Wetlands

, Volume 36, Supplement 2, pp 237–254 | Cite as

Hydrology of Prairie Wetlands: Understanding the Integrated Surface-Water and Groundwater Processes

  • Masaki Hayashi
  • Garth van der Kamp
  • Donald O. Rosenberry
Original Research

Abstract

Wetland managers and policy makers need to make decisions based on a sound scientific understanding of hydrological and ecological functions of wetlands. This article presents an overview of the hydrology of prairie wetlands intended for managers, policy makers, and researchers new to this field (e.g., graduate students), and a quantitative conceptual framework for understanding the hydrological functions of prairie wetlands and their responses to changes in climate and land use. The existence of prairie wetlands in the semi-arid environment of the Prairie-Pothole Region (PPR) depends on the lateral inputs of runoff water from their catchments because mean annual potential evaporation exceeds precipitation in the PPR. Therefore, it is critically important to consider wetlands and catchments as highly integrated hydrological units. The water balance of individual wetlands is strongly influenced by runoff from the catchment and the exchange of groundwater between the central pond and its moist margin. Land-use practices in the catchment have a sensitive effect on runoff and hence the water balance. Surface and subsurface storage and connectivity among individual wetlands controls the diversity of pond permanence within a wetland complex, resulting in a variety of eco-hydrological functionalities necessary for maintaining the integrity of prairie-wetland ecosystems.

Keywords

Prairie pothole Slough Water balance Wetland complex Land use Climate change 

References

  1. Alberta Government (2013) Alberta Wetland Policy, 25 pp. http://aep.alberta.ca/water/programs-and-services/wetlands/documents/AlbertaWetlandPolicy-Sep2013.pdf (accessed February 27, 2016)
  2. Arguez A, Vose RS (2011) The definition of the standard WMO climate normal: The key to deriving alternative climate normals. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 92:699–704CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Arndt JL, Richardson JL (1989) Geochemistry of hydric soil salinity in a recharge-throughflow-discharge prairie-pothole wetlands system. Soil Science Society of America Journal 53:848–855CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Awada L, Lindwall CW, Sonntag B (2014) The development and adoption of conservation tillage system on the Canadian Prairies. International Soil and Water Conservation Research 2:47–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Batt BDJ, Anderson MG, Anderson CD, Caswell FD (1989) The use of prairie potholes by North American ducks, In: van der Valk A (ed) Northern prairie wetlands. Iowa State University Press, pp 204-–227Google Scholar
  6. Bodhinayake W, Si BC (2004) Near-saturated surface soil hydraulic properties under different land uses in the St. Denis National Wildlife Area, Saskatchewan, Canada. Hydrological Processes 18:2835–2850CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brannen R, Spence C, Ireson A (2015) Influence of shallow groundwater-surface water interactions on the hydrological connectivity and water budget of a wetland complex. Hydrological Processes 29:3862–3877CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brooks RT, Hayashi M (2002) Depth-area-volume and hydroperiod relationships of ephemeral (vernal) forest pools in southern New England. Wetlands 22:247–255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dahl TE (2014) Status and trends of prairie wetlands in the United States 1997 to 2009. U.S. Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Ecological Services, Washington D.C., 67 ppGoogle Scholar
  10. Dumanski S, Pomeroy JW, Westbrook CJ (2015) Hydrological regime changes in a Canadian Prairies basin. Hydrological Processes 29:3892–3904CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ehsanzadeh E, Spence C, van der Kamp G, McConkey B (2012) On the behaviour of dynamic contributing areas and flood frequency curves in north American prairie watersheds. Journal of Hydrology 414–415:364–373Google Scholar
  12. Ehsanzadeh E, van der Kamp G, Spence C (2016) On the changes in long-term streamflow regimes in the north American prairies. Hydrological Sciences Journal 61:64–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Eisenlohr WS Jr et al. (1972) Hydrologic investigations of prairie potholes in North Dakota, 1959–68, U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 585-A:102Google Scholar
  14. Euliss NH Jr, Mushet DM (2004) Impacts of water development on aquatic macroinvertebrates, amphibians, and plants in wetlands of a semi-arid landscape. Aquatic Ecosystem Health & Management 7:73–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Euliss NH Jr, LaBaugh JW, Fredrickson LH, Mushet DM, Laubhan MK, Swanson GA, Winter TC, Rosenberry DO, Nelson RD (2004) The wetland continuum: A conceptual framework for interpreting biological studies. Wetlands 24:448–458CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fang X, Pomeroy JW (2009) Modelling blowing snow redistribution to prairie wetlands. Hydrological Processes 23:2557–2569CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gilbert MC, Whited PM, Clairain EJ Jr, Smith RD (2006) A regional guidebook for applying the hydrogeomorphic approach to assessing wetland functions of prairie potholes. Report ERDC/EL TR-06–5. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  18. Gleason RA, Tangen BA, Laubhan MK, Kermes KE, Euliss NH Jr (2007) Estimating water storage capacity of existing and potentially restorable wetland depressions in a subbasin of the Red River of the North. Open-File Report 2007–1159, U.S. Geological Survey, 36 ppGoogle Scholar
  19. Goldhaber MB, Mills CT, Morrison JM, Stricker CA, Mushet DM, LaBaugh JW (2014) Hydrogeochemistry of prairie pothole region wetlands: Role of long-term critical zone processes. Chemical Geology 387:170–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Granger RJ, Gray DM, Dyck GE (1984) Snowmelt infiltration to frozen prairie soils. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 21:669–677CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Haan CT, Johnson HP (1967) Geometrical properties of depressions in north-central Iowa. The Iowa State Journal of Science 42:149–160Google Scholar
  22. Hayashi M (2013) The cold vadose zone: hydrological and ecological significance of frozen-soil processes. Vadose Zone Journal 12. doi:10.2136/vzj2013.03.0064
  23. Hayashi M, Farrow CR (2014) Watershed-scale response of groundwater recharge to inter-annual and inter-decadal variability in precipitation (Alberta, Canada). Hydrogeology Journal 22:1825–1839CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hayashi M, van der Kamp G (2000) Simple equations to represent the volume-area-depth relations of shallow wetlands in small topographic depressions. Journal of Hydrology 237:74–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hayashi M, van der Kamp G, Rudolph DL (1997) Use of tensiometer response time to determine the hydraulic conductivity of unsaturated soil. Soil Science 162:566–575CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hayashi M, van der Kamp G, Rudolph DL (1998a) Water and solute transfer between a prairie wetland and adjacent uplands, 1. Water balance. Journal of Hydrology 207:42–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hayashi M, van der Kamp G, Rudolph DL (1998b) Water and solute transfer between a prairie wetland and adjacent uplands, 2. Chloride cycle. Journal of Hydrology 207:56–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hayashi M, van der Kamp G, Schmidt R (2003) Focused infiltration of snowmelt water in partially frozen soil under small depressions. Journal of Hydrology 270:214–229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Heagle DJ, Hayashi M, van der Kamp G (2013) Surface-subsurface salinity distribution and exchange in a closed-basin prairie wetland. Journal of Hydrology 478:1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Huang S, Young C, Feng M, Heidemann K, Cushing M, Mushet DM, Liu S (2011) Demonstration of a conceptual model for using LiDAR to improve the estimation of floodwater mitigation potential of Prairie Pothole Region wetlands. Journal of Hydrology 405:417–426CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hubbard DE, Linder RL (1986) Spring runoff retention in prairie pothole wetlands. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 41:122–125Google Scholar
  32. Ireson AM, van der Kamp G, Ferguson G, Nachshon U, Wheater HS (2013) Hydrogeological processes in seasonally frozen northern latitudes: understanding, gaps and challenges. Hydrogeology Journal 21:53–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Johnson WC, Poiani KA (2016) Climate change effects on prairie potholes: What do the wetland models tell us? Wetlands (this issue)Google Scholar
  34. Johnson WC, Millet BV, Gilmanov T, Voldseth RA, Guntenspergen GR, Naugle DE (2005) Vulnerability of northern prairie wetlands to climate change. Bioscience 55:863–872CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Johnson WC, Werner B, Guntenspergen GR, Voldseth RA, Millett B, Naugle DE, Tulbure M, Carroll RWH, Tracy J, Olawsky C (2010) Prairie wetland complexes as landscape functional units in a changing climate. Bioscience 60:128–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Jokic A, Culter JN, Ponomarenko E, van der Kamp G, Anderson DW (2003) Organic carbon and Sulphur compounds in wetland soils: insights on structure and transformation processes using K-edge XANES and NMR spectroscopy. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 67:2585–2597CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kantrud HA, Millar JB, van der Valk AG (1989) Vegetation of wetlands of the prairie pothole region, In: van der Valk A (ed) Northern prairie wetlands. Iowa State University Press, pp 132–187Google Scholar
  38. LaBaugh JW, Winter TC, Adomaitis VA, Swanson GA (1987) Hydrology and chemistry of selected prairie wetlands in the Cottonwood Lake Area, Stutsman County, North Dakota. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1431:26Google Scholar
  39. LaBaugh JW, Winter TC, Swanson GA, Rosenberry DO, Nelson RD, Euliss NH Jr (1996) Changes in atmospheric circulation patterns affect midcontinent wetlands sensitive to climate. Limnology and Oceanography 41:864–870CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. LaBaugh JW, Winter TC, Rosenberry DO (1998) Hydrologic functions of prairie wetlands. Great Plains Research 8:17–37Google Scholar
  41. LaBaugh JW, Mushet DM, Rosenberry DO, Euliss NH Jr, Goldhaber MB, Mills CT, Nelson RD (2016) Changes in pond water levels and surface extent due to climate variability alter solute sources to closed-basin prairie-pothole wetland ponds. Wetlands (in this issue)Google Scholar
  42. Leibowitz SG, Vining KC (2003) Temporal connectivity in a prairie pothole complex. Wetlands 23:13–25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Leibowitz SG, Mushet DM, Newton W (2016) Intermittent surface water connectivity: Fill and spill vs. fill and merge dynamics. Wetlands (in this issue)Google Scholar
  44. Lissey A (1971) Depression-focused transient groundwater flow patterns in Manitoba. Geological Association of Canada Special Paper 9:333–341Google Scholar
  45. Liu G, Schwartz FW (2011) An integrated observation and model-based analysis of the hydrologic response of prairie pothole systems to variability in climate. Water Resources Research 47:W02504. doi:10.1029/2010WR009084 Google Scholar
  46. Liu G, Schwartz FW (2012) Climate-driven variability in lake and wetland distribution across the Prairie Pothole Region: From modern observation to long-term reconstructions with space-for-time substitution. Water Resources Research 48:W08526. doi:10.1029/2011WR011539 Google Scholar
  47. McCauley LA, Anteau M, Post van der Burg M, Wiltermuth MT (2015) Land use and wetland drainage affect water levels and dynamics of remaining wetlands. Ecosphere 6:92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. McLean K, Mushet DM, Renton DA, Stockwell C (2016) Aquatic macro-invertebrate communities of prairie pothole lakes and wetlands under a changed climate. Wetlands (this issue)Google Scholar
  49. Mekis E, Vincent LA (2011) An overview of the second generation adjusted daily precipitation dataset for trend analysis in Canada. Atmosphere-Ocean 49:163–177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Mekonnen MA, Wheater HS, Ireson AM, Spence C, Davison B, Pietroniro A (2014) Towards an improved land surface scheme for prairie landscapes. Journal of Hydrology 511:105–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Meyboom P (1966) Unsteady groundwater flow near a willow ring in hummocky moraine. Journal of Hydrology 4:38–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Millar JB (1971) Shoreline-area ratio as a factor in rate of water loss from small sloughs. Journal of Hydrology 14:259–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Miller JJ, Acton DF, Arnaud RJST (1985) The effect of groundwater on soil formation in a morainal landscape in Saskatchewan. Canadian Journal of Soil Science 65:293–307CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Mills JG, Zwarich MA (1986) Transient groundwater flow surrounding a recharge slough in a till plain. Canadian Journal of Soil Science 66:121–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Minke AG, Westbrook CJ, van der Kamp G (2010) Simplified volume-area-depth method for estimating water storage of prairie potholes. Wetlands 30:541–551CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Mitsch WJ, Gosselink JG (2007) Wetlands. John Wiley & Sons, New York 582 ppGoogle Scholar
  57. Nachshon U, Ireson A, van der Kamp G, Wheater H (2013) Sulfate salt dynamics in the glaciated plains of North America. Journal of Hydrology 499:188–199CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Nachshon U, Ireson A, van der Kamp G, Davies SR, Wheater HS (2014) Impacts of climate variability on wetland salinization in the North American Prairies. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 18:1251–1263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Niemuth ND, Wangler B, Reynolds R (2010) Spatial and temporal variation in wet area of wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region of North Dakota and South Dakota. Wetlands 30:1053–1064CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Oke TR (1987) Boundary layer climate, 2nd edn. Routledge, London 435 ppGoogle Scholar
  61. Parkhurst RS, Winter TC, Rosenberry DO, Sturrock AM (1998) Evaporation from a small prairie wetland in the Cottonwood Lake area, North Dakota - an energy-budget study. Wetlands 18:272–287CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Parsons DF, Hayashi M, van der Kamp G (2004) Infiltration and solute transport under a seasonal wetland: Bromide tracer experiments in Saskatoon, Canada. Hydrological Processes 18:2011–2027CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Pennock D, Bedard-Haughn A, Kiss J, van der Kamp G (2014) Application of hydropedology to predictive mapping of wetland soils in the Canadian Prairie Pothole Region. Geoderma 234–236:199–211Google Scholar
  64. Priestley CHB, Taylor RJ (1972) On the assessment of surface heat flux and evaporation using large-scale parameters. Monthly Weather Review 100:81–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Renton DA, Mushet DM, DeKeyser ES (2015) Climate change and prairie pothole wetlands - Mitigating water-level and hydroperiod effects through upland management. Scientific Investigation Report 2015–5004, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VirginiaGoogle Scholar
  66. Rosenberry DO, Hayashi M (2013) Assessing and measuring wetland hydrology. In: Anderson JT, Davis DA (eds.), Wetland techniques, Springer, pp 87–225Google Scholar
  67. Rosenberry DO, Winter TC (1997) Dynamics of water-table fluctuations in an upland between two prairie-pothole wetlands in North Dakota. Journal of Hydrology 191:266–289CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Rosenberry DO, Stannard DI, Winter TC, Martinez ML (2004) Comparison of 13 equations for determining evapotranspiration from a prairie wetland, Cottonwood Lake area, North Dakota, USA. Wetlands 24:483–497CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Rover J, Wright CK, Euliss NH Jr, Mushet DM, Wylie BK (2011) Classifying the hydrologic function of prairie potholes with remote sensing and GIS. Wetlands 31:319–327CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Shabbar A, Bonsal BR, Szeto K (2011) Atmospheric and oceanic variability associated with growing season droughts and pluvials on the Canadian Prairies. Atmosphere-Ocean 49:339–355CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Shaw DA, van der Kamp G, Conly FM, Pietroniro A, Martz L (2012) The fill-and-spill hydrology of prairie wetland complexes during drought and deluge. Hydrological Processes 26:3147–3156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Shjeflo JB (1968) Evapotranspiration and the water budget of prairie potholes in North Dakota U.S. Geol. Survey Professional Paper 585-B:47Google Scholar
  73. Shook KR, Pomeroy JW (2011) Memory effects of depressional storage in Northern Prairie hydrology. Hydrological Processes 25:3890–3898CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Shook K, Pomeroy J, van der Kamp G (2015) The transformation of frequency distributions of winter precipitation to spring streamflow probabilities in cold regions; case studies from the Canadian Prairies. Journal of Hydrology 521:395–409CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Sloan CE (1972) Ground-water hydrology of prairie potholes in North Dakota. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 585-C:28Google Scholar
  76. Smith AG, Stoudt JH, Gallop JB (1964) Prairie pothole wetlands and marshes. In: Linduska JP (ed) Waterfowl tomorrow. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, pp. 39–50Google Scholar
  77. Snodgrass JW, Komoroski MJ, Bryan AL Jr, Burger J (2000) Relationships among isolated wetland size, hydroperiod, and amphibian species richness: implications for wetland regulations. Conservation Biology 14:414–419CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Steppuhn H (1981) Snow and agriculture. In: Gray DM, Male DH (eds) Handbook of snow: principles, processes, management & use. Pergamon Press, Toronto, pp. 60–125Google Scholar
  79. Stewart RE, Kantrud HA (1971) Classification of natural ponds and lakes in the glaciated prairie region. Resource Publication 92, Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  80. Su M, Stolte WJ, van der Kamp G (2000) Modelling Canadian prairie wetland hydrology using a semi-distributed streamflow model. Hydrological Processes 14:2405–2422CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Swanson GA, Duebbert HF (1989) Wetland habitats of waterfowl in the prairie pothole region. In: van der Valk A (ed) Northern prairie wetlands. Iowa State University Press, pp 228–267Google Scholar
  82. Swanson GA, Winter TC, Adomaitis VA, LaBaugh JW (1988) Chemical characteristics of prairie lakes in south-central North Dakota - their potential for influencing use by fish and wildlife. US Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service Technical Report 18:44Google Scholar
  83. Thornthwaite CW (1948) An approach toward a rational classification of climate. Geographical Review 38:55–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Tiessen KHD, Elliott JA, Yarotski J, Lobb DA, Flaten DN, Glozier NE (2010) Conventional and conservation tillage: Influence on seasonal runoff, sediment, and nutrient losses in the Canadian Prairies. Journal of Environmental Quality 39:964–980CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  85. Todhunter PE, Rundquist BC (2004) Terminal lake flooding and wetland expansion in Nelson County, North Dakota. Physical Geography 25:68–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Toth J (1963) A theoretical analysis of groundwater flow in small drainage basins. Journal of Geophysical Research 68:4795–4812CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. van der Kamp G, Hayashi M (1998) The groundwater recharge function of small wetlands in the semi-arid Northern Prairies. Great Plains Research 8:39–56Google Scholar
  88. van der Kamp G, Hayashi M (2009) Groundwater-wetland ecosystem interaction in the semiarid glaciated plains of North America. Hydrogeology Journal 17:203–214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. van der Kamp G, Hayashi M, Gallén D (2003) Comparing the hydrology of grassed and cultivated catchments in the semi-arid Canadian prairies. Hydrological Processes 17:559–575CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. van der Kamp G, Hayashi M, Bedard-Haughn A, Pennock D (2016) Prairie pothole wetlands – suggestions for consistent definition and terminology. Wetlands (in this issue)Google Scholar
  91. van der Valk AG (2005) Water-level fluctuations in north American prairie wetlands. Hydrobiologia 539:171–188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Van Stempvoort DR, Hendry MJ, Schoenau JJ, Krouse HR (1994) Sources and dynamics of sulphur in weathered till, western glaciated plains of North America. Chemical Geology 111:35–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Watmough MD, Schmoll MJ (2007) Environment Canada’s Prairie and Northern Regions Habitat Monitoring Program Phase II: Recent habitat trends in the PHJV. Technical Report Series No. 493, Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada, EdmontonGoogle Scholar
  94. Winter TC (1989) Hydrologic studies of wetlands in the northern prairies. In: van der Valk A (ed) Northern prairie wetlands. Iowa State University Press, pp 17–54Google Scholar
  95. Winter TC (2003) Geohydrologic setting of the Cottonwood Lake Area. In: Winter TC (ed.) Hydrological, chemical, biological characteristics of a prairie pothole wetland complex under highly variable climate conditions – The Cottonwood Lake Area, east-central North Dakota. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1675, pp 1–24Google Scholar
  96. Winter TC, Rosenberry DO (1995) The interaction of ground water with prairie pothole wetlands in the Cottonwood Lake Area, east-central North Dakota, 1979–1990. Wetlands 15:193–211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  97. Winter TC, Rosenberry DO (1998) Hydrology of prairie pothole wetlands during drought and deluge: A 17-year study of the Cottonwood Lake wetland complex in North Dakota in the perspective of longer term measured and proxy hydrological records. Climatic Change 40:189–209CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  98. World Meteorological Organization (WMO) (2012) Standardized precipitation index users guide. WMO–No. 1090, Geneva, 16 ppGoogle Scholar
  99. Zhang B, Schwartz FW, Liu G (2009) Systematics in the size structure of prairie pothole lakes through drought and deluge. Water Resources Research 45:W04421. doi:10.1029/2008WR006878 Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masaki Hayashi
    • 1
  • Garth van der Kamp
    • 2
  • Donald O. Rosenberry
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of GeoscienceUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Environment CanadaSaskatoonCanada
  3. 3.U.S. Geological SurveyLakewoodUSA

Personalised recommendations