The Impacts of Forest Fires on Water Resources
School: Acad T&C/Desert Academy
Area of Science: Hydrology, Ecology
We intend to investigate the impacts that forest fires can have on the water resources of forest environments that human populations are dependent on. Apart from the general environmental disruption caused by forest fires, human water sources can be contaminated or otherwise compromised. For example, forest fires dramatically change the land cover of an area, lending to concerns about flash flooding, erosion and water quality. Based on factors such as tree density, moisture, land slope and weather, different forest types are more susceptible to damaging forest fires than others.
We intend to use dynamically generated landscapes as well GIS data to model this phenomena and investigate the question of how a forest fire should best be fought or mitigated to protect water resource quality. If possible, we also intend to investigate the changes such as water quality, in the Nambe river drainage in the Sangre de Cristo mountains caused by the Pacheco Canyon Fire last June to validate aspects of our project.
Sponsoring Teacher: jocelyne comstock
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