National Park Service

Mojave Desert I&M Network (MOJN)

Streams & Lakes

Johnson Lake at Great Basin National Park
Johnson Lake at Great Basin National Park

Stream and Lakes protocol documents

Stream and Lakes reports

For more information contact: Michael Steiner

Importance/Issues

Despite its relatively remote location and current high air and water quality, waterbodies in Great Basin National Park (GRBA) face several potential threats. Large-scale proposed groundwater pumping in Snake and Spring valleys adjacent to GRBA could impact park water resources. Plans to build two coal-fired power plants within 100 miles of the park were recently shelved, but the construction of such plants in GRBA's airshed remains a possibility. Since the subalpine lakes are known to have low buffering capacity, atmospheric deposition of pollutants could potentially acidify lakes. Climate change is expected to alter precipitation and snowmelt patterns, affecting stream and lake hydrology. Climate change may also affect the physical limnology of lakes by changing the period and timing of the ice-free period.

Monitoring Objectives

Condition and Trends in Streams at GRBA

  • What are long term trends in the quantity and seasonal patterns of stream discharge?
  • What is the status of and what are the trends in stream water chemistry?
  • What is the status of and what are the trends in stream macroinvertebrate assemblages in streams?

Condition and Trends in Lakes at GRBA

  • In subalpine lakes, are water levels or is the lake ice-free season changing over time?
  • What is the status of and what are the trends in lake water chemistry?

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Last Updated: April 27, 2017 Contact Webmaster