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Old Russian River Jetty’s Impact on Local Hydrology

Sources: Susan Hubbard and  Dan Hawkes

Lawrence Berkeley Labs Geophysicist Craig Ulrich and research assistant Katie McKnight check the device recording the salinity of the sand berm separating the Pacific from the Russian River estuary at Jenner.

An early 20th century jetty built at the mouth of the Russian River is a current focus of study involving ESD geophysicists Craig Ulrich, Katie McKnight, John Peterson, and (Division Director) Susan Hubbard. The ESD scientists are working with the Sonoma County Water Agency to understand how the ancient jetty influences local hydrological processes. As reported in a recent Santa Rosa Press Democrat article, the scientists are employing ground-penetrating radar to map the jetty, as well as a variety of time-lapse geophysical methods to investigate seepage and freshwater-saltwater mixing under the beach berm. The overall effort is intended to provide information that will help the Sonoma County Water Agency and other entities optimize fish habitat in the region, where threatened steelhead trout spend their summers.

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