Subsurface flow of a forested riparian area in the Oregon coast range Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/6q182n33p

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  • This study was undertaken to gain further understanding of the subsurface hydrology for a stream-adjacent riparian area in Western Oregon's Coast Range. Spatial and temporal fluctuations of the free water surface of a toeslope, adjacent riparian area, and stream channel in a forested terrace reach were monitored over a period of one year. A total of 27 piezometers were installed (nine in each of three transects established perpendicular to the stream) in a stream-adjacent terrace and hillslope. These piezometers were monitored from September 26, 1989 to July 25, 1990. Results indicate that the direction of flow within a forested terrace can vary throughout the year. During the drier months of September and October, flow direction was generally towards the stream. However, by November the direction of flow for those areas closest to the stream had begun to change. In some cases the direction of flow changed up to 180° from the September direction. The location of influent/effluent zones along the stream (i.e., zones along the stream where the terrace has a lower or higher hydraulic head than the stream, respectively) also varied throughout the year. During October, 1989 the furthest upvalley stream-adjacent piezometer had hydraulic heads greater than the stream for the entire month, while two other stream adjacent piezometers did not. During normal precipitation in January, 1990 both furthest upvalley and the middle stream-adjacent piezometers had hydraulic heads greater than the stream for the entire month. By July, 1990 only the middle stream-adjacent piezometer had a hydraulic head greater than the stream for the entire month, while the furthest upvalley piezometer had a higher head for 33% of the month and the hydraulic head of furthest downvalley piezometer never exceeded that of the stream. For the Deer Creek study site, subsurface velocities were estimated to be in the range of 10-8 to 10-11 m/s resulting in a 3.8 year minimum travel time for storm water to reach the stream. Thus, soil matrix velocities using the Darcy equation were not sufficient to generate stormflow. However, no overland flow was observed during storm events, indicating that alternative subsurface flow pathways, such as macrochannels, are being utilized. Previous research has suggested that the release of water from terrace storage in small headwater streams is no.t sufficient to maintain baseflow. The results of the Deer Creek study support this conclusion. Furthermore, the results of this study indicate that forested riparian areas are hydrologically complex with respect to both space and time and that oversimplification of these systems may lead to misinterpretation of other processes associated with subsurface water dynamics.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Laura Wilson(laura.wilson@oregonstate.edu) on 2008-11-14T19:55:34Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 Reiter, Maryanne_1990_MS.pdf: 708421 bytes, checksum: 5f0ae995dbfb1f6975898a05575a6652 (MD5)
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