Wetland Sites in the Albion Basin

John D. Skalbeck, Nicholas A. Potter and Emma A. MacAlister of the Department of Geosciences at University of Wisconsin-Parkside, in conjunction with Jen Clancy of Friends of Alta, have put together a “Summary of Spring Flow and Surface Water Flow at Wetland Sites in the Albion Basin, Little Cottonwood Canyon, Alta, Utah.” Below is the abstract, to view the document click HERE



A hydrologic and geochemical investigation of the Albion Basin was initiated in August 2005 that included reviewing existing reports, publications, maps, and other available data and preparing a phased research plan.  Annual field investigations have continued with the goal to evaluate watershed characteristics of the Albion Basin and provide scientific information for use in watershed management decisions. The late July 2016 field season represents the 11th monitoring period for this investigation.  Annual monitoring consists of collecting: (1) automated water levels using pressure transducers, (2) manual water levels using an electronic sounder, (3) field water parameters (temperature, pH, electrical conductivity), and (4) water samples for laboratory chemical analysis of major cations and anions.  Water samples have been collected from piezometers, springs, surface water, and snow to characterize the potential source water for the wetland areas.

A reconnaissance survey of springs located in each of the wetland areas (Albion Basin Fen, Catherine’s Pass, and Collins/Sugarloaf) within the basin was performed during the August 2013 field season.  A record of general vegetation and rock type, water field water parameter measurements, and relative flow characteristics were collected at each spring location.  Subsequent surveys were performed during the 2014, 2015, and 2016 field seasons. Flow rates were measured using a simple weir (PVC pipe) to fill either a 16 ounce plastic cup or 5 gallon bucket and timed with a stop watch. Measurement of inflow and outflow for each wetland are analyzed with respect to the wetland area.  Results show seasonal variation of source contribution between wetland areas. The goal is to assess the contribution of source water and to identify the volume of water needed to support each wetland area.  This data may be useful for future evaluation of water diversions within the basin and assessing the effects of climate change on the watershed.