PhD Defense: Evaluating flow dynamics in headwater tips

Monday, April 5, 2021

Title: Dynamic Stream Permanence Estimates at Regional and Local Extents

By: Konrad Hafen

Major Professor: Paul Gessler, University of Idaho

Monday, April 5th at 1:00 PM (Pacific Daylight Time)

Contact Konrad Hafen for zoom link

Abstract:  "In the United States (US), the frequency and duration of surface water in a stream channel (i.e. stream permanence) determines if a stream is subject to regulation under the Clean Water Act. While stream permanence is important for policy implementation, quantifying streamflow and water quantity through observation and modeling has been the primary focus of water resource managers. The most comprehensive dataset of stream permanence classifications for the US is the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD), which gives classifications of perennial, intermittent, or ephemeral for most stream reaches. NHD stream permanence classifications were made during topographic map field surveys that occurred from approximately 1920-2000 and have been shown to exhibit high rates of disagreement with more recent stream permanence observations. Thus, there is currently not an available stream permanence dataset with sufficient accuracy for regulatory determinations. I present three studies to assess the influence of climate in NHD stream permanence disagreements, implement a monthly water balance model (MWBM) to create dynamic stream permanence estimates for headwater streams in the NHD network, and apply the Watershed Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) hydrologic model to simulate stream permanence in gaged and ungauged watersheds." 

Konrad Hafen’s modeling uses data from HJ Andrews Exp Forest and other sites to evaluate flow dynamics in headwater tips of the stream network.