Explore watershed-scale hydrogeologic processes

Urbanization has a profound effect on watersheds. Our dense network of monitoring stations enables the study of those effects and testing of new technology. Groundwater remediation and bedrock aquifer testing facilities are also available.

Advanced analytical equipment is also available through this node that provides the ability for analysis, research and development of techniques for the identification of novel contaminants.

SOWC Supported Facilities

Watershed Monitoring

Facilities and monitoring are located in the subwatersheds of Hopewell Creek (Grand River Watershed, relatively pristine), Alder Creek (Grand River Watershed, urbanizing), and Mimico Creek (Greater Toronto Area, very urban), as well as along the Grand River itself. New infrastructure expands existing monitoring networks with increased tracking of groundwater and surface water interaction phenomena, enhanced biogeochemical analysis capabilities, and smart monitoring systems that respond to environmental triggers. Monitoring stations can be used to evaluate sensitive municipal water withdrawals, agricultural land management, expanding urban development, and overall dynamics in these watersheds.

The Grand River Conservation Authority can also make available to SOWC users nine water quality monitoring stations and 44 water level gauge stations for the placement of water quality and quantity monitoring devices. At the water quality monitoring stations, water is pumped from an intake pipe to an internal tank for monitoring and then discharged. The stations are heated in the winter, contain 120 AC power, have controlled access and are currently in use for monitoring temperature, pH, conductivity, turbidity and dissolved oxygen. Stations are located throughout the Grand River watershed.

Borden Facility

The Borden Facility provides a platform for development and field testing of concepts and technologies in contaminant hydrogeology and groundwater remediation. This Facility consists of existing infrastructure capable of supporting field experiments such as the controlled release of chemicals into the subsurface to demonstrate transport processes and remediation. Infrastructure includes sheet-piling isolated cells, extensive multilevel groundwater monitoring networks, wells for testing sampling devices, and existing sources of contamination emplaced into the aquifer.

Guelph Fractured Bedrock Facility

The Bedrock Aquifer Field Facility is located on the University of Guelph campus, and is situated on the City of Guelph’s bedrock water supply aquifer. This Facility supports the development and validation of various types of novel downhole monitoring and sampling equipment related to fractured rock aquifer characterization. SOWC supported boreholes build on an existing network of research boreholes at the University of Guelph and in the surrounding area to create an extensive bedrock network of boreholes for various scales of experiments.

Other Partner Institution Facilities

Kennedy Research Station

Queen’s University’s Kennedy Research Station is a 200-acre scientific hydrology research and education facility near Tamworth, Ontario. It is situated in a sensitive geological setting and is part of the Salmon River Watershed, a tributary of the Great Lakes. The station is the hub of an intensive ground and surface water monitoring and meteorological sensor network spread throughout the watershed. The station supports research and education into the hydrological cycle in freshwater watersheds.

Queen’s University Biological Station

Situated within the Frontenac Axis, the Queen’s University Biological Station (QUBS) provides access to a wide variety of habitats, including lakes of various types and sizes. So, too, are landscapes with a range of human influence and alteration, varied topography, specialized environments, and high biodiversity. From the beginning, QUBS has had a dual mandate of teaching and research. Research spans many disciplines including limnology (and paleolimnology), ecotoxicology, fisheries, conservation biology, ecology, remote sensing and evolutionary biology.

Coastal Engineering Laboratory

The Coastal Engineering Laboratory (QCEL) at Queen’s University is the largest university hydraulics laboratory in Canada. It houses three 45 m long wave flumes, a large wave basin, three river simulator flumes, a rotating fluids table, a 20 m3 landslide flume and a large-scale, water distribution pipe simulation facility. QCEL is a state-of-the-art facility for research and teaching in a broad range of water areas, especially in the fields of River Engineering, Lake Dynamics, Coastal Engineering, Landslides and Water Supply Systems.


Watershed Facility

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