On April 7, 2001, the IRI site received 1.8 to 1.9 inches of rain that fell mostly between midnight and 5:30 AM. That unremarkable rain event produced the highest stream stages that we've observed at the IRI site. The following photos show flood conditions on the Shingobee and Little Shingobee Rivers.
This was the flow out of the culvert at Hubbard Co. 12, about ½ mile south of the Hubbard Co. 83 turnoff. This is upstream of the Little Shingobee Inlet (LSI) flume. Other than during snowmelt, water flows through this culvert only following heavy thunderstorms or prolonged rainfall.
On the left we see that the Little Shingobee Inlet flume is totally submerged - even the wingwalls are not visible. Normally this stream is nearly dry.
This stream is about 25 meter wide, just above where it empties into Little Shingobee Lake.
The stage in this photo is 0.9 foot above the top of the flume. The flume and wingwalls below the outlet to Little Shingobee Lake are totally submerged; all that can be seen are the datalogger shelter and the stage-recorder shelter.Typically, all the flow passes through the 2-foot-wide flume.On the afternoon of April 7, 2001, the channel was about 30 meters wide.
We see that only about 25 cm of clearance existed in the culvert that allows the river to pass beneath Hubbard County 83, just upstream of where it empties into Shingobee Lake.
The flume on the mainstem Shingobee River also was overtopped, although some of the wingwall boards still restrecited some of the flow (maximum stage was 0.4 foot above the tope of the flume).
IRI Water Resources Investigations Report 96-4215
The 210-page collection of recent research results, summarized in 30 chapters and published in color, is available for the asking. Tom Winter had the wisdom to publish a few extra copies but they're going fast. This report displays the scientific diversity of research accomplished at the site, each chapter covering a specific research topic.
IRI Lakes Liberated Early
Both Williams and Shingobee Lakes lost their ice cover on April 11 this spring, which was about a week earlier than normal. However, Dallas was surprised by how long the ice hung around. Winter at the IRI site was very mild. In fact, for the state, it was the warmest winter since 1877-78 (MN Climatology Working Group). But a cool March delayed what might have been a record early ice-out date for the IRI lakes. Most of the other lakes in the area had ice out two weeks earlier than normal.
Lake-Sediment Cores Collected from IRI Lakes
Coring teams from the University of Minnesota, USGS-Denver and USGS-Reston, under the direction of Herb Wright from the Limnological Research Center at the Univ. of MN, collected cores from Steel Lake, Little Shingobee Lake, and Crystal Lake March 17-20. Cores were varved throughout in Steel Lake, which was the condition hoped for prior to the coring expedition. The coring crew was grateful for the cold weather that occurred just prior to the trip. Ice had been melting rapidly from area lakes, and moats of open water were widening until cold conditions returned to the northland to firm up the ice. Information from these cores will be used to determine changes in climate at the site during the past 10,000 years or so, and to determine changes in lake stage in response to these climate changes.
Ground Water Measurement at IRI
Using the brute-force approach, Dallas continues to measure the flux of water to Shingobee Lake via the numerous springs that are common along the shoreline. This is part of an ongoing attempt to quantify the flux of ground water to Shingobee Lake. Dallas also has been using his portable weirs or "spring samplers" to measure fluxes along the Shingobee River, at the request of Frank Triska, John Duff, and Al Jackman, who have continued their research on hyporheic processes along the Shingobee River. Dallas reported that, as usual, the marsh marigold plants were abundant in the spring locations, but that the time when they were blooming was a little shorter than normal this spring.
Field Trips from Three Universities Converge on IRI Site
Drs. David Steffy (Bemidji State University and Vermillion Community College) and Tim Kroeger (Bemidji State University) each brought students to the IRI site for a day of field demonstrations. Dr. Steffy's environmental engineering students and Dr. Kroeger's hydrogeology students were treated to field work at the Akeley spray-irrigation site, at one of the Williams Lake well nests, and at the Chase's Marsh soil-moisture research site. Students also combined their efforts to install a shallow monitoring well on the edge of Chase's Marsh. While they were there they ran into students and instructors (Mark Person, Olaf Pfannkuch) from the University of MN who also happened to be on a hydrogeology field trip to the site that day.
New Research Funded for the IRI Site
Mark Person (Univ. of MN), Bill Guttowski (Iowa State), John Nieber (Univ. of MN), Don Rosenberry (USGS-Denver) and Tom Winter (USGS-Denver) have received funding to do a three-year study to couple a mesoscale climate model with a ground-water flow model in order to look at aquifer-atmosphere interactions on decadal to century timescales. The principal watershed studied will be the Crow Wing River watershed, and data from the IRI site will be used to calibrate the model.
Recognize These Lakes?
Those used to seeing Little Shingobee Lake at a much higher stage might be surprised to see how low the lake has been for the past two years. Ever since beavers lost interest in the large beaver dam on the north end of the lake, the lake stage has remained at this much lower level. This view of Little Shingobee Lake, looking to the northeast, also shows Shingobee Lake, parts of the Shingobee River upstream and downstream of Shinogbee Lake, a portion of highway 34 between Akeley and Walker, and Leech Lake on the horizon at the upper edge of the photograph.
The second photograph is a view looking due south, showing the southern edge of Shingobee Lake, Little Shinogbee Lake, Steel Lake to the left and Island Lake to the right, and barely visible in the distance are Williams Lake to the left and Mary Lake to the right.
Much of what has been accomplished at the IRI site through 1997 is reported in a USGS Water Resources Investigations Report on the IRI site, edited by T.C. Winter. See Table of Contents below. For the cliff notes version you can download a PDF file of a USGS Fact Sheet that summarizes the report.
Interdisciplinary Research Initiative: Hydrological and biogeochemical research in the Shingobee River headwaters area, north-central Minnesota
U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Investigations Report 96-4215
Table of Contents
- History and status of the Interdisciplinary Research Initiative in the Shingobee River headwaters area, Minnesota -- R.C. Averett and T.C. Winter
- Glacial landscape evolution of the Itasca/St. Croix moraine interlobate area, including the Shingobee River headwaters area -- H.D. Mooers and A.R. Norton
- Physiographic and geologic characteristics of the Shingobee River headwaters area -- T.C. Winter and D.O.Rosenberry
- Hydrology of the Shingobee River headwaters area -- D.O. Rosenberry, T.C. Winter, D.A. Merk, G.H. Leavesley, and L.D. Beaver
- Modeling temperature and evaporation of Williams Lake -- S.W. Hostetler
- The exchanges of carbon dioxide and water vapor between Williams Lake and the atmosphere -- D.E. Anderson, D.I. Stannard, R.G. Striegl, and T.A. McConnaughey
- Problems in comparing short-term eddy-correlation and energy-budget measurements of evaporation from Williams lake -- D.I. Stannard, D.E. Anderson, and D.O. Rosenberry
- Atmospheric input to the Shingobee River headwaters area -- M.M. Reddy, P.F. Schuster, L.J. Puckett, and T.P. Meyers
- Chemical fluxes between Williams and Shingobee Lakes and their watersheds -- J.W. LaBaugh
- Comparison of dissolved trace metal concentrations in selected lakes in Minnesota (pH ca. 8-9) and New York (pH ca. 5-7) -- A. van Geen
- Applications of stable isotopes in the Shingobee River headwaters area -- Carol Kendall, M.M. Reddy, P.F. Shuster, and W.C. Evans
- The influence of hydrologic factors on the characteristics of organic matter in the Williams and Shingobee Lakes systems -- G.R. Aiken and D.M. McKnight
- Methane emission from Minnesota and Wisconsin lakes following ice melt -- R.G. Striegl and C.M. Michmerhuizen
- The aquatic macrophytes in Williams and Shingobee Lakes, implications for carbon cycling -- Virginia Carter, N. B. Rybicki, R.G. Striegl, and P.T. Gammon
- Calcification promotes macrophyte photosynthesis in Williams Lake -- T.A. McConnaughey, J.W. LaBaugh, P.F. Schuster, Virginia Carter, R.G. Striegl, M.M. Reddy, and D.O. Rosenberry
- The plankton communities of Shingobee and Williams Lakes -- J.W. LaBaugh
- The photosynthetic response of phytoplankton in Shingobee Lake and Williams Lake -- B.E. Cole, J.E. Cloern, and A.E. Alpine
- Seasonal comparisons of seston abundance and sedimentation rate in a closed basin lake (Williams) and an open-basin lake (Shingobee) -- J.E. Cloern, A.E. Alpine, and B.E. Cole
- Transects of organic carbon, calcium carbonate, and diatoms in surface sediments of Williams and Shingobee Lakes -- W.E. Dean and J.P. Bradbury
- Fish communities of Williams and Shingobee Lakes -- R.G. Striegl, C.M. Michmerhuizen, and M.E. McDonald
- Hydrologic examination of ground-water discharge into the upper Shingobee River -- A.P. Jackman, F.J. Triska, and J.H. Duff
- Interstitial solute chemistry in sediments of the upper Shingobee River -- J.H. Duff, F.J. Triska, A.P. Jackman, and J.W. LaBaugh
- Physical and chemical properties of waters at the interface between a bankside ground- water seep and the channel of the Shingobee River: A preliminary analysis under base flow conditions -- F.J. Triska, J.H. Duff, R.J. Avanzino, and A.P. Jackman
- Sediment associated nitrification and denitrification potentials at the interface between a bankside ground-water seep and the channel of the Shingobee River -- F.J. Triska and J.H. Duff
- Vegetation of the Little Shingobee fen -- Virginia Carter, P.T. Gammon, N.B. Rybicki
- Ground-water, surface-water interactions and biogeochemistry of the Little Shingobee fen -- L.J. Puckett, Virginia Carter, D.O. Rosenberry, and D.A. Merk
- Bacterial clues to ground water discharge sites: iron seeps in the Shingobee and Crow Wing Watersheds, Northern Minnesota -- E.I. Robbins, J.W. LaBaugh, D.A. Merk, R.S. Parkhurst, L.J. Puckett, D.O. Rosenberry, P.F. Schuster, P. A. Shelito, and T.P. Soteroplos
- Sediment stratigraphy and paleolimnological characteristics of Williams and Shingobee Lakes -- S.M. Locke and Antje Schwalb
- Stratigraphy and biological characteristics of sediments in the Little Shingobee fen -- Virginia Carter, S. M. Locke, T.A. McConnaughy, and T.C. Winter