A study of hyporheic characteristics along a longitudinal profile of Lookout Creek, Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/ng451m513

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  • The primary goal of this research project is to quantitatively measure the temporal scales of hyporheic exchange along a stream network. Our goal is to examine how hyporheic exchange varies with increasing stream size. Many previous studies focus on single stream reaches or on several reaches of similar sized streams, whereas we examine the residence time of water in the hyporheic zone over increasing length scales in a single stream. Prior work with tracer data and analysis using a transient storage model with an exponential residence time distribution (RTD) suggests that hyporheic parameters, primarily volume and mean residence time, are both spatially and temporally scale-dependent. However, recent work hypothesizes that the scale-dependence may be partially addressed by using a power-law RTD (Haggerty et al., 2002). Our research tests this hypothesis with multi-scale tracer tests. A single, multi-scale tracer test was conducted in Lookout Creek, Oregon, to test the power-law RTD model and to examine hyporheic scaling relationships along the length of the stream, from its 2"d-order headwaters through its 5`h-order mainstem. The longitudinal tracer test (LTT) involved an in-stream injection of RhodamineWT (RWT) over 77 h, followed by monitoring at seven downstream locations for five months. Three additional intra-order tracer tests (IOTT's) were carried out, between each of the major stream confluences along Lookout Creek. The intra-order tests were conducted to quantify the behavior of the hyporheic RTD and to separate geomorphic variability from other possible scale-dependent factors. The results from the longitudinal and IOTT's clearly demonstrate power-law RTDs, but not a "universal", basin-wide RTD. The use of a power-law RTD to characterize the hyporheic zone reduced the scale-dependency of tracer tests results compared to an exponential RTD, but did not eliminate it. The exponent of the powerlaw characterizes the variance of the RTD and changes along the length of the stream, as do other parameters. The upper reaches of Lookout Cr. appear to have a distinct power-law RTD when compared to the lower reaches of the basin and may result from changes in geomorphology or the degree of geomorphic complexity. Larger 4d' and 5th order streams exhibit a slightly longer delay before assuming a power-law distribution when compared to the smaller 2"d and 3`d order streams.
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