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Playa Mapping and Assessment

2014 to 2015
Research Location: 
Western Kansas


Playas are shallow ephemeral lakes or wetlands that often occur where the topography is flat, climate is semi-arid, and evaporation rates are high, all of which contribute to the playa hydro period. Much of western Kansas meets this description and is home to numerous playas. Western Kansas is also intensively cultivated, and consequently playas within this region are embedded in a highly altered landscape, resulting in ecological and hydrological impairment of many playas. Healthy playas are biological “hot spots” within the Plains region that support a high diversity of plants, birds, mammals and invertebrates upon which many vertebrate species feed.  The CPCB assisted the Kansas Applied Remote Sensing (KARS) unit in identifying playas in western Kansas. Using remote sensing and data layers from the Playa Lakes Joint Venture, KARS identified playas.  CPCB then field verified 26 playas by measuring water chemistry and identifying macroinvertebrates and vegetation.

Download this file and open in Google Earth to see the 26 playas and associated water chemistry data.  To see the data without mapping, download this pdf.  Values of 0 in water chemistry indicate no measurement was taken.

Download this pdf to see the list of plants found at each of the 26 playas in the above file.

Download this pdf to see the list of macroinvertebrates at each playa.

Click here to download final report pdf

Funding: Kansas Water Office, $100,132



Kansas Water Office

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