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Groundwater - Surface Water Interactions in the Discrete Fracture Networks of Bedrock Rivers

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dc.contributor.advisor Parker, Beth Louise Kennedy, Celia Sylvia Cassis 2017-09-01T16:33:56Z 2018-08-31T05:00:39Z 2017-06 2017-06-15 2017-09-01
dc.description.abstract Bedrock rivers exist where surface water flows along an exposed riverbed aquifer, but little is known about their physical and chemical properties. Groundwater and surface water are linked at the streambed interface, leading to shared sustainability issues. The sharing of common pathways into and out of the streambed fracture networks provides opportunity for the exchange of thermal, chemical and biological constituents, affecting water quality and ecosystem health. Alluvial rivers exhibit granular beds and their flow patterns are well understood. Much of our water-resource management decisions are based on alluvial river conceptual models using an equivalent porous media (EPM) approach. Since bedrock rivers are more challenging to instrument, their complex flow patterns have not been addressed in the discrete fracture network (DFN) context, thus, there is a gap in the literature. This is the first study of a bedrock river yielding a field-based conceptual model of the spatio-temporal variability of groundwater fluxes and head differentials between groundwater and surface water in the upper 0.30 m of an intact dolostone streambed. A field site along the Eramosa River, in Guelph, ON, Canada, was developed, where the longitudinally-stepped profile of a bedrock riffle-pool sequence exists within a channel meander. The new field site was heavily instrumented with an innovative monitoring system designed for use along vertical and bedding plane riverbed fractures. Thus, a three-fold contribution has been made, to advance our understanding of bedrock river flow systems, including: the design of tools for measuring hydraulic parameters, the development of a field site to test them, and the spatio-temporal conceptualization of groundwater – surface water exchanges along an intact bedrock river channel and glaciofluvial plain. Groundwater flow measurements ranged from -0.4 – 55 mL/min, with uncertainties of 13 – 40%. Fluxes of 0.12 – 0.99 m/day and average linear groundwater velocities of 7 – 985 m/day were estimated from flow. Relative head differentials, measured under suction between groundwater and surface water, ranged from 0.001 – 0.023 m +/- 0.001, and vertical hydraulic gradients ranged from 0.02 – 0.46. Groundwater velocities in a bedrock river were observed to be influenced by: (1) proximity to a vertical fracture, (2) topographic relief or elevation, (3) channel geometry and (4) regional boundary conditions. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship NSERC- Beth Parker IRC, NSERC- John Cherry Discovery Grant, MEDI Ontario Research Excellence Fund [Round 3 Project], Grand River Conservation Authority Holmes Scholarship, University Consortium for Field-focused Groundwater Contamination Research. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject groundwater en_US
dc.subject surface water en_US
dc.subject interactions en_US
dc.subject bedrock river en_US
dc.subject discrete fracture network en_US
dc.subject seepage en_US
dc.subject inclined coreholes en_US
dc.subject riverbed piezometer en_US
dc.subject streamflow gauge en_US
dc.subject channel bathymetry en_US
dc.subject streambed temperature en_US
dc.subject Eramosa River en_US
dc.subject Eramosa Formation en_US
dc.subject Goat Island Formation en_US
dc.subject Gasport Formation en_US
dc.subject Arkell Springs en_US
dc.title Groundwater - Surface Water Interactions in the Discrete Fracture Networks of Bedrock Rivers en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US Environmental Sciences en_US Doctor of Philosophy en_US School of Environmental Sciences en_US
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