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John M. Melack

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Atmospheric depostion and stream discharge and solutes were measured for three years (September 1984 - August 1987) in two mixed conifer watersheds in Sequoia National Park, in the southern Sierra Nevada of California. The Log Creek watershed (50 ha, 2067-2397 m elev.) is drained by a perennial stream, while Tharp's Creek watershed (13 ha, 2067-2255 m elev.) contains an intermittent stream. Dominant trees in the area include Abies concolor (white fir), Sequoiadendron giganteum (giant sequoia), A. magnifica (red fir), and Pinus lambertiana (sugar pine). Bedrock is predominantly granite and granodiorite, and the soils are mostly Pachic Xerumbrepts. Over the three year period, sulfate (SO42-), nitrate (NO3-), and chloride...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biogeochemistry
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Long-term measurements (1983-2001) of nutrients and seston in Emerald Lake (Sierra Nevada, California) have revealed ecologically significant patterns. Nitrate, both during spring runoff and during growing seasons, declined from 1983 through 1995. Declining snowmelt nitrate was caused primarily by changes in snow regime induced by the 1987-1992 drought: years with shallow, early melting snowpacks had lower snowmelt nitrate concentrations owing to less labile N production in catchment soils and longer plant growing seasons. However, nitrate declines during growing seasons carried through the wetter years of 1993-2000 and are likely the result of increased P loading to the lake and the release of phytoplankton from...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Limnology and Oceanography
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In this first worldwide synthesis of in situ and satellite-derived lake data, we find that lake summer surface water temperatures rose rapidly (global mean = 0.34°C decade−1) between 1985 and 2009. Our analyses show that surface water warming rates are dependent on combinations of climate and local characteristics, rather than just lake location, leading to the counterintuitive result that regional consistency in lake warming is the exception, rather than the rule. The most rapidly warming lakes are widely geographically distributed, and their warming is associated with interactions among different climatic factors—from seasonally ice-covered lakes in areas where temperature and solar radiation are increasing while...
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Global inventories of sediment discharge to the ocean highlight the importance of small, steep watersheds (i.e., those having drainage areas less than 100,000 km2 and over 1000 m of relief) that collectively provide a dominant flux of sediment. The smallest of these coastal watersheds (e.g., those that have drainage areas less than 1000 km2) can represent a large portion of the drainage areas of active margin coasts, such as California’s coast, but remain almost universally unmonitored. Here we report on the suspended-sediment discharge of several small coastal watersheds (10-56 km2) of the Santa Ynez Mountains, California, that were found to have ephemeral discharge and suspended-sediment concentrations ranging...
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Conclusions: The proportion of wetlands in the watershed at different scales affects dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations in downstream lakes and rivers. Thresholds/Learnings: Synopsis: This study quantifies how the proportion of wetlands in the watershed at different scales affects dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations in downstream lakes and rivers. Whether the watershed influence varies with season or hydrologic type of lake was also examined. The scaling and modelling approach used offered a useful way to examine heterogeneity of land cover types within the watershed and spatial arrangements, while allowing generality of conclusions with a large sample size. Zones of increasing distance from...
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