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Water, Energy, and Biogeochemical budgets in alpine/subalpine watersheds


Water, Energy, and Biogeochemical budgets in alpine/subalpine watersheds

Study Area: Rocky Mountain National Park and other sites in the region.
Period of Project: Ongoing
Project Number: CO257
Project Chief: David Clow


The USGS Water, Energy, and Biogeochemical Budgets (WEBB) program was established in 1991 to provide better understanding of the processes controlling water, energy, and biogeochemical fluxes in relatively undisturbed watersheds. This project and related studies in the Rocky Mountain region examine the effects of atmospheric deposition and climate change on high-elevation streams and lakes, and provide resource managers with better understanding of the effects of these stressors on sensitive ecosystems.


  1. Determine atmospheric input of solutes to alpine/subalpine watersheds.
  2. Develop mechanistic models to predict transfer of energy and mass through these watersheds.
  3. Determine the role of hydrologic flowpaths and biogeochemical cycling in controlling release of solutes from these watersheds.
  4. Determine sources of nitrogen and processes controlling nitrogen release to surface waters in ecosystems of the Front Range, Colorado.

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