Surface Water and Groundwater Interactions in the Walla Walla River, Northeast Oregon, USA : A Multi-Method Field-Based Approach Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/fj236474t

Descriptions

Attribute NameValues
Creator
Abstract or Summary
  • Surface water and groundwater interactions are a key component in the functioning of stream ecosystems. Exchange of water between the stream and the hyporheic zone creates habitat for aquatic organisms and serves as a control for stream biogeochemical, thermal, and flow processes. This study takes a multi-method field-based approach to gain a better understanding of exchange processes in the Walla Walla River, Northeast Oregon, USA, with focus on advancing methodologies, spatial and temporal exchange dynamics, fish ecology and habitat, and geomorphic controls on hyporheic exchange. Fiber-optic distributed temperature sensing (DTS) was used to identify, quantify, and map cold-water inflows at the meter scale. Analysis of the maximum and minimum daily temperature traces separated each cold-water inflow into either hyporheic or groundwater-derived. DTS identified a very active hyporheic zone in this system, with a near-equal importance of hyporheic and groundwater inflows. Approximately one-third of the 2-km study reach was influence by cold-water inflows, providing significant cooling in certain areas. Using piezometers in conjunction with DTS provided validation and supplementation of DTS results, increased the reliability of conclusions, and helped to identify and understand specific exchange processes. Piezometer data showed downwelling conditions (negative head differential) except immediately downstream of riffles, with head differentials becoming increasingly negative farther downstream from a riffle. Furthermore, head differentials increased in the negative direction from left bank to right bank, indicating lateral movement of groundwater and more loss of river water from the right bank. Nearest to riffles and river bends, head differentials remained more stable over time, which may indicate that geomorphic structures influence head variations locally, while aquifer levels and dynamics have an increasing influence farther from these structures. Seasonally, head differentials became increasingly negative through the summer into fall as aquifer levels decreased, and areas of the river that lost the most water to the subsurface tended to lose more water at a faster rate as the summer progressed. However, the seasonal trend of head differentials may be counteracted by decreasing bed permeability, yielding little or no temporal change in vertical flux of water through the streambed. During high-flow events, river losses to the subsurface decreased overall; in particular, areas with the greatest water loss at low flows showed reduced losses during high flows. High variability and lack of patterns in the response to high flow events suggests complexity in this process. Temperature-related variables from DTS data were combined with habitat-related variables to determine which variables best explain pool-scale salmonid abundance. Two snorkel surveys of 23 pools within the study reach were performed. The change in temperature across the pool showed the strongest overall relationship to salmonid abundance, particularly Chinook salmon. Chinook salmon showed a stronger preference for specific pools compared to steelhead/rainbow trout. The magnitude of cold-water inflows appears more important than the presence or proportion of the pool receiving cold-water inflows, and salmonid abundance was more strongly explained by hyporheic inflows compared to groundwater. Temperature variables increased in importance relative to habitat variables in the second snorkel sample compared to sample one. The highest river temperatures of the summer occurred between the two sample dates, and this may suggest that salmonids’ affinity for cold-water refuge was enhanced through behavioral adaptation following periods of high temperature approaching the lethal threshold. The combined use of DTS, continuous electrical resistivity/induced polarization profiling, LiDAR, aerial imagery analysis, and field surveys allowed for the quantification of many geomorphic and hydraulic variables known or hypothesized to contribute to surface water and groundwater exchange processes. Regression analysis was used to determine which of these variables best explain the presence and magnitude of both groundwater and hyporheic inflows. For the first time, the cross-sectional area of the hyporheic zone was estimated at high resolution at the reach scale, and decreasing hyporheic cross-sectional area best explained both the presence and magnitude of cold-water inflows of either type. Higher water surface slope and sinuosity/curvature were next in order of importance. The presence of hyporheic inflows was also explained by higher water surface slope, sinuosity, and Reynolds number, while the magnitude of hyporheic inflows was best explained by higher sinuosity. Groundwater inflows were also explained by higher width-to-depth ratio, higher water surface slope, decreasing distance from a stream bank to the bankfull or floodplain extent, and decreasing flow velocity. Lateral processes (e.g. sinuosity) and vertical processes (e.g. water surface slope) were found to be of comparable importance, but lateral processes better explained larger decreases in stream temperature, possibly because lateral subsurface flow paths are longer in distance and duration. Hydraulic conductivity variables did not show up among the most important variables likely because of the difficulty in estimating hydraulic conductivity at the meter scale using electrical geophysical tools.
Resource Type
Date Available
Date Copyright
Date Issued
Degree Level
Degree Name
Degree Field
Degree Grantor
Commencement Year
Advisor
Committee Member
Non-Academic Affiliation
Keyword
Subject
Rights Statement
Peer Reviewed
Language
Replaces
Additional Information
  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Laura Wilson(laura.wilson@oregonstate.edu) on 2015-07-30T18:34:54Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 2 license_rdf: 1223 bytes, checksum: d127a3413712d6c6e962d5d436c463fc (MD5) GryczkowskiLandonJ2015.pdf: 11559051 bytes, checksum: cfb61150b6a40109c970a104ba794668 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2015-07-30T18:34:54Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 2 license_rdf: 1223 bytes, checksum: d127a3413712d6c6e962d5d436c463fc (MD5) GryczkowskiLandonJ2015.pdf: 11559051 bytes, checksum: cfb61150b6a40109c970a104ba794668 (MD5) Previous issue date: 2015-07-01
  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Julie Kurtz(julie.kurtz@oregonstate.edu) on 2015-07-30T18:20:03Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 2 license_rdf: 1223 bytes, checksum: d127a3413712d6c6e962d5d436c463fc (MD5) GryczkowskiLandonJ2015.pdf: 11559051 bytes, checksum: cfb61150b6a40109c970a104ba794668 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Submitted by Landon Gryczkowski (gryczkol@onid.orst.edu) on 2015-07-30T16:17:14Z No. of bitstreams: 2 license_rdf: 1223 bytes, checksum: d127a3413712d6c6e962d5d436c463fc (MD5) GryczkowskiLandonJ2015.pdf: 11559051 bytes, checksum: cfb61150b6a40109c970a104ba794668 (MD5)

Relationships

In Administrative Set:
Last modified: 08/07/2017

Downloadable Content

Download PDF
Citations:

EndNote | Zotero | Mendeley

Items