Observatory‐scale data collection efforts allow unprecedented opportunities for integrative, multidisciplinary investigations in large, complex watersheds, which can affect management decisions and policy. Through the National Science Foundation‐funded REACH (REsilience under Accelerated CHange) project, in collaboration with the Intensively Managed Landscapes‐Critical Zone Observatory, we have collected a series of multidisciplinary data sets throughout the Minnesota River Basin in south‐central Minnesota, USA, a 43,400‐km2tributary to the Upper Mississippi River. Postglacial incision within the Minnesota River valley created an erosional landscape highly responsive to hydrologic change, allowing for transdisciplinary research into the complex cascade of environmental changes that occur due to hydrology and land use alterations from intensive agricultural management and climate change. Data sets collected include water chemistry and biogeochemical data, geochemical fingerprinting of major sediment sources, high‐resolution monitoring of river bluff erosion, and repeat channel cross‐sectional and bathymetry data following major floods. The data collection efforts led to development of a series of integrative reduced complexity models that provide deeper insight into how water, sediment, and nutrients route and transform through a large channel network and respond to change. These models represent the culmination of efforts to integrate interdisciplinary data sets and science to gain new insights into watershed‐scale processes in order to advance management and decision making. The purpose of this paper is to present a synthesis of the data sets and models, disseminate them to the community for further research, and identify mechanisms used to expand the temporal and spatial extent of short‐term observatory‐scale data collection efforts.more » « less
- Award ID(s):
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Publisher / Repository:
- DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Water Resources Research
- Page Range / eLocation ID:
- p. 3576-3592
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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The cores offer a direct record of glacial history offshore from a drainage basin that receives ice exclusively from the WAIS, which allows clear comparisons between the WAIS history and low-latitude climate records. Today, warm Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) is impinging onto the Amundsen Sea shelf and causing melting of the underside of the WAIS in most places. Reconstructions of past CDW intrusions can assess the ties between warm water upwelling and large-scale changes in past grounding-line positions. Carrying out these reconstructions offshore from the drainage basin that currently has the most substantial negative mass balance of ice anywhere in Antarctica is thus of prime interest to future predictions. The scientific objectives for this expedition are built on hypotheses about WAIS dynamics and related paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatic conditions. The main objectives are 1. 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We collected almost-continuous cores from the Pleistocene through the Pliocene and into the late Miocene. At Site U1533, we drilled 383 m (70% recovery) into the more condensed sequence at the lower flank of the same sediment drift. The cores of both sites contain unique records that will enable study of the cyclicity of ice sheet advance and retreat processes as well as bottom-water circulation and water mass changes. In particular, Site U1532 revealed a sequence of Pliocene sediments with an excellent paleomagnetic record for high-resolution climate change studies of the previously sparsely sampled Pacific sector of the West Antarctic margin. Despite the drilling success at these sites, the overall expedition experienced three unexpected difficulties that affected many of the scientific objectives: 1. The extensive sea ice on the continental shelf prevented us from drilling any of the proposed shelf sites. 2. The drill sites on the continental rise were in the path of numerous icebergs of various sizes that frequently forced us to pause drilling or leave the hole entirely as they approached the ship. The overall downtime caused by approaching icebergs was 50% of our time spent on site. 3. An unfortunate injury to a member of the ship's crew cut the expedition short by one week. Recovery of core on the continental rise at Sites U1532 and U1533 cannot be used to precisely indicate the position of ice or retreat of the ice sheet on the shelf. However, these sediments contained in the cores offer a range of clues about past WAIS extent and retreat. At Sites U1532 and U1533, coarse-grained sediments interpreted to be ice-rafted debris (IRD) were identified throughout all recovered time periods. 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The channel is likely the path of such sediments transported downslope by turbidity currents or other sediment-gravity flows. The association of lithologic facies at both sites predominantly reflects the interplay of downslope and contouritic sediment supply with occasional input of more pelagic sediment. Despite the lack of cores from the shelf, our records from the continental rise reveal the timing of glacial advances across the shelf and thus the existence of a continent-wide ice sheet in West Antarctica at least during longer time periods since the late Miocene. Cores from both sites contain abundant coarse-grained sediments and clasts of plutonic origin transported either by downslope processes or by ice rafting. 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