Monitoring is designed to evaluate the effects of the pulse and base flows on surface water, groundwater, geomorphology, vegetation and wildlife in the seven reaches of the riparian corridor. Responses will be judged by how hydrologic and biological conditions differ from pre-pulse flow (baseline) conditions, after accounting for natural variability and any other anthropogenic changes. Baseline conditions will be documented from existing published and unpublished scientific studies and from remote-sensing and field measurements made shortly before the pulse flow. Monitoring begun prior to the pulse flow release, continued for its duration and will occur, periodically and dependent on continued funding, until December 31, 2017, the scheduled end of the pilot project.
Monitoring seeks answers to the following questions:
- How far, wide and deep (surface and subsurface) within the corridor did the pulse go?
- How long did pulse’s hydrologic effects persist?
- How did the enhanced base flows affect hydrologic and biological conditions?
- Did new vegetation establish and if so, did it create new bird habitat?
- Was channel and floodplain geomorphology altered significantly by the pulse flow?