where such forests are a minor but ecologically important component of the land mosaics. This study used SEEDSCAPE, a recently modified gap model designed for cultivated land mosaics in the Great Plains, to simulate the effects of climate change on the dynamics of such linear forests. We simulated the dynamics of windbreaks with different initial planting species richness and widths (light changes as the selected resulting factor) using current climate data and nested regional circulation models (RegCMs). Results indicated that (i) it took 70-80 simulation years for the linear forests to reach a steady state under both normal (present-day) and warming climates; (ii) warming climates would reduce total aboveground tree biomass and the spatial variation in biomass, but increase dominance in the linear forests, especially in the upland forests; (iii) linear forests with higher planting species richness and smaller width produced higher aboveground tree biomass per unit area; and (iv) the same species performed very differently with different climate scenarios, initial planting diversity, and forest widths. Although the model still needs further improvements (e.g., the effects of understory species should be included), the model can serve as a useful tool in modeling the succession of linear forests in human-dominated land mosaics under changing climates and may also have significant practical implications in other systems. ?? 2004 NRC Canada.

  12. Simulating the dynamics of linear forests in Great Plains agroecosystems under changing climates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Guo, Q.; Brandle, J.R.; Schoeneberger, M.M.; Buettner, D.

    2004-01-01

    Most forest growth models are not suitable for the highly fragmented, linear (or linearly shaped) forests in the Great Plains agroecosystems (e.g., windbreaks, riparian forest buffers) where such forests are a minor but ecologically important component of the land mosaics. This study used SEEDSCAPE, a recently modified gap model designed for cultivated land mosaics in the Great Plains, to simulate the effects of climate change on the dynamics of such linear forests. We simulated the dynamics of windbreaks with different initial planting species richness and widths (light changes as the selected resulting factor) using current climate data and nested regional circulation models (RegCMs). Results indicated that (1) it took 70-80 simulation years for the linear forests to reach a steady state under both normal (present-day) and warming climates; (2) warming climates would reduce total aboveground tree biomass and the spatial variation in biomass but increase dominance in the linear forests, especially in the upland forests; (3) linear forests with higher planting species richness and smaller width produced higher aboveground tree biomass per unit area; and (4) same species performed very differently with different climate scenarios, initial planting diversity, and forest widths. Although the model still needs further improvements (e.g., the effects of understory species should be included), the model can serve as a useful tool in modeling the succession of linear forests in human-dominated land mosaics under changing climates and may also have significant practical implications in other systems.

  13. Detection of nocturnal coherent turbulence in the US Great Plains and effects on wind turbine fatigue

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dvorak, M. J.; Wiersema, D. J.; Zhou, B.; Chow, F. K.

    2012-12-01

    Strong low-level jet winds that develop in the nocturnal stable boundary layer (SBL) create some of the most energetic wind energy resources in Great Plains of North America. These stratified flows, however, can cause strong wind shear and veer across wind turbine rotors. Additionally, turbulent bursting events triggered by strong vertical wind shear can lead to fatigue and damage of wind turbine blades and components, increasing maintenance costs and reducing wind turbine power production. Coherent structures which are the signature of turbulent bursting events can be observed in heavily instrumented wind farms and in high-resolution simulations. Large-scale adoption of wind energy will benefit from the ability to predict these turbulence events with limited in-situ data. By identifying signatures of these bursting events, new turbine control technologies could be used to reduce wind turbine damage and increase overall wind farm energy yield (for example using algorithms with the ability to proactively and independently pitch blades). This research analyzes SBL turbulence in the Great Plains to develop methods to identify these structures at wind farms. Nested large-eddy simulations down to about 20m horizontal resolution are performed and compared to high-resolution Doppler wind LIDAR data (1 Hz) to determine if the model is able to create similar wind and turbulence conditions. Wavelet analysis of the LIDAR and model wind fields is used to detect coherent turbulent structures at frequencies that could be potentially damaging for wind turbines and provide guidance for design of turbine control technologies.

  14. Comparative riverscape genetics reveals reservoirs of genetic diversity for conservation and restoration of Great Plains fishes.

    PubMed

    Osborne, Megan J; Perkin, Joshuah S; Gido, Keith B; Turner, Thomas F

    2014-12-01

    We used comparative landscape genetics to examine the relative roles of historical events, intrinsic traits and landscape factors in determining the distribution of genetic diversity of river fishes across the North American Great Plains. Spatial patterns of diversity were overlaid on a patch-based graphical model and then compared within and among three species that co-occurred across five Great Plains watersheds. Species differing in reproductive strategy (benthic vs. pelagic-spawning) were hypothesized to have different patterns of genetic diversity, but the overriding factor shaping contemporary patterns of diversity was the signature of past climates and geological history. Allelic diversity was significantly higher at southern latitudes for Cyprinella lutrensis and Hybognathus placitus, consistent with northward expansion from southern Pleistocene refugia. Within the historical context, all species exhibited lowered occupancy and abundance in heavily fragmented and drier upstream reaches, particularly H. placitus; a pelagic-spawning species, suggesting rates of extirpation have outpaced losses of genetic diversity in this species. Within most tributary basins, genetically diverse populations of each species persisted. Hence, reconnecting genetically diverse populations with those characterized by reduced diversity (regardless of their position within the riverine network) would provide populations with greater genetic and demographic resilience. We discuss cases where cross-basin transfer may be appropriate to enhance genetic diversity and mitigate negative effects of climate change. Overall, striking similarities in genetic patterns and in response to fragmentation and dewatering suggest a common strategy for genetic resource management in this unique riverine fish assemblage.

  15. Magnitude, Duration, and Geographic Coherence of Interannual Anomalies of the Great Plains Low-Level Jet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Helfand, H. Mark; Schubert, Siegfried D.; Einaudi, Franco (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    The Great Plains region of the United States is characterized by some of the world's most frequent and regular occurrences of a nocturnal low-level jet (LLJ). While this southerly jet is generally confined to the lowest kilometer of the atmosphere, it may cover a substantial region of the Great Plains and reach wind speed maxima of 20 m/s or more. The temporal and spatial structure of this jet has been well captured by the GEOS-1 15-year reanalysis. The jet is most evident during the warm season, May through August. The year-to-year variability of the seasonally-averaged jet structure is small relative to its diurnal or its intraseasonal variability and is comparable in magnitude to the seasonal variability for the mean climatology. The interannual variance maximum is located to the east of both the jet maximum and the seasonal variance maximum and seems to be related to a biennial oscillation which occurs for the first six years of the reanalysis period. There is a second maximum which is free of this oscillation, which is located at the same latitude but further south in the Gulf of Mexico. Interannual anomalies seem to have a duration of about three weeks and spatial coherences about ten degrees wide. Meridional velocity anomalies for the drought year 1988 and the flood year 1993 are large, but their impacts on the hydrological cycle may be as sensitive to their eastward location as to their magnitudes.

  16. Potential effects of anthropogenic greenhouse gases on avian habitas and populations in the northern Great Plains

    SciTech Connect

    Larson, D.L. )

    1994-04-01

    Biotic response to the buildup of greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere is considerably more complex than an adjustment to changing temperature and precipitation. The fertilization effect CO[sub 2] has on some plants, the impact UVB radiation has on health and productivity of organisms, and the resulting changes in competitive balance and trophic structure must also be considered. The intent of this paper is to review direct and indirect effects of anthropogenic greenhouse gases on wildlife, and to explore possible effects on populations of birds and their habitats in the northern Great Plains. Many of the potential effects of increasing greenhouse gases, such as declining plant nutritional value, changes in timing of insect emergence, and fewer and saltier wetlands, foreshadow a decline in avian populations on the Great Plains. However, other possible effects such as increased drought resistance and water use efficiency of vegetation, longer growing seasons, and greater overall plant biomass promise at least some mitigation. Effects of multiple simultaneous perturbations such as can be expected under doubled CO[sub 2] scenarios will require substantial basic research to clarify. 113 refs., 1 fig.

  17. Evaluation of herbacceous biomass crops in the northern Great Plains. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Meyer, D.W.; Norby, W.E.; Erickson, D.O.; Johnson, R.G.

    1994-08-01

    Herbaceous lignocellulose crops are a potential renewable feedstock for biochemical conversion systems second in size to wood products. Several herbaceous crops are utilized as forage crops in the northern Great Plains, but forage quality considerations usually dictates a early harvest. Biomass cropping does not have this constraint; therefore, little information was available on herbaceous crops utilized as energy crops prior to this project. Our primary objectives were to evaluate the biomass yield and select chemical components of several herbaceous crops for energy crops in the northern Great Plains, compare the economic feasibility of energy crops with common competing crops, and evaluate biomass cropping on summer fallow lands. Three good, two marginal, and one irrigated sites were used during 1988 to 1992 for the first component. At least six perennial and four annual biomass species were included at all sites. Three to four nitrogen (N) levels and a crop-recrop comparison (annuals only) were management intensities included. Biomass cropping on idled lands was performed on dryland at Carrington and evaluated the effects of removing leguminous biomass on fallowed lands. This report summarizes results from the 5-year project.

  18. Woody encroachment in northern Great Plains grasslands: Perceptions, actions, and needs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Symstad, Amy; Leis, Sherry A.

    2017-01-01

    The United States Northern Great Plains (NGP) has a high potential for landscape-scale conservation, but this grassland landscape is threatened by encroachment of woody species. We surveyed NGP land managers to identify patterns in, and illustrate a broad range of, individual managers' perceptions on (1) the threat of woody encroachment to grasslands they manage, and (2) what management practices they use that may influence woody encroachment in this region. In the 34 surveys returned, which came from predominantly public lands in the study area, 79% of responses reported moderate or substantial woody encroachment. Eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana) and Rocky Mountain juniper (Juniperus scopulorum) were the most problematic encroachers. Thirty-one survey respondents said that prescribed fire was used on the lands they manage, and 64% of these responses reported that controlling woody encroachment was a fire management objective. However, only 18% of survey respondents using prescribed fire were achieving their desired fire return interval. Most respondents reported using mechanical and/or chemical methods to control woody species. In contrast to evidence from the central and southern Great Plains, few survey respondents viewed grazing as affecting encroachment. Although the NGP public land managers we surveyed clearly recognize woody encroachment as a problem and are taking steps to address it, many feel that the rate of their management is not keeping pace with the rate of encroachment. Developing strategies for effective woody plant control in a variety of NGP management contexts requires filling ecological science gaps and overcoming societal barriers to using prescribed fire.

  19. Inorganic nitrogen supply and dissolved organic nitrogen abundance across the US Great Plains.

    PubMed

    Mobley, Megan L; Cleary, Matthew J; Burke, Ingrid C

    2014-01-01

    Across US Great Plains grasslands, a gradient of increasing mean annual precipitation from west to east corresponds to increasing aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) and increasing N-limitation. Previous work has shown that there is no increase in net N mineralization rates across this gradient, leading to the question of where eastern prairie grasses obtain the nitrogen to support production. One as-yet unexamined source is soil organic N, despite abundant literature from other ecosystems showing that plants take up dissolved soil organic N. This study measured KCl-extractable dissolved organic N (DON) in surface soils across the grassland productivity gradient. We found that KCl-extractable DON pools increased from west to east. If available to and used by plants, this DON may help explain the high ANPP in the eastern Great Plains. These results suggest a need for future research to determine whether, in what quantities, and in what forms prairie grasses use organic N to support primary production.

  20. Projected intensification of subseasonal temperature variability and heat waves in the Great Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teng, Haiyan; Branstator, Grant; Meehl, Gerald A.; Washington, Warren M.

    2016-03-01

    Compared to changes in the climatological mean temperature, we have less confidence in how much and by what mechanisms temperature variability may be affected by anthropogenic climate change. Here based on a 30-member climate change projection from an earth system model, we find that summertime subseasonal temperature variability in the U.S. Great Plains is enhanced by approximately 20% in 2070-2100 relative to 1980-2010. In particular, daily temperature departures from the new climatologies during future heat waves are on average 0.6°C warmer than are the corresponding departures under present-day conditions. Although in both periods heat waves in the Great Plains tend to be associated with planetary wave events, the amplification of future heat waves does not appear to be induced by changes in planetary wave variability in the midlatitudes. Instead, in this experiment the strengthening appears to be primarily caused by enhanced local land-atmosphere feedbacks resulting from a warmer/drier future climate.

  1. Comparative riverscape genetics reveals reservoirs of genetic diversity for conservation and restoration of Great Plains fishes

    PubMed Central

    Osborne, Megan J; Perkin, Joshuah S.; Gido, Keith B.; Turner, Thomas F.

    2014-01-01

    We used comparative landscape genetics to examine the relative roles of historical events, intrinsic traits, and landscape factors in determining the distribution of genetic diversity of river fishes across the North American Great Plains. Spatial patterns of diversity were overlaid on a patch-based graphical model, and then compared within and among three species that co-occurred across five Great Plains watersheds. Species differing in reproductive strategy (benthic vs. pelagic spawning) were hypothesized to have different patterns of genetic diversity, but the overriding factor shaping contemporary patterns of diversity was the signature of past climates and geological history. Allelic diversity was significantly higher at southern latitudes for Cyprinella lutrensis and Hybognathus placitus, consistent with northward expansion from southern Pleistocene refugia. Within the historical context, all species exhibited lowered occupancy and abundance in heavily fragmented and drier upstream reaches, particularly H. placitus; a pelagic-spawning species, suggesting rates of extirpation have outpaced losses of genetic diversity in this species. Within most basins, genetically diverse populations of each species persisted. Hence, reconnecting genetically diverse populations with those characterized by reduced diversity (regardless of their position within the riverine network) would provide populations with greater genetic and demographic resilience. We discuss cases where cross-basin transfer may be appropriate to enhance genetic diversity and mitigate negative effects of climate change. Overall, striking similarities in genetic patterns and response to fragmentation and dewatering suggest a common strategy for genetic resource management in this unique riverine fish assemblage. PMID:25327780

  2. Resistance among cultivated sunflower germplasm to stem-infesting pests in the central Great Plains.

    PubMed

    Charlet, Laurence D; Aiken, Robert M; Miller, Jerry F; Seiler, Gerald J

    2009-06-01

    A 7-yr field study evaluated 61 oilseed sunflower, Helianthus annuus L., accessions and 31 interspecific crosses for resistance to attack by naturally occurring populations of three stem-infesting pests, the sunflower stem weevil, Cylindrocopturus adspersus (LeConte) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae); a longhorned beetle, Dectes texanus LeConte (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae); and a root boring moth, Pelochrista womonana (Kearfott) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), at two locations in the central Great Plains. Germplasm with potential sources of resistance to attack from all three stem-infesting species were revealed. Accessions PI 650558, PI 386230, and PI 431516 were consistent in averaging low densities of stem weevil larvae per stalk among lines tested, and PI 497939 exceeded 25 weevil larvae per stalk in only 1 yr of 5 yr of trials. Several interspecific crosses also had consistently low densities of C. adspersus larvae per stalk. Populations of both D. texanus and P. womonana were variable over years, but differences among the lines tested were evident in many trials, revealing potential for developing resistant germplasm. Four accessions (PI 386230, PI 431542, PI 650497, and PI 650558) had low larval densities of C. adspersus and P. womonana in addition to reduced percentage infestation by D. texanus. Results showed potential for developing resistant genotypes for these pests. The prospect of adding host plant resistance as an integrated pest management (IPM) tactic would provide another tool for reducing economic losses from stem-infesting insect pests of sunflower in the central Great Plains.

  3. Saline systems of the Great Plains of western Canada: an overview of the limnogeology and paleolimnology

    PubMed Central

    Last, William M; Ginn, Fawn M

    2005-01-01

    In much of the northern Great Plains, saline and hypersaline lacustrine brines are the only surface waters present. As a group, the lakes of this region are unique: there is no other area in the world that can match the concentration and diversity of saline lake environments exhibited in the prairie region of Canada and northern United States. The immense number of individual salt lakes and saline wetlands in this region of North America is staggering. Estimates vary from about one million to greater than 10 million, with densities in some areas being as high as 120 lakes/km2. Despite over a century of scientific investigation of these salt lakes, we have only in the last twenty years advanced far enough to appreciate the wide spectrum of lake types, water chemistries, and limnological processes that are operating in the modern settings. Hydrochemical data are available for about 800 of the lake brines in the region. Composition, textural, and geochemical information on the modern bottom sediments has been collected for just over 150 of these lakes. Characterization of the biological and ecological features of these lakes is based on even fewer investigations, and the stratigraphic records of only twenty basins have been examined. The lake waters show a considerable range in ionic composition and concentration. Early investigators, concentrating on the most saline brines, emphasized a strong predominance of Na+ and SO4-2 in the lakes. It is now realized, however, that not only is there a complete spectrum of salinities from less than 1 ppt TDS to nearly 400 ppt, but also virtually every water chemistry type is represented in lakes of the region. With such a vast array of compositions, it is difficult to generalize. Nonetheless, the paucity of Cl-rich lakes makes the northern Great Plains basins somewhat unusual compared with salt lakes in many other areas of the world (e.g., Australia, western United States). Compilations of the lake water chemistries show distinct

  4. Liquefaction record of the great 1934 earthquake predecessors from the north Bihar alluvial plains of India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rajendran, C. P.; John, Biju; Rajendran, Kusala; Sanwal, Jaishri

    2016-07-01

    The great 1934 Himalayan earthquake of moment magnitude (Mw) 8.1 generated a large zone of ground failure and liquefaction in north Bihar, India, in addition to the earthquakes of 1833 (Mw ~7.7) and 1988 (Mw 6.7) that have also impacted this region. Here, we present the results of paleoliquefaction investigations from four sites in the plains of north Bihar and one in eastern Uttar Pradesh. The liquefaction features generated by successive earthquakes were dated at AD 829-971, 886-1090, 907-1181, 1130-1376, 1112-1572, 1492-1672, 1733-1839, and 1814-1854. One of the liquefaction events dated at AD 829-971, 886-1090, and 907-1181 may correlate with the great earthquake of AD ~1100, recognized in an earlier study from the sections across the frontal thrust in central eastern Nepal. Two late medieval liquefaction episodes of AD 1130-1376 and 1492-1672 were also exposed in our sites. The sedimentary sections also revealed sandblows that can be attributed to the 1833 earthquake, a lesser magnitude event compared to the 1934. Liquefactions triggered by the 1934 and 1988 earthquakes were evident within the topmost level in some sections. The available data lead us to conjecture that a series of temporally close spaced earthquakes of both strong and large types, not including the infrequent great earthquakes like the 1934, have affected the Bihar Plains during the last 1500 years with a combined recurrence interval of 124 ± 63 years.

  5. Road crossing designs and their impact on fish assemblages of Great Plains streams

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bouska, Wesley W.; Paukert, Craig P.

    2010-01-01

    A mark-recapture field study was conducted to determine fish passage at 5 concrete box culverts and 5 low-water crossings (concrete slabs vented by culverts) as well as 10 control sites (below a natural riffle) in Flint Hills streams of northeastern Kansas. Additionally, we tested the upstream passage of four fish species native to Great Plains streams (Topeka shiner Notropis topeka, green sunfish Lepomis cyanellus, red shiner Cyprinella lutrensis, and southern redbelly dace Phoxinus erythrogaster) through three simulated crossing designs (box culverts, round corrugated culverts, and natural rock riffles) at water velocities of 0.1 to 1.1 m/s in an experimental stream. The field study indicated that cyprinids were twice as likely to move upstream of box culverts than low-water crossings and 1.4 times as likely to move upstream of control reaches than any crossing type. The best models indicated that the proportion of cyprinids that moved upstream increased with decreased culvert slope and length, perching, and increased culvert width. Our controlled experiment indicated that fish can move through velocities up to 1.1 m/s in a 1.86-m simulated stream and that the proportion of fish that moved upstream did not differ among crossing designs for southern redbelly dace, green sunfish, or Topeka shiner; however, natural rock riffles had lower proportional movements (mean = 0.19) than the box (0.38) or corrugated culvert designs (0.43) for red shiners. Water velocity did not affect the proportional upstream movement of any species except that of Topeka shiners, which increased with water velocity. Crossing design alone may not determine fish passage, and water velocities up to 1.1 m/s may not affect the passage of many Great Plains fishes. Barriers to fish movement may be the result of other factors (e.g., perching, slope, and crossing length). The use of properly designed and installed crossings has promise in conserving Great Plains stream fishes.

  6. Sources and paleoclimatic significance of Holocene Bignell Loess, central Great Plains, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mason, Joseph A.; Jacobs, Peter M.; Hanson, Paul R.; Miao, Xiaodong; Goble, Ronald J.

    2003-11-01

    This paper reexamines the stratigraphy, sources, and paleoclimatic significance of Holocene Bignell Loess in the central Great Plains. A broadly similar sequence of loess depositional units and paleosols was observed in thick Bignell Loess sections up to 300 km apart, suggesting that these sections record major regional changes in the balance between dust deposition and pedogenesis. New optical ages, together with previously reported radiocarbon ages, indicate Bignell Loess deposition began 9000-11,000 yr ago and continued into the late Holocene; some Bignell Loess is <1000 yr old. There is little evidence that Holocene Loess was derived from flood plain sources, as previously proposed. Instead, thick Bignell Loess occurs mainly near the downwind margins of inactive dune fields, particularly atop escarpments facing the dunes. Thus, the immediate loess source was dust produced when the dunes were active. Previous work indicates that widespread episodes of dune activity are likely to have resulted from drier-than-present climatic conditions. The regionally coherent stratigraphy of Bignell Loess can be interpreted as a near-continuous record of climatically driven variation in dune field activity throughout the Holocene.

  7. Cost-effective sulfur control strategies for the Great Plains gasification project

    SciTech Connect

    Doctor, R.D.; Wilzbach, K.E. . Energy and Environmental Systems Div.)

    1989-09-01

    The Great Plains gasification plant in Beulah, North Dakota, uses 14 Lurgi gasifiers to produce 152x10/sup 6/ scf/d (4.1x10/sup 6/ Nm/sup 3//d) of pipeline-quality gas from lignite. Since start-up in mid-1984, the plant has provided a serious challenge to the reliable operation of the Stretford sulfur recovery system. To address this challenge, over forty options for mitigating sulfur emissions were evaluated on an economic and technical basis, beginning at the emissions source (the stack) and working back through the plant. Although this study was directed toward providing a timely solution to the sulfur dioxide emissions problem, the status and opportunities for a number of emerging technologies were brought into focus. This evaluation is detailed here by the authors.

  8. A one-year climatology using data from the Southern Great Plains (SGP) site micropulse lidar

    SciTech Connect

    Mace, G.G.; Ackerman, T.P.; Spinhirne, J.; Scott, S.

    1996-04-01

    The micropulse lidar (MPL) has been operational at the Southern Great Plains (SGP) site of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program for the past 15 months. The compact MPL is unique among research lidar systems in that it is eye-safe and operates continuously, except during precipitation. The MPL is capable of detecting cloud base throughout the entire depth of the troposphere. The MPL data set is an unprecedented time series of cloud heights. It is a vital resource for understanding the frequency of cloud ocurrence and the impact of clouds on the surface radiation budget, as well as for large-scale model validation and satellite retrieval verification. The raw lidar data are processed for cloud base height at a temporal frequency of one minute and a vertical resolution of 270 m. The resultant time series of cloud base is used to generate histograms as a function of month and time of day. Sample results are described.

  9. Stratum variance estimation for sample allocation in crop surveys. [Great Plains Corridor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Perry, C. R., Jr.; Chhikara, R. S. (Principal Investigator)

    1980-01-01

    The problem of determining stratum variances needed in achieving an optimum sample allocation for crop surveys by remote sensing is investigated by considering an approach based on the concept of stratum variance as a function of the sampling unit size. A methodology using the existing and easily available information of historical crop statistics is developed for obtaining initial estimates of tratum variances. The procedure is applied to estimate stratum variances for wheat in the U.S. Great Plains and is evaluated based on the numerical results thus obtained. It is shown that the proposed technique is viable and performs satisfactorily, with the use of a conservative value for the field size and the crop statistics from the small political subdivision level, when the estimated stratum variances were compared to those obtained using the LANDSAT data.

  10. The Saga of Leafy Spurge (Euphorbia esula) in the Northern Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larson, Diane L.

    2009-01-01

    Leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula L.) is an invasive Eurasian perennial introduced into the United States as a contaminant of crop seed in the 1880s and 1890s. It typically forms monocultures in rangeland and natural areas of the northern Great Plains where, because of the latex that occurs in all parts of the plant, it is not consumed by naturally occurring herbivores. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists and their collaborators have been studying leafy spurge at Theodore Roosevelt National Park (TRNP) and at Arrowwood and Tewaukon National Wildlife Refuges in North Dakota since 1998. Study findings have been published in Larson and Grace (2004), Larson and others (2006), Larson and others (2007), Jordan and others (2008), and Larson and others (2008). This fact sheet summarizes that body of research.

  11. Preliminary Report of NRC Twin Otter Operations in the 1997 Southern Great Plains Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    MacPherson, J. Ian

    1997-01-01

    From June 18 to July 17, 1997, the NRC Twin Otter atmospheric research aircraft was operated from Oklahoma City, U.S.A., in the Southern Great Plains 1997 (SGP97) Hydrology Experiment. The primary role of the aircraft was to measure the vertical fluxes of sensible and latent heat, CO2, ozone and momentum in the atmospheric boundary layer, along with supporting meteorological and radiometric data. Approximately 400 flux runs and 100 soundings were flown in 27 project flights over rural areas near Oklahoma City. This preliminary report documents the flight program, lists the instrumentation aboard the aircraft, and presents a summary of run-averaged data from each flux run. These data are from the in-field analysis and must be considered preliminary. A re-analysis incorporating updated calibrations is planned for the fall of 1997 followed by a more comprehensive technical report.

  12. Shallow, low-permeability reservoirs of northern Great Plains - assessment of their natural gas resources.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rice, D.D.; Shurr, G.W.

    1980-01-01

    Major resources of natural gas are entrapped in low-permeability, low-pressure reservoirs at depths less than 1200m in the N.Great Plains. This shallow gas is the product of the immature stage of hydrocarbon generation and is referred to as biogenic gas. Prospective low-permeability, gas-bearing reservoirs range in age from late Early to Late Cretaceous. The following facies were identified and mapped: nonmarine rocks, coastal sandstones, shelf sandstones, siltstones, shales, and chalks. The most promising low-permeability reservoirs are developed in the shelf sandstone, siltstone, and chalk facies. Reservoirs within these facies are particularly attractive because they are enveloped by thick sequences of shale which serve as both a source and a seal for the gas.-from Author

  13. Clear Sky Identification Using Data From Remote Sensing Systems at ARM's Southern Great Plains Site

    SciTech Connect

    Delle Monache, L.; Rodriguez, D.; Cederwall, R.

    2000-06-27

    Clouds profoundly affect our weather and climate due, in large part, to their interactions with radiation. Unfortunately, our understanding of these interactions is, at best, incomplete, making it difficult to improve the treatment of atmospheric radiation in climate models. The improved treatment of clouds and radiation, and a better understanding of their interaction, in climate models is one of the Department of Energy's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program's major goals. To learn more about the distribution of water and ice, i.e., clouds, within an atmospheric column, ARM has chosen to use the remote sensing of clouds, water vapor and aerosols at its three climatologically-diverse sites as its primary observational method. ARM's most heavily instrumented site, which has operated continuously for more than a decade, is its Southern Great Plains (SGP) Central Facility, located near Lamont, OK. Cloud-observing instruments at the Central Facility include the Whole Sky Imager, ceilometers, lidar, millimeter cloud radar, microwave radiometers and radiosondes.

  14. Evaluating soil moisture and yield of winter wheat in the Great Plains using Landsat data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heilman, J. L.; Kanemasu, E. T.; Bagley, J. O.; Rasmussen, V. P.

    1977-01-01

    Locating areas where soil moisture is limiting to crop growth is important for estimating winter-wheat yields on a regional basis. In the 1975-76 growing season, we evaluated soil-moisture conditions and winter-wheat yields for a five-state region of the Great Plains using Landsat estimates of leaf area index (LAI) and an evapotranspiration (ET) model described by Kanemasu et al (1977). Because LAI was used as an input, the ET model responded to changes in crop growth. Estimated soil-water depletions were high for the Nebraska Panhandle, southwestern Kansas, southeastern Colorado, and the Texas Panhandle. Estimated yields in five-state region ranged from 1.0 to 2.9 metric ton/ha.

  15. AmeriFlux US-ARc ARM Southern Great Plains control site- Lamont

    SciTech Connect

    Torn, Margaret

    2016-01-01

    This is the AmeriFlux version of the carbon flux data for the site US-ARc ARM Southern Great Plains control site- Lamont. Site Description - The ARM SGP Control site is located in the native tallgrass prairies of the USDA Grazinglands Research Laboratory near El Reno, OK. One of two adjacent 35 ha plots with identical towers, measurements at the US-ARc unburned plot are used as the experimental control. The second plot, US-Arb, was burned on 2005/03/08. Measurement comparisons between the control and burn plot are used to address questions regarding the effects of burning activities on carbon fluxes. The region evaded burning activities for at least 15 years. Current disturbances consist of only light grazing activities.

  16. Nitrate pollution from agriculture in different hydrogeological zones of the regional groundwater flow system in the North China Plain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Jianyao; Tang, Changyuan; Sakura, Yasuo; Yu, Jingjie; Fukushima, Yoshihiro

    2005-06-01

    A survey of the quality of groundwater across a broad area of the North China Plain, undertaken in 1998 to 2000, indicates that nitrate pollution is a serious problem affecting the drinking water for a vast population. The use of nitrogen (N)-fertilizer in agriculture has greatly increased over the past 20 years to meet the food needs of the rapidly expanding population. During the study, 295 water samples were collected from wells and springs to determine the water chemistry and the extent of nitrate pollution. High concentrations of nitrate, especially in a recharge area along the western side, but also in the vicinity of Beijing and locally in other parts of the plain, pose a serious problem for the drinking water supply. In places, the nitrate concentration exceeds the maximum for safe drinking water of 45 mg/L. The intense use of N-fertilizer and the widespread use of untreated groundwater for crop irrigation contribute greatly to the problem, but no doubt the disposal of industrial and municipal waste into streams and infiltrating the aquifer also contribute to the problem; however, the lack of data prevents evaluation of those sources. In the recharge area, nitrate is found at depths of as much as 50 m. Near Beijing, relatively high concentrations of nitrate occur at depths of as much as 80 m. In the discharge area, in the vicinity of the Yellow River, high concentrations of nitrate occur at depths of <8 m.

  17. Adaptive data-driven models for estimating carbon fluxes in the Northern Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wylie, B.K.; Fosnight, E.A.; Gilmanov, T.G.; Frank, A.B.; Morgan, J.A.; Haferkamp, Marshall R.; Meyers, T.P.

    2007-01-01

    Rangeland carbon fluxes are highly variable in both space and time. Given the expansive areas of rangelands, how rangelands respond to climatic variation, management, and soil potential is important to understanding carbon dynamics. Rangeland carbon fluxes associated with Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE) were measured from multiple year data sets at five flux tower locations in the Northern Great Plains. These flux tower measurements were combined with 1-km2 spatial data sets of Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR), Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), temperature, precipitation, seasonal NDVI metrics, and soil characteristics. Flux tower measurements were used to train and select variables for a rule-based piece-wise regression model. The accuracy and stability of the model were assessed through random cross-validation and cross-validation by site and year. Estimates of NEE were produced for each 10-day period during each growing season from 1998 to 2001. Growing season carbon flux estimates were combined with winter flux estimates to derive and map annual estimates of NEE. The rule-based piece-wise regression model is a dynamic, adaptive model that captures the relationships of the spatial data to NEE as conditions evolve throughout the growing season. The carbon dynamics in the Northern Great Plains proved to be in near equilibrium, serving as a small carbon sink in 1999 and as a small carbon source in 1998, 2000, and 2001. Patterns of carbon sinks and sources are very complex, with the carbon dynamics tilting toward sources in the drier west and toward sinks in the east and near the mountains in the extreme west. Significant local variability exists, which initial investigations suggest are likely related to local climate variability, soil properties, and management.

  18. Wintering Sandhill Crane exposure to wind energy development in the central and southern Great Plains, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pearse, Aaron T.; Brandt, David; Krapu, Gary

    2016-01-01

    Numerous wind energy projects have been constructed in the central and southern Great Plains, USA, the main wintering area for midcontinental Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis). In an initial assessment of the potential risks of wind towers to cranes, we estimated spatial overlap, investigated potential avoidance behavior, and determined the habitat associations of cranes. We used data from cranes marked with platform transmitting terminals (PTTs) with and without global positioning system (GPS) capabilities. We estimated the wintering distributions of PTT-marked cranes prior to the construction of wind towers, which we compared with current tower locations. Based on this analysis, we found 7% spatial overlap between the distributions of cranes and towers. When we looked at individually marked cranes, we found that 52% would have occurred within 10 km of a tower at some point during winter. Using data from cranes marked after tower construction, we found a potential indication of avoidance behavior, whereby GPS-marked cranes generally used areas slightly more distant from existing wind towers than would be expected by chance. Results from a habitat selection model suggested that distances between crane locations and towers may have been driven more by habitat selection than by avoidance, as most wind towers were constructed in locations not often selected by wintering cranes. Our findings of modest regional overlap and that few towers have been placed in preferred crane habitat suggest that the current distribution of wind towers may be of low risk to the continued persistence of wintering midcontinental Sandhill Cranes in the central and southern Great Plains.

  19. Mechanisms of diurnal precipitation over the US Great Plains: a cloud resolving model perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Myong-In; Choi, Ildae; Tao, Wei-Kuo; Schubert, Siegfried D.; Kang, In-Sik

    2010-02-01

    The mechanisms of summertime diurnal precipitation in the US Great Plains were examined with the two-dimensional (2D) Goddard Cumulus Ensemble (GCE) cloud-resolving model (CRM). The model was constrained by the observed large-scale background state and surface flux derived from the Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program’s Intensive Observing Period (IOP) data at the Southern Great Plains (SGP). The model, when continuously-forced by realistic surface flux and large-scale advection, simulates reasonably well the temporal evolution of the observed rainfall episodes, particularly for the strongly forced precipitation events. However, the model exhibits a deficiency for the weakly forced events driven by diurnal convection. Additional tests were run with the GCE model in order to discriminate between the mechanisms that determine daytime and nighttime convection. In these tests, the model was constrained with the same repeating diurnal variation in the large-scale advection and/or surface flux. The results indicate that it is primarily the surface heat and moisture flux that is responsible for the development of deep convection in the afternoon, whereas the large-scale upward motion and associated moisture advection play an important role in preconditioning nocturnal convection. In the nighttime, high clouds are continuously built up through their interaction and feedback with long-wave radiation, eventually initiating deep convection from the boundary layer. Without these upper-level destabilization processes, the model tends to produce only daytime convection in response to boundary layer heating. This study suggests that the correct simulation of the diurnal variation in precipitation requires that the free-atmospheric destabilization mechanisms resolved in the CRM simulation must be adequately parameterized in current general circulation models (GCMs) many of which are overly sensitive to the parameterized boundary layer

  20. Mechanisms of Diurnal Precipitation over the United States Great Plains: A Cloud-Resolving Model Simulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, M.-I.; Choi, I.; Tao, W.-K.; Schubert, S. D.; Kang, I.-K.

    2010-01-01

    The mechanisms of summertime diurnal precipitation in the US Great Plains were examined with the two-dimensional (2D) Goddard Cumulus Ensemble (GCE) cloud-resolving model (CRM). The model was constrained by the observed large-scale background state and surface flux derived from the Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program s Intensive Observing Period (IOP) data at the Southern Great Plains (SGP). The model, when continuously-forced by realistic surface flux and large-scale advection, simulates reasonably well the temporal evolution of the observed rainfall episodes, particularly for the strongly forced precipitation events. However, the model exhibits a deficiency for the weakly forced events driven by diurnal convection. Additional tests were run with the GCE model in order to discriminate between the mechanisms that determine daytime and nighttime convection. In these tests, the model was constrained with the same repeating diurnal variation in the large-scale advection and/or surface flux. The results indicate that it is primarily the surface heat and moisture flux that is responsible for the development of deep convection in the afternoon, whereas the large-scale upward motion and associated moisture advection play an important role in preconditioning nocturnal convection. In the nighttime, high clouds are continuously built up through their interaction and feedback with long-wave radiation, eventually initiating deep convection from the boundary layer. Without these upper-level destabilization processes, the model tends to produce only daytime convection in response to boundary layer heating. This study suggests that the correct simulation of the diurnal variation in precipitation requires that the free-atmospheric destabilization mechanisms resolved in the CRM simulation must be adequately parameterized in current general circulation models (GCMs) many of which are overly sensitive to the parameterized boundary layer heating.

  1. Incorporating biodiversity into rangeland health: Plant species richness and diversity in great plains grasslands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Symstad, A.J.; Jonas, J.L.

    2011-01-01

    Indicators of rangeland health generally do not include a measure of biodiversity. Increasing attention to maintaining biodiversity in rangelands suggests that this omission should be reconsidered, and plant species richness and diversity are two metrics that may be useful and appropriate. Ideally, their response to a variety of anthropogenic and natural drivers in the ecosystem of interest would be clearly understood, thereby providing a means to diagnose the cause of decline in an ecosystem. Conceptual ecological models based on ecological principles and hypotheses provide a framework for this understanding, but these models must be supported by empirical evidence if they are to be used for decision making. To that end, we synthesize results from published studies regarding the responses of plant species richness and diversity to drivers that are of management concern in Great Plains grasslands, one of North America's most imperiled ecosystems. In the published literature, moderate grazing generally has a positive effect on these metrics in tallgrass prairie and a neutral to negative effect in shortgrass prairie. The largest published effects on richness and diversity were caused by moderate grazing in tallgrass prairies and nitrogen fertilization in shortgrass prairies. Although weather is often cited as the reason for considerable annual fluctuations in richness and diversity, little information about the responses of these metrics to weather is available. Responses of the two metrics often diverged, reflecting differences in their sensitivity to different types of changes in the plant community. Although sufficient information has not yet been published for these metrics to meet all the criteria of a good indicator in Great Plains Grasslands, augmenting current methods of evaluating rangeland health with a measure of plant species richness would reduce these shortcomings and provide information critical to managing for biodiversity. ?? Society for Range

  2. Late quaternary temperature record from buried soils of the North American Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nordt, L.; Von Fischer, J.; Tieszen, L.

    2007-01-01

    We present the first comprehensive late Quaternary record of North American Great Plains temperature by assessing the behavior of the stable isotopic composition (??13C) of buried soils. After examining the relationship between the ??13C of topsoil organic matter and July temperature from 61 native prairies within a latitudinal range of 46??-38??N, we applied the resulting regression equation to 64 published ??13C values from buried soils of the same region to construct a temperature curve for the past 12 k.y. Estimated temperatures from 12 to 10 ka (1 k.y. = 1000 14C yr B.P.) fluctuated with a periodicity of ???1 k.y. with two cool excursions between -4.5 and -3.5 ??C and two warmer excursions between -1 and 0 ??C, relative to modern. Early Holocene temperatures from ca. 10-7.5 ka were -1.0 to -2.0 ??C before rising to +1.0 ??C in the middle Holocene between 6.0 and 4.5 ka. After a cool interlude from 4.2 to 2.6 ka, when temperatures dropped to slightly below modern, another warm interval ensued from 2.6 to 1 ka as temperatures increased to ???+0.5 ??C. A final decline in temperature to below modern occurred beginning ca. 0.5 ka. Cooler than present temperatures in the Great Plains indicate telecommunications with cool-water episodes in the Gulf of Mexico and North Atlantic potentially governed by a combination of glacial meltwater pulses and low solar irradiance. ?? 2007 Geological Society of America.

  3. Geohydrologic systems in Kansas, geohydrology of the Great Plains aquifer system

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McGovern, Harold E.; Wolf, R.J.

    1993-01-01

    Sedimentary rocks of Late Cambrian through Early Cretaceous age in Kansas are part of a regional flow system of hydraulically connected aquifers and confining units. Future demands for water require that these deeply buried rocks be studied to describe hydrologic properties and ground-water-flow conditions and to provide information that will serve as the basis for decisions concerning the protection and the management of the water resources contained therein, Toward this end, the U.S. Geological Survey, as a part of its Central Midwest Regional Aquifer-System Analysis (CMRASA), began a 5-year hydrologic investigation of this regional flow system in Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas (Jorgensen and Signor, 1981).This chapter is one of nine contained in Hydrologic Investigations Atlas HA-722, which present a description of the physical framework (Chapters B-F) and the geohydrology (Chapters G-I} of principal aquifers and confining systems in Upper Cambrian through Lower Cretaceous rocks in Kansas; the stratigraphic relations of these geohydrologic systems are discussed in detail in Chapter A (Wolf and others, 1990). This chapter (G) describes the geohydrology of the Great Plains aquifer system; the physical framework of the Great Plains aquifer system is presented in Chapter B (Spinazola and others, 1992).The maps in this chapter are based on existing data from selected geophysical and lithologic logs, drill-stem tests, water-level measurements, water-quality analyses, and published maps of stratigraphically equivalent units. An index to the geohydrologic data compiled for the CMRASA in Kansas is presented in Spinazola and others (1987). For the most part, data used to construct the maps were collected over many years and do not reflect aquifer conditions for any specific time period.

  4. Mesoscale simulations of convective systems with data assimilation during June 1993 in the Southern Great Plains

    SciTech Connect

    Dudhia, J.

    1995-04-01

    An intensive observation period (IOP) took place at the Southern Great Plains Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) site from June 16-26,1993. Additional observations came from two integrated sounding systems (ISSs) and three National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) cross-chain loran atmospheric sounding system (CLASS) sites to complement the central CART site and the seven National Weather Service (NWS) profilers of the demonstration network in the area. The NCAR/Penn State Mesoscale Model (MM5) has been used to simulate this period on a 60-km domain with 20- and 6.67-km nests centered on Lamont, Oklahoma. Simulations are being run with data assimilated by the nudging technique to incorporate upper-air and surface data from a variety of platforms. One goal of this work is to use all the available data collected in the Southern Great Plains CART area in conjunction with a continuously running mesoscale model to provide complete hourly datasets of the wind, temperature, humidity, and cloud distributions at high resolution. The model maintains dynamical consistency between the fields, while the data correct for model biases that may occur during long-term simulations and provide boundary conditions. In this study the feasibility of driving the model with surface data, rawinsonde data, profiler winds, microwave radiometer moisture data, and radio-acoustic sounding system (RASS) temperatures is being demonstrated. The dataset provided will be a valuable resource for comparison with general circulation model (GCM) parameterizations of cloud and radiation fields, as well as for mesoscale studies of convective events during this period.

  5. Urban influences on land surface phenologies in the U.S. Great Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, J.; de Beurs, K.; Henebry, G. M.

    2013-12-01

    Global populations are increasingly found in urban environments. The associated transformation of rural landscapes into regions of highly concentrated human activity drives broad climatic and environmental changes at multiple scales. The elevated surface and air temperatures of urban areas compared to surrounding rural environments (the urban heat island [UHI] effect) can influence the timing of vegetation growth dynamics within and outside the urban boundary, thereby affecting regional surface radiation and energy budgets. We examined patterns of land surface phenology (LSP) across the U.S. Great Plains region, which contains a range of metropolitan areas within herbaceous-dominated landscapes. We assembled a time series (2002-2012) of MODIS surface reflectance data (MCD43A4) and land surface temperature data (MOD11A2) at 500m and 1000m spatial resolution, respectively. We derived measures of the vegetated land surface and the thermal regime of the growing season at 8-day intervals using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Accumulated Growing Degree-Days (AGDD). Fitting the convex quadratic LSP model of NDVI as a function of AGDD yielded several model parameter coefficients and phenometrics for each growing season: start, end, and length of growing season; thermal time at start of season; thermal time to peak NDVI; peak NDVI; and coefficients of determination for the LSP model. We linked the phenometrics with impervious surface area measures extracted from the National Land Cover Database (NLCD) and urban characteristics to (1) determine the UHI impacts across the Great Plains under a variety of climatic conditions, and (2) explore scaling relationships between the phenometrics and the extent of each urbanized area.

  6. Indirect Effects of Climate Change on Heat Waves in the Great Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Branstator, G.; Teng, H.

    2015-12-01

    When we analyze a large ensemble RCP8.5 climate change experiment we find that heat waves have become more common and intense in the Great Plains during 2070-2100 compared to 1980-2010. Much of this can be attributed to the simple direct additive effect of a 5.8°C increase in Jun-Aug surface mean temperatures in that region. But there is also a non-additive effect in that daily temperature departures from the new mean during heat waves are about 0.6°C warmer in the future epoch. Here we consider two often-proposed mechanisms by which this change in the variability of surface temperature could result from indirect influences of changes in the mean state. One mechanism involves changes in the variability of upper tropospheric planetary waves, which we are especially interested in because we have found planetary wave structures that both affect the likelihood of heat waves and have unusually high predictability on subseasonal time scales. Our analysis does show that the amplitude of planetary wave variability has been modified in the future modeled climate. And calculations with a mechanistic model show this is indeed a consequence of the change in the mean circulation. But further analysis indicates this modification of planetary wave fluctuations is probably not responsible for the increase in Great Plains heat waves. By contrast we find changes in the magnitude of surface fluxes during heat wave events could be responsible for their strengthening and these can be attributed to the decrease in soil moisture that occurs during the future period. Hence it is changes in zonally asymmetric mean land surface quantities rather than changes in upper tropospheric fluctuations brought on by changes to the mean circulation that are of primary importance in producing the enhanced variability of surface temperature in the future climate.

  7. Evaluation of cooling tower and wastewater treatment operations at the Great Plains Coal Gasification Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Lang, R.A.

    1984-12-01

    The objective of this study was to provide a technical assessment of the Great Plains Coal Gasification Plant Wastewater Treatment System. This Scope of Work consisted of five primary tasks described as follows: Task 1 - Determine the quantity of hydantoins in the stripped gas liquor (SGL), their precursors, and the kinetics of their formation in condensed liquor for the Great Plains Gasification Associates (GPGA) gasification facility. The University of North Dakota Energy Research Center (UNDERC) has measured a high concentration of hydantoins in the gas liquor from their slagging gasifier. UNDERC has tested the use of SGL in a pilot cooling tower and they witnessed some adverse effects in the cooling tower and heat exchanger systems. Task 2 - Investigate the adverse Department of Energy (DOE) findings at UNDERC with regard to corrosion, foaming, biological and organic fouling, chemical attack on concrete and organic emissions resulting from the use of SGL in a pilot plant cooling tower. Task 3 - Validate the heat load on the cooling tower for both summer and winter operation and determine the adequacy of the surge pond to store the maximum predicted amount of excess water accumulated during winter operation. Task 4 - Assess potential fouling, foaming and organic carry-over problems associated with operability of the multiple-effect evaporator and develop recommendations on possible alternate use of evaporator condensate to alleviate possible problems in disposing of excess wastewater. Task 5 - Provide DOE with recommendations on the wastewater treatment backup design and test program already committed to by GPGA. This paper presents Fluor's findings regarding the five primary tasks. 12 refs., 4 figs., 15 tabs.

  8. Brown-headed cowbird, Molothrus ater, parasitism and abundance in the northern Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Igl, L.D.; Johnson, D.H.

    2007-01-01

    The Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) reaches its highest abundance in the northern Great Plains, but much of our understanding of cowbird ecology and host-parasite interactions comes from areas outside of this region. We examine cowbird brood parasitism and densities during two studies of breeding birds in the northern Great Plains during 1990-2006. We found 2649 active nests of 75 species, including 746 nonpasserine nests and 1902 passerine nests. Overall, <1% of non-passerine nests and 25% of passerine nests were parasitized by Brown-headed Cowbirds. Although the overall frequency of cowbird parasitism in passerine nests in these two studies is considered moderate, the frequency of multiple parasitism among parasitized nests was heavy (nearly 50%). The mean number of cowbird eggs per parasitized passerine nest was 1.9 ?? 1.2 (SD; range = 1-8 cowbird eggs). The parasitism rates were 9.5% for passerines that typically nest in habitats characterized by woody vegetation, 16.4% for grassland-nesting passerines, 4.7% for passerines known to consistently eject cowbird eggs, and 28.2% for passerines that usually accept cowbird eggs. The Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) was the most commonly parasitized species (43.1 % parasitism, 49.6% multiple parasitism, 71.2% of all cases of parasitism). Passerine nests found within areas of higher female cowbird abundance experienced higher frequencies of cowbird parasitism than those found in areas of lower female cowbird abundance. Densities of female cowbirds were positively related to densities and richness of other birds in the breeding bird community.

  9. A multidisciplinary analysis of groundwater declines and agricultural production in the High Plains Aquifer of Kansas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steward, David R.; Bruss, Paul J.; Yang, Xiaoying; Staggenborg, Scott A.; Welch, Stephen M.; Apley, Michael D.

    2014-05-01

    The High Plains Aquifer provides groundwater for 30% of the irrigated agriculture in the USA. Within Kansas, groundwater supports the congressional district with highest market value of agriculture. And yet, over-pumping and associated groundwater declines threaten the long-term prospects. The groundwater portion of this study quantifies the availability of groundwater stores over the next 100 years. A water-use function is developed to quantify the historical and future impacts of irrigation on corn production. A relationship between corn consumption per head of cattle quantifies the herd size that can be supported by irrigated corn. Together, we project the impacts of changes in groundwater stores on corn and cattle production for the next century. Scenarios analyze the impacts of water savings today on current and future agriculture production. Reference: Steward, D. R., Bruss, P. J., Yang, X., Staggenborg, S. A., Welch, S. M. and M. D. Apley, Tapping unsustainable groundwater stores for agricultural production in the High Plains Aquifer of Kansas, projections to 2110, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110(37) E3477-E3486, September 10, 2013. http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1220351110

  10. Drought effect on selection of conservation reserve program grasslands by white-tailed deer on the Northern Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grovenburg, T.W.; Jacques, C.N.; Klaver, R.W.; Jenks, J.A.

    2011-01-01

    Limited information exists regarding summer resource selection of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in grassland regions of the Northern Great Plains. During summers 2005-2006, we analyzed habitat selection of adult female white-tailed deer in north-central South Dakota. We collected 1905 summer locations and used 21 and 30 home ranges during 2005 and 2006, respectively, to estimate habitat selection. Results indicated that selection occurred at the population (P < 0.001) and home range (P < 0.001) levels. Deer selected for Conservation Reserve Program grasslands and corn during both summers and shifted selection temporally within summer. Use of CRP grasslands occurred during early summer; 73.1 and 88.9% of locations in CRP were documented prior to 1 Jul. during 2005 and 2006, respectively. Conversely, selection for corn occurred during late summer; 86.0 and 68.4% of locations in corn were documented after 1 Jul. during 2005 and 2006, respectively. Additionally, deer selected for forested cover and rural development areas containing permanent water sources during extreme drought conditions during 2006. Deer likely selected for fields of CRP grasslands during early summer for cover and natural forages, such as clover (Trifolium sp.), prior to the period when agricultural crops become available. Drought conditions occurring in semiarid prairie grassland regions may reduce food and water availability and contribute to subsequent changes in deer habitat selection across the range of the species.

  11. Prairie dog poisoning in northern Great Plains: An analysis of programs and policies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roemer, David M.; Forrest, Steven C.

    1996-05-01

    This paper describes the programs and policies regarding prairie dog control in the northern Great Plains states of Montana, South Dakota, and Wyoming. The poisoning programs of federal and state agencies are described, along with the statutes and legal mandates that shape agency management of prairie dogs. Current policies on National Grasslands and other federal lands typically limit prairie dogs to small percentages of available potential habitat, to the detriment of prairie dogs and associated species. State programs to assist landowners in prairie dog control differ greatly, employing cost-share incentives (Wyoming) and regulatory fines (South Dakota) to encourage the poisoning of prairie dogs. Prairie dog control is not actively funded or practiced by state or county agencies in Montana. We document federal and state involvement in more than 1 million acres of prairie dog poisoning in the study area during 1978 1992. In combination with undocumented poisoning by private landowners, plague, and shooting, prairie dogs may be experiencing net regional declines, contributing to the disintegration of the prairie dog ecosystem. We recommend that Animal Damage Control operations concerning prairie dogs be terminated, on the basis that they duplicate state programs and are at cross purposes with federal wildlife management programs that seek to perpetuate and/or recover wildlife species that depend on the prairie dog ecosystem. We further recommend that federal range improvement funds be offered as subsidies for the integration of prairie dogs in range management, as opposed to funding prairie dog eradication programs.

  12. Using SMAP data to improve drought early warning over the US Great Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, R.; Fernando, N.; Tang, W.

    2015-12-01

    A drought prone region such as the Great Plains of the United States (US GP) requires credible and actionable drought early warning. Such information cannot simply be extracted from available climate forecasts because of their large uncertainties at regional scales, and unclear connections to the needs of the decision makers. In particular, current dynamic seasonal predictions and climate projections, such as those produced by the NOAA North American Multi-Model Ensemble experiment (NMME) are much more reliable for winter and spring than for the summer season for the US GP. To mitigate the weaknesses of dynamic prediction/projections, we have identified three key processes behind the spring-to-summer dry memory through observational studies, as the scientific basis for a statistical drought early warning system. This system uses percentile soil moisture anomalies in spring as a key input to provide a probabilistic summer drought early warning. The latter outperforms the dynamic prediction over the US Southern Plains and has been used by the Texas state water agency to support state drought preparedness. A main source of uncertainty for this drought early warning system is the soil moisture input obtained from the NOAA Climate Forecasting System (CFS). We are testing use of the beta version of NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) soil moisture data, along with the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS), and the long-term Essential Climate Variable Soil Moisture (ECV-SM) soil moisture data, to reduce this uncertainty. Preliminary results based on ECV-SM suggests satellite based soil moisture data could improve early warning of rainfall anomalies over the western US GP with less dense vegetation. The skill degrades over the eastern US GP where denser vegetation is found. We evaluate our SMAP-based drought early warning for 2015 summer against observations.

  13. Characterizing isotopic variability of primary production and consumers in Great Plains ecosystems during protracted regional drought

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haveles, A. W.; Fox-Dobbs, K.; Talmadge, K. A.; Fetrow, A.; Fox, D. L.

    2012-12-01

    Over the last few years (2010-2012), the Great Plains of the central USA experienced protracted drought conditions, including historically severe drought during Summer, 2011. Drought severity in the region generally decreases with increasing latitude, but episodic drought is a fundamental trait of grassland ecosystems. Documenting above ground energy and nutrient flow with current drought is critical to understanding responses of grassland ecosystems in the region to predicted increased episodicity of rainfall and recurrence of drought due to anthropogenic climate change. Characterization of biogeochemical variability of modern ecosystems at the microhabitat, local landscape, and regional scales is also necessary to interpret biogeochemical records of ancient grasslands based on paleosols and fossil mammals. Here, we characterize three grassland ecosystems that span the drought gradient in the Great Plains (sites in the Texas panhandle, southwest Kansas, and northwest Nebraska). We measured δ13C and δ15N values of plants and consumers to characterize the biogeochemical variability within each ecosystem. Vegetation at each site is a mix of trees, shrubs, herbs, and cool- and warm-growing season grasses (C3 and C4, respectively). Thus, consumers have access to isotopically distinct sources of forage that vary in abundance with microhabitat (e.g., open grassland, shrub thicket, riparian woodland). Observations indicate herbivorous arthropod (grasshoppers and crickets) abundance follows drought severity, with high abundance of many species in Texas, and low abundance of few species in Nebraska. Small mammal (rodents) abundance follows the inverse pattern with 0.8%, 3.2% and 17.2% capture success in Texas, Kansas and Nebraska, respectively. The inverse abundance patterns of consumer groups may result from greater sensitivity of small mammal consumers with high metabolic needs to lower local net primary productivity and forage quality under drought conditions. As a

  14. Causes of Long-Term Drought in the United States Great Plains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schubert, Siegfried D.; Suarez, Max J.; Pegion, Philip J.; Koster, Randal

    2002-01-01

    The United States Great Plains (USGP) experienced a number of multi-year droughts during the last century, most notably the droughts of the 1930s and 1950s. This study examines the causes of such droughts using ensembles of long term (1930-1999) simulations carried out with the NASA Seasonal-to-Interannual Prediction Project (NSIPP-1) atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM) forced with observed sea surface temperatures (SSTs). The results show that the model produces long-term (multi-year) variations in the USGP precipitation that are similar to those observed. A correlative analysis suggests that the ensemble mean low frequency (time scales longer than about 6 years) rainfall variations in the USGP are linked to a pan-Pacific pattern of SST variability that is the leading empirical orthogonal function (EOF) in the low frequency SST data. The link between the SST and the Great Plains precipitation is confirmed in idealized AGCM simulations, in which the model is forced by the 2 polarities of the pan-Pacific SST pattern. The idealized simulations further show that it is primarily the tropical part of the SST anomalies that influence the USGP. As such, the USGP tend to have above normal precipitation when the tropical Pacific SSTs are above normal, while there is a tendency for drought when the tropical SSTs are cold. The upper tropospheric response to the pan-Pacific SST EOF shows a global-scale pattern with a strong wave response in the Pacific and a substantial zonally-symmetric component in which USGP pluvial (drought) conditions are associated with reduced (enhanced) heights throughout the extra-tropics. The potential predictability of rainfall in the USGP associated with SSTs is rather modest, with on average about 1/3 of the total low frequency rainfall variance forced by SST anomalies. Further idealized experiments with climatological SST, suggest that the remaining low frequency variance in the USGP precipitation is the result of interactions with soil

  15. A Unified Theory for the Great Plains Nocturnal Low-Level Jet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shapiro, A.; Fedorovich, E.; Rahimi, S.

    2014-12-01

    The nocturnal low-level jet (LLJ) is a warm-season atmospheric boundary layer phenomenon common to the Great Plains of the United States and other places worldwide, typically in regions east of mountain ranges. Low-level jets develop around sunset in fair weather conditions conducive to strong radiational cooling, reach peak intensity in the pre-dawn hours, and then dissipate with the onset of daytime convective mixing. In this study we consider the LLJ as a diurnal oscillation of a stably stratified atmosphere overlying a planar slope on the rotating Earth. The oscillations arise from diurnal cycles in both the heating of the slope (mechanism proposed by Holton in 1967) and the turbulent mixing (mechanism proposed by Blackadar in 1957). The governing equations are the equations of motion, incompressibility condition, and thermal energy in the Boussinesq approximation, with turbulent heat and momentum exchange parameterized through spatially constant but diurnally varying turbulent diffusion coefficients (diffusivities). Analytical solutions are obtained for diffusivities with piecewise constant waveforms (step-changes at sunrise and sunset) and slope temperatures/buoyancies with piecewise linear waveforms (saw-tooth function with minimum at sunrise and maximum before sunset). The jet characteristics are governed by eleven parameters: slope angle, Coriolis parameter, environmental buoyancy frequency, geostrophic wind strength, daytime and nighttime diffusivities, maximum (daytime) and minimum (nighttime) slope buoyancies, duration of daylight, lag time between peak slope buoyancy and sunset, and a Newtonian cooling time scale. An exploration of the parameter space yields results that are broadly consistent with findings particular to the Holton and Blackadar theories, and agree with climatological observations, for example, that stronger jets tend to occur over slopes of 0.15-0.25 degrees characteristic of the Great Plains. The solutions also yield intriguing

  16. Impacts of irrigation on 20th century temperature in the northern Great Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahmood, Rezaul; Foster, Stuart A.; Keeling, Travis; Hubbard, Kenneth G.; Carlson, Christy; Leeper, Ronnie

    2006-11-01

    Land use change can modify root zone moisture distribution, energy partitioning and subsequently, near surface energy balance. Various modeling studies provided evidence of these changes. For example, land use change from natural grass land to irrigated land use would significantly increase and decrease latent and sensible energy flux, respectively. This type of long-term modification of energy balance would in turn change near surface temperatures. The Great Plains of North America experienced significant overturning of land from natural grass land to irrigated land use during the 20th century. This study provides assessment on the changes in the historical near surface temperature records in Nebraska, USA. Long-term mean monthly maximum, minimum, and monthly mean air temperature data from 5 irrigated and 5 non-irrigated sites were analyzed. Length and homogeneity of time series and stability of stations were primary determinants in selection of these stations. The time series include Cooperative Weather Observation Network (COOP) and Historical Climate Network (HCN) data sets. Pairwise comparisons of temperatures between irrigated and non-irrigated locations for pre- and post-1945, -1950, and -1955 periods were completed for both data sets. These breakdowns of time series helped to identify periods of widespread land use change. Results show notably cooler temperatures over irrigated areas. For example, mean maximum growing season temperature at irrigated Alliance was 0.64 °C and 1.65 °C cooler compared to non-irrigated Halsey during pre- and post-1945 period, respectively. Hence, there was a 1.01 °C cooling during post-1945 years. Moreover, there has been a greater cooling during the second half of 20th century. The bootstrap re-sampling method was applied and trend analyses were completed for further verification of results. These assessments largely show a decreasing trend in mean maximum growing season temperatures over irrigated areas. To further verify

  17. Site, environmental and airflow characteristics for mono-slope beef cattle facilities in the Northern Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In conjunction with an emission monitoring study, long-term airflow and environmental data were collected from four regional producer-owned and -operated mono-slope beef cattle facilities in the Northern Great Plains. The barns were oriented east-west, with approximate dimensions of an 8-m south wal...

  18. Productivity and persistence of summer active and summer dormant tall fescue cultivars in the southern Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Lack of persistence arising from high temperature and drought stresses during the summer limits lifetime productivity of tall fescue (Schedonorus arundinacea Schreb. [Dumort]) pastures in the southern Great Plains (SGP). A summer dormancy characteristic common in genotypes originating from the Medit...

  19. Ammonia and hydrogen sulfide concentration and emission patterns for mono-slope beef cattle facilities in the Northern Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Mono-slope buildings are one type of roofed and confined cattle feeding facility that is becoming increasingly popular in the Northern Great Plains. In response to questions and concerns about the barn environment and air quality regulations, the objectives of this study were to determine gas concen...

  20. Performance of early weaned (~80 d) vs normal weaned (~215 d) cows in the Northern Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Our objective was to determine effects of early weaning at the start of breeding on cow reproductive performance following AI with a 50-d cleanup breeding season among cows in the Northern Great Plains. Angus (n = 199) and Angus x Simmental (n = 158) cows stratified within breed by age, postpartum i...

  1. Stable-Carbon Isotopes of U.S. Great Plains Soils and Climate Events during the Holocene.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A suite of 12 soil profiles from the U.S. Great Plains and western Corn Belt were sampled to a depth of 2 m and radiocarbon dating control was established to investigate possible changes in stable-carbon isotope composition of SOC over space and time associated with major Holocene climate events. T...

  2. Application of pheromone traps for managing Hessian fly, Mayetiola destructor (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) in the Southern Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Hessian fly, Mayetiola destructor Say, is an important pest of winter wheat in the Southern Great Plains of the U.S. As larvae feed behind the leaf sheath, infestations often go undetected until crop damage is evident and there are no remedial actions that can prevent economic loss once a field...

  3. Long-term agroecosystem research on northern Great Plains mixed-grass prairie near Mandan, North Dakota

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In 1915, a stocking rate experiment was started on 101 ha of native mixed-grass prairie at the Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory (NGPRL) near Mandan, ND (100.9132 N 46.7710 W). Here, we document the origin, evolution, and scientific outcomes from this long-term experiment. Four pastures of 1...

  4. Research achievements and adoption of no-till, dryland cropping in the semi-arid US Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Great Plains region of the United States and Canada is an area of widespread dryland crop production, with wheat being the dominant crop. Precipitation in the region ranges from 300 to 500 mm annually, with the majority of precipitatioCPRLn falling during hot summer months. The prevailing croppi...

  5. Casting the Buffalo Commons: A Rhetorical Analysis of Print Media Coverage of the Buffalo Commons Proposal for the Great Plains

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Umberger, Mary L.

    2002-01-01

    In 1987, Frank and Deborah Popper, a planner/geographer team from Rutgers University, proposed the Buffalo Commons. If implemented, the Buffalo Commons would have preserved a large area of the Great Plains, including land in ten states, in a national park to be used by exiting Native American reservations, and for the reintroduction of buffalo.

  6. Can subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) be a competitive irrigation system in the Great Plains region for commodity crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) as with all microirrigation systems is typically only used on crops with greater value. In the U.S. Great Plains region, the typical irrigated crops are the cereal and oil seed crops and cotton. These crops have less economic revenue than typical microirrigated cro...

  7. Capabilities of four novel warm-season legumes in the southern Great Plains: grain production and quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Grain legumes could serve as a low cost nitrogen (N) and energy source for animal production in the southern Great Plains (SGP). This study evaluated the yield and nutritive value of grains of tropical annual legumes novel to the SGP. Included were cultivars of pigeon pea ([Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp...

  8. Capabilities of four novel warm-season legumes in the southern Great Plains: biomass and forage quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Grain legumes could provide high nitrogen (N), late summer forage for stocker cattle in the southern Great Plains (SGP). This study evaluated the forage yield and nutritive value of tropical annual legumes novel to the SGP. Included were cultivars of pigeon pea ([Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.], cv. ‘GA...

  9. 'Duster' wheat: A durable, dual-purpose cultivar adapted to the southern great plains of the USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars which gain broad commercial acceptance in Oklahoma and surrounding states of the U.S. southern Great Plains must produce a definitive grain yield advantage, and they must demonstrate season-long dependability in dual purpose management systems, effective...

  10. 'Billings' wheat combines early maturity, disease resistance, and desirable grain quality for the Southern Great Plains of the USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Selection pressure for earliness, resistance to multiple pathogens, and quality attributes consistent with the hard red winter (HRW) wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) market class is tantamount to, or can obscure, selection for yield potential in lower elevations of the U.S. southern Great Plains. The de...

  11. From Mothers' Pensions to Aid to Dependent Children in the Great Plains: The Course from Charity to Entitlement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, R. Alton

    2012-01-01

    The most important third-party movement in American history emerged out of the social and economic chaos brewing in the Great Plains in the last two decades of the nineteenth century. The maelstrom, labeled Populism, contained a powerful, indeed a truly revolutionary message--that man was his brother's keeper. This concept proved to have…

  12. Vulnerability of crops and native grasses to summer drying in the U.S. Southern Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Southern Great Plains are characterized by a fine-scale mixture of different land cover types, predominantly winter-wheat and pasture lands, with relatively small areas of other crops, native prairie, and switchgrass. Recent droughts and predictions of increased drought (especially during the s...

  13. Perennial biomass grasses and the Mason-Dixon Line: Comparative productivity across latitudes in the southern Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Understanding latitudinal adaptation of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus J. M. Greef & Deuter ex Hodk. & Renvoize) to the southern Great Plains is key to maximizing productivity by matching each grass variety to its ideal production environment. Objectives of...

  14. Swept Away: Chronic Hardship and Fresh Promise on the Rural Great Plains. A Socio-Economic Study of the Rural Great Plains.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bailey, Jon M.; Preston, Kim

    In the six-state region of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota, 182 counties have been identified as having an agriculturally based economy. Characteristics of these counties have been identified using data from the U.S. Census and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Agriculturally based counties have lost…

  15. Late Paleogene topography of the Central Rocky Mountains and western Great Plains region using hydrogen isotope ratios in volcanic glass

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rossetto, G.; Fricke, H. C.; Cassel, E. J.; Evanoff, E.

    2015-12-01

    The Central Rocky Mountains (CRM), located in southern Wyoming, Colorado, and northern New Mexico, are characterized by the highest elevation basins (up to 2500 m) and mountains (over 4000 m) in the North American Cordillera. The timing and drivers for surface uplift of the CRM have not been conclusively determined. The goal of this study is to constrain the timing of surface uplift of the CRM by comparing hydrogen isotope ratios of hydration waters (δDglass) in late Paleogene volcanic glasses preserved in felsic tuffs deposited in CRM basins to δDglass values from glasses of similar age (34.9 to 32.2 Ma) preserved in tuffs from the surrounding Great Plains. The tuffs deposited in the Great Plains, to the north and east of the CRM, are currently at elevations of 1100-1600 m. Volcanic glass hydrates shortly after deposition, preserving the δD of ancient meteoric water on geologic timescales, and can thus be used as a proxy for ancient precipitation δD values. Volcanic glasses from the CRM have δDglass values that are an average of ~31‰ higher than δDglass values from the Great Plains, while modern day precipitation δD values in the CRM are ~25‰ lower than δD values in the Great Plains. These results suggest that the uplift of the CRM relative to the surrounding Great Plains occurred after ~32 Ma. This requires a mechanism such as mantle upwelling or differential crustal hydration, not solely Laramide tectonism, to uplift the CRM to current elevations. Elevation, however, may not have been the only control on the spatial distribution of precipitation δD values across the western US. Similar to the modern, mixing of Pacific and Gulf coast air masses likely occurred during the latest Paleogene, driving regional variability in δD values of precipitation.

  16. Organic and Elemental Carbon Aerosol Particulates at the Southern Great Plains Site Field Campaign Report

    SciTech Connect

    Cary, Robert

    2016-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to measure the organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC) fractions of PM2.5 particulate matter at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility Southern Great Plains (SGP) sampling site for a 6-month period during the summer of 2013. The site is in a rural location remote from any populated areas, so it would be expected to reflect carbon concentration over long-distance transport patterns. During the same period in 2012, a number of prairie fires in Oklahoma and Texas had produced large plumes of smoke particles, but OC and EC particles had not been quantified. In addition, during the summer months, other wild fires, such as forest fires in the Rocky Mountain states and other areas, can produce carbon aerosols that are transported over long distances. Both of these source types would be expected to contain mixtures of both OC and EC.

  17. Potential Effects of Climate Change on Aquatic Ecosystems of the Great Plains of North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Covich, A. P.; Fritz, S. C.; Lamb, P. J.; Marzolf, R. D.; Matthews, W. J.; Poiani, K. A.; Prepas, E. E.; Richman, M. B.; Winter, T. C.

    1997-06-01

    The Great Plains landscape is less topographically complex than most other regions within North America, but diverse aquatic ecosystems, such as playas, pothole lakes, ox-bow lakes, springs, groundwater aquifers, intermittent and ephemeral streams, as well as large rivers and wetlands, are highly dynamic and responsive to extreme climatic fluctuations. We review the evidence for climatic change that demonstrates the historical importance of extremes in north-south differences in summer temperatures and east-west differences in aridity across four large subregions. These physical driving forces alter density stratification, deoxygenation, decomposition and salinity. Biotic community composition and associated ecosystem processes of productivity and nutrient cycling respond rapidly to these climatically driven dynamics. Ecosystem processes also respond to cultural effects such as dams and diversions of water for irrigation, waste dilution and urban demands for drinking water and industrial uses. Distinguishing climatic from cultural effects in future models of aquatic ecosystem functioning will require more refinement in both climatic and economic forecasting. There is a need, for example, to predict how long-term climatic forecasts (based on both ENSO and global warming simulations) relate to the permanence and productivity of shallow water ecosystems. Aquatic ecologists, hydrologists, climatologists and geographers have much to discuss regarding the synthesis of available data and the design of future interdisciplinary research.

  18. Site scientific mission plan for the Southern Great Plains CART site, January-June 1995

    SciTech Connect

    Schneider, J.M.; Lamb, P.J.; Sisterson, D.L.

    1994-12-01

    The Southern Great Plains (SGP) Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) site is designed to help satisfy the data needs of the Atmospheric Measurement (ARM) Program Science Team. This document defines the scientific priorities for site activities during the six months beginning on January 1, 1995, and also looks forward in lesser detail to subsequent six-month periods. The primary purpose of this Site Scientific Mission Plan is to provide guidance for the development of plans for site operations. It also provides information on current plans to the ARM functional teams (Management Team, Experiment Support Team [EST], Operations Team, Data Management Team [DMT], Instrument Team [IT], and Campaign Team) and serves to disseminate the plans more generally within the ARM Program and among the members of the Science Team. This document includes a description of the operational status of the site and the primary envisaged site activities, together with information concerning approved and proposed Intensive Observation Periods (IOPs). Amendments will be prepared and distributed whenever the content changes by more than 30% within a six-month period. The primary users of this document are the site operator, the site scientist, the Science Team through the ARM Program Science Director, The ARM Program Experiment Center, and the aforementioned ARM Program functional teams. This plan is a living document that will be updated and reissued every six months as the observational facilities are developed, tested, and augmented and as priorities are adjusted in response to developments in scientific planning and understanding.

  19. Site Scientific Mission Plan for the southern Great Plains CART site, July--December 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Schneider, J.M.; Lamb, P.J.; Sisterson, D.L.

    1993-08-01

    The southern Great Plains (SGP) Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) site is designed to help satisfy the data needs of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program Science Team. This document defines the scientific priorities for site activities during the six-months beginning on July 1, 1993, and also looks forward in lesser detail to subsequent six-month periods. The primary purpose of this Site Scientific Mission Plan is to provide guidance for the development of plans for site operations. It also provides a planning focus for the ARM Functional Teams (Management Team, Experiment Support Team, Operations Team, Data Management Team, Instrument Team, and Campaign Team), and it serves to disseminate the current plans more generally within the ARM Program and among the Science Team. This document includes a description of the site`s operational status and the primary envisaged site activities, together with information concerning approved and proposed Intensive Observation Periods. Amendments will be prepared and distributed whenever the content changes by more than 30% within a six-month period. The primary users of this document are the site operator, the site scientist, the Science Team through the ARM Program Science Director, the ARM Program Experiment Center, and the aforementioned ARM Program Functional Teams. This plan is a living document that will be updated and reissued every six-months as the observational facilities are developed, tested, and augmented and as priorities are adjusted in response to developments in scientific planning and understanding.

  20. Grazing improves C and N cycling in the Northern Great Plains: a meta-analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xiaoyu; McConkey, Brian G.; Vandenbygaart, A. J.; Fan, Jianling; Iwaasa, Alan; Schellenberg, Mike

    2016-09-01

    Grazing potentially alters grassland ecosystem carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) storage and cycles, however, the overall direction and magnitude of such alterations are poorly understood on the Northern Great Plains (NGP). By synthesizing data from multiple studies on grazed NGP ecosystems, we quantified the response of 30 variables to C and N pools and fluxes to grazing using a comprehensive meta-analysis method. Results showed that grazing enhanced soil C (5.2 ± 4.6% relative) and N (11.3 ± 9.1%) pools in the top layer, stimulated litter decomposition (26.8 ± 18.4%) and soil N mineralization (22.3 ± 18.4%) and enhanced soil NH4+ (51.5 ± 42.9%) and NO3‑ (47.5 ± 20.7%) concentrations. Our results indicate that the NGP grasslands have sequestered C and N in the past 70 to 80 years, recovering C and N lost during a period of widespread grassland deterioration that occurred in the first half of the 20th century. Sustainable grazing management employed after this deterioration has acted as a critical factor for C and N amelioration of degraded NGP grasslands and about 5.84 Mg C ha‑1 CO2-equivalent of anthropogenic CO2 emissions has been offset by these grassland soils.

  1. Hydrology of Area 61, Northern Great Plains and Rocky Mountain Coal Provinces, Colorado and New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Abbott, P.O.; Geldon, Arthur L.; Cain, Doug; Hall, Alan P.; Edelmann, Patrick

    1983-01-01

    Area 61 is located on the Colorado-New Mexico boundary in Huerfano and Las Animas Counties, Colorado, and Colfax County, New Mexico, and includes the Raton Mesa coal region. The 5 ,900-square-mile area is an asymmetrical structural trough bounded by the Rocky Mountains on the west and the Great Plains on the east. The area is drained by the Huerfano, Apishapa, Purgatoire, and Canadian Rivers (and their tributaries), all tributary to the Arkansas River. The principal coal-bearing formations are the Vermejo Formation of Late Cretaceous age and the Raton Formation of Late Cretaceous and Paleocene age. Much of the coal in the area is of coking quality, important to the metallurgical industry. Topographic relief in the area is greater than 8,700 feet, and this influences the climate which in turn affects the runoff pattern of area streams. Summer thunderstorms often result in flash floods. Virtually all geologic units in the region yield water. Depth to ground water ranges from land surface to 400 feet. Surface and ground water in the area contain mostly bicarbonate and sulfate ions; locally in the ground water, chloride ions predominate. Potential hydrologic problems associated with surface coal mining in the area are water-quality degradation, water-table decline, and increased erosion and sedimentation. (USGS)

  2. Feasibility of producing jet fuel from GPGP (Great Plains Gasification Plant) by-products

    SciTech Connect

    Willson, W.G.; Knudson, C.L.; Rindt, J.R.

    1987-01-01

    The Great Plains Gasification Plant (GPGP) in Beulah, North Dakota, is in close proximity to several Air Force bases along our northern tier. This plant is producing over 137 million cubic feet per day of high-Btu Natural Gas from North Dakota lignite. In addition, the plant generates three liquid streams, naphtha, crude phenol, and tar oil. The naphtha may be directly marketable because of its low boiling point and high aromatic content. The other two streams, totalling about 4300 barrels per day, are available as potential sources of aviation fuel jet fuel for the Air Force. The overall objective of this project is to assess the technical and economic feasibility of producing aviation turbine fuel from the by-product streams of GPGP. These streams, as well as fractions, thereof, will be characterized and subsequently processed over a wide range of process conditions. The resulting turbine fuel products will be analyzed to determine their chemical and physical characteristics as compared to petroleum-based fuels to meet the military specification requirements. A second objective is to assess the conversion of the by-product streams into a new, higher-density aviation fuel. Since no performance specifications currently exist for a high-density jet fuel, reaction products and intermediates will only be characterized to indicate the feasibility of producing such a fuel. This report discusses the suitability of the tar oil stream. 5 refs., 20 figs., 15 tabs.

  3. Grazing improves C and N cycling in the Northern Great Plains: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaoyu; McConkey, Brian G; VandenBygaart, A J; Fan, Jianling; Iwaasa, Alan; Schellenberg, Mike

    2016-09-12

    Grazing potentially alters grassland ecosystem carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) storage and cycles, however, the overall direction and magnitude of such alterations are poorly understood on the Northern Great Plains (NGP). By synthesizing data from multiple studies on grazed NGP ecosystems, we quantified the response of 30 variables to C and N pools and fluxes to grazing using a comprehensive meta-analysis method. Results showed that grazing enhanced soil C (5.2 ± 4.6% relative) and N (11.3 ± 9.1%) pools in the top layer, stimulated litter decomposition (26.8 ± 18.4%) and soil N mineralization (22.3 ± 18.4%) and enhanced soil NH4(+) (51.5 ± 42.9%) and NO3(-) (47.5 ± 20.7%) concentrations. Our results indicate that the NGP grasslands have sequestered C and N in the past 70 to 80 years, recovering C and N lost during a period of widespread grassland deterioration that occurred in the first half of the 20(th) century. Sustainable grazing management employed after this deterioration has acted as a critical factor for C and N amelioration of degraded NGP grasslands and about 5.84 Mg C ha(-1) CO2-equivalent of anthropogenic CO2 emissions has been offset by these grassland soils.

  4. A boundary-layer cloud study using Southern Great Plains Cloud and radiation testbed (CART) data

    SciTech Connect

    Albrecht, B.; Mace, G.; Dong, X.; Syrett, W.

    1996-04-01

    Boundary layer clouds-stratus and fairweather cumulus - are closely coupled involves the radiative impact of the clouds on the surface energy budget and the strong dependence of cloud formation and maintenance on the turbulent fluxes of heat and moisture in the boundary layer. The continuous data collection at the Southern Great Plains (SGP) Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) site provides a unique opportunity to study components of the coupling processes associated with boundary layer clouds and to provide descriptions of cloud and boundary layer structure that can be used to test parameterizations used in climate models. But before the CART data can be used for process studies and parameterization testing, it is necessary to evaluate and validate data and to develop techniques for effectively combining the data to provide meaningful descriptions of cloud and boundary layer characteristics. In this study we use measurements made during an intensive observing period we consider a case where low-level stratus were observed at the site for about 18 hours. This case is being used to examine the temporal evolution of cloud base, cloud top, cloud liquid water content, surface radiative fluxes, and boundary layer structure. A method for inferring cloud microphysics from these parameters is currently being evaluated.

  5. Estimation of Regional Net CO2 Exchange over the Southern Great Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biraud, S. C.; Riley, W. J.; Fischer, M. L.; Torn, M. S.; Cooley, H. S.

    2004-12-01

    Estimating spatially distributed ecosystem CO2 exchange is an important component of the North American Carbon Program. We describe here a methodology to estimate Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE) over the Southern Great Plains, using: (1) data from the Department Of Energy's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) sites in Oklahoma and Kansas; (2) meteorological forcing data from the Mesonet facilities; (3) soil and vegetation types from 1 km resolution USGS databases; (4) vegetation status (e.g., LAI) from 1 km satellite measurements of surface reflectance (MODIS); (5) a tested land-surface model; and (6) a coupled land-surface and meteorological model (MM5/ISOLSM). This framework allows us to simulate regional surface fluxes in addition to ABL and free troposphere concentrations of CO2 at a continental scale with fine-scale nested grids centered on the ARM central facility. We use the offline land-surface and coupled models to estimate regional NEE, and compare predictions to measurements from the 9 Extended Facility sites with eddy correlation measurements. Site level comparisons to portable ECOR measurements in several crop types are also presented. Our approach also allows us to extend bottom-up estimates to periods and areas where meteorological forcing data are unavailable.

  6. Assessing vegetation response to drought in the northern Great Plains using vegetation and drought indices

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ji, Lei; Peters, Albert J.

    2003-01-01

    The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) derived from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) has been widely used to monitor moisture-related vegetation condition. The relationship between vegetation vigor and moisture availability, however, is complex and has not been adequately studied with satellite sensor data. To better understand this relationship, an analysis was conducted on time series of monthly NDVI (1989–2000) during the growing season in the north and central U.S. Great Plains. The NDVI was correlated to the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), a multiple-time scale meteorological-drought index based on precipitation. The 3-month SPI was found to have the best correlation with the NDVI, indicating lag and cumulative effects of precipitation on vegetation, but the correlation between NDVI and SPI varies significantly between months. The highest correlations occurred during the middle of the growing season, and lower correlations were noted at the beginning and end of the growing season in most of the area. A regression model with seasonal dummy variables reveals that the relationship between the NDVI and SPI is significant in both grasslands and croplands, if this seasonal effect is taken into account. Spatially, the best NDVI–SPI relationship occurred in areas with low soil water-holding capacity. Our most important finding is that NDVI is an effective indicator of vegetation-moisture condition, but seasonal timing should be taken into consideration when monitoring drought with the NDVI.

  7. A Prototype Physical Database for Passive Microwave Retrievals of Precipitation over the US Southern Great Plains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ringerud, S.; Kummerow, C. D.; Peters-Lidard, C. D.

    2015-01-01

    An accurate understanding of the instantaneous, dynamic land surface emissivity is necessary for a physically based, multi-channel passive microwave precipitation retrieval scheme over land. In an effort to assess the feasibility of the physical approach for land surfaces, a semi-empirical emissivity model is applied for calculation of the surface component in a test area of the US Southern Great Plains. A physical emissivity model, using land surface model data as input, is used to calculate emissivity at the 10GHz frequency, combining contributions from the underlying soil and vegetation layers, including the dielectric and roughness effects of each medium. An empirical technique is then applied, based upon a robust set of observed channel covariances, extending the emissivity calculations to all channels. For calculation of the hydrometeor contribution, reflectivity profiles from the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission Precipitation Radar (TRMM PR) are utilized along with coincident brightness temperatures (Tbs) from the TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI), and cloud-resolving model profiles. Ice profiles are modified to be consistent with the higher frequency microwave Tbs. Resulting modeled top of the atmosphere Tbs show correlations to observations of 0.9, biases of 1K or less, root-mean-square errors on the order of 5K, and improved agreement over the use of climatological emissivity values. The synthesis of these models and data sets leads to the creation of a simple prototype Tb database that includes both dynamic surface and atmospheric information physically consistent with the land surface model, emissivity model, and atmospheric information.

  8. A study of Quaternary landforms and materials in the Midwest and Great Plains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morrison, R. B.; Hallberg, G. R. (Principal Investigator)

    1972-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Measurements made from prints of ERTS-1, MSS 5 images, show practical limits of detectability for this imagery in the Midwest. The smallest high contrast object detectable has an approximate measured diameter of 150 feet. The smallest clearly identifiable cultural feature is roughly 300 feet for high contrast, and 400 to 500 feet for low contrast objects. Rural roadways, with an average width of 75 feet, are clearly defined due to high reflectivity, linearity, and the instantaneous field of view of the scanner. On the infrared a farm pond slightly greater than one acre is detectable. Crop and natural foliage cover in the Midwest during summar months obscures geologic and soils information and hinders detailed mapping. In the western Great Plains large-scale mapping of this kind may be possible, even at this time of year. In southwestern Iowa, topographic and drainage system anomalies, revealed by the imagery, are related to the slope of and depth to the buried bedrock surface. In eastern Iowa land use classification can be done from ERTS-1 imagery.

  9. Grazing improves C and N cycling in the Northern Great Plains: a meta-analysis

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiaoyu; McConkey, Brian G.; VandenBygaart, A. J.; Fan, Jianling; Iwaasa, Alan; Schellenberg, Mike

    2016-01-01

    Grazing potentially alters grassland ecosystem carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) storage and cycles, however, the overall direction and magnitude of such alterations are poorly understood on the Northern Great Plains (NGP). By synthesizing data from multiple studies on grazed NGP ecosystems, we quantified the response of 30 variables to C and N pools and fluxes to grazing using a comprehensive meta-analysis method. Results showed that grazing enhanced soil C (5.2 ± 4.6% relative) and N (11.3 ± 9.1%) pools in the top layer, stimulated litter decomposition (26.8 ± 18.4%) and soil N mineralization (22.3 ± 18.4%) and enhanced soil NH4+ (51.5 ± 42.9%) and NO3− (47.5 ± 20.7%) concentrations. Our results indicate that the NGP grasslands have sequestered C and N in the past 70 to 80 years, recovering C and N lost during a period of widespread grassland deterioration that occurred in the first half of the 20th century. Sustainable grazing management employed after this deterioration has acted as a critical factor for C and N amelioration of degraded NGP grasslands and about 5.84 Mg C ha−1 CO2-equivalent of anthropogenic CO2 emissions has been offset by these grassland soils. PMID:27616184

  10. Nitrogen-limitation and invasive sweetclover impacts vary between two Great Plains plant communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Van Riper, Laura C.; Larson, Diane L.; Larson, Jennifer L.

    2010-01-01

    Yellow sweetclover is an exotic herbaceous legume common in the Great Plains of the US. Although woody legumes have been shown to affect ecosystem processes through nitrogen (N) fixation (i.e., they can be considered "transformers" sensu Richardson et al. (2000)), the same has not been shown for short-lived herbaceous species. The objectives of this study were to (1) quantify the effects of yellow sweetclover on N mineralization and nitrification and (2) assess the effects of N fertilization on two plant communities, badlands sparse vegetation and western wheatgrass prairie. We used in situ (in wheatgrass prairie) and laboratory incubations (for both plant communities) to assess N dynamics at sites with high and low sweetclover cover in the two plant communities. We found that both N mineralization and nitrification were higher in the high sweetclover plots in the sparse plant community, but not in the wheatgrass prairie. To assess fertilization effects and determine if nutrients or water were limiting at our sites, we conducted a field experiment with five resource addition treatments, (1) N, (2) N + water, (3) water, (4) phosphorus, and (5) no addition. Water was limiting in the wheatgrass prairie but contrary to expectation, N was not. In contrast, N was limiting in the sparse community, where a fertilization effect was seen in exotic forbs, especially the toxic invader Halogeton glomeratus. Our results emphasize the contingent nature of plant invasion in which effects are largely dependent on attributes of the recipient vegetation.

  11. Site scientific mission plan for the Southern Great Plains CART site January--June 1996

    SciTech Connect

    Peppler, R.A.; Lamb, P.J.; Sisterson, D.L.

    1996-01-01

    The Southern Great Plains (SGP) Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) site is designed to help satisfy the data needs of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program Science Team. This document defines the scientific priorities for site activities during the six months beginning on January 1, 1996, and looks forward in lesser detail to subsequent six-month periods. The primary purpose of this Site Scientific Mission Plan is to provide guidance for the development of plans for site operations. It also provides information on current plans to the ARM functional teams (Management Team, Data and Science Integration Team [DSIT], Operations Team, instrument Team [IT], and Campaign Team) and serves to disseminate the plans more generally within the ARM Program and among the members of the Science Team. This document includes a description of the operational status of the site and the primary site activities envisioned, together with information concerning approved and proposed Intensive Observation Periods (IOPs). The primary users of this document are the site operator, the Site Scientist Team (SST), the Science Team through the ARM Program science director, the ARM Program Experiment Center, and the aforementioned ARM program functional teams. This plan is a living document that is updated and reissued every six months as the observational facilities are developed, tested, and augmented and as priorities are adjusted in response to developments in scientific planning and understanding.

  12. Site scientific mission plan for the southern Great Plain CART site July-December 1997.

    SciTech Connect

    Lamb, P.J.; Peppler, R.A.; Sisterson, D.L.

    1997-08-28

    The Southern Great Plains (SGP) Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) site is designed to help satisfy the data needs of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program Science Team. This document defines the scientific priorities for site activities during the six months beginning on July 1, 1997, and looks forward in lesser detail to subsequent six-month periods. The primary purpose of this Site Scientific Mission Plan is to provide guidance for the development of plans for site operations. It also provides information on current plans to the ARM functional teams (Management Team, Data and Science Integration Team [DSIT], Operations Team, Instrument Team [IT], and Campaign Team) and serves to disseminate the plans more generally within the ARM Program and among the members of the Science Team. This document includes a description of the operational status of the site and the primary site activities envisioned, together with information concerning approved and proposed intensive observation periods (IOPs). The primary users of this document are the site operator, the Site Scientist Team (SST), the Science Team through the ARM Program science director, the ARM Program Experiment Center, and the aforementioned ARM Program functional teams. This plan is a living document that is updated and reissued every six months as the observational facilities are developed, tested, and augmented and as priorities are adjusted in response to developments in scientific planning and understanding.

  13. Site scientific mission plan for the Southern Great Plains CART site: January 1997--June 1997

    SciTech Connect

    Peppler, R.A.; Lamb, P.J.; Sisterson, D.L.

    1997-01-01

    The Southern Great Plains (SGP) Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) site is designed to help satisfy the data needs of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program Science Team. This document defines the scientific priorities for site activities during the six months beginning on January 1, 1997, and looks forward in lesser detail to subsequent six-month periods. The primary purpose of this Site Scientific Mission Plan is to provide guidance for the development of plans for site operations. It also provides information on current plans to the ARM functional teams (Management Team, Data and Science Integration Team [DSIT], Operations Team, Instrument Team [IT], and Campaign Team) and serves to disseminate the plans more generally within the ARM Program and among the members of the Science Team. This document includes a description of the operational status of the site and the primary site activities envisioned, together with information concerning approved and proposed intensive observation periods (IOPs). The primary users of this document are the site operator, the Site Scientist Team (SST), the Science Team through the ARM Program science director, the ARM Program Experiment Center, and the aforementioned ARM Program functional teams. This plan is a living document that is updated and reissued every six months as the observational facilities are developed, tested, and augmented and as priorities are adjusted in response to developments in scientific planning and understanding.

  14. Site scientific mission plan for the Southern Great Plains CART site: July--December 1997

    SciTech Connect

    Peppler, R.A.; Lamb, P.J.; Sisterson, D.L.

    1997-07-01

    The Southern Great Plains (SGP) Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) site is designed to help satisfy the data needs of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program Science Team. This document defines the scientific priorities for site activities during the six months beginning on July 1, 1997, and looks forward in lesser detail to subsequent six-month periods. The primary purpose of this Site Scientific Mission Plan is to provide guidance for the development of plans for site operations. It also provides information on current plans to the ARM functional teams and serves to disseminate the plans more generally within the ARM Program and among the members of the Science Team. This document includes a description of the operational status of the site and the primary site activities envisioned, together with information concerning approved and proposed intensive observation periods (IOPs). This plan is a living document that is updated and reissued every six months as the observational facilities are developed, tested, and augmented and as priorities are adjusted in response to developments in scientific planning and understanding.

  15. Site scientific mission plan for the Southern Great Plains CART site: July--December 1998

    SciTech Connect

    Peppler, R.A.; Lamb, P.; Sisterson, D.L.

    1998-07-01

    The Southern Great Plains (SGP) Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) site was designed to help satisfy the data needs of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program Science Team. This Site Scientific Mission Plan defines the scientific priorities for site activities during the six months beginning on July 1, 1998, and looks forward in lesser detail to subsequent six-month periods. The primary purpose of this document is to provide scientific guidance for the development of plans for site operations. It also provides information on current plans to the ARM functional teams (Management Team, Data and Science Integration Team [DSIT], Operations Team, and Instrument Team [IT]) and serves to disseminate the plans more generally within the ARM Program and among the members of the Science Team. This document includes a description of the operational status of the site and the primary site activities envisioned, together with information concerning approved and proposed intensive observation periods (IOPs). The primary users of this document are the site operator, the site program manager, the Site Scientist Team (SST), the Science Team through the ARM Program science director, the ARM program Experiment Center, and the aforementioned ARM Program functional teams. This plan is a living document that is updated and reissued every six months as the observational facilities are developed, tested, and augmented and as priorities are adjusted in response to developments in scientific planning and understanding.

  16. Site scientific mission plan for the Southern Great Plains CART site: July--December 1996

    SciTech Connect

    Peppler, R.A.; Lamb, P.J.; Sisterson, D.L.

    1996-07-01

    The Southern Great Plains (SGP) Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) site is designed to help satisfy the data needs of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program Science Team. This document defines the scientific priorities for site activities during the six months beginning on July 1, 1996, and looks forward in lesser detail to subsequent six-month periods. The primary purpose of this Site Scientific Mission Plan is to provide guidance for the development of plans for site operations. It also provides information on current plans to the ARM functional teams (Management Team, Data and Science Integration Team [DSIT], Operations Team, Instrument Team [IT], and Campaign Team) and serves to disseminate the plans more generally within the ARM Program and among the members of the Science Team. This document includes a description of the operational status of the site and the primary site activities envisioned, together with information concerning approved and proposed intensive observation periods (IOPs). This plan is a living document that is updated and reissued every six months as the observational facilities are developed, tested, and augmented and as priorities are adjusted in response to developments in scientific planning and understanding. The primary objectives of the ARM program are: to describe the radiative energy flux profile of the clear and cloudy atmosphere; to understand the processes determining the flux profile; and to parameterize the processes determining the flux profile for incorporation into general circulation models.

  17. Site scientific mission plan for the Southern Great Plains CART Site, January--June 1999

    SciTech Connect

    Peppler, R.A.; Sisterson, D.L.; Lamb, P.

    1999-03-10

    The Southern Great Plains (SGP) Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) site was designed to help satisfy the data needs of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program Science Team. This Site Scientific Mission Plan defines the scientific priorities for site activities during the six months beginning on January 1, 1999, and looks forward in lesser detail to subsequent six-month periods. The primary purpose of this document is to provide scientific guidance for the development of plans for site operations. It also provides information on current plans to the ARM functional teams (Management Team, Data and Science Integration Team [DSIT], Operations Team, and Instrument Team [IT]) and serves to disseminate the plans more generally within the ARM Program and among the members of the Science Team. This document includes a description of the operational status of the site and the primary site activities envisioned, together with information concerning approved and proposed intensive observation periods (IOPs). The primary users of this document are the site operator, the site program manager, the Site Scientist Team (SST), the Science Team through the ARM Program science director, the ARM Program Experiment Center, and the aforementioned ARM Program functional teams. This plan is a living document that is updated and reissued every six months as the observational facilities are developed, tested, and augmented and as priorities are adjusted in response to developments in scientific planning and understanding.

  18. The role of the US Great Plains low-level jet in nocturnal migrant behavior.

    PubMed

    Wainwright, Charlotte E; Stepanian, Phillip M; Horton, Kyle G

    2016-10-01

    The movements of aerial animals are under the constant influence of atmospheric flows spanning a range of spatiotemporal scales. The Great Plains nocturnal low-level jet is a large-scale atmospheric phenomenon that provides frequent strong southerly winds through a shallow layer of the airspace. The jet can provide substantial tailwind assistance to spring migrants moving northward, while hindering southward migration during autumn. This atmospheric feature has been suspected to play a prominent role in defining migratory routes, but the flight strategies used with respect to these winds are yet to be examined. Using collocated vertically pointing radar and lidar, we investigate the altitudinal selection behavior of migrants over Oklahoma during two spring and two autumn migration seasons. In general, migrants choose to fly within the jet in spring, often concentrating in the favorable wind speed maximum. Autumn migrants typically fly below the jet, although some will rapidly climb to reach altitudes above the inhibiting winds. The intensity of migration was relatively constant throughout the spring due to the predominantly favorable southerly jet winds. Conversely, autumn migrants were more apt to delay departure to wait for the relatively infrequent northerly winds.

  19. Wind and wildlife in the Northern Great Plains: identifying low-impact areas for wind development.

    PubMed

    Fargione, Joseph; Kiesecker, Joseph; Slaats, M Jan; Olimb, Sarah

    2012-01-01

    Wind energy offers the potential to reduce carbon emissions while increasing energy independence and bolstering economic development. However, wind energy has a larger land footprint per Gigawatt (GW) than most other forms of energy production and has known and predicted adverse effects on wildlife. The Northern Great Plains (NGP) is home both to some of the world's best wind resources and to remaining temperate grasslands, the most converted and least protected ecological system on the planet. Thus, appropriate siting and mitigation of wind development is particularly important in this region. Steering energy development to disturbed lands with low wildlife value rather than placing new developments within large and intact habitats would reduce impacts to wildlife. Goals for wind energy development in the NGP are roughly 30 GW of nameplate capacity by 2030. Our analyses demonstrate that there are large areas where wind development would likely have few additional impacts on wildlife. We estimate there are ∼1,056 GW of potential wind energy available across the NGP on areas likely to have low-impact for biodiversity, over 35 times development goals. New policies and approaches will be required to guide wind energy development to low-impact areas.

  20. Potential effects of climate change on aquatic ecosystems of the Great Plains of North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Covich, A.P.; Fritz, S.C.; Lamb, P.J.; Marzolf, R.D.; Matthews, W.J.; Poiani, K.A.; Prepas, E.E.; Richman, M.B.; Winter, T.C.

    1997-01-01

    The Great Plains landscape is less topographically complex than most other regions within North America, but diverse aquatic ecosystems, such as playas, pothole lakes, ox-bow lakes, springs, groundwater aquifers, intermittent and ephemeral streams, as well as large rivers and wetlands, are highly dynamic and responsive to extreme climatic fluctuations. We review the evidence for climatic change that demonstrates the historical importance of extremes in north-south differences in summer temperatures and east-west differences in aridity across four large subregions. These physical driving forces alter density stratification, deoxygenation, decomposition and salinity. Biotic community composition and associated ecosystem processes of productivity and nutrient cycling respond rapidly to these climatically driven dynamics. Ecosystem processes also respond to cultural effects such as dams and diversions of water for irrigation, waste dilution and urban demands for drinking water and industrial uses. Distinguishing climatic from cultural effects in future models of aquatic ecosystem functioning will require more refinement in both climatic and economic forecasting. There is a need, for example, to predict how long-term climatic forecasts (based on both ENSO and global warming simulations) relate to the permanence and productivity of shallow water ecosystems. Aquatic ecologists, hydrologists, climatologists and geographers have much to discuss regarding the synthesis of available data and the design of future interdisciplinary research. ?? 1997 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  1. The role of the US Great Plains low-level jet in nocturnal migrant behavior

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wainwright, Charlotte E.; Stepanian, Phillip M.; Horton, Kyle G.

    2016-10-01

    The movements of aerial animals are under the constant influence of atmospheric flows spanning a range of spatiotemporal scales. The Great Plains nocturnal low-level jet is a large-scale atmospheric phenomenon that provides frequent strong southerly winds through a shallow layer of the airspace. The jet can provide substantial tailwind assistance to spring migrants moving northward, while hindering southward migration during autumn. This atmospheric feature has been suspected to play a prominent role in defining migratory routes, but the flight strategies used with respect to these winds are yet to be examined. Using collocated vertically pointing radar and lidar, we investigate the altitudinal selection behavior of migrants over Oklahoma during two spring and two autumn migration seasons. In general, migrants choose to fly within the jet in spring, often concentrating in the favorable wind speed maximum. Autumn migrants typically fly below the jet, although some will rapidly climb to reach altitudes above the inhibiting winds. The intensity of migration was relatively constant throughout the spring due to the predominantly favorable southerly jet winds. Conversely, autumn migrants were more apt to delay departure to wait for the relatively infrequent northerly winds.

  2. Wind and Wildlife in the Northern Great Plains: Identifying Low-Impact Areas for Wind Development

    PubMed Central

    Fargione, Joseph; Kiesecker, Joseph; Slaats, M. Jan; Olimb, Sarah

    2012-01-01

    Wind energy offers the potential to reduce carbon emissions while increasing energy independence and bolstering economic development. However, wind energy has a larger land footprint per Gigawatt (GW) than most other forms of energy production and has known and predicted adverse effects on wildlife. The Northern Great Plains (NGP) is home both to some of the world’s best wind resources and to remaining temperate grasslands, the most converted and least protected ecological system on the planet. Thus, appropriate siting and mitigation of wind development is particularly important in this region. Steering energy development to disturbed lands with low wildlife value rather than placing new developments within large and intact habitats would reduce impacts to wildlife. Goals for wind energy development in the NGP are roughly 30 GW of nameplate capacity by 2030. Our analyses demonstrate that there are large areas where wind development would likely have few additional impacts on wildlife. We estimate there are ∼1,056 GW of potential wind energy available across the NGP on areas likely to have low-impact for biodiversity, over 35 times development goals. New policies and approaches will be required to guide wind energy development to low-impact areas. PMID:22848505

  3. Site Scientific Mission Plan for the Southern Great Plains CART site, July--December 1994

    SciTech Connect

    Schneider, J.M.; Lamb, P.J.; Sisterson, D.L.

    1994-07-01

    The Southern Great Plains (SGP) Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) site is designed to help satisfy the data needs of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program Science Team. This document defines the scientific priorities for site activities during the six months beginning on July 1, 1994, and also looks forward in lesser detail to subsequent six-month periods. The primary purpose of this Site Scientific Mission Plan is to provide guidance for the development of plans for site operations. It also provides information on current plans to the ARM Functional Teams (Management Team, Experiment Support Team, Operations Team, Data Management Team, Instrument Team, and Campaign Team), and it serves to disseminate the plans more generally within the ARM Program and among the Science Team. This document includes a description of the site`s operational status and the primary envisaged site activities, together with information concerning approved and proposed Intensive Observation Periods. Amendments will be prepared and distributed whenever the content changes by more than 30% within a six-month period. The primary users of this document are the site operator, the site scientist, the Science Team through the ARM Program Science Director, the ARM Program Experiment Center, and the aforementioned ARM Program Functional Teams. This plan is a living document that will be updated and reissued every six months as the observational facilities are developed, tested, and augmented and as priorities are adjusted in response to developments in scientific planning and understanding.

  4. Validation of regional wind resource predictions in the Northern Great Plains

    SciTech Connect

    Elliott, D; Schwartz, M

    1998-08-01

    The development and validation of computerized wind mapping tools for regional assessment purposes is an important step in accelerating wind energy deployment. This paper summarizes the results of a validation study of the automated wind resource mapping technique developed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). This technique uses Geographic Information System (GIS) software and produces high horizontal resolution (1 km) wind resource maps. The automated wind maps have been used to help plan wind measurement programs and to define potential areas for wind energy projects in countries such as Mexico, Chile, Indonesia, and China. The authors chose a US location for this project to test the accuracy of the automated mapping technique in a region where the wind resource distribution was already fairly well known. The Buffalo Ridge region of the Northern Great Plains served as the subject area. The study area covered northwestern Iowa, southwestern Minnesota, and adjacent parts of South Dakota and Nebraska. This area had several advantages for use in a validation study. First, this area has active wind energy development and the results would be of interest to the wind energy community. Second, a validation data set would be fairly easy to derive because recent wind measurements were taken in that region specifically for wind energy purposes. These data were publicly available and easily obtained. Finally, the relatively simple terrain in that region enabled this study to be completed in a timely manner.

  5. Site scientific mission plan for the southern Great Plains CART site, January--June 1998

    SciTech Connect

    Peppler, R.A.; Lamb, P.J.; Sisterson, D.L.

    1998-01-01

    The Southern Great Plains (SGP) Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) site is designed to help satisfy the data needs of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program Science Team. The primary purpose of this site scientific mission plan is to provide guidance for the development of plans for site operations. It also provides information on current plans to the ARM functional teams (Management Team, Data and Science Integration Team, Operations Team, and Instrument Team) and serves to disseminate the plans more generally within the ARM Program and among the members of the Science Team. This document includes a description of the operational status of the site and the primary site activities envisioned, together with information concerning approved and proposed intensive observation periods (IOPs). The primary users of this document are the Site operator, the Site Scientist Team (SST), the Science Team through the ARM Program science director, the ARM Program Experiment Center, and the aforementioned ARM Program functional teams. This plan is a living document that is updated and reissued every six months as the observational facilities are developed, tested, and augmented and as priorities are adjusted in response to developments in scientific planning and understanding.

  6. Site Scientific Mission Plan for the Southern Great Plains CART site: January--June 1994

    SciTech Connect

    Schneider, J.M.; Lamb, P.J.; Sisterson, D.L.

    1993-12-01

    The Southern Great Plains (SGP) Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) site is designed to help satisfy the data needs of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program Science Team. This document defines the scientific priorities for site activities during the six months beginning on January 1, 1994, and also looks forward in lesser detail to subsequent six-month periods. The primary purpose of this Site Scientific Mission Plan is to provide guidance for the development of plans for site operations. It also provides information on current plans to the ARM Functional Teams (Management Team, Experiment Support Team, Operations Team, Data Management Team, Instrument Team, and Campaign Team), and it serves to disseminate the plans more generally within the ARM Program and among the Science Team. This document includes a description of the site`s operational status and the primary envisaged site activities, together with information concerning approved and proposed Intensive Observation Periods. Amendments will be prepared and distributed whenever the content changes by more than 30% within a six-month period. The primary users of this document are the site operator, the site scientist, the Science Team through the ARM Program Science Director, the ARM Program Experiment Center, and the aforementioned ARM Program Functional Teams. This plan is a living document that will be updated and reissued every six months as the observational facilities are developed, tested, and augmented and as priorities are adjusted in response to developments in scientific planning and understanding.

  7. Future petroleum resource potential of northern Rocky Mountain-Great Plains area

    SciTech Connect

    Peterson, J.A. )

    1989-09-01

    The northern Rocky Mountain-Great Plains area includes nine main petroleum exploration provinces: (1) Wyoming-Utah-Idaho thrust belt; (2) southwestern Wyoming basins, (3) Big Horn basin, (4) Wind River basin, (5) Powder River basin, (6) western Montana province, (7) Sweetgrass arch province, (8) central Montana province, and (9) Williston basin-Sioux uplift province. More than 2,500 oil and gas fields have been discovered in these provinces, with cumulative production up to 1986 of approximately 8 billion bbl of oil and more than 15 tcf of gas. Twenty-five giants fields (> 100 million bbl of oil), many of which were discovered early in the century, account for more than half of the cumulative production. Oil and gas production is from carbonate and sandstone reservoirs ranging in age from Cambrian to Tertiary. Organic-rich petroleum source rocks are present in the Ordovician, Devonian, Mississippian, Pennsylvanian, Permian, Cretaceous, and Tertiary stratigraphic sections. US Geological Survey mean estimates of undiscovered conventional recoverable petroleum resources in the region are approximately 4.4 billion bbl of oil and 29 tcf of gas. Significant resources of unconventional gas in low-permeability reservoirs and as coal-bed methane also are present in the region. The future potential is encouraging, depending on economic factors, but increasingly refined exploration and production technology will be necessary to explore for the remaining resources, a large part of which is expected to be in relatively small accumulations.

  8. Feasibility of producing jet fuel from GPGP (Great Plains Gasification Plant) by-products

    SciTech Connect

    Willson, W.G.; Knudson, C.L.; Rindt, J.R.; Smith, E. )

    1987-01-01

    The Great Plains Gasification Plant (GPGP) in Beulah, North Dakota, is in close proximity to several Air force bases along our northern tier. This plant is producing over 137 million cubic feet per day of high-Btu SNG from North Dakota lignite. In addition, the plant generates three liquid streams, naphtha, crude phenol, and tar oil. The naphtha may be directly marketable because of its low boiling point and high aromatic content. The other two streams, totalling about 4300 barrels per day, are available as potential sources of aviation jet fuel for the Air Force. The overall objective of this project is to assess the technical and economic feasibility of producing aviation turbine fuel from the by-product streams of GPGP. These streams, as well as fractions thereof, will be characterized and subsequently processed over a wide range of process conditions. The resulting turbine fuel products will be analyzed to determine their chemical and physical characteristics as compared to petroleum-based fuels to meet the military specification requirements. A second objective is to assess the conversion of the by-product streams into a new, higher-density aviation fuel. Since no performance specifications currently exist for a high-density jet fuel, reaction products and intermediates will only be characterized to indicate the feasibility of producing such a fuel. This report describes the stream assessment. 6 refs., 3 figs., 3 tabs.

  9. Soil organic carbon dynamics as related to land use history in the northwestern Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tan, Z.; Liu, S.; Johnston, C.A.; Loveland, T.R.; Tieszen, L.L.; Liu, J.; Kurtz, R.

    2005-01-01

    Strategies for mitigating the global greenhouse effect must account for soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics at both spatial and temporal scales, which is usually challenging owing to limitations in data and approach. This study was conducted to characterize the SOC dynamics associated with land use change history in the northwestern Great Plains ecoregion. A sampling framework (40 sample blocks of 10 × 10 km2 randomly located in the ecoregion) and the General Ensemble Biogeochemical Modeling System (GEMS) were used to quantify the spatial and temporal variability in the SOC stock from 1972 to 2001. Results indicate that C source and sink areas coexisted within the ecoregion, and the SOC stock in the upper 20-cm depth increased by 3.93 Mg ha−1 over the 29 years. About 17.5% of the area was evaluated as a C source at 122 kg C ha−1 yr−1. The spatial variability of SOC stock was attributed to the dynamics of both slow and passive fractions, while the temporal variation depended on the slow fraction only. The SOC change at the block scale was positively related to either grassland proportion or negatively related to cropland proportion. We concluded that the slow C pool determined whether soils behaved as sources or sinks of atmospheric CO2, but the strength depended on antecedent SOC contents, land cover type, and land use change history in the ecoregion.

  10. Feasibility of producing jet fuel from GPGP (Great Plains Gasification Plant) by-products

    SciTech Connect

    Willson, W.G.; Knudson, C.L.; Rindt, J.R.

    1987-01-01

    The Great Plains Gasification Plant (GPGP) in Beulah, North Dakota, is in close proximity to several Air Force bases along our northern tier. This plant is producing over 137 million cubic feet per day high-Btu SNG from North Dakota lignite. In addition, the plant generates three liquid streams, naphtha, crude phenol, and tar oil. The naphtha may be directly marketable because of its low boiling point and high aromatic content. The other two streams, totalling about 4300 barrels per day, are available as potential sources of aviation jet fuel for the Air Force. The overall objective of this project is to assess the technical and economic feasibility of producing aviation turbine fuel from the by-product streams of GPGP. These streams, as well as fractions thereof, will be characterized and subsequently processed over a wide range of process conditions. The resulting turbine fuel products will be analyzed to determine their chemical and physical characteristics as compared to petroleum-based fuels to meet the military specification requirements. A second objective is to assess the conversion of the by-product streams into a new, higher-density aviation fuel. Since no performance specifications currently exist for a high-density jet fuel, reaction products and intermediates will only be characterized to indicate the feasibility of producing such a fuel. This report describes results on feedstock characterization. 6 figs., 5 tabs.

  11. Analysis of ecosystem controls on soil carbon source-sink relationships in the northwest Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tan, Z.; Liu, S.; Johnston, C.A.; Liu, J.; Tieszen, L.L.

    2006-01-01

    Our ability to forecast the role of ecosystem processes in mitigating global greenhouse effects relies on understanding the driving forces on terrestrial C dynamics. This study evaluated the controls on soil organic C (SOC) changes from 1973 to 2000 in the northwest Great Plains. SOC source-sink relationships were quantified using the General Ensemble Biogeochemical Modeling System (GEMS) based on 40 randomly located 10 ?? 10 km2 sample blocks. These sample blocks were aggregated into cropland, grassland, and forestland groups based on land cover composition within each sample block. Canonical correlation analysis indicated that SOC source-sink relationship from 1973 to 2000 was significantly related to the land cover type while the change rates mainly depended on the baseline SOC level and annual precipitation. Of all selected driving factors, the baseline SOC and nitrogen levels controlled the SOC change rates for the forestland and cropland groups, while annual precipitation determined the C source-sink relationship for the grassland group in which noticeable SOC sink strength was attributed to the conversion from cropped area to grass cover. Canonical correlation analysis also showed that grassland ecosystems are more complicated than others in the ecoregion, which may be difficult to identify on a field scale. Current model simulations need finther adjustments to the model input variables for the grass cover-dominated ecosystems in the ecoregion. Copyright 2006 by the American Geophysical Union.

  12. Causes of Long-Term Drought in the United States Great Plains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schubert, Siegfried D.; Suarez, Max J.; Pegion, Philip J.; Koster, Randal D.; Bacmeister, Julio T.

    2003-01-01

    This study examines the causes of long term droughts in the United States Great Plains (USGP). The focus is on the relative roles of slowly varying SSTs and interactions with soil moisture. The results from ensembles of long term (1930-1999) simulations carried out with the NASA Seasonal-to- Interannual Prediction Project (NSIPP-1) atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM) show that the SSTs account for about 1/3 of the total low frequency rainfall variance in the USGP. Results from idealized experiments with climatological SST suggest that the remaining low frequency variance in the USGP precipitation is the result of interactions with soil moisture. In particular, simulations with soil moisture feedback show a five-fold increase in the variance in annual USGP precipitation compared with simulations in which the soil feedback is excluded. In addition to increasing variance, the interactions with the soil introduce year-to-year memory in the hydrological cycle that is consistent with a red noise process, in which the deep soil is forced by white noise and damped with a time scale of about 2 years. As such, the role of low frequency SST variability is to introduce a bias to the net forcing on the soil moisture that drives the random process preferentially to either wet or dry conditions.

  13. Site scientific mission plan for the southern great plains CART site, July--December 1995

    SciTech Connect

    Splitt, M.E.; Lamb, P.J.; Sisterson, D.L.

    1995-07-01

    The Southern Great Plains (SGP) Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) site is designed to help satisfy the data needs Of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program Science Team. This document defines the scientific Priorities for site activities during the six months beginning on July 1, 1995, and looks forward in lesser detail to subsequent six-month periods. The Primary Purpose of this Site Scientific Mission Plan is to provide guidance for the development of plans for site operations. It also provides information on current plans to the ARM functional teams and serves to disseminate the plans more generally within the ARM Program and among the members of the Science Team. This document includes a description of the operational status of the site and the primary envisioned site activities, together with information concerning approved and proposed Intensive Observation Periods (IOPs). This plan is a living document that will be updated and reissued every six months as the observational facilities are developed, tested, and augmented and as Priorities are adjusted in response to developments in scientific planning and understanding.

  14. Assessing Spectral Shortwave Cloud Observations at the Southern Great Plains Facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McBride, P. J.; Marshak, A.; Wiscombe, W. J.; Flynn, C. J.; Vogelmann, A. M.

    2012-01-01

    The Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program (now Atmospheric System Research) was established, in part, to improve radiation models so that they could be used reliably to compute radiation fluxes through the atmosphere, given knowledge of the surface albedo, atmospheric gases, and the aerosol and cloud properties. Despite years of observations, discrepancies still exist between radiative transfer models and observations, particularly in the presence of clouds. Progress has been made at closing discrepancies in the spectral region beyond 3 micron, but the progress lags at shorter wavelengths. Ratios of observed visible and near infrared cloud albedo from aircraft and satellite have shown both localized and global discrepancies between model and observations that are, thus far, unexplained. The capabilities of shortwave surface spectrometry have been improved in recent years at the Southern Great Plains facility (SGP) of the ARM Climate Research Facility through the addition of new instrumentation, the Shortwave Array Spectroradiometer, and upgrades to existing instrumentation, the Shortwave Spectroradiometer and the Rotating Shadowband Spectroradiometer. An airborne-based instrument, the HydroRad Spectroradiometer, was also deployed at the ARM site during the Routine ARM Aerial Facility Clouds with Low Optical Water Depths (CLOWD) Optical Radiative Observations (RACORO) field campaign. Using the new and upgraded spectral observations along with radiative transfer models, cloud scenes at the SGP are presented with the goal of characterizing the instrumentation and the cloud fields themselves.

  15. Culture-independent analysis of the soil bacterial assemblage at the Great Salt Plains of Oklahoma

    PubMed Central

    Caton, Ingrid R.; Schneegurt, Mark A.

    2013-01-01

    The Great Salt Plains (GSP) of Oklahoma is a natural inland terrestrial hypersaline environment that forms evaporite crusts of mainly NaCl. Previous work described GSP bacterial assemblages through the phylogenetic and phenetic characterization of 105 isolates from 46 phylotypes. The current report describes the same bacterial assemblages through culture-independent 16S rRNA gene clone libraries. Although from similar hypersaline mud flats, the bacterial libraries from two sites, WP3 and WP6, were quite different. The WP3 library was dominated by cyanobacteria, mainly Cyanothece and Euhalothece. The WP6 library was rich in anaerobic sulfur-cycle organisms, including abundant Desulfuromonas. This pattern likely reflects differences in abiotic factors, such as frequency of flooding and hydrologic push. While more than 100 OTUs were identified, the assemblages were not as diverse, based on Shannon indexes, as bacterial communities from oligohaline soils. Since natural inland hypersaline soils are relatively unstudied, it was not clear what kind of bacteria would be present. The bacterial assemblage is predominantly genera typically found in hypersaline systems, although some were relatives of microbes common in oligohaline and marine environments. The bacterial clones did not reflect wide functional diversity, beyond phototrophs, sulfur metabolizers, and numerous heterotrophs. PMID:21953014

  16. Grassland vegetation and bird communities in the southern Great Plains of North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chapman, R.N.; Engle, David M.; Masters, R.E.; Leslie, David M.

    2004-01-01

    Structure and composition of vegetation and abundance of breeding birds in grasslands seeded to Old World bluestem (Bothriochloa ischmaeum) were compared to native mixed prairie in the southern Great Plains of North America. Abundance of birds was determined using fixed-radius point counts. Detrended correspondence analysis was used to compare plant community composition and canonical correspondence analysis was used to examine the relationships between plant species composition and vegetation structure with the bird community. Plant species composition differed distinctly between seeded grassland and native mixed prairie, but the differences were not reflected in habitat structure, bird community composition, or abundance of bird species. Seeded grassland was inferior to native mixed prairie in terms of diversity of plant species, but that difference did not translate into meaningful differences in structure that drove habitat selection by breeding birds. Conservation programs that promote establishment of seeded grassland and do not allow for suitable disturbance regimes will selectively benefit a narrow suite of birds regardless of plant species composition. ?? 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Mapping carbon flux uncertainty and selecting optimal locations for future flux towers in the Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gu, Y.; Howard, D.M.; Wylie, B.K.; Zhang, L.

    2012-01-01

    Flux tower networks (e. g., AmeriFlux, Agriflux) provide continuous observations of ecosystem exchanges of carbon (e. g., net ecosystem exchange), water vapor (e. g., evapotranspiration), and energy between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere. The long-term time series of flux tower data are essential for studying and understanding terrestrial carbon cycles, ecosystem services, and climate changes. Currently, there are 13 flux towers located within the Great Plains (GP). The towers are sparsely distributed and do not adequately represent the varieties of vegetation cover types, climate conditions, and geophysical and biophysical conditions in the GP. This study assessed how well the available flux towers represent the environmental conditions or "ecological envelopes" across the GP and identified optimal locations for future flux towers in the GP. Regression-based remote sensing and weather-driven net ecosystem production (NEP) models derived from different extrapolation ranges (10 and 50%) were used to identify areas where ecological conditions were poorly represented by the flux tower sites and years previously used for mapping grassland fluxes. The optimal lands suitable for future flux towers within the GP were mapped. Results from this study provide information to optimize the usefulness of future flux towers in the GP and serve as a proxy for the uncertainty of the NEP map.

  18. Decreased runoff response to precipitation, Little Missouri River Basin, northern Great Plains, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Griffin, Eleanor R.; Friedman, Jonathan M.

    2017-01-01

    High variability in precipitation and streamflow in the semiarid northern Great Plains causes large uncertainty in water availability. This uncertainty is compounded by potential effects of future climate change. We examined historical variability in annual and growing season precipitation, temperature, and streamflow within the Little Missouri River Basin and identified differences in the runoff response to precipitation for the period 1976-2012 compared to 1939-1975 (n = 37 years in both cases). Computed mean values for the second half of the record showed little change (<5%) in annual or growing season precipitation, but average annual runoff at the basin outlet decreased by 22%, with 66% of the reduction in flow occurring during the growing season. Our results show a statistically significant (p < 0.10) 27% decrease in the annual runoff response to precipitation (runoff ratio). Surface-water withdrawals for various uses appear to account for <12% of the reduction in average annual flow volume, and we found no published or reported evidence of substantial flow reduction caused by groundwater pumping in this basin. Results of our analysis suggest that increases in monthly average maximum and minimum temperatures, including >1°C increases in January through March, are the dominant driver of the observed decrease in runoff response to precipitation in the Little Missouri River Basin.

  19. Surface summertime radiative forcing by shallow cumuli at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Southern Great Plains site

    SciTech Connect

    Berg, Larry K.; Kassianov, Evgueni I.; Long, Charles N.; Mills Jr., David L.

    2011-01-08

    Although shallow cumuli are common over large areas of the globe, their impact on the surface radiative forcing has not been carefully evaluated. This study addresses this shortcoming by analyzing data from days with shallow cumuli collected over eight summers (2000-2007) at the U.S. Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility (collectively ACRF) Southern Great Plains site. During periods with clouds, the average shortwave and longwave radiative forcings are 45.5 W m-2 and +11.6 W m-2, respectively. The forcing has been defined so that a negative (positive) forcing indicates a surface cooling (warming). On average, the shortwave forcing is negative, however, instances with positive shortwave forcing are observed approximately 20% of the time. These positive values of shortwave forcing are associated with three-dimensional radiative effects of the clouds. The three-dimensional effects are shown to be largest for intermediate cloud amounts. The magnitude of the three-dimensional effects decreased with averaging time, but it is not negligibly small even for large averaging times as long as four hours.

  20. Comparison of Agricultural Production and Fertilizer Consumption in the North China Plain (NCP) and the U.S. High Plains (HP)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pei, H.; Shen, Y.; Scanlon, B. R.; Long, D.; Reedy, R. C.; Strassberg, G.

    2013-12-01

    The North China Plain (NCP) and US High Plains (USHP) are considered bread baskets of China and the US. The objective of this study was to compare agricultural production during the past 30 yr in both regions to assess impacts of different management options. The NCP and USHP are similar in terms of climate (mean annual precipitation: NCP, 570 mm; USHP, 520 mm) with mostly summer precipitation, and wheat and corn (maize) as the dominant crops. While single cropping is dominant in the USHP with summer crops coincident with seasonal precipitation, double cropping is prevalent in the NCP with summer corn coinciding with precipitation and winter wheat relying on irrigation. During the past 30 yr (1980 - 2008) in the NCP, crop yield has increased by a factor of 2.8 (2,200 - 6,200 kg/ha), grain production by a factor of 2.6 (23 - 59 million tons), chemical fertilizer application by a factor of 5.1 (68 - 350 kg/ha). During the same time period in the USHP, grain yield increased by a factor of 1.8 (2,800 - 5,000 kg/ha), crop production by a factor of 1.4 (48 - 68 million tons), chemical N fertilizer application by a factor of 1.2 (64 - 74 kg/ha). The spatial averages mask large scale local variability with grain yield in Luancheng county in the NCP for double cropped wheat and corn rising from 8,000 kg/ha in 1980 to ~16,000 kg/ha in 2008. The comparison between the two regions leads to the question of whether agricultural production in the NCP would be more sustainable with a single corn crop with a longer growing season more aligned with precipitation distribution. Increases in fertilizer application in the NCP greatly exceed crop yield increases, suggesting that much of this fertilizer may be leached to the environment, resulting in contamination. The comparisons between these two regions provide valuable insights that should be considered to move toward more sustainable management in terms of crop productivity and environmental impacts.

  1. Ground-water quality beneath irrigated agriculture in the central High Plains aquifer, 1999-2000

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bruce, Breton W.; Becker, Mark F.; Pope, Larry M.; Gurdak, Jason J.

    2003-01-01

    In 1999 and 2000, 30 water-quality monitoring wells were installed in the central High Plains aquifer to evaluate the quality of recently recharged ground water in areas of irrigated agriculture and to identify the factors affecting ground-water quality. Wells were installed adjacent to irrigated agricultural fields with 10- or 20-foot screened intervals placed near the water table. Each well was sampled once for about 100 waterquality constituents associated with agricultural practices. Water samples from 70 percent of the wells (21 of 30 sites) contained nitrate concentrations larger than expected background concentrations (about 3 mg/L as N) and detectable pesticides. Atrazine or its metabolite, deethylatrazine, were detected with greater frequency than other pesticides and were present in all 21 samples where pesticides were detected. The 21 samples with detectable pesticides also contained tritium concentrations large enough to indicate that at least some part of the water sample had been recharged within about the last 50 years. These 21 ground-water samples are considered to show water-quality effects related to irrigated agriculture. The remaining 9 groundwater samples contained no pesticides, small tritium concentrations, and nitrate concentrations less than 3.45 milligrams per liter as nitrogen. These samples are considered unaffected by the irrigated agricultural land-use setting. Nitrogen isotope ratios indicate that commercial fertilizer was the dominant source of nitrate in 13 of the 21 samples affected by irrigated agriculture. Nitrogen isotope ratios for 4 of these 21 samples were indicative of an animal waste source. Dissolved-solids concentrations were larger in samples affected by irrigated agriculture, with large sulfate concentrations having strong correlation with large dissolved solids concentrations in these samples. A strong statistical correlation is shown between samples affected by irrigated agriculture and sites with large rates of

  2. Diversity, Seasonality, and Context of Mammalian Roadkills in the Southern Great Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith-Patten, Brenda D.; Patten, Michael A.

    2008-06-01

    Thousands of mammals are killed annually from vehicle collisions, making the issue an important one for conservation biologists and environmental managers. We recorded all readily identifiable kills on or immediately adjacent to roads in the southern Great Plains from March 2004-March 2007. We also recorded distance traveled, whether a road was paved or divided, the number of lanes, and prevailing habitat. Surveys were opportunistic and were conducted by car during conditions of good visibility. Over our 239 surveys and >16,500 km traveled, we recorded 1412 roadkills from 18 different mammal species (size ranged from Sciurus squirrels to the white-tailed deer, Odocolieus virginianus). The overall kill rate was 8.50 / 100 km. Four species were prone to collisions: the Virginia opossum ( Didelphis virginiana), nine-banded armadillo ( Dasypus novemcinctus), striped skunk ( Mephitis mephitis), and northern raccoon ( Procyon lotor). Together they accounted for approximately 85% (1198) of all roadkills. Mortality rate differed significantly between 2- and 4-lane roads (8.39 versus 7.79 / 100 km). Kill rates were significantly higher on paved versus unpaved roads (8.60 versus 3.65 / 100 km), but did not depend on whether a road was divided. Roadkills were higher in spring than in fall (1.5×), winter (1.4×), or summer (1.3×). The spring peak (in kills / 100 km) was driven chiefly by the armadillo (2.76 in spring/summer versus 0.73 in autumn/winter) and opossum (2.65 versus 1.47). By contrast, seasonality was dampened by a late winter/early spring peak in skunk mortalities, for which 41% occurred in the 6-week period of mid-February through March. The raccoon did not exhibit a strong seasonal pattern. Our data are consistent with dispersal patterns of these species. Our results underscore the high rate of highway mortality in the southern plains, as well as differences in seasonality and road type that contribute to mortality. Conservation and management efforts should

  3. A reconnaissance study of the effect of irrigated agriculture on water quality in the Ogallala Formation, Central High Plains Aquifer

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McMahon, Peter B.

    2000-01-01

    In 1998, the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program began a regional study of water quality in the High Plains aquifer. The High Plains aquifer underlies an area of about 174,000 square miles in parts of eight States. Because of its large size, the High Plains aquifer has been divided into three regions: the Southern High Plains, Central High Plains, and Northern High Plains (fig. 1A). Although an assessment of water quality in each of the three regions is planned, the initial focus will be the Central High Plains aquifer. Anyone who has flown over the Central High Plains in the summer and has seen the large green circles associated with center pivot sprinklers (fig. 2) knows that irrigated agriculture is a widespread land use. Pesticides and fertilizers applied on those irrigated fields will not degrade ground-water quality if they remain in or above the root zone (fig. 3). However, if those chemicals move downward through the unsaturated zone to the water table, they may degrade the quality of the ground water. Water is the principal agent for transporting chemicals from land surface to the water table, and in the semiarid Central High Plains, irrigation often represents the most abundant source of water during the growing season. One objective of NAWQA's High Plains Regional Ground-Water study is to evaluate the effect of irrigated agriculture on the quality of recently recharged water in the Ogallala Formation of the Central High Plains aquifer (figs. 1A and 1B). The Ogallala Formation is the principal geologic unit in the Central High Plains aquifer, and it consists of poorly sorted clay, silt, sand, and gravel that generally is unconsolidated (Gutentag and others, 1984). Approximately 23 percent of the cropland overlying the Ogallala Formation is irrigated (U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1999). The NAWQA Program generally defines recently recharged ground water to be water recharged in the last 50 years. The water table in

  4. Wetland loss under the impact of agricultural development in the Sanjiang Plain, NE China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jieyu; Ma, Keming; Fu, Bojie

    2010-07-01

    Wetland loss has been the major environmental problem in Sanjiang Plain, NE China in recent years because of the dramatic agricultural development. We determined the spatial associations of the wetland loss rates in an 11,000-km(2) study area for two intervals of period 1 (1975-1989) and period 2 (1989-2004) spanning 30 years by using geographic information systems. The landscape of this area was simple with five categories, composed of ten types, and including three natural wetland types--open water, marsh, and wet meadow. Extensive agriculture was the principal cultivation form in terms of large size farm units in the area. Agriculture has become the principal land use category replacing natural wetlands over the 30-year period. It has changed the whole landscape of the region and the landscape pattern, causing wetland loss and fragmentation. The wetland loss rate of the area was very different between the two intervals, while wetland loss was not uniform throughout the region and was influenced by the landscape characteristics, such as topography, geomorphology, and the location of the wetlands in the watershed. Despite the remarkable land use changes, the wetlands distribution in the landscapes was similar compared to their original pattern. These results indicated that agricultural development affected the areas more than the distribution pattern of the wetlands in this region.

  5. Coherent changes in relative C4 plant productivity and climate during the late Quaternary in the North American Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nordt, L.; Von Fischer, J.; Tieszen, L.; Tubbs, J.

    2008-01-01

    Evolution of the mixed and shortgrass prairie of the North American Great Plains is poorly understood because of limited proxies available for environmental interpretations. Buried soils in the Great Plains provide a solution to the problem because they are widespread both spatially and temporally with their organic reservoirs serving as a link to the plants than once grew on them. Through stable carbon isotopic analysis of soil organic carbon (??13C), the percent carbon from C4 plants (%C4) can be ascertained. Because C4 plants are primarily warm season grasses responding positively to summer temperature, their representation has the added advantage of serving as a climate indicator. To better understand grassland and climate dynamics in the Great Plains during the last 12 ka (ka=1000 radiocarbon years) we developed an isotopic standardization technique by: determining the difference in buried soil ??13C and modern soil ??13C expected for that latitude (????13C), and transferring the ????13C to ??%C4 (% C4) using mass balance calculations. Our analysis reveals two isotopic stages in the mixed and shortgrass prairie of the Great Plains based on trends in ??%C4. In response to orbital forcing mechanisms, ??%C4 was persistently below modern in the Great Plains between 12 and 6.7 ka (isotopic stage II) evidently because of the cooling effect of the Laurentide ice sheet and proglacial lakes in northern latitudes, and glacial meltwater pulses cooling the Gulf of Mexico and North Atlantic Ocean. The ??%C4 after 6.7 ka (isotopic stage I) increased to modern levels as conditioned by the outflow of warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico and dry incursions from the west that produced periodic drought. At the millennial-scale, time series analysis demonstrates that ??%C4 oscillated with 0.6 and 1.8 ka periodicities, possibly governed by variations in solar irradiance. Our buried soil isotopic record correlates well with other environmental proxy from the Great Plains and

  6. Comparison between active sensor and radiosonde cloud boundaries over the ARM Southern Great Plains site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naud, Catherine M.; Muller, Jan-Peter; Clothiaux, Eugene E.

    2003-02-01

    In order to test the strengths and limitations of cloud boundary retrievals from radiosonde profiles, 4 years of radar, lidar, and ceilometer data collected at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurements Southern Great Plains site from November 1996 through October 2000 are used to assess the retrievals of [1995] and [1996]. The lidar and ceilometer data yield lowest-level cloud base heights that are, on average, within approximately 125 m of each other when both systems detect a cloud. These quantities are used to assess the accuracy of coincident cloud base heights obtained from radar and the two radiosonde-based methods applied to 200 m resolution profiles obtained at the same site. The lidar/ceilometer and radar cloud base heights agree by 0.156 ± 0.423 km for 85.27% of the observations, while the agreement between the lidar/ceilometer and radiosonde-derived heights is at best -0.044 ± 0.559 km for 74.60% of all cases. Agreement between radar- and radiosonde-derived cloud boundaries is better for cloud base height than for cloud top height, being at best 0.018 ± 0.641 km for 70.91% of the cloud base heights and 0.348 ± 0.729 km for 68.27% of the cloud top heights. The disagreements between radar- and radiosonde-derived boundaries are mainly caused by broken cloud situations when it is difficult to verify that drifting radiosondes and fixed active sensors are observing the same clouds. In the case of the radar the presence of clutter (e.g., vegetal particles or insects) can affect the measurements from the surface up to approximately 3-5 km, preventing comparisons with radiosonde-derived boundaries. Overall, [1995] tend to classify moist layers that are not clouds as clouds and both radiosonde techniques report high cloud top heights that are higher than the corresponding heights from radar.

  7. Perception of the drought hazard on the Great Plains and its sociological impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woudenberg, Donna Louise

    Drought, a defining characteristic of the Great Plains, continues to be one of the most expensive natural disasters in the United States, with the lion's share of financial losses shouldered by crop and livestock producers. These producer's perceptions of and responses to drought were studied in the mid-1960s, the mid-1980s, and were examined again in this study, providing valuable longitudinal data. A number of direct and indirect impacts are experienced by non-farm businesses, communities, and individuals, as well. Some of those impacts have not been well researched and were integral to this project. Interviews with crop producers, livestock producers, and community members were conducted in Frontier County, Nebraska in late summer 2006. It was found that producers are very perceptive of the drought hazard, a result found in the two previous studies; recollections and estimates were well supported with 100 years of SPI and PDSI values. Adoption of drought mitigation practices has increased over the past 40 years. Producers were concerned about the myriad of factors they must consider when planning their farm/ranch operations, particularly as they are trying to adjust to water restrictions imposed as an outcome of the Kansas-Nebraska lawsuit on the Republican River (a task exacerbated by the long-term drought in recent years), but overall they are basically optimistic. Community members were very concerned about the future of farming and the quality of rural life. They expressed fears that changes in farming practices may lower the value of land, affect the tax base, and ultimately impact the school system and other county services.

  8. Strontium isotope geochemistry of groundwater in the central part of the Dakota (Great Plains) aquifer, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gosselin, D.C.; Harvey, F.E.; Frost, C.; Stotler, R.; Macfarlane, P.A.

    2004-01-01

    The Dakota aquifer of the central and eastern Great Plains of the United States is an important source of water for municipal supplies, irrigation and industrial use. Although the regional flow system can be characterized generally as east to northeasterly from the Rocky Mountains towards the Missouri River, locally the flow systems are hydrologically complex. This study uses Sr isotopic data from groundwater and leached aquifer samples to document the complex subsystems within the Dakota aquifer in Nebraska and Kansas. The interaction of groundwater with the geologic material through which it flows has created spatial patterns in the isotopic measurements that are related to: long-term water-rock interaction, during which varying degrees of isotopic equilibrium between water and rock has been achieved; and the alteration of NaCl fluids by water-rock interaction. Specifically, Sr isotopic data distinguish brines from Kansas and western Nebraska from those in eastern Nebraska: the former are interpreted to reflect interaction with Permian rocks, whereas the latter record interaction with Pennsylvanian rocks. The Sr isotopic composition of groundwater from other parts of Nebraska and Kansas are a function of the dynamic interaction between groundwater and unlithified sediments (e.g., glacial till and loess), followed by interaction with oxidized and unoxidized sediments within the Dakota Formation. This study illustrates the power of combining Sr chemistry with more conventional geochemical data to obtain a more complete understanding of groundwater flow systems within regional aquifer systems where extensive monitoring networks do not exist. ?? 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Efficacy of Aerosol-Cloud Interactions Under Varying Meteorological Conditions: Southern Great Plains Vs. Pt. Reyes

    SciTech Connect

    Dunn, M.; Schwartz, S.; Kim, B.-G.; Miller, M.; Liu, Y.; Min, Q.

    2008-03-10

    Several studies have demonstrated that cloud dynamical processes such as entrainment mixing may be the primary modulator of cloud optical properties in certain situations. For example, entrainment of dry air alters the cloud drop size distribution by enhancing drop evaporation. However, the effect of entrainment mixing and other forms or turbulence is still quite uncertain. Although these factors and aerosol-cloud interactions should be considered together when evaluating the efficacy of aerosol indirect effects, the underlying mechanisms appear to be dependent upon each other. In addition, accounting for them is impossible with the current understanding of aerosol indirect effect. Therefore, careful objective screening and analysis of observations are needed to determine the extent to which mixing related properties affect cloud optical properties, apart from the aerosol first indirect effect. This study addresses the role of aerosol-cloud interactions in the context of varying meteorological conditions based on ARM data obtained at the Southern Great Plains (SGP) site in Oklahoma and at Pt. Reyes, California. Previous analyses of the continental stratiform clouds at the SGP site have shown that the thicker clouds of high liquid water path (LWP) tend to contain sub adiabatic LWPs. These sub adiabatic LWPs, which result from active mixing processes, correspond to a lower susceptibility of the clouds to aerosol-cloud interactions, and, hence, to reduced aerosol indirect effects. In contrast, the consistently steady and thin maritime stratus clouds observed at Pt. Reyes are much closer to adiabatic. These clouds provide an excellent benchmark for the study of the aerosol influence on modified marine clouds relative to continental clouds, since they form in a much more homogeneous meteorological environment than those at the continental site.

  10. Eco-Efficiency Model for Evaluating Feedlot Rations in the Great Plains, United States.

    PubMed

    Hengen, Tyler J; Sieverding, Heidi L; Cole, Noel A; Ham, Jay M; Stone, James J

    2016-07-01

    Environmental impacts attributable to beef feedlot production provide an opportunity for economically linked efficiency optimization. Eco-efficiency models are used to optimize production and processes by connecting and quantifying environmental and economic impacts. An adaptable, objective eco-efficiency model was developed to assess the impacts of dietary rations on beef feedlot environmental and fiscal cost. The hybridized model used California Net Energy System modeling, life cycle assessment, principal component analyses (PCA), and economic analyses. The model approach was based on 38 potential feedlot rations and four transportation scenarios for the US Great Plains for each ration to determine the appropriate weight of each impact. All 152 scenarios were then assessed through a nested PCA to determine the relative contributing weight of each impact and environmental category to the overall system. The PCA output was evaluated using an eco-efficiency model. Results suggest that water, ecosystem, and human health emissions were the primary impact category drivers for feedlot eco-efficiency scoring. Enteric CH emissions were the greatest individual contributor to environmental performance (5.7% of the overall assessment), whereas terrestrial ecotoxicity had the lowest overall contribution (0.2% of the overall assessment). A well-balanced ration with mid-range dietary and processing energy requirements yielded the most eco- and environmentally efficient system. Using these results, it is possible to design a beef feed ration that is more economical and environmentally friendly. This methodology can be used to evaluate eco-efficiency and to reduce researcher bias of other complex systems.

  11. Buteo Nesting Ecology: Evaluating Nesting of Swainson's Hawks in the Northern Great Plains.

    PubMed

    Inselman, Will M; Datta, Shubham; Jenks, Jonathan A; Jensen, Kent C; Grovenburg, Troy W

    2015-01-01

    Swainson's hawks (Buteo swainsoni) are long-distance migratory raptors that nest primarily in isolated trees located in areas of high grassland density. In recent years, anthropogenic conversion of grassland habitat has raised concerns about the status of the breeding population in the northern Great Plains. In 2013, we initiated a study to investigate the influence of extrinsic factors influencing Swainson's hawk nesting ecology in north-central South Dakota and south-central North Dakota. Using ground and aerial surveys, we located and monitored nesting Swainson's hawk pairs: 73 in 2013 and 120 in 2014. We documented 98 successful breeding attempts that fledged 163 chicks; 1.52 and 1.72 fledglings per successful nest in 2013 and 2014, respectively. We used Program MARK to evaluate the influence of land cover on nest survival. The top model, SDist2Farm+%Hay, indicated that nest survival (fledging at least one chick) decreased as nests were located farther from farm sites and as the percent of hay cover increased within 1200-m of the nest site (34.4%; 95% CI = 27.6%-42.3%). We used logistic regression analysis to evaluate the influence of landscape variables on nest-site selection; Swainson's hawks selected for nest sites located closer to roads. We suggest that tree belts associated with farm sites, whether occupied or not, provide critical breeding sites for Swainson's hawks. Additionally, poor breeding success may be related to the late migratory behavior of this species which requires them to occupy marginal habitat due to other raptors occupying the most suitable habitat prior to Swainson's hawks arriving to the breeding grounds.

  12. Bed site selection by neonate deer in grassland habitats on the northern Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grovenburg, T.W.; Jacques, C.N.; Klaver, R.W.; Jenks, J.A.

    2010-01-01

    Bed site selection is an important behavioral trait influencing neonate survival. Vegetation characteristics of bed sites influence thermal protection of neonates and concealment from predators. Although previous studies describe bed site selection of neonatal white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in regions of forested cover, none determined microhabitat effects on neonate bed site selection in the Northern Great Plains, an area of limited forest cover. During summers 2007–2009, we investigated bed site selection (n  =  152) by 81 radiocollared neonate white-tailed deer in north-central South Dakota, USA. We documented 80 (52.6%) bed sites in tallgrass–Conservation Reserve Program lands, 35 (23.0%) bed sites in forested cover, and 37 (24.3%) in other habitats (e.g., pasture, alfalfa, wheat). Bed site selection varied with age and sex of neonate. Tree canopy cover (P < 0.001) and tree basal area (P < 0.001) decreased with age of neonates, with no bed sites observed in forested cover after 18 days of age. Male neonates selected sites with less grass cover (P < 0.001), vertical height of understory vegetation (P < 0.001), and density of understory vegetation (P < 0.001) but greater bare ground (P  =  0.047), litter (P  =  0.028), and wheat (P  =  0.044) than did females. Odds of bed site selection increased 3.5% (odds ratio  =  1.035, 95% CI  =  1.008–1.062) for every 1-cm increase in vertical height of understory vegetation. Management for habitat throughout the grasslands of South Dakota that maximizes vertical height of understory vegetation would enhance cover characteristics selected by neonates.

  13. Implications of invasion by Juniperus virginiana on small mammals in the southern Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Horncastle, V.J.; Hellgren, E.C.; Mayer, P.M.; Ganguli, A.C.; Engle, David M.; Leslie, David M.

    2005-01-01

    Changes in landscape cover in the Great Plains are resulting from the range expansion and invasion of eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana). By altering the landscape and local vegetation, red cedar is changing the structure and function of habitat for small mammals. We examined effects of invasion by eastern red cedar on small mammals in 3 plant communities (tallgrass prairie, old field, and cross-timbers forest) in the cross-timbers ecoregion in Oklahoma. We sampled small mammals seasonally from May 2001 to August 2002 by using Sherman live traps and mark-recapture techniques on 3.24-ha, 450-trap grids in each plant community. We sampled vegetation in two hundred twenty-five 12 x 12-m cells within each grid. The structure of the small-mammal community differed among the 3 habitat types, with higher species diversity and richness in the tallgrass-prairie and old-field sites. Overall, the small-mammal community shifted along a gradient of increasing eastern red cedar. In the old-field and tallgrass-prairie plots, occurrence of grassland mammals decreased with increasing red cedar, whereas only 1 woodland mammal species increased. In the cross-timbers forest site, percent woody cover (<1 m in height), rather than cover of red cedar, was the most important factor affecting woodland mammal species. Examination of our data suggests that an increase in overstory cover from 0% to 30% red cedar can change a species-rich prairie community to a depauperate community dominated by 1 species, Peromyscus leucopus. Losses in species diversity and changes in mammal distribution paralleled those seen in avian communities invaded by eastern red cedar. Our results highlight ecological effects of invasion by eastern red cedar on diversity and function at multiple trophic levels. ?? 2005 American Society of Mammalogists.

  14. Colonization and extinction in dynamic habitats: an occupancy approach for a Great Plains stream fish assemblage.

    PubMed

    Falke, Jeffrey A; Bailey, Larissa L; Fausch, Kurt D; Bestgen, Kevin R

    2012-04-01

    Despite the importance of habitat in determining species distribution and persistence, habitat dynamics are rarely modeled in studies of metapopulations. We used an integrated habitat-occupancy model to simultaneously quantify habitat change, site fidelity, and local colonization and extinction rates for larvae of a suite of Great Plains stream fishes in the Arikaree River, eastern Colorado, USA, across three years. Sites were located along a gradient of flow intermittency and groundwater connectivity. Hydrology varied across years: the first and third being relatively wet and the second dry. Despite hydrologic variation, our results indicated that site suitability was random from one year to the next. Occupancy probabilities were also independent of previous habitat and occupancy state for most species, indicating little site fidelity. Climate and groundwater connectivity were important drivers of local extinction and colonization, but the importance of groundwater differed between periods. Across species, site extinction probabilities were highest during the transition from wet to dry conditions (range: 0.52-0.98), and the effect of groundwater was apparent with higher extinction probabilities for sites not fed by groundwater. Colonization probabilities during this period were relatively low for both previously dry sites (range: 0.02-0.38) and previously wet sites (range: 0.02-0.43). In contrast, no sites dried or remained dry during the transition from dry to wet conditions, yielding lower but still substantial extinction probabilities (range: 0.16-0.63) and higher colonization probabilities (range: 0.06-0.86), with little difference among sites with and without groundwater. This approach of jointly modeling both habitat change and species occupancy will likely be useful to incorporate effects of dynamic habitat on metapopulation processes and to better inform appropriate conservation actions.

  15. Contrasting above- and belowground sensitivity of three Great Plains grasslands to altered rainfall regimes.

    PubMed

    Wilcox, Kevin R; von Fischer, Joseph C; Muscha, Jennifer M; Petersen, Mark K; Knapp, Alan K

    2015-01-01

    Intensification of the global hydrological cycle with atmospheric warming is expected to increase interannual variation in precipitation amount and the frequency of extreme precipitation events. Although studies in grasslands have shown sensitivity of aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) to both precipitation amount and event size, we lack equivalent knowledge for responses of belowground net primary productivity (BNPP) and NPP. We conducted a 2-year experiment in three US Great Plains grasslands--the C4-dominated shortgrass prairie (SGP; low ANPP) and tallgrass prairie (TGP; high ANPP), and the C3-dominated northern mixed grass prairie (NMP; intermediate ANPP)--to test three predictions: (i) both ANPP and BNPP responses to increased precipitation amount would vary inversely with mean annual precipitation (MAP) and site productivity; (ii) increased numbers of extreme rainfall events during high-rainfall years would affect high and low MAP sites differently; and (iii) responses belowground would mirror those aboveground. We increased growing season precipitation by as much as 50% by augmenting natural rainfall via (i) many (11-13) small or (ii) fewer (3-5) large watering events, with the latter coinciding with naturally occurring large storms. Both ANPP and BNPP increased with water addition in the two C4 grasslands, with greater ANPP sensitivity in TGP, but greater BNPP and NPP sensitivity in SGP. ANPP and BNPP did not respond to any rainfall manipulations in the C3 -dominated NMP. Consistent with previous studies, fewer larger (extreme) rainfall events increased ANPP relative to many small events in SGP, but event size had no effect in TGP. Neither system responded consistently above- and belowground to event size; consequently, total NPP was insensitive to event size. The diversity of responses observed in these three grassland types underscores the challenge of predicting responses relevant to C cycling to forecast changes in precipitation regimes even

  16. Preserving prairies: Understanding temporal and spatial patterns of invasive annual bromes in the Northern Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ashton, Isabel; Symstad, Amy; Davis, Christopher; Swanson, Daniel J.

    2016-01-01

    Two Eurasian invasive annual brome grasses, cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and Japanese brome (Bromus japonicus), are well known for their impact in steppe ecosystems of the western United States where these grasses have altered fire regimes, reduced native plant diversity and abundance, and degraded wildlife habitat. Annual bromes are also abundant in the grasslands of the Northern Great Plains (NGP), but their impact and ecology are not as well studied. It is unclear whether the lessons learned from the steppe will translate to the mixed-grass prairie where native plant species are adapted to frequent fires and grazing. Developing a successful annual brome management strategy for National Park Service units and other NGP grasslands requires better understanding of (1) the impact of annual bromes on grassland condition; (2) the dynamics of these species through space and time; and (3) the relative importance of environmental factors within and outside managers' control for these spatiotemporal dynamics. Here, we use vegetation monitoring data collected from 1998 to 2015 in 295 sites to relate spatiotemporal variability of annual brome grasses to grassland composition, weather, physical environmental characteristics, and ecological processes (grazing and fire). Concern about the impact of these species in NGP grasslands is warranted, as we found a decline in native species richness with increasing annual brome cover. Annual brome cover generally increased over the time of monitoring but also displayed a 3- to 5-yr cycle of reduction and resurgence. Relative cover of annual bromes in the monitored areas was best predicted by park unit, weather, extant plant community, slope grade, soil composition, and fire history. We found no evidence that grazing reduced annual brome cover, but this may be due to the relatively low grazing pressure in our study. By understanding the consequences and patterns of annual brome invasion, we will be better able to preserve and restore

  17. Energy and Water Fluxes across a Heterogeneous Landscape in the Southern Great Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bagley, J. E.; Williams, I. N.; Kueppers, L. M.; Lu, Y.; Torn, M. S.; Biraud, S.

    2015-12-01

    Fluxes of energy and water between the atmosphere and the land surface influence weather and climate. These fluxes depend on the state of the landscape, which contributes to differences in land-atmosphere coupling strength over space and time. One region with potentially strong land-atmosphere coupling is the Southern Great Plains (SGP) in North America. In this region, managed vegetation plays a key role in moderating the surface energy through effects on surface albedo, transpiration, precipitation interception, and other surface properties. However accurately modeling these effects is challenging because the vegetation in this region is very heterogeneous. Winter wheat is the dominant crop, but pasture, hayfields, corn, and recently introduced crops such as canola cover significant portions of the landscape as well. Winter wheat has a unique phenology with fall planting, maximum leaf area in late spring, and harvest in early summer. This phenology contrasts significantly with most other crops and with pastures and hayfields in the region, which have more typical spring-fall growing seasons. Therefore, to sufficiently model and assess land-atmosphere interactions in this region accurate characterization of differences in the seasonality of water and energy fluxes between vegetation types are necessary. We used observations including eddy covariance flux estimates, soil moisture data, state-of-the-art longwave and shortwave radiation measurements, and other observations available for several facilities within the SGP Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) site in north-central Oklahoma and southern Kansas. We compared the timing and variations in fluxes of water and energy between winter wheat and other land cover types, focusing on vegetation influences on rates of soil dry-down following precipitation events. We found distinct differences in fluxes between winter wheat and other land types. These flux differences had a nonlinear dependency on disparities in

  18. Trends in nutrient and sediment retention in Great Plains reservoirs (USA).

    PubMed

    Cunha, Davi Gasparini Fernandes; do Carmo Calijuri, Maria; Dodds, Walter Kennedy

    2014-02-01

    Reservoirs are artificial ecosystems with physical, chemical, and biological transitional characteristics between rivers and lakes. Greater water retention time in reservoirs provides conditions for cycling materials inputs from upstream waters through sedimentation, biological assimilation and other biogeochemical processes. We investigated the effects of reservoirs on the water quantity and quality in the Great Plains (Kansas, USA), an area where little is known about these dominant hydrologic features. We analyzed a 30-year time-series of discharge, total phosphorus (TP), nitrate (NO3(-)), and total suspended solids (TSS) from six reservoirs and estimated overall removal efficiencies from upstream to downstream, testing correlations among retention, discharge, and time. In general, mean removal of TP (42-74%), TSS (0-93%), and NO3(-) (11-56%) from upstream to downstream did not change over 30 years. TP retention was associated with TSS removal, suggesting that nutrient substantial portion of P was adsorbed to solids. Our results indicated that reservoirs had the effect of lowering variance in the water quality parameters and that these reservoirs are not getting more or less nutrient-rich over time. We found no evidence of temporal changes in the yearly mean upstream and downstream discharges. The ratio upstream/downstream discharge was analyzed because it allowed us to assess how much contribution of additional unsampled tributaries may have biased our ability to calculate retention. Nutrient and sediment removal was less affected by hydraulic residence time than expected. Our study demonstrates that reservoirs can play a role in the removal and processing of nutrient and sediments, which has repercussions when valuing their ecological services and designing watershed management plans.

  19. Land-atmosphere coupling and climate prediction over the U.S. Southern Great Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, Ian N.; Lu, Yaqiong; Kueppers, Lara M.; Riley, William J.; Biraud, Sebastien C.; Bagley, Justin E.; Torn, Margaret S.

    2016-10-01

    Biases in land-atmosphere coupling in climate models can contribute to climate prediction biases, but land models are rarely evaluated in the context of this coupling. We tested land-atmosphere coupling and explored effects of land surface parameterizations on climate prediction in a single-column version of the National Center for Atmospheric Research Community Earth System Model (CESM1.2.2) and an off-line Community Land Model (CLM4.5). The correlation between leaf area index (LAI) and surface evaporative fraction (ratio of latent to total turbulent heat flux) was substantially underpredicted compared to observations in the U.S. Southern Great Plains, while the correlation between soil moisture and evaporative fraction was overpredicted by CLM4.5. To estimate the impacts of these errors on climate prediction, we modified CLM4.5 by prescribing observed LAI, increasing soil resistance to evaporation, increasing minimum stomatal conductance, and increasing leaf reflectance. The modifications improved the predicted soil moisture-evaporative fraction (EF) and LAI-EF correlations in off-line CLM4.5 and reduced the root-mean-square error in summer 2 m air temperature and precipitation in the coupled model. The modifications had the largest effect on prediction during a drought in summer 2006, when a warm bias in daytime 2 m air temperature was reduced from +6°C to a smaller cold bias of -1.3°C, and a corresponding dry bias in precipitation was reduced from -111 mm to -23 mm. The role of vegetation in droughts and heat waves is underpredicted in CESM1.2.2, and improvements in land surface models can improve prediction of climate extremes.

  20. Buteo Nesting Ecology: Evaluating Nesting of Swainson’s Hawks in the Northern Great Plains

    PubMed Central

    Inselman, Will M.; Datta, Shubham; Jenks, Jonathan A.; Jensen, Kent C.; Grovenburg, Troy W.

    2015-01-01

    Swainson’s hawks (Buteo swainsoni) are long-distance migratory raptors that nest primarily in isolated trees located in areas of high grassland density. In recent years, anthropogenic conversion of grassland habitat has raised concerns about the status of the breeding population in the northern Great Plains. In 2013, we initiated a study to investigate the influence of extrinsic factors influencing Swainson’s hawk nesting ecology in north-central South Dakota and south-central North Dakota. Using ground and aerial surveys, we located and monitored nesting Swainson’s hawk pairs: 73 in 2013 and 120 in 2014. We documented 98 successful breeding attempts that fledged 163 chicks; 1.52 and 1.72 fledglings per successful nest in 2013 and 2014, respectively. We used Program MARK to evaluate the influence of land cover on nest survival. The top model, SDist2Farm+%Hay, indicated that nest survival (fledging at least one chick) decreased as nests were located farther from farm sites and as the percent of hay cover increased within 1200-m of the nest site (34.4%; 95% CI = 27.6%–42.3%). We used logistic regression analysis to evaluate the influence of landscape variables on nest-site selection; Swainson’s hawks selected for nest sites located closer to roads. We suggest that tree belts associated with farm sites, whether occupied or not, provide critical breeding sites for Swainson’s hawks. Additionally, poor breeding success may be related to the late migratory behavior of this species which requires them to occupy marginal habitat due to other raptors occupying the most suitable habitat prior to Swainson’s hawks arriving to the breeding grounds. PMID:26327440

  1. Grassland and Cropland Net Ecosystem Production of the U.S. Great Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howard, D. M.; Wylie, B. K.; Ji, L.; Gilmanov, T. G.; Zhang, L.

    2014-12-01

    At observation sites throughout the world, carbon dioxide (CO2) levels and other ecosystem resources are measured by instruments known as flux towers. Although flux towers only measure the surrounding vicinity or spatial footprint of their placement ecosystem, the data recorded at these towers can be up-scaled to much greater levels through the use of comprehensive remote sensing data and advanced computer modeling. The purpose of this study was to develop ecological net ecosystem production (NEP) models capable of producing weekly cropland and grassland NEP maps of the U.S. Great Plains at 250 meter resolution for 2000 - 2008. Separate NEP regression tree models were developed for each land cover type (cropland and grassland) with 15 flux towers supporting the grassland model and 13 towers supporting the cropland model. The NEP regression tree models were established through training based on data from the supporting flux towers, remote sensing data, and other biogeophysical inputs. Map results of this study indicate, as anticipated, grassland ecosystems generally perform as net carbon (C) sinks, absorbing and storing C from the atmosphere, and conversely, croplands generally as net C sources (crop yields were not taken into account), releasing C, in the form of CO2, into the atmosphere. The models were evaluated by implementing a leave-one-out cross validation method, which withholds data form one particular year or site for testing a model developed with the remaining data. The cropland model validation analysis received an average Pearson's correlation coefficient (r) of 0.85 for the yearly validation and an average r = 0.73 for the site withholding. The grassland model validation analysis received an average r = 0.86 for the yearly validation and an average r = 0.83 for the site withholding.

  2. Climate change adaptation options for sustainable management of agriculture in the Eastern Lower Danube Plain, Romania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Popovici, Elena-Ana; Sima, Mihaela; Balteanu, Dan; Dragota, Carmen-Sofia; Grigorescu, Ines; Kucsicsa, Gheorghe

    2013-04-01

    The current study was carried out within the FP7 ECLISE project in the Eastern Lower Danube Plain (Bărăgan Plain), one of the major agricultural areas in Romania. In this region, climate change signals are becoming more evident being predominantly characterized by increasing temperatures, decreasing of precipitations and intensification of extreme events in terms of frequency, intensity and duration. Over the past decades, the effects of extreme climatic phenomena on crop production have been ever more severe (very low outputs in the droughty years, significant crop losses during flooding periods, hailstorms, etc.). Concurrently, these effects have been the result of a whole range of complex interactions with other environmental, social, economic and political factors over the post-communist period. Using questionnaires survey for small individual households and large agricultural farms, focus group interviews and direct field observation, this study analyses the farmers' perception in terms of climate change, the impact of climate change on agriculture and how the farmers react and adapt to these changes. The current study have revealed that all farmers believe drought as being by far the most important climatic factor with major impact on agricultural production, followed by acid rains, hail storms and ground frost, facts evidenced also by the climatic diagnosis of the region. The majority of respondents have taken adaptation agricultural measures in response to changes in climate conditions (drought resistant seeds, modern technology to keep the moisture in the soil, etc.), but they consider that a national strategy for mitigating the effects of climate change would be more effective in this respect. Also, in order to correlate the farmers' perception of climate change and climatic factors, the authors used and processed a wide range of meteorological data (daily, monthly and annual from the most representative meteorological stations in the study-area), as

  3. Hydrology of area 59, northern Great Plains and Rocky Mountain coal provinces, Colorado and Wyoming

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gaggiani, Neville G.; Britton, Linda J.; Minges, Donald R.; Kilpatrick, F.A.; Parker, Randolph S.; Kircher, James E.

    1987-01-01

    Hydrologic information and analysis aid in decisions to lease federally owned coal and to prepare necessary Environmental Assessments and Impact Study reports. This need has become even more critical with the enactment of Public Law 95-87, the "Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977." This act requires an appropriate regulatory agency to issue permits, based on the review of permit-application data to assess hydrologic impacts. This report, which partially fulfills this requirement, is one in a series of nationwide coal province reports that present information thematically, through the use of a brief text and accompanying maps, graphs, charts, or other illustrations for single hydrologic topics. The report broadly characterizes the hydrology of Area 59 in north-central Colorado and southeastern Wyoming.The report area, located within the South Platte River basin, covers a 16,000-square-mile area of diverse geology, topography, and climate. This diversity results in contrasting hydrologic characteristics.The South Platte River, the major stream in the area, and most of its tributaries originate in granitic mountains and flow into and through the sedimentary rocks of the Great Plains. Altitudes range from less than 5,000 feet to more than 14,000 feet above sea level. Precipitation in the mountains may exceed 40 inches annually, much of it during the winter, and produces deep snowpacks. Snowmelt during the spring and summer produces most streamflow. Transmountain diversion of water from the streams on the western slope of the mountains also adds to the streamflow. Precipitation in the plains is as little as 10 inches annually. Streams that originate in the plains are ephemeral.Streamflow quality is best in the mountains, where dissolved-solids concentrations are generally small. Concentrations increase in the plains as streams flow through sedimentary basins, and as urbanization and irrigation increase. The quality of some mountain streams is affected by

  4. Applied regional monitoring of the vernal advancement and retrogradation (Green wave effect) of natural vegetation in the Great Plains corridor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rouse, J. W., Jr. (Principal Investigator); Deering, D. W.; Haas, R. H.; Welch, R. I.; Harlan, J. C.; Whitney, P. R.

    1977-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. LANDSAT 2 has shown that digital data products can be effectively employed on a regional basis to monitor changes in vegetation conditions. The TV16 was successfully applied to an extended test site and the Great Plains Corridor in tests of the ability to assess green forage biomass on rangelands as an index to vegetation condition. A strategy for using TV16 on a regional basis was developed and tested. These studies have shown that: (1) for rangelands with good vegetative cover, such as most of the Great Plains, and which are not heavily infested with brush or undesirable weed species, the LANDSAT digital data can provide a good estimate (within 250 kg/ha) of the quantity of green forage biomass, and (2) at least five levels of pasture and range feed conditions can be adequately mapped for extended regions.

  5. Regional CO2 and latent heat surface fluxes in the Southern Great Plains: Measurements, modeling, and scaling

    SciTech Connect

    Riley, W. J.; Biraud, S.C.; Torn, M.S.; Fischer, M.L.; Billesbach, D.P.; Berry, J.A.

    2009-08-15

    Characterizing net ecosystem exchanges (NEE) of CO{sub 2} and sensible and latent heat fluxes in heterogeneous landscapes is difficult, yet critical given expected changes in climate and land use. We report here a measurement and modeling study designed to improve our understanding of surface to atmosphere gas exchanges under very heterogeneous land cover in the mostly agricultural U.S. Southern Great Plains (SGP). We combined three years of site-level, eddy covariance measurements in several of the dominant land cover types with regional-scale climate data from the distributed Mesonet stations and Next Generation Weather Radar precipitation measurements to calibrate a land surface model of trace gas and energy exchanges (isotope-enabled land surface model (ISOLSM)). Yearly variations in vegetation cover distributions were estimated from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer normalized difference vegetation index and compared to regional and subregional vegetation cover type estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture census. We first applied ISOLSM at a 250 m spatial scale to account for vegetation cover type and leaf area variations that occur on hundred meter scales. Because of computational constraints, we developed a subsampling scheme within 10 km 'macrocells' to perform these high-resolution simulations. We estimate that the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Climate Research Facility SGP region net CO{sub 2} exchange with the local atmosphere was -240, -340, and -270 gC m{sup -2} yr{sup -1} (positive toward the atmosphere) in 2003, 2004, and 2005, respectively, with large seasonal variations. We also performed simulations using two scaling approaches at resolutions of 10, 30, 60, and 90 km. The scaling approach applied in current land surface models led to regional NEE biases of up to 50 and 20% in weekly and annual estimates, respectively. An important factor in causing these biases was the complex leaf area index (LAI) distribution within

  6. Regional CO2 and latent heat surface fluxes in the Southern Great Plains: Measurements, modeling, and scaling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riley, W. J.; Biraud, S. C.; Torn, M. S.; Fischer, M. L.; Billesbach, D. P.; Berry, J. A.

    2009-12-01

    Characterizing net ecosystem exchanges (NEE) of CO2 and sensible and latent heat fluxes in heterogeneous landscapes is difficult, yet critical given expected changes in climate and land use. We report here a measurement and modeling study designed to improve our understanding of surface to atmosphere gas exchanges under very heterogeneous land cover in the mostly agricultural U.S. Southern Great Plains (SGP). We combined three years of site-level, eddy covariance measurements in several of the dominant land cover types with regional-scale climate data from the distributed Mesonet stations and Next Generation Weather Radar precipitation measurements to calibrate a land surface model of trace gas and energy exchanges (isotope-enabled land surface model (ISOLSM)). Yearly variations in vegetation cover distributions were estimated from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer normalized difference vegetation index and compared to regional and subregional vegetation cover type estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture census. We first applied ISOLSM at a 250 m spatial scale to account for vegetation cover type and leaf area variations that occur on hundred meter scales. Because of computational constraints, we developed a subsampling scheme within 10 km "macrocells" to perform these high-resolution simulations. We estimate that the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Climate Research Facility SGP region net CO2 exchange with the local atmosphere was -240, -340, and -270 gC m-2 yr-1 (positive toward the atmosphere) in 2003, 2004, and 2005, respectively, with large seasonal variations. We also performed simulations using two scaling approaches at resolutions of 10, 30, 60, and 90 km. The scaling approach applied in current land surface models led to regional NEE biases of up to 50 and 20% in weekly and annual estimates, respectively. An important factor in causing these biases was the complex leaf area index (LAI) distribution within cover types. Biases in

  7. Hydrology of area 54, Northern Great Plains, and Rocky Mountain coal provinces, Colorado and Wyoming

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kuhn, Gerhard; Daddow, P.D.; Craig, G.S.; ,

    1983-01-01

    A nationwide need for information characterizing hydrologic conditions in mined and potential mine areas has become paramount with the enactment of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977. This report, one in a series covering the coal provinces nationwide, presents information thematically by describing single hydrologic topics through the use of brief texts and accompanying maps, graphs, or other illustrations. The summation of the topical discussions provides a description of the hydrology of the area. Area 54, in north-central Colorado and south-central Wyoming, is 1 of 20 hydrologic reporting areas of the Northern Great Plains and Rocky Mountain coal provinces. Part of the Southern Rocky Mountains and Wyoming Basin physiographic provinces, the 8,380-square-mile area is one of contrasting geology, topography, and climate. This results in contrasting hydrologic characteristics. The major streams, the North Platte, Laramie, and Medicine Bow Rivers, and their principal tributaries, all head in granitic mountains and flow into and through sedimentary basins between the mountain ranges. Relief averages 2,000 to 3,000 feet. Precipitation in the mountains may exceed 40 inches annually, much of it during the winter, which produces deep snowpacks. Snowmelt in spring and summer provides most streamflow. Precipitation in the basins averages 10 to 16 inches annually, insufficient for sustained streamflow; thus, streams originating in the basins are ephemeral. Streamflow quality is best in the mountains where dissolved-solids concentrations generally are least. These concentrations increase as streams flow through sedimentary basins. The increases are mainly natural, but some may be due to irrigation in and adjacent to the flood plains. In the North Platte River, dissolved-solids concentrations are usually less than 300 milligrams per liter; in the Laramie and the Medicine Bow Rivers, the concentrations may average 500 to 850 milligrams per liter. However

  8. Climate change impacts on main agricultural activities in the Oltenia Plain (Romania)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitrica, B.; Mateescu, E.; Dragota, C.; Busuioc, A.; Grigorescu, I.; Popovici, A.

    2012-04-01

    Understanding the key drivers of agriculture in relation to climate change as well as their interrelationship with land management decisions and policies, one may be able to project future agricultural productions under certain economic, environmental, and social scenarios in order to minimize their negative impacts. The paper is aiming to stress upon the importance of modelling the potential impact of climate change on crop production, particularly under the current conditions when natural resources and food supplies are shortening in many parts of the world. Under the given circumstances, in assessing the impact of climate change on agriculture in the Oltenia Plain, the authors used a simulation model CERES (Crop-Environment Resource Synthesis), developed as a predictive and deterministic model, used for basic and applied research on the effects of climate (thermal regime, water stress) and management (fertilization practices, irrigation) on the growth and yield of different crops. In assessing the impact of climate change on maize and autumn wheat crops two applications of CERES model were used: CERES-Wheat and CERES-Maize overlapping two regional climatic scenarios for 2021-2050 and 2071-2100 periods. These models describe, based on daily data the basic biophysical processes which take place at the soil-plant-atmosphere interface as a response to the variability of different processes such as: photosynthesis, specific phonological phases, evapotranspiration, water dynamics in soil etc. Assessing the impact of climate change on agricultural productivity under the two regional climatic scenarios (2021-2050 and 2071-2100) will reveal their potential consequences on the main agricultural crops in the Oltenia Plain (autumn wheat and maize) depending on the interaction between local climatic conditions, the effect rising CO2 on photosynthesis and the genetical type of crops. Therefore, the autumn wheat benefits from the interaction between the rise of CO2 and air

  9. The role of reproductive behavior in the conservation of fishes: examples from the Great Plains riverine fishes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wildhaber, M.L.

    2006-01-01

    Recovery efforts for threatened and endangered fish species are hampered by lack of knowledge of their reproductive ecology. Habitat requirements and environmental stimuli necessary for reproduction are often unknown and vary widely among species. For Great Plains riverine fishes, this is often complicated by the high turbidity of the system in which the species occur, which precludes direct visual observation of behavior. Innovative methods for collectng behavioral data are required to better understand the conditions necessary for successful reproduction.

  10. Phylogeographical structure and evolutionary history of two Buggy Creek virus lineages in the western Great Plains of North America.

    PubMed

    Padhi, Abinash; Moore, Amy T; Brown, Mary Bomberger; Foster, Jerome E; Pfeffer, Martin; Gaines, Kathryn P; O'Brien, Valerie A; Strickler, Stephanie A; Johnson, Allison E; Brown, Charles R

    2008-09-01

    Buggy Creek virus (BCRV) is an unusual arbovirus within the western equine encephalitis complex of alphaviruses. Associated with cimicid swallow bugs (Oeciacus vicarius) as its vector and the cliff swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) and house sparrow (Passer domesticus) as its amplifying hosts, this virus is found primarily in the western Great Plains of North America at spatially discrete swallow nesting colonies. For 342 isolates collected in Oklahoma, Nebraska, Colorado and North Dakota, from 1974 to 2007, we sequenced a 2076 bp region of the 26S subgenomic RNA structural glycoprotein coding region, and analysed phylogenetic relationships, rates of evolution, demographical histories and temporal genetic structure of the two BCRV lineages found in the Great Plains. The two lineages showed distinct phylogeographical structure: one lineage was found in the southern Great Plains and the other in the northern Great Plains, and both occurred in Nebraska and Colorado. Within each lineage, there was additional latitudinal division into three distinct sublineages. One lineage is showing a long-term population decline. In comparing sequences taken from the same sites 8-30 years apart, in one case one lineage had been replaced by the other, and in the other cases there was little evidence of the same haplotypes persisting over time. The evolutionary rate of BCRV is in the order of 1.6-3.6x10(-4) substitutions per site per year, similar to that estimated for other temperate-latitude alphaviruses. The phylogeography and evolution of BCRV could be better understood once we determine the nature of the ecological differences between the lineages.

  11. Fire regimes and potential bioenergy loss from agricultural lands in the Indo-Gangetic Plains.

    PubMed

    Vadrevu, Krishna; Lasko, Kristofer

    2015-01-15

    Agricultural fires in the Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP) are a major cause of air pollution. In this study, we evaluate fire regimes and quantify the potential of agricultural residues in generating bioenergy that otherwise are subject to burning by local farmers in the region. For characterizing the fire regimes, we used MODIS satellite datasets in conjunction with IRS-AWiFS classified data. We collected crop statistical data for area, production, and yield for 31 different crops and mapped the bioenergy potential of agricultural residues. We also tested the MODIS net primary production (NPP) dataset potential for crop yield estimation and thereby bioenergy calculations. Results from land use-fire analysis suggested that 88.13% of fires occurred in agricultural areas. Relatively more fires and burnt areas were recorded during the winter rice residue burning season than the summer wheat residue burning season. Monte Carlo analysis suggested that nearly 16.5 Tg of crop residues are burned at 60% probability. MODIS NPP data could explain 62% of variation in field-level crop yield estimates. Our analysis revealed that in the IGP nearly 73.28 Tg of crop residue biomass is available for recycling. The energy equivalent from these residues is estimated to be 1110.77 PJ. From the residues, the biogas potential production is estimated to be 1165.1098 million m(3), the electric power potential at 20% efficiency is estimated at 61698.9 kWh, and the total bioethanol production potential at 21.0 billion liters. Results also highlight geographic locations of bioenergy resources in the IGP useful for energy planning. Controlling agricultural residue burning and promoting the bioenergy sector is an attractive "win-win" strategy in the IGP.

  12. Correlation between development of agriculture and the change in climate in the Plain of Reeds

    SciTech Connect

    Le Huy Ba

    1997-12-31

    In Vietnam the change of climate was related to the develope of agriculture. The reclamation of Plain of Reeds in 15 years ago were demonstrated this problem. They make some faces: After 15 years the reclamation, area of forest cajeputi was decreased from 125 000 ha(1976) to 25 000 ha(1996) All of old plants as wet-glass-land were destruited. Area of rice increased from 95 000ha(1976) to 360000 ha(1995) they were changed from one harvest (essential floating rice that they sow the rice seeds aboat May and recolte at January of next year) to two harvest (first begin at November and finish at February, second from February to May). Yield of them were increased 1.5T/ha to 13T/ha/year.

  13. Linking suspended sediment transport metrics with fish functional traits in the Northwestern Great Plains (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwartz, J. S.; Simon, A.; Klimetz, L.

    2009-12-01

    Loss of ecological integrity due to excessive suspended sediment in rivers and streams is a major cause of water quality impairment in the United States. Although 32 states have developed numeric criteria for turbidity or suspended solids, or both according to the USEPA (2006), criteria is typically written as a percent exceedance above background and what constitutes background is not well defined. Defining a background level is problematic considering suspended sediments and related turbidity levels change with flow stage and season, and limited scientific data exists on relationships between sediment exposure and biotic response. Current assessment protocols for development of sediment total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) lack a means to link temporally-variable sediment transport rates with specific losses of ecological functions as loads increase. This study, within the in Northwestern Great Plains Ecoregion, co-located 58 USGS gauging stations with existing flow and suspended sediment data, and fish data from federal and state agencies. Suspended sediment concentration (SSC) transport metrics were quantified into exceedance frequencies of a given magnitude, duration as the number of consecutive days a given concentration was equaled or exceeded, dosage as concentration x duration, and mean annual suspended sediment yields. A functional traits-based approach was used to correlate SSC transport metrics with site occurrences of 20 fish traits organized into four main groups: preferred rearing mesohabitat, trophic structure, feeding habits, and spawning behavior. Negative correlations between SSC metrics and trait occurrences were assumed to represent potential conditions for impairment, specifically identifying an ecological loss by functional trait. Potential impairment conditions were linked with presence of the following traits: habitat preferences for stream pool and river shallow waters; feeding generalists, omnivores, piscivores; and several spawning

  14. Understanding Land-Atmosphere Coupling and its Predictability at the ARM Southern Great Plains Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferguson, C. R.; Song, H. J.; Roundy, J. K.

    2015-12-01

    Ten years ago, the Global Energy and Water EXchanges Global Land Atmosphere Coupling Experiment (GLACE) spotlighted the Southern Great Plains (SGP) for being one of three hotspots globally for land-derived precipitation predictability. Since then, the GLACE results have served as the underlying motivation for numerous subsequent land-atmosphere (L-A) coupling studies over the SGP domain. The range of these studies includes: local point scale studies leveraging surface meteorological and flux measurements at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement SGP (ARM-SGP) Central Facility, regional pentad to monthly scale atmospheric moisture budget analyses based on atmospheric reanalysis, and regional limited duration (2-7 day) coupled model sensitivity experiments. This study has the following three objectives: (1) to provide the common historical context necessary for bridging past and future interdisciplinary characterizations of L-A coupling, (2) to isolate the mechanism(s) for the region's L-A coupling signal, and (3) to evaluate the short range (12-18hr) predictability of soil moisture-precipitation feedbacks. We produce a convective triggering potential—low-level humidity index (CTP-HI)—based climatology of L-A coupling at ARM-SGP for the period 1979-2014 using North American Regional Reanalysis and North American Land Data Assimilation System Phase 2 data. We link the underlying coupling regime classification timeseries to corresponding synoptic-mesoscale weather patterns and bulk atmospheric moisture budget analyses. On the whole, the region's precipitation variability is largely dependent on large-scale moisture transport and the role of the land is nominal. However, we show that surface sensible heat flux can play an important role in modulating diurnal precipitation cycle phase and amplitude—either directly (enhancing CTP) in water-limited conditions or indirectly (increasing HI) in energy-limited conditions. In fact, both 0700

  15. Radioactivity and uranium content of some Cretaceous shales, central Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tourtelot, Harry A.

    1955-01-01

    The Sharon Springs member of the Pierre shale of Cretaceous age, a hard black organic-rich shale similar to the Chattanooga shale, is radioactive throughout central and western South Dakota, most of Nebraska, northern Kansas, and northeastern Colorado. In the Missouri River valley, thin beds of the shale contain as much as 0.01 percent uranium. Beds as much as 20 feet thick or more have a radioactivity of about 0.01 percent equivalent uranium in southwestern Nebraska according to interpretation of gamma-ray well logs. The radioactivity and uranium content is highest in the Missouri River valley in South Dakota and in southwestern Nebraska where the shale rests disconformably on the underlying Niobrara formation of Cretaceous age. Near the Black Hills, and in the area to the north, the shale of the Sharon Springs member rests on a wedge of the Gammon ferruginous member of the Pierre, which is represented by a disonformity to the east and south, and the radioactivity of the shale is low although greater than that of over-lying strata. The shale also contains a suite of trace elements in which arsenic, boron, chromium, copper, molybdenum, nickel, selenium, and vanadium are conspicuous. Molybdenum and tin are less abundant in the Sharon Springs than in similar shales of Palezoic age and silver and selenium are more abundant. In the Great Plains region, the upper 30-50 feet of Cretaceous shales overlain unconformably by the White River group of Oligocene age has been altered to bright-colored material. This altered zone is chiefly the result of pre-Oligocene weathering although post-Oligocene ground water conditions also have affected the zone. The greatest radioactivity occurs in masses of unaltered shale measuring about 1 x 4 feet in cross section included in the lower part of the altered zone. Where the zone is developed on shale and marl of the Niobrara formation, parts of the included unaltered shale contains as much as 0.1 percent equivalent uranium and 0

  16. Observational Evaluation of Simulated Land-Atmosphere Coupling on the U.S. Southern Great Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, T. J.; Klein, S. A.

    2014-12-01

    In a recent study of observed features of land-atmosphere coupling (LAC) at the ARM Southern Great Plains (ARM SGP) site in northern Oklahoma (Phillips and Klein, 2014 Journal of Geophysical Research), we identified statistically significant interactions between 1997-2008 summertime daily averages of soil moisture (at 10 cm depth) and a number of surface atmospheric variables, such as surface evaporation, relative humidity, and temperature. Here we will report on an evaluation of similar features of LAC simulated by version 5 of the global Community Atmosphere Model (CAM5), coupled to its native CLM4 land model, and downscaled to the vicinity of the ARM SGP site. In these case studies, the CAM5 was initialized from a 6-hourly atmospheric reanalysis for each day of the years 2008 and 2009 (where the CLM4 land state was equilibrated to the atmospheric model state), thus permitting a close comparison of the modeled and observed summer daily average features of the LAC in these years. Correlation coefficients R and "sensitivity indices" I (a measure of the comparative change of an atmospheric variable for a one-standard-deviation change in soil moisture) provided quantitative measures of the respective coupling strengths. Such a comparison of observed versus modeled LAC is complicated by differences in atmospheric forcings of the land; for example, the CAM5's summertime precipitation is too scant, and thus the model's upper soil layer often is drier than observed. The modeled daily average covariations of soil moisture with lower atmospheric variables also display less coherence (lower R values), but sometimes greater "sensitivity" (higher I values) than are observed at the ARM SGP site. Since the observational estimate of LAC may itself be sensitive to soil moisture measurement biases, we also will report on a planned investigation of the dependence of LAC on several alternative choices of soil moisture data sets local to the ARM SGP site. AcknowledgmentsThis work was

  17. Thermodynamic and Turbulence Characteristics of the Southern Great Plains Nocturnal Boundary Layer Under Differing Turbulent Regimes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonin, Timothy A.; Blumberg, William G.; Klein, Petra M.; Chilson, Phillip B.

    2015-12-01

    The nocturnal stable boundary layer (SBL) can generally be classified into the weakly stable boundary layer (wSBL) and very stable boundary layer (vSBL). Within the wSBL, turbulence is relatively continuous, whereas in the vSBL, turbulence is intermittent and not well characterized. Differentiating characteristics of each type of SBL are still unknown. Herein, thermodynamic and kinematic data collected by a suite of instruments in north central Oklahoma in autumn 2012 are analyzed to better understand both SBL regimes and their differentiating characteristics. Many low-level jets were observed during the experiment, as it took place near a climatological maximum. A threshold wind speed, above which bulk shear-generated turbulence develops, is found to exist up to 300 m. The threshold wind speed must also be exceeded at lower heights (down to the surface) in order for strong turbulence to develop. Composite profiles, which are normalized using low-level jet scaling, of potential temperature, wind speed, vertical velocity variance, and the third-order moment of vertical velocity (overline{w'^3}) are produced for weak and moderate/strong turbulence regimes, which exhibit features of the vSBL and wSBL, respectively. Within the wSBL, turbulence is generated at the surface and transported upward. In the vSBL, values of vertical velocity variance are small throughout the entire boundary layer, likely due to the fact that a strong surface inversion typically forms after sunset. The temperature profile tends to be approximately isothermal in the lowest portions of the wSBL, and it did not substantially change over the night. Within both types of SBL, stability in the residual layer tends to increase as the night progresses. It is thought that this stability increase is due to differential warm air advection, which frequently occurs in the southern Great Plains when southerly low-level jets and a typical north-south temperature gradient are present. Differential radiative

  18. EVALUATING SHORT-TERM CLIMATE VARIABILITY IN THE LATE HOLOCENE OF THE NORTHERN GREAT PLAINS

    SciTech Connect

    Joseph H. Hartman

    1999-09-01

    This literature study investigated methods and areas to deduce climate change and climate patterns, looking for short-term cycle phenomena and the means to interpret them. Many groups are actively engaged in intensive climate-related research. Ongoing research might be (overly) simplified into three categories: (1) historic data on weather that can be used for trend analysis and modeling; (2) detailed geological, biological (subfossil), and analytical (geochemical, radiocarbon, etc.) studies covering the last 10,000 years (about since last glaciation); and (3) geological, paleontological, and analytical (geochemical, radiometric, etc.) studies over millions of years. Of importance is our ultimate ability to join these various lines of inquiry into an effective means of interpretation. At this point, the process of integration is fraught with methodological troubles and misconceptions about what each group can contribute. This project has met its goals to the extent that it provided an opportunity to study resource materials and consider options for future effort toward the goal of understanding the natural climate variation that has shaped our current civilization. A further outcome of this project is a proposed methodology based on ''climate sections'' that provides spatial and temporal correlation within a region. The method would integrate cultural and climate data to establish the climate history of a region with increasing accuracy with progressive study and scientific advancement (e. g., better integration of regional and global models). The goal of this project is to better understand natural climatic variations in the recent past (last 5000 years). The information generated by this work is intended to provide better context within which to examine global climate change. The ongoing project will help to establish a basis upon which to interpret late Holocene short-term climate variability as evidenced in various studies in the northern Great Plains, northern

  19. Evaluation and comparison of gross primary production estimates for the Northern Great Plains grasslands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zhang, L.; Wylie, B.; Loveland, T.; Fosnight, E.; Tieszen, L.L.; Ji, L.; Gilmanov, T.

    2007-01-01

    Two spatially-explicit estimates of gross primary production (GPP) are available for the Northern Great Plains. An empirical piecewise regression (PWR) GPP model was developed from flux tower measurements to map carbon flux across the region. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) GPP model is a process-based model that uses flux tower data to calibrate its parameters. Verification and comparison of the regional PWR GPP and the global MODIS GPP are important for the modeling of grassland carbon flux. This study compared GPP estimates from PWR and MODIS models with five towers in the grasslands. Among them, PWR GPP and MODIS GPP showed a good agreement with tower-based GPP at three towers. The global MODIS GPP, however, did not agree well with tower-based GPP at two other towers, probably because of the insensitivity of MODIS model to regional ecosystem and climate change and extreme soil moisture conditions. Cross-validation indicated that the PWR model is relatively robust for predicting regional grassland GPP. However, the PWR model should include a wide variety of flux tower data as the training data sets to obtain more accurate results. In addition, GPP maps based on the PWR and MODIS models were compared for the entire region. In the northwest and south, PWR GPP was much higher than MODIS GPP. These areas were characterized by the higher water holding capacity with a lower proportion of C4 grasses in the northwest and a higher proportion of C4 grasses in the south. In the central and southeastern regions, PWR GPP was much lower than MODIS GPP under complicated conditions with generally mixed C3/C4 grasses. The analysis indicated that the global MODIS GPP model has some limitations on detecting moisture stress, which may have been caused by the facts that C3 and C4 grasses are not distinguished, water stress is driven by vapor pressure deficit (VPD) from coarse meteorological data, and MODIS land cover data are unable to differentiate the sub

  20. Multiple new-particle growth pathways observed at the US DOE Southern Great Plains field site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hodshire, Anna L.; Lawler, Michael J.; Zhao, Jun; Ortega, John; Jen, Coty; Yli-Juuti, Taina; Brewer, Jared F.; Kodros, Jack K.; Barsanti, Kelley C.; Hanson, Dave R.; McMurry, Peter H.; Smith, James N.; Pierce, Jeffery R.

    2016-07-01

    New-particle formation (NPF) is a significant source of aerosol particles into the atmosphere. However, these particles are initially too small to have climatic importance and must grow, primarily through net uptake of low-volatility species, from diameters ˜ 1 to 30-100 nm in order to potentially impact climate. There are currently uncertainties in the physical and chemical processes associated with the growth of these freshly formed particles that lead to uncertainties in aerosol-climate modeling. Four main pathways for new-particle growth have been identified: condensation of sulfuric-acid vapor (and associated bases when available), condensation of organic vapors, uptake of organic acids through acid-base chemistry in the particle phase, and accretion of organic molecules in the particle phase to create a lower-volatility compound that then contributes to the aerosol mass. The relative importance of each pathway is uncertain and is the focus of this work. The 2013 New Particle Formation Study (NPFS) measurement campaign took place at the DOE Southern Great Plains (SGP) facility in Lamont, Oklahoma, during spring 2013. Measured gas- and particle-phase compositions during these new-particle growth events suggest three distinct growth pathways: (1) growth by primarily organics, (2) growth by primarily sulfuric acid and ammonia, and (3) growth by primarily sulfuric acid and associated bases and organics. To supplement the measurements, we used the particle growth model MABNAG (Model for Acid-Base chemistry in NAnoparticle Growth) to gain further insight into the growth processes on these 3 days at SGP. MABNAG simulates growth from (1) sulfuric-acid condensation (and subsequent salt formation with ammonia or amines), (2) near-irreversible condensation from nonreactive extremely low-volatility organic compounds (ELVOCs), and (3) organic-acid condensation and subsequent salt formation with ammonia or amines. MABNAG is able to corroborate the observed differing growth

  1. Climate Extremes Triggered State Shifting of US Great Plains Prairie under Experimental Warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Y.; Xu, X.; Sherry, R.; Niu, S.; Li, D.; Xia, J.

    2012-04-01

    Ecosystems can exist under multiple stable states. Transition from one stable state to another is usually triggered by perturbations such as climate extremes, which should be large enough to push the ecosystem over a threshold. Ecosystem state changes can alter ecosystem functions and services as dramatically as in Sahara with vegetation changes from tropical forests to grassland and deserts over 6000 years. Thus it is crucial to understand mechanisms underlying ecosystem state changes. State changes of ecosystem vegetation have been well documented in paleo-records and predicted to occur under climate change by dynamic global vegetation models. Paleo-records usually offer broad-scale patterns of ecosystem state changes over time and rarely offer much insight into fundamental mechanisms underlying the state changes. Model predictions may be calibrated against contemporary and paleo vegetation distributions but have not been carefully tested against experimental evidence. The latter, however, is extremely rare largely because global chance experiments are mostly short term. We have observed state shifting of a US Great Plains prairie under long-term experimental warming and clipping treatments. Our analysis of 11-year data from the experiment showed two-stage stimulations of aboveground net primary production (ANPP) with small increases in the first 7 followed by distinctly large increases under experimental warming in comparison with those under control. The two-stage ANPP simulations were corresponded with species reordering with the plant community over time but not related to warming-induced changes in temperature, soil moisture and nitrogen dynamics in the grassland. The state shifting of the grassland under the experimental warming was partly because our experimental site locates in an ecotone between the mixed and tall grass prairies. Under the experimental warming, the prairie was shifting from the mixed prairie as dominated by Schizachyrium scoparium

  2. Conservation agriculture practices to enhance soil organic in Lombardy plain (Northern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perego, Alessia; Giussani, Andrea; Corsi, Stefano; Tosini, Andrea; Acutis, Marco

    2016-04-01

    It has been demonstrated that conservation agriculture (CA) determines a long-term increase in soil organic carbon (SOC) stock in cropland. The present study aimed to estimate the amount of SOC stored in soil of Lombardy plain (Northern Italy) following the change from tillage agriculture (TA) to CA by using crop ARMOSA crop over 23 years (1989-2011). The territorial analysis was performed at agrarian region scale (AR) after identification of the representative crops rotation and soil types. The land use information were data available at cadastral scale and referred to 5 years (from 2007 to 2011). The meteorological data (i.e. maximum and minimum temperature, precipitation) were measured at 14 monitoring stations. Solar radiation was estimated using the equation of the Bristow and Campbell model (1994). A spatial interpolation method was used to extend the meteorological data throughout the entire plain of the region by employing Thiessen polygon method; the meteorological data of the polygon were assigned to each AR. ARMOSA was parameterized to simulate the two tillage systems. For TA and CA scenario the depth of tillage was limited to 35 and 10 cm, respectively; crop residual incorporation was not simulated under CA. In TA scenario, we used the parameters calibrated and validated by Perego et al.(2013) on a wide dataset collected at six monitoring sites in Lombardy plain. In CA, the rate of C decomposition of humified organic C was assumed to be smaller by 30% in no-tillage than in TA (Oorts et al., 2007). The model results showed a significant improve of SOC (p<0.01) from TA to CA under all the crop rotations with a potential SOC sequestration ranged from 0.1 to 0.48 t C ha-1 y-1. While soil type did not affect significantly the SOC sequestration, crop residue determined relevant increases in SOC. That was particularly evident in grain maize monoculture with or without cover crop. References: Oorts K., Garnier P., Findeling A., Mary B., Richard G., Nicolardot B

  3. Annual Crop Type Classification of the U.S. Great Plains for 2000 - 2011: An Application of Classification Tree Modeling using Remote Sensing and Ancillary Environmental Data (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howard, D. M.; Wylie, B. K.

    2013-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to increase spatial and temporal availability of crop classification data using reliable source data that have the potential of being applied on local, regional, national, and global levels. This study implemented classification tree modeling to map annual crop types throughout the U.S. Great Plains from 2000 - 2011. Classification tree modeling has been shown in numerous studies to be an effective tool for developing classification models. In this study, nearly 18 million crop observation points, derived from annual U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS) Cropland Data Layers (CDLs), were used in the training, development, and validation of a classification tree crop type model (CTM). Each observation point was further defined by weekly Normalized Differential Vegetation Index (NDVI) readings, annual climatic conditions, soil conditions, and a number of other biogeophysical environmental characteristics. The CTM accounted for the most prevalent crop types in the area, including, corn, soybeans, winter wheat, spring wheat, cotton, sorghum, and alfalfa. Other crops that did not fit into any of these classes were identified and grouped into a miscellaneous class. An 87% success rate was achieved on the classification of 1.8 million observation points (10% of total observation points) that were withheld from training. The CTM was applied to create annual crop maps of the U.S. Great Plains for 2000 - 2011 at a spatial resolution of 250 meters. Product validation was performed by comparing county acreage derived from the modeled crop maps and county acreage data from the USDA NASS Survey Program for each crop type and each year. Greater than 15,000 county records from 2001 - 2010 were compared with a Pearson's correlation coefficient of r = 0.87.

  4. Irrigation Water Supply and Management in the Central High Plains: Can Agriculture Compete for a Limited Resource?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The era of expanding irrigated agriculture in the central high plains has come to an end, and we are likely entering a period of contraction. Contraction has begun in Colorado where the state estimates that current consumptive use exceeds sustainable supplies by about 10%. Groundwater pumping has ...

  5. Tapping unsustainable groundwater stores for agricultural production in the High Plains Aquifer of Kansas, projections to 2110

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Groundwater provides a reliable tap to sustain agricultural production, yet persistent aquifer depletion threatens future sustainability. The High Plains Aquifer supplies 30% of the nation’s irrigated groundwater, and the Kansas portion supports the congressional district with the highest market val...

  6. Contrasting above- and belowground sensitivity of three Great Plains grasslands to altered rainfall regimes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    To assess primary productivity responses to increases in precipitation amount and altered rainfall patterns, we conducted an experiment in 2011 and 2012 in shortgrass prairie (SGP; C4 dominated; Central Plains Experimental Grassland), northern mixed grass prairie (NMP; C3 dominated; Fort Keogh Lives...

  7. Refining Rural Spaces: Women and Vernacular Gentility in the Great Plains, 1880-1920

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Radke, Andrea G.

    2004-01-01

    In 1887 the Plains photographer Solomon Butcher met the David Hilton family in Custer County, Nebraska. Mrs. Hilton desired a photograph to send to relatives back East, but felt embarrassed by the family's sod dwelling. She insisted that Butcher not take a photo of the house, but asked the men to drag the Hiltons' beautiful new pump organ out into…

  8. Carbon substrate utilization, antibiotic sensitivity, and numerical taxonomy of bacterial isolates from the Great Salt Plains of Oklahoma.

    PubMed

    Litzner, Brandon R; Caton, Todd M; Schneegurt, Mark A

    2006-05-01

    The current work extends the phenotypic characterization of a bacterial culture collection from the Great Salt Plains of Oklahoma. This barren expanse of mud flats is typically crusted with thalassohaline salt evaporites. The initial account of the aerobic heterotrophic bacteria from the Great Salt Plains described 105 halotolerant isolates that represented 47 phylotypes. Extensive phenotypic analyses were performed on 76 isolates representing 37 unique phylotypes. The current report extends these observations for 60 of the isolates by measuring a wider set of phenotypic characteristics. Utilization patterns for 45 carbon substrates were used to assign the isolates into seven coherent phenons, along with several singletons and a group of isolates that did not grow on single carbon substrates. Most of the isolates were able to utilize nearly all of the nitrogen sources tested, with nitrate being the least utilized. Little antibiotic resistance was seen in the collection as a whole; however, certain phenons were enriched for antibiotic-resistant organisms. A total of 81 phenotypic characteristics were used to generate dendrograms. The numerical taxonomy trees essentially agreed with those generated using 16S rRNA gene sequences. The pattern of carbon substrate utilization showed substantial changes at different salinities that may have relevance to the variable salinities microbes experience at the Salt Plains over time.

  9. Identification of sources of metal in the agricultural soils of the Guanzhong Plain, northwest China.

    PubMed

    Deng, Wenbo; Li, Xuxiang; An, Zhisheng; Yang, Liu; Hou, Kang; Zhang, Yue

    2016-12-07

    A comprehensive survey was conducted to assess the possible sources and distribution of metals in the agricultural soils of the Guanzhong Plain in northwest China. In total, 227 samples of agricultural soil were collected to determine the content of Pb, Cr, Co, V, Ni, Zn, Cu, As, and Mn by X-ray fluorescence spectrometry. The mean concentrations of metals were 26.2 ± 10.8 mg kg(--1) , 71.5 ± 16.8 mg kg(-1) , 12.7 ± 1.81 mg kg(-1) , 85.1 ± 7.86 mg kg(-1) , 30.5 ± 6.17 mg kg(-1) , 71.1 ± 14.1 mg kg(-1) , 25.2 ± 5.58 mg kg(-1) , 12.5 ± 1.94 mg kg(-1) , and 635.4 ± 84.7 mg kg(-1) for Pb, Cr, Co, V, Ni, Zn, Cu, As, and Mn, respectively-slightly higher than the regional background values. Multivariate analysis was used to identify the metal sources, and it was found that Ni and Cr in the agricultural soils were mainly derived from lithological materials, and Pb, Zn, and Cu were mainly from traffic emissions; however, Zn and Cu also originated from mineral fertilizers or pesticides. The other metals originated from industrial emissions. The Nemerow index coupled with geographic information system technology was applied to assess the degree and spatial distribution of metal contamination; the soils studied were classified as slightly polluted, and the most contaminated regions were concentrated in the area surrounding Xi'an city, as well as areas in the southeast and north of the Guanzhong Plain. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;9999:1-7. © 2016 SETAC.

  10. Monitoring Agricultural Cropping Patterns in the Great Lakes Basin Using MODIS-NDVI Time Series Data

    EPA Science Inventory

    This research examined changes in agricultural cropping patterns across the Great Lakes Basin (GLB) using the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data. Specific research objectives were to characterize the distribut...

  11. Multiple new-particle growth pathways observed at the US DOE Southern Great Plains field site

    DOE PAGES

    Hodshire, Anna L.; Lawler, Michael J.; Zhao, Jun; ...

    2016-07-28

    New-particle formation (NPF) is a significant source of aerosol particles into the atmosphere. However, these particles are initially too small to have climatic importance and must grow, primarily through net uptake of low-volatility species, from diameters  ∼  1 to 30–100 nm in order to potentially impact climate. There are currently uncertainties in the physical and chemical processes associated with the growth of these freshly formed particles that lead to uncertainties in aerosol-climate modeling. Four main pathways for new-particle growth have been identified: condensation of sulfuric-acid vapor (and associated bases when available), condensation of organic vapors, uptake of organic acids through acid–base chemistrymore » in the particle phase, and accretion of organic molecules in the particle phase to create a lower-volatility compound that then contributes to the aerosol mass. The relative importance of each pathway is uncertain and is the focus of this work. The 2013 New Particle Formation Study (NPFS) measurement campaign took place at the DOE Southern Great Plains (SGP) facility in Lamont, Oklahoma, during spring 2013. Measured gas- and particle-phase compositions during these new-particle growth events suggest three distinct growth pathways: (1) growth by primarily organics, (2) growth by primarily sulfuric acid and ammonia, and (3) growth by primarily sulfuric acid and associated bases and organics. To supplement the measurements, we used the particle growth model MABNAG (Model for Acid–Base chemistry in NAnoparticle Growth) to gain further insight into the growth processes on these 3 days at SGP. MABNAG simulates growth from (1) sulfuric-acid condensation (and subsequent salt formation with ammonia or amines), (2) near-irreversible condensation from nonreactive extremely low-volatility organic compounds (ELVOCs), and (3) organic-acid condensation and subsequent salt formation with ammonia or amines. MABNAG is able to corroborate the

  12. Relations between productivity, climate, and normalized difference vegetation index in the central Great Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jue

    Understanding the influences of climate on productivity remains a major challenge in landscape ecology. Satellite remote sensing of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) provides a useful tool to study landscape patterns, based on generalization of local measurements, and to examine relations between climate and variation in productivity. This dissertation examines temporal and spatial relations between NDVI, productivity, and climatic factors over the course of nine years in the central Great Plains. Two general findings emerge: (1) integrated NDVI is a reliable measure of production, as validated with ground-based productivity measurements; and (2) precipitation is the primary factor that determines spatial and temporal patterns of NDVI. NDVI, integrated over appropriate time intervals, is strongly correlated with ground productivity measurements in forests, grasslands, and croplands. Most tree productivity measurements (tree ring size, tree diameter growth, and seed production) are strongly correlated with NDVI integrated for a period during the early growing season; foliage production is most strongly correlated with NDVI integrated over the entire growing season; and tree height growth corresponds with NDVI integrate during the previous growing season. Similarly, productivity measurements for herbaceous plants (grassland biomass and crop yield) are strongly correlated with NDVI. Within the growing season, the temporal pattern of grassland biomass production covaries with NDVI, with a four-week lag time. Across years, grassland biomass production covaries with NDVI integrated from part to all of the current growing season. Corn and wheat yield are most strongly related to NDVI integrated from late June to early August and from late April to mid-May, respectively. Precipitation strongly influences both temporal and spatial patterns of NDVI, while temperature influences NDVI only during the early and late growing season. In terms of temporal patterns

  13. The role of upper tropospheric jet streaks and lee-side cyclogenesis in the development of low level jets in the great plains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Uccellini, L. W.

    1980-01-01

    A review of 15 cases of low level jets (LLJ) which developed in the Great Plains is presented. For 12 out of the 15 cases, a systematic upper level flow pattern was isolated which includes the existence of a trough over the southwest United States and the propagation of upper level jet streaks from the Rocky Mountains toward the Great Plains. This flow pattern is responsible for lee side cyclogenesis or lee side troughing that produces the pressure gradients needed for the development of the LLJ. For the other three cases, a blocking ridge existed over the Great Plains and the upper level flow is relatively weak. It is during these situations that the classic, diurnal oscillating LLJ was observed. A more detailed review of four cases indicates that the subsynoptic scale adjustments associated with the upper level jet streak's forcing of lee side cyclogenesis could be an important factor in the development of LLJ's in the Great Plains.

  14. [Book review] Conservation and Management of Neotropical Migrant Landbirds in the Northern Rockies and Great Plains, by David S. Dobkin, R. Gerald Wright, and Stephen C. Bunting

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, D.H.

    1995-01-01

    Review of: Conservation and management of neotropical migrant landbirds in the Northern Rockies and Great Plains. Northwest Naturalist Books. David S. Dobkin, R. Gerald Wright, Stephen C. Bunting. University of Idaho Press, 1994. ISBN: 0893011681, 9780893011680.

  15. Project plan-Surficial geologic mapping and hydrogeologic framework studies in the Greater Platte River Basins (Central Great Plains) in support of ecosystem and climate change research

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Berry, Margaret E.; Lundstrom, Scott C.; Slate, Janet L.; Muhs, Daniel R.; Sawyer, David A.; VanSistine, D. Paco

    2011-01-01

    The Greater Platte River Basin area spans a central part of the Midcontinent and Great Plains from the Rocky Mountains on the west to the Missouri River on the east, and is defined to include drainage areas of the Platte, Niobrara, and Republican Rivers, the Rainwater Basin, and other adjoining areas overlying the northern High Plains aquifer. The Greater Platte River Basin contains abundant surficial deposits that were sensitive to, or are reflective of, the climate under which they formed: deposits from multiple glaciations in the mountain headwaters of the North and South Platte Rivers and from continental ice sheets in eastern Nebraska; fluvial terraces (ranging from Tertiary to Holocene in age) along the rivers and streams; vast areas of eolian sand in the Nebraska Sand Hills and other dune fields (recording multiple episodes of dune activity); thick sequences of windblown silt (loess); and sediment deposited in numerous lakes and wetlands. In addition, the Greater Platte River Basin overlies and contributes surface water to the High Plains aquifer, a nationally important groundwater system that underlies parts of eight states and sustains one of the major agricultural areas of the United States. The area also provides critical nesting habitat for birds such as plovers and terns, and roosting habitat for cranes and other migratory birds that travel through the Central Flyway of North America. This broad area, containing fragile ecosystems that could be further threatened by changes in climate and land use, has been identified by the USGS and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as a region where intensive collaborative research could lead to a better understanding of climate change and what might be done to adapt to or mitigate its adverse effects to ecosystems and to humans. The need for robust data on the geologic framework of ecosystems in the Greater Platte River Basin has been acknowledged in proceedings from the 2008 Climate Change Workshop and in draft

  16. The Pearlette family ash beds in the Great Plains: Finding their identities and their roots in the Yellowstone country

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wilcox, R.E.; Naeser, C.W.

    1992-01-01

    For many years the numerous deposits of so-called 'Pearlette volcanic ash' in the Great Plains region of the United States were considered to be the remnants of the same volcanic event, and were used as a time-stratigraphic marker of probable Middle Pleistocene age. Although a few early workers had suggested that more than one air-fall event might be represented among the Pearlette occurrences, it was not until the latter half of the present century, after identification of volcanic ash beds by detailed chemical and mineralogical methods had been developed, that it could be established that the 'Pearlette family' of volcanic ashes included three ash beds of subtly differing characteristics. Development of isotopic methods of age determination has established that the ages of the three are significantly different (2.09, 1.29, and 0.60 Ma). The area of distribution of the Pearlette family ash beds was found to include not only the Great Plains, but also to extend across the Rocky Mountain and the Basin and Range provinces to the Pacific Ocean. The search for the sources of these three similar appearing ash beds, facilitated greatly by information gained from concurrent mapping projects underway in areas of major Late Cenozoic volcanic activity in western United States, ultimately led to the sites of the caldera-forming eruptions in the Yellowstone National Park region. ?? 1992.

  17. Combined Deterministic and Stochastic Approach to Determine Spatial Distribution of Drought Frequency and Duration in the Great Hungarian Plain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szabó, J. A.; Kuti, L.; Bakacsi, Zs.; Pásztor, L.; Tahy, Á.

    2009-04-01

    Drought is one of the major weather driven natural hazards, which has most harm impacts on environment, agricultural and hydrological factors than the other hazards. In spite of the fact that Hungary - that country is situated in Central Europe - belongs to the continental climate zone (influenced by Atlantic and Mediterranean streams) and this weather conditions should be favourable for agricultural production, the drought is a serious risk factor in Hungary, especially on the so called "Great Hungarian Plain", which area has been hit by severe drought events. These drought events encouraged the Ministry of Environment and Water of Hungary to embark on a countrywide drought planning programme to coordinate drought planning efforts throughout the country, to ensure that available water is used efficiently and to provide guidance on how drought planning can be accomplished. With regard to this plan, it is indispensable to analyze the regional drought frequency and duration in the target region of the programme as fundamental information for the further works. According to these aims, first we initiated a methodological development for simulating drought in a non-contributing area. As a result of this work, it has been agreed that the most appropriate model structure for our purposes using a spatially distributed physically based Soil-Vegetation-Atmosphere Transfer (SVAT) model embedded into a Markov Chain-Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithm for estimate multi-year drought frequency and duration. In this framework: - the spatially distributed SVAT component simulates all the fundamental SVAT processes (such as: interception, snow-accumulation and melting, infiltration, water uptake by vegetation and evapotranspiration, vertical and horizontal distribution of soil moisture, etc.) taking the groundwater table as lower, and the hydrometeorological fields as upper boundary conditions into account; - and the MCMC based stochastic component generates time series of daily weather

  18. Future Projections for Southern High Plains Agriculture Using Coupled Economic and Hydrologic Models and Climate Variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rainwater, K.; Tewari, R.; Willis, D.; Stovall, J.; Hayhoe, K.; Hernandez, A.; Mauget, S. A.; Leiker, G.; Johnson, J.

    2013-12-01

    The objective of the project was to evaluate the hypothesis that predicted climate change will affect the useful life of the Ogallala aquifer in the Southern High Plains (SHP) through its impact on the amount of irrigation withdrawals, and thus affect the yields and economic costs and net income. A ninety-year time frame has been considered, although the research team recognizes that long-term predictions of crop prices and selections are perhaps even more uncertain than long-term weather projections. Previous work by the research team recently demonstrated the development of regionally downscaled climate projections for the SHP. Quantitative projections of precipitation, potential evaporation, and temperature trends for the 90-yr duration were selected from a downscaled set of high-resolution (one-eighth degree) daily climate and hydrological simulations covering the entire Great Plains region, driven by the latest IPCC AR4 climate model outputs. These projections were used as input to the Ogallala Ag Tool software developed by the USDA-ARS to predict daily and seasonal values of those variables, which directly affect irrigation, at different locations in the study area. Results from the Ogallala Ag Tool were then used to drive future projected crop production functions for cotton, corn, wheat, and sorghum using the DSSAT crop model. These production functions were then included in an integrated economic-hydrologic modeling approach that coupled an economic optimization model with a groundwater hydrological model. The groundwater model was based on the Texas Water Development Board's Southern Ogallala Groundwater Availability Model, which has been recalibrated by the research team for previous applications. The coupling of the two models allowed better recognition of spatial heterogeneity across the SHP, such that irrigation water availability was better represented through the spatial variations in pumping demands and saturated thickness. With this hydrologic

  19. The USDA Southern Plains Climate Hub: Regional agricultural management in the context of weather and climate variability and change

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the Southern Great Plains of the United States, extremes of weather and climate are the norm. Farmers, ranchers, and foresters rely upon timely and authoritative data and information when making management decisions that are weather- and climate-dependent. In response to the needs of these agricu...

  20. Wetlands shrinkage, fragmentation and their links to agriculture in the Muleng-Xingkai Plain, China.

    PubMed

    Song, Kaishan; Wang, Zongming; Li, Lin; Tedesco, Lenore; Li, Fang; Jin, Cui; Du, Jia

    2012-11-30

    In the past five decades, the wetlands in the Muleng-Xingkai Plain, Northeast China, have experienced rapid shrinkage and fragmentation. In this study, wetlands cover change and agricultural cultivation were investigated through a time series of thematic maps from 1954, and Landsat satellite images representing the last five decades (1976, 1986, 1995, 2000, and 2005). Wetlands shrinkage and fragmentation were studied based on landscape metrics and the land use changes transition matrix. Furthermore, the driving forces were explored according to socioeconomic development and major natural environmental factors. The results indicate a significant decrease in the wetlands area in the past five decades, with an average annual decrease rate of 9004 ha/yr. Of the 625,268 ha of native wetlands in 1954, approximately 64% has been converted to other land use types by 2005, of which conversion to cropland accounts for the largest share (83%). The number of patches decreased from 1272 (1954) to 197 (1986) and subsequently increased to 326 (2005). The mean patch size changed from 480 ha (1954) to 1521 ha (1976), and then steadily decreased to 574 ha (2005). The largest patch index (total core area index) indicates wetlands shrinkage with decreased values from 31.73 (177,935 ha) to 3.45 (39,421 ha) respectively. Climatic changes occurred over the study period, providing a potentially favorable environment for agricultural development. At the same time population, groundwater harvesting, and fertilizer application increased significantly, resulting in wetlands degradation. According to the results, the shrinkage and fragmentation of wetlands could be explained by socioeconomic development and secondarily aided by changing climatic conditions.

  1. Microbial Community of High Arsenic Groundwater in Agricultural Irrigation Area of Hetao Plain, Inner Mongolia.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yanhong; Li, Ping; Jiang, Zhou; Sinkkonen, Aki; Wang, Shi; Tu, Jin; Wei, Dazhun; Dong, Hailiang; Wang, Yanxin

    2016-01-01

    Microbial communities can play important role in arsenic release in groundwater aquifers. To investigate the microbial communities in high arsenic groundwater aquifers in agricultural irrigation area, 17 groundwater samples with different arsenic concentrations were collected along the agricultural drainage channels of Hangjinhouqi County, Inner Mongolia and examined by illumina MiSeq sequencing approach targeting the V4 region of the 16S rRNA genes. Both principal component analysis and hierarchical clustering results indicated that these samples were divided into two groups (high and low arsenic groups) according to the variation of geochemical characteristics. Arsenic concentrations showed strongly positive correlations with [Formula: see text] and total organic carbon (TOC). Sequencing results revealed that a total of 329-2823 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were observed at the 97% OTU level. Microbial richness and diversity of high arsenic groundwater samples along the drainage channels were lower than those of low arsenic groundwater samples but higher than those of high arsenic groundwaters from strongly reducing areas. The microbial community structure in groundwater along the drainage channels was different from those in strongly reducing arsenic-rich aquifers of Hetao Plain and other high arsenic groundwater aquifers including Bangladesh, West Bengal, and Vietnam. Acinetobacter and Pseudomonas dominated with high percentages in both high and low arsenic groundwaters. Alishewanella, Psychrobacter, Methylotenera, and Crenothrix showed relatively high abundances in high arsenic groundwater, while Rheinheimera and the unidentified OP3 were predominant populations in low arsenic groundwater. Archaeal populations displayed a low occurrence and mainly dominated by methanogens such as Methanocorpusculum and Methanospirillum. Microbial community compositions were different between high and low arsenic groundwater samples based on the results of principal

  2. Microbial Community of High Arsenic Groundwater in Agricultural Irrigation Area of Hetao Plain, Inner Mongolia

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yanhong; Li, Ping; Jiang, Zhou; Sinkkonen, Aki; Wang, Shi; Tu, Jin; Wei, Dazhun; Dong, Hailiang; Wang, Yanxin

    2016-01-01

    Microbial communities can play important role in arsenic release in groundwater aquifers. To investigate the microbial communities in high arsenic groundwater aquifers in agricultural irrigation area, 17 groundwater samples with different arsenic concentrations were collected along the agricultural drainage channels of Hangjinhouqi County, Inner Mongolia and examined by illumina MiSeq sequencing approach targeting the V4 region of the 16S rRNA genes. Both principal component analysis and hierarchical clustering results indicated that these samples were divided into two groups (high and low arsenic groups) according to the variation of geochemical characteristics. Arsenic concentrations showed strongly positive correlations with NH4+ and total organic carbon (TOC). Sequencing results revealed that a total of 329–2823 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were observed at the 97% OTU level. Microbial richness and diversity of high arsenic groundwater samples along the drainage channels were lower than those of low arsenic groundwater samples but higher than those of high arsenic groundwaters from strongly reducing areas. The microbial community structure in groundwater along the drainage channels was different from those in strongly reducing arsenic-rich aquifers of Hetao Plain and other high arsenic groundwater aquifers including Bangladesh, West Bengal, and Vietnam. Acinetobacter and Pseudomonas dominated with high percentages in both high and low arsenic groundwaters. Alishewanella, Psychrobacter, Methylotenera, and Crenothrix showed relatively high abundances in high arsenic groundwater, while Rheinheimera and the unidentified OP3 were predominant populations in low arsenic groundwater. Archaeal populations displayed a low occurrence and mainly dominated by methanogens such as Methanocorpusculum and Methanospirillum. Microbial community compositions were different between high and low arsenic groundwater samples based on the results of principal coordinate

  3. Impact of drought on agriculture in the Indo-Gangetic Plain, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nath, Reshmita; Nath, Debashis; Li, Qian; Chen, Wen; Cui, Xuefeng

    2017-03-01

    In this study, we investigate the spatiotemporal characteristics of drought in India and its impact on agriculture during the summer season (April-September). In the analysis, we use Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) datasets between 1982 and 2012 at the six-monthly timescale. Based on the criterion SPEI < -1, we obtain a map of the number of occurrences of drought and find that the humid subtropical Upper Middle Gangetic Plain (UMGP) region is highly drought-prone, with an occurrence frequency of 40%-45%. This UMGP region contributes at least 18%-20% of India's annual cereal production. Not only the probability of drought, but the UMGP region has become increasingly drought-prone in recent decades. Moreover, cereal production in the UMGP region has experienced a gradual declining trend from 2000 onwards, which is consistent with the increase in drought-affected areas from 20%-25% to 50%-60%, before and after 2000, respectively. A higher correlation coefficient (-0.69) between the cereal production changes and drought-affected areas confirms that at least 50% of the agricultural (cereal) losses are associated with drought. While analyzing the individual impact of precipitation and surface temperature on SPEI at 6 month timescale [SPEI (6)] we find that, in the UMGP region, surface temperature plays the primary role in the lowering of the SPEI. The linkage is further confirmed by correlation analysis between SPEI (6) and surface temperature, which exhibits strong negative values in the UMGP region. Higher temperatures may have caused more evaporation and drying, which therefore increased the area affected by drought in recent decades.

  4. Agricultural ammonia emissions inventory and spatial distribution in the North China Plain.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Y; Dore, A J; Ma, L; Liu, X J; Ma, W Q; Cape, J N; Zhang, F S

    2010-02-01

    An agricultural ammonia (NH(3)) emission inventory in the North China Plain (NCP) on a prefecture level for the year 2004, and a 5 x 5 km(2) resolution spatial distribution map, has been calculated for the first time. The census database from China's statistics datasets, and emission factors re-calculated by the RAINS model supported total emissions of 3071 kt NH(3)-N yr(-1) for the NCP, accounting for 27% of the total emissions in China. NH(3) emission from mineral fertilizer application contributed 1620 kt NH(3)-N yr(-1), 54% of the total emission, while livestock emissions accounted for the remaining 46% of the total emissions, including 7%, 27%, 7% and 5% from cattle, pigs, sheep and goats, and poultry, respectively. A high-resolution spatial NH(3) emissions map was developed based on 1 x 1 km land use database and aggregated to a 5 x 5 km grid resolution. The highest emission density value was 198 kg N ha(-1) yr(-1).

  5. Allelic Variation in Developmental Genes and Effects on Winter Wheat Heading Date in the U.S. Great Plains.

    PubMed

    Grogan, Sarah M; Brown-Guedira, Gina; Haley, Scott D; McMaster, Gregory S; Reid, Scott D; Smith, Jared; Byrne, Patrick F

    2016-01-01

    Heading date in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and other small grain cereals is affected by the vernalization and photoperiod pathways. The reduced-height loci also have an effect on growth and development. Heading date, which occurs just prior to anthesis, was evaluated in a population of 299 hard winter wheat entries representative of the U.S. Great Plains region, grown in nine environments during 2011-2012 and 2012-2013. The germplasm was evaluated for candidate genes at vernalization (Vrn-A1, Vrn-B1, and Vrn-D1), photoperiod (Ppd-A1, Ppd-B1 and Ppd-D1), and reduced-height (Rht-B1 and Rht-D1) loci using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Kompetitive Allele Specific PCR (KASP) assays. Our objectives were to determine allelic variants known to affect flowering time, assess the effect of allelic variants on heading date, and investigate changes in the geographic and temporal distribution of alleles and haplotypes. Our analyses enhanced understanding of the roles developmental genes have on the timing of heading date in wheat under varying environmental conditions, which could be used by breeding programs to improve breeding strategies under current and future climate scenarios. The significant main effects and two-way interactions between the candidate genes explained an average of 44% of variability in heading date at each environment. Among the loci we evaluated, most of the variation in heading date was explained by Ppd-D1, Ppd-B1, and their interaction. The prevalence of the photoperiod sensitive alleles Ppd-A1b, Ppd-B1b, and Ppd-D1b has gradually decreased in U.S. Great Plains germplasm over the past century. There is also geographic variation for photoperiod sensitive and reduced-height alleles, with germplasm from breeding programs in the northern Great Plains having greater incidences of the photoperiod sensitive alleles and lower incidence of the semi-dwarf alleles than germplasm from breeding programs in the central or southern plains.

  6. Allelic Variation in Developmental Genes and Effects on Winter Wheat Heading Date in the U.S. Great Plains

    PubMed Central

    Brown-Guedira, Gina; Haley, Scott D.; McMaster, Gregory S.; Reid, Scott D.; Smith, Jared; Byrne, Patrick F.

    2016-01-01

    Heading date in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and other small grain cereals is affected by the vernalization and photoperiod pathways. The reduced-height loci also have an effect on growth and development. Heading date, which occurs just prior to anthesis, was evaluated in a population of 299 hard winter wheat entries representative of the U.S. Great Plains region, grown in nine environments during 2011–2012 and 2012–2013. The germplasm was evaluated for candidate genes at vernalization (Vrn-A1, Vrn-B1, and Vrn-D1), photoperiod (Ppd-A1, Ppd-B1 and Ppd-D1), and reduced-height (Rht-B1 and Rht-D1) loci using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Kompetitive Allele Specific PCR (KASP) assays. Our objectives were to determine allelic variants known to affect flowering time, assess the effect of allelic variants on heading date, and investigate changes in the geographic and temporal distribution of alleles and haplotypes. Our analyses enhanced understanding of the roles developmental genes have on the timing of heading date in wheat under varying environmental conditions, which could be used by breeding programs to improve breeding strategies under current and future climate scenarios. The significant main effects and two-way interactions between the candidate genes explained an average of 44% of variability in heading date at each environment. Among the loci we evaluated, most of the variation in heading date was explained by Ppd-D1, Ppd-B1, and their interaction. The prevalence of the photoperiod sensitive alleles Ppd-A1b, Ppd-B1b, and Ppd-D1b has gradually decreased in U.S. Great Plains germplasm over the past century. There is also geographic variation for photoperiod sensitive and reduced-height alleles, with germplasm from breeding programs in the northern Great Plains having greater incidences of the photoperiod sensitive alleles and lower incidence of the semi-dwarf alleles than germplasm from breeding programs in the central or southern plains. PMID:27058239

  7. Key role of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation in 20th century drought and wet periods over the Great Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nigam, Sumant; Guan, Bin; Ruiz-Barradas, Alfredo

    2011-08-01

    The Great Plains of North America are susceptible to multi-year droughts, such as the 1930s ‘Dust Bowl’. The droughts have been linked to SST variability in the Pacific and Atlantic basins. This observationally rooted analysis shows the SST influence in multi-year droughts and wet episodes over the Great Plains to be significantly more extensive than previously indicated. The remarkable statistical reconstruction of the major hydroclimate episodes attests to the extent of the SST influence in nature, and facilitated evaluation of the basin contributions. We find the Atlantic SSTs to be especially influential in forcing multi-year droughts; often, more than the Pacific ones. The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), in particular, contributed the most in two of the four reconstructed episodes (Dust Bowl Spring, 1980s fall wetness), accounting for almost half the precipitation signal in each case. The AMO influence on continental precipitation was provided circulation context from analysis of NOAA's 20th Century Atmospheric Reanalysis. A hypothesis for how the AMO atmospheric circulation anomalies are generated from AMO SSTs is proposed to advance discussion of the influence pathways of the mid-to-high latitude SST anomalies. Our analysis suggests that the La Nina-US Drought paradigm, operative on interannual time scales, has been conferred excessive relevance on decadal time scales in the recent literature.

  8. Population Change and Farm Dependence: Temporal and Spatial Variation in the U.S. Great Plains, 1900–2000

    PubMed Central

    CURTIS WHITE, KATHERINE J.

    2008-01-01

    I investigate the relationship between county population change and farm dependence in the Great Plains region during the twentieth century, using spatial data analysis techniques. This research is rooted in a long-standing sociological and demographic interest in population responses to economic transitions and informs the theoretical understanding of urbanization processes. Using census and environmental data, the analysis challenges earlier assertions of a simple transition in the relationship between farm dependence and population change that accompanied modern technological advancements, namely tractors (the mechanization thesis). Rather than observing the proposed positive-to-negative shift, study results show a negative association throughout the pre- and post-mechanization periods. Partial support is found if the thesis is revised to consider the relationship between population change and the change in farm dependence rather than the level of farm dependence. Findings show mixed support for an alternative argument that nonfarm industries moderate the influence of farm dependence (the industry complex thesis). In contrast to earlier applications of the thesis, industrial relations in the Great Plains context are characterized by specialization rather than cooperation. PMID:18613486

  9. Airborne DIAL and ground-based Raman lidar measurements of water vapor over the Southern Great Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferrare, Richard A.; Browell, Edward V.; Ismail, Syed; Kooi, Susan; Brackett, Vince G.; Clayton, Marian; Notari, Anthony; Butler, Carolyn F.; Barrick, John; Diskin, Glenn; Lesht, Barry; Schmidlin, Frank J.; Turner, Dave; Whiteman, David; Miloshevich, Larry

    2003-12-01

    Measurements of water vapor profiles over the Southern Great Plains acquired by two different lidars are presented. NASA's airborne DIAL Lidar Atmospheric Sensing Experiment (LASE) system measured water vapor, aerosol, and cloud profiles during the ARM/FIRE Water Vapor Experiment (AFWEX) in November-December 2000 and during the International H2O Project (IHOP) in May-June 2002. LASE measurements acquired during AFWEX are used to characterize upper troposphere water vapor measured by ground-based Raman lidars, radiosondes, and in situ aircraft sensors. LASE measurements acquired during IHOP are being used to better understand the influence water vapor variability on the initiation of deep convection and to improve the quantification and prediction of precipitation associated with these storms. The automated Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Southern Great Plains (SGP) Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) Raman Lidar (CARL) has been routinely measuring profiles of water vapor mixing ratio, relative humidity, aerosol extinction, aerosol backscattering, and aerosol and cloud depolarization during both daytime and nighttime operations. Aerosol and water vapor profiles acquired since March 1998 are used to investigate the seasonal variability of the vertical distributions of water vapor and aerosols.

  10. A 10,000 year record of dune activity, dust storms, and severe drought in the central Great Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miao, Xiaodong; Mason, Joseph A.; Swinehart, James B.; Loope, David B.; Hanson, Paul R.; Goble, Ronald J.; Liu, Xiaodong

    2007-02-01

    Dune fields and loess deposits of the Great Plains of North America contain stratigraphic records of eolian activity that can be used to extend the short observational record of drought. We present a 10,000 yr reconstruction of dune activity and dust production in the central Great Plains region, based on 95 optically stimulated luminescence ages. The integration of data from both eolian sand and loess is an important new aspect of this record. Clusters of ages define episodes of extensive eolian activity, which we interpret as a response to frequent severe drought, at 1.0 0.7 ka and 2.3 4.5 ka (with peaks centered on 2.5 and 3.8 ka); sustained eolian activity occurred from 9.6 to 6.5 ka. Parts of this record may be consistent with hypotheses linking Holocene drought to sea surface temperature anomalies in the Pacific or Atlantic oceans, or to the El Niño-Southern Oscillation phenomenon, but the record as a whole is difficult to reconcile with any of these hypotheses.

  11. Grassland and cropland net ecosystem production of the U.S. Great Plains: Regression tree model development and comparative analysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wylie, Bruce K.; Howard, Daniel; Dahal, Devendra; Gilmanov, Tagir; Ji, Lei; Zhang, Li; Smith, Kelcy

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents the methodology and results of two ecological-based net ecosystem production (NEP) regression tree models capable of up scaling measurements made at various flux tower sites throughout the U.S. Great Plains. Separate grassland and cropland NEP regression tree models were trained using various remote sensing data and other biogeophysical data, along with 15 flux towers contributing to the grassland model and 15 flux towers for the cropland model. The models yielded weekly mean daily grassland and cropland NEP maps of the U.S. Great Plains at 250 m resolution for 2000–2008. The grassland and cropland NEP maps were spatially summarized and statistically compared. The results of this study indicate that grassland and cropland ecosystems generally performed as weak net carbon (C) sinks, absorbing more C from the atmosphere than they released from 2000 to 2008. Grasslands demonstrated higher carbon sink potential (139 g C·m−2·year−1) than non-irrigated croplands. A closer look into the weekly time series reveals the C fluctuation through time and space for each land cover type.

  12. Exploring agent-level calculations of risk and returns in relation to observed land-use changes in the US Great Plains, 1870–1940

    PubMed Central

    Sylvester, Kenneth M.; Brown, Daniel G.; Leonard, Susan H.; Merchant, Emily; Hutchins, Meghan

    2015-01-01

    Land-use change in the U.S. Great Plains since agricultural settlement in the second half of the nineteenth century has been well documented. While aggregate historical trends are easily tracked, the decision-making of individual farmers is difficult to reconstruct. We use an agent-based model to tell the history of the settlement of the West by simulating farm-level agricultural decision making based on historical data about prices, yields, farming costs, and environmental conditions. The empirical setting for the model is the period between 1875 and 1940 in two townships in Kansas, one in the shortgrass region and the other in the mixed grass region. Annual historical data on yields and prices determine profitability of various land uses and thereby inform decision-making, in conjunction with the farmer’s previous experience and randomly assigned levels of risk aversion. Results illustrating the level of agreement between model output and unique and detailed household-level records of historical land use and farm size suggest that economic behavior and natural endowments account for land change processes to some degree, but are incomplete. Discrepancies are examined to identify missing processes through model experiments, in which we adjust input and output prices, crop yields, agent memory, and risk aversion. These analyses demonstrate how agent-based modeling can be a useful laboratory for thinking about social and economic behavior in the past. PMID:25729323

  13. Exploring agent-level calculations of risk and returns in relation to observed land-use changes in the US Great Plains, 1870-1940.

    PubMed

    Sylvester, Kenneth M; Brown, Daniel G; Leonard, Susan H; Merchant, Emily; Hutchins, Meghan

    2015-02-01

    Land-use change in the U.S. Great Plains since agricultural settlement in the second half of the nineteenth century has been well documented. While aggregate historical trends are easily tracked, the decision-making of individual farmers is difficult to reconstruct. We use an agent-based model to tell the history of the settlement of the West by simulating farm-level agricultural decision making based on historical data about prices, yields, farming costs, and environmental conditions. The empirical setting for the model is the period between 1875 and 1940 in two townships in Kansas, one in the shortgrass region and the other in the mixed grass region. Annual historical data on yields and prices determine profitability of various land uses and thereby inform decision-making, in conjunction with the farmer's previous experience and randomly assigned levels of risk aversion. Results illustrating the level of agreement between model output and unique and detailed household-level records of historical land use and farm size suggest that economic behavior and natural endowments account for land change processes to some degree, but are incomplete. Discrepancies are examined to identify missing processes through model experiments, in which we adjust input and output prices, crop yields, agent memory, and risk aversion. These analyses demonstrate how agent-based modeling can be a useful laboratory for thinking about social and economic behavior in the past.

  14. Climate change impacts on dryland cropping systems in the central Great Plains, USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agricultural systems models are essential tools to assess potential climate change (CC) impacts on crop production and help guide policy decisions. In this study, impacts of GCM projected CC on dryland crop rotations of wheat-fallow (WF), wheat-corn-fallow (WCF), and wheat-corn-millet (WCM) at Akro...

  15. Soil response to perennial herbaceous biofeedstocks under rainfed conditions in the northern Great Plains, USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Perennial herbaceous biofeedstocks (PHB) have been proposed to confer multiple ecosystem services to agricultural lands. However, the role of PHBs to affect change in soil condition is not well documented, particularly for treatments with multiple species. The objective of this study was to quanti...

  16. Global climatic change effects on irrigation requirements for the Central Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rising carbon dioxide and other green house gasses (water vapor, nitrous oxide, methane, etc.) are predicted to have an effect on future climates. These gasses impact crops and global and local weather. The carbon dioxide increase is generally considered to be favorable to agriculture as it increas...

  17. Crop sequence influences on sustainable spring wheat production in the northern Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cropping systems in American agriculture are highly successful since World War II, but have become highly specialized, standardized, and simplified to meet the demands of an industrialized food system. Minimal attention has been given to the efficient exploitation of crop diversity and the synergis...

  18. Physical restoration of eroded soils in the Northern Great Plains (NA)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Management of agricultural lands often seeks to modify or control non-human environmental factors so as to support diverse (and often conflicting) objectives, such as extraction of resources, profitability, human survival, soil and water conservation, maintenance of wildlife habitat, food security, ...

  19. An environmental problem hidden in plain sight? Small human-made ponds, emergent insects, and mercury contamination of biota in the Great Plains.

    PubMed

    Chumchal, Matthew M; Drenner, Ray W

    2015-06-01

    Mercury (Hg) contamination of small human-made ponds and surrounding terrestrial communities may be 1 of the largest unstudied Hg-pollution problems in the United States. Humans have built millions of small ponds in the Great Plains of the United States, and these ponds have become contaminated with atmospherically deposited mercury. In aquatic ecosystems, less toxic forms of Hg deposited from the atmosphere are converted to highly toxic methylmercury (MeHg). Methylmercury is incorporated into the aquatic food web and then can be transferred to terrestrial food webs via emergent aquatic insects. The authors present a conceptual model that describes the movement of MeHg produced in aquatic ecosystems to terrestrial consumers via insects emerging from small human-made ponds. The authors hypothesize that pond permanence and the level of Hg contamination of the food web control this emergent insect-mediated flux of MeHg. The highest insect-mediated flux of MeHg is predicted to be from fishless semipermanent ponds with food webs that are highly contaminated with MeHg. Further development and testing of the conceptual model presented in the present column, particularly in the context of a changing climate, will require research at the regional, watershed, and pond scales.

  20. Automatic Training Site Selection for Agricultural Crop Classification: a Case Study on Karacabey Plain, Turkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ozdarici Ok, A.; Akyurek, Z.

    2011-09-01

    This study implements a traditional supervised classification method to an optical image composed of agricultural crops by means of a unique way, selecting the training samples automatically. Panchromatic (1m) and multispectral (4m) Kompsat-2 images (July 2008) of Karacabey Plain (~100km2), located in Marmara region, are used to evaluate the proposed approach. Due to the characteristic of rich, loamy soils combined with reasonable weather conditions, the Karacabey Plain is one of the most valuable agricultural regions of Turkey. Analyses start with applying an image fusion algorithm on the panchromatic and multispectral image. As a result of this process, 1m spatial resolution colour image is produced. In the next step, the four-band fused (1m) image and multispectral (4m) image are orthorectified. Next, the fused image (1m) is segmented using a popular segmentation method, Mean- Shift. The Mean-Shift is originally a method based on kernel density estimation and it shifts each pixel to the mode of clusters. In the segmentation procedure, three parameters must be defined: (i) spatial domain (hs), (ii) range domain (hr), and (iii) minimum region (MR). In this study, in total, 176 parameter combinations (hs, hr, and MR) are tested on a small part of the area (~10km2) to find an optimum segmentation result, and a final parameter combination (hs=18, hr=20, and MR=1000) is determined after evaluating multiple goodness measures. The final segmentation output is then utilized to the classification framework. The classification operation is applied on the four-band multispectral image (4m) to minimize the mixed pixel effect. Before the image classification, each segment is overlaid with the bands of the image fused, and several descriptive statistics of each segment are computed for each band. To select the potential homogeneous regions that are eligible for the selection of training samples, a user-defined threshold is applied. After finding those potential regions, the

  1. Effects of soils and grazing on breeding birds of uncultivated upland grasslands of the Northern Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kantrud, H.A.; Kologiski, R.L.

    1982-01-01

    The principal use of uncultivated upland grasslands in the northern Great Plains is for livestock production. However, on lands set aside for wildlife or for scientific or recreational use, grazing by livestock may be used as a management measure to enhance populations of game species or to create conditions that increase the diversity of plant or animal species. To determine the effects of grazing on the avifauna of various types of Great Plains grasslands, we conducted bird censuses and plant surveys during 1974-78 on 615 plots of lightly, moderately, or heavily grazed native rangeland.Numbers of horned lark (Eremophila alpestris), western meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta), lark bunting (Calamospiza melanocorys), and chestnut-collared longspur (Calcarius ornatus) accounted for 65-75% of the total bird population, regardless of grazing intensity. For the entire area sampled (600,000 km2), horned lark, western meadowlark, and chestnut-collared longspur were the dominant birds. Major differences in composition of the dominant species and species richness occurred among the major soils. Increased mean annual soil temperature seemingly had a greater negative influence on avian species richness than did decreased soil moisture or organic matter content. Differences in total bird density were not significant among soils and among grazing intensities within most soils. For the area as a whole, light or moderate grazing resulted in increased species richness. Of the 29 species studied, 2 responded significantly to grazing for the area as a whole and 6 others to grazing on the soil in which peak densities occurred. Response of several other species to grazing effects evidently varied among strata.A list of plants with mean cover values of more than 1% in any of the 18 combinations of soils and grazing intensities contained less than 25 species, attesting to the relative simplicity of the grassland vegetation in the northern Great Plains. Agropyron spp. and Bouteloua gracilis

  2. Depth Matters: Soil pH and dilution effects in the northern Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the northern Great Plans (NGP), surface sampling depths of 0-15.2 cm or 0-20.3 cm are suggested for testing soil characteristics such as pH. However, acidification is often most pronounced near-surface (e.g., <10 cm). Thus, sampling deeper can potentially dilute (increase) pH measurements and the...

  3. Contingent effects of plant species on soils along a regional moisture gradient in the Great Plains.

    PubMed

    Vinton, M A; Burke, Ingrid C

    1997-04-01

    The central grassland region of the United States encompasses major gradients in temperature and precipitation that determine the distribution of plant life forms, which in turn may influence key ecosystem processes such as nutrient cycling and soil organic matter dynamics. One such gradient is the threefold increase in precipitation from the eastern Colorado shortgrass-steppe, in the rain shadow of the Rocky Mountains, to the tallgrass prairie in eastern Kansas. We investigated the relative roles of plant species and plant cover in influencing soil C and N cycling in three sites along this gradient. Plant cover (i.e., the presence or absence of an individual plant) was relatively more important than plant species in explaining variability in soil properties at the dry site, the Central Plains Experimental Range in␣northeastern Colorado. However, plant species explained relatively more of the variability in soil properties than did plant cover at the two wetter sites, Hays and Konza, in central and eastern Kansas. The wetter sites had more continuous plant cover, resulting in less plant-cover-induced variation in soil C and N, than did the dry site, which had distinct patches of bare ground. Plant species at the wetter sites had higher and more variable levels of tissue C:N than plant species at the dry site, due to both within species changes and changes in species composition. Aboveground tissue C:N was better correlated with net nitrogen mineralization rates at the wet sites than the dry site. Thus, tissue chemistry appears to exert more control on nitrogen dynamics at the wet than the dry sites. The results suggest that plant species traits that are relevant to nutrient cycling (e.g., tissue C:N ratios, spatial patterns, productivity) reflect environmental limitations as well as species' physiological potentials. Furthermore, a dominant environmental driver such as precipitation may ameliorate or exaggerate the importance of individual species traits for

  4. Importance of agricultural landscapes to nesting burrowing owls in the Northern Great Plains, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Restani, M.; Davies, J.M.; Newton, W.E.

    2008-01-01

    Anthropogenic habitat loss and fragmentation are the principle factors causing declines of grassland birds. Declines in burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia) populations have been extensive and have been linked to habitat loss, primarily the decline of black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies. Development of habitat use models is a research priority and will aid conservation of owls inhabiting human-altered landscapes. From 2001 to 2004 we located 160 burrowing owl nests on prairie dog colonies on the Little Missouri National Grassland in North Dakota. We used multiple linear regression and Akaike's Information Criterion to estimate the relationship between cover type characteristics surrounding prairie dog colonies and (1) number of owl pairs per colony and (2) reproductive success. Models were developed for two spatial scales, within 600 m and 2,000 m radii of nests for cropland, crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum), grassland, and prairie dog colonies. We also included number of patches as a metric of landscape fragmentation. Annually, fewer than 30% of prairie dog colonies were occupied by owls. None of the models at the 600 m scale explained variation in number of owl pairs or reproductive success. However, models at the 2,000 m scale did explain number of owl pairs and reproductive success. Models included cropland, crested wheatgrass, and prairie dog colonies. Grasslands were not included in any of the models and had low importance values, although percentage grassland surrounding colonies was high. Management that protects prairie dog colonies bordering cropland and crested wheatgrass should be implemented to maintain nesting habitat of burrowing owls. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  5. Sources and sinks of carbonyl sulfide in an agricultural field in the Southern Great Plains.

    PubMed

    Maseyk, Kadmiel; Berry, Joseph A; Billesbach, Dave; Campbell, John Elliott; Torn, Margaret S; Zahniser, Mark; Seibt, Ulli

    2014-06-24

    Net photosynthesis is the largest single flux in the global carbon cycle, but controls over its variability are poorly understood because there is no direct way of measuring it at the ecosystem scale. We report observations of ecosystem carbonyl sulfide (COS) and CO2 fluxes that resolve key gaps in an emerging framework for using concurrent COS and CO2 measurements to quantify terrestrial gross primary productivity. At a wheat field in Oklahoma we found that in the peak growing season the flux-weighted leaf relative uptake of COS and CO2 during photosynthesis was 1.3, at the lower end of values from laboratory studies, and varied systematically with light. Due to nocturnal stomatal conductance, COS uptake by vegetation continued at night, contributing a large fraction (29%) of daily net ecosystem COS fluxes. In comparison, the contribution of soil fluxes was small (1-6%) during the peak growing season. Upland soils are usually considered sinks of COS. In contrast, the well-aerated soil at the site switched from COS uptake to emissions at a soil temperature of around 15 °C. We observed COS production from the roots of wheat and other species and COS uptake by root-free soil up to a soil temperature of around 25 °C. Our dataset demonstrates that vegetation uptake is the dominant ecosystem COS flux in the peak growing season, providing support of COS as an independent tracer of terrestrial photosynthesis. However, the observation that ecosystems may become a COS source at high temperature needs to be considered in global modeling studies.

  6. Sources and sinks of carbonyl sulfide in an agricultural field in the Southern Great Plains

    PubMed Central

    Maseyk, Kadmiel; Berry, Joseph A.; Billesbach, Dave; Campbell, John Elliott; Torn, Margaret S.; Zahniser, Mark; Seibt, Ulli

    2014-01-01

    Net photosynthesis is the largest single flux in the global carbon cycle, but controls over its variability are poorly understood because there is no direct way of measuring it at the ecosystem scale. We report observations of ecosystem carbonyl sulfide (COS) and CO2 fluxes that resolve key gaps in an emerging framework for using concurrent COS and CO2 measurements to quantify terrestrial gross primary productivity. At a wheat field in Oklahoma we found that in the peak growing season the flux-weighted leaf relative uptake of COS and CO2 during photosynthesis was 1.3, at the lower end of values from laboratory studies, and varied systematically with light. Due to nocturnal stomatal conductance, COS uptake by vegetation continued at night, contributing a large fraction (29%) of daily net ecosystem COS fluxes. In comparison, the contribution of soil fluxes was small (1–6%) during the peak growing season. Upland soils are usually considered sinks of COS. In contrast, the well-aerated soil at the site switched from COS uptake to emissions at a soil temperature of around 15 °C. We observed COS production from the roots of wheat and other species and COS uptake by root-free soil up to a soil temperature of around 25 °C. Our dataset demonstrates that vegetation uptake is the dominant ecosystem COS flux in the peak growing season, providing support of COS as an independent tracer of terrestrial photosynthesis. However, the observation that ecosystems may become a COS source at high temperature needs to be considered in global modeling studies. PMID:24927594

  7. Evidence of active dune sand on the Great Plains in the 19th century from accounts of early explorers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muhs, D.R.; Holliday, V.T.

    1995-01-01

    Dune fields are found in several areas of the Great Plains, and though mostly stabilised today, the accounts of early explorers show that they were more mobile in the last century. Using an index of dune mobility and tree ring data, it is found that these periods of mobility were related to temperature-induced drought, the high temperatures increasing evapotranspiration. Explorers also record that rivers upwind of these dune fields had shallow braided channels in the 19th century, and these would have supplied further aeolian sand. It is concluded that these dunes are extremely susceptible to climate change and that it may not need global warming to increase their mobility again. -K.Clayton

  8. 1999 resource assessment of selected Tertiary coal beds and zones in the Northern Rocky Mountains and Great Plains region

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    1999-01-01

    The USGS has assessed resources of selected coal of the Fort Union Formation and equivalent units in the Northern Rocky Mountains and Great Plains region. The assessment focused on coal in the Powder River, Williston, Hanna-Carbon, and Greater Green River basins most likely to be utilized in the next few decades. In other basins in the region Tertiary coal resources are summarized but not assessed. Disc 1, in PDF files, includes results of the assessment and chapters on coal geology, quantity and quality, and land use and ownership. Disc 2 provides GIS files for land use and ownership maps and geologic maps, and basic GIS data for the assessed basins. ArcView shapefiles, PDF files for cross sections and TIFF files are included along with ArcView Datapublisher software for Windows-based computer systems.

  9. Using stable isotopes to understand hydrochemical processes in and around a Prairie Pothole wetland in the Northern Great Plains, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mills, Christopher T.; Goldhaber, Martin B.; Stricker, Craig A.; Holloway, JoAnn M.; Morrison, Jean M.; Ellefsen, Karl J.; Rosenberry, Donald O.; Thurston, Roland S.

    2011-01-01

    Millions of internally drained wetland systems in the Prairie Potholes region of the northern Great Plains (USA and Canada) provide indispensable habitat for waterfowl and a host of other ecosystem services. The hydrochemistry of these systems is complex and a crucial control on wetland function, flora and fauna. Wetland waters can have high concentrations of SO2-4 due to the oxidation of large amounts of pyrite in glacial till that is in part derived from the Pierre shale. Water chemistry including δ18OH2O, δ2HH2O, and δ34SSO4 values, was determined for groundwater, soil pore water, and wetland surface water in and around a discharge wetland in North Dakota. The isotopic data for the first time trace the interaction of processes that affect wetland chemistry, including open water evaporation, plant transpiration, and microbial SO4 reduction.

  10. Climatological relationships of severe duststorms in the Great Plains to synoptic weather patterns: A potential for predictability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woiceshyn, P. M.; Henz, J. F.

    1980-01-01

    A data base provided by 35 severe duststorms that occurred between 1968 and 1977 in the central and southern Great Plains allowed construction of a classification scheme of meteorological causes of duststorms, and a telescopic forecast technique for medium range (6 to 48 hour) prediction of severe cyclogenic duststorms. In addition, areal coverage definitions for duststorms based on characteristics of the storms, and a hierarchy of weather causes of severe duststorms were developed. The man machine mix forecast correctly predicted six of seven duststorms observed during the 1976-77 winter, with one overforecast; the machine-only forecast correctly predicted four of the seven duststorms, with one overforecast. Both techniques had problems correctly predicting the duration of severe duststorms.

  11. Potentiometric-surface map of water in the Judith River Formation in the Northern Great Plains area of Montana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Levings, Gary W.

    1982-01-01

    The potentiometric surface of the Judith River Formation is mapped at a scale of 1:1,000,000. The map is one of a series produced as part of a regional study of aquifers of Cenozoic and Mesozoic age in the northern Great Plains of Montana. The contour interval is 200 feet. Water in the Judith River Formation occurs under water-table and artesian conditions. The direction of regional ground-water movement is from west to east. Water is discharged from the Judith River Formation to the Milk River from near Havre, Montana, to Malta and to the Missouri River south of the Bearpaw and Little Rocky Mountains. The average discharge from 236 wells is about 10 gallons per minute, and the specific capacity of 186 wells averages 0.66 gallon per minute per foot of drawdown. (USGS)

  12. Environmental assessment for the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program: Southern Great Plains Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) site

    SciTech Connect

    Policastro, A.J.; Pfingston, J.M.; Maloney, D.M.; Wasmer, F.; Pentecost, E.D.

    1992-03-01

    The Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program is aimed at supplying improved predictive capability of climate change, particularly the prediction of cloud-climate feedback. The objective will be achieved by measuring the atmospheric radiation and physical and meteorological quantities that control solar radiation in the earth`s atmosphere and using this information to test global climate and related models. The proposed action is to construct and operate a Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) research site in the southern Great Plains as part of the Department of Energy`s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program whose objective is to develop an improved predictive capability of global climate change. The purpose of this CART research site in southern Kansas and northern Oklahoma would be to collect meteorological and other scientific information to better characterize the processes controlling radiation transfer on a global scale. Impacts which could result from this facility are described.

  13. Evaluation of calving seasons and marketing strategies in Northern Great Plains beef enterprises: I. Cow-calf systems.

    PubMed

    Reisenauer Leesburg, V L; Tess, M W; Griffith, D

    2007-09-01

    A bioeconomic computer model was used to evaluate alternate calving seasons in a cow-calf enterprise under range conditions representative of the Northern Great Plains. The simulated ranch utilized a rotational breeding system based on Hereford and Angus and had a fixed forage base (4,500 animal unit months of native range, 520 t of grass hay, and 183 t of alfalfa hay). Calving seasons studied were spring (SP, beginning March 15), summer (SU, beginning May 15), and fall (FA, beginning August 15). Weaning dates were October 31, December 15, and February 1, for SP, SU, and FA. The SP system was also simulated with a 5% increase in calf mortality (SP-IM), and SU with early weaning on October 31 (SU-EW). Herd size for the fixed resource was 509, 523, 519, 560, and 609 cows exposed per year for SP, SP-IM, SU, SU-EW, and FA, respectively. Corresponding values for weight weaned per cow exposed were 206, 186, 193, 153, and 145 kg. Steer calves, nonreplacement heifer calves, and cull cows were sold at the time of weaning. Quarterly cattle and feed prices used were representative of the peak, descending, valley, and ascending phases of the 1990s cattle cycle adjusted for inflation. Estimates of ranch gross margin (gross returns minus variable costs) were greatest for SP, followed by SP-IM, SU, SU-EW, and FA, and the ranks were consistent across phases of the cattle cycle. Differences between ranch gross margin for SP-IM and SU were small. In beef enterprises representative of the Northern Great Plains, with a restricted grazing season, limited access to low-cost, high-quality grazeable forage, and with calves sold at weaning, switching from early spring to a summer or fall calving date is not expected to improve profitability. If delaying calving improves calf survival, then calving in early summer may be a competitive choice.

  14. Asynchronous onset of eutrophication among shallow prairie lakes of the Northern Great Plains, Alberta, Canada.

    PubMed

    Maheaux, Heather; Leavitt, Peter R; Jackson, Leland J

    2016-01-01

    Coherent timing of agricultural expansion, fertilizer application, atmospheric nutrient deposition, and accelerated global warming is expected to promote synchronous fertilization of regional surface waters and coherent development of algal blooms and lake eutrophication. While broad-scale cyanobacterial expansion is evident in global meta-analyses, little is known of whether lakes in discrete catchments within a common lake district also exhibit coherent water quality degradation through anthropogenic forcing. Consequently, the primary goal of this study was to determine whether agricultural development since ca. 1900, accelerated use of fertilizer since 1960, atmospheric deposition of reactive N, or regional climate warming has resulted in coherent patterns of eutrophication of surface waters in southern Alberta, Canada. Unexpectedly, analysis of sedimentary pigments as an index of changes in total algal abundance since ca. 1850 revealed that while total algal abundance (as β-carotene, pheophytin a) increased in nine of 10 lakes over 150 years, the onset of eutrophication varied by a century and was asynchronous across basins. Similarly, analysis of temporal sequences with least-squares regression revealed that the relative abundance of cyanobacteria (echinenone) either decreased or did not change significantly in eight of the lakes since ca. 1850, whereas purple sulfur bacteria (as okenone) increased significantly in seven study sites. These patterns are consistent with the catchment filter hypothesis, which posits that lakes exhibit unique responses to common forcing associated with the influx of mass as water, nutrients, or particles.

  15. Plain-film assessment of the neonate with D-transposition of the great vessels.

    PubMed

    Donnelly, L F; Hurst, D R; Strife, J L; Shapiro, R

    1995-01-01

    The presenting chest radiographs of 27 new-born patients with D-transposition of the great vessels (D-TGV) were evaluated for the degree of pulmonary flow as well as other findings classically described in D-TGV (narrow superior mediastinum, radiographically absent thymus, inapparent main pulmonary artery, non-visualization of the malpositioned aortic arch, asymmetric pulmonary blood flow, and cardiomegaly). Of the 27 patients, 22 (82%) demonstrated normal or decreased flow. The majority of the D-TGV patients also failed to demonstrate any of the other classically described radiographic findings. A normal chest radiograph is the most common presenting scenario in the neonate with D-TGV.

  16. Machine-readable data files from the Madison Limestone and northern Great Plains regional aquifer system analysis projects, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Downey, J.S.

    1982-01-01

    Lists of machine-readable data files were developed for the Madison Limestone and Northern Great Plains Regional Aquifer System Analysis (RASA) projects. They are stored on magnetic tape and available from the U.S. Geological Survey. Record format, file content, and size are given for: (1) Drill-stem-test data for Paleozoic and Mesozoic formations, (2) geologic data from the Madison Limestone project, (3) data sets used in the regional simulation model, (4) head data for the Lower and Upper Cretaceous aquifers, and (5) geologic data for Mesozoic formations of the Northern Great Plains. (USGS)

  17. A case study of the Great Plains low-level jet using wind profiler network data and a high resolution mesoscale model

    SciTech Connect

    Zhong, S.; Fast, J.D.; Bian, X.; Stage, S.

    1996-04-01

    The Great Plains low-level jet (LLJ) has important effects on the life cycle of clouds and on radiative and surface heat and moisture fluxes at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Southern Great Plains (SGP) Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) site. This diurnal phenomenon governs the transport and convergence of low-level moisture into the region and often leads to the development of clouds and precipitation. A full understanding of the life cycle of clouds at the SGP CART site and their proper representation in single column and global climate models cannot be obtained without an improved understanding of this important phenomenon.

  18. Hydrology of Area 62, Northern Great Plains and Rocky Mountain Coal Provinces, New Mexico and Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Roybal, F.E.; Wells, J.G.; Gold, R.L.; Flager, J.V.

    1984-01-01

    This report summarizes available hydrologic data for Area 62 and will aid leasing decisions, and the preparation and appraisal of environmental impact studies and mine-permit applications. Area 62 is located at the southern end of the Rocky Mountain Coal Province in parts of New Mexico and Arizona and includes approximately 9,500 square miles. Surface mining alters, at least temporarily, the environment; if the areas are unreclaimed, there can be long-term environmental consequences. The land-ownership pattern in Area 62 is complicated. The checkerboard pattern created by several types of ownership makes effective management of these lands difficult. The climate generally is semiarid with average annual precipitation ranging from 10 to 20 inches. Pinons, junipers, and grasslands cover most of the area, and much of it is used for grazing by livestock. Soils vary with landscape, differing from flood plains and hillslopes to mountain slopes. The major structural features of this area were largely developed during middle Tertiary time. The main structural features are the southern San Juan Basin and the Mogollon slope. Coal-bearing rocks are present in four Cretaceous rock units of the Mesaverde Group: the Gallup Sandstone, the Dileo Coal Member, and the Gibson Coal Member of the Crevasse Canyon Formation, and the Cleary Coal Member of the Menefee Formation. Area 62 is drained by Black Creek, the Puerco River, the Zuni River, Carrizo Wash-Largo Creek, and the Rio San Jose. Only at the headwaters of the Zuni River is the flow perennial. The streamflow-gaging station network consists of 25 stations operated for a variety of needs. Streamflow changes throughout the year with variation related directly to rainfall and snowmelt. Base flow in Area 62 is zero indicating no significant ground-water discharge. Mountainous areas contribute the highest mean annual runoff of 1.0 inch. Very few water-quality data are available for the surface-water stations. Of the nine surface

  19. Longitudinal differences in habitat complexity and fish assemblage structure of a great plains river

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eitzmann, J.L.; Paukert, C.P.

    2010-01-01

    We investigated the spatial variation in the Kansas River (USA) fish assemblage to determine how fish community structure changes with habitat complexity in a large river. Fishes were collected at ten sites throughout the Kansas River for assessing assemblage structure in summer 2007. Aerial imagery indicated riparian land use within 200 m from the river edge was dominated by agriculture in the upper river reaches (>35) and tended to increase in urban land use in the lower reaches (>58). Instream habitat complexity (number of braided channels, islands) also decreased with increased urban area (<25). Canonical correspondence analysis indicated that species that prefer high-velocity flows and sandy substrate (e.g., blue sucker Cycleptus elongatus and shovelnose sturgeon Scaphirhynchus platorynchus) were associated with the upper river reaches. Abundance of omnivorous and planktivorous fish species were also higher in the lower river. The presence of fluvial dependent and fluvial specialist species was associated with sites with higher water flows, more sand bars, and log jams. Our results suggest that conserving intolerant, native species in the Kansas River may require maintaining suitable habitat for these species and restoration of impacted areas of the river.

  20. Develop an early warning climate indicator to support the Nation's resilience to 'flash' droughts over the US Great Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, R.; Fernando, D. N.; YANG, Z.; Solis, R.

    2013-12-01

    'Flash' droughts refer to those droughts that intensify rapidly in spring and summer, coupled with a strong increase of summer extreme temperatures, such as those that occurred over Texas in 2011 and the Great Plains in 2012. These droughts represent a great threat to North American water security. Climate models have failed to predict these 'flash' droughts and are ambiguous in projecting their future changes largely because of models' weaknesses in predicting summer rainfall and soil moisture feedbacks. By contrast, climate models are more reliable in simulating changes of large-scale circulation and warming of temperatures during the winter and spring seasons. We present a prototype of an early warning indicator for the risk of 'flash' droughts in summer by using the large-scale circulation and land surface conditions in winter and spring based on observed relationships between these conditions and their underlying physical mechanisms established by previous observations and numerical model simulations. This prototype 'flash' drought indicator (IFDW) currently uses global and regional reanalysis products (e.g., CFSR, MERRA, NLDAS products) in winter and spring to provide an assessment of summer drought severity similar to drought severity indices like PDSI (Palmer Drought Severity Index), SPI (Standard Precipitation Index) etc., provided by the National Integrated Drought Information Center (NIDIS) with additional information about uncertainty and past probability distributions of IFDW. Preliminary evaluation of hindcasts suggests that the indicator captures the occurrences of all the regional severe to extreme summer droughts during the past 63 years (1949-2011) over the US Great Plains, and 95% of the drought ending. This prototype IFDW has several advantages over the available drought indices that simply track local drought conditions in the past, present and future: 1) It mitigates the weakness of current climate models in predicting future summer droughts

  1. Complex water management in modern agriculture: Trends in the water-energy-food nexus over the High Plains Aquifer.

    PubMed

    Smidt, Samuel J; Haacker, Erin M K; Kendall, Anthony D; Deines, Jillian M; Pei, Lisi; Cotterman, Kayla A; Li, Haoyang; Liu, Xiao; Basso, Bruno; Hyndman, David W

    2016-10-01

    In modern agriculture, the interplay between complex physical, agricultural, and socioeconomic water use drivers must be fully understood to successfully manage water supplies on extended timescales. This is particularly evident across large portions of the High Plains Aquifer where groundwater levels have declined at unsustainable rates despite improvements in both the efficiency of water use and water productivity in agricultural practices. Improved technology and land use practices have not mitigated groundwater level declines, thus water management strategies must adapt accordingly or risk further resource loss. In this study, we analyze the water-energy-food nexus over the High Plains Aquifer as a framework to isolate the major drivers that have shaped the history, and will direct the future, of water use in modern agriculture. Based on this analysis, we conclude that future water management strategies can benefit from: (1) prioritizing farmer profit to encourage decision-making that aligns with strategic objectives, (2) management of water as both an input into the water-energy-food nexus and a key incentive for farmers, (3) adaptive frameworks that allow for short-term objectives within long-term goals, (4) innovative strategies that fit within restrictive political frameworks, (5) reduced production risks to aid farmer decision-making, and (6) increasing the political desire to conserve valuable water resources. This research sets the foundation to address water management as a function of complex decision-making trends linked to the water-energy-food nexus. Water management strategy recommendations are made based on the objective of balancing farmer profit and conserving water resources to ensure future agricultural production.

  2. Multi-EM27/SUN Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON) Comparison at the Southern Great Plains Site Field Campaign Report

    SciTech Connect

    Parker, H.; Hedelius, J.

    2016-04-01

    During the summer of 2015, a field campaign took place to help characterize off-the-shelf portable solar-viewing Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS) instruments (EM27/SUN). These instruments retrieve greenhouse gas (GHG) abundances from direct solar spectra. A focus of this campaign was to test possible dependence on different atmospheric conditions. Along with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility Southern Great Plains (SGP) site in Oklahoma, experiments were conducted in Pasadena, California; Park Falls, Wisconsin; and the Armstrong Flight Research Center (AFRC), California. These locations are home to instruments in the Total Column Carbon Observing Network (TCCON). TCCON measurements were used as standards for the portable (EM27/SUN) measurements. Comparisons between the two types of instruments are crucial in the attempt to use the portable instruments to broaden the capabilities of GHG measurements for monitoring, reporting, and verification of carbon in the atmosphere. This campaign was aimed at testing the response of the portable FTS to different atmospheric conditions both local and regional. Measurements made at ARM SGP provided data in an agricultural environment with a relatively clean atmosphere with respect to pollution. Due to the homogeneity of the region surrounding Lamont, Oklahoma, portable FTS measurements were less effected by large changes in column GHG abundances from air mass movement between regions. These conditions aided in characterizing potential artificial solar zenith angle dependence of the retrievals. Data collected under atmospheric conditions at ARM SGP also provide for the analysis of cloud interference on solar spectra. In situ measurements were also made using a Picarro isotopic methane analyzer to determine surface-level in situ GHG concentrations and possible influences due to local agriculture and nearby towns. Data collected in this campaign have been presented

  3. Long-term patterns of air temperatures, daily temperature range, precipitation, grass-reference evapotranspiration and aridity index in the USA Great Plains: Part I. Spatial trends

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kukal, M.; Irmak, S.

    2016-11-01

    Due to their substantial spatio-temporal behavior, long-term quantification and analyses of important hydrological variables are essential for practical applications in water resources planning, evaluating the water use of agricultural crop production and quantifying crop evapotranspiration patterns and irrigation management vs. hydrologic balance relationships. Observed data at over 800 sites across the Great Plains of USA, comprising of 9 states and 2,307,410 km2 of surface area, which is about 30% of the terrestrial area of the USA, were used to quantify and map large-scale and long-term (1968-2013) spatial trends of air temperatures, daily temperature range (DTR), precipitation, grass-reference evapotranspiration (ETo) and aridity index (AI) at monthly, growing season and annual time steps. Air temperatures had a strong north to south increasing trend, with annual average varying from -1 to 24 °C, and growing season average temperature varying from 8 to 30 °C. DTR gradually decreased from western to eastern parts of the region, with a regional annual and growing season averages of 14.25 °C and 14.79 °C, respectively. Precipitation had a gradual shift towards higher magnitudes from west to east, with the average annual and growing season (May-September) precipitation ranging from 163 to 1486 mm and from 98 to 746 mm, respectively. ETo had a southwest-northeast decreasing trend, with regional annual and growing season averages of 1297 mm and 823 mm, respectively. AI increased from west to east, indicating higher humidity (less arid) towards the east, with regional annual and growing season averages of 0.49 and 0.44, respectively. The spatial datasets and maps for these important climate variables can serve as valuable background for climate change and hydrologic studies in the Great Plains region. Through identification of priority areas from the developed maps, efforts of the concerned personnel and agencies and resources can be diverted towards development

  4. Eco-environment contribution of agroforestry to agriculture development in the plain area of China--Huai' an Prefecture, Jiangsu Province as the case study area.

    PubMed

    Ren, Hong-chang; Lu, Yong-long; Liu, Can; Meng, Qing-hua; Shi, Ya-juan

    2005-01-01

    For improving the environmental quality and ensuring supply of wood and non-timber forest products, many forests have been planted in plain areas of China. Scientists have studied their benefits, almost all of the approaches were based on fixed-point data, and few was considered on the non-efficient factors and temporal scale effects. This paper studies the positive and negative benefits at a large temporal scale, and the effects of plain afforestation on stockbreeding and rural economy. The benefits of plain afforestation, correlation coefficiency of agroforestry and production factors are analyzed via stochastic frontier modeling in Huanghuaihai Plain Area of China; elastic coefficient of agroforestry, husbandry, farming, and total output of agricultural sector are calculated through adopting partial differential equation. Some conclusions can be drawn that, plain forests have an important effect on the development of plain agriculture. But shelterbelts and small-scale forests have different effect on the development of agricultural economy. Shelterbelts have negative effect on the industries, but small-scale forest has positive effect. On the whole, contribution of forest resource to value of animal husbandry and gross production value of agriculture is positive, and to the value of farming is negative.

  5. Impacts of varying agricultural intensification on crop yield and groundwater resources: comparison of the North China Plain and US High Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pei, Hongwei; Scanlon, Bridget R.; Shen, Yanjun; Reedy, Robert C.; Long, Di; Liu, Changming

    2015-04-01

    Agricultural intensification is often considered the primary approach to meet rising food demand. Here we compare impacts of intensive cultivation on crop yield in the North China Plain (NCP) with less intensive cultivation in the US High Plains (USHP) and associated effects on water resources using spatial datasets. Average crop yield during the past decade from intensive double cropping of wheat and corn in the NCP was only 15% higher than the yield from less intensive single cropping of corn in the USHP, although nitrogen fertilizer application and percent of cropland that was irrigated were both ˜2 times greater in the NCP than in the USHP. Irrigation and fertilization in both regions have depleted groundwater storage and resulted in widespread groundwater nitrate contamination. The limited response to intensive management in the NCP is attributed in part to the two month shorter growing season for corn to accommodate winter wheat than that for corn in the USHP. Previous field and modeling studies of crop yield in the NCP highlight over application of N and water resulting in low nitrogen and water use efficiencies and indicate that cultivars, plant densities, soil fertility and other factors had a much greater impact on crop yields over the past few decades. The NCP-USHP comparison along with previous field and modeling studies underscores the need to weigh the yield returns from intensive management relative to the negative impacts on water resources. Future crop management should consider the many factors that contribute to yield along with optimal fertilization and irrigation to further increase crop yields while reducing adverse impacts on water resources.

  6. Evaluation of calving seasons and marketing strategies in Northern Great Plains beef enterprises. II. Retained ownership systems.

    PubMed

    Reisenauer Leesburg, V L; Tess, M W; Griffith, D

    2007-09-01

    Two bioeconomic computer models were used to evaluate calving seasons in combination with calf marketing strategies for a range-based cow-calf enterprise in the Northern Great Plains. Calving seasons studied were spring (SP, calving beginning March 15 and weaning October 31), spring with calf mortality increased by 5% (SP-IM), summer (SU, calving beginning May 15 and weaning December 31), summer with early weaning (SU-EW, calving beginning May 15 and weaning October 31), and fall (FA, calving beginning August 15 and weaning February 1). Marketing scenarios for steer calves and nonreplacement heifer calves were as follows: sold after weaning (WS), backgrounded in Montana and sold as feeder cattle (WBS), backgrounded in Montana and then fed to slaughter BW in Nebraska (WBFS), and shipped to Nebraska at weaning and fed to slaughter BW (WFS). Quarterly inflation-adjusted cattle and feedstuff prices were representative of the 1990s cattle cycle. Cumulative gross margin (CGM), the sum of ranch gross margin and net return from retained ownership was used to compare systems. At the peak of the cattle cycle, all forms of retained ownership (WBS, WBFS, WFS) were profitable for all calving seasons, but during the descending phase, only WBS increased CGM markedly over WS for SU-EW. At the cycle valley, retained ownership was not profitable for SP and SP-IM, whereas WBFS and WFS were profitable for SU and SU-EW, and all forms of retained ownership were profitable for FA. During the ascending phase, retained ownership was profitable for all calving season-marketing combinations. Systems with the greatest CGM at each phase of the cattle cycle were FA-WFS, SP-WBS, FA-WFS, and FA-WFS at the peak, descending, valley, and ascending phases, respectively. In beef enterprises representative of the Northern Great Plains, with a restricted grazing season and limited access to low-cost, good-quality grazeable forage, no single calving season and no single combination of calving season and

  7. Tapping unsustainable groundwater stores for agricultural production in the High Plains Aquifer of Kansas, projections to 2110.

    PubMed

    Steward, David R; Bruss, Paul J; Yang, Xiaoying; Staggenborg, Scott A; Welch, Stephen M; Apley, Michael D

    2013-09-10

    Groundwater provides a reliable tap to sustain agricultural production, yet persistent aquifer depletion threatens future sustainability. The High Plains Aquifer supplies 30% of the nation's irrigated groundwater, and the Kansas portion supports the congressional district with the highest market value for agriculture in the nation. We project groundwater declines to assess when the study area might run out of water, and comprehensively forecast the impacts of reduced pumping on corn and cattle production. So far, 30% of the groundwater has been pumped and another 39% will be depleted over the next 50 y given existing trends. Recharge supplies 15% of current pumping and would take an average of 500-1,300 y to completely refill a depleted aquifer. Significant declines in the region's pumping rates will occur over the next 15-20 y given current trends, yet irrigated agricultural production might increase through 2040 because of projected increases in water use efficiencies in corn production. Water use reductions of 20% today would cut agricultural production to the levels of 15-20 y ago, the time of peak agricultural production would extend to the 2070s, and production beyond 2070 would significantly exceed that projected without reduced pumping. Scenarios evaluate incremental reductions of current pumping by 20-80%, the latter rate approaching natural recharge. Findings substantiate that saving more water today would result in increased net production due to projected future increases in crop water use efficiencies. Society has an opportunity now to make changes with tremendous implications for future sustainability and livability.

  8. A comparison of radiometric fluxes influenced by parameterization cirrus clouds with observed fluxes at the Southern Great Plains (SGP) cloud and radiation testbed (CART) site

    SciTech Connect

    Mace, G.G.; Ackerman, T.P.; George, A.T.

    1996-04-01

    The data from the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program`s Southern Great plains Site (SCP) is a valuable resource. We have developed an operational data processing and analysis methodology that allows us to examine continuously the influence of clouds on the radiation field and to test new and existing cloud and radiation parameterizations.

  9. Self-seeding warm-season legumes for low-input forage production in the southern Great Plains of the USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the southern Great Plains (SGP) of the USA warm-season legumes can improve the quality of available forage in pasture systems based on perennial warm-season grasses. Legumes that persist through self-seeding may be especially useful in low-input systems where resources for annual replanting are l...

  10. Open to Horror: The Great Plains Situation in Contemporary Thrillers by E. E. Knight and by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Emrys, A. B.

    2009-01-01

    From the agoraphobic prairie where the father of Willa Cather's Antonia kills himself, to the claustrophobic North Dakota town of Argus devastated by storm in Louise Erdrich's "Fleur," to Lightning Flat, the grim home of Jack Twist in Annie Proulx's "Brokeback Mountain," much Great Plains literature is situational, placing…

  11. Extent of Kentucky bluegrass and its effect on native plant species diversity and ecosystem services in the Northern Great Plains of the USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The geographic spread of Kentucky bluegrass in rangelands of the USA has increased significantly over the past decades. Preliminary analysis of National Resources Inventory data indicates that Kentucky bluegrass occupies a majority of ecological sites across the Northern Great Plains. Despite its fa...

  12. Global warming likely reduces crop yield and water availability of the dryland cropping systems in the U.S. central Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We investigated impacts of GCM-projected climate change on dryland crop rotations of wheat-fallow and wheat-corn-fallow in the Central Great Plains (Akron in Colorado, USA) using the CERES 4.0 crop modules in RZWQM2. The climate change scenarios for CO2, temperature, and precipitation were produced ...

  13. Reduction of soluble nitrogen and mobilization of plant nutrients in soils from U.S. northern Great Plains agroecosystems by phenolic compounds

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Phenolic plant secondary metabolites actively participate in a broad range of important reactions that affect livestock, plants and soil. In soil, phenolic compounds can affect nutrient dynamics and mobility of metals but their role in northern Great Plains agroecosystems is largely unknown. We eval...

  14. Agricultural water management in the Texas High Plains:Present status, challenges, and opportunities

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Evapotranspiration (ET) is an essential component of the water balance, and a major consumptive use of irrigation water and precipitation on cropland. Any attempt to improve water use efficiency must be based on reliable estimates of ET for irrigation scheduling purposes. In the Texas High Plains, i...

  15. Land-use change reduces habitat suitability for supporting managed honey bee colonies in the Northern Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Otto, Clint R.; Roth, Cali; Carlson, Benjamin; Smart, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    Human reliance on insect pollination services continues to increase even as pollinator populations exhibit global declines. Increased commodity crop prices and federal subsidies for biofuel crops, such as corn and soybeans, have contributed to rapid land-use change in the US Northern Great Plains (NGP), changes that may jeopardize habitat for honey bees in a part of the country that supports >40% of the US colony stock. We investigated changes in biofuel crop production and grassland land covers surrounding ∼18,000 registered commercial apiaries in North and South Dakota from 2006 to 2014. We then developed habitat selection models to identify remotely sensed land-cover and land-use features that influence apiary site selection by Dakota beekeepers. Our study demonstrates a continual increase in biofuel crops, totaling 1.2 Mha, around registered apiary locations in North and South Dakota. Such crops were avoided by commercial beekeepers when selecting apiary sites in this region. Furthermore, our analysis reveals how grasslands that beekeepers target when selecting commercial apiary locations are becoming less common in eastern North and South Dakota, changes that may have lasting impact on pollinator conservation efforts. Our study highlights how land-use change in the NGP is altering the landscape in ways that are seemingly less conducive to beekeeping. Our models can be used to guide future conservation efforts highlighted in the US national pollinator health strategy by identifying areas that support high densities of commercial apiaries and that have exhibited significant land-use changes.

  16. Land-use change reduces habitat suitability for supporting managed honey bee colonies in the Northern Great Plains.

    PubMed

    Otto, Clint R V; Roth, Cali L; Carlson, Benjamin L; Smart, Matthew D

    2016-09-13

    Human reliance on insect pollination services continues to increase even as pollinator populations exhibit global declines. Increased commodity crop prices and federal subsidies for biofuel crops, such as corn and soybeans, have contributed to rapid land-use change in the US Northern Great Plains (NGP), changes that may jeopardize habitat for honey bees in a part of the country that supports >40% of the US colony stock. We investigated changes in biofuel crop production and grassland land covers surrounding ∼18,000 registered commercial apiaries in North and South Dakota from 2006 to 2014. We then developed habitat selection models to identify remotely sensed land-cover and land-use features that influence apiary site selection by Dakota beekeepers. Our study demonstrates a continual increase in biofuel crops, totaling 1.2 Mha, around registered apiary locations in North and South Dakota. Such crops were avoided by commercial beekeepers when selecting apiary sites in this region. Furthermore, our analysis reveals how grasslands that beekeepers target when selecting commercial apiary locations are becoming less common in eastern North and South Dakota, changes that may have lasting impact on pollinator conservation efforts. Our study highlights how land-use change in the NGP is altering the landscape in ways that are seemingly less conducive to beekeeping. Our models can be used to guide future conservation efforts highlighted in the US national pollinator health strategy by identifying areas that support high densities of commercial apiaries and that have exhibited significant land-use changes.

  17. Radon and thoron levels, their spatial and seasonal variations in adobe dwellings - a case study at the great Hungarian plain.

    PubMed

    Szabó, Zsuzsanna; Jordan, Gyozo; Szabó, Csaba; Horváth, Ákos; Holm, Óskar; Kocsy, Gábor; Csige, István; Szabó, Péter; Homoki, Zsolt

    2014-06-01

    Radon and thoron isotopes are responsible for approximately half of the average annual effective dose to humans. Although the half-life of thoron is short, it can potentially enter indoor air from adobe walls. Adobe was a traditional construction material in the Great Hungarian Plain. Its major raw materials are the alluvial sediments of the area. Here, seasonal radon and thoron activity concentrations were measured in 53 adobe dwellings in 7 settlements by pairs of etched track detectors. The results show that the annual average radon and thoron activity concentrations are elevated in these dwellings and that the proportions with values higher than 300 Bq m(-3) are 14-17 and 29-32% for radon and thoron, respectively. The calculated radon inhalation dose is significantly higher than the world average value, exceeding 10 mSv y(-1) in 7% of the dwellings of this study. Thoron also can be a significant contributor to the inhalation dose with about 30% in the total inhalation dose. The changes of weather conditions seem to be more relevant in the variation of measurement results than the differences in the local sedimentary geology. Still, the highest values were detected on clay. Through the year, radon follows the average temperature changes and is affected by the ventilation, whereas thoron rather seems to follow the amount of precipitation.

  18. Preliminary projections of the effects of chloride-control structures on the Quaternary aquifer at Great Salt Plains, Oklahoma

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reed, J.E.

    1982-01-01

    About 1,200 tons of chloride per day are added to the salt load of the Salt Fork of the Arkansas River at Great Salt Plains Lake from natural sources. The source of this chloride is brine discharge from the rocks of Permian age in the vicinity of the lake. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has planned a chloride-control project. The Corps requested that the U.S. Geological Survey use a digital model to project the effects of the chloride-control plan on ground water. Ground-water flow and ground-water transport models were calibrated to represent the Quaternary aquifer that is the near-surface part of the flow system. The models were used to project the effects of planned chloride-control structures. Based on model results, ground-water levels are projected to rise as much as 19 feet. However, these water-level rises will occur only in areas near three reservoirs. Changes in ground-water level caused by the project will be small throughout most of the area. Chloride concentration of ground water is projected to increase by more than 90,000 milligrams per liter at one location. However, significant increases in chloride concentration during the 50-year period simulated are projected to be limited to areas where the ground water already contains excessive chloride concentrations.

  19. Comparison Between Lidar and Nephelometer Measurements of Aerosol Hygroscopicity at the Southern Great Plains Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Site

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pahlow, M.; Feingold, G.; Jefferson, A.; Andrews, E.; Ogren, J. A.; Wang, J.; Lee, Y.-N.; Ferrare, R. A.

    2004-01-01

    Aerosol hygroscopicity has a significant effect on radiative properties of aerosols. Here a lidar method, applicable to cloud-capped, well-mixed atmospheric boundary layers, is employed to determine the hygroscopic growth factor f(RH) under unperturbed, ambient atmospheric conditions. The data used for the analysis were collected under a wide range of atmospheric aerosol levels during both routine measurement periods and during the intensive operations period (IOP) in May 2003 at the Southern Great Plains (SGP) Climate Research Facility in Oklahoma, USA, as part of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program. There is a good correlation (approx. 0.7) between a lidar-derived growth factor (measured over the range 85% RH to 96% RH) with a nephelometer-derived growth factor measured over the RH range 40% to 85%. For these RH ranges, the slope of the lidar-derived growth factor is much steeper than that of the nephelometer-derived growth factor, reflecting the rapid increase in particle size with increasing RH. The results are corroborated by aerosol model calculations of lidar and nephelometer equivalent f(RH) based on in situ aerosol size and composition measurements during the IOP. It is suggested that the lidar method can provide useful measurements of the dependence of aerosol optical properties on relative humidity, and under conditions closer to saturation than can currently be achieved with humidified nephelometers.

  20. Land-atmosphere coupling manifested in warm-season observations on the U.S. southern great plains

    DOE PAGES

    Phillips, Thomas J.; Klein, Stephen A.

    2014-01-28

    This study examines several observational aspects of land-atmosphere coupling on daily average time scales during warm seasons of the years 1997 to 2008 at the Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program’s Southern Great Plains (SGP) Central Facility site near Lamont, Oklahoma. Characteristics of the local land-atmosphere coupling are inferred by analyzing the covariability of selected land and atmospheric variables that include precipitation and soil moisture, surface air temperature, relative humidity, radiant and turbulent fluxes, as well as low-level cloud base height and fractional coverage. For both the energetic and hydrological aspects of this coupling, it is found that large-scalemore » atmospheric forcings predominate, with local feedbacks of the land on the atmosphere being comparatively small much of the time. The weak land feedbacks are manifested by 1) the inability of soil moisture to comprehensively impact the coupled land-atmosphere energetics, and 2) the limited recycling of local surface moisture under conditions where most of the rainfall derives from convective cells that originate at remote locations. There is some evidence, nevertheless, of the local land feedback becoming stronger as the soil dries out in the aftermath of precipitation events, or on days when the local boundary-layer clouds are influenced by thermal updrafts known to be associated with convection originating at the surface. Finally, we also discuss potential implications of these results for climate-model representation of regional land-atmosphere coupling.« less

  1. A spatial regression procedure for evaluating the relationship between AVHRR-NDVI and climate in the northern Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ji, Lei; Peters, Albert J.

    2004-01-01

    The relationship between vegetation and climate in the grassland and cropland of the northern US Great Plains was investigated with Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) (1989–1993) images derived from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR), and climate data from automated weather stations. The relationship was quantified using a spatial regression technique that adjusts for spatial autocorrelation inherent in these data. Conventional regression techniques used frequently in previous studies are not adequate, because they are based on the assumption of independent observations. Six climate variables during the growing season; precipitation, potential evapotranspiration, daily maximum and minimum air temperature, soil temperature, solar irradiation were regressed on NDVI derived from a 10-km weather station buffer. The regression model identified precipitation and potential evapotranspiration as the most significant climatic variables, indicating that the water balance is the most important factor controlling vegetation condition at an annual timescale. The model indicates that 46% and 24% of variation in NDVI is accounted for by climate in grassland and cropland, respectively, indicating that grassland vegetation has a more pronounced response to climate variation than cropland. Other factors contributing to NDVI variation include environmental factors (soil, groundwater and terrain), human manipulation of crops, and sensor variation.

  2. Medieval Loess Constraints On the Climate Effect of Dust Aerosols In the Great Plains of North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, R. L.; Cook, B. I.; Seager, R.; Mason, J. A.

    2011-12-01

    Loess deposits in the Great Plains of North America, together with tree ring records, suggest the occurrence of medieval megadroughts within the past millenium when rainfall was below average over several decades. Loess results from the deposition of dust aerosols, created by wind erosion, perhaps following vegetation loss after extended drought. Dust aerosols have been previously shown to exacerbate the absence of rainfall during the twentieth century Dust Bowl, reinforcing the drought and loss of vegetation. Ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific make the predominant contribution to hydroclimate variability in this region, but dust may have had an amplifying effect during the medieval drought once the vegetation loss was sufficiently extensive. Here, we describe GCM experiments with dust aerosols created by wind erosion over medieval sources within North America. Our goal is twofold: first, to calculate the climate effect of dust, which is believed to reduce precipitation during the Dust Bowl. Second, we calculate dust deposition for comparison to the observed thickness of loess deposits. This comparison serves as a constraint upon the total dust mobilization and the aerosol effect upon precipitation, both of which depend upon the incompletely known source extent and its productivity.

  3. Remote sensing of climatic anomalies and West Nile virus incidence in the northern Great Plains of the United States.

    PubMed

    Chuang, Ting-Wu; Wimberly, Michael C

    2012-01-01

    The northern Great Plains (NGP) of the United States has been a hotspot of West Nile virus (WNV) incidence since 2002. Mosquito ecology and the transmission of vector-borne disease are influenced by multiple environmental factors, and climatic variability is an important driver of inter-annual variation in WNV transmission risk. This study applied multiple environmental predictors including land surface temperature (LST), the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and actual evapotranspiration (ETa) derived from Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) products to establish prediction models for WNV risk in the NGP. These environmental metrics are sensitive to seasonal and inter-annual fluctuations in temperature and precipitation, and are hypothesized to influence mosquito population dynamics and WNV transmission. Non-linear generalized additive models (GAMs) were used to evaluate the influences of deviations of cumulative LST, NDVI, and ETa on inter-annual variations of WNV incidence from 2004-2010. The models were sensitive to the timing of spring green up (measured with NDVI), temperature variability in early spring and summer (measured with LST), and moisture availability from late spring through early summer (measured with ETa), highlighting seasonal changes in the influences of climatic fluctuations on WNV transmission. Predictions based on these variables indicated a low WNV risk across the NGP in 2011, which is concordant with the low case reports in this year. Environmental monitoring using remote-sensed data can contribute to surveillance of WNV risk and prediction of future WNV outbreaks in space and time.

  4. Remote Sensing of Climatic Anomalies and West Nile Virus Incidence in the Northern Great Plains of the United States

    PubMed Central

    Chuang, Ting-Wu; Wimberly, Michael C.

    2012-01-01

    The northern Great Plains (NGP) of the United States has been a hotspot of West Nile virus (WNV) incidence since 2002. Mosquito ecology and the transmission of vector-borne disease are influenced by multiple environmental factors, and climatic variability is an important driver of inter-annual variation in WNV transmission risk. This study applied multiple environmental predictors including land surface temperature (LST), the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and actual evapotranspiration (ETa) derived from Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) products to establish prediction models for WNV risk in the NGP. These environmental metrics are sensitive to seasonal and inter-annual fluctuations in temperature and precipitation, and are hypothesized to influence mosquito population dynamics and WNV transmission. Non-linear generalized additive models (GAMs) were used to evaluate the influences of deviations of cumulative LST, NDVI, and ETa on inter-annual variations of WNV incidence from 2004–2010. The models were sensitive to the timing of spring green up (measured with NDVI), temperature variability in early spring and summer (measured with LST), and moisture availability from late spring through early summer (measured with ETa), highlighting seasonal changes in the influences of climatic fluctuations on WNV transmission. Predictions based on these variables indicated a low WNV risk across the NGP in 2011, which is concordant with the low case reports in this year. Environmental monitoring using remote-sensed data can contribute to surveillance of WNV risk and prediction of future WNV outbreaks in space and time. PMID:23071656

  5. Leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) affects vegetation more than seed banks in mixed-grass prairies of the Northern Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larson, Diane L.; Haines, Dustin F.; Larson, Jennifer L.

    2013-01-01

    Exotic plants have the ability to modify soil seed banks in habitats they invade, but little is known about the legacy of invasion on seed banks once an exotic plant has successfully been controlled. Natural areas previously invaded by leafy spurge in the northern Great Plains typically have one of two fates following its removal: a return of native plants, or a secondary invasion of other exotic plants. It is unknown, however, if this difference in plant communities following leafy spurge control is due to seed bank differences. To answer this question, we monitored seed banks and standing vegetation for 2 yr in mixed-grass prairies that were previously invaded by leafy spurge but controlled within 5 yr of our study. We found that native plant seed banks were largely intact in areas previously invaded by leafy spurge, regardless of the current living plant community, and leafy spurge invasion history had a larger impact on cover and diversity of the vegetation than on the seed banks. Differences in plant communities following leafy spurge control do not appear to be related to the seed banks, and soil conditions may be more important in determining trajectories of these postinvasion communities.

  6. Development of a high spectral resolution surface albedo product for the ARM Southern Great Plains Central Facility

    SciTech Connect

    McFarlane, Sally A.; Gaustad, Krista L.; Mlawer, Eli J.; Long, Charles N.; Delamere, Jennifer

    2011-09-01

    We present a method for identifying dominant surface type and estimating high spectral resolution surface albedo at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) facility at the Southern Great Plains (SGP) site in Oklahoma for use in radiative transfer calculations. Given a set of 6-channel narrowband visible and near-infrared irradiance measurements from upward and downward looking multi-filter radiometers (MFRs), four different surface types (snow-covered, green vegetation, partial vegetation, non-vegetated) can be identified. A normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) is used to distinguish between vegetated and non-vegetated surfaces, and a scaled NDVI index is used to estimate the percentage of green vegetation in partially vegetated surfaces. Based on libraries of spectral albedo measurements, a piecewise continuous function is developed to estimate the high spectral resolution surface albedo for each surface type given the MFR albedo values as input. For partially vegetated surfaces, the albedo is estimated as a linear combination of the green vegetation and non-vegetated surface albedo values. The estimated albedo values are evaluated through comparison to high spectral resolution albedo measurements taken during several Intensive Observational Periods (IOPs) and through comparison of the integrated spectral albedo values to observed broadband albedo measurements. The estimated spectral albedo values agree well with observations for the visible wavelengths constrained by the MFR measurements, but have larger biases and variability at longer wavelengths. Additional MFR channels at 1100 nm and/or 1600 nm would help constrain the high resolution spectral albedo in the near infrared region.

  7. Land-use change reduces habitat suitability for supporting managed honey bee colonies in the Northern Great Plains

    PubMed Central

    Otto, Clint R. V.; Roth, Cali L.; Carlson, Benjamin L.; Smart, Matthew D.

    2016-01-01

    Human reliance on insect pollination services continues to increase even as pollinator populations exhibit global declines. Increased commodity crop prices and federal subsidies for biofuel crops, such as corn and soybeans, have contributed to rapid land-use change in the US Northern Great Plains (NGP), changes that may jeopardize habitat for honey bees in a part of the country that supports >40% of the US colony stock. We investigated changes in biofuel crop production and grassland land covers surrounding ∼18,000 registered commercial apiaries in North and South Dakota from 2006 to 2014. We then developed habitat selection models to identify remotely sensed land-cover and land-use features that influence apiary site selection by Dakota beekeepers. Our study demonstrates a continual increase in biofuel crops, totaling 1.2 Mha, around registered apiary locations in North and South Dakota. Such crops were avoided by commercial beekeepers when selecting apiary sites in this region. Furthermore, our analysis reveals how grasslands that beekeepers target when selecting commercial apiary locations are becoming less common in eastern North and South Dakota, changes that may have lasting impact on pollinator conservation efforts. Our study highlights how land-use change in the NGP is altering the landscape in ways that are seemingly less conducive to beekeeping. Our models can be used to guide future conservation efforts highlighted in the US national pollinator health strategy by identifying areas that support high densities of commercial apiaries and that have exhibited significant land-use changes. PMID:27573824

  8. Novel approach for computing photosynthetically active radiation for productivity modeling using remotely sensed images in the Great Plains, United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Singh, Ramesh K.; Liu, Shu-Guang; Tieszen, Larry L.; Suyker, Andrew E.; Verma, Shashi B.

    2012-01-01

    Gross primary production (GPP) is a key indicator of ecosystem performance, and helps in many decision-making processes related to environment. We used the Eddy covariancelight use efficiency (EC-LUE) model for estimating GPP in the Great Plains, United States in order to evaluate the performance of this model. We developed a novel algorithm for computing the photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) based on net radiation. A strong correlation (R2=0.94,N=24) was found between daily PAR and Landsat-based mid-day instantaneous net radiation. Though the Moderate Resolution Spectroradiometer (MODIS) based instantaneous net radiation was in better agreement (R2=0.98,N=24) with the daily measured PAR, there was no statistical significant difference between Landsat based PAR and MODIS based PAR. The EC-LUE model validation also confirms the need to consider biological attributes (C3 versus C4 plants) for potential light use efficiency. A universal potential light use efficiency is unable to capture the spatial variation of GPP. It is necessary to use C3 versus C4 based land use/land cover map for using EC-LUE model for estimating spatiotemporal distribution of GPP.

  9. Land-atmosphere coupling manifested in warm-season observations on the U.S. southern great plains

    SciTech Connect

    Phillips, Thomas J.; Klein, Stephen A.

    2014-01-28

    This study examines several observational aspects of land-atmosphere coupling on daily average time scales during warm seasons of the years 1997 to 2008 at the Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program’s Southern Great Plains (SGP) Central Facility site near Lamont, Oklahoma. Characteristics of the local land-atmosphere coupling are inferred by analyzing the covariability of selected land and atmospheric variables that include precipitation and soil moisture, surface air temperature, relative humidity, radiant and turbulent fluxes, as well as low-level cloud base height and fractional coverage. For both the energetic and hydrological aspects of this coupling, it is found that large-scale atmospheric forcings predominate, with local feedbacks of the land on the atmosphere being comparatively small much of the time. The weak land feedbacks are manifested by 1) the inability of soil moisture to comprehensively impact the coupled land-atmosphere energetics, and 2) the limited recycling of local surface moisture under conditions where most of the rainfall derives from convective cells that originate at remote locations. There is some evidence, nevertheless, of the local land feedback becoming stronger as the soil dries out in the aftermath of precipitation events, or on days when the local boundary-layer clouds are influenced by thermal updrafts known to be associated with convection originating at the surface. Finally, we also discuss potential implications of these results for climate-model representation of regional land-atmosphere coupling.

  10. Structural Characteristics of Nocturnal Mesoscale Convective Systems in the U.S. Great Plains as Observed During the PECAN Field Campaign

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bodine, D. J.; Dougherty, E.; Rasmussen, K. L.; Torres, A. D.

    2015-12-01

    During the summer in the U.S. Great Plains, some of the heaviest precipitation falls from large thunderstorm complexes known as Mesoscale Convective Systems (MCSs). These frequently occurring MCSs are often nocturnal in nature, so the dynamics associated with these systems are more elusive than those in the daytime. The Plains Elevated Convection at Night (PECAN) field campaign was launched over a 7-week period as an endeavor to better understand nocturnal MCSs occurring in the Great Plains. PECAN featured a dense array of ground-based and airborne instruments to observe nocturnal MCS, including dual-polarization radars at multiple frequencies, mobile mesonets, and sounding units. Our role in PECAN involved deploying Ott Parsivel disdrometers to gain information on drop size distributions (DSDs) and fall speeds. Analysis of disdrometer data in conjunction with radar data presented using Contour Frequency by Altitude Diagrams (CFADs) and high-resolution radiosonde data allows for a structural comparison of PECAN MCS cases to previously identified MCS archetypes. Novel insights into the structural evolution of nocturnal MCSs in relation to their synoptic, mesoscale, and thermodynamic environments are presented, using data collected from dense and numerous observation platforms. Understanding the environmental conditions that result in different nocturnal MCS configurations is useful for gaining insight into precipitation distributions and potential severe weather and flooding hazards in the Great Plains.

  11. The role of C3 and C4 grasses to interannual variability in remotely sensed ecosystem performance over the US Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ricotta, C.; Reed, B.C.; Tieszen, L.T.

    2003-01-01

    Time integrated normalized difference vegetation index (??NDVI) derived from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) multi-temporal imagery over a 10-year period (1989-1998) was used as a surrogate for primary production to investigate the impact of interannual climate variability on grassland performance for central and northern US Great Plains. First, the contribution of C3 and C4 species abundance to the major grassland ecosystems of the US Great Plains is described. Next, the relation between mean ??NDVI and the ??NDVI coefficient of variation (CV ??NDVI) used as a proxy for interranual climate variability is analysed. Results suggest that the differences in the long-term climate control over ecosystem performance approximately coincide with changes between C3- and C4-dominant grassland classes. Variation in remotely sensed net primary production over time is higher for the southern and western plains grasslands (primary C4 grasslands), whereas the C3-dominated classes in the northern and eastern portion of the US Great Plains, generally show lower CV ??NDVI values.

  12. The role of C3 and C4 grasses to interannual variability in remotely sensed ecosystem performance over the US Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ricotta, C.; Reed, Bradley C.; Tieszen, Larry L.

    2003-01-01

    Time integrated normalized difference vegetation index (ΣNDVI) derived from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) multi-temporal imagery over a 10-year period (1989–1998) was used as a surrogate for primary production to investigate the impact of interannual climate variability on grassland performance for central and northern US Great Plains. First, the contribution of C3 and C4 species abundance to the major grassland ecosystems of the US Great Plains is described. Next, the relation between mean ΣNDVI and the ΣNDVI coefficient of variation (CV ΣNDVI) used as a proxy for interannual climate variability is analysed. Results suggest that the differences in the long-term climatic control over ecosystem performance approximately coincide with changes between C3- and C4-dominant grassland classes. Variation in remotely sensed net primary production over time is higher for the southern and western plains grasslands (primarily C4 grasslands), whereas the C3-dominated classes in the northern and eastern portion of the US Great Plains, generally show lower CV ΣNDVI values.

  13. Great Plains Beacon.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Simpson, Mary-Margaret, Ed.

    1993-01-01

    The 7 newsletter issues presented here review the efforts of 10 Midwestern community colleges to achieve greater leadership diversity on their campuses. Called Beacon projects (or collectively, the Beacon Project) after the grant that provided the funding for these efforts, the projects described cover a wide range of approaches. Among them are…

  14. Great Plains Roots.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frey, Jennifer

    2001-01-01

    Sandy White Hawk, Sicangu Lakota, was adopted by white missionaries as an infant and suffered child abuse. After 33 years, she found her birth family and formed First Nations Orphans Association, which uses songs and ceremonies to help adoptees return to their roots. Until the 1970s, federal agencies and welfare organizations facilitated removal…

  15. Southern Great Plains Newsletter

    SciTech Connect

    J. Prell L. R. Roeder

    2010-09-01

    This months issue contains the following articles: (1) Scientists convene at SGP site for complex convective cloud experiment; (2) VORTEX2 spins down; (3) Sunphotometer supports SPARTICUS (a Sun and Aureole Measurement imaging sunphotometer) campaign and satellite validation studies; and (4) Ceilometer represents first deployment of new ground-based instruments from Recovery Act.

  16. a New High-Resolution Chronology of Megadrought Following the Medieval Climatic Anomaly and Little Ice Age in the Central Great Plains, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halfen, A. F.; Johnson, W. C.; Hanson, P. R.; Spencer, J. Q.; Woodburn, T.; Young, A. R.

    2010-12-01

    Recent research has emphasized using eolian sediments for reconstructing late Holocene megadroughts, especially in the Great Plains where other drought proxies are scarce. Eolian dune fields can serve as proxy sources for megadroughts because, during prolonged drought conditions, vegetation cover is diminished and eolian sedimentation ensues. In an effort to better characterize late-Holocene megadroughts, two dune fields spanning a 400 km east-west transect of the central Great Plains have been investigated, resulting thus far in over 110 optically stimulated luminescence ages. Ages from the Hutchinson and Arkansas River dune fields have provided a new, high-resolution chronology of dune activity that spans much of the past 2000 years. Both dune fields were stable prior to the Medieval Climatic Anomaly (MCA) but started to activate towards the height of the warming around 1.0 ka. Activity continued throughout the MCA but intensified as climate shifted towards cooler conditions between 0.8 and 0.7 ka. Around the onset of the Little Ice Age (LIA) dune activity decreased, but did not cease, and, by the end of the LIA, activity again intensified between 0.3 and 0.2 ka. Dune activity continued into historical times (e.g., 1930’s Dust Bowl drought), and today the dune fields are stable with only small areas of anthropogenically-triggered activity. A clustering of ages defines two periods of megadrought, at 0.8 to 0.7 and 0.3 to 0.2 ka. Dune activity between 0.8 and 0.7 ka correlates well with Palmer Drought Severity Index data constructed from tree-rings and regional dune activity; this suggests that one or more megadroughts occurred within much of the Great Plains during the MCA. The period of dune activity between 0.3 and 0.2 ka correlate with activity in the Great Bend Sand Prairie and southwestern Nebraska, but is not coeval with activation records from the Nebraska Sand Hills, or those from the Duncan and Abilene dune fields of the eastern Great Plains. This

  17. Effects of agricultural conservation practices on oxbow lake watersheds in the Mississippi River alluvial plain

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Globally, agricultural lands are considered to major sources of nonpoint source pollutants such as sediment, pesticides and nutrients in the United States. While conservation practices have been tested for their effectiveness in reducing agricultural related pollutants on test plot scales, they typ...

  18. Interagency collaboration in the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains: Federal-university climate service networks for producing actionable information for climate change adaptation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ray, A. J.; McNie, E.; Averyt, K.; Morisette, J. T.; Derner, J. D.; Ojima, D. S.; Dilling, L.; Barsugli, J. J.

    2014-12-01

    Several federal agencies in north-central United States are each working to develop and disseminate useful climate information to enhance resilience to climate change. This talk will discuss how the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) the North Central Climate Science Center, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Western Water Assessment RISA, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Climate Hub, are building and managing a collaborative research and climate-service network in the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains. This presentation will describe the evolution of the interagency collaboration and the partnership with universities to build a climate service network. Such collaboration takes time and intention and must include the right people and organizations to effectively bridge the gap between use-inspired research and application. In particular, we will discuss a focus on the Upper Missouri Basin, developing research to meet needs in a basin that has had relatively less attention on risks of climate change and adaptation to those risks. Each organization has its own mission, stakeholders, and priorities, but there are many commonalities and potential synergies. Together, these organizations, and their agency scientists and university partners, are fostering cross-agency collaboration at the regional scale to optimize efficient allocation of resources while simultaneously enabling information to be generated at a scale that is relevant to decision makers. By each organization knowing the others needs and priorities, there are opportunities to craft research agendas and strategies for providing services that take advantage of the strengths and skills of the different organizations. University partners are key components of each organization, and of the collaboration, who bring in expertise beyond that in the agencies, in particular connections to social scientists, extension services.

  19. Impacts of stream flow and climate variability on native and invasive woody species in a riparian ecosystem of a semi-arid region of the Great Plains, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skolaut, K.; Awada, T.; Cherubini, P.; Schapaugh, A.; Huddle, J.

    2012-04-01

    Riparian ecosystems support diverse plant communities that exert direct and indirect biological, physical and chemical influence on, and are influenced by, adjacent water through both above and below-ground interactions. Historically, riparian areas of the northern Great Plains (United States) have been dominated by the native Populus deltoides (eastern cottonwood). This species relies on regular floods for regeneration and groundwater access for success. Over the past sixty years, changes in flow management and agricultural practices, coupled with climate variability and drought, have altered stream flow and caused a dramatic decline in stream water yields and levels of groundwater. These and other biotic factors have promoted the expansion of the upland native woody species Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar), and the invasion of the non-native (introduced) Elaeagnus angustifolia (Russian olive) into riparian ecosystems. This invasion has further altered the water balance in the system and exasperated the problem of water scarcity with negative feedback on ecosystem services and growth of native woody species. The ability of P. deltoides to re-establish and grow is of concern for natural resource managers. The study utilizes tree ring analysis of annual growth rates and stable isotope ratios of 13C and 18O to determine 1) the response P. deltoides and invasive J. virginiana and E. angustifulia have to climate variation and stream flow regulation, and 2) the impacts of the two invasive species on the growth of native P. deltoides. Preliminary results have shown that P. deltoids annual growth rate (using basal area increment growth) continually declined over the last 40 yrs, while that of E. angustifolia steadily increased. Growth of both P. deltoides and J. virginiana displayed greater dependence on climatic factors than E. angustifolia. Ecological and hydrological significance of the results will be presented.

  20. Long-term Measurements of Submicrometer Aerosol Chemistry at the Southern Great Plains (SGP) Using an Aerosol Chemical Speciation Monitor (ACSM)

    SciTech Connect

    Parworth, Caroline; Fast, Jerome D.; Mei, Fan; Shippert, Timothy R.; Sivaraman, Chitra; Tilp, Alison; Watson, Thomas; Zhang, Qi

    2015-04-01

    In this study the long-term trends of non-refractory submicrometer aerosol (NR-PM1) composition and mass concentration measured by an Aerosol Chemical Speciation Monitor (ACSM) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Southern Great Plains (SGP) site are discussed. Over the period of 19 months (Nov. 20, 2010 – June 2012) highly time resolved (~30 min.) NR-PM1 data was recorded. Using this dataset the value-added product (VAP) of deriving organic aerosol components (OACOMP) is introduced. With this VAP, multivariate analysis of the measured organic mass spectral matrix can be performed on long term data to return organic aerosol (OA) factors that are associated with distinct sources, evolution processes, and physiochemical properties. Three factors were obtained from this VAP including two oxygenated OA (OOA) factors, differing in degrees of oxidation, and a biomass burning OA (BBOA) factor. Back trajectory analyses were performed to investigate possible sources of major NR-PM1 species at the SGP site. Organics dominated NR-PM1 mass concentration for the majority of the study with the exception of winter, when nitrate increased due to transport of precursor species from surrounding urban and agricultural areas and also due to cooler temperatures. Sulfate mass concentrations showed little seasonal variation with mixed regional and local sources. In the spring BBOA emissions increased and were mainly associated with local fires. Isoprene and carbon monoxide emission rates were computed by the Model of Emissions of Gases and Aerosols from Nature (MEGAN) to represent the spatial distribution of biogenic and anthropogenic sources, respectively. From this model there is evidence to support that biogenic emissions from the southeast contribute to SOA formation at the SGP site during the summer.

  1. Long-term measurements of submicrometer aerosol chemistry at the Southern Great Plains (SGP) using an Aerosol Chemical Speciation Monitor (ACSM)

    DOE PAGES

    Parworth, Caroline; Tilp, Alison; Fast, Jerome; ...

    2015-04-01

    In this study the long-term trends of non-refractory submicrometer aerosol (NR-PM1) composition and mass concentration measured by an Aerosol Chemical Speciation Monitor (ACSM) at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program's Southern Great Plains (SGP) site are discussed. NR-PM1 data was recorded at ~30 min intervals over a period of 19 months between November 2010 and June 2012. Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) was performed on the measured organic mass spectral matrix using a rolling window technique to derive factors associated with distinct sources, evolution processes, and physiochemical properties. The rolling window approach also allows us to capture the dynamic variations ofmore » the chemical properties in the organic aerosol (OA) factors over time. Three OA factors were obtained including two oxygenated OA (OOA) factors, differing in degrees of oxidation, and a biomass burning OA (BBOA) factor. Back trajectory analyses were performed to investigate possible sources of major NR-PM1 species at the SGP site. Organics dominated NR-PM1 mass concentration for the majority of the study with the exception of winter, when ammonium nitrate increases due to transport of precursor species from surrounding urban and agricultural areas and also due to cooler temperatures. Sulfate mass concentrations have little seasonal variation with mixed regional and local sources. In the spring BBOA emissions increase and are mainly associated with local fires. Isoprene and carbon monoxide emission rates were obtained by the Model of Emissions of Gases and Aerosols from Nature (MEGAN) and the 2011 U.S. National Emissions Inventory to represent the spatial distribution of biogenic and anthropogenic sources, respectively. The combined spatial distribution of isoprene emissions and air mass trajectories suggest that biogenic emissions from the southeast contribute to SOA formation at the SGP site during the summer.« less

  2. Long-term measurements of submicrometer aerosol chemistry at the Southern Great Plains (SGP) using an Aerosol Chemical Speciation Monitor (ACSM)

    SciTech Connect

    Parworth, Caroline; Tilp, Alison; Fast, Jerome; Mei, Fan; Shippert, Tim; Sivaraman, Chitra; Watson, Thomas; Zhang, Qi

    2015-04-01

    In this study the long-term trends of non-refractory submicrometer aerosol (NR-PM1) composition and mass concentration measured by an Aerosol Chemical Speciation Monitor (ACSM) at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program's Southern Great Plains (SGP) site are discussed. NR-PM1 data was recorded at ~30 min intervals over a period of 19 months between November 2010 and June 2012. Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) was performed on the measured organic mass spectral matrix using a rolling window technique to derive factors associated with distinct sources, evolution processes, and physiochemical properties. The rolling window approach also allows us to capture the dynamic variations of the chemical properties in the organic aerosol (OA) factors over time. Three OA factors were obtained including two oxygenated OA (OOA) factors, differing in degrees of oxidation, and a biomass burning OA (BBOA) factor. Back trajectory analyses were performed to investigate possible sources of major NR-PM1 species at the SGP site. Organics dominated NR-PM1 mass concentration for the majority of the study with the exception of winter, when ammonium nitrate increases due to transport of precursor species from surrounding urban and agricultural areas and also due to cooler temperatures. Sulfate mass concentrations have little seasonal variation with mixed regional and local sources. In the spring BBOA emissions increase and are mainly associated with local fires. Isoprene and carbon monoxide emission rates were obtained by the Model of Emissions of Gases and Aerosols from Nature (MEGAN) and the 2011 U.S. National Emissions Inventory to represent the spatial distribution of biogenic and anthropogenic sources, respectively. The combined spatial distribution of isoprene emissions and air mass trajectories suggest that biogenic emissions from the southeast contribute to SOA formation at the SGP site during the summer.

  3. Downscaling Soil Moisture in the Southern Great Plains Through a Calibrated Multifractal Model for Land Surface Modeling Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mascaro, Giuseppe; Vivoni, Enrique R.; Deidda, Roberto

    2010-01-01

    Accounting for small-scale spatial heterogeneity of soil moisture (theta) is required to enhance the predictive skill of land surface models. In this paper, we present the results of the development, calibration, and performance evaluation of a downscaling model based on multifractal theory using aircraft!based (800 m) theta estimates collected during the southern Great Plains experiment in 1997 (SGP97).We first demonstrate the presence of scale invariance and multifractality in theta fields of nine square domains of size 25.6 x 25.6 sq km, approximately a satellite footprint. Then, we estimate the downscaling model parameters and evaluate the model performance using a set of different calibration approaches. Results reveal that small-scale theta distributions are adequately reproduced across the entire region when coarse predictors include a dynamic component (i.e., the spatial mean soil moisture ) and a stationary contribution accounting for static features (i.e., topography, soil texture, vegetation). For wet conditions, we found similar multifractal properties of soil moisture across all domains, which we ascribe to the signature of rainfall spatial variability. For drier states, the theta fields in the northern domains are more intermittent than in southern domains, likely because of differences in the distribution of vegetation coverage. Through our analyses, we propose a regional downscaling relation for coarse, satellite-based soil moisture estimates, based on ancillary information (static and dynamic landscape features), which can be used in the study area to characterize statistical properties of small-scale theta distribution required by land surface models and data assimilation systems.

  4. Task 50 - deposition of lignites in the Fort Union Group and related strata of the northern Great Plains

    SciTech Connect

    Hartman, J.H.; Roth, B.; Kihm, A.J.

    1997-08-11

    Late Cretaceous, Paleocene, and early Eocene geologic and paleontologic studies were undertaken in western North Dakota, eastern and south-central Montana, and northwestern and northeastern Wyoming. These study areas comprise the Williston, Bighorn, and Powder River Basins, all of which contain significant lignite resources. Research was undertaken in these basins because they have the best geologic sections and fossil record for the development of a chronostratigraphic (time-rock) framework for the correlation of lignite beds and other economic resources. A thorough understanding of the precise geologic age of the deposition of sediments permits a powerful means of interpreting the record of geologic events across the northern Great Plains. Such an understanding allows for rigorous interpretation of paleoenviromnents and estimates of resource potential and quality in this area of economically significant deposits. This work is part of ongoing research to document change in the composition of molluscan fossil faunas to provide a paleoenvironmentally sensitive independent means of interpreting time intervals of brief duration during the Late Cretaceous, Paleocene, and Eocene. This study focuses on the record of mollusks and, to a lesser extent, mammals in the (1) Hell Creek-Tullock Formations, which include the Cretaceous-Paleocene boundary, in the western portion of the Williston Basin, Montana; (2) uppermost Cretaceous, Paleocene, and lowermost Eocene strata in western North Dakota, which -includes the last interior seaway in North Dakota; (3) upper Paleocene and lowermost Eocene of the northern portion of the Bighorn Basin of south-central Montana and northwestern Wyoming; and (4) Powder River Basin of northeastern Wyoming and southeastern Montana. The geologic record provides different physical and paleontological information to aid in interpreting the geologic record through the study interval.

  5. Impacts of woody plant encroachment on regional climate in the southern Great Plains of the United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ge, Jianjun; Zou, Chris

    2013-08-01

    change can influence climate by altering the fluxes of mass and energy between ecosystems and the atmosphere. In the past century or so, rapid conversion of grasslands to woodland by woody species encroachment is one of the most important vegetation changes in the semiarid and arid regions of the world. The objective of this study is to investigate potential impacts of this widespread phenomenon on climate system in the southern Great Plains of the United States. The Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS) is used for this study. Grassland on the surface in RAMS is gradually replaced by woody species and RAMS is run a set of times, each with a different amount of encroachment. RAMS-simulated precipitation and air temperature are then analyzed. This study finds tha t over a 1 year period woody plant encroachment leads to increase in rainfall and the increase is statistically significant at many locations. Woody encroachment also has an overall warming effect, but increase in temperature is not statistically significant. Temperature and precipitation increase almost linearly with increasing encroachment on the surface. When grassland is completely replaced, annual accumulated precipitation increases by 23.6 mm and maximum air temperature rises by 0.13°C averaged over the entire study area. In areas where encroachment occurs, averaged increases in accumulated precipitation and temperature are 58.2 mm and 0.27°C, respectively. The largest increase in precipitation and strongest warming tend to be located in dry and encroached areas including central and northern Texas, and they reach as high as 213.6 mm and 0.68°C, respectively. Decrease in surface albedo is found to be the most important factor that causes these changes.

  6. Grazing management contributions to net global warming potential: a long-term evaluation in the Northern Great Plains.

    PubMed

    Liebig, M A; Gross, J R; Kronberg, S L; Phillips, R L; Hanson, J D

    2010-01-01

    The role of grassland ecosystems as net sinks or sources of greenhouse gases (GHGs) is limited by a paucity of information regarding management impacts on the flux of nitrous oxide (N(2)O) and methane (CH(4)). Furthermore, no long-term evaluation of net global warming potential (GWP) for grassland ecosystems in the northern Great Plains (NGP) of North America has been reported. Given this need, we sought to determine net GWP for three grazing management systems located within the NGP. Grazing management systems included two native vegetation pastures (moderately grazed pasture [MGP], heavily grazed pasture [HGP]) and a heavily grazed crested wheatgrass [Agropyron desertorum (Fisch. ex. Link) Schult.] pasture (CWP) near Mandan, ND. Factors evaluated for their contribution to GWP included (i) CO(2) emissions associated with N fertilizer production and application, (ii) literature-derived estimates of CH(4) production for enteric fermentation, (iii) change in soil organic carbon (SOC) over 44 yr using archived soil samples, and (iv) soil-atmosphere N(2)O and CH(4) fluxes over 3 yr using static chamber methodology. Analysis of SOC indicated all pastures to be significant sinks for SOC, with sequestration rates ranging from 0.39 to 0.46 Mg C ha(-1) yr(-1). All pastures were minor sinks for CH(4) (<2.0 kg CH(4)-C ha(-1) yr(-1)). Greater N inputs within CWP contributed to annual N(2)O emission nearly threefold greater than HGP and MGP. Due to differences in stocking rate, CH(4) production from enteric fermentation was nearly threefold less in MGP than CWP and HGP. When factors contributing to net GWP were summed, HGP and MGP were found to serve as net CO(2equiv.) sinks, while CWP was a net CO(2equiv.) source. Values for GWP and GHG intensity, however, indicated net reductions in GHG emissions can be most effectively achieved through moderate stocking rates on native vegetation in the NGP.

  7. Coupled mechanism of unsystematic Damming and Climate Change effect on the rivers of the Great Plains of Kansas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chatterjee, S.; Daniels, M. D.

    2014-12-01

    Damming the natural flow regime is responsible to drive away native species from the aquatic ecosystem and it becomes potentially damaging when it concerns the drought-prone areas in particular. Drought cycles are common in the Great Plains, which have given native fish species adapted strategies for coping with extreme variation in flow regimes. However, native populations have crashed as these stream networks became heavily fragmented beginning in the post-depression water reclamation era and continued into the 1960's boom in flood control dam construction. This study is an attempt to understand and assess the cumulative impacts of river network fragmentation and climate change on the river ecosystem, geomorphology and hydrology of the Smoky-Hill River Basin of North-West Kansas. The vast majority of the basin does not overly significant groundwater resources and is thus reliant on water supplied from precipitation, runoff, and shallow alluvial storage zones strongly connected to surface water systems, which is now fragmented by the construction of both small farm-ponds as well as big flood reservoir structures. Thus, there is a high probability of stream network segments to be dissociated (from the main channel during dry periods) and/or completely depleted (in case of a series of drought cycles) in this area. This paper would identify such vulnerable network segments and assess the impact of extreme climatic conditions - as a single event or scenario of cyclic droughts that can drive the native fishes out of the Smoky-Hill River Basin - by comparing modeled future flow regime projections with historic flow regimes in the fragmented river structure. The study will further address structural and functional connectivity of the river and would contribute to the understanding of fragmentation and its effect to the stream ecology at a higher scale, where a larger aquatic population can get affected by a single drought event.

  8. Quantifying the Land-Atmosphere Coupling Behavior in Modern Reanalysis Products over the U.S. Southern Great Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santanello, J. A.; Roundy, J. K.; Dirmeyer, P.

    2014-12-01

    The coupling of the land with the planetary boundary layer (PBL) on diurnal timescales is critical to regulating the strength of the connection between soil moisture and precipitation. To improve our understanding of land-atmosphere (L-A) interactions, recent studies have focused on the development of diagnostics to quantify the strength and accuracy of the land-PBL coupling at the process-level. In this paper, we apply a suite of local land-atmosphere coupling (LoCo) metrics to modern reanalysis (RA) products and observations during a 17-year period over the U. S. Southern Great Plains. Specifically, a range of diagnostics exploring the links between soil moisture, evaporation, PBL height, temperature, humidity, and precipitation are applied to the summertime monthly mean diurnal cycles of the North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR), Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA), and Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR). Results show that CFSR is the driest and MERRA the wettest of the three RAs in terms of overall surface-PBL coupling. When compared against observations, CFSR has a significant dry bias that impacts all components of the land-PBL system. CFSR and NARR are more similar in terms of PBL dynamics and response to dry and wet extremes, while MERRA is more constrained in terms of evaporation and PBL variability. The implications for moist processes are also discussed, which warrants further investigation into the potential downstream impacts of land-PBL coupling on the diurnal cycle of clouds, convection, and precipitation. Lastly, the results are put into context of community investigations into drought assessment and predictability over the region and underscore that caution should be used when treating RAs as truth, as the coupled water and energy cycle representation in each can vary considerably.

  9. Field measures show methanotroph sensitivity to soil moisture follows precipitation regime of the grassland sites across the US Great Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koyama, A.; Webb, C. T.; Johnson, N. G.; Brewer, P. E.; von Fischer, J. C.

    2015-12-01

    Methane uptake rates are known to have temporal variation in response to changing soil moisture levels. However, the relative importance of soil diffusivity vs. methanotroph physiology has not been disentangled to date. Testing methanotroph physiology in the laboratory can lead to misleading results due to changes in the fine-scale habitat where methanotrophs reside. To assay the soil moisture sensitivity of methanotrophs under field conditions, we studied 22 field plots scattered across eight Great Plains grassland sites that differed in precipitation regime and soil moisture, making ca. bi-weekly measures during the growing seasons over three years. Quantification of methanotroph activity was achieved from chamber-based measures of methane uptake coincident with SF6-derived soil diffusivity, and interpretation in a reaction-diffusion model. At each plot, we also measured soil water content (SWC), soil temperature and inorganic nitrogen (N) contents. We also assessed methanotroph community composition via 454 sequencing of the pmoA gene. Statistical analyses showed that methanotroph activity had a parabolic response with SWC (concave down), and significant differences in the shape of this response among sites. Moreover, we found that the SWC at peak methanotroph activity was strongly correlated with mean annual precipitation (MAP) of the site. The sequence data revealed distinct composition patterns, with structure that was associated with variation in MAP and soil texture. These results suggest that local precipitation regime shapes methanotroph community composition, which in turn lead to unique sensitivity of methane uptake rates with soil moisture. Our findings suggest that methanotroph activity may be more accurately modeled when the biological and environmental responses are explicitly described.

  10. Centennial eolian cyclicity in the Great Plains, USA: A dominant pattern of wind transport over the past 4000 years?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schwalb, Antje; Dean, Walter E.; Fritz, C. Sherilyn; Geiss, Christoph E.; Kromer, Bernd

    2010-01-01

    Proxy evidence at decadal resolution from Late Holocene sediments from Pickerel Lake, northeastern South Dakota, shows distinct centennial cycles (400-700 years) in magnetic susceptibility; contents of carbonate, organic carbon, and major elements; abundance in ostracodes; and delta18O and delta13C values in calcite. Proxies indicate cyclic changes in eolian input, productivity, and temperature. Maxima in magnetic susceptibility are accompanied by maxima in aluminum and iron mass accumulation rates (MARs), and in abundances of the ostracode Fabaeformiscandona rawsoni. This indicates variable windy, and dry conditions with westerly wind dominance, including during the Medieval Climate Anomaly. Maxima in carbonates, organic carbon, phosphorous, and high delta13C values of endogenic calcite indicate moister and less windy periods with increased lake productivity, including during the Little Ice Age, and alternate with maxima of eolian transport. Times of the Maunder, Sporer and Wolf sunspot minima are characterized by maxima in delta18O values and aluminum MARs, and minima in delta13C values and organic carbon content. We interpret these lake conditions during sunspot minima to indicate decreases in lake surface water temperatures of up to 4-5 degrees C associated with decreases in epilimnetic productivity during summer. We propose that the centennial cycles are triggered by solar activity, originate in the tropical Pacific, and their onset during the Late Holocene is associated with insolation conditions driven by precession. The cyclic pattern is transmitted from the tropical Pacific into the atmosphere and transported by westerly winds into the North Atlantic realm where they strengthen the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation during periods of northern Great Plains wind maxima. This consequently leads to moister climates in Central and Northern Europe. Thus, Pickerel Lake provides evidence for mechanisms of teleconnections including an atmospheric link

  11. Climatic Implications of the Observed Temperature Dependence of the Liquid Water Path of Low Clouds in the Southern Great Plains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DelGenio, Anthony D.; Wolf, Audrey B.

    1999-01-01

    Satellite observations of low-level clouds have challenged the assumption that adiabatic liquid water content combined with constant physical thickness will lead to a negative cloud optics feedback in a decadal climate change. We explore the reasons for the satellite results using four years of surface remote sensing data from the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program Cloud and Radiation Testbed site in the Southern Great Plains of the United States. We find that low cloud liquid water path is approximately invariant with temperature in winter but decreases strongly with temperature in summer, consistent with the satellite inferences at this latitude. This behavior occurs because liquid water content shows no detectable temperature dependence while cloud physical thickness decreases with warming. Thinning of clouds with warming is observed on seasonal, synoptic, and diurnal time scales; it is most obvious in the warm sectors of baroclinic waves. Although cloud top is observed to slightly descend with warming, the primary cause of thinning is the ascent of cloud base due to the reduction in surface relative humidity and the concomitant increase in the lifting condensation level of surface air. Low cloud liquid water path is not observed to be a continuous function of temperature. Rather, the behavior we observe is best explained as a transition in the frequency of occurrence of different boundary layer types: At cold temperatures, a mixture of stratified and convective boundary layers is observed, leading to a broad distribution of liquid water path values, while at warm temperatures, only convective boundary layers with small liquid water paths, some of them decoupled, are observed. Our results, combined with the earlier satellite inferences, imply that the commonly quoted 1.50 C lower limit for the equilibrium global climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2, which is based on models with near-adiabatic liquid water behavior and constant physical thickness

  12. A comparison of blood lead levels in bald eagles from two regions on the great plains of North America.

    PubMed

    Miller, M J; Restani, M; Harmata, A R; Bortolotti, G R; Wayland, M E

    1998-10-01

    The connection between bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and the consumption of waterfowl, lead shotshell pellet ingestion, and subsequent lead exposure is well documented in the United States and is presumed also to be widespread in Canada. We compared blood lead concentrations in samples from bald eagles ranging in age from 0.5- to 1.5-yr-old at Galloway Bay, Saskatchewan, Canada (n = 97) during October-November, 1992-95 and Hauser Lake, Montana, USA (n = 81) during October-December, 1990-94, within the Great Plains region of North America. Abundant prey are available in the form of hunter-injured waterfowl in Saskatchewan and spawning salmon in Montana; both areas attract large numbers of mid-continent bald eagles during fall migration. Blood lead concentrations suggestive of recent lead exposure (> 0.201 microgram/ml) were found in 32% and 8% of eagles at Hauser Lake and Galloway Bay, respectively, when samples from each study area were analyzed independently at two laboratories. To determine if this difference was an artifact of interlaboratory variation, we determined a correction factor by reanalyzing 14 Saskatchewan blood samples at each laboratory and predicted blood lead concentrations from Hauser Lake had the samples been analyzed at the Canadian laboratory. Adjusted blood lead concentrations of samples from Hauser Lake indicated that 21% of eagles were recently exposed to lead, a proportion not significantly different from the proportion of the same exposure category at Galloway Bay. Our data do not support the supposition that a large proportion of bald eagles feeding on waterfowl in areas of high hunting pressure will be exposed to lead via consumption of lead shotshell pellets in waterfowl.

  13. Regional Carbon Fluxes and Atmospheric Carbon Dynamics in the Southern Great Plains during the 2007 CLASIC intensive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biraud, S. C.; Torn, M. S.; Riley, W. J.; Fischer, M. L.; Billesbach, D. P.; Avissar, R.; Berry, J. A.; Hirsch, A.; Loewenstein, M.; Lopez, J.

    2007-12-01

    In June 2007, a regional campaign took place in the Southern Great Plains (SGP) to estimate land-atmosphere exchanges of CO2, water, and energy at 1 to 100 km scales. The primary goals of this campaign were to evaluate top-down and bottom-up estimates of regional fluxes and to understand the influence of moisture gradients, surface heterogeneity, and atmospheric transport patterns on these fluxes (and their estimation). The work was integrated with the Cloud and Land Surface Interaction Campaign (CLASIC), centered on the US DOE Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program SGP region. CO2 concentration data were collected from tower and airborne platforms. Eddy flux towers were deployed in the four major land cover types, distributed over the region's SE to NW precipitation gradient. In addition, CO2, water, and energy fluxes were observed with the Duke Helicopter Observation Platform (HOP) at various heights in the boundary layer, including in the surface layer (the few meters near the surface). One aircraft carried precise CO2, CO, and CH4 continuous measurement systems, and 14C, radon, and NOAA 12-flask (carbon cycle gases and isotopes) packages. Continuous CO2, CO, and radon concentrations, NOAA 2-flask package, and isotope diel flasks (14C, 13C, and 18O) were also collected from a centrally located 60 m tower. Flights were planned to constrain simple boundary layer budget models and to conduct Lagrangian air mass following experiments. We present these data in the context of characterizing surface carbon exchanges via bottom-up and top-down approaches. We also describe results from forward (using MM5-LSM) and inverse (using STILT) modeling to estimate regional surface carbon and energy fluxes. In addition to characterizing the influence of the land surface on the atmosphere, the aircraft data (in combination with observations of atmospheric dynamics) provides a very well characterized southern boundary condition to the NACP Mid-Continent Intensive.

  14. Helium in deep circulating groundwater in the Great Hungarian Plain: Flow dynamics and crustal and mantle helium fluxes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stute, M.; Sonntag, C.; Deák, J.; Schlosser, P.

    1992-05-01

    Observed helium concentrations in deep circulating groundwater of the sedimentary basin of the Great Hungarian Plain (GHP), Hungary, cover a range of three orders of magnitude (≈4 ·10 -8 to 4 · 10 -5 ccSTP g-1). 3He /4He ratios and noble gas concentrations are used to separate helium components originating from the atmosphere, tritium decay, crustal production, and mantle degassing. The characteristic distribution of measured helium concentrations and isotope ratios can be reproduced qualitatively by a simple two-dimensional advection/diffusion model. Other simple models isolating parts of the regional flow domain (recharge, discharge, and horizontal flow) are discussed and applied to derive quantitative information on helium fluxes due to degassing of the Earth's crust /mantle and on the dynamics of groundwater flow. The estimated helium flux of 0.7-4.5 · 10 9 atoms 4He m -2 s -1 is lower than values derived from other deep groundwater circulation systems, probably because the relatively young upper few thousand meters of the sedimentary basin (Tertiary to Quaternary age) shield the flux from the deeper crust. The high mantle helium flux of up to 4.2 · 10 8 atoms 4He m -2 s -1 is probably related to the Miocene volcanism or to continuing intrusion accompanying extension. By fitting calculated helium depth profiles to measured data in the discharge area, vertical flow velocities of the order of 1.5 mm y -1 are estimated. Assuming that a flux of 0.7-4.5 · 10 9 atoms 4He m -2 s -1 is representative for the entire basin, the turnover time of the regional groundwater flow system is estimated to be about 10 6 y.

  15. A comparison of cloud layers from ground and satellite active remote sensing at the Southern Great Plains ARM site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Jinqiang; Xia, Xiang'ao; Chen, Hongbin

    2017-03-01

    Using the data collected over the Southern Great Plains ARM site from 2006 to 2010, the surface Active Remote Sensing of Cloud (ARSCL) and CloudSat-CALIPSO satellite (CC) retrievals of total cloud and six specified cloud types [low, mid-low (ML), high-mid-low (HML), mid, high-mid (HM) and high] were compared in terms of cloud fraction (CF), cloud-base height (CBH), cloud-top height (CTH) and cloud thickness (CT), on different temporal scales, to identify their respective advantages and limitations. Good agreement between the two methods was exhibited in the total CF. However, large discrepancies were found between the cloud distributions of the two methods at a high (240-m) vertical grid spacing. Compared to the satellites, ARSCL retrievals detected more boundary layer clouds, while they underestimated high clouds. In terms of the six specific cloud types, more low- and mid-level clouds but less HML- and high-level clouds were detected by ARSCL than by CC. In contrast, the ARSCL retrievals of ML- and HM-level clouds agreed more closely with the estimations from the CC product. Lower CBHs tended to be reported by the surface data for low-, ML- and HML-level clouds; however, higher CTHs were often recorded by the satellite product for HML-, HM- and high-level clouds. The mean CTs for low- and ML-level cloud were similar between the two products; however, the mean CTs for HML-, mid-, HM- and high-level clouds from ARSCL were smaller than those from CC.

  16. Architecture, heterogeneity, and origin of late Miocene fluvial deposits hosting the most important aquifer in the Great Plains, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joeckel, R. M.; Wooden, S. R.; Korus, J. T.; Garbisch, J. O.

    2014-08-01

    The Ash Hollow Formation (AHF) of the Ogallala Group is an important sedimentary archive of the emergence of the Great Plains and it contains major groundwater resources. Stratal patterns of constituent alluvial lithofacies demonstrate that the AHF is much more heterogeneous than is commonly assumed. Very fine- to fine-grained sandstone dominate overall, chiefly lithofacies Sm (massive to locally stratified sandstone). Stacked, thin sheets of Sm with accretionary macroform surfaces are common, indicating that many sandstone architectural elements originated as compound-bar deposits in dominantly sand-bed streams. Channel forms are difficult to identify and steep cutbanks are absent. Multiple units of lithofacies Sm show dense, and sometimes deep, burrowing by insects well above water tables under ancient floodplains. Massive, pedogenically modified siltstones (Fm), which compose floodplain fine architectural elements, are subsidiary in volumetric abundance to sandstones. Paleosols in these siltstones lack evidence for well-developed B horizons and advanced stages of maturity. Thin lenses of impure carbonate and laminated mud (lithofacies association Fl + C), which appear in most exposures, are deposits of ponded water in abandoned channels. Paleosols, ponded-water elements, and large vertebrate burrows in both Sm and Fm indicate that episodes of floodplain deposition, bar accretion, and channel filling were regularly followed by intervals of nondeposition on floodplains and by channel migration and abandonment. This study documents a major downdip change in the Ogallala Group overall, from source-proximal gravelly successions in the Wyoming Gangplank and deep, narrow paleovalley fills extending eastward into the Nebraska Panhandle. The lithofacies composition, stratigraphic architecture, and stratal dimensions of the AHF in the present study area are compatible with the planform geometries and floodplain soils of modestly-sized, sandy, low-sinuosity braided streams

  17. Analysis of ground-measured and passive-microwave-derived snow depth variations in midwinter across the Northern Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chang, A.T.C.; Kelly, R.E.J.; Josberger, E.G.; Armstrong, R.L.; Foster, J.L.; Mognard, N.M.

    2005-01-01

    Accurate estimation of snow mass is important for the characterization of the hydrological cycle at different space and time scales. For effective water resources management, accurate estimation of snow storage is needed. Conventionally, snow depth is measured at a point, and in order to monitor snow depth in a temporally and spatially comprehensive manner, optimum interpolation of the points is undertaken. Yet the spatial representation of point measurements at a basin or on a larger distance scale is uncertain. Spaceborne scanning sensors, which cover a wide swath and can provide rapid repeat global coverage, are ideally suited to augment the global snow information. Satellite-borne passive microwave sensors have been used to derive snow depth (SD) with some success. The uncertainties in point SD and areal SD of natural snowpacks need to be understood if comparisons are to be made between a point SD measurement and satellite SD. In this paper three issues are addressed relating satellite derivation of SD and ground measurements of SD in the northern Great Plains of the United States from 1988 to 1997. First, it is shown that in comparing samples of ground-measured point SD data with satellite-derived 25 ?? 25 km2 pixels of SD from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Special Sensor Microwave Imager, there are significant differences in yearly SD values even though the accumulated datasets showed similarities. Second, from variogram analysis, the spatial variability of SD from each dataset was comparable. Third, for a sampling grid cell domain of 1?? ?? 1?? in the study terrain, 10 distributed snow depth measurements per cell are required to produce a sampling error of 5 cm or better. This study has important implications for validating SD derivations from satellite microwave observations. ?? 2005 American Meteorological Society.

  18. Application of Aerosol Hygroscopicity Measured at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program's Southern Great Plains Site to Examine Composition and Evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gasparini, Roberto; Runjun, Li; Collins, Don R.; Ferrare, Richard A.; Brackett, Vincent G.

    2006-01-01

    A Differential Mobility Analyzer/Tandem Differential Mobility Analyzer (DMA/TDMA) was used to measure submicron aerosol size distributions, hygroscopicity, and occasionally volatility during the May 2003 Aerosol Intensive Operational Period (IOP) at the Central Facility of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program's Southern Great Plains (ARM SGP) site. Hygroscopic growth factor distributions for particles at eight dry diameters ranging from 0.012 micrometers to 0.600 micrometers were measured throughout the study. For a subset of particle sizes, more detailed measurements were occasionally made in which the relative humidity or temperature to which the aerosol was exposed was varied over a wide range. These measurements, in conjunction with backtrajectory clustering, were used to infer aerosol composition and to gain insight into the processes responsible for evolution. The hygroscopic growth of both the smallest and largest particles analyzed was typically less than that of particles with dry diameters of about 0.100 micrometers. It is speculated that condensation of secondary organic aerosol on nucleation mode particles is largely responsible for the minimal hygroscopic growth observed at the smallest sizes considered. Growth factor distributions of the largest particles characterized typically contained a nonhygroscopic mode believed to be composed primarily of dust. A model was developed to characterize the hygroscopic properties of particles within a size distribution mode through analysis of the fixed size hygroscopic growth measurements. The performance of this model was quantified through comparison of the measured fixed size hygroscopic growth factor distributions with those simulated through convolution of the size-resolved concentration contributed by each of the size modes and the mode-resolved hygroscopicity. This transformation from sizeresolved hygroscopicity to mode-resolved hygroscopicity facilitated examination of changes in the hygroscopic

  19. Analysis of environmental variation in a Great Plains reservoir using principal components analysis and geographic information systems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Long, J.M.; Fisher, W.L.

    2006-01-01

    We present a method for spatial interpretation of environmental variation in a reservoir that integrates principal components analysis (PCA) of environmental data with geographic information systems (GIS). To illustrate our method, we used data from a Great Plains reservoir (Skiatook Lake, Oklahoma) with longitudinal variation in physicochemical conditions. We measured 18 physicochemical features, mapped them using GIS, and then calculated and interpreted four principal components. Principal component 1 (PC1) was readily interpreted as longitudinal variation in water chemistry, but the other principal components (PC2-4) were difficult to interpret. Site scores for PC1-4 were calculated in GIS by summing weighted overlays of the 18 measured environmental variables, with the factor loadings from the PCA as the weights. PC1-4 were then ordered into a landscape hierarchy, an emergent property of this technique, which enabled their interpretation. PC1 was interpreted as a reservoir scale change in water chemistry, PC2 was a microhabitat variable of rip-rap substrate, PC3 identified coves/embayments and PC4 consisted of shoreline microhabitats related to slope. The use of GIS improved our ability to interpret the more obscure principal components (PC2-4), which made the spatial variability of the reservoir environment more apparent. This method is applicable to a variety of aquatic systems, can be accomplished using commercially available software programs, and allows for improved interpretation of the geographic environmental variability of a system compared to using typical PCA plots. ?? Copyright by the North American Lake Management Society 2006.

  20. A Modeling Study of Irrigation Effects on Surface Fluxes and Land-Air-Cloud Interactions in the Southern Great Plains

    SciTech Connect

    Qian, Yun; Huang, Maoyi; Yang, Ben; Berg, Larry K.

    2013-06-13

    In this study, the authors incorporate an operational-like irrigation scheme into the Noah land surface model as part of the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF). A series of simulations, with and without irrigation, is conducted over the Southern Great Plains (SGP) for an extremely dry (2006) and wet (2007) year. The results show that including irrigation reduces model bias in soil moisture and surface latent heat (LH) and sensible heat (SH) fluxes, especially during a dry year. Irrigation adds additional water to the surface, leading to changes in the planetary boundary layer. The increase in soil moisture leads to increases in the surface evapotranspiration and near-surface specific humidity but decreases in the SH and surface temperature. Those changes are local and occur during daytime. There is an irrigation-induced decrease in both the lifting condensation level (ZLCL) and mixed-layer depth. The decrease in ZLCL is larger than the decrease in mixed-layer depth, suggesting an increasing probability of shallow clouds. The simulated changes in precipitation induced by irrigation are highly variable in space, and the average precipitation over the SGP region only slightly increases. A high correlation is found among soil moisture, SH, and ZLCL. Larger values of soil moisture in the irrigated simulation due to irrigation in late spring and summer persist into the early fall, suggesting that irrigation-induced soil memory could last a few weeks to months. The results demonstrate the importance of irrigation parameterization for climate studies and improve the process-level understanding on the role of human activity in modulating land–air–cloud interactions.

  1. A 3-Year Climatology of Cloud and Radiative Properties Derived from GOES-8 Data Over the Southern Great Plains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Khaiyer, M. M.; Rapp, A. D.; Doelling, D. R.; Nordeen, M. L.; Minnis, P.; Smith, W. L., Jr.; Nguyen, L.

    2001-01-01

    While the various instruments maintained at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program Southern Great Plains (SGP) Central Facility (CF) provide detailed cloud and radiation measurements for a small area, satellite cloud property retrievals provide a means of examining the large-scale properties of the surrounding region over an extended period of time. Seasonal and inter-annual climatological trends can be analyzed with such a dataset. For this purpose, monthly datasets of cloud and radiative properties from December 1996 through November 1999 over the SGP region have been derived using the layered bispectral threshold method (LBTM). The properties derived include cloud optical depths (ODs), temperatures and albedos, and are produced on two grids of lower (0.5 deg) and higher resolution (0.3 deg) centered on the ARM SGP CF. The extensive time period and high-resolution of the inner grid of this dataset allows for comparison with the suite of instruments located at the ARM CF. In particular, Whole-Sky Imager (WSI) and the Active Remote Sensing of Clouds (ARSCL) cloud products can be compared to the cloud amounts and heights of the LBTM 0.3 deg grid box encompassing the CF site. The WSI provides cloud fraction and the ARSCL computes cloud fraction, base, and top heights using the algorithms by Clothiaux et al. (2001) with a combination of Belfort Laser Ceilometer (BLC), Millimeter Wave Cloud Radar (MMCR), and Micropulse Lidar (MPL) data. This paper summarizes the results of the LBTM analysis for 3 years of GOES-8 data over the SGP and examines the differences between surface and satellite-based estimates of cloud fraction.

  2. Structural and functional diversity of soil bacterial and fungal communities following woody plant encroachment in the southern Great Plains

    SciTech Connect

    Hollister, Emily B; Schadt, Christopher Warren; Palumbo, Anthony Vito; Ansley, R J; Boutton, Thomas W

    2010-01-01

    In the southern Great Plains (USA), encroachment of grassland ecosystems by Prosopis glandulosa (honey mesquite) is widespread. Mesquite encroachment alters net primary productivity, enhances stores of C and N in plants and soil, and leads to increased levels of soil microbial biomass and activity. While mesquite's impact on the biogeochemistry of the region is well established, it effects on soil microbial diversity and function are unknown. In this study, soils associated with four plant types (C{sub 3} perennial grasses, C{sub 4} midgrasses, C{sub 4} shortgrasses, and mesquite) from a mesquite-encroached mixed grass prairie were surveyed to in an attempt to characterize the structure, diversity, and functional capacity of their soil microbial communities. rRNA gene cloning and sequencing were used in conjunction with the GeoChip functional gene array to evaluate these potential differences. Mesquite soil supported increased bacterial and fungal diversity and harbored a distinct fungal community relative to other plant types. Despite differences in composition and diversity, few significant differences were detected with respect to the potential functional capacity of the soil microbial communities. These results may suggest that a high level of functional redundancy exists within the bacterial portion of the soil communities; however, given the bias of the GeoChip toward bacterial functional genes, potential functional differences among soil fungi could not be addressed. The results of this study illustrate the linkages shared between above- and belowground communities and demonstrate that soil microbial communities, and in particular soil fungi, may be altered by the process of woody plant encroachment.

  3. Geohydrology of bedrock aquifers in the Northern Great Plains in parts of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming

    SciTech Connect

    Downey, J.S.

    1986-01-01

    Development of energy-related resources in the northern Great Plains of the US will require large quantities of ground water. Because Montana, North Dakota, and Wyoming are semiarid, the primary local sources of nonappropriated water are the deep bedrock aquifers of Paleozoic and Mesozoic age. The US Geological Survey undertook a 4-year interdisciplinary study that has culminated in a digital-simulation model of the regional flow system and incorporates the results of geochemical, hydrologic, and geologic studies. Rocks of Paleozoic and Mesozoic age form at least five artesian aquifers that are recharged in the mountainous areas of Montana, South Dakota, and Wyoming. The aquifers extend for more than 600 mi to discharge areas in the northeastern part of North Dakota and in Manitoba. In general, the direction of flow in each aquifer is east to northeast, but flow is deflected to the north and south around the Williston basin. Flow through the Williston basin is restricted because of brine (200,000-350,000 mg/l), halite beds, geologic structures, and decreased permeability of rocks in the deeper parts of the basin. Fracture systems and lineaments transverse the entire area and act either as conduits or as barriers to ground-water flow, depending on their hydrogeologic and geochemical history. Vertical leakage from the aquifers is restricted by shale with low permeability, by halite beds, and by stratigraphic traps or low-permeability zones associated with petroleum accumulations. However, interaquifer leakage appears to occur through and along some of the major lineaments and fractures. Interaquifer leakage may be a major consideration in determining the quality of water produced from wells.

  4. Control of one invasive plant species allows exotic grasses to become dominant in northern Great Plains grasslands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larson, D.L.; Larson, J.L.

    2010-01-01

    Decline of leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) in the northern Great Plains of the US is generally viewed as a success story for biological control, but quality of the vegetation that survived the infestation is key to recovery of ecosystem function. In addition, effects of other invasive species, notably cool-season exotic grasses, must be taken into account. Objectives of this study were (1) to evaluate direction and significance of changes in biomass of native and exotic grasses, forbs, and leafy spurge and in plant species composition following control of leafy spurge by flea beetles and (2) to evaluate the relative effects of leafy spurge and exotic grasses on biomass of native grasses, biomass of forbs, and richness of native species. We monitored species composition (1998-2003 and 2008) and biomass (2000, 2002, 2003 and 2008) of these groups on spurge-infested and noninfested permanent plots at three sites with unbroken prairie sod in North Dakota, USA. We found little evidence, in terms of species richness or biomass of native grasses or forbs, that leafy spurge was being replaced by desirable native species, although desirable as well as weedy and exotic species were characteristic of 2008 vegetation at all three sites. Structural equation models revealed that leafy spurge had temporally intermittent negative effects on forb biomass and species richness, but no effects on native grasses. In contrast, exotic grass had consistently strong, negative effects on native grass biomass, as well as stronger negative effects than leafy spurge on native species richness. Although substantial native plant diversity remains at these sites, exotic grasses pose an important threat to these crucial building blocks of native prairie ecosystems. ?? 2010.

  5. Tapping unsustainable groundwater stores for agricultural production in the High Plains Aquifer of Kansas, projections to 2110

    PubMed Central

    Steward, David R.; Bruss, Paul J.; Yang, Xiaoying; Staggenborg, Scott A.; Welch, Stephen M.; Apley, Michael D.

    2013-01-01

    Groundwater provides a reliable tap to sustain agricultural production, yet persistent aquifer depletion threatens future sustainability. The High Plains Aquifer supplies 30% of the nation’s irrigated groundwater, and the Kansas portion supports the congressional district with the highest market value for agriculture in the nation. We project groundwater declines to assess when the study area might run out of water, and comprehensively forecast the impacts of reduced pumping on corn and cattle production. So far, 30% of the groundwater has been pumped and another 39% will be depleted over the next 50 y given existing trends. Recharge supplies 15% of current pumping and would take an average of 500–1,300 y to completely refill a depleted aquifer. Significant declines in the region’s pumping rates will occur over the next 15–20 y given current trends, yet irrigated agricultural production might increase through 2040 because of projected increases in water use efficiencies in corn production. Water use reductions of 20% today would cut agricultural production to the levels of 15–20 y ago, the time of peak agricultural production would extend to the 2070s, and production beyond 2070 would significantly exceed that projected without reduced pumping. Scenarios evaluate incremental reductions of current pumping by 20–80%, the latter rate approaching natural recharge. Findings substantiate that saving more water today would result in increased net production due to projected future increases in crop water use efficiencies. Society has an opportunity now to make changes with tremendous implications for future sustainability and livability. PMID:23980153

  6. [Effect of grazing on grassland under protective plantation in the ecotone between agriculture and animal husbandry or Songnen plain].

    PubMed

    He, Nianpeng; Wu, Ling; Zhou, Daowei

    2004-05-01

    Based on the current special position that grassland under protective plantation is one of the most important grazing spaces of the ecotone between agriculture and animal husbandry in Songnen plain, an experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of grazing on grassland under protective plantation. The results showed that no-grazing grassland in the grassland under protective plantation was seriously degenerated, but light and moderate grazing could stimulate the growth of grass and the product and quality of grassland. The index of grassland quality (IGQ) of no-grazing grassland was the lowest (15.51), attributing to serious degradation, while that of light grazing grassland was the highest (86.41), and the IGQ was decreased with increasing grazing intensity. Therefore, in order to stimulate the grass growth of the grassland, fully utilize the leaves of poplar, and increase the available forage resources, light and moderate grazing intensity should be advocated, but no-grazing and extreme grazing should be avoided.

  7. Plains Prickly Pear Response to Fire: Effects of Fuel Load, Heat, Fire Weather, and Donor Site Soil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plains prickly pear (Opuntia polyacantha Haw.) is common throughout the Great Plains and like related species, often becomes detrimental to agricultural production. We examined direct fire effects on plains prickly pear and mechanisms of tissue damage to facilitate development of fire prescriptions...

  8. Effects of groundwater flow on the distribution of biogenic gas in parts of the northern Great Plains of Canada and United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anna, Lawrence O.

    2011-01-01

    Parts of the northern Great Plains in eastern Montana and western North Dakota and southeastern Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan, Canada, were studied as part of an assessment of shallow biogenic gas in Upper Cretaceous rocks.Parts of the northern Great Plains in eastern Montana and western North Dakota and southeastern Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan, Canada, were studied as part of an assessment of shallow biogenic gas in Upper Cretaceous rocks. Large quantities of shallow biogenic gas are produced from low-permeability, Upper Cretaceous reservoirs in southeastern Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan, Canada. Rocks of similar types and age produce sparingly in the United States except on large structures, such as Bowdoin dome and Cedar Creek anticline. Significant production also occurs in the Tiger Ridge area, where uplift of the Bearpaw Mountains created stratigraphic traps. The resource in Canada is thought to be a continuous, biogenic-gas-type accumulation with economic production in a variety of subtle structures and stratigraphic settings. The United States northern Great Plains area has similar conditions but only broad structural closures or stratigraphic traps associated with local structure have produced economically to date. Numerical flow modeling was used to help determine that biogenic gas in low-permeability reservoirs is held in place by high hydraulic head that overrides buoyancy forces of the gas. Modeling also showed where hydraulic head is greater under Tertiary capped topographic remnants rather than near adjacent topographic lows. The high head can override the capillary pressure of the rock and force gas to migrate to low head in topographically low areas. Most current biogenic gas production is confined to areas between mapped lineaments in the northern Great Plains. The lineaments may reflect structural zones in the Upper Cretaceous that help compartmentalize reservoirs and confine gas accumulations.

  9. Analytical study of the effects of the Low-Level Jet on moisture convergence and vertical motion fields at the Southern Great Plains Cloud and Radiation Testbed site

    SciTech Connect

    Bian, X.; Zhong, S.; Whiteman, C.D.; Stage, S.A.

    1996-04-01

    The Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Southern Great Plains (SGP) Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) is located in a region that is strongly affected by a prominent meteorological phenomenon--the Great Plains Low-Level Jet (LLJ). Observations have shown that the LLJ plays a vital role in spring and summertime cloud formation and precipitation over the Great Plains. An improved understanding of the LLJ characteristics and its impact on the environment is necessary for addressing the fundamental issue of development and testing of radiational transfer and cloud parameterization schemes for the general circulation models (GCMs) using data from the SGP CART site. A climatological analysis of the summertime LLJ over the SGP has been carried out using hourly observations from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Wind Profiler Demonstration Network and from the ARM June 1993 Intensive Observation Period (IOP). The hourly data provide an enhanced temporal and spatial resolution relative to earlier studies which used 6- and 12-hourly rawinsonde observations at fewer stations.

  10. Evaluation of the precision agricultural landscape modeling system (PALMS) in the semiarid Texas southern high plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Accurate models to simulate the soil water balance in semiarid cropping systems are needed to evaluate management practices for soil and water conservation in both irrigated and dryland production systems. The objective of this study was to evaluate the application of the Precision Agricultural Land...

  11. Evaluation of the Precision Agricultural Landscape Modeling System (PALMS) in the Semiarid Texas Southern High Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Accurate models to simulate the soil water balance in semiarid cropping systems are needed to evaluate management practices for soil and water conservation in both irrigated and dryland production systems. The objective of this study was to evaluate the application of the Precision Agricultural Land...

  12. Assessing pesticide wet deposition risk within a small agricultural watershed in the Southeastern Coastal Plain (USA)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Pesticide volatilization and deposition with precipitation is widely documented and has been connected to adverse ecological impact. Here we describe a 3-yr study of current use and legacy pesticides in event-based rain samples within a 123-ha agricultural watershed. Crops in farm fields were docum...

  13. Regional Carbon Fluxes and Atmospheric Carbon Dynamics in the Southern Great Plains during the 2007 Mid Continent Intensive of NACP

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torn, M. S.; Fischer, M. L.; Riley, W. J.; Jackson, T. J.; Avissar, R.; Biraud, S. C.; Billesbach, D. P.; Sweeney, C.; Tans, P. P.; Berry, J. A.

    2006-12-01

    In June 2007, an intensive regional campaign will take place in the Southern Great Plains (SGP) to estimate land-atmosphere exchanges of CO2, water, and energy at 1 to 100 km scales. The primary goals of this North American Carbon Program (NACP) campaign are to evaluate top-down and bottom-up estimates of regional fluxes and to understand the influence of moisture gradients, surface heterogeneity, and atmospheric transport patterns on these fluxes (and their estimation). The work will be integrated with the Cloud and Land Surface Interaction Campaign (CLASIC), centered on the US DOE Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program SGP region. CLASIC will focus on interactions among the land surface, convective boundary layer, and cumulus clouds, and will utilize an array of atmospheric measurements. Carbon and meteorological data streams and logistical resources will be available to other NACP researchers. Carbon flux and concentration data will be collected from tower and airborne platforms. Eddy flux towers will be deployed in the four major land cover types, distributed over the region's SE to NW precipitation gradient. In addition, CO2, water, and energy fluxes will be observed with the Duke Helicopter Observation Platform (HOP) at various heights in the boundary layer, including in the surface layer (the few meters near the surface). Two aircraft will carry precise CO2 measurement systems and NOAA12-flask packages for carbon cycle gases and isotopes. Continuous CO2 and CO concentrations, NOAA flasks, and isotope diel flasks (14C, 13C, and 18O) will also be collected from a centrally located 60 m tower. Flights are planned to constrain simple boundary layer budget models and to conduct Lagrangian air mass following experiments. A distributed model of land surface fluxes will be run off line and coupled to MM5 with tracer capability. In addition to characterizing the influence of the land surface on the atmosphere, the aircraft data (in combination with observations of

  14. Towards a quantitative and independent reconstruction of Holocene temperature and precipitation in Northern Great Plains using novel organic proxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toney, J. L.; Fritz, S. C.; Baker, P. A.; Grimm, E. C.; Nyren, P. E.; Huang, Y.

    2009-12-01

    Existing records of climate variability from Northern Great Plains (NGP) are based on paleoecological and geochemical data (fossil assemblages and stable isotopes of carbonates) that are often indirect or affected by groundwater or lake specific processes. Therefore, no stable isotopic records exist in the region that can be transferred to a quantitative temperature or precipitation value. In this study, we use two organic proxies to independently reconstruct temperature and drought severity at Lake George, ND over the past 8.1 ka. Our temperature proxy is based on alkenone unsaturation that we have calibrated to in-situ lake water temperature, and our drought proxy is based on leaf wax hydrogen isotopic ratios that we calibrated against the instrumental record. We show that sedimentary alkenones record average spring temperature and are consistent with the instrumental period over the past 120 years. Both temperature and drought severity show a linear trend from 8.1 ka toward present, although the rate of average spring temperature increase is greater showing a 4.9 degrees Celsius increase over the past 8.1 ka. Distinct episodes of high temperature and drought severity occur at 7.9, 6.5, 5.1, 2.8 and 0.6 ka. We show enhanced drought severity during the mid-Holocene (8.0 to 4.9 ka) that corresponds to PDSI values between -1 and -2 based on calibration over the instrumental period and a single event similar to a PDSI value of -3 at 7.9 ka. B-tukey and cross-spectral analyses identify coherent cycles of 277 (c.i. 95%) and 694 years (c.i. 80%) in these two datasets that are sampled every 35 years. Overall, we observe increased temperatures are associated with increased drought intensity, which is consistent with modern meterological data and tree ring reconstructions for the past millennia. This is the first paleorecord to establish that this relationship extends farther back into at least the mid-Holocene time period and allows us to assess links to tropical SST and

  15. Evaluation of Daytime Measurements of Aerosols and Water Vapor made by an Operational Raman Lidar over the Southern Great Plains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ferrare, Richard; Turner, David; Clayton, Marian; Schmid, Beat; Covert, David; Elleman, Robert; Orgren, John; Andrews, Elisabeth; Goldsmith, John E. M.; Jonsson, Hafidi

    2006-01-01

    Raman lidar water vapor and aerosol extinction profiles acquired during the daytime over the Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Southern Great Plains (SGP) site in northern Oklahoma (36.606 N, 97.50 W, 315 m) are evaluated using profiles measured by in situ and remote sensing instruments deployed during the May 2003 Aerosol Intensive Operations Period (IOP). The automated algorithms used to derive these profiles from the Raman lidar data were first modified to reduce the adverse effects associated with a general loss of sensitivity of the Raman lidar since early 2002. The Raman lidar water vapor measurements, which are calibrated to match precipitable water vapor (PWV) derived from coincident microwave radiometer (MWR) measurements were, on average, 5-10% (0.3-0.6 g/m(exp 3) higher than the other measurements. Some of this difference is due to out-of-date line parameters that were subsequently updated in the MWR PWV retrievals. The Raman lidar aerosol extinction measurements were, on average, about 0.03 km(exp -1) higher than aerosol measurements derived from airborne Sun photometer measurements of aerosol optical thickness and in situ measurements of aerosol scattering and absorption. This bias, which was about 50% of the mean aerosol extinction measured during this IOP, decreased to about 10% when aerosol extinction comparisons were restricted to aerosol extinction values larger than 0.15 km(exp -1). The lidar measurements of the aerosol extinction/backscatter ratio and airborne Sun photometer measurements of the aerosol optical thickness were used along with in situ measurements of the aerosol size distribution to retrieve estimates of the aerosol single scattering albedo (omega(sub o)) and the effective complex refractive index. Retrieved values of omega(sub o) ranged from (0.91-0.98) and were in generally good agreement with omega(sub o) derived from airborne in situ measurements of scattering and absorption. Elevated aerosol

  16. Cosmogenic nuclide concentrations in Neogene rivers of the Great Plains reveal the evolution of fluvial storage and recycling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sinclair, Hugh; Stuart, Fin; McCann, Louise; Tao, Zui

    2016-04-01

    The measurement of the duration of near surface residence of sediment grains from the stratigraphic record has the potential to quantitatively reconstruct processes such as stratal condensation, sediment recycling and the exposure histories of unconformities. Geomorphological measurements of dates and rates of surfaces and erosion respectively has enabled significant advances in understanding, however, the radiogenic half life of typical cosmogenic nuclides such as 10Be and 26Al means they are not suitable for the stratigraphic record. Instead, we have applied the stable cosmogenic nuclide of 21Ne to quartz-rich sediment to quantify the routing history of the river systems that have drained the southern Rockies of Wyoming and Colorado during Neogene times. The Neogene sediments of Nebraska record fluvial systems of the Great Plains that flow from the Rockies towards the east and into the Mississippi catchment. This succession is <300 m thick, and records successive episodes of fluvial incision and aggradation associated with regional tilting from 6 to 4 Ma and periods of climate change. As part of an evaluation of the application of 21Ne to the stratigraphic record, we sampled quartzite pebbles from an Upper Miocene, Pliocene and modern river channel of the North Platte approximately 400 km from their mountainous source. The quartzite is derived from a single exposure of the Medicine Bow quartzites in Wyoming, therefore all three intervals recorded the same travel distance from source. Additionally, we know the erosion rate of the Medicine Bow quartzites from detrital 10Be analyses, and we also sampled shielded bedrock samples from the quartzite to evaluate for any non-cosmogenic 21Ne. This means that the concentrations of 21Ne in detrital pebbles >400 km from their source could be corrected for both inherited non-cosmogenic and erosion induced accumulation at source. Therefore, any additional amounts of 21Ne must record storage and exposure during transport down

  17. Urban expansion of major cities in the US Great Plains from 2000 to 2009 using scatterometer data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, L. H.; Nghiem, S. V.; Henebry, G. M.

    2015-12-01

    A long-term metric of urban landscape changes provide valuable information for many fundamental studies and applications. Here we studied expansion of the nine largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) in the Great Plains from 2000 to 2009 period using QuikSCAT backscatter data processed with the Dense Sampling Method (DSM). A 5x5 Gaussian Kernel Smoothing (with sigma=1) was applied to reduce noise in DSM backscatter images, which have a nominal spatial posting of 1 km. The outputs were then converted into vector files and coupled with the percent impervious surface area (ISA) data from the 2001 and 2011 National Land Cover Datasets to show changes in urban extent using two independent sources. The results demonstrate the capability of DSM scatterometer data to delineate urban extent and change. For instance, the Dallas - Fort Worth (DFW) MSA was separated into three sub-regions based on backscatter (cf. figure). The urban core area is identified by large commercial and industrial structures correspond to a high backscatter center greater than -6 dB. The urban built-up area consisting of smaller buildings falls within the -6 dB and -8 dB contours. Backscatter of the urban edge, where residential and other land uses are mixed, falls within the -8 dB and -10 dB contours. From 2000 to 2009, total urban area in DFW increased from 3484 to 5066 square kilometers, according to the filtered scatterometer data. The change in ISA between 2001 and 2011 within the -8 to -10 dB contour was 101 square kilometers, of which 73% occurred in the northern half of the DFW MSA. The Mann-Kendall trend test applied to the area time series indicates expanding spatial trends in every sub-region. Most changes occurred along the northern suburban edge. The distance between the 2000 and 2009 -10 dB contours ranged from 1.5 to 14.6 km with an average of 6 km and a coefficient of variation of 48%. We will present results for the other eight MSA from Houston, TX to Des Moines, IA.

  18. Evaluation of nocturnal roost and diurnal sites used by whooping cranes in the Great Plains, United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pearse, Aaron T.; Harner, Mary J.; Baasch, David M.; Wright, Greg D.; Caven, Andrew J.; Metzger, Kristine L.

    2017-01-17

    Endangered whooping cranes (Grus americana) of the Aransas-Wood Buffalo population migrate through the Great Plains twice each year. Although there is much interest in conservation and management for this species, information regarding characteristics of nocturnal roost sites used during migration has been limited and based largely on incidental observations. Using high-quality location data collected concurrently, we directed a companion field study designed to characterize sites used as roost or day-use sites to augment knowledge and assist the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program in identifying migration habitat for restoration, conservation, and management actions along the Platte River in central Nebraska. We collected data at 504 roost sites and 83 day-use sites used by marked whooping cranes in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Montana. Roost sites were located in emergent wetlands (50 percent), lacustrine wetlands (25 percent), rivers (20 percent), and dryland sites (5 percent). Most day-use sites were characterized as dryland sites (54 percent), with the balance in wetlands (45 percent) and rivers (1 percent). Habitat criteria thresholds initially derived by the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program to represent where 90 percent of whooping cranes used along the Platte River were different from those we measured over a larger section of the migration corridor. For most of the metrics, the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program’s initial habitat criteria thresholds would be considered more conservative than critical values estimated from our data; thus, whooping cranes were seemingly able to tolerate a wider range of these metrics than initially suspected. One exception was the metric distance to nearest disturbance feature, where our results sug­gest that whooping cranes may be less tolerant to nearby dis­turbances in a larger part of the migration corridor compared to the Platte River

  19. Impacts on wetlands of large-scale land-use changes by agricultural development: the Small Sanjiang Plain, China.

    PubMed

    Liu, Hongyu; Zhang, Shikui; Li, Zhaofu; Lu, Xianguo; Yang, Qing

    2004-08-01

    The Small Sanjiang Plain (SSP), was formerly the largest wetland complex in China, located in the Northeastern part of Heilongjiang Province, China. Home to vast numbers of waterfowls, fish, and plants, the SSP is globally significant for biodiversity conservation. The loss and fragmentation of wetlands as a result agricultural development over 50 years has impacted wetland communities and their biodiversity. We used GIS to inventory large-scale land-use changes from 1950 to 2000, together with other statistical data. We found that 73.6% of the wetlands were lost due to agricultural development. Consequences of these land-use changes included: i) a rapid decline in waterfowl and plant species with the loss and fragmentation of natural wetlands and wetland ecosystem degradation; ii) greater variation in wetland water levels as the result of land-use changes over the years; iii) disruption of the dynamic river-floodplain connection by construction of drainage ditches and levees; and iv) a decrease in floodplain area that caused increased flooding peak flows and runoff. Here we show how these changes affect wetland biodiversity and impact important wetland species.

  20. Climatology, Natural Cycles, and Modes of Interannual Variability of the Great Plains Low-Level Jet as Assimilated by the GEOS-1 Data Analysis System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Helfand, H. M.; Schubert, S. D.; Atlas, Robert (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Despite the fact that the low-level jet of the southern Great Plains (the GPLLJ) of the U.S. is primarily a nocturnal phenomenon that virtually vanishes during the daylight hours, it is one of the most persistent and stable features of the low-level continental flow during the warm-season months, May through August. We have first used significant-level data to validate the skill of the GEOS-1 Data Assimilation System (DAS) in realistically detecting this jet and inferring its structure and evolution. We have then carried out a 15-year reanalysis with the GEOS-1 DAS to determine and validate its climatology and mean diurnal cycle and to study its interannual variability. Interannual variability of the GPLLJ is much smaller than mean diurnal and random intraseasonal variability and comparable in magnitude, but not location, to mean seasonal variability. There are three maxima of interannual low-level meridional flow variability of the GPLLJ over the upper Great Plains, southeastern Texas, and the western Gulf of Mexico. Cross-sectional profiles of mean southerly wind through the Texas maximum remain relatively stable and recognizable from year to year with only its eastward flank showing significant variability. This variability, however, exhibits a distinct, biennial oscillation during the first six years of the reanalysis period and only then. Each of the three variability maxima corresponds to a spatially coherent, jet-like pattern of low-level flow interannual variability. There are three prominent modes of interannual. variability. These include the intermittent biennial oscillation (IBO), local to the Texas maximum. Its signal is evident in surface pressure, surface temperature, ground wetness and upper air flow, as well. A larger-scale continental convergence pattern (CCP) of covariance, exhibiting strong anti-correlation between the flow near the Texas and the upper Great Plains variability maxima, is revealed only when the IBO is removed from the interannual

  1. [Fluorine speciation and its distribution characteristics in selected agricultural soils of North China Plain].

    PubMed

    Yi, Chun-Yao; Wang, Bing-Guo; Jin, Meng-Gui

    2013-08-01

    The objectives of this study were to study fluorine speciation and its distribution characteristics in the cultivated soils of wheat-corn fields at the typical areas, the North China Plain. The fluorine contents in cultivated soils and profile soils were measured by consecutive extraction. The results showed that the soil total fluorine (T-F) content at typical areas in the North China Plain ranged from 338.31 mg x kg(-1) to 781.67 mg x kg(-1), with a mean of 430.46 mg x kg(-1). The soil fluorine speciation with the highest content was Residual-Fluorine (Res-F), with a mean of 402.73 mg x kg(-1). The average content of Water soluble Fluorine (Ws-F) was 14.39 mg x kg(-1). The result indicated that the cultivated soil in the study area was at a relatively high fluoride pollution level, which may be harmful to human health and the ecological environment. The contents of Organic Fluorine (Or-F) and Fe/Mn Oxide-Fluorine (Fe/ Mn-F) were also quite high, with a mean of 8.90 mg x kg(-1) and 4.10 mg x kg(-1), respectively. The exchangeable fluorine (Ex-F) only had a very small amount of 0.33 mg x kg(-1). Soil Ws-F was positively correlated with soil pH and CEC, while it was negatively correlated with the percentage of soil clay. The content of soil Fe/Mn-F was positively correlated with soil pH, CEC and the sand grain content percentage, while it was negatively correlated with the clay grain content percentage. The soil pH value had the most significant influence on the water soluble fluorine (Ws-F) and Fe/Mn Oxide-Fluorine (Fe/Mn-F), and the soil CEC had the most significant influence on the soil total fluorine (T-F) and residual-Fluorine (Res-F) by stepwise regression analysis. In the soil profiles, the T-F content appeared as peaks and valleys representing the change of the soil lithology in the vadose zone. The Ws-F in the soil profiles mainly changed in the depth of 0-100 cm near the surface soil and was little influenced by the soil lithology. But it was strongly

  2. Investigation of the 2006 Drought and 2007 Flood Extremes at the Southern Great Plains Through an Integrative Analysis of Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dong, Xiquan; Xi, Baike; Kennedy, Aaron; Feng, Zhe; Entin, Jared K.; Houser, Paul R.; Schiffer, Robert A.; LEucyer, Tristan; Olson, William S.; Hsu, Kuo-lin; Liu, W. Timothy; Lin, BIng; Deng, Yi; Jiang, Tianyu

    2010-01-01

    Hydrological years 2006 (HY06, 10/2005-09/2006) and 2007 (HY07, 10/2006-09/2007) provide a unique opportunity to examine hydrological extremes in the central US because there are no other examples of two such highly contrasting precipitation extremes occurring in consecutive years at the Southern Great Plains (SGP) in recorded history. The HY06 annual precipitation in the state of Oklahoma, as observed by the Oklahoma Mesonet, is around 61% of the normal (92.84 cm, based on the 1921-2008 climatology), which results in HY06 the second-driest year in the record. In particular, the total precipitation during the winter of 2005-06 is only 27% of the normal, and this winter ranks as the driest season. On the other hand, the HY07 annual precipitation amount is 121% of the normal and HY07 ranks as the seventh-wettest year for the entire state and the wettest year for the central region of the state. Summer 2007 is the second-wettest season for the state. Large-scale dynamics play a key role in these extreme events. During the extreme dry period (10/2005-02/2006), a dipole pattern in the 500-hPa GH anomaly existed where an anomalous high was over the southwestern U.S. region and an anomalous low was over the Great Lakes. This pattern is associated with inhibited moisture transport from the Gulf of Mexico and strong sinking motion over the SGP, both contributing to the extreme dryness. The precipitation deficit over the SGP during the extreme dry period is clearly linked to significantly suppressed cyclonic activity over the southwestern U.S., which shows robust relationship with the Western Pacific (WP) teleconnection pattern. The precipitation events during the extreme wet period (May-July 2007) were initially generated by active synoptic weather patterns, linked with moisture transport from the Gulf of Mexico by the northward low level jet, and enhanced by the mesoscale convective systems. Although the drought and pluvial conditions are dominated by large-scale dynamic

  3. Investigation of the 2006 drought and 2007 flood extremes at the Southern Great Plains through an integrative analysis of observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong, Xiquan; Xi, Baike; Kennedy, Aaron; Feng, Zhe; Entin, Jared K.; Houser, Paul R.; Schiffer, Robert A.; L'Ecuyer, Tristan; Olson, William S.; Hsu, Kuo-Lin; Liu, W. Timothy; Lin, Bing; Deng, Yi; Jiang, Tianyu

    2011-02-01

    Hydrological years 2006 (HY06; October 2005 to September 2006) and 2007 (HY07; October 2006 to September 2007) provide a unique opportunity to examine hydrological extremes in the central United States because there are no other examples of two such highly contrasting precipitation extremes occurring in consecutive years at the Southern Great Plains (SGP) in recorded history. The HY06 annual precipitation in the state of Oklahoma, as observed by the Oklahoma Mesonet, is around 61% of the normal (92.84 cm, based on the 1921-2008 climatology), which results in HY06 as the second-driest year in the record. In particular, the total precipitation during the winter of 2005-2006 is only 27% of the normal, and this winter ranks as the driest season. On the other hand, the HY07 annual precipitation amount is 121% of the normal, and HY07 ranks as the seventh-wettest year for the entire state and the wettest year for the central region of the state. Summer 2007 is the second-wettest season for the state. Large-scale dynamics play a key role in these extreme events. During the extreme dry period (11/2005-02/2006), a dipole pattern in the 500 hPa geopotential height anomaly existed where an anomalous high was over the southwestern U.S. region and an anomalous low was over the Great Lakes. This pattern is associated with inhibited moisture transport from the Gulf of Mexico and strong sinking motion over the SGP, both contributing to the extreme dryness. The precipitation deficit over the SGP during the extreme dry period is clearly linked to significantly suppressed cyclonic activity over the southwestern United States, which shows a robust relationship with the western Pacific teleconnection pattern. The precipitation events during the extreme wet period (May-July 2007) were initially generated by active synoptic weather patterns, linked with moisture transport from the Gulf of Mexico by the northward low-level jet, and enhanced the frequency of thunderstorms and their

  4. Lead Isotopic Tracing of Coal-Based Anthropogenic Pollution in Agricultural Soils in Jianghan Plain, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daniel, J. N.; Ying, S.; Zhao, R.; Bu, J.; Gan, Y.; Wang, Y.; Weiss, D. J.; Fendorf, S. E.

    2014-12-01

    The Chinese demand for energy is one of the greatest in the world, and the vast majority of it is generated through coal combustion - a process by which diverse pollutants are released into the atmosphere. Due to the relative proximity of croplands to power plants in much of China, these pollutants can be deposited onto agricultural soils via atmospheric transport. Relative amounts of lead (Pb) isotopes in airborne anthropogenic coal-based contaminants (fly ash) are currently understood. However, contaminants' effects on agricultural soil composition are less clear. We investigate the prevalence of anthropogenic contaminants in cropland soils using lead (Pb) isotope ratios as a tracer. Surface soil samples and deep core samples, taken from Chinese field sites in proximity to a coal combustion plant, undergo an acid extraction process and lead (Pb) isotope concentrations are measured. The results of this study illustrate the extent to which airborne contaminants have entered cropland soils and integrated themselves into the chemical processes at work. They further expand our understanding of the impacts of human coal combustion activities on the biogeochemistry of agricultural soils.

  5. NO and N2O emissions from agricultural fields in the North China Plain: Origination and mitigation.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yuanyuan; Mu, Yujing; Zhou, Yizhen; Tian, Di; Liu, Junfeng; Zhang, Chenglong

    2016-05-01

    Agricultural soil has been recognized as a major source of atmospheric NO and N2O emissions which have important impacts on regional and global environments. Here we comparably investigated the effects of ammonium, nitrate fertilizers and nitrification inhibitor dicyandiamide (DCD) addition on NO and N2O emissions from the agricultural soil in the North China Plain (NCP). Compared with the ammonium fertilizer application, the reductions of NO emissions caused by nitrate fertilizer and DCD addition were 100% and 93%, and of N2O emissions were 54% and 74%, respectively. Remarkable reductions of NO and N2O emissions were also observed from five different agricultural soils in the NCP by replacing ammonium with nitrate fertilizer, indicating that nitrification is the predominant process for the emissions of NO and N2O from the soils in the vast area of NCP. NO emission peaks were found to be several days later than N2O peaks after the application of ammonium fertilizer and flooding irrigation, implying that most of NO initially produced via nitrification process might be fast reduced to N2O under the high soil moisture condition. Interestingly, the relative contribution of denitrification to N2O emission showed obviously time-dependent, e.g., evident N2O emission caused by the application of nitrate was only observed after the basal fertilization for the maize and the topdressing for the wheat. Replacing ammonium with nitrate fertilizer and mixing with the nitrification inhibitor are verified to be effective measures for mitigating NO and N2O emissions from arable soils in the NCP.

  6. Impacts of Stream Flow and Climate Variability on Native and Invasive Woody Species in a Riparian Ecosystem of a Semi-Arid Region of the Great Plains, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skolaut, K.; Awada, T.; Cherubini, P.; Schapaugh, A.

    2012-12-01

    Riparian ecosystems support diverse plant communities that exert direct and indirect biological, physical and chemical influence on, and are influenced by, adjacent water through both above and below-ground interactions. Historically, riparian areas of the northern Great Plains, US have been dominated by the native Populus deltoides (eastern cottonwood). This species relies on regular floods for regeneration and groundwater access for success. Over the past sixty years, changes in flow management and agricultural practices, coupled with climate variability and drought have altered stream flow and caused a dramatic decline in stream water yields and levels of groundwater. These and other biotic and biotic factors have promoted the expansion of the upland native woody species Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar), and the invasion of the non-native (introduced) Elaeagnus angustifolia (Russian olive) into riparian ecosystems. This invasion has further altered the water balance in the system and exasperated the problem of water scarcity with negative feedback on ecosystem services and growth of native woody species. The ability of P. deltoides to re-establish and grow is of concern for natural resource managers. Tree ring analysis of annual growth rates were used to determine 1) the responses P. deltoides and invasive J. virginiana and E. angustifulia to climate variability and stream flow regulation, and 2) the impacts of the two invasive species on the growth of native P. deltoides. Results show a dependency of growth for P. deltoides on the previous year summer temperature, and a less significant correlation to annual stream flow. J. virginiana showed the highest correlation to annual stream flow, as well as some dependency on the previous growing season precipitation. While the growth of both P. deltoides and J. virginiana displayed greater dependence on climatic factors, E. angustifolia displayed the lowest mean basal area growth and deviation from the growth. E

  7. Long-term patterns of air temperatures, daily temperature range, precipitation, grass-reference evapotranspiration and aridity index in the USA great plains: Part II. Temporal trends

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kukal, M.; Irmak, S.

    2016-11-01

    Detection of long-term changes in climate variables over large spatial scales is a very important prerequisite to the development of effective mitigation and adaptation measures for the future potential climate change and for developing strategies for future hydrologic balance analyses under changing climate. Moreover, there is a need for effective approaches of providing information about these changes to decision makers, water managers and stakeholders to aid in efficient implementation of the developed strategies. This study involves computation, mapping and analyses of long-term (1968-2013) county-specific trends in annual, growing-season (1st May-30th September) and monthly air temperatures [(maximum (Tmax), minimum (Tmin) and average (Tavg)], daily temperature range (DTR), precipitation, grass reference evapotranspiration (ETo) and aridity index (AI) over the USA Great Plains region using datasets from over 800 weather station sites. Positive trends in annual Tavg, Tmax and Tmin, DTR, precipitation, ETo and AI were observed in 71%, 89%, 85%, 31%, 61%, 38% and 66% of the counties in the region, respectively, whereas these proportions were 48%, 89%, 62%, 20%, 57%, 28%, and 63%, respectively, for the growing-season averages of the same variables. On a regional average basis, the positive trends in growing-season Tavg, Tmax and Tmin, DTR, precipitation, ETo and AI were 0.18 °C decade-1, 0.19 °C decade-1, 0.17 °C decade-1, 0.09 °C decade-1, 1.12 mm yr-1, 0.4 mm yr-1 and 0.02 decade-1, respectively, and the negative trends were 0.21 °C decade-1, 0.06 °C decade-1, 0.09 °C decade-1, 0.22 °C decade-1, 1.16 mm yr-1, 0.76 mm yr-1 and 0.02 decade-1, respectively. The temporal trends were highly variable in space and were appropriately represented using monthly, annual and growing-season maps developed using Geographic Information System (GIS) techniques. The long-term and spatial and temporal information and data for a large region provided in this study can be

  8. Impacts of agricultural management and climate change on future soil organic carbon dynamics in North China Plain.

    PubMed

    Wang, Guocheng; Li, Tingting; Zhang, Wen; Yu, Yongqiang

    2014-01-01

    Dynamics of cropland soil organic carbon (SOC) in response to different management practices and environmental conditions across North China Plain (NCP) were studied using a modeling approach. We identified the key variables driving SOC changes at a high spatial resolution (10 km × 10 km) and long time scale (90 years). The model used future climatic data from the FGOALS model based on four future greenhouse gas (GHG) concentration scenarios. Agricultural practices included different rates of nitrogen (N) fertilization, manure application, and stubble retention. We found that SOC change was significantly influenced by the management practices of stubble retention (linearly positive), manure application (linearly positive) and nitrogen fertilization (nonlinearly positive) - and the edaphic variable of initial SOC content (linearly negative). Temperature had weakly positive effects, while precipitation had negligible impacts on SOC dynamics under current irrigation management. The effects of increased N fertilization on SOC changes were most significant between the rates of 0 and 300 kg ha-1 yr-1. With a moderate rate of manure application (i.e., 2000 kg ha-1 yr-1), stubble retention (i.e., 50%), and an optimal rate of nitrogen fertilization (i.e., 300 kg ha-1 yr-1), more than 60% of the study area showed an increase in SOC, and the average SOC density across NCP was relatively steady during the study period. If the rates of manure application and stubble retention doubled (i.e., manure application rate of 4000 kg ha-1 yr-1 and stubble retention rate of 100%), soils across more than 90% of the study area would act as a net C sink, and the average SOC density kept increasing from 40 Mg ha-1 during 2010s to the current worldwide average of ∼ 55 Mg ha-1 during 2060s. The results can help target agricultural management practices for effectively mitigating climate change through soil C sequestration.

  9. Plan of study for the northern Great Plains regional aquifer-system analysis in parts of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dinwiddie, George A.

    1979-01-01

    The Northern Great Plains, an area of about 250,000 square miles in parts of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming, is underlain by an accumulation of sediments eroded from the Black Hills and from mountains to the west. Principal aquifers are areally extensive beds of sandstone within these sedimentary rocks, some at great depths. Anticipated future water needs dictate that available ground-water supplies be evaluated for management of this natural resource. The U.S. Geological Survey has started (1978) a 4-year study of the Northern Great Plains aquifer system. The objective of this study is to define availability and quality of ground water and to predict the effects of using this resource. To achieve this objective, the ground-water system will be described in terms of spatial distribution, hydraulics, geology, and geochemistry. Once described, the ground-water system will be simulated by mathematical models that will be used to define responses of the system to various management alternatives and assumed development patterns. This initial report describes the framework for the study. (Woodard-USGS)

  10. Impact of dicyandiamide on emissions of nitrous oxide, nitric oxide and ammonia from agricultural field in the North China Plain.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Yizhen; Zhang, Yuanyuan; Tian, Di; Mu, Yujing

    2016-02-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2O), nitric oxide (NO) and ammonia (NH3) emissions from an agricultural field in the North China Plain were compared for three treatments during a whole maize growing period from 26 June to 11 October, 2012. Compared with the control treatment (without fertilization, designated as CK), remarkable pulse emissions of N2O, NO and NH3 were observed from the normal fertilization treatment (designated as NP) just after fertilization, whereas only N2O and NH3 pulse emissions were evident from the nitrification inhibitor treatment (designated as ND). The reduction proportions of N2O and NO emissions from the ND treatment compared to those from the NP treatment during the whole maize growing period were 31% and 100%, respectively. A measurable increase of NH3 emission from the ND treatment was found with a cumulative NH3 emission of 3.8 ± 1.2 kg N/ha, which was 1.4 times greater than that from the NP treatment (2.7 ± 0.7 kg N/ha).

  11. Agricultural irrigation mediates climatic effects and density dependence in population dynamics of Chinese striped hamster in North China Plain.

    PubMed

    Yan, Chuan; Xu, Lei; Xu, Tongqin; Cao, Xiaoping; Wang, Fusheng; Wang, Shuqing; Hao, Shoushen; Yang, Hefang; Zhang, Zhibin

    2013-03-01

    Several studies show that climatic (extrinsic) factors can interact with density-dependent (intrinsic) factors to alter long-term population dynamics, yet there is a surprising lack of investigations of how anthropogenic disturbance modifies such dynamics. Such interactions could be especially important in agricultural systems subject to climate change. We investigated the effects of density dependence, climate, recurrent disturbance from flood irrigation and their interactions on the population dynamics of an important rodent pest, the Chinese striped hamster (Cricetulus barabensis), over 27 years in the croplands of the North China Plain. Strong density-dependent feedbacks occurred at both annual and seasonal scales. While warmer weather increased population sizes in nonbreeding seasons, this effect was counteracted by the negative effect of flood irrigation in breeding seasons. Precipitation showed significant positive effects in nonbreeding seasons, but negative effects in breeding seasons. There were important interactions between intrinsic dynamics, extrinsic dynamics and disturbance. Low temperature significantly increased the strength of density dependence in nonbreeding seasons, whereas intensification of flood irrigation area significantly increased the strength of density dependence but reduced the effect of summer precipitation in breeding seasons. Overall climate change is expected to increase population levels, but anthropogenic disturbance from flood irrigation will help prevent long-term population increases. The interactions between anthropogenic disturbance and both intrinsic and extrinsic (weather-driven) population dynamics caution that we need to consider anthropogenic disturbance as an integral component of population responses to climate change.

  12. Surface-water quality in agricultural watersheds of the North Carolina Coastal Plain associated with concentrated animal feeding operations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harden, Stephen L.

    2015-01-01

    A classification tree model was developed to examine relations of watershed environmental attributes among the study sites with and without CAFO manure effects. Model results indicated that variations in swine barn density, percentage of wetlands, and total acres available for applying swine-waste manures had an important influence on those watersheds where CAFO effects on water quality were either evident or mitigated. Measurable effects of CAFO waste manures on stream water quality were most evident in those SW and SP watersheds having lower percentages of wetlands combined with higher swine barn densities and (or) higher total acres available for applying waste manure at the swine CAFOs. Stream water quality was similar to background agricultural conditions in SW and SP watersheds with lower swine barn densities coupled with higher percentages of wetlands or lower acres available for swine manure applications. The model provides a useful tool for exploring and identifying similar, unmonitored watersheds in the North Carolina Coastal Plain with potential CAFO manure influences on water quality that might warrant further examination.

  13. Assessing Sediment Yield for Selected Watersheds in the Laurentian Great Lakes Basin Under Future Agricultural Scenarios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shao, Yang; Lunetta, Ross S.; Macpherson, Alexander J.; Luo, Junyan; Chen, Guo

    2013-01-01

    In the Laurentian Great Lakes Basin (GLB), corn acreage has been expanding since 2005 in response to high demand for corn as an ethanol feedstock. This study integrated remote sensing-derived products and the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) within a geographic information system (GIS) modeling environment to assess the impacts of cropland change on sediment yield within four selected watersheds in the GLB. The SWAT models were calibrated during a 6 year period (2000-2005), and predicted stream flows were validated. The R 2 values were 0.76, 0.80, 0.72, and 0.81 for the St. Joseph River, the St. Mary River, the Peshtigo River, and the Cattaraugus Creek watersheds, respectively. The corresponding E (Nash and Sutcliffe model efficiency coefficient) values ranged from 0.24 to 0.79. The average annual sediment yields (tons/ha/year) ranged from 0.12 to 4.44 for the baseline (2000 to 2008) condition. Sediment yields were predicted to increase for possible future cropland change scenarios. The first scenario was to convert all "other" agricultural row crop types (i.e., sorghum) to corn fields and switch the current/baseline crop rotation into continuous corn. The average annual sediment yields increased 7-42 % for different watersheds. The second scenario was to further expand the corn planting to hay/pasture fields. The average annual sediment yields increased 33-127 % compared with baseline conditions.

  14. Assessing sediment yield for selected watersheds in the Laurentian Great Lakes Basin under future agricultural scenarios.

    PubMed

    Shao, Yang; Lunetta, Ross S; Macpherson, Alexander J; Luo, Junyan; Chen, Guo

    2013-01-01

    In the Laurentian Great Lakes Basin (GLB), corn acreage has been expanding since 2005 in response to high demand for corn as an ethanol feedstock. This study integrated remote sensing-derived products and the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) within a geographic information system (GIS) modeling environment to assess the impacts of cropland change on sediment yield within four selected watersheds in the GLB. The SWAT models were calibrated during a 6 year period (2000-2005), and predicted stream flows were validated. The R(2) values were 0.76, 0.80, 0.72, and 0.81 for the St. Joseph River, the St. Mary River, the Peshtigo River, and the Cattaraugus Creek watersheds, respectively. The corresponding E (Nash and Sutcliffe model efficiency coefficient) values ranged from 0.24 to 0.79. The average annual sediment yields (tons/ha/year) ranged from 0.12 to 4.44 for the baseline (2000 to 2008) condition. Sediment yields were predicted to increase for possible future cropland change scenarios. The first scenario was to convert all "other" agricultural row crop types (i.e., sorghum) to corn fields and switch the current/baseline crop rotation into continuous corn. The average annual sediment yields increased 7-42 % for different watersheds. The second scenario was to further expand the corn planting to hay/pasture fields. The average annual sediment yields increased 33-127 % compared with baseline conditions.

  15. Modification of growing-season surface temperature records in the northern great plains due to land-use transformation: verification of modelling results and implication for global climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahmood, Rezaul; Hubbard, Kenneth G.; Carlson, Christy

    2004-03-01

    Land-use and land-cover change can modify near-surface atmospheric condition. Mesoscale modelling studies have shown that modification in land use affects near-surface soil moisture storage and energy balance. Such a study in the Great Plains showed that changes in land use from natural grass to irrigated agriculture enhanced soil water storage in the root zone and increased latent energy flux. This increase in latent energy flux would correspond to a decrease in sensible heat flux and, therefore, modify near-surface temperature records. To verify this deduction, we have investigated the changes in the historical near-surface temperature records in Nebraska, USA. We have analysed the long-term mean monthly maximum, minimum, and monthly mean air temperature data from five irrigated and five non-irrigated sites. The cooperative weather observation (coop) network is the source of the data. We have found that there is a clear trend in decreasing mean maximum and average temperature data for irrigated sites. For example, York, NE, reports that the mean maximum growing season temperature is decreasing at the rate -0.01°C year-1. The results from non-irrigated sites indicated an increasing trend for the same parameters. The data from Halsey, NE, indicate a +0.01°C year-1 increase in this century. In addition, we have conducted similar analyses of temperature data for the National Climatic Data Center's Historical Climatic Network data set for the same locations. The results are similar to that obtained with the coop data set. Further investigation of dew-point temperature records for irrigated and non-irrigated sites also show an increasing and decreasing trend respectively. Therefore, we conclude that the land-use change in the Great Plains has modified near-surface temperature records.

  16. Preliminary data for northern Great Plains test well 1, quarter NE quarter Sec. 11, T.55N., R.77W., Sheridan County, Wyoming

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lobmeyer, D.H.; Anna, L.O.; Busby, J.F.

    1982-01-01

    This report documents the preliminary data obtained from Northern Great Plains test well 1 and describes the preliminary results and future testing plans. The intended audience includes hydrologists, local water users, drilling contractors, and water managers. The test well was drilled as part of the study to determine the water resource potential of the regional aquifer system in the Northern Great Plains, an area of about 250,000 sq mi. The well is 4,485 ft deep; nine cores were drilled totaling 182 ft; 157.42 ft of core were recovered. Sidewall cores were obtained from 24 horizons. Gamma and density scans of the cores were made, and selected parts were tested for density, porosity, and vertical and horizontal permeability. Eight zones were perforated and tested using conventional drill-stem tests and swabbing. Water samples were obtained from seven zones. No major potential sources of groundwater were penetrated by the test well. Estimated yields from selected zones range from about 240 gal/min with 400 ft of drawdown to about 5 gal/min flow at the surface. Dissolved-solids concentrations ranged from about 1,800 to 3,000 mg/l. (USGS)

  17. A mixed-methods approach to understanding farmer and rancher interest in supplying woody biomass in the U.S. Northern Great Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hand, Ashley M.

    Bioenergy produced from cellulosic feedstocks could serve as an opportunity to strengthen local and regional economies, reduce fossil fuel energy consumption for transportation or electricity production, and also jointly produce various environmental services. In the U.S. Northern Great Plains, woody bioenergy crops can provide multifunctional benefits while building biomass supply capacity when established within existing farm and ranch systems. Understanding what facilitates or constraints potential biomass suppliers' level of interest in biomass production is essential to fully assess the regional potential of biomass-based bioenergy in the Northern Great Plains. Qualitative data from a regional focus group series illustrates the complexities associated with farmer definitions of marginality, attitudes towards trees and bioenergy production, while also characterizing influences on farmer/rancher interest in woody biomass production. Quantitatively, a region-wide representative survey of farmers and ranchers managing marginal land captures a snapshot of operator interest in woody biomass production. Results indicate that 61% of farmers and ranchers have some degree of interest in woody biomass production, while results from an ordered probit regression further illustrate how farm/ranch system attributes, individual farmer/rancher characteristics, relevant attitudes and knowledge significantly affect interest. Data from both methods allow us to highlight attributes of operators who are most likely to be early adopters of a woody biomass crop, can serve as an input to local or regional assessments of potential for renewable energy production, and have implications for the development of relevant policy initiatives and management practices.

  18. Soil Organic Matter \\delta 13C across the Great Plains grasslands: both rainfall and temperature control C3 vs. C4 productivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    von Fischer, J. C.; Tieszen, L. L.

    2004-12-01

    Grass species that dominate the Great Plains grasslands assimilate CO2 by one of two photosynthetic systems, C3 or C4, with the proportions of these types largely controlled by climate. Because C3 and C4 plants differ in their magnitudes of carbon isotope fractionation, regional and global scale biogeochemical analyses (e.g., isotopic inversion studies of CO2) depend on knowing the relative activity of these groups and how they vary with climate. However, regional analyses of C3/C4 proportions, such as Teeri and Stowe (1979), have measured species composition but not relative production. To quantify the relationship between climate and relative production, we have analyzed the carbon isotope composition of soil organic matter (SOM) from 75 native prairie relicts across the Great Plains and compared these values to long-term (30-year mean) climate data. Although temperature has long been recognized as a key determinant of C3 vs. C4 success because of its effects on photorespiration, we find that the timing of rainfall is an additional important predictor; increased rainfall in summer months leads to increased relative production of C4 species. This finding adds complexity to the dominant view that temperature alone controls C3/C4 balance, and suggests that regional scale biogeochemical studies should evaluate the degree to which rainfall is included as a predictor of C3 vs. C4 productivity.

  19. The Effect of Contrasting Wet and Dry Extreme Precipitation on Ecosystem Carbon Fluxes and Water Use Efficiency in the Southern Great Plains, United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, J.; Felzer, B. S.

    2015-12-01

    Climate extremes, such as heat waves and heavy precipitation, are more likely to occur with increased warming and simultaneously have profound influences on ecosystem fluxes. Existing studies have already investigated how a single extreme event affects ecosystem dynamics. However, how ecosystems respond to consecutive climate extremes is rarely examined. More heat waves are expected to cause more droughts, while more heavy precipitation could cause more floods. Both may have a negative effect on vegetation growth, although wetter conditions may alternatively stimulate growth. In the southern Great Plains the hydrological year of 2006 was the second-driest year on record, with only 61% of long-term annual precipitation. In contrast, the summer of 2007 was the second-wettest summer, with 121% of the normal annual precipitation. This "pair" provides a unique example to study alternatively contrasting climate extremes and their impacts on ecosystem dynamics. In this study, we aim to assess whether or not this consecutive drought and flood has altered the sensitivity of ecosystem carbon fluxes and water use efficiency. To investigate this question, we parameterized a newly developed process-based terrestrial ecosystem model (TEM-Hydro daily version) and applied the Maurer's 1/8 degree daily climate datasets. The modeled results are compared against the MODIS datasets and Ameriflux Eddy Covariance observations to determine the mechanism responsible for understanding how extremes in precipitation affect ecosystem functions. The significance of the consecutive climate extremes on ecosystem structures and processes in the southern Great Plains will be discussed.

  20. Spatiotemporal changes in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities under different nitrogen inputs over a 5-year period in intensive agricultural ecosystems on the North China Plain.

    PubMed

    Liu, Wei; Jiang, Shanshan; Zhang, Yunlong; Yue, Shanchao; Christie, Peter; Murray, Philip J; Li, Xiaolin; Zhang, Junling

    2014-11-01

    Appropriate nitrogen (N) management is important to minimize N losses from intensively managed agricultural ecosystems. Understanding the community structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in response to N management can be of great ecological significance, particularly with the recent emphasis on the role of AMF in N cycling. A comprehensive study of both the vertical distribution of AMF in the soil profile and the temporal changes in community structure in maize roots was conducted over a 5-year period at a field site on the North China Plain. The N treatments consisted of zero N, conventional farming practice, and optimum N based on an in-season soil Nmin test. Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism and clone sequencing were used to analyse the AMF community. Optimum N mitigated the decline in richness of AMF in the conventional N treatment in the surface soil. Diverse and species-rich AMF communities occurred deep in the soil profile. A significant difference in AMF community structure was observed between the control and fertilizer N treatments but not between the two N application strategies. AMF communities deeper in the soil profile were subsets of those richer communities in the surface soil and the loss of AMF taxa was mostly due to the absence of rare taxa. Soil pH and Nmin contents were major soil properties affecting the soil AMF communities among the N treatments while vertical distribution was influenced mainly by soil electrical conductivity. Crop phenology had a stronger influence than N treatment on the temporal shifts in AMF communities in maize roots. Our results provide evidence for the importance of N management in maintaining AMF diversity. Changes in soil chemical properties due to N fertilization, in particular declining soil pH, should be integrated in N management strategies to reduce the negative impacts on AMF communities induced by N fertilization. Excessive N inputs induced significant changes in soil physicochemical