skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

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

Abstract

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:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
Universities/Institutions; USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1414148
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-17-22329
Journal ID: ISSN 0169-555X; TRN: US1800671
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geomorphology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 277; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0169-555X
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; Earth Sciences

Citation Formats

Wohl, Ellen, Rathburn, Sara, Chignell, Stephen, Garrett, Krista, Laurel, DeAnna, Livers, Bridget, Patton, Annette, Records, Rosemary, Richards, Mariah, Schook, Derek M., Sutfin, Nicholas Alan, and Wegener, Pamela. Mapping longitudinal stream connectivity in the North St. Vrain Creek watershed of Colorado. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2016.05.004.
Wohl, Ellen, Rathburn, Sara, Chignell, Stephen, Garrett, Krista, Laurel, DeAnna, Livers, Bridget, Patton, Annette, Records, Rosemary, Richards, Mariah, Schook, Derek M., Sutfin, Nicholas Alan, & Wegener, Pamela. Mapping longitudinal stream connectivity in the North St. Vrain Creek watershed of Colorado. United States. doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2016.05.004.
Wohl, Ellen, Rathburn, Sara, Chignell, Stephen, Garrett, Krista, Laurel, DeAnna, Livers, Bridget, Patton, Annette, Records, Rosemary, Richards, Mariah, Schook, Derek M., Sutfin, Nicholas Alan, and Wegener, Pamela. Fri . "Mapping longitudinal stream connectivity in the North St. Vrain Creek watershed of Colorado". United States. doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2016.05.004. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1414148.
@article{osti_1414148,
title = {Mapping longitudinal stream connectivity in the North St. Vrain Creek watershed of Colorado},
author = {Wohl, Ellen and Rathburn, Sara and Chignell, Stephen and Garrett, Krista and Laurel, DeAnna and Livers, Bridget and Patton, Annette and Records, Rosemary and Richards, Mariah and Schook, Derek M. and Sutfin, Nicholas Alan and Wegener, Pamela},
abstractNote = {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.},
doi = {10.1016/j.geomorph.2016.05.004},
journal = {Geomorphology},
number = C,
volume = 277,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {5}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 14 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Figures / Tables:

Fig. 1 Fig. 1: Examples of differing degrees of lateral valley confinement. (A) A downstream view of confined stream reach, here a short bedrock gorge along the mainstem North St. Vrain Creek within Rocky Mountain National Park. Note the exposed bedrock along the channel margins. Channel is ~15 m wide. The woodmore » trapped upstream from large boulders in this view was subsequently transported downstream during high flow, emphasizing the limited storage of organic matter in this reach. (B) A cross-valley view of a partly confined stream reach, here downstream from Route 7. Person in foreground is close to edge of valley bottom. Flow is from left to right and valley bottom is ~50 m wide. (C) An unconfined stream reach, here the beaver meadow immediately upstream from the glacial terminal moraine. In the upper image, primary flow direction is from right to left. In the foreground is a secondary channel ~3 m wide. Edge of the valley bottom is marked by the transition from predominantly willows to conifers growing on the valley side slope. The main channel here is ~20 m wide and the valley bottom is ~400 m wide. The lower image, a downstream view of the entire meadow, illustrates the abundant ponded water within the meadow during the snowmelt peak flow.« less

Save / Share:

Works referencing / citing this record:

An attempt to measure longitudinal connectivity based on the community structure of phytoplankton
journal, May 2019

  • Hu, Jun; Chi, Shiyun; Hu, Juxiang
  • Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, Vol. 191, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1007/s10661-019-7511-3

Afroalpine Wetlands of the Bale Mountains, Ethiopia: Distribution, Dynamics, and Conceptual Flow Model
journal, February 2019

  • Chignell, Stephen M.; Laituri, Melinda J.; Young, Nicholas E.
  • Annals of the American Association of Geographers, Vol. 109, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1080/24694452.2018.1500439

An attempt to measure longitudinal connectivity based on the community structure of phytoplankton
journal, May 2019

  • Hu, Jun; Chi, Shiyun; Hu, Juxiang
  • Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, Vol. 191, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1007/s10661-019-7511-3

Afroalpine Wetlands of the Bale Mountains, Ethiopia: Distribution, Dynamics, and Conceptual Flow Model
journal, February 2019

  • Chignell, Stephen M.; Laituri, Melinda J.; Young, Nicholas E.
  • Annals of the American Association of Geographers, Vol. 109, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1080/24694452.2018.1500439

    Figures/Tables have been extracted from DOE-funded journal article accepted manuscripts.