The WEBB program began in 1991 at five small watersheds to examine water, energy, and biogeochemical fluxes and determine the effects of atmospheric deposition, climatic variables, and human influences on watershed processes. The five sites are at Loch Vale, Colorado; Luquillo Experimental Forest, Puerto Rico; Panola Mountain, Georgia; Sleepers River, Vermont; and Trout Lake, Wisconsin. These sites are supported, in part, by other programs in the USGS, other Federal and State Agencies, and Universities.
The Trout Lake WEBB site is notable in the program for its location in a glaciated, non-mountainous terrain and high groundwater flows. The site is co-located with the National Science Foundation’s North Temperate Lakes Long-Term Ecological Research (NTL–LTER) project. The objectives of the Trout Lake WEBB project are to (1) describe processes controlling water and solute fluxes in the Trout Lake watershed, (2) examine interactions among those processes and (3) improve the capability to predict changes in water and solute fluxes for a range of spatial and temporal scales. Groundwater modeling, geophysical surveys, and chemical tracer approaches have quantified water sources and flowpaths that range from several meters to over a kilometer. Knowledge of flowpath and sources of water, in turn, have led to increased understanding of chemical evolution and controlling chemical reactions.