Science Support

Oleg Kozel's NAGT-USGS 2017 Summer Field Training Program

Dates: June 5, 2017 to Aug 25, 2017
Duration: 12 weeks 
Project Location: USGS, Menlo Park, CA (with recurring travel to Klamath Falls, OR)


Water use and allocations in the Klamath River Basin are fraught with competing needs and interests (e.g., hydroelectric power, irrigation, commercial fisheries, and preservation of native aquatic species). Upper Klamath Lake in southern Oregon, at the headwaters of the Klamath River Basin, provides the initial regulated source of surface water to the down-gradient watershed, extending into California. Hypereutrophic conditions in the lake impose water-quality stressors on endangered fish populations in the lake and on downstream fisheries and wildlife habitats. Since 2006, our research project has been studying the importance of benthic nutrient inputs to the lake water column, and in adjacent wetland habitats, relative to more conventional allochthonous sources. Four recent NAGT Students Interns have contributed to the ongoing study that provides information necessary for developing process-interdependent solute-transport models for the watershed and for wetland-restoration efforts involving long-term (multi-decadal) agricultural use. Preliminary investigations into arsenic concentration and fluxes revealed the need for further studies. Work done in 2017 focused on sources upstream of the lake and compare them to internal sources (benthic flux) within the lake, with a focus on arsenic. This work supports efforts to model and evaluate proposed load-allocation strategies (TMDL) for Upper Klamath Lake.

Oleg's Tasks

Oleg Kozel was involved in both field and laboratory studies. He directly participated in water-column and benthic sampling in the Upper Klamath Basin. This involved preparation of equipment for sampling trips, collection of chemical and biological
field samples using specified (sometimes ultra-clean) protocols, and disassembly and cleanup of equipment in preparation for subsequent field work. After field samples were collected, he was involved in the analyses of solutes (e.g., dissolved organic carbon and macronutrients). He was required to work many days in Klamath Falls, OR, as a participant in field operations.


Oleg Kozel determined macro- and micronutrient concentration gradients and associated diffusive fluxes from a network of sites within contrasting benthic habitat types, and temporally spanning the annual phytoplankton bloom, of Upper Klamath Lake, OR. He also worked on the multidisciplinary study which examines modeling and management implications of bioavailable nutrient sources, as well as metal (including arsenic) sources, on water quality in lake, and strategies to improve that water quality.


Results and Benefits

Results provided water-quality managers with source information for various solutes (nutrients and metals) within and through Upper Klamath Lake, OR. He learned firsthand a variety of field-sampling techniques including the use and application of a newly patented porewater profiler approach to measure the benthic flux of biologically reactive solutes (nutrients and toxicants). In the laboratory, he learned data and chemical analytical techniques associated with this nutrient transport study and involving
state-of-the-art instrumentation.



Brent Topping

Water Resources Mission Area
Phone: 650-329-5527