Stream Morphology and Watershed Hydrology

Stream Morphology and Watershed Hydrology - Lecture 3A...

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Lecture 3A Stream Morphology and Watershed Hydrology Dr. Kim de Mutsert EVPP/BIOL 350 Freshwater Ecosystems Fall 2011
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Stream Origin While lakes are made by outside sources, streams make themselves Streams tend to persist; while lakes slowly fill in with sediments, streams remove sediments ( erosion ) Streams develop as the power of flowing water cuts channels into the watershed; the stronger the gradient, the higher the flow velocity, and the larger the material that can be moved
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Stream Origin Streams can persist for tens of millions of years As time goes on, erosion deepens the stream bed The Grand Canyon of the Colorado river
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Stream Ordering System We can define where we are at in the longitudinal drainage network by determining stream orders The rules for stream ordering are fairly simple: Headwater streams are order 1 Stream order increases by 1 when two stream of the same order come together.
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Longitudinal Patterns Stream networks are always “dendritic” (treelike) with many small branches feeding into fewer large ones.
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Watershed Drainage Patterns The type of stream network pattern is determined by underlying geology For example the trellis pattern is produced by longitudinal ridges of hard rock while the radial pattern is found on large circular uplands like mountains The dentritic pattern tends to emerge if the underlying geology is uniform
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Spatial scale: Stream segments www.usda.gov/stream_restoration/chap1.html
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Riffles, pools, and cascades Riffles and pools alternate in somewhat predictable patterns www.aquatic.uoguelph.ca/rivers/chphys.htm Low Gradient stream High Gradient Stream
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Influences on channel morphology Montgomery and Buffington, 1998
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The hydrologic cycle related to streamflow ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/charts/waterdistribution.gif
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Fate of Precipitation in a Watershed 1. Interception 2. Depression Storage 3. Infiltration 4. Surface Runoff 5. Interflow 6. Groundwater 7. Streamflow 7A. Baseflow 7B. Stormflow
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1. Interception
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Stream Morphology and Watershed Hydrology - Lecture 3A...

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