Melinda Daniels, associate professor of geography, and Keith Gido, associate professor of biology, are collaborating on a project that involves habitat and fish sampling on the Kansas River, which stretches across northeast Kansas.
They are supported by a grant from the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. The grant money comes from sales of state fishing and hunting licenses.
"These dollars go back to the people of Kansas because the research provides knowledge to help manage water resources throughout the state," said Daniels, who has received other funding and recognition for her research on conservation and restoration in the Kansas River basin.
Daniels is also collaborating with Craig Paukert, fisheries biologist and adjunct associate professor, on a project involving the Bowersock Dam, a hydropower dam on the Kansas River in Lawrence, Kan.
In both projects Daniels explores the non-living parts of river systems, such as water and sediment movement, while Gido and Paukert focus on fish populations. They evaluate all species of fish, with the projects' focus on rapidly declining native Kansas River fish species, such as the plains minnow, the silver chub and the shoal chub.
"These are fish that are found almost solely in Great Plains rivers," Daniels said. "If they drop out of Kansas, it is likely they would drop out pretty much everywhere."
Daniels is especially interested in the effects of dredging, which is the process of taking sand and gravel from the river bottom and pumping it up on the riverbanks. Dredged material is used in construction industries.
To help the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks understand how sediment removal influences the river, the researchers are looking at three active Kansas River dredge sites from Manhattan to Kansas City.
"KDWP is particularly worried about taking a lot of sediment out of the river because doing so in excess starts to cause riverbeds to cut down or incise," Daniels said. "That is a problem in the lower Kansas River in the Kansas City reaches, where water intakes have been left perched so they are no longer in the water. One of the questions we are trying to answer is how much of this bed incision may be due to sand and gravel mining."
To measure the effects of dredging, Daniels uses an acoustic Doppler instrument to detect the velocity of the water in the river and produce a map of the channel bottom topography. Because habitats and environments change seasonally, researchers map the river about once a month to understand how river flow and habitat change throughout the year.
The team has discovered that, on average, the Kansas River is about a meter and a half deep. But during certain times of year, when dredges are active, Daniels' team has detected holes as deep as 15 meters at active dredge locations.
"We're not prejudging whether dredging is a bad thing, but there is at least a temporary habitat alteration going on," she said. "We're trying to help generate information for the state agencies so that they can make decisions about how many dredges to permit, or if they should even continue permitting sand dredging."
At the Bowersock Dam in Lawrence the researchers are categorizing the surrounding habitat and observing differences in fish communities both upstream and downstream from the dam. They want to identify whether the dam is a barrier to fish movement, and if a fish passage structure in the dam would help reduce endangered species. Their findings can influence how dams are handled throughout the state.Related news:
Melinda Daniels, 785-532-0765, email@example.com
Melinda Daniels | Newswise Science News
Upcycling 'fast fashion' to reduce waste and pollution
03.04.2017 | American Chemical Society
Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences