Hydrogeology and Hydrologic Connectivity of a Semiarid Central Oregon Rangeland System Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/vq27zt36n

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  • The hydrologic function of a landscape is an important concept for understanding the presence, movement and availability of water. The Camp Creek Paired Watershed Study (CCPWS) site in Central Oregon has been utilized to investigate the impacts of western juniper on watershed hydrologic function since 1993. The research presented here builds upon the work done at the CCPWS to further investigate the hydrologic connections and gain a better understanding of the underlying hydrogeologic system in and surrounding the CCPWS site.This thesis is organized into two chapters. Each chapter is an individual manuscript detailing a portion of the overall study. The overarching goal of both chapters was to increase the base of understanding of surface water and groundwater interactions, subsurface hydrologic connections and the understanding of the role of local hydrogeology in a semiarid system in central Oregon. Both chapters are being prepared for journal submission.Hydrologic connectivity is the flow of surface water and subsurface water throughout a landscape [1] and is important for a wide variety of ecosystem services. Most investigations of hydrologic connectivity have focused on forested environments and more humid settings. This study investigated subsurface hydrologic connectivity in a semiarid rangeland system.Chapter one discusses the movement of both surface and subsurface water within the CCPWS and characterizes the temporary hydrologic connections present and looks at the impact of vegetation canopy cover on those connections. The objectives of this study were to 1) assess surface water and groundwater interactions in one watershed with juniper and one with juniper removed; and, 2) characterize the hydrologic connectivity of upland watersheds and the riparian valley below them.The hydrogeologic framework of an area describes the structure and properties of a groundwater system. This framework helps us to understand the way water moves through the subsurface and its availability for human and ecosystem needs. A wide-ranging study of groundwater system of the Upper Deschutes Basin was completed in 2002 [2]. However, the southeastern portion of the basin was left out of the larger basin wide study and many of the finer details of the system were not captured at this coarse scale. A better understanding of the hydrogeology in the area surrounding the CCPWS helps to place the more than 20 years of hydrologic research at this site into a proper context for further research and application.Chapter two describes the local hydrogeology of a region of interest in the southeast portion of the Upper Deschutes Basin. A combination of field data collection and synthesis of existing hydrogeologic data were used for this study. Study objectives were to 1) characterize the hydrogeologic framework of an area of interest surrounding the CCPWS; and, 2) evaluate mechanisms of shallow aquifer recharge and discharge at the CCPWS.
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