Hydrology of Mono Lake

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Objectives: This homework is designed to give you practice using water budgets to solve common problems in water resource management. The homework will use actual data from monitoring stations at Mono Lake, California. In addition, this homework REQUIRES the use of unit conversions, correct application of significant figures, and use of scientific notation (and you thought after high school youd never do this again).Hydrology of Mono Lake
Mono Basin is an intermontane, closed drainage basin in central Mono County, California, and Mineral County, Nevada (Figure 2).Figure 2. Mono basin watershed (highlighted in yellow).
The Mono Basin is about 300 kilometers from San Francisco (Figure 3) and forms part of the eastern boundary of Yosemite National Park. Lee Vining and June Lake, CA are the only two towns within the basin.
12Figure 3. Location of Mono Basin.
Basin Morphology:
The shape of the Mono Basin is slightly elongate northeast-southwest (Figure 1). The area of Mono Basin is 1,748 km2 (675 mi2). The area of Mono Lake is 215 km2 (83 mi2).The basin floor is relatively flat, sloping gently upward from Mono Lake at 1,948 m (6,390 ft) to the base of the surrounding rim of mountains at about 2,200 m (7,200 ft). West of Mono Lake, the Sierra Nevada rise abruptly from the lake and culminate in snowy crests at elevations near 4,000 m.Climate:
The climate of the Mono Basin is continental, with cold winters, during which most of the annual precipitation occurs, and dry summers with hot days and cool nights. Average annual precipitation in the basin has been recorded since the early 1950s. The average annual precipitation for the Mono Basin is 44.8 cm (17.7 inches).Water Budget (Inputs-Outputs=Change in Storage):
The variables for the Mono Basin water budget include:
INPUTS: Precipitation (P), Runoff from 3 streams (R), and groundwater inflow to Mono Lake (G)
OUTPUTS: Evaporation (E), and water diversions from the three streams before flowing into Mono Lake (D)
CHANGE IN STORAGE: the change in water volume in Mono Lake (V)Assignment
Your answers must include units, have the correct number of significant figures and use proper scientific notation (e.g. 1.2106 or 1.2E6). Show all your work.1. Water Budget Equation. Write the general water budget for Mono Lake using the specific water budget terms (P, R, G, E, D, & V).
2. Precipitation. Determine the average annual precipitation in cubic meters (m3) for Mono Basin. Use the Mono Basin area and precipitation depth.
3. Precipitation. Determine the average annual precipitation in cubic meters (m3) for Mono Lake. Use the Mono Lake area and precipitation depth.
4. Evaporation.TheaverageannuallakeevaporationfromMonoLakeis0.98m. Calculate the annual evaporation (m3) from Mono Lake.
5. Runoff.ThreelargestreamsflowintoMonoLakefromtheSierraNevada.These streams are gaged by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP), and have the following average annual runoff:
Lee Vining Creek Rush Creek
Mill Creek
87.3 cfs (cubic feet per second (ft3/sec)) 44.8 cfs
37.0 cfs
What is the combined average annual runoff of these three streams, in m3? Note: 1 m3 = 35.3147 cubic feet (ft3), and 1 year = 31,536,000 seconds
6. Diversions.TheLosAngelesDWPhasbeendivertingwaterfromLeeVining,Rush, and Mill Creeks (below the gaging stations) for many years, running the diverted water through the Owens Valley aqueduct to Los Angeles. These diversions average 105,305 acre-feet per year. Note: 1 m3 = 0.000811 acre-foot.
Taking into account these diversions, what is the average annual flow into Mono Lake from these three streams, in m3?
7. ChangeinStorage:FromdatarecordedbytheLosAngelesDWP,MonoLake levels fell 15.7 feet between 1954 and 1964. Accounting for the shape of the lake basin, the lowering of the lake level by 15.7 feet between 1954 and 1964 resulted in a change of storage of -103,461,332 m3.
What was the average annual change in storage over this 10 year period?
8. Groundwaterinflow:Usingallthedatapresentedsofar,solvethewaterbudget equation for average annual groundwater inflow to Mono Lake, in m3. Use the precipitation value for Mono Lake (question 3), not the value for the Mono Basin (question 2).
9. Errorswithwaterbudgetcalculations.Whichofthecomponentsofthewater budget probably contains the largest error? Explain your rationale.
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