Presentation Title

Effects of Beaver Dams on Surface Water Flow During Storm Events in an Urban Landscape

Presenter(s) Information

Erin K. PoorFollow

Start Date

2-5-2018 3:10 PM

End Date

2-5-2018 3:20 PM

Abstract

Urban land-use generally alters the hydrologic cycle, leading to changes in the natural flow regime of local streams. Runoff from impervious surfaces and routing of stormwater to streams causes urban streams to respond quickly and more intensely to storm events-more so than then would be observed in a less urbanized landscape. The rapid pulse of water that is routed to streams during precipitation events can degrade the physical structure of the channel and alter water quality and habitat availability. To manage these common urban stream issues, agencies have been seeking alternative ways of restoring and enhancing resilience in urban stream networks within the constraints of existing infrastructure. One potential strategy may be to support beaver recolonization of urban streams. This is because beaver dam building activity has been found to attenuate streamflow in areas that have experienced minimal human impact. Currently, however, no studies have been published that examine how beaver dams affect stream flow in altered urban systems. This study seeks to determine if the presence of beaver dams and ponds in urban stream reaches in the Tualatin River basin, Oregon, modifies the stream’s response to storm events. Continuous surface water levels are being collected upstream and downstream of two beaver affected reaches in order to determine how the presence of dams and ponds affect the flow regime, and whether this more closely resembles a less degraded state.

Subjects

Hydrology, Land/watershed management, Water quality

Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/25622

Rights

© Copyright the author(s)

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Feb 5th, 3:10 PM Feb 5th, 3:20 PM

Effects of Beaver Dams on Surface Water Flow During Storm Events in an Urban Landscape

Urban land-use generally alters the hydrologic cycle, leading to changes in the natural flow regime of local streams. Runoff from impervious surfaces and routing of stormwater to streams causes urban streams to respond quickly and more intensely to storm events-more so than then would be observed in a less urbanized landscape. The rapid pulse of water that is routed to streams during precipitation events can degrade the physical structure of the channel and alter water quality and habitat availability. To manage these common urban stream issues, agencies have been seeking alternative ways of restoring and enhancing resilience in urban stream networks within the constraints of existing infrastructure. One potential strategy may be to support beaver recolonization of urban streams. This is because beaver dam building activity has been found to attenuate streamflow in areas that have experienced minimal human impact. Currently, however, no studies have been published that examine how beaver dams affect stream flow in altered urban systems. This study seeks to determine if the presence of beaver dams and ponds in urban stream reaches in the Tualatin River basin, Oregon, modifies the stream’s response to storm events. Continuous surface water levels are being collected upstream and downstream of two beaver affected reaches in order to determine how the presence of dams and ponds affect the flow regime, and whether this more closely resembles a less degraded state.