Jonathon M. Malzone
The United States Forestry Service wants to achieve better conservation and restoration practices of natural and constructed ridge-top wetlands in the Daniel Boone National Forest. Quantifying the physical parameters and the hydrologic processes of these wetlands will provide a greater understanding of these wetlands and their groundwater surface water interaction. These hydrologic processes and physical parameters will provide a well-quantified standard for future constructed ridge-top wetlands to replicate natural ridge-top wetlands. We monitored five ridge-top wetlands (2 constructed, 3 natural) through the summer of 2016 and collected monitoring data and soil core samples to analyze in the laboratory. Weather stations equipped with a rain gage, soil moisture sensors and groundwater level sensors were placed in the watersheds of these wetlands. We inserted wells inside of the pool and another within the catchment area of each wetland to take water levels. Soil samples were taken in the lab where specific yield and porosity were estimated with grain size analysis and loss on ignition testing. Aquifer bail and recovery tests were conducted to measure the hydraulic conductivity of the aquifer. A double ring infiltrometer was used to estimate infiltration rates and runoff. We used the White  method to estimate the evapotranspiration of the groundwater. This data provides the basis for our conceptual model of the natural ridge-top wetlands. Our conceptual model shows that these wetlands are the source water to perched aquifers, which provide water to the forest ecosystem. These wetlands also provide a habitat to native vernal pool specialists.