Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2020

Semester of Degree

May

Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

M.S. in Environmental Science

Department

Environmental Science, Division of

Major Professor

Philippe Vidon

Steering Committee Member

Stephen Shaw

Steering Committee Member

Laura Lautz

Abstract

Natural beaver ponds in beaver impacted streams help connect the stream to the floodplain and shape stream channel form by affecting erosion and deposition patterns at the reach scale. When beavers are extirpated from the landscape, stream degradation often ensues. This study assesses the impact of beaver dam analogues (BDA) as a stream restoration technique to reduce stream incision and enhance stream-floodplain interactions in Red Canyon Creek, Lander, WY. BDAs increased surface water (SW) and groundwater (GW) levels, favored the occurrence of flow reversals (i.e. stream-to-floodplain GW flow), increased SW-GW interactions on an annual basis, and led to a decrease in groundwater temperatures at times of groundwater recharge, but they did not impact stream temperature. BDAs also decreased erosion and increased deposition and channel morphological heterogeneity at the reach scale. BDAs constructed with a combination of wooden posts, vegetation, mud, and sediments were the most resilient after one year.

Share

COinS