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Total solar eclipse effects on evapotranspiration captured by groundwater fluctuations in a Southern Appalachian fen
- Wilcox, Jeffrey D.
- Hydrological processes 2019 v.33 no.11 pp. 1538-1541
- evapotranspiration, groundwater, summer, water table
- Solar eclipses provide opportunities to observe unusual natural phenomena. This paper presents data showing that diurnal groundwater fluctuations were briefly interrupted in a Southern Appalachian fen following a total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. Groundwater levels, which were rapidly declining in the middle of a summer afternoon, nearly stabilized following totality. This anomaly in the water‐level record was caused by reduced evapotranspiration (ET). ET was significantly lower (36% ± 11%, p < 0.02) over a 45‐min time period following the eclipse when compared with other days within the study period, although the effects were short lived and did not have a significant impact on the daily total ET (p > 0.05). These findings may prompt evaluation of existing groundwater records along the path of totality from past eclipses or plan for studies ahead of future eclipses.