The most recent trip to the Eel River Critical Zone Observatory provided the Rempe Research Group with an opportunity to aid UC Berkeley collaborators with the installation of new equipment for hydrological monitoring at Sagehorn Ranch. UC Berkeley post-doc David Dralle and Ph.D. student Jesse Hahm first installed a flume in a gully feeding into Dry Creek. Recent rainfall and subsequent flow in the gulley demanded some clever engineering from the group, but the team rose to the challenge and managed to divert the flow for long enough to level the flume and pour some cement. This flume will be equipped with a pressure transducer and has a fixed geometry that allows for very accurate discharge calculations.
The second day at Sagehorn culminated in the installation of 8 piezometers with pressure transducers for monitoring groundwater head along hillslopes as they approach channels. The piezometers will reveal whether water exfiltrates as the land surface slopes towards channels. Installing four piezometers each on the adjacent north- and south-facing hillslopes should also allow for a comparison of subsurface water dynamics on each slope.
These new installations, in combination with ongoing saturated zone mapping at this site, will provide exciting new insights into moisture dynamics in the critical zone at Sagehorn Ranch.