Rainfall to Faucet
Almost 25 percent of the world’s population lives in mountainous regions, and over 60 percent relies on mountains for freshwater needs ranging from drinking water to food production, ecosystem services, and industrial use. Most of the world’s fertile agricultural lands lie at the foothills and in the interior valleys of mountain ranges.
Did you know?
The watersheds of the Southern Appalachian Mountains provide drinking water for 10 million people. The highest precipitation amounts registered anywhere in the continental U.S. for hurricanes Ivan and Frances after landfall were registered in the mountains of western North Carolina.
Environmental engineering Professor Ana Barros is working to improve our understanding of what governs cold and warm season rain and snow precipitation regimes and hydrology in mid-latitude mountains. Barros is leading a NASA-funded project to study topography-influenced precipitation regimes in mid-latitude mountains of the southern Appalachians, a hot spot for precipitation extremes associated with tropical cyclones (hurricanes after landfall) and northwestern winter flow patterns. She aims to characterize the relationship between precipitation regimes and the hydrologic function of river basins in regions of complex terrain.
In addition, she plans to deploy an array of innovative technologies such as high-speed imaging of rainfall and radio frequency wireless sensing of snow properties to take ground-based measurement of precipitation and precipitation properties in regions of this highly complex terrain region.
Ana Barros website: http://www.cee.duke.edu/faculty/barros/index.php
Appalachian Mountains: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appalachian_Mountains