stream water

NWC01 Stream water chemistry for the king's creek drainage basin on Konza Prarie


Nitrate, ammonium, total N, soluble reactive P, total P, and dissolved organic C are monitored in four streams draining watersheds with 1 (N01B), 2 (N02B), 4 (N04D), and 20 (N20B) year target burn frequencies. Bison have grazed these treatments since May 1992. The number of sites sampled has been expanded since 1992 to include sites that may reflect anthropogenic, groundwater, and bison influences on water chemistry. These sites include the south branch of Kings Creek as it leaves watershed N01A (tube), a site immediately below the NO4D weir at Konza Falls that is heavily influenced by groundwater (kzfl), the north fork of Kings Creek draining watersheds without bison (nfkc), the south fork of Kings Creek that drains the watersheds with bison (sfkc), Kings Creek below the USGS gauging station above the first agricultural field (hokn), a small creek that drains into Kings Creek after flowing past the bison handling facilities, two private residences, the site headquarters and an agricultural field (stck), a pristine prairie groundwater site (edlr), and Kings Creek at the bottom of Konza as it leaves the agricultural land in watershed AL (hikx). Early samples were preserved with phenyl mercuric acetate. Future plans to restore agricultural land to prairie may influence downstream nutrient concentrations.

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To determine the effects of fire frequency on both baseflow and stormflow concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus.


Location of Sampling Stations: Swede Creek Quadrangle (USGS) = NE1/4, NE1/4, NE1/4, W1/2, Sec 19, T11S, R8E. N01B flume: (N-22) N02B flune: (N-21) N04D flume: (L-22) N20B. flume: (N-22). Elder spring (EDLR): D-16 (fall and winter) or D-15 (spring and summer) Hiking Trail (HIKX): D-13; okanson Homestead (HOKN): H-15; North Fork Kings Creek (NFKC): 1-16; South Fork Kings Creek (SFKC): 1-16; Shane Creek (SHAN): T-9; K20, K2 AL (K2AL-1, K2AL-2).

Frequency of Sampling: If stream locations other than Edler Spring and hiking trail have flowing water, base flow samples are collected 3 times per week in the mornings. Edler Spring and hiking trail are sampled once per week when other sites are dry or have standing water. If the base flow collection time corresponds to a storm flow event, they are classified as such.

Variable Measured: NO3 -N, + NO2 -N, NH4 -N, total nitrogen (TN), soluble reactive phosphate (SRP), total phosphorus (TP), and dissolved organic carbon (DOC).

Field Methods: Samples (250 mL) from mid-stream are collected up to 3 times per week. Date, time of day (CST), stream temperature (oC) and stream height (N01B, N02B, N04D, and N20B only) are recorded. Sub-samples (three 20 mL vials) are taken upon returning to the lab. Samples are immediately frozen.

Laboratory Methods: One vial is analyzed for inorganic nitrogen (N) and phosphorous (P). A second vial is run for dissolved organic carbon (DOC). The third vial is run for TN, and TP. At the completion of all analyses the vial with the maximum volume is frozen as an archived sample for 10 years from date of collection. Nitrogen and phosphorus nutrients are performed by colorimetric determination on a flow solution analyzer. Dissolved organic carbon is measured by high temperature combustion. Data is compiled annually, checked by the RA, and archived by the IM. Laboratory N and P analyses are verified bi-annually via shared sample analysis of USGS Standard Reference Sample.

Summary of Changes:
May 5, 1994: Hokanson (HOKN), Edler Spring (ES) and Hiking Trail (HT) were added. Prior to this only N01b, N02b, N04d, and N20b were sampled.

October 7, 1996: 4 tubes site added. Terminated September 13, 2006.

January 30, 1998: Corral sample added. Terminated March 2, 1998.

March 2, 1998: Konza Falls (KZ falls) added. Terminated August 16, 1998. Part of the LINZ study area.

January 6, 1999: North fork Kings Creek (NFKC) and South fork Kings Creek (SFKC) added.

February 1, 1999: Stone Creek (STCK) added. Terminated on July 5, 2000.

February 8, 1999: dead bison calf next to N04d site. On January 10, 1999 we started sampling upstream from the carcass. Continued sampling at “normal” site also. Terminated 'p' sample on March 17, 1999.

2005: During the late spring to early fall months, ES is sampled at the artificial stream site. All flow from ES origin (also known as ES-H) is diverted to this artificial stream project. When sample is taken at the artificial stream it is called ES-F.

Winter 2008/2009: Unknown damaged to the underground pipe that feeds ES-F. When flow is initiated for sampling it is very dirty; large dirt particles. ES-F is allowed to flow for a minimum of 5 minutes before sampling.

March 2018: Edler Spring (EDLR) sample is taken directly at spring box. Flow is so low that water does not make it to the ES horse tank. Often the sample has large (less than 1mm) direct chunks and/or plant material. Spring box is not sealed.

2018: K2AL-1 and K2AL-2 sites added. K20 vegetation removal started in 2018. K2AL-1 is below and K2AL-2 is above the confluence with the small stream draining K20 into the North Branch of Kings Creek.

2019: TN data from 2001-2018 available upon request.

2021: DOC data from 2021, we replaced to a new DOC analyzer (Shimadzu TOC-L CSH), the old DOC analyzer (Shimadzu TOC-L CPH).

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