WRS MS Plan B Papers

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The Graduate Program in Water Resources Science (WRS) is an interdisciplinary graduate program at the University of Minnesota, administered by the Water Resources Center.

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Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
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    Using BSTEM to Estimate Sediment Erosion in Seven Mile Creek Watershed
    (2016) Hammer-Lester, Rebecca F
    Sediment has been recognized as an important water contaminant and there has been substantial research into the sources and sinks of sediment on the landscape. However, ravines are an understudied erosive landform. The flashy, intermittent flows in ravines make them difficult environments to study and manage. The goals of this study were to collect data on the hydrology, sediment, and vegetation in ravines and to use that data to model sediment loads in a steep ravine in the Seven Mile Creek watershed in south-central Minnesota. There are many ravines throughout the Seven Mile Creek watershed and the Minnesota River Basin (MRB), of which it is a small part. The MRB carries the largest sediment loads entering the Mississippi River in the state of Minnesota and these sediments are creating problems downstream including rapid infilling of Lake Pepin. In the present study the Bank Stability and Toe Erosion Model (BSTEM) was used along with substantial field data on hydrology, sediment, and vegetation to model sediment loads generated in ravines in the Seven Mile Creek watershed. The results of the study show that substantial sediment loads can be generated in ravines. Sediment loads varied from a few metric tons/reach/year to tens of thousands of metric tons/reach/year with the strongest control exerted by hydrology followed by sediment, slope, and added cohesion from vegetation. The depth to water table and depth and duration of flow exerted strong control on sediment loads. Changing the water table and depth and duration of water flow caused a relative change in sediment load of at least 193% for the whole ravine results. It is hoped that the field data and modeling results from this study can aid researchers in understanding the magnitudes of sediment loads that can be expected in ravines and that it can guide managers in placing best management practices on the landscape in order to decrease erosion and sediment delivery from ravines to larger streams and rivers.
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    Hydrogeologic Monitoring at University of Minnesota Outreach, Research and Educational Park (UMore Park), 2011
    (2012-01) Groten, Joel T.; Alexander, E. Calvin
    The mining of the gravel resource and subsequent development at the University of Minnesota Outreach, Research and Educational Park (UMore Park) may potentially impact the groundwater quality at, and around UMore Park. In order to provide a pre-mining baseline against which to monitor potential water quality changes, monitoring of water quality in selected monitoring wells began in 2009 (Anger and Alexander, 2010.) Anger and Alexander (2010) reviews the previous work defining the hydrogeology of the UMore Park site and installing the existing monitoring wells. This report updates and Anger and Alexander (2010) with monitoring data obtained through June 2011.
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    Karst Hydrogeologic Investigation of Trout Brook, Dakota County, Minnesota
    (2013-02) Groten, Joel T.; Alexander, E. Calvin
    Trout Brook in the Miesville Ravine County Park of Dakota County is the trout stream with the highest nitrate concentration in the karst region of southeastern Minnesota. Water quality data from 1985 and 1995 (Spong, 1995) and from 2001, 2002, 2006 and 2010 by the Dakota County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) (2010) document an increasing level of nitrate in Trout Brook. A karst hydrogeologic investigation was designed to measure nitrate levels at sampling points along the stream and to increase our understanding of the source and movement of nitrates throughout the length of Trout Brook. Eighteen springs and seeps have been located in the Main Branch and tributaries of Trout Brook. A previously unreported flowing section and stream sieve, Weber Sieve, were found above what had been thought to be the head of perennial flow in the East Branch of Trout Brook. Two new sinkholes developed after the 14-15 June 2012 flood in a field northeast of the East Branch of Trout Brook. This investigation included regular monitoring of major anions in the streams and springs, synoptic stream flow measurements, a dye trace of a sinking stream in the Trout Brook drainage, and continuous temperature monitoring at two springs. The initial assumption was that the majority of the baseflow of Trout Brook was from discrete springs. However, synoptic baseflow and nitrate measurements show that only 30-40 percent of the total flow in Trout Brook is from discrete springs, and the rest appears to be from distributed groundwater discharge directly into the stream. Both the discrete springs and the distributed recharge occur along reaches of Trout Brook that drain the significant high transmissivity zone near the bottom of the regionally important Shakopee aquifer. Dye traces have confirmed flow-paths from Weber Sieve to LeDuc and Bridgestone Springs and have begun to define springsheds for these head water springs. The temperatures of two springs were monitored for 7.5 months. The observed small, seasonal temperature fluctuations at the springs seem to be due to the air temperature while storms that result in flooding and surface runoff cause larger, short-term temperature fluctuations. Nitrate concentrations and chloride/bromide ratios decreased systematically from the upstream springs to the downstream springs. The nitrate concentrations have been increasing at four springs from 1985 to 2012 and at two surface sampling points from 2001 to 2012. The nitrate concentration of another surface sampling point increased from 2001 to 2006 but decreased from 2006 to 2012. Snowmelt and rainfall runoff was sampled on 2 March 2012 and showed no detectable nitrate in the runoff from a watershed with no row-crop agriculture, but elevated nitrate was detected in an adjacent watershed with row-crop agriculture. All of these trends illustrate the dominance of agricultural sources of nitrate in Trout Brook.
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    Using Temperature Sensing Equipment to Detect Groundwater and Surface Water Interactions in Long Lake, New Brighton, MN
    (2011-12-15) Churchich, Molly A. Chermak
    Temperature sensing equipment is a cost effective way to determine areas in water bodies where groundwater may be seeping into the surface waters. Data records of noticeable temperature differences can indicate points where groundwater may be mixing with the surface water. Identifying these areas can help in many studies including determining pollutant loading and water level fluctuations. The research reported in this manuscript used Dallas Thermochron DS1922L-F5 temperature loggers to map the south lobe of Long Lake, which is a deep, urban lake. Based on this sampling event a few areas were identified for possible groundwater inputs. These areas include the connection to the north lobe of Long Lake, the channel connection to Pike Lake in the west, and at the south end of the lake. The results demonstrate the successful aspects of this method and developmental tools for future projects of this nature.
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    Using Urban Forestry Practices to Reduce Stormwater Runoff
    (2010) Peterson, Paul
    This study reviews the current thought and literature on urban watershed forestry and explains how increasing total forest canopy cover in an urban watershed will result in a corresponding decrease in stormwater runoff. The American Forests CITYGreen urban forestry model is applied to two sub-watersheds in the Vadnais Lake watershed, Ramsey County, Minnesota, to predict the outcome of applying urban watershed forestry practices. Results indicated a positive correlation between an increase in urban forest canopy cover and a reduction in volume of stormwater flow from precipitation events.
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    Providing Safe Drinking Water in Guatemala Through Collaboration, Metering, and Monitoring
    (2010-07-30) Passe, Derrick J.
    In 2007, Engineers Without Borders was contacted by Simajhuleu to help them repair their drinking water system. Simajhuleu is a small village located 50 kilometers Northwest of Guatemala City in the Central Highlands of Guatemala. The initial request was for assistance in installing a new water supply line from a remote spring to the Village. The initial assessment trip in January 2008 discovered the existing pipeline from the spring to the Village was conveying the water available at the spring to the Central Distribution tank in the Village 10 Kilometers away. Since 2008, Engineers Without Borders has visited the Village multiple times to study the Village’s water system. This has included investigation of both social and technical behaviors affecting the water flow in Simajhuleu. This investigation has revealed deficiencies in the Supply, Distribution and Demand components of the water system. The goal of the water improvement project is to improve social and physical well-being by securing ample, reliable, potable water for all residents of the village.