USGS Washington Water Science Center
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9722-ALP - Interactions between ground water and surface water in alluvial rivers of the Pacific Northwest
Problem - Ground-water and surface-water interactions are important for reducing the variability of water resources in alluvial river basins. There are likely general principles for their identification and analysis that can be synthesized from the results of the numerous studies of these interactions in Pacific Northwest basins.
Objectives - The USGS Washington Water Science Center proposes to review investigations of ground-water and surface-water interactions in the Pacific Northwest and prepare a manuscript that integrates their results. The manuscript will:
Relevance and Benefits - The manuscript will contribute to the science of ground-water/surface-water interactions in alluvial river basins by providing detailed information on both the physical processes and methodologies for analyzing their significance on water resources in a river basin
Approach - The project will begin with a review of investigations of ground-water and surface-water resources in Pacific Northwest alluvial river basins. The review will summarize the common geomorphic features associated with ground-water and surface-water interactions. The review will be summarized in a manuscript that will describe how these features control ground-water/surface-water interactions. The manuscript will focus on basin-scale geomorphology rather than hyporheic flow (local exchanges between streamflow and shallow interstitial water) and will describe how existing analytical techniques, and a common underlying conceptual model, represent observed ground-water/surface-water interactions. Analytical techniques will be evaluated with regard to four issues: 1) the seasonal variability of gains and losses along a river; 2) the association between the magnitude of ground-water and surface-water exchanges and the hydraulic gradient between ground water and a river; 3) the artifacts of applying one-dimensional analyses (either vertical or horizontal) to ground-water and surface-water exchanges; and 4) the ability to quantify ground-water recharge and baseflow in river basins.