Headwater stream characterization : an energy and physical approach to stream temperature using distributed temperature sensing Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/9306t2482

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  • Headwater streams are an integral part of the ecological health of the greater stream network as they provide valuable biological habitat, provide upwards to 95% of total in channel flow, while providing downstream reaches with important constituents such as sediment and woody debris. Small headwater streams are particularly susceptible to anthropogenic and natural disturbances that affect their runoff production, chemical make-up, and thermal regime. Based on their position in the drainage basin and contribution to stream flow, heat energy transfer within a small mountain stream helps establish the thermal regime of the downstream lower order streams. However, headwater catchment thermal function remains poorly understood. Stream temperature is a manifestation of the environment through which it flows and the mechanisms by which it reaches the stream. Subsurface process controls, such as local soil properties, bedrock topography, and lateral flow discharge play an important role in headwater stream generation. Study outcomes are a result of vigorous field experimental work at the Watershed 07 (WS07) stream at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest (HJA) located in the Western Cascades, Oregon. Bedrock Topography was delineated through the use of a dynamic cone penetrometer, local lateral inflow sources were identified and quantified through the application of a salt tracer, and the energy budget was characterized through the use of Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) technology. High gradient, low volume streams such as WS07 provide unique challenges for DTS deployment which require extensive post-calibration data analysis. An automated cable submersion identification process was developed and was carried out on the collected temperature data with 32.8 % (379 of 1155) of measured temperature points identified as "in-water". Uncertainty propagation analysis associated with DTS measurement was calculated to be 0.21 °C. Salt tracer application found that 2 localized lateral inflow discharge to the stream accounted for 15% and 16% of total discharge in the upper section of the stream. Downstream lateral inflows exhibited incremental additions to stream discharge on the order of 5%. Stream discharge increased by 1.13 l/s from the upper section to the start of the lower section, an increase of 45%. Substantial lateral inflows provided reduction of stream temperatures in the lower section. Using DTS technology we measured stream temperature as a validation method for a physically based energy balance stream temperature model to characterize energy controls on stream temperature. Analysis of model performance was determined through root mean square error with reported values of 0.38 °C and 0.32 °C for the upper and lower section, respectively. Total energy inputs into the upper and lower sections of the stream were 302 W/m² and 210 W/m². Primary energy balance components were found to be solar radiation, atmospheric longwave radiation, and bed conduction. Solar radiation accounted for 63% of total energy flux into the stream in the upper section and 28% in the lower section. This is primarily a result of the distinct vegetation differences between the two reaches. Atmospheric longwave radiation contributed 27% and 26% of total energy flux in the upper and lower sections, respectively. While bed conduction made up 11% and 24% of the total flux in the upper and lower sections.
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