Navigation Links
Case Western Reserve University project ties soil conservation and river management together
Date:10/1/2008

CLEVELAND Sediment in rivers comes from erosion of the landscape as well as the erosion and collapse of the banks themselves. Just how much each source contributes to a river and how it affects the flow and path of that river is the subject of research by Peter Whiting, professor of geological sciences at Case Western Reserve University.

Taking measure of certain radionuclides found in the soil, including beryllium and lead, at various points along a 423-km-long section of the Yellowstone River, Whiting has determined how much of the sediment in the Yellowstone came from runoff and how much came from the streambanks. For example, streambank erosion contributes approximately 50 percent of the sediment at measurement sites up-river, increasing to 89 percent at Billings, Mont. In river basins where significant portions of the surrounding landscape are used for agriculture or forestry, the percentage of sediment coming from streambank erosion drops below 50%.

Whiting will present his findings on Monday, October 6, at the 2008 Joint Meeting of the Geological Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies in Houston..

Radionuclides occur in soil both from natural processes and as fallout from nuclear testing. Beryllium and lead are found in greater concentrations at the surface of the soil. All the beryllium will be found in the top two centimeters of the surface soil but lead will be found to greater depth.

Beryllium and lead have markedly different half-lives. Lead has a 20-year half life, while that of Beryllium is only 53 days. Comparing the activities of both elements in the river's suspended sediment to the surrounding landscape and streambanks helps provide a detailed profile of where the sediment originates.

"We need to understand the sources of the sediment in our rivers if we want to address stewardship of our rivers," said Whiting.

For instance, fine sediment carried into rivers can cloud the water and can choke out freshwater bugs and fish that require cleaner water. Fine sediment deposited on the stream bottom can smother eggs laid by fish including salmon and walleye. To preserve these populations of fish, we often try to rehabilitate streams by reducing the amount of sediment supplied to the stream. But to try to reduce the supply, and one needs to understand whether it is activities eroding the landscape urbanization, farming, or timbering or it is the streambanks that are the primary cause of the problem.

"In using radionuclides as markers in our research, we are helping to develop new tools for the advancement of soil and river stewardship," said Whiting.


'/>"/>

Contact: Susan Griffith
susan.griffith@case.edu
216-368-1004
Case Western Reserve University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Case Western Reserve University researchers track Chernobyl fallout
2. Antidepressants need new nerve cells to be effective, UT Southwestern researchers find
3. Case Western Reserve University study looks at keeping migrant workers children healthy
4. Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine researchers receive $10.8 million
5. Ante-partum bed rest moms get active in Case Western Reserve University study
6. Limiting fructose may boost weight loss, UT Southwestern researcher reports
7. Cancer drug delivery research at Case Western Reserve University cuts time from days to hours
8. UT Southwestern researchers identify new targets for RNAs that regulate genes
9. UT Southwestern researchers create molecule that nudges nerve stem cells to mature
10. Geology and biology meet in the history of US southwestern desert surface waters
11. Mouse model developed at UT Southwestern mimics hyperglycemia, aids in diabetes research
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/9/2016)... , June 9, 2016  Perkotek an innovation leader in attendance control systems ... seamlessly log work hours, for employers to make sure the right employees are actually ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160609/377486LOGO ... ... ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... 2, 2016 The Department of Transport ... the 44 million US Dollar project, for the , ... including Personalization, Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure , to ... production and implementation of Identity Management Solutions. Numerous renowned international ... Decatur was selected for the most compliant ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... patient care by providing unparalleled technology to leaders of the medical imaging industry.  As ... added to the range of products distributed by Ampronix. Photo - ... ... ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Parallel 6 , the leading software as ... Clinical Reach Virtual Patient Encounter CONSULT module which enables both audio and video ... trial team. , Using the CONSULT module, patients and physicians can schedule a face ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... --  Ginkgo Bioworks , a leading organism design ... awarded as one of the World Economic Forum,s ... innovative companies. Ginkgo Bioworks is engineering biology to ... in the nutrition, health and consumer goods sectors. ... including Fortune 500 companies to design microbes for ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in Ancona combed medical ... mesothelioma. Their findings are the subject of a new article on the Surviving Mesothelioma ... in the blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma patients that can help point ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... TORONTO , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - ... Ontario biotechnology company, Propellon ... the development and commercialization of a portfolio of ... cancers. Epigenetic targets such as WDR5 represent an ... contribute significantly in precision medicine for cancer patients. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: