NSF EPSCoR Northern Gulf Coast Hazards Collaboratory

NSF EPSCoR Northern Gulf Coast Hazards Collaboratory

 The University of Alabama’s Role:
Supplying data, analyses, and visualization relevant to Mobile Basin simulations,
including data from large river and smaller watersheds at NEON sites in Alabama.

 Amelia Ward, Derek Williamson, and Kenneth Fridley The University of Alabama
Center for Freshwater Studies and The Environmental Institute
award@biology.as.ua.edu, dwilliamson@eng.ua.edu, kfridley@eng.ua.edu

 The Northern Gulf Coastal Hazards Collaboratory (NG-CHC) is an NSF funded project that leverages expertise of scientists and engineers from institutions across three states (Louisiana,Mississippi, andAlabama) to catalyze collaborations through enhanced, innovation-enabling cyberinfrastructure.  One of the major goals is to advance research on coastal hazards with a focus on geosciences and engineering from the watershed to the coast.  The University of Alabama (UA) team is contributing to the NG-CHC in several critical areas.  Our data will contribute to the River/Watershed Flood Modeling (SULIS) simulation led by colleagues at Mississippi State University.  We will also interface with developing data networks, e.g., NSF NEON, and populate the Collaboratory with descriptions of data sensors, type, format and links to raw and processed data.  Specifically, the UA team will provide data processing, data gap identification, format exchange method development, and model visualization. For example, we have devised a procedure to assess water flow and nutrient flux from individual sub-basins of the Mobile River System in order to identify portions of the basin that are contributing the highest nutrients (e.g., nitrate) to down-gradient portions of the watershed and ultimately to Mobile Bay and coastal areas. This process will be expanded to include inter-year comparisons to illuminate effects of different land-use and changing precipitation patterns (drought, flooding).  Ultimately, our results will enhance understanding of the role of water quality, stream dynamics, landscape connections, and evapo-transpiration (ET) from headwaters to coastal areas and in support of river models that include extreme events and inform immediate and long-term ecosystem recovery.  Emphasis will be placed on spatial patterns and exploration of system tipping points.  

 Graves et al. poster presentation at May 2011 NG-CHC meeting in Mobile, AL.