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Albuquerque, NM, United States

Li G.,University of Georgia | Li G.,Stetson Engineers Inc. | Jackson C.R.,University of Georgia | Kraseski K.A.,University of Georgia
Journal of Hydrology | Year: 2012

Shading by riparian vegetation and streambanks reduces incident solar radiation on channels, and accurate estimation of riparian shading through the sun's daily arc is a critical aspect of water temperature and dissolved oxygen modeling. However, riparian trees exhibit complex shapes, often leaning and growing branches preferentially over channels to utilize the light resource. As a result, riparian vegetation cast complex shadows with significant variability at the scale of meters. Water quality models necessarily simplify factors affecting shading at the expense of accuracy. All models must make simplifying assumptions about tree geometry. Reach-based models must average channel azimuth and riparian conditions over each reach, and GIS models must also accept errors in the channel-riparian relationships caused by the DEM grid detail. We detail minor improvements to existing shade models and create a model (SHADE2) that calculates shading ratio (%) by riparian canopy at any time and location for given stream characteristics including stream azimuth, stream width, canopy height, canopy overhang, and height of maximum canopy overhang. Sensitivity of simulated shade to these variables is explored. We also present a new field photographic technique for quantifying shade and use this technique to provide data to test the SHADE2 algorithm. Twenty-four independent shade measurements were made in eight channels with mature hardwood riparian trees at different times of the summer and at different times of the day. Agreement between measured and modeled shade was excellent, with r 2 of 0.90. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Shlomi S.,Technion - Israel Institute of Technology | Shlomi S.,Stetson Engineers Inc. | Ostfeld A.,Stetson Engineers Inc. | Rubin H.,Stetson Engineers Inc. | Shoemaker C.,Cornell University
Water Science and Technology | Year: 2010

This study presents a new method for selecting monitoring wells for optimal evaluation of groundwater quality. The basic approach of this work is motivated by difficulties in interpolating groundwater quality from information collected for only few sampled wells. The well selection relies on other existing data relevant to contaminant distribution in the sampling domain, e.g. predictions of models which rely on past measurements. The objective of this study is to develop a method of selecting the optimal wells, from which measurements could best serve some external model, e.g. a kriging system for characterizing the entire plume distribution, a flow-and-transport model for predicting a future distribution, or an inverse model for locating contaminant sources or estimating aquifer parameters. The decision variable at each sampling round determines the specific wells to be sampled. The study objective is accomplished through a spatially-continuous utility density function (UDF) which describes the utility of sampling at every point. The entire methodology which utilizes the UDF in conjunction with a sampling algorithm is entitled the UDF method. By applying calculations in steady and unsteady state sampling domains the effectiveness of the UDF method is demonstrated. © IWA Publishing 2010.

Caplan T.R.,Carlisle | Cothern K.,URS Corporation | Landers C.,Stetson Engineers Inc. | Hummel O.C.,U.S. Army
Restoration Ecology | Year: 2013

A common approach to re-establishing cottonwood-willow habitat along regulated rivers is through installing dormant, rootless cuttings, yet there is little published information exploring floodplain characteristics that optimize growth of southwestern riparian willows planted in this manner. The goal of this project was to evaluate relationships between growth attributes of Salix exigua and soil texture and soil water availability. Monitoring plots were established in five willow swales planted with dormant S. exigua cuttings along the banks of the Middle Rio Grande in central New Mexico. Data analysis revealed significantly higher aerial cover, height, and stem density for S. exigua plants installed in plots with intermediate levels (15-25%) of fine textured soils distributed through the soil profile. Similar relationships were found in relation to soil water availability. Regression analysis of percent fines and available water at different depth increments provided limited explanation of variability in willow growth attributes at different plots. Findings indicate that S. exigua plants established from cuttings can achieve heights and aerial cover values similar to naturally established willow bars if the floodplain soil profile contains intermediate levels of fine textured soils and the maximum depth to groundwater is within 1.5 m of the ground surface. Where sites are dominated by coarse sand, S. exigua growth may be improved if maximum depth to groundwater is within 1 m of the ground surface. © 2012 Society for Ecological Restoration.

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