Distribution in a Subalpine Meadow of the Sierra Nevada,CA
The subalpine meadows of the Sierra Nevada are important for the storage and slow release of snowmelt throughout California’s dry season, although the mechanisms of recharge are still poorly understood. Human impacts such as grazing and fire prevention can reroute snowmelt runoff and reduce the quantity of recharge, lowering the capacity to buffer. California’s dry seasons which are increasing in length. Loney Meadow is located in the Tahoe National Forest and has undergone restoration since 2011, aimed at raising water tables and restoring natural habitats. We conducted geophysical and geochemical surveys across Loney Meadow in order to characterize the effects of the restoration and to better understand the mechanisms and spatial distribution of groundwater recharge in this subalpine wet meadow. The information gathered from our surveys provides evidence of recharge along restored creek beds and outlines zones of shallow groundwater flow that contribute to runoff down valley.