Analysis of streamflow variability in Oregon for regional water quality monitoring programs Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/2227ms91p

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  • Streamflow variability can provide valuable information for nonpoint source pollution monitoring program planning. The research papers presented in this thesis examine selected properties of streamflow variability in Oregon to advance its application in regional planning of water quality monitoring programs. The products of this research depict Oregon streams by their relative streamflow variability and evaluate factors that may influence that variability. The three manuscripts examine the application of streamflow variability in the context of regional strategic planning by addressing three related questions: 1.) What is the relationship in Oregon between streamflow variability and watershed size, which is often described as a proxy for streamflow variability?, 2.) What geographic factors in Oregon influence streamflow variability, and are regionalscale factors adequate to efficiently predict streamflow variability on ungaged streams?, and 3.) How is streamflow variability in Oregon affected by seasonal climatic variation? Examination of these questions regarding the behavior of streamflow variability of river systems in Oregon is used to assist in the design of regional and local water quality monitoring programs. Data are from historical records of established US Geological Survey gaging stations. Simple linear regression depicts the relationship of streamflow variability to basin size on a statewide basis and stratified by ecoregions. The results indicate that basin area is not an appropriate indicator of streamflow variability. Multiple regression is used to develop regional models of streamflow variability. Three models are developed for natural flow streams and streams with upstream diversions. Regional and watershed scale variables are evaluated for their potential contributions to the models. Watershed scale variables do not increase the predictive capacity of the models; therefore, the regional scale is appropriate for efficiently modeling streamflow variability. Seasonal investigation of streamflow variability in Oregon develops its application for seasonal monitoring programs. Spatial and temporal analysis reveal a weak relationship between annual and monthly streamflow variability, indicating potential for refined application of the variability index. Streamflow variability is an accessible tool for developing water quality monitoring programs. The regional scale distribution of streamflow variability in Oregon demonstrates the ease at which streamflow variability may be estimated on ungaged streams.
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