Quantifying Stream-Aquifer Interactions Through the Analysis of Remotely Sensed Thermographic Profiles and in Situ Temperature Histories

TitleQuantifying Stream-Aquifer Interactions Through the Analysis of Remotely Sensed Thermographic Profiles and in Situ Temperature Histories
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsLoheide S.P, Gorelick S.M
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Volume40
Pagination3336-3341
Date PublishedMay 15
ISBN Number0013-936X
Accession NumberWOS:000237525500036
Keywordsground-water, northeastern oregon, perspective, rivers, water temperature
Abstract

The interaction between surface and subsurface waters through hyporheic exchange and baseflow is critical to maintaining ecological health in streams. During warm periods, groundwater-surface water interactions have two primary effects on stream temperature: (1) cool groundwater discharging as baseflow lowers stream temperature and (2) hyporheic exchange buffers diurnal stream temperature variations. We demonstrate, for the first time, how high-resolution, remotely sensed forward-looking infrared (FLIR) images and instream temperature data can be used to quantify detailed spatial patterns of groundwater discharge to a 1.7 km reach of Cottonwood Creek in Plumas National Forest, CA. We quantify the individual effects of baseflow and hyporheic exchange on stream temperatures by simulating the stream energy budget under different conceptual models of the stream-aquifer interaction. Observed spatial and temporal patterns of stream temperature are consistent with an increase in baseflow and hyporheic exchange within the middle, restored stream reach when compared to groundwater fluxes in the surrounding, unrestored reaches. One implication is that pond and plug stream restoration may improve the aquatic habitat by depressing maximum stream temperatures by > 3 C ( K).

Short TitleEnviron Sci TechnolEnviron Sci Technol
Alternate JournalEnviron Sci Technol