Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2016UT200B

Quantification of Groundwater Influences in High Gradient Utah Streams and Rivers

Institute: Utah
Year Established: 2016 Start Date: 2016-03-01 End Date: 2017-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $17,054 Total Non-Federal Funds: $13,341

Principal Investigators: Bethany Neilson

Abstract: Groundwater gains and losses influence stream and river systems and are critical to characterize because of their role in instream quantity and 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 data centric methods that are commonly used to estimate groundwater exchanges. Recent groundwater exchange studies by PI Neilson 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 longitudinally along high gradient streams and river systems. The overall focus of this proposal is to analyze existing flow and chemical data collected throughout two northern Utah streams to quantify groundwater influences in pristine, mountainous, and urban portions of each watershed. Detailed flow data were gathered at small spatial scales in a synoptic fashion during different flow conditions in 2014-2015 in both Logan River (five sampling events) and Red Butte Creek (four sampling events). These data are available along the mainstem as well as for tributaries/inflows and diversions. For two of the sampling events within each watershed, chemical data were also gathered at all discharge locations. These chemical and flow data can be used to determine the influence of groundwater on surface water throughout each watershed. Time series data from a subset of locations within each watershed may additionally provide fundamental information regarding temporal variability of exchanges