Hydrology & Water Quality

Suspended Sediment Concentrations and Turbidity Responses from Contemporary Road Crossings in the Trask River Watershed
Arismendi I., J. D. Groom, S. L. Johnson, M. Reiter, L. De

Road-related turbidity and suspended sediments is a concern for both commonly occurring and higher magnitude storm events with the potential to negatively affect in-stream biota. Here, we present preliminary results that address whether forest road crossings deliver fine sediments into streams. Specifically, we evaluate evidence of sediment routing before/after road interventions (including new roads and road upgrades - surfacing with gravel) and above/below road crossing within forest harvest units. We hypothesize that newly constructed and upgraded roads will increase turbidity and suspended sediments where roads have hydrologic connections to streams. This response will be heightened during high intensity precipitation. We measured suspended sediment and turbidity above and below road crossing and before (June 2010-Apr 2011) and after (July 2011-June-2012) road upgrades using ISCO samplers in five headwater streams from small-sized watersheds (5-36 ha). We complemented this information with available data from hydrology (four flume stations) and precipitation (two climate stations) during the same time periods. We examined statistical differences of in-stream turbidity and concentrations of suspended sediments below and above road crossing and characterized the behavior of sites before and after road upgrades.

DISCIPLINE: Hydrology & Water Quality    STUDY: Trask    TYPE: Presentations    TAGS:
Stream Temperature Pattern and Process in the Trask Watershed Study: Pre-Harvest
Reiter M., S. Johnson, and P. James

The Trask Watershed Study is a multi-disciplinary, long-term research project in the Oregon Coast Range that is designed to examine the effects of current forest management practices on aquatic ecosystems. Extensive physical (e.g., water quantity and quality, channel morphology) and biological data (e.g., primary productivity, macro-invertebrate communities, amphibian movement and fish populations and behavior) has been collected in both the small and large watersheds since 2006 and will continue until 2016. One of these key parameters we have been collecting at multiple scales is stream temperature.
Understanding the variability in stream temperature patterns and processes prior to harvest in both small non-fish headwater streams and downstream in larger fish-bearing basins allows us to anticipate potential responses to harvest and subsequent potential changes in biota. Using the pre-harvest stream temperature data we examine variability in maximum and minimum temperatures across the 15 small headwater streams. We also examine how well both small treatment streams and the larger downstream basins correlate to un-harvested reference streams to determine the best match to compare post-harvest response. Finally we examine how stream temperature patterns vary longitudinally in the downstream direction through time.

DISCIPLINE: Hydrology & Water Quality    STUDY: Trask    TYPE: Presentations    TAGS:
Examining the Effects of Contemporary Forest Practices on Aquatic Ecosystems at Multiple Scales
Reiter, M.

The Trask watershed study is an extensive pre- and post-harvest study to quantify effects of forest harvest on the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of small non-fish headwater streams and the extent to which harvest on these small streams influences downstream fish reaches. The effects on fish, amphibians, macro invertebrates, birds, hydrology, stream temperature, sediment routing, are considered in this long-term and multidisciplinary project.  This project also offers tours for public, research,  regulatory and environmental groups.

DISCIPLINE: Hydrology & Water Quality    STUDY: Trask    TYPE: Presentations    TAGS:
Processes That Influence the Downstream Propagation of Heat in Streams from Clearcut Harvest Units: Hinkle Creek Paired Watershed Study
Otis, T. L.

This research investigates the direct and downstream impacts of clearcut harvest units on stream temperature as a part of the Hinkle Creek Paired Watershed Study. The experimental design for the study was a Before-After-Control-Impact (BACI) design. Maximum daily stream temperatures (MDST) were analyzed for the four treatment streams for one year before and one year after harvest. The impact of timber harvest on MDST is small when compared to the spatial (between-stream) variation in MDST and this impact decreased downstream. At 300 meters, nominally, downstream of the harvest units the impact of timber harvest on MDST was not statistically significant for two streams and only moderately statistically significant for the other two streams. Stream velocity, discharge, and groundwater advection in the streams downstream of the harvest units were quantified using dye tracer dilution techniques. The One-dimensional Transport with Inflow and Storage (OTIS) model was used to quantify longitudinal dispersions, transient storage volumes, storage transfer rates, and hyporheic residence times in four 75 meter reaches in each of the four treatment streams. Latent heat, Sensible heat, Longwave Radiant heat and Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) were calculated for August 7-17, 2006 at the center of the 300 meter study reach in Russell Creek.

DISCIPLINE: Hydrology & Water Quality    STUDY: Hinkle Creek    TYPE: Theses    TAGS:
The Influence of Contemporary Forest Management on Stream Nutrient Concentrations in an Industrialized Forest in the Oregon Cascades
Meininger, W. S.

The increased demand for wood and fiber from a continually shrinking land base has resulted in the use of intensively managed forest plantations. Because much of the water flowing in rivers in the U.S. originates as precipitation in forests, there is a justified concern about the impacts of forest management on water quality. Nutrient concentrations were measured in eight streams from October 2002 to September 2011 to assess nutrient response to contemporary forest practices at the Hinkle Creek Paired Watershed Study in the Oregon Cascades. This period of time included a two-year pre-treatment calibration between control and treatment watersheds, a fertilization treatment of both basins in October 2004, and a post-treatment period from 2005 to 2011. Stream water samples were analyzed for nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium, sulfate, chloride, and silicon as well as specific conductance, pH, and alkalinity. All treatment watersheds showed a statistically significant increase in NO3 + NO2 concentrations after clearcutting (p < 0.001). The slope of the streambed through the disturbance was a stronger predictor of the magnitude of the response than was the magnitude of disturbance. Concentrations of NO3 + NO2 observed during the calibration period were similar to concentrations observed in an old-growth forest in the H.J. Andrews, suggesting that nutrient processing within the Hinkle Creek watershed had returned to levels that existed prior.

DISCIPLINE: Hydrology & Water Quality    STUDY: Hinkle Creek    TYPE: Theses    TAGS: Nutrient concentrations, contemporary forest practices, clearcutting, fertilization treatment
Using in situ Turbidity to Estimate Sediment Loads in Forested Headwater Streams: A Top-down versus Bottom-up Approach
Meadows, M. W.

Suspended sediment and in situ turbidity data from two western Oregon streams, Oak Creek and South Fork Hinkle Creek, were used to estimate annual sediment loads for the 2006 water year (October 1, 2005 to September 30, 2006). Water samples and in situ turbidity observations were taken following the Turbidity Threshold Sampling (TTS) protocol. The annual hydrographs for Oak Creek and South Fork Hinkle Creek were divided into storms which resulted in storm-specific relationships between in situ turbidity and Suspended Sediment Concentration (SSC). In the relationship between SSC and in situ turbidity, especially for Oak Creek, there are counterintuitive value which had to be vetted out with values of laboratory turbidity, hydrograph characteristics, and hysteresis loops. Observations of in situ turbidity considered erroneous were adjusted manually with the TTS-adjuster program. The objectives of this study were to determine the efficacy of an automated turbidity adjustment program compared with a manual turbidity adjuster, and to determine the efficacy of two in situ turbidity and SSC relationships to predict annual sediment loads. Relationships between SSC and in situ turbidity were made to estimate annual sediment load for Oak and South Fork Hinkle Creeks. The SSC vs. in situ turbidity relationships were made for storm-specific time periods and for the whole water year.

DISCIPLINE: Hydrology & Water Quality    STUDY: Hinkle Creek    TYPE: Theses    TAGS: Suspended sediment, Suspended Sediment Concentration, Turbidity, in situ turbidity, sediment load
The Influence of Contemporary Forest Harvesting on Summer Stream Temperatures in Headwater Streams of Hinkle Creek, Oregon
Kibler, K. M.

Stream temperature is a water quality parameter that directly influences the quality of aquatic habitat, particularly for cold-water species such as Pacific salmonids. RMAs that contain overstory merchantable conifers are not required for small non-fish-bearing streams in Oregon, thus there is potential for increases in stream temperature to occur in headwater streams and concern that increases in stream temperatures and changes to onsite processes in these streams may propagate downstream and impair habitat in fish-bearing streams. The objectives of this work are to assess the effects of contemporary forest management practices on stream temperatures of small non-fish-bearing headwater streams and to develop new knowledge regarding the physical processes that control reach-level stream temperature patterns. Summer stream temperatures were measured for five years in six headwater streams in the Hinkle Creek basin in southern Oregon. After four years, four of the streams were harvested and vegetated RMAs were not left between the streams and harvest units. The watersheds of the two remaining streams were not disturbed. Post-harvest stream temperatures were monitored for one year in all six streams. Each harvested stream was paired with one unharvested stream and regression relationships for maximum, minimum and mean daily stream temperatures were developed.

DISCIPLINE: Hydrology & Water Quality    STUDY: Hinkle Creek    TYPE: Theses    TAGS: Stream temperature, forest harvesting, Riparian Management Areas (RMAs), Headwater streams, Canopy closure, logging slash
A Physical and Chemical Characterization of Stream Water Draining Three Oregon Coast Range Catchments
Hale, V. C.

Few studies have examined both long-term and fine-scale spatial variations in water quality of small streams in the Pacific Northwest. As such, a case study was conducted to determine if current physical and chemical properties of water in three streams located in the Oregon Coast Range differed from historically measured conditions, taking differences in past management regimes into account. In addition, this research provides an assessment of spatial and temporal variability in nitrogen (N) concentrations and summer stream temperatures within each catchment. In this revisit to the Alsea Watersheds, measurements were conducted continuously (discharge, turbidity), intermittently (suspended sediments), and at regular intervals (nitrate-N) for one year between October 2005 and September 2006. Summertime stream temperature was also measured every half-hour from mid-June to mid-September. Comparisons of recent data with historic data show no detectable changes over time for streamflow characteristics (annual runoff volume, peak flow discharges, and number of low-flow days), annual sediment yield, or summer maximum stream temperatures. Synoptically measured stream temperatures were variable along each stream’s longitudinal profile. The ability to meet Oregon’s water quality standard for temperature was dependent on measurement location and method of analysis.

DISCIPLINE: Hydrology & Water Quality    STUDY: Alsea    TYPE: Theses    TAGS:
Baseline Stream Chemistry and Soil Resources for the Hinkle Creek Research and Demonstration Area Project
George, R. L.

This research addressed the opportunity to obtain baseline data for both stream chemistry and soil resources for an intensively managed forest watershed, encompassed by the North and South Forks of Hinkle Creek Watershed Research and Demonstration Area Project near Sutherlin, Oregon. A solid representative database for both stream and soil nutrients in these forest watersheds will provide a model upon which to help gauge the effects of current and expected intensive forest management practices on industrial forest land. Eight original sampling points were described for water chemistry. Newly published soil surveys from the National Resource Conservation Service and Douglas County SCS were used to set up a methodology for sampling the representative Hinkle Creek soil resources. Eight main soil types were mapped, 27 representative soil pits were dug in accordance with the location of the mapped soils, and standard soil survey descriptions were created. Soil cores were taken from different depths (0-15, 15-30 and 30-60 cm). These data were used to estimate total soil C, N, P, and S resources, soil cation exchange capacity, and available base cations (Ca, Mg, K, and Na).

DISCIPLINE: Hydrology & Water Quality    STUDY: Hinkle Creek    TYPE: Theses    TAGS:
Nutrient Dynamics
Meininger, W. S.

Nutrients are one of the factors which limit primary production and can be a water pollutant. Fertilizer can be applied to increase the Nitrogen and therefore increase the growth. The Hinkle Creek Paired Watershed Study addresses concerns about the loss of essential plant nutrients in Douglas-fir plantations and assesses the impacts of forest management on stream water chemistry of fish-bearing streams. The objective is to determine the cumulative impacts to fish-bearing streams of non-fish-bearing streams which are not afforded the protection of un-harvested and unfertilized riparian strips and to compare those impacts with the local impacts of different treatments.

DISCIPLINE: Hydrology & Water Quality    STUDY: Hinkle Creek    TYPE: Presentations    TAGS: Nutrients, Primary Production, Contemporary Forest Management, Paired Watershed, Nitrate Response, Longitudinal attenuation


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