Forest Image

Describing Headwaters Systems

Our analysis of headwaters systems rests on a detailed study of the channels, vegetation, and streams, and how these change over time. In support of these studies several new methods were developed and others were adapted to small channel size [wetted width often less than 1 meter (about 3 feet)] and very low volumes (often less that a few hundred milliliters per second (1 cup= ~ 236 milliliters). These methods allow us to account for unique features of each channel relevant to our analysis.

Mapping headwaters channels by GPS (PDF) Standard Operating Procedure EAP013:  Taps into the wide-angle augmentation system (WAAS) and freeware to improve GPS positions estimates with an inexpensive receiver.

Surveying headwaters surface flow (PDF) Standard Operating Procedure EAP014:  Ties channel morphology to surface flow patterns. This builds on a channel morphology survey developed by DNR.

Measuring large wood in headwaters channels (PDF) Standard Operating Procedure EAP021:  Volumetric measurements suitable for estimating channel wood mass and carbon storage.

Surveying headwaters wetlands (PDF) Standard Operating Procedure EAP022: Mapping small wetlands and converting the data to shapefiles.