We are now facing an enormous challenge in Kansas reservoirs as we attempt to respond to an increasing occurrence of water quality problems impacting the use of these resources. Sediment accumulation and other factors have been and continue to create immediate water quality and habitat quality problems. Critical information must be gathered on physical, chemical, and biological conditions in reservoirs and their watersheds.

Recognizing the critical need for information on reservoir sedimentation and conditions, The Kansas Biological Survey (KBS) in 2006 created the Applied Science and Technology for Reservoir Assessment (ASTRA) Initiative, with major investments in infrastructure and equipment to address this need. The Survey is a source of biological and ecological information about the Kansas environment and has extensive experience in reservoir, stream, and water quality assessment, watershed monitoring, and remote sensing and related geospatial technologies. KBS thus is uniquely qualified to contribute to the research and information needs for immediate and longer-term management of Kansas reservoirs.

Under the ASTRA Initiative, KBS has acquired sophisticated acoustic echosounding technology for bathymetric mapping, sediment thickness estimation, bottom sediment type classification, fish surveys, and submerged aquatic vegetation surveys. Additionally, the ASTRA Initiative has a dedicated sediment coring pontoon boat with an SDI vibracorer for taking sediment cores in reservoirs for measuring sediment thickness and sampling sediment characteristics. Major investments in field equipment have been backstopped by additional investments in water quality laboratory capabilities and high-speed data processing and 3-D visualization technology.


Team Leader:
Dr. Mark Jakubauskas
Email: mjakub@ku.edu
Phone: (785) 864-1508