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Aquatic Site Marker
Each site has up to eight groundwater wells outfitted with sensors that measure high temporal resolution groundwater elevation (pressure transducer-based), temperature, and specific conductance. Met. Station
A met. station is located on the shore of most aqutic sites and collects data comparable with flux tower measurements at terrestrial sites. Lake and wadeable rivers also have an above water met. station on buoy. These data are unique with different sensors and data frequencies due to power and data storage constraints. Sensor Station
Wadeable streams have a sensor station near the top of the reach and the bottom of the reach; non-wadeable rivers have a sensor station on a buoy and one near the bank; Lakes have an inlet sensor station, an outlet sensor station and a sensor station on a buoy. Data collection varies by type of sensor station. Click on sensor station on the map to learn more. Staff gauge/camera
The staff gauge measures gauge height, in meters, measured at lakes, wadeable rivers and non-wadeable streams. A phenocam is installed near most gauges. It collects RGB and IR images of the lake, river, or stream vegetation, stream surface, and stream gauge every 15 minutes. Observational Sampling
This map depicts the spatial layout of this field site. Please note that some locations may have moved over time due to logistics, safety and science requirements.
This map was updated on March 15, 2019
Construction Status for this Site
The Arikaree (also known as Arickaree) may be Colorado's last intact example of a relatively free-flowing plains river. Pulled from deep underground aquifers, it is narrow, shallow and slow-moving. The lush, green cottonwood forest along the riverbanks of the ranch provides a welcome oasis in the midst of an agricultural community. The surrounding prairie paints a landscape of diverse textures, shapes, and colors.
It is located on the plains of Eastern Colorado and is a tributary to the Republican River. It is a designated area within the Colorado Natural Areas Program to protect native and uncommon species that may be endangered or threatened.
NEON's ARIK field site is located in the Fox Ranch, a 14,070-acre ranch owned by the Nature Conservancy, in northeastern Colorado, southwest of Wray, between the towns of Joes and Idalia.
Total data products planned for this site: 79
Site Host & Access Site Host:
The Nature Conservancy
Is additional non-NEON research allowed at this site?:
Yes, non-NEON research activities are allowed in this area. Researchers must obtain their own permits with the site host(s).
Site Characteristics Latitude/Longitude:39.75825, -102.4471 Elevation:1213 m Mean Annual Temperature:11C/51.8F Mean Annual Precipitation:449 mm Dominant NLCD Classes:
Emergent Herbaceous Wetlands
USGS HUC: h17080002
Despite the large watershed size (2,875 kilometers
2), the Arikaree is a small, wadeable stream that drains tall-grass prairie and flows through a sand-alluvial basin. The stream is largely fed by surface precipitation and is subject to flooding when large, localized storms occur in the watershed. The Arikaree flows primarily during the winter, and often dries completely during summer due to dry conditions and groundwater withdrawals for irrigation. Site Management
The Arikaree site is located on Nature Conservancy land that is maintained as an active cattle ranch but is also managed to ensure a diverse tall-grass prairie and bird community persists.
Site Specific Topics
NEON collects a standard suite of aquatic data at Arikaree; however, data collected at this site captures regional hydrological change and may lead to a better understanding of climate change trends in the area.
Land cover at the Arikaree site is dominated by grasslands with a few trees located near the stream edge. Cottonwood trees cover 30% of the ground in the surrounding area; willow trees cover 10% at the stream bank. During mid-summer, the stream channel is dominated by cattails (
Typha sp.). Geology
Ogallala Formation, alternating conglomerates and sandstones, Cenozoic
Data Collection Types Airborne Remote Sensing Surveys
Remote sensing surveys collect Lidar, spectrometer and high resolution RGB camera data.
This site has one meteorological station located in the riparian area. The met station is outfitted with the a subset of the same sensors used at terrestrial sites. Measurements include wind speed and direction, air temperature, barometric pressure, relative humidity, shortwave radiation, and PAR.
This site has one phenocam near the stream.
Surface Water Sensor Stations
This site has one upstream sensor station and one downstream sensor station. Measurements include PAR, temperature, water quality [specific conductivity, chlorophyll a, dissolved oxygen content, pH, turbidity, and fluorescent dissolved organic matter (only down stream)], and nitrate is measured at the downstream station.
This site has six groundwater wells that are located throughout the sampling reach. Measurements include specific conductivity, water tempertaure, and elevation of groundwater.
Field ecologists collect the following types of observational data at this site:
Aquatic Microbes (surface water, benthic)
Plants and Macroalgae
Water and Particulates
Other Domain 10 Field Sites
Relocatable Terrestrial | Colorado
Distance: 58 mi.
Core Terrestrial | Colorado
Distance: 141 mi.
Relocatable Terrestrial | Colorado
Distance: 168 mi.
Field Operations Office
1685 38th Street, Suite 100
Boulder, CO 80301