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Coupling groundwater and riparian vegetation models to assess effects of reservoir releases

Water Resources Research

By:
, , , ,
DOI: 10.1029/1999WR900233

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Abstract

Although riparian areas in the arid southwestern United States are critical for maintaining species diversity, their extent and health have been declining since Euro-American settlement. The purpose of this study was to develop a methodology to evaluate the potential for riparian vegetation restoration and groundwater recharge. A numerical groundwater flow model was coupled with a conceptual riparian vegetation model to predict hydrologic conditions favorable to maintaining riparian vegetation downstream of a reservoir. A Geographic Information System (GIS) was used for this one-way coupling. Constant and seasonally varying releases from the dam were simulated using volumes anticipated to be permitted by a regional water supplier. Simulations indicated that seasonally variable releases would produce surface flow 5.4-8.5 km below the dam in a previously dry reach. Using depth to groundwater simulations from the numerical flow model with conceptual models of depths to water necessary for maintenance of riparian vegetation, the GIS analysis predicted a 5- to 6.5-fold increase in the area capable of sustaining riparian vegetation.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Coupling groundwater and riparian vegetation models to assess effects of reservoir releases
Series title:
Water Resources Research
DOI:
10.1029/1999WR900233
Volume
35
Issue:
12
Year Published:
1999
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
3621
Last page:
3630
Number of Pages:
10