Water level recordings from wells in Watershed 3 at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, 2007 - present
Water level recordings from wells in Watershed 3 at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, 2007 - present
Kevin McGuire
Virginia Tech
210 Cheatham Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24060

Phone: (540) 231-6017
Scott Bailey
USDA Forest Service, Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest
234 Mirror Lake Road
North Woodstock, NH 03262

Phone: (603) 726-8902
John Gannon
Western Carolina University
310 Stillwell Science Building
Cullowhee, NC 28723

Phone: (828) 227-3813
The project is aimed at explaining the spatial and temporal variation in stream water chemistry at the headwater catchment scale using a framework based on the combined study of hydrology and soil development – hydropedology. The project will demonstrate how hydrology strongly influences soil development and soil chemistry, and in turn, controls stream water quality in headwater catchments. Understanding the linkages between hydrology and soil development can provide valuable information for managing forests and stream water quality. Feedbacks between soils and hydrology that lead to predictable landscape patterns of soil chemistry have implications for understanding spatial gradients in site productivity and suitability for species with differing habitat requirements or chemical sensitivity. Tools are needed that identify and predict these gradients that can ultimately provide guidance for land management and silvicultural decision making. Better integration between soil science, hydrology, and biogeochemistry will provide the conceptual leap needed by the hydrologic community to be able to better predict and explain temporal and spatial variability of stream water quality and understand water sources contributing to streamflow.
KEYWORD SET: Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study LTER
HBEF Watershed 3, HBR, Hubbard Brook LTER, hydrology, hydropedology, water level, water table, watersheds.
HBEF watershed 3 (WS3)
West bounding coordinate: -71.725502
East bounding coordinate: -71.687683
North bounding coordinate: 43.962128
South bounding coordinate: 43.939945
This network of wells was designed to monitor water table dynamics across different soil units throughout Watershed 3. At each well, a small soil pit was hand excavated to ~10 cm into the C horizon (40 to 100 cm; 65 cm average) and pedogenic horizons were described. Each soil profile was assigned a soil type based on horizon presence and thickness. Wells were constructed of standard dimension ratio (SDR) 21 PVC pipe with a 3.76 cm inner diameter and a 31 cm screen length consisting of 0.025 cm width lateral slots with 0.32 cm spacing between slots. Wells were either installed with a 10 cm hand auger immediately upslope of the characterization pit or in the backfilled pit. The auger was used to bore 10 cm into the C horizon so that the base of the well screen was inserted into the C horizon. Wells were installed on top of bedrock in the cases where a C horizon was not present. Local washed sand was used to backfill to a depth just above the screened interval, and then native soil was backfilled and carefully compacted above the screened interval to the soil surface.
Each well was equipped with a 1.5 m Odyssey Water Level Logger that used capacitance measured along a Teflon coated wire suspended in the well to determine water level (Dataflow Systems Pty Ltd) recorded at 10 minute intervals.
To get depth of water table below the surface, substract the Pipe Height from the location and pipe height dataset. Readings that were not due to natural variations in water table were removed from the data record. For example: If a well was pumped for a sample, the water table recordings while the well recovered were removed. The other most common reason for removal was that the instrument was pulled from the well to download data, resulting in one or two data points that reflected the water level recorder being out of the well.
Data Files
This dataset includes a zip file of csv files (one per well). Columns are as follows:
date = DateTime (YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS)
cap = Capacitance (farads)
level = Distance to water table (centimeter)
removed = value removed for analysis (centimeter)
  • Bailey, S.W., Brousseau, P.A., McGuire, K.J., and Ross, D.S. 2014. Influence of landscape position and transient water table on soil development and carbon distribution in a steep, headwater catchment. Geoderma 226:279-289.
  • Detty, J.M., and McGuire, K.J. 2010. Topographic controls on shallow groundwater dynamics: implications of hydrologic connectivity between hillslopes and riparian zones in a till mantled catchment. DOI: 10.1002/hyp.7656, Hydrological Processes 24(16):2222-2236.
  • Detty, J.M., and McGuire, K.J. 2010. Threshold changes in storm runoff generation at a till-mantled headwater catchment. DOI: 10.1029/2009WR008102, Water Resour. Res. 46(7):00-00.
  • Gannon, J.P., Bailey, S.W., and McGuire, K.J. 2015. Organizing groundwater regimes and response thresholds by soils: a framework for understanding spatial patterns of water movement in a headwater catchment.. Water Resour. Res. 0(0):00-00.
Data Use Policy

The re-use of scientific data has the potential to greatly increase communication, collaboration and synthesis within and among disciplines, and thus is fostered, supported and encouraged. Permission to use this dataset is granted to the Data User free of charge subject to the following terms:

1) Acceptable use. Use of the dataset will be restricted to academic, research, government or other not-for-profit professional purposes.

2) Redistribution. The data and metadata are provided for use by the Data User. The Data User will not redistribute the original Data Set or metadata to others without the explicit permission of the Principal Investigator.

3) Citation. It is considered a matter of professional ethics to acknowledge the work of other scientists. Thus, the Data User will properly attribute the Data Set in any publications or in the metadata of any derived data products that were produced using the Data Set. Citation should take the following general form: Creator, Year of Data Publication, Title of Dataset, Publisher, Dataset identifier.

Citation example: Holmes, R.T. 2012. Bird Abundances at Hubbard Brook (1969-2010) and on three replicate plots (1986-2000) in the White Mountain National Forest. Durham, NH. Hubbard Brook Data Archive [Database]. http://hubbardbrook.org/data/dataset.php?id=81 (23 July 2012)

4) Acknowledgment: The Data User should acknowledge any institutional support or specific funding awards referenced in the metadata accompanying this dataset in any publications where the Data Set contributed to its content. Acknowledgments should identify the supporting party, the party that received the support, and any identifying information such as grant numbers.

Acknowledgment example: Data on [topic] were provided by [name of PI] on [date]. These data were gathered as part of the Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study (HBES). The HBES is a collaborative effort at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, which is operated and maintained by the USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station, Newtown Square, PA. Significant funding for collection of these data was provided by [agency]-[grant number], [agency]-[grant number], etc.

5) Consultation and questions. Data users are strongly encouraged to consult with the Principal Investigator(s) who collected these data for further information. Also, when appropriate, Data Users should consider including the Principal Investigator as a collaborator and/or co-author in the use of these data.

6) Notification. The Data User will notify the Principal Investigator of any publication or derivative work based on the Data Set. The Data User will also provide the Principal Investigator and/or the administrator of the Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study with a pdf or two reprints of any publication(s) resulting from use of the Data Set.

7) Disclaimer. While substantial efforts are made to ensure the accuracy of data and documentation contained in this Data Set, complete accuracy of data and metadata cannot be guaranteed. All data and metadata are made available "as is". The Data User holds all parties involved in the production or distribution of the Data Set harmless for damages resulting from its use or interpretation.

8) Terms of Agreement. By accepting this Data Set, the Data User agrees to abide by the terms of this agreement. The Data Owner shall have the right to terminate this agreement immediately by written notice upon the Data User's breach of, or non-compliance with, any of its terms. The Data User may be held responsible for any misuse that is caused or encouraged by the Data User's failure to abide by the terms of this agreement.


Information Manager, Hubbard Brook LTER
234 Mirror Lake Road
North Woodstock, NH 03262

Phone: (603) 726-8902
Email: hbr-im@lternet.edu

Data file: w3well_locations.txt
Description: Locations of wells used for water level measurements on Watershed 3 at the Hubbard Brook LTER.
Notes on Data: Original data location
ColumnVariableDescriptionUnitsCoded?Missing value label
1WellWell Namenoneynone
2EastingEasting coordinate in UTM NAD83 Zone 19Nmeternnone
3NorthingNorthing cooordinate in UTM NAD83 ZONE 19Nmeternnone
4PipeHtHeight of well pipe above land surface cmcentimeternnone


Variable: Well
A letter-number combination unique for each well