Ponds are classrooms for ESU students
by Clarke Davis
Emporia State University students Justin Abel and Collin Kile spent the greater part of last Wednesday measuring the amount of sediment in a farm pond southeast of Winchester as part of Kile’s studies.
The two have teamed up to assist each other in their projects. While both are Earth science students, Kile is winding up his senior year and Abel is in the graduate program.
Abel has started a year-long project to study water elevations in 10 ponds in Jefferson County.
Using a boat, he conducted what is called bathymetry, using a grid pattern to measure the depth of water in the pond. He set a number of graduated posts and a rain gauge in each pond.
“The purpose is to quantify and monitor the volume of water in farm ponds,” he said.
Throughout the year he will record the rainfall and weather conditions as he keeps track of the water depth.
Kile’s project was limited to one older farm pond that the two were able to wade across. They first measured the sediment around the edge of the pond and them across the center of it.
The measurements were recorded with a Global Positioning System instrument pinpointing the exact location. The sediment in this pond ranged from 12 to 18 inches on the outer rim to over 4 1/2 feet in the center. It exceeded their measuring device at one point.
Abel is a Nortonville native and Kile is from Madison.
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