Illinois State Water Survey

Champaign, IL, United States

Illinois State Water Survey

Champaign, IL, United States
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News Article | January 8, 2016

Water creeps up near some homes in the upscale neighborhood of Harbortown, as flood waters approach their crest in Memphis, Tennessee January 4, 2016. The river is predicted to rise just below 40 feet (12.2 meters) in Memphis, Tennessee, on Friday afternoon, above the 34 feet at which the city considers it a flood event, while it is expected to crest in Helena, Arkansas, on Sunday, according to Jeff Graschel, a hydrologist at the National Weather Service. Officials expect levees in other states along the lower Mississippi to contain the river's high levels. The swollen Mississippi and rivers that feed into it wreaked havoc in Missouri and Illinois after heavy rains and severe storms in late December brought flooding across several central U.S. states, leaving at least 33 people dead. Russell Smith, manager at Miss Cordelia's Grocery on Mud Island, a recreational and residential island separated from downtown Memphis by a part of the Mississippi, said on Friday the water was very high. "We'll just wait and see what happens." But Dale Lane, director of the Office of Preparedness in Shelby County, where Memphis is located, said they have already seen the water recede in some places. "We believe the worst of this is already here," he said. "We're well above flood stage now, but we're not seeing major disruptions at this point," added Lane, who reported some park and road closings but no significant damage or water in homes. "If it went up a couple more feet, it would have been a different story," he noted. "It's nowhere close to what it was in 2011," when the river was over 48 feet. In Helena, the main concern was vacation homes located between the levees, said Michael Burchett, emergency management coordinator in Phillips County, Arkansas. Sandbags are on hand and water levels will be monitored through the weekend. The river's crest will reach Arkansas City, Arkansas, on Tuesday, Jan. 12, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Monday, Jan. 18, said NWS' Graschel. The threat led the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Louisiana to make plans to open a spillway around New Orleans on Sunday to keep the volume of the river flow in check. State emergency planners are urging residents in potential flood areas to prepare by securing boats, outdoor furniture and other objects that could be swept away. The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency was also watching flood level forecasts closely, particularly around Greenville, Vicksburg and Natchez, according to the agency's posts on social media. Meanwhile, the Midwest saw the warmest and wettest December on record, the Midwestern Regional Climate Center at the Illinois State Water Survey said. It said the region's preliminary average December 2015 temperature was 36.7 degrees F (2.61 C), or 10.7 degrees above normal. The previous record was 34.1 degrees in 1923.

Gay D.A.,Illinois State Water Survey | Schmeltz D.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | Prestbo E.,Tekran Research and Development | Olson M.,Illinois State Water Survey | And 2 more authors.
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics | Year: 2013

The National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP) developed and operates a collaborative network of atmospheric-mercury-monitoring sites based in North America – the Atmospheric Mercury Network (AMNet). The justification for the network was growing interest and demand from many scientists and policy makers for a robust database of measurements to improve model development, assess policies and programs, and improve estimates of mercury dry deposition. Many different agencies and groups support the network, including federal, state, tribal, and international governments, academic institutions, and private companies. AMNet has added two high-elevation sites outside of continental North America in Hawaii and Taiwan because of new partnerships forged within NADP. Network sites measure concentrations of atmospheric mercury fractions using automated, continuous mercury speciation systems. The procedures that NADP developed for field operations, data management, and quality assurance ensure that the network makes scientifically valid and consistent measurements.

AMNet reports concentrations of hourly gaseous elemental mercury (GEM), two-hour gaseous oxidized mercury (GOM), and two-hour particulate-bound mercury less than 2.5 microns in size (PBM2.5). As of January 2012, over 450 000 valid observations are available from 30 stations. AMNet also collects ancillary meteorological data and information on land use and vegetation, when available. We present atmospheric mercury data comparisons by time (3 yr) at 21 individual sites and instruments. Highlighted are contrasting values for site locations across the network: urban versus rural, coastal versus high elevation and the range of maximum observations. The data presented should catalyze the formation of many scientific questions that may be answered through further in-depth analysis and modeling studies of the AMNet database. All data and methods are publically available through an online database on the NADP website ( Future network directions are to foster new network partnerships and continue to collect, quality assure, and post data, including dry deposition estimates, for each fraction. © Author(s) 2013.

Angel J.R.,Illinois State Water Survey | Kunkel K.E.,Desert Research Institute
Journal of Great Lakes Research | Year: 2010

Future climate change and its impact on Lake Michigan is an important issue for water supply planning in Illinois. To estimate possible future levels of the Great Lakes due to climate change, the output of 565 model runs from 23 Global Climate Models were applied to a lake-level model developed by the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL). In this study, three future emission scenarios were considered: the B1, A1B, and A2 emission scenarios representing relatively low, moderate, and high emissions, respectively. The results showed that the A2 emission scenario yielded the largest changes in lake levels of the three emission scenarios. Of the three periods examined, lake levels in 2080-2094 exhibited the largest changes. The response of Lake Superior was the smallest of the Great Lakes, while lakes Michigan-Huron, Erie, and Ontario were similar in their response over time and between emission scenarios. For Lake Michigan-Huron, the median changes in lake levels at 2080-2094 were -0.25, -0.28, and -0.41 m for the B1, A1B, and A2 emission scenarios, respectively. However, the range in lake levels was considerable. The wide range of results is due to the differences in emission scenarios and the uncertainty in the model simulations. Selecting model simulations based on their historical performance does little to reduce the uncertainty. The wide range of lake-level changes found here make it difficult to envision the level of impacts that change in future lake levels would cause. © 2009 Elsevier B.V.

Anderson B.T.,Boston University | Hayhoe K.,Texas Tech University | Liang X.-Z.,Illinois State Water Survey
Climatic Change | Year: 2010

Potential changes in summertime hydroclimatology over the northeastern (NE) region of the USA induced by increases in greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations are investigated using a state-of-the-art regional climate modeling system. Results for a higher emissions scenario illustrate changes that may occur if dependence on fossil fuels continues over the coming century. Summertime precipitation is projected to decrease across much of the central NE, but increase over the southernmost and northernmost portions of the domain. Evaporation is expected to increase across the entire domain. The balance between these two results in a decrease in soil moisture content across most of the domain (by approximately 10 mm) and an increase in the summertime soil-moisture depletion rate (by approximately 10 mm/month). At the same time, an increase in both atmospheric near-surface specific and saturation specific humidity is projected, resulting in an increase in relative humidity across the southern portion of the domain, with slight decreases over the northern portion. Combined with an average increase in summer temperatures of 3. 5°C, the projected increase in relative humidity results in a marked increase in the average daily maximum heat index for the region on the order of 3. 9°C, as well as a 350-400% increase in the number of days with heat index values exceeding 32. 2°C (90°F)-the level of "extreme caution". Taken together, these high-resolution, dynamically-generated projections confirm the potential for significant summertime climate change impacts on the NE over the coming century as suggested by previous studies. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009.

Changnon S.A.,Illinois State Water Survey
Natural Hazards | Year: 2011

High winds are one of the nation's leading damage-producing storm conditions. They do not include winds from tornadoes, winter storms, nor hurricanes, but are strong winds generated by deep low pressure centers, by thunderstorms, or by air flow over mountain ranges. The annual average property and crop losses in the United States from windstorms are $379 million and windstorms during 1959-1997 caused an average of 11 deaths each year. Windstorms range in size from a few hundred to hundreds of thousands square kilometers, being largest in the western United States where 40% of all storms exceed 135,000 km2. In the eastern United States, windstorms occur at a given location, on average, 1.4 times a year, whereas in the western US point averages are 1.9. Midwestern states average between 15 and 20 wind storms annually; states in the east average between 10 and 25 storms per year; and West Coast states average 27-30 storms annually. Storms causing insured property losses >$1 million, labeled catastrophes, during 1952-2006 totaled 176, an annual average of 3.2. Catastrophic windstorm losses were highest in the West and Northwest climate regions, the only form of severe weather in the United States with maximum losses on the West Coast. Most western storms occurred in the winter, a result of Pacific lows, and California has had 31 windstorm catastrophes, more than any other state. The national temporal distribution of catastrophic windstorms during 1952-2006 has a flat trend, but their losses display a distinct upward trend with time, peaking during 1996-2006. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Changnon S.A.,Illinois State Water Survey
Climatic Change | Year: 2011

The temporal distributions of the nation's four major storm types during 1950-2005 were assessed, including those for thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, and winter storms. Storms are labeled as catastrophes, defined as events causing $1 million or more in property losses, based on time-adjusted data provided by the insurance industry. Most catastrophic storms occurred in the eastern half of the nation. Analysis of the regional and national storm frequencies revealed there was little time-related relationship between storm types, reflecting how storm types were reported. That is, when tornadoes occurred with thunderstorms, the type producing the greatest losses was the one identified by the insurance industry, not both. Temporal agreement was found in the timing of relatively high incidences of thunderstorms, hurricanes, and winter storms during 2002-2005. This resulted in upward time trends in the national losses of hurricane and thunderstorm catastrophes, The temporal increase in hurricanes is in agreement with upward trends in population density, wealth, and insurance coverage in Gulf and East coastal areas. The upward trends in thunderstorm catastrophes and losses result from increases in heavy rain days, floods, high winds, and hail days, revealing that atmospheric conditions conducive to strong convective activity have been increasing since the 1960s. Tornado catastrophes and their losses peaked in 1966-1973 and had no upward time trend. Temporal variability in tornado catastrophes was large, whereas the variability in hurricane and thunderstorm catastrophes was only moderate, and that for winter storms was low. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Verma S.,Urbana University | Markus M.,Illinois State Water Survey | Cooke R.A.,Urbana University
Journal of Hydrology | Year: 2012

This study used Monte Carlo sub-sampling and error-corrected statistical methods to estimate annual nitrate-N loads from two watersheds in central Illinois. The study objectives were (1) to evaluate the performance of various statistical load estimation methods for different combinations of monitoring durations and frequencies on nitrate-N load estimation accuracy, and (2) to develop and validate new empirical error correction techniques applied to the selected load estimation methods. We compared three load estimation methods (the 7-parameter regression estimator, the ratio estimator, and the flow-weighted average estimator) applied at 1, 2, 4, 6, and 8-week sampling frequencies and 1, 2, 3, and 6-year monitoring durations. Five error correction techniques; the existing composite method, and four new error correction techniques developed in this study; were applied to each combination of sampling frequency, monitoring duration and load estimation method. The newly proposed error correction techniques resulted in most accurate load estimates in 33 of 38 acceptable sampling combinations for both watersheds. On average, the most accurate error correction technique, (proportional rectangular) resulted in 15% and 30% more accurate load estimates when compared to the most accurate uncorrected load estimation method (ratio estimator) for the two watersheds. Using more accurate load estimation methods it is also possible to design more cost-effective monitoring plans by achieving the same load estimation accuracy with fewer observations. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Bhowmik N.G.,Illinois State Water Survey
World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2014: Water Without Borders - Proceedings of the 2014 World Environmental and Water Resources Congress | Year: 2014

Causative factors of river bank erosion are many and varied. The major causes of bank erosion are fluvial processes, including floods, seepage, freezing and thawing, waves generated by river traffic, animal activity, overland drainage, eddies, and local flow disturbances. Even though in many cases large floods do have a dominant impact on bank erosion, depending on the composition of the bank materials, other factors may contribute to large-scale river bank erosion. Bank erosion on the Illinois River is caused by almost all the factors mentioned above. In a major investigation of the causes of bank erosion on the Illinois River, it was found that normal fluctuations of stages have a dominant impact of bank erosion, followed by seepage, waves, river traffic-generated disturbances, local secondary circulations near the failed banks, local surface drainage, and weathering due to freezing and thawing. All bank erosion sites on the Illinois River were found to follow about six different types of failure mechanisms. Detailed data were also collected from several severe erosion sites identifying specific failure mechanisms, including causative factors of failure. © 2014 American Society of Civil Engineers.

Ridley M.K.,Texas Tech University | Machesky M.L.,Illinois State Water Survey | Kubicki J.D.,Pennsylvania State University
Langmuir | Year: 2013

The effect of particle size on the primary charging behavior of a suite of monodisperse nanometer diameter (4, 20, and 40 nm) anatase samples has been quantitatively examined with macroscopic experimental studies. The experimental results were evaluated using surface complexation modeling, which explicitly incorporated corresponding molecular-scale information from density functional theory (DFT) simulation studies. Potentiometric titrations were completed in NaCl media, at five ionic strengths (from 0.005 to 0.3 m), and over a wide pH range (3-11), at a temperature of 25 °C. From the experimental results, the pH of zero net proton charge (pHznpc) for the 4 and 20 nm diameter samples was 6.42, whereas the pHznpc was 6.22 for the 40 nm sample. The slopes of the net proton charge curves increased with an increase in particle size. Multisite surface complexation and charge distribution (CD) models, with a Basic Stern layer description of the electric double layer, were developed to describe all experimental data. Fits to the experimental data included an inner-sphere Na-bidentate species, an outer-sphere Na-monodentate species, and outer-sphere Cl-monodentate species. DFT simulations found the Na-bidentate species to be the most stable species on the (101) anatase surface (the predominant crystal face). The CD value for the Na-bidentate species was calculated using a bond valence interpretation of the DFT-optimized geometry. The Stern layer capacitance value varied systematically with particle size. The collective experimental and modeling studies show that subtle differences exist in the interface reactivity of nanometer diameter anatase samples. These results should help to further elucidate an understanding of the solid-aqueous solution interface reactivity of nanosized particles. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

Yang Y.-C.E.,Illinois State Water Survey | Lin Y.-F.F.,Illinois State Water Survey
Transactions in GIS | Year: 2011

This article presents two decision support plug-ins in free GIS software: ArcGIS Explorer Desktop. The ubiquitous WebGIS Analysis Toolkit for Extensive Resources (uWATER) focuses on providing GIS analysis functions: spatial and attribute queries in the public services tool for users with limited access to commercial GIS software. The interface of uWATER is general enough to support decision-making in numerous management issues in natural resources, economics and agriculture. The uWATER-Pumping Assessment (uWATER-PA) toolkit, on the other hand, is an extended package targeting the specific environmental issue of groundwater pumping impacts. The uWATER-PA package is an excellent alternative to evaluating complex groundwater pumping assessment issues before investing significant time, labor, and funds in monitoring and detailed scientific study. It incorporates simulation of the physics of groundwater flow and user interaction into GIS software. A graphical user interface makes both data entry and interpretation of results intuitive to non-technical individuals. Results are presented as colored drawdown maps and can be saved in GIS format for future dissemination. The impact of drawdown on existing wells can be characterized and mapped, through the use of uWATER's spatial query capabilities and the drawdown maps generated by uWATER-PA. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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