First Advisor

Ansel G. Johnson

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Geology






Hydrological forecasting -- Oregon -- Government Island, Hydrologic models



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, viii, 172 p.)


Government Island, located in the Columbia River approximately 16 km (10 mi) upstream of the confluence with the Willamette River, is a wetland mitigation site prompted by expansion of the southwest quadrant of Portland International Airport. The purpose of the study is to predict water levels in two enclosed lowland areas, Jewit Lake and Southeast Pond, based on levels of the Columbia River, precipitation, and evapotranspiration. Mitigation is intended to convert 1.13 km2 (237 acres) of seasonally flooded wetland to 1.27 km2 (267 acres) of semi-permanently flooded wetland and seasonally flooded wetland. Flooding of the wetland is most likely to occur December through January and May through early June when Columbia River water levels at Government Island exceed 3.6 m (12 ft) m.s.l. Flooding of Jewit Lake occurs through a channel connecting the wetland to the Columbia River. A groundwater model (MODFLOW) was parameterized to simulate the hydrology of the wetland. Observations of the subsurface stratigraphy in 25 soil pits, bucket auger cores, and during installation of water monitoring devices were used to estimate thickness and lateral extent of a confining unit that overlies an aquifer. Climatological data for 1994 and water levels were entered into MODFLOW to calibrate rates of water movement through the subsurface. Periods of drying for Jewit Lake and Southeast Pond were predicted based on precipitation and actual evapotranspiration rates expected to be present in the study area between June and December. Results of groundwater modeling show that Jewit Lake will maintain surface water above 3.6 m (12 ft) in most years. Southeast Pond is expected to dry annually as mitigation is unlikely to change the hydrology of Southeast Pond. Groundwater modeling predicted the types of wetlands present at different elevations by evaluating periods of drying within the wetland using the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service classification of wetlands method. Results suggest that Jewit Lake will be converted to semipermanently flooded wetland below 3.6 m (12 ft) in elevation. Southeast Pond will remain a seasonally flooded wetland as a result of mitigation.


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