skip to main content

DOE PAGESDOE PAGES

Title: Mapping longitudinal stream connectivity in the North St. Vrain Creek watershed of Colorado

We use reach-scale stream gradient as an indicator of longitudinal connectivity for water, sediment, and organic matter in a mountainous watershed in Colorado. Stream reaches with the highest gradient tend to have narrow valley bottoms with limited storage space and attenuation of downstream fluxes, whereas stream reaches with progressively lower gradients have progressively more storage and greater attenuation. We compared the distribution of stream gradient to stream-reach connectivity rankings that incorporated multiple potential control variables, including lithology, upland vegetation, hydroclimatology, road crossings, and flow diversions. We then assessed connectivity rankings using different weighting schemes against stream gradient and against field-based understanding of relative connectivity within the watershed. Here, we conclude that stream gradient, which is simple to map using publicly available data and digital elevation models, is the most robust indicator of relative longitudinal connectivity within the river network.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ; ORCiD logo [2] ;  [1]
  1. Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO (United States)
  2. Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO (United States); Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-17-22329
Journal ID: ISSN 0169-555X; TRN: US1800671
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geomorphology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 277; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0169-555X
Publisher:
Elsevier
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Universities/Institutions; USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; Earth Sciences; Connectivity; Water; Sediment; Mountain river; GIS; Stream gradient
OSTI Identifier:
1414148