Karst Topography of Upper Iowa Watershed Is Focus of Water Quality Field Day

Iowa Learning Farms virtual field day is Feb. 4

January 20, 2021, 11:39 am | Hilary Pierce

AMES, Iowa – Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with the Iowa Nutrient Research Center and Conservation Learning Group, is hosting a free virtual field day on the challenges of improving water quality and quantity management in the karst topography of the Upper Iowa Watershed on Thursday, Feb. 4 at 1 p.m. CST.

Presenters include Matt Frana, Upper Iowa Watershed project coordinator, and Winneshiek County landowners Tom and Maren Beard.

“The karst topography in northeast Iowa creates some unique challenges when planning for water detention project sites,” said Frana. “Shallow depth to bedrock, easily dissolvable bedrock, highly fractured bedrock and sinkholes can become problematic if water is pooled above or near them.”

Karst terrain is characterized by the presence of easily dissolved bedrock (limestone and dolomite) near the ground surface, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Tom and Maren Beard.

“By reviewing soils, bedrock, sinkhole and terrain GIS map layers, high risk areas can be identified and avoided without wasting time on lengthy and costly in-field investigations,” said Frana. “If a site appears to have a moderate risk, methods like soil/bedrock boring and the use of Electrical Resistivity Imagery can be used to determine if potentially problematic conditions exist below the surface as part of the planning process to better assure successful projects.”

To participate in the live virtual field day at 1 p.m. CST on Feb. 4, click this URL, https://iastate.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUpduihpj8iE9ZHcjpsenc2DWQILG41wg0D, or visit www.iowalearningfarms.org/page/events and click “Join Live Virtual Field Day”.

Participate by dialing +1 312-626-6799 or +1 646-876-9923. The meeting ID is 914 1198 4892.

The field day will be recorded and archived on the ILF website so that it can be watched at any time. The archive will be available at https://www.iowalearningfarms.org/page/events.

Participants may be eligible for a Certified Crop Adviser board-approved continuing education unit. Information about how to apply to receive the unit (if approved) will be provided at the end of the live field day.


Original photo: Tom and Maren Beard.

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