Wednesday, February 18, 2009

CCOP - Video Observation February 2009

This video was taken February 16th and 17th 2009. I don't know much about making videos so hopefully these will get better over time. My intention was to wait until some rain fell and then take a video of the creek over a 24 hour period to see what effect area rainfall had on the creek level. This is not a quality observation because my source of rainfall rates and totals is probably unreliable. I'm going to fix the rainfall measuring issue, but this is what I have to work with for now.


Cow Creek Observation Project (CCOP)

Over the past year, I've been thinking about monitoring the creek that runs by my property and recording my observations. I'm doing this for curiosity's sake. The creek is interesting because:

1) It's insanely great
2) It's a substantial creek that has been running year round for hundreds of thousands of years
3) It has native fish in it
4) A lot of water moves down this creek
5) It cuts through rock that is over 100 million years old

I've wondered many things about it and I intend to quantify it as best I can. My goal is to determine the following:

1) How much water moves through this creek
2) When do the Salmon run and how can I predict the runs
3) Where does all the water come from
4) What causes changes in the water clarity
5) How much water is being taken from the creek for irrigation purposes
6) What is the temperature of the water and what causes it to change
7) How does local rainfall impact the creek level and flow rates
8) How does the annual snow pack impact the creek level and flow rates
9) How much does the creek level change over the course of a year
10) How much material does the creek move (i.e. large boulders, sediment, rocks) down hill over the course of a year
11) How loud is the creek over the course of the year
12) Is the creek considered legally 'navigable by boat'

I will add to this list over time. The answers to some of these questions seem obvious but I bet the real answers are more interesting than I expect. I'm not sure how I'm going to measure and monitor the creek but I'm sure there is a way to get accurate answers to my questions. I've been thinking about this for some time and I've started experimenting with data collection and have been acquiring tools, software and instrumentation to help me get started.