When the river runs dry: characterizing flow permanence at landscape scales
Friday 14 June 2013, 3-4 pm
Environment 1_N13_Room 0.05
Griffith University, Nathan Campus
Dryland fluvial systems are characterized by complex spatiotemporal patterns of stream drying that strongly influence the ecological structure and function of these lotic ecosystems. However, effectively quantifying this dynamic hydrologic regime at the network scale remains an ongoing challenge. We define two components of flow permanence, streamflow continuity (flow permanence at discrete locations) and stream connectivity (longitudinal connections among locations in a stream). We report separately on a field and hydrologic modelling approach that each quantifies network-scale streamflow continuity and longitudinal connectivity.
In the field approach, we use an array of electrical resistance (ER) sensors to characterize streamflow timing and duration across several mountain sub-catchments in southeastern Arizona, US. In a larger desert river system, we employ a hydrologic modelling exercise to quantify stream drying patterns under forecasted climate change. We demonstrate the broad applicability of both approaches, which can serve to support the burgeoning area of research that focuses on the influence of flow permanence on population dynamics and ecological processes in dendritic river networks.
About the Speaker – Dr Kris Jaeger, School of Environment and Natural Resources, Ohio State University
Dr Kris Jaeger is a fluvial geomorphologist and currently assistant professor at Ohio State University School of Environment and Natural Resources. Her research focuses on temporary river systems and quantifying flow permanence across different spatial scales. Another major research interest is geomorphic processes in mountain subcatchment systems, in particular morphologic response to disturbance such as surface mining and invasive species. Current projects are based in the southwestern and Appalachian Region of the eastern US.
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