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Stream Ecology: River Structure and Hydrology

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Stream Ecology: River Structure and Hydrology Unit 1: Module 4, Lectures 1 – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Stream Ecology: River Structure and Hydrology


1
Stream Ecology River Structure and Hydrology
  • Unit 1 Module 4, Lectures 1

2
Objectives
  • Students will able to
  • describe how evaporation and precipitation
    influence river formation.
  • diagram the distribution of water on Earth.
  • define and provide examples of a watershed.
  • diagram stream networks and drainages.
  • explain how a meandering stream can form an oxbow
    lake.
  • predict riffle and pool formation in a stream
    segment.

3
Module 4 introduces students to
  • Lecture1
  • The Importance of Rivers
  • The Hydrologic Cycle
  • Watersheds as a concept
  • Geomorphology
  • watersheds and drainage networks
  • channel morphology
  • habitat scales
  • Lecture 2
  • Hydrology
  • flow and discharge
  • storm and annual hydrographs
  • flood probability
  • sediment transport and deposition

4
Importance of rivers
  • Rivers
  • Provide water and nutrients for agriculture
  • Provide habitat to diverse flora and fauna
  • Provide routes for commerce
  • Provide recreation
  • Provide electricity

5
Natural watercourses
  • Existence depends on
  • Availability of surface water
  • A channel in the ground
  • An inclined surface

6
Lotic systems
  • Four dimensions
  • Longitudinal
  • Lateral
  • Vertical
  • Time

7
Variation in time and space
  • The shape, size and content of a river are
    constantly changing, forming a close and mutual
    interdependence between the river and the land it
    traverses.

www.aquatic.uoguelph.ca/rivers/chintro.htm
8
Effect of climate

  • Rivers are very dependent on climate and their
    characteristics are closely related to the
    precipitation and evaporation regimes in their
    drainage areas.
  • Three types
  • Perennial or permanent rivers
  • Periodic rivers
  • Episodic rivers

9
The hydrologic cycle
10
Distribution of water on earth
11
What is a watershed?
12
What is a watershed?
13
Spatial scale Stream segments
14
Stream networks or drainages
15
Stream order
  • A method of classifying or ordering the hierarchy
    of natural channels.
  • Strahler (1957) is the most widely used system.
  • Stream order correlates well with drainage area,
    but is also regionally controlled by topography
    geology.

16
Spatial scale Segment system
17
Stream corridor and channel morphology
18
Cross section of a channel
19
Floodplain
20
Meandering rivers
21
Sinuosity Gradient and substrate
  • Small meanders
  • high gradient
  • coarse substrates
  • Big meanders
  • low gradient
  • fine substrates

22
Braided channel
  • Braided Pattern high slope high stream power
    coarse bed materials

23
An oxbow lake
24
Spatial scale Reach system
25
Riffles, pools, and cascades
  • Riffles and pools alternate in somewhat
    predictable patterns

26
Pool - riffle sequence
  • Riffle to riffle 5 - 7 channel widths
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