Joint Research on Water and Sedimentation Changes and Potential Impacts on Biodiversity along the Porsuk River, Turkey

Science Center Objects

The Porsuk River floodplain near Eskisehir, Turkey contains a large number of wetlands, which have been managed by humans for millennia.

Nuket Bingol measuring Sediment Elevation Table, Porsuk River floodplain, Eskisehir, Turkey
Nuket Bingol measuring Sediment Elevation Table, Porsuk River floodplain, Eskisehir, Turkey

The Science Issue and Relevance: The Porsuk River floodplain near Eskisehir, Turkey contains a large number of wetlands, which have been managed by humans for millennia. Sedimentation and downcutting have altered water regimes and vegetation on the floodplain. A seed bank assessment will be completed because long−lived seeds may support biodiversity during climate change drought and flooding. In addition, sediment elevation tables (SETs) have been deployed along the river to monitor changes in elevation (accretion or subsidence). Researchers of USGS and Dumlupinar University are collaborating via a Technical Assistance Agreement with the goal of developing future restoration and climate change mitigation plans that would be useful for watershed management.

 

Methodology for Addressing the Issue: These studies are conducted in floodplains of the Porsuk River, near Eskisehir, Turkey. Ecosystem and taxonomic assessments are conducted within various zones of the floodplain, particularly in regards to hydrology and spatial distribution of vegetation in relation to impoundment and downcutting of the river. Some sites have SETs and, along with white clay sedimentation markers, estimates of sediment deposition/erosion and organic matter involvement are made. The SETs are also used to monitor site water levels, in conjunction with local water level recorders.

Future Steps: Managers can use the information to determine the effects of water level and flow changes on sedimentation/downcutting rates, and to relate this to vegetation conditions along the river. Workshops are supported by the ERASMUS of the European Union to instruct students on methodology related to the study of sedimentation and vegetation dynamics.

Related projects: Modeling the connections between surface and groundwater hydrology, water quality, and ecosystem health to support coastal preservation efforts across the Northern Gulf Coast.