Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2014UT193B

Influence of Groundwater/Surface Water Interactions in High Gradient Mountain Streams

Institute: Utah
Year Established: 2014 Start Date: 2014-03-01 End Date: 2015-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $30,611 Total Non-Federal Funds: $65,247

Principal Investigators: Bethany Neilson

Abstract: Sources, sinks, and residence times of heat and solute mass within stream networks are critical to characterize because of their role in biogeochemical processes and water quality. While some have used modeling approaches to indirectly estimate the influence of groundwater sources and sinks on heat and solute transport, there are a wide range of other data centric methods that are commonly used. Groundwater exchanges are often quantified by gaging longitudinal changes in flow using rating curve estimates and/or tracer dilution gaging. Recent groundwater exchange studies in Northern Utah have focused efforts on reach scales by using a wide variety of data types, but there is a need for a broader, variable scale investigation of groundwater gains and losses within high gradient streams. The overall focus of this research is to investigate groundwater/surface water interactions within northern Utah including pristine, mountainous portions of the watershed as well as urban areas. In order to complete this effort, we will gage all tributaries, inflows, and diversions to obtain the portion of the flow coming from net groundwater gains and losses. Within this proposed effort, we will collect the first year of data necessary to begin understanding summer and fall gaining and losing conditions within key watersheds (e.g., Logan River, Provo River, and Red Butte Creek).