Upper Sheep Creek

Upper Sheep Creek was established as an intensive research watershed in the 70’s to understand the interactions of climate/hydrology with soils and vegetation. The geology is predominately of basalt in origin. Snowdrifts are again a big player in Upper Sheep Creek. The watershed is instrumented with piezometers used to quantify subsurface flow and the role of the snowdrift in supplying streamflow. It has also be used to examine aspect influences on soil temperature and moisture and documented as large of differences in soil temperature on a western facing slope to north facing slope in the Upper Sheep as the total variation in soil temperature from the bottom of the watershed to the top of the watershed. More recently, this watershed has been used to quantify the vegetation and hydrological responses following prescribed fire using eddy covariance, which measures the exchange of water and carbon between the land surface and atmosphere.